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Buntricia’s Hands On Makeup Skills Conference

My goal is to share more of my makeup photos on Instagram. You can’t see the purple smokey eye in this photo, but it’s there and my skills have improved vastly since going to Las Vegas.

Earlier this year as part of my evolution, I discovered this magical thing called makeup and I’ve been hooked ever since. Although I’ve posted a few reviews on makeup products on this blog, I found it difficult to continue to give advice and write about makeup without any base knowledge. Last month, I changed that by attending a Hands On Makeup Skills Course in Las Vegas taught by international renowned makeup artist Buntricia Bastian.

Buntricia Bastian and I at the 2014 Makeup Show in New York City
Buntricia Bastian and I at the 2014 Makeup Show in New York City

I discovered Buntricia through YouTuber, Lyric Rochester, aka Jamaican Makeup Artist.  A quick search after hearing Lyric’s mention brought me to what was Buntricia’s sole video on YouTube at the time.  While I was watching it, a few thoughts went through my head and that 1) Buntricia is a yardie (Jamaican); 2) that I had learned more from her 15 minute video than I had learned from all of the YouTube videos that I had been watching and 3) that she had no filter.  To me, she was a hell of a scary but at the same time I was thinking that all women could certainly use a little Buntricia in them. After mentioning this to my friend Karraine, she actually picked up the phone and called her. Yes, I was absolutely mortified but the next thing I knew we were both on a train to New York City to check out her presentation at the Makeup Show in New York City.


Her personality was no different than the YouTube video. She is a true makeup diva! But we chatted for a bit at the show. We chatted some more after the show both by voice and text. She’s not afraid to give out her number and if and when you call she will pick up her phone as long as it’s not some ungodly hour in the night. I was impressed! After seeing the reviews about her hands on makeup skills course in Jamaica, I made my decision.

PicMonkey Collage
Various shots outside the Vdara. I didn’t for whatever reason take any photos inside the room.

The Venue: Vdara Hotel

The conference was held at the oh so posh, Vdara hotel located at 2600 W. Harmon Avenue Las Vegas, Nevada 89158 in the Las Vegas’ City Center. This was the second year that the conference was held at this hotel and since the cost of the conference also included the cost of the rooms, I stayed.

Vdara Hotel
the view from my hotel room on the 22nd floor of the Vdara

The hotel is part of the more popular Aria hotel chain and sits right behind the Bellagio. While we were able to see the picturesque desert valley from our side of the building, guests on the other side had breath taking views of the Bellagio and her fountains, the Paris hotel and its mini Eiffel tower and other famous landmarks and hotels on the strip. Both sides were nice, but if you plan to stay at this property, request the side that faces the strip.

One of the best things about this hotel is that there is no casino on the property or the drunks or cigarette smokers that are usually part of that casino scene. You were also required to show your room key before you could get on any of the elevators after hours. I loved this extra added and visible security effort which made me feel safe at the hotel. The rooms were large and comfortable and can honestly sleep four people. There was a king size bed and a pull out sofa in the room that I stayed in and the bathroom was honestly just a wee smaller than my living room. The kitchen in the room (microwave, mini fridge and a 2 burner stove) was a great to have. We picked up breakfast items at a local super market which helped us to save money on food. I also found out that some of the rooms have full size washer and dryers for extended stay guests.

Day 1: Airbrushing class
Day 1: Airbrushing class. Yes, that’s me. I had no idea that you could do a full face with an airbrush machine. We used yellow paint to demonstrate. The yellow paint, of course sparked a chorus of giggles.

The Classes:

The 3-day hands on Makeup Skills Course was open to aspiring as well as professional working makeup artists.  I was completely intimidated to attend, but to my surprise there were a lot of other people who were also on my same skill level.  Classes which consisted of airbrushing, advance makeup and lashes began on Sunday and was held daily from 8:00 AM and ended at 6:00 pm. We were allotted a 2-hour lunch break which didn’t always happen -there was just too much to learn.  Except for the makeup class which was taught by Buntricia, the other two classes included a main instructor and a supporting instructor both of whom were well known in their fields. These women included emmy award wining makeup artist Maria Moore and  Shaunel Kennard (aka @missconceited owner of Conceited Inc, Atlanta’s #1 Mink Lash and Beauty Bar).

I loved the airbrushing and makeup class! I felt really in my elements in both of those classes and I am looking forward to taking advance classes in both. It takes really great hand and eye coordination and a lot of patience and practice to master individual lashes.  Each lash extension is adhered to a single lash and of the three classes this was the most difficult for me. It can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours to do an entire set. I did learn how to put on strip lashes and the individual ones and I understand why this is so heavily priced.

So I am now a certified, trained makeup artist. It’s mostly theory now, but I’ve started to put together a kit and I am looking for opportunities and faces to practice all that I learned.

What This All Means:

So I have three certificates confirming that I have the required training for advanced makeup skills. I guess, this technically makes me a makeup artist, not just someone that has base knowledge for makeup application.  I am actually excited about this new part of my journey. Makeup does wonders for those who use it to enhance their features and I am looking forward to helping women {and some men} who are just discovering makeup for the first time. This definitely means that there will be a lot more makeup posts and videos on the blog going forward.

XoXo, Natasha



About Natasha Samuels

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One comment

  1. CONGRATS. . .more good things are coming my Sista. Happy Holidays!