Category Archives: Beauty

CQ Beauty Bar – what’s the deal with permanent makeup?

When I met permanent cosmetic artist Maria Ires Todd, it was the first time I had ever heard of permanent makeup. Admittedly at first I was a little intimidated by the concept, but Maria was so positive and enthusiastic, I naturally wanted to learn more about her specialty and her Osterville based business L’ Atelier Permanent Makeup. When my mom said she was interested in learning about the various options for permanent makeup, we scheduled a visit.

Although permanent makeup is the most accepted term for the treatment, I learned it is not the same process as tattooing (read: it is not forever). Clinicians often refer to it as micropigmentation, and it is used by both women and men to enhance the shape of their eyebrows, hairline, lips, and eyes through the process of depositing pigment into the skin’s dermal layer.

The process has been advanced and honed over the past few years, and is performed by inserting a small, thin needle and hypoallergenic mineral pigment into the second layer of the skin to lightly contour and enhance the area of focus. This procedure differs from cosmetic tattoos in that it uses a different pigment than tattoo ink, and it also less invasive.

Maria sees all kinds of clients from individuals with arthritis or poor vision who have a hard time applying makeup to those with alopecia and hair loss to those who simply overplucked as a teenager. She also sees people who are going through cancer treatment and suffering hair loss and breast cancer survivors who have lost their breasts and areolas.

It was clear during her consultation with my mother that her philosophy is to respect each client’s individual needs and make everyone look as natural as possible. She says, “your face is a work of art” so she does not aim to try to change someone’s look, rather her goal is to enhance their unique beauty, no matter their age.

My mother’s initial thought was that she would try a lip liner to save herself some time and hassle of applying it herself every day, but when Maria told her that the micropigmentation of the eyebrows is her most popular treatment, she changed course.

Maria showing an “after” photo
Maria has extensive training in her field

In Maria’s opinion, enhancing the brows can make the biggest difference, as they frame the face and highlight the eyes. She usually completes both brows in two sessions. In the first session she sketches where she’ll put the pigmentation and then draws them on by mimicking hair strokes with a refined shading process.

With over a decade of experience, one can see that Maria’s extensive training has helped her develop her sense of aesthetics, where she can look at your bone structure and determine the angle of eyebrows that will suit you and your face best. Not everyone looks good with a trendy thick brow, and she honors that.

It was amazing to see in before and after photos how much it really does brighten and highlight someone’s face. And my mom agreed, saying it “looked better than a facelift!”

Maria knows people put a lot of trust in her, and she takes her responsibility very seriously. And when a client says they feel confidence in their beauty again, that brings her immense amounts of joy.

L’Atelier Permanent Makeup is located at 8 West Bay Road in Osterville, and online at

My mom has an appointment scheduled with Maria for May to get her eyebrows micropigmented… stay tuned!

Soon to come!

CQ Beauty Bar – Class is in session with Kimberly Richard

For some buying and applying makeup can be fun and a creative activity, but for some it can be confusing and challenging. Local makeup artist and licensed Aesthetician, Kimberly Richard, admits this process can be very overwhelming, which is why she offers instructional sessions – her Be Beautiful Workshops – for people seeking guidance navigating their local store’s beauty aisles and their own makeup use.

So, when our friend Amy recently realized that she has been using the same makeup for over a decade and felt a little stuck in her routine, she enlisted Kimberly to help her switch things up, and we decided to tag along. Kimberly’s personalized beauty class was her way of getting unstuck and reinvigorating her confidence.

“We are all so hard on ourselves,” Kim explained, “I started doing this because I kept hearing people talking about what they don’t like about themselves and I wanted to show them how to highlight the parts of themselves that they should like.”

Walking into Kimberly Richard’s studio we immediately knew what kind of experience we were going to have. Both the space and Kimberly herself were bright and welcoming, and put us at ease. We even found inspiration around every corner with quotes like “nothing is impossible to the willing mind” (book of Han Dynasty), “she believed she could, so she did,” and “be your own kind of beautiful” on display.

Kimberly’s go-to products for creating a naturally beautiful makeup look

Kimberly shared her philosophy right away: makeup can be used to bring out your natural beauty, but even the best products in the wrong place can age you and dull your shine. Her goal is always to make the makeup work for the individual in a way that is practical and fits into their daily lives and to incorporate techniques to help take the look up a notch for special events and occasions.

The goals for the session are always to break down the makeup application process to help you understand your own face shape and bone structure, and how to enhance your favorite features. Kimberly also shares her tips on what products to use, how to make them last, and how much to put on. She also emphasizes that a good skin care regimen is paramount to effective makeup application.

The two-hour class was full of tips, tricks, revelations and takeaways. A few notable and easy ones: drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin in order to have a good blank canvas from where to start; and before applying makeup, make sure your hands, makeup brushes and makeup containers are clean.

Amy taking notes during her Be Beautiful class

Kimberly’s goals for Amy were make her beautiful eyes pop, and to create a natural looking makeup practice for her daily life here on Cape Cod.

In order to do this Kimberly instructed Amy on how to choose the right foundation, which preps the face for contouring, highlighting and adding color. She explained to Amy that contouring is used to soften edges and angles, highlighter to bring softer parts forward, and blush to make parts of the face like your cheekbones pop. She advises the use of light soft strokes in order to build and blend the colors to keep the look more organic.

She also showed Amy how to tame the dark circles around her eyes

Determining the right color corrector with the use of the color wheel

by using a color corrector (identified by her makeup pro color wheel) to neutralize the discoloration and a concealer that matches the rest of her skin tone as the final touch (even after you’ve put all your other eye makeup on).

The afternoon was filled with setting realistic goals, sharing insecurities, a lot of laughs, and the best tip on how to apply mascara. At the end of it all Amy’s beauty was enhanced by Kimberly’s techniques that Amy is excited to employ in her every day life.


Kimberly Richard started her career as a model and artist, and has always been passionate about beauty of all sorts. She is a makeup artist who has beautified hundreds of brides and models, as well as a licensed Aesthetician specializing in facials, body treatments and lash extensions. She operates her own studio and spa in Sandwich