Beauty Interview

Interview with Liz and Amy of Café Makeup

Today’s interview is with two ladies who run one of my favorite beauty sites – Liz and Amy, of the blog Café Makeup. I adore Café Makeup for the reason I love sites like The Beauty Look Book – beautiful photography, careful swatching of colors, and impartial, matter of fact reviews. Liz and Amy over the years have amassed a huge collection of skincare and beauty products over the years, and I always love reading their latest reviews and product favorites. I was very happy to have the opportunity to interview them and ask them some questions about beauty and skincare. Enjoy!

Lovely Liz

Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?

We’re a mom (Amy) and daughter (Liz) team who live in Northern California. We both have demanding jobs, so we enjoy beauty and fashion as a way to get together, shop, and have lunch. It’s a nice break in otherwise busy lives!

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense lipsticks

You two are both obviously big fans of beauty and skincare products. Can I ask – just how big is your collection?  

Thank you! Because there are two of us, larger than most. I have some drawers and two cabinets in my bathroom – but it is a large bathroom. And Liz has a bit as well. Her friends are sometimes impressed.

Some brands we own extensively (Chanel, for example). Other brands we own very few items or nothing at at all. It actually works well, because we can trade off things so the stash doesn’t become overwhelming. Also, Liz can pass along some items to her circle of friends when we find that we don’t use or love an item and it needs to find a better home.  That way, we don’t accumulate lots of things we’ll never use.

Chanel Vitalumiere foundation

What are your top five desert island beauty products?

For Liz:

1. Chanel Foundations (Liz loves both Lift Lumiere and now Vitalumiere)
2. Dior Aurora Bronzer (this was limited edition from two years ago, but we’re hoping for a comeback)
3. Guerlain Terracotta Bronzers–the annual special editions. We die for these. We actually don’t own any of the standard Guerlain Terracotta line, but we own multiples of the annual summer releases. We can’t wait for the next one.
4. Chanel Black Pearl Nail Polish
5. Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss lipgloss, probably tied with Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip

For Amy:

1. Tom Ford Bronzer Brush (heaven!)
2. Chanel Dragon Nail Polish (it’s a fabulous statement red)
3. Nars Illuminators. They’re magical.
4. Perricone MD Formula 15–wonderful skin care. I also love his Vitamin C Ester 15.
5. Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream. And Edward Bess Quad Royale in South of France highlighter.
6. Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes eyeshadow palettes. When I’m on the road, I’ll use one for days (or even weeks). They’re so versatile and compact.

What category of skincare and beauty products do you think are great to go to the drugstore for – and what products do you think are splurge worthy enough to generally pay department store/higher end prices for?

We’re both very impressed with pencil eyeliners. Prestige Total Intensity liner, for example, is a long-time favorite. We’re both crazy for Essie and OPI nail polish, which has made it into drugstores now. Liz uses drugstore mascaras quite a bit, mostly the L’Oreal. Also, some European skin care lines, including Avene, La Roche Posay, and Nuxe, are absolutely wonderful.

For where to splurge – without question, we believe in spending as much as necessary on foundation. Any texture on one’s face is so noticeable. Any foundation that clogs pores or breaks us out just doesn’t make it.

What are some of your favorite skincare tips…and skincare products?

We are both very thorough about cleansing. Truly, ensure that your makeup is thoroughly removed at the end of the day is so important. We both use the Clarisonic electronic brush–I think we own three between us. Toners, removers, you name it.

I’m glad that you asked the skincare question. I get a lot of emails and Twitter questions about Liz’s skincare regime. Here are her secrets:

1. First, Liz has been loving Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Cream. She wears it daily under her foundation
2. For breakouts, Liz gets the Clean and Clear set (about $20 at drugstores) and uses this 3-product regime until everything goes away. It’s surprisingly effective.
3. Liz has been using several Perricone MD products, including the Intensive Pore Treatment and Intensive Pore Minimizer.

In the beauty industry, there’s a lot of hype and advertising (an example is extremely Photoshopped mascara ads). How do you feel about this – what do you think are some products/categories that perhaps have been overhyped?

We completely agree that mascara ads are getting out of control. The UK has regulations about Photoshopped ads, and they are really beginning to enforce them. We think it is good to see. The whole reason that we started Café Makeup was because we wanted to give honest opinions about products. Some things really are worth the money, even on the high end. But with Photoshopping, women have a hard time telling which things are truly worth it.

We realize that there’s a high profit component to beauty, and we don’t mind paying for something that we’ll legitimately use up (we do go through many things all the way to the pan). Although we love elegant packaging, we try to look beyond it to see what’s really inside.

Probably the biggest category of hype are the frequent micro-releases of limited editions. Although I realize Liz and I do fall for it sometimes. But when companies start churning out products so quickly that a woman has to rearrange her life or miss out, we let those go. I really enjoy companies where even the limited editions are around for several weeks. I hope that doesn’t change!

If you were to start your beauty collection over again – what would be some advice that you’d tell yourself?

For Liz, she’s learned that one can’t reject a beauty item because it’s marketed for a “more experienced” age group. Some of the products she loves most have excellent formulations that work on all age ranges. Beauty companies that target women in their 30’s and beyond have to meet a demanding audience, and some of those products are just excellent.

For Amy, I would not buy things that I haven’t seen in person, absent a recommendation from a trusted friend or sales associate. The stock photographs just aren’t accurate–they either undersell or oversell the products.

What are some common mistakes that women make when it comes to beauty?

It all starts with the right skincare, fitness, hydration and nutrition. Also, focus on being your best self, not someone else’s version of you. Liz and I don’t have tremendous patience for “rules.” If someone is talented with makeup, they have help you tremendously. But sometimes one has to sit through many unfortunate makeovers to find the good ones.

Liz and Edward Bess

What are some of your other passions and hobbies?

We both adore traveling. Liz loves music, and enjoys nights out with friends. Amy loves her family, as well as traveling. Amy tries to go to Paris at least once a year for a few weeks.

Finally – please share something surprising about yourself!

Well, readers might be surprised to learn that Liz and I are running this blog from opposite coasts right now. Amy is on the East Coast, and Liz on the West. Fortunately, we’ve been able to meet up a few times to continue to take some pictures. We’re both looking forward to December, when we’ll both be back in Northern California permanently.

As a second thing, we really mean it when we say we love our readers. Really, so many of you keep us going. It’s so gratifying to know that people are as passionate about beauty!


I really appreciate and enjoy how straight forward Liz and Amy are. At the same time, they are charming, and clearly very down to earth and likable. I know that I’ve added a few beauty and skincare products to my list (by the way, who else didn’t know that Tom Ford products were so expensive)? Thank you to Amy and Liz for taking the time to share some of your favorite beauty products and tips here today. For more of them, please visit Café Makeup!

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  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 6:56 am

    I love their blog too! I am thrilled to see them interviewed here.

    • Reply
      December 12, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Happy to see that they have so many fans!

  • Reply
    Chic 'n Cheap Living
    December 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Thanks for sharing this new to me blog. I always linger at the Chanel counter at the duty free store and wonder what is worth the splurge. I’m definitely going to try the foundation!

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Beautiful interview with great questions and insightful answers. Loved this!!

    • Reply
      December 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Thank you! You two are two of my favorite blogs!

  • Reply
    Cafe Makeup Featured on The Feather Factor... - Café Makeup
    December 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

    […] Makeup is delighted to be featured on the amazing blog Feather Factor today! So many of our secrets are revealed–including Liz’s skincare routine […]

  • Reply
    Cafe Makeup on Feather Factor Today - Café Makeup
    December 12, 2012 at 9:01 am

    […] Makeup is delighted to be featured on the amazing blog Feather Factor today! So many of our secrets are revealed–including Liz’s skincare routine […]

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 9:03 am

    So refreshing to read an interview about make up bloggers. Really enjoyed it.
    Happy Wednesday Hun xoxo

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Absolutely LOVE their blog! Thank you for interviewing them.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

    yey, I always check out cafemakeup and it can be enabling. I just regret the mum (Amy) never showing the products. I mean, Liz is pretty but I love to see how something works on a woman approximately my age, as younger girls can flaunt a lot more products anyway

    • Reply
      December 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

      I’m sure Amy is gorgeous, I’d love to see her one day too 🙂

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Thank you for your lovely interview – enjoyed reading it!!

  • Reply
    stina auer
    December 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Very interesting I agree and even more for the fact that i’ve never read a makeup blog before!

    stina auer

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Im not much into makeup as I dont have the patience for it but that does not mean I dont like it. I love makeup and someday I want to be better with the brushes 🙂 Thanks for the lovely interview!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for the interview. I LOVE Amy and Liz’s blog because I feel they are very honest with their reviews.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Fun interview! I highly recommend Edward Bess’s products – it will be an extra treat if you catch him at one of his counters! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Sorry, Liz, but Edward Bess is prettier than you! *giggles*

    Joking aside, I agree very much with the ladies about those annoying “micro limited editions”. It’s especially infuriating that brands like Chanel, which are among Liz and Amy’s favourites and mine as well, are pretty much the worst offenders. I’d understand it if a rather small company decided to keep a limited edition small as well, since they probably can’t sell that much. But worldwide known huge companies? Please.

    I’ve started to buy less Chanel, Dior and others like that, because I’m already that angry. I’m much happier with companies like Nars who don’t do that bs and actually respect their customers.

    • Reply
      December 13, 2012 at 9:51 am

      I had no idea about the microeditions and how frustrating they were – I have some but only because I happened to be in the shop when it was out – I hope they fix inventory issues in the future!

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