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09/17/2012 at 06:00 PM ET

kim kardashian 2 600x450 Meet Our New Beauty Blogger, Celebrity Makeup Artist Scott Barnes
Courtesy Kim Kardashian

Please give a warm welcome to Scott Barnes! The celebrity makeup artist and beauty book author is a go-to among Hollywood’s hottest, thanks to his serious skills with a makeup brush. Barnes has painted the faces of leading ladies like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson, and is credited as the man behind Jennifer Lopez‘s golden glow, thanks to his Body Bling bronzer.

Barnes just released his second book, Face to Face, and will be writing for PEOPLE StyleWatch in the weeks ahead, dishing out advice on makeup and sharing secrets from his star-studded adventures. 

I am very pleased and excited to announce that this is my first of many blogs to come for People.com! This has been a very exciting month for me with the launch of my second book, Face to Face (with my cover girl Kim Kardashian), which features celebs from Vanessa Williams and Raquel Welch to Paris Hilton and Kathy Griffin and many others. It’s really a celebration of the transformation process and also my move to Los Angeles from New York.

As a celebrity makeup artist, I am probably most known for my ability to transform people. This is exactly the approach I took with Kim Kardashian when I contoured her face at a recent photo shoot, pictures from which went viral all over the blogosphere. It all started with my first book, About Face, where I took 16 women and had them come to me as beautiful as they thought they could be. I then transformed them into what I knew they could be. So, what is the transformation process and how can we begin to transform ourselves?

Let’s start with two personal beauty philosophies that I want you to write down on your mirrors. After all, I always say, ‘Beauty for purpose as opposed to beauty for vanity’s sake.’ The first is this: “Looking good is more than a way of life, it’s a plan of action.” The second is: “Don’t follow trends! The trend is to be beautiful, and be the best possible version of yourself.”

The problem with most women is that they’re so busy trying to be someone else, like someone they see in a magazine, a Victoria’s Secret model, or their favorite actress or pop artist, that they miss out the empowerment and sexy confidence that they could be feeling, simply just by becoming the best possible version of themselves. The art of the transformation process starts with finding the best, most prominent features in your face, knowing (but not dwelling on) what features lack, and finding the perfect balance between the two, creating a look that showcases your best features and minimizes the flaws. This is achieved through contouring techniques, which you’ll find detailed explanations of in my books.

kesha 300x400 Meet Our New Beauty Blogger, Celebrity Makeup Artist Scott Barnes
Courtesy Scott Barnes

My most recent example of this technique would be Ke$ ha, whom I just worked with for the MTV Video Music Awards. My approach to Ke$ ha was to have people see what I saw, rather than what they’ve seen from Ke$ ha thus far.

Ke$ ha’s a very beautiful girl and I wanted to make sure to bring out the best features that she had to offer. I used everything from NYX Eye Shadow Palette to Dior Lip Gloss to create this new look for her. The common misconception is that you have to pay an arm and a leg just to get the best possible look, which isn’t true. However, you do have to learn what shades work best for your skin type and color, especially when contouring!

Needless to say, when Ke$ ha hit the red carpet, everyone was floored, Ke$ ha felt great about herself, and everybody won. So we know that in order to begin a transformation, we have to learn about our best features and the basics of contouring.

But why? Why should you begin your new transformation?

All in all, the most important gem that I want to leave you with is that, through the power of transformation, a woman gains confidence and a better sense of self-worth in the process. It’s an important point. In fact, it may even be the point: If you’re doing things to make yourself feel better and look better — grooming yourself, eating well, exercising and doing whatever it takes to become your most beautiful self — it can benefit you in extraordinary ways that stretch far beyond mere physical appearance. I think of it as empowering yourself, having a spiritual relationship with yourself. And that’s the real power of beauty.

–Scott Barnes

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