Inside Look: Rock & Royal Makeup Studio

rock and royal Kristen Hefti has been a makeup artist for more than ten years and knows what it takes to be successful in an industry that’s constantly changing. A former employee at MAC Cosmetics, she opened her own freelance makeup studio, Rock & Royal, two years ago. It’s now the only freestanding makeup studio in San Diego, and Kristen’s success is only growing. The objective of her new business is simple and sensible: she wants a space free of sales pitches, overzealous advertisement, and an ulterior profit-oriented motive. The Blue Book took an exclusive look inside Rock & Royal Makeup Studio and were treated to an hour of makeup application and expert tips.

From MAC to Riches

Rock & Royal boasts a refreshing, low pressure environment, an idea that sprang from Kristen’s years working at MAC – where the objective was to sell, sell, sell. She was tired of being forced to have an outside incentive for doing what she loves, so she quit, enrolled in esthetician school, and dreamed about opening her own sales-free studio. That dream came true two years ago when she found a great little space on Fay Street in La Jolla. She utilizes a simple price point ($40) for each session and doesn’t ever try to sell products or make a sales pitch – meaning you don’t have to buy a single product in order to get your makeup done.

la jolla makeup

Kirsten does makeup for any occasion; any time a woman wants to have her best face on or is just looking for a reason to feel glamorous: bar mitzvahs, quinceneras, weddings, galas, nights out, corporate interviews, dating site photos, baby showers, reunions. She can do lash extensions, of which she prefers the more European style: more natural, a bit thinner, and created to look and feel healthy rather than fake. She also gives lessons in application to the younger crowd (tweens and teenagers). For a full listing of her services, head over to

What’s in a Name?

Kristen searched high and low for a good studio name; she laughed and said it was almost like picking out a name for her own child. She found herself perusing thesauruses and magazines, movie credits and album names. One day she was at a friend’s house and was reading through an article in Vogue magazine. The article’s title was Rock & Royal and it was about a princess in the Middle East who made jewelry using rocks, gems, and minerals, something that Kristen herself loves to do. She built her studio around a vintage look: a lot of reclaimed wood, chandeliers, and antique mirrors complete the trendy shabby-chic style. The entire aura of the studio exudes elegance and charm – a perfect place to spend an hour or two pampering yourself.

Our Makeup Session

makeup la jolla The Blue Book got into the hot seat for a top notch makeup sesh – and ended up with a few pearls of wisdom along the way. The first thing Kristen asked when I took a seat was what kind of skin I had; the whole of her routine is based on the individual’s skin type, making every session a truly customized experience. She applied the first stages of makeup: a light liquid foundation, some eyebrow coloring, and eyelid primer, then a few different eyeshadow colorings, lipliner, lipstick, and a finishing/illuminating powder to complete the look. I had asked for a light, natural, and work-friendly style – and Kristen thoroughly exceeded my expectations with her light hand, beautifully blended color, and high quality products.

Some Tips from the Pro

1. Hydration is key! She recommends Glo-Minerals brush cleaner to clean and hydrate your makeup brushes for better application.

2. Exfoliate. Before you come in for a session, exfoliate the skin thoroughly. This helps the makeup she does apply to stay on and gives your skin a smoother appearance overall.

3. Must-Have Product: Skindinavia’s Oil Control Spray – she recommends that people with combination skin or especially oily skin use it before makeup application (or even before and after) for a fresh, matte look that won’t smudge or smear.

4. Contouring and highlighting should be used to add dimension, define your best features, or correct smaller wrinkles and fine lines. It can be easy to overdo, she warns; be sure to keep a light hand throughout application, and it’s much easier to add makeup later than it is to remove it.

For a makeup/pampering experience of your own, give Kristen a call at (858) 456-7625, visit her studio at 7760 Fay Avenue, Suite R, or visit her website for a complete listing of her services.

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