The Makeup Class by Smash

Now you can learn these essential beauty tips and tricks directly from the artist Ashley Colburn.

Ashley will share coveted beauty secrets and insights about how to develop a powerful and lasting beauty look for yourself or clients. Whether it is an everyday look or more evening glam look, you will learn all of Ashley's tricks, tips, and techniques. Rest assured, you will leave feeling a lot more confident in your craft!

In addition, there will be champagne and decadent treats to enjoy while the makeup class is in session! And lastly, as an added bonus, you will receive a goody bag of products to take home with you! 

Please go here to purchase your ticket!



When I was a newly wed, I was so excited to wear (or should I say flaunt) my diamond ring everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I would wear my ring to bed, in the shower, to the gym, there was really no place I wouldn’t wear my ring. My wedding ring became a part of me and my everyday attire. Well, as you can imagine all of that changed when I almost lost my diamond. 

My ring was so worn that the prongs that held my diamond in place were so lose that I was on the verge of losing my diamond forever. After that dreadful experience of almost losing my diamond, I decided right then and there that I would stop wearing it to places (like the gym) that could potentially hurt or destroy the integrity of my ring. 

That is when a friend of mine introduced me to Groovelife. What is Groovelife you ask? Groovelife is a company that makes silicone rings that are breathable, flexible, and comfortable to wear while exercising or playing sports. And they are really cute too! Since I am in the beauty industry fashion is really important to me so making sure it fit within my style guidelines was a must. I love that they have so many options, colors, and patterns to choose from. I personally love the groove thin silicone ring in the color pearl

Since my sizing is a 5.5 I originally ordered a size 6 which ended up being a little too big for my finger. So, I later ordered a size 5 and it was a perfect fit. So, if you are right in the middle like me drop down instead of going up in size.  Thank you to Groovelife for making a ring I can wear (or should I say flaunt) while exercising!! 

The Skin Care Step You’re Missing 

The skin care step you are missing in your skin care routine but shouldn’t is the use of a TONER. Yes folks, you heard it correctly I said a toner. No one truly understands the importance of the use of a toner so, I am here to set the record straight and share with you on why it is important to incorporate a toner in your skin care routine! 

For starters, the use of a toner can actually shrink the appearance of pores. After cleansing your skin with face wash, follow up with a toner to help remove excess sebum or dirt from your face. Pro tip: make sure to buy a toner that is alcohol free. Alcohol can strip your pH balance which can lead to more skin care issues. 

Second, your skin has a pH balance of 5.5 but using skin care cleansers, serums or moisturizers that are not appropriate for your skin type can mess up your pH balance. Toners help to restore your skins natural pH balance of 5.5. If you have oily skin make sure you choose a toner that will balance your skin. We love herbivore Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner which sells for $39. Or we love Keihl’s Ultra Facial' Oil-Free Toner which sells for $16. Now, if you have dry skin make sure you buy a toner that is hydrating and gentle on your skin. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid which helps bind moisture to your skin. 

Third, toners can help protect your skin against environmental damages. When you use a toner your pores tighten and close meaning it helps decrease the penetration or external damages.

Lastly, toners can help reduce inflammation or redness on the skin. With soothing ingredients like green tea, rose, blemish fighting white willow bark, soothing aloe vera and toning witch hazel your skin will visibly be less inflamed and red. 

If you don’t have a toner, seriously guys go buy one today! For optimal results we recommend using a toner 3 times after you have cleansed your face and before you put on moisturizer. See the skin care chart below! Happy toning. 

Cleanser > Toner > Serum > Moisturizer > Eye Cream

Beauty + No Limits

    We are bound by the laws of physics. Without the laws of gravity, momentum, and light, our world would not exist as we know it. We owe our physical lives to these laws. But they need not apply to our spirits.

    We are taught that our lives are also bound by laws: standards of success and beauty that limit what we believe ourselves to be capable of achieving, of doing, of being. Our life’s work is to unearth and present the most authentic version of ourselves. We are immersed in the effort of self actualization, of determining who we are and cultivating an image based on that idea of our best self, and putting it out into the world. Rules, standards, trends, and fads restrict us in the creation of a physical identity that matches what we feel we are within. As a result we may be lost as individuals, relegated to being another embodiment of whatever of-the-moment look is dominating social media. These are standards because they are beautiful, but when it comes to makeup, style, and identity, one size does not fit all. Beauty transcends these laws when we trust our vision and defy the rules. 

    I have made my career by breaking the rules. In my work as a makeup artist, I go beyond rules and trends, using makeup to highlight a person’s natural beauty. I believe in shaping an image that you can be proud of that matches the work you’ve done your whole life to become your best self. If it is possible to capture your favorite parts of yourself and display them outwardly, that’s what I hope you will do. As an artist and beauty industry professional, that is all I can hope to do for my clients. 

    At 33 years old I am, for the first time in my life, doing what I absolutely love and what makes me happy. Beyond defying expectations of beauty, I dared to leave the comfort and stability of the corporate world to take a chance on pursuing my vision and bringing my art to life. This is more than my profession. I feel that it is alive inside me. It is my purpose and it energizes me, and to share it with others has given my life such meaning. I would not be the person that I am today if I had continued to exist within the confines of standards, rules, and expectations.

    Great things can happen when we choose to live our lives with the belief that the limits do not apply to us. In terms of beauty, if we can be comfortable with passing on trends that mute our individual beauty in favor of recreating a standard, we can achieve a look that enhances all the best parts of ourselves and is completely our own. Once we own this image of ourselves fearlessly and unapologetically, I believe we can bring that into the rest of our lives. We can dare to dream greatly, to take risks others may warn us not to, and to chance failure in order to achieve everything we know ourselves to be capable of.



Smash Beauty Bar Is All In for Fall Street Fashion

Smash Beauty Bar recently teamed up with Onomie, Melrose and Madison and LFX Event Space to curate a photoshoot showcasing the eclectic spirit of fall fashion in the heart of Denver. 

For the shoot, founder and makeup artist Ashley Colburn wanted to transition a selection of summer staples into bronzed and bold looks for the most avant-garde of seasons. She focused first on highlighting healthy skin and using Onomie skincare products to create a lit-from-within glow. Then, she amped up each look with a fresh pop of drama on the eyes or lips. Rather than go over the top, Colburn sought to showcase balanced beauty by marrying the daring and the timeless in makeup and fashion.

Colburn also wanted to evolve street wear in Denver by taking cues from New York. With inspiration from the Big Apple, and threads from Melrose and Madison, she reimagined summer’s off-the-shoulder sleeves, tassel earrings and floral patterns in a way that struts confidently into fall. These ultra-feminine trends are updated with a hard edge via golden accessories, moodier makeup and bursts of rich color. 

This season, take it from Smash Beauty Bar and don’t be afraid to embrace the bold.

Written by Kelly Magrath 

Beauty Tips for your Wedding Day

It’s here, the big day you’ve been dreaming about and planning is right around the corner. You have everything checked off your list; photographer, venue, flowers, cake, etc., but chances are you are missing a vital part in your planning and you don’t even know it, your beauty. Beauty is typically last on the list of things you consider important when planning your wedding but it is actually one of the most important elements on your wedding day. 

Not sure on where to start when thinking about beauty, don’t worry we will simplify it for you. Our first rule is….. SKIN FIRST! Your skin will define your entire look so it is so important (and we can’t stress this enough) to take care of your skin properly with the right products that are recommended for your skin type and skin age. 

One thing we recommend doing the night before the big day is to exfoliate your skin. By doing this you will remove any buildup of dry skin which will help your skin look baby soft on your wedding day. And let’s get real, who doesn’t want baby soft skin every day of your life? If your skin needs a little extra help don’t be afraid to get a chemical peel or a laser treatment to help improve the texture and overall appearance of your skin. Though, it is important to give yourself enough time to heal so don’t do anything drastic right before your big day. And we don’t recommend trying new products right before your big day as this could cause mild blemishes.  When it comes to your skin, stick with what your skin knows and loves! 

Second thing we recommend doing is to follow a thorough skincare routine that is appropriate for your skin age. Our second rule is to understand……..INGREDIENTS!  Meaning, your routine should change every decade to combat the signs of aging. In your 20s you may need products like clay masks to remove excess oils. In your 30s your cell turnover slows down so it’s important to use products that help restore the moisture in your skin. In your 40s (and so on) the cell turn over slows down even more and skin damage is now visible.  So you should be upping your game with products that are designed to brighten and restore the skin. 

Third thing we recommend doing is to protect your skin. In Colorado, most weddings occur during the hot summer months so it is important to protect your skin with sunblock to prevent skin damage caused by UVA and UVB exposure. Our third rule……..WEAR SUNBLOCK! Did you know an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun? * Sure you may love how you look with a tan but there is no such thing as a safe tan so protect your skin. Your 50 year old self will thank you! 

Forth thing we recommend doing is to manage your diet. Full disclaimer, we are not nutritionist but we do understand the saying, “you are what you eat” and we believe that what you put in your body matters. Our forth rule… EAT CLEAN AND DRINK WATER. We recommend staying away from simple sugars, dairy, processed foods that are high in salt, and possibly wheat. These food items cause inflammation which is never good. Though it’s important to seek additional advice from your nutritionist to help with your overall diet. 

Lastly, we recommend managing your stress levels. Though stress is a natural mental or physical reaction to life experiences which can’t be avoided there are methods to manage the stress that does occur. Our last rule is to…….MEDITATE! Remember to take time to breathe and we mean really breathe. Your wedding is a big life event which can cause stress but remember you are marrying the man or women of your dreams so focus on that aspect! So avoid the stress breakout and do something positive to calm your nerves. 


Blanc Denver Wedding Inspiration // Artisan, Airy, Lush & Local

Wedding Inspiration

Artisan. Airy. Lush. Local. So summery and so sweet. This couple treasures the aesthetics of their wedding and the community they depend on to bring it together. They choose local artists, from the vase ware to the wedding gifts, in a way that speaks to their values. Each element is thoughtfully chosen and custom made, lending itself to a style that is both clean and spontaneous, intentional and wild. From the loose floral color palette to the tapestry of branches as the ceremony backdrop, the experience of a careless and joyful summer day enveloped in precious traditions comes together with ease.





Monthly Makeup Picks

For those of you who are not familiar with Glossier, let me be the first to introduce you to this amazing company. Glossier is a company that is elevating the beauty industry by creating products that, and I quote, “reflect how you get ready every day- starting with your skin, then working your way up.” 

So, lets start with skin… 

Here are a 7 reason why I love the company. The skincare line that they created is hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, appropriate for all skin types, sulfate free, paraben free, cruelty free and non-comedogenic. If you are looking for a clean skincare line and an easy routine I would recommend trying Glossier Phase 1 Set. I personally just ordered the Phase 1 set and I literally can’t wait to use it. Skin always come first, because if the skin is not primed and perfected the makeup will never wear well throughout the day. So, skin is always your first step! 

Moving on to makeup….

I truly believe in the phrase “less is more” when it comes to everyday makeup which is why I love the phase 2 set by Glossier. In this set, Glossier provides you with staple items that you will use, really use, in your everyday life. “Think groomed brows, flushed lips, and brighter, more even skin.” 

More makeup......

Not big into sets? That’s okay, they sell individual items too. My personal favorite singles are the cloud paint in shade puff, super pure serum and the haloscope highlighter.  With the cloud paint you can use your fingers to apply the blush and it will give you the perfect flush of color without looking like makeup. The super pure serum is great for my skin because I have oily skin and this product helps eliminate excess sebum production throughout the day. And lastly, the haloscope highlighter in Quartz is a true game changer. It is the perfect natural highlighter that looks beautiful and healthy on the skin. Haloscope is one of my favorite products on the market! 

Price point.....

All of the products are more than affordable. They are reasonably priced which makes me and my wallet very happy! 

If you can’t tell, I LOVE this company and I LOVE all of the products (which is a first for me as I typically don’t love an entire makeup line but this isn’t the case…. I literally LOVE this company and the products they create and sell.) Bravo Glossier, bravo! 

The Power of Beauty Service Providers

Over five years ago I began working as a retail makeup artist for a well-known cosmetic giant.  I thought I may just be helping people find products that worked for them and enhanced their own beauty. While there certainly were many smoky eyes, I noticed another reason people sought trips to the makeup counter.  They were looking for answers. Many times, answers to their health problems--a cream for dehydrated skin, a concealer for dark circles caused by lack of sleep or a foundation to cover up acne triggered by hormonal flares. Behind the search for products were signs of larger struggles- the stress of being a new mom, navigating a new job, and even dealing with abuse at home.  

I wanted to do more to better the health of my clients. I began my masters of Public Health at the University of Colorado. I initially shelved my memories at the cosmetic counter, but as I continued to work and go to school, the parallels became undeniable. I focused my last semester exploring this intersection. For my capstone project, I conducted in-depth interviews with beauty service providers- hairstylist, estheticians, and makeup artists, probing for the health and mental health problems their clients discussed, and their strategies for managing these. I was most struck by the providers’ deep commitment to improving their clients’ well-being; guiding them to outside resources, encouraging healthy habits, and being a sympathetic ear. 

 My observations were in no way unique to Denver or to the providers I interview, rather part of a larger, often unseen tradition of community health workers.  For example, The Barbershop Health Outreach Program started in 2008 by Dr. Bill Releford has tested over 30,000 Black men across the nation for high blood pressure and diabetes. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control has a nationwide partnership with salons and barbershop, called Cut for Life, which organizes HIV education, events, and testing in salons and barbershops.  These programs achieve the ultimate public health objective of “meeting people where they are.”

State Representatives and Senators across the country are recognizing beauty service providers as the influencers they have always been; placing their endorsement behind legislation. The state of Illinois successfully passed a bill requiring beauty service providers to receive training on intimate partner violence as part of their licensure. Many states are following suit. Colorado was one of those states. I had the privilege to testify at the Colorado State Senate hearing for House Bill 1175. Unfortunately, the attempt to enact the bill sponsored by Edie Hooten was shut down in the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee; a faction with a clear anti-regulation lean.  

Despite this loss, I am optimistic.  This particular movement is only the beginning.  More attention and resources should be directed towards leaders and innovators like beauty service providers.  Their window into peoples’ challenges is truly unique; matched only by their creative and sincere ability to impact the health of their clients.  Feminist activist Audre Lorde once said, “self-care is not about self-indulgence, it is about self-preservation.”  So, to the many who help us all maintain, thank you for sharing your talent, your wisdom, and your strength. 


Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program. 2016.

Centers for Disease Control. 2016. Cut for Life: Hairstylists and Barbers Against AIDS.

Rueters.  28 March 2017. Beauty Fix: Hairstylists Now Trained in Helping Domestic Abuse Victims. Study International. Retrieved from



For Active Beauty

Six years ago my workout routine consisted of hitting the elliptical hard for three months and then falling off the wagon entirely for the following three. When it comes to fitness, it’s all about finding the activity that gets you excited and keeps you coming back for more. For me, that activity is CrossFit. I started with my husband six years ago and I’ve worked out consistently ever since my first class. Finding an activity that I love sparked my passion for fitness, health and overall wellness.

I was super excited when Ashley asked me to share some of my favorite products for active beauty on her site. I’ve tried a ton of products over the years and here are a few of my favorites that will keep you looking and feeling your best in (and out) of the gym:

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides - Collagen has amazing benefits for your skin, hair, nails and joints. I love this flavor-less collagen protein powder from Vital Proteins. Their Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. One serving has 18 grams of protein (and no fat or carbs). It’s flavorless so you can add it to pretty much anything. I mix it into my matcha latte in the morning and my post-workout smoothie at night.

Qalo Functional Wedding Rings - I don’t like wearing my wedding rings while I workout because they can be uncomfortable and I don’t want to damage them. However, I hate the feeling of being ring-less. You know, that feeling that evokes a “where’s my ring!?” moment of panic? When I take off my wedding rings, I replace them with this hot pink silicone ring from Qalo. I actually like it so much that I wear it all the time and just move it over from my left to right hand when I’m heading to the gym. It’s super comfortable, stylish and affordable! Also, you don’t have to be married to wear one of these—they are super cute as everyday rings as well!

S’well Water Bottle - Stay hydrated! Adequate water intake keeps your skin looking healthier and more vibrant, aids weight-loss and helps flush toxins out of your system. I’m totally guilty of under-hydrating when I’m not carrying around a water bottle with me. These stainless steel water bottles from S’well are available in a variety of designs that are so cute you’ll want have it with you all the time. They keep drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12, and keep plastic bottles out of landfills.  

Outdoor Voices - I love this technical activewear company. Their items are made for active lives and use four core technical fabrics and stick to a tonal palette. I love their color-blocked designs. My favorite item is their Athena Crop. I wear it on it’s own and layered under tank tops. You can get started with their Women's Warm Up Kit which includes the Athena Crop, 3/4 Warmup Legging, and a zip up pouch in your choice of colors and sizes for $100 which is a savings of $50.

Square Organic Bars - These protein bars taste like candy. I’m not even kidding! They are nothing like the chewy protein bars you’re used to. Each bar is made with organic ingredients including complete plant protein. They include no protein isolates, sugar alcohols, or added natural flavors and are gluten-, dairy- and soy-free. Each bar has what I’d classify as a creamy center that is coated with chocolate… yum! My favorite flavors are mint and cherry coconut. I’ve found them at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers and Sprouts, but you can also purchase them on their website. Use promo code “"everythingerin20" for 20% off (+ free domestic shipping).

Sweat Cosmetics - This all-natural, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic mineral foundation powder is sweat-proof and offers UV protection. It’s available in 5 different foundation colors and a translucent powder that come in a convenient refillable twist-up brush that’s perfect to toss in your purse or gym bag for on-the-go application. I love knowing that I don’t look like a hot mess when I leave the gym and want to grab a post-sweat sesh bite to eat or run some errands. They also sell a twist-up bronzer, twist-up illuminator and skin-balancing individually packaged cleansing towelettes that I haven’t tried yet, but I’m dying to! And—bonus—they are run by a group of talented women and are based right here in Denver!


For more of my favorite foods, products and workouts follow me on instagram @everything_erin.

Beauty and Wisdom

In a world filled with opinions that affect the way we view ourselves, it is hard to ignore the noise and to focus on beauty that comes from within. As a beauty expert and connoisseur it is my job to avoid the fluff and to bring you the most honest beauty advice out there. Still it is a constant challenge for me to find truths in an industry that cares so much about outward appearances. 

Here at Smash Beauty Bar, we believe that beauty isn’t based solely on looks. Rather we believe beauty is something you are born with that encompasses everything from your personality, your kindness, your humanity, your ability to be compassionate, your laughter and so much more! 

When clients come in to our studio with requests of wanting to look like a Kardashian, I simply say, “let’s make you look like you.”  You see, it’s your beauty that I want to highlight, not someone else. 

In the words of Lady GaGa, 

“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are,

She said, cause he made you perfect, babe,

So hold your head up girl and you’ll go far, 

Listent to me when I say, 

I’m beautiful in my way

cause god makes no mistakes

I’m on the right track, baby I was born this way.” 

If we listen to messages that encourage us to see beauty from within, instead of the noise that clutter our ears, I believe we will all go far. Being born the way you are is beautiful and we should never forget that! Individuality is beauty and wisdom of knowing that is confidence.

Native Beauty, Naturally


First, I want to give all the thanks to Ashley at SMASH for inviting me to cover a topic of shared interest: locally made beauty products that don’t hurt the body or the planet. Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any companies/brands mentioned in this post – I just fangirl over them on a borderline-inappropriate basis. All opinions are mine.

A few years ago, my acupuncturist was nice enough to point out the persistent redness and cracking around my sensitive eyes. “You’re too young for this,” she told me bluntly. Awesome! I blamed dehydration and the Denver altitude for my apparent middle-aged 20-something skin, the same skin plagued ironically by the cystic acne of a teenager absolutely raging with hormones.

Not long after that needling, with a little research, I became aware of carcinogens and other toxins found in an alarming number of cosmetics, even many parading as “natural.” SMASH has a great post on the subject, here. The more I dug into big beauty’s dirty dealings, the more disgusted I felt. Unlike how proplyparabens disrupt the endocrine system, the flood of information disrupted my skincare routine (and health) for the better.

For the last two years, I’ve relied on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep resource to find products and vet ingredient labels. Their database is massive and they issue hazard rankings 1-10 based on a handful of terrifying categories (and a shit-load of science). They even have an app for geeking on the go! Thankfully, once the initial horror of discovering you currently apply neurotoxins directly to your eyes wears off, you can also use Skin Deep to restore your faith in humanity. A quick search reveals small-batch gamechangers around the world who are creating cosmetics with rosehips and papaya instead of phthalates and formaldehyde.

Recently, I’ve anchored my intentional skincare odyssey closer to home. In an effort to support small business, limit environmental impact, and use products geared for our Mile High climate, I now try to buy EWG-approved goods made exclusively along the Front Range. Fortunately, Colorado is thriving with innovators of natural, sustainable beauty solutions who totally get it, down to their zero-waste packaging. I present to you the local creators who have revolutionized my routine:

Spinster Sisters, originally based out of Golden and now with storefronts in RiNo and Cherry Creek, covers my daily regimen:

I also love Boulder-based Verbena, specifically their Sea Salt hair texturizer and Facial Grains scrub, which delivers all the benefits of exfoliation without shredding your face or clogging the ocean floor with plastic microbeads. 

Lastly, I have yet to try them, but am super interested in pretty much everything at Native Nectar and ZERO Market, both crafting sustainable, beautiful things in Denver. 

As for makeup, although they are not exactly local, I’m a big fan of Vapour Organic Beauty out of neighboring Taos, New Mexico. I particularly love their Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation and multi-use Halo Illuminator for channeling that healthy, lit-from-within vibe. I’m still on the hunt for a Colorado maker of natural eye makeup, but in the meantime get my Mineral Fusion mascara and liner from Whole Foods.

In my two-year quest to invest in natural and native cosmetics, I’ve observed these developments:

  • I still get the occasional breakout, but very rarely get cystic acne. This is remarkable given where I started.
  • The redness and cracking around my eyes is completely gone. I now attribute that irritation to my old mascara, eyeliner, or makeup remover.
  • My skin feels consistently softer, smoother, and more hydrated.
  • Colorado is absolutely killing it in the eco-chic beauty department, and we’re only getting started.

What works for me doesn’t for everyone else. Like SMASH Beauty Bar, I encourage each person to find the right regimen for him or her. No matter where you shop or what your skincare goals are, though, it’s always worth learning what’s going on in your cosmetics cabinet and onto your body. In fact, go grab a product you use every day, head to Skin Deep and start deciphering that ingredient list. Warning, there is no going back!

Written by Kelly Magrath



Eyebrows are arguably one of the most important facial feature. If you are not satisfied with the eyebrows you have, there are now so many ways to update this feature. Microblading, which offers a very natural option for eyebrows delivers a semi-permanent results. This unique semi-permanent tattoo mimics the appearance of eyebrow hair by implanting pigment with a very small blade. 

The microblading process takes roughly two hours to complete. Since the strokes are drawn on one by one with a microblading pen, its wise to invest in a technician that pays attention to detail. The first hour of the service should be dedicated to drawing on the desired shape of the eyebrow. This is the most important part of the process and should not be rushed. 

Does it hurt? While pain is relative, some clients do experience more pain than others. A topical numbing cream is applied to the eyebrow to minimize pain or discomfort.

Healing time? Micro-bladed eyebrows take roughly 25-30 days to heal but this can vary from client to client. Luckily, there is very little down time (if any) after the service has been completed, so each person can continue on with their daily routine almost immediately. 

Maintenance? Unlike, eyebrow extensions that require monthly fills, micro-bladed eyebrows is low maintenance. After the eyebrow has healed, no special care is required with the exception of a bi-yearly touch-up. YAY!

IMPORTANT: make sure your technician is PERMANENT MAKE-UP CERTIFIED. It is equally important to research the salon and/or technician to make sure she/he is qualified to do the job. Each state holds different requirements for this service so double check each technicians certificates before proceeding. “Procedures performed by technicians who have completed a comprehensive course of instruction can minimize the risk of unwanted outcomes and client dissatisfaction.”

What are you waiting for? Email us at to book a free consultation today! 


Micro bladed Eyebrows by Ashley Colburn, Founder of Smash Beauty Bar

Micro bladed Eyebrows by Ashley Colburn, Founder of Smash Beauty Bar

Be Anything but Ordinary!

I never knew it was possible to have a successful career as a professional makeup artist. I was always told to attend college, to get my degree, and to climb the corporate ladder. Step by step I would be making a decent salary in no time. And I did exactly that for ten years after I completed college. Only something was always off. I didn’t know it at the time but now looking back it seems so crystal clear; that being a makeup artist not only fulfilled the void in my career but was and is my true passion in life.

You see, I’ve always loved the beauty and fashion industry. Ask any member of my family or any of my friends and they will confirm this to be 100 percent true! (If not more….) It’s kind of ironic when I think about my evolution into a makeup artist. When I was super young I was the biggest tom boy on the block but I was a tomboy that loved nail polish, chap stick, and glitter! Doesn’t really make sense does it? Well, that was me and this is me… “I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” Alice and Wonderland

Why do I love makeup artistry so much?….

For starters, makeup is a confidence booster! It can completely change the way you view yourself. It covers imperfections such as acne, scaring or discoloration. Pretty incredible if you ask me. Secondly, it enhances your natural features. If the makeup is applied correctly, it can transform your look from being ordinary to extraordinary. Be anything but ordinary! Lastly, makeup is fun! Makeup allows you to play with your look, to change your look, and to create new styles that fit your unique personality.

The best feeling in the world is when a client wants to cry when you’re finished with her makeup look because she feels so beautiful! I feel such a sense of reward when I am able to help match people’s outer beauty to their inner beauty. For me, there is no better feeling in the world than the feeling I get when I am creating beautiful makeup looks! I love makeup! I love being creative! I love enhancing people’s natural beauty! I love making a difference in someone’s life!

Do what you love! You can fail doing what you don’t love so why not go for something you do love! I am a makeup artist and I say it proudly and confidently. I am here to make the world a beautiful place one eyelash and lipstick shade at a time!



My Favorite Block

What's your favorite block in Denver? Mine is on Colfax.... because what's not to love about this street! Denver is changing every single day and I love that Colfax is changing and transforming for the better! Thank you Slifer, Smith & Frampton - Denver for featuring myself and SMASH beauty bar for this months blogpost! Slifer, Smith & Frampton - Denver is passionate about celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit of our city and this series shines bright on their brand! I am grateful to share my love of Denver with all Denverites!

Purchasing Blindly

As a licensed esthetician, I am constantly in a state of angst when I see or hear of non-licensed individuals selling skincare product lines to consumers. Non-licensed individuals do not have the schooling or knowledge base to make the best educated decisions for the consumer.  Many of the products that non-licensed individuals are selling and representing contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, fragrances, synthetic colors and sodium laureth sulfate.  (Just to mention a few.)

Reasons why "you" the consumer should stay away from these ingredients….

1.      Parabens are used as a preservative that help prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetics. You may be thinking that’s a good thing right?! Unfortunately, not! Parabens possess estrogen mimicking properties that have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Parabens can be found in many over the counter cosmetic products such as makeup, facewash, body wash, deodorant, and more. Though many companies have stopped using parabens in their products, there are a large number of companies that still use the ingredient.

2.      Fragrances are scary for many reasons.  The term fragrance was created to protect (rather hide) a company’s secret formula. So, what does this mean? It means no one really knows what ingredients are used to make up a fragrance in a product. What we do know is that fragrances have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, repertory distress and potential side effects to the reproductive system.

3.      Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to children with ADHD. Many countries have banned the use of synthetic colors but the US is not one of them.

4.      This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and household cleaning products. SLS are known to be skin, lung and eye irritants. This ingredient can be found in shampoo, body wash / cleanser, acne treatment and mascara.

Are you frightened yet? As the consumer, I would highly encourage you to read through the list of ingredients before you purchase the product. Even if the product promises countless benefits, be wise and do your homework. In addition, (and I can’t stress the importance of this part) you should only purchase skincare products from a licensed esthetician. Licensed estheticians have the knowledge to help the consumer choose the best product for their skin type and skin condition. After all, it is our job to help you achieve your skincare goals!  



My Lollipop Moment

It only takes a lollipop moment to impact someone’s life. Whether it is a negative experience or a positive experience, a moment is all it takes to make an impact. Even if one is impacted negatively, it often turns into a moment that may shape our lives for the better!  

My lollipop moment that changed my life…..

Roughly two years ago I lost a friend that was near and dear to me. He went before his time and it was truly unfortunate to lose such an amazing person on this earth. At the funeral, a person got up and spoke about our friend. I remember feeling moved by the way in which this person was speaking about our friend. This person’s life was forever impacted and changed as my life was changed in this exact moment. For the first time in my life I realized that I was not living up to my potential and that somewhere deep down inside me there was passion and purpose waiting to be discovered.  

The next day, I pulled myself together and went to work. I was a business manager for a wealth management firm in Denver. I was on my way to the top! If I stayed focused and kept working hard I would be making a very nice salary in no time. What an amazing future right, wrong! There was a void in my heart that was becoming more and more prominent. A voice inside me kept saying, this isn’t you. That very day, there were other (negative) moments in the office that shaped my decision to change the direction of my life. I knew I was a person that did not exist for others and that I could no longer feed the ego of a man whose boastful character clouded his sense of humanity. I quit, and never looked back.

“What greater wealth is there than to own your own life and spend it on growing.” Atlas Shrugged

Currently, I am the owner of SMASH Beauty Bar that specializes in makeup artistry in Denver, Colorado. Our mission is to enhance your natural beauty that radiates from within. By striking a balance between mind, body and spirit, we capture the essence of femininity in its purest form. Our technique allows us to illuminate individual style, drawing from your strength, courage, confidence, and inner light. Smash beauty bar isn't about covering or hiding your face; it’s about bringing your truest self to life and celebrating the beauty that is you.

It takes a fair amount of courage to change your life in such a drastic manner. To stop climbing the corporate ladder and to do something you know in your heart to be honest and true, takes an endless amount of courage that cannot be summed up in words. But if the fire is lit inside you, may you always keep it lit and never for any moment allow it to dwindle out.  Life is not to be stumbled upon, rather it should be lived in the most honest and pure of intentions with a clear and conscious manner.

Now, you may be wondering why I am referring to this moment as my “lollipop” moment, right? There is a TED Talk regarding a lollipop moment that I want to encourage everyone to watch. Perhaps, this will be your lollipop moment and life as you know it will be changed forever. 

What’s your lollipop moment?…