Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bobbi Brown Caviar Eye Gel

Years ago I fell in love with Bobbi Brown's 'Caviar' eyeshadow.  I loved everything about it - the name, the colour. the product.  I wanted to try something new with my eyeliner, so I decided to get a gel liner.  I'm very much in love with the Bobbi Brown product line (especially these days).  As I was checking out all the colours, I was happy to discover 'caviar' - I didn't hesitate to pick it up :)  I also got the eyeliner brush that everyone raves about and am now sulking a little bit because I wish I had used/discovered this long ago.  I was always so stuck in my angled brush ways.  I'm now a Bobbi Brown brush convert!

The looks that I wanted to create was a 'glam day' look.  I wanted that day into evening look that is effortless, yet also looks sophisticated.  Sort of that 'Urban Day Event' look, where you go from your morning coffee, to drinking martini's by noon :)  I honestly wish there was a career where I could just create names and descriptions for looks!!!

For this look, I started with the idea of a 'defined' party eye.  I first created my base of concealer/foundation.  I decided to by-pass the bronzer today and went straight for my Tawny blush and also applied Sand Pink as a pop of colour (both blushes are Bobbi Brown).  I used Bobbi's eyeshadow Heather Mauve (NARS Lhasa is another favourite) from lid to just lightly into the crease. I used my new eyeliner brush to apply the Caviar gel liner.  At first I created a very thin line, which would be perfect for a very natural look, but I wanted a little bit more 'oomph', so I went a little bit thicker.  Caviar is described on the Bobbi Brown website as a 'deep black-brown' and it's simply amazing.  I think that for a true smokey eye look, I would take the caviar power shadow and smudge it into this gel liner for a very smokey, 'caviar' look.  However, that's another post.  I finished my defined eye look with black mascara.  For the lipstick, I went with Bobbi Brown's 'Brown' lipstick.  I can't tell you how much I love this shade.  In the past couple of days that I've been wearing this colour, I've been stopped by random people who asked me what colour I'm wearing.  Also, when I was at Sephora the other day, picking up my Gel liner, one of the makeup artists also approached me to ask what lipstick I'm wearing because she 'loved it' on me.  Since I've been wearing the Bobbi Brown product line, the compliments have been flowing - so there is something to be said about the products in this line.  The best thing about Bobbi Brown makeup, I never get caught up with palette's or colour analysis.  All the makeup colours Bobbi has are beautiful neutrals and they blend so nicely into the skin, that every look I create is natural and pretty :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Classic Look

I really love looks that have that classic element, or that looks simple and chic.  I think that somewhere along my 'makeup journey path', I got stuck focusing on certain illusions.  Instead of building up my own style and colours, I got swayed by the opinions of others.  I still love colour analysis (and probably always will, although sometimes it can be a love-hate relationship) - it's a part of who I am.  However, I don't want that to define me.  I don't want to continue posting photos of myself and asking people if they think this colour looks good? etc etc.  It's time to start listening to that inner-compass that is 'me' and listen to my own intuition.  BE YOURSELF and KNOW THYSELF are two very important life lessons.  It's also something that Bobbi Brown stands for in her approach to makeup,  I am loving her products and line more and more these days.

I wanted to create a look with two of my all time favourite Bobbi Brown products - Tawny Blush and Brown Lipstick.  I also wanted to go for that classic-chic look:

For this look, I started with my basic base - concealer, foundation and bronzer as powder.  I'm going to try staying away from the contour approach, apparently it's not very 'French Chic' and apparently Bobbi Brown agrees.  I was watching a video where Bobbi Brown asked Kate Upton what was the best beauty trick she learned.  Kate responded by saying something about 'contouring' and Bobbi Brown responded by saying 'What do you need contouring for???' - Bobbi's response is something I really look to heart - I love how her makeup application isn't always about tricks and tips, but about just loving your face and body for what it is - yours and there is nothing that you really need to do to 'change' the shape/appearance of it.  Makeup is about enhancing your look.  For the eyes, I used a colour similar to Bobbi Brown's 'bronze' eyeshadow (it's a mix of woodwinked and patina by MAC). I then used MAC teddy liner and smudged with embark shadow.  To finish the look, I used my favroutite Bobbi products - Tawny blush and Brown lipstick.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bobbi Brown 'Brown' Look

The Bobbi Brown makeup look is the epitome of  'New York Chic' and no matter how many decades pass, there is something uber classic about wearing a medium pinky-brown lipstick shade.  It's the original 'natural lipstick' look.  I wanted to revisit this classic look and capture the fundamentals of Bobbi Brown beauty.  I'm not wearing all of her products, but I am wearing the 'classics' and I wanted to create a look that captures this timeless elegance.

When I think about this look - I think 'urban classic'.  The palette is neutral leaning warm, but it's also functional - it's the perfect 'meeting/work' look, but it's also ideal for dinner/drinks.  I also think that is looks striking with pearls and classic black minimalist wardrobe.  Since my hair is now darker and slightly more neutral, I'm loving how these tones work so well together for me.  They are still on the warm end of the spectrum, but they work with other neutrals/classics, for example: the classic white shirt, little black dress, jean shirt/dress etc.  This seriously is THE perfect look.  I think that Bobbi Brown knew what she was doing when she had her vision for a more natural, functional look.  You can look put together, chic, classic without having to wear 'loud' colours of the moment.  There is also something to be said about a cosmetic company line and 'look' that is still current and chic after so many decades.  This isn't a look that is a 'trend' - it IS the perfect everyday natural look.  I've stayed true to many different cosmetic companies and although I don't blog enough about Bobbi Brown - this line is one of my favourites and although I've never met Bobbi Brown in person, she is a mentor for me in many ways.  I have almost all of her books and I really love her philosophy on makeup and beauty.  She is truly inspirational!  

For this look, I started with my current base (not Bobbi's products, but I will eventually look for a foundation in her line): NARS Custard concealer and L'oreal true match in W4.  I then applied Bronzer (but I used it as a contour, below my cheek bones, along the edge of my nose).  I then applied the blush that has never steered me wrong - Bobbi Brown Tawny.  I absolutely LOVE this blush colour and I always have it at hand.  I also have Bobbi's Desert Rose and Sandy Pink.  They are great shades when I want to create a neutral-cool or dusty rose look.  On my eyes, I did very little, I simply used an angled brush to apply a rich chocolate brown shadow to my upper lash line and then just smudged this shade in as well as I could - I wanted to create a very minimal, smokey effect without using liner.  I then finished with some black mascara and a swipe of Bobbi Brown 'Brown' Lipstick.  I think that this shade has Holy Grail status in the makeup industry.  It's described as a medium pinky-brown colour.  However, it truly is the best medium toned 'neutral' lipstick shade.  It's the 'my lips but better' shade!!!

I'm very happy to have re-discovered my Bobbi Brown palettes and I look forward to building on these palettes and making some new Bobbi Brown discoveries soon :) 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The French Foreign Film Look

Today I saw a really great Foreign Film called 'Goodbye First Love'.  It's a very deep, philosophical love story set in Paris and around rural France.  I loved the main actresses casual and natural look thought the film.  In fact, it's a great movie to watch to get inspiration about the minimal chic European look.  I wanted to create a look that speaks to this casual innocence.  The minimal-euro everyday look (if there is such a thing).  I probably put more thought into it than I needed because in actual fact, this look is most likely makeup free most times, but this is my spin on it.

The first thing I wanted to do was to create a very natural sun kissed base.  I wanted that summer-tan glow, so I started with my usual NARS custard concealer and Loreal W4 foundation with MAC Refined Golden Bronzer and a touch of MAC Goldmine used as a highlight shade around my face.  This has become my go-to everyday natural look.  It literally glides onto my skin and the warm base is perfect for that 'no-makeup' look that is so classic for Parisian and European women.  In fact, I'm trying not to create too much of a contour, as I've read in numerous magazines that this look is very Hollywood, North American inspired vs European Chic.  One article I read in particular stated that Parisian women see contouring as a faux-pas :)  Anyhow - I decided I wanted to go with my 'most' natural blush shade, so I decided on NARS Madly.  I think that for an evening look, I would go with more of a rosy pop of colour (perhaps Bobbi Brown Tawny to keep it in the warm tones), but this look is about the most natural effect, so I went with a blush that just slightly enhances the natural warm tones.  I added a touch of MAC Goldmine on the lid, decided against any other shadows and liners and just used some black mascara to finish the look.  The lipstick I decided on is Chanel Cecil.  It's becoming one of my all time favourite everyday colours - it's a neutral pink, but it has enough gold undertones to it to wear with this sun kissed natural look.  So, there you have it - my tres chic, le no makeup weekend look :)  I love watching European foreign films - not just because the stories are great, but 'anyone' can get great fashion tips and makeup ideas from these films.  In fact, it doesn't just have to be European films, International films are wonderful.  I sometimes get tired of the reality-show inspired North American films.  I want to be inspired, to learn about a different culture, to see the world through a different lens.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Casual Summer Look

Today was one of those typical Saturday coffee and shopping days.  I wanted to create a look that was relaxed and casual.  Something that is easy to put together, but also perfect for those 'everyday' going out occasions.  I started this look with a very 'warm' base.  I used my favourite NARS custard concealer and L'oreal W4 foundation.  I then went over this base with MAC Refined Golden Bronzer (a summer staple) and used MAC  Goldmine shadow as a highlight as eyeshadow.  For my eyes, I also applied Teddy liner and smudged in Embark eyeshadow (both MAC) before finishing with Lancome black mascara.  I wanted a very natural looking blush, so I went with NARS Madly.  For the lips, I went with Chanel Cecile.  It's becoming my favourite everyday natural/nude colour:

I really like this look, as it's perfect for everyday and it's incredibly easy to turn this into an evening look with a nice classic red lip or more defined smokey eye.  :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

My All-Time Favourite Look

If I had to share my absolute favourite look with you, it would be THIS look - a recreation of a look I discovered in Paris.  The base of the look is rich, warm, golden, with accents of blue on the eyes and a true red lip:

I feel that this look is very chic - it's also 'classic' and believe it or not, even with my uber dark hair in this photo - most of this makeup is very warm-autumnesque!  I started this look is my usual base - NARS Custard concealer, L'oreal true match foundation in W4. I then applied MAC Refined Golden bronzer all over my face and then used a blush brush to apply MAC Goldmine as a secondary bronzer/highlight and also on the lid of my eyes as a shadow.  I then used MAC Prussian eyeliner and Chanel Sapphire mascara.  For the blush shade, I went with Chanel Angelique and then applied YSL #1 Le Rouge lipstick :)

I love how this look is both classic, dramatic, elegant and warm.  I think it really highlights my features and what makes me unique.  It also brings back so many amazing memories of my time in Paris - in essence, this look is about pure European Femininity.  The best thing about this look is that I think it suits almost everyone.  It's just a matter about finding YOUR best red, your best base of foundation/powder (cool/neutral or warm tones) and a blush that adds that subtle glow.  This look is simple, yet so Parisian-Chic :)

How To Stay True To Your Season When Wearing Other Palettes

Since rediscovering my warm palette, I've been thinking of ways to incorporate mostly warm makeup tones when I'm wearing cooler toned clothing.  There are times when an event calls for a particular colour to be worn or perhaps you just feel like wearing that colour - there is no rule that says, once you've been draped in a certain palette that it's blasphemy to wear other colours.  I'm making this a joke because there truly are people who believe that once they find out they are 'x' season, that's all they want to wear.  I think this is a little bit obsessive and you should learn how to still look and feel your best self even if decide to wear something totally different.

I personally feel that there are a few ways to always look your best no matter that you're wearing.  First, makeup of course.  I think that as long as your base is best aligned with your dominant season, you will look healthy.  For example, with me, working in the gold, warm shades and sticking to a golden based foundation.  Secondly, accessories - working in gold toned accessories or wearing warm toned pearls is such a great way to represent my dominant warm season.

I really wanted to wear this very cool toned and patterned top - I tried doing my makeup 100% in my warn toned palette, but I found that the lipstick I was wearing was clashing with the cool blues/warms of the top.  I took the lipstick off and noticed that the look was already much better, so I searched my makeup bag for a shade that was very close to my natural lip colour but with a slight warm shimmer.  I had purchased Chanel Cecile when I was playing around with the soft summer season.  When I tried it on with this look, I was pleasantly surprised to see how beautifully it harmonized, even with very warm toned makeup.  It was the perfect think to unify the look.  I then had an 'a-ha- moment.  When wearing a colour very close to your face, especially if it doesn't fit in well with your best season - it's best to wear a neutral toned lipstick with a makeup base of your dominant season.  This does two things 1) there is a harmony with your makeup vs warm base and cool lipstick and 2) There is more of a flow - things still look natural vs really mixing up the palettes:

The look I created here is that I stayed true to my warm toned base.  I used NARS Custard concealer, L'oreal true match in W4 and applied MAC Goldmine shadow all over my face, almost like a bronzer.    I then stayed true to the warm tones, by using a very warm toned peach blush - NYX ignite/passion.  For the lipstick, however, I noticed that when I first applied my favourite warm toned colours, I looked overdone and there was too much contrast between my makeup and the top I was wearing, so instead, I went with Chanel Cecil - a soft pink with a warm undertone.  It seemed to tie the whole look in together.  I now feel that I can wear almost anything, as long as I'm careful about what I choose to wear closest to my face and how I accessorize a certain look.  For example, gold hoop earrings and a gold necklace would be perfect with this top for an evening look :)  So, sometimes, you just have to wear what you love, while at the same time, staying true to what suits you the best!!!