Saturday, July 29, 2017

Check Out My NEW Blog

It's been one year since I've posting anything on this blog.  It was a nice break for me and it gave me time to re-evaluate what I'm the most passionate back.  This blog gave me a wonderful opportunity to express my creativity, experiment with different palettes and simply play around with makeup.  After a year away from this blog, I decided that it's time to start beauty blogging again :)  However, I've decided to start fresh, with a clean slate.  Therefore, I created a NEW BLOG called 'Elegance and Beauty'.  Here is the link to my new blog:

I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who followed this blog and gained insight/inspiration from my posts.  I really look forward to start blogging again and sharing my passion for makeup, style, beauty tips and elegant chic looks.   I hope that those that followed this blog will enjoy my new one :)

Many blessings to all!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trip to Spain - and NEWS about this blog!!!

I just came back from two incredible weeks in SPAIN!!!  For me, it was a life changing trip, so much so that it's inspired me to begin a new blog (more info to come soon).  :)  One of my habits when I travel is to people-watch, especially when it comes to what people are wearing, style, makeup etc etc.  I would have to say that one of my impressions about Spain, in regards to makeup, is that is incredibly chic.  While shopping at El Corte Ingles, I was in awe of how elegant and put together the looks were.  In some ways, it reminded me of the Parisian look, but with more emphasis on accessories and incredibly stylish hair.  I recall being mesmerized by the look of one woman who had her dark hair loosely pulled back in a half pony tail with loose waves, a red lip (which seemed to look incredibly natural on her), gold hoop earrings and a very simple, casual outfit.  She looked so incredibly 'casually chic' - yet she looked better than someone who took 2 hours to get ready.  She reminded me so much of Penelope Cruz - a natural, confident Spanish woman.  I think this look has always appealed to me - the idea that the true mystery of feminine beauty is in being simple and elegant and not trying too hard to be a part of the 'beauty industry'.   Traveling back to Toronto, I wanted to create a similar look - casual, chic, red lip :)

You could call this my Spanish inspired jet-set look :)  Since I was able to get such a great golden-bronze tan, I found that I didn't need any makeup products for my face, so I'm not wearing any concealer, foundation, bronzer etc etc.  I did apply just a touch of blush - I found that NARS Torrid was the only blush that had enough colour to enhance my tan.   I applied a touch of Bobbi Brown Mahogany shadow on my brows and some black mascara.  The key to this look is the red lip.  I'm wearing a shade that was recommended to me by a makeup artist at the NARS counter in El Corte Ingles, Alicante Spain.  I spent some time with her talking about makeup and picking out my best red.  She was so helpful and we both agreed that NARS Red Lizard is the winning shade for me. 

 I've spent YEARS trying to figure out my best look and it took a trip to Spain to finally come to some serious realizations about what I'm really searching for.  That being said, I'm saving my most important news for last. I think that it's time for me to say good-bye to this blog.  It's been a great journey and my experiments with colour analysis have been really fun.  However, I want to blog/post about so many other things and not just focus on makeup/colour analysis.  I have a new vision for a new blog that will still include my passion for makeup to a certain degree, but will also include information/reflections on food, cooking, lifestyle, music, wine etc etc.   

I wanted to personally thank everyone who has followed me on this blog and read my posts.  I'm not going to delete or take down this blog, so you can continue to search, read my past posts.  However, for me, personally, it's time to bring in some new, fresh energy and let go of what is no longer serving me at this time.  Thanks to those who have followed me.  I will most likely write one final post once I've set up my new blog :)  Excited for my next new venture :) :) :)  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Not Impressed with MAC Cosmetics - A bloggers Vent Post

Today is a very sad day.  It's a day that I've lost a lot of respect for MAC Cosmetics.  For YEARS I have been a loyal MAC customer and have had my Pro Membership card.  I have purchased a lot of money worth of their products and have promoted them throughout this blog.  Recently MAC has changed it's application process and the qualifications that you must now have in order to keep and use the MAC Pro Card.  Apparently, being a makeup artist, promoting their products on this blog and not being 'agency branded' is their reason to 'decline' my membership.

What is happening to the face of MAC and what it used to stand for???  I guess just like every company, money and elite membership takes centre stage.  To be honest, I'm not surprised.  I'm just really hurt and upset!  I know the MAC product line like the back of my hand.  I've recommended MAC products as a makeup artist and being declined because I'm not 'agency branded' is a slap in the face!!!

Personally, I've always believed that everything happens for a reason.  Perhaps, it's time to move away from MAC products, as I can no longer support them knowing that I've spent so much time, energy, money promoting their products with nothing in return.  MAC has declined me and now it's time for me to decline MAC!!!

There are so many wonderful other makeup companies and products that are available on the market. Products that stand for something other than corporate gain.  :(

Boooo MAC - you've really disappointed me!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bobbi Brown Sunset Orange Art Stick

I am starting to fall in love with Bobbi Brown's Art Sticks.  I've had my eye on a few of them but decided to wait until the fall-time to play around with the more neutral shades.  However, the last time I was at Sephora, I found myself drawn to the 'Sunset Orange' shade.  In fact, I couldn't put it down - I kept swatching it, holding it up against my skin - I think it's the 'perfect' orange shade.  What I love about it the most is that it's not quite pure orange, but more of an orange-red.  Most orange red's however, I find 'too bright'.  Bobbi Brown's sunset orange is perfect - it's not too bright, but it's not muted/soft either.  It reminds me a little bit of NARS Red Square, but the Sunset Orange just has that additional classic feel.  I also love the idea of an 'Art Stick'.  It sounds so 'playful' - I love that I can wear it as a lipstick, but also use it as a cream blush.

It's interesting to me how my natural lip shade allows this colour to appear more 'red', yet still hold on to the orange undertone.  I think I may have just discovered my perfect red liner/lipstick.  I can't wait to play around with this shade as a base to my favourite reds like YSL #1 and even Bobbi's 'Burnt Red' would be beautiful paired with this shade :)

I decided to pair the Sunset Orange with Bobbi's Tawny blush - it's the perfect pairing, as both are warm and it allow's the lip to still take centre stage.  For the eyes, I used a blend of MAC embark and expensive pink shadows, Bobbi Brown Caviar gel liner smudged with embark shadow and MAC Teddy liner on the lower lash line.  I really love these combination of shades against my golden skin and dark hair - I feel it gives me a very unique and original look, something that is authentic to me :)  The Bobbi Brown Art Stick's are amazing - I will definitely be getting more of these in the future :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

700th post - Reflection on my Ancestry

It's my 700th post!!!  I wanted to do something a little bit different and special to celebrate this blog.  I'm always creating looks and experimenting with different palettes.  Today I want to dedicate this post to all the unique things that make me 'ME'.  Almost a year ago now, my dad and I both took the 23andMe DNA test.  I've always been interested in my ancestry and have always wanted to know 'where do I come from?'.  All I have known up until that point was that my ancestors were Ukrainian, from various regions of Ukraine, but mostly the Galician areas and my grandmother was born in Poland.  On my dad's side, we were told that my great-great grandfather 'came from somewhere' - one aunt said Hungary, another said somewhere from the former Yugoslavia.  The results that I got from 23and Me both surprised me, but also helped me put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Because my dad took the test too, I was able to get the split results to see what ancestry comes from my mom's side and what comes from my dad's side:

Here is my mom's.  Apparently, out maternal haplogroup is: J2b1a  (currently: Dutch, German, Spanish Italian)

Here are a few photos of my grandparents and great grandparents:

My great grandparents (grandmother's parents).  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of my grandfathers parent's, as they both died when he was very young :(
I also have a photo of two of my great-uncles.  One is from my great-grandfathers side (Surname Bazarnyk)
and the other from my great grandmother's side (surname: Novocad)

My dad's (paternal haplogroup is): 12b1 (currently: Balkans and Sardinians) 

Here are my grandparents from my paternal side:

I am very blessed to also have photos of my great-grandparents from my grandfather's side (the side that we found out 'came from somewhere' and now we know he had the Balkan/Ashkenazi)
My great-grandmother was originally Yuchmanovich (she was Polish), but we found out that originally it was Ychman (German) - so the Northwestern DNA is most definitely from her side :)
Here is another photo of them (with my great aunts in the background):

I have always been fascinated with Genealogy, Ancestry, where I come from, who I look like etc etc. I know that I've devoted this blog to exteriors and cosmetics, but that is only one side of who I am.  The most important part of who I am, comes from my ancestry.  I've always been told that I look European, but that I could be from anywhere.  This makes so much sense now that I know that I have influences from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Western Europe (Germany, Italy, Iberia), Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and Northwestern European.  I truly am an interesting mix!  I'm also proud to know that so many people have migrated from different areas of the world.  It really makes you think about current migration trends and immigration.  I would hope that in today's modern world, we would grow to be accepting of people who need to migrate (for whatever reason).  All those who leave their own land to seek refuge elsewhere or move to start a new life, these people will become someone's ancestors.  I am proud that Ukraine is a land that is so diverse with so many people who were able to migrate there.  I am also proud to have been born in Canada and see further diversity and multicultural beauty all around me.  It's important to be proud of your nationality, but also to understand that there is no such thing as a 'pure race' of people.  We are all so diverse and beautiful.  We need to each embrace our own ancestry and be be thankful and grateful for those who came before us and understand that one day someone will look at us and say "who was that person?" with wonder and 'awe'.  I want to end this post, by sharing a link with you that is very powerful:

It's called the DNA Journey:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What's In A Scent???

I had a request to write a post about my philosophy on fragrances, perfumes and scents.  I wanted to point out that there are many different elements that must be considered before you find a scent that works best for you.  Here are some things that I consider important when choosing a fragrance:

1) Your body chemistry.  Your own ph levels and body chemistry can alter how a scent sits on you and the 'perfume' that it gives off.  That being said, a scent that suits one person may not necessarily suit you.  It's similar to a colour palette in a sense.  Also, I've had the experience where I've worn a perfume for a very long time and then all of a sudden, it starts smelling horrible on me.  This happened with a Versace scent I used to wear.  I even went back to the store and told them that they had given me a rotten bottle.  However, that wasn't the case.  My body had just gone through some type of change (which happens often hormonally for women) and the scent didn't change, but my body chemistry did!!!

2) The Season and Your Environment.  There are winter scents and summer/spring scents.  There are also different environments which may influence the type of scent you wear.  Many businesses, professional environments are either scent free or ask that you wear a more gentle, subtle fragrance.  You may also be allergic to an ingredient in a scent and this will impact what you can wear.  Also, a spicy, exotic scent that may be perfect for a winter evening by the fire may not work for a 'summer picnic' - just like makeup, there are different looks (i.e. scents) that work for different seasons and occasions.

3) Your Personality.  I think that there is something to be said about finding a fragrance that works with your personality.  I think that companies know this and use this to their advantage when selling a product, calling a scent 'flirty' or 'me' or 'sexual' etc etc.  The labels of a fragrance are meant to sway you to purchase something that resonates with who you are.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing because your best scent should be reflective of who you are.  I find that women who are always happy and cheerful smell so good when their scent matches their inner 'sweetness and freshness'.  I also know of one woman, a business woman, who always wore a men's scent - everyone complimented her and wanted to know what she was wearing.  It wasn't until she ended her career that she finally told both me and my mother that she had always worn her husbands cologne.

4)  Je Ne Sais Quois.  I wanted to continue with number 3 and add another story.  I had a wonderful conversation with a woman who was in politics. She had worked as a diplomat in Europe and told me that when she was in Europe (in France especially), she noticed that women would 'layer' their perfume.  They would have a base scent and then layer on another one overtop.  This would keep people guessing 'what is she wearing?'  This gives a woman that special allure.

So really, when choosing a perfume, you must take a few things into consideration and really make your perfume selection based on something that is unique to YOU!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Revisiting the BEST reds for Warm Autumn

I think that if there is one look that I absolutely love and admire the most, it's the CLASSIC red lip!  Now that I'm personally settling back into the Warm Autumn palette, I want to re-discover all my red options, but in particular, Warm Autumn's BEST red.  There are a few options with the warm autumn reds: mahogany (which leans into a brown-red), orange-reds and warm true reds.  My personal best picks for each are the following:

Mahogany Reds:

NARS Leslie
Chanel Antoinette

Orange Reds:

MAC Chili
Bobbi Brown Burnt Red
NARS Red Square (Liner)

Warm True Reds:

YSL #1 Le Rouge (the winner)
Chanel Passion

I have to say that there are a few classic red looks that I really love.  The mahogany reds are perfect for everyday chic.  They are not as bright as the true red/orange-red options.  On the other hand, the orange-reds can be quite bright and perfect for a warm autumn glam type of look.  The warm true red is the most 'classic red' look in comparison to the other shades in the warm autumn palette.  It's the red that you think of when you think 'Parisian Chic'.  Interestingly enough, my favourite warm true red swatch is the YSL #1 Le Rouge, which I first came across on a trip to Paris.  I was at the Gallery Lafayette and was in awe of all the YSL makeup counter when I was approached by the Makeup Artist there.  I remember that he literally said to me "come, sit in this chair and I will show you your perfect red".  It was one of those 'life-changing/movie-esque' moments.  He told me that the #1 Le Rouge is so classic and perfect for me.  He also showed me a set of shadows (also warm autumn shades - the #10).  However, I remember that red lipstick the most, as I left feeling so 'Chic'.  Since being officially draped as a Warm Autumn, I was thrilled to see that Le Rouge is the PERFECT true warm red shade:

Although I didn't realize it at the time, there is something to be said about finding your best red.  There is also something to be said about the clarity and warmth about the Warm Autumn palette that is just prefect against my skin tone.  I am happy to be revisiting this palette and in particular to start wearing my best red again :)