Monday, July 28, 2014

NARS Dragon Girl

DRAGON GIRL!!! I'm in love with NARS shade! I was going through my makeup case and realized that most of the reds that I own are either true reds or deep reds - I was desperate for something a little bit different. In fact, I wanted a red that wasn't 'in your face', a little brighter with a pop of colour, but that words for everyday! I walked into Sephora and knew that if I was going to explore a new red, NARS was exactly the counter I wanted to go to - NARS makes the most incredible, wearable red shades ever. I'm still loyal to my MAC Ruby Woo, but when you want to venture into elegant wine tone reds, orange reds and vintage reds, NARS is my absolute fave - plus, I love their lipstick packaging -its so Chic!!! However, this time, I didn't go for a lipstick per say, I tried one of the chubby lipliner sticks - so easy and fun to apply. I ended up having a conversation with one of the makeup artists at Sephora and he suggested I try 'Dragon Girl' - saying its one of NARS best-selling shades. I tried it and I fell in 'LOVE'! Its a little bit red, a littel bit 'berry' and has a touch of pink. WHat makes it even more awesome is that you can wear it on its own, as a lipstick or use it as a liner with other shades. For this look I swiped it on with my current favourite Dior eyeshadow quad - Amber Design #708 - I then used blooz eyeliner by MAC and smudged the medium brown from the Dior quad onto the upper lash-line - I finished the look with my current YSL black mascara!!! If you want to feel feirce, free, playful - Dragon Girl is for you!!!

MAC Del Rio Lipstick

WHen it comes to the summer, most people tend to do a makeup look that's lighter, brighter, fresher - this look just seems to compliment the weather so perfectly. I decided to do something a little bit different! This summer, I've been experimenting with deep plums and reds. Here's how it all started - I walked into MAC a few weeks ago and I was on a mission to find that perfect summer lipstick - fresh, a little more on the pink or coral side, but something just didn't 'feel right' - these shades were pretty, but something was 'missing' - the makeup artist then had a 'a-ha' moment and said "Try This" - she handed me 'Del Rio'. I looked at the lipstick and said 'no way' - 'that's way too plum and way too dark for summer and for me' - then I heard the words "Trust me" and so I did - I swiped on the lipstick, thinking this isn't going to 'work' and then I stood back and had my own 'a-ha' moment - the colour was 'perfect' - for me, for summer, for any occasion that I want to look elegant without going for a bold, bright lip. The LESSON - don't dismiss a colour just because it doesn't fit into the 'rules' or 'seasonal stereotype' - why do browns and plums 'have' to be worn in the fall? or red reserved for evening? Sometimes we look at magazines and fall into the trap of wanting to look like one of the models - maybe you're in awe of the model wearing a light pink gloss, but perhaps on you, that vampy burgundy is YOUR own personal ticket to seducation! Makeup is all about embracing your own personal elegance, not what the fashion magazines tell you, but what looks 'amazing' on YOU!!! Here are two looks that I created with my new Del Rio purchase. One is using more natural shades on the eyes (browns and golds), while the other is playful and more colourful - with blues and silver shades on the eyes:

For this first look I used an eyeshadow quad by Dior #708 - Amber Design - its been my summer staple! I love being able to mix the lighter golds with the more shimmery browns and then blending in the shadows and layering onto my eyeliner - in this photo I blended the medium brown shade into MAC Smolder eyeliner and finished with black mascara. I did a light sweep of MAC 'Love thing' mineralize blush and finished with Del Rio on the lips!
I had so much fun with this look - I took the photo with a green sweater, but ended up wearing a 3/4 sleeve black top and I felt so 'awesome' - I started with NARS Lhasa shadow on the lid into the crease, then layered MAC Electra on lid, Blooz eyeliner smudged with contrast shadow (also MAC), Black mascara (I used a new YSL sample that I got from Sephora), MAC dessert rose blush and Del rio lipstick!!! This summer - break the rules a little bit - try a few looks that aren't 'typical' - you'll be so surprized at how well a deeper lipstick shade can compliment your summer look and you'll be 'stand out awesome' at your next party!!! Trust me :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What I Know for Sure.......... 8 KEYS to finding your most beautiful self!!!

I haven't posted in a while, but think this is perfect time for a 'non-image' post. I've been watching a lot of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday shows and one of the questions that she often asks people is: "What do you know for sure?". I've spent the past few months in a state of being 'absent' - not just from my blog, but from many things. At first I thought there was something wrong with me for feeling like 'disconnecting', but I've come to realize that my 'hibernation' process was MUCH needed and has contributed to be taking a fresh look on my beauty journey. I've had the blessing of facing many feelings, some a little scary, some a little funny and some a little healing. Here's what I know FOR SURE: 1) BEAUTY is an inside job. No one can define your beauty because its 'yours' - its meant to be yours and you're meant to embrace all that is beauty about you. Beauty is also an inside job because its your spirit, within you that makes your truly beautiful - no makeup in the world can cover up a hurting heart. Sometimes in order to really see your beauty you need to take OFF all that exterior makeup and look within yourself. Once you see who you 'really' are within, you will be in AWE of your own beauty!!! 3)BE AUTHENTIC - you are 'you' - you are meant to live 'your' life and have 'your' body, your face, your features. Its time to stop comparing ourselves to other women and people around us. Its time to stop giving ourselves messages like: I wish I was ......... (fill in the blank). Don't wish that you could be anything other than the BEST version of yourself!!! Authenticity is about being REAL - so be REAL. If you're a brunette, rock your brunette-ness! If you have grey eyes, play them up. If you've got curvy hips, flaunt your curviness. Whatever it is that you've got - embrace it, work with it, admire it and LOVE it!!! 4) FIND YOUR BEST COLOURS - When you wear your best colours, you light up! You best colours could be related to your colour analysis, but colour goes 'beyond' that - colour is energy and sometimes your BEST colours are wearing shades that make you feel happy, joyous, alive, energetic!!! Find out what those colours are for you and them combine them with shades that compliment your skin tone. Lately, I've been really feeling good around greens and blues, so I've wearing those shades because they really speak to me. Green literally makes me want to cheer and start laughing - which is awesome - I love how amazing colour is and how colour can make us feel. When I want to be more grounded, browns and greys are my best 'neutral' friends. I feel content and more down to earth when I surround myself with a medium charcoal grey. Red is my power colour, as well as black and gold. Get to know how colours make you feel, then wear your 'best' colours!!! 5) ELIMINATE ALL THE TOXINS THAT SURROUND YOU - I'm not just talking about chemicals - I'm talking about people, places and things that literally 'make you sick' and drain the life force out of you!!! If it makes you miserable, get rid of it. If you're unable to chance the situation that you find yourself in, get rid of the way you think and respond to that 'toxin'. So many of us are sponges for negative energy, especially those of us who are really sensitive to the world around us! We need to begin protecting ourselves from things that zap our energy! A great way to start doing this is to start removing the toxins you have the most control over - for me, its usually toxins in food. As soon as I start removing toxic foods (for me its usually wheat/gluten and too much caffeine), I instantly feel better once I 'detox' from these foods. FEELING GOOD puts me in a whole new 'energy field' and I begin to recognize other areas in my life that I need to 'detox'. Very often we don't realize what it is around us that drains us, but once we remove it for a while, we can see the source - listen to your 'gut' and remove anything that doesn't bring you complete joy and happiness! 6) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THINGS YOU REALLY LOVE - #5 and 6 really go together. Surround yourself with people, places, things that bring out the very BEST in you - that make you smile. Be around people who 'lift you up' vs drain you, that 'support your authentic power' vs compete with you. Make sure your environment gives you a sense of peace and joy - your house doesn't have to have the most expensive furniture, but the things you surround yourself should bring a smile to your face. Spend time out in nature, nurture your soul, get a massage once in a while - be your own best friend if you have to. Its KEY to remember that you won't be able to surround yourself with the things you really love if YOU yourself aren't one of those things. You need to be the first person who cheers you on - you need to really LOVE 'you' - not in an egotistical 'selfish' way, but simply loving your creation, loving your soul and spirit - once you learn this key, everything around you will change and you will be surrounded by LOVE! 7) STYLE CANNOT BE BOUGHT - it does't matter how much money you have, style is something within you - its something you're just born with 'knowing'. You can be the richest person in the world, but have zero style or you can be just getting by and look like a million bucks. You also can't buy class! Being a woman of style and class is attainable by all women regardless of your walk in life. Its not limited to celebrities and the rich and famous - in fact, I see many celebrities that act like they have 'zero' class! Classy for me is an allure that a woman has, it's a woman who has MANNERS, speaks eloquently, is authentic, truthful, humble, caring. Style is just knowing what works - but its also knowing 'yourself' - its about recognizing that a trend won't last for ever and its about putting your best self forward!!! 8) Last but not least - LOVE THE JOURNEY - you will constantly be learning about yourself and evolving. Be compassionate with yourself, embrace your BEST self at this very moment - live in the present - SMILE and be KIND!!! I hope that you enjoyed this post - I felt that before I returned to my usual posts, it would be nice to share some things that I've learned along the way to understanding beauty and life!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Celebrate Your Life!!!.......with a little Ruby Woo

Today I am celebrating!!! Today is my Birthday!!! I'm a March baby, a true Pisces! I'm excited to celebrate my life this year because I really feel like I've hit huge 'a-ha' moment in my life. I'm proud of myself - I'm proud of who I am, what kind of person I am - I'm happy to be me!!! I'm also truly 'Blessed'! I'm blessed to have such an amazing family - to have great, caring friends. God has blessed me in many ways and although the past year had its ups and downs, every 'trial' that has come my way, has made me stronger, has made me even more grateful to be alive, has restored by faith that everything happens for a reason and for a 'season'. I celebrate the Renata that I am today - a woman who knows her worth - who has really discovered the beauty of true friendship, the importance of family and the life-changing impact of Red-Lipstick!!! Cheers to the woman who I have 'become'!!! One thing that I have really learned is that true class is not only about what you 'look' like - its the energy that you exude and how you carry yourself and present yourself to others. TRUE Class is really about being a good-hearted person!!! I want to thank my Grandmother and my mother for teaching me that lesson!!!
I decided for my birthday today to create a makeup look that I discovered while at the House of Chanel in Paris. I remeber having the most delightful experience there and meeting a makeup artist who really look the time to teach me a very elegant and classy makeup look. It all begins with a clean face, some concealer and a light tinted moisturizer, a natural toned blush and an subtle smokey/defined eye - I'm using Prelude eyeshadow quad with a Navy Liner (blooz by MAC), smudged with the darkest shade of the Prelude palette. Since I went with a defined eye, I still wanted that 'red' lip look but subtle, so I lined my lips with MAC's Spice before filling in the lip with Ruby Woo - Chanel's Gabrielle and YSL #1 Le Rouge are also amazing Red's that I discovered in Paris!!! So today I've beginning the day with a croissant, a nice strong coffee and will end the day with a peice of cake, a glass of wine and a HUGE self-hug!!! I embrace and Love the person that I am!!! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Yves Rocher - Bois De Rose

More and more I see the value of a great lipliner. In fact, sometimes a lipliner layered over a lipbalm is all you need! In my personal research on lipliners, artists use this took in various ways. Some apply the liner before the lipstick, some after, some use it as a blending tool and others use it on its own! One thing I've come to learn, is not to listen to advice from artists and use that advice as a 'cardinal rule' - instead, listen to what an artist has to teach you, learn from their advice, and then make it work for you! Remember, when you applying makeup, its your face, it your canvas, you know it better than anyone and you know what you like!!! Taking a break from this blog really brought me back to using makeup in a way that I feel the most comfortable! There are guides, there is good advice, there are makeup professionals and colour analysts, but at the end of the day, you need to be your own person and your own authority! Now that I've got that off my chest, I'm ready to talk about one of my favourite lipliners that I discovered in Paris and luckily the company Yves Rocher is also sold here in North America. Bois De Rose is a shade that is more along the lines of a brownish or even slightly coral toned Rose, in other words, in a warmer rose shade and 'perfect' for blending in a variety of different shades. In my last post, I talked about trying to create a multi-dimentinal colour and look - you will bring your makeup to a whole new level when you learn to mix and match and create custom colours that work for you - in essence, its like a really expensive hair-cut and you will leave people wondering, what colour is that? what is she wearing? Its all about the 'Allure' - that's what the Parisians are known for. Beauty is not about being 'Beautiful' because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Beauty is about 'owning' your own beauty authority and making it uniquely 'yours' - its about looking in the mirror, liking what you see and 'owning' that energy everywhere you go!!! With the 'Bois De Rose' liner, you have room to create a lot of different looks - I paired it with my go-to 'Retro' lipstick by MAC, but it works really well with a lot of CHanel lipsticks too, in particular Venise, Rivoli and practically any shade with a hint of rose. This liner creates a very 'Romantic' look - its ideal for a casual-elegant look (stay tuned for a great up-coming post about casual-elegance)!!! In essence, lipliners are you friends and they can 'transform' any lipstick that you would otherwise by-pass or throw out into the most beautiful shade. Take inventory of all the colours you have and then ask - what's missing? how can I transform all these shades? Perhaps you want to make them more neutral looking or brighter or even 'warmer' or 'cooler' - whatever you need to do to create that perfect look for you, do it and remember, you are the artist painting your own canvas - enjoy the experience!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I've come to Learn about Makeup!!!


So I've decided that not only am I going to post photos of my makeup work or describe my 'look' - I'm also going to blog about my ideas around beauty and how to use makeup to 'compliment' you look, style and life!!! I'd really like to share something that I think will benefit you the next time you go shopping for makeup. Makeup is a lot of hair colour - one single shade is nice, but to look REALLY elegant, makeup, like an expensive hair-colour, needs to be 'Multi-Dimentional'. Other than a Classic Red lip, elegant makeup shouldn't be one straight shade - it should have a touch of this or a bit of that - thats why layering different shades gives you that 'ideal' shade. But if you want that one standard colour, esp when it comes to lipstick, try a shade like Retro from MAC (it has a touch of red, a touch of peach, a touch of brown and a touch of rose) - another trick for lipstick is to use different lipliner shades with a neutral lipstick or go for unconventional colour combinations to create a unique shade like a plum liner with a peach lipstick or a mahogany liner with a light sheer pink lip-gloss - the possibilities are 'endless' - if you can't find that 'perfect' shade, create your own!!! THe perfect lipstick shouldn't be 'definable' - the best is to get the reaction from people who question 'What colour is that???' - With eyeshadows, the possbilities are endless too - I mix shades ALL the time - very rarely, do I every just use one shade - I layer, I mix, I create various different shades. I do the same with eyeliners - I will use an angled brush to smudge various colours into my liner. I will use a taupe-brown shadow to blend into a black liner or a copper brown to blend into a deep brown shade. I've even mixed plum shades in with navy and blue liners. If you want a unique makeup look, think like an artist - layer, mix and match, blend!!! When it comes to blush, the best thing you can do is to match the natural flush in your cheeks - pinch your cheeks, pinch the end of your finger tip and notice what shade appears - that's your best blush shade - it will look the most natural. I've learned the hard way that blush in the wrong colour or blush that isn't sheer enough will make you look like a clown! Save a bold colour for your lip and go natural with your blush! Finally, foundation and concealer - take the time to get colour matched! Sephora now offers a colourmatching system - or go makeup shopping without wearing your foundation and let an artist match you up. If you're still not sure, go for a tinted moisturizer that is sheer! Also, if you need, mix and match - or even create your own tinted moisturizer by blending your everyday moisturizer with your foundation. Think of your makeup kit as 'collecting a wardrobe' - every once in a while, purge what doesn't work, keep the 'essentials' and never give up on a colour you really love, no matter what a colour analyst says. If you LOVE red lips, go for it, just learn how to make it work - maybe its a matter of adjusting what you wear on your eyes or blending a more neutral liner with the lipstick - Makeup, more than anything, is a journey and you learn along the way!!! Enjoy the journey!!!

Retro Lipstick by MAC and a Dose of Motherly Love!!!

I have a very funny story and relationship with the lipstick 'Retro' by MAC! I have tried Retro before, always thought it was 'just ok' - I think I've even blogged about it before, but its only been recently that I've really embraced this shade for what it really is - an elegant shade that covers ALL the bases - its got a touch of red, a touch of peach, a touch of brown, a touch of rose, a touch of CLASS!!! Retro's got it all!!! For years, my mother has been wearing Retro - its one of her 'go-to' shades. Everytime I see my mom, she 'always' looks put together - more and more, I see my mom and I absolutely ADMIRE her - her style, the way she's always classy and elegant looking, how strong she is as a woman, how giving and beautiful she is as a soul - I love my Mom! I've realized that my mom really is my best friend - when no one else is there and I need a shoulder to cry on, she's 'always' there and that is very comforting and beautiful!!! So really, this look is inspired by my Mom - a very classy and elegant woman! Next, to my mom, the star of the show is 'Retro' - a must have lipstick shade for anyone looking for a put together, go with everything, casual-elegant look: I started this look with a good, hydrating moisturizer, a light tinted moisturizer, concealer, Chanel's 'Prelude' eyeshadow palette (the medium shade applied from lid to crease and the darkest shade smudged into the upper lashline), a dark brown liner by Marcelle, black mascara (Loreal voluminous continues to be a go-to), my favourite 'Madly' blush by NARS and RETRO!!! Voila - a go to look that will always 'be there for you', just like Mom!!! :)