Sunday, February 7, 2016

Minimal, Luxe 'Individualized' Style

Yesterday I spent the day at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and then strolled around Yorkville.  If any of you are familiar with Toronto, you'll know that Yorkville is a posh, elegant little nook in Toronto with amazing shops, trattorias, cafes and restaurants.  I have to admit that every time I go to Yorkville, I 'people-watch'.  I really like observing and studying what people are wearing, how they do their hair, makeup etc.  I'm learning that style is really about where our attention is.  It starts with the person, then extends out to each persons individual taste, interests, passions etc etc.  I find that no matter what, I'm always attracted to style when it includes: simplicity, luxurious fabric and elegant, well put together makeup.  I also really like that European-Chic sensibility (Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn etc etc).  One lesson that really made itself clear to me yesterday as I was people watching in Yorkville, is this very nonchalant, almost Parisian mystique way that women in Toronto carry themselves.  They have that understated look, but it's so finely tuned to their individuality.  I've been studying a lot of 'looks' lately and although many of them are 'chic', they may not represent me the best.  What really makes a 'look' is the person who owns it.  This really made me think back to when I got my colours done and was analyzed as a warm autumn.  I realize that owning my own individuality within my season, is one of the most powerful things I can use to enhance my own style.  I can admire the other seasons, their looks, their elegance, but it isn't 'mine'.  Part of my 'a-ha' moment came when I realized (sitting at a chic little trattoria) that I didn't look like any other woman in the room and for the first time, I wasn't trying to be like 'them' and have their 'style', I was proud and honoured to be the more 'interesting' look in the room.  I had something different and instead of wanting to 'be' something else, it became clear to me, that my style was about owning my uniqueness.  So today's minimal, luxe look, is all about owning the best of 'me':

I began this look my a concealer/foundation that really is the best match for my skin tone - Revlon golden beige.  I then applied MAC Coppertone (a blush I had put into hiding, but wanted to bring it back to life in my makeup bag).  For the eyes, I wanted to use golden shades, so I started with MAC woodwinked on the lid and 'soft and gentle' highlighter on the brow-bone and inner corners of the eyes.  I used Laura Mercier Copper Brown eyeliner and black mascara.  For the lips, I wanted to create a warm, terracotta-peach neutral shade that is 'perfect' for the warm autumn palette.  I decided to first apply Chanel Antoinette and then use MAC Ravishing over top.  I think this look is very representative of my unique colouring and style.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reminiscing - Chanel, Paris, Soul-Growth

I officially have an obsession with Chanel red lipsticks.  I know this because I spent most of last night on Pinterest simply in AWE of the beautiful Chanel looks.  Chanel really did leave a legacy that is comparable to none.  One of the things that I noticed while checking out Chanel Pinterest looks is all the quotes that Chanel herself spoke.  They are filled with confidence, answering to no-one's definition of who you should be.  I think that when it comes to a Chanel red lip, it's more than just a 'lipstick' - its an 'essence' of being comfortable in your own skin and owning your power.  I know that may sound like a lot of 'word nonsense', but it's completely true.  When I was in Paris a few years ago, I got to sit on the steps inside of the House of Chanel.  I can't explain it fully, but I really felt that Chanel was there.  Today I came across that photo again and my soul literally spoke: "don't forget that girl sitting on the steps - she's more powerful than you know".  Rediscovering Chanel at this point in my life is so much more than just makeup, style, beauty etc, it's 'soul growth' - it's a confirmation that I'm headed in the right direction and that I own no-one an apology for being myself!!!

Here is a link to my post about being at the House of Chanel in 2013

And here I am today, still in love with Chanel and still understanding that my Paris experience truly was and is a catalyst for growth:

For this look, it's all about creating the statement red lip.  I used MAC products for my eyes and cheeks, as they are currently what I use most in my makeup bag: I blended Patina and Club and combined this combination on the lid and then used Arena shadow in the crease.  I used Trace Gold and a touch of Peaches blush in the centre of cheeks.  One of my favourite Chanel blushes was discontinued - Frivole :( - Peaches is a close match, as well as NARS Gina blush!  The magic of Chanel definitely comes in with the lip shade - Passion #104 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Chanel Passion Lipstick 104

I have FINALLY come across a red lipstick that is perfect in every single way.  I love wearing red lipstick, but have find myself tied down to the warm autumn brick and rust reds.  I'm not complaining - I absolutely adore those shades.  They are elegant in their own right.  However, sometimes I wanted that classic true red lipstick.  Since being draped as a warm autumn, my previous stand-by's just didn't work.  I realized that they were either too bright, too blue-based. too cool or too deep.  The great thing about my own personalized palette, is that I can wear a 'Warm True Red'.  I came close to finding that shade in the YSL #1 le rouge, but it was still slightly too bright.  YSL was a lipstick I purchased in Paris and because it brings back so many amazing memories, i'll be wearing it forever :) That being said, today I was 'on the hunt' to find that perfect warm true red.  I've been craving wearing a true red shade that suits me to perfection.  I tried on many shades, but found the closest matches at the Chanel counter.  It came down to the shades: Pirate, Gabrielle and Passion.  I tried each one and it was really obvious to both the makeup artist and myself that 'Passion' was most definitely the BEST shade.  The best part of this experience, however, came when I got home and swatched it against my Warm Autumn Palette.  It was an EXACT match to my 'Warm True Red' swatch.  I honestly did a 'happy dance' in my room!  Being able to find that perfect red is such a great feeling.  For me, red is the ultimate in Chic!

In this collage photo, its very clear that the Passion lipstick matches perfectly to the Warm True Red swatch :)

For this makeup look, I wanted the lipstick to take centre stage, so I started with just my basic concealer and foundation.  I then used MAC Trace Gold blush.  On my eyes, I mixed MAC arena and amber lights and applied this to the lid and crease.  My eyeliner of choice was Laura Mercier Copper Brown - I used an angled brush to smudge the upper lash line and finished with a coat of black mascara.  Finally, Chanel Passion Lipstick!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Amber Marries Teal

I had a lot of fun putting together this look because it's a true hybrid of the warm autumn palette and the marine palette.  I wanted to create a look with 'warmth' as the number one feature, but add in a touch of the sea green colours that are so apparent in my eyes:

For this look, I started with my basic golden-beige foundation and concealer (Loreal true match in W 4).  I then decided to mix MAC amber lights with steamy eyeshadow - I applied this mix to the lid.  I then used amber lights on its own in the crease.  My eyeliner of choice today was MAC Tarnish, which is smudged out slightly on the upper lash line before finishing with a few coats of black mascara.  For my blush, I first applied NARS madly and then used MAC Peaches as a pop of colour on the cheeks.  For the lips, I used Bronzelle lipliner by Lancome and then applied Kat Von D lipstick in Solo.  I really like this look - it has all the elements of the sea greens without being over-powering. Amber and teal are definitely a good marriage!

Macro Lens Experiment

I have been having such a fun time playing around with my new macro lens!  The macro lens really goes zoom in on the eye and pulls out the amazing patterns and colours of your eye.  It really makes you stand back in awe and think "is this really how amazing my eye really is? - does it really have all these colours and patterns?"   My natural eye colour has always been hard to describe - some people see grey-green, others blue, others grey etc etc.  Furthermore, my eye colour changes often - kind of like mood eyes :)  I've been taking various photos of my eyes the past week and decided to make a collage of the colours and patterns most present in my eye:

I definitely have that 'sea/marine' colour factor.  Yet, there is also that slight pop of amber/orange present.  I most definitely have a unique autumn eye-colour.   One thing that I really like is the warm teal/grey combination going on.  I would love to be able to create an outfit and makeup look based on these shades.  I also want to play around more with the orange/amber/rust shades!!!  I most definitely recommend getting a macro lens if your interested in finding your season, discovering your 'Zyla archetype' or simply interested in learning about eye pattern and colour :)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

L'Oreal Doutzen's Nude Lipstick

This morning, I really felt like creating a natural, very minimal, warm toned makeup look.  I really do like how the warm tones harmonize so well against my skin tone.  I've been playing around with some netural cools lately, but hands down, my warm autumn palette really does suit me the best.  I wanted to find a lipstick shade that was a light warm pink.  I thought that this type of shade would be perfect for that uber natural, minimal look.  I decided to check out some of the drugstore brands and immedietly fell in love with L'oreal's 'Doutzen's Nude'.  It's a light pink, but it has that yellowed/warm light pink look.  It's not quite peach and it's not quite pink.  It's actually a very pretty colour.  In fact, I look foward to playing around with this shade and blending it with various warm toned liners to find new ways to wear this shade.

For this makeup look, I started with my 'basic face' of golden toned foundation and concealer by Revlon.  I then applied MAC Trace Gold blush.  For the eyes, I applied MAC Arena shadow on the lid and Amber lights into the crease before finishing with mascara.  To complete this mininal-warm look, I applied the Doutzen's Nude lipstick!  I know that the lighter lipstick tones are not my 'ideal best' shades.  I have to be careful because sometimes going too light can wash me out.  However, today I just wanted to play around and just go for it - no rules!  Sometimes with the right look, mood and confidence, you can make anything work :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bronze meets Pink

It's always fun playing around with different colours and different palettes.  With my warm skin tone and the 'appearance' of cooler green-grey eyes, i'm always testing the limits of my seasonal palette.  I don't think I do this because I don't like my palette.  Instead, its just a way for me to explore and experiment.  I like creating new and different looks and I sometimes get bored when I get stuck in one season for too long.  At least I'm being honest with myself!!!  That being said, today's look is a real marriage of bronze, taupe, peach and pink shades.  The emphasis is really on the bronze and pink, but the warm taupe and peach shades tie everything together:

I started this look with my golden toned concealer and foundation.  It's my go to foundation for my skin-tone.  I then applied NARS Oasis blush (a pink champagne shade) and added MAC Trace Gold for a pop of warmth on the cheeks.  For the eyes, I used MAC Club eyeshadow (my current favourite shade - its so versatile) and added Arena eyeshadow into the crease and finished with black mascara.  For my lips, I used a liner called Bronzelle by Lancome.  I used to wear this liner years ago and admire some of my best looks where I used this shade, so I decided to pick it up again.  I then added a pop of neutral pink lipstick - Fast Play by MAC.  I layered this shade over the Bronzelle liner!  I have to say that I really like this look - this is a pretty everyday, office/work look!!!