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!!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Makeup Bag Decisions and Must-Haves

It's interesting that when you're 'forced' to put together a makeup bag of 'must-have' products, sometimes you reach for products you love but rarely use.  Why is that?  I love my Dior makeup products, but I'm always 'saving' them vs using them for everyday wear.  It's a funny comparison, but it's kind of like saving your best underwear for a time when you think it really matters the most lol.  It's actually sad in a way because: why do we buy amazing, expensive products and then never wear them or worse 'save them' for some kind of special occasion that may/may not ever happen?  Well, I think it's time to put that kind of thinking to rest.  It's time to really celebrate the things we love!!!

In forcing myself to really think about what products I would put into my makeup bag, there were a few things I didn't even have to think about:  NARS concealer, Bobbi Brown foundation stick, Bobbi Brown Mahogany eyeshadow for the brows, Bobbi Brown Caviar gel liner, black mascara.

The products that I'm the most indecisive about (and it's probably because I tend to buy these the most and have "too many") are lipstick shades and blushes.  Sometimes having too much of a good thing isn't always the best thing.  The past couple of months, living that simple, minimalistic approach/lifestyle is something that really speaks to me.  I wish I had the confidence to say, there are my top 3 lipsticks and just 'stick' to those.  However, that inner-yearning to keep discovering new lipsticks is always there.  It's something I love, but it's sort of a curse as well.  I admire people who wear one or two shades all their lives.  Perhaps my fear is: once I decided on a look, what will I have to blog about??? It would get boring to keep posting, writing about one look.  The makeup artist in me wants to 'create' , but a deeper side of me wants to take a break!  I've come to a decision that perhaps my creative self needs to turn to writing and painting and away from makeup.  But we all know that will never happen :)  I need to find a happy medium!!!

So..... what did I decide in terms of what products will go into my makeup bag?  I decided to ask myself, if I was going away for 2 years and could only wear 3 lipsticks and 3 blushes, what would I take with me???  Here is what I decided...............

Lipstick #1 - Dior 434.  This is the lipstick I always admire, but don't wear as often (it's also the lipstick I'm wearing in the photo on this page).
Lipstick #2 - YSL #1 Le Rouge.  This lipstick I got in Paris.  It's the perfect warm true red and everyone needs a perfect red.
Lipstick #3 - Bobbi Brown 'Brown'.  This lipstick has the perfect depth and perfect natural/neutral colour.  It's very classic and it isn't as much of a brown shade as it is a medium pink-brown-neutral.  It's the perfect wear and go lipstick.

Blush #1 - Dior Mimi Bronze.  This blush is the perfect natural/neutral shade and it literally goes with everything.  I don't wear this blush enough, but it's one of my all time faves.  I'm also wearing this shade in the photo below.

Blush #2 - Bobbi Brown Tawny.  This blush is my second go-to natural/neutral shade.  It pairs so well with almost everything.

Blush #3 - NARS Madly.  This is a shade I keep coming back to over and over again.  It's another beautiful neutral/nude shade.

I posted a while back about my favourite look and I have to say that this look is a variation of that.  Now that I know a lot more clearly the exact products I'd keep as my 'must-haves', here is a look I'd always be happy with:

NARS Ginger concealer, Bobbi Brown foundation stick in 4.5 (warm natural), Dior Mimi Bronze Blush.  On the eyes: MAC expensive pink from lid to crease, Bobbi Brown Caviar gel liner on the upper lash line (smudged with an angled brush) and MAC Prussian liner on the lower lash line, NARS black mascara.  The Lipstick is Dior 434 :)  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Those Summer Nights............

Today I created a look that is perfect for a summer evening out.  I tried to use colours that are consistent with a more summery palette. but also that stays true to my warmer colouring.  I decided to try and create more of a shimmery/ethereal smokey look for the eyes and keep the lip colour very natural but also with a bit of a shimmer effect.  This is sort of the perfect summer party/date look:

For this look, it's important that I start with a base that matches my natural skin tone (which is warm), so I went with NARS ginger (medium2) concealer and Bobbi Brown skin foundation stick in 'Warm Natural 4.5).  These products are more of my 'summer tan' shades.  After letting this base settle, I applied Bobbi Brown blush in Tawny.  It's currently my 'go-to' summer colour.  For the pretty summer-evening smokey eye, I did some 'mixing' of shades.  I used a combination of MAC soba and expensive pink on the lid into the crease.  I then used Bobbi Brown Caviar gel liner on the upper lash line and smudged in MAC Legendary Lure (extra dimension eye shadow) into the Caviar liner.  I really love the shade 'Legendary Lure' - it's a deep grey-green shade with a lot of intense shimmer.  I also used MAC Prussian eyeliner on the lower lash-line only.  I think it compliments the shimmery grey-green very nicely.  I used Bobbi Brown Mahogany eyeshadow to shade and fill in the brows and added two coats of black mascara to finish the eye look.  Since I went a little more dramatic with the eyes, I wanted a very sheer, natural lip.  I decided to go with Estee Lauder Tiramisu - it has just enough natural colour with a hint of shimmer infused into the shade.  I really like this look for a summer party or evening night out.  It has just enough of a dramatic effect and the shimmery grey-green effect of the eyes is perfect for that dusky, summer night :)

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 :)

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!!!