Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kate Inspired Make-up

Kate Middleton's look has always inspired me - she is such a natural beauty and her makeup look is always put together and classic.  Watching her walk down the aisle to marry her 'Prince' and seeing her look so regal and stunning, inspired me even more to study her look a bit more in depth and create a look that is truly Kate-inspired.  I took some time looking at some of her photos on-line and in magazines and here is what I came up with:

I started my look with m favourite base - Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Nude and Loreal True match concealer in N4
I used a light beige eyeshadow as a base and then decided to create that neutral taupe-grey eyeshadow look that Kate usually wears - I decide to mix Scene and Copperplate and apply that from the lid into the crease.  I wanted to create some depth with the liner, but nothing too harsh - Kate usually sticks with neutral shades from coffee brown to Charcoal - Black liner is often too harsh for her, unless its blended with a grey or stone toned shadow - For this look I used Coffee eyeliner by MAC and blended 'Brun' eyeshadow into the upper-lashliner - I also used Brun on my brows to define them a bit!
I noticed that Kate usually wears a soft rose-brown blush - I actually mixed Mocha with a bronzer to create the perfect blush shade.  I wanted my lips to mimic this neutral rose shade, so used Nude lipliner by annabelle before applying Cosmo lipstick my MAC

Here are some of my favourite Kate Middlton makeup looks:

I think what I admire most about Kate is that her routine is consistent - she stays true to what works for her and doesn't get caught up in trends or the colour of the moment.  She knows what she likes and she favours classic, neutral shades to over the top drama!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Elegant Royal Wedding!

Love was in the air today, as Kate and William celebrated their wedding day.  Kate was a vision of beauty today - she was absolutely 'Stunning' in her wedding gown, which was the essence of elegance and class.  The lace detail was spectacular and I loved seeing how she brought the expression 'Simplicity is Elegance' to life.  Nothing was over the top tacky - her makeup was flawless and natural, her hair was wavy and flowing and her natural charm and grace was never forced or over the top - Kate IS a true Royal!  Its true that a wedding is usually about the bride, but I have to say that William looked handsome and uber distinguished and deserves some recognition today as well!!!

Before I share my thoughts about the dress and Kate's beautiful makeup, its important to say that regardless of Kate and William's status - Today is still about two people who are in love coming together and sharing their vows before God - I wish them the best of love, health and happiness.  I hope that William and Kate become true examples of Royalty that work together to make this world a better place. I pray that their relationship blossoms and grows as their years together as a couple continue!!!  Congratulations to you both!!!!

Okay - now on to what eveyone has been talking about - that stunning, beautiful wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for the House of Alexander McQueen.  One of the things that I admire about classy women is their ability to continually prove that simplicity is elegance - Kate has that girl next door look combined with a genuine intellect and sophisticated charm.  I 'loved' the lace detail on Kate's dress.  To be honest, I'm a fan of long sleeved wedding dresses with a sheer sleeve or lace sleeve - I think that thanks to Kate, many future brides will be adding this detail to their dresses!!!

I adored Kate's hair and makeup look.  I personally adore when brides keep their hair down with long, loose waves - it looks so elegant and romantic!!!  I was reading about Kate's makeup look to see if anyone posted anything about who did her makeup or what colours were used.  Its been rumoured that Kate had makeup lessons prior to the wedding date, so that she could do her own makeup and look fresh and natural.  She did the exact same thing for her engagement photos - she apparently had her makup done, didn't like it and re-did it so that she would look more natural.  I love that she feels more comfortable being herself - its part of her regal charm and sense of elegance. Its also been rumoured that Kate was wearing Bobbi Brown makeup products today - apparently she was spotted a few days ago purchasing makeup products from BB - I think that Kate has always stayed true to her Soft Summer Makeup Palette - she very often wears the taupey-grey's on her eyes with a coffee toned eyeliner.  Today she looked so fresh with the popular 'English Rose' shades on her cheeks and lips - the perfect soft pink-rose shade.  I also thought her earings were lovely - I love the idea of drop earings with diamonds - they were the perfect size and just enough bling to go with her elegant dress and makeup look - I loved everything about Kate's overall 'look' today.  Kate has always inspired me and I think that in the future she is going to become a true style icon for many women all over the world!!!

Its official - Kate is a true Royal - a stunning Duchess and a style icon!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ginnifer Goodwin

I have always admired Ginnifer Goodwin - I think she possesses that true balance of smart, cute and sexy!  I adored her character in 'He's Just Not That Into You' - How many of us have exhibited that behaviour at one point or another in trying to impress a guy?  Perhaps 'Gigi' was a little extreme in her approach, but we've all felt that insecurity at some point in our 'dating adventures'.  Ginnifer's most recent movie is 'Something Borrowed'.  I haven't seen the film, since it opens May 6th, but I can already tell from the previews that I'm going to like it and I really like her clothes and makeup look.  Here is my little tribute to Ginnifer:

Ginnifer has that 'girl next door' charm and elegance.  I love her hair in this photo - the soft waves look so pretty and romantic.  Her makeup compliments that natural-beauty look as well - its soft, neutral-toned and balanced.  Ginnifer looks truly elegant in this photo!!!

Ginnifer can reall work that smokey eye look - I like how she used the blue-gray tones vs the harsh black liner!  I my opinion, I think Ginnifer is the perfect brunette 'summer' - she has that neutral beige skintone with a rosy tinge an I love how well she carries off the heathered-plum shade of the top in this photo.  She really seems to glow in the muted plum and grey tones!

Ginnifer is so lucky that she can go from loose wavy long hair to a pixie cut and still look classy and sexy!  Not many women can carry of this look, but Ginnifer can really work this hair cut - she reminds me of a modern day Audrey Hepburn - for some reason she has that same classic look and appeal as Audrey - She channels the 'Gamine' look so well!!!

This picture of Ginnifer is from the 'Something borrowed' movie - she is wearing the Soft Summer colours in this photo and I think she looks amazing!  I love the soft plum lip and cheek colour and the neutral medium brunette hair colour shade is perfect for her!  Combined with the muted grey and taupe top, she looks sophisticated and has that 'down to earth' flair.  This photo actually really inspires me to start playing around with more of the soft plum shades!

Ginnifer is a breath of fresh air in Hollywood - she always looks put together and classy!  I love the roles she picks for her movies and I hope that she continues to morph as an inspirational woman in the movie and fashion industry!  I personally look forward to seeing what her next look will be - but one thing I also admire most about her is that she stays true to that classic, elegant appeal!!!  Kuddos to you Ginnifer!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ukrainian Easter Traditions

I love the Easter Holiday - I grew up celebrating Ukrainian traditions and continue to do so - I hope to pass on these traditions to my children too one day.  One of my favourite things about the Easter Holiday is that it is filled with symbolism and ancient tranditions, one of my favourites being 'pysanky' - our hand-made and intricate Ukranian Easter Eggs (that have their roots in old pagan traditions and then took on a new meaning once Christianity was spread into Ukraine).  To me, Easter was never about the bunny rabbit or egg hunts - it was about blessing the Easter basket (which is filled with certain foods which then make up our Easter meal - Paska - a sweet egg based bread, Kobasa, ham, horseradish, eggs, cheese, pysanky that were made that year, krashanky -dyed eggs that we later 'fight' with - I'll explain later - and butter).  Easter is also a time to celebrate the fact that Christ has risen an when we greet each other on Easter Sunday and Monday we say 'Xrystoc Voskrec' (Christ is Risen)! Here are a few pics that illustrate some of the Ukrainian traditions (taken from past Easter celebrations):

This is our Easter Basket last year that my mom and I put together - for the butter and cheese, we always make a cross using real cloves - we also use an embroirdered Ukrainian cloth to place underneath and protect the food!

Every year we take the Easter Basket to get blessed by a priest.  The old tradition was to bless the basket right after mass on Sunday an just before eating the Easter meal, but since our church has grown so much and a lot of people have baskets to bless, its usually done on Saturday (which is were I will be going later today!!! - Its such an amazing experience)

One year, Martha Sterwart dedicated a show to Ukrainian Easter Traditions - here she is with her mom and a guest explaining the traditions on her show!

Here are some Pysanky that my mom has collected over the years (many are gifts, as its tradition and considered good luck to give and recieve a pysanka) - Check out for a lot of great informaiton about Pysanky, the ancient pagan roots of the pysanky, what each colour symbolizes and how they are made!  Here are a few more pictures of different pysanky:

Sometimes Pysanky are also made out of bigger eggs like Ostrich eggs - When my mom retired from being a teacher for over 30 years, her friends got together and got an Ostrich egg pysanka made just for her - its incredibly beautiful - I wish I had a picture to show you!  She doesn't let too many people near it - lol

Sitting down for the Easter Meal is always such a treat - I love the hardboiled eggs, my moms potato salad and I especially like the beet-horseradish salad my mom makes - every year my dad and I have a competition to see who can eat the most horseradish - it never ends well, but at least, we both have clear sinuses for the rest of the season!!!

One of the fun traditions we have is to see who chooses the 'Champion' egg - Krashanky are hardboiled eggs that have been dyed with food colouring - when we sit down for the Easter Meal, we each pick an egg and then have an 'egg fight' so to speak, trying to crack the other persons egg shell - if our egg is left unharmed and uncrcracked, its considered the champion egg - I wonder who had the champion egg???:

Happy Easter Everyone - XRYSTOC VOSKREC (Christ is Risen)!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Everyday Simplicity

A few months ago I decided to declutter my makeup bag - It was a very theraputic experience, getting rid of the products that were just 'sitting there' and taking up space.  Since I've started to feel comfortable with my natural and soft makeup look, I decided it was time to go through my makeup bag one last time to really simplify my look and decide once and for all what type of look I want to create for myself.  I want to stop 'spending' money on needless products and stick to my tried and true basics.  I've only made one recent purchase and its been on my wishlist for a while (Cosmo lipstick by MAC) - I decided to create a makeup look around it today, but before I post my picture, I want to share what is currently in my makeup bag:

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude
Loreal true match concealer in N4
Mocha Blush - MAC
Gentle mineralize blush - MAC
Loreal Voluminous mascara in carbon black
Lise Watier eyeliner in Charbon and MAC eyeliners: Prussian, PermaPlum, Earthline and Coffee
MAC eyeshadows: Quarry, Copperplate, Scene, Print, Concrete and Vex is on my wishlist as a highlight/base shade
Lipliners: Soar and Burgundy by MAC and Fig Lipiner - Estee Lauder
Lipsticks: YSL #9 (Rose Stilleto), Cosmo, Capricious, Partyline (MAC), Brownie Pink by Bobbi Brown and Baroque by Chanel
Gloss - YSL#9 (I'm not a gloss person at all, but this is a great shade and I love the quality and texture).

Cosmo listick my MAC is my most recent makeup purchase and I wanted to get it because it's been described as the perfect pinkish-brown shade, perfect for creating that natural, soft look that I've been craving lately.  Its such a stunning every-day colour:

For this look, I used LM tinted moisturizer in Nude and N concealer by Loreal.  I used Quarry eyeshadow on my lid into my crease and lined my eyes with Permaplum liner and used Copperplate to smudge into my upperlashline.  I used Mocha bush and lined my lips with Soar lipliner before finishing the look with Cosmo lipstick!

I think that simplicty really is elegance - its about not trying too hard and being happy with the things that work for you, while eliminating the things that just take up space in your life.  I'm really enjoying these neutral-cool based shades of makeup and I'm done with buying makeup for the sake of being trendy - I think I'm finally growing up and maturing into my own look!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ready to Work

I love to look professional when I go to work and my staples are usually a blouse and pencil shirt, a shirt-type dress with 3/4 sleeves or black dress pants with an original blouse or shirt.  On more casual days, I like to sport more of a rugby, polo type of shirt.  A few days ago I took my camera into work and a co-worker of mine decided to take some pictures of me - I'm totally working the teacher look here because thats what I am:

 I work at a regular catholic high school in my area and I work with students wth special needs.  Most of the time I work with the severe needs group - students who have autism and often non-verbal, students with developmental disabilities and students who have cerebral palsy and other exceptionalities where they need the assistance of wheel chairs.  I have some people tell me - why do you get dressed up when you work with 'those' kids?  Comments like these make my blood boil because they are filled with ignorance.  I want my students to arrive to my classroom and feel loved, resected and worthy - so I try to make my class look good and I come dressed professionally and classy becase my students are worth it and I'm worth it!  I often play soothing music and like to create an aesthetically pleasing environment!

The white shirt is one of my staples and my favourite way to wear it is with a pencil skirt - There is often a ton of paper work that goes with teaching special needs students, so I need to be prepared to work hard and stay late often - I always feel comfortable in my staples, but I also 'always' carry a pair of ballet flats in my bag - at the end of the day my feet are 'throbbing'!!!

I'd love to hear about some of your favourite work looks and staples!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dreaming of Nantucket

Nantucket island is just south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and I put it on my traveling 'Wish List' - I can't wait to go on a road trip and take in the best that New England has to offer.  One of the things that I'm so drawn to right now is the scenery in New England, particularily the ocean and the stone, taupe and soft beige colours of the ocean front homes.  I also like the nautical elements associated with New England and of course, who can pass up on a hot bowl of clam chowder???
Here are some images that have really inspired me lately:

I would love to wake up this scene in the morning - this is simply beautiful!!!  When I first saw this photo, I automatically felt a sense of peace and relaxation come over me - I hope to experience a scene like this when I go on my future Nantucket road trip!

This is such a classic New England nautical scene - I love the rich blue colour of the sea and the lighter blue sky - I wish I was sitting on that chair with a cup of tea - I could stare at the ocean all day and be completely mesmorized by its beauty!!!

One of the things that I can't wait to do is to visit as many antique and small shops as I can - I love shopping in little stores that have unique items and I love little country inspired stores - This display brings about a warming feeling to the soul - I love the nautical inspired pillows and I could see myself picking up some items and doing some re-decorating!  I really like when a home has that country-cottage feel - its makes my heart smile!!!

This image is so connected to the essence of the New England lifestyle!  Sailing, the ocean, nautical themes, is what inspires me to travel to New England!  I admire anyone who gets to sail on a regular basis - I love the free-spirit feeling of being on the water and taking in the sounds of the waves and the smell of the ocean - its real joy in its purest form!

After a day of being out on the ocean, who wouldn't want to sit down to a warm bowl of New England clam chowder or a bowl of Boston baked beans???  Nothing says comfort and love more than a warming bowl of something mouthwatering after being out in the sun, sand and water!!!  I love the comfort food elements that are so much a part of New England cooking - everything from crab cakes to polenta to spiced roast potatoes and corn on the cob!!!

The more I read about New England - its history, culture, cuisine and style - the more I love how 'comforting' and inspiring it makes me feel - I love how its such an elegant and preppy place, but at the same time, its what being down to earth is all about - Its about embracing the 'home sweet home' inner feeling regardless of where you live!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Preppy Vibe and Euro Chic Connection

I have always been inspired by all things preppy, but recently, I've really embraced it will full force.  It sort of came about when I was reading a book on Parisian Chic and also started reading up on the preppy look - I noticed a lot of comparisons between the elegent preppy look and the elegant Euro-chic look.  Many of the same looks cross over into one another - such as wearing delicate peices of jewelery like pearls and diamond studs, embracing the natural application of makeup (i.e. the 'le no makeup' look is highly respected amoung most preppy women) and the simple yet classic styles of clothes (the white shirt with a hint of rugby/polo sophistication).  The common elements of elegant style are numerous and I'm excited to add both elements into my wardrobe (actually, the book about Parisian Chic I was reading stresses that women should not try to conform to any one style, but pick what they like and what works for them and in turn, create their own style - I love this concept!!!)

These are some of the basics of preppy style that I want to start including in my wardrobe collection:

I'm rediscovering my obsession with rugby and polo shirts - I particularily love the light pink shirt labeled #3 - its so feminine -I can just invision myself wearing it with a pair of pearl stud earings, jackie O sunglasses and possibly even a head-band!  I'm also loving the nautical inspired tote bags - I actually purchased one last year at an antique store and can't wait to wear it once the weather gets a little nicer (its actually been snowing in April in Toronto - I have no idea what mother nature is thinking, but we usully have such beautiful spring weather and I'm hoping to see it soon)

I think this look is uber sophisticated - I adore this shirt with the blue and white striped/nautical element.  I love the simplicity of this look - the natural makeup, the hair pulled back in a ponytail, the classic white pants worn with blue - This is such a classy, elegant, casual day look - love, love, love it!!!

One of the common traits between the preppy look and the Euro Chic look is the elegant way in which women can combine mens-wear into their wardrobe - the blazer is the perfect example of this - it adds such flair and really makes a statement.  I admire women who are able to wear ties succesfully - I stll need to perfect and work on embracing the tie, but when I see a woman work the tie, I am always inspired to try it!!!

I love how this look embraces elements of both the preppy and euro chic looks- it combines the best of an elegant polo inspired blouse and the classic black pencil skirt and knee high boots -  I think this look is oozing with sophistication!!!

Brooks Brothers is perhaps one of the best representations of what elegant preppy dressing is all about - I adore the shirt dress this model is wearing in the ad - She looks so elegant and I admire how natural she looks - she really captures the true essence of what it means to be elegant!

This picture is the perfect illustration of how similar preppy and euro chic can be - the one thing that really captures my attention about this connection is how feminine and natural the look is - in both cases, its this subtle simplicity that adds to the allure of the look - its this simplicity that I love and desire to embrace!!!

I hope that you enjoyed my comparisson between some of the elements of preppy style and Euro chic allure - I hope to revisit this topic because it inspires me so much!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I know its been a while since I've posted something - things have been a bit hectic in my neck of the woods lately - A hot water pipe burst on the 6th floor of my apartment building.  I have a lot be grateful for because I'm on the 19th floor and there was no damage done to my place, but there were people hurt and some even rushed to hospital, others have major damage to their apartments and won't be able to move back for a while. I did have to evacuate my building for a few days and stay with my parents, but I am able to move back now - its been scary and really made me realize what's really important in life!!!  Nothing can replace family and true friends!!!

I recently came across this eyeliner at MAC called 'Earthline' and decided to get it -its a gorgeous 'greyish-taupe' shade, perfect for creating that neutral and natural look.  Lately, I've been inspired by all things 'preppy' and I'm loving anything nautical and New England inspired - the food, the clothes, the sea, the stone/taupe shades of the houses and cottages in New England - Earthline definitely has that stone/taupe edge to it.  Paired with copperlate eyeshadow, its ideal for everyday.  Pair this look with a soft pink blush and lipstick and put on a pair of pearl studs and you're ready for the perfect weekend garden party or sailing trip (I'm going to have to make New England my next vacation destination - be prepared for some upcoming preppy, New England inspired posts in the future).  Check out my new soft-taupe-grey look:

For this look I used Copperplate eyeshadow on my lid into my crease, Used Earthline to line my upper and lower lashliner and then smudged Copperplate into my upper lashline to create a slight smokey look for day.  I used Mocha blush my MAC and used Fig Lipliner (Estee Lauder) with Blonde Venus lipstick (NARS).  I'd love to hear your feedback about this look!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A touch of "Fig"

Estee Lauder makes the most amazing lipliner called 'Fig' - If you read the reviews on you'll notice that a lot of people say this is their 'my lips but better' colour.  For me, this really is quite similar to my natural lip colour - a soft plum-pink shade.  I recently wore this lipliner with my favourite Baroque lipstick by Chanel and got a ton of compliments, so when I got home I had to take a picture and post it:

I started off with Laura Mercier 'Nude' Tinted moisturizer, Loreal's N4 true match concealer and then dusted on some Refined Golden Bronzer by MAC
I used Mocha blush by MAC (a pinky-plum shade)
On the eyes, I used my signature Copperplate+Print blend and lined my eyes with Prussian eyeliner (blending Copperplate into the upper lash line)
I used Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black on my lashes
On my lips: Fig lipliner - Estee Lauder, topped with Baroque (Chanel)

I'm loving these colours for an every-day/business look!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The prettiest Rose...

Roses are the purest expression of happiness, joy, sweetness and everything that is pretty and feminine in this world.  I love the colour of rose - its the perfect balance of pink and blush:

Now that spring is approaching, I'm going through my makeup case looking for that perfect rose shade!  Here are a few of my favourites:

Yves Saint Laurent makes the most perfect shade of rose - #9 lipstick (Rose Stiletto) - This colour is the most lovely shade of rose that I've come across - I'm addicted to how creamy and satiny YSL lipstick feels on my lips!

YSL also makes a #9 lipgloss - it looks stunning on top of the #9 lipstick.  Annabelle makes a lipliner called 'Blush' - I can't wait to pair this gloss with 'Blush' lipliner for an evening look - I think the effect will be soft, feminine and romantic.

I'm not sure what this model is wearing, but it looks similar to the #9 gloss - I love how rose shades on the lips give just enough colour, while still being soft and feminine - I'm begining to adore 'rose' lips.

MAC makes a stunning soft plumy-rose shade called 'Capricious' - If you're looking for a rose colour, but want a sheer texture, this is perfect.  Capricious is such an elegant colour!!!

 I wanted to create a soft look with taupey-grey shades on the eyes, so I blended copperplate and print eyeshadows (MAC) and applied this mix to my lids and blended in into my crease as well.  I lined my eyes with Charbon eyeliner (Lise Watier) and used 'Copperplate' on an angled-brush and smudged it into the top lashline.  I used Mocha blush my MAC (a stunning soft plum-pink shade) and finished off the look with my favourite Rose-toned lipcolour YSL #9

This spring, surround yourself with the colour of pink roses - you will instantly feel happiner and more feminine!!!