Monday, May 30, 2011

10 step beauty

I was recently checking something on the Bobbi Brown website when I found an article called '10-Step Beauty' - The article outlines Bobbi's 10 steps for a no-fail classic everyday look.  Bobbi claims that the key to that flawless, classic face is to follow these steps in order and always to start with a clean face (cleaser, followed by moisturizer) and to use an eye cream before starting your makeup routine.  Here are the steps:
1) Corrector and Concealer - I have to say that after using Bobbi's corrector and concealer for the past two weeks, I have noticed that my eyes look brighter and less tired - I use 'Bisque' Corrector and 'Warm Beige' Concealer Duo (it comes with a powder to help the concealer set properly)
2) Foundation - Currently I'm not using a foundation - I really like my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude, but I have been adding a few drops of NARS foundation (I got a sample size during my recent sephora purchase)
3) Powder/Bronzer - I have put Bobbi's powder on my wish-list, but I'm currently using MAC's Refined Golden Bronzer
4) Blush - I am currently using Tawny blush and Desert Rose blush as my 'pop of colour' - Bobbi believes that every women needs two blushes - one that looks like the natural colour your cheeks turn when you blush and another one that is a brighter 'pop of colour'.  I e-mail one of Bobbi's makeup artists and asked what makeup was used on the model for the article on her website and she told me that the model is wearing Sand Pink blush with Pale Pink as her 'pop of colour' shade. (If your interested in e-mailing an artist, simply visit Bobbi's website - they get back to you quite quickly and offer great advice - you can even chat live with an artist - its really cool)
5) Lipstick/Gloss - The model is wearing Brown with Buff Gloss - I don't have Brown lipcolour at home, but I do have Brownie Pink (which is VERY, Very close to Brown) - Both lipcolours are an amazing 'your lips but better' colour!
6) Lipliner - The model is wearing Brownie Pink, but I used Hover by MAC for my look!
7) Brow - I use Mahogany shadow to fill in my brows - the model is wearing Caviar shadow
8) Eyeshadow - Bobbi believes in a two step  eyeshadow application - a lighter base shade (Bone) and a natural colour on the lid up into the crease - both the model and I are wearing 'Cement' eyeshadow - its a lighter grey-beige shade - check out the shade below:

9) Eyeliner - the model is wearing Caviar eyeshadow - I don't have this shade, but to create a similar effect I lined my eyes with Smolder eyeliner byMAC (as close as possible to the lashline) and smudged Mahogany into the liner (both top and bottom)
10) Mascara - I used Loreal Voluminous mascara in carbon black - I'm not sure what mascara the model is wearing, but it is a black shade of mascara
To read more about the 10 step beauty, check out Bobbi's article:

Here is a photo of the model from the website:

Here is my attempt to create Bobbi's 10 Step Beauty Look using almost all the same shades:


Friday, May 27, 2011

My Inner Diva

I think that every woman needs to create and find an inner diva look - a mix of perfectly balanced bold eyes AND ever bolder lips.  The 'rule' is usually that you do a smokey eye with a nude lip or a bold lip with a neutral eye, but sometimes you just need to 'rock it' with glam shades and a diva attitude and go for 'bold' everything.  I wanted to create an edgy rock-star look, while still staying true to my best colours, so here is what I came up with:

For my eyes, I started with a natural toned base - navajo by bobbi brown (BB) and then applied heather mauve from the lid into the crease.  I jazzed it up with black plum eyeshadow (BB) in the crease and outer corners.  I then used lavender eyeshadow in the inner corners of the eyes and blended it into the lid - I used one of those fluffy eyeshadow brushes to blend the lavender into the heather mauve.  I then used Perma-plum liner (MAC) and with a heavy hand created a thicker line for the upper lashliner and used Mahogany shadow (BB) to smudge into the upper and lower lashlines.
I used Desert Rose blush (BB) and for my lips I used Currant lipliner (MAC) and blended in Baroque lipstick by Chanel and topped it with YSL #9 gloss - I love the finished look - check it out:

I've been creating really natural, soft looks lately, so it was nice to play around with the deeper shades and have some fun!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The 'Warmer' Side of Summer

In my previous post I blogged about 2 new looks I created for the spring/summer months.  In the second look I created I used 'Carnation' lipstick by Bobbi Brown.  I took a good, hard look at the photos and I realized that the colour on its own is too bright and coral-like for my Soft Summer complexion.  However, it got me thinking - since Soft Summers are Summers that flow into Autumn - how 'warm' can a soft summer go???  I got out my trusted colour analysis books and looked up all the colours that belong to SS - the only 'warm' lip shade listed is a 'warm pink'.  On the Bobbi Brown website, Carnation is described as a "peachy light pink".  I decided to play around with Carnation a bit, mixing it with a few other shades and liners until I created a shade that I think is the 'perfect' warm pink for a Soft Summer.  I go agree that SS's best lipshades are a rosy-brown, soft plum and mulberry.  However, its nice to play around with all the colours in our palette:

For this look I started with a basic concealer and my Laura Mercier Tinted moisturizer.  I lightly dusted on MAC's Refined Golden Bronzer and used Bobbi Brown's Tawny blush on my cheeks.  For my eyes, I used Navaj as a base and mixed Copperplate and Brun shadows (by MAC) and applied this from the lid into the crease.  I used Coffee eyeliner and smudged 'Embark' into the upper lashline and finished by applying black mascara.  For the lips I applied 'Blondie Pink' lipliner by Bobbi Brown and layered Carnation on the top!

I like how this look is much softer than wearing Carnation on its own - its nice to be able to have a warmer colour in your palette, but that still stays true to the SS shades!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

100th Post - Spring/Summer Makeup!!!

I've hit a blogging milestone - this is offically my 100th post!!!  I'm really proud of this blog because it gives me the oppotunity to express my love for makeup and get creative with colours and styles.  My dream would be to become a makeup artist full time - right now its just a hobby and a huge passion of mine!!!
On that note, I decided to celebrate this post with some ideas for Spring and Summer makeup.  The first look I created is very subtle and the colours are neutral, yet elegant:

Ever since my Bobbi Brown make over, I've stayed true to the natural palette for my eyes - I'm wearing Mahogany shadow to fill in my brows, Navajo as a base all over the eye, Heather Mauve on my lid into the crease and Black Plum smudged into the top lash line (I'm wearing MAC's Coffee eyeliner)
On my cheeks I'm wearing Tawny blush (a subtle pinky bown shade that goes with 'everything' - I Love this blush - I used to wear it all the time when I was in university and recently re-discovered it - its a keeper for sure)!  I think that for summer, its important to stay true to your look and style - I don't particularily like rules that suggest you need to bring out the pastels for spring - I look corpse like in pastel shades and prefer to stay with my favourite softer, more neutral inspired shades.  I decided to wear 'Brownie Pink' on my lips -  I honestly think that of all the lipsticks I've ever owned, this is my true 'Your lips but better shade'.  I think this look works so well for the warmer months!

Spring/Summer Look #2 - Even though I've been blogging about my Soft Summer colouring - there is something about the coral/peach shades that keeps drawing me back - I finally came across a colour that fits into my Soft Summer palette - Carnation lipstick by Bobbi Brown - Carnation is a warm pink shade (leaning towards peach, but has just enough pink to keep it in the SS palette - I plan to play around with this colour a bit, trying it with different liners to see what I can come up with.  For this particular look, I decided to push the bounderies of my SS palette and take the colours slightly into the SA, even spring palette - I think makeup should be fun and if you like the look, work it!!!  I love the concept of colour analysis, but I also love the concept of being true to what you like to wear (no rules, no excuses, no lists)!!!:

I kept the eyes the same as the last look - I simply added a pop of colour to the cheeks (I applied Torrid blush by NARS right to the centre of the cheeks - I layered it over Tawny blush) and I changed the lip colour to Bobbi Brown's Carnation!

I'd love to hear your feedback about these looks and even tell me about YOUR favourite spring/summer looks!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bobbi Brown Looks

Since having my Bobbi Brown makeover and reading that Kate Middleton was wearing Bobbi Brown products on the day of her wedding, I've really started to pay attention to Bobbi Brown's looks.  I have two of her books "Bobbi Brown Beauty Evolution' and 'Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual' that I recently re-read (or at least looked at the photographs and studied the looks in more details).  One of the things that I love about her makeup style, is the attention to the perfect canvas and the order in which makeup should be applied.  If you really pay close attention to the looks she creates, its all about creating a lightness and softness and most importantly using the "secret of the universe" as she calls it (her corrector and concealer) and finding the perfect foundation shade - one you have the perfect 'base' for makeup, anything goes - here are some of my all time favourite Bobbi Brown looks:

I love how this look is both dramatic, smokey yet natural and wearable.  This woman looks 'stunning' and sophisticated.  This is Bobbi's 'Chrome Collection' look.   I really like how Bobbi creates that timeless smokey eye and lighter nude lip look.  I don't know how she does it, but Bobbi is a genius at taking any look, making her own and making it wearable for all women!!!

I loved this look from the moment it came out - its Bobbi's 'Ivy League' Collection Look.  I watched a youtube segment about this look and Bobbi commented that this look is based on the 'autumn 1st day back at school' look - the colours are warmer, with hints of forest/spruce green and a brown based lip that is natural, yet elegant.  I have always been inspired by that natural, preppy makeup look and Bobbi does such a great job at creating that perfect preppy Ivy league look!!!

This look is from Bobbi's 2007 fall collection.  I love how the eye makeup is light and crisp and the rest of the face is neutral and natural.  There is no competition between colours and features here, everything just seems to be highlighted to perfection!!!

I'm not sure who this model is, but she is stunning in Bobbi's 'Go Nude' collection.  I love the contast between the soft, pink neutral shades and the models curly and free-spirited hair - this is such a great look!!!

This makeup is from the 'Platinum' collection.  The sheer metallic effect of the makeup is so pretty and feminine.  Paired against the platinum/silver necklace, this makeup takes it up a notch and would look amazing if you were going to a special event or party!  Yet, worn with a diamond pendant and diamond stud earings, its also workable for work and everyday!!!

I really like the soft and sheer blue and navy shadows in Bobbi's 'Nautical collection' - its such a soft look and doesn't look overpowering like some blue eyeshadow looks are.  Bobbi really knows how to add just the right intensity, pigment and colour into her products, while making them feel like silk against your skin!!!

This look is one of my absolute favourites and its Bobbi's most recent collection and currently in stores - this look is the 'Almost Bare' collection.  I love it because the colours are 'just right' to create that natural, 'I see you, not your makeup' look.  I also love the balance between the features.  The brows are defined perfectly, the eyes are defined 'just enough' without being too heavy and the lips are that perfect 'your lips but better' shade.  This look is what makeup should always be about - bringing out your best self and letting the person shine vs the makeup!!!

I had to include one of Bobbi Browns 'Bridal' looks - she really seems to understand what a Bride needs and how makeup should look when you're the Bride.  Its not overdone, but its not neutral and bare either - its pretty, feminine, with a touch of pink and a defined freshness.  The model in this photo looks fresh, natural and really sophisticated.  It reminds me a little bit of Kate's wedding look - the bride still looks like herself, but better - she's centre stage, her beauty is revealed and accented through the makeup!!!

I wanted to save the best for last - next to the almost bare collection, this is the look that I admire the most - its Bobbi's 'Mauve' collection.  I love how soft and feminine this look is - the colours are simply divine in this collection -  I have always liked shades of mauve and find them to be such flattering makeup shades.  I think this model looks so elegant and charming!!!

I hope that you ejoyed my little tribute to Bobbi Brown's makeup looks - the more I read about her philosphy about makeup, the more I admire her and her collections.  I'm become a true Bobbi fan!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bobbi Brown Makeover

This past Thursday I had the most amazing experience at a Bobbi Brown special event in Holt Renfrew.  I got to meet Kim Soane, who works with Bobbi everyday and is one of her lead makeup artists. Kim has done many fashion shows and worked on celebrities.  She didn't do my makeup herself, but walked around as people were having their makeup done and offered advice and helped pick colours.  She was amazing!!!  She complimented me on my eyes and suggested that I do a sheer neutral eye with a liner in a deeper shade and let my natural eyecolour stand out vs wearing too much colour - she explained Bobbi's philosophy in detail for me and it made a lot of sense.  She said that everyone has a yellow undertone to their skin (which is why Bobbi's foundations are all yellow based) and the key is not to use makeup to hide features that you want to correct, but rather emphasize your best features.  Kim suggested that I should let my eyes be the focus and go for a more soft, neural lip.  I 'loved' the end result of the makeover and I am totally grateful to have met Kim - she has changed my opinion on makeup slightly and I have to say, that I think I'm going to become a bit of a Bobbi Brown junkie -her products are amazing:

After showing me Bobbi's skin care and applying a moisturizer, the makeup artist used the corrector in 'Bisque' and the 'Warm Beige' concealer and the applied the skin-natural foundation. She used Desert Rose blush and for the lips, she applied Blush lip colour, Blondie Pink lipliner and Buff 'glitter' lipgloss.
To bring out my eyes, she used Navajo shimmer shadow under the brow, Heather Mauve from the lid into the crease and Lavender shadow on the inner part of the eye-lid near the tear-ducts.  She used Expresso Gel liner and Black Plum liner on the lower lash line and blended into the Gel liner.  She finished the look by using a black mascara called 'Party'!

I ended up getting a personal palette for myself with the eyeshadows and th blush - these are going to be my 'staples' - I am so in love with these colours and interestingly enough, they still stay true to my Soft Summer palette!  I also love the nude-pink lipstick look!  I'm definitely going to start reading more about Bobbi's philosophy on makeup - she really beleives in letting your inner beauty shine through and her entire product line is created so that you see yourself vs the makeup - Thanks Bobbi - You Rock!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Elegant Red

Red is classic, stunning and perfect when you want to evoke an element of passion, flair and seductiveness.  Since embracing the my soft summer palette, I've been playing around with various red shades and have discovered that the best red for me has a soft burgundy undertone.  I particularily like the lipstick Partyline by MAC paired with their Burgundy lipliner.  I've had some requests to create a softer eye as well, to blend the liner more into the shadow on the lid to create a soft, smokey blend vs a distinct eyeliner look.  Since red looks best with an understated eye, I decided this was the perfect oppotunity to create that soft, blended eye look:

For the soft, sudged eye look I used the lightest colour in the cover girl 'urban basics' palette as a base all over the lid.  I then mixed MAC's concrete eyeshadow with Laura Mercier's Pewter eyeshadow.  I lined my eyes with coffee eyeliner by MAC and then smudged Pewter into the upper lashline, really blending the shadow into the liner and extending it up into the lid, so there would be no distinct 'liner' visible, but rather a smokey graduation of colour.  I blended Mocha blush with my bronzer for my cheeks (but I have my eye on a MAC blush called Dessert Rose that has a soft burgundy undertone - its gone on my wish-list).  I lightly outlined and filled in my lips with Burgundy lipliner and then applied partyline lipstick for a softer, but no less elegant red lip look!

I'm really liking Partyline as my best red at the moment - Its perfect for going out for a romantic dinner and when paired with the right outfit, it is classy enough to be worn during the day for a fresh business look!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ash Brown Hair Colour - Part 2

After taking a long look at the last set of photos I posted, I decided to play around with some different makeup colours, mainly my eyeliner.  In the original 'Ash Brown Hair Colour' post, I was wearing Charbon eyeliner by Lise Watier, a charcoal grey liner with a slight blue tinge.  I don't know why I gravitate towards the cooler grey shades for my eyes, but I don't think they are my best.  One of the great things about being a Soft Summer is being able to embrace the autumn influence of a coffee shade of brown.  My eyecolour has a lot of naural grey tones in it already (its almost hazel like in colour with grey-green-blue plus some amber flecks in the centre).  I think the grey liner combined with the grey in my eyecolour washes me out slightly.  I decided to take another photo, this time simply changing the eyeliner to Coffee by MAC and smudging Brun eyeshadow into the upper lash line.  Just making this one simple change made a huge difference - my eyes pop instead of hide and now my haircolour seems harmonious with the rest of my colouring - check it out:

 I used Mocha mixed with Bronzer on my cheeks and I lined by lips with Nude lipliner by Annabelle and filled them in with 'Mauve it Over' lipstick by Revlon.  As for the shadow on my lid/crease - I used Copperplate by MAC (it a no fail neutral for me).  I'm still in the process of getting used to my SS colours and learning how to create that perfect neutral balance!

Ash Brown Hair Colour

I've been toying around with what colour to put in my hair next - I decided to stick with the cooler tones and try an Ash Brown shade.  Its a colour thats recommended for my seasonal palette as a SS.  I've absolutely fallen in love with my SS colours - I love the makeup shades and I've never felt more myself.  I've always had a slight warm undertone in my hair, be it brunette with auburn or chestnut undertones or simply a neutral brown with chestnut undertones.  I've never really tried the 'ash' tones until now - I'd love to hear your opinions on the colour - is it a good shade for me?  OR as a darker SS do I need some chestnut tones instead?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kate Inspired Make-up Part 2

I decided to try another Kate Middleton makeup inspired look - I wanted to try a more neutral palette on the eye with a nude-mauvish lip (I received some great feedback from my last post and I wanted to play around with the 'Kate' look a little bit more).  I really like this makeup and I think this is a 'keeper' as a great everyday soft-neutral look:

For this Kate inspired look I started with Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer in Nude and Loreals N4 concealer.  I blended Mocha with a bronzer to create a soft neutral soft plum blush.  For the eyes, I started with a soft beige base (I used the lightest shade in the cover girl 'Urban Basics' palette).  I then blended MAC's Charcoal Brown and Concrete before applying this shade from the lid into the crease.  I lined my eyes with Coffee and blended Brun into the top lashline (I also used Brun on my brows).  I had to be a bit creative in inventing a pretty nude-mauvish shade, so I started with Fig lipiner by Estee Lauder and then blended NARS Blonde Venus with MAC's 'Faux' lipstick and applied that shade over the lipliner. 

I hope that you've enjoyed my Kate inspired makeup experiements - Its been fun playing around with the neutral shades and I've discovered that I 'love' the Blonde Venus + Faux lipstick combination for the lips!!!