Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dazzling Metallics

Now that autumn is here, I'm really enjoying playing around with the warmer shades, especially warm amber and gold eyeshadows.  I recently discovered Cover Girls 'Dazzling Metallics' eye trio.  The shades included are an orange-rust shade, a metallic charcoal shade and a yellow-gold shade:

I wanted to create a look that was very warm and would compliment these eyeshadows.  I particularily like the orange-rust shade and I wanted to use warm peaches and rusts to really work the autumn-like shades.  Here is what I came up with.  I went with a defined eye and a softer peach lip:

I recently got my hair done and had butterscotch highlights put in with a warm chestnut base - I think the colour really adds and works with the warm tones I'm wearing.  I started the look my mixing NARS orgasm illuminator with my HD foundation.  I then used the rust tone in the cover girl trio and added it to my brows.  I used the yellow-gold shade as a base and then used the rust again on my lids into my crease.  I used MAC's amber lights in the inner corners of the eye and into the lid and then used a golden brown shade (that I found in a lancome quad that was a gift with purchase) in the crease and outer corners.  I lined my eyes with MAC's Smolder eyeliner and then used the charcoal shade in the Cover girl trio to smudge into the upper lashline.  I used my favourite Dior-show mascara in black.  On my cheeks I used FACES blush (in an orange rust shade) and then applied NARS Exhibit A as a pop of colour.  I balanced out the look by using Bronzelle lipliner and NARS Barbarella lipstick!!!

I'm really liking this look on me - the warm colours are speaking to me again!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bright and Vivid

I've lately become inspired by colours that are bright and vivid.  I've always loved clear true reds, bright teals, emerald greens, bright violet purple and coral/peach shades.  There is something to be said about bright colours that uplift your spirit and mood.  Since playing around with NARS Heatwave lipstick, I decided to try out some other bright shades in my makeup bag.  I wanted the look to be complimentary to the fall season, so I stuck with the warmer, clear and bright shades. I'm even wearing a bright yellow-green, almost 'clear mustard' sweater (its one of my faves from the GAP). If you had to label these shades within one of the 12 colour seasons, I'd say its consistant with the 'Clear Spring' shades.  I used an interesting mix of warm grey and amber on my eyes with a brighter teal liner and stuck with a clear orange red shade for the cheeks and lips.  I really enjoy playing around with different shades - its so much fun when you don't limit yourself to a particular palette and just have fun with makeup, but at the same time, its worth knowing your best shades!

For this look I started with my basic face - Loreal N4 concealer, HD foundation in #155 (but this time I blended NARS orgasm illuminator into my foundation).  I applied FACES blush in an orange/rust shade and used Smashbox's Flamenco as a pop of colour.  I then used a sheer warm beige as a base shade for my eyes (I don't have the colour name but its similar to Navajo by Bobbi Brown but without the frost).  I then used MAC's amber lights from my lid into my crease and used Print in the crease/outer corners only.  I then applied MAC's Indigo eyeliner (my current fave) and used Print to smudge into the upper lash line.  I used Dior-Show mascara in black before completing the look with MAC's Auburn lipliner and So Chaud Lipstick!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

NARS Heat Wave

I honestly think that every woman needs to own this lipcolour because its literally 'POWER' in a tube.  It seems to be a favourite amoung the celebs and those in the fashion world.  Its everything that the shy girl would stay away from - bright, orange-red, show-stopping, completely in your face and uber sexy!  I wanted to work with the brightness of this shade, so I picked an equally bright eyeliner 'Indigo' by MAC to line my eyes with a light wash of amber shadow:

I was playing around with various shades at sephora today and I honestly can't remember what eyeshadow I put on - I think it was an amber shade from Shisedo, it was definitely in the amber/bronze family (I used this shade in my crease and into my lid).  As mentioned above, I used MAC's Indigo eyeliner on the top and bottom and simply smudged the upper lashline with a q-tip.  On my cheeks, I'm wearing Madly blush by NARS with Smashbox's Flamenco in the centre as a pop of colour.  The show stopper of course is the lips - NARS Heat Wave!!!
After my little makeup 'play-time' at Sephora, I continued my shopping, only to be stoped by numerous people who asked me what lipstick I was wearing.  I also walked into a department store that also sells NARS products and the Makeup Artist asked if I was wearing 'Jungle Red' - I said no 'Heat Wave' - she said that Heat Wave is one of the most interesting shades because it looks so different on everyone - on some people, its more red, on others more orange etc - Regardless, its a great colour that won me many compliments today - its a keeper in my books!!!

Autumn Glow

I love the autumn season and have always loved autumn colours.  I continue to be drawn to a rustic-spicy orange shade.  In my last post 'NARS Madly Blush', I created a soft, neutral look for day.  I was going out that evening and decided to add some warmth to my look, so I added this orange-rust blush shade that I have from a company called FACES (I have no idea what name or number the product is because whoever sold it to me forgot to put the product sticker on the back of the blush, but if you see the FACES blushes, its the deepest orange shade in the group).  I kept my eyes the same and balanced out the warmth of the look by making my lips deeper and warmer.  I used MAC's Auburn lipliner, FACES Vita lipstick (one of my all time favourites - its an orange-brown shade - MAC used to make a similar colour years ago called Marrakesh but then disconituned it - I wish they had kept it in their line).  I then dabbed just a bit of Smashbox's Flamenco over my lips to give it a bit of pizzazz!  Here is the what I came up with:

I plan to continue to play around with more rustic-warm shades this autumn.  I have my eye on this NARS blush called Silvana - its a peachy terracotta shade - I've put it on my wishlist!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NARS Madly Blush

NARS makeup products are some of my absolute favourite.  I love the texture and feel of NARS makeup against my skin - I think I'll always be a NARS junkie!!!  Lately, I've been playing around with their blushes and came across one that I adore 'Madly' (no really, it called 'Madly').  The NARS website descibes this colour as a "warm seashell pink".  It actually reminds me a little bit of 'Sertao' - a blush shade was a discontinued and also adored.  I wanted to create a look around 'Madly' that stayed true to the natural, warm-soft effect that Madly creates.  This is a perfect 'casual weekend' look:

For this look I started with my HD Foundation in 155, N4 concealer by Loreal.  I used Navajo by Bobbi Brown as a base and then used NARS ashes to ashes from lid to crease and NARS Lola Lola shadow in the crease.  I lined my eyes with MAC's Smolder and smudged NARS 'Night Breed' into the upper lasline.  I used Dior-Show mascara in black and used an angle blush to fill in my brows with Bobbi Brown's Mahogany shadow.
I applied NARS madly blush to my cheeks and used Smashbox's Flamenco (just a dab to the centre of cheeks to add a slight pop of 'peachy' colour).  I then lined my lips with Lancome's Bronzelle liner and mixed 2 of NARS lipsticks - Beautiful Liar and Blonde Venus - I love the natural flush these two shades mixed together create!

I like being able to play around with various shades and I love how soft and luxurious NARS products feel - they are easy to blend together and you can create various looks.  I still like my staples from other cosmetic companies, but I have to say that NARS may just be my favourite!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pigalle - NARS

Pigalle lipstick by NARS is a little bit difficult to describe - its not a full brown, pink or beige, but seems to be somewhere in the middle of all three, with a hint of plum mixed in too.  NARS cosmetics website describes it as a pink-chocolate type shade and I guess to a degree, that is somewhat correct.  Regardless of trying to define what type of colour Pigalle is, it is a stunning colour - its one of those colours that when you finally pick it up and try it, you'll probably say to yourself "where have you been hiding all my life?  Why didn't I think to try you on before?" (I'm saying this from personal experience because that is exactly the reaction I got when I tried it on).  Since its a classic 'your lips but better' shade, I decided to create a look around Pigalle that is natural, yet enhances my features:

For this look I started with my favourite basic eye, Navajo as a base (Bobbi Brown), NARS ashes to ashes from lid to crease, MAC's copperplate in the crease/outer corner.  I lined by eyes with MAC's Smolder and smudged NARS's night breed shadow into the upper-lash line, completing the look with Dior-show mascara in black.
I used Ambering Rose (MAC) as a blush and applied Smashbox's 'Flamenco' shadow as a pop of colour in the centre of the cheek (I love the effect this created!!!)
I lined my lips with Lancome's Bronzelle and then filled my lips in with Pigalle!

I think this is a very classic everyday look, perfect for the office or when you just want to look fresh, healthy and pretty!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Noa Tishby

There are women who are pretty, women who are bombshells, women who are sirens and then there are women that simply 'Oooze' with exotic sensuality.  When I think about a classic exotic woman, Noa Tishby seems to come to mind.  She has that golden, warm undertone and looks stunning in the spicy, parprika type reds.  Noa is a stunning autumn in my opinion, she wears the golden, orange and spicy peach shades so well.  Here is a little tribute to the various looks of Noa Tishby:

This is one of my all time favourite photos of Noa - I love that spicy, brick red lipstick on her - she is so, so beautiful and when it comes to makeup and putting looks together, she is sort of my secret muse!  I really like how Noa's medium golden locks support her warm skintone and work together with the rest of her look!!!

Here is another stunning look on Noa and further proof that she rocks that spicy red lip so well - It should really be her signature shade!!!  I like how elegant this look works with the black dress - its perfect for an evening out or glam look!  I think that you need to be confident to work a spicy red lip (or any red lipstick for that matter) - Noa just seems to make it look so effortless!!!  Its almost as if, she owns the red lipstick vs the colour owning her!

I adore this warm soft look on Noa Tishby!  This is the perfect everyday look for her - her eyes just seem to glow - she looks angelic, like a true Goddess!  She almost looks like someone you'd love to just sit down and talk with for hours over a cup of coffee, a true 'sweet girl next door' appeal! 

I saved the best for last - I love everything about Noa Tishby in this photo - the gold top she's wearing, her orange-red lip, her golden brown haircolour, the thick warm gold hoop earings - there is no question in my mind that Noa is a true autumn - she really comes to life in these shades!!!

Noa Tishby has that chic look combined with exotic femininity - she is definitely an inspiration for me when it comes to makeup (even though I often wear cooler shades, I love how she puts her makeup looks together)!!!  I think that its important to find makeup muses - women who inspire you to look your best, try a new look or colour etc - if you have a few makeup muses, you actually start seeing a pattern - a look almost seems to emerge!  I have a few makeup muses and I've noticed that I'm a little complex - I like a classic-chic look in combination with am exotic, avant-garde appeal.  Who is your makeup muse and what looks do you like?  I'm curious to hear your responses!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Brick Red - Part 2

I decided to I wanted to create a look with a brick red lip as 'centre stage'.  Since I now have a nice golden tan (thanks to Cuba) I wanted to play up the golden shades in my skintone.  I used to wear Make Up Forever's HD Foundation in #125 - but I am currently wearing #155.  I plan on mixing the two when I'm in that 'in between' stage.

 I started with my basic face (eye cream, Loreal N4 concealer, HD Foundation in #155) - if you want to re-create a nice bronze-gold 'tan-like' glow, try MAC's Refined Golden Bronzer.

 I used Mahogany by Bobbi Brown on my my brows and then used Revlon's Color Stay Mineral Eye Shadow Trio in 'Sunlit Jade' - I used the lightest shade as a base and mixed the jade and warm beige shades to add to my lid up into my crease.  I then used the darker jade shade in my crease.  I lined my eyes with Smolder eyeliner by MAC and used Concrete eyeshadow (also MAC) to blend into the upper lash liner.  I finished with DiorShow mascara in Black.

I decided to be a bit creative with my blush and used an orange/rust blush by FACES (I don't know the name/number, but if you see the faces blushes, its the most 'orange-brown' in the blush collection).  I used used a raspberry shade called Gentle by MAC as a 'pop of colour'.  The combination and contrast of the orange and raspberry is stunning (I'm going to use this blend again)!

The 'star' of the show is NARS Shanghai Express layered over MAC's Brick Lipliner

I hope that you like this look - I think its great for fall!!!  I'd also love to hear your feedback about the brick colour on me!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Brick Red

Red lipstick is definitely making a come-back for the fall (even though it never should have left in my opinion).  I adore red lipstick and I love the variety of shades that are available (i.e. a classic true red, a cooler blue toned red etc).  Right now I am really inspired by a brick red colour!  The rich brick red shade looks amazing on brunettes (especially with green-ish or hazel eyes) and also looks stunning on a blonde or redhead with a bit of a warmer/spring-like complexion (i.e. Cameron Diaz, Nichole Kidman, Diana Argon).  I recall when I was about 15 or 16 walking into an expensive department store - my mother was looking for a lipstick for a wedding we were supposed to go to.  Being bold AND already obsessed with makeup, I started an in-depth conversation with the woman working there - she was older and seemed to have so much knowledge about colour.  I learned that she went to the same art school as John Lennon while he was attending there.  I asked her what types of lipsticks I should be wearing and without hesitation she said she's been studying my face as we were talking and that 'Brick Red' is the shade I should stick with.  Interestingly enough, my signature 'Bois Des Iles' by Chanel with Sienna lipliner creates a perfect Brick red shade!  I decided to do a little bit more research and went to sephora yesterday to try on various lipshades in a brick red colour - I finally found one that I think, is the more perfect brick red out there - NARS Shanghai Express:

Shanghai Express is described on the NARS website as being a warm brick red and it lives true to its description, except that it is not 'overly' warm.  It definitely has a warmer red base, but there is no overpoweing orange or yellow undertones.  If you look at the last photo of Shanghai Express compared to Red Lizzard, you can really see how it has that brownish brick undertone without being too warm.  At first glance, it looks like a basic red with brownish undertones, but on the lips, it is the perfect brick red shade.  I paired it with MAC's Auburn lipliner to create a stunning deeper brick-red look.  After trying on this shade at sephora, I met up with my mom and one of her friends for lunch, they both asked me right away "what lipstick are you wearing?  That colour is amazing on you?'  That was the confirmation I needed that this shade definitely works for me.  I still love wearing a true red lipstick, especially Moulin Rouge by Make Up For Ever.  However, I think I'll reserve that colour as an evening/glam look and wear my Bois Des Iles and Shangai Express as my signature day looks. 

I recently came across an Essie nailpolish called 'In Stiches' - I got it because I wanted a more sophisticated neutral to wear to work and keep my favourite OPI 'Big Apple Red' for special occasions!  I noticed that when I was wearing Bois Des Iles and then tried on Shanghai Express, this colour was almost an exact match to those brick red lip-colours!  I was stunned and excited to hold up my nails to the lipsticks I had on and discover just how perfect a match it really is! 

Last night I needed a little bit of R and R and decided to watch 'Leap Year' - one of my all time favourite romantic comedies!  At the very end of the movie, Amy Adams character Anna realizes and says "I had everything I wanted, but nothing I really needed".  This kind of struck a cord with me because it made me think about what we purchase and spend money on - are they things we really need or want?  I think sometimes we can't even tell the difference.  All I know is that I don't need 30 different lipsticks - I only need a handful that I can mix and match and play around with.  In my two favourite 'how to be french' books, the authors state that you only need about 2 lipsticks - one for day and one for evening.  I 'tried' my hardest to stick to this, but have such a hard time since my makeup looks often are centered around my moods.  One day I feel bright and happy (hence needing a brighter colour), other days I feel soft and relaxed etc etc.  But I understand the simplicity and sophistication behind having just a few signature shades.  My mom, who is the queen of simplicity and elegance' and can't understand my obsession with makeup told me that a woman needs only 4 shades, one for day, two for evening and one for those in'between' times - For me, its Bois Des Iles for day, Moulin Rouge and Gabrielle for evening and Shangai Express for those in-between times!  I'm finding that the older I get, the more my style and what important for me as a look is changing - I no longer want to be stuck in makeup and clothes trends.  Its not about 'fashion' for me anymore, wanting the latest label or buying what everyone else is buying in an attempt to be seen as cool and 'in' - I'm moving more in the direction of finding my own style, having signatures, sticking with it, even when the fashion industry is going in the oppposite direction,  Its not about being 'in', its about being 'me'.  I think that lady who went to John Lennon's art school saw something in me that day, she knew instinctively what shades work for me and I just had that 'simplicity' mindset then, I would have stuck with a brick red shade all those years ago and saved myself a lot of money!  Live and learn I guess!!!

Wow - I didn't realize this post would become a venting 'light-bulb' moment post, but I'll 'Let It Be'!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The 'Kelly' Purse

Named after the famous Grace Kelly, the Hermes 'Kelly' purse is said to be the epitomy of elegance and style when it comes to purses.  I recently re-watched the movie 'Le Divorce' and was inspired to write about the 'Kelly'.  I recall reading somewhere that Grace Kelly used this purse to hide her pregnancy.  Since then, its been idealized as classic and elegant, all the things Grace Kelly was known to be.  Women all over the world have been drawn to this purse, wanting to channel their own inner sophistication.  Starting from $4000, the 'Kelly' is not a purse everyone can afford, but we can 'dream'.  I think what also made this purse such an inspiration is that Grace Kelly herself went from rags to riches - she gained some fame in her acting career, but then became a symbol of regal elegance when she married the Prince of Monaco!  I think there is a part of each of us that feels a little bit more like a princess with the purchase (or least the dream of a purchase) of a purse like the 'Kelly'.  We are all inspired by women like Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton - we've all had that princess dream!  One day I hope to own a 'Kelly' - it will be a 'dream' come true for me.  Until that time, I will find other ways to channel my inner princess!!!

I love the look of the scarf tied around a purse and this Kelly purse with a rich shade of cobalt blue is simply devine!!!