Monday, December 31, 2012

Revisiting Dark/Deep Winter

I'm glad that I recently experiemented with the bright winter shades - its lead me to consider Dark Winter as a very possible choice for me - I know for a fact that I have autumn influence, but also that I'm a 'neutral'.  Lately, I've discovered just how well I look in the deeper, more dramatic shades of burgundy, eggplant, mahogany etc - I can also wear black and grey shades very well.  I don't seem to do very well with the uber-bright pinks, but thats okay, because now I know that its strength of colour and 'depth' that I need - here is a little deep winter experiement that I've done:

And here are a few DW makeup photos that were taken of me in previous years - I think I may have just found my 'ideal' season:

In this photo I am wearing MAC's Fever blush with burgundy lipliner and Media Lipstick.  I think I mixed Coffee eyeliner (a dark brown) with Embark eyeshadow (a deep mahogany shade)

I love deep true red lipstick shades!

Here is Dark Winter makeup taken to the extreme - I recall wearing Media and applying it with a heavy hand - I love that I can handle the depth and contrast!

I am really liking the Dark Winter palette and I think I may have just settled onto a palette that may just be perfect for me!  Dark Winter is both deep, strong, rich - dominant winter, but still with a hint of Autumn - perfect!!!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Revisiting Bright Winter

I recently got some interesting and much appreciated advice to give 'Bright Winter' a try as a seasonal palette for myself.  Even before I got this anonymos advice, I'd been wearing colours like: greys, black and white, true red, royal blue and purple to work and getting a lot of compliments.  I also started wearing more burgundy and red toned lipshades and also got a very positive reaction.  Then when I read the suggestion to give bright wiinter a try, I thought, maybe this is a posibility for me.  Although I adore the True Autumn palette and really gave it a 'go' - there was always a little part of me that said 'wait a minute, you've always looked good in both gold AND silver jewlery' - I would sooner consider myself one of the 'neutral' seasons (leaning BOTH cool and warm) vs a 'true' warm - I think that this is why I played around with the 'soft' seasons so much, not so much because of the 'soft' element, but more because of the 'neutral' element.  There were also colours in the true autumn palette that I was 'missing' and that I knew looked good on me, as well as colours in the palette that weren't so great (I'm still not a green-mustard fan - sorry)!  Anyway, here is a little experiment with me playing around with the bright winter colours - would love to hear your feedback and suggestions:

Here is a photo of me wearing the bright winter burgundy lip and the bright winter seasonal palette in the background - here is the makeup I'm wearing in this photo:

I started with my basic face (mineral fusion foundation in olive, MAC NC 30 concealer and refined Golden Bronzer as powder) - I used MAC Raizin blush (my current favourite) and created a rich, earthy-chocolate look on my eyes - started with brule as my base, mixed soba and espresso and applied from the lid into the crease, lined my eyes with coffee liner and smudged embark into the upper lashline before finishing with black mascara (all MAC) - on my lips, I'm wearing MAC's mahogany liner with Diva lipstick!

Here are a few more bright winter makeup pics - not sure of the exact makeup, but I'm wearing black liner and mascara, fever blush by MAC and mahogany mixed with ruby woo on the lips (also MAC):

I am really liking the red lip on me and the royal blue is a colour I'm not used to wearing, but it seems to 'work' - I think I will experiement with Bright Winter a little longer and see what new makeup creations I can come up with!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Metamorphasis (Self-Reflection) and MAC DIVA Lipstick

Sometimes a total make-over metamorphasis is necessary!!!  I have been going through 'something' lately - something that has really hit me to the core - I guess I'm in a process of really having to take a hard look at my life and ask myself - Why do I give away my personal power to others?  Why do I care about what people think about me?  Why do I feel insecure and insignificant at times?  Why haven't I found the perfect guy for me?  Why is my life the way it is???  Asking myself these questions and realizing that some of my current relationships are toxic and not for my highest good, I've decided to 'seperate' myself from myself if that makes any sense - I've decided that I need to shed some skin - to finally take the plunge into discovering my 'true' self - my absolute 'authentic' self - since starting this process, I've discovered and felt almost every emotion any human can feel - anger, hurt, jealousy, blame, shame, guilt, but i've also felt that inner spirit within calling me to 'heal' - heal my heart, heal my mind, forgive myself and 'Move On' from the things and people that are not on the same joy path as me - its hard when you recognize that you and someone that you really love and care about are not on the same 'level' so to speak - you're on a different path, not a better or worse path, but on a 'different' path - its in my best interest right now to completely re-invent myself - to figure out who I am, what I want, why I'm here, whats my PURPOSE???  Its time for me to heal!!!  WELL - HERE'S THE BEST PART - part of this healing and transformative process is deciding to 'Make Over' my physical self as well - I decided I needed a new look to match the start of a new journey for me, so I decided to go with a choppy, wild 'Joan Jett' Inspired look, go richer with my hair colour with a hint of mahogany and try a new and rich/deep makeup look - Here is what I came up with.  I am so happy that this new journey has begun for me - I feel like I'm the process of discovering a being a whole new, 'authentic' me and I'm so GRATEFUL to God and the Universe for bringing me here, to this new life adventure:

Deep Rich Hair colour called for a deep and rich makeup look: I started with my basic face (mineral fusion foundation in olive, MAC NC 30 concealer and refined Golden Bronzer as powder) - I used MAC Raizin blush (my current favourite) and created a rich, earthy-chocolate look on my eyes - started with brule as my base, mixed soba and espresso and applied from the lid into the crease, lined my eyes with coffee liner and smudged embark into the upper lashline before finishing with black mascara (all MAC) - on my lips, I'm wearing MAC's mahogany liner with Diva lipstick!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tribute to Mahogany

I've been so inspired by my recent Mahogany lipliner purchase from MAC.  It got me thinking about what an awesome colour Mahogany is.  I wanted to learn more about the beauty of this colour - its definitely on the brown side of the colour family, but after looking it up, I kept on coming across the definition as: 'a moderate reddish brown'.  Here are a few visuals:

I decided to take the last makeup look I did using Mahogany lipliner and Mocha lipstick and create a collage around the makeup colours I used for the look - I simply love this!  I'm also thinking about adding more of a mahogany/reddish brown base to my hair -

The mahogany lipliner swatch is found on the right hand side of the collage.  I think that Mocha is the perfect neutral shade to blend with Mahogany, but since the colour mahogany is a reddish-brown, you can really play around with various colours, creating a look that has more red or brick toned undertones.  Similarily, you can also add a warm berry or spicy pumpkin shade, as these will compliment Mahogany really well!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

MAC Mahogany Lip Liner

How have I lived without this lipliner for so long???  Mahogany is a shade I used to wear 'way-back' in my high-school years and since then gravitated away to softer, more natural looking liners.  I had totally forgotten how rich, warm and sophisticated this colour really is!  Here is a look I created with a natural eye, Mahogany lipliner with a touch of MAC's Mocha lipstick on top - check it out - I'm loving this look:

Here is a breakdown of the makeup I used for this look:

For this makeup look I started with my basic face (foundation, concealer, bronzer as powder - Mineral Fusion Foundation in Warm, MAC NC 30 concealer and Refined Golden Bronzer). I used NARS Madly blush and did a natural eyemakeup look with Brule as a base and Soba lid to crease (by MAC) - I lined my eyes with Teddy and smudged NARS Bengali into the lashline. I then used Loreals voluminous mascara in black. On my lips, I applied Mahogany lipliner and topped with Mocha lipstick (both MAC)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Keira Knightly Inspired Makeup - Part 2

I've come to realize how helpful collages can be to recognize colour patterns, so I decided to create a collage of the makeup colours I used in my previous 'Keira Knightly Inspired Makeup' post - this way if you're interested in the look, you have a better idea of the shades I used - it also gives more of a visual comparison between Keira's makeup look and the one I created on myself - Keira has a very delicate, light complexion, while my complexion is more medium-warm - its important to remember that if you want a particular look to work for you, you may need to tweek it to work with your skintone.  I also added in a pic of diamond stud earings, simply because they are so elegant and go with this look so well:

Makeup show in this collage:

Chanel Boy Lipstick (I used this lipstick with Soar Liner for this look)
Chanel Tweed Rose blush
MAC Soar Lipliner
MAC Coquette and Carbon eyeshadows
Chanel Nude lipliner
Chanel Organdi Rose lipstick (one of current favourite lipsticks for everyday - I pair it with Chanel's Natural Lipliner and the combination is divine!)

Keira Knightly Inspired Makeup

SInce my last two posts have been about how much I adore Keira Knightly's look and makeup, I decided I would try her elegantly smokey eye with a more natural-rose lip.  I've recently gone on a Chanel makeup shopping spree (their products are expensive, but there is nothing like them - the lipsticks feel like a second skin on - creamy, luxurious and the colours are so unique and second to none - actually the makeup artist said that Chanel's colours are ICONIC - with other makeup companies trying to re-create similar colours, but nothing compares to the original).  Before I post my pics, here is a list of the makeup I used:

I started with my 'basic face': foundation, concealer and bronzer as powder. I then used Tweed Rose blush by Chanel as a contour, Borjouis 'rose' highlight and MAC's Dame blush in the centre of cheeks. For the Smokey eye look, I started with the rose highlight all over, used MAC's Coquette on the lid into the crease and Woodwinked on the lid. I then used a black eyeliner from Lancome and smudged MAC's Carbon into the upper and lower lash lines - I really smudged out the bottom lash line (something I don't normally do) - I finished with Loreal's Voluminous mascara. I then used the rose highlight again in the brow-bone and in the inner tear-duct! On my lips, I used MAC's Soar lipliner with Chanel Boy Lipstick (my current favourite lip colour)!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chanel Allure - Part 2

I love creating collages!  I could do it for hours - I literally get lost in images, colours, harmonizing patterns etc etc - its like scrapbooking, but via the computer!  I have been mesmorized with Keira Knightly's makeup looks and have taken some time to study the elegant colours of the palette that she wears - so I decided to create a collage!!!  Here is a great visual of the type of colours that are used to create a timeless, classic makeup look - not all the shades are Chanel, but many are - I will list all the shades/swatches I used in this collage below:

Blush: NARS Madly, Chanel Tweed Rose
Eyes: MAC Brule, Soba, Coquette and Smut shadows
Chanel Brun and MAC Coffee eyeliners
Lips: Chanel Nude and Rose Cuivre lipliners, MAC Soar lipliner
Chanel Boy, Organdi Rose and Vendome Lipsticks
* All these shades are represented in this collage in one way or another (some as colour swatches, some as photos of the actual product)

Chanel Allure - Timeless!

Regardless of what is in fashion or what trends are currently making the rounds, the look of Chanel will always be timeless, alluring, stylish and elegant.  Not only is Chanel's style and fashion timeless, but Chanel cosmetics and the looks created for each season are just as elegant and classic.  Kiera Knightly's look has really changed since joining the Chanel team - her look has gone from natural tom-boyish charm to uber elegant, feminine and charming.  Here are some of my favourite makeup looks inspired by Chanel:

What I love about these looks is how the makeup is perfectly balanced - a defined/smokey eye, natural rose-infused lips, subtle colour on the cheeks - nothing is 'too' nude or pale, the colours are in the neutral palette, giving off a quality of rustic warmth together with shades of pink, mauve, rose - the look is truely 'timeless'! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bronze Autumn/Divine Diva Archetype

I have written many times about David Zyla and his concepts about finding your best 'power' colours and style archetype.  I've been on a mission to discover my ultimate best palette and have spent quite a lot of time creating a collage that I feel is the most accurate to date of my Zyla power colours - I'm very excited to share this one with you - I hope that you like it:

Nude vs Warm Rose

I have always admired women who can wear a nude-beige lip and not look like they have swiped concealer on their lips.  I think the nude lip is just so feminine and pretty and it looks amazing with a smokey eye.  For some reason, it just doesn't seem to work on me (at least I don't think so) - Check out this makeup look I tried today, my moms comment to me was that I looked 'dead and blah' - not necessarily the type of feedback you want - lol:

For this look I used my usual base, mineral fusion foundation in warm, NC 30 concealer, MAC's bronzer (this time I used refined Golden).  For my eyes, I used brule as a base, copperplate shadow from lid to crease, coffee eyeliner and smudged deep truth shadow into the upper lashline.  I used Zoom lash mascara in lofty brown.  I then applied NARS Madly blush and used Lancome's Bronzelle lipliner with MAC's Honeylove lipstick.

Although, this look is okay, the richess seems to be gone, something is lacking, so I went back to using more of a golden-brown on my eyes, by re-applying coffee liner and smudging NARS Bengali into the upper lashline - I then changed the lip colour to Chanel's Rose Cuivre lipliner topped with MAC's Plink lipstick:

I think that this last look with a warm rose lip brings a little more colour to my face - the lipstick seems more elegant looking to me - I seem to handle a little bit of colour much better than a nude-beige lip - but I would love to hear your opinion - which is better on me - the nude? or the warm rose???

True Autumn Soft???

One colour analysis source that I have found helpful is the website 'Pretty Your World' - Lora Alexander, the creator of the website and blog does a fantastic job at creating looks for the different palettes.  She has her own makeup line, which is fantastic - the colour and quality of the products are amazing and you can shop by season - a huge bonus and takes out the guess work if you know your season.  On her blog and website, you will also find information on the new 16 colour seasons.  Some seasons are expanded further, for example, there is now: Soft Summer Deep, Deep Winter Soft, Toasted Spring etc - My question is, is there a possibility of a new 17th season called 'True Autumn Soft' - This season would clearly be deeper than the soft autumn palette, but has a level of warmth that the soft autumn deep needs???  I have to throw this question out there since I've made some new recent observations - since doing some more colour experiments, I've discovered that my eye colour has a definite level of softness and the eye-makeup look that is the most harmonious on me matches a warm-soft palette - check it out (the background of this photo is a collage of my actuall eye colour - I took photos of my eyes, cropped them, magnified the colour, then cut and paste the colour into a collage):

The first thing that pops out at me is that this collage definitely seems warm, muted and soft, but with hints of grey-blue - a subtle cool-softness that True Autumn palette lacks!  I then decided to play around with this collage a bit more and added my favourite blush and lip combo:

Madly blush and Spice lipliner match the true autumn palette perfectly and the honeylove lipstick (pictured here) adds en element of softness when paired to the spice liner - the effect is very natural and pretty - I really like it!  Honeylove is a light beige with pink undertones.  I seem to handle a neutral palette quite well, need a level of warmth, but also a level of softness with a hint of cool - yet at the same time, my colouring is too deep to fit into the soft seasons???  I'm a bit stumped!!!  So far, In terms of the 12 seasons, I personally feel that True Autumn works the best - but its still not 'perfect' - there are colours in the True Autumn palette that are lacking or missing and there is a level of softness with a hint of cool that I need as well!  Interesting and worth blogging about!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Deep Sea Blue

I recently tried an experiement where I took a photo of my eyes, cropped the photo and then magnified it - I then cut and paste a collage based on the natural colours found in my eye - here is the result of that experiment:

I noticed a lot of deep blue sea shades and realized I had a scarf that matches this shade perfectly - I decided to stick with that soft water effect and create a makeup look with a subtle soft smokey eye and nude lip - check it out:

FOr the makeup look:

I started with my basic foundation, concealer and bronzer as powder. I used Madly blush by NARS. For my eyes, I started with Brule as a base, soba in the lid into crease, Coffee eyeliner smudged with Smut in the upper lashline and Loft Brown Mascara (all MAC). On my lips I used Spice lipliner and then applied Honeylove lipstick and also mixed in Hue lipstick (MAC)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Simple, yet Romantic Look

Using the insight and information I gained from my last post (where I discovered my David Zyla 'romantic' colour is a warm/salmon pink), I decided to create a makeup look that also incorperates some of my other Zyla power colours - I used my Second Base best version of brown as a liner and smudged my First Base best version of black into the upper lashline) - It may sound complicated if you are not familiar with David Zyla's concepts of power colours, which is why I so highly recommend his book 'The Color of Style' - Its so insightful!  Here is the look that I came up with using some of my best Zyla power colours:

For this look I started with my basic foundation, concealer and bronzer as powder.  On my eyes, I used Elizabeth Arden Sparkiling eyeshadow as a base, MAC Soba from lid to crease (my tranquil shade), Lined my eyes with Coffee eyeliner (my 2nd base shade) and smudged Smut into the upper lashline (my 1st base shade).  I finished with Zoom Lash - Lofty Brown mascara.  On my cheeks, I used NARS Madly blush (a browned/neutral version of my romantic shade) and then mixed MAC's Kinda Sexy and Plink to acheive that perfect warm 'romantic' pink - and voila - a basic everyday makeup look, using David Zyla's colour concepts!

My Ideal 'Romantic' Shade

I have recently been re-reading David Zyla's book 'Color Your Style' - in my opinion, it is one of the best colour-inspired books on the market.  I love that David encourages women to use the colours that are naturally present in their skin, hair, eyes etc as their best 'power' colours - this is simply proof, that what you were given naturally is your individual blueprint to finding the 'best' colours for you!  When trying to determine your power colours, David suggests to look into the palm of your hand and study the colours you see that appear naturally - your romantic colour expends from your palm into your finger-tips and lightly pinching your finger tips will reveal your best romantic shade.  I decided to do this and also use the shade present in my natural lip colour.  I then cropped and magnified the photo - I took the photo is as natural light as possible and here is the result:

The colour is pretty consistent in both my finger-tip and natural lip shade.  I'd trying to determine what the exact colour is and then would like to see if I can't match a lipstick and blush shade.  How amazing it would be to be able to do my makeup using this romantic shade!  I'm so happy that David Zyla wrote the book 'Color Your Style' - its been so helpful and knowing your power colours really does change your life -  I'll have to be on the look out for a sweater or nice top in this shade to wear for valentines day - oh la la!!!

WOW - I had to add this little bit to this blog post - I just swatched my two new favourite lipstick shades to my True Autumn swatch fan and then compared them to a collage I made of my romantic shade and I'm in 'AWE' - everything matches and is harmonious.  THis is just further proof that finding your best palette is right under your finger tips (literally) - using David Zyla's system and getting draped to find your best colours will change your life - I'm actually really excited right now - this is awesome!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Polished and Feminine Look

I love a makeup look that has that perfect balance between classic, pretty, feminine and sophisticated.  I've been playing around with balancing out a smokey eye with a natural lip and think I've finally come across a look that has both colour harmony and polished elegance.  I want to share this look with you because I think its the ideal look for both day and evening - perhaps a little extra gloss for evening added for that little bit of drama.  If you lean cooler, try the same eye makeup look but with phone number eyeliner instead of coffee (by MAC) and try Dame blush with syrup lipstick (also MAC) - if your skin-tone can handle warmth or is neutral leaning warm, the colours I used should work perfectly for you:

The makeup shades I used for this look:

Face - I started with Mineral fusion foundation in warm, NC 30 concealer and Matte Bronze Bronzer by MAC

Blush - Madly blush by NARS with MAC's Melba as a pop of colour

Eyes - Elizabeth Arden Sparkling as base, MAC's Soba from lid to crease, Coffee eyeliner and Smut shadow smudged into the upper lash line, Zoom lash mascara in Loft brown

Lips: Hover Lipliner with Plink lipstick by MAC (top photo) and in the second photo I used MAC's Spice with Hue lipstick  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Plink Lipstick by MAC

THe smokey-eye / Nude lipstick look has been my go-to look recently.  I'm finding that this look is ideal because it goes with everything and when done correctly, it is a very professional business look and can easily be morphed into an evening look.  I've been on the hunt for that perfect nude, your lips but better lipstick without the pale, concealer like effect that many 'nude' or lighter toned lipsticks have.  I stumbled upon plink and its ideal for the smokey eye - check it out:

In this last photo, I used Boldly Bare lipliner instead of Etcetera, its more of a true pink-nude liner and I love how it compliments the Dame blush so perfectly:

Creating a smokey eye is not about over-exaggerating the black liner - its about creating a subtle dramatic effect by defining the eye with a deeper shade of liner and then using an angled brush to soften the edges of the line and smudge out the surface to create that smokey effect.  The smokey eye is not the racoon eye and the nude lip is not the 'concealer lip' look - I really wanted to show everyone that with the right colours and products, this look can work day or night and be both romantic, classic and sophisticated!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

MAC Hue Lipstick with Boldly Bare Liner

I've been really experiementing with the smokey eye look lately and trying to find the ideal lipstick to balance out the look.  MAC's Hue lipstick is the perfect shade for this look and its very versatile depending on the liner you use - you can deepen it, make it work with pink liners or peach toned liners - its the perfect blending lipstick, but paired with a classic nude toned lipliner, its the ideal neutral lip for the smokey eye:


Basic Face - Mineral Fusion Foundation in Warm, NC 30 concealer, Bronzer, NARS Madly blush with MAC's Dame as a pop of colour

Eyes: Elizabeth Arden Sparking eyeshadow as base, Copperplate from lid to crease, Smolder eyeliner with Smut smudged into upper lashline (MAC), Voluminous mascara in carbon black

Lips: Boldly Bare lipliner with Hue Lipstick

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Proud to be ME!

Today I spent a little bit of time going over some of my most recent makeup looks and I wanted to choose two that are representative of who I am today.  WHen I think about about my colour experiments and when I first started this blog, I went through a lot of phases - I like to call this my 'colour journey'.   I feel that learning about all the wrong colours for me and experiementing with different shades, looks, seasons etc has brought me to a new phase.  Right now I'm moving away from the phase of 'experimentation' and into the phase of discovery.  I now feel confident that I know my best makeup colours - I also feel secure and happy with my makeup techniques and style (which I feel have improved since I got certified as a makeup artist).  I am in a very happy place with myself - and I'm not at all suggesting that my journey is over - it never is, but my focus is changing from a youthful approach to makeup, to a more elegent, sophisticated approach.  So, after looking at all my recent photos, I found two that represent my favourite current look for day and evening - My day look is warm, soft, classic and natural, while my evening look is: defined, dramatic, rich and sultry - I am actually proud of myself right now!  I'm proud that I never gave up the search to find my best colours and my best self.  I'm proud that I finally took a passion of mine, 'makeup', went back to school and became a certified makeup artist.  I'm proud that I started this blog to share my journey with all of you and I'm proud that I'm continuing my journey to become my ultimate best self.  As a child I always wanted to be like someone else - to be taller, slimmer, blonde, have thin-straight hair etc etc - I no longer have that need to want to be like anyone else because I am so blissfully happy being 'me'!!!  AMEN