Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chili + Siss = A Perfect Union!!!

I have to first say that this post was inspired by a friend of mine on FB - she rocks hats and after seeing her in multiple photos wearing her hats, I thought to myself "I need to get myself one of those".  Well today It was raining like crazy and the wind was blowing my hair all over the place so I decided, this is the perfect day to invest into a half-decent 'everyday' type of hat.  That being said, this post is one of my favourite red lipstick shades 'Chili' - I kept the same makeup as my previous post (check it out for makeup details:

After I took this photo I was searching for something in my purse when I came across my Siss lipstick (also by MAC) - I thought it would be interesting to blend the two together since Siss mixes so well with my various liners, so I introduced Chili and Siss, it was love at first sight, they got married and had a child - check it out:

The marriage of Chili and Siss creates such a stunning terracotta shade - I'm having a lot of fun playing around with Siss and mixing it with various shades - part of having fun with makeup is creating new and interesting colours.  I'm so happy I came across this particular combination!!!

Time To Get a Little 'Siss-y'

Every woman needs a 'mixing' lipstick - a shade that you can mix into various lipliners and lipsticks to either lighten or darken a colour.  For me, this colour is Siss lipstick by MAC - its described as a 'muted golden beige' and fits this description perfectly - its a nude based beige with golden/yellow understones 'there is nothing pink or peach' about this shade.  Upon first glance it actually seems quite borning and un-natural, but the warmth that is carries and the colour description is 'ideal' for anyone going for that 'autumnal' glow:

For everyday, I like to blend 'Siss' into Chicory lipliner - it creates the most 'gorgeous' natural brandy/warm apricot shade.  For this look I used MAC's Saddle on the lid into the crease with Laura Mercier's Brown Copper liner and smudged PYW 'hot and spicy' blush into the upper lashline.  I then used NARS silent night as a highlight and PYW hot and spicy as a contour before adding MAC's Gold Deposit as a blush shade.  I lined and filled in my entire lip with Chicory before adding Siss Lipstick - I absolutely LOVE this for everyday:

Having a lipstick 'mixing' shade is a good idea to have on hand - sometimes you're able to save an impulse buy this way or simply tone down an evening shade for day!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Terracotta and Mocha

I was so excited to wake up this morning and put an outfit together - I wanted to wear my warm autumn shades, but also put to use all the wonderful tips I learned from Suzanne (from Your Shop Girl) - I decided to go with a terracotta top with a chocolate brown pant and boots and accessorize with a camel toned belt and gold drop earings - I got quite a few compliments at work and even got a compliment from a 'male' co-worker who said I look very put together and that he loved my makeup.  I was actually going for a natural warm golden glow look, but wanted to compliment the warmth of the terracotta without going too red for day - I decided to go with Mocha lipstick by MAC, one of my all time favouite 'holy grail' lipsticks!  Here is a photo of my 'look' today:

This is the makeup look that won me a few compliments today - I used saddle eyeshadow by MAC fom the lid into the crease, lined my eyes with Laura Mercier's Brown Copper liner and smudged the upper lashline with NARS Bengali shadow.  I then used a rust toned blush with MAC's Fresh honey as a pop of colour.  I finished off the look with MAC's Mocha lipstick!  I have to say that this True Autumn makeup (although natural and soft) has that added warmth and golden aspect that I was missing from the Soft Autumn palette - I think this is the perfect level of warmth for a day look!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

For Those Who Voted True Autumn - Congratulations!!!

Wow, Wow, Wow - All I can say is that True Autumn is definitely a clear winner for me!!!  I kept this a secret, but I decided to get drapped again and was looking for someone who lived close by and had experience in the field of colour analysis and style.  Thats when I came into contact with Suzanne from 'Your Shop Girl' - her website instantly drew me in and when I learned that she traveled with her drapes to your home and then takes you out shopping to teach you how to use your new colour knowledge and how to accessorize and work with your personal style and shape - I had to jump on the opportunity.  In addition, her fee was both reasonable and great for someone who is looking to budget, but still wants to look and feel their best.  Here are a few photos from the draping:

The true autumn greens and teals turned out to be amazing and Suzanne mentioned that if she could only dress me in one colour it would be TA's warm teal shade.  I wanted to do a visual comparison between the SA green and TA green - check it out:

Suzanne noticed almost immediately that although the soft autumn shades were very nice, the true autumn shades were even 'nicer' - there is an element of warth and richness that the TA palette has and that I need vs the soft/muted quality of SA!

Compaing TA's warm coral peach shade to the SA soft peach, there just wasn't any comparison - the wamth from the TA coral peach was 'phenominal' against my skin - we both saw that many of the SA shades were just too muted for me - Suzanne kept on mentining that I needed that extra warmth - there is a lot of warmth and gold in my skin that gets 'hidden' with the SA palette!

Orange was a great shade - the light in this photo isn't the best, I wish you could have seen how amazing this orange is without the background light - It really made me look alive and fresh - the SA shades in comparison to this gave me a 'slight' tired look, the rich warmth of TA brought instant 'zip' and harmonized so well with my skintone!

This warm wine-red shade was one of my 'best' colours during the draping - Suzanne and I instantly loved this shade and compared to the winter true red, this won hands down!!!

The teal blue next to the soft autumn blue - teal is the winner - again, the angle is a bit wrong, my apartment is weird where lighting is concerned, but I think you can tell immediately, how the muted shade is 'blah' compared to the rich, warm teal!

The rich autumn eggplant (shown left in the photo) was one of my best colours during the draping - this is definitely going to be a great evening shade for me - here is the purple on its own without the soft drape:

I enjoyed my whole draping experience with Suzanne, but the fun didn't end there, we headed to the mall (which is luckily across the street from me)!  I learned so much from Suzanne, everything from how to accessorize using my colours, style and face shape, to how to look for complimentary colours in my palette to put together an outfit - I told Suzanne that she should really write a book, her information and experience is that valuable!!!  If you're in the Toronto area, definitely send Suzanne an e-mail and use her services:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Signature Look

Cleaning out my makeup drawer the past few days has left me feeling both wonderful (to finally declutter yet again), but also sad and disappointed!  Looking at all the impulse buys from the past year, I sat down to calculate how much money has been going into all these seemingly 'normal' purchases and the final result left me wanting to kick myself.  I thought of all the things that I could have purchased instead with that money and I honestly got downright 'angry' at myself.  I'm begining to see makup differently the past few weeks and the course I've been taking is affirmating my new makeup philosophy!  Yesterday in class when we talked about runway makeup, the key principles settled around creating a look that is vastly different than a typical 'everyday' or natural look, yet many makeup companies 'SELL' their products and market their products based on whats 'in' or recently seen on the runways!  The makeup lovers and addicts, flock like seagulls to get a peek at the new collection.  An everyday look should have nothing to do with whats 'in' on the runway (unless the runway look is natural).  I thought about all the classy, sophisticated women I admire and the allure of the chic European woman and I realized, their look is so alluring because its simple, elegant, perfect for day.  Makeup should be about enhancing your own personal and inner beauty.  Makeup companies like Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier have stayed true to this philosophy and I hope that they continue to do so.  I find it interesting that every time I'm looking to create a very chic, elegant makeup look, I always get drawn back to Bobbi Brown - her colours and 10 step makeup look is perfect for that everyday 'signature' look:

For my signature look I started with a tinted moisturizer, added secret camoflauge #4 by laura mercier as my concealer and used Maybelline's honey beige powder.  I have a new favourite highlight shade I used (Bourjois illuminating touch in Rose Essentiel).  I used a bronzer as a contour shade and then mixed Bobbi Brown's Tawny and Dessert Rose blushes.  On the eyes I started with Navajo as a base and applied Cement shade on the lid to crease (both bobbi brown).  I then used one of the palettes in the 'Naked Eye' collection by Too Faced - I used 'Lap Dance' in the crease and then smudged 'Stiletto' a deep black shade into the eyeliner (I used MAC's Teddy).  For the lips, I used Bobbi Brown's Blondie Pink lipliner (which has been discontinued, but MAC's Nice N Spicy is an 'exact' dupe).  I then applied Blush lipstick by Bobbi Brown (or you can use Laura Mercier's Brown Sugar glossstick - another Bobbi Brown dupe).  I then used my finger to dab on Dessert Rose blush onto the lips!

I've always wanted to embrace that chic, elegant yet natural look - I am so inspired by woman who have this classic, signature look.  I've packed up all my 'impulse buys' and have decided to put them to good use in my makeup artistry kit - that way I'm still putting the makeup to good use, but for my own personal look, I've decided to embrace a signature look.  I'm giving myself a limit on the makeup I have - I feel I only really need two lipsticks for day, one for evening and one for a more glam evening (which I already know is going to be a red shade).  I look forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you and I hope to expand the things I write about on this blog - fashion, tibutes to style icons and anything new and upcoming in the beauty/makeup world - stay tunned to a whole new chapter!!!


ALong with creating fantasy looks in my makeup course, we also had the opportunity to create Runway looks based on a 'Face Chart'.  It actually became a competition - we have 30 minutes to re-create the look from the face chart and later all the looks were judged based on the accuracy of the look based on what the designer would have wanted.  I choose a look that consisted of playing around with both warm and cool brown eyeshadow shades on the eyes, black liquid liner, a pop of pink on the cheeks and a neutral brown lip - here is the before and after:

The model that I worked with was naturally very pretty and had fantastic skin - I found working on her face a perfect canvas for this look.   I got a sense of why makeup artists with their own lines like to create looks on certain models for their ads and events - they are the perfect canvas for thier makeup or the effect that their makeup has.  I found that the energy of the room shifted as we were working on these looks - since we only had 30 minutes, everyone was very serious, focusing on their look,  moving at a faster pace - I would just picture working in a real runway setting - the energy must be amazing with 110% focus on the task you have at hand as a makeup artist!  The prize for the winner for a whole bunch of makeup from the Pari makeup line.  I am happy and excited to announce that I won the completition - the reasoning being that my look was the most accurate to the face chart I had been working from - but honestly, everyone in the room did an exceptional job - all the looks were amazing and fantastic!  I found this class a lot of fun - can I see myself doing runway in the future?  I'd love to have more experience with it - I love the energy of working under pressure and I found that I enjoyed re-creating a particular look given to me.  However, I would LOVE to be part of the team that determines what the look is going to be - or at least sit in on that process - I love the creative aspect behind makeup artisty, being the creative eye behind a look!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fantasy Makeup

Today in my makeup course we have a lot of fun - playing around with makeup that has 'no rules'.  We started with 'runway/fashion' makeup and then moved to 'fantasy' makeup (where we could use any colour combinations, any colour 'anywhere' on the face, using lash glue to add various beads, pearls, features etc etc - the artistic possiblities are 'endless').  I decided that I wanted to do a look that was both shocking and aritstic, so I choose two bright primary shades - red and yellow- and played around with these shades on the face, adding pearl beads strategically placed on the face.  I wish that I had thought about the look even more, as I would have purchased a red wig and scarf for my model Suzie to wear. 

This is Suzie's Before photo:

And this is Suzie 'post' Fantasy:

Here is the Fantasy makeup that was created on me - the inspiration was Cleopatra/Romance:

FInally, here is a photo of some of the wonderful ladies in my class and our Fantasy inspired makeup:

I love how makeup can be so fun and liberating, especially when you're open to creating any look you want and playing around with any colour combination!!!  I love that makeup can be both natural and dramatic, soft yet bold and inspirating yet eye-catching!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Swatch 'Fun' - Using Your Personal Swatch Fan

Playing around with various colour swatches can be a lot of fun and its also a great way to put together a look.  Sometimes, when you're looking for complimentary accessories or just a new coat or hat shade, looking at a colour palette or swatch may be just the ticket to help you find the right colour.  Below are colour swatches from a neutral-warm palette - the colous are soft and muted and work perfectly with my colouring and personal taste:

I've been looking for a pair of light moss earings for a while and when I came across this pair I wanted to make sure that it would harmonize and blend with other peices in my wardrobe.  Using a swatch fan isn't about becoming obsessed with matching colours exactly, its about using the colour palette at hand to make purchases that help you build a wardrobe based on consistency, harmony and colours that compliment one another.  I personally think its fine if the colour is off just a bit, as long as its harmonious with the rest of your wardrobe - here is a perfect example:

These shoes don't match the palette exactly, but they harmonize with the colours in the palette - I love these shoes for the browns and 'putty' toned clothes in my wardrobe!!!

I absolutely LOVE the soft, muted and warm eyeshadow shades in my palette, so being able to match up these colours with my MAC shadows was both fun and exciting.  On the top, from left to right is Coquette and Soba shadows, while on the bottom is Cork shadow.  There is nothing better than having a visual of your personal makeup palette working in harmony with your best colours!!!

My all time favorite swatch 'fun' is playing around with lipstick and blush shades.  In the top photo is Bobbi Brown Tawny Blush, Laura Mercier Spiced Cider blush and cinnamon lipstick and CHanel Baroque lipstick.  On the bottom photo you can see Laura Mercier Rose and CHanel Jersey Rose - perfect warm pink shades that match the soft, neutral and warm palette 'perfectly' - in the colour analysis world, these are your soft summer shades. 

I think the most amazing part is seeing the 'end result' or the big picture of how everything just harmonizes together - check it out:

Knowing your colours and working with your personal palette is not just about makeup and what colour to dye your hair - its about creating harmony with a bigger picture in mind - its about creating a look that is original and distinctive to your personal colouring.  Its about 'glowing' from the inside out!!!

Toffee, Butterscotch and Caramel - Oh My!!!

I'm not talking about Wurthers Original candies in this post - although, I am making reference to that amazing warm butterscotch colour!  When people think of highlights on darker hair, often the notion is a dark brown base with skunk like blonde highlights.  However, if you're working with an amazing stylist and colorist, that notion is the farthest thing from the truth.  My friend and someone I dearly respect, Julia is my colorist - her work is beyond amazing and I think the most recent colour she just gave me is probably my all time favouite and its a colour I'm going to be sticking with for a while.  Since my hair was darker before, she explained that she was going to put in a lightener (to create those butterscotch highlights) followed by a toffee toner.  She explained during the pocess that highlights should always be soft and blend in to your hair like they 'belong' there vs sticking out like a sore thumb - darker hair is magnificent in toffee toned highlights and hair, check out Eva Longoria and Keri Hilson:

Even with Keri's uber dark base, the toffee highlights add warmth and softness - she looks incredible and her soft, warmer toned makeup compliments the look so well!!!  Eva Longoria also shines with the toffee tones in her hair - she looks elegant and ultra-pretty!  Too many celebrities try too hard to merge into the world of 'blonde', but what they should be after is lighter and softer with a lot of warmth and gentle highlighting.

Here I am sporting my new hair-colour:

FOr the makeup in this photo I used NARS tinted moisturizer in St. Moritz, Secret Camouflage #4 as a concealer (Laura Mercier), Warm Beige powder by Bobbi Brown, MAC's Refined Golden bronzer as a contour shade and PYW orgasmic blush as a highlight.  For the eyes I used Bobbi Brown Navajo shadow as a base, MAC's Cork from lid to crease and Arena on the lid, Teddy eyeliner (smudged with cork) and a brown-black mascara.  I used Bobbi Brown Tawny blush and mixed Chanel's Baroque with Laura Mercier Cinnamon lipstick on the lips!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

NARS Makeover Session

I love getting makeovers and getting pampered - its such a great feeling, especially when you're comfotable with the makeup artist and the environment is inviting and positive.  Today I had the privilage of meeting Gillian Okopny, NARS makeup artist.  Being in a makeup course, I had a ton of questions and Gillian was more than happy to answer each and every one of them.  She also made me feel completely comfortable by talking though the makeup application process, giving me pointers and explaining her technique.  I always find advice like that very valuable.  Most importantly, I loved the end result - the makeup look was flawless, pretty and made me feel like a million bucks (the very effect a makeup application should have on a woman!):

One of my favourite things about a makeup session is getting the face chart after the makeover - it really helps to review all the products that were used and 'where' they were used on the face - its great for when you want to go back and purchase any of the products used:

I wanted to take two photos of the makeup look that Gillian created - I took the first one with a flash and the second one in natural light with no flash:

I absolutely 'love' the NARS makeup products that were used for this look - I really liked the eyemakeup (esp the Bellissima eyeshadow duo with the burbon street eyeliner smudged with Lulu shadow).  My favourite has to be the the blush - super orgasm illuminator was used as a highlight with Gina BLush and the lips are simply 'divine' - Matte velvet lipcolour in Bolero!  The one thing I really liked about this look as well is that a sheet tinted moisturizer was used vs a heavy foundation - I'm now in love with NARS tinted moistuizer!!!

Smokey Eyes and LASHES!!!

I'm so happy that last week we learned to apply flase lashes in my makeup class.  After seeing Adele on the grammy's sporting that retro look with out of this world lashes, I'm so inspired to play around with this look.  Before I get into that, I wanted to share a few pics from last weeks makeup class where we got to practice doing the smokey eye look. I wanted to create a deep brown smokey look vs going with the traditional smokey look using dark greys and blacks.  I wanted the look the be smokey, but still beleivable for everyday - here is what I came up with:

In class we learned two different variations of the smokey look - the first being the darkest shade on the lid and medium shade blended into the crease/outer cornerns and the second variation being a deeper shade in the crease/outer corners with a medium shade on the lid.  I used the second variation in the photos with the flase lashes.  Here is a photo of me where my classmate used the first smokey eye variation, using a black shade on the lid and a medium grey shade blended well into the crease


I was actually afraid of this lesson at first because I was so intimidated by working with flase lashes.  However, I have to admit, its a lot easier than I expected and the end result is so worth it.  I think the hardest part is actua positioning the lashes to your natural lashline, but once you get over that initial fear, its actually not a big deal at all - in fact, its fun!  I was able to play around with a very dramatic set of lashes on my classmate:

The great thing about lashes is that you can also buy individual lashes or lashes to add to the outer corners only - this is perfect if you want that extra lash extention, but you don't want too much of a glam/diva look - this is what was used on my eyes:

Bridal and Glam

Two weeks ago in my makeup course, we were learning about the essentials of bridal makeup and then how to transform your makeup into an amazing 'glam' look.  I love the fact that in class, we get to work on different classmates and practice the looks on them.  For this bridal and glam look I practiced on a fellow classmate 'Suzie' - she has the most amazing skin and complexion and I just had a lot of fun putting these two looks together.


Suzie has these awesome green eyes, which are ideal for the pink, mauve, plum and rose shades that are so pretty to use on brides.  I kept the look fresh and 'pretty', using pink inspired tones on the eyes and created definition using a darker brown liner and smudging out the edges with a similar toned shadow on the top and bottom lashes.  I mixed a mauve-pink toned blush with a tawny-pink and then added a blue toned pink highlighter to the centre of cheeks.  For the lips, I used a neutral toned lipliner with a pretty rose-pink lipstick!!!


Creating a glam look on Suzie was a lot of fun - I got to play around with a lot of contouring, highlighting, using the 'eyeliner' as a shadow trick (i.e. using a eyeliner in the crease of the eye and smudging it out with an eyeshadow/blending brush), then using a black gel liner and shadow to create a dramatic line and finishing off the look with glam red lips: