Saturday, March 31, 2012

BECCA Cosmetics

There is makeup that is trendy, there is makeup that is natural and pretty, and then there is makeup that inspires you to be your best self!  Makeup is so much fun and I could honestly spend all day playing around with different colours and makeup textures!  However, lately, I've been drawn to looks that have that very natural, rustic, warm feeling - colours that are natural, yet rich and elegant.  If I had to set a scene for this look, it would be at the cottage, sitting on a dock looking at the water with a cozy sweater, drinking a hot tea and enjoying the crisp cool autumn air.  I decided to google 'rustic makeup' and ads from Becca Cosmetics kept coming up and the looks matched my vision of rustic-elegant to perfection - check it out:

This collection is called 'Lost Weekend Collection' and I love the warm neutrals and nudes colour palette used to create this look - The eyes are the perfect balance between warm brown smokey and daytime natural - I love the 'earthy' feel of this look!

This makeup look is the perfect natural, daytime look in my opinion!  There is no obvious colour that pops out at you - everything is harmonious, blended, soft - the colours are perfect for her skintone and she simply glows in a natural, pretty way!  I absolutely 'love' this look!!!

I looked up the colour inspiration for this look on the Becca Cosmetics website and found that it was based on a soft pink-rose colour palette for the lips and cheeks -  To me, it reminds me of that 'english rose' look that Kate Winslet does so well!  I think that every woman should find the perfect pink for their skin-tone that is natural, yet elegant.  I find that many women look good in a rose shade (with a hint of brown/peach tones if you're warmer and with more of a mauve, violet undertone if your cooler skintoned).

 I really love that Becca cometics makes the natural, rustic look work on so many skintones - its so nice to be able to find a makeup line where you can find your best nude or natural colours regardless if you have a deeper, more olive complexion, pale-freckled skin, ultra deep bronze or ebony undertones, the colour palettes work for everyone!

Finding shades that work for blending, contouring, highlighting are so important and its especially nice to find contour shades that are brown-bronzer based, but not too dirty looking on the skin - I love the highlight and contour shades used in this photo - this makeup application is amazing!!!

WHen I look at this photo I think of coming home from a beach vacation - the skin is perfectly bronzed, with sand, peach and warm tawny colour palettes that are inspired by being at the beach!  I also love the models hair in this photo - its goes with the rest of the look so well - this model looks refreshed, polished and ultra beautiful!

When I look at these photos, I feel inspired to play around more with a makeup look that has that rustic, natural warmth to it with a palette of colours that are both natural, yet complimentary to one's skintone.  I really love the earthy, nature-inspired elements of these looks!!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Family

One of my all time favourite shows right now is 'Who Do You Think You Are?'  I have always been interested in geneology and learning about my family, where I came from and what struggles my ancestors had to overcome.  Here is a little picture tribute of my family.  My family heritage is Ukrainian, each of my 4 grand-parents were born and raised in various parts of Ukraine.  My maternal grandmother was from an area of Ukraine that was on the border between Ukraine and Poland - her village is now in Poland and I have never had that feeling of 'I'm Home' until I visited her village.  My paternal grand-father is from the Tyrnopil area of Ukraine, near the town of Kozova and when I met my family in the village of Teofipilka, I found out that my parental grandfathers side of the family was originally from Hungary - I've always been interested to find out more about this - who exactly came from Hungary?  Why did they move to Ukraine?  I find the whole concept of putting your family tree together so fascinating.  I have some pictures of my family and I wanted to do  little 'picture tribute' to them!

My Paternal Family:
THis is a photo of my great-grandfather Antin Dmytrasz (his father Martin Dmytrasz apparently came from Hungary to Ukraine)

This is another photo of Antin Dmytrasz with his family.  His wife (my great-grandmother) was Polish and I believe that her maiden name was Maria Uchmanovich.  They had three children - in this photo, you can see my grandfathers two sisters (Veronika and Stanislava) and his brother-in-law.

This is another photo of my great-grandmother Maria Uchmanovich

These three photos are of my grandmother Anastasia Dmytrasz (her maiden name was Riznyk).  My grandothers family was also from the Tyrnopil area of Ukraine!  I wish I had some photos of her parents, so I could see what my great-grandparents looked like!

Maternal Family:

I am lucky enough to have some photos of my grandmothers parents - Maxsym and Maria Bazarnyk (my great-grandmothers maiden name was Novocad).  Here is an even earlier photo:

Here is a photo of grandmother Olga (Olya in Ukrainian) Duma:

My grandfather was Nicholas Krushelnycky and his childhood was quite sad - he was orphaned at just a few months old and lost his only brother during the first world war - I really wish I had more photos from his side of the family, but here is a photo of him that I really like - he looks so distinguished:

I admire the stories and the history that I know about my grandparents and great-grandparents - I really wish I knew more.  I also wish I knew who I look the most like - learning where I come from is so important and has always interested me.  Every Friday I get excited to watch 'Who Do You Think You Are' - seeing people discover the stories of their ancestors past is such a life-altering experience for many.  I enjoy seeing people finally undestand "thats where I get my strength from" or "thats where the sense of humour comes from" etc - I hope to get an opportunity to discover more about my family.  I cherish my Ukrainian upbringing and traditions, yet I am equally proud to have family with Polish and Hungarian roots -  I've always been told that I have more of a Meditteranean look, so who knows, perhaps there is some other influence that I don't know about - but I'd 'love' to find out!!!  I've included a photo collage of my photo next to the faces of my ancestors and would love to hear your opinions - who do you think I look like the most in my family???

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brooks Brothers - The Ultimate in Preppy

Style is personal - this is something that I am really beginning to acknowledge as truth!  I've had a few interesting light bulb moments lately and I wanted to share them with you.  Style quizzes and learning about your style type is always 'fun' and worthwhile to learn about.  However, I'm discovering that beyond what any quiz tells you about what you 'should' be wearing, style is something that should come naturally to you - its what your drawn to, what you are intuitively attracted to, what looks good on you, what you feel your ultimate best in.  WIth me, no matter how many style quizzes I take, I'm always drawn to that elegant mix of aristocratic preppy and european chic.  I get that happy and fuzzy feeling everytime I see a store or ad for Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Laren, J Crew, Scotch and Soda or Brooks Brothers.  I get the same feeling when I think about what it would be like to go on a roadtrip to New England, something that is on my bucket-list. Lately, I've been inspired by Brooks Brothers and that old aristrocratic charm that is still modern today - to me, Brooks Brothers channels the ultimate in preppy style, but in an elegant, almost regal way.  Here are a few ads and pics from past Brooks Brothers collections:

I love that Brooks Brothers speaks to all generations - there is something so classic, fresh and crisp about their casual wear - its simple, understated, yet really classic and elegant!

Of all the Brooks Brothers ads, this one is my favourite - I love the shirt dress that the model is wearing and how elegant it looks.  I've always loved crisp collard shirts, shirt dresses and dresses/tops with 3/4 sleeves - Add some pearl earings and a classic pump shoe and the result is pure sophistication!

My dream would be to drive through New England in the fall - I've heard that the countryside is simply amazing this time of year.  I can just imagine myself with a camel jacket and orange scarf just like what this model is wearing for this Brooks Brothers ad!  This is the perfect fall jacket - casual enough for everyday and once again, very elegant!!!  Brooks Brothers seems to really know how to capture a look that is the essence of both elegance and simplicity!

Details are so important in clothing - the dress that this woman is wearing is so elegant and I love the open-back, collar detail in the back.  I like how the rest of the dress is simple.  I find that when shopping for dresses, often you find a dress that is too 'busy' with details and then the elegance component is 'gone' - to me, the more simple a dress, the more elegant it is! 

This look is simple and classic - a basic turtleneck and pant combination, I wanted to include this Brooks Brothers ad because I love the models hair and makeup.  I think this is the perfect representation of how makeup is supposed to look on a woman - classic, natural, the right colours, not over-done or too dramatic, soft and elegant.  I also love the hair, soft and flowing, a stunning medium chestnut shade (complimentary to the models skintone and makeup shades) - I just get a feeling of 'ease' when I take in this whole look!  I feel like I could easily talk to this woman - she seems so down to earth, well mannered and classy (its interesting how apperance can influence what someone thinks of you!)

Denim and Khaki pants/shirts are always perfect for those casual days - I have a denim, collard shirt that I've had for two years now and I simply adore wearing it (its not a Brooks Brothers shirt, but its similar to the demin shirt that the female model is wearing in this photo) - no matter what, I always feel comfortable and cozy when I wear it. Part of what I love about dressy a little preppy is that I feel it evokes a sense of rustic comfort - all I need is my comfy demin shirt and a green tea matcha latte and I'm happy!!!

Part of the reason that I love looking at Brooks Brothers ads, is that I get great ideas for accessories and makeup.  In this photo, I feel that the makeup is perfect for a sophisticated event - the lip colour is slightly deeper than for everday, the blush slightly more defined and the eyes are simple, but also a little more defined than a typical day look.  I feel that if you find a look that you really like, you should study it, play around with it and find what works and what doesn't.  I know that I'd really feel honoured if I could perfect that timeless, classic and aristocratic look - both with clothes, makeup and accessories.  

I've decided that its time for me to stay true with what styles I love and am drawn to - I'm not going to limit myself to a particular style 'type' - instead, I'm going for what I'm naturally drawn to - what I get complimented on, what I know works for my personal body shape and type.  Style truly is personal and I feel that women who really do add that personal touch to their style, are the ones who are remembered and celebrated the most!!! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Taj Mahal by NARS

I've blogged about Taj Mahal in the past, but lately I've been playing around with using this blush shade on my lips and most recently (based on a FB recommendation) on top of my eyeshadow as well - I love finiding products that are versatile and add the perfect pop of colour!

For this look I started with my basic St. Moritz tinted moisturizer by NARS, Secret Camouflage #4 as concealer, MAC's Gold Deposit as a powder.  I then used MAC's Refined Golden bronzer as a contour and Pari's precious glow highlighter and Taj Mahal blush.  I then decided to apply taj mahal over romp eyeshadow by MAC (on the lid into the crease).  I lined my eyes with MAC's Teddy and then used NARS Galapagos to smudge the upper lash line.  I applied Spice lipliner by MAC to my lips, dabbed on Taj Mahal blush to the lips and then used Rimmel's Bronze Ambition lipgloss!

Here is the same makeup but without flash and taken in natural day light:

I have to thank the ladies on FB who are true autumns themselves and inspired this look based on a recent discussion about blush shades.  Orange also seems to be a hot colour for spring and summer this year, if your looking to add a little orange into your makeup, check out Taj Mahal blush by NARS!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Head Over Heels...In Love With Shoes!!!

This past week I had the oppotunity to travel into New York State, visiting family in Orchard Park!  I had such a fantastic time and really enjoyed myself.  I have to say that a 'highlight' of the trip was traveling to East Aurora where I discovered the most amazing little shop called 'Head Over Heels...In Love with Shoes':

As soon as I walked into this store, I fell in love - this store has the most eclectic and amazing interior - filled with shoes, accessories, scarves, clothes etc, this store is just so much fun just to be in!!!  I was able to take some photos of the inside of the store so I could share with all of you who read my blog - this is a must go to store if you ever visit East Aurora, New York:

I immediately fell in love with these shoes and had to take them home with me:

Head Over Heels...In Love With Shoes is definitely a place I be visiting again!!! If you'd like to visit this store, here are some details:

"Owned by Rachele Pfister, Head Over Heels in Love with Shoes is a unique boutique located on Main Street in East Aurora, New York. HOH offers a wide variety of shoes, bags and accessories for every style and season. The d├ęcor is elegant, chic and funky, embodying Rachele’s eclectic sense of style and love of fashion. At Head Over Heels the shelves are lined with pretty peep-toes, soft scarves, hip Hobo bags, sassy stilettos, sparkling jewelry, wicked wedges, fun and flirty hats and classic clutches."
Phone Number:
+1 716.655.1811

You can also check out their Facebook page for more info and pictures:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soft Classic

In my last post I blogged about being torn between 'Soft Classic' and 'Theatrical Romantic' as my best style type.  After hearing a lot of peoples feedback and listening to what my Facebook friends have to say - it seems that Soft Classic is the clear winner!  I just have to say that I admire all the Kibbe-enthusiasts on Facebook who are who helpful and influental in helping women understand and determine their best style - to all you wonderful ladies, you are truely an inspiration (you know who you are :))

That being said, I've spent some time reading about Soft Classic styles and decided to do some research on-line.  I wanted to try and outline a visual of various styles, necklines, accessories etc that seem to match Kibbe's vision of Soft Classic.  I'm not a Kibbe expert, so its possible that some elements may not be fully Soft Classic, but its my interpretation of it based on what I've read - so I hope that you enjoy this post!!!

I had to start my visual tribute to Soft Classic, but discussing my favourite neckline - the delicate cowl/draped neckline - I feel that this photo is a good reprenation of this style and I love how this top is also tappered at the waist, another Soft Classic feature!

The scooped and jeweled necklines are lso good reprsentations of elements that suit the Soft classic style!  I think that the scooped neckline is perfect for an everyday casual wear look, while the jeweled neckline can really add that 'refined elegance' for evening that Soft Classics seem to posses so well!

I love these two photos because they represent many different elements that are so consistent with what David Kibbe outlines as perfect for Soft Classics: gathers, folds, defined waist, tappered sleave, draped/delicate plunging in the neckline - I just think 'class' when I see these two clothing items, especially that grey dress - I love that defined waist and neckline!!!

Blouses/tops and dresses with a delicate lace edge or soft bow are consistered some of the best details for a Soft Classic look.  I think the key word for Soft Classics is to keep it delicate and elegant - anything too over-sized and ruffle like to leaning too much into romantic and/or dramatic territory - the key is to keep it soft, delicate and simple - an elegant lace edge vs full fledged lace and ruffles!

Wearing light-weight knits are also a Soft Classic trademark according to Kibbe - I like that in each of these photos, the models are wearing a slightly scooped neckline and the lines are delicate and soft - I wear 'alot' of these types of light-weight knits and I always get a lot of compliments - this is my go-to everyday casual look that I feel is very classy and elegant for day!

Earings and jewelery that have circles, ovals or have controlled clusters are said to be the best for Soft Classics - I very often wear a basic small and delicate gold-ball earing or circular diamond studs for everyday and then add oval and circular clusters for evening looks!  I personally dislike jewelery that is too chunky or dramatic - I prefer something small, delicate and ornate - I also find that circles and ovals are definitely better than anything angular, squared or boxy!

As for shoes, this is the ideal Soft CLassic shoe - tappered shoe with a narrow heel!  I think to have a few of this pairs on hand in a neutral and darker basic colour would be idea for any Soft Classic woman!!!

I hope that you've enjoyed this little visual journey.  I tried my best to find a physical representation of the descriptions that Kibbe himself wrote about - I feel that using this as a guide will be ideal for me in my future shopping trips - its always nice to have a visual to go by!!!