Monday, April 30, 2012

NARS 'Moscow' Lipstick and 'Liberte' BLush

If you haven't checked out NARS new makeup collection for the season, its time to go - the colours are so rich, saturated and elegant.  I am in love with the Matte lipstick called 'Moscow' - its got enough brightness to be perfect for a spring/summer garden or pool party, without being overpowering!  Its also the perfect red for those looking for a milder-warm orange based red vs a true/bluish toned red.  I am also loving the new blush called 'Liberte' - its described as a tarnished apricot shade - its lovely!  Here I am wearing the Moscow/Liberte combo:

For this look, I started with NARS St. Moritz tinted moisturizer and used a sheer gold shade as a powder.  I then contoured with Pretty Your World's 'Hot and Spicy' blush and applied NARS Liberte blush.  I used very neutral shades on my eyes, starting with a sheer gold base, then adding MAC's Soba from lid to crease and lining my eyes with Cliniques black-brown eyeliner.  I then applied a black-brown mascara.  I finished the look with a swipe of NARS new lipstick in 'Moscow'!

I think this is such a classic look - to me its representative of the elegant red lip look, but more wearable for day!  I feel very sophisticated in this look!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

'Self' Time

When you have a career that keeps you busy and you're involved with pursuing other passions, hobbies etc, it can sometimes be so easy to forget about your 'self'!  Blogging for me has become an opportunity to express my self.  Part of finding your own sense of beauty is looking within.  Very often when we think of the world of beauty, fashion, makeup, we can get trapped on focusing on the 'material' component of these things - focusing on seeking beauty and its forms 'outside of ourselves' vs 'knowing' our beauty and value within and expressing it.  Beauty, should start from the 'inside' of you - then extending outwords to others vs seeking beauty outside of yourself to fill a void!  Sounds deep and actually, it is!!!  I recently had an incredibly 'beautiful' experience with a life coach Susy Fonesca.  She uses art as part of her coaching, enouraging you to simply paint what comes to mind as you are speaking with her during the session.  I found this incredibly liberating, as I know that I was creating something from deep within and it was materializing on the paper in front of me.  I was taking time to really listen to the 'self'' and learning to appreciate the beauty that is within my life and the beauty of 'me'!  I reflected later on how my perceptions of beauty have been affected by others and I asked myself 'what do I truly think is beautiful about myself?' (not on a material level, but on a 'soul' level).  I felt my answer on a very deep emotional level and I finally had that 'a-ha' moment - what truly makes me beautiful is shining my light from within to the world - letting myself 'shine', letting myself be the best I can be and being confident in that light within.  We all have an inner light that is just begging us to shine - begging us to reveal itself to the world - often it can't because of our judgments, fear of our own light/power, feelings of unworthiness etc.  Then I realized what an amazing world we could live in if everyone was able to shine their own light in the world without fear and judgement, from a place of love, appreciation, wonder/awe and respect for one another - it would be BLISS!  Having this life coaching session has transformed my way of thinking and although I have some inner work to do, I am really looking forward to another session with Susy!  If you're in the Toronto area, I would highly recommend having a session with Susy - you can contact her at:
I decided that I wanted to share the art that I created during my first session - I didn't have any ideas in mind of what I would paint, this is simply an expression of what I was feeling at the time and its amazing to me how I manifested the following image:

I feel this really represents a part of myself that is ready for creation (on various levels) - ready to shine my light, ready to appreciate myself and others, ready to let go of judgments/fear and take responsibility for my life and happiness vs seeking it outside of myself.   I can't express how amazing this experience has been and it all started with recognizing that it was time to finally start listning to my 'self' and respecting that its time to 'shine'!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 2 of the Toronto Bridal Show

Wow - Day 2 of the Toronto Bridal Show was amazing -  both Fashion shows were packed with people in the audience and I had the opportunity to meet some fanatastic people and do the makeup for two other models.  The first model that I worked on was the first to go on stage, so I wanted her to make an impact and have that 'wow' factor with the audience, but still look elegant and classy - here is the look I came up with:

Once again, I took two pics with my camera - one with flash and the other without - its nice to see how a look will turn out using various lighting.  I decided to do a defined, but not smokey eye with a reddish-coral lip.  Later in the show this model would be wearing a black blazer with a multi-coloured shirt with lots of coral tones.  I wanted her makeup to compliment every dress she would be wearing, be it a white wedding dress or a bright toned dress - the model was really happy with this look, which made me feel amazing!!!

This model was wearing mainly white wedding gowns and later in the show would be wearing this amazing outfit with royal blue top layered over a bright true green dress with these 'amazing' fuschia pumps - I didn't want her makeup to clash with the bright outfit, so I decided to add a certain element of brightness to her makeup, which ended up looking 'fantastic' with all her gowns and outfits. 

Here are some pics from the actual fashion show:

I completely fell in LOVE with this dress - I had to take a front and back shot because I adore the mauvey-grey sash that is elegently tied into a bow at the back of the dress!  I also loved the ruffled detail, which is interesting because I always thought I prefered a straighter look, but this just 'spoke' to me!!!

Another amazing wedding gown I fell in love with!

I had to include a photo of  the bright dress and top this model was wearing - I'm glad I decided to go with a brighter lip to compliment the shoes and brightness of her outfit!!!  Those shoes were 'fantastic' - note to self: must get a bright pair of heels for the spring/summer season!!!

Creating and applying these makeup looks for the bridal fashion show was really an amazing experience!

Another bridal show highlight was meeting Jessie Sulidis - a Canadian celebrity who appeared on the bachellor, bachlorette and the bachellor pad.  Jessie also has her own fashion blog called 'Chandeliers and Champagne' ( )

I just wanted to take the opportunity again to thank Jessica Moniz for asking me to be one of the makeup artists on her team for the Bridal Fashion Show - It was great working with her and the other makeup artists!!!  I'm really looking forward to my next makeup adventure, whatever it may be - as long as I'm doing makeup, I'm 'happy'!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bridal Makeup and Fashion Show

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a fantastic makeup artist Jessica Moniz ( who needed some additional makeup artists to create looks and do the makeup for an upcoming Bridal Fashion Show at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.  I gladly accepted this inviation and was so excited to be part of this experience!  I created two face charts and had two models to work on.  I did a lot of research on what is new for bridal makeup for the spring and upcoming seasons and based my looks on that.  The first look that I created was a very warm spring look - lots of corals, peaches, bronze tones, pretty champagne shimmer highlights.  I first asked the model what dresses she would be wearing and interestingly enough, most of her dresses were cream toned, which worked perfectly with the warm tones that I had in mind for her:

For each model I tried to take two photos for myself - one with a flash and the other without - a professional photographer was hired by Jessica so that we would have an opportunity to build our portfolios!  I can't wait to see the finished photos!!!

This model told me that later in the show she would be wearing a purple dress and the wedding gowns she would be wearing were all white, so I decided to play up on the purples and cooler tones for this look!

Check out some photos from the actual fashion show - I can't even tell you how exciting it was to see the models walk the stage knowing that I did their makeup - it was so exciting!

I will be at the Bridal show again tomorrow and am really looking forward to doing the makeup for the fashion show again - I really had such an amazing time and felt like I was at 'home', really living out my passion!!!!  Stay tuned for more photos coming soon!!! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Beauty and Elegance' is officially on Facebook!!!  I just created a facebook page dedicated to the posts I write about most on this blog.  I plan on creating a lot of albums dedicated to topics that I like to blog about the most, such as: the classic preppy style, european chic style, wardrobe essentials, aristocratic beauty etc etc - I'm just getting the page started and I'd love for you to share this journey with me!!!  The following is a link to the new 'Beauty and Elegance' Facebook page - Enjoy!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Golden Girl

Hair Colour has always fascinated me and I've got to admit, I'm currently on a quest to re-claim my natural golden chestnut shade.  I've posted some childhood photos in the past, but felt they weren't very clear, so when I had the opportunity to go to my parents house today, I made sure to take some great photos - I then used the photo crop option on my compuer to get the best close up/face shot I could.  I was able to find some interesting photos and the thing that keeps surfacing in my eyes in just how 'golden' the natural highlight are in my hair.  I currently have a great colour - its very natural looking and the highlights are subtle yet pretty.  I just can't seem to get the idea of adding even more warmth and 'golden girl' personality into my hair.  Here is a close up of my natural colour taken from a child-hood pic, with some other childhood photos I managed to find today:

I never realized just how much of a golden brown base I had as a child until I saw this close up photo - it almost seems like a golden-chestnut base with gold highlights - I actually really love this colour and the cool this is - its 'mine'!!!

It amazing to me how often we search for 'years' for what is naturally 'ours' - I can't tell you how many times I've coloured my hair - I've been every shade from black to blonde to red to every shade in between - to think that I could have saved myself so much money and hassle if I'd only looked at a photo of my natural hair colour!!!

I think this photo was taken after a trip to Florida and I say that because of how light my hair appears in this photo, which is fantastic, because its a great indication of how much I can lighten my hair without going too light!

 My natural golden highlights are really evident in this photo - the lighting seems to be the most natural and perhaps a great photo to take with me when I next get my hair done - I love how the highlights naturally 'blend' into my hair - it gives off the ideal golden glow - something that I really want to acheive the next time I get my hair coloured!

As I got older, my hair seemed to loose some of those natural golden highlights and my hair morphed into a darker, stronger chestnut shade - still very warm and golden, but deeper and richer - a perfect shade for fall/winter!

I am so happy and excited to have these childhood photos - its amazing for me to now see just how much warmth I have in my hair naturally and I can't wait to add in more 'goldie-locks'!!!

300th Post!!! Lessons Learned and Future Dreams...

I've made it to 300 posts!!!  Hurray!!!

I wanted to make the 300th post an interesting one, so I decided to write a little bit about my adventure to embacing my true self.  I'm currently reading Anthony Robbins book about awakaning the 'Giant Within'.  His book covers a lot of topics about behaviour, emotions, our dreams, values, what we attract etc etc - and it made me realize that the journey that we all embrace is really one of personal growth and development.  My journey on this blog has been about trying to embrace the 'beauty and elegance' within me and sharing it with others in hopes of inspiring others to find their 'own' inner beauty.  In many ways, this blog is has become my personal diary of finding my own sense of style, colour harmony and my journey into pursuing my passion for makeup and makeup artistry.  I hope that in the next 300 posts I do, you get to see an even greater sense of evolution within my journey.  I want to personally thank my readers and those interested in this blog because even though I don't know many of you personally, I feel you really are a part of this journey into embracing what is beautiful and elegant in each of us!

So, where I am now in my journey?  Well, I feel I've embraced a colour palette that really speaks to me and works for me - I am really happy and proud to say that since my previous posts regarding decluttering my makeup bag and sticking with my favourite tried/tested and true shades - I've actually stayed true to what works - I've fully embraced MAC's Chili as a classic favourite and wear it always daily with spice liner!  I've also embraced sticking with a makeup palette and routine that works with my True Autumn palette.  Here is my current 'signature' look - I added a touch of Make Up For Ever #17 lipstick on top of the chili to really warm it up, but the key is that I 'finally' feel amazing in my own skin and I love saying with 100% certainty that I'm a 'True Autumn':

I am wearing the same makeup in each of these photos and I decided to make a list of all the products that are currently in my makeup bag that I use on a regular basis - I will specify which products I used for this look:

Primer: Smashbow photo finish (used in photo), Benefit 'pore-fessional'
Foundation: NARS St. Moritz Tinted Moisturizer
Concealer: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage #4 (used in photo), Bobbi Brown Warm Beige concealer
Powder: MAC's Gold Deposit Mineralize Powder
Contour powder: Pretty Your World (PYW) 'Hot and Spicy' (used in photo), MAC 'Blunt'
Highlight: NARS Albatross, NARS Super Orgasm, PYW Orgasmic (used in photo)
Blush: Bobbi Brown Almond blush (used in photo), Make Up For Ever 'Copper' shadow as blush, MAC Coppertone blush
Eyeshadow (base): Ricepaper - MAC
Eyeshadow (lid to crease): Soba, Romp (used in photo) - both MAC
Eyeshadow (crease/outer corners): Bronze - MAC
Eyeshadow (shadow liner): NARS Galapagos (used in photo - smudged into upper lashline) - used in photo
Eyeliner: Clinique Black-Brown (upper lashline), MAC Teddy (lower lashline) - used in photo
Mascara: Loreal Voluminous Mascara in Black-Brown (Day), Black (evening) - used in photo
Lipliner (Day): Spice by MAC
Lipliner (Evening): Auburn by MAC
Lipstick (Day): Mocha, Chili (with Spice liner) - MAC (Spice and Chili used in this photo with #17 Makeup for ever on top)
Lipstick (Evening): #17 Make Up For Ever, Photo - MAC
Lipgloss: Make Up For Ever #18 (a copper shade, love mixing this with Photo lipstick by MAC)

I really hope that you enjoyed this 300th post - I would really love to continue to hear from you all in the future - keep me posted on what inspires you, what you'd like to see more of etc - A special thank you to all my facebook fans and friends - I love all the ladies on the 12 blueprints colour analysis page - you all keep me inspired and uplifted!!!  Hurray for 300!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Art of Seduction - Wavy Bed-Head Hair, Smoldering Eyes and a Hint of Tom-Boy Charm!!!

Lately I've been really inspired by that sexy quasi-wavy, seductive bombshell hair.  The look is very modern Bridget Bardot - not fully wavy, yet not fully straight - its a very tamed 'bed-head' look.  I think what makes this look so sexy is that its not overdone.  I find that women who spend hours with hot-curlers in their hair look like they are trying too hard - its very 'barbie-doll' - vs the look that i'm talking about is the wavy look after a full day at work when the curls have loosened and settled - that hint of wave is there, but it seems more natural, more seductive, more 'je ne sais quoi':

I love the balance between natural beauty and seductive vixen in this photo - everything from the natural makeup combined with a subtle cat eye, the white dress combined with the off the shoulder effect and the long seeimgly natural wave in the hair with a slight 'just spent the afternoon in bed' look!  I can completely see how and why men would be ridiculously attracted to this look!

Camille Rowe-Pourcheresse is yet another example of a woman who possesses that female femme fatale look - again, the look seems to centre around a natural makeup look with that slight emphasis on a smokey/cat-like eye!  Note to self - must perfect this look!!!  What I love the most about Camille in this photo is her hair - its got that just came in from a long walk on the beach - it seems slightly windblown, yet so elegant.  I think there is something to be said about a woman who has that element of contradiction about her - sporty yet sexy, elegant yet natural, boyish-charm yet vixen - I think a lot of if has to do with that confidence of not trying so hard to be the girly-girl - still taking care of yourself, but not going after that trendy, 'i've spent 5 hours on my beauty and hair routine' look!

I think a woman looks so attractive when she has that slight wave in her hair, yet with a natural elegance.  I especially like when she combines this natural femininity with a bit of tom-boyish flair - I think this model captures that look perfectly - the blazer, vest and jeans have that 'just-enough' masculine element and when combined with that elegant, natural flowing wave and 'just-right' makeup, the result is a woman who looks like she owns her own strength, a woman who can hold her own and is confident in her own skin - nothing is more attractive than this!

Here is another example of that incredible wavy yet natural long hair combined with a seductive tom-boyish element - I love how everything about this look seems so natural, yet so feminine at the same time!  The waves aren't overly curly and fall no nicely across the shoulders - its incredibly sexy!

I had to add another photo of Camille Rowe-Pourcheresse because I feel she captures this look so well and because her hair is pulled back in such a natural yet seductive way.  I recently had a conversation with some male co-workers who admited that they dislike when women spends hours on their hair and often find that their girlfriends/wives look the sexiest when their hair is slightly wavy and pulled back into a pony-tail with jeans and a nice top.  It really made me wonder, who are we as women trying to impress when what many guys really want is just a natural, 'be-yourself' type of beauty?  Is this why a woman like Bridget Bardot was so seductive?  She had that tousled, sexy hair with just a hint of wave (very bed-head like), she often posed wearing a classic white shirt (and nothing else), her makeup was natural except for a very defined cat-like eye?  It really seems that there is something to that femme fatale look after all - plus it combines everything a man finds desirable - tousled bed-head hair, the simple white shirt, slight tom-boyish/sporty yet sexy clothes, natural makeup with a seductive element!  I guess the lesson is to add that little bit of charm, but in the end, its about being yourself that is the most seductive - with a little help of eyeliner and a curling iron!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Add a little 'Spice' To Your Life

MAC's Spice lipliner has forever been a popular, natural lipliner.  Its got that perfect balance of cinnamon-brown with a hint of pink.  I recently had a 'live chat' session with a MAC makeup artist because I was looking for a way to wear Chili lipstick without it being too bold for day.  Basically, I wanted the look of Chili but a more subtle, wearable version for day.  The Makeup Artist suggested that I apply Spice lipliner and then simply blot Chili on top - it would create an elegant red shade for day that isn't too 'in your face' - I absolutely 'loved' this combination when I tried it and ended up getting a lot of compliments when I wore it out - here is the look I created for Spice+Chili:

I started with my basic face of tinted moisturizer (NARS St. Moritz), concealer (Secret Camouflage #4 - Laura Mercier), Powder (MAC's Gold Deposit) - I then used Bobbi Brown's Almond blush (as well as MAC's Refined Golden bronzer as contour and a sheer highlight on the bridge of my nose and forehead).  For my eyes, I started with Arena as a base, Soba from the lid into the crease and Woodwinked on the lid and applied in the inner tear-duct (all MAC shadows) - I then applied Teddy eyeliner (MAC) and smudged the upper lashline with galapagos shadow by NARS.  I used a basic black mascara.  I then lined my lips with MAC's Spice lipliner and blotted Chili on top!  I love this look for day!!! 

For an alternate natural look, I also played around with Spice liner topped with Bobbi Brown's ALmond blush with a peach toned tinted lip balm (I used Burt Bees Caramel) - I think is the ideal peach-brown lip look for days when you want some added warmth to your complexion: