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

Maybelline Warm Latte Lipstick

I have always been envious of those women who could pull off that nude lipstick look.  Everytime I would try on a nude lipstick, it would be either too light, too beige, too chalky looking, too pink etc etc - I've never had luck with finding my perfect nude lipstick - Until NOW - I've just discovered Maybelline's Warm Latte Lipstick and its the ideal nude lipstick shade for women with a warmer, golden olive complexion.  Instead of looking beigy and chalky, this lipstick is the perfect combination of golden-bronze, peach and a more golden-beige undertone.  I am so very happy to have discovered this colour - I created a look to go with this lipstick that is ideal for everyday - a classic natural look:

My New Everyday Natural Look:

Face: Mineral Fusion Foundation in Warm, MAC NC 30 concealer, Matte Bronze Bronzer, NARS Madly BLush

Eyes: Brule and Retrospeck mixed as base, Soba from lid into crease, Teddy eyeliner with Bronze eyeshadow smudged into upper lashline, Loft Brown Mascara (all MAC Products)

Lips: Maybelline Warm Latte

Berenice Marlohe

THere are women that are beautiful, and then there is Berenice Marlohe!  Before even recognizing Berenice as the new Bond GIrl, I cam across a photo of her while doing a search for French style.  I love women who possess that european flair and passion for living.  Berenice is such an extrodinary and sultry beauty - her mother is French and her father is Cambodian and Chinese.  She has such a stunning presence about her and her eyes simply scream 'sexy'.  I've been looking through a lot of her photos and have found that she really likes to emphasize, that smokey, defined eye with a more neutral or pale lip - check it out:

I absolutely love Berenice's gaze - her eyes are so captivating and really tell a story - I love her makeup here and how her defined eyes are so nicely complimented by a lipstick that is natural!

I am so inspired by this makeup look - I love how her eyes just pop, the subtle glow on her cheeks and the neutral-nude lipstick shade. 

This look is so 'european-elegant' - I love how her eyes still take centre stage, but her lips are a deeper reddish-rose shade.  I find this look so sophisticated!

And finally, Berenice looks so smoldering and sexy with the defined black eyeliner, deep coloured hair and nude lips and cheeks.  I have complete envy for any woman who can work this look and make it look natural and this sexy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

NARS Pigalle Lipstick

Pigalle is such a stunning colour - when I put in on, I feel like its the perfect 'classic' shade.  To me, Pigalle seems like a deep brownish pink, a perfect everyday neutral that is a bit deeper and more sophisticated.  Its actually quite warm and works with a lot of warm neutrals like browns, creams, caramel, warm berry shades.  I wanted to create a makeup look that plays up on the warmth of this shade - I wanted a look that is both warm, rich and classic - this is what I came up with - check it out:

Classic makeup look:

Mineral Fusion Foundation in Warm

MAC NC 30 concealer

MAC Matte Bronze Bronzer

NARS Madly blush

Brule eyeshadow as base, soba on lid into crease, coffee liner (all MAC products) with NARS Galapagos smudged into upper lashline, Loft Brown mascara (MAC)

Pigalle Lipstick - NARS

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Old Hollywood Glam! A tribute to the Soft Classics!

I love re-visiting anything 'Old Hollywood' - I love everything about the old screen sirens and starlettes - be it the hair, red-lipped makeup, clothes, the mannerisms and etiquette of the time.  I think women are so drawn to this age, because it represented a time of ultimate sophistication and elegance.  When I was reading and stuying David Kibbe's book 'metamorphasis' - I was excited to embrace my best style as 'Soft Classic' - a mix of classic with a touch of romantic flair and glam.  I was also excited to read that the following Old Hollywood starlets also share that Soft Classic 'aura' so to speak:

                                                               Joan Fontaine:

I love the warm red lip with a defined but subtle classic eye, clean eyebrows and smooth looking skin - this look is classic, soft, romantic and elegant!  I think this is the perfect evening dinner look!

Merle Oberon:

Merle Oberon is also a soft classic according to Kibbe and she has a very exotic look, but still a softness and romantic flair about her.  I love how her deep lip and contoured makeup really shine through in these black and white photos - there is high drama, but its not an exaggerated drama, its more of a feminine, delicate drama!

Norma Shearer:

I love Norma Shearer's look - when I first saw her photos I thought this is a woman I would love to sit down and have a coffee with - she seems strong, elegant, feminine and confident - exactly the qualities I admire - I love a woman who posses that balance between strength and ultra-femininity, which is really what soft classic is all about - its about being confident and livin with class, but also possessing that romantic, feminine flair - Norma exudes those qualities and that balance in her look!

Olivia De Haviland:

Move over Scarlet O'Hara - Olivia De Haviland posses that true Old Hollywood classic elegance!  Her 'soft' classic appeal is the essence of femininity!  I admire that her look is both strong and sexy, feminine yet confident - it seems like that balance is the key to describing the appeal of old hollywood sirens - these women had to be strong and resourcefull, but they never lost contact with that makes them feminine!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Bronze Autumn

THe world really needs more of David Zyla, Suzanne Caygill, and other stylists who know the value and power of colour analysis.  David Zyla and Suzanne Caygill both seem to have similar style and colour archetypes - Zyla has a Bronze Autumn - Divine Diva archetype, which he describes as 'exotic' and seems to fit me very well.  Suzanne Caygill, similarily has a Bronze Autumn 'Magnetic' archetype - check it out:

Here is a photo of Caygill's bronze autumn magnetic next to two of my photos:

And here is a collage created by a Facebook friend Jen Marie based on David's Bronze Autumn - 'Divine Diva' archetype:

David's Zyla's book 'Color Your Style' is a Must-Have!  Getting your colours done is step one in my opinion, but putting your best self forward is more than just having a palette to work with, David's concepts of the archetypes and power colours makes your personal palette even more individual and specific to you.  I love the whole notion of an archetype - I was excited to get a personal message from David Zyla since creating a Facebook album called 'My Color Style - David Zyla' - David was nice enough to respond to a recent collage that I posted and wrote:

"Hi. You are indeed a Bronze Autumn, Renata! Thanks again for all of your support of The Color of Style! Best, David".  - David Zyla

David is so inspiring and getting a personal validation about my bronze autumn - divine diva archetype was so awesome - really shows that David does take the time to help others on their colour journey and is passionate about what he does - now I'm an even 'bigger' Zyla fan!!!

The next step for me is to really delve into the Bronze Autumn archetype and study David's concepts in even more depth - I look forward to continue sharing my colour journey with you all - this is so exciting!!!

ALso, definitely check out David's recent interview where he talks about finding your best 'LBD' shade - I'll definitely be doing a post about soon:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Top 3

I wanted to create a picture collage of my top 3 lipstick choices (all MAC lip colours) - Mocha (my everyday natural shade), Strength (my sophisticated day into night shade) and Chili (my elengant evening shade) - I want to perfect my So Chaud evening glam look, so stay tuned for an updated collage once I put a look together:

Collage 1:

                     Mocha                  Strength                 Chili                               

Mocha                  Strength                 Chili      


MAC Strength is the ultimate autumn lipstick - its perfect for this time of year and looks amazing with gold, bronze and copper toned shades.  I created a look with exactly this combination - using copper shades to contour, gold/bronze and golden olive shades on the eyes and Strength on the lips.  I recently did a post where I said I would stick to two lipsticks for one whole year and I've realized that two is almost impossible to stick to - not because I can't do it, but because a woman truely needs three shades - one natural for day, one 'sophisticated' shade for day into evening and one or two evening shades.  Mocha is still my favourite 'natural day' shade and Chili is still ideal as an evening shade, but strength is superb as that sophisticated day into night look. For glam events, So Chaud is my go-to fave.  Deciding to do a lipstick cleanse has been so inspiring because its really teaching me what the true value of lipstick is - there are hundreds of shades out there -do we need them all??? Absolutely not - buying lipstick after lipstick is not necessary, but having a functional set of colours that meets your needs - thats different!  So here is my tribute to my favourite 'Sophisticated Day' Look, which totally works for an evening out as well:

Here is the makeup that I used for this look:

I started with my basic foundation, concealer and bronzer as powder. I then used MAC's pro sculpt cream in Copper Beech as a contour and Goldmine eyeshadow as a highlight shade. I mixed Brule and Retrospeck as an eyeshadow base shade and Goldmine with Soba to apply from the lid into the crease and then used Bronze eyeshadow in the crease and outter corners. I used Teddy eyeliner and smudged with NARS Galapagos on the top/bottom lashlines and then used MAC's Desires and Devices liquid liner on the top lashline before finishing with Zoom lash mascara in Loft Brown. I mixed Gingerly blush with Mineralize blush in Gold Deposit and finished off this golden look with STRENGTH lipstick!!!

MAC Desires and Devices

I recently picked up a few new MAC products that I'm in love with!  I decided to do a seperate post for each of them.  I has never really a liquid liner kind of gal, but I fell in love with MAC's Desires and Devices liquid liner because I LOVE the colour - its an amazing golden-olive shade!!!  I wanted to create a look that was still .natural', but really golden and warm - this is what I came up with. I took this photo at work and the lightening was not 'ideal', but I got a lot of compliments on the liner:

Here is the makeup I used:

Mineral fusion foundation in Warm

NC 30 concealer

MAC 'Matte Bronze' Bronzer (as powder)

Brule and Retrospeck mixed and applied as eyeshadow base

Soba and Goldmine mixed and applied from lid to crease

Desires and Devices liquid liner on top...lashline, Teddy pencil liner applied on lower lash line

Zoom lash marscara in Lofty brown

Copper Beech pro sculpting cream as contour and Mineralized blush in Gold Deposit as blush

Spice lipliner with Strength lipstick

* MAC products mainly used

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to Work

I love my work and being back in the classroom has been wonderful!  Today a co-worker took a picture of me with her phone and after seeing it, I thought, this is the perfect everyday 'work' look:

The photo is not the clearest pic, but I love how subtle the look is:

I started with my basic makeup routine - tinted moisturizer, concealer, bronzer as powder, Gingerly blush. For my eyes, I mixed brule and retrospeck as a base, then mixed goldmine and bronze by MAC and applied from the lid into the crease, lined my eyes with Coffee eyeliner and smudged the upper lashline with NARS galapagos before applying mascara. The lipstick I used was MOCHA!!!   I think that a work look needs to be something that makes you feel comfortable yet pretty - you should be able to feel yourself, yet also feel confident talking to your collegues, administation etc.  You should be able to go to a 'last minute meeting' and always feel put together - a work look really needs to be functional, yet at the same time, it should have that aura of 'the world is my oyster' - knowing your colours is a great help with creating that balance!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day Lipstick VS Evening Lipstick - Part 2

Knowing that two or three lipcolours is all I need is actually making me giddy and happy!  I've decided to go through my makeup case again and de-clutter it (yet again).  I decided that for over-all function, MAC's Chili is much better as an evening lip shade than So Chaud for most occasions.  Chili is more of a classic evening look vs So Chaud is more evening 'glam' - I'm keeping all three in my makeup case, but have decided to post two photos of a complete day vs evening makeup look.

Here is a classic day look with Mocha lipstick and very neutral eye makeup (I used Gingerly blush and on my eyes, I used makeup for ever #10 shadow as a base, soba by MAC lid to crease, Teddy liner smudged with NARS Galapagos and Zoom lash mascara by MAC in lofty Brown):

Chili is a very sophisticated/elegant colour for evening because it has a spicy depth.  So Chaud is more of a brighter orange red, while Chili is an orange-brownish red.  Here is a link to the blog post where I first created this look - all the makeup that I used for this look are listed:

My goal this year is to really make my makeup and style functional - make it personal and unique to me.  This year is about simplifying my life, decluttering what doesn't work and thereby, making room for what 'does' work - these two lipsticks have never steered me wrong and look great with my entire wardrobe.  So I'm making a pact with myself - no new lipsticks for a whole year other than Mocha and Chili - I really need to get out of my makeup buying obsession and focus on creating a signature look that is chic and elegant.  If I do purchase makeup it will only be for my makeup artistry kit or to re-stock on something I use up.  This should be really interesting for me, as I can't go to the mall without going into MAC or Sephora, but I want to prove to myself that I can do this - I can make this work and I'm actually excited to venture into the world of 'simplicity and elegence'!!!  What will I do instead?  Start focusing on style, fashion, creating a simple and functional wardrobe that is true to my best colour palette!  If you have any blog requests for me also - I'd love to hear!!! :)

Day Lipstick VS Evening Lipstick

I have really settled into the idea that I don't need 50+ lipsticks to be happy - In fact, I love the simplicity and elegence of having one or two shades that I can just swipe on and go and know that they work with everything in my wardrobe.  That's just another reason why knowing your colours is so amazing - you can have one of two shades that will literally work with 'everything' that you own in your wardrobe.  If you have a rainbow of colours in your closet, you're more likely to need more makeup to suit each outfit that you own - that's just plain silly!!! 

I have blogged before about my all time favourite, go with everything natural day lipstick - Mocha by MAC - here I am wearing Mocha with Gingerly blush by MAC on my cheeks and slightly blended on top of my lipstick (using your blush shade on top of your lipstick helps it last practically all day - I love using this trick!)

For an evening look, nothing beats knowing your best red.  For me that red is an orange-red shade called So Chaud by MAC - So Chaud is extremely pigmented, so I use Brick lipliner ever so lightly applied as a base before swiping on So Chaud.  In this photo, the only other makeup I'm wearing is Gingerly blush:

I would love to know - what are your favourite day and evening lipsticks???

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Power Colours

For those of you who follow my posts regularily, you're already familiar with my current obsession with David Zyla's concept of power colours.  I have always admired women who have embraced a signature colour of signature look.  I decided to do a little 'colour archeology' and dig deeper to find what I know to be 100% true:

1) My best colour palette is TRUE AUTUMN
2) Every style test/quiz etc that I take always leads back to some various of 'city-chic', 'urban-chic' or 'euro-chic' - which leads me to beleive that 'chic' is something I need to embrace
3) My Kibbe style type is a 'soft classic', which is classic (or chic) with a romantic influence
4) My current power colours are: Golden olive (this colour is present in my eyes, skin and my hair definitely has a golden undertone to it), Teal (my best dramatic colour) and amber-gold (my best tranquil colour)
5) THe combination of knowing your colours and best style is the KEY to being and looking your ultimate BEST!!!

So the question now is - What's Next?  How do I take all this information and use it become that sophisticated woman I know is within me??? 

I think the key for me is to start looking for evening wear and dresses in my warm teal shade (wearing a striking spicy-orange-red like MAC's Chili to compliment the look).  For everyday, I am going to look for golden olive toned clothing - tops, sweaters, jackets, pencil skirts, a classic trench coat etc and accent the golden olive shade with my tranquil colour - amber-gold, golds - i.e. jewlery, belts, scarves, gloves etc etc - I can't wait to start keeping my eyes open for my power colours!!! 

My Colour Journey

My personal colour journey has been filled with many ups and downs, tee-tottering between seasons, self-doubt, uncertainty etc etc.  The great thing about this journey is that I now have a new sense of gratitude about finding my best colour palette - I feel like all those years of trying different palettes, all those 'What NOT to wear' moments, have prepared me for the moment when I can FINALLY be at peace with my true palette - I now feel like I can breathe easy, like the whole process and journey has been WORTH every second, every not so great makeup purchase - I feel like I have really grown and come into my own - I finally feel 'Mature' in this stage of my colour life!!! Its a fantastic feeling!  I wanted to share a little bit of my journey with you.  Here is a collage of me wearing the 'not so great' colour for me:

And finally, here I am embracing all that is amazing about my best colour palette - True Autumn - all the doubt, tee-tottering between Soft Autumn and True Autumn and feeling of uncertaintly are OVER:

I finally feel like my best self - like I've found my true colour harmony!!!  Its now time to stop the guessing and searching and more forward towards a new sense of personal growth within my true autumn season!  This is truely a day to celebrate - I am proud and honoured to embrace True Autumn!!!

Golden Brown and Warm Peach

I wanted to create a natural yet very warm makeup look - I've always loved the combination of golden browns and warm peaches, so I used this as my inspiration.  MAC's current Style Seeker collection includes an eyeshadow duo called Marche Aux Puches - amazingly, the colours in the duo are a warm orange-golden-peach and a medium toned golden brown.  I used this eyeshadow duo everywhere for this look - on my eyes and the lighter golden peach shade on both my lips and cheeks - check it out:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

SPicy Mustard and Orange

I was inspired to create a very spicy autumn makeup look. I used a lot of orange/golden brown and gold based shades and teamed the makeup look with a warm, spicy mustard coloured top - here is the makeup I used for this look:

Face: Mineral Fusion Foundation in Warm, MAC NC 30 concealer and 'Matte Bronze' bronzer as a powder. I applied Gingery blush and then used the orange shade in the 'Marche a...ux puches' eyeshadow duo as a pop of colour on the cheeks

Eyes: I mixed brule and retrospeck and applied this as a base and then mixed the two shades in the MAC Marche aux puches eyeshadow duo and applied from the lid into the crease. I used MAC's Coffee eyeliner and smudged NARS galapagos into the upper lash line. I finished the eye look with MAC's Zoom lash mascara in Lofty Brown

Lips - I mixed NARS Autumn Leaves with MAC's Chili for a spicy orange-red shade:      

Eye Colour Harmony

Since reading David Zyla's suggestions for how to find your perfect Energy Colour (check out my last post for more details) - I've become a little obsessed with trying to figure out the different colours that are in my eye.  My eyes have always been difficult to determine colour-wise because they are green-hazelish that seemed to be a combination of khaki, grey-green, olive, with amber flecks AND to make things more complicated, my eyes seem to change colour depending on the weather, what I'm wearing etc etc etc.  I decided that instead of looking at a photo of my eye on its own and trying to figure it out, its probably easier to use my Soft Autumn and True Autumn swatches to see if I can't find a winning colour and put the mystery to rest.  Here is what I came up with:

I decided to swatch the True Autumn Khaki/greyish shade next to my eye, as I always thought my eye had elements of this colour and it seems that it does, but there is definitely some green in there that is screaming to get out, so I decided to swatch the SA grey-green shade next:

The grey-green shade of the SA swatch seemed a little muddy next to my eye - the colour in itself seemed like a closer match, but there is still something more green in my eye so I tried another SA greenish-grey shade:

 I noticed a golden element that was lacking in the SA khaki-green and grey-green shades, so I decided to try a TA golden-olive swatch:

As soon as I saw this comparison, I thought BINGO - this is it - my closest match!  That golden olive shade is in perfect harmony with my eye-colour and I understand now why David Zyla would call this your 'energy' shade - there is something about this colour that makes my eyes 'come to life - my eye colour seems to POP next to this swatch and any dullness disappears!

I found that trying this eye colour harmony/swatch test was very 'eye-opening' - LOL (pun intended) - it really made me more aware of how much I need that little bit of extra golden influence that the SA green-khaki and grey-green shades seemed to lack - I recall being draped in this shade last year when I was draped as a TA and this colour was one of my best - I regret not taking a photo of that shade during the draping process, but I'm definitely going to play around with this shade as my 'energy' colour!!!