Saturday, August 31, 2013

Your 'Natural' Lipstick Shade

I have mentioned a few times before the concept of using the shades that are naturally present in your skin, hair, eyes etc to determine the best makeup shades and palette for you. One of the BEST ways to discover your ideal lipstick and blush shades is to pinch the end of your fingertip - that natural 'flush' will reveal your best shade. If you're interested in more about this concept, check out David Zyla online - he's a celebrity fashion stylist who wrote a book about this entire concept of finding your best colours. On to my personal experiement - I took a photo of my pinched finger tip and then magnitized that shade - here is what I got:
It got me thinking about how to describe this colour and I kept coming back to a warm peachy or salmon rose shade. I then started thinking about a lipstick colour that I keep coming back to over and over and over again - Mocha Lipstick by MAC. This got me thinking about doing a another little experiement - check it out:

WOW - isn't that amazing? I feel like my instincts were always right - there is a reason that you are drawn to certain shades or keep coming back to certain shades. Mocha lipstick by MAC is actually an EXACT match to the shade that presents itself when my pinch the end of my finger tip - this is my natural 'flush' shade. That isn't to say that I won't wear other variations of this shade or swipe on a red version of this, but I love that I have a 'signature' go-to everyday shade that will NEVER fail because its in complete harmony with my natural colouring. I think everyone should do this experiement - its not only fun, but will make makeup shopping so much fun!!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The 'Gamine'

I have to say that I am embracing the Gamine look full force. Paris has absolutely inspired this look for me and there is a REASON that the Gamine look is eternally classic and stylish. Let me give you a little bit of an idea of why the Gamine look is so chic. First of all, Gamine literally is the French version of the 'tomboy' - Its that boyish, charming appeal that a woman possesses. Its also the look of a confident, put together woman who still has that child-like appeal - she is usually petite, looks young for her age, likes to simply be herself. She doesn't 'try' to be sexy, the bombshell type - she doesn't suit looks that force her to be anything that she is. The hallmark of the Gamine look for me is the hair and makeup. The Gamine short haircut will always be chic - Audrey Hepburn comes to mind - Her role in Sabrina and Roman Holiday when she chops off her hair and really 'finds herself' - this is what Gamine is all about!!! Today you have Audrey Toutou, Emma Watson, Michelle Williams andAnne Hathaway that have sported the Gamine hair style. And lets not to forget the classic and ultimate in Gamine hair - Jean Seberg - check it out:

I have recently cut my hair again and have to say that I am enjoying sporting the Gamine look - I went for the classic Gamine 'Le No makeup Look' in this photo, but a classic Red Lip is still very ultra faminine and perfect for that polished/sophisticated gamine look! In this photo, Its a sheer swipe of MAC Soba eyeshadow, Candy blush by Chanel, a few coats of YSL black mascara and MAC Mocha lipstick - Tres Chic:


Monday, August 19, 2013

NARS Jungle Red

I have been on a red lipstick kick lately!!! Red is definitely becoming my signature shade - in a way it always was, but I think I am fully embracing it 'full force' just like all the other things that are occuring in my life. It almost seems like the passion and confidence of red are like energetic-magnetic forces that are in my life - I'm on a RED 'high on life' alert!!! ha ha ha One red that I have recently been sporting is NARS Jungle Red - Jungle Red is described in many books and articles as a classic true red, but on me, it morphs warmer, and almost settles into a soft, corally shade, esp if I wear it as a stain or if I blot it off a little. I actually love that effect, but it really harmonizes well with the Chanel Frivole blush that has a nice warm, apricot flush stain to it! I've been really staying true to that Parisian minimal makeup effect. Skincare has definitely taken on a new role in my life and I love that my skin is so soft, clean and healthy these days! For this look that I created today, I'm wearing my NARS concealer and tinted moisturizer, Frivole blush by CHanel, MAC's Brule shadow as a base, Era and Soba mixed together and applied to the lid and just into the crease, Mambo eyeliner by NARS, smudged with MAC's Embark shadow on the upper lashline. I then used Laura Mercier mascara in black, which I got as a gift with my recent Sephora purchase! And of course, the show-stopper, NARS Jungle Red Lipstick - LOVE this colour!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Personal Power and Beauty

I can't even start to express in words how absolutely excited and blissful I feel since I started 'vlogging'. I haven't yet done any vlogs on makeup in particular - partly because I use my camera-phone and its hard to create looks with one hand holding the phone and the other applying makeup!!! However, I have been talking about creating the life that you want, owning your own power and authenticity and giving yourself the self-love and self-worth that you deserve. When I think about how this applies to beauty and makeup in general, I realize that when you enter into this place of personal power, you become the essence of your authentic 'beautiful' self. Since I've decided to create a blog, I've had no other intention but to share my journey with others, create looks, journey into the seasonal colour palettes, create collages and simply be 'ME'!!! I love, honour and am grateful for all my blog-reader and those who support my process and my journey! I even love and honour those who don't and judge me for being insecure (lol which I still think is kinda funny!!!) - because I am at the place in my life where I genuinely LOVE, honour and am grateful for the gift which is ME! I hope you enjoy this second vlog - CREATE your magificent life and let your BEAUTIFUL light shine!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shine Your Light

I am 'beaming' and so excited right now!!! I love how amazing my life is, how grateful I am for every, single experience that I have ever had! I've decided to start 'vlogging' on you-tube! I hope to start creating some 'how to' makeup videos, particularily with the looks that I've been creating since my trip to Paris. However, so far, I have just posted my first vlog and I decided that it should be an introduction about who I am as a person. I decided that I want my life to inspire, to create good intentions and to awaken fully to my authenticity. I want the world to know that when each of us wakes up to the goodness and light that is within, we can all shine together in truth and purity. Interestingly enough, this was inspired by some vengeful and hateful comments that I recently recieved on this blog. How amazing is it that when 'darkness' is thrown my way, I just shine brighter and brighter! Thank you God for all your blessings - its my time to SHINE!!! I hope that you enjoy my first vlog - this is just the beginning of a whole new world - Only great things are on their way for me and this blog - Thank you to everyone who has supported me - I really look forward to vlogging about makeup tips soon - SO 'uber' excited right now!!! Ok, without any further waiting, here is my first vlog:

Parisian Inspired 'Le No Makeup' Look

In a previous post, I mentioned that while in Paris, I noticed two distinct makeup looks - 1) the natural, 'is she even wearing makeup?' look and 2)the natural, subtle eye with red lip! Since I have showcased two ways to do the red lip, a softer version and a brighter 'true red' version, I decided to also do a post on the 'Le No Makeup Look'. What I observed in Paris, is that even with little to no eyeshadow/blush/lipstick etc, you could always tell that the Parisian woman is sporting mascara. Mascara is the key focus to creating the 'le no makeup look' because when applied properly and with double, even triple coats, mascara can 'really' open up the eye and create a sense of alertness and freshness. The key to the 'le no makeup look' is not 'le no makeup', its using makeup in a way to sculpt the face vs add colour. Its about enhancing the natural lines/contours of the face. Its a single sweep of a warm-golden or neutral taupe shadow to enhance the eyecolour, its pinching your cheeks and choosing a colour to enhance the natural rosiness or peach flush of the skin, its choosing a lipshade that is one shade deeper than your own (as if you have just bitten your lips)or even wearing a clear balm/gloss and letting the natural colour of your lips shine through. It was very difficult for me to understand this look because my focus for years has been on colour and creating variations of the smokey eye, playing around with various lipliner and lipstick combinations etc. Once again, it comes down to the 'less is more' philosophy. The notion of beauty and simplicity for the French woman is not how many beautiful lipstick shades she owns to go with her million designer outfits, but that she is able to own one or two signature shades and incorperate it into her classic 10 peice wardrobe. Its the ultimate in CHIC living!!! For my 'le no makeup' look, I started with a clean face, a dab of concealer and bronzer, my favourite blush (Frivole by Chanel), two coats of black mascara (I love loreal voluminous mascara) and a swipe of MAC 'Spice is Nice' lipstick (this shade is my new favourite 'my lips but better' shade) - Here is the look - VOILA:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

YSL Le Rouge #1 Lipstick

I have a very, very difficult time understanding why more women don't sport the red lipstick look. I think its very distasteful when women equate the red lip with 'hookers' or looking cheap - clearly, this type of thinking lacks sophistication and class! THe red lip to me is about confidence, passion, chic style, Parisian 'Je Ne Sais Quoi' and its about expression. So many women have sported the red lip through history, some have made it classic, some have given it sex-symbol status, and others still have made it their 'own', blending in a deeper or black shade to deepen the red to various shades of wine, burgundy and deep claret. There is a lot of debate about red because there are so many 'red' shades - a true red, a blue red, a yellow toned red, an orange red, a pinkish red, a rose red, a wine red etc etc etc etc etc. There are also 'famous' reds that celebrities have sported and makeup artists have used for 'years' - MAC Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Lady Danger, Chanel Lover, Gabrielle, NARS Red Lizzard, Jungle Red and YSL reds like Le Orange, Le Rouge! There is no need to shy away from red! WOmen who mock red and make comments that red is for hookers, are obviously insecure about their own feminity (SAD really) - if you don't like red, don't wear it, but its not necessary to put others down because they wish to express their own individuality and confidence (actually more and more, I think its all about jealousy - I love red - deal with it!!!) My creativity has led me to beleive that RED should really stand for R = 'Really', E = 'Exquisite', D = 'Diva' - Every woman has the potential to be a 'Really Exquisite Diva' - After YEARS of playing around with various red shades, I have to say that for me, I have two signatures - MAC Ruby Woo and YSL #1 Le Rouge. I discovered YSL le rouge in Paris and it has transformed my thinking about Red and here is why - its definitely a more yellow toned red, which makes it unique for women who lean towards warmed toned skin, its very creamy, almost gloss like when you swipe it on the lips, which is fantastic for blending it with various liners (its actually the lipstick I'm wearing in my previous post about Parisian Chic meets soft elegance - but I blended it with a natural toned lipliner). YSL Le Rouge is the ideal lipstick because it just feels so darn amazing against the lips - you can't help but smile when you wear this shade!!! Lights, Camera, Action - Introducing YSL #1 Le Rouge:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Parisian Chic Meets Soft Elegance

I have been thinking a lot lately about how to create a balance between the makeup tips I picked up in Paris with the expert advice in the book 'How to Look Expensive'. I am definitely seeing a lot of common threads, which leads me to validate my new 'philosophy' on living the concept of authenticity and 'less is more'. In Paris, the look was always very simple and there was definitely two looks in particular that were prominant - the 'uber' simple look, where you are actually thinking to yourself "is she even wearing makeup?" - very clean, fresh skin, a ever so slight touch of blush, simple coat of mascara and 'possibly' some lip balm or clear gloss. The second look is the one which I am definitely drawn to, the neutral, subtle eye-makeup look with a classic red lip. WHile reading 'How to Look Expensive', there was a part of me that instantly wanted to connect the Parisian makeup looks with the tips from the book - but I also wanted to take it one step further, I wanted to 'master' a look that is both Parisian, 'Expensive' looking and also 'Authentically ME'!!! WHat's great about the book, is that the makeup advice is based on looking for colour harmony and using colours that are naturally present in your skintone, eye-colour, natural lip shade etc etc. I think that I have created the perfect look - the perfect look 'pour moi'. I think that every woman should take the time to really 'study' herself - know herself - what her personality is like, her style type, what she is drawn to, what she is passionate about, what colours suit her etc etc - knowing who you are and merging this with your life experiences, style and makeup look is so vital to being and looking your 'Authentic' and 'BEST' self possible. After this, its about being CONFIDENT with who your authentic self is - not trying to be someone else, emulate someone else's style - its about saying, this is me - I 'OWN' this look. I never want to stop learning about myself, my life, the magnificence of this world. What Paris has taught me is that its not only noble to live wanting to know yourself, but its also necessary! This look is for ME - this look is a celebration of who I am - I love the person that I am, the person I have become and the person I am yet to evolve into - Self-Love is the root of true beauty................

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How To Look Expensive

I recently came across a really impressive and amazing little book called 'How To Look Expensive' by ANdrea Pomerantz Lusting! The book offers beauty expert tips, amazing advice on products and a 'how-to' guide to perfect your skincare, haircare and makeup routines. Basically, this book is a 'how-to' guide to look your 'Best' and most natural self. I decided to really study the tips in this book and created an everyday, natural look based on the 'beauty' advice from the various experts. I have to say that since returning from Paris, my skincare routine has changed dramatically, I'm actually MORE focused on my skincare routine than my makeup routine - When your skin glows, you actually need LESS makeup and you actually WANT to apply less makeup because your skin just feels so wonderful!!! 'Less is More' is a new motto that I am applying to my entire life - I have simplified so many things in my life and take pleasure in the simple things. Life is so much more enjoyable when you focus on the things that are truely important!!! Before I start writing about my new philosophy and get lost in my thoughts, here is my 'How to Look Expensive' natural day look:
I started this look actually by doing an entire cosmetics de-cluttering project! The advice in the makeup section of this book talks about using colours that enhance vs hide your natural beauty. Similar to colour analysis, the key is to look for colour harmony - colours that are naturally reflected in your skin, flecks of your eyes, natural lip shade etc etc - My eyes have natural brownish-amber flecks in them, so I decided to do a very natural eye makeup look in the camel and brown colour family - I used Brule and Soba eyeshadows by MAC, NARS mambo eyeliner and smudged MAC 'Embark' shadow into the liner (embark is a golden red based brown, which I feel picks up on natural highlights in my hair). I used a natural, 'pop of colour' shade on my cheeks - Chanel Frivole, which has become my all time favourite blush! On the lips, I decided to try a natural/nude shade, so I used Lancome 'Bronzelle' lipliner (which makeup artists swear by according to the book) and then blended in NARS Barbarella lipstick. I decided to use this look and take it from 'day to night' simply by switching the lipcolour - I still used Bronzelle liner as a base and applied Chanel 'Gabrielle' lipstick - another makeup artist go-to shade! I find that the bronzelle not just acts as a great liner, but also softens the red shade just enough to make it natural looking vs clownish:

If you have the opportunity to check out 'How to Look Expensive', its a wonderful investment - its not about applying layers of makeup or buying the most 'expensive' products, as the author states, its more Paris, France vs Paris Hilton - its about 'less is more', its about creating a signature look based on what truly suits you vs following makeup trends - its really about being 'YOU'!!!