Friday, May 29, 2015

NARS Oasis Blush

Oasis Blush by NARS has been a 'Holy-Grail' find for me.  I love everything about this colour and I feel that is possibly the most harmonious shade for my skin tone that I've ever come across!!!  On the NARS website it's described as a 'pink-champagne' colour, which to me is sort of a 'rose-gold' shade!  Its definitely a pretty mauve-taupe-pink shade with a subtle gold shimmer!!!

I love the fact that Oasis harmonizes so well with my skin tone and is neutral enough to compliment almost else that I wear, from my brighter blouses to my most natural-taupe tops.  This is a keeper for sure!!!  For this look, I wanted to keep the lips neutral enough to compliment the blush and then do a more cool-brown subtle smokey eye.  For the lips I applied Rimmel 'Taupe' liner, which is actually an eyeliner, but its soft and light enough to be used as a 'mixer' shade with lipsticks.  I then applied Hourglass 'Fawn' lipstick - a new favourite - I can't wait to create a post about it!  For the eyes, I applied a liner from Sephora called 'Tiramisu' - its a neutral-cool shade, almost a brown-taupe-cocoa shade, but deeper!  I created a thicker line on top and then blended in Revlon 'Cocoa' eyeshadow to create a smokey effect!

I'm finding myself creating a new makeup 'wardrobe', filled with essentials that really compliment my own personalized palette (vs following a seasonal makeup recommendation).  I'm looking forward to sharing some new finds soon :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Do It Yourself Colour Analysis

For the last little while, I've been focused on creating a very personalized palette that is not related to other forms of colour-analysis.  I still like to research and read about colour analysis, but I find it too restrictive and I'm seeing more and more cases of people crossing over into multiple seasons.  I like David Zyla's approach to colour analysis and finding a very personalized palette based on the colours that already exist within your skin, hair, eyes etc.  Recently, I came across a video (but can't find/remember the link) that showed how you can create a 'do it yourself' colour analysis.  It involves going to the paint store and finding colour chips/testers of a shade that is the 'closest' to your skin tone.  From that 'base' colour, you can then examine how other colours 'fit' or are in harmony with your base shade, as well as examining all the other colours present naturally in your skin, hair eyes etc. I went to the paint section of a local store and tried this experiment.  I went with a friend of mine that is different in skin tone to see how well this 'do it yourself' system would work.  She has a golden skin tone and looks amazing in corals and warm turquoise shades.  We both testing the various colour samples and found our base.  Hers was a golden beige-tan shade and this was mine - Fawn Beige, a taupey-deeper beige shade:

It was so interesting to see the pattern of colours that harmonized with this base shade - they were all colours that 'fit' so well with the natural palette that I've been researching/creating.  All the various shades of dusty-taupe pinks, soft blues, grey and even some warm pinks looked 'fantastic' when you put them side by side with the Fawn Beige and the next deeper colour sample!  My friend on the other hand, got matched up to a more golden colour sample and the orange-coral, warm aqua shades were so harmonious and elegant next to her skin tone base colour sample.  I think that colour analysis is fascinating and I'll always be interested in finding my 'best' colours, because it's an important part of how you present your 'Best' Self.  However, what I don't like about colour analysis is how the palettes can restrict people into only belonging into one particular season/palette.  Furthermore, getting draped and getting your 'colours done' should not cost a ridiculous price when you can 'do it yourself' for free.  It just takes patience, self-study and being honest with yourself about what suits your particular skin tone.  I'm just getting started with my 'do it yourself' colour analysis project.  I'm going to create/put together my own personalized palette - I'm even going to give it an original name :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Soft, Defined Look

Since exploring with various combinations of taupe eyeshadows/liners, I've found that I've wanted to add a little more definition/depth to the eye makeup look - sometimes layering taupe upon taupe can look 'too natural'.  I had one person who sees me everyday say: "but where's your liner?  I don't see it anymore".  THis got me thinking - how can I maintain my soft eyeshadow look that brings out the grey tones in my eyes, but at the same time add a smokey/defined element.  I know that browns and navy shades are not the way to go for the look I want.  Navy is stunning for a more evening look with a classic red lip (its very Parisienne Chic).  However, for the soft look I'm going for, I decided to play around with a classic black eyeliner look, blending the taupe shades into the black.  WHen I saw the results on my experiment, I was like 'why didn't I try this before?' - check it out:

When I blended a silvery taupe into the black liner and then created another softer layer of black over top of that blend, you get a very soft, yet 'defined' look.  I like how the silvery-taupe layer still allows for the grey of my eyes to take centre stage and the look isn't 'overwhelming'.  I started with using Electra eyeshadow by MAC - a silver shade from lid to crease.  I then applied Smolder by MAC and used the taupe shade from Almay's Blue Eyes Trio to blend into the upper lashline - and then applied Smolder again from the centre of the lid extending out.  Gentle blush by MAC is the perfect pink for this look, its soft, but with the right amount of pink.  I decided to play up on the taupe with my lipstick, so I used Rimmel 'Taupe' liner as a lipliner and applied Faux Lipstick over top.  With the new ash-tones in my hair, this is such a pretty soft yet defined look!!!  :) If you're warmer toned and want to create the same soft yet defined look, try the same type of application, but with dark brown eye-liner smudged with a copper-gold shadow on the upper lash line and a peach toned blush and lipstick - oh la la! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ash Toned Highlights and a NEW Look :)

I had an opportunity to re-invent myself at my stylist's house this past weekend.  We were going over the idea of creating a signature style/look - something that I can keep and build on.  She explained it as building a wardrobe base, but with hair.  Since I'm in my later 30's, I have a lot of natural grey coming in.  We looked at my roots and in the grey tones in my hair in particular and decided that 'ash' tones were the way to go.  My natural grey is almost 'white' vs salt/pepper so going towards the 'cooler' tones was her suggestion.  This gives my 'colour journey' more direction, which is great because now I can really create a base palette using my new hair colour, my natural colour palette and wardrobe base.  It seems lately that the taupes, pinks, greys and navy shades are really working for me!!!  Here is my new hair/makeup 'look':

I started with my basic face essentials - concealer, tinted moisturizer.  I used MAC Gentle blush, the taupe shade from the Almay 'Blue eyes' eyeshadow trio, Annabelle's Taupe liner and smudged NARS Lhasa into the upper lash line.  I then lined my lips with Whirl lipliner and applied Plink Lipstick (both MAC) - I'm 'really' liking this look - I see a lot of colour harmony, which is exactly what a rich/natural look is all about!!! I'm excited to embrace the ash tones and continue to build on my new colour palette :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Urban Decay Mushroom Eyeliner

I've been mentioning Urban Decay Mushroom eyeliner a lot and it because it's 'Amazing'.  It's the perfect shimmery taupe eyeliner.  However, what I love the most about it, is that its ideal for 'smudging' with other shadows and it goes on creamy, but sets perfectly.  Lately, I've been wearing Mushroom almost every single day.  Today I decided to continue with my silvery-taupe eye-makeup look to bring out the grey tones in my eyes.  I can't even 'begin' to explain how happy I've been since I've made this 'silvery-taupe' colour discovery.  My eyes are loving this :)

I wanted to do a more natural taupe look, so I did a quick swipe of MAC Crystal eyeshadow from the lid into the crease.  I then applied the Mushroom liner by Urban Decay and smudged in NARS Lhasa eyeliner into the upper lash-line.  For blush, I went with NARS Angelika - one of my favourites!  I didn't want to go too 'mauve-pink' with the lipstick, I just wanted a sheer wash of colour, so I swiped on Plink lipstick by MAC!

With the taupes and lighter-cooler pinks, I decided to wear a bolder blue top and a cool aqua toned scarf.  I feel like these shades work in harmony with the whole silver-marine eye-colour effect.  Perhaps, I should call this my 'mermaid' look :) 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

MAC Herione Lipliner

One of my style icons is Charlotte Casiraghi - she is truly chic, inspiring and elegant.  I am always amazed at how simple yet classic her makeup looks are.  I recently saw a photo where she was dressed up for the evening in a stunning teal-blue dress with chandelier earrings and a sophisticated soft fuchsia toned lipstick.  I had an event to go to Friday and decided to copy-cat her makeup look.  The event I was going to didn't require chandelier earrings, but I still wanted to channel Charlotte's evening elegance:

I started with a taupe shade on my lid into crease (think it was satin taupe by MAC), the used Blooz liner and smudged the liner with Copperplate shadow by MAC - Gentle mineralize blush by MAC was used on the cheeks.  For that elegant evening lip - I first used MAC's Heroine lip-liner and then softly blended in Faux lipstick.  It was the Heroine liner that added that extra depth and turned this otherwise, subtle smokey look into evening chic :)

Almay Trio For Blues

I've been noticing more and more that although my natural eye colour is more of  cool grey-blue-green hazel, the blue is a key element.  In my natural eye palette, its more of a blue-grey shade.  While shopping at Shopper's Drug Mart, my local drug store, I couldn't help but be drawn to the Almay eyeshadows.  Almay sells eyeshadow shades based on your eye colour - there is one for Blues, Greens, Hazels and Browns.  I couldn't help but be drawn to the shadow palette for blue eyes - a mix of pink, taupe and deep blue-grey - a perfect representation of my natural colour palette :)  I decided to use Sephora's Dark Taupe Shimmer stick as a liner and smudged the dark blue-grey shade from the Almay palette into the liner.  For the blush, I mixed NARS Madly and MAC Gentle mineralize blush.  I also mixed two shades for my lips - MAC Faux and Plink.  This palette is so 'Summer' like - really enjoying having these colours in my personal palette :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

MAC Faux Lipstick

I wanted to begin this post by saying THANK-YOU so much for all the wonderful, uplifting and inspiring feedback and compliments I've been receiving on this blog.  I don't always have the opportunity to write back, but I definitely wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate it!!!  Hearing feedback from you inspires me to continue creating looks and making new colour discoveries!!!  To all my readers and fans - You ROCK!!!

Today's post is about a lipstick that I just rediscovered on a trip to Ottawa.  I went as a supervisor for a class trip and when we had some free time, everyone wanted to 'see the sights', then hit the malls :) I got so excited when I saw the MAC store and had to go in!  First, I want to share a little secret with you - when I go makeup shopping, I like to play 'stupid' sometimes - meaning, I'll go in pretending that I know 'nothing' about makeup because I like to see what other makeup artists recommend.  I usually know within a few minutes who is being genuine and who is out 'just to sell a product'.  I also like to continue learning from other makeup artists and picking up tips.  Well, the makeup artist I dealt with at the MAC store in Ottawa was 'Amazing' - she quickly picked up Faux lipstick as my perfect everyday shade.  As soon as I swiped it on, I felt 'perfect'!  The first thought that went through my mind, was 'Wow - of all the MAC lipsticks I've tried recently, how did I miss this one???' - I guess that in the tube itself, its just a standard pinky-mauve - a colour that I thought I had dupes of, but turns out that Faux is a very unique pink-mauve - its the texture and consistency that makes this lipstick 'rock'!  I walked out of that MAC store feeling really awesome and was very grateful for that makeup artists advice.  Sometimes we think we know what we want or think we 'know it all' when it comes to the colours we like/want - but sometimes we don't - sometimes we need another set of eyes guide us to try something new.  It made me realize that there are so many makeup products that we simply 'Ignore' because they aren't interesting in the tube or they aren't promoted as the 'IT' colour of the moment.  I have a new appreciation for makeup, makeup artistry, makeup artists!!!  Here is my makeup look, inspired by Faux lipstick, the colour I ignored for so long :)

For this look, I started with applying Espresso shadow from the lid into the crease.  I then applied smolder eyeliner (with a very light hand) - I smudged sketch into the upper lashline and finished with black mascara.  For the blush, I applied Gentle mineralize blush and of course, Faux Lipstick - all products by MAC for this look!  I like the softer, cooler tones for this look with a deeper, netural toned eye!  I'm very excited to play around with Faux lipstick and perhaps even make this my everyday signature :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

'Best Colors' Look - InStyle

A few weeks ago I read an interesting post on the In-Style website about 'Finding Your Best Colors'.  What I noticed about the recommendations is that the shades really do enhance your natural skintone and features.  I decided to create a look based on the recommendations for the 'Medium to Medium-Deep' Skintone.  I didn't use the exact colours recommended because I didn't have all of them, but I matched them as closely as I could.

For the eyes, the article recommended copper and bronze/brown tones, so I used 'Marche aux Puces' eyeshadow duo by MAC and Teddy eyeliner.  Next, I applied Sincere blush by MAC - a soft coral/peach colour was recommended.  Finally, for the lips, the article suggested a sheer berry tone, so I decided to try NARS Shrinagar lipstick, which is a cool-berry tone, but also applies very sheer.  Here is the look:

I really like this look - I think the coppery/bronze tones bring out the blue in my eyes and the berry lip mimics my natural lip shade.  I'm definitely going to keep playing around with a warmer copper/gold/bronze eye and cooler-berry lip combination.  I think it's polished yet classic!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Peach and Taupe

I decided to try something new today and I really liked how the combination of peach and taupe made my eyes pop - I blended a few different variations of peach/taupe and this was my favourite:

I started by applying concealer and tinted moisturizer.  To create a fresh peach tone blush, I mixed NARS Torrid with MAC's Trace Gold.  I then applied a gold shimmer compact by Physicians formula as an eyeshadow to my lid into the crease.  I applied a shimmery orange-peach shade from a MAC duo eyeshadow palette I got a few months ago, but the name on the label smudged,so I can't read it (??? its sort of a lighter orange-peach shade with a medium taupe brown shade).  I then used Urban Decay's mushroom shade and smudged the upper lashline with the medium taupe shadow.  I really love how fresh, warm and peachy this look is.  There was no other lipstick I could wear with this look other than the fabulous Barbarella by NARS!!!  I love how nicely the taupe combines with the peach.  This is a look I will definitely wear again! Peach and Taupe - you are a marriage made in heaven!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

NARS Torrid Blush

Corals and Peaches are my all time favourite Spring looks.  I look forward to them each Spring season and now that I'm escaping the BOX of the colour analysis world, Its time to enjoy makeup without any rules and move away from set palettes for this blog!

I decided to create a look around NARS Torrid blush - a colour I'm slowly falling in love with.  For this first look, I used Barbarella Lipstick (also NARS), Too Faced Natural Eyes shadows from the classic and fashion palette and black mascara:

For a more fun, beach look, I simply changed up my look by wearing a peachy-coral scarf and funky fedora hat.  Its amazing how a pop of bright coral and lighting can make Barbarella look so different.  But what I really love is how the Torrid Blush ties everything together.  Torrid is a spring/summer 'must have':

Friday, May 8, 2015

Grey and Gold

One thing that I've been able to discover since really looking at the natural shades in my eye colour, is that there is a real mix of grey, green and some amber-golden flecks.  I decided to do some blending and try out an eye makeup look that 'fused' these shades together to create a unique palette.  I was so excited to see the finished look and I think blending the cool grey with the warmth of rose-gold and warm golden brown is something I'm going to do more often:

I used the Natural Eyes Palette from Too Faced to create this look, also applying MAC's Grey Utility, Madly blush and Energy lipgloss from Tarte.  This lipgloss is quickly becoming one of my favourite products of all time :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Creating Looks - My 'A-Ha' Moment

When I think about the various ways in which I get my makeup inspiration, three things tend to come to mind:

1) Colour (of course)
2) Celebrity Makeup Looks
3) Magazine Ads

It's funny to admit, but I often choose magazines to read and movies to watch based on the makeup the actress is wearing or the makeup ads I like.  I get inspired by seeing HOW colours works, what colours were chosen.  One key things that i've been seeing over and over and over again is the various layering of colour used to get a certain look.  This is where colour analysis falls short!  To create a harmonious and personalized took, not everything is 100% cool toned, warm toned, neutral - the BEST looks are really a combination of everything, then ADD to that lighting, the camera, the elements outdoors, airbrushing etc etc etc.  I think we get so fixated on buying a specific lipstick or wearing a specific palette, that we forget everything that goes into a look.  To sort of prove my point, I used my own personalized palette as my inspiration, but I went all out mixing various colours to achieve a look that is VERY unique - its soft and pretty, but its neither cool, nor warm - its a Hybrid!!! ANd that's what I'm learning is the KEY to creating the best looks! That being said, I also think, as a makeup artist that you need years of understanding colour, to use colour the way you need and want!  All my makeup colour analysis/palette experimentation over the years on this blog has not been in vain - I've learned SO much about colour, application, colour harmony, tones, value, contrast etc etc etc - all those tools have made me a 'better' makeup artist!  Now, I'm learning to step away from all the colour 'rules' and creating/applying looks based on what I desire and want to create in that moment!  Its freeing, but its also a sign of growth, experience with makeup and colour!!!

For this look today, I started with a neutral toned concealer and applied Laura Mercier Sand tinted moisturizer!  On the eyes, I used soba eyeshadow by MAC on the lid and crease.  I applied Sephora Dark taupe shimmer liner stick on the top lashline and smudged that with a blend of mystery/coppertone by MAC.  On the lower lashline I used MAC grey utility liner.  I wanted a warmer glow on my face, so I used Trace Gold blush by MAC.  FOr the lips, I first applied NARS Belle De Jour, then went over that with NARS Rikugien Liner.  Voila!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Makeup, Choice and Personal Power!!!

I've been getting a lot of feedback about the power of a personalized palette.  Many women, including myself feel that they are somewhere in the middle between the 12 seasons.  It's interesting that the 12 seasons were created because women found themselves not fitting in with just the 4.  I remember reading 'Color Me Beautiful' in university and not agreeing with the fact that you can ONLY be one of the 4 - I didn't 'belong' then and I don't 'belong' now!  We can't just fit into ONE palette - it doesn't make any sense!  Of course, they are people are visibly 'One' season and their palette is 'perfection' for them, but there are So many more women that don't and its not visible where they belong!  I'm one of those women.  Its interesting to me when I get feedback on this blog (Which I really love getting by the way - I love hearing everyone's opinion) - that almost every second person 'sees' something very different.  There are many of you who see me as a clear, as a soft, as a true autumn etc etc - I personally think there is a part of me in each.  The idea of a personalized palette is so refreshing!  I still love colour analysis and working with the different palettes, but I refuse to 'own' any of them as my own.  I think I lean more towards one in particular (the soft summer deep), but I can wear so many other colours - like the rich brown/pumpkin of autumn, the true blue or true summer/winter, black and white combo of winter etc etc - these are all looks and colours I love and I refuse to give them up because my 'palette' doesn't include those colours.  Your own personal palette gives you room to be YOURSELF!!!  Today, I decided that I wanted to go for a softer look, sort of a mix between Soft Summer and Soft Autumn (if I had to label it) - I started with a more neutral base - Sand tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier, I applied MAC Trace Gold Blush, then used NARS Angelika blush for a 'pop' of colour.  I applied a mix of satin taupe+copperplate+quarry on my lid into the crease, MAC Grey Utility was used as a liner and I smudged MAC Soot into the upper lash line.  For lipstick, I blended MAC Kinda sexy with Burt's Bees Watermelon Lip Shimmer.

The best thing about creating this look for me was that I felt FREE - free to choose whatever colour inspired me that morning - Free to notice what colours blended in well without thinking 'is this part of the Soft Summer palette?' - We need to give our own 'eye' an opportunity to choose what it likes and wants.  Makeup is a personalized choice - it's actually a seat of power in our life, so why not reclaim our own authenticity and live from that place of power?  Choose the colours you like and make you unique!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

MY 500th POST!!!

It's time to CELEBRATE - Today is my 500th post on this blog.  Thank you to everyone who has joined me on my colour/makeup/life journey.  Its been filled with new colour discoveries, interesting experiments, great feedback from you and basically one learning experience after another.  Right now in my journey, I'm definitely moving away from the restrictions of colour analysis and enjoying discovering my own personalized palette, based on the colours found all around myself - my eyes, hair, skin, lips etc - we are ALL so uniquely different - its crazy to me now to think that we need to try and fit into one palette only.  Saying that, I love colour analysis - I love the palettes and they do 'work' on some level - the problem becomes when we look at them as 'Gospel Truth' - I for one, have settled on some variation of Soft Summer Deep mixed with some Soft Autumn and even some Toned Spring - there are colours in each palette that I love and know work for me!  Furthermore, there are days where my soul just feels like wearing Bold True Blue or a Striking Pumpkin Orange - and guess what? I will wear them with Pride!  Colour is meant to be filled with wonder, awe, its meant to be appreciated and loved.  Using colour and wearing colour is just like a painting - its personalized!  Each personal palette is striking and beautiful, even if it doesn't make sense at first!!! So today I'm celebrating embracing the palette that is uniquely mine, while enjoying the diversity of playing around with all the colour palettes! I'm a artist first and foremost!!!

Here is my personalized palette - the colours that I've been working with lately

Here are a few looks I've put together based on this palette:

There is so much room to have fun with the colours that really suit you!  There is also room to explore and experiment, so I can finish this post with some advice, it would be as follows"

1 - LOVE who YOU are!!!
2 - Have FUN with Colour!!!
3 - Enjoy the Journey
4 - LEARN from every Experience and Experiment
5 - LOVE who YOU are!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cool Green-Grey Smokey Eyes

Chanel Tisse Venitien is a colour palette that I just can't stay away from these days.  The more I play around with this palette, the more I'm admiring the various looks I can create.  My first impulse is to dive right into the colours, but lately, I've been blending them.  Mixing the silvers with the greens and the shell shade with the silver - the combination of colours are endless.  I'm really admiring, the soft, mermaid effect of the shades.  The deep greens are cool and ocean like.  The medium toned green has hints of blue and grey.  All the shades in this palette are working in combination with my natural eye colour and I'm so happy to have discovered this eyeshadow set.  For this look, I applied the soft shell shade from lid to crease.  I lined by eyes with MAC Grey Utility liner (to being out the cool blue-grey tones in my eyes) and then blended the silver and darkest green shades together on my angled eyeliner brush - I applied this combination to the upper lash line and smudged the liner.  I then applied the silver-grey shade into the crease!  I used NARS Angelika blush and Burt's Bees Grapefruit lip shimmer, as its a very light shell-pink like shade!  I'm very proud of this look - I love how sultry, yet chic it looks!!!  Tisse Venitien - you are definitely here to stay :)

Friday, May 1, 2015

JEAN Lipstick by Chanel

Jean is a stunning cool pink lipstick.  It leans towards fuchsia and what I love about it, is that you can build it up to look deeper and cooler.  When I tried this on at the Chanel counter, it was apparent to me that this would be my 'out with the girls' shade.  I started talking to the makeup artist there and we shared the same belief that every woman needs a lipstick that makes her feel 'happy', be it a red, pink, plum shade.  There is something about having a colourful lipstick that brightens up your day and mood!  For my everyday 'chic' look I love my neutral, lighter pink shades, but for a TGIF kind of day, I'm ready for a little pick me up.  Its amazing how a fun colour can give you an instant 'omph' - its like a starbucks latte :)  What I also love about the colour 'Jean' is that it also has that Chanel Sophistication!  It's pretty, romantic, fun, mysterious - everything a Chanel lipstick should be!!!  I'm going to really enjoy this lipstick and have fun creating some new looks!
For this look, I used my newest favourite Tisse Venitien Eyeshadow Palette by Chanel, MAC's Desert Rose blush and a few swipes of Jean Lipstick by Chanel - and Voila!!!