Saturday, June 27, 2015

Burt's Bees Rhubarb Lip Shimmer

I've been hearing a lot about this shade from many people, so I decided to give it a try!  I thought this shade would be much more sheer, but in fact, it gives you a lot of colour :)  Rhubarb is definitely a deep pink-red, but more neutral vs leaning too cool or warm!  The best part about this product is that it's from Burt's Bees, so you get that tingly, moist and healthy feel to your lips!

I wanted to create a classic look this morning.  I applied by usual base of concealer and tinted moisturizer,  Then for the eyes, I wanted something simple yet classic.  I went with a sheer white eyeshadow shade by Make Up For Ever (Dimond Shimmer).  I then used Smolder eyeliner by MAC and applied it to the top 3/4 of the upper lash line and fully to the bottom lash line.  I then used my finger to smudge out the top liner.  When it blends into the white shadow it creates a nice value of colour of black, grey and then the white - its actually a very cool effect!  I finished with black mascara!  I used Sin blush my NARS and then applied the Rhubarb lip Shimmer!!! :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Chic Look For Work

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to what type of makeup is work appropriate.  I tried the natural look, the nude lip for day look etc, but I've come to appreciate and understand that one of the things that lifts me up during the day is wearing a chic red lip.  It's going to sound weird, but it makes we work harder!  I believe strongly that how you look and feel really influences your work ethic!  When you're not feeling well, you don't give things 100%.  However, when you feel 'fantastic', you want to work hard and be your best.  I created a look that I think is chic, work-appropriate and makes me feel 'fantastic':

This look is very classic, goes with everything in my wardrobe and it takes literally 5 minutes to put together!  I started with the MAC concealer palette and Laura Mercier Tinted moisturizer!  I always put concealer on my eyelids too, as it acts as a shadow and liner primer   Next, I used Coffee eyeliner by MAC - I applied it to the top lash line, only lining the outer corners and also on the lower lash line.  I then used my finger to smudge out the upper lash line.  I wanted to keep it very simple and fresh, so no eyeshadow.  I went with Coffee because it's the most superb deep brown liner.  Black liner is slightly too harsh for this work-day look, although I think I would pop it in my purse to use for evening if I was going to an after work event.  For the blush, I used my absolute current favourite 'Sin' by NARS.  Once again, its a colour that goes with everything.  For the lips, nothing makes me feel more alive and confident then a 'red lip'.  However, a bright true red can be a little too much for work, so I used Mahogany lipliner by MAC and layered YSL #1 Le Rouge lipstick on top.  Mahogany lipliner gives the red a slight deep drown tone, which shifts the colour into a neutral-red tone!  I think there are three key elements to creating an elegant and fabulous day look:

1) The colours and tones go with everything - they are neutral enough to wear with practically everything you own
2) The look is simple and classic - a swipe of liner, a touch of mascara, a classic red lip - no extra fussing, no additional shadows and highlights etc etc - simplicity is elegence!
3) You feel 'amazing' - you can walk around and feel like "I've got this" no matter what situation you're facing - you're not afraid to be the best you can be!

Hope that you enjoyed this post!  I'm going to rock this look today :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lipstick and Colour Analysis Rant :)

I think that combining red and pink lipstick shades has become a new makeup obsession for me.  This morning I applied my NARS Fire Down Below lipstick and felt like it needed something 'more' - I thought to myself: 'do I want to add a true red or something more wine-like???' - I decided I needed something with a little pop of colour, so I decided to try NARS Schiap on top - Success!!!  I absolutely loved the combination:

I've been thinking a lot about lipstick lately and how lipstick seems to be the product that I'm the most interested in and obsessed about!  Aside from colour theory, choosing and creating a signature lipstick look has been the focus of my makeup journey.  I've taken a step back from colour analysis because I started to find that it was too 'boxed in' and colour perception really is in the eye of the beholder.  I was draped twice as a True Autumn and I don't agree with that analysis now.  Every time I post a look on this blog and relate it back to colour theory, I get some great feedback from people (which I love), but everyone seems to see something different or like a particular look on me vs another.  I'm just happy to post and learn from each makeup experiment I do!  I feel personally drawn to the Deep Winter palette and am currently exploring that again, but I don't want to make my blog about 'what season am I?' - I'm going to leave that topic by saying that I'm for sure some type of neutral that can get away with various colours and looks.  Do I value colour analysis and think it has a valid place? Absolutely!!!  I think that its important to know what colours look good on you, but I don't think you need to deny yourself wearing something you really like because it doesn't fit into a seasonal 'box'!!!  On that note, I'm going to be exploring the lipsticks I love and I'm going to continue in my efforts to create a makeup 'wardrobe' - although, I have to admit that its been harder than I initially thought - I love lipstick too much to just keep '5' - :) However, its time to get serious about budgeting for makeup and I've always loved the idea of having a signature look - a set of lipsticks that I wear on a consistent basis - its very 'Chic'!!!  

For this look that I created today, I used a shimmery white shadow from the lid into the crease (Make Up For Ever in Diamond Shimmer White).  I then applied Smolder eyeliner and smudged in Smut shadow (both MAC) - I've been applying eyeliner to the outer 3/4 of my eyelid vs the entire lid and I'm loving this effect (I discovered this looks the best and helps to open up my eye and give less of that 'heavy handed eyeliner look).  For the blush, I applied Sin by NARS and for the lipstick look, Fire Down Below blended with Schiap (NARS)!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Combining Red Lipstick Shades

Red lipstick is very chic!  I think it's important to create looks and use colours that suit your skin-tone.  There are some unique red shades out there - blue reds, yellow reds, orange reds, true reds, deep reds, burgundy-wine reds etc etc.  Sometimes it can get confusing to know which red to buy because there are mixed messages out there from the beauty world, not to mention 'trends' and whats 'IN' at the moment!  I've read some articles that mention that you should wear a red that compliments the undertone in your skin - i.e. if you're cool toned, wear a blue or pink based red and if you're warm toned, wear yellow-orange based reds.  Neutrals, I assume can wear just about anything!  In other articles, I've read to wear a red that adds contrast to you natural skin tone so that the colour can really pop!  I can understand why wearing red can be confusing.  My personal opinion, is to discover your best red by trial and error and mixing/combining your own shades.  When it comes to makeup, you almost need to think like an inventor!  Makeup artists invent looks all the time and then they 'sell' it to you.  If we're not careful, we can get seriously caught up in buying what's new and trendy to the point of forgetting about our own personal style!  I really think that many women are loosing the ability to create a personal look or sense of style because of the fashion/beauty industry - however, I will leave that to another post!  Getting back to wearing and creating your own personal red lipstick beauty look, its important to have fun with finding your best red!  You have to absolutely love everything about wearing a red lip, from the look of the red, the feel of the formula/texture on your lips.  Red truly is about feeling confident and powerful and saying: 'I'm here world, you're going to hear me roar in a few seconds'.  Combining shades of red and creating your own version of red gives you the creative power to achieve a signature red look.  I remember reading a book in university called 'Bombshells manual of style' or something similar to that - one of the tips in that book is exactly what i'm writing about here - almost every Hollywood Bombshell wore of red that was her own creation and it was usually a mix of 2 or 3 shades.  If you happen to adore a particular shade of red and its swipe and go, then by all means continue wearing that shade, but give yourself the opportunity too to create something a little different sometimes.  Here's my red look for today - I combined a deeper red, NARS Fire Down Below with Ruby Woo by MAC - I wanted a neutral true-deep red shade:

I started with my basic makeup - concealer, tinted moisturizer.  I then applied NARS Sin blush (my fave and its fantastic with a red lip).  For the eyes, I applied a shimmery white shade from Make Up For Ever over the lid.  I then lined the outer corners of my eyes with Coffee eyeliner and smudged in Smut shadow into the upper lash-line.  I then applied Brun shadow into the crease before finishing with black mascara.  For the lipstick - NARS Fire Down Below + MAC Ruby Woo!!!

I'm excited to play around with some more red lipstick combinations :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Light Peach

I remember reading somewhere a while back that light peach is a makeup artists best trick.  Last night, I was thinking about that and after picking up a few magazines and studying the looks, I noticed that peach is the perfect neutral to give warmth to the face without overwhelming it or create a disharmony with the rest of the makeup!  Peach tones and light peach in particular work with so many neutral shades: camel, beige, khaki, pastel shades, mint, blues and even some pastel pinks and red!!!  I'm still in the process of do my makeup bad decluttering and deciding what shades I want as my home base shades!  I've decided that for lipsticks, my magic number will be 5 - I'm thinking 2 for day, 2 for evening and 1 'fun' shade!  Right now, i'm definitely going to be adding a light peach-beige for one of my natural day looks.  Here's a classic light peach look I created today:

I used a MAC concealer palette to start and then applied Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer (I blended Oucher and Sand).  The blushes I used were: Sincere with 'Touch of Gold' blended in.  On the eyes, I lightly swiped on Cork eyeshadow and then used Duck eyeliner (all MAC products).  For the lips, I used MAC Etcetera lipliner and NARS Belle De Jour Lipstick!!!  I absolutely love this lipliner/lipstick combination - it works as a day look natural, but add a gloss and create a smokey eye look and you're ready for a sophisticated evening out!!!  NARS hands-down makes the best lipstick and lipcolours in my opinion.  I always feel chic wearing NARS!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bordeauxline MAC Eyeliner

When it comes to eyeliner, I usually tend to use various shades of brown, grey and/or navy.  I was getting kind of 'bored' of the same look!  The last time I was at MAC, I asked the makeup artist there what her recommendation would be - she picked Bordeauxline and said "this will make the green in your eyes pop".  I decided to give it a try and I'm so impressed with this shade!  It's a warm burgundy type shade and it's not 'too red', which is what I often dislike about the plum/purple/burgundy shades.  Bordeauxline is perfectly balanced!  I also like how well it pairs with the rest of my makeup colours!  I decided to create a polished everyday look and use some warm shades:

I started with my basic concealer/tinted moisturizer combo and then applied NARS blush in Sin.  For the eyes, I applied amber lights (MAC) on the lid into the crease.  I then used NARS Oasis blush as an eyeshadow shade and applied it to the crease and outer corner of the eye.  I applied Bordeauxline on the top lashline only and smudged in MAC Deep Damson (which I got to go with the bordeauxline)!  I used black mascara and for the lips, I applied MAC Taupe lipstick!!! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Taupe Lipstick MAC

I've noticed lately a pattern with myself with being drawn to neutral/natural shades.  In my continued exploration of what shades I want to be part of my 'makeup wardrobe' - I'm looking for colours that are classic, polished, go with everything and work with every season.  Since, I'm not really confident in the system of colour analysis anymore (those who don't know me - I can fit into many different colour seasons, but feel my base is somewhere between Autumn and Summer) - my new approach is to get to know my own personal colours and style - what colours do I know suit me regardless of what season they fit into?  What's my personal style and how does my makeup look support/work with that style?  I made a discovery this week when I put all my lipsticks together and started looking and how each one fits into my daily style/look - my eye kept on going back to Taupe by MAC.  I have my current favourite everyday casual neutrals - Blonde Venus by NARS and Chanel Indecise, but I feel like I needed a more polished - day into night neutral - something that leans into the reds, but not 'red' - Taupe is perfect.  Its also works with so many different lipliner shades, that you can make it more red or more brown etc.  I'm so excited to be making this part of my own personal 'makeup wardrobe':

 Since my skin tone is more bronzed from the sun these days, I decided to play up the warmth factor.  The one thing that I absolutely 'hated' about my colour analysis journey is feeling like I had to pick sides and that I had to give up wearing certain shades because they didn't fit into a palette.  I want to be FREE to choose whatever colour I want to wear on a certain day and work with the elements of my clothes and style to make it work.  No more, just 'cool, warm or neutral' - I'm wearing what I like!!!  The whole concept of a colour palette as a science limits a persons confidence in using their own judgment about what works for them.  I've gone from colour analysis fan to foe recently (although there is merit to know what colours look 'best' on you - colour analysis should be a guide only, not a 'science' or a gospel truth system with no movement or personal exploration) -  Anyhow, I want to make this post about Taupe Lipstick - I'll vent into another post - ha ha! For this look I started with my basic concealer and tinted moisturizer.  I then added Saddle eyeshadow by MAC into the crease and outer corners.  I applied Teddy eyeliner by MAC and smudged a colour called 'Chocolate Martini' from the Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette into the Teddy Liner and finished with black mascara.  I then applied NARS Oasis blush and used MAC Trace Gold Blush as a pop of gold on the centre of the cheeks.  Last but not least, I applied Taupe lipstick!!! Taupe is definitely going to be a 'keeper' in my makeup bag!!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Brigitte Bardot - Iconic Look

I've always wanted to try and re-create Brigitte Bardot's Iconic smoldering eyes and neutral-warm lip look!  Unfortunately, I'm not able to recreate her 'pouty French lip' look :)  However, I'm determined to practice!!!

I've been studying her look for a while and trying to understand the elements of the look.  The first thing I noticed was thick, smoldering black liner - but it's applied a little 'messy' - almost goth like, but in a sexy way - there is no extra shadow blended in like in our modern smokey eye look - its dramatic, but its 'Simple' - black liner, thick and smudged.  The second thing that really got my attention was her lipstick shades.  They are neutral/nude, but not our modern neutral/nude.  It's not a 'concealer/flesh toned' lipstick shade - its more of a warm, peachy-orange-brown nude.  It's an alluring shade because it works for both day and night, but it doesn't give the eyes all the attention - there is a balancing effect going on between her eye makeup and lip colour shade!  Sultry/Deep is balanced with Natural-Warm!!!    

Here is my attempt to re-create Brigitte Bardot's iconic makeup look:

I took this photo in the early morning so I had to use a more unnatural light, which turned out to be okay, because it shows the versatility of this look - it can be a classic evening or day into night look and the lighting only enhances the look!  I started with my basic concealer and tinted moisturizer.  I then added a little bit more concealer to my eyelid to act as a primer for the liner.  I applied smolder eyeliner by MAC and then used an angled brush to smudge the edges out (creating somewhat of a cat eye, but smudged vs defined).  I used NARS Oasis because its very neutral and versatile.  For the lips - I applied MAC Chicory lipliner to add that peach-brown neutral element and then used NARS Blonde Venus!!!

I don't know if I would wear this look on a regular basis - I'm still enjoying more of a 'le no makeup look' lately, but this is definitely a sexy, alluring look that I will re-create again!!! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Chanel Indecise

To my dismay, the Chanel lipstick Caractere that I've been writing about the past couple of posts has been discontinued!  I guess I haven't visited the Chanel counter often enough :(

As sad as I am about this, my impulsive self gave myself permission to see what new colours Chanel has.  I'm very serious about creating a simple and minimal makeup wardrobe for myself and I have to say I'm almost there.  I have my top 4-5 shades picked out for lipstick!  Since I'll be taking Caractere off the list in the near future, once I run out of this beautiful shade, I'll be replacing it with this shade 'Chanel Indecise'.  It's not the same shade as Caractere at all, but I absolutely love it!  In fact, its the most elegant nude/natural lipstick I've ever tested and tried:

The colour itself is a very sheer pink-peach neutral.  It also pairs so well together with NARS Oasis blush - the two seem to be made for each other!!!  For my eye makeup, I wanted to pick up on the subtle warmth of Indecise, so I used a honey shadow on the lid (from the too faced natural eye palette), Teddy eyeliner from MAC on the upper lashline only and then smudged the darkest bronze shade from the too faced natural eye palette into the Teddy Liner.  Simple, minimal and elegant!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blonde Venus NARS

Blonde Venus lipstick is a staple in my makeup kit.  After my very inspirational makeup de-cluttering session, I couldn't help but notice that this is one shade that I absolutely love.  It's a very natural neutral-nude shade.  It has a hint of peach, but not enough to make it overly warm.  It's the perfect 'wear and go' lipstick!  This morning, I wanted to create a pretty 'work look' that is relatively neutral-go with everything:

I always begin my looks with my basic face, which is concealer and tinted moisturizer.  I rarely use foundation unless its for a bigger, evening event.  For the eyes, I used Sephora's Tiramisu eyeliner and smudged in the two darkest shades from the Chanel prelude eyeshadow quad.  I think this quad may be discontinued, but I absolutely love it and wish they brought it back!  I used Sin blush my NARS - even though its plummy, it goes with everything - I'm really loving this shade!!!  Last but not least, Blonde Venus lipstick by NARS!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015


I remember my mother always telling me 'Simplicity is Elegance'.  My mom is one of those women that I look up to in awe because she carries herself so well.  She has that allure where you wonder to yourself "what is it about her that makes her so elegant?".  I've come to understand that its because she has the perfect balance of simplicity and chic - she knows exactly what's 'enough' when it comes to an outfit or clothes.  I used to roll my eyes when she used to say "that belt doesn't go with that, its "too much"' or "you need to balance that dress with more accessories" (or less depending on the details of the dress).  Ladies, listen to the advice you mothers and grandmothers give you about style - they know things that our society has forgotten.  Today fashion is all about trends and lets be honest, its about what sells.  I remember my grandmother telling me that quality is better than quantity - its better to have a 10 item wardrobe of high quality that you can mix and match vs a 'huge' closet worth of miss-matched items that were trends at the time.  It's the advice the French have been giving all along and there is something to be learned from it.  Almost everyone knows that I love makeup and one of my faults up until this point has been buying what's in trend or trying to fit a season so badly that I've missed the mark.  I have a cluttered 'makeup wardrobe' and I'd like to have one based on quality over quantity.  This weekend I sat down and went through everything - I'm trying to get back to the essentials.  So far, I've created this look and hopefully, I can create a few more that have that simple elegance about that.  I'd love for people to look at me one day, the way I look at my mom, and think "What is it about her that is so elegant?' - It's a journey for sure and I'm ready to start :)

For this simple look, I started with my basic concealer and tinted moisturizer.  I then applied Chanel 'Gris' eyeliner on the upper lash-line only and blended in a deeper grey-taupe into the liner to give it a slight smudge.  I used black mascara and brushed my brows.  I then applied NARS Sin blush!  For the lips - Chanel Caractere, my current favourite!!! Voila, my simple everyday look!!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Classic French Chic

With all my reading about the French Chic look, I keep coming back to this basic, yet classic look - The Red Lip!!!  In trying my best to create a more simple makeup wardrobe, I sat down and made a list of all the lipstick I wear/own and what purpose they serve in my life.  I want a simple, yet functional makeup wardrobe.  I starting seeing a pattern, when the lipsticks I wear and like the most are the ones I picked up and discovered when I was in Paris.  I realized that the lipsticks that I like the best are the ones that fit the following classic French Chic lipstick looks:
1) The classic Red Lip
2) The everyday neutral
3) The polished deep rose shade

I have my basic 3, plus 2 others that I wear quite often, so I've decided to pick a 5 lipstick standard for myself :)

Today I felt the 'Classic Red Lip' look - I've been inspired by all the pinterest pics about 'Classic French Chic' - the Red Lip is all three things in one - Classic, Uber-French and Chic!  Here is the look I created:

I started this look with my basic concealer and tinted moisturizer.  I then created a subtle smokey eye - I know that a lot of times, the Chic French eye makeup look is very natural/minimal, but I feel that my eyes need a little bit more definition.  Its a look I like!!!  I mixed Bobbi Brown Navajo and Cement and applied this to my lids and just into my crease.  I then lined my eyes with Sephora Tiramisu (my favourite cooler-brown toned eyeliner) and smudged Bobbi Brow's black plum shadow into the liner.  I used a simply black mascara to finish the eye look.  For the Lips - my favourite red that I picked up in Paris - YSL #1 Le Rouge!!! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chanel Caractere Lipstick

Caractere is one of those lipsticks that is very memorable for me and it's a colour I don't wear enough!  It's memorable to me because I purchased it for the first time in Paris.  It was at the Chanel counter inside the Gallery Lafaette! I will never forget the experience of the elegant Parisian makeup artist who helped me out.  I told her I was looking for a chic everyday lipstick and she picked this shade for me.  Today I decided to pair it with Electra shadow on the lid, smolder liner smudged with mystery shadow on the upper lash line (all MAC) and then a light sweep of Oasis blush by NARS!

Now that I think back about that 'Paris lipstick purchase experience', I'm questioning, 'Why am I not wearing this colour more often?'.  When I took the time to really answer that question, its because I'm constantly trying and buying new shades, that I never take the time to appreciate the ones that really matter.

I'm beginning to really understand the importance of building a makeup wardrobe based on essentials, vs trends and getting stuck in the 'habit of buying'.  It will come to no surprise that this colour will be on my new list.  Which brings me to my question for you all:

How many lipsticks do you think a woman really needs?

What's the magic number of lipsticks that one should have in their 'makeup wardrobe?'

I'm so curious to read your responses to this one!!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Return to the 'Euro Chic' Look

Two things have recently really inspired me.  First, watching the French Open Tennis and second, studying the style of Charlotte Casiraghi.  In both cases, my love and admiration of the 'European Chic' Look is coming back.  You may be thinking, why would the French Open Tennis Tournament be inspiring me? Well, it takes place in Paris and when you watch the people in the crowds, everyone looks so 'chic' - one woman in the sports arena was wearing a striped 3/4 shirts with a beige toned blazer, summer hat, elegant scarf etc - all just to watch Tennis.  It makes you really sit back and think about why the French are so elegant - they take time to look good no matter where they are and what they are doing.  They are so elegant, simple and polished classic style!

Charlotte Casiraghi is the ultimate in European Chic - the Princess of Monaco has that natural elegance.  I love seeing what makeup look she's wearing.  I've noticed that she likes to play up the lips and leave the eyes natural OR create a very natural, everyday pretty look.  I tried to re-create her style and I went out of my comfort zone a little bit,  Instead of applying eyeliner all around my eye, like I normally do, I only applied it on the upper lash line, using a very natural shade - Sephora 'Tiramisu' and smudging MAC Coppertone into the liner so it doesn't look like a harsh, dark line.  I then picked a very natural and pink-toned blush and lipstick shade - NARS 'Oasis' Blush and Sandwash Pink lipstick by Bobbi Brown!  I think that I'm really liking the more natural eye liner look and I'm going to try and wear this look more often!!! :)