Sunday, December 27, 2015

New Year - Looking forward to 2016

New Years is just around the corner!  As I reflect on 2015, I can't help but feel grateful and blessed.  2015 was a fantastic year, filled with many lessons of growth and insight!!!  In terms of my makeup journey, 2015 brought some interesting and eye-opening discoveries.  I've discovered my 'warm autumn' colour palette, rediscovered my interest in makeup 'style' looks (i.e. chic, everyday look, evening glam etc) and am beginning to connect my passion for makeup with confidence and feminine strength.  I really feel that in 2016, I want to re-establish this blog to its original name 'beauty and elegance' and connect to my feminine power and inspiration.  I am looking forward to connecting to that inner strength and bringing it forward with my makeup looks.  I also want to look towards creating my own personal look based on minimal simplicity.  In order to do that, I recently went through my makeup bag and picked out my favourite tested and true lipstick products.  I noticed a definite pattern with the colours and decided, these are my signatures:
MAC Chili
MAC Retro
Bobbi Brown Burnt Red
NARS Leslie

I wanted to create a minimal, elegant look with MAC Retro lipstick, as it's the most neutral of the four lip shades.  MAC describes this shade as a muted, peachy-pink brown and I agree with that description.  I think that in 2016, I want to stop 'experimenting' and start embracing all that is chic.  I think that for so long, this blog has been about 'me' and my journey.  In that sense, its been more of a blog-journal.  I want this blog to evolve beyond that.  There is more to beauty and elegance than just makeup and discovering makeup looks.  I want to redefine how we explore and understand 'beauty and elegance'.  2016 is going to be a new opportunity to do just that!!!

For this look I started with L'oreal true match concealer and foundation in W4-5.  I then applied MAC Peaches blush (my current holy-grail shade).  For the eyes, I used MAC goldmine eyeshadow and then used an angled brush to apply Arbonne 'chocolate' eyeshadow as a liner.  I completed the look with some black mascara (also Arbonne) and MAC Retro lipstick - a true everyday classic!!!

Here's to 2016 - looking forward to a new year and a new 'look'!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Holiday Pink

I felt like I had to write a second tribute to MAC Twig lipstick, as it's truly becoming my favourite 'pink' shade of lipstick.  I think that when people think of pink, they don't necessary think of this shade, or of the Holiday's for that matter, but for me, its 'perfect'!

Let me start off by saying that I'm 'not' a pink girl.  I don't particularly suit pink, as I'm a warm autumn and I'd much rather veer into the brownish-orange shades.  However, I do like Twig lipstick by MAC.  Twig is definitely a brownish-pink and it's the 'only' pink I can wear successfully.  I love my tried and true warm autumn shades, but every once and I while, I crave change and Twig is a refreshing pink.  It says pink without saying 'PINK'.  This Holiday season I'm going to a lot of day Christmas lunches and get together's.  Wearing a festive red during the day is nice, but I find this shade perfect for lunches or a brunch.  It's also a shade that works with almost everything I have.  Many of my chicer outfits are still black/navy - until I get my warm autumn wardrobe working for me in full force, I really want an elegant cross-over shade - Twig is perfect!

I decided to create a neutral look for today's lunch outing.  I used a peach toned blush by NYX, amber lights on the lid, black liner smudged with espresso shadow and black mascara.  I applied Twig twice to really layer on the colour!  I have to say that this look is one of my favourites so far because its so versatile.  You can wear this look to any occasion and in any weather/season.  It's my new neutral-pink perfection look :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

NARS Barbarella

I have always loved this lipstick shade!  No matter what season or colour palette I was experimenting with, I always had NARS Barbarella in my makeup bag!  Recently, I've been playing around with more of the warm autumn reds and mahogany shades, but now I'm looking into warm autumn natural/nude shades.  I was VERY happy to find out that Barbarella matches the 'Soft Peach' shade of the Warm Autumn palette.  I decided to create a natural look using Barbarella:

I used just some basic essentials for this look - L'Oreal true match concealer and foundation in W4-5, MAC Peaches blush (and as a shadow as well), MAC Amber lights on the eye lid, Lancome Brun Mascara and Barbarella :) by NARS!!!

It's nice to have a natural, everyday, casual look for a change!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

5 product, 10 minute makeup look

One thing that I've noticed since discovering my best colour palette, is just how fast and simplistic my makeup routine has become.  It literally takes me 5-10 minutes to put a look together and I use and need less makeup products than ever before.  Right now, I basically just use: concealer, foundation or tinted moisturizer, blush (which acts as an eyeshadow as well), mascara and lipstick.  Today I created a look just using the products listed.  I started with L'Oreal true match concealer and foundation in W4-5 and then applied MAC Peaches blush (using this shade as an eyeshadow as well).  I finished the look with mascara and a swipe of Revlon's Really Red lipstick:

I really like knowing that I can put together a look that is effortless but still looks chic.  With the right colours, it's so easy to get it right.  The colours do all the work for you :)  Looking back at some of my previous makeup looks from years ago, I can't believe how much makeup I used to wear, especially near the eyes.  I feel that I no longer thick eyeliner and the minimal look is so much fresher and cleaner.  Simplicity truly is elegance!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Orange-Brick Shade

I love finding lipsticks that act as 'mixers' - colours that you can apply and mix/blend into other shades.  I discovered a shade by Kat Van D called 'Solo' - it's a tangerine orange shade with shimmer and it blends in so well with other shades in the orange/red family.  Today I decided to blend it with one of my favourite hippies 'Chili' by MAC:

The combination of these two colours together created the perfect brick-red/orange shade.  Almost, the ideal copper-brick shade.  I kept my eye make warm and golden by blending MAC Goldmine with NARS Galapagos.  I also used Peaches by MAC as my blush choice - the warm peach shade works perfectly with the orange shades in this look.  I'm going to continue mixing and blending various lipstick shades - its such a fun way to create various new looks :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Polished Up Work Look

A few days ago, I wrote a post about a natural, everyday work look.  This is sort of a part 2, however, instead,  I wanted to create a more polished look.  Some days you want a natural look, but you also want to take it up a notch.  I'm finding that now that December is here, there are a lot of after work parties and get-togethers.  Sometimes you just want a day look that functions for evening events as well.  I put this look together based on some of my most recent makeup finds:

The feature of this look is the subtle, shimmery eye and mahogany lip that matches my best 'natural flush shade'.  David Zyla who wrote the book 'Color Your Style', talks about this natural flush shade and refers to it as your best 'romantic' shade, to be used as your ideal red/lipstick hue.  If you pinch your finger, this shade will be revealed, check it out.  Here are my two romantic shades:

As you can see, I used not only the mahogany shade (as a lipstick shade), but I also matched the more warm peach shade to my palette and found the perfect blush!  I wanted to keep these two romantic shades in mind while creating this look, as they are perfect shades that already appear in my natural skin colouring and flush.  If you ever have a chance to read David Zyla's book 'Color Your Style', I highly recommend it.  Back to my polished work look, I decided to focus on creating a subtle shimmer with the eyes, so I blended a copper metallic shade (MAC amber lights) with a warm brown shade that also has some gold shimmer (NARS Galapagos).  I love the combined effect of a metallic shade with the Galapagos shadow - its my new go-to shadow combination.  I then added some brown mascara (I used the LancĂ´me Brun shade) and for the warm peach romantic blush shade, I went with MAC Peaches.  Finally, the mahogany lip is a shade by Chanel called 'Antoinette' - it's a mahogany shade with a touch of copper, which is perfect for my Warm Autumn palette.  What I like about using my personalized colour palette, is that each look that you create truly is elegant and polished.  Colour and colour choice really does make a difference in how your makeup looks :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bobbi Brown Burnt Red Lipstick

This holiday season, I've been looking for the perfect red to wear with all my Christmas inspired outfits.  Tis the season for all the holiday parties and for looking 'festive'.  I came across Bobbi Brown's Burnt Red a few weeks ago - I was 'hooked' from day one.  It's become one my favourite reds and I think it's going to be my Chistmas/Holiday colour:

The one thing that I really, really love about this red, is that its not a typical true red, yet it's bright, elegant and goes with so many colours.  I would call this shade the 'perfect brick red'!  Since I went with a brighter orange red top, I decided to play up the warm orange/amber shades.  I started with MAC Peaches blush and also applied this shade to my eyes as a shadow and used Amber Lights just on the lid before applying some mascara.  I used a brown mascara, the Brun shade from Lancome.  Finally, the Burnt Red by Bobbi Brown!!!  Voila - elegant burnt/brick red!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Natural Work Day Look

One of my favourite looks to create is the casual, natural workday look.  I've discovered that my best natural warm autumn shade is 'salmon/peach'.  I wanted to create a look that is very '5 minutes and go'.  Since I've been wearing more of the medium toned warm autumn red toned lipsticks to work, this is a nice change:

My main colour palette for this look, is warm salmon-peach and gold!  I used goldmine eyeshadow on the lid, peaches blush and ravishing lipstick (all MAC shades).  I also switched my mascara to a brown shade recently - Lancome Brun!

I think that variety is very important for day looks.  We can't be natural 'all the time', and we can't we overdone.  I've recently started to do my own research about what makeup looks are best for everyday.  I'm coming to understand that this varies with each person and each place.  For example, In Paris, Red is very chic for everyday with a natural eye.  In contrast, the 'le no makeup look' is also very chic.  For me, I think a day look needs to be functional - it needs to work with your daily life and also be able to transform easily into a 'day into night' look.  I look forward to doing some more reading about this topic - I'm always very interested in learning about looks and now I get to put a 'warm autumn' spin on it!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Peachy, Warm Gold Makeup Look

I have inner-knowing that I'm 'fully equipped' to make my Warm Autumn makeup palette work to its full advantage.  I recently had the opportunity to stock up on some essential shades and 'cover all my bases' so to speak.  In terms of having a functional palette, I feel that I have certain 'base shades' that help bring everything together.  These shades help to anchor my looks!  What are they? The Warm Peach and Gold shades.  In my last post, I created a very nice and pretty 'peach and gold' look and in this post, I'm going to use similar shades to anchor in all my other favourite Warm Autumn shades.

For this look, I did a lot of mixing and blending of various peach/gold shades.  I started with the eyes, and combined NARS Galapagos eyeshadow with MAC Goldmine eyeshadow - I applied this blend to my lid and up into the crease and then used Goldmine on its own over the lid again before applying mascara.  For this look, I decided to try a brown mascara instead of my usual black.  For my blush shade, I went with MAC Peaches blush (this is becoming a new favourite).  The star of the show for me is usually always the lip shade.  I decided to blend NARS Leslie with Kat Von D 'Solo' lipstick - It's the perfect medium chroma warm red-peach shade!!!  I'm very happy with this makeup!  The key for me now is to turn my attention over to getting more Warm Autumn toned clothes - scarves and accessories in particular :)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Revisiting my Zyla 'Romantic Shade'

I've been on a colour 'high' recently since my Warm Autumn Colour analysis.  I'm also trying to now find my best self within this palette.  I really admire the work of David Zyla who write the book 'Color Your Style'.  He indicates that you can find your best colours by looking at the shades already part of you - the colour of your viens (your dramatic shade) , the shade your finger turns when you pinch it slightly (this is your romantic shade) and many other colours.  In this post, I want to focus on my romantic shade.  I lightly pinched my finger and got a close up of the shade that I later matched to my warm autumn swatches.  The shade matched perfectly to the deep peach/salmon shade:

The challenge was to now find a lipstick that matched this shade!  It took me a few tries, but it turns out I found the perfect match - MAC Ravishing Lipstick.  I actually recently wore this shade, before doing this romantic experiment, so it was nice to know I already owned this colour:

I was also able to find a blush shade that complimented this 'warm peach' romantic - MAC Peaches blush.  It's the perfect everyday shade:

To put it all together.  I wanted to let the peachy glow dominate, so I just used a gold shadow (MAC goldmine) on my eyelids, a touch of mascara and voila, the perfect 'romantic' look!!!

Solo lipstick - Kat Von D

There is something to be said about some good TLC and retail therapy.  In my case, my retail therapy always translates into Makeup!!!

I decided to browse around Sephora today and came across a very interesting and beautiful lipstick colour: Solo by Kat Von D.  When I first saw the shade, I thought, 'wow, someone has finally created the perfect lighter toned orange shade that isn't too bright or neon'.  It took some lipstick comparing to figure out that Solo is, in fact, a warm autumn/spring cross-over.  It's primary effect is 'warmth', which I really love.  When I got back home, I had to swatch the shade and noticed that it's the perfect match to the Warm Autumn 'orange'.  I decided to swatch it next to the light orange swatch so that you can see that it's not too light or bright, but the perfect 'warm' orange shade:

One that that came to mind almost instantly for me is just how perfect this shade will be to wear on its own and as a mixer/blending shade for other warm autumn lipsticks.  I'm so very excited to play around with this shade some more.  Today, I swiped it on as is - no liner or other shade - just Solo on its own (no pun intended :) )

I wanted to create a very 'warm' and copper-orange based look, so I actually blended MAC amber lights and goldmine shadows to create a blush shade, then applied the goldmine as a shadow and then some mascara.  The top that I'm wearing is not a warm shade, but I like how the blue is in contrast with the orange palette!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Orange-Red Lipstick

Ever since I've purchased the NARS Red Square Lipliner, I can't stop experimenting with various combinations of colours.  More recently, I decided to combine one of my all time favourite orange shades: MAC Chili with the NARS Red Square shade.  I have to admit, that this is THE perfect Orange-Red shade - it's a combination that I think I'm going to wear more often!!!  So far in my colour journey, I have settled on a few shades that have now become my signatures: NARS Leslie, Bobbi Brown Burnt Red and MAC Chili.  I'm now in the process of experimenting with various combinations of these shades with different liners and lipsticks.   Here is my current creation of MAC Chili with NARS red square:

I wanted to keep this look warm and classic, so I used MAC Amber lights on my eyes and smudged Laura Mercier's Copper Brown eyeliner on the upper lash line.  I used MAC Coppertone blush and blending in MAC Goldmine shadow into the blush shade (I love blending in golden toned shadows into my blush - it just adds that little bit of shimmer without being overpowering and its nice to have a multi-use product).  Finally, I applied NARS Red Square lipliner and layered MAC Chili lipstick over top and Voila!!!  I'm really loving this look!!!