Thursday, August 28, 2008

update your look for fall - dark lips

It's that time of year again! With back to school, back to cool (temperatures) and everything that goes with it, chances are that your summer is nearly up.

What with all the changes going on, you might want to think a minute about updating your makeup for fall '08. Fear not, my friends! One of the most stylish and current ways to update your look for fall this year is to look to the dark side - dark lip colour that is.

Dark lips are all over the place for fall. And there are some extreme examples that should be left to the catwalk (slick black patent lips, anyone?). But this dark lip trend can be totally wearable as the weather gets cooler.

Dark Lip Fall 08

An easy way to transition is to think of it as deepening the lip colours you already like to wear. Dark plums, reds and chocolate are all popular options that are right on track this season, so there are options for everyone!

You can also play with the finish to suit your comfort. Try a sheer blackberry lip stick or gloss. Blot down your dark creamy lipstick to a stain, for a hint of softness and longer-lasting colour. Or go full-on dark red, which call look especially chic at night.

Pair your dark lip look with a polished face - groomed brows, lush lashes and a hint of cheek colour to keep the complexion fresh. So pretty.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

makeup for bruises

No one likes to have to deal with bruises, but sometimes they are an unfortunate side effect of the lovely effects of various injectibles (not always!).

Here are a few tricks to concealing bruises:
-prep skin and make sure the area is clean and DRY (you don't want your concealer sliding off a too-moist face)
-opt for a creamy, opaque concealer that comes in a pot or a pan (not the type in a tube, they are usually too sheer)
-choose a concealer that is very close to your natural depth of skintone but with a warm undertone for a purple bruise(the warm/yellow tone helps cancel out the purple of a fresh bruise)
-choose a concealer as close to your own skintone and depth when the bruise is older
-pat the concealer on with a brush directly onto darkest areas first, then feather out into clear skin
-press on a light layer of translucent powder to set (carefully, dont want to lift the concealer) using a velour puff or a sponge

You may repeat with a second layer of concealer and powder if the bruise is very dark, but be VERY careful to not overblend, otherwise you will notice your concealer lifting as you continue your brushstrokes. If it starts lifting on me, I like to pat the area lightly with my finger and then apply a whisper of powder, then try for another layer. If this still doesn't work, I start again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Look Ahead

Fall is already on my mind. With an eye on things to come, the way ahead seems paved in GOLD.

Lead by makeup maven Peter Philips, new Creative Director for Makeup at Chanel, his debut collection is centred around lovely gilded touches for all. With all the recent hits coming from the house of Chanel (how many people did you know that wore super-dark nailpolish? neon brights?), gold just might be the new black.

Chanel Makeup Fall 08

Gold is very easy to integrate into your makeup routine and can be so flattering on any skin tone. Why not try a pale gold highlight on cheekbones or browbones? Maybe a soft gold shadow with lots of lush black mascara. Perhaps a pretty lipstick with a gold pearl. Think of the possibilities!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

finishing touches for your eyebrows

For that extra little bit of polish to your makeup look, think about finishing touches for your eyebrows.

For any look, from a natural look to full on glamour, making sure your eyebrows are groomed and defined can make a huge difference.

On those days that you aren't planning on wearing much makeup (like the lazy days of summer), simply combing your brows with a spoolie (clean mascara wand) or a brow comb in an upward and outward direction is great. If your brow hairs are on the unruly side, comb through a little brow wax or even a bit of untinted lip balm to tame and subtly define them.

If you are going to be wearing a stronger makeup look, you can define your brows with either a pencil or a powder. It really is a matter of preference and comfort when choosing your weapon, but there are a few tips I can offer for both:

When choosing a pencil, look for a BROW PENCIL specifically, because they are formulated with the best texture, which is drier than other pencils. Do not fill in your brows with an eyeliner (too creamy) or, heaven forbid, a lip liner (just WRONG - too creamy and usually too warm toned).

If you are more comfortable with a powder, you can use a brow powder specifically, or a matte eyeshadow with a neutral tone. Apply the powder with a small angled brush with firm bristles.

Use short strokes to mimic hairs and fill in following the direction of the hair growth.

As a guideline, blondes should look for a tone similar to their overall hair colour or slightly darker; brunettes should look for a tone similar to their colour or slightly lighter.



Always comb through your brows with a spoolie or brow comb AFTER you have filled them in. This ensures that the edges are softened and look natural. If you feel that you have filled them in too heavily, comb more vigorously, zigzagging side to side as you comb up and out to lift some of the colour and diffuse the effect.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

curling eyelashes

Curling my eyelashes is a vital step in any of my eye makeup looks. I have fairly straight eyelashes, so I cannot under emphasize the difference made by curling my eyelashes before applying mascara.

The first time I tried curling my eyelashes, I was very excited. I was a little over-zealous with the curling and pinched my eyelid (I was about 10, so mistakes were to be expected). I also squeezed and held the curler clamped shut for far too long (15 seconds, 30 seconds, I don't really remember). My lashes ended up at a 90 degree angle. Needless to say it took a little practice to get it right.

My biggest tip for making the best curl is to "walk the curler" along your eyelashes, and this is a technique specifically for clamp curlers (the most common type). I start by trying to make the first crimp as close to my lash line as possible, without catching my eyelid. I then hold the curler down for a brief moment, up to about 5 seconds. After creating this crimp, I pull the curler out a little bit from the base of the lashes and make a second crimp. Making 2 crimps (or possibly 3 if you can manage it) creates the prettiest and most effective curl, in my opinion.

Try to curl your lashes before you put on mascara, because mascara can make your lashes stick to the crimping pads in the curler, pulling them out.

Good curlers can be found at different price points, although the Cadillac of eyelash curlers is by Shu Uemura. I was lucky enough to receive my Shu for my 18th birthday, which is nice because it retails for around $25. It really is a superior tool, making curling a breeze, and giving the nicest effect.

Shu Uemura eyelash curler
Shu Uemura eyelash curler from

If you are not looking to spend that much (and I wouldn't blame you), I would try and look for a curler with a metal body (as opposed to plastic) because you can squeeze gently but effectively. I find the plastic ones feel flimsy and don't give enough curl. Sometimes curlers are labelled with different levels of curl, from natural to dramatic. Get the dramatic, because I have found that any of the ones labelled natural don't do much of anything!

You may need to test a few to find the one that fits your eye the best and works the most effectively for you, but I highly recommend you try it!

Friday, May 2, 2008

gloPrecision eye pencils in US Elle

Check out this month's US Elle magazine, with the ever-immaculate Madonna on the cover!

Madonna US Elle May 08

Flip to page 212 and see my beloved gloPrecision eye pencils named as the best eyeliner in their Green Stars makeup feature.

gloPrecision eye pencil

They cited that these pencils "contain finely crushed minerals for supervelvety, high-impact colour." I love them because they come in great colours (black, black-brown, brown, charcoal, peach, plum, deep olive, antique gold, silver lilac) and have excellent staying power. They can go on very precisely and intense, or you can smudge them out with the smudger on the other end of the pencil to create a softer effect. The glominerals line also has great lip and brow pencils, too!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

gloLip plumpers - love that tingle!

Lip plumping products are a new niche in the cosmetics market that has exploded in recent years. And for good reason, too! Who doesn't want a bigger, more luscious looking pout?

Many lip plumping products are based on capsaicin (chili pepper extract), which gives them their tingly sensation. They work to temporarily plump up your lips by increasing blood flow. This increase in blood flow gives your lips a deeper, naturally flushed tone, as well.

gloLip Plumper colourless
Colourless gloLip plumper image from

There is a great lip plumper from glominerals called gloLip plumper. It is capsaicin based, and really gives a nice plumping effect. When I first tried it, I was actually quite surprised because I had previous experience with DuWop's Lip Venom and Too Faced's Lip Injection, which didn't have nearly the same kick. It may take a second to get used to that tingling sensation (especially if you've never tried a lip plumper), but it's so worth it for the end result!

gloLip Plumpers tinted
Tinted gloLip plumper image from

There is a colourless gloLip plumper, which is great to use by itself or under lip liner, lipstick, or another gloss. They have also put out two new coloured formulas for spring, a coppery-bronze shade and a sheer bright pink. They are both super pretty and deliver that plumping kick, too!