Valentine’s Makeup FOTD

Anyone else celebrate Valentine’s Day way after its gone? 🙂

Prep

I sprayed Avene Eau Thermale Spring water all over clean face and immediately applied Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Bi-Phase Serum.
Lierac’s hydra-chrono intense rehydrating balm on top. Seriously good stuff for dehydrated skin.

Base

A small amount of Smashbox photo finish luminizing primer all over face, mainly on cheeks and center of face though. I then applied a few drops of Benefit’s Moon Beam highlighter on cheekbones, brow bones, nose and cupid’s bow. I conceal before foundation if I am using a mineral foundation sometimes. I used L’Oreal’s visible lift cream concealer in Medium under eyes and around my nose.

Foundation

Bareminerals original foundation in medium beige, two layers with kabuki brush, then touched up around eyes and nose with concealer brush.
A mixture of Lancome bronzer (a mid tone) and The Body shop’s blush in a deep mauvy pink along back of cheeks and sides of face.
Next, Bareminerals clear radiance on highlighted areas and finished off with Bareminerals giddy pink blusher.

Eyes

Smashbox highlight and contour palette, contour color in brows and softly in crease. With a wet angled brush along outer corner of eyes to create soft flick, highlight color along lids and brow bones.

Benefit they’re real mascara, two coats and finally NYX lip gloss in beige.

10 minute chic makeup for a lovely dinner at Araxi in Whistler ❤️

Apologies for poor lighting and my useless iPhone camera quality 🙂

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Be Your Own Makeup Artist

Having your makeup done feels amazing. Something about having a feather light brush run across your cheeks makes you feel like a princess and like you could fall asleep. But the reality of it is, not everyone can afford a professional makeup artist to come to their wedding and not everywhere has a trained makeup artist available.
With a few tips and tricks, you can be your own MUA. Get your notebooks out girls, here’s a mini bridal masterclass just for you.

First step. You guessed it. Get your skincare under control. The better condition your skin is in, the better your makeup will apply and last.
Go to a counter and get color-matched if they have a foundation you want to try or if you truly have no clue what colour you are. Now get your camera out and take photos – inside, outside, with flash, without flash. If you want to test the durability, go ahead and run around, work up a sweat, rub your hands across your face, get kisses from your pup… rub a white shirt on your face! Do everything you can imagine could happen to you on your wedding day and put that foundation to the ultimate test. If it doesn’t ruin your white tee and your skin still looks great after a mini Zumba workout, it will probably do just fine on your wedding day. MAC Face and Body is a waterproof light-medium buildable coverage and comes in a great selection of shades to choose from. The more you work this into your skin, the thicker the texture gets and the more coverage it gives and it leaves your skin with a natural, healthy finish. As the name says, you can use it on your body to even out legs and arms and not have to ever worry about it transferring to your dress. A great colour correcting concealer for under the eyes is Benefit’s Erase Paste and for a fantastic light reflecting concealer try Clinique’s Airbrush concealer in the inner corners and under your brows. Anywhere you want to brighten, great for dark circles. For blemishes stick to a concealer that perfectly matches your foundation. MAC Studio Finish Concealer with a fluffy blending brush does the trick. With minimal product you can buff any imperfections away.

If you plan on getting your brows waxed before your wedding, make sure to do so in advance. Waxing takes off layers of skin and your foundation will have a hard time sticking to these areas.
Smashbox make a great firm, waxy pencil with a chiseled edge on one side and a soft brow gel on the other for giving your brows definition without looking drawn on. Lightly fill in sparse areas with tiny strokes in the direction your hair grows and extend the ends. Holding a brush or pencil at the outer corner of your nose to the outer corner of your eye will give you a guideline of where to extend to. Brush the gel upwards through your brows to keep them in place. For a softer brow, try using a powder instead of a pencil. Benefit’s Brow Zing sets are perfect for giving shape and texture with a duo of powder and a soft wax and comes with brushes and mini tweezers. You can choose how strong of a brow you wear by layering the products.

Search magazines, google bridal makeup looks, search Pinterest and find the eye makeup you love. Whether its a classic smokey eye or a soft one with lots of lashes. Choose a look that is similar to how you wear your makeup already. For example, if you always wear black liner and suddenly don’t on your wedding day, you will not look yourself. Bridal makeup should enhance what you already look like and your personal style. Now’s not the time to try that new fuchsia lipstick if you normally stick to chapstick.
Start practising. Just as you would have a trial with a professional, give yourself time to play around before the day arrives. If you are terrible at applying gel liner but are desperate for that crisp flick, rest your elbow on a table and look down into a mirror. You will be less likely to blink and your arm won’t be shaky. Try and try again. The more you do it, the more you will get to know the shape of your eyes. If you have hooded eyes (when your eyes are open, you can’t see much of your mobile lid) but really love the classic flick, try running a black eyeshadow along your lashes with an angled brush and literally flick your brush upwards as you get to the outer corner. This will create the illusion of elongated eyes. For a smoky eye on a hooded lid, apply your colour all over the lid and finish your blending with your eyes open and looking directly into a mirror.
That brings me to the #1 trick to a professional looking makeup. Blend! Use a clean ring finger, cotton buds or clean fluffy brushes to blend your makeup after you apply them. The more you work your products into your skin, the longer they will last and the more natural they will look. Blending can bring out the colours of some eyeshadows and can build coverage and longevity of your foundations.

Choosing the perfect lipstick can be easy too. If you want to stay natural find a colour that matches your natural lip tone and doesn’t mask it. L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Wet Shine Stain is the perfect dupe for YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain. It gives you the long wear of a lip stain and the finish of a gloss and feels silky smooth on the lips. Clinique’s Chubby Sticks are also a favourite with both sheer and intense shades to choose from. They feel like a lip balm and are easy to touchup throughout the day.
If you want a stronger, longer lasting lip colour such as a classic red, apply lipliner all over your lips. Blend it in with a brush. Apply your first layer of lipstick and blot the excess. Repeat. The more layers, the better. Some of my clients like to leave it here for the event and add a gloss over top of their stain as the night goes on.

Choosing a blush can be a little trickier because the last thing you want is to look like Aunt Sally. Find soft tones with minimal to no shimmer such as bareMinerals Laughter or Beauty loose blush. These are my go-to blushes that suit practically everyone. Laughter is a soft neutral peach that looks great along the cheekbones blended into bronzer and Beauty is a soft neutral pink that enhances the apples of your cheeks with a flirty natural flush. Keep in mind that you need your blush to show in photos so add a layer more than you normally would and take a photo with your cell outside before your big debut to make sure you have enough blush and eyeshadow.

Mascara is all about the brush. If you want defined lashes, choose one with a synthetic brush. For volumized lashes, choose a brush that is nice and thick and has natural bristles. For the best of both, try Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. It is smudge proof, but if you know you are going to shed more than a few tears, clean the brush off and use it with any waterproof mascara. Again, layer until you get the fullness and separation you want and avoid letting it dry in between each layer to avoid flaking.
If you want to try lashes and have never used them before, try them on for a full day before you decide. Get your tweezers, a good glue such as Duo’s Surgical Adhesive, and look down into a mirror, just like when you are doing your eyeliner. Try to avoid using strip lashes that have a thick band. The ones that have a clear gap in between each bundle of lashes are a lot more comfortable if this is your first time. You may need to trim them if they are too long. Always trim from the outer lashes (where its the fullest) and keep the side with the shorter lashes there, they go in the inner corner to keep the lash length the same way your natural lashes grow. I recommend using short individuals. They’re easier to apply and you don’t have to worry about ruining your makeup if you decide to take them off half way through the ceremony. Just place each lash bundle as close to your lashes as possible. Let them dry completely before putting any mascara on top. I like to start in the middle and work my way to the outside corner, checking the fullness as I go and repeat on the other eye. If you have trouble, ask a bridesmaid to help you with this. You might find after using Benefit’s mascara, you won’t need any fake lashes!

Finish your hard work with a setting spray or finishing powder. BareMinerals Illuminating Mineral Veil is great if you want a bit of shimmer, I concentrate this only on the tops of cheekbones and along arms and décolleté and use the Original Mineral Veil all over and especially under eyes to give an airbrushed look. You will look amazing in photos AND in person. The key to great bridal makeup.

Remember, its just makeup. If you make a mistake you can easily start over. Practice really does make perfect and there’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you CAN do it yourself.

Clarins Double Serum Review

Whether you are 25 or 45, finding a product that suits any age and any skin type is pretty fantastic. There’s always a risk of breakouts with anti-aging skincare, so this is especially great news for the 25+ age range that have struggled finding a product to meet these specific concerns.

Clarins has a Serum that targets all your worst fears (wrinkles, uneven tone, pores and loss of firmness just to name a few) and leaves your skin looking more radiant the first time you try it. Ask for a sample and you’ll see what I mean.

Firstly, it is in a unique pump bottle. I hate digging my fingers in a pot of skincare. And it ensures you get the exact mix of the two serums. Double duty skincare. One side contains water-soluable ingredients and the other oil-soluable. But don’t let the word “oil” put you off. Its light texture works on oily skin types and literally, it melts into the skin.

You can include this in your daily routine under your day or night cream. I would recommend using an anti-aging day/night cream for 30+ and sticking to your usual day and night creams for 25+ to avoid possible breakouts. The best part is you can use this as a 4 week pre-wedding intensive treatment. The ultimate anti-fatigue booster!

I like to know exactly what I’m putting on my skin, and so should you. Here’s a rundown of the key ingredients and what they’re doing in your serum.

Katafray and Hyaluronic Acid gives and maintains hydration.
Kiwi gives the best possible delivery of nutrients.
Organic Rosehip Oil improves your cellular respiration (oxygen to your cells).
Pistachio + Organic Green Tea protect your skin against internal & external aggressions.
Green Banana improves cell renewal and regenerates your skin.

Sounds like my next smoothie… 🙂

Now that you have a serum you can trust, the right application technique is the next key step.

I found 2 pumps was plenty for my entire face and neck. Warm it up in your hands. Use the entire surface of your hands, don’t be shy. Gently press your hands starting from the centre working outwards. I start at my cheeks work up to my forehead and finish on my neck. Pressing helps to minimise pulling and stretching of your delicate skin and starting in the centre enhances drainage. Voila, your skin will look as good as it feels. Now put your favourite moisturiser on top to lock it all in.

A product like this is definitely an investment. I know, skincare can be expensive. This one is $85 CA. But you have to ask yourself, do I want a product I can trust. Are the ingredients pure and simple or did I have to ask wikipedia what half of them were? Something that is going to give you the results you want, give your skin the nutrients it deserves and happens to boost your confidence for when you step onto the aisle, is absolutely worth it.

Even if it means you have to take off a couple people on the invitation list to get it 😉

Finding The One

Dear Mr. M,
I have a confession to make. I’m in love.
My life has changed. I think about you every day and how I feel when you’re around. If only you knew the confidence you have given me in such a short amount of time of really getting to know you. I always knew you were around, but I just didn’t think you were my type. I can be dry and rather flaky at times and I thought there was no way we could be friends. But I was wrong. You stole my heart at the first swirl of your brush and the first buff on my cheek.

There are many brands that have their own version of Mineral Makeup, some are great and some are not 100% Minerals. I stick to a brand that is close to my heart. I trust their product the most. I know the ingredients and I’ve seen first hand how this brand has changed women’s lives, including my own. Im talking about you, bareMinerals.

Mineral foundations are my personal favourite (if you couldn’t tell) and one of the key foundations I use in my Pro Bridal Kit. There is a colour and a finish to suit everyone’s needs and there are tricks I can share with you if you feel like your Minerals aren’t working for you.
I can guide you but not with the colours. Colour matching is something I have to leave to you, and if you get stuck, get your booty to a counter and ask for help! It would be impossible for me to tell you your perfect match without seeing your beautiful face in person.

BareMinerals do an excellent skincare and treatment line, but I will jump to the foundations.
They come in a Matte and an Original finish and the newest edition is called READY. I’ll stick to the originals for now and save the READY for a full review.

Matte is, as you probably guessed, a matte finish and is great for a more oily or combination skin type that tends to get shiny through the day. You get a much fuller coverage really quickly with Matte, which can make your foundation appear a tad darker than the same colour in the original version on some people. Get a colour match if you are switching from original to matte to be sure. I’m the same colour in both formulas and even though I have a very dry skin, Matte still works great. It doesn’t leave my skin begging for moisture. I use this if I want a really perfect flawless base for photo’s or a night out. I also find that if I have a breakout, my blemishes go away a lot quicker with Matte. Its great for humid places, so pack this in your travel bag. It does adjust to your skin temperature, so if you wear it to the gym and warm up your core temperature, you will feel a slight tingle as it adjusts. So don’t panic, it will stop eventually!

Original leaves you with a really healthy glow. If you have a combination/oily skin type and still want the glow, use an oil control primer to help keep excess shine from creeping in. If you have a very dry skin and want a more dewy look, apply a richer cream all over or just to the top of your cheeks. You can control where you look dewy – it’s my favourite trick. Be sure to let your moisturisers settle into the skin for a bit. In a rush? Add a Primer to suit your skin type immediately after moisturising to avoid any loose minerals from sticking to the moisturiser. I use the Original on most of my brides because it photographs beautifully and most women are after that healthy, youthful glow.
And yes, both have a SPF 15 naturally in them, but trust me, no flash back!

The brush you use has a lot to do with your application. You can invest in their brushes or stick to ones you already own, just make sure they are natural bristle brushes. The denser the brush, the fuller the coverage. Anything synthetic will put the minerals on in a maximum coverage. Use a synthetic concealer brush with the foundation to use it like you would a concealer, in places like around the eyes and especially the nose. Anywhere you want a little more. Use a synthetic foundation brush to apply full coverage to problem areas quickly, but still have a natural brush handy to then buff it in so it will last.

The technique: buff, buff, BUFF. Tap a little of the minerals into the lid, swirl your brush to grab every bit of the minerals and make sure the minerals are worked into the brush and not just sitting on the ends. Then close your eyes and get to work. Consider this your arm workout for the day. The more you buff the better the foundation is going to look. It will leave you with a nice smooth base. Repeat until you get the coverage you want. Some days I will wear one layer, others up to three if I am at work. Its your call and you have complete control.
The best part is the longer you wear it, the better it looks. It’s not going to harm your skin because it is only minerals, so anyone with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, or eczema are going to be able to wear this daily. You might even find that it helps your skin to recover, as I pleasantly discovered.

If this sounds like something made for you, give it a try. Try it for a week. I bet you will fall in love too. And if not, no worries. There are so many foundations to talk about, you will surely find the one of your dreams soon enough. Foundation hunting doesn’t need to be stressful. Once your skin finds what it likes, it will let you know.

Where to start?

I thought to myself… where do I start? I have so much to say, how do you start your first ever blog post. I should probably write about one of the most important parts of makeup. Yes! I must start with skincare.

It doesn’t matter what type of foundation you wear; liquid, cream, minerals, tinted moisturisers, bb or cc creams, if you don’t take care of the most important part, your makeup will fall short. 

Determine how much effort you want to put into your new skincare routine. If you normally just splash your face with water every night, start slow. Build up your routine to meet your needs. If you want to get rid of flaky skin once and for all, an exfoliator will need to be added to the mix. If you want to brighten those insomniac eyes (thanks, Pinterest) you will want to find an eye serum. Choose a cleanser, exfoliator, serum, moisturiser, sunscreen to suit your skin type. It may seem like a lot, but you can usually find products that act as a 2 in 1. Whether you are combination skin or dry, it is important to exfoliate once a week or once every fortnight if you are very sensitive. This will help your skin to look its best. Get into a routine. Every night, even if you are not wearing any makeup, cleanse and moisturise at the very least.

Here is my entire skincare routine as an example. I have a very Dry skin type that can become dehydrated. I still have the occasional breakouts and blackheads even into my late 20’s. 

Morning: Vichy Pro-Even Brightening Foam to gently exfoliate and brighten, great for post acne scarring and pigmentation. Immediately after with face still a little damp I apply 1 pump of Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum which relieves my dehydrated skin thanks to Whistler’s lovely mountain winter weather (It has snowed here the last two days! Roll on Spring already!) Finally I apply a small layer of Pond’s Dry skin cream because it is super rich and leaves me with a nice glow. It has a strong scent of baby powder and when I say it’s super rich, I mean it! I bought it needing something cheap to tie me over and I ended up loving it. 

Night: I double cleanse with BareMinerals Deep Cleansing Foam (my favorite cleanser ever) whether I was wearing makeup for the day or not. Once a week I use Stila’s Face Scrub and gently massage after cleansing for a good couple minutes. This is a stronger exfoliator than the Vichy cleanser I use daily, the Vichy one is very fine and gentle, this one gets rid of dry skin on a deeper level. I consider this a treat for my skin. After, I apply 1-2 drops of Clarins Blue Orchid Oil for Dehydrated skin all over my face, neck and décolleté (they have an oil for all skin types and each has their own scent.) This is my holy grail skincare product. Sometimes I will apply it while I’m in the bath and sometimes I will dab off the excess oils after letting it sit for 30 minutes and apply my Pond’s cream over top. Usually I will just go straight to bed and wake up with the best glow ever. On a regular day I will use the same serum and moisturiser after cleansing. 

Working at a makeup counter, I have the chance to try out everything. This is my routine lately and it will change as the seasons do and as the years go by. Except maybe the Clarins Oil, I can’t imagine my life without it… ❤ 

After you get your skin under control, you can start the sometimes daunting task of finding your perfect foundation.

Foundation can be the hardest and most frustrating part of starting out with makeup. It’s hard to know which one is going to be the best until you try it out yourself. One person’s holy grail foundation could be someone’s worst nightmare. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample of a foundation you are curious about. If the makeup company “doesn’t do samples” or the girl at the counter gives you grief, take your business elsewhere. Drugstore foundations can be frustrating because most of the time they don’t have a tester out and if they do, someone has usually made a mess with it. Don’t worry. If you take it home and it doesn’t match perfect or you absolutely hate it, bring it back. As long as you have the receipt, there will be no problem! I promise. 

Don’t be too quick to judge. Sometimes it takes me a good few tries to really fall for a product. With skincare it can take a few months before you really see the difference it makes. Be patient and have an open mind. Trust the reviews you see and give them a chance before you say it doesn’t work. And please do your skincare testing way in advance of your Wedding Day to avoid any surprises!