June 23, 2014

9 things every woman should have in her makeup bag.

Makeup bags are like snowflakes - no two are alike. But there are a few things that should be in every woman's arsenal, whether she's a Sephora addict, or an au-naturel kinda girl. 

9. BB Cream 

For those days when you just don't feel like spending any more than exactly one minute in front of the mirror, this is your go-to product. It's a moisturizer, primer, and [light-coverage] foundation in one, and will give you even skin with a glow for a put-together, no-makeup look. 

LD Pick: Marcelle Anti-Aging BB Cream [$28, Shoppers Drug Mart]

8. Concealer

While we all wish we were blessed with a perfect complexion and "I got 8 hours of sleep" eyes, for most people the reality is you weren't. And you definitely don't get 8 hours of sleep every night. So what's the answer? Concealer. Whether you prefer cream or liquid, it's always a good bet to spend a little more and invest in a good one that will last all day and resist creasing

LD Pick: Stila Stay-All-Day Concealer [$36, The Beauty Boutique]

7. Mascara (& Eyelash Curler!)

This is pretty self explanatory. Wear mascara. And curl your eyeslashes before you apply it! 

LD Pick: Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes [$31, The Beauty Boutique] + Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler [$25, Sephora]

6. Bronzer

To avoid having people ask if you are feeling OK, a colouring item such as bronzer or blush is a necessity. To kill two birds with one stone [or two needs with one product], I recommend going for a bronzer/blush duo. Urban Decay has a great one that comes in 4 different shades to suit a wide variety of skin tones. Apply it all over to give yourself that J-Lo glow, or just on your cheeks for a more subtle, blush effect. Bonus points if you get one with a highlighter for a luminous effect. 

LD Pick: Urban Decay Naked Flushed [$35, The Beauty Boutique]

5. Highlighting Pen

A highlighting stick is a relatively new must-have for me, and it's versatility is what landed it at #5 on my list. For use virtually all over the face, a highlighting pen can be used to brighten dark shadows under and around the eye area, and around lip contours for a plumping effect. If it's the right shade, you can even use it to highlight the cheeks and forehead. 

LD Pick: Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator [$58, The Beauty Boutique] or Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer [$10, Shoppers Drug Mart]  *budget friendly!

4. Bright Lipstick

Whether it's a classic red, or a trendy pink, having a bright colour in your bag is a must for those times when you want to play around with your look and try something different! 

LD Pick: Revlon Super Lustrous Matte in "Stormy Pink" [$12, Shoppers Drug Mart]

3. Lip Balm

To keep your lips soft and smooth, use a lip balm regularly. Keep one in your makeup bag, and one in your purse!

LD Pick: EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm [$4, Target]

2. Dark Eyeliner

My go-to is black black black, but if you find it's too harsh for your colouring, dark brown is a good alternative. I personally prefer liquid formulas for their strong pigment and staying power, but a good pencil will work for those who are terrified of liquid formulas.

LD Pick: Revlon Colourstay Liquid Eye Pen [$12, Shoppers Drug Mart]

1. Brow Pen/Pencil

I personally like to define my brows with a brow pen or pencil first, then fill in with powder for a more natural look, but if you prefer a simple and easy one-step brow process, go for the pen or pencil! 

LD Pick: Dior Diorshow Brow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brow Pencil [$31, The Beauty Boutique] or L'Oreal Brow Artist Brow Pencil [$12, Shoppers Drug Mart]

June 19, 2014

alter-ego makeup workshop

On Tuesday, I had the amazing opportunity to attend LA-based makeup artist Hrush Achemyan's makeup workshop in Toronto. The "Alter-Ego" Makeup Tour focused on Hrush's signature smokey cat-eye look, and famous contour/highlight technique. After her demonstrations, we got to try out the looks with her one-on-one guidance and advice. I learned sooo many good tips, product suggestions, and celeb makeup secrets that I can't wait to use on my beautiful clients!!
And Hrush is so nice and down to earth... not to mention absolutely gorgeous!

Check out the pics below for a sneak peak into the workshop! 

June 15, 2014

Canada Philippine Fashion Week 2014

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with an amazing crew of makeup artists from Toronto and the Philippines, on Canada Philippine Fashion Week's closing event, the fashion ball. Sponsored by MAC, we worked with their products to process over 40 models with 5 different looks for designer Francis Libiran and his amazing collection of gorgeous couture pieces! Such a great experience!

June 4, 2014

the busy girl's guide to waking up pretty

[This post originally appeared on makeup.com, but there are some great tips that I wanted to share!]

As much as we all wish we could wake up from a slumber looking Sleeping Beauty-flawless, the reality isn’t always as pretty (read: not even close). After all, it seems like even the most effortless beauty looks involve some dedication and time spent in front of the mirror (or a talent with the blow dryer, at best). This works on the mornings when we miraculously avoid hitting snooze, but let’s be real – between all of our late nights and early mornings, the snooze button has become a close friend we’d rather not ditch. So what’s a busy girl to do? The answer is simple: Prep the night before.Your nightly routine can easily – and quickly – help you avoid the hungover zombie look the next morning. Follow these six steps to give your AM hair, skin and eyes a boost.
Before Bed:

Clean your face

Time: 2 minutes
This seems like a given, but a recent study found that only 50% of women wash their face regularly. According to Assistant Professor at Yale Department of Dermatology Mona Gohara, “leaving makeup, sunscreen or smog residue on your face can lead to unwanted acne and even wrinkles.” Get it together, ladies! She recommends using a mild non-soap cleanser with a neutral pH before hitting the hay. On nights when washing your face just takes too much effort (hey, we’ve all been there), try makeup-removing wipes instead.

Simplify your products

Time: 1 minute
Did you know that the term “beauty sleep” comes from the fact that your skin cells actually regenerate at night? Gohara recommends helping your skin’s recovery process by choosing a night cream that has retinol as an active ingredient. We’re fans of SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 and La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] for an overnight skin boost.
Hyaluronic acid is another ingredient to look for in your nighttime regime. “Hyaluronic acid is a potent humectant, drawing water into the skin for a smoother, more reflective glow,” advises dermatologist Deirdre Hooper. Apply a moisturizer like L'Oreal RevitaLift Triple Power Deep-Acting Moisturizer or Stila Face the Day Moisturizing Gel Cream at night to wake up with fresh, dewy, princess-like skin.

Braid it

Time: 5-7 minutes
For soft, beachy waves in the AM, employ the ultimate low maintenance beauty tactic—braids. Before you snooze, apply a dime-sized amount of soft-hold styling cream (try Garnier Fructis Calm Down Anti-Frizz Cream or Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream) through wet or damp hair, then divide into sections and braid from root to ends. In the morning, undo and gently comb through with your fingers, then finish with a spritz or two of a texturizing spray—we love Kératase Spray À Porter Beach Texture Spray. Whoever said bed head was a bad thing?

While You Sleep:
Use a humidifier 
The ultimate in lazy girl beauty, a humidifier gives your skin an extra dose of moisture at the simple switch of a button. By evaporating water into the air, humidifiers soothe and hydrate dry, itchy skin. Just make sure you’re replacing the water daily so bacteria and mold don’t grow—no one should be that lazy!
Sleep on your back
Stomach-sleepers, we’ve got bad news: it may be time to re-evaluate your snooze. According to Dr. Gohara, “Sleeping on your stomach and side lead to fluid build-up around the eyes, leaving you with an unwelcome puffy look.” We’ll leave puffiness to marshmallows and fluffy animals, thankyouverymuch! To avoid the swollen-eye look the next morning, pile on the pillows and sleep on your back – the elevation will help drain the fluids around your eyes.

Choose satin or silk

Time to indulge your inner princess—for maximum PM beautification, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase. Dr. Hooper says satin pillowcases can lessen wrinkle-inducing pressure on your skin, while Dr. Gohara recommends using a silk pillowcase to avoid hair breakage. Sorry, cotton – you’re just not cutting it.

June 2, 2014

bridal beauty countdown!

It's June and that means Wedding Season has officially arrived (and so has Prom season), so whichever dress you will be sporting in the coming months, follow this beauty countdown to gorgeous! Mark your calendar with this prep list, and find out which essential steps you should be taking months, weeks, and hours before your big day!

Starting Now

Give Skin Some Love
Cleanse with a gentle cleanser twice a day tailored to your skin type, exfoliate twice a week, protect skin daily with an SPF 30 or higher, and at night use a good anti-aging moisturizer.

Let it Grow!
If you dream of flowing locks on your wedding day, start working toward your goal now. Keep in mind that hair grow about a half inch per month. Tell your stylist to trim no more than an eighth of an inch each time.

6 Months Prior

Get a Facial
If you are fortunate enough to be able to get a facial every 6 weeks - do it. If you can only get one or two, make sure they are spaced 6 weeks apart, and at least 6 weeks before the big day!

Shape Your Brows
Ask your expert to follow the natural line of your brows and take a conservative approach, the most flattering shape for brides is full with a nice arch. Book shapings every 4 to 6 weeks leading up to the event, and abstain from DIY plucking between visits. The last wax should be no sooner than 2 weeks before the wedding in case of irritation.

3 Months Prior

Book the Beauty Pros
Research hair and makeup artists in your area by asking around, searching online, and checking out their portfolio. Go with the ones that fit your budget, but make you feel comfortable and listen to your beauty vision for the big day.

1 Month Prior

Brighten Your Smile
First, get a teeth cleaning even if you're not due for one. Then you can either use a drugstore whitener, like Crest Advanced White Strips, or get a one-hour whitening by your dentist. Try to avoid red wine and coffee leading up to the big day [without dying] to keep teeth dazzling.

Beauty Test Drive
Schedule a trial with your hair and makeup professionals to ensure you both know exactly what will be done on the big day. Surprises are not a brides best friend! Make sure to take pictures of your finished look both inside and outside so you can see how you look in different lighting and decide if there's anything you would like to change.

Try on a Spray Tan
DO NOT GO TO TANNING BEDS. Skin cancer is not in fashion, and you can get the same effect from a bottle SAFELY! Test out different products [St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse is amazing, as is Neostrata Insta-Tan] to decide which product/colour is best on you. Your glow should last between 5-7 days, so trying this a month prior give you plenty of time to perfect your application. Final application should be no sooner than 2 days prior to the big day.

1 Day Prior

Treat yourself to a salon manicure and pedicure the day before to give yourself a moment to unwind and ensure you wont have to wait around for polish to dry the day of. Bonus points if you get a shellac mani [lipstick darling fav!] which will probably last you through the honeymoon as well!

Think Before You Lather
Wash your hair the day before if you plan on wearing it up so strands will be easy to work with. Squeaky-clean hair gives bobby-pins and accessories the slip, so don't lather up the day of.

Prevent Pimples
If there's an area of your face that breaks out under stress, spot treat it with a clay mask you've SUCCESSFULLY used before. This can prevent zits from popping up overnight.

The Day Of

Relax and ENJOY! There's nothing more you can do but enjoy your day now that it has finally arrived! Everything will fall into place and you will look stunning. Just remember to have a good time!