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Category: Makeup

The Sexy Smokey Eye with Make Up For Ever

[ 0 ] November 20, 2011

Girl time! Chatting with makeup artist Melissa Nicholl from Make Up For Ever about how to get that sexy, colorful smokey eye look.

The Big Brush-Up

[ 0 ] August 17, 2009

What woman hasn’t experienced a little high after buying a new lipstick or makeup palette?  It’s a rather 190-brushinexpensive luxury that still allows you to feed, clothe the kids and make mortgage payments.

While makeup can be an essential beauty pick-me-up, its silent helpers often go unnoticed: the lowly brushes.  These little guys work overtime to ensure flawless, makeup applications – if you are using a high-quality brush.  That means, no shedding (terribly annoying and embarrassing), maintaining its shape wash after wash (you’re washing your brushes regularly, right?!) and it is soft and luxurious.

I found such a brush at Sephora the other day.  Made by Cover FX, this powder brush retails for $49.00.  Is that steep?  Yes.  Do you get what you pay for?  Yes. If you’re on a tight budget and have to choose between high quality makeup or brushes, many makeup artists will advise the latter option.  A great brush will likely outlast your latest makeup fad.

This brush is made of 100 % unbleached goat hair), does not leave stray hairs on your face and is guaranteed to last a long time.  It also remains sturdy and balanced thanks to the ramin wood handle.  A lot of work has gone into this brush and in my opinion, that makes it worth the money.

If you’re in the market for a great loose/pressed powder brush, give this one a try and let me know what you think.  I’ll highlight more of my favourite makeup brushes in future posts.

Cover FX Brush #190, $49.00

Available at Sephora

Cheat your way to smooth, soft skin with ClearPrep FX: Review

[ 4 ] March 30, 2009

The quest for smooth, wrinkle-free skin can be a daunting one, fraught with danger (cosmetic procedures gone horribly wrong) and disappointment (money well-wasted).  Whether you work in front of a camera or in another high-profile capacity requiring a lot of “face time”, looking your best can make all the difference.

In recent years, cosmetic laser procedures and chemical peels have promised younger, wrinkle-free skin but these procedures can carry significant risk and a large price tag.  Is there an alternative? Yes.

Get smooth skin with ClearPrep FX by Cover FX

Get smooth skin with ClearPrep FX by Cover FX

Cosmetic priming products can also help achieve that soft-focus look.  The results may not be permanent or immediate like that of a laser or chemical peel but it is usually a more cost-effective method with a lower risk level.

Cover FX released a new, interesting product.  ClearPrep FX is both a matte foundation primer and blemish treatment gel.  The ingredient listing is impressive.  Dimethicone (silicone) gives the illusion of smooth, wrinkle-free, skin.  ClearPrep FX also has fruit acids and 1% salicylic acid (BHA derived from willow bark extract) to help exfoliate, increase skin cell turnover and remove sebum buildup.  If that isn’t not enough, the product also contains peptides to help heal blemishes and regulate skin’s oil production.

This could very well be a miracle product.  Normally, I would advise sensitive skin types to avoid products containing a host of ingredients but it seems a lot of research has gone into this product.  It’s also designed specifically for sensitive skin.  If you are concerned about a potential reaction just do a patch test (ie. on the neck or behind the  ear).

The product is available online at Sephora and in select store locations.

ClearPrep FX by Cover FX

30ml/1 fl. oz for $39.00

The Perfect Nude Lipstick: Shades For Every Skin Tone

[ 0 ] January 28, 2009

The perfect nude lipstick is a subtle yet super-sexy way to draw attention to your pout.  It is also great for the office since it is low maintenance.  Unless you work at a cosmetic counter go easy on the gloss during the day – a matte lipstick with perhaps a touch of shine will impart a polished, professional look.  If matte lipstick is too drying, use lip balm underneath.  It will moisturize without the shine.

In the evening though, feel free to lacquer those lips with a complimentary nude gloss.  This will give the illusion of more full, luscious and seductive lips.

Angelina Jolie perfects the nude lippie with smokey eye makeup.

Angelina Jolie perfects the nude lippie with smokey eye makeup.

This is the trademark look for the current queen of Hollywood, Angelina Jolie.  She uses Laura Mercier’s lip creme in Discretion.  If your lips are not as full as hers, try using a “plumping” gloss like Two-Faced Lip Injection – don’t let the name scare you!

To make this look seem effortless, well, you do have to make some effort!  If the lips are soft and sexy choose a bold and beautiful palette for the eyes.  A smokey eye is brilliant with nude lipstick, especially black eyeliner with dark gray/blue/brown eyeshadows.  A light brush of shimmer on top is a nice finishing touch.  If that is too bold for you then at least make liberal use of dark eyeliner and mascara, otherwise you can appear washed out or pale.  A light dusting of neutral blush and face powder will complete this look.

It may take some trial and error to find the perfect nude lipstick.  Ideally, you want one that is very close to your natural lips yet enhances them ever so slightly.  A touch of pink is excellent for blonds while olive or golden-toned women should try mauve or peach tones.  The latter option works well for darker skin tones too, along with rich browns.

It can be quite difficult to pick the right color from a test swatch or a picture on the internet.   You really won’t know until you try it on, ideally with your eye makeup in place.  If you have the time, go to your favorite cosmetic counter/store and ask the sales clerk for assistance.  They should be able to narrow down the choices for you.  If you really want to be smart about it have the clerk do your eyes as well (or do it before you get there).  This may seem like a lot of wasted time and effort but it is easier and quicker to do the legwork beforehand rather than take home a product/shade which is not only unsuitable but you now must suffer the inconvenience of returning/exchanging it.  Plus, it’s always nice to have someone fuss over you for a bit, no?

I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot of money on a nude lipstick but if you prefer a certain brand and it happens to be expensive (Cle de Peau, anyone?) then check with your favorite brand first.

Below, I have listed some pricey and inexpensive lipstick options to help you achieve this sexy look.  Beware:  This will draw sexy attention – make sure you’re ready for it…

Have fun – and please let me know how this works for you!!

Alabaster, Porcelain skin tone:

Pricey:  Laura Mercier-Discretion or Vincent Longo Lipstain SPF15-Nude
Inexpensive:  Clinique Long Last Soft Shine-Twilight Nude or Maybelline Moisture Whip-Nude Blush

Olive, Golden, Honey skin tone:

Pricey:  Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal-Tiramisu (very sheer) or NARS-Blonde Venus
Inexpensive:  Revlon Super Lustrous-Fleshtone #230 or Clinique Long Last Soft Shine-Blushing Nude

Espresso, Chestnut skin tone:

Pricey: Bobbi Brown-Cocoa, Rich Cocoa, Putty or Chocolate

Inexpensive: Clinique Different-Tenderheart or MAC-Plastique or Jubilee

Bronzer Tips: How To Become a Golden Goddess

[ 0 ] January 22, 2009

There is no denying it – the golden goddess look is hot and especially sought-after during these frigid, cold months.  But what if you cannot escape the colder climes and head for the tropics?  Well, bring out the bronzer.  It works for celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez.

The J-Lo Glow (Photorazzi: Janet Mayer)

The J-Lo Glow (Photorazzi: Janet Mayer)

They have gone to great lengths to get the sun-kissed look – and it has paid off for them, in the millions.  A great bronzer – powder or liquid – is a safe and easy way to achieve a tanned complexion.  A naturally golden beauty like Halle Berry would not need all the products used by Jennifer Lopez but she would add some color, preferably peach or apricot-toned, to add dimension and depth to her skin tone.

Quick & Easy Bronzer Tips:

For normal to dry skin:

Create your palette.  Use an old mirror (or another smooth, flat surface) and mix together a few drops of bronzing liquid with your liquid foundation or moisturizer.  Lightly dip your foundation brush into this mixture and sweep it gently across your cheekbones, forehead and temples.  Be conservative with the bronzing liquid while you figure out the right amount – you want to look sun-kissed, not burned!  Clinique has a great shimmer liquid that comes in a variety of shades – reasonably priced too.

For oily, sensitive skin:

The fewer face products you use, the better.  Try your luck with the bronzing liquid process indicated above, but keep in mind it will impart a dewy look.  Chances are, if you have oily skin, a shinier look is not what you want.  Also, adding (another) liquid product to your routine greatly increases the risk of a negative skin reaction.

How about a light sweep of bronzing/shimmer powder across your cheeks, temples and forehead?  You’ll achieve the bronzing effect minus the shiner face and possible irritation.  Bobbi Brown makes wonderful Shimmer Bricks.  They are pricey but seem to last forever.  I’ll look out for inexpensive options.

Quick tips:

A little goes a long way:  Start with a light application and build from there.

Bronzing brush:  It helps distribute the product evenly.  Sephora has a great line of brushes.  A great inexpensive option is Sonia Kashuk (available at Target in the U.S.).

Don’t go too dark:  Choose a shade that is one or (max.) two shades darker than your skin tone.

Bronzer needs blush:  A light sweep of coral, apricot or pink blush will help highlight the bronzer.  Go easy on foundation though – you do not want to look too made-up.

All skin tones benefit from bronzer, but use it sparingly if you’re naturally tanned and add a warm, peachy blush.  It will highlight your beautiful skin tone.

Just leave the straw hat at home!

Makeup Remover Recall: Another Reason to Keep it Simple

[ 0 ] January 22, 2009

Next time you stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel, you may wish to steer clear of the hotel’s moist towellete labelled “Hiexpress.com”.  The company that makes this product, Celeste Industries, says it has voluntarily recalled this product from hotels in Canada and the U.S. after some towelettes tested positive for a bacteria that causes eye and respiratory infections as well as dermatitis and a host of other infections.  Because this makeup remover is intended for the eyelid there is a strong possibility that a tainted product could cause a serious infection.

At the risk of seeming preachy, this is yet another reason for adopting a more natural approach to skin care such as using olive oil on a cotton pad to remove makeup.  If the oily residue left behind is bothersome, simply use a mild cleanser afterward.

The company says no illnesses have been reported as a result of these findings.  The moist towelletes are not sold directly to the public.


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