Tag Archives: beauty

Tip Of The Day!

23 Mar

(from ELLE Canada)

Golden ticket
For a natural, sun-kissed glow, skip the shimmery bronzing powder.

Expert: Greg Wencel, makeup pro for CoverGirl
• Use a concealer to spot-correct redness and imperfections like dark circles.
• With a large, fluffy brush, apply a cream or liquid foundation (not a bronzer) half a level darker than your everyday shade to places where the sun naturally hits—trace a capital E by lightly swirling the brush back and forth from the forehead to the temples and across the cheeks.
• Rub a rosy cream blush into the apples of the cheeks for a subtle flush, and then pat a pearly highlighter along the cheekbones and in the inner corners of the eyes for a glistening effect.


Winking violet
Lilac eyeshadow takes the smoky eye from dramatic to delicate.

Expert: Simone Otis, head makeup artist for Joe Fresh Beauty
• Dust a shimmery lilac shadow over the eyelids, extending the colour out and up slightly beyond the inner and outer corners of the eye, and blend well with a large eyeshadow brush.
• With a small eyeshadow brush, smudge the same hue along the lower lash line. Then, draw a thin line of purple liquid liner along the upper lash line and apply two coats of black volumizing mascara.
• Sweep a touch of tawny blush along the cheekbones, and dab a sheer, slightly rosy gloss on the lips.


Next dimension
The red lip goes 3-D with layered colour and rich pigment.

Expert: Caitlin Callahan, senior makeup artist for M.A.C
• Rub a small amount of exfoliator over your lips to smooth the surface and then prep them with a dab of primer or balm.
• Trace your mouth with a matte cherry pencil. Starting from the centre of your upper lip, draw a line down each side separately before connecting them to create a symmetrical outline, and then fill in the rest.
• Apply a matte red lipstick with a brush. Mix a fuchsia powder and a creamy crimson lipgloss together, and use your fingertip to press the colour into the centre of your lips. For a high-shine finish, pat a clear gloss on top.


Elle Canada Beauty Trends

Tip Of The Day!

8 Mar

9 days to younger, healthier-looking skin

If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s coming. It’s that pivotal moment when you look in the mirror and discover the first signs of aging: wrinkling, creasing, dryness and drooping. According to Amy Wechsler, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist, it’s mainly tension—not time—that’s causing the lines on your face. In fact, stress can add three to six years to the look of your skin, she says.

In her book The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Reverse Stress Aging and Reveal More Youthful, Beautiful Skin, Wechsler discusses how reversing the physical signs of stress aging are possible by slowing down and focusing on you. Her nine-day renewal plan gradually introduces new focal points (like sleep habits and diet choices) that should be maintained throughout the remaining days and ideally for life.

Why nine days? “I wanted to mimic a week-long vacation, which is two weekends book-ending a week,” says Wechsler. “I think it resonates with most people when they come home from a week’s vacation, look in the mirror and they feel and look much better. I was trying to recreate that experience.” While you can start on any day of the week, she recommends Saturday for day one.

Day 1: Simplify
• Establish daily face-care habits
With loads of products on the market, it’s not always easy to know what’s right for your skin. Wechsler recommends sticking to the basics with a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer with sunscreen for the day and one without for the night and a gentle exfoliator.

• Begin a regular sleep schedule
Wechler notes that most people think of sleep as a luxury, not a necessity—something that you might want but don’t necessarily need. But this is not true, she says: we need eight hours of sleep “in order for the body to restore and heal.”

Day 2: Relax
• Book a massage, connect with friends and/or have sex
Surround yourself with people who put you at ease, Wechsler suggests. There’s nothing like a simple coffee break or an afternoon at the spa (or in the bedroom) to put things in perspective.

• Focus on daily breathing exercises
Take a few minutes to appreciate your breath and actually listen as you inhale and exhale. This can help keep cortisol (a.k.a. the “stress hormone”) levels in check.

Day 3: Go green
• Get out in nature and take in your surroundings
A brisk 20-minute walk in the sun (even when it’s chilly) will give you some much-needed vitamin D and boost circulation.

• Drink green tea
If you’re going to take up one habit this year, make it green tea. It not only hydrates like water, but it’s loaded with flavonoids (known for their antioxidant activity).

Day 4: Eat clean
• Choose nutrient-rich whole foods over processed
To keep blood sugar levels steady and skin happy, opt for whole grains and complex carbohydrates like brown rice, bulgur and whole wheat pasta, which are rich in fatty acids that have skin-smoothing properties.

Day 5: Make a move
• Get active by scheduling at least 30 minutes of exercise
Any activity that gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe a little harder than you would sitting at your desk is a step in the right direction.

Day 6: Get social
• Plan a dinner with friends and family
It’s time to take a trip down memory lane. Call up your friends and spend an evening sharing great stories that inspire and make you laugh.

Day 7: Fight stress
• Learn to meditate
“Meditation not only helps you better cope with stress, but it may also help you keep your brain young and functioning optimally,” says Wechsler.

Day 8: Sleep more
• Take a nap
There’s a reason Spaniards love their siestas. While you’re counting sheep, your body is busy at work lowering your risk of heart disease and repairing cells. You may even notice a happier disposition and an increase in stamina.

Day 9: Pause
• Reflect on your week and think ahead
Take a few moments to reward yourself for the changes you’ve made. Decide what elements had the most impact and consider ways to implement them into your daily routine.

“There’s something psychologically amazing about starting to do something for you, taking back some control and focusing on yourself,” says Wechsler. “It feels great, and it’s liberating.”

Tips for Healthier Skin

Tip Of The Day!

5 Mar

How exfoliation helps your skin

Exfoliation makes your skin glow and may even help to prevent wrinkles.

Many of us know the benefits of exfoliation in whisking away complexion-dulling dead skin cells. But it does more than that, says Holly Sherrard, education manager for Dermalogica Canada. “Exfoliating increases cell turnover to reveal newer, healthier skin cells, plus it decreases blackheads, minimizes hyperpigmentation and fine lines, and imparts an all-over healthy glow.” It also helps with hydration. “Cells transitioning from below the skin’s surface to the topmost layer bring with them essential lipids and moisture,” she says.

That’s good news for your face. And what better time than spring to bust out the exfoliants for the body and feet, too? If you’re planning on using a self-tanner, you need to exfoliate to avoid uneven patches (although simply shaving your legs will also exfoliate them).

Whatever you do, don’t take the word “scrub” too literally—especially on the face—because over-exfoliating will result in red, irritated, flaking skin. “Gently massage exfoliants into skin using light pressure,” advises Sherrard.

The beauty aisles tempt us with scrubs laced with essential oils, boosted with moisturizers, and using everything from natural pumice to jojoba microbeads to pulverized grapeseed for refining your skin.

But you can always go back to buffing basics and save some bucks in the process by exfoliating with a humble washcloth or a loofah. Mixing up an easy homemade recipe (like the one below) for skin-softening salt or sugar body scrubs will give you a little spa-at-home moment. And rubbing sand and oil onto your bod the way Brazilians do is about as natural as it gets.


Blend 1/3 cup (75 mL) brown sugar with 1/2 cup (125 mL) oil, such as sweet almond or grapeseed (canola will do in a pinch). Add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender for calming or lemongrass for energizing. Or, instead of essential oil, add minced ginger, which stimulates circulation, add a drop or two of vanilla extract.


Tip of the Day!

24 Feb


I have personally not managed to conquer this yet – just can’t get it right!
But this video helps 🙂

What’s $50?

23 Feb


Create a perfect canvas for foundation application with this silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A & E, grape seed extract and green tea. Worn alone or under foundation to increase its longevity, our best-selling primer helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for flawless skin with a velvety-smooth finish. In a new square airless pump for freshness to the last drop.


What it is formulated to do:
The silky blend of vitamins and antioxidants smoothes and perfects skin, while the unique formula helps to inhibit the destruction of collagen, and fills in fine lines and pores for a flawless finish.

What else you need to know:
Use after moisturizer and before foundation for complexion perfection. This skin-soothing blend of antioxidants, which can be worn alone or under foundation, works overtime to fill in fine lines and even out skin texture.

My face is extremely sensitive. So I can’t wear foundation, cover up, bronzers, basically… nothing. My face hates me. For my graduation photos I used the traditional cover up and bronzer… well, after three hours, my skin took revenge. It was not happy. Even natural products are not always the best.

Anyway, my fellow makeup-obsessed friend Kym is huge on testing out products, especially if they’re popular. We always hit Sephora, and Smash Box was everywhere. I always went to Stila. She purchased the popular primer and I naturally purchased more eyeshadow. Weeks went by and the popularity was growing. Smash Box was advertising all the awards Photo Finish was winning, and Sephora couldn’t even keep it on the shelves! But for $45+tax? Really? What’s so great about it?

I read up on it and it was rare to see a bad review. Basically, it would make your oily skin not-so-oily anymore. Well, I caved. And to this day I regret it.

The first time I put it on it felt nice. It wasn’t wet, but it had this silk feeling. My skin felt nice and smooth. It’s like your skin was made of silk. I thought, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Well, not too long after my skin was feeling funny, it wasn’t tingling (so I knew the chemicals were okay and wasn’t burning my skin), but something was off. Not much I could do because I was out, and had to wait until I got home. Well I wiped my finger on my cheek and it’s like a slab of sweat came off (gross I know.. but it wasn’t). I took out my mirror and it’s like I went swimming.

Well, not to worry, I’m new at this, I obviously put it on wrong. I wiped it off with kleenex, and that was that. Well turns out, I did apply it right (how could I not? It’s not rocket science). Tried it again and the same thing. And again, same thing. Gave up after a few times.

This was absolutely the worst product for my face. It did nothing but made my face an oil-machine. It goes on perfectly, but it doesn’t last. So what did I do with a $50 primer? Handed it over to my sister.

Smash Box

Stila Cosmetics

The Mascara Factor

22 Feb

(just a sample of my mascara)

A couple years ago my mom asked me if I wanted to sign up for a random “Focus Group” (don’t ask me the name, I couldn’t even tell you..). She belonged to it for years, they call every so often, ask you a series of questions, and if you qualify it’s about a couple of hours of your time for $100 an hour (pretty sweet, eh?).

Well, I got a call in the summer about make-up. They put a lot of emphasis on mascara, so obviously I knew it was about mascara. The thing is, they ask you questions, but don’t actually tell you what would happen if you were picked.

Well I qualified (ya!) and I was told to bring my mascara, and some sample make-up. For me.. that is hard. I have wayyyy too much make-up. I would say the source of my money is (aside from Books, which is a given – books are in their own league):

1. Purses
2. Flip flops
3. Make-up

I always had a small container for my make-up, and I would continue to buy it… see, I’m a sucker for the SA. If they show me something “what if you mixed this blue with this silver” I would gasp and say WRAP IT UP. Slowly, my containers would get bigger and bigger.. until finally I had to head on over to wal-mart and purchase a 7 drawer case (you know the ones they suggest for towels!). One drawer for eye shadow, one for eyeliner, one for brushes etc.

ANYWAY. Picking a couple of each was hard, because I love all my make-up. But I packed up my L.A.M.B make-up bag and headed to Yonge/Davisville. This was for a focus group for COVER GIRL LASH BLAST MASCARA. The idea was, they were looking for people who use name-brand mascara (I use Dior). And you guessed it, it was a comparison of the $35 Dior Mascara vs the $9.99 Cover Girl. And of course the whole idea of “Well, why would I buy a $10 mascara, it obviously sucks, that’s why I stick to my $35 mascara.”

We were shown various ads, catch lines, TV ads etc. A total of 2 hours and $200! In the end, they each gave us a Cover Girl Lash Blast – we were to try it out for a couple of days and they would call us.

I was actually heading up to my cottage for a week, and they were expecting me to try out the mascara within the next two days. It was Monday morning, and I had until Wednesday to try it out. But who wears makeup at the cottage? Well, I was hesitant. I’m used to Dior, Stila, Lancome, etc. Well bright and early Tuesday morning I gave it a shot.

There is nothing else to say other than WOW. It goes on smooth, and gives an excellent distribution of mascara, and it actually worked. I honestly couldn’t believe it. It actually gave my lashes volume. But how? How can something that cost $10 be better than something that is $35? Cover Girl beats out Dior? Unthinkable (at least what most would think).

Well, let’s just say, the only mascara I have been using is in fact Cover Girl Lash Blast. And to think of all those $35 tubes of mascara I bought.

And now I bring you a list of HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MASCARA, from

#1 – Use an eyelash curler before applying mascara. Or, if you prefer to curl after application, make sure that the mascara is dry.

#2 – Try a lash primer. These are designed to coat the lashes so that the mascara will really make your eyes pop (I never seem to remember to use primers, but I have friends who swear by it).
Resist the temptation to pump the wand in and out of the tube of mascara. I don’t know why we do this, but it introduces contaminants to the tube and also causes it to dry out faster.

#3 – Proper application is starting with the wand at the base of your lashes and working out to the tips.

#4 – Wiggling the wand at the base of the lashes is said to make your lashes look thicker.

#5 – Wiggling the wand as you coat the lashes from base to tip will help keep the lashes from clumping together.

#6 – Use even, consistent strokes to prevent globs being deposited onto your lashes

#7 – If #6 didn’t work so well for you, use a lash comb to get rid of any globs of mascara.
Use the lash comb to separate any lashes that are stuck together.

#8 – Don’t want to buy a lash comb? Try creating your own with an old mascara wand: Clean thoroughly with make up remover and let dry. Then continue to clean as you would your other makeup brushes and applicators.

#9 – Black mascara works for nearly everyone, but if you think it’s too harsh try brown/black.
Want to try some coloured mascara? Avoid a garish look by applying one coat of black, let dry, and then a coat of color.

#10 – When applying a second coat, whether of the same color or different, make sure that first coat is dry. (I tend to put on mascara at the very last minute, so this is always a problem. But if the first coat isn’t dry, the lashes are just going to clump together.)

#11 – Keep eyes open really wide (unnaturally so) for a few moments before blinking. This will help make sure the mascara is at least partially dry, and can help reduce smudges around your eye.

#12 – To help reduce under eye smudges, powder the under-eye area before application.

#13 – If you still get a smudge, remove carefully with a Q-tip: Press the Q-tip onto the smudge with a bit of pressure, then rotate a half-turn. This will remove most smudges quickly and cleanly.

#14 – If can’t seem to get the hang of smudge-free application, you can put a tissue under your lashes. (This has never worked for me. When I’ve smudged it’s always gone through the tissue as well.)
Find a wand/applicator that is easy for you to use, and that delivers the look you want. There are applicators shaped like combs, and brushes of varying sizes, shapes, and configurations. You can find applicators with straight wands and with a bend at the end. A bent wand can help provide a little steadier hand, if needed.

#15 – Replace your mascara after 3 months, or sooner if it smells “off” or looks dry. (I take a sharpie marker and write the date that I open the mascara right on the tube or cap. That way I know when it’s time to be replaced.)

#16 – Although you may have a favorite mascara, don’t be afraid to experiment. A new color or new applicator brush may give you a totally amazing look.

Cover Girl

Tip of the Day!

22 Feb


If your eyes look tired use white eyeliner to line the lower rim of your eye (your water line). Not only will it make your eyes look more awake, it’ll make them look bigger and rounder which will draw more attention to them!