Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Lazy Person's Smoky Eye



I may have just committed a click bait crime -- not that my tutorial (if you can call it that) isn't lazy, but I don't know that it is technically a smoky eye.  That said, it looks like one and wears like one so we'll call it that.

First up, you'll need the most versatile eye shadow in the world: A cool, matte, mid-tone brown. Every single brand in the world carries one of these, but I've been reaching for Le Metier de Beaute Tamarack.  It can simultaneously be applied as a sheer wash all over the lid or built up to a rich, chocolate line.  You'll know you have your holy grail neutral shadow when it can act eye contour, eye colour, liner and brow product.

For a classic smoky eye, grab a large, fluffy brush (pictured here: Paula Dorf Sheer Crease) and pick up a little colour.  To make sure everything stays even, I like to work the product into the bristles by blending out the colour on the back of my hand.

Sweep the product all over your lid, working into the socket and concentrating the colour on the outer third of your eye.  Since my eyes are typically Asian, I do this with my eyes open and build up to the intensity I like -- it's different every day.  Next, use your pinky to tap more colour onto the outer corners of your eyes, smudging a little underneath on the lower lash line to give an especially hazy look.

For more drama (and my less lazy peeps), the possibilities are endless.  Layer a paint pot underneath for ultra-rich pigment, pop on a bright eyeliner, or even just playing with the shape of the eye shadow can have a huge impact.

That said, I recently broke my right arm.  After an unfortunate mascara vs. eye incident, I've decided my left hand is not skilled enough to wield an instrument more complicated than a fluffy blending brush.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Beauty Essentials: Beach Days



Did anyone else know that we had beaches in Toronto?  I had no idea.  A few things that crossed my mind:

- There's actually sand there.  Like, beach sand.
- Apparently there is more than one ferry drop-off location.  Don't just go for the shortest line or you'll walk for an hour and a half to get to the beach.
- There is little to no cell service.  Prepare yourself for Nomophobia-induced anxiety.

What beauty essentials did I tote with me on my inaugural Toronto beach trip?  Caudalie Soleil Divin Anti-Aging Face Suncare SPF50 is a chemical sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays.  I mix it into a light foundation for beautifully sheer, uber-dewy coverage. Next, a strategic dusting of  Diorskin Forever Compact Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup with SPF 25 (LONGEST NAME EVER) gives me a little more coverage, and takes down the sheen so my face glows only where I want it.  I keep it with me to control shine and to pretend I'm topping up my SPF.

I never bother with eye makeup at the beach, but those of you who are partial to waterproof mascara, go get 'em!  Lastly, don't forget a lip balm with SPF; in this case, Fresh Sugar Rose with SPF 25 for a hint of colour. I've literally never burned anywhere except my bottom lip.  Never again.

One thing that I've never, ever regretted bringing with me is a bottle of Avene Eau Thermale.  I use it for literally EVERYTHING -- to soothe any random cuts, cool down a rogue sunburn (Tod can attest to this), to escape from the relentless heat.  Literally everyone laughed when they realized it was pressurized water in a can, but not a single person complained when I spritzed them down at the height of the burning sun.  Just sayin'.

An optional item, but I had to mention because it has the most appropriate name -- BECCA Beach Tints.  It's a full makeup look in a 5 ml package; just dot on your eyes, cheeks, and lips when you go from the beach to dinner.  I like Fig because it makes me look like Evangeline Lilly from Lost.  *cough*

And lastly?  Sunglasses, otherwise known those things people use to shield their eyes so it's not completely obvious they're checking you out.

What? No, I don't do that.  What are you saying?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Edit: Favourite Concealer Brushes



The key to a natural, no-makeup look is selective concealing.  Far too often, people try to use foundation to hide every last blemish, mark or freckle without realizing that it has a different purpose.  Even the most high coverage of foundation is really only meant to even out the general tone of your skin.  For picture-perfect skin, concealer is your best friend.

I'm a huge proponent of using coverage only where you need it -- especially for a product as pigmented as concealer.  There's no point covering up skin that's already even and perfect, it's what you're striving for!

Using your products selectively takes more time, but if there's one part of your makeup you should pay special attention to, it's your skin.  

My first step in any concealer routine is to correct any marks.  Personally, my hyperpigmentation is a similar hue to my undereye circles (yay, Asian genetics), so I use the same brightener on my under eyes as I do on any scarring.  We'll get into product another time, but my favourite way to cover up individual blemishes is to pinpoint conceal with a tiny brush.  My favourite is Make Up For Ever 2S -- a miniscule eyeliner brush that they don't make anymore.  EcoTools Detailed Lip Brush is slightly larger but comes to a fine point, perfect for covering blemishes and getting into the corners of your eyes.

After I've canceled out any darkness, I'll use a MAC 239 to pick up a concealer that matches my skin and dot it over any corrected areas.  The flat side of this brush lays down the product beautifully without disturbing your colour-correcting work.  his is also a great opportunity to go over any larger patches of discolouration that your foundation didn't quite cover.

To give your concealer a truly airbrushed, flawless finish, grab a Real Techniques Domed Crease Brush; I have yet to come across any other brush that blends cream products this well or this quickly.  I have two.

Check out some of my favourite concealers here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Get Peachy Cheek

One of my favourite colours to wear when it gets warmer is peach.  I love everything yellow, but since that would just blend into my skin, I go for yellow-based pinks.  I've got all your bases covered -- a true matte orange, a peach, a coral and a pink shimmer.

Ben Nye Orange Pop:  This is not for the faint of heart.  This is a heavily pigmented, matte orange that looks crazy in the pan and is crazy beautiful on the skin.  I layer it under bronzer for a freshly sun-kissed look and it pulls a little red on me, but on a paler skin, this stays a true orange.  For best results, use a brush that's not too dense -- I use a fan brush like the MAC 184 or my Suqqu cheek brush.

Benefit Coralista: This peachy, shimmery slice of heaven is the newest in my rotation.  It's very pastel on my olive skintone, but it brightens like no other blush I own.  The medium shimmer adds an incredible glow to the skin; I use this on days that I feel tired or dull and it hides all my secrets.

Tarte Tipsy: This uber bright coral is my go-to when I want to look very summery.  It's not at all a natural-looking flush, so be prepared to wear with a full face.  At the very least, you'll need a lip colour to keep you from looking washed out.  I like to wear mine with glossy, neutral lip and a metallic, gold eye.

NARS Orgasm: This cult colour isn't one I regularly reach for (I usually turn to its less red-toned sister, The Balm Hot Mama), but there usually comes a time mid-summer where my skin gets dark enough that I finally get the hype; the gold shimmer in this pink blush really is beautiful. My favourite way to wear this is with a thick line of smudgy black kohl liner -- it's my I woke up like 'dis look.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lip Product Addict Tag












You knew it had to happen.  Not only do I adore Essie Button (who was apparently here in Toronto the other day!), I love me some lip. Product, that is.  This tag was legitimately made for me -- click through to watch the video on YouTube and find at my answers to the following questions...

The Lip Product Addict Tag

1. Favourite blam/treatment?

2. Best eye-catching red?

3. Best luxury and best drugstore?

4. Best MAC lipstick?

5. The most disappointing?

6. Liner, yes or no? Oops! Forgot to answer this one, but the short answer is nope!

7. Best gloss?

8. Something extra!

Some of these questions were a struggle; I have far too many favourites in each category!  I tag all of you to answer the questions, either on your blogs or in the comments!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Three things I use literally every single day.





Hakuhodo S103 | Yes, I use this more often than beloved/adored/worshipped Suqqu cheek brush.

Cle de Peau concealer | Because $85 CAD for 5g.

Yaby Wasabi Corrector | I don't even use any skincare this religiously.  


Given my product ADD, I don't often use things regularly. Case in point, I have 5 different foundations in my "everyday makeup tray." #fail.  That said, when a product makes its way into the rotation on the daily, you know it's true love.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How To: Perfect Finish Foundation










Under the fluorescent lights of Toronto's subway car, Tod turns to me to say: "I like this foundation -- the finish is really nice!"  She's a non-foundation wearer, so to hear that literally made my heart sing.  I wasn't actually wearing a new foundation (see my everyday makeup here), but I have been experimenting with my technique.

Base: I've been mixing anything and everything as of late, but a no-fail is my Yaby corrector in Wasabi. This has made me love every single foundation I own which raises it to Holy Miracle Worker status in my books.  While the colour correction doesn't necessarily have anything to do with texture or finish, colour matching is the literal difference between foundation mask and perfected skin.

Correction:  To help get rid of any marks, I photoshop my skin by layering Bobbi Brown Creamy Corrector in light peach directly on the mark, and blending out the colour on top with Cle de Peau Concealer in Ochre.  If I'm being super careful I'll use a Real Techniques lip brush, but most days I just dot on with my fingers and blend with a damp Beauty Blender.

Set: I'm pretty sure this is the foundation game changer -- I've been using a Beauty Blender to press on my powder.  I came about this when I was too lazy to grab another brush and dusted the not-quite-dry Beauty Blender with Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana.  Holy mother of staying power and non-white cast.

Glow: Caudalie Beauty Elixir errrrrr'day.