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beauty kit

31 days to a prettier 2017 : CONGRATULATIONS!

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We did it! We made it through our 31 days to a prettier 2017 guide.

Day 31 : January 31

Be proud and wear your crown high!

Look at you go. Congratulations to you, because you have started to make tiny steps towards feeling better, feeling prettier and feeling yourself for the rest of the year! You’ve adopted some healthy and mindful habits
when it comes to beauty and boosting your self confidence every time you step out your door.
2017 will be your best year yet.

Continue to follow some of the tips and tricks we taught you in the guide … and if you can, do something that makes you feel beautiful every day. Just one thing. That’s all it takes.
Try a new lipstick. Wear your hair differently. Go makeup free!

Before you know it … you’ll be 365 days of pretty.

Xoxo and thank you so much for following along!

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31 days to a prettier 2017 : choose your weapon …

Very early on in this January 2017 guide, we told you that you needed to clean your brushes thoroughly and regularly from then on. Hopefully, you’ve been in the habit of doing so. Having clean tools is the best for avoiding irritations to the skin and reducing any opportunity for contamination between products. But having the right tools, that are in great working condition, is key to having great makeup looks.

Day 25 : January 25

Do an inventory and quality control check on all your makeup tools.

Besides brushes, this would include sponges, tweezers, mirrors and even your cotton swabs. 

Check your brushes – are they losing fibres or shedding? Are the brush hairs frayed and bent and out of shape? Are the handles broken or wiggly? And what about your tweezers? Still sharp and straight? Are your special makeup sponges split or torn anywhere?

The goal here is to either repair any tools (if you can) as needed, toss any tools that are past their prime, and make note of anything that needs to be replaced. In addition, you may want to consider doubling up on any brushes that you use constantly or need to clean constantly because you are always using it. For me, this would include shader brushes and/or crease/blending brushes (in fact, I probably own two of every eye brush I have). 

Nice you’ve weeded out the brushes and tools that need to be retired from their job, and have restocked with fresh new tools, you’ll find your makeup application easier, cleaner, and more polished.

Get to work!

TIP : If you have brushes where the hairs or fibres are out of shape or somewhat frayed, try cleansing and then CONDITIONING the natural hairs, before you consider tossing it. Sometimes that can fix the issue.  If not … recycle!

HOMEWORK : If you happen to be a one brush per facial feature kinda gal, try broadening your horizons and seek out different shaped brushes for said facial feature. Different brushes have different jobs and can make a huge difference in the execution of a particular look!

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31 days to a prettier 2017 : commit to an all over balm …

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We’ve all been in that situation when a dry patch comes through our makeup midday, or our cuticles look rough, or  our baby hairs get a little feisty. You cannot carry your vanity table with you everywhere you go, so here’s our trick for MacGyvering your pop-up beauty dilemmas.

Day 17 : January 17

Commit to an All Over Balm (or skin salve).

An all over balm or skin salve is like the duct tape of makeup … while most are advertised as a quick way to hydrate the skin in a convenient carry with you everywhere tube they do so much more than that! They come in all sort of consistencies and are cased in everything from tubes to tin pots (as mentioned, portable!). The ones I prefer comes in a firmer (but smooth), waxy texture and in tin or glass pot form, just because you don’t waste any product – you can lightly pick up some on the finger tips without overdoing it, or gather a bit more by scooping it out when needed. Tube salves are just as great, but I’ve been known to squeeze out too much more often than not!

What can you do with your balm?  Plenty!

  • Apply a light layer over dry patches of skin midday, as needed
  • Soothe minor cuts and wounds
  • Heal chapped lips in a pinch
  • Sweep up high on the cheeks for a quick highlight
  • Refresh your makeup, especially under the eyes
  • Tame brow hairs
  • Tame baby hairs and flyaways
  • Soften cuticles
  • Press and blend over your eyeshadow for a glossy eye look
  • Dab blush to the lips and smooth salve over for a DIY clip colour
  • Remove makeup mistakes

See – it’s truly the duct tape of makeup.

All over balms or skin salves can be found with in both conventional and organic brands, and a bunch of sizes. Brands I suggest : NYX, Glossier, Antipodes and RMS.

Happy Shopping!

TIP : I say commit now (which I do mean), but you can also test out a few before making a hard purchase!

HOMEWORK : Once you’ve chosen a salve, try turning to it first whenever you come across a skin issue or beauty dilemma – start testing out what works for you and what doesnt, how much you need to solve the dilemma or how much you don’t!

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31 days to a prettier 2017 : brush up for the next week!

It’s Day 7!!  Go on with your bad self.  You completed a whole week of the guide. We’re going to level up a bit next week with our tips and tricks for beauty … so consider this week a fun+pretty warm-up. You did fantastic!

Day 7 : January 7

Wash your brushes.

If you’re a makeup freak and every single brush under the moon and use all 1,999,998 brushes daily – this task is going to suck, but in the end your makeup and skin will continue to look flawless and your product will last longer. Swear to Sephora.

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Now, you should be washing your brushes regularly – at least weekly – and sterilizing and lightly cleaning in between each use. If you’re a habitual cleaner and a little bit OCD about your products and tools – then this comes as a no brainer to you. Get washing holmes! If you’re a newly minted newbie to makeup … or never really thought to wash your brushes (side eye!) … continue reading.

First, you’ll want to gather up every brush and reusable sponge today, plus your favourite brush cleanser or bottle of baby shampoo.

Next, prep your area. You’ll need access to the sink, but then also a cleared and clean area to lay down your brushes and leave to dry. Be sure to wipe down the area thoroughly and lay down a fresh clean towel or drying mat for your brushes to rest on.

The trick to washing your brushes is to use warm water and a little bit of soap or cleanser. I like to dollop the cleanser on the back of my hand, wet the brush, and then swirl lightly in the cleanser to give it a bit of lather. Do not smooth your brush into your cleanser. Holding the brush downward to rinse, I remove all traces of soap. The reason you hold the brush downward is so that water and cleanser does not travel into the ferrule of the brush head (the barrel that covers the connection of the brush fibres to the barrel) where it can loosen or breakdown any glue holding the fibres together.

Once you have cleansed and rinsed, reshape the head of the brush and lay the brush flat to dry. If possible, leave the head of the brush over an edge to prevent the hairs from lying in its own dampness while it drys.

And from here, you go on to then next brush and so on, so forth.

Again, you should be doing this regularly for your brushes and tools. It will help to prevent transfer of bacteria and keep your skin free of any irritations. if your currently experiencing a breakout or skin issue then try to be more diligent, washing every few days and keeping your beauty area as clean as possible.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat!

TIP : In between cleaning, keep your brushes stored properly away to prevent the growth or spread of bacteria and dirt.  Keeping them in a cool dry place, and contained is your best bet. You can also spray with alcohol in between each use, or try my favourite spray : 1 part tea tree oil ( a natural disinfectant ) to 2 parts water.

HOMEWORK : Make it a habit. Pull out your planner, and mark the next “bubble bath” day for your brushes!

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get the look : too faced semi-sweet chocolate bar eyeshadow palette

I’m a fan of picking up prepared eyeshadow palettes over putting my own together, or buying separate pots (save for the two pots of MAC Shroom I have in every kit), or randoms. A palette provides colours that compliment each other and for the most part, no guesswork.

There are a plethora of palettes out there (the whole new wash of nude palettes every brand has, for example) and it’s really easy to blow a pretty penny at Sephora finding the perfect one for you. I’ve had or currently have them all (from Urban Decay Naked to Lorac Pro Palettes 1 and 2 to Maybelline The Nudes!). I love them all.

But my current affair happens to be with Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar. It might have something to do with the fact that every time I open the palette the sweet smell of chocolate releases the right endorphins, but it’s also because the colours, formulas and finishes are A++ and + again.

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Thanks to my best bud, Elaine Atkins, I became the lucky recipient of both the Chocolate Bar and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palettes, and I find, that both palettes are in heavy rotation this wedding season.

Depending on the skin tone and favourite colours of any client or bride, I can more often than not get the right neutral, smokey look from either palette.

I’ve been leaning more on Semi-Sweet though. I really like Nougat, Hot Fudge and Licorice. Bon Bon and Caramel are great for the lid and for adding a hint of shimmer, while Butter Pecan is also a great highlighter on deeper skin tones (try it under the brow bone, or over the cheekbones!)

Natasha

On Natasha above, I used Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer in Sin to prime the lids. I swept Bon Bon over the lids, which when paired with the primer shade lightened it a bit. I mixed Truffled and Hot Fudge from the outer corner in, blending it as I pushed it toward the centre, and up into the crease. I used Licorice on the outer corner. For a bit of dimension at the crease, I swept Nougat in the crease and blended up. I really like Nougat for deeper skintones. I lined her eyes with Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink.

For the rest of Natasha’s look, I used MAC Foundation is NC44 and Studio Fix Concealer in NC42, but only through the centre of the face. I then blended MAC Face and Body in C5 around the perimeter and down the neck. Clinique Chubby Sticks for her contour and highlight. A hint of NARS The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta on the cheeks. Anastasia Contour Palette as well to set the contour and highlight and brighten under the eyes. MAC gloss in Ample Pink for the lips.

My favourite thing about the TooFaced Chocolate Bar series (both the regular and the Semi-Sweet) is that it is neither a nude or a smokey or a matte or a shimmer or a metals palette. It actually contains a nice mix of matte, satin, shimmer and high glitter colours. I think the only thing it’s missing is more colour range outside of the great browns and neutrals it already has. The funkiest colour Semi-sweet has is Blueberry Swirl … and from there Pink Sugar. Chocolate Bar has a nice plummy purple and a more satin/matte pink similar to Pink Sugar.

Regardless, it’s still a sweet palette to have. My vote : go buy it!

-stephanie-

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