Category Archives: brushes

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 : look cute, be cute

By now, the winter season is possibly taking it’s toll on you; everyone gets hit with a bit of blahs before the end of January and it doesn’t quit until at least the end of February. It might be time for a pick me up!

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Day 24 : January 24

Pick up a bright new makeup bag!

It could be something that you find at The Dollar Store that makes you smile … or it good be one of those cute ones from Sephora with the funny phrases on it. It doesn’t matter just as long as you love it and it makes you smile every time you open it up to start your day. If you’re smiling before you even start your makeup routine, you’re already looking good!

Happy shopping!

TIP : Make sure you choose a bag big enough to house everything you consider a “must have at all times”. Pack it up with all the stuff you would want to have on hand if you had to do your makeup in  the car or at the gym.

HOMEWORK : Before you buy, consider what you love and don’t love about your current makeup bag or storage system.  If you need to keep things separate, only choose a makeup bag that has compartments. If you need to keep tools and brushes in there as well, look at ones that have pockets to hold brushes and a plastic flap over it to keep the rest of the bag clean.

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31 days to a prettier 2017 : pick up a new blush …

It’s another friday … another week down, another weekend to enjoy.

Day 13 : January 13

Buy a new blush.

It doesn’t matter if its a powder or cream, and it doesn’t matter if it’s $5 or $50. Just pick up a blush that does the following :

  • brings out the cheeks with just a swipe or two
  • gives you a glow but isn’t overly shimmery or glittery
  • is a universal shade of pink or peach that’s wearable for any beauty look

A natural blush, much like your signature lip colour, can be applied quickly and easily when time is of the essence. Whether you wear it with just concealer or a full face it warms you up and makes you look healthy and alive. The right colour can also assist in sculpting your face when you’re not up to contouring and highlighting. 

If you choose a powder blush, remember that your blush brush is also key for a blended, natural application. Powders can get streaky and cakey, so just be sure that you choose a formulation that blends well and a brush that does the job right. For those that prefer a cream blush (my favourite), you can warm the product on the back of your hand first before applying with your fingers, should the product be a bit too firm. Once applied, blend up and outward towards the hairline for a fresh faced look. BONUS : add a touch of your cream blush to your lips for an on-trend monochromatic colour look for the face.

Blush away!

TIP : A cream blush in a stick form as opposed to pot or compact is perfect for on the go touch-ups. It goes straight from tube to cheeks – no tools necessary.

HOMEWORK : Ask the makeup artist at the beauty counter for assistance. They can pull the most natural shades in all formulas for you making your choices easier!

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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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31 days to a prettier 2017 : keep your eyeliner on point …

There is  the smokey eye,  the smudgy eye, and then … just a plain old heavily-lined eye. And believe me, that last one never looks polished and pretty. In fact it looks like … um … just a heavily lined eye. That’s it. Just black (or charcoal grey) and bold. It’s a don’t.

Day 5 : January 5

Sharpen your eyeliner pencils regularly. Not just when they become a small nib.

Easy, yes? Absolutely! It makes sense to sharpen your eyeliner pencils, but you have to ask yourself – how often do you actually do it?

This year, try to get into the habit of keeping your eyeliner tips sharper by using your pencil sharpener regularly. Giving your pencils a twist daily offers you better lined eyes instantly. You aren’t aiming for “poke your eye out” sharp, but you do want to achieve a nice point that allows you to line your eyes precisely and with plenty of control.

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Photo Credit : Temptalia

Think of modern day calligraphy – which happens to be all the rage right now. Much like a calligraphy brush pen,  you want your pencil to be able to do two things : create a thin and graceful line, like the upswing in calligraphy; but also be able to add thickness, like on the downswing. Two different looks – same tool. In the case of your eyeliner pencil, a sharper point can do both with just a twist of how you hold the pencil. A thick blunt point cannot. If your eyeliner pencil isn’t sharpened up, it’s not going to do what you want it to do right of the bat. Which means more mistakes on that winged eyeliner or cat eye, and less time to do the rest of your face!

Furthermore, can we all just agree that a thick heavy line on the lower eyelid is just dated and spooky, anyway? Because it is.

Hope I made my point! (Pun soooo intended!)

TIP : Even the task of carrying a sharpener aggravates you, consider self sharpening / twist up eyeliner pencils.  These products are usually thinner throughout the barrel than regular pencil options.

HOMEWORK : If you happen to be a victim of thickly lined eyes and clearly want to make a change try this very simple trick. Line your eyes with a thin line from your freshly sharpened pencil, and then gently smudge the lines with a smudge brush or a cotton swab. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works because it will give you all the definition you love from a bluntly drawn line but creates a softer, diffused appearance.

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