go #Fenty, or go home …

December 6, 2017By stephanie

I need to be super honest … but very rarely do I buy into celebrity brands. I never really did the Kat Von D. line, in fact, I don’t think I have one thing in my kit from her line. And don’t get me started on anything Kylie, Kendall, or Kim. Just don’t. I also never indulged in Drew Barrymore’s Flower line … AND I LOVE DREW BARRYMORE!

I guess my line of thinking was that while a celebrity does spend a lot of time in the makeup and hair chair, what would they really understand about my skintone, my features, and what I want my makeup to do for me on an everyday basis. Sure they have a treasure box of tips and tricks learned from some of the best makeup and hair teams in the world … but what would they really know about developing a universally flattering red or a foundation that works well with both my skintone AND undertone?

I was stuck in my opinion and my own way.


She created a beautiful makeup line that I cannot get enough of. So much so, that I plan trips to Sephora and beeline to the Fenty Beauty section immediately before they “run out” of what I am looking for after creeping #Stunna hashtags on the ‘gram for about ten hours. I’m about .5 of a point below the term obsessed at this point.

I think what really got me going with Fenty Beauty is the marketing campaign itself and how it really did focus on covering all skintones and shades. I realized that even though I’m Asian with yellow undertones and skin that goes super dark after a little sun … I never really thought that other brands weren’t meeting my needs. I always managed to find a close enough shade or flattering shade with almost any other brand I tried. I was basically in this “happy middle” – happy enough with my “go-to” brands (and I still love all my other brands, I really do!) but unaware (and barely concerned) that they could be doing things better for myself and others who shared my skintone and features. I had to ask myself if I was like this because I just believed that the top makeup brands were already out there doing the best that there is for all skin types. Were my years spent with my nose buried in the beauty adverts in Allure magazine – with light skinned versions of anyone ethnic – conditioning me to be okay with being in my “happy middle” with makeup?

Fenty Beauty’s campaign, coupled with Rihanna’s Navy of fans (a selection of beauty addicts who ranged the spectrum of skintone possibility) swatching and posting their success with the foundation shades made me put aside my opinion of celebrity brands for a quick minute and head on in to Sephora to check it out for myself. While I didn’t pick-up my foundation shade – strictly because I’m not a big fan of foundation – I did invest in the Matchstick Trio for medium skintones. It was with this one purchase, my short sighted opinion on celebrity brands changed. The concealer and contour shades melt effortlessly into my skin, don’t turn orange or red after a few moments wear, and feel like silk on the skin. I can apply quickly before I head out the door and my skin looks even and real.
I have since returned to Fenty Beauty, without any hesitation and picked up lipsticks, more matchsticks for highlighting and shading, and the latest : Stunna lip paint. (LOVE!)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still not going to go out there and buy something from anyone who’s name begins with a K … but I do have a new found respect for Rihanna and Fenty Beauty!

– xx,

31 days to a prettier 2017 : find your beauty spirit monster …

January 9, 2017By stephanie

With January signalling a time for change and evolving yourself, it is always good to have related visuals to your direction or goal to inspire and guide you. For example, I want to be fitter this year, so my current Instagram feed is nothing but before and after photos of women who really got into and did the work to be healthier and happier. You may want to cook more, so perhaps you’re pinning recipes on Pinterest. Or maybe, you want to quit your 9 to 5 and your Flipboard is lined up with articles about entrepreneurship.

Having a vision keeps your end goal in reach …

Day 9 : January 9

Find your beauty muse … or as I like to call it, my beauty spirit monster.

Whether you want to be glammed out on the daily like Kat Von D, or beachy and bronzy like Jennifer Lopez, or naturally imperfect like a Parisian girl … it’s always good to study the look. Following someone’s beauty evolution and style isn’t about copying their makeup from magazine and calling it a day. Rather it’s more like learning about the products they love and the techniques they (or their makeup artist) use and that work for them, to grow your own look.

Having one or two beauty muses can encourage you to try new colours or techniques, and bring you out of your comfort zone. It can prevent you from getting stuck in a beauty rut as well which is the quickest way to age you faster.

If you don’t already have Pinterest, it is a great tool to collect images of your chosen style muse, products you want to try and also, how-to articles on almost any makeup technique you want to try. If you have a 20-minute bus ride home, you would be surprised at how much pinning you can do.

Happy celeb hunting!

TIP : Images can help you shop better as well. Having images of a celeb’s look on hand when you hit a beauty counter can help the makeup artist determine what products and colours will work for you to achieve the same look and style.

HOMEWORK : If you love a good old magazine and have tonnes of them lying around BUT also know its time for them to hit the recycling bin, then grab a bottle of wine, park yourself in front of your pile and start ripping out photos of your beauty spirit monster. You can even tear out pages of makeup you’re interested in. Once your done with one magazine, toss it in your blue bin and move on to the next. Collect your images in a file folder for future reference.

loved by laura : j. crew model inspiration

December 18, 2014By DJMC

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I have always been in awe at how the models in J. Crew catalogues look so fresh with dewy complexions despite looking blown away with their disheveled hair.  Their makeup is natural and their lip colours add a sense of boldness. How can you get the look? The makeup artists use RMS beauty products as well as lipsticks from NARS – totally accessible products. This means we can get the J. crew model look too!

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In order to achieve the glowing complexion the makeup artists use RMS living luminizer. The RMS website describes the process: “Apply sparingly with fingers over the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, along the inner corners of eyes, and on the cupid’s bow above lips for a natural glow. Add life to eyes by subtly applying onto the center of eyelids, just above the lashes.”  The product itself is 100% organic and great for all skin tones. The texture is waxy and gradually melts with warmth, so it is not greasy or sticky once applied to the face.

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NARS lipsticks punch up the models’ pout with their super pigmented finish. Although we can’t all sport a vibrant fuchsia every day, there are a wide variety of shades to complement all individuals and suit all occasions. Bonus? They’re enriched with vitamin E to increase wearability and keep true color intact.

And with just two products, you’ll be all set for your catalogue-worthy moment! You can purchase RMS luminizer online, and NARS lipstick are available at Sephora, Murale or any NARS counter between $32 – $38.

scene+heard : exuding confidence with Excel+Stacy London

November 21, 2014By stephanie

Let’s talk about confidence. Regardless if we are wearing our favourite lipstick, or if our bangs are co-operating, or if we know we lost 5 pounds and it shows, emanating an aura of being a confident, strong being can be kind of hard sometimes … or maybe all the time. There are very very few of us who wake up and walk out the door each day feeling confident from start to finish. If you feel me, raise your hand!

Well, I have news for you … actually Stacy London does. :) There are plenty of ways you can up the confidence factor in your everyday life … plenty. For example:

1. Be prepared and plan ahead. Preparation is key. Your purse, your tote, your backpack : make it your confidence kit. Depending on your lifestyle or your schedule for the day, you need to pack the essentials to get you through it all. This would include: your phone, charged and ready; a makeup kit stocked with travel size or minis of you favourite products; snacks to keep you going; a notebook to write down the important stuff.

2. Highlight what works. Instead of spending to much time focusing on what you don’t like, highlight the features and parts of your body that you love. Do you have a plump pout? Wear bright lipstick! Have super sculpted arms? Go sleeveless! Legs longer than a mile? Hike up the hem a bit!

3. Fresh breath! Nothing feels better than knowing that the creamy caesar salad you had for lunch isn’t offending others when you speak. Always carry a pack of gum, like Excel in your purse or pocket when you need a quick boost of confidence.

These were just a few of the tips Ms. London shared with the group and believe me, when she tells you to do something, you want to do it! I’ve already put most of her tips into practice!

I was very fortunate to be in the room, sharing the same breathing space, with Stacy London that day. To be able to learn from one of the top style gurus the very many ways I could put my best face forward was such a treat! A big thank you to Excel for the invite!


oh, you know, NBD : allison micheletti+michael modano

November 19, 2014By stephanie

On November 17, 2014, this year’s inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame … (you know hockey right? Canada’s favourite pastime?) … were officially inducted. Now I’ll admit, I don’t play hockey and don’t follow it all that closely – but I do know athletes – AND I also know that hockey is a larger than life sport here in the north … so imagine my surprise when the BlushPretty team was asked to provide makeup and hair services for professional golfer
Allison Micheletti, the wife of NHL great Michael Modano.

Needless to say – we’re were pretty chuffed. Both the Modano and Micheletti families were welcoming and kind as we spent an afternoon with them beautifying
the ladies of both families before the big ceremony.

While we try to remain calm and poised through any situation, we did have to take a minute, get puck-struck, and ask for a photo.  We owe it all to Samantha
who had the ovaries to speak up and ask!

Thank you so much to that Modano and Micheletti families for welcoming us into your circle for the afternoon and congratulations to Michael Modano on a
well-deserved election into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Well … we hope your week is going just as great as ours started!