Category Archives: MAC Cosmetics

Popular Opinion : yes, you need more than one concealer!

I like to pride myself on the idea that despite being a makeup artist with plenty of makeup to play with, I personally can do a decent “face” with minimal product. In fact, I usually can do my daily makeup in about three minutes. It’s all about a little bit of coverup, a good eyeliner, and some bronzing powder.

Most beautycentric people’s talk a lot about having lipstick wardrobes or several eyeshadow palettes they play with every day … and technically, I could be considered one of them however, as of late … I find myself buying concealers; concealers of all sorts and kinds actually.

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Every time I pick up a tube or pot of flesh coloured cream or liquid, I silently shame myself. Is this really necessary Stephanie? Is it? C’mon now …

But then, I decided to go easy on myself; because I actually do need different concealers. I do. I really really really do.

I currently have four in rotation, and I managed to justify each one.

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer in NC35 : I use this for blemishes and marks, and in lieu of wearing full foundation. The wand applicator makes it super-portable. It’s super pigmented and blendable which provides seamless coverage!

Make Up for Ever Ultra HD Self Setting Concealer in 21 : Packaged similar to MAC Studio Fix concealer, I use this concealer in a lighter shade to brighten up under the eyes and diminish the signs of fatigue. I also do a trace down the centre of the nose for a slimmer look! Bonus : this concealer self sets and doesn’t crease – perfect for the the eye area.

Benefit Cosmetics Boing Brightening Concealer in No. 2 : When I plan to wear a bareface, but still want to brighten up a bit – I apply this concealer with my ring finger and gently dab around my eyes. While the product is full coverage, it feels lightweight and like silk on the skin. I’ll also take a bit right under the brow bone to lift the eyes a little!

Cle De Peau Concealer in Ochre : This is my luxury, always with me, make me fabulous concealer. It’s the priciest of the bunch, but for me : it can do anything and everything – so it’s worth it. In a stick format, it’s Thin Fit Layer formula can give me a natural layer on the days i don’t need much … but with the right layering and blending, can perform like a full coverage foundation in a pinch.

So, does anyone else’s concealer wardrobe look like this?

 

Posted in beauty, Benefit Cosmetics, Cle de Peau, colour correcting, concealer, full coverage, MAC Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, MAKE UP FOR EVER, makeup, makeup artists in Toronto, product, product reviews | Comments Off on Popular Opinion : yes, you need more than one concealer!

scoop : five ways to slay perfectly winged eyeliner …

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you know that meme that keeps floating around about never asking a girl why she’s late with an image of a perfectly crisp winged eyeliner? makes you want to punch someone in the face, yes? it’s like, you want that line. but you can’t do that line. but you really want to do that line.

i get it. i really do. 

i would love to walk out of the house every single day with a perfectly lined eye that could slay Lauren Conrad’s signature eyeliner in a quick minute, but the truth is applying liquid eyeliner to myself is hard. i can work it on a bride, a client, and my BFF no problem … but i’m screwed over several times when it comes to perfecting it on me.

but after some practice and playing around and a bit of cheating, i can do it … now. i don’t do it often … but i can if i want to and really apply myself. and i know you want to do it too. like as soon as tomorrow.

so, here’s the problem : you, and several other Pinterest junkies out there, are too focused on achieving the end result that you aren’t paying attention to the tools you are going to use to get there. and that is where the answer lies – HOW are you going to get that perfectly flicked, incredibly dark eye line? the question has never been “can you do it” … because you can.

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here are my five tips on getting Instagram worthy eyeliner :

choose your weapon wisely. liquid liner has always been the forerunner in creating enviable eyeliner looks but you really require a steady hand (i’ll touch base on this more in the next tip!). if you’re less than Cool Hand Luke, consider other inky options such as gel liners or tube or pot based liners (like Tarte Tartiest or Bobbi Brown Gel Liners) paired with an eyeliner brush (more on this in a bit too!). these alternatives to liquid liners are just as inky and create an equally crisp look. basically, you have options!

if you must use liquid liner than consider this … take a look at the applicator or wand that you will be working with. if you’re super steady and able to … say … thread a needle in the dark, then you probably could have your pick of the lot. you’ll most likely be comfortable with any applicator style including those that have a super slender and flexible applicator (such as Urban Decay’s 24/7 Perversion Liquid Liner). if you’re pretty steady-handed but prefer control, aim for something with a felt tip end (like Charlotte Tilbury’s Feline Flick). i find felt tip ends still glide across the lashline, but offer more control. this might not be a good example for everyone but here’s how I see it … I prefer writing with medium point pens and think my handwriting looks atrocious with anything fine tip or a light weighted pen. if i use a liquid liner, i’m on team felt tip.

invest in some eyeliner brushes.  if you are feeling my tip about gel or potted eyeliners, you will need to pair them up with an eyeliner brush. i prefer a super flat slanted (MAC 209), but a pointed end brush (MAC 208) is good to have as well. i personally use a flat slanted to walk the product across the lash line and execute my flick, and the pointed one to blend the line smooth. if you’re still a straight from the liquid line tube, the pointed liner brush can help blend and smooth the line, or when dipped in some makeup remover, clean up mistakes without removing the whole line.

do up your eyes first. it’s always super cute when the team or i am working on a client and we start doing their eyes and they get all confused about why we haven’t applied foundation first. if you’re only beginning to practice winged liner or cat eyes, it might get a little messy. may i suggest shading and lining your eyes first, then going in with your foundation and concealer afterwards, which will allow you to clean up the eye area and your liner. you can hide mistakes by blending them away with some foundation on the tip of your eyeliner brush, and i also find it really sets off the inkiness of your line.

eyeliner is life … so practice your ish. seriously, half the fun of buying and having makeup is watching YouTube tutorials and practising the looks at 2 am when you should be asleep. so, wear winged eyeliner and a cut crease while you’re vacuuming. do up a cat eye while you’re waiting for your laundry to dry. or just practise for the sake of practising. the more you practise the more comfortable you’ll be and your weapon of choice will become natural to you. you’ll know what works and what doesn’t and the next thing you know someone will ask you “how did you get your eyeliner so nice?”

Leave me a note or comment and let me know your worst eyeliner disaster. Would love to know what products you love and hate!

Happy Easter all!

-Stephanie-

Posted in Bobbi Brown, Charlotte Tilbury, eyeliner, eyes, eyeshadow, how-to, MAC Cosmetics, Tarte, Urban Decay | Comments Off on scoop : five ways to slay perfectly winged eyeliner …

try it : olivia wilde smoky eye

It’s a pretty safe  bet to say that Olivia Wilde has some pretty piercing eyes … and that she has the smoky eye look down to an exact science … yes?

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As we all struggle everywhere to create a sexy smoky eye that resembles more than just smudged eyeliner, Olivia’s makeup artist – Melanie Inglessis – shared with InStyle magazine her trick : purple eyeshadows.

According to the magazine, Inglessis uses mainly purple shadows and NO KOHL or black shadow (*gasp*). It kind of flips many of us upside down, because it’s extremely natural to think that a smoky eye = black shadow (and dark greys too!). Another tip : to soften the look, she rounds out the outer edges of the eyeshadow and diffuses any harsh borders.

While Olivia’s transformation over the years has her experimenting with everything from the bold statement lip to feline flicked liner, her go-to is definitely smoky. If you are thinking of trying her purple-hued smoky style, may I suggest :

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Jolie Poupee : a violet and pearlescent purple pairing which would be great for adding layers and dimension to a purple smoky eye.

MAC Eyeshadow in Shadowy Lady : a matte deep plum that  is perfect for smoking it up from the lashline and grounding more shimmery shades.

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil  in Empire : an inky pencil that glides one with ease giving your smoky look a complete finish.

There are plenty PLENTY of options out there from all your favourite brands, and the great thing about the whole sexy sultry smoky eye look is that playing with the combinations is half the fun.

Try it!

-s-

Posted in eyeliner, eyes, eyeshadow, MAC Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, NARS, smoky eye, try it, Urban Decay | Comments Off on try it : olivia wilde smoky eye

best of bridal beauty : a few of my favourite things …

Our Bridal Beauty Preview for Fall/Winter 2015-2016 was a smash success, and it had me thinking that I should really take a moment to share some of my favourite items for knocking out some bridal beauty.

Like any makeup artist worth her beauty blender, I have a huge kit, but a selection of products that are a must, must, must. I have products I love for creating a smokey eye, a classic twist, a vintage red lip. So keep reading … because I’m about to share.

The Red Lip …

Hands down, it’s NARS. Always NARS. My favourite product(s) is their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in either Cruella, Red Square or Pop Life. The matte finish stays put but doesn’t look dry and for an all day event like a wedding you need something more matte than glossy.  If it’s not the pencils – it’s their new Audacious lipstick colours and you can take your pick : Rita, Marlene, Geraldine, Lana  – which range from true red to a more orange based (which I think is hot for a bride!)

The Rosy Lip …

Photo by Jonathan Ponce

Rose, Plum, and anything softly pink are the other bridal favourite.  To be honest, I smushed everything down into a palette, and didn’t write the names anywhere, but I do have my favourites in a tube. They include : Plumful, Syrup, and Twig by MAC; Casablanca by Tom Ford; and pretty much anything by Bobbi Brown! And while we are here, let’s talk about nude lips, again, I’m going to throw to NARS for Belle Du Jour and Bobbi Brown for a colour I have called Uber Pink (which isn’t a bright pink at all).

The Eyeshadow …

Makeup artists have their shadows they swear by. For example, it doesn’t matter what other palette I have in my kit … I’m a slave for MAC Shroom. I will always have a pot or seven of it in my kit(s). But right now, I’m favouring Lorac Pro Palette for it’s neutral but shimmery shades however this is currently not available for Canada so you have to online shop it.  My Smashbox Double Exposure Palette is hitting the mark for more glam styles (and you can get this at Murale or Shoppers Drug Mart for those Optimum points!) and I’m am currently obsessed with TooFaced Chocolate and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Eyeshadow palettes.  Both the Smashbox and the TooFaced Palettes, I find, really stick to the eye … not a lot of shadow fallout so I really enjoy using them for shading a heavier look.

The Flawless Skin … 

Photo by Jonathan Ponce

Again, I’m very much attached to my MAC Face and Body, because it allows me to adjust and layer as needed without getting to cake face. But for concealers, I’m devoted to my Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in various shades from Ivory to Light Honey, MAC Select Cover-up in those super portable triangle containers, and also, Stila Perfecting Concealer.

If I happen to have a client with acne issues, I’ve been reaching a lot for me Estee Lauder Clear Difference BB Creme, which for me, lays down a nice layer of coverage without looking dry, cakey or messy. For mature skin, I find their EE Creme to be effective as well.

Also, you can get great skin without primers. For the eyes, it’s always Urban Decay eye primers, and for the skin, I’ve been using Makeup Forevers new Step 1 Primers.

The Blush, The Highlight and The Contour …

Well, this list could go on forever, huh? Ha ha. I would have to say my friends right now are Cliniques new Highlighter and Contour Chubby Pencils. Just for the ease of use alone.  But I am also loving my new Stila Shape and Shade Custom Contour Duo and NARS The Matte Multiples in Altai.  As these are creams, after I set the cream product, I’ll go back in with a powder set for intensity, so I’m often reaching for Makeup Forever’s new Pro Sculpting Duos (which are insane – j’adore!), and my Aerin (Estee Lauder) Kaleidoscope Palette especially when the bride doesn’t want too much shimmer/shine.

For blush, well, hmmmm. I always layer cream under powder and my favourites are from rms beauty in Modest, Smile and Demure.  I also favour Makeup Forever’s HD Cream Blushes and NARS The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta or Altai.

For powder blushes, it’s always a selection of pinks and peaches from MAC that I lightly dust on.

The Lashes and Brows …

Photo by Rhommel Bernardino

I currently carry all three shades of Cargo’s Brow Kit in my bag and use both the powder and the wax for perfecting brows. But I also lean on MAC Brown Pencils as well and I love these for their easy application and also the spooly on the other end.

To define the lashes, it’s always Maybelline Great Lash in various formulas ranging from brown to dark brown to black. I rarely use pencil liners, but when I do, I’m using Cargo’s Swimmables or Urban Decay’s 24/7 pencils.

The Hair …

Let’s start with caring for the hair … which I normally don’t carry in my kit, but suggest to my brides. Especially after the long cold winter we are JUST getting rid of, brides need to start nourishing their hair back into shape.  I’m currently recommending the Nexxus Therappe and Humectress line of shampoo and conditioner for longer length hair that needs to be brought back to life from a dry season. I would also recommend OGX Vitamin E Shampoo and Conditioner for hair health. I suggest brides also pick up OGX’s Penetrating Oil and work it into the ends of the hair  – especially if they plan to leave the hair long and loose for the big day.

The Updo …

Well, I am sure bobby pins are a no brainer – right? I’m picking them up by the box at Sally Beauty in shades of black, brown and silver.  SalonCare is the brand available, but there is also Marianna.

To reduce  oil or add texture to the hair, it’s always Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo.  For tousled perfection, I’m really liking Tresemme’s Perfectly (un)Done Hairspray. I also like their big cans of spray and will usually carry a couple of extra hold formulas, and also climate control. To tame frizzies, or induce a sheen, I’m going back to Not Your Mothers for their Smooth Moves hair creme.

For hair prep and finishing, I’m also relying on Sally Hershberger’s Signature Line (available at Shoppers Drug Mart) mainly using the Keratin Repair Spray and also, the Galm Waves Texture Spray.

So that’s it!

My kit in one really long blog post.   Would love to know what other artists are using in their kits, but would also love to answer questions any brides or beauty bunnies out there might have about any of the above products! You know where to reach me : beautymail@blushpretty.com!

Have a great hump day all!

-stephanie-

Posted in Aerin, Amazing Cosmetics, bb cream, beauty, beauty kit, Bobbi Brown, bp bridal, bridal, bridal beauty, bronzers, brows, Cargo, concealer, Estee Lauder, eyebrows, eyeliner, hair, MAC Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, MAKE UP FOR EVER, Maybelline, Murale, NARS | Comments Off on best of bridal beauty : a few of my favourite things …

loved by laura : what’s on her face? (from urban decay to mary kay!)

I felt inspired by this gorgeous weather to create a simple yet fun look with some new goodies. Its not about using a ton of colour or product to create something fun that will pop, its about using the right products that target the features that you really want to show off. So without further ado here is a breakdown of what’s on my face!

Face:

For a skin like finish, I used Urban Decay Naked Foundation in 6.0, followed by cult fave, NARS Orgasm blush for a beautiful pinky, peach glow. I completed the look with some MAC Bronzer to add a little colour to this pale skin thats begging for sun.

Eyes:
I applied Mary Kay whipped eye colour in “Tiki Hut” on the lids,  and “Seafoam” on the bottom lashline for a pop of colour. I am really into these colours because they go on creamy and have a powder like finish –  plus they are super easy to apply: I used my fingers!

I finished the look with Mary Kay eyeliner in “MK black” (j’adore this pencil, its super creamy and the tip is thin so allows for precise application).

Lips:
A simple swipe of Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss in “red-light/medium”.  LOVE this colour its bright enough so that I can layer it to really pop, or wear it shear for just a touch of colour. If you like versatile lip colours – you NEED this in your life!

I’m loving how quickly I was able to complete this look which took me about 7 minutes. The end look packed a lot of punch all while using easy to use products for a quick face ;)

-laura-

Posted in Almay, beauty, bronzers, MAC Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Mary Kay, Urban Decay | Comments Off on loved by laura : what’s on her face? (from urban decay to mary kay!)