Category Archives: makeup kit

go #Fenty, or go home …

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.

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And then RIHANNA DONE DID IT.

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,
s

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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 : brighten up the eyes …


Today, I’m going to tell you to treat yo’self …

Day 18 : January 18

Buy yourself a new eyeshadow.

We spoke about eyeliners before for defining the eyes, but today we’re going to talk about brightening up and highlighting the eyes. You’re going to do this with a simple swipe of eyeshadow. You probably already have plenty of shadows ranging the colours of a rainbow, but the shadow I want you to pick up will be a neutral shimmer.

Look for something across the lines of soft champagne, rose gold, soft gold, or bronze. Shades that fall within this category can be swept across the lids and instantly lift and brighten the eye area within nothing more than perhaps mascara.

It’s a great way to get ready quick with minimal makeup! And don’t worry, the right neutral shimmer can always be incorporated into your full colour looks from winged liner to smokey eyes!

Now, off you go!

TIP : For easy on the go, try cream eyeshadow sticks. I particularly love Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown!

HOMEWORK : Buy yourself just one, but it doesn’t hurt to take note of other shades that don’t make the cut. You can always pick them up later!

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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 : find your beauty spirit monster …

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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.

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