stuff from lil steph : negative space nails tutorial

September 25, 2014By DJMC

Inspired by Tracylee by Sally Hansen for the Nonoo Spring 2015 Runway at NYFW, I’ve decked out my nails with negative space. In this case, the “negative space” is my natural nails. It’s super simple, so even if you’re a nail art novice, you can definitely do this one! All you need is some tape and any polish shade of your choosing (I used Born Pretty Store Nail Art Striping Tape and the Rimmel Seconds Polish in Hot White Love)

1. Apply a thin strip of tape in the centre of your nail

2. Paint over the tape and onto your nail with a colour of choice.

3. Peel off the tape to reveal your “negative space”.

And there you have it – a super simple runway inspired nail look!

stuff from lil steph : shu uemura gel pencil liners

September 16, 2014By DJMC

Fearless gazes start with these must have shades. Very soft and smooth gel pencil with a waterproof, tear proof gel formula doesn’t smudge for 12 hours – requires no brush or sharpener.

With the warm weather dissipating and the cold rushing in, it feels like fall. For me, that means it’s time to put away the pastels and brights and reach for something a little darker and more subtle. Lately, I’ve been rocking the Shu Uemura Gel Pencil Liners in Violet Purple* and Green* ($36 each at Holt Renfrew, select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations). These liners were launched as a part of the Shu Uemura Brave Beauty – Vision of Beauty Volume 01 collection, which explains the creative purple, green and silver packaging.

You know an eyeliner is long-lasting when…you apply eyeliner one day, you get lazy in the night, and unexpectedly, the next morning you wake up with near-perfect eyeliner. Story of my life. These gel pencils last 12 hours and then some. Plus, the easy twist up means no sharpening and no fuss when it comes to worrying about your eyeliner migrating to the tops of your cheeks. In addition, the liner is soft yet not overly smudgy, perfect for lining either the upper or lower lash line.

Overall, the Shu Uemura Gel Pencil Liners in Violet Purple and Green are the perfect way to spice up your eyeliner and add subtle bit of colour into your fall makeup routine.

*Press samples featured

spotlight on : stephanie lau

July 9, 2014By DJMC

Name: Stephanie Lau

My role with BP: Blog Contributor

How I got into working with BP: Starting out as a newbie beauty blogger, I met Steph at the Blush Pretty Beauty Board in 2013 and it was all uphill from there.

The best part of my job: It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to test the latest and greatest products.

My secret beauty weapon: The CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara! Finding a decent mascara is tough for my sparse lashes and oily lids. It’s easy to go wrong (think clumps and racoon eyes). The Clump Crusher does exactly what its name says – no clumps in sight. Plus, it’s smudge-proof but non-waterproof, so layering it on top of a potentially disastrous other mascara-that-shall-not-be-named helps to seal it in for the day.

My must-share beauty tip: Try everything! Beauty is all about putting your best face forward and you’ll only know what you like and what looks best if you’re a little adventurous with your makeup.

stuff from lil steph : shu uemura POREraser

June 25, 2014By DJMC

Warmer weather calls for longer lasting products, SPF, and all the things I still look for in base products – good coverage, oil control, and pore smoothing. The Shu Uemura POREraser UV Under Base Mousse ($46) claims to do it all – it’s a “base” primer that can be worn with or without foundation. In the Mika for Shu collection there are 4 different UV Under Bases (all with different and pretty pump packaging designs!):

  • POREraser UV under base mousse beige SPF 35 PA+++
  • POREraser UV underbase mousse pink SPF 35 PA+++
  • UV under base brightening mousse pink purple SPF 30 PA++
  • UV under base BB mousse BB Beige SPF 30 PA+++

“The shu uemura light as air UV under base mousse is a make-up essential, it veils skin to transform it into the perfect canvas for the sweetest or sultriest wonderland fantasies… Light as air mousse for medium skin tones that provides a pore-less semi-matte finish.”

As mentioned above, There are two colours – pink and beige. “Pink” is for light skin tones, while “Beige” is best suited to those with medium skin tones. I’m typically in the light-medium range, but I find that beige is a little light for me.

Pumping the bottle produces a lightweight mousse, that reminds me a little bit of a volumizing mousse for hair. The slight sunscreen scent is a little unpleasant but dissipates as you blend it onto the face. The product itself is light and soft. It smoothes over the skin in an almost water-like manner. The POREraser smooths over minor imperfections, reducing redness, mattifying, and filling in pores. Furthermore, the product extends the wear-time of my foundation by up to 2 hours.

Not only does the Shu Uemura POREraser have the same properties as old pore-minimizing primer, it also contains SPF to protect the skin from the sun! Overall, an A+ in my books and a must-have for the summer months.

Disclosure: These products were sent to for editorial consideration. We tested and reviewed the product to share our honest opinion with you (our fabulous readers) and would only ever recommend or review products we truly believe in!

beauty + the biz : indie polish

May 6, 2014By DJMC

A few days ago, I chatted with Tanya, stay-at-home mom and owner of four online businesses including Indie Polish (100 per cent handmade polishes) and Me and the Boy (vegan home goods). We focused on her ever-growing polish-making business founded in October 2012, and talked about how she got started and what she’s doing now.

Steph Lau: How about you begin by telling me how you decided to start your business? What were you doing before and how did you get to where you are now?

Tanya: I graduated high school and then studied to be a Paramedic. I had anxiety, so that didn’t work out. I had a kid and got on with life and never looked back. Then, I was the manager of a Starbucks working 44 to 50 hours a week. When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, autism, and ODD, I had to quit my job to stay home. I didn’t know what to do. It scared me.

One day, a good friend of mine told me “There’s this huge thing called ‘Indie Polish’ right now. I thought to myself, “okay, whatever”. I went on Etsy to look it up and was amazed by what I saw – glitter, sparkles and stars, polish that changes when hot or cold. [My mind] was blown. Like most people, I was the kind of person that bought my polish at Shoppers or Loblaws, but with indie polish, there [were] so many possibilities. It wasn’t until a year later that I started, but there wasn’t a lot of Canadian indie polish representation at the time.

I was terrified when I invested. I sold a bottle a week and must have thrown out 5 gallons [of polish]. There are no rules and no handbook. You just have to mix one bottle and let it sit for 60 days to see if it stays the same. Gold polish can turn blue. It’s a huge learning curve.

I started my business out of necessity and now I love it. I would love to go back and train for a “career” but I don’t regret not doing so.

S: Speaking of learning…if I wanted to make polishes, are there any resources for me to learn?

T: Sure there are, but I’m not the kind of person to seek out how-to’s. I just played with it. Now, I ask other polish makers. I’m still learning. It’s a shame if you’re not still learning in life.

S: I’ve followed your polishes since you opened your store and you’ve grown to be so successful. How did you get your name out there?

T: I think it comes down to good product at a reasonable price. An article in Metro News really helped. I’ve come from 400 to 1,000 views a day. Now, I’ve done the three celebrity gifting and we were in the MTV Movie Awards gift bags. Before it was a hobby, now it’s a job. I’m shipping 300 bottles to Hong Kong. It’s intimidating, but it’s fun. I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

S: How do you keep yourself motivated?

T: I have a very hard time with packaging and shipping. I remind myself that I buy indie polish too and bad shipping makes me aggravated. If this person spent $15, I better get out of bed and ship that polish. There are tons of other sellers on Etsy and they chose me. That, and my mortgage is also horribly motivating.

S: What’s your favourite polish that you’ve created?

T: The first polish I made – Joni, a deep blue with blue glitter. It doesn’t sell well, but I love it. Everybody would love a nice holographic pink glitter, but tons of other Etsy sellers make that. I like the things that don’t sell well. For example, our Fundraiser polish didn’t sell well, but it has gained a little army of people that like it. My inspiration for polishes is random things that pop into my brain. A lot of the time it’s things that you can’t buy or are not available. My son also gives me lots of ideas.

S: What are you most proud of?

T: I’m proud I can stay at home and support my family. There’s something to be said about those who choose to stay home and are successful at it. It’s an honour to not to go to work every day.  It’s hard to stay home and not be a flop.

S: What’s one piece of advice that you’d give someone who wants to start their own polish business?

T: Buy extra [of] everything because things won’t turn out the way you want them to. Don’t think it’s a quick twenty dollar start up like I did. Do your research, but don’t be afraid to fail at something. Sounds hokey, but have fun with it!

– lil steph