fresh year, fresh start: the green

January 4, 2013By stephanie

Alright. So I have spent the week chatting you up with new base products, lip colours, blushes, liners, and mascaras. A whole bunch of items you can either add to your kit or create a whole new one with (the latter sounds so much more fun, doesn’t it?). But here is something to think about: greening your routine …

I know. It is hard to give up on your hard-working, quality, lush, not-so-green products. They work for you. They last long and stay put throughout the day. They make you feel great about yourself. Why change? It’s true – nothing can really replace that red lip color you have loved for years. Or the cleanser that has kept you clear since high school. I get it. But I also know that choosing better products for your skin, health and for the environment is in the back of your mind too. You want to try but don’t know where to begin. With the onset of many new and independent brands, you aren’t sure what really works and what doesn’t. Lastly, some of those green brands can be a bit pricey! Believe me I know.

So how about for the new year, you aim to switch out or incorporate one (or two if you’re an over-achiever) organic beauty product to your routine? Manageable, right? Easy on the budget, yes? Here are some suggestions.

rms beauty “un” cover-up

Since we use base products ALL over the face, it makes sense to try and green yourself here first. After all, what you put on your skin goes IN your skin. With four colours in the range, you can find a colour that suits you best or mix to match. Lightweight and creamy, this “un” cover-up blends easily and hides imperfections well. You can also layer to build coverage. In small clear pots, a little bit goes a long way! Available at The Detox Market and online.

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn Cleanser

Imagine a product with no more than five ingredients that takes off your makeup and cleans the face with the swipe of a cotton pad. Repeat: five ingredients. All organic. Stop imagining and just try it. So easy to use and so gentle on the skin, this cleanser removes dirt, makeup (even mascara) and grime with ease. Nighttime cleaning has never been breezier. Just moisten a cotton pad and wipe the skin, rinse with water. You are done. Available at BlushPretty. (Ahem)

Ilia Beauty Lipstick

Before, you could only find organic lipsticks in very sheer shades of everyday basics and neutrals. That was before. With Ilia, you can find brighter pinks and deeper reds. Complete with long wear and a creamy, no drag, application these lipsticks provide all the pigment you need for bold lips. No more worrying about how much lead is in your lipstick and how much of it you are consuming … there are options out there for you! Available at Jacob+Sebastian and The Detox Market.

So this ends our fresh year, fresh start series … What do I have in store for you next week? Well, I suppose you will just have to come back …


the fresh list: new at BlushPretty …

December 21, 2012By stephanie

Nothing is more exciting than when we receive new stock at the studio. I am so pleased to announce that we have brought on three more brands at the boutique and I bet you will love them.


We actually received LippyGirl about two weeks ago and when the team comes in and starts to play with the testers, they go bonkers. These vegan lipsticks provide all the colour you want but all the natural goodness you know is best for you. With a selection of favourable and wearable colours, you are bound to find a colour that suits you. We are honoured to be one of the only boutiques in Toronto to carry this Vancouver based brand, so do stop by to find your perfect vegan lip colour. We are loving Fancy Pants and Boss Lady!


Face Oils are the not so newest way to hydrate and treat the skin, but some beautythusiasts are skeptical (wouldn’t oil makeme MORE oily???) If you aren’t on board yet, buy your ticket and jump on. We’ll be your guide and chat you up about how and why face oils work and to prove our point, we are bringing in a small selection of Toronto powerhouse Pure+Simple’s top oils. Stay connected in the new year as well when we plan to carry their brilliant face powders and concealers. Promise!

SW Basics (formerly Sprout)

EEK! We are equally over the moon about this one and we think you will be too. This brand, recently featured in O Magazine and name dropped by Gwyneth on keeps its ingredients list to just 5 natural ingredients. Yeah … just five. As you may (or may not, but now you do) I love NYC (two trips twice a year) and now, I have brought a little bit of NYC home. Based out of Brooklyn, SW Basics is gentle for the skin but gets the job done. We will be carrying their cleanser, toner and their makeup remover starting today and in the new year plan to expand.

So there you go – plenty of reasons to visit me at the studio. We will be open on the 27th and 28th (Boxing Week deals folks) and throughout the start of January. Also, feel free to check out as of December 22, 2013 when our Sprout and Pure+simple products will be available online!

Happy shopping and Ho Ho Ho!


the fresh list: ways to stay pretty when the weather ain’t …

November 2, 2012By stephanie

If the recent rain and roller coaster wind has your makeup looking more like war paint than a fresh.beautiful fall goddess … don’t worry – you aren’t alone. There is an abundance of tips and tricks out there to keep your makeup working 24/7 and in place and you’ve heard them all (use powder to set, use a primer, use a stain), but I believe that when the weather has you beat, keeping it simple is best.

However, sometimes what looks simple, requires more than just some chapstick and throwing your hair in a ponytail. Simple does not have to equal boring. :)

Here is how I weatherproof …

The less foundation I wear, the less I have to worry about.

But in order to wear less foundation, my skin has to be on point. I’m moisturizing using Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Facial at night, and in the morning, I’m mixing my Argan Oil with Consonant Body’s new HydraExtreme. Soft, smooth, well hydrated cream always looks healthy and bright.

I still need some cover up … just not a lot …

Depending on what may or may have popped up overnight (read: how much I picked at a potential zit), I’ll either choose between a tinted moisturizer for all over evening, or a strong concealer for spot coverage. Right now, I’m mixing it up with Laura Mercier’s Undercover Pot that has one brightening concealer for under the eyes, a thicker concealer for blemishes, and then powder to set as well. It’s small and compact so it’s great for portability BUT you do need to carry a brush for it as well … so it can get cumbersome, but the wear and formula is worth it.

Just a hint of cream blush …

Cream blushes are pure ease. I’m a big fan of NARS The Multiple, but right now, I’m using a Bobbi Brown Limited Edition cream colour in Pink Truffle that comes in a tube. It’s dark straight out of the tube, but once blended it’s a nice pink. When the weather outside is grey, this hint of pink warms up my skin and makes me feel healthy.

Eyeliner instead of mascara … no, seriously … eyeliner instead of mascara …

I know, I know – mascara is supposed to be the one thing you put on if nothing else BUT on me, it just always causes trouble and smudging. I don’t have this problem with eyeliner. I dot on a black eyeliner on top of my lash line and then right up in there in between the lash. Right now I’m using Benefit BadGal in Brown, Bobbi Brown in Smoke, or from the new NARS/Warhol collection, 47th Street – a black with glitter. Each of these allow me to smudge and push around the colour … but then set and don’t budge until the next day!

And then, depending on my mood, I’ll finish with some sort of lip something (see here) or other …

With this routine, I find I am never worrying about touching up – cause really, what is there to touch up?


the fresh list: the lipstick edition … with a scrub for good measure.

October 12, 2012By stephanie

Another week come and gone! We are slowly moving from Early Fall to Late Fall.

I’m  not sure what you have written into your Daily Timer (as my dear senior makeup artist Meredith calls her archaic handwritten agenda system) for this weekend, but I can sure add some items to your shopping list.

Now normally when Fall rears its beautifully coloured head of foliage, I like to reach for a heavier dose of eyeliner but during a recent trip to Murale and several unnamed, unscheduled visits to shopping malls around the GTA throughout the week, I couldn’t help but pick up lipstick after lipstick after lipstick.

At Murale, Holt Renfrew and select Sephoras, you can find the latest from Bobbi Brown – her new creamy matte lipsticks which are just that – a matte finish with a creamy application. No tugging and no drag she has 12 new colours to offer.  They are all her signature in very neutral, easy to wear colours, but also are on trend with pops of orange, pink and of course a red. I picked up Valencia Orange (which is less red than her Orange lipstick) and True Pink. I was eyeing Razzberry and Red Carpet … but maybe next time!

Caryl Baker Visage very kindly sent to me a selection of products from their Uptown Girl line earlier in August/September 2012 and just recently their Kiss from the Cure promotion. And that means MORE LIPSTICK! Both Morning After (a deep rose) and Kiss for the Cure (a reddish-brown-berry) are sheer and creamy and can suit most skintones. But the best feature of these lipsticks are the packaging. Each lipstick case comes with its own built-in mirror for easy touch-ups on the go.

And  never one to pass a NARS counter unscathed … I did pick up a new velvet matte lip pencil – but only to replace the one I sharpened down to a nub. The current lipstick trend are the deep dark burgundys and reds, so I replenished my Damned pencil and stopped myself from doing any more damage. I really like the darker lip this season, but prefer the colours to be more matte than glossy and sheer. I find these pencils the best way to achieve that balance.

Ugh – and as we near the end of wedding season, that means lipsticks in the kit ALSO need to be replenished. A quick walk over to but a long stay in MAC meant I picked up some of my bridal faves including Modesty, Hue, Velvet Teddy and Fast Play. Hands down, MAC offers a great selection of lipsticks for makeup artists at a reasonable price thanks to the MAC pro card. Thank you MAC.

So enough about lips – here’s the tip/trick/must have to wearing a bold lip and looking perfectly polished: great skin.

Dry, patchy and blotchy skin is never a good look when paired with look at me lipstick, so if you are thinking about wearing a different bold lip everyday, get started on refining and polishing the skin.  Korres recently sent me a selection of skincare products to try including their Wild Rose Daily Brightening and Replenishing Buff Cleanser along with the Wild Rose+Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Facial. I use these two generously the night before a bold lipstick day and I wake up with a great canvas for center of attention lips. While the scrub can be used daily, I aim more for every other day if not less and that’s for one main reason: so I don’t run out of it toooooo fast! (Korres is now available at Shoppers Drug Mart too!)

Happy Shopping Friends!