Category Archives: tools

31 days to a prettier 2017 : brush up for the next week!

It’s Day 7!!  Go on with your bad self.  You completed a whole week of the guide. We’re going to level up a bit next week with our tips and tricks for beauty … so consider this week a fun+pretty warm-up. You did fantastic!

Day 7 : January 7

Wash your brushes.

If you’re a makeup freak and every single brush under the moon and use all 1,999,998 brushes daily – this task is going to suck, but in the end your makeup and skin will continue to look flawless and your product will last longer. Swear to Sephora.


Now, you should be washing your brushes regularly – at least weekly – and sterilizing and lightly cleaning in between each use. If you’re a habitual cleaner and a little bit OCD about your products and tools – then this comes as a no brainer to you. Get washing holmes! If you’re a newly minted newbie to makeup … or never really thought to wash your brushes (side eye!) … continue reading.

First, you’ll want to gather up every brush and reusable sponge today, plus your favourite brush cleanser or bottle of baby shampoo.

Next, prep your area. You’ll need access to the sink, but then also a cleared and clean area to lay down your brushes and leave to dry. Be sure to wipe down the area thoroughly and lay down a fresh clean towel or drying mat for your brushes to rest on.

The trick to washing your brushes is to use warm water and a little bit of soap or cleanser. I like to dollop the cleanser on the back of my hand, wet the brush, and then swirl lightly in the cleanser to give it a bit of lather. Do not smooth your brush into your cleanser. Holding the brush downward to rinse, I remove all traces of soap. The reason you hold the brush downward is so that water and cleanser does not travel into the ferrule of the brush head (the barrel that covers the connection of the brush fibres to the barrel) where it can loosen or breakdown any glue holding the fibres together.

Once you have cleansed and rinsed, reshape the head of the brush and lay the brush flat to dry. If possible, leave the head of the brush over an edge to prevent the hairs from lying in its own dampness while it drys.

And from here, you go on to then next brush and so on, so forth.

Again, you should be doing this regularly for your brushes and tools. It will help to prevent transfer of bacteria and keep your skin free of any irritations. if your currently experiencing a breakout or skin issue then try to be more diligent, washing every few days and keeping your beauty area as clean as possible.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat!

TIP : In between cleaning, keep your brushes stored properly away to prevent the growth or spread of bacteria and dirt.  Keeping them in a cool dry place, and contained is your best bet. You can also spray with alcohol in between each use, or try my favourite spray : 1 part tea tree oil ( a natural disinfectant ) to 2 parts water.

HOMEWORK : Make it a habit. Pull out your planner, and mark the next “bubble bath” day for your brushes!

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31 days to a prettier 2017 : keep your eyeliner on point …

There is  the smokey eye,  the smudgy eye, and then … just a plain old heavily-lined eye. And believe me, that last one never looks polished and pretty. In fact it looks like … um … just a heavily lined eye. That’s it. Just black (or charcoal grey) and bold. It’s a don’t.

Day 5 : January 5

Sharpen your eyeliner pencils regularly. Not just when they become a small nib.

Easy, yes? Absolutely! It makes sense to sharpen your eyeliner pencils, but you have to ask yourself – how often do you actually do it?

This year, try to get into the habit of keeping your eyeliner tips sharper by using your pencil sharpener regularly. Giving your pencils a twist daily offers you better lined eyes instantly. You aren’t aiming for “poke your eye out” sharp, but you do want to achieve a nice point that allows you to line your eyes precisely and with plenty of control.


Photo Credit : Temptalia

Think of modern day calligraphy – which happens to be all the rage right now. Much like a calligraphy brush pen,  you want your pencil to be able to do two things : create a thin and graceful line, like the upswing in calligraphy; but also be able to add thickness, like on the downswing. Two different looks – same tool. In the case of your eyeliner pencil, a sharper point can do both with just a twist of how you hold the pencil. A thick blunt point cannot. If your eyeliner pencil isn’t sharpened up, it’s not going to do what you want it to do right of the bat. Which means more mistakes on that winged eyeliner or cat eye, and less time to do the rest of your face!

Furthermore, can we all just agree that a thick heavy line on the lower eyelid is just dated and spooky, anyway? Because it is.

Hope I made my point! (Pun soooo intended!)

TIP : Even the task of carrying a sharpener aggravates you, consider self sharpening / twist up eyeliner pencils.  These products are usually thinner throughout the barrel than regular pencil options.

HOMEWORK : If you happen to be a victim of thickly lined eyes and clearly want to make a change try this very simple trick. Line your eyes with a thin line from your freshly sharpened pencil, and then gently smudge the lines with a smudge brush or a cotton swab. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works because it will give you all the definition you love from a bluntly drawn line but creates a softer, diffused appearance.

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get inspired : the braided updo …

The braided updo is definitely a bridal favourite that is still on trend for this upcoming bridal season. The bp team has seen many variations, from braids moving into a sidesweep, braided crowns, and even teeny tiny braids peeking through a half up/half down style.

My favourite is actually a pretty  braid twirled into a soft bun, much like the photo above. The braid is a traditional french braid placed on one side of the head, with the ends left unpinned and swept into a bun of loose curls.

This particularly beautiful bridesmaid happened to have longer hair;  just below the shoulders about. For a style like this length does help, especially with creating a full statement bun in the back. While she didn’t have super thick hair, she didn’t have super fine hair either.  We didn’t use extensions for this look but for those with thinner hair or hair that is fine, using extensions will help with filling out the braid.  If you have thinner hair and choose this style, keep in mind that your braid might not be as big/noticeable and your bun may be quite smaller in size.

I found wrapping the hair around a large barrel curling iron and setting with large velcro rollers helped lift the the hair at the root.  I did this with all the hair from the front of the head to the crown and let it sit in rollers while I curled the lower half the head as normal with the iron.  Once I finished curling, I released the hair from the rollers and I teased the front sections at the root for staying power. I then brushed the hair smooth before starting to plait the hair into the braid.

I french braided the side section until the end of the hairline, and then twirled and pinned the end to start the bun. From there, I slowly worked and pinned all the unbraided sections of hair until we achieved a nice bun formation.

To give the braid some “oomph” I pulled and tugged out the curves and weaves a bit to make it appear bigger and fuller. Some brides choose to leave the curls hanging from the bun, but I personally prefer the look of having all the curls pinned in.

I think this style is particularly smart, especially for the warmer more humid months. It keeps the hair clean off the face, but not tight or severe – a look most brides or bridesmaids want to avoid. It sweeps the hair up of the neck as well, but doesn’t look constricted. It can be worn a little looser or messier for someone who wants something more bohemian/rustic. But alternatively, it can be worn smoother and slightly tighter for a cleaner sophisticated style.

Hope you’ve been inspired!


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in toronto: anastasia of anastasia beverly hills …

 Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit one of my favourite places for beauty in the city: MURALE!

I was invited to check out what’s new for Summer and Fall 2014 and the highlight of it all:
Brow Expert Anastasia Soare, the creator behind Anastasia Beverly Hills,
was present to give quick brow makeovers and share her insider tips.

I managed to take a quick video of her in action, which I’ve shared on
my YouTube channel.

I’ve learned two things:

1. brows are the ultimate game changer in makeup, hands down
2. i really need to learn to flip my iPod sideways for better videos.

For more fun vids to watch, check out my channel, and the team’s YouTube channel!


Posted in Anastasia Beverly Hills, tips, tools, video, YouTube | 1 Comment

it’s monday … isn’t it?

Mondays can be fun … yes? No? … um …

clockwise from top right:

NARS,  The Matte Multiple
Smashbox,  Halo Highlighting Wand
rms beauty, Lip Shine
Josie Maran, Argan Creamy Concealer Crayon
Stile, Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliner 

Posted in Josie Maran, NARS, rms beauty, skin, Smashbox, Stila, things we love, tips, tools, trends | Comments Off on it’s monday … isn’t it?