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

January 7, 2017By stephanie

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.

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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!

31 days to a prettier 2017 : eat better for your skin …

January 6, 2017By stephanie

It’s FRIYAY! You’ve made it almost a week following this plan. Give yourself a pat on the back homies!

Today, I want to talk about something non-makeup, but also something everyone hates to talk about : dietary plans and restrictions. Boo to me, huh? But wait – please please please don’t click away.  Please?!?!

Day 6 : January 6

A great way to be prettier in 2017 is to start taking care of the inside as much as you do the outside. Makeup, lash extensions and a great brow job is the easiest way to always be pretty in a moment’s notice, but imagine looking a little bit prettier from the moment you wake up, or the second you wash away your contour and highlight. It can be done …

Just by incorporating a few dietary habits … such as :

  • Drink more water. This has been proclaimed time after time, but much easier said than done.  Regardless, make a conscious effort to drink more H2O throughout your day.Smiply try upping your intake by one extra glass. 
  • Limit sugar. I’m a KitKat chick and I need my break from time to time, so I’m not going to sit here and tell you to cut out all sugar. Again, like your water intake, why not reduce the amount of sugar you take in. Perhaps it is as simple as eating two sticks from a Kit Kat bar rather than all four; or having a soft drink or pop with just one meal a day and not all three.
  • Find a superfood that tastes good to you and indulge in it. I hate Kale and am not able to replace kale chips for real chips – that’s just dumb. But I do like blueberries and raspberries – both of which contain great antioxidants for the skin and body. I’ll drizzle a handful over a breakfast parfait or on a waffle – no problem.
  • Cut out some sodium. Go for the green capped (low sodium) bottle of soy sauce instead of the red capped (full blown soy sauce) when indulging in sushi. Pick lightly salted Lays instead of your favourite salted and seasoned bag. Season your chicken or fish with other tasty herbs and spices before adding salt.

There are plenty plenty more, but I’m stopping here before you stick me with a shiv. Google and take notes and make small changes one by one. Your skin will improve within weeks of making some beneficial dietary changes.

Happy noshing …

TIP : Don’t cut out everything all at once. That is totally setting you up to fail. Choose one or two manageable changes and stick with it for at least 1 week before adding another.

HOMEWORK : Read more about getting your skin in shape by following this 15 day guide to better skin from our sister company, fresh.beautiful : the skin studio.

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

January 5, 2017By stephanie

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.

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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.

31 days to a prettier 2017 : don’t neglect your hands and feet …

January 4, 2017By stephanie

Being pretty isn’t just about your face … well, it has a lot to do with your face because that’s usually the first thing people see … but pretty is also about how you feel from head to toe. 

Anyway, I’m going to take it easy on you today. You’ve already cleaned out your makeup bag, found your perfect lipstick, and are on your way to see a brow specialist sooner if not later. Well done! You deserve a break and today’s task is easy as pie. SUPER easy.

Day 4 : January 4

Start the habit of moisturizing your hands and feet daily. Both pairs work hard for you every day … without them you wouldn’t be able to get around or manage with the ease that you … and so, they deserve a little pampering. Every night, add the ritual of massaging in lotion or coconut oil into your hands and feet before bed. Not only will it do wonders for your skin itself, but the massaging action – especially for the feet – will soothe and reduce the inflammation and swelling that they go through over the course of a long day. In addition, the act of taking the time to massage and decompress will mentally prepare your mind that it’s time to get some shut eye.

See – super easy, yes?

TIP : While massaging the hands and feet, apply pressure.  Not cutting of your circulation type of pressure, but a gently pressure that soothes pressure points.  Here’s a guide to pinpointing the pressure points located in your hands and feet.

HOMEWORK : If you can, take a moment to schedule in a manicure and pedicure in the near future … or at least make a point to treat yourself to one as soon as you can!

31 days to a prettier 2017 : Make an appointment for your brows …

January 3, 2017By stephanie

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So, I totally understand that with the onset of a new year after a well “spent” holiday season … the last thing you want to do is spend some more; but if there is one thing I want you to spend a bit of money and time on in this entire 31 day period, it would be a good brow consultation.

Day 3 : January 3

Today, you’re going to do a bit of reasearch. You’re going to Google a few the best brow studios close to home or work, read reviews on them – both positive and negative, and make a decision about which brow studio you would trust with your eyebrows. The next thing you are going to do, is make an appointment for a consultation and/or service.

Why your brows?

Because they are transformative in every way. They create a frame for the eyes, and when your brows are right … the whole world is right and world peace is achieved. Just kidding.  Seriously though, ensuring that your brows are clean, well maintained, and in great shape allows for any beauty look you do to seem much more polished and complete. Meeting with a brow specialist can provide you with valuable insight into the best brow for your face.

Before I go any further, let’s get something straight – I’m not talking about trying to achieve Instagram filtered, ombré, gradiated,  did you use a sharpie for that (?), eyebrows. That ain’t real life. I’m simply pointing you in the direction of,  perhaps you need to define the arch a bit more; or grow them out a bit; or trim them a bit; or learn to use a pencil better to extend the tail. These are all things a brow specialist can walk you through.

So again, today, I want you to make yourself an appointment for as soon as possible. Trust me … you’ll love it!

Brows over bros, yo!

TIP : Resist the urge to groom, tweeze, and clean up your brows before you go in for your consultation. That’s like cleaning up before the cleaning lady arrives. Let your specialist see your brows in all their glory. You may be tweezing out an area that might look better a little fuller.

HOMEWORK : Though you should trust your specialist to design and perfect your brows for you, it’s still nice if you bring in pictures of brows you like or admire. Just to give her (or him) an idea of your style and taste. But don’t marry yourself to a specific brow because it might not work with what you naturally got. be open-minded to possibilities!