31 days to a prettier 2017 : Choose your signature lip …

January 2, 2017By stephanie

Alright – so you’ve cleaned out your makeup bag and edited your stash. Now it’s time to determine your signature lipstick.


Day 2 : January 2

A signature lipstick is best defined as that one lip colour – whether it be a gloss, a stain or a modern matte formula – that makes you feel the most confident. Think Gwen Stefani’s bright red, or Jennifer Lopez’ effortless nude. It’s the shade that you always rely on to bring your whole look together and it should always be flattering whether you’re wearing a full face of makeup, or nothing but moisturizer. It’s the colour you get the most compliments on, and the colour that makes you smile when you apply it.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you to pick out your signature lipstick if its a colour or shade you’re constantly wearing.  Well, here’s the thing : you probably have several different variations of your signature shade. For example, I love a nice plum … but I have about 5 variations of it. Same goes with bold pinks … and don’t get me started on red.

Your job today is to nail it down to one specific tube or pot of everyday hotness.

First : Determine what shade it is – is it a dusty rose or an electric pink? A sweet mauve or a deep violet? Is it a subtle warm you up nude … or fire engine red? Whatever shade you choose in the end, it should be a charmeleon colour – you’ll feel just as proper wearing it at the grocery store as you would during a girls night out, and it never looks out of place on you!

Second : Get the right tone. Again, if you are a hoarder of lipsticks like I, chances are you have several versions of the same shade which simply vary in tone. For example, you might have reds that are a bit more brown, and others that are more orange or blue. A nude might have a little more pink or peach in it than the next one. It might be silly and you may be thinking “red is red and I can apply whichever one I grab first”, but tone makes a difference because it will make your lipstick look like its an extension of your look, style, and taste … not something you are simply wearing like an accessory.

Third : Choose your best formula. This step is somewhat optional since most of the time finding the right shade and tone ends up being one specific lip product from a brand, but sometimes you find the right colour but unfortunately the formula is all wrong for you. Or perhaps the brand and shade you have chosen DOES offer options of the same shade in different formulas. The best way to choose the formula is to determine what is easiest for you to wear. A minimalist might prefer a sheer glossy formula, whereas someone who loves to make a statement prefers a stain or matte. Choosing a formula that is friendly to you and your lifestyle is the difference between wearing out a tube over 3 months rather than 3 years.

So, you’ve nailed down shade, tone and formula in the form of a shiny tube of lipstick, what now?  Carry it with you everywhere. Build makeup looks around it. Replace it before you hit the bottom. This will forever be the shade that you use when you need anything.

Need to get ready in five minutes and you just got out of the shower? Apply it.

Need some courage before a big meeting at work? Apply it.

Need to look perfect when your crush unexpectedly asks you out? Apply it.

You’ll be super surprised at how a tube of lipstick can change your life.

TIP : If you love love love a lipstick, buy two. One for the vanity table and one for the purse.

HOMEWORK : Sometimes, and I know plenty of women whom this is happened to, a signature shade gets discontinued for no reason … and your world will feel like its crumbling all around you and you have nothing to live for. It’s like super tragic. So, keep your eye out for dupes (shades that are super similar) to your chosen lipstick and take note of the brand and name of the shade. Keep these handy in case of a lip-threatening emergency.

31 days to a prettier 2017 : It starts with your makeup bag …

January 1, 2017By stephanie


Hello 2017! And Welcome …

If you ask me … I’m kinda glad 2016 is done with. If I see one more Instagram post or YouTube video of someone using a fork, or a dishwashing sponge, or a cut up silicone bra insert to apply their makeup, I will turn into She-Hulk and pummel them all. No special effects makeup needed. None.

The truth is, makeup and hair – beauty in general, really – does not have to be that complicated. You just need a bit of knowledge, some beauty tools, and plenty of practice to be your own Instragram beauty guru. No one knows your face better than you, and the same goes for your personal style. The only thing that’s missing is a bit of guidance to point you in the right direction and keep it simple. And that’s where I come in!

With the start of 2017, I’m introducing the 31-day guide to making more beautiful choices when it comes to makeup and hair. From today until the 31, the team and I will help you become your own beauty artist by providing the classic tips and tricks you really need to know. Shall we start? But of course, we shall …

Day 1 : January 1

Stores are closed and you slept in, so today is the perfect day to start with where people make the most mistakes with beauty : an overstocked, out of date, messy makeup bag. Am I right?

Take inventory of all the makeup you own. Gather it all up from all the different places you keep it : your purse makeup bag, your bathroom makeup jar, the lip balms in the junk drawer, the glosses in your pockets, the emergency stuff you keep in the glove compartment of your car. ALL OF IT.

Separate lipsticks with lipsticks, concealers with concealers, shadows with shadows, so on and so forth.

Start your edit with trashing what is expired and/or broken. Expired products includes anything you have had for more than 2 years (ew!), mascaras that clump, cream or liquid products that have separated or for sure changed colour or consistency. Broken cases, shattered powders – toss toss toss – who needs a messy stained makeup bag?

Next, put aside all the items you know you NEVER wear … those misguided purchases, or items gifted to you that didn’t really flatter you. These items can be passed down to a sibling or friend easily.

Once you have completed these two steps, you should be left with items you wear regularly (or possibly have doubles of), or wear for the right occasion. These items will most likely be representative of the colours you favour and that make you feel good, and products that work with your skin type.  Whoo hoo!!!  You’re now ready to restock your makeup bag (and drawers), but before you do, clean it all up. Wash your makeup bag. Sanitize your cream products and wipe down all your cases and compacts.

And … you’re done, Day 1! Congrats … I’ll see you tomorrow!

TIP : For all the products you just put back in the drawer, mark them with a dab of bright nail polish, or a coloured sharpie. Next year, when you repeat your clean out … you’ll know you have had the items for a year if not more. This will help you determine if the item is expired and should be trashed!

HOMEWORK : Create a list of the items that you need to replace – you’ll need this later on. You can also create a list of everything you own … to help you with future hauls at Sephora. Feeling super productive – create a swatch book : I carry a notebook with swatches of every lipstick I own … so that when I am thinking of purchasing a lipstick on a whim, I can determine if I already own a similar shade!