31 days to a prettier 2017 : wear your hair differently …

January 11, 2017By stephanie

Yesterday, we made sure that you have a plan to get in to see your stylist for a cut or trim. Until then, you’ll need to create a diversion until you can come through with a fresh new style.

Day 11 : January 11

Style your hair differently.

Take a moment to practice and trysome new styles for your hair this evening. If you’re growing out your bangs, experiment with different braids and twists to keep them up and off your face. If you always wear your hair in a ponytail, try a half-up / half-down with some waves. Change your curly hair to something super sleek with a flatiron. I’m sure by now, you now where I’m going with this.

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Visit your Pinterest account and aim to try 2 or 3 styles that you like. Practice tonight, and then wear your hair in your chosen styles throughout the next few days at work or when out with friends. You’ll be surprised at how a simple change like adding a wave to your long length or moving from a centre to a side part can modernize your look in an instant. People notice!

Happy hairstyling …

TIP : Don’t worry about washing your hair before trying new styles. Sometimes, second day hair is better for volume, curling and manageability.

HOMEWORK : Challenge yourself to not revert back to your usual style (high bun, ponytail, jaw clip) – at least not for one day. Switch it up on the daily!

31 days to a prettier 2017 : have better hair days …

January 10, 2017By stephanie

We’ve focused so much on makeup in the past week, that we need to take a moment, step back and focus on the one thing that can ensure a great day, almost every day : your hair.

Day 10 : January 10

Get your haircut. 

Or at least make an appointment to do so. Soon. Maybe you are due for a whole new ‘do or perhaps you just need a trim and clean-up – whatever it is, get it done. 

A fresh new style, especially one that flatters your face, can bring forth a whole new confidence in your beauty game. It can also keep you out of a rut and keep your look current. Change is good. You can start off small with either adding in some layers or fringe or you can try a whole new cut all together like going short; a bob or pixie – take your pick.

If you’re not ready to make a big leap, then at least get in to see your stylist for a trim. Cut off the split ends and thinning length, trim your bangs, and freshen up your layers. Maintenance like this will ensure less bad hair days and less frustration with styling your hair overall.

And let’s not forget the other fun stuff … if it works with your time and budget you can consider fun stuff like a new colour, highlights, lowlights, babylights …etc. 

See your stylist … stat.

TIP : Dont’ ever go into your stylist and say … just do whatever. Images are always a good bet, even if you’re thinking of just some minor changes to your hair. IMages can hel to clearly communicate what you’re trying to achieve and better guide your stylist.

HOMEWORK : Make it a habit to see your stylist for regular trims and maintenance. Mark in your calendar when you’re about due and try not to stray to far from that date when booking in an appointment.

31 days to a prettier 2017 : find your beauty spirit monster …

January 9, 2017By stephanie

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With January signalling a time for change and evolving yourself, it is always good to have related visuals to your direction or goal to inspire and guide you. For example, I want to be fitter this year, so my current Instagram feed is nothing but before and after photos of women who really got into and did the work to be healthier and happier. You may want to cook more, so perhaps you’re pinning recipes on Pinterest. Or maybe, you want to quit your 9 to 5 and your Flipboard is lined up with articles about entrepreneurship.

Having a vision keeps your end goal in reach …

Day 9 : January 9

Find your beauty muse … or as I like to call it, my beauty spirit monster.

Whether you want to be glammed out on the daily like Kat Von D, or beachy and bronzy like Jennifer Lopez, or naturally imperfect like a Parisian girl … it’s always good to study the look. Following someone’s beauty evolution and style isn’t about copying their makeup from magazine and calling it a day. Rather it’s more like learning about the products they love and the techniques they (or their makeup artist) use and that work for them, to grow your own look.

Having one or two beauty muses can encourage you to try new colours or techniques, and bring you out of your comfort zone. It can prevent you from getting stuck in a beauty rut as well which is the quickest way to age you faster.

If you don’t already have Pinterest, it is a great tool to collect images of your chosen style muse, products you want to try and also, how-to articles on almost any makeup technique you want to try. If you have a 20-minute bus ride home, you would be surprised at how much pinning you can do.

Happy celeb hunting!

TIP : Images can help you shop better as well. Having images of a celeb’s look on hand when you hit a beauty counter can help the makeup artist determine what products and colours will work for you to achieve the same look and style.

HOMEWORK : If you love a good old magazine and have tonnes of them lying around BUT also know its time for them to hit the recycling bin, then grab a bottle of wine, park yourself in front of your pile and start ripping out photos of your beauty spirit monster. You can even tear out pages of makeup you’re interested in. Once your done with one magazine, toss it in your blue bin and move on to the next. Collect your images in a file folder for future reference.

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 : It starts with your makeup bag …

January 1, 2017By stephanie

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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!