secrets: giving a luxe touch …

August 12, 2013By stephanie 1 Comment
Makeup and Hair by Stephanie Daga
Photo courtesy of Ribbon+Twine Photography

What brands do you use?
Makeup Artist:
This, that, and you know … some of them …
Oh – okay … I have a bit of trouble with this mascara, and that eyeshadow …
and some of them’s foundation never matches.
Makeup Artist:
Not a problem – I have tonnes of stuff that we can mix and match to make work for you!


I take plenty of pride in offering a wide selection of brands to my clientele ( and really, that’s why hiring a professional makeup artist for your wedding day is a must  – we know the good, the bad and the ugly – we have a bottomless kit of brands and products that would cost you plenty of $$$ and time to replicate ). I have all the standard must-haves and cult faves and about 80% of my brides are well-versed in MAC foundation, Maybelline mascara, and Urban Decay primer … but very few are unaware of what I call the “luxe” touches.

“Luxe” touches usually involve a go-to item from a brand that the client hasn’t used before, deems as “a splurge item”, and may not have access too. For example:

While I may conceal and base with my tried and true foundations, I love colour correcting with my Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach and brightening up the skin under the eyes with YSL Touche Eclat, and some Laura Mercier powder in my Undercover Pot.

Before applying powder blush, I give a natural dewy glow using a selection of creamy Becca Beach Tints for the cheeks – my favourites to use are Guava and Watermelon. And after using a shimmery powder blush, I might tone it down and blend it into the skin with a swirl of YSL Blush Radiance in either 4 or 6.

And for lips, I love plumping them up with the same lip pencil for everyone: Trish McEvoy Essential Lip Pencil in Baby Pink … and sometimes Barely There … I love how this brightens everyone’s lips naturally but also provides some shape. It looks great under most lip glosses and lipsticks – especially my MAC ones. Or if I am using a satin or matte lipstick on the bride, I’ll either dot a bit of Chelsea Girls Lip Lacquer by NARS to the centre of her mouth or a Chanel Glossimer lip gloss in a neutral pink/champagne shade.

Giving a little luxe to the bride makes her feel a little luxe … which makes for a great day, ( everyday ). It also makes her feel like she’s in on the “secret” … and who doesn’t want to be “in”? Yes?

What item in your makeup bag makes you feel luxe?


a pop of colour: purple haze …

January 21, 2013By stephanie

Purples – it’s a makeup artist favourite. Universally flattering on most skin tones, purples aren’t as dark and heavy as your blacks or greys, but aren’t as soft and see through as your pastels and neutrals. A good purple can be your best friend.

Try incorporating a shade of grape into your look whether for the eyes or lips. It’s really easy to do. Trust me! Our picks:

Stila Colour Balm in Gemma, $25. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Murale.

Laura Mercier Kohl Eyeliner in Purple Sapphire, $25. Available at select Sephora and Holt Renfrew

Christian Dior by Dior Lipstick in Mysterious Mauve, $32. Available at select Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora.

L’oreal Colour Riche in Hollywood Icon, $11.99. Available at Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart.

COVERGIRL Liquiline Blast in Violet Voltage, $9. Available at Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart.

MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadows in Vibrant Grape, Beautiful Iris or Nocturnelle, $14.50. Available at The Bay and all freestanding MAC stores.

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?