Popular Opinion : yes, you need more than one concealer!

January 30, 2019By stephanie

I like to pride myself on the idea that despite being a makeup artist with plenty of makeup to play with, I personally can do a decent “face” with minimal product. In fact, I usually can do my daily makeup in about three minutes. It’s all about a little bit of coverup, a good eyeliner, and some bronzing powder.

Most beautycentric people’s talk a lot about having lipstick wardrobes or several eyeshadow palettes they play with every day … and technically, I could be considered one of them however, as of late … I find myself buying concealers; concealers of all sorts and kinds actually.

Every time I pick up a tube or pot of flesh coloured cream or liquid, I silently shame myself. Is this really necessary Stephanie? Is it? C’mon now …

But then, I decided to go easy on myself; because I actually do need different concealers. I do. I really really really do.

I currently have four in rotation, and I managed to justify each one.

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer in NC35 : I use this for blemishes and marks, and in lieu of wearing full foundation. The wand applicator makes it super-portable. It’s super pigmented and blendable which provides seamless coverage!

Make Up for Ever Ultra HD Self Setting Concealer in 21 : Packaged similar to MAC Studio Fix concealer, I use this concealer in a lighter shade to brighten up under the eyes and diminish the signs of fatigue. I also do a trace down the centre of the nose for a slimmer look! Bonus : this concealer self sets and doesn’t crease – perfect for the the eye area.

Benefit Cosmetics Boing Brightening Concealer in No. 2 : When I plan to wear a bareface, but still want to brighten up a bit – I apply this concealer with my ring finger and gently dab around my eyes. While the product is full coverage, it feels lightweight and like silk on the skin. I’ll also take a bit right under the brow bone to lift the eyes a little!

Cle De Peau Concealer in Ochre : This is my luxury, always with me, make me fabulous concealer. It’s the priciest of the bunch, but for me : it can do anything and everything – so it’s worth it. In a stick format, it’s Thin Fit Layer formula can give me a natural layer on the days i don’t need much … but with the right layering and blending, can perform like a full coverage foundation in a pinch.

So, does anyone else’s concealer wardrobe look like this?

best of bridal beauty : a few of my favourite things …

April 29, 2015By stephanie

Our Bridal Beauty Preview for Fall/Winter 2015-2016 was a smash success, and it had me thinking that I should really take a moment to share some of my favourite items for knocking out some bridal beauty.

Like any makeup artist worth her beauty blender, I have a huge kit, but a selection of products that are a must, must, must. I have products I love for creating a smokey eye, a classic twist, a vintage red lip. So keep reading … because I’m about to share.

The Red Lip …

Hands down, it’s NARS. Always NARS. My favourite product(s) is their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in either Cruella, Red Square or Pop Life. The matte finish stays put but doesn’t look dry and for an all day event like a wedding you need something more matte than glossy.  If it’s not the pencils – it’s their new Audacious lipstick colours and you can take your pick : Rita, Marlene, Geraldine, Lana  – which range from true red to a more orange based (which I think is hot for a bride!)

The Rosy Lip …

Photo by Jonathan Ponce

Rose, Plum, and anything softly pink are the other bridal favourite.  To be honest, I smushed everything down into a palette, and didn’t write the names anywhere, but I do have my favourites in a tube. They include : Plumful, Syrup, and Twig by MAC; Casablanca by Tom Ford; and pretty much anything by Bobbi Brown! And while we are here, let’s talk about nude lips, again, I’m going to throw to NARS for Belle Du Jour and Bobbi Brown for a colour I have called Uber Pink (which isn’t a bright pink at all).

The Eyeshadow …

Makeup artists have their shadows they swear by. For example, it doesn’t matter what other palette I have in my kit … I’m a slave for MAC Shroom. I will always have a pot or seven of it in my kit(s). But right now, I’m favouring Lorac Pro Palette for it’s neutral but shimmery shades however this is currently not available for Canada so you have to online shop it.  My Smashbox Double Exposure Palette is hitting the mark for more glam styles (and you can get this at Murale or Shoppers Drug Mart for those Optimum points!) and I’m am currently obsessed with TooFaced Chocolate and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Eyeshadow palettes.  Both the Smashbox and the TooFaced Palettes, I find, really stick to the eye … not a lot of shadow fallout so I really enjoy using them for shading a heavier look.

The Flawless Skin … 

Photo by Jonathan Ponce

Again, I’m very much attached to my MAC Face and Body, because it allows me to adjust and layer as needed without getting to cake face. But for concealers, I’m devoted to my Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in various shades from Ivory to Light Honey, MAC Select Cover-up in those super portable triangle containers, and also, Stila Perfecting Concealer.

If I happen to have a client with acne issues, I’ve been reaching a lot for me Estee Lauder Clear Difference BB Creme, which for me, lays down a nice layer of coverage without looking dry, cakey or messy. For mature skin, I find their EE Creme to be effective as well.

Also, you can get great skin without primers. For the eyes, it’s always Urban Decay eye primers, and for the skin, I’ve been using Makeup Forevers new Step 1 Primers.

The Blush, The Highlight and The Contour …

Well, this list could go on forever, huh? Ha ha. I would have to say my friends right now are Cliniques new Highlighter and Contour Chubby Pencils. Just for the ease of use alone.  But I am also loving my new Stila Shape and Shade Custom Contour Duo and NARS The Matte Multiples in Altai.  As these are creams, after I set the cream product, I’ll go back in with a powder set for intensity, so I’m often reaching for Makeup Forever’s new Pro Sculpting Duos (which are insane – j’adore!), and my Aerin (Estee Lauder) Kaleidoscope Palette especially when the bride doesn’t want too much shimmer/shine.

For blush, well, hmmmm. I always layer cream under powder and my favourites are from rms beauty in Modest, Smile and Demure.  I also favour Makeup Forever’s HD Cream Blushes and NARS The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta or Altai.

For powder blushes, it’s always a selection of pinks and peaches from MAC that I lightly dust on.

The Lashes and Brows …

Photo by Rhommel Bernardino

I currently carry all three shades of Cargo’s Brow Kit in my bag and use both the powder and the wax for perfecting brows. But I also lean on MAC Brown Pencils as well and I love these for their easy application and also the spooly on the other end.

To define the lashes, it’s always Maybelline Great Lash in various formulas ranging from brown to dark brown to black. I rarely use pencil liners, but when I do, I’m using Cargo’s Swimmables or Urban Decay’s 24/7 pencils.

The Hair …

Let’s start with caring for the hair … which I normally don’t carry in my kit, but suggest to my brides. Especially after the long cold winter we are JUST getting rid of, brides need to start nourishing their hair back into shape.  I’m currently recommending the Nexxus Therappe and Humectress line of shampoo and conditioner for longer length hair that needs to be brought back to life from a dry season. I would also recommend OGX Vitamin E Shampoo and Conditioner for hair health. I suggest brides also pick up OGX’s Penetrating Oil and work it into the ends of the hair  – especially if they plan to leave the hair long and loose for the big day.

The Updo …

Well, I am sure bobby pins are a no brainer – right? I’m picking them up by the box at Sally Beauty in shades of black, brown and silver.  SalonCare is the brand available, but there is also Marianna.

To reduce  oil or add texture to the hair, it’s always Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo.  For tousled perfection, I’m really liking Tresemme’s Perfectly (un)Done Hairspray. I also like their big cans of spray and will usually carry a couple of extra hold formulas, and also climate control. To tame frizzies, or induce a sheen, I’m going back to Not Your Mothers for their Smooth Moves hair creme.

For hair prep and finishing, I’m also relying on Sally Hershberger’s Signature Line (available at Shoppers Drug Mart) mainly using the Keratin Repair Spray and also, the Galm Waves Texture Spray.

So that’s it!

My kit in one really long blog post.   Would love to know what other artists are using in their kits, but would also love to answer questions any brides or beauty bunnies out there might have about any of the above products! You know where to reach me : beautymail@blushpretty.com!

Have a great hump day all!


beautified : MAKE UP FOR EVER artist eye shadows

November 14, 2014By stephanie


As a makeup artist that works with brides, colour selection and wearable, long lasting product is EVERYTHING for the wedding day. This certainly rings true when it comes to eye shadow. A wash of colour, smokey colour, shimmery colour, natural colour … I need it all, and I need it right in my kit.

Nothing makes me happier than when new formulations, new colours, and new finishes are out for display in the beauty departments for me to play with, and earlier this fall, MAKE UP FOR EVER did not fail me.

While MUFE (you know, the cool way to refer to the brand) already had beautiful shadows to their credit, the decided to reformulate the entire line thanks to their Artistic Director, Dany Sanz … and if at all possible – their eye shadows became BETTER.


In August 2014, I was invited by MUFE to visit them at Hotel St. Germain in Toronto to build a palette from the new shadows. Above are: D504, I328 and I544. I love purples and greens for brown eyes, and who doesn’t need a gold toned shadow in their kit?

Five separate finishes – satiny, iridescent, matte, metal and diamond (who doesn’t love diamonds?) – coupled with a large colour selection, any beauty junkie worth her winged eyeliner can build a complete mix and match makeup wardrobe for any look she is going for: natural, glam, dramatic.

Highly-pigmented, 88% concentrated pigment to be exact, and a gel like texture thanks to water-bend technology (how cool does that sound?), it is safe to say that a little colour goes a long way – which is always a bonus when it come to eye makeup – who doesn’t want smokey eyes that stay smokey? You can layer these shadows over one another with ease too which makes for a very blended and seamless look.

I’ve been using both my D504 and I544 on my fall bridal parties a lot and plenty love the colour payoff. I find that both of these shadows aren’t too glittery, but do provide the right amount of sheen on the eyelid, a look I love seeing on brides.

I’m pretty happy with my colour selection and the shadows in general. For the upcoming 2015 season a plan to round out my kit with a few more diamond shades but also, some matte and satin ones too.

So with all that said, if you happen to be at the beauty departments this weekend, you should be keeping your eye out for this stuff. I’m serious!

Have a great weekend all! :)


spotlight on : morgan cadenhead

June 11, 2014By DJMC

Name: Morgan Cadenhead

My role with BP: Blog Editor/Contributor

How I got into working with BP: Twitter! Steph, the founder & owner was looking for blog contributors and I answered the call. It evolved into managing the blog’s content and posts, and I love it!

The best part of my job: Aside from playing with fun products, I love chatting with the BP ladies and checking out some of the events BP hosts. There’s so many talented artists and exciting brands BP reps and works with, and I learn from them all the time!

My secret beauty weapon: Hmm – I’d have to say either MUFE Aqua Brow, which does wonders on my naturally lackluster brows, or a classic bold red lipstick – something like MAC’s Ruby Woo. A swipe of that on the lips and I’m instantly in a better mood.

My must-share beauty tip: Be fearless! I love makeup and beauty because it allows anyone to push their boundaries and try new things without having to spend a lot of money or worry about how it will look. Just try new things until you find what works for you and never stop having fun with it. If something looks silly on you or makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s easy to undo with a bit of makeup remover!

spotlight on : natalija filinova

March 27, 2014By DJMC

Our next spotlight features makeup artist Natalija Filinova, who joined our team last September.

Name:  Natalija Filinova

I joined BP in: Fall 2013

I got into hair and/or makeup artistry because… I have been wearing makeup since the age of 15. I started because I wanted to hide my blemishes, but over the years it became a hobby. I love spending time in front of a mirror perfecting my looks. When I moved to a new area, I kept walking by a beauty school that offered a Makeup Artistry Diploma – it didn’t take much thought for me to just go in and enroll.

My favourite part about being a hair/makeup artist… I feel like I was meant to do this. I love making someone feel beautiful, or seeing them in awe when they look at themselves in the mirror.  I love learning and shopping for the endless amount of makeup products out there.  I even love cleaning my kit…that says a lot because I hate cleaning!

My dream celebrity client: I have a couple, but I am going to say Kat Von D.

My must-share beauty tip: Right now the dewy fresh look is in.  To get glowing skin, try to mix in a luminizer cream/gel with your foundation, or apply it as a base on your cheek bones, and your t-zone area.  My favorite luminizer is the Make Up For Ever Uplight in #22. As blush, use a cream blush or a light powder, and apply on the apples of your cheek (don’t over do it). This is a simple, natural and beautiful look to pull off!