31 days to a prettier 2017 : choose your weapon …

January 26, 2017By stephanie

Very early on in this January 2017 guide, we told you that you needed to clean your brushes thoroughly and regularly from then on. Hopefully, you’ve been in the habit of doing so. Having clean tools is the best for avoiding irritations to the skin and reducing any opportunity for contamination between products. But having the right tools, that are in great working condition, is key to having great makeup looks.

Day 25 : January 25

Do an inventory and quality control check on all your makeup tools.

Besides brushes, this would include sponges, tweezers, mirrors and even your cotton swabs. 

Check your brushes – are they losing fibres or shedding? Are the brush hairs frayed and bent and out of shape? Are the handles broken or wiggly? And what about your tweezers? Still sharp and straight? Are your special makeup sponges split or torn anywhere?

The goal here is to either repair any tools (if you can) as needed, toss any tools that are past their prime, and make note of anything that needs to be replaced. In addition, you may want to consider doubling up on any brushes that you use constantly or need to clean constantly because you are always using it. For me, this would include shader brushes and/or crease/blending brushes (in fact, I probably own two of every eye brush I have). 

Nice you’ve weeded out the brushes and tools that need to be retired from their job, and have restocked with fresh new tools, you’ll find your makeup application easier, cleaner, and more polished.

Get to work!

TIP : If you have brushes where the hairs or fibres are out of shape or somewhat frayed, try cleansing and then CONDITIONING the natural hairs, before you consider tossing it. Sometimes that can fix the issue.  If not … recycle!

HOMEWORK : If you happen to be a one brush per facial feature kinda gal, try broadening your horizons and seek out different shaped brushes for said facial feature. Different brushes have different jobs and can make a huge difference in the execution of a particular look!

31 days to a prettier 2017 : find your perfect concealer …

January 25, 2017By stephanie

Have you ever caught your reflection midday and thought to yourself : “woah …”; and not like an enthusiastic woah that you hear in rap songs but more like a “what happened?” kind of woah. Midday or late day, you may find that your coverage has faded, or that some redness has appeared, or at the very least you are just in dire need of a touch-up. Let’s prevent that from happening.

Day 25 : January 25

Get yourself the perfect portable concealer.

I’m a huge advocate for having a concealer stick or pencil in my makeup kit – even if you only wear a base and rarely need any concealer (if that’s the case you’re super lucky!). Concealer sticks/pencils are small, transportable,  and easy to use; and if you find the right one – they are super creamy and blendable. All of these factors combined makes it the best tool for makeup that always looks fresh and natural. All it takes is a quick look in the mirror during your lunch break, your concealer, and your fingertips.

As mentioned, you’ll want one that is creamy; this will allow you to blend over your skin without the aid of more moisturizer and if your skin tends to get drier as the day wears on. Concealer sticks are better for this, but some pencils can be creamy in consistency – it’s just a matter of testing products out. Creamier concealers are good for touching up under the eyes and around the nose. Concealer pencils – which tend to by firmer – are exceptional at covering up hard to hide zits or marks on the face. If you find your skin blemishes need more help than bags under the eyes, they might work better for you.

When it comes to application, it doesn’t get any easier – its basically apply directly from tube to face and use your fingers to warm the product and blend it in. No brushes, no sponges. 

Bye bye bad face days!

TIP : Get colour matched. It’s super easy and any makeup artist at any beauty department can point you in the right direction.

HOMEWORK : Know what brands work for you before you shop. If there are certain brands that you know work best for you as base products, try to shop within those brands for consistency and ultimate happiness with your chosen concealer!

31 days to a prettier 2017 : look cute, be cute

January 24, 2017By stephanie

By now, the winter season is possibly taking it’s toll on you; everyone gets hit with a bit of blahs before the end of January and it doesn’t quit until at least the end of February. It might be time for a pick me up!

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Day 24 : January 24

Pick up a bright new makeup bag!

It could be something that you find at The Dollar Store that makes you smile … or it good be one of those cute ones from Sephora with the funny phrases on it. It doesn’t matter just as long as you love it and it makes you smile every time you open it up to start your day. If you’re smiling before you even start your makeup routine, you’re already looking good!

Happy shopping!

TIP : Make sure you choose a bag big enough to house everything you consider a “must have at all times”. Pack it up with all the stuff you would want to have on hand if you had to do your makeup in  the car or at the gym.

HOMEWORK : Before you buy, consider what you love and don’t love about your current makeup bag or storage system.  If you need to keep things separate, only choose a makeup bag that has compartments. If you need to keep tools and brushes in there as well, look at ones that have pockets to hold brushes and a plastic flap over it to keep the rest of the bag clean.

31 days to a prettier 2017 : clean yourself up …

January 21, 2017By stephanie

If you are like any other women in the world, it’s probably super rare that you get to have a really good shower and wash, yes? It’s not that you aren’t hygienic or don’t shower … you just don’t have the time to do things as properly as you would like to.

Well … it’s Saturday … and you’re going to give yourself just that.

Day 21 : January 21

Give your hair a good wash. Give your body a good scrub.

Most days of the week, if you’re lucky before work, you jump in the shower, throw around some body wash, massage through some a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner and jump right back out before you can say “I need coffee”. You’re clean … but you don’t feel like you did anything. For me – the power of a shower is EVERYTHING. You step out of the real world for a moment. You think about nonsense. You think about deep stuff. Heck – some of my best decisions happen in the shower. SHOWERS are essential to a balanced life.

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Today, take the time to shower and really clean up. Start by lathering up your hair for a good shampoo.While your hair sits with shampoo for a few moments, use a body scrub to exfoliate your body. Rinse away both your body scrub and rinse out your shampoo. Move on to a deep conditioning treatment. You can either use an actual deep conditioning product or hair mask if you wish, but in a pinch, leaving on your regular conditioner longer but also in a liberal amount can also do the trick. Apply your conditioner or mask from root to tip, focusing more on the ends of the hair twist up high on your head and secure with a jaw clip.

While you’re letting your products sit, move on to another task you normally rush through – hair removal! Whether you shave or epilate, now is the perfect time to do a thorough job leaving your skin super smooth. Once you’re done shaving, finish up with your soap or body wash. From there, go ahead and rinse out your hair mask or conditioner, using a wide-tooth comb to detangle and tame your hair.

Turn off the water. Grab a towel. Dry off.

Done. And well done. Hope you made some good decisions!

TIP : I’m guilty of having the hottest showers ever. But I know deep down, it’s not good for me, my scalp or my skin. If you must have a hot shower, do it in intervals. Perhaps just in the beginning for a minute or two, and then right before you step out. Switch between warm water and cooler temperatures in between.

HOMEWORK : No homework – it’s Saturday!

31 days to a prettier 2017 : head to toe beauty …

January 20, 2017By stephanie

Over the past 20 days, we’ve focused on beauty from all angles top to bottom – so why stop? Beauty is not just about makeup, it’s about how you feel!

Day 20 : January 20

Start a dry brush routine!

I’m a huge fan of dry brushing the entire body. It’s a quick and easy way to exfoliate the entire body from head to toe, while also promoting detoxification and circulation. It’s even been known to help reduce the appearance of cellulite (yes, please!)

To dry brush, you just need to invest in a firmly bristled dry brush with a long enough handle to reach all over. Brushes are available almost anywhere they sell body care items, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find.

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Using your dry brush, you want to use short brisk strings in an upwards motion, starting at the legs and working your way up to the stomach, arms, and your back (which is where a long handled brush comes in handy). Experts suggest 10-12 strings per body part before moving on to the next area. The best time to dry brush is early in the day, right before you jump in the shower.

YouTube has plenty of instructional videos to see how its done. And you can Google and shop around for different brushes.

Brush away!

TIP : Be firm with your grip and pressure … the exfoliating action plus the deep pressure will get your day started off right.

HOMEOWRK : Make it a habit. Even if you just have two minutes before you jump in the shower, dry brush. Eventually, it will become an automatic practice (like brushing your teeth) and you’ll do it on autopilot each morning!