countdown to christmas : last minute finds …

December 24, 2015By stephanie

It scares me to think that if you have landed here today … you may have not yet finished your holiday shopping. Yikes! But … I feels ya. There is always that last minute gift you need to get … for that unexpected guest, that one gift to add to add to the one for your sister (because you felt it needed something extra!), or for your second cousin who was supposed to head to Jamaica for a holiday getaway … but changed her mind … so now she is coming to the family dinner.


It’s moments like these when your local drugstore becomes your best friend of the moment.

Some of my favourite drugstore finds that make for a well-received gift are :

Maybelline Eyeshadow Palettes : There is a colour set for almost any makeup style – The Nudes, The Blushed Nudes – both less than $20 and super easy to find in the drugstore, so you’ll be in and out in a flash. Plus, the consistency and quality is A+ and rival most other shadow palettes out there in the higher price ranges.

EOS Lip Spheres : Anyone and everyone can use a good lip balm. EOS Lip Spheres are minimalist yet pretty and chic. They come in grown up flavours, and there is even a holiday set of 3 which can be DIY decorated to show off one’s festive spirit.

Benefit  Cosmetics … well, Benefit anything : Available in most Shoppers Drug Marts around the GTA, something from Benefit always does the trick. Perhaps one of their box of powders (Dandelion is always a classic, but Roackateur is quite fun); or maybe a BadGal Mascara and Liner wrapped into a DIY Eye set; or any of their many boxed makeup sets … really, can’t. go. wrong.

So this is it … you’ve got only a few hours left to shop.  Good luck … and may the force be with you!

Happy Holidays!


lookbook love : jourdan dunn at the met gala

May 5, 2015By stephanie


Without fail, the annual Met Gala brought out another round of visionary fashion with this year’s theme of Chinese Whispers. I’m sure if you head over to any fashionable blog worth it’s weight in designer handbags, you’ll catch all the news on who wore what (or catch the Rihanna pizza dress memes), but here – you know, at your run of the mill beauty blog – we’re focusing on the face.


The people behind Maybelline shared with us three different looks from their ambassadors for the evening : Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima and my personal favourite, Jourdan Dunn!

I adore Jourdan’s  look (created by Frances Hathaway) the most because I think it combines two things I love for eyes but without going overboard: bold black liner and a pop of colour.

Often, the everyday beauty gal will apply a strong lid colour and then finish it off with their liquid line but with Jourdan’s look, the liquid line does all the work against a lid shaded in soft mauves which actually reads as natural and almost nude. The freshness comes from that pop of colour across the lower lashline which is a mix of bronze and pomegranate shades. People often reserve this technique for your basic black, brown, or grey smudge for a super smoked up eye … but choosing a brighter colour with a hint of sheen looks so clean and fresh.


What do you think? Agree or disagree?

Below is the full how-to and product list for this Maybelline look. Think you’re going to try it out?



Jourdan’s “how-to” for her eyes, courtesy of Maybelline :

To create a gorgeous, stand-out eye look, Hathaway used Maybelline New York The Blushed Nudes Palette (launching June 2015), focusing on the beautiful, mauve toned shades on her lid and crease. To create a glow-y effect on her lower lash line, Hathaway then applied Maybelline New York Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel in “Bad to the Bronze” and “Pomegranate Punk”. As the look was “all about the eye,” Hathaway used Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in “Blackest Black” to create a more pronounced winged eye. She finished with multiple coats of Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Black Pearl Waterproof Mascara. Hathaway sculpted her brows with Maybelline New York Brow Drama

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

April 29, 2015By admin2

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 …

Red Lip Makeup Artistry

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 …

Fashion Makeup ArtistPhoto 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 …

Eye Shadow

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 … 

Flawless SkinPhoto 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 …

Natural Makeup 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 …

Lashes and BrowsPhoto 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 …

Hair Style Waves

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 …

Hair Style 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 :!

Have a great hump day all!


get inspired : from Maybelline at Fashion Week …

March 26, 2015By stephanie

It’s March 2015, and of course, Toronto is in the midst of fashion week. All the stylish people are out and about this week at the tents, and there is no shortage of inspiration for fashion and beauty.

Here’s the look (plus the product roll call and how- to) for David Dixon, a must-see at Toronto Fashion Week, created by Maybelline’s very own Grace Lee. I’m a fan of fresh skin that looks flawless without being heavily concealed; it always pairs well with a bold deep lip.

Looking forward for more to come from Maybelline and Fashion Week!


from the runway : marissa webb, fall/winter 2015 …

February 18, 2015By stephanie

I’m currently obsessed with Marissa Webb and her fashionable ways, especially given that she’s the mind behind Banana Republic, I store I adore. I’ve been following her religiously on Instagram, and just this past weekend I received word on the makeup look for her namesake design label during its trip down the NYC runway for Fall/Winter 2015.

Maybelline is back at it for New York Fashion Week, and the face for Marissa Webb’s line was created by some of our favourite Maybelline products including, The Nudes (who doesn’t LOVE this palette?) however, not for the eyes (SURPRISE!).  Instead, the artistry team decided to use a taupe shade from the famous palette to contour the cheeks. Genius!

The look itself was inspired by Bianca Jagger, and what stands out for me is the fresh, clean skin. It’s breathable and dewy. The soft look was created using Maybelline’s Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation for the base. To conceal, Face Studio Master Conceal was applied, with attention to the brow area to soften them up the appearance of the brows.

I think the overall look is perfect and wearable for everyday, very much in tune with Marissa Webb’s style.

I heart this look and am looking forward to seeing more from New York Fashion Week and Maybelline!