mondays+moms : makeup? what makeup?

May 12, 2014By stephanie

I have a confession to make. I actually don’t wear a lot of makeup.

I love makeup.  I have lots of makeup. I eat-drink-breathe-makeup.

I just don’t happen to wear tonnes of it.

My typical day consists of working through the morning; doing lunchroom supervision around, well, lunchtime; hot yoga; and then an afternoon of either driving around to meet clientele or an afternoon of driving around to various after-school activities.

My makeup routine is quite minimal and I think both my colleagues and clientele find this quite comical, you know … being a beauty artist and all. I thought I would share with you a couple of items that I have in rotation right now. The pic above shows what I might put on in the morning if I have a moment.

rms beauty un-cover up in 22 and cream eyeshadow in lunar : I adore this product thanks to the sheer layers you can apply with it. Never cakey or heavy, always the right amount. With the foundation, I simply apply as needed – usually under the eyes and around the nose. Sometimes the cheeks.  I like applying it over my Pelle Beauty face oil and Consonant Body sunscreen – I find it applies best after I have allowed both of these products to sink in a bit. The cream eyeshadow I actually use as my highlighter. While they do have the living luminizer in the line, I find lunar to highlight my skin tone a bit better.

bite beauty : If I’m going to brighten up my look, it’s always with lip colours and bite has the best selection of colours in my favourite form : chubby pencils. From the everyday rose to a bright and electric orange, I carry a few of these pencils in my regular makeup bag. My other favourite is NARS Lip Pencils and I look to their matte pencils when I want statement lips.

aerin rose lip conditioner : My lips, despite my best efforts will always remain chapped and  dry. It’s not fair, but what can you do. I find this lip conditioner allows me to apply once in the morning and get to about late afternoon without having to reapply.  Added bonus : the scent is quite nice!

MAC veluxe brow liner and tweezerman tweezers : Okay. I’m kind of lying about the tweezers and using them everyday because  I don’t get the chance to tweeze each morning, but the moments I do – normally after glancing into the rearview mirror on my way out the driveway (damn you natural sunlight) – I’ll make it a priority to tweeze later that night. I prefer slanted tips for the best grasp and Tweezerman has a larger selection of tweezers to choose from. For filling in my brows, I like dual-ended brow fillers – either with colour on one end and a spoolie on the other OR colour on the end and brow gel on the other. MAC’s pencil gives the soft look of powder but defines the brows like a champ!

tom ford eye defining pencil in metallic mink and stila smudge stick waterproof liner in emerald : I don’t wear mascara only because I find when applying to myself – I’m pretty messy with it. So I rely in eye pencils to define my eyes.  I love inky blacks and browns and love the Tom Ford pencils (MAC pencils are pretty great too!) and I usually apply this under the lashes and at the root to fake the look of more lashes and artfully applied mascara. Over the top lid, I’ll use a bright colour like Stila’s emerald which after application LOOKS like liquid liner – so pigmented. It’s all about the subtle pop!

I’m not sure if there is anything I would change about my makeup routine – it’s works for me and the amount of time I have to get ready for the day. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think : I really should use my primer … or my concealer … and maybe I should fill in that crease. But then I think to myself that my job is to apply beauty to others – not BE the beauty.

Well, that’s my Monday morning stephanie-ism.  Hope you all have a great week!



lightbox: bedhead babes … a quick beauty shoot …

March 6, 2013By stephanie

Just a little teaser from the mini-shoot I did this weekend at the Ajax Studio.
My friend Barb and her daughters were the best models.
We feasted on croissants and pretzels while playing hair and makeup.
What a great way to spend a lazy Sunday.
A big thank you to Margaux Yiu, our photographer and also,
to my brother, Justin Borja, who videotaped the entire morning (stay tuned for that!).
Also, besides being a great model, Barb is a talented children’s artist – check out her blog/website here!

quick beauty: do something for you – it’s an order!

March 1, 2013By stephanie

As a mom, I know it’s tough to stay true to/happy with yourself without feeling like you are neglecting your child(ren). Often, once a child has entered our lives, we begin to sacrifice all the things both big and small, for the sake of the baby.

I truly think you cannot have it all. You just can’t. There will always be something amiss in your life, but that is what makes your life unique to you.  Don’t strive to be perfect. Don’t strive to be the best. Just strive to be you.

So like I said, you cannot have it all … but you can come as close to it as possible.

The most important piece of advice I can give to any mother is to not lose your sense of self. While its only natural to have to give up your weekly shoe purchase so you can buy all those diapers, spending your Friday nights with your special group of best friends, or your coveted Monday nights in front of the TV watching CW shows … do yourself a favour and don’t give it up completely.

Aim to do something for yourself, that you love to do, at least 2 to 3 times a month WITHOUT feeling guilty. If you don’t – you will go crazy! You will start to get cranky. You will start to snap at people. You will even start to look unhappy. Your child(ren) would rather see you happy and somewhat balanced than frustrated, tired, and moody all the time.

So do yourself a favour, always make time to do something for YOU!

quick beauty: stretch it out …

February 28, 2013By stephanie

It’s enemy number one in my opinion. Enemy. Number.One. If you see any sign of the enemy – take them DOWN!

Every pregnant women is scared of getting stretch marks. Period. It’s bound to happen – whether a little or a lot, around the stomach, maybe the hips, and perhaps the thighs. Stretch marks suck.

The appearance of stretch marks is different for everyone and its look is mostly dependent on the colour of your skin.  For some they are pink and others bright white.  Some women will be subject toreally dark brown ones. Once you get a stretch mark, the key to minimizing the long term effect is to treat it early and quickly.

While there are many products and procedures out there that will claim to minimize, reduce, or even eliminate stretch marks all together, very few actually work. The ones that do are often pricey or very invasive. Your B.F.F. to treating a stretch mark – whether for prevention or to minimize –  is to moisturize. As your skin stretches over your belly, it is important that you adopt a heavy moisturizing routine, perhaps 2 to 3 times daily to keep the skin soft, supple and pliant. The more moisturized and hydrated your skin is – the more willing it will be to stretching and growing without stretch marks. Focus on the key areas to: belly, breasts, hips and butt.

quick beauty: i was pregnant … not suntanning!

February 27, 2013By stephanie

Through our sister studio, fresh.beautiful: the skin studio, I often meet women whom complain of dark spots and blotches that appeared during pregnancy. This condition is called melasma; for some it appears in blotches freckled over the skin, for others, the entire face – also known as “the mask of pregnancy”.

The darkening of the skin is often caused by your raging and now unpredictable hormones, and for most, after pregnancy, the blotches will fade away. It takes some time, but they will eventually lighten.

Treating this common skin issue is a matter of due diligence during and after pregnancy. Here are some tips to keep it under control:

Practice safe sun. Whether your nine months occurs during summer or the dead of winter, protect your skin with SPF daily. You are producing more melanin than ever, so when you are out in the sun, you’re pushing its production into overdrive which will cause darker spots and take longer to fade.

Stick to a gentle skincare routine. Yes, your hormones are going bi-polar now too and you may be experiencing breakouts. You’ll be tempted to switch up your routine in order to treat your skin and may even start looking to topical ointments or harsher cleansers to help alleviate the situation but that’s not always best. If possible, stick to a very gentle cleansing routine and try to ride the acne wave in stride. Irritating the skin can lead to bigger problems including acne scarring, and since you are producing more melanin – just imagine how dark those scars will become.

Research safe options after pregnancy. Patience is key to seeing an improvement in the skin, so monitor the dark areas after pregnancy for any positive changes. If say, after 6- 9 months post pregnancy the spots have not faded (or have not quick enough), consult with your dermatologist or doctor about your options. Some may suggest topical treatments or even chemical peels.  Others a lightening cream. Some may steer you into laser treatments, whether hot or cold. The key is to do your research first, get recommendations, and make the safest decision for you.