makeup monday : what happens in miami …

July 7, 2014By stephanie

As you can tell by my Instagram account, if you happen to follow it,  I am in the midst of working/vacationing in beautiful Miami. It’s my home away from home … and I have been enjoying every minute.

Whenever I travel – whether across the border or overseas – the objective is to travel light and return with slightly more. Or much more. Or whatever I think I can get away with.

Here’s a glimpse of what I started with: (in advance, my apologies for such sub-par photos … I’m doing this all off an iPod and the pictures look so much better on a tiny screen than they do on a full size computer. le sigh.)

My makeup essentials includes a few essentials from Chanel – a pressed powder and highlighter/blush combo from the Les Beiges collection; a Stila eyeliner in a bright Miami-esque turquoise/green to add some fun to the eyes at night; Clinique mascara for obvious “I’ve for no lashes” reasons; my Anastasia Pro Pencil which does wonders for the eye area; my Shu Uemura brushes, because I love how they apply makeup for me; and bobby pins to keep my hair off my face in this heat.  I also brought some Bite Lip Pencils (not pictured) and my Tom Ford eyeliners.

I also brought some other fun skin and body care items, including my new Foreo Luna Mini to massage and cleanse the skin each night after dirty days at the beach and pool; Olay Fresh Effects Exfoliating Wipes (the husband loves these as much as I do that I had to bring two packs); and Secret’s new Hawaii Citrus Breeze Body Spray and Anti-perspirant/Deodorant, because … well … it’s Miami, it’s hot, I sweat, you get it.

I have to add that these three items have been great for vacation use! The Luna Mini makes cleansing the skin after a day at the pool or the beach like an extended spa facial. Plus, it makes my skin glow which is a bonus with the slight tan I’m getting. It’s tiny little self is so portable so easy to use! The Olay Fresh Effects are my quick clean up of choice. It removes grime and dirt easily, and exfoliates really well. My skin feels instantly clean. Lastly, Secret’s new body spray is my new summer BFF. After a shower, after the pool, after feeling like I’ve sweated up a storm, I’ve packed this scented spray in my cabana bag religiously since I’ve gotten here!

Now on to what has mysteriously made it’s way into my carry on for my return home later this week:

So, while my morning’s consist of pool or beach side fun, my afternoons usually involve the mall, the beauty department, and plenty of makeup wipes and tissue. I found this sleekly cased brand, Nudestix, at Bloomingdale’s and was curious. Nudestix is all about makeup in crayon form – MY FAVOURITE. The pencils are divided into three categories: the eyes, the lips AND cheeks, and concealer. I picked up two lip+cheek pencils and two eyeshadow pencils … I’m on the search for the concealer pencils as they didn’t have my shade in stock. Sad face, yes, but only until I opened my tin and saw the extremely ample mirror tucked inside and the sharpener. I’m excited about this brand.

The other great thing about coming across the border is Ulta. I shop this store ALWAYS in New Jersey and Miami … so it was one of my first stops when I arrived. Being a big Stila fan since, like … 1998 … I grabbed these three nude themed palettes made exclusively for Ulta.  Each comes with two cheek colours (a mix of blush, highlighter or bronzer depending on the palette) and four eye shadows.  The cost – just $20 USD. At Kohl’s – which is another great store not only for makeup but clothes as well, I grabbed a highlighter and shimmering bronzer from The Balm. These pretty babies can be used on the eyes or cheeks.

Back to Ulta (and actually Bloomingdale’s too), I restocked on Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer. I’ve been using these as my base in my bridal kit and love the coverage. It’s true, a pin prick goes a long way and mixed with moisturizer or a mixing medium, they can be sheered out for lighter coverage.  I also restocked on my Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials. I love this primer as I feel it gives the eyes a nice even base to start any eye look – from natural to smokey.

Oh shoot – I cannot forget about this travel brush set from Japonesque.  I actually didn’t need this at all. I just liked it. And it was $20 at Ulta. The coolness factor : all five brushes fit in the sleek tube. It’s so sleek – I thought I lost it when really it was tucked in the bottom of my purse.

The last … or at least current last until my next shopping trip … of my haul is the Not Your Mother’s hair care line. I’m loving my newly permed hair and so happy that it is manageable in this Florida heat … but again, you can never have too many good arsenals in your hair care kit. At a whopping $4.54 USD at Wal-Mart … I snatched up one of everything! I’m currently loving Kinky Moves, which I’ve been applying to my waves while damp and letting air dry.

So  – this is nothing new – you know, me splurging on beauty while away. I’m pretty sure I will need a second carry on because outside of these purchases I may or may not have made but totally did purchase are some cute tops and bottoms which will also need to find a home in my luggage. I’m sure everything will play along fabulously … yes?!



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?