makeup quickie: addicted to love

Photo 2014-04-09, 3 40 31 PM



I’m pretty sure at one point or another I wanted to be a Robert Palmer girl. Those lips, those eyes; makeup so deliciously and glamorously eighties that we barely paid attention to their awful ‘air guitar’ skills. Mind you, the exact look today would be rendered quite dated but the guts behind the original look is still quite relevant in current makeup trends. Smoky eye? Yes. Statement lip? Heck yes!

So I got inspired to create a wearable Robert Palmer-esque face that is current and not so hardcore in order to be appropriate for a daytime look. I nixed the glossy red lips for a matte orange, and opted to chill out the smoky eye with a neutral palette and pair it with a bold brow instead.

Here’s how I did it.

Photo 2014-04-09, 3 52 00 PM


MAC Face & Body Foundation in C1 & C4 (applied with a beauty blender)

MAC Concealer Palette in Medium

Makeup Forever HD Powder

Smashbox Contour Palette

TIGI eyeshadows in Black & Chocolate (brows)


Urban Decay eyeshadow in Liar (lid)

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Darkside (outer corner + lower lashline)

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Nooner (crease)

Too Faced eyeshadow in Marshmallow (tear duct)

TIGI eyeshadow in Chocolate (outer corner)

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’Express  mascara in Blackest Black


Ritual lipstick in Siena

Leave a comment

Filed under brown looks, FOTD, MAC, Makeup Forever, Maybelline, orange looks, Smashbox, smoky looks, style, Urban Decay

review: fake it with st. tropez





Winter Woe #235: Pasty skin.

It’s an inevitable burden thanks to Mother Nature forcing us to be on what seems like permanent house arrest and longing for warmer weather and a little sunshine on our face. I know some of you out there find solace from the frigid season in the dreaded tanning bed. I’ll tell you now and forever, as a skin specialist AND as someone who anal retentively takes care of her skin like a Faberge Egg, that the aforementioned approach is both terribly dangerous, unhealthy and with alternatives like the one I’m about to tell you about, unnecessary. I’ll be honest and admit that my experience using any self tanning products on myself  is slim to none. I’ve either been complacent with my level of pastiness or have been concerned with which shade of Snooki I’d end up.

Enter St. Tropez.

I had heard of this line a long while ago and it wasn’t until I ended up at my current place of work that I saw the results of these products first hand. The Self Tan family of products is the longest lasting and leaves the skin with a gorgeous bronze glow; very much a natural looking colour. Point one for St. Tropez. I realized that they also had a wash off formula that allowed me the option to have that tanned look for a special event or just for those days I was feeling an extra level of ghost, wintery white. I grabbed myself a bottle of the Wash Off Instant Glow face formula and the experimentation with self tanning began.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Product Name:

St. Tropez Wash Off Instant Glow Face

What It Does:

This lightweight and hydrating tinted gel formula gives your face an instant tanned look that won’t transfer, has no tanning agents and washes off with normal facial cleanser.

How To Use:

You can use this on it’s own or mixed into your favourite moisturizer or foundation. Avoiding the eye area, apply in upward and circular motions to allow an even application, making sure it is absorbed thoroughly. You will notice immediately how much more tanned the skin looks. Wash your hands after application as it will stain.

How I Did It:

I mixed the St. Tropez in with some Embryolisse Cream and applied it onto my face and neck. I have used this both in combination with moisturizer and on its own. I have yet to mix it in with my foundation, although I imagine the results are amazing. My favourite method of applying it though, was the moisturizer combo; it was so easy to blend in and great for those mornings I don’t want to fuss about. In the photo below, the end result is without any foundation applied after the St. Tropez. You can clearly see how even the coverage is and how natural the tanned finish is.

Would I Repurchase?:

Heck yes I would! I also have the Gradual Tan face formula which is lovely but I much prefer the non-committal properties of this Wash Off line. With the cost of this being under $30, it’s a no brainer that it’s worth repurchasing.

Photo 2014-03-06, 12 14 27 PM (1)

For my pasty face sisters and brothers out there, the moral of this story is to not let this uninspiring winter weather get you down. If you weren’t able to sneak away down south for a little tropical therapy, why not fake it with St. Tropez.


Filed under reviews, skincare, St. Tropez, tips + tricks, winter

skincare: what i’m loving right now

Screenshot 2014-03-12 15.49.26

This is definitely the time of year where I’m frantically waving a white flag at winter. It hinders me from wearing cute shoes, walking without  fear of a slippery tumble, being outside in general and most of all, my skin freaks out.  I know that last one on the short list of winter woes is one that a lot of us share. As a skin therapist, the common factor I’ve been seeing these past few months is dehydration and sensitivity due to the extreme weather conditions and have personally been battling mother nature to maintain glorious skin during this winter war.

There have been a handful of products that have been little saviours during this time. Some are new to me, while others are old faithfuls in my skin care regimen. Here’s a taste of what I’ve been loving on my face as of late.


Dermaquest Stem Cell 3D Eye Lift

If there’s no such thing as a fountain of youth, Dermaquest’s Stem Cell line comes pretty damn close to it. This eye cream in particular is on my permanent list of favourites; it’s like Botox without the needles. Plant stem cells, red algae extract and peptides de-puff, brighten and smooth the eye area. I noticed a miraculous difference in how my eyes looked after two days using this. This product doesn’t fool around and in over ten years in the beauty business, I haven’t seen an eye cream work as effectively as this one in such a short period of time.


Crabtree & Evelyn English Honey and Peach Blossom Glistening Face Serum

Does winter have your skin looking dull and blah? In need of a radiance boost? This serum will hydrate, condition and restore your skin to a glowing state thanks to blue agave, yeast extracts, wild flower honey and peach blossom. Oilier skin types can use this alone as a moisturizer and those with skin on the drier side, apply this under your favourite moisturizer. My dry skin thanked me for saturating it in this serum; yours will too. It will leave you looking luminous and feeling supple. In your face, winter!


Lush Ocean Salt Face Scrub

I have to admit, I’m a little obsessed with this exfoliant right now. My skin had been a little schizo thanks to the dreaded polar vortex, causing me grief by looking dull, being dehydrated and even breaking out. I needed something to help purge without drying me out even more. Enter Lush Ocean Salt. The sea salt softens and sloughs the skin while coconut and avocado hydrate and balance. As if Lush didn’t know me any better when wooing me with this little tub, it contains lime and VODKA which helps with clogged pores, blackheads and occasional breakouts, leaving it looking bright and fresh. Like a cocktail for your face!


Dermalogica Barrier Repair

Cold wind? Check. Burning cheeks? Check. Red faced? Check. Slightly chapped? Check.

Barrier Repair is a skin godsend for the bitter cold months and allows some solace from the evils of sensitized skin. This waterless moisturizer helps to shield the skin from environmental and internal triggers and contains an UltraCalming Complex to soothe and minimize burning and itching. This works great under makeup as a primer and is an ideal product for those who are outside a lot and exposed to the cold elements.

1 Comment

Filed under Dermalogica, my favourites, product launch, reviews, skincare, winter

makeup quickie: going nude with naked 3

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oh Naked 3 palette, why did it take so long for us to get together?

This latest addition to my vast makeup repertoire has been long overdue, in my opinion. As a mega-fan of the original Urban Decay Naked palette, this collection of rose-hued neutral eyeshadows are not only gorgeous but beyond wearable for a variety of skin tones and I am officially in love with them all. That being said, it’s all I’ve been wearing for the past week and so I thought I’d share one of my looks rocking some of these sexy shades.

Photo 2014-03-12, 11 42 56 AM

Photo 2014-03-12, 11 45 29 AM


Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

MAC Face & Body Foundation in  C3

Benefit Erase Paste in No. 2 Medium

Benefit Powderflage Powder Concealer

Smashbox Contour Palette

MAC Brun eyeshadow (in brows)


Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden

(All eyeshadow used is from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette)

Trick (lid)

Dust (inner corner of lid)

Nooner (outer corner + crease + lower lashline)

Blackheart (outer corner/contour)

Limit (crease)

Strange (tear duct + brow bone)

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara in Blackest Black


Aide Bodycare Lip Balm in Cinnamon

MAC lipstick in Blankety

Leave a comment

Filed under Aide Body Care, BeneFit, bridal looks, brown looks, FOTD, hauls, MAC, neutral looks, palettes, pink looks, Smashbox, Urban Decay

makeup quickie: daytime greys





Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 128

MAC Concealer Palette: Medium

Smashbox Contour Palette

Too Faced Blush in Papa Don’t Peach

MAC eyeshadow in Brun (eyebrows)


Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer

Smashbox eyeshadow in Cement (lid/lower lashline)

Smashbox eyeshadow in Obsidian (outer corner/lower lashline)

Smashbox eyeshadow in Naked (inner corner/tear duct/brow bone)

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara


beautyADDICTS lipgloss in Addict

Leave a comment

Filed under beautyADDICTS, FOTD, MAC, Makeup Forever, neutral looks, smoky looks, Too Faced, Uncategorized, winter

nailed it: …and then there was shellac.


Since starting my new job at a fun little beauty bar downtown Toronto, I’ve been adding more than just makeup to my repertoire. Shellac (and gel polish in general) has revolutionized and redefined the manicure. When I first started out in the spa world ten years ago, the manicure wasn’t the most popular service on the menu. With gel polish, nail technicians and estheticians alike are able to offer their guests a long wearing and durable polish application that doesn’t require you to wait for it to dry.

…but I digress…

My point is that my new job surroundings have opened up a whole other creative area for me. Nails. Oh the glorious opportunities for fun it brings! Ombré, glitter, nail art and all!

So in addition to my makeup looks and reviews, I will now be sharing with you some fun manicure ideas. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy creating them.

Stay tuned.

Leave a comment

Filed under creative work, gel polish, gelish, inspiration, nails, shellac, style, tips + tricks, trends

makeup quickie: vivid violets



Eva Garden Perfect Skin foundation in 126
Smashbox Contour Palette
MAC Pro Conceal & Correct Palette in Medium
Smashbox blush in Passion
Smashbox Soft Lights in Prism

Too Faced Eyeshadow Insurance
MAC eyeshadow in Fig 1 (lid & lower lash line)
MAC eyeshadow in Stars & Rockets (inner corner of lid & inner corner of lower lash line)
TIGI matte black eyeshadow (to darken crease)
TIGI matte white eyeshadow (tear duct & brow bone)
TIGI Dark Brown and Black eyeshadow (in brows)
Lancôme Star mascara in Noir Midnight

Eva Garden lipgloss in Peach
EnvyDerm Lip Plumping gloss in Lola

1 Comment

Filed under Eva Garden, FOTD, MAC, pink looks, purple looks, Smashbox, smoky looks, style, Too Faced