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*Wedding Chicks Approved*

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It's no surprise that we love all things weddings - and are happy to announce (or remind, depending on how long you've been following us!) that we are Wedding Chicks approved!!

 

We love the gals over at Wedding Chicks - they have über amounts of inspiring blog posts covering all things beauty, DIY, shower ideas, honeymoon & travel, and the list goes on! Be sure to check out the 'Printables' section - there are such great stationary ideas in there... and they are all FREE!

 

While you're over there, take a peek at our profile and let us know what you think! 

 

2018 is ramping up and there's no shortage on lucky gals getting engaged to the man of their dreams! We've had an influx of bookings for this coming year and some dates are already booked solid, so contact us soon to avoid disappointment. Remember - your photos will last a lifetime - make sure you feel like a million bucks in all of them!

 

Contact us today for your personalized quote for makeup services!

 

Look what's finally arrived - The Ordinary Colours!

I say finally, but really it was like 2 weeks from when I ordered. I'm thoroughly impressed with The Ordinary thus far, in terms of their marketing, overall product quality and their customer service. Just after I placed my order, they announced that there was a production hold up with their Colours, and I do believe it was due to packaging (everyone wanted pumps instead of droppers - good choice and well worth the wait, IMO). They made a public apology as well as an email blast to their customers stating the issue. See? That's all us customers want, is to be kept in the loop. For such a green company, they are already making good choices! I did notice on their website that they still are out of stock/production of some due to waiting for those pumps, but hopefully they'll have a solution figured out soon.

Price Point

So when it comes to makeup, I always have a hard time deciding what I'd like and tend to over-purchase. All in the name of product research, I say!  With The Ordinary Colours, there are two formula options - Coverage Foundation and Serum Foundation. I normally like a fuller coverage, so that was a given, and I've been on the hunt for a lightweight option for summer and weekends. At $6.90 and $6.70 respectively, I figured I'd give both a whirl.

 

Packaging

The packaging is practical and not fussy at all. Some would say that it's a bit plain like their skincare line, but seriously, it's functional, well made and that's really all that matters. I've been in the industry long enough to know that sometimes (note I didn't say all the time), but sometimes, fancy packaging can just be smoke and mirrors for the actual ingredients inside said jar/bottle/package. The plastic bottles feel good in the hand with their rubberized feel, and same with the pump. I have to mention again how happy I am that they bypassed the dropper option. Ugh... I see droppers and all I think of is how unsanitary and contaminated the product will become. I know you're know supposed to touch the dropper, but everyone does, and a pump just avoids all of that ickiness. Not to mention the mess a dropper foundation can become. The boxes are stiff and sturdy, and have a rubberized characteristic to them as well.

Generally speaking, foundation also has a tendency to wear down on my skin throughout the day, no matter what their long-wearing claims may be. It always starts off looking fresh, and by end of day, will look tired, cakey and heavy, accentuating every line, pore and texture on my skin. Always a challenge - what works one week might not work the next. My skin is pickyyyyyy.

 

Sun protection factor

In terms of formulation, I love, love LOVE the fact that the foundations are created without chemical sunscreens, because my skin hates, hates, HATES those. Oxybenzone & Octinoxate will literally give me craters on my face by end of day, and I'll end up with rash-like acne. Trust me - it ain't pretty. So when I noticed they spoke about using physical protection ingredient Titanium Dioxide, I figured it was one less thing for me to react to. You won't notice an SPF notation on the packaging though - long story short, that's reserved for the the European packaging for now (same formula, different wording). Did I mention my skin hates chemical sunscreen? Hates. 

 

shade range/colours

Shade options - there are A LOT! What brand launches 21 shades during their initial release?! Not many, that's who! The Ordinary separates and categorizes their Colours in the most perfect of ways - a way that makes sense. They use the numbers and letters (sounds familiar!), but I do like this system. Because what does Classic Ivory or Buff Beige really mean anyways?! Like, really.

So it works like this:

Level of Colour: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3

Undertone: P (pink), N (neutral), Y (yellow), R (red)

So some will select level first, some undertone. As long as you end up at the same place and the correct shade, it doesn't matter.

undertones & swatches

For myself, I like a truly neutral foundation for winter and spring; for summer I tend to get a bit more neutral/pink and I like to mix foundations. I'm not pink enough for a straight pink undertone foundation but a mix suits me well. So for my shade, I opted for the following:

2.0N Serum Foundation

2.0 Coverage Foundation

2.0P Serum Foundation

2.0P Coverage Foundation

If I'm being critical about shades and undertone (which I usually am), at first glance, these are almost bang on to what I expected from the description online. I didn't grab a Y (yellow) undertone to compare, although maybe I should have. But from what I saw in online comparisons is that it was quite gold. Good for some, but not for this Mediterranean/Scottish blend chicka.

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Formulas

The formulas are quite nice, having only swatches them on my arms so far. The Coverage formula offers a nice medium-full coverage liquid; non-oily, but a lovely demi-matte finish, in my opinion. 

Serum Foundation sounds super liquidy and watery when you shake it up, whereas the viscosity of the Coverage is a tad thicker (although no thicker than any other medium coverage foundation out there). I'm wearing the Serum formula today and the coverage is LOVELY but the texture is so difficult to describe, because I know will butcher what I want to say LOL! It's lightweight and luminous, and imparts the most beautiful flawless finish with a whisper of coverage and colour. Due to the nature of the slip and slide of the formula, I figured it would oxidize a bit, but 6 hours of wear so far and we are still fresh and looking like the 2.0N I applied hours ago! The skin combo I used today was:

Sonia Roselli Water Balm

The Ordinary Colours Serum Foundation in 2.0N

Applied with Sonia Roselli Sable Foundation Brush

One Fine Beauty Matte Perfection Touch Up Veil in N25 under eyes

Topped off with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

 

Verdict

So as of now, I'm super impressed. With this Serum Foundation, I may have found a new lightweight, everyday, non-SPF foundation! If so, given the price point, colour range, and overall product composition, I will be super stoked and a loyal customer for a long time!

CTV Morning Live - Cover That Sunburn!

Oh boy - have we been blessed with some amazing weather this past long weekend! So what happens if you indulged a bit too much, and maybe weren't so liberal with the sunscreen? Here are some steps to get your skin back in good shape if it's been stressed out by all that sunshine!

Here is the video, this morning on CTV Morning Live with Melissa Lamb : Cover That Sunburn

First things first - let's take care of all that's happened to that poor skin! Sunburned skin can be quite painful, turn an unsightly pink, red (or even purplish, depending on the severity), lead to flaking, dehydration and mucho peeling.

 

So let's add some much needed hydration back in! First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery does just that - almost a serum type product, but most definitely a concentrated water base, this unique product adds intense hydration to the skin, as well as calms and soothes stressed skin, helping to repair damage resulted by environmental stressors. The sun is definitely one of those! [ETA : after a bit of research, it is clear that this is a miracle product given the reviews I've read - but it's also being discontinued by the company :( totally bummed! I will covet mine and highly recommend checking our your local Sephora to see if they still have it in stock. Their Anti-Redness Serum looks like a good second bet with Aloe in it!)

 

Another great product from First Aid Beauty is their Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 40 - love this because it's a physical sunscreen, not chemical. This provides great moisture, while loaded with skin soothing ingredients such as Colloidal Oatmeal, which is awesome on tender skin.

I gave a good explanation of the difference on the segment, but for more reasons than the fact that a physical sunscreen prevents the sun's rays from even coming close to your skin, they are just better tolerated than chemical sunscreens. A lot of people can break out from chemical versions, or have reactions at the very least, whereas physical sunscreens are great for sensitive skin. 

 

Next up - colour correctors! Let's dial it back to colour theory, and break out the ol' trusty colour wheel.

Opposite of red on the colour wheel is green, hence the green colour corrector recommendation. Because we are placing the green corrector on top of the sunburn, this will do a good job at cancelling out the colour (if it were placed next to the sunburn, it would likely intensify it!). For this, we used Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Redness Control. Also, you can achieve similar results using a yellow corrector - so if green isn't working, or it's sold out in your preferred product, go ahead and use yellow! After you're done with the light colour correction, you will need to bring life and colour back to the skin with a good concealer and/or foundation. Your work isn't done just yet!

Now, don't go wild on this part - I feel with a really good foundation you may be able to skip this altogether. 

 

This next step is pretty much the main player in covering up your sunburn - a good coverage foundation! I absolutely love Estée Lauder Double Wear because it coverage is incredible (medium, buildable), it looks super natural on, 15 hour wear and can withstand heat and humidity! When you've got a burn, sometimes it wants to roast and melt your foundation off your skin - won't happen with this one! If original EL Double Wear is just too much coverage for you, try Double Wear Light - it's heavenly on almost all skin types!

 

Last but not least, you'll want to add a bit of sunkissed glow back into your once overly rosy skin. Using a matter bronzer like MAC Cosmetics' Matte Bronze Bronzer will add that perfectly tanned hue to your skin, without drawing out the redness. I'd personally avoid anything with shimmer as this might undo a lot of your work of trying to cover the burn up in the first place!

 

This week in Ottawa we are expecting some pretty hot and sunny days, so grab a sun hat, slater on some good sunblock and enjoy the sunshine! 

CTV Morning Live : Valentine's Date Night Makeup

Ahhh, love is in the air! It's that time of year where we dust off our finest clothes and head out for a lovely romantic dinner. But what about if you're just heading to a pub and a movie, or a first date at a coffee shop? The makeup you choose to wear should compliment where you are going - if you're heading to Starbucks, you may want to hold off on the glitter (unless, ya know...you really love glitter!). This morning on CTV Morning Live, we discussed the when's and why's of the makeup I chose for three date night looks!

Here is the video : Valentine's Date Night Looks

First model, my lovely Jen - she's on her way to a coffee shop. Cozy, casual and comfortable, but bright lights, so we kept the focus on skin! Especially in the winter months, we need to make sure we pay particular attention to our skin, and feed it full of all the yummy things. For Jen's luminous skin, I used The Body Shop's Fresh Nude Foundation for that radiant glow, and some of the Shade Adjusting Lightening drops to lighten where I needed, as well as to highlight a bit. Next we used Stila Convertible Colour on the cheeks and lips! (note: for the cheeks, use a fluffy blush brush for a super glowy, diffused look).

For Marla, she's going to dinner and a movie! We gave her a slightly smokier eye using our trusty Urban Decay Naked2 palette, and perfected her skin with Fresh Nude Foundation listed above. Kept the cheeks soft and used Meredesso's Lip Treats in Sheer Burgundy for lightweight, buildable colour. Lots of yummy ingredients in this one with sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil and Vitamins C & E. It also doubles as a fantastic primer for matte lipsticks, as there isn't too much slip to it.

For myself (ahem...me, a model? Not really), I went all out with glitz and glamour! What can I say... it's kinda my style :) Smokey, sultry eye that I topped off with Stila's Magnificent Metals in Kitten, just stamped over my lid to give a twinkly effect. I'm wearing Ardell Demi Wispies (a huge fave of mine!), and MAC Retro Matte lipstick in Flat Out Fabulous. Under the lipstick (which believe me, has pretty incredible wear on it's own), I paired it up with The Body Shop's Lip & Cheek Stain. That way, once my lip colour wears down, I still have something behind it to back it up a bit.

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YouTube - Adele Inspired Makeup

I know, I know... Lots of Adele nowadays. She has an amazing voice, and one other thing is for certain - her makeup is always flawless thanks to her makeup artist, Michael Ashton. Seriously, he is wonderful, and if you've ever admired Adele's makeup, you know what a genius he is. I'm always asked why I don't do YouTube tutorials, and to be honest, it always comes down to one thing... time! Being a full time business owner and makeup artist, having two small children, working on a charity committee, all the while trying to keep my sanity and run a household...ah! The amount of time, work, energy, editing, lighting, equipment expense required, I'd seriously have to go all in or not do it at all. I don't like to do anything halfway ;)

That being said, I thought I'd hook up my first generation iPad mini and my Glamcor lighting and give it a go. Well, the results are meh - they are what they are. A quick idea in my head turned into filming, adjusting, editing, uploading, editing again, trying to get the product titles to stay put, editing... well, you get the picture.

My first attempt ain't perfect - in fact, it's pretty far from it. But I've always had the 'gift of gab' so really, if my equipment was set up properly, it might take care of most of those issues (since I'm not editing because of messing up information - I'm actually giving TOO much information and need to trim it down to the required 15 mins YouTube rule!).

Please don't judge...well, not too much at least. Here she is!

 


The product titles only worked for about half of the products (*sigh*), so I will list them all below:

Face:

Foundation - Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless in shades 110 & 130

Concealer - Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Light

Powder - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Contour - MAC Taupe Powder Blush

Blush - MAC Pinch O' Peach Sheertone Blush

Eyes:

Primer - Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, then e.l.f. Eyelid Primer in Sheer on top as I find it 'grabs' the shadow better

Lid - Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean, then used MAC Vanilla on top for added brightness (could use just MAC Vanilla)

Brow Highlight - Makeup Geek Sweet Dreams Pigment

Crease - Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie, Cupcake and Bedrock

Liner - Essence Eyeliner Pen (the waterproof version is ah-mazing too!)

Mascara - Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes (NB - anyone that knows me, knows I normally love Maybelline mascara, and I still do. I treated myself to this one on a recent trip to NYC and it's my absolute favourite right now...but sadly running out)

False Lashes - Ardell Demi Wispies (cut in half) applied with Kiss Strip Lash Adhesive with Aloe in Black

Lips:

Liner - Essence Lip Pencil in In The Nude

Lipstick - MAC Hue


Where to find:

Hourglass Cosmetics - Sephora

Charlotte Tilbury - Holt Renfrew

e.l.f. Cosmetics - Old Navy has the largest selection, or online at elfcosmetics.com

Essence Cosmetics - Shoppers Drug Mart

Makeup Geek - online only at makeupgeek.com

Ardell False Lashes and Kiss Lash Adhesive - Walmart

As I mentioned in the tutorial, you could create this same look and feel using an array of different colours - it's more about the technique - soft cut crease, liquid liner, lashes and contour, that really make it Adele-esque!


CTV Morning Live : Festival Glam

This morning on CTV Morning Live, Lori from Showpony and I were on talking about music festival hair and makeup! Check it the video here!

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Lots of fun products featured including the following:

Suncare:

The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 - excellent lightweight sunscreen for your face, featuring effective ingredients to help make dull skin radiant again - including Amazonian camu camu berry (Vitamin C), and Community Trade sesame seed oil which helps to soften the skin and strengthen the skin’s natural defense system.

Ombrelle Complete Dry Mist Spray SPF 30 - a super sheer, ultra lightweight sunblock which is water-resistant and so easy to use; no white residue.

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Gel - if you do get a burn, this soothing facial gel containing Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera will help to cool and soothe the skin.

Skin:

MAC Prolongwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation - 24 hour wear, under almost any conditions - perfect for all day & night wear (*If you will be outside all day, be sure to start with a moisturizer that contains SPF, such as the Body Shop one listed above)

MAC Strobe Cream- a fantastic, super hydrating moisturizer that doubles as a cosmetic product for that perfect "strobing" effect.

Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom in Coral Burst,

Nails:

Kiss Polish Pop - these funky stickers (featured in an aztec motif) are super easy to use, and last well with a nice top coat to seal them in.

Essie Gel Setter Top Coat - the ultimate in long-wearing top coats - gives your nails the shine and durability of a gel polish, but without the lamp! (*NB - I did my pedi 2.5 weeks ago and the polish is STILL in excellent shape - no chips!)

And to remove it all at the end of the day, Garnier Soothing Remover Towelettes - these help to calm dry skin while removing the most durable of makeup, including waterproof!

 

 

CTV Morning Live - Makeup Spring Cleaning

Always wonder how long those shadows *really* are good for? Bought a new mascara a few months ago, but have only used it twice? Check out my segment on CTV Morning Live today as I talk to Lianne Laing and Melissa Lamb about expiration dates and when to purge your endless supply of makeup (yes, you have to…). Watch the video: CTV Morning Live -Makeup Spring Cleaning

Here's a handy list of how long products are good for, once they've been opened.

expired

I mention "up to" as there are certain circumstances in which products may last shorter or slightly longer periods of time. If you've noticed that your products smells "off", or that powder you've been using for a while has a weird film across it, it's time to pitch it - no matter what the timeframe.  Cosmetics, especially liquid and emollient based, are an incredible breeding ground for bacteria - it can grow at an exponential rate and can lead to irritation, infections and even allergic reactions.

Most products are still not required to have an expiry date, but generally speaking, most products have a shelf stable life of 30-36 months (meaning, from production date, unopened). Here is a link to a super website called www.checkcosmetic.net - it allows you to check out the batch code from your products, and tells you when it was made. The slight nerd in me finds this super interesting!  I have to admit, when I first stumbled across this site, I grabbed all of my makeup that was nearby and rung it through… aaaaaaaand then half of it hit the trash can! It's hard to keep track of what was purchased when, I hear that, says the makeup hoarder…

Another area that we don't tend to think about is the cleanliness of our makeup. We wash our clothes, our hair, our faces and bodies - but we never really think about how clean our makeup is. Imagine - it's the *only* thing we put on our bodies that we never wash ::shudder:: And really, I wouldn't use a dirty washcloth on my face, so why is makeup any different? There is a revolutionary product out on the market called Beauty So Clean, that was created by a top celebrity makeup artist in Toronto. Helps to keep your makeup & brushes sanitary and it's Canadian made? I like! They offer a few different products, including:

BeautySoClean

Conditioning Brush Cleanser - for cleaning your brushes,

keeping them fresh & conditioned

Cosmetic Sanitizer Wipes - for lipsticks, lipglosses & mascaras

Cosmetic Sanitizer Mists - for powders, without ruining their finish

This link here shows all about bacteria and your makeup. I feel like I should say sorry and you're welcome in the same sentence here :D   If you'd like to try any Beauty So Clean products, use the promo code "beachparty" for an additional savings off of regular priced items at checkout.

So now that the spring finally seems to be trying to arrive, it's the perfect time to go through your makeup bags, add in some fresh new colours and products, clean up what you're keeping turf those older ones that have been kicking around for a little too long