6 Easy Make-up Tips to keep you looking Fresh this Summer

So, in Toronto, as with a lot of places in North America, spring really came late, but suddenly, with our last snow storm just only 2 weeks ago!! How can we recover so fast to be able to be ready and enjoy this burst of sunshine and mild temps now that May is finally here? My make-up these days is lighter, with less layers, andless ink; my motto as always been less is more. I want to use less make-up products these days, because my eyes have been kind of puffy lately, and I’m not about to outline they are with tonnes of black liner…But I still like a made-up face when possible, and here are some easy, breezy tricks to make it look like you are effortlessly gorgeous:

Nothing says spring like a terrarium with succulents! With it some of my current cosmetic arsenals…

Top Summer make-up hacks

  1. Follow a full face make up with a blot with a kleenex tissue: This one is so important! Because in the summer, we are usually using either a foundation with SPF, or a separate SPF, and the layers of protection gets kind of oily and thick. Reduce the look of wearing a “make-up mask” by blotting with a soft tissue all over the face after applying your full make-up. The tissue catches loose pigment and excess oils that sit on top of your face, the thing that causes you to look “made up” and unnatural. I find a kleenex is better than blotting paper since it’s texture can pick up loose make-up too, and not just oil.
  2. Wear an SPF! I can’t say this enough, and it’s really just because in the late Spring, the sun is actually at it’s closest to the earth, but without the heat to signal it’s penetrating our skin! UV rays from the sun is linked to skin cancer and also sunspots, wrinkles, and skin aging. So be sure to use SPF during the spring and summer!
  3. Use the right foundation color: I know in Asia, the trend is to be lighter, and here in NA, it’s to be darker tan…but my advice is to match your actual skin color. There is never going to be a color more flattering than getting the exact shade and tone of the face. Don’t pretend to be a porcelain princess or, a tanned surfer girl, because matching your true skin color will make you look like yourself, and more natural. Even if it means mixing two shades to get it right, as I currently do…
  4. Hair Trends: When it comes to hair lightening, any level lighter than brown hair (bronde to platinum) looks best with dark roots, 1-2 inches. Having uniform color from root to tip looks very artificial for some reason, even though having roots is a sure fire sign of colored hair. But for some reason, darker roots give your face and hair more dimension and drama, and also makes lightened hair look even lighter. Be sure to soften the root line so that where the roots end doesn’t look like a harsh line. A skilled hair stylist will know how to do this if you don’t!
  5. Add a shimmer to your bottom lid: For those of you with puffy eyes, and small bags underneath them like I do these days, will appreciate this tip. Shimmery bright shadow on the bottom helps brighten and take attention away from bags by bring up the visual focus. For those who don’t use shadow on the bottom lid; always use a shadow there, even if it is a nude color. It keeps your eye make-up from smudging when you blink all day and when moisture from your eyes touches your top eye make-up.
  6. Avoid heavy mascara: Did you ever wonder why you don’t have the fluttery lashes you see in all the make-up ads when you put on mascara? Sometimes my lashes just look inky and heavy after mascara application. My quick remedy for this is to take a clean finger tip and just dab and push up on the lash right after mascara application. This will wipe off any clumps and naturally separate lashes, while evening the mascara application and keeping it light and wispy. Another bonus? It helps prevent smudging or flaking from occurring later in the day since it also removes excess black on over painted lashes. A must do.

So ya, these are my tricks I’m using to keep fresh this summer, do you agree with them? If so, you can enjoy wearing make-up this spring without looking over done, made up and weighed down. Hopefully these tips work for you and feel free to share your own tips in the comments section below!



Movie Make up Inspiration: The Love Witch (2016)

I think almost everyone knows that I like horror movies quite a bit, but what I even like more are genre b movies mixed with art house, such as Anna Biller’s 2016 feature film The Love Witch that is half satire and half homage to the campy melodramas of the 60’s.  Visually, you almost can’t tell it was made a few years ago, with its rich popping colours that compete so much with the a sharp dialogue to tell the story of love, attraction, revenge, and “magick”.  The movie centers around a young woman named Elaine, who was jilted in love by her former lovers and husband. Elain is on a mission to take control of her life by means of joining a witches coven that teaches her to use potions, rituals and magick to get rid of her abusive husband.  After that, Elaine moves to a small idyllic town to get a fresh start, and to also find “love” by any means, including seducing and casting spells on the local men.

Spellwork and bold colours make this film a magical delight to look at.

I adore how the movie is so female centered and encourages that we sympathize and root for the femme fatale protagonist who is also over whelming her victims, um, I mean “dates” with her powerful magic–to the point to death sometimes…But is it her magick at work, or just the craziness of love in general?  Treat your senses to the richness of it’s look, and then decide for yourself.  Is it inherently feminist, since it is about a women deciding to control her love destiny, by any means? Or sexist since she uses her foxy looks to get what she wants?  It’s all up for debate, but one thing is for sure, The Love Witch can also stand alone for a piece of visual art.  And I am just digging the fashion and the make-up!  That retro/vixen/glam/goth look is soooo gorgeous.

Samantha Robinson plays a young witch, the love seeking Elaine. I have a crush on the hair, make-up and fashion she dons in this movie.

How to get this retro glam make-up:

Step 1: Prep the face:

This look requires smooth, creamy even pale skin.  Almost porcelain like.  I find bb creams to do the trick since they often lighten your skin tone and give you a really matte finish. (most do at least, don’t get the “dewy” kind).  Set bb/foundation with a light powder.

Step two: Define eyebrows:

They should be as dark as your hair, slightly defined, with medium thickness, softly blurred with a eyebrow comb. Draw them with a slight arch, to give a bit of retro drama!

After prepping face, I drew in my eyebrows with a soft brow pencil. make sure you comb it to get it even as possible.

Step three: Find a pretty turquoise eye pencil or high pigment eye colour

Powder eye shadows will not work, because they are too subtle.  You wont be able to see a turquoise coloured powder on your lids, since your skin tone also kills some of the blue/green colour. Instead of using heavy primers and shadow bases on your lid, simplify by finding a soft eye pencil in the right colour.

This is the pencil I found and it’s a gorgeous celedon colour, slightly lighter than the torquoise that the love witch uses…the shadow is to set it.

Fill in the upper lid in turquoise until almost to the brow bone,  then smudge the harsh edge lines of the colour with your finger, and set it with either translucent power, or a blue/green shadow on top.

See how pencil liners show up, even when it’s a light colour?
Because it is a pencil, you want to smooth the edges and pat with your fingers to make it less harsh. don’t forget to set lids with powder.

Step four: Black lining your eyes, Cat eye make-up:

You need three products for this!  I know, this is crazy, but the reason you need three is for colour intensity, precision, and setting of the black line. So first off to use is black pencil as close to the upper lash line as possible.  The second step is setting it with a thin layer of black eye shadow with a thin brush.  Third step to making the black line into the defined shape of a dramatice cat eye with liquid liner/pen.  Also fill in any light/uneven areas in the black line with pen for maximum drama.

This is before I put on fake lashes. Using 3 products: liner, shadow and liquid/pen gives the pigmentation and drama needed for a retro cat eye line.

Step Five: Mascara and False Lashes…

Mascara and fake lashes are key to the look.  Nothing says vampy witchy gal more than a cat eye with fake long lashes the reach for the skies!  I like to do two coats of mascara and then add some demi lashes, since my eyes are small, but if you can, go for full lashes to complete the look.

Let me read your future! Add anything victorian looking and glamourous to your outfit and now you are a love witch!

Okay, thoust ready to go out into the world casting spells on unsuspecting lovers wherever you go…Just be careful wielding that feminine power of yours and I hope no casualties are a result.  I cannot be held responsible. 🙂

Top 5 common makeup mistakes that are so easy to fix…

A lot of people are ready to compliment me on my make-up application skills but also with adding the side comment that it’s easy when I have perfect skin anyways.  This is not true.  My skin is super dry, I have to moisturize like crazy, and I do get breakouts occasionally.  But when I apply make up, I do it in a way that hides or detracts from my flaws, and then accentuates the parts of my face that I do like.  But a lot of mistakes that I notice in people’s overall make up look can be summed up in skin care and application.  You need to perfect the two of these factors to find the right products for your face…and show off what you love about your face.

Common Visible Mistakes:

1)  Putting on too much foundation mixed with oily combination skin, mixed with cakey powder to set.  I’ve seen this on really pretty young women and almost want to sit them down, wipe off what they are using and reapply it myself.  It totally distracts from their great facial shape features, because the skin texture is so wrong. The look is very bumpy, and cakey, it leaves a lot of pores visible, and blemishes are also still visible because of bumps.  Uneven foundation is visible everywhere, because foundation builds up in dry areas and cracks, and literally slides off of oily areas.

thick icing on a cake: delicious.  Thick foundation on the face: disastrous!
thick icing on a cake: delicious. Thick foundation on the face: disastrous!

The ways to fix cakey foundation is to first examine your skin type.  If you have oily skin, maybe you can skip foundation and powder and go straight to a 2 in 1 cream formula, reducing the layers of make-up needed. Another thing to do is to not use thick foundation as a concealer.  If you have blemishes, try to heal them, and cover that area with a thin layer of concealer.  Dry flakey skin needs exfoliation. Doubling the foundation is just a bad idea.  The bottom line is less is more.  You want your real skin to shine through, but piling on the foundation looks just like that.  A huge mess on an otherwise pretty face!  I know you’re thinking I’m stating the obvious, but a lot of girls don’t really LOOK at their finished made up faces.  Examine your skin type, and take care of its needs accordingly.

2)  Over done/Undone Brows

I had a really cute co-worker once who was into photos.  The only problem was one of her friends took and over exposed photo of her (too bright), and in effect, erased the fact that she had very light, undefined brows.  So in the photo she looked browless!  That sent her to the nearest Sephora to get a brow pencil.  But what she also should have done, was a bit of grooming as well plucking stray hairs, to have a base shape of brow for the pencil to go on top of. But on the other spectrum, over defined brows are not appealing either, even though there was a make-up trend recently on thick defined brows were more youthful (think retro Brook Shields), but in my opinion, nothing beats a balanced brow treatment.  The lesson is not to ignore your brows…they frame your eyes which are in essence the most beautiful soulful part of your face…

See how she is famous for her brows?  Bold brows work for her, but I still prefer balance.
See how she is famous for her brows? Bold brows work for her, but I still prefer balance.

3)  Harshly lined eyes:

Eye liner is something I love to hate.  The eyeliner pencil around the eye can turn very dated 80’s for some reason…I think it is the harshness of it.  Not to be confused with liquid liner that creates bold lines and shapes, but the ubiquitous black pencil eyeliner that signals the uninspired lining of the eye can look unnatural, and I feel can age a person.  My trick is to smudge it, and use with darker shadows, to hide the linear quality of pencil lines.  Another trick is to just use black eye shadow and a fine brush to line eyes.

4)  Not enough make-up:

I’m never an advocate for looking like a circus clown, but the reverse problem is not wearing enough make-up, which defeats the purpose of wearing make-up.  A beautiful cobalt blue eye shadow, lining and accenting the upper eyelid is stunning, but without face foundation and a loose powder to set, the eye colour doesn’t pop, and can easily slide off the face long before the end of the day.  The lesson is that beautiful make-up work in any area, needs a base of ample make-up application, or else, it’s quite pointless to even try.

5)  No blush

We are living in hectic time crunched times.  Also I know our make-up budget is often limited.  So what is the first makeup item that gets skipped?  Blush.  I used to always skip blush when I was a in my twenties.  The reason being that I thought it looked too done up.  I liked a pale, mal-nurished look (hey, I was a weird art student!), but not anymore.  Now a days, I feel blush really puts a finishing touch to a nice make-up application.  And it is super pretty to have colour on the cheeks.  So don’t skip this…

Gwenyth Paltrow is perfectly blushed in the movie View from the Top.  This was the first time I noticed how blush can really make a difference.
Gwenyth Paltrow is perfectly blushed in the movie View from the Top. This was the first time I noticed how blush can really make a difference.