Valentine’s Make up: Plum smokey eye with peach lips and dewy skin…

So, I was trying to think of a shorter, catchier title for this post…but alas, this eludes me! I’m just writing an article on make-up styles for Valentines this year…and want to share with all this idea: A smokey eye…but with a twist…it’s a lot lighter and softer than the traditional smokey charcoal eyes, instead it is more about pewter and plum tones, colors that add darker colors to the eyes without overwhelming them. Instead of being a vampy vixen on a night in the town…I think plum smoke is more along the line of “fashion student bored and trying to spice things up”…

So here is my tuturial on how to get this look…

  1. Start with a previously moisturized face.  Then mix a heavy moisturizer, like a night cream, with a pigmented bb cream/foundation in the palm of your hand. Use a ratio that makes sense, around 1 part moisturizer, 2 parts foundation. Spread the mixture evenly on your face. Now you have a dewy complexion. Set with a light dusting of illuminating face powder. If you have a glycerin spray, or a dewy make up setter, spritz that all over the face now.

    A mixture of heavy face cream and pigmented bb/foundation leaves skin naturally glowy…set lightly with illuminating face powder
  2. Eyebrows need to be filled in, and an eye shadow base in a neutral skin tone must be applied on both the upper and lower lids. Then get a highlighter shadow (a light shadow that shimmers and reflects) and do the brow bone, the lower lash line and inner eye corners…

    Brows filled in, and the eye shadow base is on…shimmer highlight in the right places…
  3. Now you are ready for the dark colors: Do a light even sweep of the pewter color on the whole upper lid, just to the brow bone. Now switch colors…do a purpley plum color on top of the pewter shadow also to the brow bone. Line the bottom lid thinly with the same purpley plum shadow and diffuse all hard edges of shadow with a clean blender brush.

    I used the NYX full throttle palette. But plum and pewter shadows can be found anywhere…
  4. Line the top lid with a black soft eye pencil. Set the pencil and smudge it a bit with black shadow and an angled fine brush. Line the lower lid thinly just on the outer corners with black shadow as well.

    This is two shadows on top of eachother; a must is a blending brush to soften the edges of color.
  5. Mascara: A good, black, non-clumping formula mascara…two generous coats on the lashes before drying.
  6. Lining the smokey eye top lid with a black liquid liner; I like to use pen liners since they make getting the cat eye flick so much easier.
  7. False lashes: These are optional, but kind of a must, for giving flirty drama.
  8. Blush. Use lots of this…on the apples of the cheeks, extending up to the temples on the sides of the face…down stroke for the temples, up strokes for the cheeks. Choose a nude peachy pink lip color.
  9. Top with lots of setting spray or a glycerin spray. This helps with the dewyness, and reduces the powdery look.
    The finished product. On camera, it’s not really visible that it’s a smokey eye, but it is, just more subtle!  

    And there you have it…a very simple, one tone eye color and NO contouring necessary. You will look like yourself, but better, with a cute smokey eye this Valentines Day. Ask me in the comments if you have any questions and Happy Valentines…xoxo.





Make Valentines Day and everyday about Roses!!

Roses are red, violets are blue…everything is coming up roses…la vie en rose.  So many expressions in our language about his beautiful, elegant flower.  It is the ultimate flower to represent love, friendship, romance…and more.  How is it that the rose became so synonymous with romance, love and all that?  I know I always try to use this flower in my make-ups in hopes that in doing so, roses can impart to me its attractive aura. There is something magical about this flower, and you can even see it included as an ingredient in some innocent white witch love spells! So here are ways to work the magic of roses into your wardrobe and make-up so you feel extra alluring this Valentines day or any day in general.

Rose Water Toner: I always talk about my rose water toner.  And why wouldn’t I? Roses are known to have a hydrating effect on skin, and the rose water is used in Mediterranean cuisine is perfect for your face.  It is basically made from the water that roses are boiled in, and is super pure and fragrant. I put mine in the fridge and dab it with a cotton ball on my face for an instant rose face lift.

Rose Perfume: The smell of roses have a wonderful effect on the soul…Calming, stimulating and feminine. So why not use some of it’s power on a day like Valentines?  I blend my own perfumes, and I find rose oil to be too strong of a scent on its own.  Combine rose scents with something sweet smelling, and mellow, to counteract its potential spicy top noted scent.  If you don’t have the ability to make a perfume, I think L’Occitane has a pretty good rose based perfume.  And the key is subtlety.  Just use the tiniest amount to not over power your company.

Face Masks: because roses are such a gorgeous flower, wouldn’t its essential oil transport some of its power to you if you use it in a face mask?  During the winter months, I do a clay mask almost every week, to re-hydrate, rejuvenate and detox tired winter skin.  As well as using honey, yogurt and olive oil in the clay mask, I add several drops of rose essential oil and then leave the mask on my face for 20 mins.  When I wash it off, my face is tightened, moisturized and toned.  Thanks rose flower power!

Rose Tea: Drink in its power.  Certain herbal teas have rose buds in them to impart a beautiful bouquet and scent to the tea.  I also believe roses in tea can be anti inflammatory, calming, and just wonderful to drink.  Herbal teas are also great for relaxing and hydrating your body. Teas can also help to reduce appetite for healthy weight loss.

Rose coloured clothes and make-up:  And let’s not forget the emotional value that the colour “rose” can impart.  Although roses come in a variety of shades today…the colour one means when talking about “rose” is a pinky red. A perfect colour to wear on valentines…whether it is in a generous swipe of flushed red blush on your cheeks, or donning a gorgeous pink dress, anything rose coloured will get you noticed and feeling like a freshly picked flower.  Appreciate all that nature has to give us!

I was feeling shy and mysterious in this photo. And a bit moody. Fits in with the spirit of roses...I think.
I was feeling shy and mysterious in this photo. And a bit moody. Fits in with the spirit of roses…I think.

Why is winter fashion so gloomy, especially on Valentines?

I have not been clothing shopping lately.  Mostly because…well, I am trying to save and also, I spent a lot recently on a super cool vacation with my kid.  But sometimes, you can’t avoid shopping…I have to say that as a girl, not to look too shallow, but it is just expected for us to be on top of trends and have something new to wear, especially on Valentines day.  So recently, I justified using my dusty visa card in search of something romantic, fun, and uplifting for this upcoming couple’s holiday.  The only problem was that there was so little out there to buy.  Everywhere I looked was gloomy…clothes were all black, grey, and brown.  Prints were unflattering.  There was nothing with lace or crochet, and nothing sweet with sparkle, or a vintage quirkiness. What’s wrong with TO during winter?  What’s wrong with Queen Street West…which is supposed to be the pinnacle of fashion in this city?

Ahh, Toronto's equivalent to New York's Soho
Ahh, Toronto’s equivalent to New York’s Soho

I went to H&M, Aritzia, some cute korean boutique, Mendocino…etc.  And nothing was catching my eye.  I finally gave in and went to Urban Outfitters, which I was trying to avoid, because I shop too much there.  But I was able to find this really cute salmon pink cable knit crop sweater.  I’m thrilled!  Finally a little colour to brighten up my mood during this crazy winter.  And come on, it’s Valentines day.  Doesn’t anybody dress up all cute in hearts, red and pink anymore?  Even the most jaded, unenthusiastic Torontonian and muster up some cheer for this once a year sweety-pie love fest, no?  Retail fashion, you need to zone in on that…

I’m in cute/sweet sweater mode this Valentines.  The weather is cold, so why not put on a comfy sweater…it is possible to be romantic in this bulky winter clothing staple.  I think the key is in colour.  This is the sweater that I got at Urban Outfitters yesterday:

The colour is a bit bright for my taste, but  it is cutely cropped and made of breathable cotton cable knit!
The colour is a bit bright for my taste, but it is cutely cropped and made of breathable cotton cable knit!

Pair it with a pencil/tube skirt and go a more feminine route.  In this photo I paired it with some printed leggings for a more fun look.

My next photo is a wool sweater I scored a couple of weeks ago at Black Market.  I think it fits Valentines because it’s a muted baby pink, with some pretty stitch detailing on the neckline.  Very sweet and demure.  Also cropped, so it works with high waist-ed skirts…

This sweater has a vintage vibe, because it is vintage.  I actually used scissors to crop the sweater!  No hemming necessary because the wool doesn't fray.  Sweet DIY.
This sweater has a vintage vibe, because it is vintage. I actually used scissors to crop the sweater! No hemming necessary because the wool doesn’t fray. Sweet DIY.

What do you think of my choices of wardrobe Valentines?  It doesn’t scream sexy, but it’s pretty fun and low-key.  And believe it or not, they were actually hard to find in a fashion forward city like Toronto…