Tag Archives: makeup

Essentials Saturday: No-Makeup…makeup.

I’ve ended up in Sephora, Holts, and Mac with a number of friends recently…giving quiet colour commentary (pun unintended, yet not edited out) as they browse through the offerings.  I read and absorb so much information about makeup, that odds are (often times) if it’s on a shelf and has had any buzz…I’ve probably read/watched reviews, swatched, or tried the silly thing myself.  Which leads me to a new round of posts on my “essentials” the products that sit in my makeup bag, or that I reach for on a consistent basis.

Refreshed and glowing, as though you wake up in the morning looking stunning, the “no-makeup” makeup trend seems to still be going strong.  I often use this as a starting point for my everyday makeup attire, adding a bold lip or a sweep of eyeshadow for weekdays.  On weekends, however, this is a look I nearly sport without fail. It’s also become a go-to for school days as well (that’s grad school kids…I’m not that young).  This kind of face calls for lightly flushed cheeks, naturally coloured lips, soft skin, and ever so slightly defined eyes…at least in my books.  My version goes a little something like this:

"No-Makeup" Makeup Essentials
  1. Tinted moisturizer, or the like.  I go for Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer, though there’s a formulation of this stuff for everyone (illuminating, mineral, original, etc.).  It’s either that or a concoction of my daytime moisturizer with a “glow” product (Burberry Light Glow is DIVINE), and a single pump of a sheer foundation (Burberry or Nars).  Apply with fingers to the face…it’s the easiest way to make sure everything is seamless and blended.  Take this all over your face and down onto your neck, as well as a quick bit over the eyelids just to even them out.
  2. Cream cheek & lip product.  The best for this is hands down the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (Powder Pink is my shade).  Find one of the colours that flatters your skin/lip tone and you’re set.  It blends into skin incredibly well, and unlike some products, does not settle into pores or lines.  Rub a small amount of the product into your cheeks, and swipe a bit across your lips as well.
  3. A touch of definition on the eyes.  I reach for a small angled brush (eg. MAC 266) and a soft brown shadow…something that you’d use to subtly define your crease (Bobbi Brown Hot Stone or Taupe are my favourites).  Take this along your upper lash line, and a very small sheer amount (whatever’s left on the brush realistically) just under your lower lashes as well.  Follow-up with Kiehl’s Marvellous Mineral Mascara (my preferred barely there lash formulation).  And don’t forget to curl your lashes…even if you skip the rest of this step, do not forget to curl.
  4. Apply a bit of a balm.  To add something so that the lips aren’t too flat, I always add a touch of shine.  That DOES NOT mean lip gloss, but does mean a salve or moisturizing balm, over the top of the Pot Rouge.  I’m a die-hard for the Smith’s Rosebud Salve…so that would be my go to.
Add naturally waved hair or a tousled ponytail, bun or braid and you’re set!
If you want words from the master though, I’ll send you directly to the place that I get so much of my expert advice from…Ms. Lisa Eldridge.  Brilliant and stunning British makeup artist extraordinaire, her “no-makeup” tutorial in particular is one of my favourites…although granted I love everything she does.  She was also a serious inspiration for the use of many of these products, so credit goes where credit is due.  I highly recommend getting utterly caught up in her website for an afternoon {www.lisaeldridge.com}, and remember to take notes!
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Midweek Indulgence: The Red Lip.

Lipstick is something I’ve certainly taken my time ranting and raving about on this blog before, and…shockingly… it’s something I’m going to dedicate a post to again.  This time though it’s in favour of a little midweek indulgence: for the commentary on the acquisition of the red lip.

Now I’d like to put a quick disclaimer on the following commentary – everyone needs to find their own red.  Believe me, you will most likely go through about a dozen red lipstick tubes before you find the right one.  Then, further to that, you will probably end up with a few variations: glossy, creamy, matte, cool-toned, warm-toned.  Being a fan of a bold coloured lip, I’ve my fair share of red lip products and I thought I’d take a quick opportunity to share my favourite reds {…fyi…that’s red lip products…not red wines…that’s a totally different midweek indulgence}.

Item #1 – Red Gloss

{Benefit Benetint Balm, from Sephora.com}

This is a definite toss-up between two products: Misbehave Lipgloss from NARS, and Benetint Balm from Benefit.  The latter is significantly harder to find than the former, but is truly a treat if you can find it.  NARS’ Misbehave reminds me of LoveAlert Dazzleglass from MAC, but without the chunky glitter {which I cannot stand}.  It’s a fairly sheer shimmery red, one that I’d recommend pairing with a favourite red lipstick.  Benetint Balm on the other hand, is the glossy lip balm form of the cult favourite lipstain Benetint.  I’ve repurchased this product a number of times, and it’s a daily wear kind of red colour – stuble enough, but with a quiet smirk and a grin.  I’d like to point out that Laura Mercier Gloss in Rose is a massively close runner up for this category.  For some reason it’s just too much of a pink red for me to truly qualify it as a “red” gloss.

Item #2 – Red Stain {and also doubling as my Matte Red}

{Scarlet Lip Stain, from LauraMercier.com}

Without question…Laura Mercier’s Lipstain in Scarlett.  A creamy matte lipstain {ie. not in liquid form for application}, this applies like a dream and delivers a kind of colour that sits somewhere in that undefinable category of not quite being a blue base, and yet not quite a yellow/warm base.  Whether applied with an imprecise hand for a thrown together un-fussy matte red lip, or put on with polish as the base coat for any red-base or red lipstick: this is a product that I will forever swear by.

Item #3 – Cool-Toned Red

{Rose Lip Glace, from LauraMercier.com}

Inevitably it’s a Limited Edition MAC colour from 2008: “Red”, She Said.  Considering my colouring, I’ve never been drawn to the likes of MAC Red or Russian Red {both very close colours to this offering}…but when I went into MAC that one fateful day, this was inevitably the colour I picked up.  I’ve nicknamed it my “cartoon red” – as when one has it on, it seems to possess that very precise doll-like quality that you’d associate with cartoon characters.  Possibly because it causes my face to look every so slightly drained so it emphasizes my lip colour?  Yes.  But I will still reach for this along with my Laura Mercier Glace in Rose for a gorgeous springtime sassy cool pink red lip.

Item #4 – Warm-Toned Red {…and quite possibly just the ultimate winner for my lips}

{Long Wear Lip Colour in Lover, from StilaCosmetics.com}

For every other season, and just in general {cue the drumroll please}…Stila Longwear in Lover.  Warm, opaque, creamy, easy to apply – there really isn’t a direct competitor.  This is the lipstick that won out over the rest in my testing to really be the perfect red lip for my skintone.  There’s something bold about this, but more in the way that it makes me feel emboldened rather than garish.  It’s just as easily worn with a light neutral eye for a daytime pop of colour in a monochromatic outfit…or dressed up with that perfect LBD for a cocktail party or evening out.  It wears like a dream, and even if it just needs to be blotted mid-afternoon, there’s still enough pigment that it’s given your lips that barely there red stain that will wear well for the rest of the day.

That’s my two cents on this midweek indulgence and perhaps something to make your Wednesday a little less dreary.  Enjoy!

{Oh…and let me know your favourite red lip selections in the comments!}

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Filed under Makeup & Beauty, Midweek Indulgence, Pursuit of Fabulous