June 15, 2012

Making Up Is Hard To Do: The End Of Evening & Bridal

Well, that's another course done!

Evening & Bridal, unlike Makeup Artistry Fundamentals, breezed past in a flurry of various makeup looks. Seriously, it went by so fast, I was slightly dumbfounded at the end of my last class on Wednesday night.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you'll know how much I fretted and worried over my final exams. Hair and makeup in 90 minutes is a lot of work and for someone like me, who isn't a proficient hairstylist, it was a cause for concern. 

This is the look I did for my Evening Makeup final. My model is the utterly gorgeous Missy, who I've been friends with for about a decade now. 

I was feeling quite confident about this look because I had done it twice on her already: once during a practice run and another for a show. The last time I did this look, I was pressed for time and did the makeup in under 20 minutes; so I knew exactly what to do. On the exam itself, I finished just in time and was pleased with how it turned out (and with my instructor's repeated murmur of: "ugh! This is gorgeous."). 

For this look, I simply curled her hair and backcombed the roots for a more voluminous style. For the makeup, I did a dark, smoky eye with a bold red lip. I used the Estée Lauder Pure Color Blush in Wild Sunset that I reviewed recently on her cheeks and it looked absolutely fabulous.

Each student got to choose which look she wanted to have photographed by a professional and I chose this one. The photographer showed me some of the shots in her camera and they look really good! I can't wait to show that to you guys!

This was the look I did for my Bridal exam. I wanted to go for something more glamorous and was originally going to go with a red lip; but since I went with red for the last exam, I decided to switch it up.

Both practice sessions for this look didn't go well. I went overtime on the first one and for the second, I stopped right at 90 minutes but hadn't done her lashes or styled her hair (beyond curling). My problem was that I was spending way too much time curling her hair. So I decided that I was going to focus curling the front parts of her hair really well and just rush through the back parts by curling bigger chunks of her hair... It worked! Not only was I able to finish all of her makeup, but I still had ample time to style it in a one-shoulder style. I really wish I had remembered to take photo before Missy removed the pins and the hair accessory so you could all see how it looked.

As for the makeup: This was what I did for the second practice session. I actually don't remember what I did in the first session, but it certainly wasn't this :p. I did a flick on her eyes but decided against that on the day. I told myself that I'll just line her lash line with pencil and smudge/smoke it out. I did do that during the exam, but I wanted a more solid definition, so I ended up doing a flick anyway.

I'm really proud of this look (described by my instructor as "very Eva Longoria"); partly because I seriously though I wouldn't be able to pull off everything in 90 minutes, but mostly because it finally earned me a perfect mark. *victory lunge*

So what's next for me? 

Well, I'll be taking the Fashion & Photography course, which starts in September. I also have a few definite gigs lined up: a graduation ceremony, a maternity photo shoot, an engagement photo shoot, and two weddings between now and the end of July. There's a possible wedding in December, as well (the wedding itself is definite, it's my participation that's up in the air :p). I also have been approached by a few others for other work, but those are not set in stone. 

I'm also considering taking some more hairstyling classes in the future so that I can do both hair and makeup for clients. Our course only had two classes of hairstyling, which is really not enough for me. I'm not exactly comfortable doing hair for people at this moment, so hopefully I can eventually learn how to do all sorts of updos. 

I'll be starting up a website as soon as I have a few photos that I can upload; I've already decided on a domain name and the web platform I want to use, so I'm really excited to have that set up. Also, my friend Missy, who is also a talented graphics designer, has designed business cards for me, which will go to print after my website has been set up. Exciting times up ahead!

It's funny how when I first started this journey, I wasn't really sure where it was going to take me... To be honest, I was slightly nervous that this venture would prove to be a massive waste of time. But now that I have Evening & Bridal under my belt and these upcoming gigs to look forward to, I find myself really excited to see how this career will go.

Anyway, once my website is up, I'll be sure to let you guys know. I'm excited to share that with you guys! And if you've actually read through this ramble of a post, then I thank you! Here, have some cute puppies for your trouble. :D

Have a great weekend, lovelies!

June 13, 2012

(Not So) New Blush Love - Estée Lauder Pure Color Blush in Wild Sunset

So I've finally gotten around to writing a review about this product!

The Estée Lauder Pure Color Blushes have been out for a while now and I actually got this product while I was in New York in late March (read up on my trip here)(and now I've read up on it, too... I miss NYC so much!), but I didn't actually start using it until much later. Which makes no sense, coz it's so gorgeous.

Anyway, I finally decided to stop procrastinating because Wild Sunset deserves to be talked about....

Here's what Estée Lauder (and I) has (er... HAVE) to say about the Pure Color Blush:
  • Fresh, radiant colour lasts all day, won't streak or fade. (True. I wore this blush all day yesterday and it lasted me 14 1/2 hours. I could've probably tested it for longer, but I felt gross, so I washed my face. That said, I think that there was a teeny bit of... Not fading, per sé; it's like the colour softened throughout the day. It was still *very* visible, but not quite as vibrant as when I first applied. Still, I'm very impressed with how well it wore throughout the day, even after blotting!)
  • Ultra-silky powder sweeps on sheer for a natural glow. (True and False. It's definitely silky, but there's nothing sheer about this blush! In order to get the right amount of pigmentation, I had to merely tap the brush on the powder and I still had to tap off the excess on the back of my hand. This stuff is pigmented!)
  • Builds for contoured and sculpted definition with luminous optic technology. Exclusive contouring brush included. (Yes, this blush, despite already being pigmented, is also pretty buildable. The brush also comes in handy for touch-ups and is the best quality compact brush that I've tried so far.)
  • In two finishes, Satin and Shimmer. (Wild Sunset is classified as a Shimmer, but the shimmer is very, very subtle. In fact, it's so subtle, I can't actually visibly detect it, which is awesome! It still gives you a nice glow, but without any noticeable particles.)

I love this gorgeous red-coral shade! It takes more of a pink-coral tone when applied with a light hand, so I can wear my beloved MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Fuchsia Fix without the colours clashing. I used it on my friend Missy when I did my Evening Makeup Final exam a week ago and hot damn, it looks GOOD with a red lip...

Wearing Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Red Revolution on the lips...

A close up...

Doesn't it?!? I think it does...

I'm wearing the exact same lipstick I used on Missy in these photos; it compliments the blush very nicely and I was so happy with how the look turned out. I also wore this blush in the most recent Lipstick Bandits post, which you can see here.

The Pure Color Blushes retail for $32.00 CAD and it's well worth the price for the amazing pigmentation, gorgeous colours, and incredible wear. Go get one!

Have you tried the Pure Color Blushes?

June 11, 2012

MAC Lip & Cheek Colours From The Casual Colour Collection - Review

Don't you just love when a new collection comes out and you know exactly which products (or in this case, which shades) you're going to get?

For MAC's new Casual Colour collection, that is exactly what happened. These two shades caught my eye and seeing it in person just cemented my decision. I was immediately sucked in by the idea of Lip & Cheek Colours (it's not an entirely new concept, but these are my first), so I'm really glad that I got my hands on these two shades, which retail for $24CAD each...

As you can see, the two shades I got are Weekend Getaway (a "cool rose") and Out For Fun (a "cool coral"). All the other shades looked too pale or too cool for my skin, which was the main factor for deciding to go with these two shades. Also, they are the colours that I would wear the most.

I love how pigmented these Lip & Cheek Colours are. They're easy to blend and while they feel quite tacky at first, it does settle into the skin. It doesn't settle completely, though. That won't be a problem for dry-skinned lovelies, but for those of you who have combo skin, you should definitely set it with some powder.

Still, even without using a setting powder, I was able to get a solid 9 hours of wear with some minor fading (though I found Weekend Getaway faded in a more uneven manner than Out For Fun). Pretty impressive for a cream product, considering my skin does get oily throughout the day. As for the lips, I find that they tend to accentuate any dryness, even when layered over lip balm. Though I found that if I really rub the product into my lips, it looks much better. And because it's quite pigmented, it doesn't take much to mask the colour of my lips. Huzzah!

Wearing Weekend Getaway on lips & cheeks

Wearing Out For Fun on lips & cheeks


Such pretty colours! 

I love how easy these Lip & Cheek Colours are to use! These babies are definitely going with me if when I go traveling. They would make touch-ups so convenient since the pots are so small (they are the same size as MAC's Tinted Lip Conditioners) and they act as both blush and lip colour. Which, let's face it, you can do with a lipstick. But for some reason, I feel more comfortable using a cream blush on the lips than I do using a lipstick on my cheeks. Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Anyway... These Lip & Cheek Colours = LOVE! So easy apply, they look fantastic, they last on my skin for a good amount of time, and the colours are fab!

Are you a fan of lip & cheek products?

June 8, 2012

Getting My Bronze On With Physicians Formula!

Two weeks from now, Summer will have officially begun. To me, there are very few things that represent Summer better than a tan. But what if you're not much of a tanning enthusiast? I don't know about you, but I don't spend a lot of time trying to get darker, mostly because my skin doesn't turn golden when I tan; instead, it becomes a dull brown. So for that reason, I slather on the sunscreen (which you should too anyway, even if you are looking to tan!) and I don't sunbathe. Occasionally, the urge to tan does strike me and when it does, I turn to self-tanners. But more often than not, I find I'm too lazy to go buy self-tanner (the urge doesn't strike me too often), exfoliate, apply, and wait around in the buff for my skin to dry.

So the solution: BRONZERS! Here, I'm reviewing two of Physicians Formula's many bronzers. Hopefully, one of them will catch your eye!

Bronze Booster in Medium to Dark

L-R: Winter shade, Spring shade, Summer shade, Fall shade, and all shades mixed together

I love the idea of this product! You get four shades of bronzer; labelled Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. They vary in depth, taking into account the amount of sun you are likely to get during that particular season. Brilliant!

That said, I don't tan enough to actually make the Summer shade work for me; but everything else is totally doable! This bronzer has a fairly soft texture and feels really silky; I don't have any problems using a regular blush brush to get enough pigmentation on my cheeks. At the moment, I use a combination of Winter, Spring, and Fall for a more bronzed look. It's a bit orange on me, so I make sure to follow the less is more approach. Still, with a light hand and the right combination, this bronzer is pretty wearable for someone like me who doesn't tan much.

Happy Booster in Bronzer/Natural

L-R: the bronzer shade, the three blush shades, and all the shades swirled together

I already found myself disappointed after swatching this bronzer because it wasn't looking very pigmented. And you all know how much I like my products to be pigmented! Because it's much easier to apply a pigmented product lightly than it is to build up a product that has crap pigmentation.

BUT! As soon as I applied this bronzer on my cheeks, my disappointment morphed into unexpected pleasure. It looks amazing on the skin! I made sure to apply the Happy Booster Bronzer with a stiff, dense brush (Royal & Langnickel's) and it gave me such a lovely glow. The combination of bronzer and the blush shades looks gorgeous and makes me look healthier.

Wearing Bronzer Booster in Medium to Dark with blush on the apple of the cheek.

Wearing Happy Booster Bronzer/Natural mixed together 
with just the blush shades on the apples of the cheek.

Both bronzers lasted impressively well on my skin and can keep up with me through a long day. Even after a full day of work and some rehearsals or errands after, I noticed that the bronzer was still present by the time I removed my makeup. Of course, there is some fading involved, but the colour was still quite noticeable on my cheeks. 

My favourite of the two is definitely the Happy Booster Bronzer. It's a fantastic 2-in-1 product, the colours are perfect for me, it looks so natural, and it blends amazingly well. Like my favourite bronzers (YSL Terre Saharienne and Lancôme Star Bronzer), this bronzer would be wearable all year round. 

As for the Bronzer Booster... While I do love the idea of it, I think these shades are just too orange for my liking. The texture is lovely though, and the wear-time is fantastic. 

Still, I'm really pleased with how these two bronzers performed! If only the shades of the Bronze Booster were more flattering for me, I would say that both are absolute must-haves. If your skin is darker than mine, the Bronze Booster would look amazing on you. But for those of you who are around the same colouring as me, pick up the Happy Booster Bronzer. You will love it!

What's your favourite bronzer?

*Disclaimer: This product was a PR sample sent for review consideration. 

June 4, 2012

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in En Vogue - The Lipstick I Bought Twice

When I stopped by a Chanel counter a few weeks ago, it was for the express purpose of getting a sample of their new Perfection Lumière foundation. While I was there, I asked if they had the Summer 2012 products available for purchase yet, and the sales associate proceeded to show me the nail polishes, the Glossimers, and the Rouge Coco Shines. I'd had my eye on En Vogue (described as a "bright coral") already, so I made my purchase.

Then I went home and checked for swatches online (the counter hadn't received their samples yet) and was disappointed. With my pigmented lips, that was not going to do anything but add some shine. So I made my way back and returned En Vogue.

(apologies for the grossness - I had to retake the photo after I'd already tried it)

Fast forward to the end of May, and it's once again in my possession. Why? Well... Last week, when I was having a really crap day, I decided to participate in some retail therapy and ended up at the Chanel counter once again. This time, there was a tester. I swatched it and was pleased with what I saw, so I made the purchase (again); and this time, I definitely won't be returning it. 

See, I was mistaken - it's actually pigmented enough for my lips! Provided, that is, that I give it a few good swipes. Because of the formula and the sheen of the Rouge Coco Shines, you have to apply a little bit more than you would a regular lipstick in order to see the colour. 

And what a lovely colour it is! 

It's a soft coral (not really bright, as described), which looks very natural and not at all bright. It's the type of shade you can wear without really having to think about what to wear with it. The texture is nice and light, as well; it doesn't feel like anything more than a lip balm! They're not long-wearing, though, and they practically disappear after a meal. But that doesn't bother me because the texture makes re-application simple and easy. Also, unless a lip product disappears before the 3 hour mark (when I usually have a snack or a meal), it won't bother me in the slightest. 

This Rouge Coco Shine is exactly the kind or product I would wear every day: non-drying and feels comfortable, but still makes your lips look pretty and polished. 

I'm so glad to have En Vogue back in my life!

What's your favourite everyday lip product?

June 1, 2012

Monthly Favourites - May 2012

Sometimes, I feel like time gets away from me... This is one of those times. Pretty soon, we'll be ringing in another new year and I'll be dumbfounded as to where all that time went. :p

Ahh, but right now, we're still in June. So as I always do, I present to you all my favourite products from the previous month.

1. Pure+simple All Natural Sunscreen 

I confess that sun protection is not something I always think about. In fact, I downright forget about it during the late Fall, through the Winter, and in early Spring. But when I noticed that my left arm was darker than my right (curse you, driving tan! *shakes fist*), I realized it's time to whip out the sunscreen again.

This Pure+simple sunscreen is the best I've tried so far. It doesn't feel sticky and doesn't smell like your typical sunscreen product. Also, it evens out my skintone. So for those few days in May where I didn't want to wear any foundation at all, I found that this product and some concealing were enough to make me look presentable... It also made me realize that my skin really doesn't need foundation to look good. So I'm going to aim to go foundation-less at least 4 times a month to give my skin a bit of a breather.

To read my full review, click here

2. Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth-Boosting Powder*

I've been using this to set my foundation nearly every day now. I also wore it during my foundation free days just to add a bit of illumination.

But does it make my skin look youthful? Well, I can't say it did. Though at 26, it's not really much of a concern for me. That said, it does give a very nice glow; so while my skin didn't necessarily look more youthful, it did look healthier and more glowing, which is always gets a thumbs up in my books!

3. Lush Ro's Argan Oil Body Conditioner

I don't think I can rave about this product enough! It leaves my skin so deliciously smooth and it smells amazing, to boot. All I need to do is do a quick slather of this stuff while my skin is still wet from the shower and then do a quick rinse. This removes the excess, but it doesn't remove everything. It definitely feels like I've got product on my skin. It moisturizes my skin so well and it lasts all day, too! My skin feels just as soft, smooth, and moisturized at the end of the day as it did in the beginning (though the product does seep in a bit more - meaning there's less tackiness, but your skin still feels hydrated). The scent, as I mentioned, is absolutely lovely and also lasts the whole day. Incredible!

To read my full review, click here.

4. Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker pH Powered Bronzer & Blush

Say that 10 times fast!

These two products have been doing a lot of work for me lately. Whether worn alone or paired together, they both colour-match to a shade that is both lovely and wearable for my skintone. I love that the bronzer doesn't look orangey on me and that the blush does double duty by leaning more pink when worn along and leaning more coral when worn with the bronzer. 2-in-1 is better than 1-in-1! (that doesn't even make sense -_-')

To read my full review, click here.

5. Hand Therapy Avocado Hand Repair Butter

I'm always on the lookout for a great hand cream. I wash my hands quite often and my hands can get pretty dry, so that means I require some lotion application fairly frequently. I have two requirements for a great hand cream: 1) fantastic hydration, and 2) no shiny, greasy residue left behind... So far, I have only found one that does that, and that's L'Occitane Shea Hand Cream. But it's $30 CADqw for a 150mL tube and around $12 CAD for a mini tube at Sephora. I mean, the larger tube did last me a long time, but $30 for hand cream still feels a bit like a kick in the gut.

So when I found this Hand Therapy product, I decided to give it a try... And boy, am I ever glad I did. This product makes my hands feel silky smooth and super hydrated, without the greasiness! And for the cheap price of $6.99 (I found this product in Superstore), it can't get any better!

I lied, it totally gets better. This hand cream is paraben free, synthetic dye free, mineral oil free, SLS free, and phthalate free. Amazing, no? I always have to resist the urge to buy more every time I pass by the display at my local Superstore.

6. Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne Intense

Ahh, the new love of my life!

This perfume has been my latest obsession... It smells divine and it lasts all day, two things that are most important to me when it comes to fragrances. It's really hard for me to describe what this smells like, but it's definitely one of the most interesting scents I've ever had the pleasure of smelling. With some perfumes, I can tell straight away if it's floral or citrusy or what have you. But this one is pretty complex, at least for me, and that's what I love so much about it.

To read my full review, click here.


So there you have my May favourites.

It is now officially June. Which means the next two Wednesdays are my Evening & Bridal final exams. I'm nervous, but kind of just looking forward to getting it over with. I've gotten to the point where I don't really sweat it anymore. Yes, marks are great, but that's not going to book me a job, is it? No, I just want to focus on doing a great job so that I can be more confident in my skills.

Aaaand I just remembered I have to do makeup, hair, and styling in under 90 minutes...


Happy June, lovelies!


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