Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best Makeup Products of 2010

I can hardly believe that 2010 is coming to a close in a few days from now.  So I thought I'd take the chance to look back and share with you some of my all time favourite makeup products of 2010.

Here I go!

Best Moisturizer of 2010 goes to....
Yonka Elastin Nuit.

Made for all skin types and although it is a night cream, I use it as both a day and night cream.  It feels light on my skin but leaves my skin feeling nourished without a greasy feel.  And it has anti-aging ingredients in it too!

Best Primer of 2010 goes to...
Make Up For Ever HD Primer

Now although I personally do not use primer on an everyday bases, I do use it on my clients, especially brides.  I like this MUFE HD Primer the best because it's light weight and it feels like silk on the skin.  And it doesn't leave any shine because it is oil free.  I use the colourless primer in my kit but it comes in a range of colour correcting shades.

Best Foundation of 2010 goes to...
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
I really love this foundation.  It provides a medium - full coverage.  It feels so lightweight.  It blends like a dream.  There are tons of colours to choose from (26 I think).  You only need one or maybe one and a half pumps to cover a full face.  And it looks amazing in photos and on film.  What else do you need in a foundation?

Best Powder of 2010 goes to...
Make Up For Ever HD Powder
Ok, there seems to be a theme here, I admit it.  I love Make Up For Ever products.  But they give me good reason to love them.  This powder is awesome!  A little goes a LONG way!  This sets foundation but doesn't look cakey, powdery or dry on the face.  And yes, it can been worn on any skin colour.

Best Powder Blush of 2010 goes to...
Bobbi Brown Blush

I love the shades of Bobbi Brown's blushes, they look beautiful and natural on, plus they are not overly shimmery, which is the way I like blush to look most of the time.

Best Shimmer Bronzer of 2010 goes to...
NARS Laguna
It is a perfect shade of brown with a golden shimmer.  It looks incredible on fair to medium skin tones, and most importantly it never looks "dirty" on the skin which can be a problem for fair skin girls.

Best Eyeshadow of 2010 goes to...
MAC Eyeshadows
I have a lot of MAC eyeshadows, some I love, some I wouldn't bother buying again. It's really hard to pick one shade of the many, many shades, but MAC Brulee is the one colour that I use most often and I always seem to be running out of ( a good sign of a product well used!).

Best Mascara of 2010 goes to...
Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash

This is one amazing mascara.  It is incredibly black, it makes lashes look long and full.  Plus it doesn't budge off lashes.  And it doesn't flake.

Best Gel Eyeliner of 2010 goes to...
MAC Fluidline
I love the intensity of MAC's Fluildine.  They almost seem more like a cream liner then a gel liner.  When I need a dramatic eyeliner effect I always reach for MAC's Fluidline.

Best eye pencil of 2010 goes to...
Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil
This pencils are so easy to work with.  They are soft and blendable, but also have amazing staying power on the eyes.  And they have pretty much every colour in the rainbow and then some to choose from.

Best Lip Pencil of 2010 goes to...
Make Up For Ever lip pencil in 3C
Smooth, creamy and easy to apply.  Plus these pencils have great pigmentation to them.

Best Lipstick of 2010 goes to...
MAC Lipstick
Just like MAC's eyeshadows, it's hard to pick just one colour of lipstick that is my favourite but out of all the lipsticks in my kit.  If I had to choose an actual colour some of my favourites are Angel, Honey Love and Viva Glam V.

Best Lip gloss of 2010 goes to...
OCC Lip Tars

I know these are not glosses, but I don't love glosses the way some people do, so since these come in tubes I'm going to count them as glosses.  I love OCC lip tars because they are crazy pigmented and last forEVER!  You only need the tiniest amount to get the most amazing coloured lips you will ever see!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Favorite Foundations

As promised, this post is all about my favourite foundations and why I love them.

Foundation Favorite # 5

Bobbi Brown's Foundation Stick
So about 2 years ago I tried Bobbi Brown's cream stick foundation.  Her website describes the foundation as:  "...designed for portability and adjustable coverage. Easy to apply and blend all over the face or just where you need it. For all skin types, except very oily." 

I really like the texture and the blend ability of it.  Plus it has medium - full coverage, which I really like.  And she sells the cream sticks in the"University Palette", which is a palette with all her cream stick shades plus all her concealer and corrector shades .  Very handy for makeup artists.  Her shades are all yellow based, which looks beautiful on some skin tones but doesn't necessarily work on all skin tones.  Artist tip:  yellow based foundations are perfect for complexions with a lot of redness, the yellow cancels out the redness.  The makeup is on the pricey side but it is great quality.  The cream sticks cost $40US and has .31oz/9grams of product.  Translation:  it's one expensive stick, and not easy on a makeup artist's budget!
Bottom Line:  I really like this, but it is too expensive and not everyone looks good in yellow based foundations.  Probably won't be repurchasing.

Foundation Favorite #4

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet +  

Here's what Sephora says about Mat Velvet Plus on it's website: 

What it is:
A shine controlling, oil-free, water-resistant, complete coverage liquid foundation.
What it is formulated to:
Hides imperfections, evens out skin tone, and mattifies with a non-oily, perfectly powdered finish. The result is flawless and lasts for hours.
What else you need to know:
Although this foundation provides full coverage, the end result is completely adjustable to fit your needs - a little goes a long way.

Bottom Line:  This is the best foundation for oily skin types.  Period.   I  would repurchase this for clients with oily skin.

Foundation Favorite #3

Graftobian HD Glamour Creme Foundations
The formula is soft and silky, a breeze to blend, and great for Hi-Definition work.  It feels light on the skin but has beautiful coverage.  The shades are divided into Warm, Cool and Neutral and there are over 50 shades to choose from.  Plus Graftobian duplicated each shade into their GlamAire airbrush makeup, making it soooo easy for makeup artist's to match shades.  I purchased the warm and neutral palettes as well as the full range of GlamAire airbrush makeup.  They come in full sized 1/2oz pans for $11.99US  or in palettes like the ones pictured below.
Bottom Line:  I love this foundation.  I will definitely repurchase, in fact this will be replacing Bobbi Brown's cream foundations, at a fraction of the price!  

Favorite Foundation #2 & #1

I can't decide which foundation I like more and which one gets 1st place.  I love them both, they are both beautiful.  But if I'm forced to pick, then right now I would have to say  #2 goes to FACE atelier Ultra Foundation and 1st place goes to Make Up For Ever HD Foundation.  And that rating is primarily because I've been using MUFE HD for quite a while now and have loved the reults and FACE atelier is still quite new to me.

Face Atelier Ultra Foundation
Here's what the website says:  "Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn’t crease or flake, and lasts all day long.  Hydrating yet oil-free, it obscures tiny lines and pores to ensure a smooth finish.  No primer needed!  It's built into Ultra Foundation, thanks to the super sophisticated, silicone-based formula.   Another bonus - it sets without powder, preserving the youthful, dewy finish. 

Got those “I can never find my shade” foundation blues?  Only FACE atelier allows you to infinitely adjust your foundation shade.  Add a drop of Zero Plus or revolutionary Zero Plus Plus to go a shade darker, or a splash of Zero Minus to lighten.   Superstar Heat adds warmth, transforming shades before your very eyes."
Bottom line:  I love it, my skin has never looked better.  This is the foundation I'll personally be wearing.  At $45 CDN for a 1oz jar, I think that's reasonable.  I will definitely be repurchasing this one!

Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Foundation
The 1st place winner for my favorite foundation. (applause)

Sephora's website sums this foundation up perfectly: 

What it is:
An oil-free medium-to-full-coverage liquid foundation that covers skin imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life.
What it does:
This foundation creates a soft-focus effect, which is designed to meet the coverage concerns of those in the spotlight. It leaves your complexion with such a flawless finish, it can withstand bright or harsh lighting.
What else you need to know:
This Sephora-exclusive foundation comes in 25 shades to suit all skintones.

I have used this foundation for over a year now on all my brides and photography clients.  I've never been disappointed.  It makes skin look amazing.  

Bottom Line:  I love it, I'm never disappointed with the results.  The coverage is perfect.  It blends like a dream.   I will repurchase and it's a must have in my kit.

Most Disappointing Foundation
And I hate to dump on brands, but I do have an award for the most disappointing foundation purchase in 2010.  This award goes to....

MAC Face and Body Foundation.  I was so disappointed with this foundation, I found it streaky, hard to blend and I just really didn't like the texture at all.  But all was not lost.  It actually worked really well with some of my halloween makeup that I did this year.  I mixed it with the cheap cream color bases that you can get at department stores around halloween time and it worked really well.  So not a total waste.  But I'll not be repurchasing again. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New makeup from FACE atelier

I first heard of FACE atelier Cosmetics about 8 months ago, and then I saw them at IMATS Toronto this year and decided to buy a couple of lip glosses (a pretty low risk investment).  As a makeup artist I like glosses that come in a tube, so I can just squeeze out what I need on to a palette and then apply it to the client instead of worrying about any "double dipping" wand applicator mistakes.  I got "Peach" and "Ice" and I've been really impressed.   I'm not a crazy about lip gloss kind of girl, but these are really good, nongoopy, nonsticky lip glosses.  First impression:  impressed!!!  And the Peach shade looks good on everyone!  Its really beautiful!


What else impresses me about FACE atelier Cosmetics????

  1. Its a Canadian company.
  2. Because it's a Canadian company I don't have to pay crazy amounts for shipping/duties and then wait for freaking ever for it to clear customs.  I like that a LOT!!!!
  3. It does not test on animals.  EVER.
  4. The founder of the company is a woman.  Yeah!!
  5. I love their makeup philosophy:  "Look good, feel good, be kind to yourself, and celebrate who you are.  The ideal FACE atelier woman is you."
  6. They are the official makeup sponsor for Madonna's "Confessions Tour"
  7. The $1.00 sample jar.

Another really cool reason why I love FACE atelier is that they offer $1.00 trial jars of their products!  Yes, that's right, you don't have to shell out the money for an entire bottle of foundation, only to realize once you get it home its not the right shade for you.  With the $1.00 sample jars you can buy the whole shade range for under $10 and try them all and then pick the one that suits you best.


So my December makeup purchase is from ....FACE atelier Cosmetics!

I purchased all the Ultra Foundation shades in sample jars.  I've tried them out and I've got to say...I'm in love!!!  BUT I'll get into more details on my next post, I'm going to do a foundation review.  So stay tuned for that!

I also bought an eyeshadow in "golden pearl", and a lipstick in "pink cashmere".  And some really new stuff that I can't wait to try out.  I got a sample jar of "Lip Putty" which fills in those pesky fine lines in and around the lips, eliminating colour bleeding, blurring and blotching.  An eyeshadow crease brush.  And a sample jar of "transforming gel" for transforming loose pigments and powders into eyeliners.  And a bottle of "lip lock" which is like clear shellac that locks in your lip colour.

Final thought on FACE atelier Cosmetics:  I'm LOVING it!!!  So far, I am totally impressed and excited about this brand.  Have you all heard of it?  I'd love to know if you've tried it and what your thoughts on it are!

Stay tuned for my next post on foundation reviews...

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Airbrushing 101

    As you may have read from my earlier posts, I purchased an airbrush system last month.  Well, actually I bought 2 airbrush systems.

    My plans are to use the small, portable compressor for bridal work.  It's easier to carry with me to on location jobs, and I don't need a large compressor for applying foundation, which is what I'll primarily be using airbrushing for on brides.  And the large compressor is for body art and spray tanning.  I purchased the systems from Graftobian and the foundations are all High Definition formulas.

    This is a picture of the portable compressor, the airbrush and the foundations.  I have a huge range of airbrush foundation colours - from the palest of pale to the deepest dark colour tones.

    You can see the larger compressor in the background in this photo, it's in the blue box.  As I mentioned above I'll be using this compressor for body art, fx makeup, temporary tattoos, face painting, and spray tanning.

    So, some of you may be asking yourself, "What's the big deal about airbrushing?".  So here's a little airbrushing 101 info for you!

    Dinair is the longest running airbrush company in the industry (25 years) and they answer the following 2 questions on their website:
    "What is Airbrushing?

    Unlike traditional makeup (where you rub makeup into your skin), airbrushing sprays a fine mist, so the makeup "sits evenly" on your skin. Airbrush makeup provides flawless coverage (sheer or opaque), by minimizing skin imperfections while giving skin a beautifully natural looking finished result."
    "Why is Airbrush Makeup better?
    Airbrushing is the only way to achieve a flawless, natural look! Here's how it works. A small amount of specially formulated makeup is turned into a light, super-fine mist and directed exactly where it is needed. These micro dots give you the coverage you desire, while still allowing your natural tones to show through. The result is a flawless, natural, and undetectable coverage, using the very least amount of foundation possible. Now you too can get the look of the stars!"

    Here are some more pro's to airbrushing:

    • It's very hygenic.  No brushes, sponges or hands touch the skin.  
    • It's long wearing.  Most airbrush cosmetic companies claim 24 hour wear without the need to touch up, ever!
    • No smearing, running, fading or caking.
    • Formulas are light weight and don't feel heavy on the skin
    • Most importantly, airbrushing creates flawless coverage.  Who doesn't want that?!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Looking back on the Brides of 2010

    It's been such an amazing year for me as a makeup artist.  I can hardly believe that December is days away...  And it has me feeling kind of nostalgic and I can't help thinking of all the sweet and beautiful women I've been so lucky to meet and work with over the year.

    I had an incredible group of brides (no "Bridezilla's" to be found) and I wanted to take the time and share with you some of the photos that they've shared with me.  Unfortunately I don't have photos of all the weddings I did this year, this is just a sampling.  (pst...if your reading this and I did your makeup and you want me to share some of your photos, I would love to in another post, just email them to me :) ).

    These are in no particular order by the way...

    My sweet "baby" sister got married this year and I had the pleasure of doing makeup for her and the entire (read super big) bridal party.  She & Marc loves a party!  It was a week long festivity that ended up being coined as "Marianne & Marc's Big Fat PEI Wedding"
    Photo's of Marianne were taken by Jill Hardy

    I had a lot of fun doing makeup for this group of women.  It was a small bridal party, just the bride's sister and Mom.  But they were having so much fun, it was contagious.  This was also one of those days where other relatives would stop by, see the makeup and then beg for me to squeeze them in too!  I did have time to squeeze in a few extra aunts!

    Another beautiful bride and bridal party.  I LOVE the blue dresses.  So pretty.  This was an end of summer wedding, and again another beautiful PEI day.  The brides were so lucky with weather this year!  The bride was so calm...modern brides don't seem to be as nervous for some reason.
     And the black and white photos are always so romantic!
    I can't remember the photographer, but if I find out, I'll let you know!

    OK, this wedding was so much fun.  Not a single person was from PEI, it was a total "destination wedding"  and I had so much fun meeting this family!!!  I got to work with my good friend and hair dresser extraordinaire Cheryl.  We travelled out to their cottage early (I mean really early) in the morning and it was a hair and makeup whirl wind.  I did makeup for 9 women, and as you'll see from the photo of the bridal party picture below, they were a FUN group of girls!

     You can't really tell from these photos, but it was blowing a gale that day.  And I'm not exaggerating.  It was sunny but WINDY.  And they were getting married on the beach.  Crowbush Beach.  You have to live here to understand how windy it can get on our beaches.  We were somewhat nervous about losing the hair extensions.
     And the dress was amazing too.  It's hard to see all the details in these pictures but it was one of a kind!

    The photographer for these pictures flew in for the wedding too.  She took all the photos on a film camera, no digital photos.  It turned out so romantic looking don't you think?


    Friday, November 26, 2010

    My heart belongs to Yonka

    When it comes to skin care products, I always suffer from the "Grass is Greener on the Other Side" syndrome.  I'm such a sucker for celebrity endorsements, glossy ads in magazines, or the promise of miraculous results.  Why, why, why do I fall for it?  Every time?!

    But I swear, I think I've tried every freakin brand out there.  It all began way back when with Sea Breeze (I'm serious, I really did use it). Who remembers Sea Breeze???  I don't even think they make it anymore.  Then I moved on to Noxema, then Ivory soap with Nivea to moisturize.  Yes, I used soap to clean my face.  Oh the horror!!!  I used the Ivory/Nivea combo from about grade 10 till I finished my degree in university.

    And that's when the real experimenting began.  It was then that I learned that you should never use soap on your face.  Oops!  How was I to know?  I must have been living under a rock.

    That's when I first tried Yonka.  I loved it but I always had in the back of my head, what else is out there?  Is there anything else that could make my skin feel and look even better?  Why did I ever ask myself that question?

    So on my skincare journey,  I've tried everything from drugstore brands (Cetaphil, St Ives, etc.) to the high end (Kinerase, Dermalogica, etc.) to the organic/natural brands (Dr Haushka, Burts Bees, etc.).  Did  any of these brands blow my mind?  Did they stand up to the claims?  One word - NOPE!!!

    With all the money I've spent on failed attempts on skincare products, I could have bought....I don't even want to go there.  I'm just torturing myself.  I can't go there, I could have bought, (gulp) a pair of Christian Louboutins for gods sake! :(

    Oh well, it's my own stupidity.  But I've learned my lesson.  My heart belongs to Yonka, and it always will.  My skin care routine is simple.  Cleansing lotion to remove makeup/cleanse my skin.  Elastin Nuit to moisturize every morning and night.  That's what works for me.  My holy grail.  I will never wander again.  I promise.  What's your holy grail skin care routine?  Not that I'm going to switch!!!  I'm just curious!

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Panache PEI Model Fall Photo Shoot

    Wow!  It's been such a busy month.  From boudoir photo shoots, IMATS, a trip to Halifax... I thought November was supposed to be slow for makeup artists!  But I'm not complaining, I love every minute of it.

    Last Thursday and this past Monday, I did makeup for the Panache PEI Model photo shoot.  These photo shoots are so much fun and I just love being involved!

    There were 12 models on Thursday night and 19 models of Monday night.  This is part of their modelling course and is used to build up their professional portfolios.

    So here's the scoop on the photo shoot.  There's 3 photographers set up across the city and at the Panache PEI studio there are 3 makeup artists and 3 hairdressers.  We're set up to transform each of the models for all 3 of the different looks - natural face, eye wear, and a modern Marie Antoinette look.

    All of the looks were fabulous but I really loved the Marie Antoinette look.  It had tons of colour on the eyes, cheek and lips.  So awesome!  I can't wait to see some of the photos!!!

    I don't have any of the photos yet, but I can share some of the photos from the Panache PEI Model photo shoot that I worked on this past summer.  The 3 photographers from last summer were Katelyn Fraser, Mark Anthony, and Patrick Callbeck.  The 3 themed looks were natural, sculptural modern minimalist, and broken down circus.  Here are the fab models, they were so amazing to work with!







    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    New Clothes!

    So I forgot to mention that I did manage to squeeze in a full day of shopping for clothes while I was in Toronto.  I actually don't buy that much year round, I kind of save up till I go away to a larger city and then I kinda go a little crazy.

    Yes, it looks like we went totally crazy, but in my defence, half of these are Tracy's!

    We got up bright and early Friday morning, and were actually waiting for the stores to open their doors.  Desperate!  Our first stop was Over the Rainbow, oh how I love that store!  I pretty much found everything on my wish list there.  I found the most awesome pair of jeggings by Citizens of Humanity, and another pair of skinny jeans by Fidelity.  And I almost flipped out when I found my black leather Mackage jacket that I wanted so badly there.  Bought it on the spot!  And I can't believe this, cause I've resisted the trend for soooo long now, but now that I have my jeggings and skinny jeans, I bought a pair of Uggs!!!  And you know what?  Those damn things are sooooo comfortable.  I won't take them off.  Nope.  I may never put stilettos on again.  My feet will thank me!

    This is a picture from the Mackage website of the jacket I purchased:

    Oh!  And when I bought my jacket they gave me a free case of Stella beer glasses.  So I had a little gift to take home for my honey.  (Even though it was a total pain in the butt to cart those glasses around the airport all day on the way home!)

    Our second stop was Second Time Around, it's a great little consignment store with some really great designers.  It can be hit or miss with sizes though.  My friend Tracy scored bags full of goodies, while I did not have so much luck with finding anything my size.  I did find a white cashmere Alexander MacQueen sweater that I fell instantly in love with.  I feel like I should be lounging in a ski chalet in Vail, or the Swiss Alps when I wear it!

    Then on to Betsey Johnson.  I swear I was only there to help Tracy find a dress for Christmas, but those amazing sales girls kept giving me dresses to try on and I ended up buying the Bambi dress, a bath robe and an awesome little belt.  Oops!

    This is a picture of the Bambi dress.  I know it's out there, but I loved how it fit and it made my legs look awesome.  And you know when you put something on and you feel a jolt of something magical?  Well that's what I feel when I wear it.  When I first met my husband he used to call me Dharma from the TV show Dharma and Greg.  Well, he is a total "Greg" and I guess I do have some Dharma tendencies:)

    I pretty much got everything on my list except for black boots.  I just could not find anything that fit the picture I have in my head.  I hate it when that happens!  Well there was a pair that fit the bill, but they were Prada at Holt Renfrew and the price tag was no where even close to being in my budget.  Oh well, I think I did pretty good anyway!

    This weekend I'm heading to Halifax for my annual sister's trip.  I have 3 sisters and we try to get away for a little sisters only trip.  This year we thought we'd keep it simple and go to Halifax.  It's going to be hard to resist shopping again because that's what the sisters are wanting to do on Saturday...yikes!  Wish me luck!

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Boudoir Makeup & Hair

    I had an awesome day yesterday doing makeup and hair for a group of beautiful and confident women at Jill Hardy Photography's boudoir photo session.  You should check out Jill's work at

    This is the second group boudoir photo session Jill and I have worked together on and I have so much fun working at it!  The last session was back in January, the girls were giving their hubbies (or boyfriends) the photo album as a Valentine's Day gift.  How lucky are those guys?!

    Here are some of the beautiful women I had the pleasure of doing makeup & hair for last January:

    Jill has such an amazing personality and sense of humour that she instantly puts all the girls at ease.  Not an easy task I'm sure!

    So right now Jill is busy working away at editing the photos from yesterday, so I don't have any photos to share yet, but as soon as I do I'll be posting an update!