BISC Vol.8: What’s your current morning and evening skincare routine?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

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What’s your current morning and evening skincare routine?

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

I try to keep my skincare routine as simple (and affordable) as possible, so it stays mostly the same. In the mornings, I rinse my face and apply a little German Nivea with the Odacité Camelina Chamomile serum/oil, or something with SPF if I’m leaving the house.

In the evenings, I remove my eye makeup with Marcelle 3 in 1 Micellar Solution, wash my face with Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk, and moisturize with German Nivea blended with Odacité Pomegranate Rose Geranium (review), which I LOVE for dry skin. I don’t use a lot of masks or scrubs, but if I’m breaking out, I’ll also spot treat with Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion — that stuff is magic!!

AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup

My morning routine is pretty simple. I just wash my face and apply a moisturizer with an SPF. The evening routine is where it gets more complicated. First, I remove my makeup with Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towlettes. Next, I use Garnier Cleansing Oil to remove the rest of makeup and my waterproof mascara. Then I cleanse my face using my Clarisonic Mia 2 brush with Nude Skincare Omega Cleansing Jelly or Vichy Normaderm Gel Cleanser. Next, I apply a toner- either Pixi Glow Tonic or Murad Hydrating Toner. Lastly, I apply a moisturizer- currently I am using Aveno Ultra-calming moisturizer and an undereye cream- Vichy Idealia Eyes.

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MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up

AM: First I cleanse with the The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash and exfoliate and tone with the Paula’s Choice Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution and the 5100 Skincare Glacier Moist Refresh spay. Then I apply my Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Serum followed by my Olaz Regenerist moisturizer, including around the eyes. And for sun protection I use the Glo-Therapeutics Oil-Free SPF 40+ sunscreen.

PM: Usually I double cleanse with a milk cleanser first – at the moment the Eucerin Gentle Cleansing Milk – and then a cleansing oil – at the moment the L’Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil, followed by exfoliating and toning with the same two products that I use in the morning. Then I apply Differen gel for my acne, followed by my Caudalie serum and my Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer, eye area included again.

LENA | USA | Lenallure

I have just started with new routines and I’m pretty happy with them.

[Morning] Cleanse with Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder / Tone with Avéne Thermal Water Spray / Moisturize with Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum / Protect with Sofina Perfect UV SPF50 PA+++ Sunscreen

[Evening] Remove makeup with L’Oreal Clean Artiste Eye Makeup Remover and Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil / Cleanse & Exfoliate with Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder / Tone with Boots Botanics Rosewater / Treat with Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 and Serum 10 Yeux & Cils / Moisturize with Vichy Aqualia Thermal Riche

[Exfoliate] Radical Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads (twice a week)

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa

Morning: cleanse with either Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder or Verso Foaming Cleanser; tone with homemade Apple Cider Vinegar; moisturize with Bobbi Brown Extra Bright Advanced Serum followed by Verso Day Cream and Dior Diorsnow White Reveal Ultra Purifying Liquid; protect with either Dior Diorsnow Brightening Illuminating UV Protection with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Translucent SPF 50 or Benefit Specialist Dream Screen Invisible Silky-Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen for Face.

Evening: remove eye makeup with Chanel Démaquillant Yeux Intense Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover; remove face makeup with Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm; cleanse with Glamglow Powercleanse Daily Dual Cleanser; tone with homemade Apple Cider Vinegar; moisturize with Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II followed by Verso Night Cream and Eve Lom Brightening Cream.

For eyes, I’m not loyal to any particular eye cream but I’m currently using La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream.

Smashbox Photo Session at West Edmonton Mall | A morning makeover with Smashbox Cosmetics

Monday, May 11, 2015

Smashbox Photo Event West Edmonton

Not a lot happens in the beauty world in Edmonton, but this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Smashbox Photo Event at West Edmonton Mall. I’ve never actually taken the time to go for a makeover before, so it was a really eye-opening experience for me!

Here’s a little recap of the event.

Smashbox Photo Session Edmonton

I had my makeup done by Toronto-based Smashbox makeup artist Kristi Dukovic, who was a pleasure to work with — she really took the time to try to customize my makeup to my own preferences, and she had a lot of behind-the-scenes knowledge about the brand that she was eager to share.

We started out with the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water ($37 CAD), which is silicone-, oil-, and alcohol-free, and can be used to both prep and set makeup.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

Kristi then primed my lids with some Smashbox 24Hrs Eyeshadow Primer ($23 CAD), which the brand tested in-studio for a full 24 hours, and did my eye makeup using the wet/dry Smashbox Double Exposure Eyeshadow Palette ($60 CAD).

The palette itself was great, but I wasn’t crazy about the way that the pull-out recommends you do makeup for monolids — I couldn’t figure out why at the time, but the idea that Asian women need to fake an eyelid crease in order to look their best really bugs me. It really perpetuates the idea that there is only one kind of beautiful (and that that’s to be Caucasian), and I think that as an industry, we can do better than that.

Smashbox Makeup Artist Kristi Dukovic

Smashbox Makeup Artist Kristi Dukovic

But, I digress. Kristi then followed up with a little bit of the Smashbox + Donald Robertson: Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liners ($29 CAD) in Plum and Lilac, which wore crazy well — Lilac in particular is a total must-have. Then, she brightened up my undereye area with Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29 CAD), which broke me out (‘cones) but was fantastic while it lasted.

(I’m also wearing some Smashbox mascara on my lashes & a little bit of Brow Tech to Go ($30 CAD) through my brows.)

Smashbox xo contouring technique

The Xs and Os Smashbox contouring technique

Finally, Kristi finished off the look with some “xs and os” contouring (a Smashbox technique that helps keep you from applying too much product) and the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio ($52 CAD), which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t love. The contouring shade in the pencils is for some reason a lot more orange than the contouring shade in the powder Step-By-Step Contour Kit ($52 CAD), but I did really like the highlighter in the pencil trio.

I also got a chance to try out two of the L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colors ($36 CAD) for this look, which have a really pretty, very Hollywood sheen to them — I’m wearing Silver Lake Sunset on my cheeks and Hollywood & Highlight on the tops of my cheekbones, chin, forehead, and brow bone. (I’m not 100% sure what’s on my lips, but I think it’s Be Legendary Lip Lacquer in Lilac overtop their Always Sharp Lip Liner in Nude Medium.)

Smashbox Photo Op pictures

The Smashbox Photo Event ended with a few snaps by fashion and portrait photographer Kyriakos, who was super friendly and efficient.

All in all, my makeover and photo session were a really interesting experience, and I’m really glad that I got the chance to cover it for you guys — but while I loved the way that the makeup captured on film, it was a little too Instagram for my everyday life. My boyfriend kept cracking up at how much makeup I came home wearing, and I literally had so much gel liner on my left eye that I couldn’t quite open my lid all the way.

Would I go for another Smashbox makeover anytime soon? Probably not for a party or event, but if I wanted portrait-ready makeup, then absolutely.

Smashbox makeover event recap

What are your best and worst makeover stories? Have you ever had professional headshots taken?

BISC Vol.7: How has your makeup style changed over the years?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

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How has your makeup style changed over the years?

MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
When I first started wearing make-up as a young teenager I only wore some black eye pencil and a wash of grayish green eyeshadow. I must have worn that same look for like a year! And then I entered my gothic phase. Yep, I’m talking heavy eyeliner and black Avril Lavigne-style panda eyes! I thought I was such a badass, lol. Then when I went to college I got into my colorful phase and started experimenting with face make-up. And then finally after collage I started to develop my current make-up style: smokey eyes with a subtle lip.

KRISTEN | USA | Glambunctious
In a way, it really hasn’t changed that much!  I’ve always focused on the eyes.  In high school, I wore a shimmery lavender eyeshadow and in college, my go-to look was a bare lid with a swipe of metallic black liquid liner (found the exact Physician’s Formula one I used to have here).  It wasn’t until my late ’20s that I started using shadow again daily, and thanks to blogs and YouTube, discovered new application methods like using 3 different shadows on the lid to create dimension. Shadow, liner, and mascara still feel most like makeup “home”!

SUNNY | Belgium | Mostly Sunny Blog
I got into makeup with the hype of the original Urban Decay Naked palette. I was introduced to wonderful inventions like eyeshadow primer and gel liner at around the same time, so for quite a while eye makeup was all I wanted to wear. Then at some point, I discovered the joy of bright lipsticks and I haven’t really looked back since! I still do different looks for the blog, but in real life, my signature look would be neutral eyeshadows, winged liner, and a bright lip! It doesn’t have to be a full-on opaque formula, but it’s probably bright!

LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash
When I first started, I was all about the sheer nude lip. I was really bad at eye makeup so I learned and practised every day. Now, I’m more experimental. I love my smokey eyes of different shades, but I’ve always been a neutral girl at heart. So all different shades of brown and taupe it is. Recently, I love a clean flawless base, liquid liner for a small cat eye flick and a bold lip – orange, coral, dark reds and berries. I think when I get bored, I’ll change again. That’s why makeup is fun!

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AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup
My makeup style has changed dramatically over the last years. I used to be a one shadow, one blush, one lipstick kind of girl. I kept my makeup simple and neutral, wearing the same makeup every day. Over the years, my makeup skills have improved and I learnt more about using products and applying them to my advantage. With the improved makeup skills, I also started to be more adventurous in terms of colors. Although neutrals are still my favorites, I have no problem wearing a pink or blue eyeshadow, rocking a red lip or a purple blush.

ALICE | Belgium | Alice Yeh
Looking back at old pictures, I spy a face generously dusted in bronzer and eyes lined with liquid eyeliner from top to bottom. Now I’ve learnt to embrace my features – the good and bad ones. Bronzers are now used light-handed and eyeliners are kept very thin with a flick tailored to the shape of my eyes. Oh, and I ditched the eyeliner on the bottom waterline altogether – I look so much fresher and natural now. Make-up mishaps are part of the journey so never stop experimenting, and embrace foremost the beauty you were born with.

LENA | USA | Lenallure
I’ve enjoyed refined and posh makeup styles for many years. I am not really into difficult techniques or something that requires too much time, etc. To me, a makeup style has to be simple and practical to function for me. For that, mine hasn’t really changed in concept. Color wise though, I used to sport purple/blue smoky eyes with light pink/nude lips almost everyday, but now I prefer light neutral smoky with bright lips. Also, lately I’m keenly interested in natural luminous base.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
I only started wearing “real” makeup 4 years ago! Before that, it was only a bit of mascara and sheer tinted lip balm. In 2010, I began experimenting with neutral eye makeup, sheer blush, and soft pink lips to create my very own “minimal” makeup look. When I started Hello Jaa in 2013, I became more adventurous with colors. I probably wear neutral eyes as much as I wear smokey eyes nowadays. I also like to experiment with foundation and concealer. Lip color still remains in the nude, pink and coral zones, though! I rarely wear bold lips unless I’m going out to a party!

Adventures in airbrushing: TEMPTU x Eveline Charles event recap

Saturday, May 2, 2015

TEMPTU primer cleaner thing

I’ve got a lot of exciting new launches on my desk right now, but none that I’m quite finished testing… so, today, I thought I’d do a little event recap of an Eveline Charles event that I stopped by last week.

For those of you who don’t know, Eveline Charles is a line of salons in Alberta with a rather iconic local associated Academy of Aesthetics — hair styling, makeup application, the works. And, to introduce their new airbrush makeup course (which will be taught by TEMPTU-trained instructors), they put on a little beauty event with a presentation by TEMPTU makeup artist Jackie Fan. 

I learned a lot about airbrush makeup at the event, so here’s a little recap of the demonstration!

TEMPTU bridal airbrush makeup tutorial product

TEMPTU makeup kits

Eveline Charles Academy tour 5

Eveline Charles Academy Edmonton entrance

A day/bridal makeup look

The first look of the day was a daytime/bridal makeup, which was really interesting to watch. Jackie started with concealer from the TEMPTU concealer wheel, then mixed a few drops of two different shades of foundation for a perfect match. (A 1/4oz bottle of TEMPTU foundation is good for a whopping 25 faces — apparently you only need about 8 drops to cover the whole face!)

TEMPTU Jackie Fan

TEMPTU’s Jackie Fan

TEMPTU airbrush makeup tricks

Airbrush makeup tricks: airbrushed lips, nose contouring, and brows

Jackie used the S/B silicone-based foundation on the model, which is waterproof with a satin finish. There’s also the water-based AQUA and the alcohol-based DURA, which can last for 3-7 days. (They used Dura on transfer papers for the tattoos on the set of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.) Handily, all three come in different packaging, which is super handy if you’re mixing formulas in your kit! DURA is silicone-free, and both AQUA and S/B contain ‘cones.

Other fun facts that I learned during this session? You can use the blush colours on the lips, and you can airbrush brows with a stencil. (The same stencil is great for shielding the eye area for airbrush eye makeup, and I bet it would make an awesome mascara shield, too!)

Fun fact: TEMPTU brow colours can also be used to airbrush roots, which is a trick that bridal makeup artists will pull out to save the day when the bride or mother of the bride shows up with re-growth!

TEMPTU bridal airbrush makeup tutorial 1

Apparently you can even apply your eyeliner with an airbrush, but the eyes tend to water when you do it, so… maybe opt for a regular eyeliner instead.

Oh! And you can contour the nose really easily with an airbrush — just use your index or middle finger as a shield.

TEMPTU bridal airbrush makeup tutorial before after
The finished bridal makeup look
TEMPTU bottles, airbrush machine

Fantasy makeup look

The second look of the day was a Blade Runner-inspired fantasy look, which Jackie pulled off crazy fast. (Does that mask remind you of anything, by the way?) She started with a black base, then added a gorgeous metallic sheen to the bottom of the mask for added dimension.

Keep reading! »

BISC Vol. 6 | Makeup & Skincare DOs and DON’Ts

Sunday, April 26, 2015

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Makeup / Skincare DOs and DON’Ts

LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash

  1. When it comes to both makeup and skincare, DO know your own face and skin. Your skin type, skin tone, skin behaviour. Nobody knows your skin better than you.
  2. Do your own experiment – mix and match or layer different products. Layer different serums or mix foundation shades. Pull out your inner mad scientist but as a rule of thumb, refer number 1 first.
  3. Don’t be afraid to sample new skincare or new looks. When it comes to makeup especially, it’s more fun to try a variety of looks and explore your own features at the same time.

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

  1. DO treat all acne like face acne. (This is so, so important. I had back acne for years, and it all but disappeared when I started moisturizing my back.)
  2. DON’T try too many new things at once. It’s tempting, but too many new treatments at once can stress out your skin barrier and leave your skin really reactive!
  3. DO bend the rules. Makeup and skincare should be fun! And a little bathroom alchemy never hurt anyone.

SARA | Germany | Color Me Loud

  1. Don’t wear foundation which is too light or too dark compared to the tone of your neck. This one seems to be a common mistake, to the point that it is widely excepted by the brands, so they release their foundations in deeper shades in one part of the world and very light shade in the other. Try not to go with the trend, there is nothing less appealing than your face sticking out of your neck.
  2. Do test out skin care and foundation and actively ask for the shops to provide you with samples. This is especially important if you are going to spend a small fortune on the product. No samples, no purchase!
  3. Don’t (over)plug your eye brows. Later in life you might regret plugging them too much since they get ever more sparse each year.

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AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup

  1. Do emphasize your beauty but don’t conceal it. A lot of people will say that you put on makeup to hide the real you. Don’t. Use makeup to hide imperfections but play up your best features- beautiful eyes, prominent cheek bones, plump lips.
  2. Do step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Red lipstick is not for you? You won’t know until you try it on. Makeup is supposed to be fun, play with it.
  3. Do take good care of your skin. It’s the basis for all your makeup and if your skin isn’t well taken care of, no amount of makeup will cover it. Drink plenty of water, properly cleanse and moisturize your skin.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa

  1. Don’t pop or pick at your pimples to avoid acne scars!
  2. Do apply sunscreen religiously wherever there is sunlight, even when you are indoors.
  3. Don’t share your makeup, especially eye makeup, to prevent contamination and eye infection.
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