Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Alicia Keys Inspired Turban Hijab Style

Hey Guys!!

This is my first YouTube video! Please take a look, like,
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Sunday, June 26, 2016

I am Anastasia

I finally got my hands on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Catnip.

I know I waited awhile to get in on the buzz-worthy product. To be fair, Sephora kept selling out on the popular colours especially during the VIB sale.

I have a thing for pink and berry colours.  After seeing various Instagram pictures, I decided on Catnip. It seemed to be the perfect pinkish-berry colour. And, it is. The colour is nice, dark, and not overly flashy.

The pros of this product: longevity.  Once this product touches your lip, it's almost like a tattoo. The colour won't budge. It lasts almost the whole day. My lips even looked decent after eating.  The colour turned into a dark lip stain.

When I tried it on for the first time, I made the mistake of putting too much on. I couldn't blot it out. The liquid lipstick dries quickly. I would say that's a con, you can't fix your mistakes with this product. Once it's on, it's on.

So, I suggest for first-timers dab a little. It goes a long way. And, if you want a darker colour then keep adding until you get the intensity you want.

Also, I have dry lips, and this product didn't emphasize it. I wouldn't say the liquid lipstick is moisturizing, but it doesn't aggravate the dryness.

Product yah or nah? Yah!!!!!!!!!

* Note, I decided to put some history behind the title of this post. The last royal family of Russia was the House of Romanov.  They were executed by the Bolshevik, the Communist Party, in 1918. 

However, many years later someone named Anna Anderson claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia (from the Romanov family) who survived the execution. 'I'm Anastasia' she said. It turned out she was nothing but an imposter. This story inspired the Hollywood film 'Anastasia'.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Royal Treatment

All eyes were on Kate Middleton just as much it was on her new baby, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Just hours after giving birth, Kate Middleton definitely looked great. A little too good that people began weaving conspiracy theories. Rumours spiralled from Russia stating that Kate looked ‘too beautiful’ to have given birth and the baby wasn’t really a newborn. It must have been born a few days prior. Others said that she was never pregnant and had a surrogate mother to carry the future princess.

Well, maybe she had a really good glam team. Kate has naturally curly hair and she had her hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker on board to do her hair right after she gave birth. In fact, the hairdresser saw the little princess before the grandparents.

Amanda Cook Tucker, hairstylist to the Dutchess of Cambridge

Not everyone can have a team to get us ready for any impromptu events, but anyone can buy the beauty products she uses.

It is said that her glow is credited to Bobby Brown’s Brightening Finishing Powder, perhaps in nude colour. It’s an iridescent powder that adds shimmer that's applied over the foundation.

Bobbi Brown Brightening Powder in Nude

Worried about getting baggy eyes, she been using Bobbi Brown’s eye creams, and concealers. She also uses Bobbi Brown’s eyebrow powder to thicken her eyebrows, lip liner, and blush pink lipstick. You can buy Bobbi Brown products at Sephora or Holt Renfew in Canada.

The make up brands, and even her nail polishes, are not over the top pricey.  I expected her to use higher end products like La Prairie foundation that I've heard makes Beyonce’s skin look like silk. The pricey product that Kate does use is this Bee Venom Face cream by Deborah Mitchell for about $100. But, that is not nearly as expensive as La Prairie.

For five years, Kate has been getting her nails done by manicurist Marina Sandoval. The Duchess usually opts for natural looking nails. For the royal wedding, Sandoval painted Kate’s nails with a mix of Essie polish in Allure and Bourjois' So Laque ultra-shine nail polish in Rose Lounge. 

So, these are some of the products you can use to look great.

...But then again not everyone can look great post-birth like Kate. In Jan 2015, Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a baby girl that is also named Charlotte. Chelsea definitely looked like she came out of some intensive labour with her hospital badges tied to her wrist (Royals don't need to wear hospital identifications), unkept hair, and puffy face. With her father racking in big bucks from appearances and her mother may  become the next President of the United States, Chelsea has money and access to the 'Royal Treatment' if she wanted it.

Or, maybe the Russians are right about the Duchess.




Friday, March 20, 2015

Red is the New Black - How to Mask Dark Circles

You probably seen or read about Deepica Mutyala's tip about using red lipstick to conceal dark circles. It's pretty cool and yes, it does work.

This is this old beauty trick that has been becoming very popular lately. I learned something similar to this when I was in beauty school. We did it with a salmon based colour to conceal dark circles.

I’ve tried this on clients before, but I have never tried before or even thought about using red lipstick.

Dark circles are a big beauty issue for many South Asian girls and it can be difficult to cover up.

The mistake many women do is use a very light concealer to cover up, which results in a chalky, often cakey and ghostly appearance that doesn’t exactly look attractive. The trick is to use a salmon or reddish colour to cancel out the darkness and then using your regular concealor on top of it.

It sounds weird but it works. Especially with a salmon colour it provides a warmth tone to the cool area. 

So, I thought I recreate this myself by using two different methods by using a salmon colour and a red lipstick to conceal my dark circles.  I used Face Atelier Pro Ultra Foundation in Heat. It's a liquid foundation that is an orangey-salmon colour. I also used MAC cream sheen red lipstick in Dare You.

I gently dab the Face Atelier foundation around my eye. You can see the other side without any makeup. I look like I got punched in the face.

Here's a close-up:

Next I gently blended it in by using a Beauty Blender.

Now I am trying the MAC lipstick.

(Warning: This doesn't look attractive!)

This is how it looks, the two sides blended. The MAC lipstick technique is on the left. Face Atelier Heat is used on the right.  As you can see it provides a warmth tone to the area. The key is to blend the colour into the skin by using either your fingers, a sponge, or a brush. I do like using the beauty blender to blend it all in.

Now, put your regular concealer on top.

Now, this is the final product.

The key is to blend everything well and to use less product. Depending on the darkness of the area, you don't need that much red or salmon colour to cancel out the black. 

I personally don't like the idea of using lipstick around my eye area. Lipsticks are pretty creamy and thick and your eye area is pretty delicate with thin skin. You don't want to use too much chemicals around your eye. 

And to take off the makeup, you have to be pretty gentle as well. So, I suggest applying the product with a brush around your eye area. It is important to note that it does take a bit more time to blend lipstick around your eye than foundation. I personally like using the foundation product instead of a lipstick because it's not as thick.  But, the lipstick idea is handy if you already have one at hand, eliminating the need to buy another product. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Prince and Hermione Granger

Can you believe that Emma Watson and Prince Harry are dating?

She's definitely an attractive and intelligent woman. It's no surprise that Prince Harry is smitten by her. She's a spokesperson for Lancome, so what are her beauty tips?

1. Use a nude liner around your lips instead an obvious red one. Watson once remarked how a make-up artist outlined her lips with a nude pencil to give her the perfect shape. This is an awesome tip, sometimes it's hard to give that perfect outline when you use a bright red lip liner. As pretty as a red lip liner can be, any mistakes are quite noticeable. Nude lip liners are great for beginners or for the gal on the go. 

Try L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Nudes for Life

2. She's a fan of Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover, of course she has to like Lancome/L'Oreal products. It's definitely a popular product. Watson commented on how well it removes make-up without having to scrub her eyes out. 

The key is to be very gentle when removing your eye make up. Soak a cotton ball with eye makeup remover and gently press it into your lashes to get rid of mascara and wipe away any eye makeup. Do not rub or scrub it away!! Stay away from waterproof eye make up for everyday use since it's a hassle to wash off. I only recommend it on special occasions.  The skin around your eyes is thin so if you are rough around that area it causes crow lines.  I know, sometimes my mind is on a different planet whenever I remove my makeup. But, I try to be focused when I wash off my eye makeup. Stay focus and be gentle!

I personally prefer Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. It's cheaper, you get a lot more product, and it does the job well. Body Shop often have sales. I have purchased this baby for $10 a couple of times on sale. Body Shop does offer promotions via those deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon. So, take advantage of those.

3. She wears Lancôme Vernis in Love Nail Polish in Gris Angora. She loves the cool grey colour. 

A better option is Chanel Le Vernis Nail Polish in Frenzy. The Le Vernis nail polishes do not have formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. Another option is Essie's Chinchilly, which is much cheaper.

Chanel Frenzy, picture courtesy of Huda Beauty

4. She brushes her locks with a Mason Pearson Brush. I need to try one of these.

5. Make-up artist Linda Cantello taught her a cool trick when removing a mascara blunder. Take a cotton ball and dip it into some foundation. Then dab it on the mascara mistake, pretty nifty. 



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Fountain of Youth

Today is Christie Brinkley's birthday, can you believe she just turned 61? Impossible I tell you! 

Naturally, I became very curious about her beauty and skin care routine. Of course, she probably got some work done. But it doesn't seem like she went overboard. She still looks like herself. Looking at her pictures over the years, she hasn't changed all that much.   

Celebs like Vivica A. Fox, Melanie Griffin, and Meg Ryan definitely overdid it with plastic surgery, which gave them a rather comical and even manly look. 

So, what is Christie doing?  What can I do now, so I can look great at that age?

Reading an article from Harper Bazaar she offered some good tips to look young that anyone can follow.

1. She drinks lots of water! Water flushes out toxins through sweating and urinating.  It also improves and hydrates your skin. Since, water is hydrating, it helps getting rid of wrinkles. Drinking lots of water is probably the best natural anti-aging treatment out there! Even though I know this, I don't really drink 8 glasses of water a day. I must put this on my to do list.

2. She uses simple products! I expected her to use products like La Prairie or Creme de la Mer, but she doesn't. She actually uses a drugstore product, Olay's Regenerist line. She also uses a Clarins neck cream. Moisturizing your neck is very important. Women often focus on their face that they neglect their neck. I don't necessarily recommend a separate neck cream, unless you got money like Brinkley and can splurge otherwise you can do with your regular face cream and apply it on your neck. This is I always do. And, it's important to massage your cream gently into your face and then move in an upward motion on your neck, an effleurage. 

3. She protects her skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen everyday. I do this obsessively, and I avoid the sun like the plague. When I worked the beauty counters, the number question I get from women is 'what is the best wrinkle cream, I have wrinkles.' After questioning them about their skincare routine and habits, each one of them admitted to sunbathing. Tanning is probably the worst thing you can do; you are damaging your skin and  caused unnecessary wrinkles. Avoid the sun.

Now, her make-up routine for her everyday look is pretty simple. The products she loves to use aren't that expensive.

Foundation: Giorgio Armani and she uses a Nars Illuminator

Eyes: Brown liner and black mascara from Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, or Nars. 

Lips: Nude glosses from Bobbi Brown in Bronzed Heather. To make her lips appear big, she lines them up with Laura Mercier Lip Liner in Chestnut and applies one of Tom Ford's pale lipsticks. 

Bobbi Brown in Bronzed Heather
Laura Mercier Lip Liner in Chestnut 

She even does her own manicures and pedicures! it's all because she has no patience to sit and get her nails done.  She uses pale colours on her fingers and red nail polish on her toes from Essie or Deborah Lippmann.

For her hair, she admits to using hair extensions. Her hair used to be thick but after each pregnancy her hair thinned out.  She only shampoos and conditions her hair every other day. This is really good, I wouldn't recommend anyone to wash their hair everyday as this will strip your hair from its' natural oils..  She uses Fekkai Salon Technician Color Care, and applies a root volumizer from Pantene Pro-V or Kérastase Paris. To achieve volume, she rough-dries her hair upside down. 

For her body, she moisturizes with Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Soufflé Body Crème. She says the scent is so good, she gets so many compliments and it became her fragrance as well.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Being Ardent about Argan Oil

My favourite oil to use is argan. I use it both night and day, and it’s a great oil to add to my moisturizer during the dry winter season.

A lot of celebrities use argan oil. Eva Mendes once said "argan oil from Morocco is my total skin secret.”

What is Argan oil?

It is derived from an argan nut that only grows in southwestern Morocco. Argan oil helps to soothe patchy skin and adds shine to lackluster hair. It’s richer in Vitamin E than olive oil, and it is full of fatty acids. This makes argan oil one of nature's most effective moisturizers.

Argan oil feels smooth and silky and absorbs into the skin and hair in a few minutes. It softens everything.

How to use it?

Since argan is considered a dry oil, it absorbs quickly into the skin and it’s not greasy. If you want to use it as a serum, apply your night cream after the oil absorbs into the skin. You should use argan oil sparingly, just a few drops is required. Rub the product into the palms of your hands gently before applying it to your skin.

You can also add argan oil to your hair conditioner by applying it to your ends of your hair, and leaving it in for about half an hour before rinsing it off.

What skin type is argan oil good for?

Many people think that oil will clog pores and cause skin to break out. Argan oil does not cause skin to break out. In fact, it’s gentle enough to use on all skin types. It can help relieve acne and eczema. Compare to creams, oil contains less preservative and additives and that can irritate the skin. So, oil can be a better option for many people.  

What to look for when purchasing argan oil?

Look for 100% argan oil or argania spinosa oil. If anything else is listed in the ingredient list then the argan oil is not 100% pure. Most importantly the oil should be contained in a solid bottle not clear since light can break down argan oil’s healing properties.

Since, the nut is not common and only grows in Morocco, and it’s an arduous process to produce 100% pure argan oil, the product is not cheap.  Expect to spend about $30 to $50 on argan oil, depending on the amount. Anything less than $30 means the product is probably not pure.

Also, the product should have a slight nutty scent. It shouldn’t be odourless, if it is the product is not good.

My number one favourite argan oil is Pure and Simple's Holistic Vanity Restorative Raw Argan Oil. I was first introduced to this product by Dalila from her spa in downtown Oakville, La Fleur de France. By the way, I highly recommend her spa!

The Pure and Simple's argan oil comes in a solid bottle where no light can penetrate the product. So, your argan oil stays safe.

Also, you get more argan oil for your money from Pure and Simple than Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, which I find to be overpriced. 

Even though Josie’s argan oil comes in a dark bottle, it’s still clear and light can penetrate. Therefore, this affects the product's healing properties. I don’t recommend Josie Maran’s argan oil. 

New Roots Argan Oil is cheap, about $15 Canadian, and it's not 100% pure at all. It’s mixed with Vitamin E. I don’t recommend this brand. 

Where to buy Pure and Simple's Holistic Vanity Restorative Raw Argan Oil:

http://www.lafleurdefrance.com  -- awesome spa!


Or check out any of Pure and Simple's suppliers or spa locations: