Brighter Days Ahead

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(image: Lupita Nyong’o for Fashion Times)

Spring is just around the corner. And what I am looking forward to the most is trading in my heavy winter jumpers to my stylish trench coats and light kimonos (because KIMONO = LOVE!) I see breezy, mostly sunny skies in our forecast. So it clearly calls for a beauty overhaul. This is the opportune time to swap not only your style catalogue but also your make up wardrobe. And the mission:

beauty that is simple, effortless and practical but with a pinch of fun!

Pretty things that you need to add to your beauty boudoir to kick yourself into Spring high gear are…

THE ESTEE EDIT Beam Team Hydrate and Glow

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This is a light-as-a-feather moisturizer that provides a subtle glow on the skin. The words “IN LOVE” won’t even cut it. Whenever I am on my errand days, this my go to! It just gives my skin a healthy glow. It is infused with Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate the skin and it not formulated with parabens. It is perfectly paired with a mini touch-on illuminator as well good for the “glow on the go” days and it comes in two colours to HUG all skin types! (Sephora, $49CAD)

LANCOME Juicy Shaker

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A lip oil that leaves lips hydrated with a subtle tint. Where do I even begin? What I love most about this product is its simplicity and no mess applicator cushion. Comfortable to wear, it envelops the lips with nourishing oils and colour. Non-sticky and it comes in different scents and pigments to cater to your spirit and personality. *wink* (Lancome.com, $28)

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon

Matte gel eyeliner that provides an intense colour pay-off. One word that I can use to describe this product is OBSESSION. It is pure obsession! If only money could grow on trees, my Sephora haul would include ALL of the colours from this collection. They are soft and effortless to apply. Versatile and playful, one can create so many looks and eye makeup styles. And the wear makes it worth the $$$! (Sephora, $31)

Have lovely days ahead my sweets!

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New Year’s Resolutions: Beauty Edition

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I am not keen on making resolutions. For one, the upkeep is quite demanding and secondly, I am not the greatest at following through. Big thanks to my free-spirit loving Sagittarius nature! But there are some things worth keeping in mind and that is your wellness. And honey! It shows on your skin.

As you may have noticed, it has been quite awhile since my last post. Well, I was going on an adventure called “paying my bills.” Do you really think writing is a great source of stable income? Haha! God bless if you do! So as I was kicking butt at working life, I have picked up little reminders along the way and would love to share it with you:

1.) STOP, HYDRATE, REPEAT

This is a no brainer. Hydration is probably the best thing you could ever do for your skin. And yes, you can drink your 8 glasses (plus wine!) a day. But I am telling you that is not enough. You see, only a small percentage of that goes to your skin. Most of the H20 are being hogged by your internal organs like a pack of mean girls. That is why the skincare gods have blessed us with hydrating serums. Yes, use them! Some hydrating serums have the technology to retain moisture in the skin. They are expensive for a reason. Haha! But for us cheapskates and poor souls, Laneige Water Bank Serum would suffice. (Sephora.ca, $46) It is packed with minerals to keep skin hydrated for 24 hours. WIN!

2.) ADD BERRIES TO EVERYTHING. LITERALLY EVERYTHING

You name it: cereal, yogurt, your grocery list, your mid-afternoon or late snacks, your water, your ice, on your boyfriend or girlfriend and even on your pizza (Because pizza is life!). Start popping them like your vitamins. Make it a good habit like exercise. They are full of antioxidants which is not only good for your skin but also for your burnt out soul.

3.) SPF IS YOUR NEW BFF

Dearest [please insert name here],

Your skin is not invincible. Go slather that SPF. Wear hats. Stop going to tanning beds. You will thank me later.

x,

Gracie

4.) TO CONCERTS YOU MUST GO!

This is heavily inspired by an aphorism from the book “How To Be Parisian” by Anne Berest et al. These Parisian goddesses said it best, “Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.” I don’t know about you, but concerts give me the ultimate high. You may smell of sweat, beer and possibly some kind of strange paraphernalia that you may or may not have taken but you will come out of there feeling refreshed. Grooving to your favourite music is the best mental and physical detox there is!

5.) STOP LISTENING TO “SOME” BEAUTY VLOGGERS AND START LISTENING TO YOUR SKIN

Yup. I said it! And you heard me right! Beauty vloggers are a great source of useful and/or practical advice but one must be wary as there are a lot of BS out there. The world of cyberspace can be a bit overwhelming. We live in the information age girlfriend! One can get information A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E even from your creepy neighbor Steve. But the key is getting in tuned with what you really need versus what is trending. Go to your nearest spa, pull up Yelp for reviews, research and never look back.

People worth following though:

Shonagh Scott

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Stephanie Lange

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Happy New Years lads and lasses! x

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Hawaii and Summer’s Day Beauty Favourites

If there is one thing I would’ve done differently, it would be to pack less in the beauty department. That was the main goal until a surge of panic overcame me and my conscious mind started asking questions like “What if we had to go to dinner and in need of a rockin’ smoky eye?” or “What if my powder doesn’t have enough coverage?” A woman’s brain indeed – am I right ladies?

So I ended up bringing all of these:

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I have equal love for all of my beauty products and I treat each piece as if it were a valuable art piece. So when my husband and I found out that the airline lost our luggage, my heart sank because most of my precious liquid and cream makeup was in our checked bag. Those were not my best moments but thank goodness, God had our backs and we were reunited with our luggage.

Those kind of experiences teach you a few things – that there is Costco and Walmart in every corner to save your bum from the first 24 hours and to try to pack a carry-on and as little as much as possible. Believe me, I try EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

This goes to all of my beauty essentials. I may have packed it all but only ended up using what I needed. My go-to’s most days were the following and should be in your summer beauty kit.

BARE MINERALS COMPLEXION RESCUE GEL TINTED HYDRATING GEL CREAM

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A perfect way to lightly even out your skin on a warm, sunny day is with a good tinted moisturizer. I love this product because aside from its “barely-there” feel and hydration factor, it is also infused with marine botanicals and heart-leaf globe daisy to energize, replenish and protect skin. It also has SPF 30!

ELATE COSMETICS BAMBOO POWDER, BLUSH AND/OR BRONZER COMPACT

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One simply cannot forgo simplicity especially when going to the tropics. What I love most about this compact is its dual compartments which makes it customizable to your needs. I decided to fashion mine with Elate Cosmetics Fix Pressed Powder in Tawny and Flushed Pressed Cheek Colour in Sunkiss Bronzer. The pressed powder is infused with grounded argan shell powder and coconut extract powder to hydrate and nourish. It also has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which gives it sun protection factor.

ANNABELLE COSMETICS BLUSHON POWDER IN HIBISCUS

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There were days where I would just go out with just complexion and bronzer. But as soon as I brushed my cheeks with this baby, it just gave me the perfect summer flush. It goes on smooth and provided a lovely youthful glow.

May summer bring you endless sunshine and new adventures!

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#JungleQueen: Your Official Summer Mood


 

Life is a jungle. Ever luscious yet full of uncertainty. And in the midst of it all there is YOU, a beauty survivalist. You go through the journey relying on your own resources and sometimes, your squad. Because life wasn’t meant to be trekked alone. You may get beat down but you get up again. And you make sure you look damn good doing it!

#JungleQueen – that is what you are. You embrace obstacles, sometimes with procrastination but you stare it right in the face. And of course, like a true goddess that you are, you work hard to look the part. Looking this good have never felt so great.

Inspired by tropical heat and colours of the season, I bring you your summer mood – a beauty lookbook that exhibits warm Hawaiian days and sizzling Ibiza nights.

Photography, Makeup and Hair by Grace Welch | instagram_icon_by_poserfan-d6ur05a @wakeupandvogue
Model: Rachel H. |  instagram_icon_by_poserfan-d6ur05a @rachelalexishiggins

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The quick how-to:

  • I warmed up Rachel’s skin by applying Honey Bronze Tinted Face Gel by The Body Shop (TheBodyShop.ca, $18).
  • To even out her skin without compromising her beautiful freckles, I applied a sheer amount of Ultra HD Foundation by Makeup For Ever  (Sephora.com, CAD$52) all over the face then lightly applied Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener (Sephora.com, CAD$28) under the eyes.
  • To bring out the shape and colour of her eyes, I applied warmer, golden tones from the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette on the lids (TooFaced.com, CAD$67) then one coat of Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay (Urbandecay.ca, $27) on the lashes.
  • For an all over glow, I highlighted cheeks with the ABH Glow Kit in That Glow (AnastasiaBeverlyHills.com, USD$40) followed by swiping Soleil Matte Bronzer by Too Faced ($38) on the side of the forehead, cheeks and jaw line.
  • Then I finished the whole look by swiping her lips with Essence Long Lasting Lipstick in Coral Calling (EssenceMakeup.com, $2.99) then Elate Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Sprightly (ElateCosmetics.ca, $18) on top.

 

Coachella-Inspired Beauty For Those Staying at Home

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Wishing you could be in Coachella this weekend? Well, you and I both sister! Since we have to work (or not) this weekend, why don’t we wallow on our sorrows with homemade cold sangrias, some good ol’ summer 2016 tunes and put on our best sunshine weather beauty look. We don’t need to be surrounded by celebrities and buy overpriced drinks when we can have our own Coachella at the comfort of our own patio.

LESS IS BEST

When it comes to hot weather, let us be real. Everything will just melt off your face. So less is definitely more. You probably have been told that a million times and it will never get old. NEVER! So drop baking, cream contouring and just CTFD! Opt for BB’s and the CC’s for a lighter coverage. Embrace that freckle! It is freaking adorbs!

On my “Getting this on my payday!” list:

ESTEE LAUDER DayWear BB Anti-Oxidant Crème with SPF 35

Estee Lauder Day BB cream

Light hydrating cream that protects and perfects skin with one swipe.  Packed with antioxidants to nourish and keep free-radicals at bay. (Sephora.com, CAD$48)

SIGNATURE POUT

I do not know about you but I love me some colour. Summer is the best time to get playful and get out of your comfort zone. Say buh-bye to nudes for now and take your pick from peaches, corals and sunny pinks!

My Summer lippy go-to:

TOO FACED Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick in Feelin’ Myself

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Great colour to match your Summer glow. Compliments well with bronzed skin and neutral eyes + jewel-toned liners. I paired it with Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in no. 23 Summer Cruise (a turquoise colour) and I got a lot of oooohs and aaaaaahs. Make sure to exfoliate, protect and hydrate your lips as the formula can leave it cracking and parched! (Toofaced.com, $28)

GRAPHIC EYELINERS

“Go big or go home!” as strangers would say. At this point, it is literal. We are not in Coachella and staying right at home because we are way too busy perfecting our graphic liner craft! And it takes more than a flick and a schwiiiing to get it right. Since you are the hostess of the coolest patio party ever, your wings need to be on point girl!

My saving grace:

KAT VON D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown

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This is a great way to break away from the traditional black liquid liner. I simply love how versatile the painter’s brush tip is. One can create a fine, sophisticated winged liner to a bold, dramatic look. Application is smooth and formula is long-wearing but not ultra-waterproof.

SKIN DRINK

Drinking lots of H2o can do wonders for your body and skin. But for instant gratification, why not grab your favourite facial spray to keep you calm and cool-lected. Because we all know you will be hydrating with mimosas this season!

My weapon of choice :

CAUDALIE Grape Water

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Makeup artists and soccer moms alike are raving about it. Rich in minerals, it doubles up as anti-inflammatory and will keep skin nourished and hydrated all day. I use it in line with my serum for easy application plus a boost of Super XL hydration! (Sephora.com, CAD$14)

5 Timeless Reds That Will Unleash Your Inner Superhero

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A friend once told me there is a certain kind of power one possesses when wearing red lipstick. People tend to pay closer attention to what is being said because the main focal point are the lips. From personal experience, I think there is a certain truth to this statement. Every time I wear it, I feel bolder, sexier and just a little bit more gutsier.

I remember browsing through the web and finding a movie titled “Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy” starring Sarah Chalke. The film tells a story of a 27 year old woman named Geralyn Lucas who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though faced with uncertainty, she chose to rely on sense of humor and her handy red lipstick for courage to confront the disease. The movie completely changed my beauty perspective! It just shows that we can be a little braver with just one swipe of lip colour.

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A lipstick is more than just a tool for vanity. It keeps us smiling. It makes us opinionated. It lets us love purely and makes us make love wildly. It is moody, trendy and everything in between. It pushes us beyond our limits, unleashes our alter-ego and creates a certain persona. We do only live once. So why not be our very own everyday superhero!

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Pretty in Pink is Not Dead

There is a certain aura the colour pink emanates. It is pleasing to the eye and brings forth femininity. To some, it is a symbol of courage, romance and empowerment. But for others, it is a curse. It is either too girly or too muted. The key to rocking it is the strike of balance and finding a way to personalize it.

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