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How-to: Blushing & Highlighting

By Victoria, Theatre Makeup Artist

Victoria is a 19-year old college sophomore who attends school in Massachusetts for Engineering, but she’s an avid Theater Makeup Artist and has worked on a variety of shows, from dance shows (think intense, flamboyant glitter) to periodic musicals. She aims to combine her “nerdy” passions with her artistic ones: to overanalyze the mathematics of reshaping the face, learn the science of why a product works better or worse. She’s a romantic dreamer who enjoys re-imagining herself in a soap opera, pretending one day a prince is going to come riding in on a dragon and take her away. Until then, she’s planning to use her makeup brushes and colors to force her friends to be the stars of her imaginary fairy tale.


How-to: Blushing & Highlighting

As a follow-up to my post on contouring, I wanted to discuss how to finish up your look with blush and highlighter. Blush and highlighter really bring life to the face, giving you that sought-after glow. Highlighter has a secondary benefit of really bringing contrast to the shadows, which brings out more of that lovely bone structure.

When do you need blush, highlight, and contour? For me, the answer to blush is always, but what about contour and highlight? If you’re of a darker skintone, like NC/W 45+, skip the contour and stick only with highlight. Contour colours unfortunately rarely run too dark, and you risk the color looking muddy on the face. On the other hand, if you’re lighter skinned, like NC15 and up, be very careful with balance. A dramatic contour and highlight can really sculpt out your features but beware of the risk of looking skeletal.

What You Need

A good directional brush, with a smaller head, or a head the size of the apple of your cheek. The same brush for contouring works perfectly here, so options like the MAC 165, MAC 109, or e.l.f. Blush Brush work perfectly. As for a brush with the head the size of your apple of your cheek, options like the MAC 119 (for smaller apples) or 120 (for rounder apples) are great.

Your favorite highlighter. For more of a glowy effect, choose shimmery highlighters, like Dior’s Amber Diamond, Elf Studio Shimmer Palette, or MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl/Hush. These will give you beautiful glowy finish and really bring your face to life. For a more of dramatic effect, to contrast with the contour, stick with a matte flesh-toned shade that is a step or two lighter than your natural skintone. For this, I turn to powder foundations, or back to my trusty MAC Shape powders, which contain a hint of shimmer (but not too much!). You can definitely layer a shimmer powder over a matte lighter powder, but for natural looks I would avoid this, as it tends to read a bit ashy.

What shades should you choose for highlighter? For a natural highlight, its important to match your undertone with the product. Warmer beauties will find products with a golden or yellow undertone to be really flattering, like Dior Amber Diamond, NARS Albatross, or MAC CCB in Hush. Cooler beauties will find pinker or even lavender toned highlights work great. Look for products like Dior Rose Diamond, NARS Miss Liberty, or MAC CCB in Pearl.

Your favorite blusher. If you’re going with a shimmery highlighter, avoid a blush with too much pearl or frost unless you want to compete with a Twilight vampire for attention!

If we refer back to my original diagram for contouring, it makes finding blusher and highlighter placement is easy!  I like to highlight after contouring; generally, highlighting anywhere where you didn’t contour will help deepen the shadows.

Make a line parallel to the contour line on the top of your cheekbone, and along that line is where the highlight should go. Placing the highlight closer towards your ears will widen your face. Highlighting closer to the apple of the cheek will cause the apples to appear rounder. Whatever you choose, the length of your highlight line should not exceed the length of your contour line; stop highlighting wherever your contour stops.  Then, highlight under the browbone to make the browbone pop, and extend out that highlight to join with your cheekbone highlight. This will help deepen and define the socket, as well as define your cheekbones.

Applying blush last will help to gently blend everything together, but don’t overdo it or else your lines will become muddy and unclear! Blush placement helps reinforce highlighter placement, so apply your blush along a parallel line in between the contour and highlight lines. Don’t smile and apply blush! On many face shapes, this will actually cause the blush placement to be too low. Instead, get some extra lift by applying blush higher along that line. However, if you have a wider face, or you want to soften the cheekbones, apply blush lower along the line, as it will give you an instantly slimmer face.

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Shopping Guide for Canadian Beauty Products

By Sheila, 21, Canada, Global Contributor

Sheila is a Chinese-Canadian blogger in her early twenties with a passion for beauty. You can pretty much find her on Twitter at all waking hours of the day. She makes irrational judgments when it comes to purchasing decisions and would choose a $70 foundation over a $30 blouse any day.  For those who wonder, Sheila has dehydrated normal skin that occasionally breaks out. Her foundation shades are MAC NC25, Chanel B20 Beige Tendre and Guerlain #2. Check out her blog, Maddy Loves!


Shopping Guide for Canadian Beauty Products

If you find yourself shopping for cosmetics in Canada, here is a guide to help you find the brands and products you are looking for. The two main places you should visit are Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Quebec) and Loblaws (or Real Canadian Superstore). These stores offer the widest selection of Canadian beauty and cosmetic products. You will find brands such as Marcelle (one of my favorites) and Annabelle at any of these stores. You can also find Quo, which makes high quality makeup brushes, at all Shoppers Drug Mart locations, as well as Cover FX, Lise Watier and Vasanti. Loblaws/Superstore offers Joe Fresh Beauty exclusively, as well as at Joe Fresh Boutiques (including the one to open on 5th Avenue in New York).

If you happen to have some additional time and you’re in Western Canada, also check out London Drugs, which has extensive cosmetics departments and offer brands such as Lise Watier and Vasanti.

Some websites that ship Canadian beauty products include:

  • Marcelle is one of my favorite beauty brands, and they’ve just recently opened their online store, which ships to Canada and the United States. They offer free shipping for orders over $50, or if your order is under $50, then shipping costs $14.95 to the US and starting from $7.95 within Canada.
  • eBeauty offers a very wide selection of Canadian beauty products that you cannot find elsewhere. They only ship within Canada and they normally offer free shipping with orders over $75, but they often have promotions where free shipping is offered with orders of $25 or more.
  • Vasanti Cosmetics’ online shop ships worldwide! They have their entire lineup of products available online with very reasonable shipping rates starting at $7 for Canada and the US and $13 for international. Their lip products are highly recommended, as well as their Liquid Cover-Up foundation and concealer in one.

 

Generally, prices in Canada for non-Canadian brands are anywhere between 10-40% higher than the United States for the same product. If you are going to be visiting the United States, I would recommend waiting to purchase the products there. We also tend to get products later than the United States, so not everything that is out in the US is already out in Canada!

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What We’re Wearing, Vol. 051

What We’re Wearing, Vol. 051

By default, it was kind of my favorite since I wasn’t able to capture anything else I happened to wear this week on camera.  This is NYX Almond Roll-On Shimmer on eyes, Tom Ford Lovelust Blush on cheeks, and Milani Photo Flash on lips.  I can’t remember what eyeliner I was wearing here!

What was your favorite look you wore this week?

Guerlain Les Gris Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Gris Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Les Gris Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Gris Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Gris Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) consists of four eyeshadows that center around a cool-toned, gray theme.  Guerlain’s eyeshadow formula doesn’t always hit all the bells and whistles for me, even though their color selections are rarely off.  The textures of these shades are soft, smooth, and decadent, but the payoff could be a little more intense.  Without a primer, these wear for around eight hours with just slight creasing, and with a primer, there’s no creasing even after twelve hours.

The first shade, on the very left of the palette, is a brown-based gray with a satin-matte finish; it’s not quite matte, but the satin sheen is very subtle. It shares the qualities of most mattes in that it tends to perform better applied than it does swatched. When swatched, there’s some sheerness and dryness, but once applied, it goes on soft and smooth, and that dryness transforms to blendability on the eye. It looks a bit like MAC Scene but without the bluish tone. Chanel Gris Exquis is a couple of steps lighter with less brown in it.

The top shade is a pale gray-taupe; it’s on the edge of taupe, but both the silvery-gray sheen and lightness of it make it appear grayer overall. It has more of a soft, frosted finish, because it has both noticeable shimmer and sheen. The texture is soft and light, and the pigmentation is good. MAC Hold That Pose has a slightly rosy tint in comparison. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit has a shade very similar to this, perhaps slightly warmer.

The bottom shade is a dark navy blue with cool undertones and a frosted finish. There’s a subdued quality about the color that makes it less like your average navy blue (which is gorgeous still!). The color reminded me a bit of MAC Prussian, but the finishes are very different.

The last shade, which is on the right side of the palette, is a silver with hints of brown wrapped in a metallic finish that’s just shy of being foil-like. It has a larger shimmer compared to the other two shimmery shades in the palette, though it is not chunky or prone to fall out. The color payoff is good. It’s lighter than theBalm Muppetational. It’s similar to Bobbi Brown Silver when it’s used dry.

Guerlain Les Gris Eyeshadow Palette

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

Make Up For Ever #1K Khol Pencil

Make Up For Ever #1K Khol Pencil
Make Up For Ever #1K Khol Pencil

Make Up For Ever #1K Khol Pencil

Make Up For Ever #1K Khol Pencil ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “deep black.”  It’s a rich black with a creamy finish; no real sheen or shine, so it appears mostly matte once applied.  This liner from the brand is supposed to be “exceptionally smooth” and work well for both the lash line and lower water line. According to Sephora, it is a blend of vegetable lipids, vitamin E, mango seed oil, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and jojoba oil.  When I tried to figure out just how long this was supposed to wear, Make Up For Ever actually said for long-lasting results to dust a loose powder or use their makeup seal over it.

The pencil is, however, designed to be used on the upper and lower rims, or the waterlines, which is why it has such a creamy texture.  The Khol Pencil (which is how it’s spelled on the pencil, but on their website, they write it as Kohl Pencil) glides across the lash line/water line effortlessly, because it has such a soft, creamy consistency that helps it deliver intense color in a single pass.  This is a very smudgeable eyeliner, though I didn’t find that it would run, smudge, or migrate when I wore it.

When I tested it on the waterline, it lasted for four hours or so, but it held up better on the lower lash line and made it to eight hours with most of it intact.  Despite the eyeliner disappearing on the waterline after four hours, it doesn’t migrate or wind up underneath your lash line.  I did dust on a smidgen of black eyeshadow on top of the lower waterline to see if it would improve the wear, which it did, though it extended the wear to five hour and a half hours.

Make Up For Ever Kohl Pencil #1K
#1K
#1K
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

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