Category Archives: How to

Trend Alert: Fall Eyebrows

Let’s face it – your eyebrows can either make you or break you. Beautifully groomed and properly shaped eyebrows can make a face look complete. So say goodbye to thin, over-tweezed eyebrows, because Fall 2011 is all about the natural (which I love) almost “boyish” eyebrow. The projected makeup trends are all about the defined eyebrow – darkened in with black (not brown!) pencil (or shadow) – which I absolutely love and rock on a daily basis thanks to my South Asian roots. So, if you’re not born with a thick and lush set of brows – no problem, after all that is why we have makeup!

Before - No Makeup


After - Natural Glam Makeup - with Groomed Eyebrows

Remember, when defining your eyebrows, it is always best to start with a good tweezer – specifically a tweezer that has a tip that is pointed or slanted. Here are three steps that I follow (remember, if you’re not sure – go see a professional before you begin tweezing!).
1- Imagine a vertical line going up from the outside of your nostril towards your forehead. The inner part of the eyebrow should hit this imaginary line.
2- A straight line going out from the outside corner of your nostril past the outer corner of your eye marks the end of your eyebrow (almost at a 45 degree angle to line 1).
3- Your arch should be found approximately two thirds of the way from your inner eyebrow.

I personally do not like the look that a pencil gives when used to fill in eyebrows because I find it a little too harsh and doesn’t look very natural. Instead, I opt for an eyeshadow or eyebrow-powder. After foundation (but before any eyeshadow is put on), I define eyebrows. The first step that I do is using an eyebrow gel (or clear mascara) I brush the hairs in place – this leaves them looking groomed. I then fill the eyebrows in with a brown eyeshadow (depending on ones hair colouring) with a slanted eyebrow brush.

Remember, clean and groomed eyebrows will perfectly compliment and complete any makeup look. So if you’re a huge fan of thick eyebrows, grab some eyeshadow and an eyebrow brush and get to work!

The Retro Winged Eye – Revisited

I seem to be getting a lot of comments on the Retro Winged Eyeliner look that I did back in November. It’s definitely a favourite among many of my readers, and I’ve been asked to give a step by step tutorial on how to achieve such a look.

Retro Winged Eyeliner


Don’t be mistaken by the simplicity of this look – while yes, the face (base) is quite simple the eyes do take a lot of effort (most of the difficulty lies in having both eyes be identical).

Retro Winged Eyeliner


What you will need (for the eyes):
1- A cream eye liner (I used the Stilla Smudgepot – but any cream liner will use). I suggest you use a cream liner over a liquid liner (or the tip of a liquid eyeliner) because it doesn’t provide a lot of control, especially with a look like this. When applying liner – rest your elbows on a countertop. This will help steady your arm and give you a more controlled line.
2- An eyeliner brush
3- Mascara
4- False eyelashes (this is optional – however, my model is wearing individual false eyelashes).

Retro-Winged Eyeliner

Step 1: Apply the base foundation with a brush (I use the Sephora’s Professional Platinum Foundation Brush). Set it with powder. Make sure that you apply foundation on the lips – this look goes well with a very neutral and nude look.
Step 2: The cheeks are left very bare – no blush is used. On the hollows of the cheeks however, I used a bronzing powder. My favourite bronzing powder is MAC’s Deeper Refined Bronze.
Step 3: Now that our base is done, we can move on to the eyes. With a fluffy brush, apply a nude coloured eyeshadow all over the eyelid.
Step 4: Fill in eyebrows with a matte brown eyeshadow and an eyebrow brush. For my model, I used Kat Von D’s Leather (available in almost all of her eyeshadow palettes). This is a dark brown – and worked with my model’s colouring (hair and skin). If you are lighter skinned with lighter hair – use a matte brown that is slightly lighter.
Step 5: Taking your eyeliner brush, use your bottom lash line as a guide to start drawing you line on the top of your eyelid. When you get to the outer corner of your eye, pretend you are extending the lower lash line towards your brow by making small flick to extend it.
Step 6: If you wish to thicken up the line – go over the eyeliner with more eyeliner. The flick is key in this look.
Step 7: Make sure that both eyes are even and add mascara. If you wish to add false eyelashes – do so. This will give you a more dramatic look and open up your eyes.

Golden Hues

Before - No Makeup

I’ve always been in love with gold – probably due to my Indian upbringing. My favourite use of the colour gold is in makeup – gold eyeshadow, golden bronzer even gold tinted lipgloss, I love it all.
The best thing about gold and makeup is that it completely channels summer with sunkissed eyes, lips and cheeks. Since we’re sitting in the middle of winter here in Montreal (seriously, is it spring yet?), I decided to include some summer in my life (and Dena’s life! – afterall what’s better than summer in Montreal?) with a very simple golden look.

After - Golden Hues

However, I decided not to completely bathe Dena in golds – after all, it isn’t summer yet and we’re not partying in the south of Spain (unfortunately). Instead I opted for a golden eye, with a darkened crease and a soft pink lip. To play up the drama a little bit more, I included heavy eyeliner and a lot of mascara which made the blues of Dena’s eyes pop. The results were warm and pretty – hot enough to melt away anyone’s winter blues.

This is a very simple look that anyone can recreate. Following your normal base routine (foundation, concealer and powder), I used NARS Orgasm blush on the apples of the cheek and Tarte’s Park Avenue Princess bronzer for contouring (in the hollows of the cheeks). For the eyes I used two colours for this look (that’s it – only two colours) – the predominant colour being Mac’s Goldmine with Kat Von D’s Lucifer in the crease and outer “V” of the eyes. I lined her lashline with Stila’s Smudgepot, and used Benefit’s BadGal Mascara (a review on this product to come this week). I kept it simple with her lips, lining them with an Annie Young lipliner in Candy followed by a lipstick in the same brand called Glamour – although any matte pink will do the trick.

After - Golden Hues


After - Golden Hues

Foundation, foundation, foundation!

Okay, so I wasn’t born with the best skin – definitely a genetic trait – and I am always secretly envious of girls who have flawless, perfect skin. I battled with teenage acne, which resulted in a few scars, which leads to discolouration. I’ve seen worse, and I’ve seen far better – so, not to be my own worst critic for once, I’ll say that my skin is in between. However to me, my uneven skin and few scars have caused a slight complex and I now can’t leave the house without putting something on to cover up my skin.

I’ve always hated girls who cake on their foundation, especially now a days when there are so many options (from light/minimal coverage to meduim coverage to heavy coverage). Leave the heavy foundations for bigger events and for every day use opt for a light to meduim coverage foundation (if you’re lucky enough to not need foundation, or not care enough to wear foundation – well, skip this entirely!) – but with so many options to choose from it can be overwhelming.

Nars - Sheer Matte Foundation

Nars - Sheer Matte Foundation

I have four favourite foundations that I use depending on the day and occasion (or who I’m trying to impress haha). I have a darker, more tanned if you will, complexion. Girls with darker complexions seem to suffer from more discolourations than girls with lighter complexions – but it may not always be the case. These work with my skin and colouring, and will not be the same for everyone!

Mac Studio Fix

Mac Studio Fix Powder

Foundation #1 – Mac Studio Fix Powder
This is my lighter foundation – which I reach for almost on a daily basis. It is a powder, so I personally find it lighter than a liquid foundation, giving a more natural look. I don’t use the sponge that comes with it however, and instead I opt for my Sephora Professional Kabuki brush. It provides a great coverage, covering up everything that I need to cover up, without feeling heavy (like some liquid foundations have the tendency of doing).

Nars Sheer Matte Foundation

Foundation #2 – Nars Sheer Matte Foundation
So, I’ve been eyeing this foundation for months and recently decided to go ahead and make the purchase. I’ve had it for about two weeks now, and I seem to reach for it every morning and evening out. It is a very, very light – I can’t stress that enough – providing a light to meduim, but buildable coverage. This is what prevented me from buying it earlier, because I was scared that it would almost be too light of a coverage (think: tinted moisturizer). Well, needless to say I have been very pleasantly surprised. The foundation is supposed to also help the radiance of your skin, as it has complexion brightening properties. I like this foundation, a lot actually. It smells good, and it leaves me feeling fresh and not overly done up. To apply the foundation I use my Sephora Professional Platinum Airbrush, for an even and blended coverage. I definitely recommend this foundation!

CARGO Liquid Foundation


Foundation #3 – CARGO Liquid Foundation
Okay, so I recently ran out of this and was super upset (and the main reason why I bought the Nars Sheer Matte) since they don’t sell it at Sephora anymore. I googled it – and the only place in Montreal where the line is carried is at the Murale downtown, and I havent had a chance to make it out there. This foundation is everything anyone would want – it smells amazing, it provides the perfect coverage and it has an array of colours all in a cute little package. I’m definitely going to buy more once I’ve used up all the Nars foundation. Plus as another bonus, CARGO is a Canadian company – does it get any better than this?

Mac Studio Fix Fluid


Foundation #4 – Studio Fix Fluid
Okay, so this is my go to foundation when I need a full coverage look (think: going out, weddings etc). This foundation provides an amazing coverage – actually covering every blemish and imperfection that your face might have. The best thing about this foundation isn’t the coverage, but the array of colours that it comes in. So girls, if you usually have trouble finding your perfect colour, I am sure it’s because you haven’t checked out the Mac Fluid Line.

A Little bit of Drama

Let’s admit it – there’s something intriguing about a dark and dramatic eye. Personally, it’s one of my favourite looks – it channels Kim Kardashian and so many other Hollywood bombshells.

A Little Bit of Drama

A Little Bit of Drama

Here is the exact list of the makeup that I used to achieve this look:

* Makeup Forever HD Foundation
* Makeup Forever HD Powder
* Rimmel Concealer
* MAC blush in Lovejoy
* MAC Bronzer in Deeper Refined Bronze
* Rimmel Black Kohl Eyeliner
* Stila Smudgepot in Black
* Kat Von D Eyeshadow Palettes in Momento Mori and Beethoven (Colours used Tequila, Razor Gray and Tijuana)
* Maybelline “The Falsies” Mascara
* Sephora – Maniac Mat Long Wearing Matte Lipstick in Matte Bright Pink
* Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Debut

A Little Bit of Drama

A Little Bit of Drama

Step 1:
Apply the foundation over the entire face with a brush or damp sponge (I used a Sephora Professional Airbrush Brush 55). I blended it in the skin to get a very thin and natural finish.

Step 2:
Apply the concealer under the eyes, on the entire eyelid (this preps your eyes for the eyeshadow) and on any other discolourations. I blend in with my fingers, however you may use a concealer brush if desired.

Step 3:
Dust on the HD powder on skin very lightly, and blend into skin using circular motions. I used a Sephora Powder brush – any large fluffy brush will do.

Step 4:
Blush and Bronzer. I used my bronzer to contour my face (my face is naturally very round) and add definition. The colour is concentrated under my cheekbone and blended using my Sephora Bronzer Brush no. 44. To add more definition, go over with the blush and blend upwards towards the hair line.

A Little Bit of Drama

A Little Bit of Drama

Step 5:
Cover the entire eyelid in Tequila, making sure to highlight the inner corner of the eye.

Step 6:
Accentuate the outer “v” of your eye by lightly pressing on the gel from the smudgepot. This will not look very pretty – but it’s the base colour to add more drama and colour to your eyeshadow that you will apply on top.

Step 7:
With a crease brush, use the Tijuana in the crease and blend out.

Step 8:
Go over the entire eyelid with the Razor Gray (keeping the inner corner highlighted), making sure to blend blend blend. The more blending that you do, the better your finish will be.

Step 9:
Rim your waterline with the Kohl Pencil.

Step 10:
With an angled brush – dip into the Smudgepot and line your upper lashes.

Step 11:
Apply one to two coats of mascara on your upper and bottom lashes.

Step 12:
I don’t ever line my lips – I just filled them in with my lipstick and went over with the gloss.

The Purple Smokey Eye – Revisited

The Purple Smokey Eye

I’ve been asked to do a blog on how to get a smokey eye and what products to use – so, today we will look at the smokey eye again! Here’s the catch though – I am my own model! I’m going to give step by step instructions on how to get the super stylish, super sexy smouldering smokey eye!

Step 1 - Foundation & Concealer


Step 1 is to use foundation and concealer to cover up any dark spots or blemishes. Many brown girls (unfortunately) have discoloured skin – and therefore foundation is a must! Before you put on any makeup however, it is important to prep the skin with moisturizer and if needed use a pore minimizer (this is for us ladies who have big pores!).
For my skin tone, I used MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid in NC44 and a Rimmel concealer (less than $8 at Pharmaprix!) in Golden Beige.
Steps 1 & 2 - Foundation, concealer, blush & bronzer

Steps 1 & 2 - Foundation, concealer, blush & bronzer

Step 2 is blush and bronzer. I used two blushes, one by MAC in Plum Foolery and NARS Orgasm. The bronzer that I used for my skin tone is the Deeper Refined Bronze – which I used to contour my cheeks and my nose.

After your base is complete, it’s time to move on to the eyes – the focus of this look. Once again, I used purples – which I love on brown eyes! The palette I looked to complete this look was my Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethoven. I love all eye makeup by Kat Von D, because the colours are intense and last all day or night without fading or creasing. I also used a Rimmel block Kohl eyeliner, a Stila smudge pot in Black, L’Oreal’s gel liner in Eggplant and mascara (and drug store mascara will do the trick). For my lips I used Sephora’s Maniac Mat Long Wearing Matte Lipstick in a matte natural pink topped off by my favourite MAC Lipglass in Lust.

Kat Von D - True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethoven


Mascara, Eyeliner, Gel liner, Lipstick and Lipgloss

The Purple Smokey Eye


Now let’s move on to the steps for the eyes. First I used Tequila all over my eye (the yellowish colour). This was followed by Rad Purple (any dark purple), Sinner (a medium purple) and Lucifer (any black) in the crease. The key to this look is to blend blend blend, and add layers of colour gradually rather than a lot right away. Next, I used Galeano (a lighter purple) all over my eyelid and blend all the colours seamlessly together using a blending brush. Once the eyeshadow is done, I lined my water line with a black kohl eyeliner (it’s important to use a kohl liner or the intensity will disappear) and used a dark purple (the same eyeshadow that was used in the crease) underneath my waterline. I then lined my eyelid with both gel liners. I used the eggplant first, and then added the black for more intensity. The last step for the eyes is mascara. I personally like using two different types of mascara – this gives a more intense look without using any false eyelashes.
I kept the lips very simple, and didn’t use any lipliner. The matte lipstick is very very matte, so to give it a glossier I use the lipglass – however, any clear lipgloss will do the trick.

The Purple Smokey Eye


The Purple Smokey Eye

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