How To Use Your Leftovers For DIY Beauty

20140225-085654.jpg

One person’s trash is another person’s…beauty treasure?! Yes, it’s true! At this very moment your garbage might contain a slew of skincare goodies you’re putting to waste. So before you takeout the trash, check this list first to uncover the benefits of disposables (like eggshells and coffee grinds) and then reuse, reuse, reuse! And they say our culture is wasteful.

Coffee Grounds
Uses: face and body scrub, cellulite treatment, eye de-puffer

Coffee not only gives you a jolt in the morning, it can reawaken your cell growth too. Use your old grounds (cooled to room temp, of course) as a mild exfoliate for your face and body–the grainy texture will slough off dead skin cells to reveal a fresh complexion. Add a bit of sugar if you want a deeper scrub, and some oil if you’re in need of some moisturizing. Buffing with coffee grinds is also said to reduce the appearance of cellulite by promoting circulation-so drink an extra cup for your thighs! Puffy eyes? Coffee can help with that too! Place some grinds under your eyes and rinse away after a few minutes for a fresh, alert look.

Banana Peels
Uses: acne treatment, teeth whitener, skin soother, hydrating facial mask

Banana peels are incredible for treating acne. Simply cut a small piece of peel and rub the inside over the affected areas and you should see some results in about a week. Do the same thing to your teeth for a few minutes each day for a whiter smile. But that’s not all–banana peels can also help bring relieve when applied over warts, bug bites and psoriasis outbreaks. A super quick trick for a hydrating facial: apply several strips of peel to your entire face, leave for an hour and voila! Instant radiance.

Eggshells
Uses: facial mask, acne spot treatment, nail art embellishment

We all know how great eggs are in DIY hair and face masks–and the shells have a use now too! Eggshells can help moisturize and replenish the appearance and texture of skin. Take a few shells and turn them into a fine dust either in a food processor or by putting them into a ziplock bag and smashing with a rubber mallet. Add some water and an egg white to the dust, whisk together and apply to your face. Let it dry, then rinse off. Your skin will feel tighter, smoother and refreshed. Another trick: peel off the super thin skin on the inside of the shell, and apply to a blemish or patch of blackheads. After it dries, pull it off and rinse–it has an exfoliating and skin-clearing effect. Lastly, and perhaps most unexpectedly, you can use shell pieces in your nail art! Create a mosaic effect over polish or a natural base and seal with a top coat. This especially makes sense to try around Easter when you have a plethora of beautifully dyed shells that you’d normally toss out.

Wine Corks
Uses: Smokey Eye Liner (trust me on this one!)

Some people use old wine bottles as vases and decor, but did you know that the cork can actually be used as eyeliner? It might sound old school but you can use this trick to get perfectly kohl-rimmed smokey eyes in a pinch. Let me preface this by saying I highly suggest you try this before drinking the wine from said bottle, or else things might get ugly. All you have to do is simply burn the cork with a lighter for a second, then blow out to extinguish. Let it cool for 30seconds then using your brush, finger, or the cork, lightly smudge the cork around your eye. It must be something about the cork creating nice smudgable ash, but it really works!

Are you into DIY beauty? What are some of your fave tricks and recipes? Share them below!

Peace Love and Lipgloss xx

How To Find The Right Blush For Your Skintone

20140224-153816.jpg
A little rogue goes a long way, at least that’s what our Grandmothers tell us and we haven’t been able to prove her wrong yet. When we brush a dreamy pink hue across the apples of our cheeks our confidence rises. Mastering a bright, flushed cheek means we can play the bashful card when our current crush waves “hi” or simply get that *touched by the sun* glow any day of the week.

The trick to pulling off blush the right way? Finding the right shade for your skin tone. When you apply the wrong rogue your makeup instantly enters the clown zone, but the right colour to accent your skin tone will makeup your whole makeup look 100% better. So take my tips and Grandma’s words to heart and you’ll be well on your way to perfectly rosey cheeks.

Fair Skin
Fair skinned beauties, don’t get carried away; a soft pink, peach or light coral will enhance your porcelain skin perfectly. The key is a light application. Too much product or the use of saturates hues will create a harsh finish reminiscent of Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Avoid a stage makeup faux pas when you select the right formula of blush for a natural, flushed cheeks finish.

Product Picks: TruMatch Naturale Blush in Soft Rosé, NARS Cream Blush in Enchanted.

Medium Skin Tones
Similar to your fair skinned friends, pinks and peach will be your best bet. You’ll want to take these shades a step further by applying a deeper shade of each. A rich pink and even certain shades of mauve will leave you with a dramatic edge–especially when you apply blush at all the right spots. Bonus tip: stay away from blush that has a bluish undertone, if your skin tone isn’t right on point, you’ll be left with what looks like bruised cheeks.

Product Picks: Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Powder Pink, Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Spiced Cider, Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Medium Mauve.

Dark Skin Tones
Deep shades of red, orange and brown are the ideal blush colours for those with darker skin. These colours, unlike light powder pinks, will leave you looking radiant rather than washed out. Try a fuchsia (think dark radiant orchid/mauve) if your skin tone tends to be warmer; a bold tangerine if its cooler. By targeting the apples of your cheeks with a vibrant swipe of one of these shades you’ll be left with a daring effect even your Granny can get behind.

Product Picks: YSL Creme de Blush in Bright Coral, Josie Maran Argan Color Stick in Red, Lancôme Blush Subtil in Rogue Glow.

What colours do you find look best on you? What formula of blush do you use? Do you have a favourite brand or blush brush? Or a blush you’re dying to try out? Let me know!

Peace Love and Lipgloss
-M xx

Beauty Rules You Need To Start Following

20140222-113753.jpgWinter is harsh–and not just on our mood and routines, but on our skin as well. We should always take great care of our skin year-round but there’s a few beauty rules you should follow to give your skin a fighting chance right now.

Never Sleep in Your Makeup: We’ve all heard this rule a million times and that is because its that important. Skin does most of its regeneration overnight so sleeping in your makeup suffocates your skin, which causes aging and promotes breakouts. Remove your makeup prior to sleeping and wake up with fresh, new skin.

Always Wear SPF: Skin Cancer is serious business, so protect yourself year-round by choosing products with SPF in the formula. Sun damage also causes wrinkles and brown sun spots, so why not enjoy yourself while being protected from that trifecta?

Never Over-Scrub: Sure, your exfoliating products say “use daily” and some even suggest twice daily, but don’t believe everything they say. The clinical facts are that too much scrubbing can slow down your cell turnover rate as your skin tries to protect itself. Slow cell turnover means faster signs of aging, dull looking skin, and skin that will be more prone to breakouts due to dead skin cell buildup. Yum.

Get a Monthly Facial: Without proper cleaning and exfoliation, you’re really just applying makeup and products to layers of dead skin. While these professional treatments cam become a bit pricey, they help reduce wrinkles and scarring plus they brighten skin, increase elasticity, clean pores and smooth skin so it’s definitely worth cutting back on Starbucks for.

Moisturize: Even oily skin needs moisture to stay balanced. I suggest moisturizing twice daily after cleansing but before SPF and makeup for supple and hydrated skin. Only use enough product to cover your skin so as to not clog pores or waste product.

Groom Your Brows: They say that the eyes are the windows to your soul, so let your brows be the window treatments! In my opinion, no look is complete without the final framing of the brows. Cleaning up stray hairs and filling in your eyebrows creates a polished look and is the perfect finishing touch.

Sleep with a Humidifier if You Live in a Cold Climate: During the winter months the air contains less water and can dry out and crack your skin. By sleeping with a humidifier you add water back into the air at the most beneficial time for your skin, and it will thank you!

Hydrate: Another rule we’ve all heard multiple times. Drinking eight 8oz. glasses of water every day keeps your body working properly and nourishes the skin. Beauty starts on the inside, so keep it healthy.

Clean Your Cell Phone: Cell phones are a magnet for bacteria so wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe a couple times a week and keep a clearer complexion.

Do Not Use Products That Contain Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is used extensively in the United States because its inexpensive. However, mineral oil is molecularly too large to penetrate the skin, so it just sits on the skin’s surface, which also clogs pores. The reality is that mineral oil is a byproduct of processing petroleum, is that really the best thing to be putting on our skin?

Do you change up your skincare routine to suit the season? What are some of your fave products and tricks?

Share your beauty wisdom below!

Peace Love and Lipgloss,
-M. xx

Battle of the Balms: Eos vs. Baby Lips

babylipss-1024x416Hi beauties!

Let me just take a minute to apologize for my absence! My personal life has been incredibly busy the last two weeks and I found myself with barely enough time to catch up on my blog reading, let alone writing. But Im back now so lets get to it.

I’ve been a loyal Baby Lips lover for over a year now. It was actually the cherry red tinted lip balm that first caught my attention. I use it throughout the day to rehydrate my lips when I’m rocking a classic matte red lip. It keeps my lips soft while still producing colour payoff. Win-win!

I eventually found myself picking up some of the other colours (Peach Kiss is my absolute fave, I always have a tube in my purse!) as well as the peppermint scented colourless balm. I really like that the Baby Lips formula contains SPF, making it a smart choice for summer or when you’ll be spending some time outdoors.

IMG_8252

I soon became addicted. And I don’t mean “oh I love the smell/colour of this so I’m gunna re-apply it every half-hour” I mean addicted to the point where my lips craved it and it only took me two weeks to go thru a whole bullet of the peppermint balm, which can become quite expensive since Baby Lips sells for a ridiculous $5 in Canada. (Vs. $3.50 at Target US)

The worst part about my Baby Lips addiction wasn’t the price tag, but the way my lips were starting to feel. At first my beloved lip balm would soothe me of tight, thin lips but now it was starting to create that feeling. If I didn’t reapply every 30-45mins, my lips would start to show signs of dehydration and damage thanks to the petroleum included in the formula.

While at Target one day I noticed that they had Eos on sale for $3, so I hopped right on the bandwagon and picked up the Honeysuckle Honeydew flavour. Let me tell you, after the very first application of this heavenly scented balm I totally understood all the rave and hype behind these little gems. My lips were instantly revitalized and most importantly, conditioned.Not only do these little guys smell amazing, but they’re 100% Organic and 95% Natural, so go ahead and lick your lips! They’re also safe for use on children and pregnant women since they don’t contain toxins, which is always a bonus in my book.

Overall, Im still a fan of Baby Lips. They offer a sheer wash of colour that I look for somedays. But when it comes down to performance and hydration, Eos is the winner everytime. I can tell that the Eos formula actually penetrates my skin and conditions it from the inside out (so I don’t have to apply it nearly as often) while the Baby Lips just sits on top of the skin and eventually makes the damage worse. Not to mention, Eos is over a dollar cheaper and offers a huge variety of flavour/scent combinations, so there is a lip balm for everyone! (I even caught my hubby using mine so often that I bought him his own!)

What do you use to keep your lips hydrated?

Do you have a favorite scent of Eos? Let me know in the comments below!

Peace Love and Lipgloss,

-M. xx

The Versatile Blogger Award

blogger-award

“The Versatile Blogger Award is an award given to you by your blogger peers, for writing quality posts that have somehow touched them, having good quality photographs, and the uniqueness of the subjects covered. The award is to honor the bloggers who bring something special to your life.”

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

  • Display the award certificate.
  • Announce your win and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Present 13 deserving bloggers with the award.
  • Link your nominees in this post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

I was pleasantly surprised and VERY honored to receive the “Versatile Blogger Award” from the lovely Britt over at BrittsBeautyBlog.com. She’s a super sweet beauty junkie and aspiring MUA who just enrolled with QC Makeup Academy, the same school I took my course through. Check out and follow her blog for beauty reviews, swatches and much more!

Here are 7 things you might not know about me:
1. Im coming up on my second anniversary of working as a freelance MUA.
2. I looooove antiques, pinup girls, lace dresses and anything vintage.
3. Im a huge geek. I attend “cons” aka conventions, and both of my spare bedrooms are full of board games, MTG cards, and even a movie-quality Boba Fett costume. (If you don’t understand any of that sentence, consider yourself geek-free lol)
4. I have 7 tattooes and 2 lip piercings, although I’ve been considering taking both of them out.
5. I do yoga everyday.
6. I have a crippling fear of Fish. Yes, even your goldfish will haunt my dreams.
7. I am the crazy cat lady. My hubby and I own 4 adorable fur babies, all of which were rescued.

As Im still new to blogging, I don’t “know” 13 bloggers but I will tag the ones I do follow that have great posts and are certainly worth checking out for yourself!

Im still so happy and humbled to have received this award from a fellow beauty blogger, especially since Im still so new to all of this! I love writing posts (although my two-week gap between posts would say otherwise haha) and Im always looking for something new to try out and write about. Check out the lovely ladies I have linked above and leave some love for them as well!

Peace Love and Lipgloss,
M. xx

DIY: Coconut+Rose Tea Sugar Scrub

photo(5)If you have been reading from the beginning, you’ll know that I love concocting different beauty DIYs in my kitchen and giving them as gifts to friends and family or  selling them in my Etsy shop. This particular recipe is actually the result of poor preparation–I had run out of my favorite lemon-ginger tea and quickly opted for whatever we had left in the cupboard, luckily it all came together!

I don’t usually suffer from dry or itchy skin but living on the beach of Lake Erie during one of Canada’s harshest winters has left even my oily skin looking for some TLC. Sugar scrubs have been one of my favorite forms of exfoliation ever since my lovely hubby treated me to a spa day last Valentine’s where I experienced my first full-body scrub and was in love with the results! Now I use a sugar scrub once a week in the shower, it leaves my skin baby soft and because of the oils, I don’t have to moisturize afterwards!

The first step is choosing an oil. There’s several natural oils to choose from including; coconut, almond, jojoba, virgin olive, avocado, vitamin E, or even baby oil. I chose coconut because I love the smell, I even keep a large jar around the house for various beauty uses.

The next step is choosing your sugar, which is fairly simple–regular granulated sugar or brown sugar. (Use softer sugar for sensitive skin) The ratio is typically 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so I microwave it prior to mixing, but let it cool a bit before adding it in.

Lastly is the aesthetics. Add any essential oils of your choice to achieve your favorite scent. No essential oils? Just add raw ingredients such as dried lavender, peppermint, lemon rinds, ginger, rosemary…or in my case, tea!

The tea I used is high quality, loose leaf tea from Teavana. I crushed it up a bit and added it to the mixture for texture and visual pleasure. It looks like something you would see on the shelf of a luxurious spa, not to mention the tea smells great.

photo(4)Add a cute little label and send them off to your favorite ladies as a from-the-heart gift! You can even customize the oils and scents used to suit everyone’s taste. So, the next time you’re in need of a lovely, gentle exfoliator that smells wonderful and is super cost effective, make it!

Peace Love and Lipgloss
-M.

January Favorites

January Faves

Hi beauties!

Every month Im going to share a few of the tools/products that I found myself reaching for the most in the previous month, aka my monthly faves. In January I worked on quite a few in-studio photoshoots and this month’s favourites reflect the tools that I used on my models, as well as myself. This month’s beauty routine was all about skin hydration, flawless-looking skin, and the perfect amount of “lit-from-within” glow.

Sigma F82 KabukiSIGMA-F82-Round-Top-Kabuki-Brush
This is the holy grail of foundation brushes. If you watch Jaclyn Hill on YouTube, you’ll know that this is also one of her all time faves, and rightfully so. This dense, rounded brush is made from Sigma’s own blend of Synthetic Sigmax bristles to blend cream, mineral and powder products into the skin flawlessly. The rounded head fits the contours of the face perfectly and leaves an airbrushed looking finish. I’ve owned the Sigmax Kabuki kit for about a year and not once have I spotted a single shedded bristle on my face or a client’s, which is way more than I can say for its rivals such as MAC and Real Techniques. At $21 it seems a bit pricey for one brush, but I promise you its well worth the investment. Every time you use this brush you’ll have soft, flawless looking skin that lasts all day.

Julep’s “The Best Pedi Creme Ever” (Now known as Mint Condition Pedi Creme)pedicreme
I received this foot creme as part of a Maven box a few months back. It contains goodies like alpha hydroxy acids, shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E to nourish, hydrate, and exfoliate your footsies. Julep promises results in just one or two uses, which had me skeptical. After one use I honestly could see a difference! You only need a small bit of product for each foot and it has a cooling sensation as soon as it hits the skin, and a refreshing minty-cucumber smell. It keeps your skin soft and supple for 2-3days, so you can save on product. This 2oz cream is meant for nightly use and sells for a very pricey $22. As far as I know, Julep’s products are only available on the brand’s website, either by individual sale or monthly “Maven” subscription box.

Shadow Shields
I still can’t believe I didn’t invent these little gems first, they must be the most ingenious beauty innovation in the last 5-10 years (In my opinion, of course.) Shadow Shields are essentially little half-moon shaped pieces of gauze that adhere under your eye to catch eyeshadow fallout. But they don’t stop there–they’re the ultimate multi-tasking beauty tool creating perfect straight edges at the outer corner  and perfect winged liner. Seriously, where were theses things when the Smokey Eye was all the rage?!  I use these not only on myself, but on all of my clients no matter how dramatic the look, and most of them end up purchasing some for themselves! Whether you’re an amature or pro MUA, these will quickly become your new beauty BFF.Mark-Touch-Glow-Warm-Glow-Shimmer-Cream-Cubes-All-Over-Face-Palette

Mark “Warm Glow” Illuminating Face Pallet
This little pallet from Avon’s beauty boutique Mark, features nine warm shades with colors ranging from gold, rose gold, copper, and bronze to suit all skin tones and creates an illuminated, soft-focused glow on the cheeks and face. You can use the shades separately or swirl them together to create the perfect glow for your skin tone. I’ve used this as an eyeshadow, highlight, and even a pop of color in the centre of the lips, the possibilities are truly endless!

Have you ever tried any of these products, or considered purchasing them? What did you think of them? Let me know below!

Peace Love and Lipgloss
-M.