My Holy Grail Red Lipstick…

I love a good red. Wine or lipstick. When you wear a great red lipstick that really flatters you, it makes you feel über glam and brings out that inner sex kitten just a little more than usual…. atleast for me! … Continue reading

Product Review: Lang Lang Cosmetics Lipsticks

I recently received some product from a home-grown company, owned by Charlotte Lang, called Lang Lang Cosmetics. She was kind and gracious enough to send me 5 lipstick shades and 4 loose eyeshadow powders to review for my lovely beauty … Continue reading

Product Review! Dare to Compare: ELF vs. Make Up For Ever

I’ve been seeing a lot of products lately that seem to be dupes for other high(er)-end items out in the makeup world. And sometimes dupes are fabulous, really amazing, twin-like items. So my goal in this dare-to-compare blog is to … Continue reading

Want to Make YOUR Best “Natural” Lip Color?

I do lots, and I mean LOTS of photoshoots for models and commercial clients where the #1 look I end up doing is creating a, NOT NUDE, but a “natural” lip tone. This also goes for a fair number of … Continue reading

Yaby Liquid Foundation Review

During Yaby Cosmetics‘s pop-up shop in Toronto in August, I picked up the “Natural Finish Liquid Foundation” among other things. I actually ended up using it that very same day on a photoshoot I did for a beauty editorial (seen here).

I purchased 6 shades and felt that was enough to cover any skin tone appropriately with a bit of custom mixing.

My daughter was hanging around and dying to ‘help me’ so I let her use her arm for the swatches. I think some “Hello Kitty” character may be seen in the background, not to mention her very tiny 5 year old arm was a bit tougher to swatch then I’d thought…

 

 

So the product…

I noticed that the texture is very light and the consistency is similar to a tinted moisturizer. The product is oil-free, which is likely for the best since I think it suits younger skin types best and it has a cyclomethicone base, thereby making it a great option for those with sensitive, acne prone or very oily skin types.

The product is not overly pigmented (no caking) and provides great very-light to slightly moderate coverage. It needs concealer to really even things out and provides a very nice, light coverage to those with nearly perfect skin or those needing only minimal spot coverage. It layers well but cannot be built up to a full coverage foundation.

It photographs very well and allows the skin texture to show through nicely. I also liked how the tones are very closely matched to real skin tones. The clear tubes also makes it easy to spot and match a shade in a pinch. I also liked the packaging and it’s travel and kit-friendly size. That being said, I noticed some of my tubes are half empty after about 6 uses. However, I must note the cost-effectiveness of the product as it retails for $13.55 and pros can sign up for the discount program for 20% off, bringing your price down to $10.85 (for 0.272 oz of product).

I would not apply this with a sponge and would go the foundation & stippling brush route to avoid the sponge soaking up all the product. It also warms nicely and applies well with fingers.  I also used this foundation on one of my brides recently (who had very good skin). I used my Lise Watier concealer wheel to spot conceal and then used a mixture of shades “caramel” and “custard” to give her a custom match. You can see her lovely face here.

The sum:

I probably wouldn’t use this as a personal use foundation since the coverage cannot be built up to full, and some days you just need that extra ‘oomph!’ BUT I would stock this item in my kit as it is not expensive to keep as a good, light coverage option with great packaging and that is highly photographic and mimics skin texture very well. I’d love to see a full-coverage liquid foundation Yaby!

 

Is there a product you’d like me to review? Want to see if an item lives up to the hype? Drop me a line!

Thoroughly Impressed By What $3 Got Me

When E.L.F launched their new HD blushes, I was the first in line to make my order! But I noticed that since these new HD blushes were part of the “Studio” line, I could use my handy coupon code for … Continue reading

My Fave Lips for Fall!

All the time, everytime I wear it, everywhere I go… some female always wants it…. my fall 2012 lip colour that is!
So I figured I should post it, since it seems to be a fave with the ladies 😉

FYI, this picture does not do it justice!

It’s 2 parts Maybelline Superstay 14 hour Lipstick in “Wine and Forever #100” and 1 part MAC Dazzleglass in “Get Rich Quick”.

Quick note: No longwear lipstick will last anywhere close to 14 hours if you’ve layered it with a gloss product that was not specifically formulated to work with the particular lipstick. BUT, I love this for the colour, not for the longevity.

The Maybelline Superstay lipsticks have a really smooth and highly pigmented application. The formula doesn’t bleed out or feather on me when applied properly to a nude pencil-lined mouth. It also smells really good (for a lipstick) and doesn’t have a weird taste… bonus! In this shade (Wine & Forever #100) it has a great plummy colour that is closer to the deep purple side rather than the black cherry side. It’s very flattering on warm skin tones and particularly on women of colour.

The MAC Dazzleglass is, like all Dazzleglass products, amazing and light catching and shiny. This shade (Get Rich Quick) is a beautiful raisin colour (plum with hints of red). It looks gorgeous layered over top your dark lipsticks from reds to purples, and on it’s own for a high shine and tint of colour on a nude mouth.

Hope this helps you to get my ‘coveted’ fall lips! Hehe!

xo

Jem

Thanks Face Atelier!

CanPar paid me a visit today and brought me some special FACE atelier goodies! I’m stoked!

FACE atelier Ultra Foundation is one of my absolute favourite liquid foundations. It gives amazing medium to full coverage, is buildable, and has a silicone base so you can save time and skip the priming step! To top it off… it’s a Canadian company! And I sure do love a homegrown product, especially one as amazing as this!

I recently used some FACE atelier products in 2 recent beauty editorials I had published (view MASK here or view Flight & Fury here). The shots and themes were COMPLETELY different from each other, but the thing is that this line is much more versatile than people and artists sometimes think. I use it on brides & clients, in video & photoshoots. Mature skin? No worries, this silky formula ‘floats’ atop the skin and doesn’t exaggerate fine lines by settling in wrinkles. Oily skin? get the Ultra Matte spray and mist a little before & after application to keep yourself shine-free. Dull skin? this stuff leaves a natural dewy look, just be sure to not powder on the whole face and just in the T-zone where needed.

Best of all….. FACE atelier was so kind as to hook me up with some professional gratis with my favourite items from their line!

I got the Ultra Foundation in 0-, 2, 4, 6, 8, 0+ a.k.a. 10, and 12 and the Ultra Matte spray. Covers every skin tone! And with 0- and 0+ you can customize the colour best for you (or your client). Enjoy the pics and the swatches!

Thanks again FACE atelier!

xo Jem

My MOST “Budget Friendly” Favourite Thing!

Well, it’s bridal season and my hands have been quite busy. Often too busy to post 😦
But in the midst of peak wedding season, I discovered a brand new favourite thing. Best of all, it is the most INEXPENSIVE favourite thing EVER!

I recently did a HUGE (and huge is putting it mildly) E.L.F. makeup haul (See haul here: https://beautybyjemz.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/my-e-l-f-makeup-haul) . In my haul, I purchase 2 ‘flat-head’ powder brushes. And truthfully, I really don’t know why. I thought they looked interesting. And since I ordered during the 50% off sale, they were only $1.50 each.

Little did I know, these brushes were about to become my new soul mates.

Holy smokes! I can’t even describe how much these brushes saved my life.

I am a blush lover. Now, this doesn’t mean I slab it on and give myself RuPaul cheeks. No. But I have a blush process that I use on myself and clients to give a really ‘lit from within’ and ‘natural flush’ type look. I often layer my powder blush with my NARS illuminators or with my MAC skinfinish powder but I prefer to not use powder blushes on their own because I find it always needs help to be long-lasting. So, I am a BIG believer in cream blush. I looooooove the way they melt into the skin and give that warm natural flush. I usually mix my cream blush on a palette to warm the cream and mix my NARS illuminator with it (usually Orgasm) and then apply. The application part is the tricky part. You need a brush that will not look streaky. You also want to be able to ‘push’ the product into the skin and make sure it melds with the foundation well. And you want to layer it on slowly and with a light touch so that you can make sure it’s even and lasts long, instead of giving yourself streaky 80’s cheeks.

Now this brush is the absolute PERFECT tool for this. It’s like it was DESIGNED with cream blush in mind. Forget your stippling brush, forget your beauty blender, and forget using your fingers. If you like cream blush, you NEED this brush in your life.

It allows for the perfect control in layering and blending. The flat surface picks up and distributes an even colouring on the face. And since you can push the colour into the skin instead of swiping it on, it gives a much more natural and blended appearance.

I only bought 2, and although I thought of sticking both in my kit I just had to say no. No, Jem. Enough is enough. One has to be for me. And I don’t feel selfish, in fact, I feel rather complete. My NARS Cactus Flower blush has never looked so good!

Want it? get it here! http://www.eyeslipsface.com/studio/tools/single-brushes/powder_brush#

Product Review! Smashbox PHOTO FINISH HYDRATING UNDER EYE PRIMER

I got a sample of the new “PHOTO FINISH HYDRATING UNDER EYE PRIMER” by Smashbox in my last purchase from the Sephora store and was super eager to try it, especially since it’s not yet available to purchase in stores (and because it feels amazing to be in on the exclusive new thing!).

I gave it a try last Saturday when I was going out for several hours to see how it held up and if it gave any improvements to the wear of my makeup. Now since the sample sized tube didn’t come with instructions, I just used my common sense in applying it. I applied my primer all over the face, then this under eye primer, then my foundation (Nars Sheer Glow in Cadiz is my current go-to), then my concealer (Bobbi Brown concealer/corrector in Dark Peach) which is really just a warm corrector for my dark circles and not a concealer for acne/marks etc. since I have none (at the moment). I applied my liquid bronzer and cream blush, filled my brows, and added my eyeliner and mascara. Sounds like a lot, but I use each item sparingly and blend to hell and back. In 10 minutes I was out the door at 3pm.

 

I got home at about 12am. After 9 hours, my concealer usually fades & creases a wee bit. I also notice that my bottom lid eyeliner tends to smudge a tiny bit (even when I use my UDPP on the lower lid) even when using my favourite waterproof eyeliner (Urban Decay’s “Perversion”). But, this time, my concealer and eyeliner were both PERFECTLY in tact!

Needless to say, I will be the first in line, calling up Smashbox with my pro order as soon as this stuff hits the Canadian border. It was absolutely fantastic! It moisturized under my eye area without making me look oily or adding too much ‘slip’ to my concealer or eyeliner. It added a very slight reflective property as well, which made the area look brighter and helped combat my dark circles. And it added staying power to my eye makeup.

Nine hours in this warm Canadian summer, walking the streets of Toronto on a Saturday, strolling through Dundas square, shopping at Eaton Centre and hitting up Revival for a performance and then heading to a sushi bar for a bite before heading home… and my under eye makeup not only held up, but looked flawless when I got in just after midnight. This product has me sold. And even though I’ll be shopping with a pro discount, I still (and it is sooo hard for me to say this most of the time)… I still would purchase this product at full price. Even though it’s set to be $29 US, (so you just know the CAD price on this is going to be something silly like $35 a tube) you need just the tiniest dab under each eye and so 1 tube will probably last 6 months for the average person’s daily wear and probably a year for someone like me who doesn’t often wear a full face. You can also swing my your local Sephora and see if you can get a sample tube of this stuff with your purchase, then you can try it out for yourself!

It almost burns me that this product works as well as it does and is pretty hefty for the price but apparently pain is beauty, so if your pockets are hurting then this must be making you look flawless indeed.

Happy shopping!

Best thing since sliced bread.

A concealor question answered: Yes, Eve Pearl “Salmon” concealor is probably the best thing on the market since sliced bread. It works with an orangey tinge to combat blueish undereye circles (according to the colour chart, this is the opposite of blue, therefore neutralizes the dark circles). You can order it here: http://www.evepearl.com/products/concealers-salmon/ and if you have their professional discount which you can get here: http://www.evepearl.com/professionals_register/ and it gives you a 30-40% discount if you have the appropriate pro credentials.

BUT, although I have tried it, and have loved it…. there are dupes.

Amazing dupes.

One dupe that I have tried and love, and lives in my personal kit, is from Bobbi Brown. It’s here: http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com/product/2335/15905/Makeup/Face/Correctors-Concealers/Corrector/SS11/index.tmpl  at a cost of about $10 less and works miracles. Professionally, I recommend going with light peach, peach or dark peach if you are combatting bags under the eyes. I purchase mine at the MAC Warehouse sale for $9 which was money very well spent! I have the dark peach corrector (NOT CONCEALOR!) shade for my caramel skin and it looks AMAZING. I have had several compliments on my even skin tone and flawless face since purchasing and using it. It’s also quite creamy, so good for any normal or dry skin or aging skin, not particularly recommended for oily skin. (Bobbi Brown has a pro program for artists in the USA for 40% off, but it is not valid for Canadian artists. It’s here: http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com/cms/pro/bobbipro_apply.tmpl)

My other dupe that I have tried and love, and lives in my professional kit is from Joe Blasco. I ordered it here: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/joe-blasco-neutralizers-and-tattoo-cover.html since I have their discount which saves me about $2 I think off the cost of this stuff (not to mention all the other stuff I buy there!). I use it in my kit just the same as the Eve Pearl Salmon concealor and I have both shades for under eye circles, the “blue neutralizer” and the “special blue neutralizer”.

I have no idea why one is more special than the other. The one that is “special” just seems a tad more orangey and is perfect for darker skin tones while the regular blue neutralizer is better for lighter skin tones. IMO. This stuff is 1/4 of the cost of the Eve Pearl concealor and EP’s is 6.2 grams, while the Joe Blasco neutralizers are 6.5 grams. Not only does it work just as well, but it’s also wayyyyy cheaper and you get more product?! Sold.

BB Cream Phenomenon… Are They Right For You?

So I’ve been following the hype with regard to the new BB creams & I’ve tried out a few of them so far and quite frankly, there is only 1 product I would recommend. First I’ll explain what they’re all about and why they have caught like fire in the beauty industry at the moment.

BB Creams, also known as “Blemish Balm” or “Beauty Balm” more predominantly in North America, were an invention of the 1970s by a German dermatologist to aid in the recovery of skin after skin peels and facial laser treatments. They began gaining popularity in Asia, particularly with Korean actresses who confessed BBs as their beauty secret and they then became the ‘must have’ beauty accessory everyone was clamoring after. Now in Asia, the qualities of BBs are different then the way they are generally developed for the North American market. The purpose is that BBs are a combination product that help to hydrate/protect (sunscreen)/ anti-age/perfect discolourations/add luminosity or a radiant glow/prime skin/control oil/and more…. but in Asia they are also used to whiten the skin and often contain skin whitening/bleaching and lightening ingredients. In North American formulations, not so much.

There are a few brands that have already launched in Canada and a few more still coming, and so far, I have tried the most popular brands, all of which have a few downfalls for me, particularly as a woman of colour. Please keep this “woman of colour” tidbit in mind when reading my reviews.

On the Canucks BB Cream: Marcelle brand…
With the Marcelle brand, there are 2 shades: light to medium and medium to dark. Both shades had yellow undertones with a slight grey cast. I applied the medium to dark (in which case, I am a medium with slight peach and red undertones) it was much too light and gave what makeup artists dreadingly call “whiteface”. The coverage was moderate, which made it more beneficial as an all in one product, but it did not provide coverage that could replace your traditional foundation. I also felt it was not highly moisturizing and would recommend it for normal skin only and would suggest using a regular moisturizer prior to this if you have dry skin or using an oil free powder on top of this if you have oily skin. This one also does not contain sunscreen (yet, but they say they’re working on a version with SPF) but it does contain Titanium dioxide and Mica, which for me, are both no-nos to any pros who want to use this as a base on a photoshoot due to possible bounce-back/whiteface. Costs about $23 in Shoppers Drug Mart stores or order it online. If you are quite fair and not using it in any kind of photography or film, then this could be an option for replacing your tinted moisturizer or light coverage foundation.

On the Big Drugstore Contender: Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream…

There are 2 shades here also, light to medium and medium to dark. I swatched both shades and the light/medium had peachy undertones while the medium/dark looked like… no better way to put it… mud. I wasn’t impressed with the swatches. Needless to say, I tried out my shade (medium/dark) and I looked a bit grey. Not cool. This also was very thick in consistency meanwhile, very sheer with coverage and pigment quality is very low. This works like a tinted moisturizer but I must say, it is not made for oily skin at all. It really acted like a mask on my face and I looked oilier than usual in less than 2 hours, which is quite a feat for me seeing that I have combination skin with only slight oiliness to the T-zone only. I must also add, that although it acts like a tinted moisturizer, it didn’t moisturize my dry areas very well (like my chin or around the mouth) nor did it provide me with the equivalent coverage of other tinted moisturizers on the market. It’s under $20 at drugstores and for that price, I think you’re better off simply adding a few drops of your favourite foundation to your daily high-SPF moisturizer and calling it a day. And again, SPF 15 makes this a no-go for me on any pro set or in studio.

On the Professional Grade BB Cream: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream…

Smashbox is the only company who has remembered that women come in all different colours of the rainbow and for this, I applaud them. Their line of BBs comes in 5 different shades: fair, light, light/medium, medium, and dark. When I went to Sephora to give these a go, they were all gone and I had to swatch them in store. The sales girl was also kind enough to give me a sample pot of the 3 darkest shades so I could try each one at home and come back to purchase seeing as they had no product to purchase that day anyhow. The result… the medium shade was perfect for my skin tone. It didn’t give me any weird undertones and was a very smooth product to apply. The coverage was about medium, so a bit more coverage than what a tinted moisturizer would do and with a light application of my Smashbox Halo powder (also in medium) I felt I had sufficient day time coverage without a heavily made-up look. This product actually acted quite well as a base for my regular foundation (Nars sheer glow is my regular guy) and gave me beyond perfect coverage when layering my foundation on top. It also didn’t add any extra oil to my skin but would not be suitable for a person with dry skin unless they were to use their regular (heavy) moisturizer underneath it. And kudos to Smashbox, their formulation contains an SPF of 35 while containing Titanium dioxide of only 1%. This is the only product I can recommend to women of colour and to pro makeup artists wanting to use a BB cream in a pro environment as a base or for light coverage. I *finally* didn’t get a grey tone or any whiteface reaction. AND I would also like to say that I really appreciate that my concealor, BB cream and powder from Smashbox all fell consistently in the “medium” category because for a regular (non-pro makeup artist) consumer, this would make for major shopping ease and much less confusion with colour matching. However…. I can’t really recommend this product due to, not performance, but price. I really enjoyed the product, however it’s much too expensive at $50 a pop here in Canada. Now if you’re someone who needs full coverage, an additional moisturizer (for dry skin) and a different specialty primer (to cover redness, or to mattify oiliness, etc) then this product is only going to add to your morning routine while putting a $50 dent in your makeup budget every month or 2. Not worth the fuss or muss. BUT, if you have great skin, don’t need much coverage, and do not have dry skin, I highly recommend it for you as a replacement product for your primer, foundation and sunscreen. If it truly replaces a few of your bathroom cabinet items, then by all means this is your guy and would be well worth it, even at $50.

Have you tried any BB Creams? What did you think? Let me know!

The joy of NEVER depotting

So yesterday I got my Z-palettes in the post, which I ordered from Camera Ready Cosmetics during the 50% sale, for $9.97 each (just under half price).

*As a side note, it was cheaper to order from CRC than from Z-Palette directly, not just because of the sale, but also because shipping to Canada was pretty much double on the Z-Palette website.

So I began depotting. This is where you heat up your terribly heavy plastic packaging that your makeup comes in & melt that sucker down until the glue loosens on the bottom of the eyeshadow/blush & you can take it out easily. There’s loads of YouTube videos on how to do this properly. Some people like the oven method, I find it always melts the packaging before the glue & makes getting the product out super hard. Some people like the lighter/candle method which I quite like for items that come in a palette so you can do each colour individually. And some people like the flat iron method which I quite like for bulky single packaging like a Nars blush or a Revlon eyeshadow. All ways are equally time consuming, some are just more or less messy than others.

Then I arranged my colours in a way that made sense to me: blues with black & whites (my highlight & contour shades), pinks & purples, greens & yellows & oranges, and my earth toned neutral palette of browns, taupes, champagnes, & light shimmers. Aesthetically, I think it gave me a makeupgasm when I saw how lovely everything looked after all that hard work & sweat.

But what really inspired me to write this post was not to talk about depotting… But to talk about the art of NOT depotting. The thought of being able to get away with never depotting makeup again feels almost like a sin, because the thought alone feels so damn good. I hate depotting. It sucks. You get nearly stabbed many times & nearly burned just as many times if not more. So why are we still depotting?

Well, if you’re a drugstore makeup buyer and love your Revlons & L’oreal’s then depotting may be your sport. Or if you’re a makeup snob & love some lovely Nars or Tarina Tarantino $30+ makeup, then depotting could be a good stress release from thinking about how light your wallet feels. But… If you’re either a pro artist or just a consumer with the idea of quality over branding, then let me take you to a place I call, “Never Depot Again Paradise.”

In this Paradise, there exists a multitude of professional grade eyeshadows, blushes, lip colours & powders that have NEVER been potted. You can order them, and they arrive with NO packaging to melt. These products are amazing. And when you measure them gram for gram beside some of the drug store products, you’re often getting 3-6 times more product for less than half the price.

My faves: La Femme. The blushes are AMAZING and the eyeshadows are pretty fabulous too. The size is HUGE and you get tons of product for less than $3. You can purchase La Femme online. Cheapest price I’ve see on their Eyeshadows: http://www.makeupmania.com/products/La-Femme-%252d-Pressed-Eyeshadow-%28Pan-Only%29.html although I find the shipping prices to Canada from CRC make it cheaper to buy here: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/la-femme-eye-shadow-pans-refills-large.html
And the cheapest price I’ve seen on their blushes: http://www.makeupmania.com/products/La-Femme-%252d-Blush-On-Rouge-%28Pan-Only%29.html and ditto to the above so click here if you’re a Canuck: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/la-femme-blush-on-rouge-refills.html

My second favourite is the Ben Nye. The eyeshadows rate a little bit higher than the La Femme because the pigment is a bit stronger, but the blushes are just as nice as La Femme’s are but you’ll get a colour differentiation here. Eyeshadows: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/ben-nye-eyeshadow-refills.html and their blushes: http://camerareadycosmetics.com/products/ben-nye-powder-cheek-rouge-refill.html

Now you can stick these guys into your Z-Palette or pro palette easily and never worry about depotting OR the extra cost you’re paying for all the unnecessary packaging. And this is the beauty of using a Z-Palette to organize your makeup while never depotting a piece of eyeshadow ever again.

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Nail Polish Review

Today I’m trying out the Ardene nail polish. I have no clue what colour it is since it’s not on the bottle but it’s like a teal, dark aqua type colour. I wanted to see how it compares to the big brands (OPI, ESSIE, China Glaze, etc) in terms of wear & tear, especially if it wears great I might just become a huge supporter seeing as I grabbed it at 5 bottles for $10.00. So cheap! and the colours were really bright and fun too! so… let’s see what happens.

I started with my base coat as I do with every polish, (I use Nutra Nail’s Triple Power nail strengthener), then 2 coats of the polish, then my top coat (Rimmel’s 60 seconds clear coat, since I have a life & never have the patience to let my nails dry for very long). And voila! let’s see how well it wears…

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Testing out a new gel eyeliner!

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So today I have on the Maybelline New York Eyestudio gel eyeliner in Blackest Black. I put it on @ 1pm… Let’s see what happens in a few hours!

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And 12 hours later… It flaked & smudged all over my top lid.
Staying power = C+
Pigmentation = B+
Price = A

But if it doesn’t stay & the pigment just isn’t that great then the low price just isn’t worth it!

Best Eyeliners! Product Review

So if you know me, then you know that there are 3 makeup product areas that I am EXTREMELY particular about. First, eyeliner. Second, mascara, Third, brow fillers. I take these products very seriously because I love my eyes, they’re my favourite feature on my face. BUT, they are also quite small and require the right products to make sure they ‘pop’ the way I like them to. So here I’m going to start with my #1 favourite thing, eyeliner, and review my top rated items in pencil and liquid, black and white.

My newest favourite: Kat Von D Autograph Eyeliner in ‘Pur Amor’. This matte black colour will stay all day and is the perfect brush for liquids with an easy to grasp and control handle. Not for the unpractised, so practice first with a cheaper liquid (like NYC‘s black liquid eyeliner for less than $5 at drugstores or Wal-Mart) until your technique is perfect. Then, upgrade yourself. $21 at Sephora.

My #1 clubbing and summertime eyeliner for extreme days and nights: GOSH Extreme Art Eyeliner Gel Liquid. This is the last eyeliner you will ever buy for a night out on the town. The black is glossy, and the colour is extremely intense. The brush is not made for those faint of heart or who are trying liquid for the first time so please practice elsewhere before buying the ‘big guns’ and by big guns, I mean this liquid-gel eyeliner. If you apply it and make a mistake, you’ve got about 4 seconds to fix it or neaten it up with a damp q-tip. If you don’t make it in time, you’ll have to use remover and then clean after the remover so the re-application will stick to the skin again. Basically, it can go bad, all bad. But, I have put it on myself and clients for a ladies night out and still seen it look absolutely perfect in the morning, no flaking, no smudging, no fading. We’re talking 18 hours later. Amazing stuff. Looks like a liquid, applies like a thin gel. $15 at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. Look out for their GOSH cosmetics promotions for 10-20% off which I’ve spotted happens quite frequently and makes it a breeze to stock up. Black is #07, the silvery-white is #14, and I also use #19 and #26 silver shimmers and #20 gold shimmer to highlight the tear duct for a night out since it looks great in pictures instead of a plain white pencil.

My favourite waterproof pick: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liquid Liners. I put all my eyeliners to the test by applying it to my hand and seeing how long it will last through washing of hands, cooking, etc. These have fantastic staying power. I put the black on my hand and it lasted nearly 12 hours with no flaking, smudging or fading and it lasted nearly 20 hours before completely disappearing (#13 matte black). I also LOVE the white (#16 diamond white) to use on top of black eyeliner pencil on the lower eye (below the waterline) to add a shimmer to eyes and a ‘pop’ when taking pictures. The only set back to this eyeliner: pigment. The 2 above are blacker and more highly pigmented colour, which I love because I like the deepest, darkest, most dramatic black I can possible get. And the white is shimmery, but not pigmented so you’d need to apply a white pencil underneath it if you want it to look like an opaque shimmery white instead of a translucent one. The second thing I’m not keen on: the brush. It’s like a sponge brush instead of a soft bristle brush which makes this a bit harder on the eye (especially on the waterline) and feels a bit on the ‘idiot-proof’ eyeliner to me which I find makes it harder for me to wing and be artistic with, but if you‘re in need of an idiot proof liquid, this here is your pot of gold. $26 at Sephora.

My favourite self-sharpening sticks: STILA Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray. This is the blackest blackest blackest pencil ever. Goes on ULTRA smooth with no dragging or pulling. Feels heavenly. Extremely pigmented. And waterproof. Amazing stuff. $26 at Sephora, but worth it. The second favourite here is a drugstore alternative: Covergirl Perfect Point Plus in Black Onyx. So smooth, and a very inky black. Precisions is to die for and makes for a perfect cat eye. Love it when I don’t feel like using liquid on my top lid and for using on the waterline for short stints or non-strenuous days. Lasts long, but not as long as the STILA stick. I would strongly recommend it but limit your use to day as I doubt it will go the distance if you take it out on the town. Fantastic buy at about $8 at drugstores or Wal-Mart.

My favourite pencils: The all-time favourite for me is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil. My favourite colour is ‘Perversion’ which is the best shade of black I’ve seen in a stick. Ever. However, you can only get it in the new holiday kits at Sephora where you can get a variety of minis. Unfortunately, I don’t buy this brand for all the colours, just the black or white. So, the next best one you can get from them is the ‘Zero’ black or the ‘Yayo’ shimmery white, both are $22 each at Sephora. Well worth it, since they glide on in the most heavenly way and stay put for about 10 hours without giving you raccoon eyes. Plus, these pencils are the smoothest criminals you can lay your hands on, I promise.

The cheaper alternative:
SEPHORA COLLECTION Flashy Waterproof Eyeliner in #10 Deep Black or #02 Flashy Silver. $10 at Sephora. It’s nice, smooth, has good pigment and is waterproof for day wear, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a night out of dancing or wearing to the gym. This would be bad, very bad. But if you have dry skin or non-sweaty days, then this is a perfect alternative to the pricier favourite of mine.

My favourite drugstore alternatives: CoverGirl Liquiline Blast. It’s waterproof, blendable and highly pigmented. Goes on smooth. It’s a bit smudgier than I like in my everyday pencil but makes for a fantastic smokey eye and even has a nifty smudger on the back just to ease you into mastering the smudging technique. About $10 at drugstores or Wal-Mart.

NYX Sticks for Eyes Eyebrow and Eyeliner Pencil. They are smooth, have great wearability, don’t tug on skin, are non-irritating for sensitive eyes and the pigment is great too. I use #901 Black or #906 White, the #918 White Pearl is softer and a bit shimmery and tends to look better as a tear duct hilighter as opposed to a waterline pencil. You can purchase them from select drugstores for about $5 each.

NYC liquid eyeliner in black is the ultimate for a drugstore brand. Very inky, very black, with a smooth and ultra-fine brush. Drawback: it’s not waterproof so don’t attempt a night out on the town with this one. You can find it in Walmart of drugstores for about $5.

If there is an eyeliner you would like me to review, please drop me a line on this note or on my page a tell me which brand/type/colour you’d like a review on.

Stay Beautiful!