My 2013 IMATS Haul teaser!

So today I was working at the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) here in Toronto. I was honestly hoping to post all my pics and prices of everything I got today in my mad dash to snag a few things while working in the FACE atelier booth all day. I just can’t. Guys, I’m so beat. So, I will give you a teaser and just show you a collage of the goodies I grabbed. I will post more details and prices etc. at a later day. 1 SMALL

If you’re going to be at IMATS tomorrow, happy shopping! xo

cats w

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DIY Easy Black and White Nails

I did a super-easy black and white nail design that I call “tuxedo nails.” Because- they are super streamlined and chic looking, IMO. The absolute best part of this nail design, which I came to find out during the week … Continue reading

My fave MAC Blushes (Swatches)

I am not a brand-whore. Seriously. So no, I do not use all MAC errrythang in my kit. But, I do absolutely love some of their blushes. I find the pigment is great, they are quite smooth and not chalky, … Continue reading

DIY Geometric Manicure

So I stumbled on these 2 links a while back, and decided to make my own “Scotch Tape Manicure”. http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/12-amazing-diy-nail-art-designs-using-scotch-tape http://thebeautydepartment.com/2012/04/sticky-situation/ I used, Pinkalicious and Impeccable Greys from Maybelline’s Color Show line as my 2 base colours, then used white, … Continue reading

Manicure Monday!

I am seriously wishing for spring… Just hoping for some warm weather and the re-appearance of one of my fave trendy colours this year, mint. I have 2 mint green shades of nail lacquer that I am in love with … Continue reading

Limited Edition MAC Makeup Giveway! (Value $113)

Enter the Contest HERE! Beauty By Jemz is giving away a fabulous prize full of goodies from MAC Cosmetics! The prize is valued at $113.00 and contains: “Whisper of Gilt” Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($34) from the Limited Edition Holiday 2012 … Continue reading

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

St Patrick’s Day Nails!

In keeping with the Irish holiday this year, I decided to really get into the spirit of St Patrick’s day by doing some festive nail painting!  I really wanted to do something simple and classy, and realistically wearable. I’m not … Continue reading

Manicure Monday!

  Today’s nails are done using: Sally Hansen ‘Hard as Nails” base coat 1 coat of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear in “White On” #21 2 coats on Nicole by OPI Hint of Mint 1 coat of ELF Assured … 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!

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

Z Palette SALE!

Attention bargain beauty lovers….

Z-Palette is having a sale on their small palettes! 20% off the regular price of $14.00 starting at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! And I have been eyeing up those hot-pink minis since that new colour launched!

These are fabulous little wonders that save loads of space in your kit if you’re a pro or in your bathroom if you’re a makeup loving regular gal! See my Z-Palette musings here… or over here for more!

Don’t forget to pick up your magnetic stickers for those non-magnetized items!

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!

My Love/Hate Relationship

I love makeup, I truly do. But I hate the fact that because I have a mild makeup shopping problem, my whole bathroom suffers. Not to mention that the more product I have,  means the more heavy my kit is when schlepping around town servicing clients. One of the items I love the most in my kit, I tend to often times leave at home. In a box.

It’s ‘pigment pots’. MAC has pigments, Gosh has Gosh pots, Lise Watier has Folies, NYX has pearl powders. They’re all loose pigment eye shadows that come in individual pots or containers. They apply with a sheer pop of highly pigmented colour when dry or give a big burst of concentrated colour when wet or if primed properly. I love using these but I just can’t justify lugging them around. I usually bring my 2 most used colours with me, my close-to nudes, and leave all the rest on my makeup table at home. It’s so sad.

So I finally decided to press my pigments. I had tried this a couple years back but didn’t really like the result. I found my pigment was just too crumbly which led to wasted product & lots of fall-out. So I heard a voice in my head that said to use a lower percentage alcohol & see what happened. And very good things happened.

I’ll start off with what you need:

1: A tool. I used my pro stainless steel double ended spatula. You could use a plastic spatula, teaspoon, cocktail fork, etc or a combination of all of those. You need something to scoop up/out the pigment and mix it.

2: Empty pans. Empty metal pans… I used some old blush ones that I stuck magnetic stickers to the bottom of (to use with my Z palettes), some old square L’oreal eyeshadow pots, some broken 120 palettes pans, and some Yaby empties. It doesn’t matter where they’re from or if you’re recycling old pans or not, just be sure to properly cleanse them and disinfect with alcohol prior to re-use.

3: Rubbing alcohol. I suggest 50%. I had used the 99% pro type rubbing alcohol and it evaporated too quickly which is what I think led the product to it’s crumbly state. The 50% will evaporate more slowly and although it takes longer to set, it will allow the product to set better and form better in the pan.

4: Pigments. Some brands may have difficulty in pressing. I used Makeup Forever, Lise Watier, Gosh, NYX and a cheaper brand called Lanmei that I never heard of until one of my suppliers sent me a ton of them along with an eyelash shipment. All of the above worked really well.

5: baby wipes for clean up of your space, and you (I was a hot mess afterwards) and paper towels should be placed all over your work space.

To Press Your Pigments:

1: Start by filling your empty pan with pigment. A scoop of pigment and a drop of alcohol at a time until the pan is full, and you have a thick paste-like consistency.

2: Mix mix mix.

3: Tap tap tap.

4: Wait until dry.

5: You might choose to press them (literally) with a penny/quarter/dime depending on the size of your pan. I chose to press a few, but not the larger ones. In pressing, you can wrap a tissue around your money and press it flatly into the pan of pigment. You can also choose to wrap a patterned cloth around your coin and press in a fancy schmancy design. I skipped all that. After 3 hours of mixing pigments, I was not feeling fancy or schmancy.

6: Enjoy the fruit of your labour.

I took some photos to show what I managed to do.

I MAJORLY downsized my pots of pigments into several flat pans:

This was the waiting part:This was the end result, with 21 pots of different pigments being downsized into 21 pans of pressed pigment eyeshadows that all fit in to 1 Z-Palette:

Lastly, I  swatched my Lise Watier Folie D’Or from the pot and from the pressed pigment pan after it was dry to test for any colour change at all and I could see none. The only thing it seemed that happened was the colour from the pressed pan seemed more pigmented and would require a light handed application if I wanted it to appear very sheer.

(right side is non-pressed, the left side had been the pressed one)

All in all, I am very happy I finally pressed my pigment pots! Now I can carry around 21 pots of colour in just 1 Z-Palette, and actually, there’s room for a few more pans… hmmm….

How Noxzema Saved My Cheeks…

A few months ago, I had an allergic reaction to something. No idea what it was. And I broke out in all kinds of hives and rashes on my face, mostly my cheeks. I took pills and used some medicated steroid cream and it eventually went away in about 2 weeks.

After that, I noticed my skin became really sensitive and if I even just *touched* my face, I would end up breaking out and pimples would come popping out all over my cheeks. So I was in Shoppers Drug Mart (I know… again… Do not judge me please) and I saw these Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish pads in their classic cobalt blue Noxzema packaging. They were on sale for $3.49 and, in my classic style, I noticed a $1.00 off coupon just down the aisle. So I figured to try them. Nothing else was really working… my regular Cetaphil & Spectro cleansers didn’t seem to be able to handle the break outs alone and my tea tree oil stick was making my face look patchy and dry, nearly sunburnt. So with only $2.49 to lose, I grabbed a pack.

The instructions say to start with using 1 per day, then 2 per day with a max of 3 per day on the face. Well screw that! I was desperate. I started with 3 per day for the first 3 days and then 2 per day for about 3 more days. Before the 5th day, my break out was completely gone. Completely.

It’s true that I thought I might pass out from the menthol and camphor fumes, and sometimes I do plug my nose while swiping my face, but they say ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ and here I am, with my face feeling stronger!

Moment of truth: these are dirt cheap, a jar lasts about 2 months, your breakout could clear up in a week’s time (or less!) and you have no embarrassing acne routine for people to see and poke fun at you about (i.e. the ‘toothpaste’ trick = no boyfriend wants to see that, or the ‘tea tree oil stick’ that dries out your skin in weird patches and makes you look like you got sunburned, or a bathroom cabinet full of acne products, when you could use just 1 or 2 and get the job done). P.s. these also work on your back if you have upper back acne. I recommended them to a male friend and he told me that within a week things were looking MUCH clearer!

My current routine: exfoliate, rinse, wash, rinse, use the Noxzema Anti-blemish pads once a day (on cheeks only, where my breakouts happen) and moisturize with my Clinique Dramatically Different. My current skin: so clear that I rarely wear foundation…. maybe once a week for a night out.

I love these things! And they are now one of my bathroom cabinet staples. Beware, the fumes are STRONG. Like, super strong. But these are completely worth it.

p.s. I have no brand sponsors (pffft- I wish)… So everything I buy costs me out of my own pocket and so, I am always, totally & completely honest about every product I review.

Have an acne remedy? skin cure? share it with me!

The Waxing Lady

Brazilian wax? Anywhere. Eyebrows? One lady, ever, only.

I used to have this fabulous waxing lady. I call her the waxing lady, but really she does this fabulous 4 step process. First she combs and trims, next she waxes, after that she threads and lastly she plucks you into perfection. I loved this woman. Her name is Tammy.

I lost Tammy when I moved. She used to be a walk away from my old apartment, like 5 minutes. Now, she is an hour long commute away. At first I told myself that it was too far. Which it was. And still is. To travel an hour there and an hour back for a process that takes 15 minutes? Ludicrous right? Wrong.

Since moving, I have entrusted my brows to a few different local ladies. They have threaded me too thin, or rounded out my lovely arch, or given me wax burns. I would show them a photo of my eyebrows the way I liked them done (yes, I keep eyebrow photos in my iPhone for this purpose) and they would always agree to give me my brows just like they were featured in my photo. But never did it happen. Ever. I felt defeated. I moved nearly 3 years ago, and in all this time, I still have not been able to find a waxing lady who could do me like Tammy did.

2 days ago, I was traveling across the city and I figured it was easier to go 30 minutes out of my way to see her. I needed a brow job like nobody’s business. I was looking like a Sasquatch. So I went, and I felt like slapping myself for thinking I could replace her. She is amazing. Tammy with the magic technique. I will never try to replace her again. It feels so good to enjoy my eyebrows this much, again. Like a prodigal child or long lost love returning home… that’s how I felt after seeing Tammy.

Now if only I could get her to relocate that salon of hers…