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

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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

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 feelย รผber glam and brings out that inner sex kitten just a little more than usual…. atleast for me! … 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.ย  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 MOST “Budget Friendly” Favourite Thing!

Well, it’s bridal season and my hands have been quite busy. Often too busy to post ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
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: . 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!

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes are like an extension of your arm when you’re a Makeup Artist. So take good care of your makeup brushes and they will take good care of your clients in return ๐Ÿ˜€

Maintaining good brush hygiene is extremely important for several reasons:

1. Your colours stay true to form because you don’t have old colour built up on the bristles, tinting your colours one way or another or having colour stuck on the brush which causes new makeup to not stick to the brush very well or deposit unevenly to the skin.

2. As brushes deposit colour to the skin, they also pick up oils, sebum, bacteria and environmental pollutants that have ended up on the skin. These little ‘nasties’ can build up on your brush and cause makeup to look streaky or uneven on the skin. They can also, and most importantly, cause breakouts or recurring breakouts of acne & other skin irritations by depositing & re-depositing these nasties onto your skin over & over again.

3. Good hygiene can also extend the life of your makeup products. After using a, for example, lip brush in your lip palette, you need to clean it before going back for any more colour so as not to endanger your client’s health and to prolong the life of your product substantially by making sure there’s no bacteria in it or being added to it.

There are 2 methods to cleaning makeup brushes, the Quickie & the Deep Clean.

I use the Quickie method when I’m on shoots or between clients to maintain a hygienic work space & working conditions for my clients. The best brush cleaner that I find does the job well is from Sephora called Daily Brush Cleaner or Cover FX Brushes Cleanser (also requires no rinsing).

HOW-TO: To use this method, take your brush, spray it several times (3 times for an eye brush or lip brush, 5-7 times for a face/body/blush/contour brush) and, using a clean towel, make circular motions on the towel until all makeup is off the brush, ending with a squeeze to put the bristles back in place. Do this gently, keeping in mind this is a dry clean to disinfect & remove immediate product, not to get right down into the depths of the brush as you could ruin your brushes otherwise. This method is also called a “dry clean” by other makeup artists because since the brushes were never soaked with water, they can be ready to reuse right away.

The Deep Clean method should be done WEEKLY for someone who wears makeup everyday for their personal brushes and after each and EVERY work day for an MUA who may have several clients back to back in a day (meanwhile still using the Quickie between faces).

Now everyone has different advice on how to deep clean makeup brushes, and they’re not all bad, but some methods are best for some people while not being good for everyone in general; these are tips that are safe/best for everyone to use. Firstly, you have to decide if you’d like to use a brush liquid cleaner or a shampoo. For those with highly sensitive skin, please use a cleaner (I recommend the brush cleanser by Quo at Shoppers Drug Mart) or an unscented baby shampoo. For those who do not have sensitive skin, I recommend using a mild shampoo that is sulfate, phthalate, & scent free. Personally, I use an organic shampoo on my hair that is all of the above & so it suits me very well to use on my brushes as well since I know it’s not too harsh and my skin will not react poorly to it. I do not recommend using “any shampoo” because not just any shampoo will do. After all, you have to put these brushes on your face or your client’s face so please be mindful of everyone’s different sensitivities when choosing the way you clean your brushes (the same goes for reusable makeup sponges).

HOW-TO: Take a nickel sized amount of shampoo in your palm, wet the brush under lukewarm water, and turn it bristle side down in your palm while making circular motions. Rinse & repeat until the water runs clear. Make a final rinse with cold water. Make a bed for your brushes with a clean towel partially rolled up. Place the brushes handle up (bristles down) with the handle resting on the ‘pillow’ part of the towel bed (the rolled up portion). This is so that water doesn’t leak down into the handle of the brush & cause the handle glue to loosen. Do this at night so that you won’t be rushed to use your brushes before they’re dry. Some people choose to rinse their brushes with conditioner, however, it’s not something I recommend for most peoples skin since conditioners contain moisturizing ingredients (oils, proteins, etc) that some people’s skin will not agree with. Using a mild cleaning agent is a much safer bet.

P.s. by using my method, the same one used by many other professional MUAs, I still have all my brushes I bought 8 years ago ๐Ÿ™‚