The Basics of Contouring

Wet N Wild Beauty SS17

A few weeks ago I attended Wet N Wild Beauty’s SS17 line preview. Aside from learning about the Spring product lineup and playing around with the makeup I had the opportunity of sitting down with a makeup artist who taught me all about contouring. Now while I’ve heard of contouring (Kim Kardashian et al) it’s not something that I have ever tried. To be honest, it seemed kinda scary and intimidating so I just avoided it altogether. Luckily, the beautiful makeup artists that was at the event offered to show me how to contour, leaving me nothing short of impressed with the results and no longer scared to contour.

The makeup artist focused on defining and bringing out my cheekbones; not a feature I have ever played up because I always felt like my cheeks were too chubby to reveal any structured cheekbones. She did an amazing job, within a few minutes my face appeared to slim down a bit and enhanced my cheekbones with beautiful highlights.

Below I have summarized the basics of contouring using the lovely products I received  from Wet-N-Wild.

Wet N Wild Beauty SS17

Step 1: Concealer
Start by applying concealer on your face as you typically would. A concealer stick is a great way to get quick precision; I apply this one directly under my eyes then blend out with a concealer brush. You could also use your fingertips to blend if you prefer.

Step 2: Foundation
Use a foundation to build your base. The Photo Focus foundation provides adequate coverage leaving my complexion with a flawless finish. Specially formulated to minimize light reflection caused by flash photography while delivering a matte finish thanks to its light-adjusting complex makes this a great foundation for any blogger or anyone else who’s in front of the camera a lot.

Step 3:  Contour + Highlight
Now the fun part! Use a contouring shade to define the areas you want to “push in”. Suck in your cheeks to define your cheek bone and apply the contour along the hollow below the cheek bone. Make sure you start all the way at your ear and bring the contour down to where it would align with your pupils. Then blend, blend, and blend some more. The same technique can be used to apply vertical contours along each side of the nose to slim it down.

Highlighter is used to accentuate parts of the face that should “stand out” (like above the cheekbones and the top of the nose) and blend that in as well. The Wet N Wild contouring stick is perfect for this step because the dual ends have both the contour and highlighter in one.

Step 4: Light dusting of powder
Apply a very light dusting of powder overtop your makeup. Avoid caking on the powder as it will detract from the contour applying just enough to seal the foundation and cream make up in place. If you do this step before the contouring then it might make blending the dark and light shades more challenging as the power won’t blend too well with the creams.

Step 5: The Glow
Get that naturally luminous glow by applying a highlighting powder on your cheek bones, forehead, tip of the nose and cupid’s bow.

Wet N Wild Beauty SS17All make up products courtesy of Wet N Wild Beauty.

Winter Survival with Pretty and Useful Things

Winter Survival Guide

Ah winter….what can I say? Not my first choice of seasons. Don’t get me wrong, winter can be serenely beautiful…if you’re sitting inside by a fireplace wine glass in hand. But all hibernation ideals aside, winter really doesn’t do my body any favours; I lose my golden glow, it makes my hair static, and when it’s really frigid, my knuckles dry and crack to the point where they bleed. Fun times. Luckily I’ve been introduced to a few new products that are helping me to cope with the winter season that I am rounding up here, along with a few old favourites.

Lots and lots of tea. I’ve expanded my horizons in the tea department recently, venturing outside of black, green, and my favourite – jasmine tea. All of this thanks to a visit to Teavana while randomly strolling through Upper Canada Mall. The vast amounts of loose leaf teas this store has is insane…anything from specialized tea, chai, to even herbal teas. The herbal fruit teas consist of a mix of tea and dried pieces of fruit and not only smell, but look divine. Passion Tango is the one I am currently hooked on.

passion tango tea in vintage teacup

Winter Survival GuideBOLD LIP COLOURS
A beautiful smile goes a long way in uplifting spirits and fighting the winter blues. And Bite Beauty keeps me smiling for more reasons than just their beautifully bold colours. Bite Beauty lipsticks are natural lip products made with food-grade ingredients which leave me happy knowing that I’m not applying harmful colours onto my lips on the daily (a reason that I avoided lipsticks for many years). 

winter survival for lips

I cannot even tell you how often I reach for my lip balm on a daily basis. Working in an office with dry and cool temperatures doesn’t help either, so I am really grateful to eos for sending me their  lip aid kit – which has been just that – first aid for my lips during the dry winter months. Aside from just being a fun product thanks to their cute and colourful containers, eos lip balm leaves your lips not only soft and supple, but full of yummy flavour. A winter beauty hack of mine is to apply a very thin layer of moisturizing lip balm on my lips before adding lipstick.

winter lip care

You may have seen on my Insta stories that I shattered the screen on my phone not too long ago. I think the stress of the holidays took its toll on me because at one point I was dropping my phone on the daily. Not even kidding…until finally one day my poor iPhone just did not survive the drop. Thankfully my friends at Arla Cases let me try out one of their cases (with which the delivery of coincided with my replacement phone to the exact day)  and I’m happy to report that I have not dropped my new phone since. I’m notorious for waiting months before getting a case or even screen protector for my phone, but there really are no excuses when hundreds of cute designs are available online. It wasn’t easy to narrow it down to one, but after seeing this cowskull with roses designs I had eyes for no other. So far I love it (the gorgeous design is a no-brainer) but I truly appreciate the fact that my phone actually has a ‘grip’ to it now, and isn’t slipping out of my hand all the time. If you are looking for a case for your phone check out the Arla Cases site and use promo code XOXO15OFF to get 15% off your order.

arla cases cow skull with roses case

arla cases cow skull with roses case

Which is exactly my routine. I’m always on the lookout for products that contain as little harmful substances as possible, so a special thank you to eos for letting me try their new line of skincare products. This line is loaded with shea butter, avocado, and all sorts of vitamins to not only help nourish dry skin but also to provide it with nutrients that it craves. Especially loving the hand cream, which is perfectly compact and prevents my hands from drying out and cracking. Also of note is the shaving cream because it’s almost next to impossible to find one that isn’t made up entirely of harmful ingredients. Instead, this one contains vitamins, green tea and grape seed extract along with the aforementioned shea butter and avocado. The shave cream allows for a wet or dry shave and leaves my legs noticeably smooth and nourished – it’s as close to summer skin as I can get in the wintertime. And with great skin like that, who wouldn’t want to show it off? Which leads me to my next fave…

winter skincare survival

winter skincare survival

Loungewear in this house has taken on new meanings with the emergence of bralettes and, well…skivvies. On any given weekend my typical loungewear consists of a bralette, loose rocker tee (if any), skivvies and over the knee socks. To date, my bralette collection consisted of Nasty Gal only pieces however I’ve been crushing on a few For Love and Lemons pieces recently, and my boo surprised me with one. Needless to say it has quickly become a favourite, and I’m looking forward to expanding my Fore Love and Lemons collection more. 

bralette with girl painting and candles

bralette with candle and wooden box
lace flower detail bralette What are some things that are helping you to survive the winter season? Let me know, I’d love to hear it!

A special thank you to Bite Beauty, eos, and Arla Cases for sending me their lovely products to try out.



Winter Skincare with Murad

Murad Skincare for Sensitive Skin
Naturally flawless skin is not something I was blessed with and it’s been an effort even to maintain my far from perfect skin over the years. Having suffered from acne throughout my teenage years well into early adulthood I was left with damaged, uneven skin tones in my t-zone area that never quite went back to normal. While I get that some may never have perfectly flawless skin without having to break out the makeup arsenal, it would still be nice to have skin that looks decent enough to wear outside without cover up whenever you just don’t feel like putting make up on.
Having said that, with all the advancements in skincare technology nowadays I knew there had to be a product out there that could potentially minimize my redness and even out my skin tone to a realistic expectation. An opportunity presented itself to try Murad skincare, and seeing as how I had only heard good things in the past, I was excited to try the line. I ended up using an assortment of products from different lines for my three-step routine.
Skincare for sensitive skin
Step 1 to achieving my near perfect skin was to replenish my dry skin with the Renewing Cleansing Cream. Needed now more than even in the winter. The cleanser smells like papaya tea to me and is quite refreshing in the mornings. The cleansing cream feels really good on your face and you can actually feel the silkiness and moisture as you’re using it. It’s loaded with papaya enzymes and apricot oil, and is very concentrated; a pea size amount is enough to wash your face and effectively remove all makeup.
Murad Cleanseer for sensitive skin
Step 2 is the Luminous Essence. Umm…I didn’t even know there was an essence until research time for this post. Essence is a concentrated formula that treats on a cellular level targeting wrinkles, fine lines and dull/uneven skin tone. The Murad light enhancing essence is infused with skin-illuminating botanicals to help restore youthful texture and luminosity. Some of the extracts include red algae and indian fig which work together to support natural renewal, enhancing smoothness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while increasing firmness and elasticity. It smells pleasant and feels quite refreshing on the skin – think thirst-quenching hydration but for your face.
Step 3 hydrates with the Skin Perfecting Lotion. This lotion offers shine-free hydration without clogging pores in a lightweight oil-free formula. As someone who usually has to reach for a blotting paper right around noon, this is a must. The lotion kept my pores clear and minimized, a benefit of the retinol and queen meadow extract I’m sure, which reduce oil production, tone and tighten pores.
Murad Skincare for sensitive and oily skin
I’ve been using the products for over 2 weeks now and am starting to notice that the rosy areas of my face have become more subtle and are blending in better with my natural yellow undertones. My skin is also less oily, if anything, some of the dry areas could use more moisturization. And that’s actually another thing I love about the lotion, it is compact enough to throw in your clutch. I am very pleased with the results and am thankful to Murad for letting me try their skincare line, and in the process giving me better skin. For what I was after – naked skin that is beautiful enough to run errands with, I sure got it. I look forward to using this regimen over a longer period of time to see if my skin improves further – I have a feeling it will.
Murad Skincare for sensitive skin

This post was written in partnership with Murad, however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.