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If your friends are anything like mine, your social feeds were absolutely filled with people having Royal Wedding theme parties this weekend. Some people celebrated by eating scones and drinking tea, while others wore tiaras or fancy hats. Now, I didn’t actually celebrate the wedding, but I am a huge fan of theme parties in general. In fact, for my birthday this year, I threw a royal theme party of my own!

Photo by Elsie Nisonen

{How to Throw the Perfect Theme Party}

Read on to find out more about my fête, including:

  • Theme & Décor
  • Costumes
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Food & Drinks
  • Activities
  • Tips for Throwing the Perfect Theme Party


Disclaimer: Image Makeover and Elsie Nisonen provided me with services at a discounted rate for the purposes of this story.

The Theme & Décor

Photo by Elsie Nisonen

This is where the party truly starts: finding a theme that will guide your event. You want to have a theme that’s specific enough to shape the tone of the party, but broad enough that your guests have some choice in how they approach it. I was celebrating my ‘champagne birthday’ this year, so I knew I wanted to play off of that. I’ve also had a lifelong fascination with Marie Antoinette. Since Marie Antoinette was a big fan of champagne, why not combine the two ideas? My Marie Antoinette-themed champagne birthday party was born!

I decided on a colour scheme for my event (gold, cream, and pastels), and set off to find inexpensive ways of transforming my modern apartment into a Baroque salon. I purchased party supplies online that had gold filigree patterns, and found some discount lace at a fabric store to use as tablecloths. Add in some LED candles in vintage candlesticks, a “Bienvenue” banner, a playlist with some classical music, and my living room suddenly stepped back in time to 1770.

The Costumes

For my theme party, I was particularly excited to see my guests in Marie Antoinette-inspired outfits! I wanted everyone to dress up, so I made sure that all my guests could do so in a way that was comfortable for them. I emphasized on the invitation that costumes would be mandatory, but I also provided a list of costume ideas at various price points: tips on how to DIY an outfit, links to stores that sell full 18th Century costumes, and search terms to use when looking for inspiration. Ultimately, I had guests show up in full-on Baroque dresses and wigs they had purchased specifically for the event, and other wearing modern outfits with little historical touches, like masks or gloves. The key was that the theme was clear, but broad enough that there were many different ways of interpreting it through costumes.

Photo by Elsie Nisonen

For my own outfit, I wanted something dramatic and elaborate, but I couldn’t afford to get one of the ready-made Baroque gowns I’d seen online. Eventually, I found an inexpensive 18th Century-style dress on eBay, then had it tailored to my specifications. That way, I got a beautiful dress that fit and looked exactly how I wanted, without breaking the bank.

Photos by Elsie Nisonen

The Hair & Makeup

Photo by Elsie Nisonen

When most people hear “Marie Antoinette,” they immediately think of the queen’s famed pouf hairstyle. As I mentioned above, my invitations had hair and makeup suggestions for my guests, from links to wigs they could purchase, to ways to re-create the style inexpensively. For my own look, I planned to go all-out and have my own hair done in true 18th Century style. I gathered a selection of inspiration photos, and purchased silk flowers and cruelty-free feathers from Etsy to add to my pouf. I also got a few sets of inexpensive hair extensions to make sure that I had enough volume to work with, and some fun temporary hair dye to help my auburn locks better reflect the 18th Century theme.

This wasn’t a hairstyle I could do by myself. I called up my longtime stylist, Mario from Image Makeover Salon, and booked a consultation for an event updo about a month before the party. I brought the inspiration photos as well as the accessories, and we talked about how we would proceed. This ensured that Mario had a clear idea of what I was looking for in terms of hair design, and I had an idea of what was possible. Mario and his team are incredible stylists, so I knew that I was in good hands.

On the day of the party, I returned to the salon with extensions, flowers, feathers, and hair dye in hand. Mario’s colleague Paula got in on the fun, too! Together, they designed and created for me an absolutely stunning hairstyle that truly was fit for a queen. I was in heaven!

Photos by Elsie Nisonen

I wanted my gorgeous hairstyle to really be the centerpiece of my look, so I kept my makeup fairly subtle. As a nod to the 1770s theme, I powdered my face so that it would be a few shades whiter than my natural skin tone. To complement the purple and grey tones of my hair, I added pink eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick. One final touch of glam with my trusty Esquido mink lashes, and my look was complete!

The Food & Drinks

Photo by Elsie Nisonen

With a theme party, of course, you have the added fun of tying your food and drink options into the theme of the event! For my Marie Antoinette party, I took inspiration both from historical documents and from the genius Sophia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette. I got a charcuterie plate, several trays of finger sandwiches, and fresh fruits catered so that there were enough snacks for everyone. Marie Antoinette was infamous for her excess, so for desserts, I made four different types of macarons, two flavors of meringue kisses, and cake truffles. The food table was packed!

It’s important to make sure that everyone can enjoy your theme party responsibly, so although this was a ‘champagne birthday’ party, I had lots of non-alcoholic options on hand, too. In fact, instead of having a signature cocktail, I decided that the signature drink for the evening would be a non-alcoholic party punch. That way, all of my guests could partake in the special drink, and those who wanted to could add a shot or two to their glasses. I also had both champagne and sparkling water available, so that guests could get into the bubbly theme, whether or not they were choosing to drink alcohol.

The Activities

Activities are another fun way to bring your theme party to life. To emphasize the time period, I created a historical trivia game for my guests with interesting and weird facts about the 18th Century. I also made a guessing game about famous women throughout history, inspired by a game that Marie Antoinette herself often played with members of her court. Additionally, there were spaces for my invitees to sit and chat, as well as the Marie Antoinette movie playing on mute in the corner. This ensured that everyone could find something to do, and could engage with the other guests in different ways over the course of the evening.

Since I knew my guests would have put a lot of time and energy into their outfits, I wanted to make sure that there would be some great pictures from the party. I researched event photographers, and ran across the work of Elsie Nisonen, who agreed to come photograph my theme party. Elsie was absolutely fantastic! She got great shots of the room and food, as well as wonderful candid shots of the guests. For the first time in years, I didn’t have my phone with me, as Elsie’s presence gave me the peace of mind to just enjoy my event and not worry about documenting it.

Photo by Elsie Nisonen

Another big hit for the party was the Photo Wall. I purchased a photo backdrop online, and collected a bunch of different props, which I kept in a basket beside the backdrop. All night, my guests were having a blast with the wall, trying out different props and getting their photos taken by Elsie. Before I knew it, almost 5 hours had passed!

Photos by Elsie Nisonen

I’ve thrown quite a few theme parties in my day, but my absolute favourite has been my Marie Antoinette champagne birthday. It took a fair amount of planning, but it was an incredible night, and worked out even better than I could have expected.

To help your next theme party go just as smoothly, I’ve included some tips below.

Tips for Your Theme Party
  • Do a quick internet search of your potential theme beforehand, and ask yourself: can everyone find something to wear to this theme party? Is this theme something positive and fun? Good themes can be inspired by certain famous figures, a time period, a quote or idea – almost anything! Good themes do not, however, include people dressing up as appropriations of other cultures or mock peoples’ identities.
  • As the host, it’s your responsibility to ensure that everyone can find something to wear that’s on-theme. Do a bit of research beforehand, and include suggestions for your guests on your invitations. I also recommend having a few extra items on-hand during the party so that guests can add to their outfits, if need be.
  • You want the day of your theme party to be as stress-free as possible, so anything you can plan and prepare ahead of time, you should. Make a schedule, starting from the day of the event and working backwards so you can complete your to-do list in time and enjoy your party!
  • It’s easy for budgets to get out of control when there are so many wonderful things available online and around the city. Make a budget beforehand, figure out what your priorities are, and add in a buffer, just in case. If things seem to be getting too expensive, decide what you can return/DIY, or ask your guests to help out!
  • As any good host knows, every guest at your party should find at least a few different things to eat. A theme party is no different: ask your guests in about dietary restrictions in advance, and make sure that you have food and drink options for everyone.
  • Wondering how much food to order/make? A good benchmark is to estimate that every guest will eat 1-2 appetizer-type items for every hour they are at the event.
  • Provide a few different types of activities, so that guests can move through the space over the course of the event. Design some activities to be participatory (group games to get everyone talking), but leave some quiet areas as well, for those who aren’t as comfortable in social settings.
  • If you are able to, try to get a photographer. This can be a friend or acquaintance you’ve recruited for the event, or someone you’ve hired specifically to help out. Either way, it’s a huge relief to know that you can relax and enjoy yourself at your party, knowing that you’ll have photos of the fun to look at later.
Have you ever thrown a theme party? If so, what are some of the most important things to keep in mind?

The post How to Throw the Perfect Theme Party appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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This spring, The Body Shop released a few new additions to some of their most loved skincare collections and they also expanded some of their cosmetic offerings.

{Spring 2018 Additions to The Body Shop} Drops of Youth

The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth collection has been one of their best sellers, so it makes sense that they added a few new items. This collection contains plant stem cells from:

  • Edelweiss from the Italian Alps
  • Sea Holly from the Brittany Coast
  • Criste Marine from the Brittany Coast

These sustainably-grown plants are known to protect, renew, and restructure the skin’s surface to make your face feel healthy, hydrated, and youthful. It’s a great collection to use earlier in your life as an anti-aging regimen. I like using the Drops of Youth Gentle Foaming Wash first thing in the morning and then follow up with the Drops of Youth Essence Lotion, then the Concentrate Serum, followed by the Youth Cream and finally, I apply a pea-sized amount of the Youth Bouncy Eye Mask under my eyes. Before bed, I’ll apply a thicker layer of the eye mask to let it absorb overnight. My eyes honestly feel so much more hydrated and awake after using this eye mask overnight. I personally really like this collection because of the smell. I’d describe it as smelling “green”, if that makes sense. It smells like fresh plants, which can be a nice alternative to a lot of the heavily perfumed and floral products out there.

Roots of Strength

If you’re more interested in firming your skin and you’re starting to see some wrinkles, then consider getting something from the Roots of Strength collection. The newest additions to this line includes a new Firming Shaping Cream and Firming Shaping Serum. This collection contains 3 root extracts:

  • Ginger from Madagascar re-plumps the skin
  • Ginseng from China firms the skin
  • Ruscus from Europe stimulates skin cell turnover

Working together, these roots create a basis for a collection that makes your wrinkles smoother and face feel lifted. The Roots of Strength collection has more of a ginger scent, so if that’s what your mother enjoys and she’s a bit older, she might appreciate this collection.

Lip Juicers

One of the newest things that’s coming out of The Body Shop this spring is their launch of the new Lip Juicers. These cute little lip balms are the perfect way to moisturize your lips while giving you just a hint of colour. They come in 5 delicious flavours: strawberry pomegranate, raspberry beetroot, kiwi watermelon, acai blueberry dragonfruit, and coconut passionfruit. They all contain shea butter and marula oil and are just the right size to pop into your purse before you head out the door. They’re super cute and fun for everyone!

All of these products are 100% vegan and like all Body Shop products, everything is cruelty-free, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you’re buying something good for the animals while still treating yourself (or your mom this Mother’s Day!).

Have you tried any of the new items coming out of the Body Shop this spring? What’s your favourite?

The post What’s New for Spring at The Body Shop appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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Mother’s Day 2018 Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day 2018 is my first year celebrating as a mama myself – with my son J. I have always appreciated my mom, but now I understand her more than ever! I really want to spoil her with some self-care products and maybe a pampering experience. Here are a few products I love!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Travel in Colour – Cali Love Collection

In light of my recent L.A. trip I cannot think of anything more perfect to wear on the sunny days ahead than the fun colours from this collection! My favourite shade is “Orchid-ing Aside” which was a bright, creamy pink with purple undertones. I wore it my entire trip!  This new series has an impressive selection of pink, blush and nude shades along with a pop of magenta and blue. You first apply the colour – I like to do two coats. Once dry, apply a layer of the Miracle Gel Top Coat for supreme shine that will keep your nails from chipping for a few days. Of course, it also depends what activities you will be doing – but  I really loved the application of both the colour and top coat and found my nails were also very strong with it on. Check out some fun nail art designed with this series in mind!

Some highlights of the collection are:

  • Shiny, strong nails after applying
  • Perfect range of pinks and nudes for an everyday summer look
  • Quick drying

You can the find Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Travel in Colour – Cali Love Collection at mass retailers and drugstores across Canada.

Monica Vinader Engraved Pendant Necklace

This year for my birthday, my friends purchased me a beautiful, minimalist, gold pendant necklace and had it engraved on the back with three words they felt best described me. I wear it constantly, with every outfit and it is so special to me. This would be an excellent gift to give a mom in your life. When I say mom – it doesn’t have to be a biological mother either! There are so many women in my life who have mothered me and been there for me. Monica Vinader pieces are a bit of a splurge but if you are looking for a sentimental keepsake gift, this would fit the bill perfectly!

Phytomillesime Leave-in Beauty Concentrate

Nothing fits my chaotic mom life better than leave in conditioners! I love the Phytomillesime Leave-in Beauty Concentrate because it strengthens the hair fibre, gives it shine and makes styling easy. This past year I have been going blonder every few months so needless to say my hair is always in need of good products to hydrate and nourish it. For all of the bleaching that has been happening, I must say it is still smooth and healthy looking. I definitely recommend this to any mom who has very little time to spend on hair masks and treatments but wants to still have full, lustrous hair that is protected from factors such as weather and heat styling. This product is catered to hair that has been dyed.

What I love About This Product:

  • Quick, easy and no fuss
  • Designed to protect colour treated hair
  • Hydrating
  • Adds shine
  • Makes it easy to style – hello beach waves!

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Cologne

This particular product is actually men’s. I thought I would chat about it because I cannot say enough about how my husband has contributed equally through these early months of J’s life in different, yet equally as important ways! Yes – that’s what Father’s Day is for, I know! Regardless, it’s nice to appreciate each other every day of the year and I was really excited to introduce my guy to this zesty, fresh scent. After all, I’m the one that gets to smell it too! The scent is meant to capture the spirit of the Mediterranean with hints of the rare chinotto fruit combined with the sparkling crispness of  mandarin, along with Jasmine and Geranium at the heart of it. It is meant to be reminiscent of an early morning stroll along the rocky coastlines of Western Liguria. I have yet to visit, but for now I will have this scent to inspire me!

Some highlights of this cologne:

  • The bottle is beautiful and would look great on display
  • I love how fresh, crisp and clean the scent is

Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo can be purchased exclusively at Bloomingdales for $165/150 ml and $107/75 ml. It will also be available, launching in June 2018 at Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Do any of these fabulous items inspire you to treat yourself or another motherly woman in your life? Hey – I’m talking to you fur mamas too! Let me know in the comments below.

The post Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for 2018 appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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Spring has finally sprung and it looks like the weather will be catching up with the season too! A new season is the perfect excuse to spring clean your beauty bag. Now is the time to get rid of any expired makeup you may have lying around (we admit it…we have some too!). It’s also the perfect excuse to pick up some great new beauty items, since summer collections will be hitting the stores. Here’s a quick guideline on how to spring clean your beauty bag.

{Spring Clean Your Beauty Bag}

A good starting point is to take inventory of any products that are liquid based. Any non-liquid based products can be kept longer than those that are liquid.  Of course, if you ever note a change in colour, smell or see anything growing on or in the product, it’s best to just toss it!

Mascaras Three to Four Months

Anything that’s worn near the eye can easily transfer bacteria. Eyes are prone to infection so even if you don’t wear your mascara daily it’s a good idea to toss it every 3 to 4 months.

I’m currently loving: A classic – L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Waterproof Mascara

Eye Liners Three to Six Months

Just like mascaras eye liners can transfer bacteria to your eyes! You can use eye pencils up to about 6 months since you’ll be constantly sharpening them but make sure to toss your liquid and gel liners much sooner!

One of my favourites: Marcelle Liquid Eyeliner

Lipsticks and Lip glosses Six Months to Eighteen Months

Most lipsticks are wax based and don’t contain much water. Lip glosses however, can be made of water or oils. As with any makeup if your lip product smells “off” toss it right away! Be diligent to check your lip gloss applicators too, as mold can grow on them.

I’m currently loving: NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick

Foundations One Year to Eighteen Months

If you wear foundation, tinted moisturizers, concealers or BB creams, they are all liquid and therefore water based. It’s good to keep in mind that anything water based can grow bacteria so once you’ve had it for a year it’s time to toss it! Cream products are usually oil based and can last a bit longer. But remember that oils from your skin can transfer to your product, so if it’s not in a closed tube you may have to get rid of it earlier.

If you’re using these products daily then you’ll probably run out of them before a year anyway, so you won’t even have to worry about it!

I’m currently loving: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream

Powders Two Years

(foundations, blushes, eye shadows): Two Years

Powder foundations, blushes and eye shadows generally do not contain any liquids so they can be used for a longer time. It should be noted that oils and dirt from your skin can transfer over to your product so it’s good practice to wipe or blot your applicator off on a tissue in between each application. Eye shadows can generally last a lot longer than other eye makeup if you’re only using the shadow on your lids. If you do use your eye shadow close to the lash line it’s best to toss it out earlier!

One of my favourites: MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Microfinishing Pressed Powder

Hopefully these tips will help you spring clean your beauty bag. Here’s hoping it will be way more fun than cleaning your house!

The post Spring Clean Your Beauty Bag appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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A few weeks ago, I was invited to try a facial at Ici Paris Spa. Overall, I had a lovely experience, and learned a ton about proper care for acne-prone skin. Be sure to check out the last section of this post, where I list some of the most interesting things I learned!

Disclaimer: This service was provided to me free of charge by Ici Paris Spa, for editorial consideration. All opinions in this post are my own.

{A Skincare Education: The Probiotic Acne Facial at Ici Paris Spa} The Consultation

Skin consultations have always made me a bit nervous. As I’ve previously mentioned, I had horrible acne as a teen, and I have quite a few allergies that result in frequent skin irritation, so the idea of someone evaluating my skin makes me anxious. When I’ve had these facial consultations in the past, they’ve always felt a bit like a job interview: you’re answering questions, trying to present the best version of yourself (“Yes, I definitely drink 6 glasses of water every day….”), and hoping they don’t point out the negatives!

Gordana, the Spa Director, performed my consultation at Ici Paris. She was very kind and wasn’t overly critical; she read through the form I had filled out about my skin history, then used a magnifying glass to assess my skin, chatting with me about my concerns. A frank discussion of your skin’s challenges is necessary to select the best treatment for each person’s unique skincare needs, but, due to my own insecurities about my less-than-perfect skin, it’s definitely not my favourite part of a facial. That being said, Gordana’s professional manner and expertise made this as pleasant a consultation as I’ve ever experienced.

At the end of our meeting, Gordana recommended I try the Probiotic Acne Facial, given my skin’s history.

The Facial

Anita, my facialist, was gentle and accommodating. She did a fantastic job of the facial itself, and of answering my (many) questions. The room was comfortable and clean, and, by the end, I felt completely relaxed and refreshed.

My facial consisted of a few different classic elements:

  • Cleansing
  • Exfoliation
  • Extraction/Oxygenation
  • Massage
  • Application of masks and toners

Since this was a facial specifically designed for acne-prone skin, the focus of each of the products was clearing skin congestion and revitalizing dull and stressed cells. Many of the lotions and toners therefore included glycolic acid in order to remove bacteria and other obstructions. The products were strong enough that I felt them working, but not painful or irritating, and I experienced no allergic reaction afterwards. (Yay!)

After the standard steaming and extractions, Anita fired up the High-Frequency Wand. This tool looks a bit like an electric toothbrush with a glowing suction cup on the end instead of bristles. It works by using pulses of low-grade electricity to oxygenate the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria, which is why it’s so useful after your pores have already been opened from the earlier elements of the facial. Despite my reservations, the wand didn’t hurt at all! It just felt like getting a small static shock.

Following the high-frequency treatment, Anita applied a cooling mask to my skin, and gave me a heavenly scalp and shoulder massage. She then removed the mask with a warm washcloth, and I was ready to rejoin the world, cleansed and refreshed!

The Education

One of the best parts about my experience at Ici Paris was the fact that everyone was so knowledgeable. And, working at spa with over 40 years in the business, how could they not be? Here are some of the most interesting things I learned:

  • There is no real cure for rosacea (redness), but you can try to eliminate or reduce your exposure to some of its triggers: stress, temperature differences, red wine, and spicy food.
  • If you find it challenging to remember how many glasses of water you’ve had during the day, try a more regular schedule. Drink one glass when you wake up in the morning, one before and after each meal, and then one just before you go to sleep.
  • Speaking of sleep, make sure you get enough of it! During the day, your skin is constantly adjusting to changes in pollution, humidity, allergens, toxins, and temperature as you move through your daily routine; nighttime is when your skin can relax and recover from the day’s stresses.
  • Adult acne tends to be on the jawline, so it’s a good idea to focus on that area when applying acne-fighting products.
  • A raisin-sized amount of product is enough to use on your whole face (and neck!). Applying too much of a product can lower its effectiveness and clog your pores.

Since getting a facial can feel vulnerable, I was glad to know that I was in experienced (and well-reviewed – they received the Top Choice Award for Best Beauty Spa in Toronto for 2018!) hands at Ici Paris Spa. Treatments there are fairly pricey, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a first stop for someone on a tight budget, but it is a fantastic option for someone who wants to give their skin some pampering and learn a lot on the way.

Ici Paris Spa can be found at 370 Danforth Avenue, where they offer a wide variety of aesthetic services and treatments. Facials range from $80 – $175.

Have you ever been to Ici Paris Spa? What’s your experience with facials for acne-prone skin?

The post A Skincare Education: The Probiotic Acne Facial at Ici Paris Spa appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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{Benefit Cosmetics at Indigo}

If you are a Benefit Cosmetics fan like we are over here at TBR, you probably already know that Benefit Cosmetics is now available online at Indigo.

Benefit Cosmetics at Indigo

Back in January, the well-known cosmetic company launched a selection of their products on the website we all know for books, stationary, etc. I love that Indigo is expanding to sell other items other than just books. For me, this becomes a one-stop shop while I do my weekend online shopping. If you know your Benefit products and have a wish list, there’s no need to test anything so you can skip going to a brick & mortar and head to Indigo.ca and just add your favorite products to the cart.

My BenePicks

I am still in love with millennial pink and currently stationary at Indigo falls into this colour scheme. With this in mind, I decided to order these two products because of the pretty pink packaging – Dandelion Twinkle and POREfessional Pearl Primer. I am currently very much in love with highlighting and these two products do the trick. The primer not only covers up pores but adds a pearly highlight that brightens even when applied under foundation. Dandelion Twinkle adds a soft glow by adding a luminous finish to cheekbones. Both products are great for everyday wear because the highlighting is not over the top, it gives the right amount of glow to look alive and awake during the week.

Photo courtesy of Indigo

Adding more to the cart

Remember when I said a one-stop shop for online weekend shopping? Well, I am not just going to place an order for beauty products, so why no throw in some other items? I could order some beauty books but since I already have two beauty products in my cart, I thought it would be great to add something on self-care and food. And remember when I mentioned colour schemes? A great idea would be to throw in some stationary – cute pens, journals or even a weekly planning board.

What are some of your favorite Benefit products? Will you be ordering Benefit Cosmetics at Indigo?

The post Benefit Cosmetics at Indigo appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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With the Makeup For Ever Artist Color Collection, you can create a custom eyeshadow palette or face powder palette, allowing you to find your inner artist and explore the shades that work best for you. I put an Artist Eye Color eyeshadow palette to the test to see just how versatile it could be.

{10 Looks, 3 Shadows: Playing with the Makeup For Ever Artist Eye Color Eyeshadow Palette} The Struggle

Makeup can be an expensive hobby. It seems like every day, a new “must-have” palette is released, and makeup lovers scramble to buy it for that one amazing new shade it contains. But what happens with all the rest of the shades? If you’re anything like me, you have an eyeshadow graveyard of sorts; stacks of palettes with 2-3 colours completely used up and the rest almost untouched. You don’t want to buy the whole palette again, but the colours you love aren’t available in other sets. So frustrating!

The Answer

Rage no more, my friends. Makeup For Ever has released a line of customizable palettes of eyeshadow and face powders to help you get exactly the shades you need, every time. Here’s how it works: pick a palette size, select shades to fill the palette, and pop the shades into the palette in whatever order your heart desires! The individual pans are magnetic, so they easily snap in and out of the palette, making it a breeze to switch out an individual shade when you need to re-order, or when you’re feeling like a change.

Some of my favourite things about this system:

  • It’s less wasteful, since you’re only buying exactly what you need
  • Inserting and removing the individual pans is easy
  • The range is much more diverse than traditional palettes, as you can pick what works best for your skin tone rather than what sells to the widest demographic
  • The powders feel light on the skin, but last all day
  • The shades are highly pigmented and look good with wet or dry application
  • Everything is highly blendable, meaning you can build up the exact color you need but can also transition seamlessly to other shades
  • The shades come in a wide range of colours and finishes that provide endless opportunities for mixing

The Challenge: How Many Makeup Looks Can I Create?

Since a big part of this collection is about channeling your inner artist, I decided to challenge myself to see how many looks I could create using only the eyeshadows and face powders included in my Artist Color palettes, while changing up my eyeliners and lipsticks. I used Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara in Black for each look.

The Artist Face Color shades I chose:

  • H-102 (shimmer highlighter)
  • S-114 (matte sculpting powder)
  • B-206 (matte blush)

The Artist Eye Color shades I chose:

  • M-402 Mimosa (matte yellow)
  • D- 826 Fig (sparkly deep red)
  • S-238 Blue Cedar (satin green-teal)

Looks 1-3: Lashline Love

For these 3 looks, I kept my standard black winged eyeliner on top, but applied the Artist Eye Color shadows along my lower lash line. This is such a quick & easy way to up your makeup game while still remaining totally work-appropriate.

Other products used: Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner in Blackest Black, Filorga Nutri-Filler Plumping Lip Balm

Look 4: Not Your Basic Blue

This was another easy look to put together, but one that I loved because of that incredible Blue Cedar shade. To create this look, I applied Blue Cedar all over my lid (blending slightly past the crease), drew on a little eyeliner to help define my eye shape, and created a bit of contrast by emphasizing my waterline.

Other products used: Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner in Blackest Black, NYX Cosmetics Faux Whites Eye Brightener in Mint Cream, Filorga Nutri-Filler Plumping Lip Balm

Look 5: Fake-out Cut Crease

Cut creases are huge in the beauty industry right now, but getting yours on point can be a real challenge. Here, I’ve done a fake-out version of this trend by applying Fig to my crease, blending it upwards, and then applying concealer all over my lid (using an angled brush to draw a crisp line) and finishing with black eyeliner to heighten the contrast. You get the cut crease look without the stress (or wrist pain from too much blending)!

Other products used: Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner in Blackest Black, Shiseido Cosmetics Rouge Rouge Lipstick in Curious Cassis

Looks 6-7: Hello, Yellow!

Mimosa is both a really fun eyeshadow shade and my drink of choice at brunch. Its bright color and matte finish make it a great way to liven up any look. Playing with contrasting eyeliners and lipsticks helps to really show off this sunny shade.

Other products used: (on left) NYX Cosmetics Coloured Felt Tip Liner in White, Flower Beauty Lip Suede Velvet Lip Chubby in Coral Floral; (on right) Annabelle Cosmetics Kohl Eyeliner in Lapis, Buxom Shimmer Shock Lipstick in Va-Va-Voltage

Looks 8-9: Power Play

For these two looks, I played with the balance of red and yellow. On the left, you’ll see a two-tone version of a smoky eye where Fig takes centre stage. I applied Mimosa on my lid as a base, then created an exaggerated tapered shape by blending Fig into my crease and over my brow bone. To finish, I smoked out my lower lash line with Fig, joining it with the shades on my lid.

On the right, I emphasized the yellow instead. Again, I applied Mimosa to my lid, but this time I wet the brush to ensure the color was as saturated as possible. I blended a small amount of Fig into my crease to create depth, and set off the yellow by drawing thick black winged liner.

Other products used: (on left) Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Notte; (on right) Lise Watier Féline Eyeliner in Blackest Black, NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Maison, NYX Cosmetics Faux Whites Eye Brightener in Mint Cream

Look 10: The Trio

I used all 3 shades of my eyeshadow palette together for this last look: Mimosa on the lid, Blue Cedar in the crease and into the brow bone, and Fig on the lower lash line and to create a winged eye. I love the balance of colours and finishes!

Other products used: Annabelle Cosmetics Retractable Eye Liner in Peacock, Filorga Nutri-Filler Plumping Lip Balm

The beauty of this eyeshadow palette is its versatility: whether you use just one shade, a pair, or all three, you’ll be able to create a striking look that is perfectly suited to you. I had so much fun playing with these eyeshadows and combining the shades to see what I could create. I hope you have as much fun with your custom palette!

The Makeup For Ever Artist Color Collection is available at Sephora and Sephora.ca. Prices range from $37 to $77, depending on the size of palette and number of shades you choose. Individual shade refills retail for $22-$29.

Which look is your favourite? Would you pick any of these shades to put in your custom eyeshadow palette?

The post 10 Looks, 3 Shadows: Playing with the Makeup For Ever Artist Eye Color Eyeshadow Palette appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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Have you ever wished your cheek bones looked like your favourite movie star’s? With with the Charlotte Tilbury FILMSTAR Bronze and Blush Glow you can get just a little bit closer to that look! This 2 in 1 palette is an online exclusive and the iconic gold jewel package certainly grabbed my attention.

{Bronze and Blush Glow from Charlotte Tilbury} Convenient 2-in-1 palette

I love products that can multitask and the FILMSTAR Bronze and Blush Glow is a simple and convenient palette. The bronzing powder is great for sculpting as it has a semi-soft pigment that produces a natural contour for the face. Usually when I think of bronzers, warm-orange shimmery pigments come to mind. For daytime makeup application,  I prefer to have something that is less noticeable on the skin especially in natural lighting. This palette offers a beautiful and natural application.

Sculpting and Contouring Tips

Here are a few of my basic sculpting tips that I review with a client when doing their makeup:

  • Forehead – for the illusion of a smaller forehead, just apply the bronzer along the hair line and blend it down. This look is great if you like to wear your hair off your face.
  • Cheeks – To create the illusion of a slimmer face, apply the bronzer along the cheek bone.
  • Nose – To slim the nose and add definition at the base apply along the sides of the nose and a touch at the base.
  • Jaw Line – To create the illusion of a slimmer and sculpted face, apply the bronzer across the jawline and blend.
A Pop of Pretty

The blush part of the bronze and glow is a finely crushed pink pigment and gives your face a pop of colour. This touch of “pretty” brightens up the face and can make you have a renewed sense of confidence. The Charlotte Tilbury FILMSTAR Bronze and Blush Glow comes with a mini powder brush to make this a wonderful travel companion in your purse.  At a price point of under $100 Canadian dollars, this product is pricey but well worth picking up!

Finish The Look

To finalize the look, don’t forget your lip colour. Charlotte Tilbury has some great lipstick formulas so you can find the texture and finish you’re looking for. Charlotte Tilbury has some fun with the names of various products in her line as it truly expresses Charlotte’s fun personality and why she has a large celebrity following.  When stopping in to visit her beauty counter, I would recommend checking out her MATTE REVOLUTION  Lipstick as it offers a luminous matte feel and long lasting coverage. When it comes to long lasting lipsticks, sometimes they can dry out your lips; the Matte Revolution is infused with the perfect blend of oils and 3D glowing pigments to create an illusion of fuller lips. This lipstick is inspired and pays homage to her Majesty, Elizabeth II.

As I always mention to my clients, when you have the right go to products in your purse for touch up throughout the day, it not only saves you time but renews your sense of confidence.

What are your favorite go to products in your purse right now? Will you be picking up this bronze and blush palette?

The post Bronze and Blush Glow from Charlotte Tilbury appeared first on Toronto Beauty Reviews.

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