Category Archives: tutorials


If it isn’t already obvious, I have some serious envy for Kylie Jenner’s style. And since she cut her hair to the same length as mine a few months ago, I’ve been loving her fresher, and in my opinion, more chic look. Her ombré hair just hovers her collarbone, and she typically wears it super voluminous at the roots, straight and some serious texture at the ends. With a bit of tinkering, I think I’ve almost mastered the look and wear it almost everyday because it’s versatile, fast and has that effortlessly cool feeling.

I wash my hair, the usual. I let it dry until it’s about 95% dry, then blow-dry the roots, crunching up with my fingers to build a little volume and texture. I then throw it all up in a bun, and remove layer by layer, from the bottom up, running through with a flat iron once or twice max. I always leave a little wave to the pieces, it’s easier and (in my humble opinion) cooler. My part changes on the daily–even Kylie regularly swaps from deep side parts to modelesque middle parts. I make sure that the most face-framing pieces are a little extra straight, I think it flatters the face more. Then, going a little wild with some thickening spray (you can also use a dry shampoo here), crunching up the roots and making it look like I … how do you say… woke up like this. I usually finish off with a couple spritzes of surf spray to hold everything in place and establish just that little bit more texture. And voila!

–Anna Raponi


Photogenic Face
Photogenic Face

Photographs can bring out the worst in your makeup–you might think you aren’t that shiny, or that you applied your makeup pretty well–but through the camera’s lense any unblended makeup looks obvious and blotchiness comes through.

Whenever I know that I am going to be photographed–whether at a club, a birthday, a wedding, whatever–I always follow the same rules.

1)Primer: First use Benefit’s Porefessional to hide any obvious pores around my nose, chin, forehead and cheeks, then apply Smashbox’s Photofinish primer all over my face to ensure a smooth surface. Primer will also help to adhere your makeup to your skin, making it last longer. Lancôme also makes a really great primer, and if you’re looking for something lighter, Dior CC Airflash Primer is weightless.

2)Complexion: You’re going to want to use something with a more matte finish–cameras are not kind to any kind of dewy look–but don’t cake on the foundation either, because this will show up. I used Nars’ Sheer Matte foundation (I also really love Dior’s Airflash Foundation, as you know) in a shade that is actually slightly darker than my super fair complexion. I tried this out a few years ago in attempt to look less ghostly on camera, and it does help a bit. If you’re going to do this, make sure to blend into the neck. I concealed my dark circles with Lancome Effacernes and Clé de Peau‘s concealer. I also covered up some redness with the CDP. Be sure to really blend everything and blur any leftover brush strokes with fingers.

3)Powder: This is key for not looking like there is an oil slick on your face. I generously apply Vichy’s Dermablend Setting Powder, wait a few minutes, then brush off the excess. I touch up with Cover FX‘s matte powder.

4)Eyebrows: These are key for making your face pop on camera. Eyebrows are the architecture of the face, so be sure to fill them in. I love Lancome’s Le Crayon Poudre.

5)Blush: Apply more than you think. It actually takes a lot for it to show up on camera. A peachy pink shade always looks nice and fresh. On my wedding day I applied tons of Nars’ Orgasm to have a pretty bridal flush. I used Make Up For Ever’s HD Cream Blush which is really easy to use and super buildable. A little bit of slight contouring with bronzer also helps to warm up the face and add definition.

6)Lips: Hydrated lips always look best. Apply a satin-sheen lipstick or lipgloss. Matte textures can look severe, especially on more mature skin.

Remember: good lighting will always help, hold your camera slightly above you and know which side is your good side! (It’s the left for most people)


While gold was all over the runways for Spring and Summer, I think the soft, angelic Greek fairy look from Dolce and Gabbana was my favourite (I’m not sure how wearable a gold eyebrow really is). The girls all sported a fresh, glowy, romantic look down the runway with warm pink lips and a rosy glow. Soft gold highlighted eyes in a very understated way and highlights were created over dewy skin. While not an obviously “gold” look, I think it is perfectly suitable for the warmer days ahead.

To start, I created an even base with Dior’s Airflash CC Primer, then layered over the Airflash Foundation. After correcting my dark circles with Lancome Effacernes concealer, I applied some light gold eyeshadow from the Dior palette on the lid and along the inner tear duct, then worked a bit of the bronze shade into the crease. I lightly traced the dark brown shade along the outer corner of the eye. I created a very slight winged line with the Clarins pencil, then retraced over it with the Smashbox liner.

Pat McGrath created lots of highlights on the face, so I lightly dabbed and blended some of Armani’s Fluid Sheer on cheekbones, the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, and on the cupid’s bow. I lightly countoured my face using Nars’ Laguna along the cheekbones and on the perimeter of the face, adding a little more to the temples.

To create a girly, pink flush, I used both Dior Rosy Glow and Make Up For Ever’s cream blush in 410. Pat used blush on both the cheekbones and around the temple area of the face. I finished off the look using Dior’s Lip Glow for a naturally bright pink lip.


Do you feel like you keep hearing about contouring and highlighting, but feel like it’s something complicated that when done wrong, can make you end up looking like this?
Don’t fret, we’ve got your back. It’s actually incredibly easy. This isn’t Kardashian-level kontouring, it’s for the everyday girl.
All you need is a bronzer, a fluffy brush, and a highlighter (we like liquid for this, easier to blend). By using a light hand, you can achieve a softly sculpted face with a pretty glow.
Also–no need to buy a new highlighter for this–if you have some white or light gold pearlescent/shimmery shadow hanging around, use it! There are usually one of these shades (or both) in most eyeshadow palettes.
The key to achieving a natural look is to apply in light layers–remember that if there isn’t enough on your face you can always add more.
Now, go on and get your Gisele on.


When Winter will seemingly never end, and skin becomes more ghostly by the day, it can be hard to keep your complexion from looking lacklustre and dull (plus those fluorescent lights at work don’t help). So, we say (along with everyone else), fake it ’til you make it.

A radiant glow can easily be restored with a bit of beauty chemistry. Mix a few drops of liquid highlighter (we like Benefit’s High Beam) into your tinted moisturizer or foundation before application for a luminous face. Be careful not to over-do it though–you want it to be imperceptible.


The French certainly are good at the classics. Although this isn’t from the 2014 awards season, I chose to replicate Marion Cotillard’s look from her Oscar win in 2008 for La Vie en Rose (a throwback, if you will). Pretty waves thrown over one shoulder, a red lip and a sparkly eye–what could be wrong about that? These choices will never go out of style or look dated.

For the hair, it really couldn’t be simpler. Start with brushed second day hair (it will hold the curl better), create a deep side part, and create some curls facing away from your face. Then sweep over to one side. Create some volume by spraying in some of Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun Finish Spray.
Once I had evened out my complexion with foundation and concealer, I filled in my eyebrows. This will help to balance out the strength of the rest of the elements and maintain your face’s architecture. Then I swept a white,pearlescent (borderline glittery) eye shadow all over my eyelid, up to the browbone and in the inner corner of the eye. Next, I applied a medium browneyeshadow (again, sparkly) into the crease and about halfway into the eyelid. To really make the eyes pop, I added a touch of a darker brown shadow into the crease. I traced a black eyeliner along the lashline to and into the inner corner of the eye, and very lightly drew along the lower lashline. I blended both of these with a small brush. Then, I retraced over the top lashline with a liquid eyeliner pen, winging out the outer edge slightly to create a feminine shape. Once I was happy with the line, I curled my lashes and applied a few coats of mascara.
To recreate Marion’s brick red lip, I combined two lipsticks–a bright, cool-toned red and a darker, brick/plum shade. After applying lipliner, I applied the brighter shade straight from the tube, then dabbed in the darker colour with my finger to blend. To recreate a winning flush, I applied the same bright lipstick to my cheeks and blended with my fingers.


Spring isn’t looking like it’s coming anytime soon, but my mind is already dreaming of April showers and sunny days. Orange lips, a look worn on quite a few runways this upcoming season, is an easy way to transition into your lighter spring wardrobe while brightening up your look. I figured that matte orange lips can verge on looking too costume-y and, let’s face it, they’re not very comfortable to wear. That’s why I went for a balmy texture—Stila’s Colour Balm Lipstick feels moisturizing on the lips while giving major pigmentation, no lip liner required.
As always, perfecting your complexion will compliment your bold pout—I used a light foundation and a reflective under eye concealer to keep this look fresh. For such a strong orange lip, it’s important to give back some colour to the rest of the face so you look alive—I used bronzer where the sun would naturally graze, a bubble gum pink blush (albeit with a light hand) and a cream highlighter on the tops on my cheekbones.
I think a full brow keeps this look youthful, but avoid filling them in too much to keep the attention on the lips. As for the eyes, I thought a lashy look would look beautiful and still casual. Using a liquid liner pen, I did a thin cat eye, followed by a few coats of mascara to the lashes.
And now for the finale. There’s actually nothing too it will this product. I applied straight from the bullet— there’s no prep involved since this is a balm. Blot. And repeat.


This might seem overly simple, but there are two things I always do when my hair is looking less than great and I need to look presentable quickly: a little, wispy bun and a bold lip. The bun takes care of any lank strands or flat roots and you instantly look more polished.

If you have some dry shampoo or hairspray on hand, even better. Bumble and Bumble’s Dryspun Finishing Spray is great for creating windblown volume. Spray with your product of choice, flip your head upside down, then create a ponytail. I remove the front portion of my hair (sort of where your bangs would be, then re-place them on top after I’ve already created the ponytail. This creates a bit of volume. Then twist the pony, and wrap in a circular motion until it becomes a bun. Secure with a few bobby pins. I think that this bun looks best when a bit wispy and loose, but if you want to look more polished, you could always pull it tighter.

Then, to distract the eye away from my locks, I create a diversion with a bright lip. This brings the focus somewhere else, and it always works–believe me. One time I was at work and my hair was sucking, so I threw on a matte, red lip and someone asked if I had been at an event. Works like a charm.


While I’ve got nothing against a good red or pink lip, I think it’s just so overdone for Valentine’s Day. Kind of stumped for a fresh look for V-Day, I decided that a smudgier, smokier look was way sexier than super precise liner and lips (no guy likes seeing a bunch of makeup on a girl). And instead of going for your usual rose and red shades, peach seemed like the perfect compliment to a smokey eye. I guess the idea was a ‘I slept in my makeup but I still look amazing’ type of thing, and here’s how I did it:
Obviously every look looks best with even skin—I used a medium coverage foundation alongside a creamy concealer to hide any blotchiness and spots. Using a creamy, yellow-toned highlighter and my foundation brush, I added some sheen to the tops of my cheekbones, bridge of the nose and eye lids. Finally, to set everything in place, I applied a translucent powder to my entire face.
Some visual inspiration: Beyoncé (obviously) and Arizona.


To bring the warmth back to my face, I used bronzer along my cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin and used a peachy-pink blush on the apples of my cheeks. Using a mix of the bronzer and blush, I applied with a fluffy brush to the creases of my eyes for some definition.
Along my upper, outer lash lines, I applied a matte black shadow with an angle brush, then blended out with my fingers. Continue adding shadow and blending until you get enough definition. I finished with a few coats of mascara to my upper lashes.
Finally for the lips, I dabbed on a soft coral shade with my fingers— no precision or technique here, just a stain.

And voila! A soft, simple look that while doesn’t look like a ton of makeup, brings warmth and dimension to your face and definition to the eyes.

–Anna Raponi


Love or hate the Kardashians, I think Kendall and Kylie (Kris and Bruce Jenner’s youngest daughters) are major it-girls for their age. Their style, heavily documented on their Instagram’s, is enviable and their makeup is always on-par. While Kendall typically goes for a lighter look, Kylie loves her winged liner and bold lip. And, of course, as Kardashian’s, she’s wears a killer contour on the daily. This particular look is from a movie premiere she did, but she more or less wears this same look on a day-to-day basis, and while it may be too heavy for most, it’s a great party or special event look.


If you look closely at her face, the light sections are very light and so the dark contours are very obvious. I’d recommend going for a foundation/BB cream/tinted moisturizer that is one or to shades lighter than your skin– with the heavy contouring, your face could end up orange-y otherwise. With a also lighter concealer, cover up any redness and under-eye circles. Set with a powder–a light diffusing option will perfect your skin even more.


CONTOUR, CONTOUR, CONTOUR! Using a greyish bronze shade (not a bronzer though!), contour your cheekbones, forehead, sides of the nose and under the jawline, making sure to blend thoroughly. Now going in with a bronzer, apply, with a much fluffier brush, to the cheeks, forehead and nose, avoiding the very tip. I would personally, in a very Kylie fashion, skip the blush for this look, to highlight your now FABULOUS bone structure.

From left to right: Clio Waterproof Pen Liner in Kill Black, Kevin Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Shame, Nars Bronzer in Laguna.


Nothing too complicated here, just fill in as per usual to get a full, well arched brow.


As I said, Kylie seems to love her cat-eyes. Start with a wash of a yellow-toned matte shadow (lighter than your skin tone but not white). This will make the liner pop. Now with a pen-tip liquid liner, start off creating two identical lines flicking out from where your top and bottom lash lines meet at the outsides. Once you’re happy with those, make them into triangles, then continue right into the inner corners of your eyes. The actual wing in this look is quite thin and the usual liner across the lash line is a bit thicker. Finish with a pair of relatively natural false lashes and one or two coats of mascara on both the upper and lower lash lines.


Following the usual protocol for a dark lip, you’ll want to do a scrub and moisturize beforehand for smooth results. Using a currant-toned lip liner, trace the outer shape of your lips, then fill in completely once your content with the shape you’ve made. Using a lip brush, apply your lipstick as precisely as possible. Blot. And repeat with the lipstick.

And that’s all kids! Be sure to check out Kylie’s Instagram and Tumblr, they’re both surprisingly really good.

–Anna Raponi