Category Archives: tutorials

HOW TO // REMOVE YOUR EYE MAKEUP

It is so important to remove all of your make up each night–failing to do so leaves your pores filled with dirt and makeup from your day. Eye makeup removal, especially, is of utmost importance as the eye is such a sensitive area. Mascara and eyeliner can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and eyelashes if left overnight.

Eye makeup removal should be done in an extremely gentle manner to avoid irritation, using a hydrating, well-tested formula will ensure easy removal, without tugging or pulling on the delicate skin or pulling out eyelashes.

Here’s how to correctly remove your eye makeup:

1. Dampen a cosmetic pad with a few drops of water before saturating it with make up remover or oil. (We love Lancome’s Bi-Facil because it is gentle, and has the perfect amount of oil to thoroughly remove everything and leave the skin well hydrated. No extra swipes necessary.)

2. Hold the cosmetic pad firmly on the eye for about 15 seconds then sweep down. No need to rub–this will pull out eyelashes.

Voilà! All clean.

Right now you can get an amazing gift with a $35 purchase of Lancome products at The Bay. A beautiful satin makeup bag is filled with deluxe sample sizes of Bi-Facil, moisturizer, serum, mascara, scented body lotion, Juicy Tubes lip gloss and an eyeshadow palette. Head to The Bay before November 3rd for your gift with purchase!

FALL LIPS // 2 WAYS

I love wearing red lips for dressing up a more casual outfit and for a fancy night out, but as more and more people are hopping on the red lip train, it’s fun to find a way to rethink the red lip.

A super simple way of switching it up for a more casual daytime look is by applying lipstick with your finger. The heat from your finger will melt the product, making it easy to pat the colour onto your lips to create a more washed out, stained look. If you really wanted to take this idea step further, you can attempt to smear it on a little more haphazardly to recreate the fall trends.

 

For a more polished look, I added more intensity to a glamorous dark red lip by applying a creamy charcoal shadow to the center of the lip with my finger. After a bit of blending, I applied a touch of clear gloss to finish off the look.
 
This is our first post as part of Fashion Magazine’s Beauty Panel! We will be contributing weekly posts to the website to teach readers how to incorporate new trends into their look, as well as tips and tricks for mastering hair and makeup looks. 

THE BLOWOUT

A few weeks ago, disaster came upon my household. I was told I couldn’t use my diffuser anymore. Now first off, as a girl with a soft core afro, this was hard to swallow. And you know what the worst part of it was? The diffuser wasn’t even broken, my mom just thought that it was getting too hot and that it would burn down the entire house (logical, I know). I had a new, T3 diffuser ordered and in transit (obviously!), but that left me with a few weeks without a diffuser. I know, I know, it’s not that bad. I really don’t mind my natural curls… but it’s just nice to wake up once in a while to look in the mirror, and know what to expect. With my diffuser, I can count on voluminous curls. Au natural, not so much. Self-education really is the best education, in my opinion. With practice, I can now give myself big, glamorous waves that last me up to three days with just a few tools.
Big league volume is a necessity for this look– I like the René Furterer Voumea shampoo/ conditioner combo for this. While your conditioner is soaking in, comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb or a Tangle Teezer, being as gentle as possible. Once out of the shower and detangled, get in there with your hands with an anti-frizz product and a styling mousse of some sort. My current favourites are the Pantene BB Creme and Phomollient from Aveda. Now wait about half an hour to forty-five minutes– you want your hair to be around 70% dry.
No matter how much hair you’ve got, you’re going to need to work with 1 inch sections, bottom up. I usually do around four or five, so make sure you’ve got a big clip to help you out.
Now let’s dig in. Your tools at hand will be a one to two inch round brush and a good blowdryer. Hold the brush in your dominant hand and the dryer in your weak hand. If you have a concentrator (a attachment for your dryer that, well, concentrates the heat), all the better. Face it horizontally. Now this brush technique will take some practice to get the hang of. Work with about two or three inch long sections of the section that you’ve not got clipped up. Hair on top of the brush. Start off by drying the roots and the tops of the strands. Then, work your way down, maintaining a bit of tension with your brush so that the hair stays moderately tight to the brush.
                                               
As you get to the ends, rotate your wrist downwards so that the brush picks up the ends again, focusing the nozzle on the barrel of the brush. This rotating motion will give you those big waves. If you’re getting the rhythm, you can use the nozzle of the drier to hold the section as you reposition the brush, if you get what I’m saying. Once you’ve finished a complete section, go through again roughly with your brush, assuring that the section is completely dried (this will prevent unwanted frizz).

Once you’ve finally made it to the hair at the top of your head, you’re gonna take on a bit of a different technique. If you’re looking in the mirror, you want it so the brush is behind the section, and now face the drier towards your face (but not at it, ouch), drying the roots, then working with some brush action to curl the ends.

Grab a pump of a finishing cream, or another of the Pantene BB, massage it between your palms, and comb through your Bardot-esque waves, et voila! Big, effortless-looking (but painstaking) tresses. Try to avoid touching your baby-soft hair, I dare you. 

–Anna Raponi

WEAVING: PART TWO // INVERTED FRENCH BRAID

Class is in session! For todays lesson, we’re gonna take french braiding to the next step; the inverted french braid! Now don’t get your panties in a bunch, this isn’t rocket science. You now know how to french braid, so I know you are very well capable of pulling off this look–it’s literally the same procedure but you’re gonna weave under instead of over. Scratch that, I’ve probably already lost you. Just follow my lead.
Great hair starts with good tools. As always, I recommend a good paddle brush, some styling wax and a thin elastic, preferably either clear or matched to your hair colour.
Brush it out– tangles are a no-no when it comes to braiding, and really, just in general. It makes the whole process harder and you could end up with weird lumps and bumps. Now, warm some of the wax in your hands and comb through with your fingers, targeting those pesky baby hairs around your face.
Now, look straight on at your face, making two parts at the upper corners of your forehead, pulling the hair up and into a sort of triangular part (the point facing behind you). Split into three equal sections and pull backwards.
 
Let’s start braiding! Grab the rightmost piece and pull it under the centre piece, simultaneously pulling the original centre piece over to the right. Now with the leftmost piece, pull it under the now middle piece, pulling that middle piece over to the right. This is the basic pattern.
Now, as you continue pulling from the sides under into the middle, grab thin layers of hair, joining them along with the outermost pieces. This will keep the braid thick and secured to the head. I know your arms are tired at this point, but keep it going. Grab hair. Right under, centre over. Grab more hair. Left under, centre over.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the nape of your neck! Make sure that you’ve added the remainder of your hair to your inverted braid by now, and keep these weaves very tight to your head (it looks much nicer). Now, you’re ready to leave the nest (haha). You’re going solo. Keep with the inverted style braiding (ie. side pieces moving under instead of over) until you reach the desired end. Secure with an elastic and ta-da!

If you like the sleek look, use a little more hair wax to smooth down those baby hairs and any shorter layers that may have popped out. I prefer a looser look, so don’t be afraid to pull at a few pieces and let some loose. Recess time, class!

-Anna Raponi

P.S. Thanks to our lovely model Cassidy and her even lovelier hair.

WEAVING: PART ONE // FRENCH BRAID

Back to beauty school today! Braids have been on-trend for what seems like every season these days. They mask second day hair, and are super practical. Some of us grew up braiding our friends’ hair (ahem, that would be me), but some of us just never got the hang of it. No fear, I’m your girl. In today’s lesson, we’re gonna do the simple french braid. Feel free to take notes.Tools:

Start with a good brush. Detangling and smoothing out the strands will make the braid look cleaner and prevent those pesky bumps. Brush from front of the head to back, removing any part. Next, warm up the wax between your hands, and comb through with your fingers, concentrating the product at top half of your hair.

Now, kinda going by the upper corners of your forehand (this will look best if you tailor it specifically to your face shape), pick up a triangle of hair. Brush it out, then split it into three even chunks.

Choose one of the outer pieces. Actually, just for rookie’s sake, let’s go with the outermost right piece. Yah. That’ll do. So with the outermost right piece, were going to switch this piece with the middle piece. So now, that outermost right piece (this is becoming quite the mouthful) is now in the centre and the originally middle piece is under that right piece, now on the right side.  Now, we’re going to do this again, but with the leftmost piece of hair (don’t sweat it, I’ll walk you through it again). Take the untouched, left piece and cross it over into the middle, and moving the old centre piece under that left piece. Continue this method, alternating right and left, but pulling even chunks of hair from each side and adding them to the three braiding pieces before weaving.

Yada, yada yada. You’re still braiding. Make sure the chunks you’re adding are smooth, and keep the weaving tight and very close to the head. Now, once you’re nearing the nape of the neck, make sure you’ve added all the extra hair to the braid– it should be quite thick now. Once you’ve reached the end of your roots, you’re just going to resume normal braiding. Right over to centre, pull the centre piece under to the right. Left over to centre, pull the centre piece under to the right. You’ve got it now. Keep going, right left, right left, right until you get to your ‘desired’ end.

I prefer mine to have barely any tail, however it’s much easier to end a little early. To each their own. Tie up with your thin elastic (the clear plastic-y ones are my favourite, it you have those on hand). Congrats! Your now the owner of a sleek, beautiful french braid.

In my opinion, looser pieces and a bit of messiness is more flattering to my face. This doesn’t require much instruction– get your fingers in there, pull around, free a few face-framing pieces. I like to think it’s a little more mermaid-esque. If you’ve got major layers popping out, try pushing pieces into the braid to secure them, or use a bobby pin. That’s all there is to it. Remember, practice makes perfect.
P.S. My apologies for my lacklustre nail sitch, I promise I’ll try to vamp them up for next time.
–Anna Raponi

THE USER’S GUIDE TO // OILY SKIN

I think just in general, using the word “oil” when describing our skin or hair type is kind of… gross. Like really, no one wants to be the greaseball. No one. But it’s not our fault. And while I imagine it’s pretty difficult/most likely very unhealthy to try and change your skin type altogether, I think it’s important to understand our skin and work with it. It ain’t going nowhere. For the lucky readers like me who more often than not look shiny, who never really need to put on moisturizer, and do not leave the house without blotting papers, this one goes out to you.

Let’s not start on a negative note here. Hard to believe, but your pesky skin is actually helping you out! You’re gonna see the signs of aging later than women/men with, say, dry or normal skin. That’s huge. Second off, do you know how many products are out there, aiming to mimic the radiance of a little dewiness? People pay for that shit! Hard to believe, right? We often forget that matte skin can look a tad on the dead side. Embrace your glow! But with good judgement, obviously. Also, oily skin tends to be thicker and more resilient to the harsh effects of the environment has on our skin (ie. sun, wind). It’s like our secret armour.
Sounds great, right? No–we all know that it sucks. But there are most definitely ways to tame the “tiger”. Starting off on the right foot in skincare is your best bet. Though it seems logical to completely strip your skin of any oil altogether, let me walk you off the edge. Please, do not do this. Your skin will react by producing even more oil than before to compensate. Obviously, you aren’t gonna need the richest moisturizer, but don’t shy away from oils and moisturizing. Start off washing the ‘offender’ morning and night, but try to avoid cleansers with salicylic acid/benzoyl peroxide. I’ve honestly found that they really do more harm than good. Don’t skip moisturizer. Just keep it light, oil-free and maybe even oil-controlling. If you use foundation, use a powder or one tailored to oily skin (my favourites are MUFE’s and Clarins). Powder. Right away. And don’t be foolish. Always, and I mean always, carry blotting sheets. Before bed, get that makeup off and cleanse. You wouldn’t believe how much extra oil accumulates on our faces, most of it coming from our own hands (gross, I know). I’ve found that steaming my face with a washcloth after cleansing has helped balance my skin as well. Ingredients like clay, tea tree oil and glycolic acid have worked wonders for me as well–look for those in your toners.
Remember: this is your skin. We often get so frustrated with it that we can be extremely harsh with our skincare regimen. It is a two-way street. If you take proper care of your skin, it will show. So put your best face forward.
–Anna Raponi

THE SUNDAY NIGHT FACIAL

Sources: 1/2

What do you do on Sunday nights? Nothing, probably other than sit at home depressed because tomorrow is Monday. What better way to get ready for the week than to deep clean your skin? I do this faithfully every single Sunday night to keep my face in ship shape and prevent breakouts.

Get your robe on, tie your hair back, and get ready.

Step 1: First cleanse
Start by using a balm cleanser (or coconut oil) to cleanse your face, neck and chest. I really like Ren’s balm cleanser, it is gentle and has a rose scent. Eve Lom‘s is also great (if you’re not opposed to mineral oil), as well as Darphin‘s. Massage the product in to your dry face for a minute or so, even getting the eye area to remove all makeup. (Darphin’s balm recommends avoiding the eye area, but I did it by accident, and it was fine for me and I have really sensitive eyes. Use your own judgement.

Now, grab a muslin cloth or facecloth. Soak it in the hottest water you can stand, wring it out, and apply to face. Take 3 deep breaths. Repeat this 3 times. Rinse the cloth, wring it out and rub your face with it to exfoliate.

Step 2: Extraction (optional)
You maybe have noticed that the hot water has brought some white heads to the surface. If you feel comfortable doing this, you can gently extract some of the whiteheads/blackheads at this time using some toilet paper and your fingers (stay away from the extraction tools!). I usually concentrate on the chin, nose and cheeks.

Step 3: Second cleanse
Using a gentler cleanser (I like Ren’s Mayblossom and Lancome’s Galatée Confort), apply the product to your dry face and massage for 1 minute. Repeat the washcloth method from Step 1.

Step 4: Exfoliate
Apply an exofiliating mask, such as Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask to the face. Take a breather and watch some TV for the required time.

Step 5: Tone
Since you have already exfoliate, do not apply your exfoliating toner and jump ahead to the hydrating toner. I use Nars’ Multi-Action or La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc.

Sources 1/2

Step 6: Purify
Apply a clay mask (I use one from Kiehl’s) to your face, or if your skin is dry like mine, to your problem areas (nose, chin, forehead, whatever). Wait the required time, and watch some more TV.

Step 7: Hydrate
Apply a good overnight hydrating mask to your face, neck, and even around your eyes. Some masks say that you can remove the extra lotion from your face but I just leave it on all night.

Go to sleep and get your beauty rest.

GET THE LOOK // JENNIFER LAWRENCE, VOGUE

I love Jennifer Lawrence–she’s just so blunt and super talented. I was pretty psyched when I saw via Instagram that she had cut her hair to a shoulder-grazing length, very similar to my haircut (pft). And when I saw her beautiful shots for the September issue of Vogue this year, I was totally taken aback by the retro look she was channeling. I love it. So, naturally, I wanted to figure out how to do it (no dogs and flowers included, unfortunately).
Makeup 
Face: Jen (we’re on a first-name basis now) sports a very nude, healthy looking, matte complexion in the spread. If you’re feeling extra special, slather on a pore-filling primer pre-foundation (though not recommended for daily use, it made me break out). Now, your foundation will glide on like butta, so do your whole face and blend well. Jennifer’s face doesn’t look too made up, but she does look luminous. Apply a light-reflecting concealer pen under your eyes to wake you up and on the tops on the cheekbones. Using a medium to full coverage concealer, dab on only where you absolutely need– blemishes, spots, veins, etc. Now I’d give a one over of your face, be it with your fingers or a soft buffing brush, just to make sure everything is blended well. Finish with a translucent powder, applying only to the T-zone to avoid and overly powdered face.
Brows: I wouldn’t touch your brows if you don’t have to. Maybe just a brush through with a spoolie, and fill in any spaces.
Eyes: These are what drew me to her look. She has quite a bit of makeup on her eyes, but it’s not the first thing you notice. I love it. Start by applying a taupe-y cream shadow all over the lid, to create a solid base tone. Now, using a dark brown, semi-matte shadow, make a V-shape (ie. this), pulling it out at the outer corners and blending into the natural crease. Line both the upper and lower lash lines (not to be confused with the waterline) with a matte black pencil, not being too precise. Remember, it’s not a graphic look, it’s meant to be soft. Curl your lashes and swipe on some black volumizing mascara, getting both the upper and lower lashes. Now you’ve got some va-va-voom eyes.
From left to right: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat, Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit, Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Mahogany, Yves Saint Laurent Rebel Nudes Glossy Stain in Reckless Pink.

Cheeks: Katniss is sporting some seriously on-trend bronzer-as-blush cheeks. Get the look with a powder bronzer, however go for a product with pink-y tones as well, it will look more natural.
Lips: Lawrence sports a nude pout throughout the spread. Hourglass just came out with a great line of only nude lipstick crayons, so it’s a breeze finding your ideal shade. Smack on some of that along with a pinky-nude gloss and you’re out the door.
Hair

Using your hands, comb through your freshly washed, wet hair with both a thickening mousse and a nourishing oil. Blow out with a big round brush (2′ is probably preferable), making loose waves. If you’ve got the knack for it, curl the pieces so that they come towards your face, if you know what I mean. Once dried, comb through with your hands and voila.

Anna Raponi

VP x CLARINS // 4 LOOKS: AUTUMN LOOK VIDEO TUTORIAL

For our last, signature look with Clarins Graphic Expression line, we created an ‘Autumn Look’ that incorporated the beautiful, camo-green eyeshadow in the palette and the berry-hued Joli Rouge Pink Camellia lipstick. This look has a bit of sparkle to it, and is perfect for back-to-school and Thanksgiving.

Start by applying the BB Cream to your face, and conceal spots and undereye circles with concealer to create a perfect, even complexion. Apply the Graphic Expression powder along the perimeter of your face, down your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose for a warm, contoured effect.
The eyes and lips are really what make this look. Apply the pale gold eyeshadow from the palette all over the eyelid and browbone (don’t forget the inner corners of your eye!). Then, using a fluffy eyeshadow brush, apply the green shade to the lid. The fluffy brush ensures a lighter application of the shade, not making it too intense. Using your ring finger, dab the pale gold shade on the center of the lid for a brightening effect. Lightly line your low lash line, and line your upper lash line with a slightly heavier hand. Be sure to flip the eyeliner over the blend with the brush. Apply the Be Long mascara and the lipstick, and you’re good to go.

Face:

BB Cream
Instant Concealer
Graphic Expression Face and Blush Powder

Eyes:

Ombre Minérale in Forest
Crayon Khôl in Intense Brown
Be Long Mascara in Black

Lips:

Joli Rouge in Pink Camellia

This is the fourth post in a four part series with Clarins featuring their Fall makeup line, Graphic Expression. I was not compensated for these posts (and I only work with brands I love).Part I: Day
Part II: Evening 
Part III: Nude

VP x CLARINS // 4 LOOKS: NUDE

This nude look is perfect ‘no makeup-makeup’ for a weekend gallavanting around town. It requires minimal effort, but gives just enough to create a fresh, pretty look.
Starting in the middle of your face, apply the BB cream fanning outwards. If you want to lighten things up even more, apply the cream right after your usual moisturizer to create a thinner layer. Then apply some concealer to your undereye circles if necessary.
Get a big brush and apply the Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder down the sides of your face, your cheekbones, along your jaw, down the bridge of your nose, and tap your chin. This will add imperceptible contouring to your face and give you a healthy, peachy glow. Remember to blend!
Brighten up the eyes with the pale gold shade from the eyeshadow palette, curl your lashes and apply some mascara.
Simple, right?
This is the third post in a four part series with Clarins featuring their Fall makeup line, Graphic Expression. I was not compensated for these posts (and I only work with brands I love).

Part I: Day
Part II: Evening