Category Archives: tutorials


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You’d be lying if you said you never once dreamed of being a famous ballerina. Even now at the ballet, I fall in love with the beauty and grace of the dancers. And who better than the makeup queen herself Lisa Eldridge to create a whimsical look on principal dancer Roberta Marquez of the Royal Ballet. To call it a tutorial would be lying, it’s a beautifully shot short film. And if after watching you’re regretting giving up the pointe shoes, well, you’re not alone.

–Anna Raponi


You know you’re getting older when you just want to have your friends over instead of going out for your birthday. Those high heels just don’t seem as appealing on your poor feet. Plus, staying up really late is a struggle now because of those office hours. Pathetic.
Or, really fun! Make the party come to you! My friend Joanna made the cake, I made a big pitcher of our signature cocktail, filled our mortar and pestle with guacamole, picked up some flowers and a few other decorations, and I was ready to go.

Even though I was celebrating at home, I still wanted to look special as the birthday girl. Opting not to wear something totally uncomfortable (I wore a comfy dress from Aritzia), I decided to play up my makeup for the night (what could be easier than that?). So, following Clarins “Evening Look” video, I added some drama to my eyes using the new Graphic Expression collection.
I started by applying the BB cream all over my face, and the concealer under my eyes to even our my complexion. I swept the powder across my cheekbones, and along the perimeter of my face and the bridge of my nose to contour my features.
I lined my top lid with dark brown eyeliner, and also applied the ingenious 3-dot liner in-between my lashes for even more definition. I applied the lightest shade of the eyeshadow palette over my lid and up to my brows, then the brown shade from the all over my lid, and the black shade along the upper and lower lash lines. Make sure you blend the black shade all the way to the inner corner of the eye. I finished it all off with a coat of mascara and some nude lipstick.

This is the second 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



With the start of school quickly approaching, and that feeling of a “new” year beginning every September, Anna and I have created a look for your first day–be it at school, work, whatever. To achieve a perfectly polished and fresh face, we used products from Clarins’ new Autumn Collection.
To start with an even base, I smoothed the new BB Skin Perfecting Cream, which has the perfect amount of coverage: more than a tinted moisturizer, but not heavy enough to feel like a foundation, then concealed my undereye circles. Using a big powder brush, I swept the Graphic Expression Face and Blush Powder starting at the top of my face, around the sides to the cheekbones, and down tracing the jaw to create a contouring effect (imagine drawing a 3 on the side of your face). Then I lightly brushed the powder on my forehead and down the bridge of my nose, and added a little more colour to my cheekbones.
With an eyeshadow brush, I applied the lightest shade in the Eye Quartet Mineral Palette to create a brightening effect. The pale gold brings a beautiful glow to the eyes. To add definition, apply the second lightest shade into the crease of the eye.
What really makes this look work is the added pop the eyeliner and mascara give to the eyes. Trace a line on your upper lashline, getting thicker as your reach the end of the eye and blend with the little brush handily attached to the end of the pencil. Draw a very light line under your bottom lashes and blend. Finish it all off with a few coats of Be Long mascara, which not only is an amazing mascara, but also contains a formula to make your lashes grow longer. This for me is really the standout item of the line–the little brush is easy to manoeuvre and it really grabs onto each last for definition and length (plus the super chic packaging helps).
P.S. I’m wearing a Banana Republic shirt, Mango pants, custom sandals from a small boutique in Positano and a Longchamp bag.


This is the first 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 II: Evening


 I’d like to start off with a disclaimer; I am no makeup artist, and the products I chose are what I find works for me. I regularly sub in new products for others according to my taste and my skin concerns. So, let’s get this show on the road.

Kiehl’s BB Cream: After cleansing and toning and moisturizing and so on, I apply this in what I like to call sunscreen style, ie. rubbing the product between my hands and slathering all over the face. A layer of this BB gives me some light coverage with a very natural finish. It’s more of a base for my powder, plus the SPF can’t hurt.

I would usually apply concealer at this point, however I don’t know whether it’s been the heat or the lack of school, but I just can’t be bothered these days.

Benefit High Beam: I first saw this technique used in a Charlotte Tilbury video and I’ve used it since in place of many ineffective under eye concealers. I do two dots right below my tear ducts then dab with my pinkie– the light reflective properties counteract the natural shadows under the eyes and give you that ‘8 hours of sleep’ look. Genius.

MAC Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle: With my index and middle fingers, I first dab the cream, remove most of the product onto my hand, then apply and blend, smiling to find the apples of my cheeks. This colour is EXTREMELY intimidating in the pan, however when used in moderation and correctly, this coral shade completely wakes up my face and lasts all day.

Benefit Watt’s Up: This sample-sized luminizer is a prime example that good things come in small packages. And the seriously cute packaging is only the beginning. I apply a bit to my fingers, then dab and blend on the tops of my cheek bones and right under the brow bones.

Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation: A recent find, I’ve been loving the coverage this gives while simultaneously keeping things shine-free. I apply this all over, using the Illamsaqua Powder Brush, kind of in a packing motion to build up the coverage.

Clarins Instant Sunlight Bronzer: While this product is unfortunately discontinued now, I can promise you that the Clarins range of bronzers will give you the most natural sun kissed glow on the market. Using my MAC Small Duo Fibre Brush, I sweep this across the sides of my forehead, along the cheekbones, down my nose, and a tap on the chin. This one in particular has minimal sparkles and a matte finish that makes a tan on a fair, freckley girl like me look believable.

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara: I just use a swipe of this to keep my usually bushy brows at bay throughout the day.

Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner in Black: This is one of the cheapest, longest lasting eyeliners I’ve ever used, and while I use in minimally, I’ve had the same pencil for a year now. I fill in my tightline, and drag it across my lower lash line (not the waterline though) for some definition.

Lancome L’Extrême Waterproof Mascara: Because while waterproof is a pain to remove, it’s just too convenient during the summertime between the dips in the pool and the extra perspiration. I guess you could call this one the ‘favourite child’ at the moment. It defines the lashes and the thin brush gets right into the roots.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten: I’ve already ranted and raved about this product, however I just cannot stress the high-end quality and high pigmentation of this lip stain. It literally lasts for hours, it won’t smudge and it tastes like mint. What else could you ask for.

–Anna Raponi

Click for more in-depth reviews of these products mentioned…
Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation
Clarins Instant Sunlight Bronzing Powder
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara
Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner
Lancome L’Extrême Waterproof Mascara
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain


Even though the days are getting longer and hotter, some of us spend the majority of our time indoors at school, work, shopping, etc. Thus, when the time comes, nobody wants to hit the beach with a glowing white bod. So hit up that self-tanner, and fake your goddess glow! (Just make sure you get a good one–i.e. not orange)
  • Exfoliate before application with a grainy scrub. Also, shave those legs, because shaving with the product on can leave a spotty finish.
  • Apply moisturizer to drier areas (mostly around joints), like elbows and knees, as they will absorb more pigments and turn darker.
  • Use either a latex glove or a tanning mitt when applying the product.
  • Try not to bend over, or bend the elbows and knees during the application and drying time– this can lead to creasing and streaks.
  • Despite the promisingly quick drying times, we advise that you wait at least 5-10 minutes before you put any clothes on.
  • Try to minimize the time you spend in the shower, and just showers in general (within reason, obviously).
Happy tanning!
–Anna Raponi & Amanda Raponi


With their newly popular Hairdressers Invisible Oil, and their iconic Surf Spray (and matching Shampoo and Conditioner), Bumble and bumble makes effective and simple products to cater to all of your hairstyling needs. However, even for the experienced self-‘coiffeur’, it’s hard to know which products to pick and choose–and how to get the results we want while avoiding using too many and weighing the hair down. Oh, the struggles.
As I was scrolling through my Pinterest dashboard covered in “mason jar juice recipes” (it’s getting old people), I saw these ‘before and after’ shots of some, dare I say, really awesome hair. I clicked through, and discovered the ‘Volume Sessions’ on Bumble and bumble’s site. These super informative videos show you how to create these do’s, mainly using their Thickening line. Watching the products in action is really helpful but also makes me wanna dash to my nearest Sephora to buy them for myself. The tutorials are easy to follow and don’t require that much skill. So pop some popcorn and enjoy the show(s).
Full-Bodied Waves
Really big waves
Defined Waves
Also, a useful guide to backcombing from the site.

–Anna Raponi


I’ve had a few people ask me questions about skincare, how to wash their face and what products they should be using. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, I really only know what works best for me (and certainly what doesn’t). I am, however, slightly obsessed with skincare, so I take care of my skin as best as I can with a lot of different products that have different functions (I also try out a TON of products).

Last week, I stumbled upon this great website, Beautymouth, which is written by skincare guru Caroline Hirons. She knows absolutely EVERYTHING about skincare, and as you can imagine I have been devouring her entire site (be sure to read all of her cheat sheets). For those who don’t have a clue about skincare or how they should be washing their face (wipes are NOT okay on the regular), this is a must watch. Not all of the products are carried in Canada, but if you listen to what purpose they serve in a skincare routine, you can always seek out an alternative.

PixiWoo are amazing makeup artists, and they deserve to be checked out as well on YouTube for all of their amazing tutorials.