Tag Archives: anna






a15a2-blonde5I’d been contemplating dying my hair black for a while, sort of bored with my one-dimensional brunette look. But going from brown to black isn’t a huge deal, and I wasn’t sure if it was worth the time, damage and cost for results that might not give me the change I was craving. And when Emily Weiss (blogger/ beauty guru queen) went bleach blonde back a few months ago, I realized just how cool that look could be on naturally dark haired gals. But of course, that was COMPLETELY uncharted territory for me, as someone with completely virgin hair. It was an idea that I didn’t see happening anytime soon, mainly because it was terrifying, but I always had it in the back of my mind.

Now fast-forward three weeks ago, as I’m standing at Pearson Airport about to board my flight to Paris. Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see yet another technicolour creation a la Bleach London, totally gawking at their creativity in hair colour that isn’t really seen in Canada all that much. It then dawned on me that I would be in London (for the very first time) not long from then and maybe this was a sign that it was my time to make a change. The next day, I made an appointment at their Dalston location (which I promptly missed) and spent the next two weeks freaking out and changing my mind. Nevertheless, I got in there, albeit a day after I was supposed to be there, and, well, I got bleached.

A beautiful, very curly haired lady named Sapphire did my virgin bleach (she’s also coloured Florence Welch’s and Caroline Flack’s hair), which is their version of a single process bleach for unbleached hair. I was informed that typically brunettes require a double process to get their hair to a white shade, but at Bleach they only do a single process per visit, and recommend that you lighten up at your next root appointment in 4-6 weeks. Nonetheless, I trusted her and she got right into it. She told me she used the second strongest bleach (out of three degrees)– I felt literally no burning or anything that I was told I would and that processed for about an hour after it was all applied. They do the roots later on because the bleach reacts faster closer to the scalp. After that’s all washed out, they toned my hair using purple and hues to knock out any yellow. To Sapphire’s and my own surprise, my hair went pearly white after the first process leaving me excited and way less terrified.

My overall experience at the salon was awesome (despite being there on the wrong day) and the actual salon has a super cool atmosphere. I brought back the Silver Shampoo and Conditioner, and their Reincarnation Mask by Sapphire’s recommendation– all of which were very inexpensive and available at Boots. I also took home with me their Bleach Bible, which I was advised I MUST follow if I want to maintain my white hair. This means no flat irons, curling irons, scrunchies, less regular shampooing (which I soon learned is quite easy), LOTS of hair masks and never sleeping on wet hair. In my short time with my bleached hair, I’ve learned that it is incredibly dry, very, very tangly and has a thicker, beachier texture that I love. That being said, I’ve basically been reaching for everything and anything that will make my hair softer and I’ve had to add quite a few products into my daily stash.

In the shower, I shampoo with Bleach’s Silver Shampoo, leaving it in for three or four minutes to eliminate any yellow tones or brassiness (plus I think it makes my hair more gray, hence the name). If I’m using my blow drier, I’ll first shampoo with my Kerastase heat-protecting shampoo, then follow with the Silver Shampoo. I follow up with a mix of their Silver Conditioner, which also has some lavender pigments, and Phytobaume Réparateur, leaving my hair to soak that up for a few minutes as well. Once I’m out of the shower, I carefully brush out my tangly white hair with a Tangle Teezer (another Bleach recommendation– that or a Mason Pearson Brush). I’ve basically employed every single mask and oil in my inventory–Klorane’s Desert Date Leave-In Conditioner and Mask and even straight-up avocado oil. Oh, and the Reincarnation Mask. I basically load up on one of those (or a mix) about half an hour before my shower to let my hair absorb some much needed moisture. It takes a good three or four days for my hair to get oily, meaning less showers and more moisture (and more laziness).

All this being said, it’s been only a week and I’m sure I have lots to learn in terms of my new do.

–Anna Raponi



Pretty explanatory, today I’m going to give you the lowdown on my everyday makeup look, which inherently means sharing my favourite products and how I like to use ’em.

I start off doing my liner with a Korean pen-liner which is INCREDIBLE–Clio’s Liner in Kill Black. No, it’s not quite ‘waterproof’, but I’ve had this for nearly six months, and it’s still inky and has a super precise tip. I typically do a little cat eye and clean up with some Bioderma-soaked Q-tips (which is why I do this first).

Then, I work on my skin. I do a thin layer of Armani’s Maestro in Shade 3 all over– this stuff is almost water thin and looks super natural, it’s seriously next-level makeup. I go under the eyes with Shade 3.5 of the matching Armani Maestro concealer, which has dark orange tones that correct. I set it with Vichy Dermablend Translucent Powder and I’m set until lunchtime when I more often then not need to blot.
t any purple circles. If I’ve got any blemishes to cover up (which I 100% do have 95% of the time), I go in with Vichy Dermablend Foundation Stick in the first shade OR, if I need some serious help, Amazing Cosmetics.

For a little definition, I apply some of Nars Laguna right under my cheekbones using a tapered paint brush I found at the art store (it really gets into the hollows of my cheeks and it was like $20). Continuing with Laguna, I grab a fluffier brush and give the contours of my face a little bronzer. I’ve been loving a dusting of Giorgio Armani’s Eccentrico on my cheeks for a natural flush and highlight.

I finish off my eyes with a few coats of Maybelline’s Mega Plush, which is ah-mazing. As for brows, I get them died nearly black so I just brush them out with a spoolie.

I always, always, always apply some Rosebud Salve to my lips before heading out, and if I remember, a coat of Rimmel’s 104 lipstick.

And people say I’m high maintenance!

–Anna Raponi


LAST WEEK we talked at-home gel nails, but for those of us who want the longest lasting results and can’t be bothered to tinker with them ourselves (ahem, me), we turn to the salons for our gel manicures.

Basically, they begin off by gluing a hard extension to your nail, which starts to look very Ripley’s Longest Nails World Record (it’s gross, really). Once they’ve got the whole set adhered, they trim then file down to the shape and length you’d like. This is where the “fake nail” appearance comes from, and at first it feels really weird and the constant fear of ripping one off somewhat takes over your life (but only for a little while, trust me). Then, they essentially paint on layers of gel, curing briefly under a lamp in between layers. The final two layers are your chosen colour, which dries to a shiny finish.

Depending on how fast your nails grow, you’ll need to get a “refill” every two to three weeks ( I usually make it to three). This is usually significantly cheaper because they’re only redoing the gel layers, not the extensions. They simply file off the colour, clean behind the nail, and reapply the gels. So as you can imagine, as your nails grow out, the extensions get filed down and over time, the nail is no longer an extension but just your nail itself. For someone like me who can barely grow her nails, this is amazing, and I’m completely content with my results. Some say this destroys your nails, but if you’re diligent with the upkeep, you shouldn’t see any visible issues, just a consistent, neat manicure.

Anna Raponi

Anna gets her nails done at Beauty Tips and Spa in Oakville. 


WHO EVER CREATED THE MAKEUP BAG? Why? I mean, ya, they’re necessary for travelling and all that jazz but in terms of getting made up at home, how is it convenient to rifle through a bag of minimum five products, albeit in a rush? And considering the cost of high-end makeup is practically 50%  for the packaging, why would you hide it? I have become fairly good at organizing and dividing my cosmetics and I’ll admit, my very open display of beauty products was very much inspired by many Top Shelfs from Into The Gloss.

For my makeup, I like my everyday, go-to products on a tray. Trays are literally cosmetics’ BFF. I get them for around $10 at Winners or at second-hand stores, and they give your set-up a very antique, luxurious vibe that is also very convenient–all your products, visible, and at your fingertips. For products that I use not-so-often, but still frequently enough to keep out, I use little containers(Amanda brought me back a Laudrée box from Paris that I hold my lipsticks in), such as tea boxes and jewelry boxes.

For the tools (brushes, q-tips, whatever you fancy), small vases, mason jars and old candle glasses are my go-to containers. At my vanity, I like to keep a small tray of bobby pins and hair elastics, and somehow my everyday rings and earrings always end up laying there too. A well-decorated vanity feels glamorous and makes it easy to get ready in a flash.
Most people display their perfumes unintentionally, and honestly, the bottles are so pretty they shouldn’t be hidden in a cupboard.

As for the bathroom, I like all of my skincare out, just like every other product I own. Cleansers stay around the sink (just makes sense), and the rest of the lot are harboured in another vintage tray. I keep cotton pads and distilled water in mason jars, and q-tips in an Aritizia candle holder. A small tray by the sink is great for leaving earrings and other jewelry before you get in the shower.

–Anna Raponi


 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