Tag Archives: mac cosmetics



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This past fall, I was sorta obsessed with my abundant and ever-growing collection of lipstick. That’s why when summer rolled around and I had no desire to do any more than lip balm, it was a bit of a sad moment. Even my summer corals and pinks had no appeal to me. Why? Well, makeup in the summertime is already a hassle as it is– I feel like I’m already blotting and powdering by the hour, why add another step in my touch-up regime? That’s why on my recent trip to Paris, I packed one lone red lipstick, knowing that it was probably just wishful thinking.

Red lips are kind of a toughie for me. I always feel way overdone when I pair it with my everyday eye-makeup (liner and mascara), but I still want a little definition on the eyes! Plus I hate to cake on the base products because I just feel like it’s sooo not-chic. Anyways, determined as I was to wear out a red lip, and very inspired by the lack of makeup French girls wear, I think i figured out a modern, light and easy way to wear a red lip for this summer weather.

Starting off with correcting any red tones in my skin (the only red on your face should be on your lips with this look), I do a thin layer of a thin, light-coverage foundation (preferably water-based–I use Maestro from Armani) on my cheeks, nose and chin. I then touch on any blemishes using a high coverage creamy concealer–the Dermablend foundation stick is awesome. I use my fingers to really melt it into the skin and blend onto the rest of the face so it’s undetectable. Then for my violet-hued undereye circles, I dab on a tiny bit of a very orange-toned concealer, which for me is the matching Maestro Eraser. I finish with a thin layer of translucent powder (to beat the heat!)–Dermablend makes an industrial strength one that is literally suitable for everyone.

Onto the eyes, I really went for less is more with this one. I simply did a wash of MAC’s Camel Coat, but any tone slightly darker than your skintone will do. This will add some subtle definition and really give you that Parisienne-cool look. No mascara, no liner, keep calm.

In my opinion, there is literally no occasion in which a strong brow isn’t needed– I fill my in with a slightly darker matte eye-shadow then comb into place with a little hairspray on a spoolie.

Now for the lip. Nothing new here; I start off with a crimson pencil, first outlining the ideal shape of my natural lips, then filling in. Smack your lips together, blot, then onto the lipstick. The key for this look is to create a really long-lasting, worn in red lip that doesn’t really scream “look at me!” but more like “I have my life put together” (this look does not, however, put your life together). I personally think a matte red is my favourite look right now, so I used Military Red by Burberry. Two coats, blotting after each.

I added a little Nars Laguna bronzer and Mistinguette highlighter onto my cheeks for a little definition to finish it all off.

All written out like that, this look doesn’t seem as effortless as it initally felt, but trust me, this really takes five minutes before you’re out the door. And with matte lipsticks, touch up’s are only necessary after eating/drinking (or excessive kissing). So put your neglected lipsticks to use!

–Anna Raponi


So…I took the plunge after 2 years of lusting after a cool fringe. I got bangs! I am well on my way to my transformation as a French girl (ha!).

One French girl in particular is my style and makeup obsession: Jeanne Damas. She’s got the bangs, she’s got the amazing Parisian life, she’s got the clothes and she has amazing taste in lipstick.

She pretty much sticks to different shades of red and raspberry, but they always look natural on her, never like woah she’s wearing lipstick. After some creeping of her Instagram comments, I noticed two shades in particular that she seemed to wear quite often: MAC Viva Glam III and Ruby Woo. So, naturally, off I went to my nearly MAC store.

The first shade I sought out was the VGIII–however, when I got there, I soon realized that it appeared a LOT darker on my very fair skin tone–Jeanne has a more beige-y complexion. On her it looks quite natural, sort of a ‘My Lips But Better’ shade, but for me it looked quite a lot more like an oxblood (Lancôme’s Color Design in Plum Show is quite similar). Luckily, I had quite a patient and lovely consultant helping me, and she selected the sheerer Capricious for me. It feels really nice on application, much like a balm, and gives a sort of wine-stained look, but not at all too dark for daytime. This one I can even apply without a mirror.

My second trip to the store resulted in the purchase of the cult classic, Ruby Woo. And I really must say, this lipstick lives up to all the hype–it is easily my favourite lipstick ever. It doesn’t exactly glide on, but once it’s on, it doesn’t budge. I don’t even use a lipliner with this. It’s a bright, punchy red with a matte finish that will last through your meals (believe me, I ate ribs and chicken wings and I only need a very light touch up). Not as dark and slightly less blue than my Nars Cruella, it’s my favourite lipstick for Spring and Summer; plus all you need with it is a flick of mascara, perfect for lazy summer makeup.


Contouring and highlighting is the step in our makeup routine that you didn’t know you needed until you tried it. Done right, it instantly chisels the face to make your cheekbones appear a little higher and your face a little thinner. That being said, “done right” isn’t always so easy– a contouring shade isn’t always a product you have lying around (ahem, NOT your summertime bronzer). Because this diffused line of contour crosses your cheek, unlike bronzer which can be really blended out across the cheek, finding a colour that is both dark enough to make a difference but cool toned enough to look natural is crucial. In terms of highlighters, I’ve yet to see as pretty a product on the face as a cream product.

So, once apon a Sunday afternoon, I was reorganizing some storage boxes in my room, coming across MAC’s Bare Study Paint Pot. The iridescence of the creamy-pink shade is SO stunning. It was a shame, however, because I don’t wear such light shades on my eyes anymore. I put it aside, nonethelesss, because you never know. And so I continued, re-boxing and such and I came across Camel Coat, a beige-y gray shade that was such a great basic. This, my friends, was fate in the works, as a genius idea then struck me. These colours are the PERFECT tones for highlighting and contouring!! And so, the duo was born.

Ok, so dramatic bullshit aside (i.e. my story), the placement of your products is key in any highlight and contour. Amanda did an awesome video to map it all out, but here’s my basic rundown: Contour colour goes under the cheek bones, along the jawline, and tops of forehead and highlight shade goes on the tops of the cheekbones, under eyebrow arches, bridge of nose, cupids bow, inner corners of the eyes and centre of the chin. Blend it all out, and you should be looking illuminated and at least 5x more supermodel.

–Anna Raponi


“As a beauty expert on Citytv’s Cityline and editor of BEAUTY the guide magazine, I see over 1,000 beauty products a year. The sheer number of new skincare, fragrance and makeup arriving in store each season can be overwhelming. So I spend a lot of time really studying the formulas and the most flattering shades. Fragrance is particularly tricky as perfume will smell different on two people due to skin chemistry. Here are some of my favourites.

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Great skin starts with cleansing and nothing is better than philosophy purity. The creamy formula has this fresh lemon scent and thoroughly cleans skin without stripping the moisture barrier. I even use the gel formula in summer to remove sunscreen, especially the sport versions that adhere to skin.
When it comes to makeup innovation, I’m always impressed with Dior. The French luxury brand continues to offer some really leading-edge products. I think the Airflash CC Primer is one of the best hidden secrets on the beauty floor. A quick spray and your skin is instantly perfected. I also like Dior Addict LipGlow. It creates the perfect shade for your skin tone intuitively.
MAC continues to do the majority of runway shows in Milan, Paris and New York and the Pro Artists remain tops in their field. The shadows and lipstick may get the most attention, but there is one miracle product that is worth a try: MACFix+. Spray your face after the end of a long day, and this fine mist brings your makeup back to life. It’s really great.
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No sun tan is safe so the best way to get that healthy glow is through GuerlainTerracotta. Bernard Arnault is putting big focus on this luxury brand in 2014 so expect to see its profile rise quickly.

YSLRouge Volupte lipstick has the most beautiful packaging. The product itself is good, but I just love the design of the bullet. It’s like a little work of art.
When it comes to fragrance, I’m so impressed with The 7 Virtues. This Canadian niche brand created by Barb Stegemann is supporting farmers in war-torn countries by buying flower and vetiver harvests. Vetiver of Haiti is particularly nice and the quality stands up to all the niche perfumery brands in the UK.”


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When we met the Canadian fashion blogger twins at the Clarisonic Aria event this past December at the newly renovated beauty floor at the Bay, we couldn’t get over how nice, friendly and funny they were (when we took a photo with them, they said that they couldn’t stand beside each other because they looked too similar). We chatted with them about pale skin problems and their all-time favourite beauty products (of course). 

Here’s what the super cute fashion queens use to get their signature look: porcelain skin, a bold cat eye and a bright lip.
From Cailli:
“I love the Givenchy Matte because it’s super light for my vampire skin town and is not shiny. It’s super matte. Also, I love Chanel sparkle pots because they are super glittery and look amazing on! NARS eyebrow gel has a really good hold and I love the color. And the bad gal Riri collection for MAC was epic. I love the eyeshadows because the tones are sooo perfect and it comes in an easy palette to use!
To get our signature look we also use:
NARS Dragon Girl lipstick, MAC Studio Fix powder, Chanel liquid eyeliner, Stila lipsticks, NARS Laguna bronzer for cheeks, l’Oréal mascara and Chanel face products with our Clarisonic Aria.”




Immaculate Foundation
Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

The Immaculate Foundation is god-send–the formula feels like a gel moisturizer, the coverage is light but buildable, and it controls oil while looking natural”

Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover
Liquidlast Liner

“It truly is the blackest liner I’ve ever used”

Mister Light Instant Light Corrective Pen

“The warmth of this shade is the key to covering the purple hue that naturally shadows my eye, no matter how much sleep I get”

Mat Velvet Foundation

“Medium to full coverage and the ability to keep your hyperactive oil glands at bay”

Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain 

“These things are just as easy to apply as a Nars pencil, and cost about a third of the price. It lasts a good four hours, which is the longest I think any lip product has EVER lasted for me.


La Vie est Belle

“A deep, optimistic mix of iris, patchouli and gourmand. For me, it comes off as very feminine, floral (but not overbearingly so) and a bit mature”


I love it because it makes you seem like you just naturally smell amazing, not like ‘oh, her perfume smells amazing’.


Clear Skin Probiotic Line

“The products have not only done heaps in clearing my skin, but have also faded a lot of the marks from old breakouts” 


Vernis in Love in Grey Lumiere

“When I wore it, I noticed that in some lighting it had a burgundy hue, then in different light it looked a bit like a really dark emerald shade and then sometimes it even had a blueish sheen.”