Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Clean Your Makeup!

Now that we’ve given tricks of the trade to help you spring clean your beauty routine, now it is time to give you tips on how to spring clean your makeup and skin care products!

With a whole new season in full swing, here are ways to renew and refresh your beauty item collection:

(1)  Check all items for potential expiry dates, funny texture, strange odours or signs of decay. For specific products such as concealer, liquid foundation, cream-based eye shadows and blushes, try to check for these issues often and if it has been used for a year, replace it with a new item for good measure.

(2)  Keep your eyes open! Mascara and both liquid and pencil eyeliners need to be replaced quite often – every 3 months for mascara and every 3 to 6 months for eyeliner (depending on the type). As much as this may drill a hole in your wallet, you want to keep your eyes healthy and infection-free. If you have had an eye infection, throw out all eye makeup immediately and start fresh!

(3)  Spruce up your brushes. As much as one may think brushes don’t need some beauty TLC, they do. Make an effort to spring clean them and keep it up with a monthly cleaning with a specially formulated brush cleaner – which can be found at the majority of makeup counters. It removes makeup residue and enhances the bristles so they work like they were new again.

(4)  Disinfect your beauty goodies. For your items that are still good to go, clean up the products and create a reminder so this is repeated every few months. For powder-based makeup, take rubbing alcohol and a spray bottle, lightly spray the product and leave the lids off to air dry. For lip products, dip a cotton swab or Q-Tip in rubbing alcohol, softly rub against the product, wipe it down with tissue and close the lid.

(5)  Create a good home. Go through your drawers and cupboards, clean out all of the old stuff or things you don’t need anymore. Make space for your makeup and beauty products and get into the routine of storing them away from sunlight and in a cooler place. It will help sustain the quality of your products.

(6)  Scrub down your storage cases. Make sure to wash your makeup bags and travel cases every three months so everything is fresh and a good clean place to store your products.

For more information on how to maintain the longevity and health of your skin care products, cosmetics and other personal care items, please visit Health Canada’s Cosmetic and Personal Care Item page:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring-Clean Your Beauty Routine

With the arrival of spring, it is time to refresh your beauty routine!

It’s time to trade in the winter routine of heavy creams and darker makeup for lighter lotions, pastel shades and products that give you a fresh and brightened spring look.

Add in the SPF 

With warmer weather and more hours of sunshine, incorporating sun protection products with a minimum of SPF 15 into your spring beauty routine (and your year-round routine) is vital to keeping your skin looking great, youthful and healthy.

Take an extra minute or two to apply sunscreen along with your moisturizer. To keep it even more quick, use a moisturizer that contains SPF 15. Take a minute to apply it first thing in the morning and you are done!

Remember – your lips need protection too, so apply SPF balm as well for full sun protection.

Show off the Sun Kissed Glow

Get your glow on, but in a safe way! To brighten up your look and illuminate your features, use a light bronzer. This will enhance your natural beauty and is a healthier choice for keeping your skin protected and younger looking.

A great glow tip – test out different bronzers first so the shade compliments your skin tone rather than appearing unnatural and find the one that brushes lightly onto the skin

Exfoliate to Exposure Fresher-Looking Skin

Freshen up your skin for spring time by buffing away any dull winter skin and make way for a more smooth and radiant complexion.

Purchase two gentle exfoliators – one for the face and one for the body – and keep them as beauty staples right by your sink and in your shower.

If you have sensitive skin, look for exfoliators with soothing ingredients such as Aloe, Vitamin E and natural fruits and use the products two to three times per week until your skin adapts.

Soft Shades over Dark Colours

Once you are sporting your sun kissed glow and radiant complexion, pair your fresh spring look with softer makeup shades, like pastels or warm tones.

Use soft shades to compliment your eye and hair colour and take some spring risks with some shimmery metallic makeup for a glamorous pop to the eyes. Accentuate your natural beauty with soft eye shadows, natural-looking glosses and a light brush of bronzer.   

Friday, April 20, 2012

Homemade Beauty Made Easy

Believe it or not, your home is FILLED with ingredients to create homemade beauty remedies.

Whether you’ve run out of your favourite beauty products at the last minute or your tight budget is not affording you a day at the spa, here are some great recipes for simple homemade beauty!

Cucumber Honey-Toner

This may sound like a strange concoction but when you put cucumber and honey together, it is a great formula for calming and softening your skin.

  • 1 medium Cucumber, peeled and cut up into pieces
  • 2 tsp. Honey
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 carrot, cooked and mashed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons light sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons apricot kernel oil
  • 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil
  • ½ cup cocoa butter
  • 1/2 cup dried Lavender Flowers
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Fresh Sage
  • 2 cups of water
  • 8 drops of Lavender Oil
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup warmed Olive oil (2T for normal to oily hair)
  • 4 drops of essential oil of Rosemary

Puree cucumber in a blender. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and set the sieve over a glass bowl or measuring cup. Pour the cucumber puree through the sieve and let it stand for 15 minutes for the juices to drip into the bowl. Pour the clear juice into a clean bottle and add honey.

To use, shake the bottle and saturate a cotton pad with the lotion. Sweep over face and let it air dry (about 3 to 4 minutes). Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Avocado Carrot Mask

This mask is nutrient-packed with ingredients to help rebuild the skin’s strength and even out pigmentation.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Spread gently over your face and neck, and leave in place 10-15 minutes.  Rinse with cool water and follow with your favorite toner.

Ginger Cream

That’s right. Ginger can be used to help moisturize your skin and not just for adding a kick to your sushi!

Preheat oven on lowest setting. Grate the ginger so you have about an 1/8 teaspoon of ginger "juice." To obtain the juice, squeeze the grated ginger over a small bowl. Place ingredients (including the ginger) in a glass container and heat until the cocoa butter is melted and oils are blended. Pour into a clean, dry container and store in a cool dry place. Once cooled, apply to your skin.

Lavender Hand and Foot Wash

This wash gives you the spa feel without pinching your wallet or having to leave your house!

In a pot, combine lavender flowers, sage and water. Simmer and covered on low heat for 20 minutes. Strain mixture through cheesecloth and let cool. Discard the solids, retain the liquid. Add Lavender Oil and shake. Apply to hands and feet with a soft wash cloth or cotton pads.

Rosemary Honey Hair Conditioner

This nourishing blend helps to moisturize, stimulate healthy hair growth and help add shine.

Place ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Pour into a plastic bottle with a tight lid.

Apply a small amount at a time to slightly dampened hair. Massage and work through hair until completely coated. Cover hair with a warm towel or tightly with plastic wrap; leave on to nourish and condition for 30 minutes. Then, shampoo lightly and rinse with cool water.

Happy homemade beauty!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interview With Makeup Artist Alexa Chan!

Check out our exclusive interview with makeup artist Alexa Chan!

TG: What makes you love the beauty industry?

AC: Beauty just makes me happy.  I love it because it is creative, colourful and always changing with every year, every season and every trend.  That is why I decided to make the career switch.  I was in writing but now I just finished beauty school and I am starting to build up my client base.

TG: What are the most common beauty mistakes that you think people make?

AC: Wearing too much makeup. As much as it is great when people glam themselves up, I truly feel that less is more and that in some cases, makeup can age you. Also, I notice some clients use certain colour shades of makeup that do not work with their skin tone. The trick is to test everything out before purchasing, making sure it does not wash you out and that it compliments your skin tone, plus your eye and hair colour. If is compliments it, it will appear more put together.

TG: Do you have any special signature tips or beauty secrets that set you apart?

AC: Put powder on your eyelashes before applying mascara. It not only thickens up your lashes, but it will help your mascara stay in place and last longer.

TG: When you are out on the town, what beauty products are staples in your purse?

AC: A long-lasting lipstick, shiny gloss, concealer (especially when I have the odd blemish), mascara and eyeliner pencil for both liner touch-ups and occasionally eye shadow ramping up.

TG: Who is your dream client that you would love to work with?

AC: Definitely Janet Jackson. She has such stunning eyes, so it would be amazing to accentuate the colour and shape. Every time she is made up, she has a different look about her. Her skin always looks clear and fresh and the tone of her complexion is that creamy mocha colour – a dream colour for vibrant bright shades.

TG: Describe the most daring look you have created on a client or yourself.

AC: I went as an 80s rocker one year for Halloween, so I decided to go all out with the makeup. I did neon coloured eye shadows with blue eyeliner, pink blush, pink/orange shade of lipstick and I drew lightning bolts on my cheeks like some of the female rockers did back in the 80s. Also, glitter was a HUGE part of this look – I definitely resembled Cyndi Lauper that night, in an Asian way of course. I am just starting out in makeup work, so check back with me soon. I am sure I will have more stories.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fabulous Foods For Your Face!

Everyone has heard the notion “you are what you eat.” This classic saying may be directed towards being trim and fit, but did you know that you can actually eat well for your skin?

Whether your skin is dry, acne-prone or dull looking, your diet can help change the face of your complexion.

Here are some great foods that offer nothing but nourishment to your skin and help you to maintain that youthful, glowing appearance:

WATER – Consuming several glasses of water on a daily basis is an easy way to improve and maintain the health of your skin. Water flushes toxins out of your body and keeps your external appearance healthy and moist.

Tip: 8 glasses of water needed per day is a myth, but make sure you drink 3 to 4 glasses!

GREEN VEGETABLES – All green veggies are great for the skin, so it is simple to find at least one vegetable from this group to add to your daily eats. Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, green vegetables are helpful to fight acne and provide nourishment that keeps skin balanced and clear. Plus, it has tons of Vitamin A, which encourages healthy skin cell growth.

Tip:  The darker the green of the veggie, the better!

FISH – Key element that fish has for the skin: OMEGA3 fatty acid! This good fat (you heard us, it is GOOD fat) is important because it slows down and can help reverse the signs of aging. It also helps calm the skin, relieving redness or irritation. This is why we have a Caviar product line – too good not to share with your skin!

Tip: The fatty acids found in fish are great for dry eyes!

WHOLE GRAINS – This food group contains selenium, which helps to improve the skin at a cellular level. Also think about it – it is a simple diet practice because selenium is found in all whole wheat cereals, breads and baked goods.

Tip: Selenium is very helpful in clearing up acne and acne scarring

PURPLE & DEEP RED FOODS – Nutrients found in purple and deep red foods offer significant protection to skin cells and helps to repair skin damage – both at the cellular level and on the surface of the skin. Incorporate some cabbages, beets or another purple or red pick into your diet and you will be protected!

Tip: The darker the purple or red, the better!

CITRUS FRUITS – Get your grapefruit on! Fruits from the citrus family (grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes) are rich in Vitamin C – a key vitamin in the fight against fine lines, wrinkles and aged skin that needs a radiance boost.

Tip: If you are not into fruit, try some red peppers. They have the HIGHEST level of Vitamin C

LEAN MEAT or CHICK PEAS – If you are a meat eater or a vegetarian, lean meat or chick peas provide you with a good source of iron. Iron will boost your skin tone (especially if you have a pale complexion) and it will help to improve dark circles under the eyes.

If you are eating for good health or thinking about it, start thinking about how to eat for your skin!

Friday, April 13, 2012

5 Beauty Products that a girl should never travel without

(1)  Moisturizing Travel Pack: 

      Numerous skincare and beauty lines have this type of product, which is packaged as a small kit with travel-sized moisturizers for your face, body, hands and feet. With the dry air of the airplanes, sometimes rough hotel room bedding and long days of touring, moisturizing is key. 

(2)  Cleansing Towelettes or Peel-off Masks: 

     With late night flights or running around in the heat while travelling, you may not always have the opportunity to stop to give your face a good cleansing. Cleansing cloths or peel-off cleansing masks are a good alternative to keeping your skin fresh and clean.  

(3)  Lip Balm or Lip Gloss: 

      With changes of climates, scenery and transportation, your pout is bound to get dry and cracked. Keep a lip product in your purse or carry-on for easy reach and application while on-the-go.

(4)  Travel-sized Toothbrush and Toothpaste Kit: 

      These kits to keep your pearly whites clean, sparkling and fresh can be found in the drug store and are perfectly compact for travel. Also, most of the time, the toothpaste does not go over the legal liquid limit that you can bring on an airplane, meaning you can brush up at any time. 

(5)  Dry Shampoo: 

      Depending on your travel schedule, you may not always have the time to lather up your locks. Pack a dry shampoo in with your travel toiletries and use it accordingly when you need it. You can find dry shampoo at large beauty stores or at your hair dresser.