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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Quick/short entry today friends. For today's look I decided to do Pocahontas. I realized after doing this look that apparently she IS a Disney Princess (who knew??) but I'd already done the look so screw it, I'm gonna share it with you anyways. I played with her signature colors to do a neutral top eye (shocking!) with a pop of teal under the eye. This is probably the most literal translation I've done so far for any of the characters but I'm really pleased with it and the pictures turned out beautifully. So, on to Pocahontas and the look.

"Pocahontas is a member of the Powhatan Indian tribe that makes their home in Virginia. She is the daughter of Chief Powhatan. It is stated that Pocahontas's mother died, and that Pocahontas has her spirit. She is the only member of her tribe that is not xenophobic towards the white settlers, instead forming a relationship with John Smith. Pocahontas' name means "Little Mischief." She is based on the real historical figure, and was born into a highly sophisticated Native American culture that had some knowledge of Europeans."

I'm super happy with the way this turned out. I love teal/orange/brown together, I think it's so sharp and pretty. Mixing natural tones with classic tones is so stunning when done correctly. What I also love about this look is how totally wearable it is. This is something I would wear for a night out or maybe a day of shopping. I used my Coastal Scents 88P for the eyes, using taupes and browns from row G then a random teal color from an old quad I had at the back of my makeup drawer. The lip color is from my Sephora holiday palette and is a combination of three colors blended together.  I finished it off with Orgasm by NARS on my cheeks and Albatross by NARS to highlight all over my face.

Well, that's it for me. No second look today, unfortunately. I did a tribal Native American look but it ended up looking like really cheesy halloween makeup and the colors didn't register on camera AT ALL. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I'm still really happy with today's look and I hope you like it too. I'll definitely be rewearing this one again!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

For my second entry into the 'No Princess Club' series, I decided to do Mulan. I was really looking forward to doing this look and I couldn't wait. In keeping with my last Disney post I decided to one wearable look and one crazy look - I'm pretty confident you guys will be able to figure out which is which. So, without further ado I give you Mulan as interpreted by Meredith.

"Fa Mulan is the protagonist of Disney's 1998 feature film Mulan and its direct-to-video sequel. She is inspired by the legendary Hua Mulan from the Chinese poem The Ballad of Mulan. Mulan is an official Disney Princess, however she is the only one who is not a literal princess of royalty (so she's in the club!). Mulan is atypical to previous female roles in Disney films; she is courageous, more self-reliant, and does not focus on marriage. She does not fit in with the expectations of a young Chinese girl of the time; despite her beauty, she is clumsy, outspoken, and independent rather than graceful, silent and demure. Her courage, intelligence, and determination also help her through her adventures. She is the first and only Disney Princess of Asian descent."

So for my wearable look, I played with the colors of her countryside outfit at the beginning of the film, the greens, teals, and royal blues. Alas, my look ended up being a bit more pastel-y than intended and was fairly hard to photograph.

Anyways, there it is. Doesn't really scream Mulan to me but whatever, it's still a pretty look to wear. But you know what does scream Mulan! to me? My second look. Hold onto your fake eyelashes girls, things are about to get real Asian up in here.


Now we're talking!


Transformation complete! I'll admit this isn't really directly inspired by Mulan. I was more inspired by traditional Chinese makeup and wanted to give it a colorful modern twist. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to bust out my traditional Qi-pao that my boyfriend's mom gave me (she was born in China). I always secretly wished I'd been born Asian (I'm weird) so playing dress-up with my Qi-pao was SO MUCH FUN. I love the colors and textures in Chinese clothing, so rich and beautiful. This Chinese concubine look would be a pretty ballin Halloween costume if I hadn't gone as a Geisha two years ago.

Hope you guys liked these looks! 

P.S.: Be on the look-out for my HUGE GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT later this week because ...
I recently hit 200 FOLLOWERS?! 

I'm like ....

Just kidding!!!! I'm actually incredibly humbled by all the support and kind comments and I cannot wait to give back to my amazing, stunning, flawfree followers. I love you all. 

Fez loves you too.

Monday, 25 July 2011

So, has anyone gone to see the final installment of Harry Potter? My friends and I saw it in theaters this weekend and it inspired me to do a look. However, as I'm not a fanatic of the actual series, I decided instead to do a look based on Ms. Emma Watson's latest cover/spread in Vogue. 

Let me start off by saying this ... while this may appear to be the simplest look I've ever posted this was definitely a huge challenge for me. Fashion photography makeup is a whole other ballgame than what I'm used to doing but that's the point - I wanted to stretch my abilities and see if I could figure out how to recreate this look. To add an extra challenge, I wanted to try to recreate this look using only inexpensive/drugstore makeup. Here's what I came up with:

I couldn't quite match the lipstick but I think I got fairly close. (Also remember, I don't have professional lighting in my bathroom) The trick to getting Emma's super slick pout is to use multiple shades of lipstick and lipgloss in a gradient pattern to get the multi-dimensional color & shine of this lip centered look. The eyes should be kept to light orange-based browns and finished off with a dark brown/black tightline on the upper and lower lashlines. For an extra glossy 'wet' look on your lid you can dab a TINY bit of clear lip gloss on the middle of your lash line, but this is not necessary. For the detailed product breakdown of what I used click HERE

Quo Full Face Primer | Revlon Colorstay (Buff) | Revlon Photofinish (Vanilla)

Coastal Scents 26 Blush Palette
(Light Peach & Light Orange)

NYC Lip Liner (Magenta) | Rimmel Moisture Renew (Berry Queen)
Maybelline Lasting Finish (Temptation) | BonneBell Lip Glass (Clear)

 Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette
H8 (Base) | H7 (Crease) | H11 (Liner) | A8 (Brow) | A7 (Highlight)

Plus: Black Mascara & Individual False Lashes

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Well, I've had almost a whole week of complete creative block. Every time I take to the mirror to do some makeup it ends in a fury of cotton swabs and makeup remover. After a while it does things to one's morale, anyone else know what I'm talking about? Anyways, today I vowed to get at least one decent look done. I wasn't sure what to do, but then I remembered my Megara post got such a great response so I figured I would do another Disney look. Everyone loves Disney! This time my look is based on Kida from Atlantis. I did two eye-looks for Kida, one intermediate and one advanced look - both are featured later in the post.

'Kidagakash "Kida" Nedakh is the main heroine from Disney's 2001 feature film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. She is the daughter of the King of Atlantis Kashekim Nedakh, and later becomes Queen of Atlantis herself. Despite being introduced as a princess, Kida is not one of the marketed princesses in the Disney Princess franchise.'

This is me as Kida (edited)
This is Kida from the movie Atlantis

This is an un-edited shot of the makeup ft. glitter lips

Intermediate Kida Look

Advanced Kida Look - looks more like Flounder from The Little Mermaid

I did the advanced look first but I felt like my looks have been a bit too nutso and unrelateable as of late, so I wanted to do something more 'wearable' as well. It's really really hard for me to do 'simple' looks, what's wrong with me?? I was doing pretty well keeping things under control until the glitter lipstick .... oops. Anyways, I'm not 100% pleased with this but I'm happy that I finally did a whole look, start to finish, for the first time in a week. Gotta start somewhere!

Anyways, I had a lot of fun doing this look so I think I might do a few more. I'm going to try to work my way through the majority of the female Disney characters in this picture entitled "No Princess Club" plus: Pochahontas, Mulan & Giselle from Enchanted.

Hope you guys liked this look. For more Disney inspired makeup check out some of these blogs!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

July 2nd was Toronto's Gay Pride Parade this year, a day I look forward to annually. While I myself am not gay, a good half of my friends are, so it's always a huge party. And, besides supporting their rights and having a great time partying in the sunshine, I love that pride is also about accepting/loving yourself just as you are and feeling free to let your freak flag fly (say that ten times fast). Not to mention ... a day where the dress code is rainbow and glitter??? SIGN ME UP! Anyways, this look is a recreation of the look I did for the parade. I didn't get a chance to snap a really good picture of it (plus I sweated most of it off in the 100 degree heat) but I was pretty proud of how it turned out and I wanted to share it with you guys.

I have to admit, I absolutely loved this look. I know it's not wearable or sensible but it was so much fun to do! I put star stickers down all over my face, then primed and shadowed, and shadowed, and shadowed. Finally when I was all done I peeled them off for the fun star effect and finished it off with some fuchsia lips. For the parade I also shellacked my face with glitter but I wasn't feeling it this time around. Glitter is like the herpes of craft supplies, it never goes away, and even when you think it's gone you wake up three days later with it still in your hair. I used a whole mess of random eyeshadow colors for this look, but a lot of them came from the Coastal Scents Ultra Shimmer & Metal Mania palette - both of which I have to say are my go to palettes as of late. 

Anyways, here's some pictures from the actual pride parade/pride weekend if you're interested!

Me and my best friend hanging out at the rooftop party!

Blowing kisses to the crowd

My good friend & host of the amazing rooftop party (right)

Giant rainbow flag!

Anyways, it was so much fun and I already can't wait for next year. Do you guys have any summer traditions that you get excited for every year?

Monday, 11 July 2011

I went shopping recently to spend my Sephora gift card and some points I'd saved up at my local drugstore. Some of it went towards the giveaway I'm planning, and the rest I splurged on myself. I bought pretty much all lip products, as I have over 600+ eyeshadow colors and I need to diversify my cosmetic collection. I bought two Sephora lipsticks, two Gosh lipglosses, a Lise Watier liquid eyeliner and a NARS blush. I'm not really one for swatch and haul posts, at least not without a look to go with it so I challenged myself to use as many of the products as I could and this is the look that I came up with. It's very girly and pink and romantic with a hint of light green, I call it 'Secret Garden'.

The light green on my water line is hard to see but it's there. Reminds me of a beautiful English rose garden like this:

These are the colors I used: CS Ultra Shimmer Palette

Anyways, on to the swatches!

This is my first time swatching anything so I'm sorry if the photo quality sucks. It wasn't the best day to be taking pictures (bad light) and my camera isn't the best but here they are:

REALLY exciting names, right? So creative! Who thinks of this stuff: #02, R11!? Genius! Anyways, I'm wearing the Sephora G01 with the Gosh#03 over it for my lips, with the Lise W liquid eyeliner and a hint of the NARS blush in Desire on my cheeks. I know it looks like cheap hooker pink in the swatch there but that's because A) my camera sucks B) I didn't realize how pigmented it was and put too much on and C) I swatched it over NYX's milk. It is very pink, just not that VIOLENTLY pink. Moving on, here are some pro-shots of the products I picked up.

Comes with light up applicator, in case you get lost in the woods at night while you're applying your lipgloss.
My thoughts on the Gosh gloss; I really like them they're very pretty and a little goes a long way. The packaging is a little out of control (mirror on the side of the tube, lights in the applicator) but the product does what it needs to do and the glosses have just enough shine and shimmer to make your lip look pop.

This highly pigmented, waterproof, smudgeproof, 24-hour liquid eyeliner lives up to all it's claims. You could probably do the Iron Man decathalon wearing this bad boy, take a hot shower, sleep for 12 hours and wake up looking like you freshly applied. I swatched this at the store on Saturday and I still have some on my hand. Only negative, if you fuck it up when you're putting it on good luck trying to get it off! I bought it in purple and it's almost an exact dupe of Smashbox's violet liquid liner for $10.00 less. It's also a close cousin of MUFE's new purple Aqualiner, though it's a bit brighter than their formula.

Finally, NARS' Desire. I mean, what can I say that you haven't heard 1,000,000 times before. It's a NARS blush. It's pink. It's awesome. My inner Barbie took one look at this and couldn't walk away without purchasing. Be careful when applying though, one swipe is more than enough. You need to have a very light hand with this product or you could easily end up looking like someone applied your makeup using a paintball gun. It's REALLY pigmented. I actually had to tone this down with some nude powder.

I couldn't find pictures of the Sephora lipsticks online so the swatches will have to suffice. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the look and the swatches/reviews. OH! Also! If you made it this far and are still reading/care I'm on Beautylish now! Here's my profile. If you're on there already friend me and if not, join up, it's a great site for networking and finding inspiration.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Hey guys! I've been a busy little bee these past two days and I have some more fun stuff for you. First off, here's my L.O.T.D. a teal and brown eye with bright fuschia lipstick. What do you think?

Unfortunately I don't have names for any of the colors as they came from my Sephora Holiday Palette. I think it's really fun and cute and I adore the color combo of pink and teal, probably my fave at the moment.

Now! I had a few requests after my last post asking how I edit my photos so I've put together a very image/text heavy walkthrough tutorial for those of you who are interested. I spent a LOT of time on this post so I hope it's helpful to at least some of you guys. I'll be teaching you how to get professional looking shots from an average digital camera. Here's what we'll be doing:

Click HERE to read the tutorial.

This is my first tutorial of anything ever so please bear with me! I have tried my best to include instructions detailed enough so that even the most novice photoshop user can follow along. It takes time, patience, and practice but I hope that the information contained within is helpful to some as I spent a LOT of time putting this together. If you have any questions you can contact me at

Possibly the most important step in this tutorial is to start with a decent, forward facing, natural lit, portrait shot of your face. For more information on the do's and don'ts of taking good makeup shots, please refer to Kassie's very helpful and informative post HERE.

Note: These screenshots can all be enlarge to true size by clicking on them if you can't read the values/settings on them at their current size.


STEP ONE: Open your picture in photoshop. The first step in fixing your photo is to duplicate your image to a new layer using Ctrl+J/Cmmd+J. CTRL for PC users, CMD for MAC users.

Now, working on your new layer, use the healing tool. This is the button shaped like a band-aid and is the first button in the second cluster of photoshop tool cursors. I have provided a screenshot below. 

This tool is used to remove any blemishes, stray hairs, wrinkles or skin imperfections. It does this by sampling from a desirable area of skin, and replacing the blemishes with a copy of this area.

STEP TWO: To remove blemishes ... Using a soft (0% hardness) brush, take the healing tool and hold down ALT and click a nearby section of nice skin, then let go of ALT and click your mouse over the blemish and it should disappear. See the differences in this comparison picture. If you're confused by these instructions there are lots of videos on YouTube explaining how to do this. Simply search Healing Tool Photoshop. 

See how I have replaced these imperfections with nicer patches of skin?

Take your time with this step, but don't overdo it. Don't obliterate every freckle from your face or it will look freakish. Try to focus on specific, noticeable imperfections as the small ones will be dealt with in the next step!

STEP THREE: Duplicate (Ctrl/Cmmd+J) your healed skin layer to get a third layer. Now, using the drop down menu at the top of your page, select Filter > Blur > Surface Blur and input appx. these values (this will vary on the size and quality of your image so play around with them. 

STEP FOUR: Your image should now have a waxy/plastic effect but it won't stay like this! We're going to cover this with a mask by selecting Layer > Layer Mask > Hide all. The effect we just did should disappear and over in your Layer's Bar you should see a black rectangle beside the image of your current layer.

STEP FIVE: Select a soft, round brush, and reduce it's opacity to about 30%, make your foreground color white, and then, making sure that the black mask is selected NOT your waxy image, begin painting on areas of skin that you would like to be smoothed out.

Here is the after shot. You can see that my previously black mask now has lots of opaque white blotches on it where I wanted my skin smoothed out and you can see how there are no more fine lines or wrinkles in my skin. If you've done this and your picture looks too waxy, just reduce the opacity of the layer to approx. 50-70%. I've left mine at 100%.

STEP SIX: Now we want to add texture back into our freakishly flawless skin, so were going to duplicate our surface blur layer (Ctrl/Cmmd+J), then desaturate it (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U) so that we now have grey splotches where we smoothed our skin. Like this.

STEP SEVEN: Now we're going to add the texture, by using Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and using the values shown. This gives our grey spots a grainy texture. To blur this texture select Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur and set a value of 1.0.

STEP EIGHT: This still looks weird and grey, so set the blend mode of this layer to softlight and voila! Smooth, airbrushed skin!


STEP NINE: Now we're going to move on to the shadowing/highlighting stage of the retouching. This will require only two layers. To create these layers press Ctrl/Cmmd+Shift+N and a box will pop up. Set mode to Overlay, set opacity to 50% and check the box at the bottom like so.

This will create a medium grey layer, and your image should not change at all. Duplicate this grey layer so you have two of them (Cmmd/Ctrl+J) and name one Shadow and the other Highlight.

STEP TEN: On your Shadow layer, get your paintbrush, change the hardness to 0% and the opacity to 15%, make sure your foreground color is black (I showed you how to edit your brush settings in step five)  and begin painting anywhere that there is shadowing to make it darker. Build this effect gradually to keep things looking natural. Focus on your cheek contours, brow contours, eyeliner, pupils of the eye, and any other natural shadowing. You should constantly be changing the size of your brush in this step depending on what you're shadowing. 

You should notice your picture darken where your paint black and lighten where you paint white.

When you're finished that, switch your foreground color to white and repeat the process on the second grey layer, (Highlights) brushing white wherever you want the highlights to be. For extra effect, highlight the irises of your eyes to make their natural beauty stand out. 

The screenshot shows my two grey layers, one with lots of opaque grey marks for shadows, and the other with a few white streaks for highlights.

Here's the before & after of the shadow/highlight step.

This should give your photo a lot more dimension than it had before. Please note that this step does require a basic knowledge of light/shade dynamics and it does take practice. Also, I cannot express strongly enough, BUILD THIS EFFECT GRADUALLY! Don't do too much or it will look strange/fake.

STEP ELEVEN: From the bottom of your layers menu, select the circle icon that is half black and half white. A menu should pop up with lots of image editing options. Select: Selective Color and change the drop down menu of that window from Reds to Blacks. For this image I want a very strong dark feel so I will increase blacks 30% but this will vary from image to image (Usually 10-30% is fine). You can also play with the other color channels to make certain colors pop but for this image, we're fine for now.

STEP TWELVE: You can also select other options from the same pop-up menu as Selective color. I typically use; Color Balance, Hue/Saturation, Curves, Brightness & Contrast & Selective Color. Get to know these tools by playing with them as they all have different effects. These are the settings I used specifically for this photo-retouch in addition to selective color

 Remember to select these from the circular icon at the bottom of your layers menu.

STEP THIRTEEN: Now, select all your layers by clicking the bottom most layer, holding shift, and clicking the top most layer. Now, hit Ctrl/Cmd+ALT+Shift+E, and a new layer should appear on top of all these other layers. It is a composite of everything you've done so far.

STEP FOURTEEN: Now go to your Filter menu > Other > High Pass and enter in a 10px radius (this will also vary by the size and quality of your image, but 10px is a good standard). This will create a sharp, grey outline of your image. Select OK. Now, change the blend mode of this layer to Soft Light and change the opacity to 50% to give the image a nice crisp finish.

You're done! Here's a screenshot of all the layers named and in proper order so you can see how everything should be laid out.

Now try this with your own photos and perfect the process! The .psd file is HERE for download if you'd like to look at it closer.

I would really really appreciate feedback on this post, what worked, what didn't, was it helpful, too wordy? Please be honest and constructive so I can improve for the future.