Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas For All Budgets Part 1 of 2: Stocking Stuffers

Not sure what to get your friends this Christmas?  Check out my holiday gift giving ideas for stocking stuffers or add-ons.

This is a perfect little gift especially for the winter months.  It conditions and soothes the lips while adding the perfect hint of color.  

Joe Fresh Cosmetics ($4-$8 CAD)
If you're looking for affordable good quality makeup Joe Fresh Cosmetics are worth checking out.  With prices ranging from $4-$8 you really can't go wrong. My personal faves are the cheek stains and lip crayons.

This has to be the best mascara I've ever tried.  No clumping, flaking, and no smudging.  And it keeps the curl in your lashes.  Just make sure you get waterproof and you're good to go!  

Annabelle Custom Quads ($4.95 CAD for shadows and $5.95 CAD for compact)
These are a great alternative to MAC's pro custom quads.  Annabelle offers a variety of colors for a great price.  Great for making a neutral, smokey or colorful palette to suit your friends own style.

NYX Eyeshadow Trios ($9.99 CAD)
If you're having trouble making your own combination of eyeshadow.  NYX Eyeshadow Trios make a great gift.  With over 42 combo's to choose from you're bound to find the perfect combo.  

Stila Lip Glaze Collection ($25 USD)
I love Stila Lip Glazes.  Why not buy this collection and break it up giving it to 8 different people.  This set contains the following colors: Starfruit, Kitten, Cranberry, Blackberry, Marmalade, Pinkie Twinkle, Plum Fairy, and Candy.  

Burt's Bee's available at most drug stores
Joe Fresh available at most Loblaws and Loblaw Superstores 
Cover Girl Lashblast available at most drug stores
Annabelle Custom Quads available at Shoppers Drug Mart
NYX Cosmetics available at Pharma Plus 
Stila Mini Lip Glazes available at Sephora

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Affordable Makeup Brushes

I know that lately I've been blogging a lot about makeup brushes. But I really do believe that they are essential if you want to achieve that flawless face, perfectly blended eyeshadow, and cute blushing cheeks. I usually look for a great deal when I buy my makeup brushes and I have come across some great websites and retail stores that offer them at an affordable price. My brush collection consists of a wide range of brushes from many different companies including MAC. But we all know how expensive MAC brushes can be.  So for all you budget conscious peeps I've compiled a list of companies to see which brushes you think might fit your budget and where you can get a hold of them.

1) Kayana Beauty Trends is not an online retail store but a service providing photography, makeup artistry, and hairstyling.  They also happen to sell quality professional makeup brushes.  I bought my first full set ever from them and I absolutely love them.  Their customer service is superb! Check them out at or on their Facebook Fan Page.

2) Coastalscents is an online retailer that sells cosmetics, makeup brushes, and everything you need to make your own makeup!  I'm a regular customer of coastalscents and get this, they've got a few makeup brushes that sell for less than $2.00 USD!  Amazing right? They also sell amazing colored palettes at awesome prices.  I can't say enough good things about this company. So if you're looking for affordable quality makeup and brushes is worth checking out!

3) Sigma Makeup is a new fun cosmetic company offering makeup and brushes.  You've probably heard of them if you're a YouTube beauty fanatic like myself.  I've bought a couple of their brushes and all I can say is they have great MAC quality brushes.  They even labeled their brushes after MAC's numbering system (except that they ad an "SS" before the number).  To find MAC dupes, is the place to find them at great prices!

4) Sonia Kashuk brushes available at Target.  Sorry Canadians but these brushes are only available to our American neighbours.  I was lucky to get my hands on some whenever I visited the States.  So the next time you're visiting across the border be sure to check out Target and Sonia Kashuk's line of brushes.

5) Quo brushes available at Shoppers Drug Mart.  I love Quo brushes.  The prices aren't too bad either.  And the quality is pretty good as well.  They've recently come out with a studio line which is available at their Boutique stores.  And if you're lucky, you might catch them on sale offering them at 20-40% off!

6) Michaels Craft Store.  I know what you're thinking.  Why would they sell makeup brushes at Michaels?  Well, they don't. But what if I told you you can use artist paint brushes as makeup brushes?  That's right!  I've come across some excellent artist brushes that I use a makeup brushes.  One brand to check out in the artist aisle is Leow Cornell's Maxine Thomas Mop brushes.  They're made of goat hair which are perfect for eyeshadows.  If for some reason you can't find them at Michaels check out Hofcraft's website where they also sell them online.

Good luck & Happy brush hunting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cleaning Your Dirty Makeup Brushes

I'm just going to get straight to the point.  Dirty makeup brushes are GROSS.  Did you know that they are one of the culprits of acne breakouts and bacterial eye infections,  I am astonished when I see some of the dirty makeup brushes I have come across when going to a friends house or taking a peek at their makeup bags.  I'm always one to ask, "Um...when was the last time you cleaned your brush(es)?"  Some of the answers I get are, "I don't clean them," or "never."My response, "WHAT?  You DON'T clean your brushes?  Do you have any idea what is lurking around in there?"  So please, friends.  If you don't want a horrible acne breakout or a nasty sty in your eye take these measures and do yourself a favor.  Clean your brushes and rid those nasty germs away!  

Here's what you can do to keep your brushes clean.  

What you'll need:

1) Dirty Brushes
2) Brush Cleanser (MAC has a good one that I like to use)
3) Gentle/Mild Shampoo (I use Johnson's baby shampoo)
4) Paper towel
5) Hand towel

What you'll need to do on a daily basis:

1) Right after you've used your brushes: dab a bit of brush cleanser on a clean paper towel and swipe your dirty brush on it until the residue and dirt come off 
2) Lay on a clean paper towel to dry (shouldn't take long to dry and will be ready for your next makeup application or touch up)

Once a week you should do a deep cleansing of brushes:

1) Wet only the hairs/tips of the brush (be sure not to wet the ferrule of the brush.  The water will cause the glue to desintegrate over time resulting in a broken brush)
2) Take your shampoo and rub a decent amount  (depending on the brush size) into the brush 
3) Rinse until the water appears clean (if the water appears dirty, repeat the process)
4) Re-shape your brush using a pinching motion
5) Lay flat to dry on a clean towel

- Never dry your brushes standing up, as water will seep down into the ferrule causing the brush to break
- For the removal of hard residue or tough makeup stains use olive oil and work it into the bristles prior to deep cleansing
- After buying a new set of brushes, be sure to deep clean them prior to first use