A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Archive for August, 2012

Convertible Color by Stila: in shade “Poppy”

Convertible Color by Stila - in shade Poppy

There are so many versatile products that can be used on both your lips and cheeks, whether it be a true lip stain or a cream product, so it can be hard to know which one to try.  I opted for the Convertible Color line by Stila.  It is a cream like blush that can also be used on the lips.

Stila Convertible Color ingredient list

Size: 0.15 oz/4.25g

US $: 25.00

CAD $: 33.00

dual lip and cheek cream

If you are a resident of Japan or the USA, you can purchase online at Stila Cosmetics where they have 9 different shades available.  Or, if you have access to a Sephora, Convertible Color is available there as well, with  7 different shades to choose from (Gerbera and Rose not being available at Sephora).   Given my colorings, I wanted a bit of a bolder shade, so I chose Poppy, a berry red.

dual lip and cheek cream - red

Convertible Color by Stila - in shade Poppy

How to apply:

Dab the cream onto your cheekbone and gently blend into your skin with your finger.  Press into lips.


  • This product is non-greasy, glides on easily and creates a natural fresh look.
  • The product is sheer, but build-able so you can create a look as  bold or as natural looking as you like.
  • Having a built in compact makes application or touch-ups on the go easy and convenient.
  • I didn’t find this product at all drying on my cheeks or lips.
  • Because it leaves a nice light stain on your lips, you can use it to enhance your natural lip colour and layer a gloss on top if you want a shinier or glittery appearance.


  • With a darker shade like Poppy, I found I needed to touch up my lips fairly often to maintain an even look throughout the day  (thank goodness for the mirror).
  • The finger you use to apply the product will have a slight red stain to it.

swatch of dual lip and cheek cream by Stila

Even though the price tag is a bit steep (about 9 CAD dollars more than if you wanted to purchase a cream blush at MAC Cosmetics – and less product) with the Convertible Color line by Stila, you are able to create a perfect monochromatic look, which isn’t always easy with mix and match products.  So depending on your collection of blushes and lip products, this might be excessive for you to pick up.  But if you are just starting to grow your make-up collection, it might be a very convenient and versatile 2-in-1 product that you get a lot of use of.

Convertible Color swatch of "Poppy" on lips and cheeks

Do you have a combo product like this that you swear by?

Thanks for reading!



Del Sol: a nail polish that changes colour in the sun

Summer is the perfect time for bright colours, short shorts, sandals and a golden tan.  It is also the when you get to break out all of your fun nail polishes that just don’t suit fall or winter.  Del Sol Nail Polishes help you experience two colours at once in a super fun way.  They have a line of nail polishes that change colour in the sun.  I bought some last summer and really want to share them with you.

Spike, Electrik! and Sassy nail polishes by Del Sol

I purchased:

Spike – which changes from a light pastel metallic green to a dark pinkish purple metallic shade.

Electrik! – which changes from a metallic baby blue to the same metallic green that Spike starts out as

Sassy – which works for occasions where you want your indoor nails to be a little more neutral (perfect for work).  This polish changes from a light pastel pink to a richer medium metallic coral/pink.

Spike, Electrik! and Sassy nail polishes by Del Sol

There are 22 different combinations available at delsol.com and they also have over 100 store locations in 23 different countries worldwide. Del Sol also carries a variety of jewellery, clothing, hair clips and other accessories that change colour when outdoors soaking up at that Vitamin D.

I decided to showcase Spike for this post and I’ve taken a few progress shots in an attempt to show the polish making the change in the sun.

1. Inside:

"Spike" nail polish swatch
2. Just stepped outside and its starting to change:

colour changing nail polish (sun activated)

3. Fully changed in the sun:

sun activated nail polish

How fun is that?  It’s like having two different manicures at the same time.

Spike Nail Polish swatch by Del Sol

The Del Sol nail polishes in my experience are a really great consistency that make applying multiple coats quick and easy.  Although they are slightly sheerer than one might like (I do 2-3 quick coats), I find that it takes the same amount of time to paint your nails because you don’t have to worry about a goopy consistency when layering the polish.  They dry quite quickly and still glide on as smooth as the day I bought them.  These polishes leave your nails feeling soft, silky and with a shiny finish.

green nail polish by Del Sol

Has anyone else tried these?  Does anyone know of any other brands that have a line of polish that changes colour in the sun?

Thanks for reading!



Neutrals with a pop of colour

neutral eye makeup with a pop of colour

I’m not crazy enough to think that people love bright makeup as much as I do.  And it’s true that sometimes, all you need is a pop of colour instead of an intensely bright eye.  After all, hot pink eyeshadow isn’t always work place friendly.

So I wanted to share with you a few different ways that I like to incorporate something bright or bold into my soft and neutral looks.

1. Keep your eyeshadow and lips soft and opt for a bright contrasting eye liner.

MAC's Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigments with Pearlglide Intense Eyeliners:

neutral eyeshadow with a pop of colour

brown eyeshadow with bright purple eyeliner

2. Create either a soft or smokey eye using neutral colours like browns or greys and add a bold lip in a vibrant shade such as red, pink or even orange.

Pin-Up Style with a Bold Red Lip:

pin-up makeup

Too Faced Sweet Dreams Palette:

smokey eye makeup with a hot pink lip

3. Pair neutral shades of eyeshadow with a brighter colour like seen below in this unlikely combination of brown, peach and green.  The browns keep it soft, while the green and peach add a little bit of fun.

Lancome Makeover:

neutral eye makeup with a pop of colour

So, when you are planning to pair those brown eyeshadows with that nude lipstick and muted blush, have a little bit of fun instead and add a pop of colour!

And tell me, how do you add colour to your everyday?



The Ugly Truth of an Untamed Brow (How to shape your eyebrows at home)

how to get perfect eyebrows

I’ve always thought that eyebrows can make or break a face.  Sometimes they are so intense they are all you notice and other times they’ve been so over-plucked you can’t help but wondering what bathroom nightmare took place.  The key is to find a balance somewhere in the middle where your eyebrows compliment your face, instead of reeling in all of the attention.  You want your eyebrows to frame your face, open it up and give the eyes definition.

I’ve been preoccupied as of late, which I’m sure you could gather with my lack of posts during the month of July and early August.  During this time period, I have not been a very good friend to my eyebrows.  So I figured it would be a good opportunity to post a before and after featuring my unkempt eyebrows and the difference they can make to a look when they have been properly taken care of.

What you need to shape your eyebrows at home:

  • a straw/pencil/thin make-up brush (in the steps below, this item will be called “stick of choice”)
  • a good pair of tweezers
  • a  mirror (a magnifying mirror is best, but any mirror will do)
  • good lighting

eyebrow tutorial

How to shape your eyebrows:

  1. Using your stick of choice, line it up against the outside of your nose and hold it straight up vertically.  This should show you where you want the inside of your brow to start.  The inside of your brow should begin directly above the inner corner of your eye.  Pluck any hairs that are past this line.
  2. Now, looking straight ahead, angle your stick of choice so it crosses directly over your pupil and up through the brow.  The brow should arch highest at this point, where the line crosses through.  This is where you want to start thinning out and shaping the outside half of your brow to create your arch.
  3. Again using your stick of choice, keeping one end against the outside of your nose, angle it so the other end is in line with the outside corner of your eye.  This marks the end of your brow.  Pluck any hairs that are past this line.

***If this is your first time shaping your own brows, I recommend filling in your brows in the shape these 3 steps direct you.  And then if you like the way they look, simply pluck any of the hairs that are outside this filled in area.***

So, let’s take a look at how mine turned out.  They are far from perfect, but it was a vast improvement.

eyebrow shaping tutorial


  1. Don’t tweeze along the upper edge of your eyebrows.  It will ruin the natural line and shape of your brow and can even encourage growth of new hair in unwanted areas.
  2. When plucking, always pull in the direction the hair is growing.  This is less painful and the hair is less likely to break.
  3. Pluck your brows right after showering so your pores are open and your face is free of any make-up or moisturizer that might cause your tweezers to slip.
  4. Your eyebrows should be one shade lighter than your hair colour.  You can use an eyeshadow or brow pencil to achieve this look as well as fill in any areas of the brow that are too sparse.
  5. Caitlin C, a MAC make-up artist says “your brows should be sisters, not twins”, so don’t try to make them look perfectly identical as though they were stamped on.  You still want a natural look.
  6. Last but not least, remember that your eyebrows will have a natural shape and arch already, mostly you just need to tend to them.  Don’t fight the hand you were dealt!

eyebrow shaping tutorial

***If all of this sounds too complicated, you can always go to a salon for an eyebrow wax or threading.  It costs anywhere from $10-$15 (depending on where you live) and you will need to go every month.***

I hope some of you found this post helpful and that my before and after pictures are at the very least entertaining.  🙂

Thanks for reading!



eyebrow tutorial

A red, white, blue and green nail marble

It had been far too long since I’d put any effort into how my nails looked.  So I decided to go all out and do a nail marble, instead of just painting them a single boring colour.

Depending on how familiar you are with Nail Marbling, you might want to first visit my full picture tutorial “The Art of Nail Marbling“.

I wasn’t actually blown away by how this manicure turned out.  I found it, just “okay”.  I blame it on my being rusty!  But I figured I’d still post about it and let you all take a peek anyway.

funky nails

To start out, I used a white basecoat: Paper Mache by Fingerpaints.  I did two coats and let dry.

White Nail Polish by Fingerpaints

Then I taped around each nail on one hand using scotch tape.

tape around your nails using scotch tape

For my marbling colours, I went with a green, red and blue nail polish – all from China Glaze.  (I’ve used these polishes multiple times for nail marbling and have never had any problems getting them to expand in the water.)

tutorial for nail marbling

I decided I wanted a lot of white in this manicure, so I alternated each colour with a drop of white in between (again, using Paper Mache nail lacquer by Fingerpaints as my white).   My bullseye pattern ended up looking like this:

water design in for nail marbling

Using a toothpick I created a design.

white, blue, red and green nail marble



How to Clean your Makeup Brushes (and why it is important)

Everyone has bad habits, for some it is not flossing or snacking just before bed.  But one that people seldom think of is neglecting their makeup brushes.

I am SUPER guilty of this.  I used to clean my brushes once every couple of months, but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and do my skin a favour by increasing that to once every two-three weeks.

Why do you need to clean your makeup brushes?


You constantly transfer bacteria, dead skin cells and oils from your skin to your brushes and then into your makeup product.  You might go wash your face, but the next time you use that same dirty brush, you are transferring more bacteria to your face.  The cleaner your brushes are, the better for your skin.  You will experience less clogged pores, fewer acne breakouts and it will help stop the spread of harmful bacteria.

How do you clean your makeup brushes?

  1. Gather all of your brushes that you don’t plan on using right away.  (They will all be wet, so I actually like to do it before bed, so they have a chance to dry)
  2. Go one at a time and run them under warm water, angling the brushes down so you don’t get unwanted water in the ferrule.
  3. For cleaner, you can purchase an actual makeup brush cleaner (from a place like Wal-Mart or Shoppers Drug Mart for about $5) or you can use some mild shampoo if you’d rather.  I am currently using Quo Brush Cleaner that I purchased at Shopper’s Drug Mart. Quo Makeup Brush Cleaner
  4.  Hold the wet bristles of the brush against the palm of your hand and apply your cleaner.  I use 2-3 sprays of this cleaner depending on the size of the brush I am using. spray your brush with a brush cleaner
  5. Work it into a lather against your palm working the cleaner thoroughly between the fibers of your brush.  You will see the suds turn dark and the majority of the pigment will come out right there against your skin.  cleaning your makeup brushes
  6. Run under warm water until the stream runs clear.  (Do not use hot water!  The bristles of your brushes might be held in with glue and you don’t want the water to be too hot that it starts to challenge the integrity of the adhesive) run under water until the stream is clear
  7. Squeeze the excess water out, gently in a towel.
  8. Lay flat to dry over the edge of the sink so that the air can reach the brush from all sides helping it dry faster.  You can also lay them flat on a paper towel if you’d rather not leave them in the bathroom.  Just don’t put them in a glass or vase to dry upright.  The water will run down inside the ferrule and compromise the lifetime of your brushes.how to clean your makeup brushes

Your brushes will retake their original shape, be softer and a much better friend to your skin.  So get busy – your skin will thank you!