2015 is quickly coming to an end.  As we prepare for the holidays there's a lot going on.  Parties, presents and the event to top it all off, New Year's Eve.  It's always safe and classic to go festive for the holiday season but to prepare for the new year and the event to ring it in, the best way to stay on trend with fashion and makeup is in your colour choice.

Pantone, our colour forecasters have released a list of the 2016 top picks.  These colours can be showcased in both make-up and or attire.  Don't drop the ball, watch it drop, in style!

Drum roll please...

Rose Quartz:  soft, feminine, romantic and very versatile.  Natural choice for a blush and complimentary to an array of skin tones. Rose Quartz is also a crystal associated with love.  Who doesn't love love?

Serenity:  Sounds peaceful and calming already.  Just what we all could use a bit of after the holiday season.  This is a periwinkle blue.  A unisex shade. It's unique in the way that it is a combination of both a warm and a cool shade.  Anyone can wear it.  This colour is also fun and fabulous on nails.  A cheap and cheerful way to wear it.

Peach Echo:  A more subtle member of the orange family.  Fresh, warm and friendly.  This colour adds a healthy glow to most skin tones and is a perfect choice for lipstick pared with a smokey eye.  For any season.

Snorkel Blue: another blue hue.  This shade is intense and vibrant.  Deep and playful.  A modern approach to classic navy.  The name alone sends me to an exotic place.  Beautiful on eyes for a evening of glamour.

Buttercup: Speaking of that exotic retreat. Here comes the sun!  This bright shade in the yellow family has no choice but to put a smile on your face.  A happy colour.  Not so user friendly.  If it seems a bit intimidating, opt for choosing accessories for a splash of this colour.  Start small.  Even the smallest pop will add impact.

Iced Coffee:  The neutral of the year.  Something very comforting about this earthy tone.  Reach for it in your wardrobe staples and it works as a great back drop for any of the years selected shades. Perfect choice for eyeshadow, enhances all eye colours and keeps you looking Au Naturale.

Fiesta:  Nothing says party like this colour.  A predictable progression from Fall's rust craze. Punchy, bold and an elegant alternative to orange.  Warm and fiery, the perfect contrast to all the calm shades. Gorgeous on toenails and a modern alternative to a classic red lip.

Limpet Shell: Scenes from the Mediterranean.  A fresh, crisp, tranquil colour that is often referred to as aqua.  This colour screams beach to me. One of my all time faves so I'd suggest it for nails, eyes and wardrobe.  It's been making an unexpected appearance on lips as well if you're so bold.

Green Flash:  This is a vibrant, trendy version of green. Don't be green with envy, add a pop to your palette and incorporate this colour into your spectrum.  I love an eyeliner in this shade.  I'm personally keeping my eyes open for some patterns that include a flash of green.

And there you have the who's hue of the new year!


#FashionFriday with Julie Lynas

Don't get overwhelmed with make-up trends and variety of products out there.  All you really have to do is zero in on YOU!  
One of my favorite questions to ask someone is; "if you could pick only one make-up product to use daily, what would it be?"  Most people will either say lipstick or mascara.  Well, you can have them both!  For a day look that won't take much time to achieve every morning, I suggest to forgo eyeshadow and put the emphasis on your lips. Did you know they sold the most lipstick during the depression?  It was a small price to pay for such a feel good, morale boost.  Ah...make-up therapy.  Using lipstick is a quick and easy way to change your look daily, seasonally and play around with some trends.  Keep the smokey eye for an evening out.  Now all that's left to do is choose a shade and here's how;
First of all, I'll give you a tip.  This is make-up 101 and a good way to ensure that you achieve an appealing look.  It's called the Classical Theory; matching your lip colour to your cheek colour (you could also use your lipstick on your cheeks).  The next thing you should do is consider your skin tone.  So here is a guide for what colours are best suited for you. Keep in mind, if you want to play up a trend, emerald green, deep blues, purples and even black have made an appearance this season.  Lastly, swipe a few coats of your favorite mascara on your lashes and head out the door.  

Fair skin: Burns easily and looks somewhat transparent.  Choose baby pinks for a 'pick me up' soft peaches for some warmth and sheer plums for a more dramatic approach. Look for shades with a cooler/blue undertone.

Medium skin:  burns than tans, veins aren't so visible.  Go for Raspberry pink for a natural flush, apricots for a warm glow and mauves for a soft romantic appeal.

Olive skin:  Tans easily and tends to have a greenish undertone. Looks most flattering in rose colours for a natural fresh face, orangey peaches for a healthy glow and bronzes to brighten up the skin and add warmth (can also be used for a natural looking contour).
**adjust the depth of each shade according to the fairness or darkness of your olive skin.**

Dark skin:  Can hold a lot of pigment and brighter shades.  For a natural look, pick a warm brick or terra cotta colour, don't be afraid of a pure orange or bright tangerine as they are very flattering for dark skin.  Raisin colours, again more of a natural shade that could also be used as contour.  Stick to warm/yellow-peachy undertones, anything too cool will read ashy.

Now one last suggestion.  To create a bit more interest when matching your cheek and lip colours, try to use opposite textures.  Like opt for a shimmery blush and a matte lip, or vice versa.  If you are playing with some of the bolder trend lipstick colours, don't match your blush.  Instead take a cue from the undertone (warm or cool)and intensity of thecolour and then resort to the suggested skin tone shades.


Stop It! Bad Beauty Habits You Need To Stop NOW!

Stop It!

Just because you aren't a makeup artist doesn't mean that you can be excused from bad beauty habits.  Granted, you may not have realized you were an active offender but it is important to learn proper practices, it's like makeup etiquette.  Don't get left in the dark!  I'm here to tell you these small changes in your routine could make a difference in your appearance and definitely on your level of hygiene.

Don't Share-  When it comes to your make-up bag, sharing is not caring.  The biggest no-nos are mascara and brushes.  Who wants pink eye or breakouts?  Also, to avoid irritation or infection, be sure to discard your mascara every 3 months.

Keep Clean- Wash your brushes with a mild shampoo and conditioner every other week if you are the only one using them.  If you've let someone else use them disinfect with 70% alcohol. Never blow on your brushes to dust off product, you'll breed bacteria,  you may as well spit on your face (that puts it into perspective). And only touch your face with clean hands.

Don't wake up with make-up- Do your skin a huge favor and wash your face every night before bed.  Even if you don't wear makeup.  Dirt and debris still accumulate on the surface of your skin.  I've learned to keep wipes beside my bed because I've been known to pass out once or twice in a full face, something I'm not proud of!

Spot treatment- Unless you are a master blender and your concealer matches your skin perfectly, don't dab it on over all spots you want to cover.  You'll look like Polk-a-roo.  Try applying a foundation or even a tinted moisturizer all over first and then add a little extra coverage to those "problem" areas.

Stay sharp-  I'm referring to your pencils.  Eyeliner and lipliner.  To get the best results, make sure you keep your pencils sharpened.  You'll get way better precision and your lines won't end up dull and thick.  Also, you can run the risk of tearing your skin on the wood if it's down to the nub.

Perfect match- It's a bit passé to match your make-up to your outfit.  It is far more flattering to work with your own colouring.  Try using complimentary colours on your eyes (colours that are directly across from each other on a colour wheel).  Blue eyes pop with peaches, green eye are enhanced with pinky tones and brown eyes, opt for something with a cool undertone.

Racer stripe cheeks-  They were cool in the 80's but blending your blush for a softer effect gives a far more natural look.  If you are using a powder blush, make sure to dust your face with a powder product first.  If you prefer a cream blush, apply on a dewy skin.  You can apply powder over top to set.  If you've gone too intense with your cheek colour, a foundation powder or a powder with a bit of skin tone pigment can be used to tone down the colour.  Also,  if your blush comes with a brush, it's safe to say don't use it, they are normally too small and stiff.

Ring around your lips-  Again, another 80's- early 90's trend.  Using a lipliner in a darker colour than your lipstick.  Just don't!  I mean, it's alright if you want to get the ombré effect but than that requires blending the liner into the lipstick for a smooth transition.  Sometimes, I see someone who has lined their lips and decided this looks good without any lipstick or any lip product at all in the centre...No! I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is a bad look, period.  Lipliner is great for defining your lips and to use under lipstick for longevity.  But in that case, fill in your entire lip with the liner and then apply lipstick over top.

Line of demarcation-  We've all seen this and maybe we have even done it ourselves.  It's excusable if for some reason you have no other choice but to put your foundation on in a poorly lit environment.  Check your jawline, (the moment of truth...did you find the right base match for your skin or not?).  If there is a visible line where your foundation stops, either you need to blend better or you haven't found your match.  Your face should always match your neck and chest area if it's exposed.  Always test your foundation in natural daylight on your jawline.

Out with the old, in with the new- Hoarding make-up or innocently keeping make-up that you didn't know has expired. There is a symbol on almost all products letting you know how long they are good for after the seal has been broken.  Look for the this logo to identify the life span of your make-up, skin care etc.  you wouldn't eat expired food would you??  Another tip, keep products out of direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place.  The logo pictured above is an example for something that is good for up to 12 months after opening.

Finger dipping-  This one is simple.  Don't stick your fingers into any product be it lip balm or skin cream.  This contaminates it.  Try getting products with applicators or in squeeze tubes.  If you absolutely must use your fingers, always make sure your hands are clean.

Reverse raccoon-  This occurs when your concealer is too light.  Back in the day it was believed that we needed to use concealer lighter than our foundation.  I suppose this was to highlight and bring forth the recessed under eye area.  Though it is safe to go a BIT lighter, I like a more natural effect and tend to go for something with the same intensity as the rest of my skin but with a little more coverage and maybe a bit more peachy or yellowish to neutralize any hints of blue or purple so commonly found in that area.

Eyelash curling 101-  To decrease your chance of pulling out precious lashes, make sure you use your eyelash curler before you apply mascara.  To help lock in the curl on more stubborn lashes, try a curling formulated mascara or one of the waterproof variety.  I can't recommend heating up your lash curler with a hair dryer to keep the curl in case you happen to burn yourself with my suggestion.  However, it has been known to work...

Over tweezing-  The tadpole is out, caterpillar in! Let em' grow.  Only tweeze those pesky strays that fall outside the group.  Brush brows upward to get the natural shape, fill in where needed and fix into place with a wax or gel.  There are so many fabulous brow products and great shades available, it's hard to go wrong.  If you feel nervous to to it yourself, book yourself an appointment with an esthetician  (make sure you get a referral from someone you trust with preferably awesome brows).

And remember, your skin can only look as good as you make it.  A proper skin care regime religiously will give you the best results.  Make-up can even you out, hide imperfections, and protect your skin but it won't help the condition without the required TLC.

Bringing Booty Back: Granny Panties Are Back!

#FashionFriday with Julie Lynas

I normally do a beauty blog, but today I'm doing a booty blog.

If you are into fashion you've probably realized that trends or what's "in" just keeps repeating the past with a new twist or modernized elements.  Kind of like recycling. 

This past summer, I sported a 1950's style bikini and got so many compliments and inquires as to where I purchased such a "cool" suit, I felt like the belle of the beach!  So awesome that I was covering more skin than most one pieces and still felt sexy.  On top of that, I thought, this is a great solution for disguising loose stomach skin, stretch marks, extra weight in the midsection, a bikini line that is in need of some landscaping...and it creates a nice waist line. All this and I was totally comfortable in my body hugging garment.  

With this revelation, I wasn't surprised when I came upon an article announcing that "granny panties" are in.  This shouldn't be a surprise, we live in a day and age of fart filtering underwear, yep! Gone are the days where we felt like we had a perma wedgie in order to hide panty lines and look sexy for our man (or anyone else) by wearing thongs or a g-string. Actually, like a lot of other woman I know, I hate the word panties!  Let's call them underwear from here on in.  So apparently women have been buying their undergarments based on what they thought other people find sexy and not at all for their own comfort.   Interesting!  But even more so is that it turns out, most men prefer their ladies in white cotton underwear and a t shirt.  Who knew??  

Young girls are bringing back the old school larger/longer briefs for women of all sizes and ages.  Goodbye muffin top!  There are a few companies that have been making some pretty sexy, modernized versions of said "granny" underwear and they are flying of the shelves.   
On the flip side, there's been a decrease in thong sales across the board.  You don't have to be a feminist to sport them, there's a pair to make anyone feel comfortable an look good doing it.  One company makes them fun with tongue and cheek (no pun intended) words written across the derrière.  Forget the image of Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones' Diary, full bottom underwear are hot and on the rise.  They have even triggered a new social media term called "belfies" which means posting a pic of your behind in underwear.  I'm not saying drop the thong, it's about wearing what you want for you, creating variety and individualism.   I don't know about you, but my interest is peaked and I'm wrapping my head around a new concept of sexy.  And if I can be trendy and comfy doing it, panty on!

Here is a list of some of the companies with a cult following that are making this happen:

Me and You (first image)
Ten Undies (middle image)
Hello Beautiful (last image)

Julie Lynas, Beauty & Fashion Expert

Julie Lynas, Beauty & Fashion Expert