PRETTY IN PLUM! Eyes For Spring

Makeup Tutorial

If you’ve kept your prettiest pastel shades of makeup locked up all winter long, listen up! Warmer weather is just around the corner and it’s high time you jail break your most colourful palette and ring in the spring with this soft purple smoky eye! Nothing says spring time like a purple-y plum, and the best news is, this shade will make your peepers really pop, no matter your eye colour…

Here’s what you’ll need:

Regardless of the look you’re going for, you’ll always want to prep and prime your lids and lower lashline with a hydrating eye cream and your favourite eyeshadow primer for all day wear.

As far as shadows go, you’ll want to grab a base shade in your skin tone to prep the eyelid, a medium coloured pinky-beige matte shade to lightly shape the eye, a dark plummy matte to enhance the eye and add some soft smoke and a shimmery pinky or purple-y shade to brighten up the eye and add some sparkle. Feel free to make your own colour combinations- this look would work just as well in any shade- from navy to neutral!

I used three liners for this look – but you can achieve similar results with just one. A deep plum or aubergine pencil will really tie this look together, but you can opt for brown or black if you prefer.

Don’t forget your eyelash curler and favourite mascara to finish your look!


Prep your eye area with a hydrating eye cream to keep your look fresh and comfortable all day long.

Prime your lids from lash line to brow bone using your favourite eye shadow base. Don’t forget to prime your lower lash line to make smudging and blending easier later on, and to keep your look in place!

Set your primer with a base eye shadow shade that matches your skin tone by patting the shadow from crease to brow bone. I like to leave the lid freshly primed so that colour adheres better in the next steps.


Take your medium pinky-beige matte shade and sweep it through the crease, just under your orbital bone using a fluffy blending or crease brush. This step will add shape and soft definition to the eye and will also act as a transition to help with blending later on.

Remember that the area of the eye where you first place your brush will end up with the most pigment. For this reason, I like to start at the outside corner of the eye and sweep the shadow inwards with deliberate strokes of the brush. Everyone has their own blending style, but I tend to avoid a back and forth “windshield wiper” motion, as this can cause the colour to deposit unevenly.


Using a small, dense brush, pick up your darkest plum shade. You’ll first want to place the shadow at the outside corner of the eye in a “V” shape to create a lifted effect.


Choose a small blending brush to diffuse the colour, using short strokes to eliminate any harsh lines. Be sure to keep the smoke on the outer third of the eye – this will open up the eyes and make them appear larger and more lifted!


Choose a small or medium flat shadow brush, depending on the size of your eyes. Pick up your shimmery shade on one side of the brush and press the colour over the mobile lid. You can use your fingertips to pack some additional sparkle onto the center of the lid for more intensity.

Step 6: BRIGHTEN UP (optional)

I chose to highlight the inner corners of my eyes to help brighten up the look. This is a great technique if you have close set eyes to help them to appear more balanced. Using a domed shadow brush, pick up your favourite highlighter or light shimmery shadow and place it in the inner corner or the eye to enhance.

Use the same shade to highlight the brow bone, just under the arch of the brow.



I first lined my top lash line with a creamy black pencil and then softened the liner with some of the deep plum shadow that I used in step 3. I prefer to keep the line thin and close to the lashline to keep the look soft enough for daytime wear.

For an extra pop of purple, I lined my lower lashline with a purplish pencil just at the root of the lashes, and again, softened with shadow. You can use any colour of liner for this step, or even skip it for a more subtle eye look.

To brighten up the eye and keep the look balanced, I added a waterproof lilac coloured pencil just to the waterline on the lower lash line.

To ensure your liner stays put in the inner rim of the eye, first line the area generously. Wait 15-30 seconds for the liner to set, and then go over a second time to seal the colour in place.


Curl and prep your lashes as your normally would.

I chose to finish the look with 2 thin coats of a lengthening black mascara, but aubergine or navy lashes would really add dimension and a colour popping effect if you have some on hand!

I love to pair plums on the eyes with soft pinks and berries on the rest of the face. A natural flush on the cheeks and a swipe of your favourite pinky hued lip gloss will keep the overall look balanced.

Here’s to warmer weather, bluer skies and makeup looks that put a SPRING in your step!

Makeup Tutorial

Prepping For Your Photoshoot: The 10 Commandments

Congratulations, your photo shoot is booked and you’re more than ready to be pampered and fawned over! Erin and her team are ready to help you look and feel your best, but there are a few things you should do to prepare for your fabulous photo shoot. I’ve compiled a list of essential commandments to follow prior to your shoot to help you put your best face forward. Plan an at home spa day, pour yourself a mimosa and let the prepping and pampering begin!


Choose the outfits you want to wear for your photo shoot well in advance. Be sure your clothes are ironed or steamed and free of hair or lint. Peruse Pinterest for ideas of how you’d like your makeup and hair to look so you can communicate this to your artists. Pack your wardrobe, jewelry and items you’ll need for touch-ups the night before so you’re not running around the house the morning of your shoot. You shouldn’t need to bring much, Erin and her team are well equipped!


While you should always take good care of your skin, there’s no better time than prior to your photo shoot to step up your game. Try a hydrating mask the day before your shoot to add instant moisture and plumpness to the skin. While your mask goes to work, try applying cool cucumber slices to de-puff and perk-up tired under-eyes.

Be sure that your skin is cleansed and moisturized before you arrive at the studio. It’s a good idea to avoid testing out any unfamiliar products that could irritate the skin. If you’re keen on trying something new, be sure to patch test the product first on an area that won’t be visible during your photo shoot to ensure it won’t cause a reaction. Should a pesky pimple pop up at this inopportune moment, resist the urge to pop or pick. Spots are easily hidden with makeup and editing, scabs and wounds provide more of a challenge.


Check out our previous post to learn how you can “nail” a DIY manicure at home! Your hands will likely be featured in your photo shoot and it’s crucial not to overlook them!


If you’re preparing for a boudoir photo shoot, there’s a pretty good chance your tootsies will make an appearance! A pedicure is a great idea, and polished toes are always sexy! If you don’t normally wear toenail polish, ensure that your nails are clean and trimmed, and your paws are scrubbed and moisturized. Apply a foot cream before you go to sleep the night before your photo shoot and wrap your feet in cozy socks. You’re sure to wake up the next morning with the softest soles!

SCRUB – GIVEAWAY! – Winner Selected Congrats Meriam!!

The skin on your face, hands and feet are getting some much needed pampering, and it’s important to give your bod special treatment too. There’s nothing sexy about dry, flaky skin, but the good news is, there’s a simple fix and we’re here to help you out! Even physical exfoliators like mitts and loofahs can work wonders for the skin. Take the time to scrub where you’ve never scrubbed before, paying special attention to knees, elbows and rough spots. Your skin will be soft, supple and glowing when it comes time to bare your limbs for the camera!

An exfoliator that I love is the Fresh Cocoa Body Exfoliant (it smells amazing!!). Before you head out to buy one though, enter to WIN our GIVEAWAY for a chance to get your hands on this exfoliator (pictured above)! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post! You can double your chances of winning by liking our Facebook Page and leaving a comment on the Giveaway announcement post on our Facebook Page! Contest closes February 20, 2017 – so be sure to check back here for our winner announcement! Shipping within Canada only (full contest rules).


Now is the time to remove unwanted hair. Shave, wax, tweeze, Nair – there are many options at your disposal. Be sure you think about all of the places you don’t want hair to show in your photographs. I’m not going to tell you what these places should be, your personal preferences are fine with us at All Things Pink – just be sure to remove the hair a day or two prior to your shoot to give any irritation a chance to calm down before the big day.


In every sense of the word, this should be at the top of your list. Moisturize your face, body, hands and feet. Drink LOTS of water prior to your shoot and during – we’ll always have it on hand for you at ATP.


Erin knows how to pose you so you’ll look your best in your photos- and these poses may take some maneuvering! It’s in your best interest to limber up prior to your shoot to avoid soreness the next day. If you’re stumped on stretches, try this 20 minute morning yoga routine to loosen up stiff joints, it’s a perfect practice for all levels!


Eat something! Don’t skip breakfast prior to your shoot- you’ll look better in your photos if you’re nourished and alert. Keep your energy levels up throughout the day by packing a granola or protein bar – just beware of chocolate smudges on clothing and in your teeth!


Unfortunate as it may seem, some of our favourite things can actually make us look worse. Salty foods can cause water retention, caffeine has diuretic affects and can dehydrate the skin and cause redness. Alcohol has similar undesirable effects. It’s best to avoid these types of food and drink the day of and the day prior to your shoot to ensure you look and feel your very best!

Bear in mind that these tips and tricks are just that – ideas to help your photo shoot go as smoothly as possible, and be as enjoyable as possible! Though following all 10 commandments will surely yield the best results, even following just a few can make a huge impact. Choose the tips that are right for you and your routine, and let us take care of the rest. Your photo shoot with All Things Pink Photography is sure to be an unforgettable experience no matter what!


Nail It: Mastering the DIY Manicure

One way to ensure that your photoshoot is a success is to come prepared! A bit of at-home pampering can help you feel and look your best and help you get ready to strut your stuff for the camera. I’ll take you through a few of my tried and true pre-photoshoot rituals in a future post, but for today – it’s all about the main attraction. Hands and nails are something we all overlook, but chipped polish can be very noticeable! Your hands will likely be featured in your photos, especially boudoir and maternity, so it’s in your best interest to polish them pretty!

Here’s what you’ll need to master your manicure:

  • nail clippers
  • nail file
  • nail polish remover
  • cotton pads or cotton balls
  • exfoliant
  • hand cream
  • rubbing alcohol
  • base coat
  • nail polish (any colour)
  • top coat
  • Q Tips/ cotton buds

Step 1: Trim

Your nails don’t have to be long to look pretty in polish. What is key to getting a salon look at home is to ensure that all of your nails are a similar length. A good set of nail clippers won’t set you back an arm and a leg, but make sure that yours are sharp so that they don’t leave jagged edges.

Step 2: File

You may have noticed a recent onslaught of varied nail shapes showing up on social media (and real life) from squared, to flared and from stiletto to coffin. Don’t worry about filing your natural tips into perfect points. The most flattering nail shape for your finger tips will mirror the natural shape of your cuticle.
Be sure to always file in the same direction, rather than back and forth. A back and forth motion weakens the nail and will make your tips prone to peeling and breakage. The only exception to this rule is with an actual crystal nail file, such as the Leighton Denny crystal nail file, but I still recommend avoiding a back and forth motion.

Step 3: Cleanse

Remove any remaining polish from a previous look using your favourite nail polish remover – I always use a formula with acetone for the most effective cleanse, but be sure to choose a remover with conditioning ingredients to keep from damaging your nails. Press down at the base of the nail with a lint free cotton pad or cotton ball saturated in remover and swipe upwards over the nail to remove any last traces of polish.

Step 4: Exfoliate

Rough, dry skin be gone! Many companies make scrubs specifically for the hands, but your regular body or facial scrub will do the trick. I like to soak my hands in warm water first to soften the skin, and then massage an exfoliant over them in circular motions. Give especially problematic areas like the knuckles a little extra attention and get ready for super soft skin!

Step 5: Moisturize

Let’s face it, we are hard on our hands! Time to treat them to a well earned massage. Choose a rich, luxurious hand cream and work it into your skin. Bring any excess product up onto the forearms so they don’t feel left out 😉

Step 6: Prep

No matter what polish I use, my DIY manicures always last me at least 5-7 days before chipping. The most overlooked step in nail care is the prep step, and I believe this is what gives my manis their longevity. Saturate another lint free cotton pad or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and using the same motion as in the “Cleanse” step, swipe over your nail bed. This step removes any excess oils from the nail so that your polish has a clean surface to stick to.

Step 7: Base Coat

Ace your base! A base coat does so much to aid in the wear and appearance of your manicure. It will protect your nails from staining, fill in ridges and imperfections as well as prime the nail by giving your choice of polish a smooth surface to adhere to.

Step 8: Polish

Pick a colour, any colour! I love dark nails, especially for boudoir, but if your style is more subtle, a sophisticated nude will look just as pretty! There are a few tricks to a smooth application. First of all, apply your polish in thin coats and allow each coat to dry in between applications- this will prevent bubbles and smudges. Use a minimum amount of brush strokes to coat the nail, starting at the cuticle and working your way up to the tip. You needn’t worry about polish that makes its’ way onto the cuticle – it’s easy to clean up later on.

Step 9: Top Coat

When it comes to the perfect mani, patience is key. You just can’t move on until your polish is DRY DRY DRY. I’ve tried EVERY trick in the book to make polish dry faster, from dipping my tips in ice water, to blow drying them, as well as sprays and drops. Here’s my take on the tricks: they don’t work. I try to paint my nails when I’m watching a movie so that I have lots of time to let them dry on their own. Once your polish IS dry (try your best to wait a minimum of 20 minutes), apply your top coat from cuticles to tips. To ensure extra longevity, swipe your top coat OVER the tip of the nail as well to seal the edge. A top coat will maximize the wear of your polish and give your handiwork a beautiful shine that will look great in photographs.

Step 10: Perfect

If I’m painting my nails the night before a shoot or event, I don’t often bother with much of a clean up. Any residual polish on your cuticles will wash off in the shower or sink with out much effort on your part. To perfect your nails for immediate wear, dip a cotton bud into a bit of nail polish remover, and use it to do some precision clean up around the edges of your nails. This trick works especially well with an angled eyeliner brush, as you can get really close to your cuticles with out removing polish from the actual nail.

At All Things Pink, our photographer, Erin, is a master at getting a salon standard manicure look at home! If you follow these steps and take your time, you’ll be sure to give her a run for her money at your next photoshoot! We can’t wait to see you and the pretty polish you chose at the studio soon!


5 Minute Festive Smoky Eye




Who wants to miss out on holiday fun sitting at the mirror obsessing over a detailed eye shadow look? My favourite smoky eye technique takes you from drab to glam in only 5 minutes and a few simple steps! You don’t need a lot of product or patience and best of all, this look is flattering on all eye shapes! If you’d like to know how to skip the frustration of over complicated party looks and learn the easiest smoky eye EVER, keep on reading:


Start by choosing your colour palette:

Pick out 3 eye shadow colours you want to use for your party pretty smoky eye. For this look, I chose cool toned taupe shades for a festive result that could easily be paired with any lip colour.

You’ll generally want to select a dark shade for the lash line (1- Blackout), a medium coloured matte shade to lightly shape the eye (2- Truffle), and a shimmer or metallic shade (3- Optics) as the focus. You can use any colours that you like, and because the look is so simple, it’s a great time to try out new or daring shades!




Prime your lids from lash line to brow bone using your favourite eye shadow base. Don’t forget to prime your lower lash line to make smudging and blending easier later on, and to keep your look in place!

Set your primer with a base eye shadow shade that matches your skin tone by patting the shadow from crease to brow bone. I like to leave the lid freshly primed so that colour adheres better in the next step.





Go ahead and choose a liner, smudge stick, or shadow pencil in any deep shade. I generally use black because it makes the rest of the colours pop, but you could totally tone down this look for daytime by using a brown or gray. Select a liner that is creamy and non- waterproof, so that you have lots of time to play and move the product where you want it.

When it comes to liner for this particular style of smoky eye, you can go ahead and get messy! Your liner for this look is here to define your lashes and act as a base for bold colour in the next step. Be sure to tight line your lashes on the top and bottom waterline for a smoldering effect. Next, go ahead and smudge the liner all over the lid using a fingertip or flat shadow brush, stopping just underneath the orbital bone.

Be sure to distribute the product evenly over the lid, and keep the top edge near the crease soft and blended. Remember, there are no harsh lines in a smoky eye, so blend and smudge to your hearts’ content!





Take your medium matte shade and sweep it through the crease, just under your orbital bone. This shade will act as a transition to help soften the edges of your focus colour in the next step. I like to use a fluffy crease brush to deposit the colour in sheer layers.

Use a small brush to sweep the matte shade below the darkest colour on your lower lash line to diffuse the liner and give the eyes a softer, smokier gaze.





Your darkest colour should be placed at the lash line for the ultimate smoky effect. Take a small shader or smudge brush and dip into your darkest shadow. Press the colour into the roots of your top and bottom lash line to intensify the liner and draw focus to the lashes. Use your brush to smudge the shadow and create soft edges.

As a general rule, your “liner” on the bottom lash line should be only half as thick as the liner on the top lash line to avoid closing in the eyes and making them appear smaller. Try inverting your brush when you line the top lash to prevent fall out from the dark shadow, and pat the eye shadow over the liner for the most intense colour pay off.





It’s time to go glam! Add your shimmer or metallic shade all over the lid using a brush or finger tip. Feather the edges on the top and bottom so that all three colours blend seamlessly together for a gradient effect.

For added drama & dimension, dab a small amount of shimmering pigment on the inner corner of the eyes.

Add a few coats of black mascara to curled lashes to complete the look!


This party perfect technique is ideal for those times when your holiday updo takes a little too long, or you’re ready to get right to sipping champagne! Keep your lip look neutral and let your glammed up smoky eyes steal the show!


All Things Airbrush

Interview with photographer & founder of All Things Pink Photography, Erin Holmes


As a makeup artist who primarily does makeup for photography, I have done my research when it comes to airbrush makeup. There is a long list of things that appeal to me about airbrush makeup as an artist, but the number one reason I love to work with it is because of the way the makeup looks in high resolution photos.The result is flawless skin that looks like SKIN, ensuring you’ll look and feel like your best self in your photographs.

There are many things that will make your photo shoot with All Things Pink Photography an unforgettable experience, and I believe that airbrush makeup is one of them. I spoke with Erin Holmes, the photographer and founder of All Things Pink, to find out why she loves airbrush makeup for her photos, and to shed some light on why you will love taking part in the service for your upcoming photo shoot!

What I love about your photos is how natural your clients look. It seems as though you do very little editing, and I know from having my photos taken by you, and from hearing client feedback, that your guests feel like themselves in their photos. Can you speak to your editing process when it comes to your photos? How is airbrush makeup advantageous to you in this aspect?

The whole philosophy of All Things Pink Photography is built around the concept of creating a
platform for women to celebrate their unique beauty and diversity. My style, consequently, is
capturing beautiful and natural portraits. I do not over-process my photos to eliminate
skin texture, and create cookie-cutter alien‐esque women. Which is why the type of makeup we
use is so important. Airbrush makeup sits on the skin in a way that gives a flawless
complexion without disturbing the texture of the skin. It holds up in bright studio lights, without
causing reflections, orange glow, or drying out the skin leaving obvious signs of makeup. In turn
I’m able to simply retouch blemishes without having to try to retouch skin tone or hide the signs
of foundation.

Recent developments in digital technology presents new challenges to work with as a Makeup Artist. As the quality of images becomes more precise, flaws and imperfections are more visible. Does the advancement towards higher resolutions impact how airbrush makeup affects your photographs?

With Photography the technology is always changing and it can definitely be a challenge to keep
up. All of our photographs are taken at a very high resolution, meaning the details in every photograph are visible. Airbrush makeup is wonderful for high definition because the subject will look flawless, but you won’t
actually see the foundation. Unless makeup is the subject of the photo, it’s best if the viewer is not distracted by the foundation on someone’s skin. Airbrush makeup allows just that.

I would think that for any type of photography, but especially boudoir, the end results would benefit from your subject being relaxed and at ease. You do a fabulous job of pampering your clients and making them feel comfortable. I also believe that because airbrush makeup is so lightweight, clients and models who are wearing it aren’t thinking about a heavy, cakey makeup all over their face and they can better relax and be themselves. Do you agree that airbrush makeup plays a role in your clients’ comfort and confidence during a shoot?

Thank‐you for the compliment! I agree with you that because the airbrush foundation is literally
misted onto your face, the amount of makeup actually sitting on the skin feels like so much less
than you might normally be used to. I think the application of the airbrush foundation plays a
huge role in helping with my guests confidence. It’s a fun experience and it’s usually new and
different so they’re excited to see what it’s all about. The way it looks and feels in the end is the
icing on the cake. I would say the entire makeup process as a whole helps boost their comfort
and confidence and the airbrush experience is just that added element of fun!

When I’m working with airbrush makeup, I have the opportunity to custom blend foundation shades to perfectly match a client or model’s skin tone. Because airbrush makeup isn’t completely opaque like a traditional foundation, the subjects true skin tone is able to show through the makeup. I believe that the most flawless colour match can be achieved with airbrush makeup. Are there any other differences between airbrush and traditional foundation that you’ve noticed as a photographer? Would you say you prefer airbrush makeup to traditional foundation?

I completely agree that airbrush foundation is the best way to achieve the closest skin tone
match to your own. The fact that multiple colors can be mixed together in a “pod” and then
misted onto the face makes it difficult to achieve the same results using traditional foundation.
One can combine multiple shades of a traditional foundation, but often ends up with too much
pigmentation and too much coverage, completely hiding the natural texture of the skin.
Another major benefit to airbrush makeup compared to traditional is the sanitation. Because
there are no tools or fingers used to apply the makeup, it produces less bacteria that sits on your
skin. Therefore, you’re less likely to have breakouts as a result of the foundation. I also find the
results last longer. Under the hot studio lights I’ve seen traditional foundation melt away and
need touch‐ups, but I have never had to touch-up airbrush foundation. I think it’s obvious I
prefer airbrush to traditional foundation.

Airbrush makeup sets quickly and requires minimal touch-ups. It is also transfer resistant and waterproof. Is this an advantage for you as a photographer when it comes to long photo shoots and/or wardrobe changes/posing?

Absolutely. How many times have we put on a shirt just to see in the mirror that we have
makeup all over it! Airbrush makeup will not transfer onto the clothing, which is fantastic for
any of my guests that have multiple wardrobe changes. Lipstick is another story though!
The fact that airbrush makeup doesn’t need to be touched up and is waterproof saves so much
time for everyone involved. Any perspiration, or poses that require touching the face, won’t
affect the makeup and it always lasts at least the length of my shoot. Often my guests will tell
me that they don’t wash off their makeup because it looks so good and it lasts them through
the next day! I don’t recommend that though.

When and how did you decide that you would offer airbrush makeup at All Things Pink Photography? Can you tell us a little bit about the products and equipment we use?

Using airbrush foundation was the only option I would consider for us at ATP. Sanitary reasons
were a huge factor, but I also wanted a solution for my guests that don’t like to wear makeup. It
works great for women that want a lot of makeup and those that prefer none. It gives that
flawless finish that women who wear a lot of makeup love, but it feels like naked skin for those
that don’t enjoy wearing makeup.
We use an IWATA air compressor machine that works universally with different brands and
solutions of airbrush makeup. Some brands offer more coverage than others, and some have a
silicon base and some are water based. We offer both water base and silicon depending on the
type of skin a person has, as well as any allergies or skin sensitivities they may have. The
difference between the two types is visible, as one will leave a more dewy look and the other
more matte.
Because none of the tools actually touch the skin of our guests, cleaning is super easy. We clean
the airbrush gun after every use with an organic solution, so everything is sanitized but friendly
to the skin.

Erin and her team put so much thought, effort and care in to every aspect of your photo shoot. I believe that makeup has the power to ignite women’s confidence and help them to feel like their best selves. The philosophy behind Erin’s company and the way that she photographs is ultimately to empower women to feel beautiful in their own skin. Airbrush makeup allows for just that, and I am always so excited to introduce guests of All Things Pink Photography to the experience. I hope you’ll join us in our excitement for celebrating your unique beauty through the power of airbrush makeup!

Easy Ways To Wear My Top 3 Favourite Fall Colours


You’ve surely noticed the colours I’m about to talk about popping up on social media, fashion magazines and runways this fall. I decided early on which colours were my favourites, and sure enough, those hues made it into Pantone’s Colour Trend Report for the season. Pantone is noted in the design industry as the “colour authority“. They predict and declare colour trends that designers then use to dictate their collections both seasonally and annually. My favourite way to incorporate seasonal colour trends into my wardrobe is through makeup. It’s a non-committal way to try something new, and definitely friendlier on the wallet than a designer piece. I’ll discuss my top 3 favourite trending colours below and some simple ways to incorporate them into your makeup looks this fall.


Pantone has named this bold blue shade “Riverside” and calls it both “cool and calming” and “strong and stable” in their fall report. I’ve noticed this colour popping up since Spring, especially as a makeup trend. The hue definitely makes a statement, and I like to treat it as the focal point of my makeup. It’s easiest to wear as a statement liner. Many brands have come out with liquid liners in saturated shades, like cobalt blue, that make it easy to incorporate colour into your look. It looks great as a vibrant winged liner, but can also be worn on the lower lash line with a black liner on top. By keeping everything else neutral, a pop of blue can really stand on its own. This particular shade is flattering on all skin tones and eye colours, but I especially love it to compliment brown eyes. The blue really brings out the richness and depth in dark eyes and makes them stand out. If you’d like to try something different and fun, check out my graphic liner tutorial using a trendy cobalt blue shade.


Though the trending Pantone shade, “Aurora Red“, is a little brighter than what you might typically call burgundy, no other colour brings fall more to my mind than a rich, deep red. The Pantone Colour Report says that this shade is “exciting and dynamic and breeds unmistakable confidence”. I love the way that wearing a red lip makes me feel like I could conquer the world with one swipe of lipstick! When wearing this deeper, more sensual shade of red, be sure to pare down the rest of your makeup. This shade demands to be the focal point of your look, and eye makeup that is too dark can compete with a bold lip. Crisp edges are key when rocking a dramatic lip colour, so take your time when applying your lipstick. A lip liner can really help to keep your lines clean and prevent the colour from feathering throughout the day. If long wear is a concern for you, opt for a liquid lipstick instead of a traditional cream formula. Because this colour is so bold, it’s best to choose a matte formula to keep your lip look modern and on trend. Check out our previous blog post to learn my tips & tricks when it comes to applying a bold lip!


I’ve recently seen this burnt orange colour that Pantone is calling “Potter’s Clay” pop up in eye shadow palettes, as blushes, lipsticks and even eyeliners. This Pantone dubbed shade with “real substance and a strong foundation” is what I like to call a cheater neutral. It’s easy to wear and to pair with other colours, but it’s different enough from your standard “50 shades of brown”. It’s especially flattering on those with a golden undertone, but cool/pink or neutral tones can also wear it to add warmth to their skin. It will make your blue eyes pop and will make green eyes look especially emerald, but I think this shade could be worn by anyone. It’s so easy to wear, in fact, that I recommend trying burnt orange as a monochromatic makeup look. A monochromatic look is achieved by using different shades of the same hue.

I’ll be posting a series on my instagram @alyssamakeupart demonstrating these trending colours in action if you’re interested in following along!


Colour trends are always exciting, and it can be fun to try something new – but I believe that what ever makes you feel most beautiful will always be in fashion!


Foundation 101: Staying Flawless


Many foundations on the market advertise all day wear, yet the number one complaint I hear from clients is that their foundation just doesn’t last. There is no reason why your foundation shouldn’t last throughout the day, just follow few simple steps. Keep on reading if you want flawless foundation around the clock!

First things first, much like your skin care regime, you have to think of your foundation as a ROUTINE. There are several steps to achieving a flawless complexion that lasts all day and a few products you’ll need that will work together to maximize wear.

Here’s what it takes to create a complete, long-lasting foundation routine:


Use a moisturizer that is best suited for your skin type. If you’re going to be applying your makeup immediately after your skincare, opt for a formula that is lightweight and fast absorbing. Be sure to massage your moisturizer into the skin to help it penetrate and to boost circulation for plump, hydrated skin. This step will allow for your foundation to adhere to a smooth base. When the skin is hydrated, makeup will last longer and look better.


The main purpose of a primer is to help your makeup last longer. Primers act as a base for your foundation and often contain ingredients (like glycerin) that are tacky to help makeup stick & stay put. Primer also acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup, which means that your skin shouldn’t affect the way your makeup wears. If you do have skin concerns that are likely to break down your foundation (such as the overproduction of oil), choose a primer that will help combat the issue (like a mattifying primer). Just like a primer for paint on the wall, foundation primer fills in nooks and crannies for a smooth result. If you have concerns with enlarged pores, scarring or fine lines, choose a primer with a silicon base to keep your makeup from settling into textured areas.

APPLICATION TIP: Make sure to work your primer in well with clean hands. Add extra primer where you find your makeup creases or breaks down through out the day, but remember to start with a small amount of product. If you use too much, or apply your foundation before your primer has a chance to absorb, it can ball up and create texture underneath your makeup. As a best practice, I like to wait at least 60 seconds after priming the face before I apply foundation.


As a general rule, the more pigment a product has, the longer it will last and, unfortunately, pigment is a costly ingredient. This doesn’t mean that expensive foundations are necessarily better, however, higher quality ingredients = better performance. This is not to say that you can’t make a drug store foundation last all day. If you have a great foundation routine, getting 6-8 hours of wear from any foundation should be no problem. If you do need your makeup to stay on longer, say for a special event, you may want to opt for a higher end formulation.

APPLICATION TIP: When it comes to foundation, the key to application is to work in light layers. If you swipe your foundation on in a very thick layer, it is more likely to slide off of the skin. Between each layer of coverage, allow your makeup to dry and become tacky so that the next layer will adhere.

A tool to apply foundation with, such as a brush or sponge – I’m not opposed to using fingertips to apply foundation, but they can deposit a lot of product. As I mentioned, a thick layer of foundation is apt to slide off of the skin, and I find a brush or blending sponge will deposit just the right amount. Avoid using a wiping motion when applying foundation, as you’re not really depositing product this way, simply moving it around. The best application technique for any skin type, in my experience, is a stippling motion. Tap your foundation into your skin to marry the texture of your makeup and primer together, without lifting any product. Stippling will also give the smoothest result over pores and texture, and is the ideal technique for oily skin types.

APPLICATION TIP: Starting at the center of your face, work your foundation outwards towards your jawline. The jaw area is what I call the “transfer zone”, where the collar of your shirt can rub and where we’re likely to touch our skin. Having less makeup in this area makes transfer less likely and for most of us, the center of the face is where we need the most coverage anyhow.

Setting Powder

It’s a simple truth that your makeup will last longer when you use a powder over top. Powdering your foundation will set it in place and keep it from transferring onto your clothes, phone etc. throughout the day. Don’t worry that your foundation will look cake-y or dry when using a powder. Opt for a translucent option with finely milled powders for the most natural result.

APPLICATION TIP: You’ll want to avoid sweeping your powder over a wet liquid foundation, as this will only serve to move your makeup around, especially if you have oily skin. To truly SET your foundation, use the “press and roll” method. Press your powder into your foundation and roll your brush or sponge to mesh the two textures together without disturbing your makeup. Touch your skin with clean hands once you have applied your setting powder. Your skin should feel velvety smooth to the touch and there shouldn’t be any tacky spots. Start with the smallest amount of product (I usually use the residue that’s left in the lid when I open it up) and build in areas where foundation is still tacky or is likely to move around.

Setting Spray

For the ultimate long wear, mist your makeup with a setting spray at the end of your routine.Think of setting spray as hairspray for your face. Basically, it creates a film over your makeup (though obviously gentler and more flexible than hairspray) to defend against humidity and oil. You may not need to use a setting spray every day, but it is a must-have product for hot weather, a night out, or a special occasion.

APPLICATION TIP: Be sure to hold your setting spray at arms length. If you spray your product too close to your face, you could end up with water droplets on top of your foundation that will break it down! Try misting your setting spray in a T or X shape for even application.


It may seem like a lot of work, but the right techniques and products will keep your foundation flawless all day and all night!

HOW TO: Bold Summer Lips

Perfect Summer lip - prep step-Edit
Perfecy Summer Lip- Enhance Step

There are still a few weeks of summer left and there’s still time to rock a daring, saturated lip colour before the leaves start to fall. As much as I love the deep, rich hues that come with the transition to cooler days, I find myself reaching for the punchiest, most vibrant hues lately to send off the summer with a bang. There are a few tips and tricks I’d like to share with you when it comes to rocking a bold lip. The basic principles are the same for any lip colour, and these steps will take you seamlessly into the next season as well!


Though I personally prefer a juicy, glossy pout in the summertime, matte lipstick continues to trend. These formulas highlight texture on the lip and can be dehydrating. If you’re going to wear a vibrant lip, you’ll want it to look as smooth as possible. Nobody wants to look at a bright red, flaky, peeling lip, now do they? Not to mention a matte lipstick can be uncomfortable if you’re lips aren’t properly hydrated. When I’m prepping for a bold lip, I like to start with a scrub to get rid of any flaky texture. You can purchase a lip scrub almost anywhere now, but they’re also really easy to make yourself at home and only require a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need for your own DIY lip scrub –

  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 1 part olive or coconut oil
  • a dollop of honey

Massage the mixture GENTLY onto the lips. You may find that you need more vigorous scrubbing action to remove the dry skin, but it’s always best to start slow and work your way up. I like to leave the mixture on my lips for a few minutes to let the oil & sugars work their magic. (Sugar is a natural humectant and will help to draw moisture into the lips). Then, you can simply tissue or rinse the scrub away to reveal a perfectly smooth pout. Finish off with your favourite light weight lip balm to hydrate the lips and seal in moisture.

Sugar Scrub
Sugar Scrub


Lip liner is an absolute must when braving a bold lip. It keeps the lip looking crisp and defined and it will keep the colour from feathering or running throughout the day. Lip liner can also be used to correct asymmetry in the lips, or add volume. I recommend a close colour match when it comes to liner – but if you’re not confident in your lip lining skills, you can always opt for a universal liner in a clear shade that will act as a barrier and primer for your lipstick.

When lining the lips, I like to start at the center of the cupid’s bow and then move to the center of the bottom lip to ensure symmetry. Try to work in swift long strokes rather than short and sketchy. You want the lip line to look as smooth as possible. When lining the corners of the lip, be sure to work from the corner upwards rather that downwards towards the corner. This will give you the fullest looking pout. You may prefer to fill the lips in entirely with a liner for the longest wear. I typically feather the liner onto the rest of the lip with a lip brush to mesh the texture of the liner with the lip and avoid a harsh looking border.

Perfect Summer Lip - Line Step-Edit





Step 3: FILL IN

Using a lip brush, use cross hatching motions to marry the texture of the lip product with the texture of your lips. This will give you the least “garish” result and will help the product last longer on the lips. I prefer to achieve opacity in thin layers to avoid a sticky & uncomfortable build up of product. I then tend to blot the lips with a brush or thin tissue to remove any excess.

Perfect Summer Lip - Fill Step-Edit






Now it’s time to play. I like to enhance my lips by adding a luminizer to the cupid’s bow. You can also add some luminizer to the center of your pout to create interest and volume. As I mentioned, I tend to prefer a shinier finish in the summer time. Add a touch of gloss in a clear or matching shade just to the center of the lips where it will catch the light and make your lips look fuller. I usually grab a highlighting or luminizing pen like the Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat radiance pen and perfect the lip line with it for an ultra crisp finish.

Perfecy Summer Lip- Enhance Step





Don’t forget to tuck your lipstick into your handbag for touch ups on the go! Make the most of these last few sunny weeks by rocking an adventurous new shade!


Practice Safe Sun- Part Three: Tan-talizing Sunless Options – Bronzers


This is part three of a three-part series:
Part One
Part Two

I love to use bronzers to add radiance and colour to my skin year round. With the strobing and highlighting trend ever present on social media, shimmery bronzers can be a great way to go for the glow! A matte bronzer could double as your contour colour, allowing you to jump on two trends at once. With all the formulas on the market, it can be intimidating to choose the right bronzer for you. Check out my advice to ensure your bronzer is always just right:


There are a few things to be mindful of when choosing the right bronzer. Firstly, you’ll want to be aware of your skin’s undertone.

COOL or PINK toned bronzers will look best on you if you have a cooler undertone to your skin. The Chocolate Soleil bronzers from Too Faced are a great example of a bronzer with a cool tone.

WARM or GOLDEN toned bronzers look best on warm undertones.

NEUTRAL undertones can wear either option.

You can still wear a warmer bronzer if you’re a cool undertone, but be aware that this will create more of a contrast with your skin, and therefor, a more dramatic result.

You may also want to choose a bronzer that is best for your skin type. Bronzers with shimmer will highlight and accentuate texture, so that’s something to be aware of if you are concerned with dry skin or visible pores. You may also want to choose a bronzer with a matte finish if you are oily, to reduce the appearance of shine.

DRY SKIN types may find a liquid or cream bronzer more comfortable to wear and will last longer on the skin, while OILY SKIN types may have better luck with a powder. Bronzers that are baked or made from clay are more stable, and can last longer on oily skin.


Think about where the sun would naturally tan your face (or in my case, burn) if you spent the day at the beach. Chances are, you wouldn’t get all over even colour naturally, and you have to be mindful about where you place your bronzer for believable looking tan. Remember, bronzer is not setting powder or foundation and shouldn’t be an opaque layer over the skin. I like to work in sheer layers of colour using a large, fluffy brush for a subtle application. I bronze only the high points of the face where the sun would naturally hit. It can be helpful to stand in natural light, or under a light source with a mirror to check where the light bounces off on the high planes of your face. Typically, this will be the hairline, top of the cheekbone, bridge of the nose and maybe the jawline and chin, depending on your face shape. To make it easy for my clients, I tell them to imagine sweeping a “3” shape on the right side of their face with their bronzer brush, and an “E” on the left side to hit most of the points. Those who are keen to mimic the effects of a day spent sunbathing can dust their bronzer in a W shape from their cheekbones, over the bridge of their nose. Take a peek at the face charts I created below as a guide to where to place your bronzer for the most natural results.

PRO TIP: You can add in just a touch of your blush just at the hairline and highest planes of the chin and cheeks for a flushed “just came in from the sun” look. This technique is perfect for those with very fair skin, who may have trouble finding a bronzer that is the right colour for their skin tone.

No matter how you choose to “fake your bake”, remember to protect yourself with SPF every single day! There are so many options to choose from to safely and easily mimic the effects of a tan without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. I love the way a beautiful golden glow makes me feel, and luscious tanned skin continues to trend in the media and on the runway. You too can achieve super model worthy bronzed skin at home this summer, with out risking a sun burn or worse! Don’t forget to “practice safe sun” this summer and all year round!

Part One
Part Two