tutorial: simple strobing/non-touring look

tutorial: simple strobing/non-touring look


today i’m going to be showing you guys a really simple, stripped down look for lazy days, using 80% drugstore products. it features the hot trend of strobing or non-touring which is basically the opposite of the contouring trend. instead of defining your features directly with a bronzer, you just strobe the high points of your face, so that your features are more defined indirectly. it is a lot less harsh than contouring and much more luminous. the other nice part of this look is that it uses only 5 makeup products, so it’s perfect for a lazy sunday or for any day when you feel like wearing a light makeup look.

skin prep (not counted towards 5 products)

1. remove makeup/cleanse w/ Neutrogena make-up removing wipes 

(i skipped the cleanser & toner out of laziness)

2. moisturize w/ three drops of Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate, focusing on flaky areas (edges of nose & cheeks, for me), then apply one pump of La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Legere 24hr Rehydrating Fill-In Care all over face

(i skipped the primer b/c i didn’t want to mattify my face at all)

lips (i did this first b/c i wanted to have it on before i applied the highlighter)

1. apply several coats of Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick “710 First Class Nude” all over lips (this formula is super moisturizing, creamy, and dewy)


1. strobe/highlight the high points of your face w/ Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid by FaceStudio Illuminating Highlighter “100 Light/Iridescent” using your fingers (concentrating on the edges of the forehead, especially on the cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, in the cupid’s bow, and a little bit on the centre of the chin)

2. set the highlighting liquid with a Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder “Ethereal Light” using Sephora Multitasker complexion Brush “45” (brush not included in the 5 products–you could easily just use your fingers, as well)


1. apply Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal by EyeStudio 24hr Eyeshadow “Barely Branded” all over lids as a 2-in-1 primer and eyeshadow

2. apply 2-3 coats of Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Full Fan Effect Mascara 

  • great dupe for: Benefit’s They’re Real!

as you can see, i skipped a lot of my usual products, including: cleanser, toner, sunscreen (i didn’t leave the house), primer, foundation, concealer, setting powder, brow pencil, brow gel, eyeshadow, bronzer, and blush, because i was feeling pretty lazy.

also, 4 out of 5 of the makeup products used are from the drugstore, and the higher-end highlighting powder could easily be switched out for a cheaper product from e.l.f., for example, which has several powder highlighters and some baked blushes, both of which have received positive reviews online.

there you have it! a super simple, dewy look. i paired it with some messy, undone, day-3 bedhead.






review: stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (‘rubino’) *perfect valentine’s day lip colour*

review: stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (‘rubino’) *perfect valentine’s day lip colour*

today i’m doing my first review: stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (in the shade rubino). this shade is the perfect colour for tomorrow–valentine’s day!


i actually bought this lipstick as a part of a holiday set called the Stay All Day, Sparkle All Night Liquid Lipstick Set. (i paid $51 CAD for the set from Shoppers Drug Mart: roughly $9/product–it comes with 5 shades of liquid lipstick and a glitter topcoat.) the whole set is fantastic, but the shade that stood out the most to me was rubino. the lipstick comes in a small 0.05 fl. oz/1.5 mL format, which is perfect for taking on the go!


rubino is the perfect red lipstick for my skin tone. for reference, my skin has both warm and cool undertones (as i am both half-spanish and half-irish), so red (a warm colour) with purple (a cool colour) undertones tends to look the best on me. by comparison, a red lipstick with orange (warm) undertones doesn’t suit me as well.


this formula is far and away my favourite liquid lipstick format! it is not too dry, but still matte. it stays well. it doesn’t make my lips look flaky. i absolutely love liquid lipsticks for matte finishes, but they often make my lips extremely dry. by comparison, i have also used:

  • NYX Lip Lingerie: great staying power, great price point, but extremely drying, and the formula is a bit difficult to apply. (would not re-purchase.)
  • Too Faced Melted Matte Liquefied Lipstick: decent staying power, not too dry, easy too apply, but it left my lips with a really strange, filmy texture which wasn’t very comfortable. (i was really disappointed with that one because it was pretty expensive and the salesperson at Sephora raved about it, calling it their best liquid lipstick.) would not re-purchase.

valentine’s day

red lips are always a staple look, but even more so on valentine’s day! it’s a great day to try a bold lip. stay tuned for my valentine’s day makeup tutorial tomorrow, which will definitely feature this shade!








my daily (winter) skincare routine

my daily (winter) skincare routine

as somebody who lives in canada, my skin type actually changes in the colder months: from oily-combination to dry-combination. the cold dries out my skin and leaves me with tons of flaky patches. this means that, come winter, i actually need to switch up which products i use. after much trial-and-error, here is my current routine:

makeup remover/cleanser/sometimes toner: La Roche-Posay Micellar Water (Sensitive Skin). this baby is an all-in-one product: it removes my makeup, cleanses my skin, and, when i’m too lazy to use a separate toner, tones my skin, as it balances pH levels. it’s an all-around great product, suitable for sensitive skin (i’m not sensitive, but i do like their products). i would recommend it with one caveat: it’s not the best as an eye-makeup remover. i would recommend using a separate eye-makeup remover, especially one with oil in it. mid-level price range.

toner: Avene Thermal Spring Water. this is a lovely, refreshing product. great in the winter as a toner, or great anytime as a refresher. also works well in the summer to cool down. suitable for sensitive skin. would recommend. mid-level price range.

moisturizing steps: 

  1. serum/oil: Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate. this product is my new holy grail winter skincare product. i couldn’t find anything to soothe my flaky patches until i found this face oil. i use a few drops after my toner and before my moisturizer. highly recommended. it is a bit on the pricey side.
  2. moisturizer: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Legere 24hr Rehydrating Fill-In Care. this moisturizer is great for dry-combination skin: not greasy and not too thin. would recommend. mid-level price range.

sun protection: Neutrogena UltraSheer Face Sunscreen (SPF 60). this is a fantastic sunscreen for combination skin, as it is not greasy or sticky. mild sunscreen scent. would recommend. quite cheap, as far as sunscreens go.

primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. this product is well-loved in the online beauty community, so i won’t say too much. it’s a fantastic primer, especially for combination skin, as it adds a bit of moisture while reducing shine and minimizing pores. highly recommended. a bit on the pricey side.

extra step (exfoliator): Vichy Normaderm 3-in-1 Scrub + Cleanser + Mask. this is another great all-in-one product. in the warmer months, it is my everyday cleanser, but in the colder months, i use it weekly as an exfoliator. also doubles as a mask! would recommend. mid-level price range.









how to: construct a basic skincare routine

how to: construct a basic skincare routine


in terms of daily skincare, there are three main components, which (ideally) should be done once in the morning and once at night:

  1. cleansing
  2. toning
  3. moisturizing

step 1: cleanse

you want to find a cleanser that suits your skin-type, whether that be dry, dry-combination, combination (normal), oily-combination, or oily (you can break those down into even further categories, but i’ll use those as a basis). you also need to factor in whether or not your skin is sensitive: if so, you need to pick products that are made specifically for sensitive skin to avoid irritation and reactions.

the easiest way to figure out which cleanser is right for you is to do some research, either online, in magazines, or in-person by asking a cosmetician/beauty advisor (although, keep in mind, many salespersons have implicit biases towards certain brands & products due to factors such as store inventory and commission). there are so many products out there at so many different price points: your perfect cleanser is out there, somewhere.

step 2: tone

using a toner is an often-missed step, but it is important: a toner balances your skin’s pH levels so that it is ready for the next step (moisturizer). again, you want to choose a toner that is specific to your skin type, and to do some research.

step 3: moisturizer

lastly, you want to make sure that you’re using a moisturizer. this helps replenish your skin’s lipids and oils. again, choose one that is specific to your skin type, and do your homework.

extra steps

  • sun protection: many moisturizers include sun protection, so this may not need to be an extra step. otherwise, find a sunscreen that is specific to your skin type and do your homework. many people think this is only a step for the summers; however, it is crucial to wear sun protection every single day–cold or warm, cloudy or sunny. UV damage happens through clouds, as well. use an SPF of at least 30. (you can skin this step at night-time.)
  • exfoliating: using an exfoliating product 1-2 times per week is advisable, as it helps to remove dead skin cells. this is typically in the form of some type of scrub. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.
  • serums/oils: serums and oils are basically extra moisturizing steps–not necessary, but certainly useful. you’ll want to apply them after your toner and before your moisturizer, as they’re more concentrated than regular moisturizers and therefore should be absorbed first. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.
  • masks: similar to exfoliators, masks are typically used 1-2 times per week. pick one that addresses a specific skincare need of yours (i.e. moisture, oil-control, pore-minimizing).
  • night cream: i don’t personally use night creams, but if you have anti-ageing concerns, night creams are fantastic. they are basically just moisturizers that are specifically designed for night-time, when our skin is regenerating the most. use them in place of your moisturizer before bed. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.
  • primer: part-makeup, part-skincare, makeup primers are used to prime the skin for makeup. many people choose to wear primers alone, though: they can help smooth over the skin very well. certain primers do certain things, such as minimizing pores, reducing shine, or adding luminosity. choose one that is specific to your skin type and do your homework.

stay tuned for a post with my winter skincare routine!

cosmetic use as an act of self-care

cosmetic use as an act of self-care


as a starting point for this beauty blog, i figured i should give a short summary of my own relationship w/ cosmetic use. as a teenager, i used cosmetics quite regularly, experimenting w/ lots of different colours. i loved watching youtube tutorials. i also happened to work in a drugstore, where i was a cashier.

one day, a cosmetician who worked there noticed my makeup and told me that a position was opening up in the cosmetics department. she encouraged me to apply. i ended up transferring to the cosmetics department, where i worked for several years. during this time i received extensive training on skincare and makeup, and regularly performed makeovers and provided consultations for customers. i also played around with many different looks, and wore makeup on a near-daily basis.

then, for a couple of years, after quitting my job as a cosmetician to start a new job in a different field, i kind of lost touch with cosmetics: i barely wore makeup, and wasn’t really taking care of my skin. i kind of thought it was all a bit silly and unnecessary: why ‘waste’ time and money on makeup when i could be doing or buying other things?

then, more recently, in the past year or so, i kind of re-discovered my love of cosmetics. more importantly, i realized the value in using cosmetics for one crucial reason: it was time i devoted to taking care of myself. as somebody who struggles with mental illness, many mental health professionals are constantly stressing the importance of self-care to me. i didn’t realize how powerful an act of self-care that applying cosmetics was until i re-discovered it: it gave me confidence, it was fun, and it made me happy. if it was so powerful, how could it be a waste of time and money?

many people think of makeup as frivolous and pointless, but i’d argue that, if used for fun (and not as something you conform to as a societal expectation of you), why not? there are very few things that i can rely on to make me happy: as somebody who suffers from depression, pleasure and joy can often be difficult to find.

to me, they’re worth every penny.