Stylista Muse, Leila Kashanipour

296401As much as I adore fashion, summertime is not my favourite season for it, most keep it super simple in 100 degree weather.  If you’ve seen one tee with cutoff denim shorts and Frye boots, you’ve seen them all.  A style I have grown a bit attached to is the “boyfriend” jean, in fact, they’ve become a staple for me.  They’re comfortable, stylish and can be dressed up or down.

Because I work in an environment which promotes “fashion freedom,” this look has become my go-to and I prefer to always dress them up, otherwise, they can look a bit tomboyish.  This week’s Stylista Muse, Leila Kashanipour, is on point with her Balmain jacket and Chanel handbag mixed with moderately priced items.  The end result?  Comfort with a reflection of her innate style.

Photo courtesy of Stockholm Streetstyle

Just A Hint Of Tint For Healthy Summer Skin

With summer fast approaching, many women prefer to ditch foundation for a lighter alternative, to avoid covering up sun-kissed vitamin D infused skin.  Tinted moisturizers are the answer, here are my three favourites, which are also perfect year around!

BOBBI BROWN TINTED MOISTURIZER WITH SPF 15 (also available in an oil-free version) $40  & Balm (more coverage) $52

I chose Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer because it is hydrating and contains jojoba oil which is extremely beneficial to the skin.  I am prone to breakout if I am not careful with foundations, this is the reason I prefer the department store brands, the quality of ingredients is usually higher than with drug store brands.  While I’m all for cutting corners when possible, because foundation sits on the skin throughout the day, it is more likely drugstore brands may lead to clogged pores.  However, I have many clients who are able to slather the cheapest of the cheap of products on their face, and seem to effortlessly maintain gorgeous skin.  Of course, these are the same women who sleep in their foundation… go figure, if I did either I’d be ashamed to leave the house, my skin would be such a disaster.  My point is, if you can rock a drugstore brand without paying for it later in acneic skin, go for it!

CHANEL HYDRAMAX+ACTIVE TEINTE SPF 15 $62

Chanel’s tinted moisturizer is the Mercedes Benz of tinted moisturizers, as I am sure you were able to discern upon reading the price.  The unique benefit of this tinted moisturizer is an ingredient called Ceratonia PFA, it is said to stimulate hydration, and as far as I can tell this claim is true for my skin.  Yes, it is expensive, however, one thing I am able to state unequivocally is Chanel products are made to last a lifetime.  I am not exaggerating ladies, I have everything from foundations to shadow palettes which I’ve been using for upwards of 3 years.  Honestly, I get tired of the products long before it’s time to replace them.  The great thing about this foundation as well as the others posted here, is they are all packaged in a tube, this means no contamination to the product, hence a longer shelf life.  The only downside to Chanel products is many are discontinued at the blink of an eye, however, the last I checked, this product continues to be available on the site.

LAURA MERCIER TINTED MOISTURIZER SPF 20 $42

Laura Mercier is one of my favourite professional makeup artists, not only because of her skill and talent, but also for her attentiveness to offer women of colour a wide range of choices, which is no easy feat.  Many cosmetic companies struggle with formulating foundations (tinted moisturizer included) for women of colour because there are numerous, stunning hues, with varied undertones within this segment of the population.  Patronizing a cosmetic line established by an actual makeup artist, has its perks, and this is simply one of many.  Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is rated the #1 selling and has, understandably, earned numerous beauty awards.

 So there you have it, my top three tinted moisturizer picks.  The most common complaint I hear regarding tinted moisturizers is how they are too light in consistency.  This always puzzles me, after all, isn’t this the whole point, hence the name ‘tinted moisturizer?’  That being stated, if you understand application, any tinted moisturizer can be layered.  This means, start with a primer, add your tinted moisturizer of choice, wait a few minutes, add more, follow with concealer on the areas where you’d like more coverage and finish with a pressed powder which will give some degree of coverage.  This is actually a great way to take this little tube from summer into fall/winter, since summer is such a short month, leaving you with plenty of product to spare.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation

Foundation is the most important component of makeup application, and because it sits on the skin, it is important the ingredients contained in it do not induce clogged pores, leading to break-outs.  Although Chanel foundation is expensive, compared to its drugstore counterparts, a little goes a very long way.  As enticing as it is to save a few dollars, your skin may suffer as a result, with the long term use of a drugstore brand.  If it’s any consolation, in my experience, it takes well over a year to go through a quality foundation.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be posting my favourite foundations, which I personally use or have used in the past.  Another bit of information to keep in mind is one basic foundation may not be the answer.  I personally have several different formulas I wear, as my skin changes from one season to the next or coverage may vary depending upon how my skin is behaving.  Finally, the skin may become immune to a particular formula if it is not switched periodically, in other words, the results may not be as incredible as when you first fell in love with it, therefore, a respite may be in order.  The concept is similar to that of clothing, certain cuts are worn at certain times depending upon weight fluctuations and other factors.

Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is water-based and absolutely divine on the skin, with a light consistency, while the coverage is buildable.  The best technique for foundation application is always a brush.  A brush will extend the life of your foundation since it has nothing to absorb into, versus a sponge, which absorbs the majority of the product before it even hits your face.  The result with Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is luminous, natural looking skin for hours.

Visit the Chanel counter at your local department store to receive a consultation, and request a sample prior to committing.  The beauty advisors are prepared to accommodate you.  Also, if you visit the Chanel site, there is a foundation diagnostic available for your convenience.

Available at chanel.com and fine department stores nationwide $45

Professional Makeup Brushes For Exceptional Results

Healthy skin is definitely integral for makeup to look its best, however, an investment in a quality set of professional brushes is also imperative for achieving flawless results.  When I began my career as a makeup artist, I was fortunate enough to receive my first full set of professional brushes complimentary from Trish McEvoy Ltd.  The total cost of the set would easily have amounted to a car payment.  In the initial stages, I simply did not understand how the cost of these brushes could be aptly justified.  The incomprehension soon vanished like dust in the wind, the moment these brushes swept across my face.

Not only does makeup feel better going on when natural brushes are at work, however, since the makeup is being set into the skin, it stays fresher looking throughout the day.  Product replenishment is also less frequent, as it has nothing to absorb into unlike with latex sponges.  The makeup is essentially being painted onto the skin, which lends itself to beautiful airbrushed results.

A set of professional natural hair makeup brushes are made to last a lifetime when cared for properly.  This means monthly washings with baby shampoo or a gentle facial cleanser.  Over the years I’ve managed to accumulated several sets of makeup brushes from various cosmetic companies, and have yet to replace one.  Makeup brushes come in a litany of different shapes and sizes, based on your own individual features.  Chanel, MAC, Stila and Trish McEvoy brushes are among my favourites.  There is no one size fits all, so once you decide to splurge, consult with a professional makeup artist about which specific brushes are tailored to your features.