Little pots of sparkly coloured eye-shadow, creamy lipsticks in shades of fuschia and red, silken tubes of sleek liquid eyeliner – it all fills me with joy. The cosmetics section at Shoppers, Holt Renfrew, Murale: little alleyways of heaven.
My obsession started as a kid, when I would gaze adoringly at my beautiful mother. She wore very little makeup, but applied it carefully and sparingly to augment her already-lovely eyes, skin and lips. When she would finish getting ready, she always looked like an ethereal princess.
I started experimenting on my own as a teenager. I went through phases – thick eyeliner, purple eyeshadow, red lipstick and others. Largely, they were all wrong for me. I thought more was better, and when I look back on some of my university pictures, I shudder! In this picture circa 1993, note the too-light foundation, bright red lipstick, the barely-there eyebrows, and the weirdly self-dyed orangey highlights. Ouch!
I’d like to think that, in my late thirties, I’ve kind of figured out what works and what doesn’t. The conclusion I’ve reached (which my mom told me years ago) is that less is more, so much more in fact.
I’ve pared my skincare and makeup routine down to a couple of minutes that gets me anywhere from work, to my kids’ soccer games, or a social event with a few quick embellishments.
Before anything, good skincare is imperative. I had acne as a teenager, and it reoccurred with each of my three pregnancies. As a result, I’ve tried many different products, Clinique, Clarins, Yonka to name a few. However, the best solution for me came from the drugstore for less than 20 bucks. I swear by Cetaphil products. i’ve been using their cleanser and moisturizer with sunscreen for 10 years now, and they are perfect for my skin.
There are a couple of stand-bys that I can’t live without. For a light base, I love Laura Mercier foundation primer and mineral powder – it feels like you have nothing on your skin, yet the simple combination provides perfect coverage of flaws. On my lips, I swear by the new Chanel Coco lipsticks. They are perfectly creamy and moisturizing, and the colour lasts for 8 hours. The colour Mademoiselle looks good on everyone I know who has tried it, and is the perfect nudey pink that looks very very natural. On my eyes, I adore Lancome Definicils mascara in black – it’s been a constant in my makeup bag for 14 years!
If i’m going out at night, I add lip gloss, a shimmery greyish-mauve eyeshadow (any brand) and some blush.
If you’re looking to refresh your makeup routine, I strongly recommend talking to a makeup artist at any makeup counter – Sephora, Holt Renfrew and Shopper’s Drug Mart are all great. Before attending a wedding last winter, I went to Robert Weir, the fabulous Chanel makeup artist at Holt Renfrew and he gave me some great tips for glamour that were easy and effective!