Be Your Own Beauty Pro
I love the idea of being pampered, but as a mom of three most of the time I barely have time to throw on mascara, let alone spend the morning getting my hair coloured, eyelashes tinted or brows groomed. So over the past few months, I’ve been trying to find products that give me amazing hair and skin but without the time, scheduling or costs to see a pro. And you know what? I’ve found so many good products recently, that I thought I’d share them in one post so you can be your own beauty pro, too.
We all want big brows, and this is one of the easiest beauty tasks to DIY. First tweeze just the stray hairs. Next, look for a pigmented powder that’ll fill in your brows, making it look like you have hairs where you don’t. I like the Quo Brow Focus kit (in Brunette or Taupe, $12). Next lock brow hairs (and keep unruly brows) in place. Try the Quo Clear Brow Gel.
Hair Game Strong
Having good hair is kind of like having good teeth. Sure, you go to the dentist once or twice a year, but the rest of the time you’ve got to brush your teeth – daily. So the same goes for your hair. First up, is conditioning. I love a deep conditioning treatment at the salon, but GLISS Ultimate Repair Express Repair Conditioner leave-in conditioner is just as good. It’s amazing for heavily damaged hair (think highlights, bleaching, over-processing and overstyling).
Brush the product through hair with a wide tooth comb and let it works its conditioning magic. GLISS Oil Nutritive Weightless Oil Spray is also amazing (I love oils!) – work it through from root to tip to really hydrate your hair. You can use it on dry hair or leave it on overnight like a beauty mask for your hair.
Roots! Roots! Roots!
Remember when you didn’t have to touch up your roots? Me either (I’ve been colouring my hair since I was 11). And now that I have greys, I need to touch up my roots every four weeks. Which is why I have been so excited for months to try the new Schwarzkopf Root Retoucher. It’s a temporary root touch-up spray that comes in six shades. There’s no mess, it’s super easy to use, the mineral pigment covers my greys completely while looking and feeling natural (not sticky or oily!), it’s rain-proof but it washes out when you shampoo your hair. Amazing.
The best at-home hair colour
For all over colour, the market is saturated, as I’m sure you know if you’ve ever walked down that aisle the drugstore. But I’m going to make it simple:there’s just one at-home colouring kit that I’ve found actually makes my hair feel soft and look shiny after colouring. I tried Schwarzkopf Keratin Color last summer when I was at a cottage all season and didn’t want to come back to the city to get my hair coloured. I love the first step: it’s a pre-treatment that protectsyour hair and helps even the colour results from root to tip. I also love that the colour cream is enhanced with a keratin complex for long-lasting colour and 100% grey coverage. After colouring, the conditioning treatment features breakthrough K-Bond-Plex technology (think salon quality!) for added strength and shine (and less breakage, which is great for those of us with longer hair!).
Get Dewy Glowing Skin
I’m all about glowy skin – especially products that give you the glow but also get to the root of why you’re not glowing. Before bed, I like to apply No7 Youthful Replenishing Facial Oil ($25), which gives my skin an instant surge of moisture and then penetrates deep into the skin to soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s perfect this time of year when it’s still so cold and dry and our skin is dehydrated. The key ingredients are jojoba and rosehip oils, which are great for maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier without blocking pores, and vitamins C & E, which provide antioxidant protection.
Prime like a pro
Pros are always applying primers and setting sprays to start and finish their makeup looks. This preps the skin for foundation and sets the work you’ve done after. To prime, try the Joe Fresh Hydrating Primer or Quo Nourish & Prime Hydrating Primer to add a boost of hydration and create a perfect canvas. Afterward, spritz Quo Makeup Setting Spray to keep your look in place all day.
How to apply your foundation
If you’ve ever had your makeup done by a good makeup artist, she’s probably all about blending sponges. This is because they’re so easy to use and really get into all the harder to reach areas that brushes sometimes can’t. Some great finds:
Joe Fresh Wedges; Quo Blending Sponge and Quo All in One Sponge (both can be reused multiple times).
Contour & Highlight
In the daytime, I’ll use the Quo Bronzer Duo ($19) which comes with two complementary shades that you can use alone or blend together. I like to apply it everywhere the sun hits my skin (or would, if it were a sunny day!): T-zone and apples of the cheeks.
To highlight the tops of my cheekbones, I like the Joe Fresh Highlighter Stick ($10) in Pure Glow and Pink Pearl. They have a soft, satiny texture with a dewy finish – perfect for keeping that glow looking natural.
Get even skin tone
Joe Fresh also makes these amazing creamy Joe Fresh Colour Correcting Crayons ($6 each) that you can use just where you need them, and they blend so easily. Here’s a reminder of where to use each shade because I know, it’s hard to remember!
• Green neutralizes redness
• Lavender brightens dull looking skin
• Yellow conceals dark spots and imperfections
Get Full Lips
I have pretty thin lips and don’t want to go the lip-filler route, so when I’m looking for a temporary lip plump, I love applying Soap & Glory Sexy Motherpucker Lip Plumping Gloss ($14, in Candy Queen, Nudestar, Spun Sugar). You can wear it over lipstick or on your lips alone. It contains a plant oil infusion that boosts circulation in your lips and makes them instantly feel fuller.
Get fuller, longer lashes
Lash extensions, falsies and growth serums are obviously big business, but for everyday, I like a mascara that I can quickly apply, gives great results, and is easy to remove at night. Some of my faves:
Joe Fresh Hydra Lash Nourishing Mascara, Joe Fresh Lash Focus Extending Mascara, Quo Effortless Curl Mascara
You can find most of my beauty pro picks at Shoppers Drug Mart, and you can find Schwarzkopf Keratin Color at major retailers like Loblaws and Walmart.