Cosmetic Tips for a Fresh, Modern Look for Summer – @LooseButton

A few weeks ago, Sober Julie gave me the opportunity to attend the Summer Trends 2012 event by Loose Button at the Dermalogica Toronto Training Center on King Street West in Toronto, and what a shindig it was!

Loose Button can throw a party I can tell you that! As I walked in, they had personalized LooseButton buttons for each guest making you feel a bit more cherished in true Loose Button style. Then, you lined up for complimentary drinks, delicious and beautiful hors d’oeuvre and individualized attention at each of the booths set up by various cosmetic companies.

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Dermalogica counter

The first one I went to was the Dermalogica counter where I was able to discuss my skin needs with the lovely aesthetician who works with Dermalogica. She wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly how Dermalogica would help me personally, but was willing to give me a skin analysis another day after the event. She made me feel as if she were very concerned about my situation – someone who has highly allergic, beyond intolerant, beyond sensitive, gluten and dairy free needs in cosmetics and cleansing products. I appreciated this more than if she told me Dermalogica were magic, because it was honest….and because of her honesty, I have more desire to and I will be making that appointment in the near future.

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The Team from Benefit

Then I went to the next booth where I met the extremely excited and sweet team from Benefit cosmetics. They were so excited to show me a spectacular lip plumping gloss and amazing mascara that lengthens. The mascara is definitely on my “must buy” list – after I finish the three I have on hand right now – just because the wand is very similar to the Envyderm mascara I currently use that makes my lashes about twice the length (ooh sexy!) they actually are – the Benefit team promised me that their mascara would make it look even better… to get some money.

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Valentina, the new perfume by Valentino

Then I went to speak to the lady who was representing Valentino’s new perfume, Valentina. The bottle is absolutely gorgeous and represents the colours and designs in Valentino’s new clothing line. It smells spectacular – I can’t remember exactly all the scents she mentioned, but it includes about five different florals, cedar wood and a few other scents. I’m sorry, I’m not a perfume person so I’m sorta lost here. I do know, however that it was a floral based perfume with a little touch of woody earthiness, and was really light and wearable. It also comes in a body lotion, which I love. If you get a chance, you should go try this perfume – it is excellent, and reacted nicely with my chemistry, without any allergic reaction! Maybe I will start wearing perfume again!

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Chantel Guertin (photo from her blog)

The highlight of the night for me, was the presentation by Chantel Guertin. Chantel Guertin is probably best known as one of the lovely lady who works with the Marilyn Denis Show. She has also written two novels, Love Struck and Stuck in Downward Dog (the latter, btw which I just finished reading and is completely gratifying and uplifting), and has recently started publishing a beauty magazine called The Kit with the Toronto Star which gives fun, easy and modern makeup tips for the regular beauty-challenged lady like me. I also recently found out that she blogs at her own little corner of the blogosphere! Now that’s one busy lady!

Chantel (I hope she doesn’t mind me calling her that), is a spectacular speaker. Her presentation was exciting, interesting and informative while being fun and energetic. I love this lady even though I’ve never met her. That’s how good it was. She also made you feel extremely comfortable whether you were one of the gorgeous ladies in a short skirt or old frumpy me that considered jeans with heels and a nice top to be good enough to attend the event. We were all enamoured with Chantel and intrigued by what she had to say – I wish I could attach the audio to this post, just so that you can hear it! Since I can’t, here are the tips she gave for a fresh, modern look for Summer 2012 according to Chantel Guertin.

TIP 10: Go for the Glow

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Go for the Glow!

You want to start your makeup routine with gorgeous glowing skin, so you have to have really clean skin. Make sure you have a good morning and a good evening cleansing routine. If you have clean skin, anything else you put on will be absorbed so much better! You don’t need to layer on tons of products at all. Right now, Chantel’s favourite product are the BB creams. They are hydrating moisturizers that smooth out fine lines, protect you from the sun (SPF) and which usually include a tinted moisturizer. It’s a great one step product that also covers imperfections. Also, primers are back! The old ones used to be heavy and feel as if it were a lot of product, but primers have been re-invented! The new primers protect your skin from the sun (SPF), hydrates, gets rid of free radicals and preps your skin nicely so that it looks great on its own. Chantel’s recommendations are Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer with SPF and Smashbox Camera Ready Beauty Cream (with SPF 35!)

TIP 9: Oh so Cheeky

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Oh so Cheeky!

The latest thing in blush is cream blush! We are all used to powder blush, but the powder blush tends to mattify while the cream blush enhances the glow we are trying to achieve this summer! Many of them come in a pot and at a glance look like powdered blush, but if you look closely you’ll see they’re cream based. Cream blushes also helps to add moisture to your skin. It’s easy to use, you can use your fingers (if you so choose) or a synthetic based brush. The synthetic fibers will not absorb the product, allowing your product to last longer. If you choose to continue with a powder brush, real hair brushes are best. Some tips on applying the blush include applying it to your cheekbones OR to the apples of your cheeks, NOT both! Also, make sure not to go too low on your face with the blush – else you’ll look more like you just left the gym rather than the demure, glowing look we’re trying to achieve.

TIP 8: Flick it.

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Flick It!

This trend is straight from the runway and can be quite dramatic. The whole purpose is that little upward motion at the outer corner of the eye opens your eyes up making them seem larger and helping them to pop! It’s easiest done with liquid liner, but can be done with a pencil if you don’t use liquid. If you want to switch to liquid, make sure to try one with a short wand – such as the liquid liner from Essence which could be found for less than $5 in your drugstore. The smaller applicator is easier to use and more maneuverable allowing you to perfect the liquid liner flick faster. Oh, and the liquid liner would completely eliminate the hunt for the eye pencil sharpener (which we all have done at one time or another!) Also, with this look, we live in the real world, so you don’t have to go as dramatic as the runway looks – you can extend it less or make the line thinner if you would like to.

TIP 7: Match Point

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Match Point!

I know what you’re about to say, being matchy matchy is the ultimate faux pas! Well ladies, not anymore. The idea of matching your nails to your lipstick and your toenails to your fingernails is now a fashion DO! In fact, many companies are even selling lipstick/nailpolish combos together – for example, the Mac Fashion Sense nail polishes and lipsticks. Mac isn’t the only one doing this though, a lot of drug store brands have chosen to do it as well, and if you don’t like their selection, you can always match lipsticks and nailpolishes yourself in the beauty aisle! Think of it, it’s actually a good thing, because the skin at the back of your hand is similar to the skin on your face, and therefore if you have a lipstick you love, or a nailpolish you love, it’s easy to pick up a matching product in that specific colour with confidence that it will suit you!

TIP 6: Batting 1000

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Batting 1000!

If you have great lashes, you are really going to make your eyes pop. Chantel believes that if you are going to emphasize your eye lashes to be bold. I mean, who wants to look natural if you’re piling on mascara? Isn’t the point to NOT look natural? So her advice is to just use black mascara and if you want, double up! By that I mean use two different mascaras with two different results if you need to – you can use a lengthening mascara and then a thickening mascara for the second coat, for example. Also, the second tip she has for you is to be brave and try false lashes. You don’t have to go ultra-glam, you can actually purchase the single lashes. Also, if you purchase the full set, you can always trim them to half the lash, and apply to emphasize just the area you want to (e.g. the outer corner of your eyes) to avoid the obvious fake plastic dolly look. A good pair of falsies last for SEVERAL uses! If you peel them off carefully with water and soap and clean them well, you can reuse a good quality set of lashes about ten times! Chantel advises to do your full makeup first, mascara on, then the lashes and then the eyeliner. You can just use mascara – pick what you think your problem is – none is “right” or “wrong” except for your preference. The third thing she spoke about was the new trend of growing your lashes. We have all heard about Latisse, and there is now also one called Teleka *available at the drug store) that darkens and lengthens and just got here from France – it comes in a mascara wand and put your mascara on top. Interestingly, these products were developed when glaucoma patients started noticing that their lashes grew when they used their eyedrops!

TIP 5: White Hot Smile

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White Hot Smile!

When you smile, what is the first t hing you notice? That’s right – your teeth! They don’t call them pearly whites for nothing. There are so many whitening options on the market so to look and feel your best, pick what’s right for you. You can choose to get it done at your dentist’s or do it at home, and the options are endless! If you are diligent, white strips are a good option, if you’re not so diligent, Crest now has a 2 hour express whitening that is equivalent to their 2 week program. If you have sensitive teeth, there’s a brand new brand called Tanda Pearl that is available in your drugstore – it’s an ionic whitening system that whitens your teeth from the inside out, not causing any sensitivity problems . It’s a bit more expensive but is worth it. The other plus is that you can do it all at home and don’t have to go to the dentist.


TIP 4: Wave Running

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Wave Running!

We all drool at the gorgeous waves in the photos of celebrities that surround us daily – why can’t we have hair like that? Well, those celebrities take the time with their hair, time that most of us do not award ourselves! Did you know that 90% of people have natural wave in their hair?! We’re never satisfied with the texture of our hair – those with dead straight hair want curls, those with waves think “why can’t I be one or the other?” and those with curls want straight hair – it’s the ultimate “grass is greener” syndrome……it’s about hair. Anyway, Chantel says the trick to achieving those wonderful celebrity-like curls is to take the time to section your hair when you are curling it. She also advises you to invest in a curling iron with out a clamp – or if you can’t afford to, to re-learn how to curl your hair. Clamps are bad and end up in kinky ends, so whichever iron you have, curl your hair around the barrel (carefully!) and hold it there with your hand – do not use the clamp! The other advice she gave was that most people over-use product in their hair. Hair doesn’t NEED so much product all of the time, and when applying product, do so to the ends of your hair, never to the root!

TIP 3: Faux Glow

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Faux Glow

I know you’re thinking, with so much SPF on, how are you supposed to look tanned? Don’t go to the tanning bed, use a self-tanner. The brands out there are great now and don’t make you orange like the older ones used to. You can either use a simple bronzer or use a good self tanner that could make you beautifully bronze for up to 3 days or a week. Two great brands are the time-tested St. Tropez and the newly revealed Victoria Secrets self tanners. The most important tip for self-tanning, however is that you HAVE to exfoliate until you’re practically red – you CANNOT have any dry skin because that’s when you get patches and dry spots and an uneven fake tan. Don’t do it before a huge event – do it when you have nothing to go to so that you’re not rushed and so that if you have to fix anything you can without rushing. Also, remember where is visible – for example, where there is usually a little bathing suit slippage for example (think bum cheeks and bust-lines for bikinis).

TIP 2: Digit(al) Design

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Digit(al) Design!

It’s no longer about the plain, boring manicure, jazz up your nails! The latest thing in nails are cool and funky designs – they can be as modest as a single different colour on one nail, a different shade of the same colour on each nail (such as the ombre look – taken from the recent variegation of hair colours of celebrities), a colourful, fun twist on a french manicure (e.g. leapord skin tips), or “caviar look” with textural differences such as gems, sparkles, balls etc. etc. The options are endless and anyone can do this at home! To give yourself maximum room for mistakes and experimentation, start off with UV cured nails at the salon or the at home kit from the drug store. This way you will have a plain manicure base just in case your artistic interpretation doesn’t quite turn out the way it is supposed to, of if you want to go party on Saturday night and go to church on Sunday without being frowned upon!

TIP 1: Pretty in HOT Pink

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Pretty in HOT Pink!

Chantel says there is a hot pink for every skin tone out there – and hot pink is the modern look for summer 2012. Go get your Neon on! Everyone can do this because there is a pink for you regardless of your skin tone – if you have fair skin, look for a hot pink with bluish-red tones, if you have medium toned skin you should look for deep pink, if you have olive skin, a dark pink, and if you have really dark skin look for a bright pink for a fun, fantastic contrast. Try to start with lip stain – eg. Benefit :Lip Stain – and then finish with your preference of lipgloss or lipstick. This will allow you to eat, drink and…well do whatever you need to do that tends to take lipstick off, while being confident that your lipcolour will last. Oh, and with regards to the argument about where to line your lips, to make it look bigger or smaller, always line your lips on the actual line – if you line outside the lines, you look like you lined outside the lines. If you line inside, you look like you lined inside. Different people have different sized lips and they are all beautiful – accept yours and work with it.

Chantel’s last words were very pertinent.

She wanted to leave this message with you: In the end, beauty and cosmetics are just there to emphasize your personal fabulousness. You just want to feel good about yourself. There will always be things you don’t love about yourself that others admire in you – pick up those things, emphasize them and feel good about yourself. Instead of staring at the mirror and picking at your flaws, find your strengths and alter your beauty regime to emphasize them and make yourself feel more confident. If you feel good it trickles into everything else in the day so stay positive about yourself and live a happy life.

I hope these tips were useful to you and give you some incentive to go out and beautify yourself. With all beauty and fashion trends, you don’t have to follow all, but follow the ones that suit you and look good on you (that’s my fashion advice not Chantel’s) – after all, we can’t all pull off neon yellow and mini skirts right?


Serena is a 30-something, PR-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, “smug-married”, self-proclaimed people-watching allergy queen just trying to navigate this obstacle course called life. Her blog, Bewildered Bug, is her attempt to relay her everyday adventures.

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2 Responses

  1. It was an absolutely lovely evening – keep an eye out on the loosebutton website, perhaps they will be having another event soon that you can attend. It wasn’t a bloggers’ only event – there were quite a few people who just heard about it from the website and came – I met a really nice lady who brought her Mom to learn about the tips too.

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