beauty q & a: everyday beauty, before and after

This post is my worst beauty nightmare. I hate going without makeup. I just don't have a face for it. Some people look better with less makeup and some people (in my opinion) look better with it. I look better with makeup on mostly because I feel better when I wear it. It also defines my features which, without it, kind of blur into one another. I hate being in pictures without makeup on, but I'm willing to do it for you guys in the name of education!

Speaking of which, I'm kicking off a brand new weekly series called Beauty Q & A where I will answer your questions about all things beauty-related, based on my lifetime obsession with makeup, hair and other frivolous things.

Since I will be using before and after images of other people to demonstrate techniques, I thought it would only be fair if I put myself out there first.  I'll show you what I look like when I wake up in the morning, and how I address my various beauty concerns using skincare products and makeup.

Okay, let's get into it. Here is what I look like with no makeup on, rolled right outta bed, complete with weird around-the-house hairstyle. My main skin issues are dryness and dehydration, redness, sensitivity, broken capillaries and acne scarring. Yep, it's a lot to contend with. Can you see why I love makeup?

These photos are not retouched. I've simply run my standard Lightroom preset over them to brighten them up a bit because I suck at exposing self portraits when I'm using a remote control!


Here's my day-to-day makeup. It's what I would wear if I'm basically going out to do anything social. Well, I wouldn't do my hair like this, but I digress...

After cleansing with my Clarisonic, I exfoliate using Aveda's Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant, then moisturize using Aveda's Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion (I use their Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme at night). If my skin is extra dry as it is on most winter days, I'll use Belmondo's The Dew Face Oil, which is a saving grace. Then I load on Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen with SPF 110 (recommended by my dermatologist.) This whole regimen is focused on restoring and retaining moisture and of course, on sun protection!


I apply a little bit of MAC's Strobe Cream on my cheekbones, then apply Bobbi Brown Corrector under my eyes. I apply Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick where I've got redness, then blend it out. (Side note: Chanel VitalumiΓ¨re Aqua is still the best foundation I've tried, but I wanted to try this new one for fun.) I set the foundation with a luminous powder from the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish line. I'll then put on a little blush. NARS Amour is a current favourite. I prep my eyes with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion and apply a medium brown colour in the crease. Right now I'm into MAC Wedge. I curl my lashes and apply a few coats of L'Oreal Voluminous False Fibre Lash mascara. Lastly, I do my brows using a combination of MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering and sometimes Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel. For some reason it's  not in the picture, but I'll always put on some kind of rosy lip colour too, usually a stain of some kind. I know this sounds like a lot, but the whole routine takes less than five minutes. 

If I have only two minutes, I'd just do the foundation, mascara, brow pencil and lip stain. My makeup routine is based around evening out my blotchy skin, creating luminance by layering subtly shimmery products, and bringing definition to my features.

I hope you found this helpful in some way!

So, I've received a lot of fantastic questions on facebook from family and friends, and I will be addressing those over the coming weeks. Thank you to everyone who sent in your thoughtful questions. Now I'm opening it up to you, dear readers. Please leave a comment below or send me a message with your beauty questions and I'll do my best to give you honest and helpful answers in this series!