February/March Favourites: Beauty

Green Beauty February-March Favourites | True Nature Botanicals Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser | True Nature Botanicals Pacific Balancing Oil | Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel | Pai Echium & Argan Eye cream | Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Cream | Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation 143 | Anastasia Beverly Hills Granite Ash Brown powder duo | Joelle Chan make-up artist Calgary Alberta Canada

What happened with the weather this winter? Over here in the west, we barely had any snow and the river beds are pretty dry. I’m always concerned that there isn’t enough water in the mountains, because it affects all of us.
So even though it’s hardly felt like winter 99% of the time, I still treated my skin like it was -30 out there only because it was very dry. Over the last 2 months (I’m doing a combined post because I went on vacation for part of it), I actually managed to finish a couple bottles of products I’ve been using for almost a year so I have something new to show you – yay!

Green Beauty | True Nature Botanicals Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser & Balancing Oil | Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada | Organic Wild crafted Luxury Skin Care
I am excited to show you a new cleanser I’ve been using 3x a day for the entire month of February (once in the morning, double cleanse at night). I slowed down in March only because I blew through half a bottle in one month and I want it to last longer, so now I only use it for my morning cleanse. I would normally be skeptical of because it’s a daily exfoliating cleanser. I’m not a big fan of daily exfoliators because they’re usually too harsh on your skin – but one would be hard pressed to find a more gentle exfoliating cleanser than True Nature Botanicals Pacific Exfoliating Cleanser. When I have a chance, I’ll write an actual review, for the time being, I will say that even if you have very dry damaged skin, you may really want to give this cleanser a shot. I’m having a great time with it and I have combo blemish-prone skin. I typically rinse with water, but you can also wipe it off with a damp cloth and from my own experience, my skin feels soft and supple either way. NO strippage. NO tightness. But just because my skin doesn’t feel squeaky clean doesn’t mean I have more clogged pores after 2 months, because I don’t. Perhaps it’s the combination of this cleanser and their Pacific Balancing Oil that slowly got rid of the dry spots around my jaw line.

At long last, I finished my bottle of Yuli’s ME serum at the end of January, just in time because True Nature Botanicals Pacific Balancing Oil had arrived on my doorstep 2 weeks prior. If you’re thinking about using oils and have blemish prone skin like I do, this is the one to try. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients to clear out our skin as well as moisturize. Just like their cleanser, I’ve been using this every single day and night since February so I can document my experiences. I will say their scent is not typical – it’s a little smokey and peppery, but it leaves my skin super soft, and my husband seems to have no qualms with the scent and he’s very sensitive about smells. A lot of the time, this is my only moisturizer during the day, and always my only moisturizer at night.

I am still using Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Soothing Gel as my toner. I have to work fast because it’s absorbs so quickly. I have mere seconds to apply it after I pat my face dry, and another couple of seconds to apply my Balancing Oil while my skin is still moist from the Soothing Gel. I am very happy with the results so far. I also swear that this stuff is helping me keep the blemishes away because I’ve really noticed a difference since I started using it.

Continue reading…

Conceptualize: Graphic Lines

Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada | Graphic Lines Shapes | Marbling | Red Blue White Black liner | Makeup Concepts | Haute Makeup | Futuristic Makeup | Face Mask | Avant Garde
Back in Grade 10, my best friend, Guia, and I were on the yearbook committee and were put in charge of Advertising. Thank goodness because my layout skills were severely lacking, as well as my photography skills. We stylized some lettering for our ads and had to fill it with colour somehow. This is when Guia taught me a sort of line marbling. I don’t know if there’s a name to the style or whether it’s considered a technique, but no matter how you do it, it’s graphic and eye catching.

We drew out and coloured by hand each ad as we didn’t want to simply photocopy (coloured photocopies weren’t an option and printing was expensive way back then). Only problem was, these ads disappeared with hours of being put up, and we couldn’t figure where they went. Turned out kids from another grade started collecting and decorating their lockers with them. Huh. I don’t know if that’s considered successful advertising because only a small population of the school ever saw them.

Anyway, I’m lucky to have Anny as a model because she can sit still for hours on end while I used a LOT of eyeliner on her. The effect turned out even better than I anticipated on a 3D canvas :) Anny found a spot in my apt where a mirror reflected some daylight and my favourite photos were taken here. The pictures are grainy because it was so dark, but I think it lends to the creepy aesthetic of the makeup.
Thank you Anny, and Guia (wherever you are)!

Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada | Graphic Lines Shapes | Marbling | Red Blue White Black liner | Makeup Concepts | Haute Makeup | Futuristic Makeup | Face Mask | Avant Garde
Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada | Graphic Lines Shapes | Marbling | Red Blue White Black liner | Makeup Concepts | Haute Makeup | Futuristic Makeup | Face Mask | Avant Garde

Pearl’s Wedding in Canmore

Canmore makeup artist | Asian bridal makeup | Natural wedding look |Rocky Mountain wedding | Winter destination wedding | Banff | Joelle Chan makeup artist | Calgary Alberta Canada | Photography by Nina & Wes | Snippet & Ink

I’m so excited to share these beautiful pictures of Pearl, who had a destination wedding in Winter Wonderland, otherwise known as Canmore, Alberta. It was just after New Year’s and bitterly cold here in Alberta (-25C or so). Pearl has a beautiful soul and I am so honoured to have been a part of her wedding day. Congratulations again Pearl! I wish you an extremely long, fruitful and joyous marraige :) Continue reading…

Lust List: Valentine’s Edition

Lust List Valentines 2015 | Stila Convertible palette Diptyque Rosafolia candle Hourglass Atmosphere modernist shadow Kahina travel basics Tarte Amazonian Clay shadow palette Nars Domination blush palette Tatcha Ritual discovery kit | Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada

Whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with a loved one or spending it as Happy Single’s Day soaking in a tub with a good book and a glass of wine, I think the occasion is the perfect excuse to indulge a little in yourself. It’s important to love yourself a little, y’know?

Here’s what I’m itching to get my little hands on:

STILA Convertible colour palette
Possibly the best known product in Stila now comes in a palette?! Shut up. I happen to be a huge sucker for palettes. Now you don’t have to use the same colour on your cheeks and lips. Now you can change up the colour every day according to your mood. Now you can MIX THEM. Is the artist in you freaking out yet??
Plus it looks like candy.

TARTE tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte shadow palette
We’ve covered the fact that I get weak in the knees for palettes. I’ve also got a thing for matte shadows and matte shadows palettes are a very rare breed. Here we have 12 powdery soft shadows in rows of warm browns, plums, and cool browns/smokey. It’s gorgeous.
Tarte | tartelette matte shadow palette 2015 | Lust List Valentine's Edition | Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada

NARS Virtual Domination Cheek palette
Sometimes I just don’t want to apply blush with my finger, for whatever reason. If I have a dry spot there, cream blushes tend to accentuate it, no matter how much people say cream blush is for dry skin. This palette also has the one thing I wish my beloved Tarte blush palette had: a highlighter. With a highlighter, 3 pretty shades of pink and coral and a bronzer, I’m not sure what more you can wish for.

Continue reading…

January Favorites: Beauty

January Beauty Favourites | Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel Eye Creme | YULI Halcyon Cleanser ME Skin fuel | Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation | Tarte Amazonian Blush palette | Troy Surratt lash curler | Joelle Chan make-up artist | Calgary Alberta Canada
Happy 2015 :)
I attempted to start blogging monthly last year about each month’s vanity favourites but I fell off the wagon after April! So here I am, trying again.

Shall we begin from left to right? The toner I’ve been using the last 2 months is actually Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Soothing Gel. His gel and his toner have very similar ingredients so I bought the gel out of application preference. I figured applying a gel with my fingers is easier than applying a liquid the same way. Note though that this is meant to be a moisturizer, though there’s no way I would be able to use it on my skin without a supplement over top.

I’m a huge fan of Yuli Skincare and I’ve been using their Halcyon cleanser at least once a day for the last 6 months now. 2-3 pumps of this non-foaming cleansing gel is sufficient and will take off my make-up as well. Continue reading…

Restaurant Review: Q HAUTE CUISINE

A few weeks ago, my friend and I had an wonderful experience at Q Haute Cuisine in Calgary with our pre-purchased Dine for Two Costco deal.

I first heard of Q Haute Cuisine through a bride who was having her wedding reception there, and I’ve been so darn curious ever since. But with a toddler in tow who’s not the type to sit through a 2.5+ hour dinner experience, I never thought I’d get a chance to check it out. Yay for girl dates and babysitting husbands!

Formerly La Caille on the Bow, Q Haute is located in the Eau Claire area, right beside the Bow River. There is some parking around the restaurant building, underground parking (for a fee) across the street, and ample street parking around the area. When you walk in the entrance of what looks like a huge house, you walk up a flight of stairs to the second floor where the host staff are waiting to take your coat and lead you to your table. I’m sure the view is very serene but as it’s the dead of winter right now and the sun sets before 5pm, one can’t see much out the windows during dinner.

The interior of the restaurant is a mix of modern and antique – white walls, white modern chandeliers, and dark wood antique-y furniture. Though I’m a big fan of mixing styles, I felt that they should have stuck to one idea or the other – but hey, I’m no interior designer.

The voucher was for a 4 course dinner for two. It was nothing like the menu on the Costco site and that was just fine by me. Continue reading…

Up to 4x Points @ Sephora’s Summer Surge: TREAT Yourself

Sephora Summer Surge August 4-10, 2014 | VIB Rouge 4x VIB 3x Beauty Insider 2x Points| 5 Ways to Treat Yourself | Pamper Splurge makeup cosmetics skincare | Joelle Chan make-up artist Calgary Canada

This week, from Monday, August 04 – Sunday, August 10, 2014, Sephora is giving VIB Rouge junkies 4x the points on all their Sephora purchases, VIB addicts 3x the points, and Beauty Insiders 2x the points ONLINE and IN-STORE.

This is the last post of a 4 part series about what to buy during Sephora’s Summer Surge event that earns you up to 4x the points on all your purchases. Click here to read my other articles: 5 Last Minute Travel Shortcuts, 5+1 Back to School Basics, and 6 Best Makeup for Fall 2014.

Earning more points at Sephora gets you more deluxe sized samples, which is obviously amazing because you get to try a whole bunch of stuff before you decide to purchase! And samples make for fantastic weekend travel sizes. These are the 5 Makeup Splurges I have my eye on and I’ll tell you why: Continue reading…

Up to 4x Points @ Sephora’s Summer Surge: FALL 2014 Makeup

Fall Winter 2014 Makeup Beauty Trends | Lilac Eye Graphic Liner Clumpy Lashes Gold Grey Metallic Colour Pop | Sephora Canada Summer Surge event August 06 2014 nation wide | Beauty Insiders 2x Points VIB 3x Points | Top Fall 2014 Makeup | Sephora exclusive online-only | Swag Gift with purchase bag | Joelle Chan makeup-artist Calgary Canada

This week, from Monday, August 04 – Sunday, August 10, 2014, Sephora is giving VIB Rouge junkies 4x the points on all their Sephora purchases, VIB addicts 3x the points, and Beauty Insiders 2x the points ONLINE and IN-STORE.

As much as I don’t want summer to end, there’s something so darn irresistible about Fall/Autumn. I’m not even talking about the leaves turning colour, though that’s beautiful too. There’s something about Fall fabrics and makeup that I freaking love. The temperature dips a bit and suddenly you’re wrapping yourself up in these luxurious textures and spending more time primping in the mirror. You just feel GRAND.

Checking out Fall/Winter backstage makeup is always fun – unlike Spring/Summer where the makeup is a lot about fresh, natural and glowy, F/W always promises a bit of drama. This year it’s all about your eyes: pops of colour, metallics, and graphic lines. Nail art isn’t going anywhere, but nudes are going to be very popular (lucky me!), along with gold and grey metallics. Lips took a bit of a back seat this time around, with shades also on the natural fleshy side. Scroll down for the 6 Best Makeup to get you excited for Fall: Continue reading…

Up to 4x Points @ Sephora’s Summer Surge: 5+1 BACK to SCHOOL BASICS

Sephora Canada VIB ROUGE 4x Points Summer Surge event August 06 2014 nation wide Canada | Beauty Insiders 2x Points VIB 3x Points | Back to School makeup & skincare |Josie Maran Tweezerman Jack Black Butter London Boscia | Sephora exclusive online-only | Joelle Chan makeup-artist Calgary Canada

This week, from Monday, August 04 – Sunday, August 10, 2014, Sephora is giving VIB Rouge junkies 4x the points on all their Sephora purchases, VIB addicts 3x the points, and Beauty Insiders 2x the points ONLINE and IN-STORE.

Experimenting with skincare and make-up tends to start around middle-high school, and the first day of school is when you want to look your best, whether you’re going back to the same school or starting at a new one. Arduous hours and lengthy text conversations are spent trying to pick an outfit + makeup + hair that makes you look a little more grown up and collected, and doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard. My mom always told me from when I was in junior high that when one starts to wear makeup, don’t skimp on quality, even though it’s more money. Always choose makeup and skincare products that perform. That has stayed with me to this day.
So if you’re a teen going into high school, a young adult going into college, or a mom going shopping with her tween, make smart choices when purchasing products that go on your skin. Pick quality, not quantity.

Alright, enough with the lecture (har har)! Here are my top picks for… Continue reading…

Sephora Summer Surge: 5 LAST MINUTE TRAVEL SHORTCUTS

Sephora Canada VIB ROUGE 4x Points event August 06 2014 nation wide | Beauty Insiders 2x Points VIB 3x Points | Best Travel kits | Sephora exclusive online-only | Swag Gift with purchase bag | Joelle Chan makeup-artist Calgary Canada

I know I know, it’s the long weekend and all you wanna do is hang around the great outdoors and enjoy the sunshine before the days get short and the mercury starts to sink. Who wants to think about shopping?? I DO – and I’ll bet a whole lotta you wanna as well when Sephora is practically throwing free points at you!

This week, from Monday, August 04 – Sunday, August 10, 2014, Sephora is giving VIB Rouge junkies 4x the points on all their Sephora purchases, VIB addicts 3x the points, and Beauty Insiders 2x the points ONLINE and IN-STORE.

So what’s the big deal? Continue reading…