Sephora Color IQ

Being a VIB (Very Important Beauty) member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider club not only means that I have consistently spent too much money on cosmetics at Sephora, but it also means that I am entitled to a bunch of special offers, invites, and free gifts throughout the year.

This year’s VIB membership came with a new perk: a complimentary 45-minute consultation and makeover with a make-up artist. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out some new products and get some advice on picking out and applying the right foundation, a product I’ve never really needed to wear before. But yes, apparently with old(er) age comes uneven skin tones.

Booking my appointment for the second week of February proved to be perfect timing. Days earlier, the Sephora store in the Eaton Centre had just installed the new Pantone Color IQ system and I got the chance to try it out. Let me just say, the Color IQ system is AMAZING. Amazing and free.


Sephora partnered up with Pantone to develop a hand-held machine that scans the colour of your skin to match it to a specific Pantone skin-tone colour. Once the system knows your specific skin tone, it scientifically matches you to all of the foundations, brands and formulas available at Sephora and recommends exactly which shades will match your skin.

Sasha, my makeup artist, scanned my cheek, jawline and neck for colours, and then the machine (seen above) averages the three tones to find my personal Pantone skin tone colour (2Y04).  The interface then showed me 25 of my best foundation matches in the store and the products ranged in brands, amount of coverage (from very light to heavy) and formula (powder, stick, liquid, etc.).

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New Year’s Eve Glam

Well folks, Hanukkah is drawing to a close. Tomorrow night I’ll light the 8th and final candle with my family. I realize the holidays are just gearing up for most as Christmas fast approaches, but after tomorrow I’m getting excited for New Year’s Eve!

For this year’s big night on the town, I’ve decided that I’m obsessed with everything black, gold and sparkly. The colour palette is sexy, sophisticated, easy to match and easy to find in stores this season. New Year’s is the perfect excuse to go over the top and wear something excessive, right?!

I’m not usually a fan of sequins, but they are catching my eye lately. I’m seeing lots of sequinned shorts and mini-skirts (especially hot in these cool Aztec-inspired patterns), which are perfectly paired with a basic shirt. Or you can wear your sparkle with my favorite piece of the season: leather pants.


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Never Too Early: Holiday Cosmetic Sets

As a beauty product junkie, we have entered into one of my favorite times of the year. Cosmetic companies everywhere package their best-selling products and special made-for-the-holidays lines together and price them way below full dollar value. You may wonder why I’m telling you about these holiday specials now. You see, people wait all year for these gift sets to come out, and some notoriously sell out within days. If you wait until you start your holiday shopping, you may be out of luck!  In fact, Sephora just stocked their sets last week and the Eaton Centre location is already sold out of a couple of them.

My biggest piece of advice for those looking to invest in great cosmetics is to start with good brushes. They last forever, use less product and can really help with application. The caveat is that buying a brush set is an expensive investment. Every year MAC comes out with a brush set during the holidays and they are priced well below the value of buying the brushes individually. This year there are 3 different sets, but to start your collection, this “Essentials” kit ($59.50) is perfect, since it includes a powder brush (for bronzer/blush), and the most important eye shadow brushes (for liner, blending and angled for the smoky look). Plus they come in a cute case and in mint green!

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