#MAKEUPMONDAY: Charlotte Tilbury Skincare and Makeup Line

Charlotte Tilbury

Happy Monday! I’m excited to announce the first post of my new series on Style By Mana, #MAKEUPMONDAY. These posts will provide my reviews on new beauty products, as well as rundowns on my must-have favourites. Although makeup will be the primary focus, from time to time I will also include the whole gamut when it comes to beauty, including skincare and hair products. As a bonafide beauty junkie, I’m looking forward to sharing my honest feedback with you all, as well as any industry secrets I discover along the way! And who doesn’t love knowing which products are worth buying? I know I don’t! So without further ado, I present my first review…Charlotte Tilbury’s line of makeup and skincare, which launched today at Holt Renfrew Vancouver.

Charlotte Tilbury

You may not recognize Charlotte Tilbury immediately by name, but I guarantee that you’ve seen at least one of the numerous magazine spreads she’s worked on, or know of one of the many celebrities she’s done up in her over 20 years in the makeup industry. From Giselle Bundchen to Jennifer Lopez to Kate Moss to Penelope Cruz, the list of iconic faces that Charlotte has beautified is really endless. She also was a creative consultant for Armani’s line of makeup, which we all know is now quite coveted. So, it makes perfect sense that after that type of resume, it would only be a matter of time before Charlotte would launch her own line of makeup. And what a line it is!! I had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte last spring in Toronto, when she held a private media meet and greet to introduce us to her line.

Charlotte Tilbury

*Fiery redhead Charlotte Tilbury posing with one of her many muses.

The first thing you’ll notice about Charlotte Tilbury is the beautiful packaging it comes in, all done in pink or burgundy casing with rose gold metallic accents. There’s a lot of attention to detail here…the skincare is meticulously wrapped, with easy-to-follow instructions on the application. You might be thinking why the packaging is even worth a mention but it is, Charlotte Tilbury is a luxury beauty line, so there’s a level of care that is expected with this price point. Plus if you’re like me, you display your makeup in your bathroom or perhaps in clear plastic beauty drawers, and it’s a nice touch when the product looks as good on the outside as what’s inside.

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Charlotte Tilbury

Rather than review every product in detail and bore you with an entire novel of reading, I want to highlight my standout favourites that have made Charlotte Tilbury my new favourite beauty line. Firstly, Charlotte’s Magic Cream, which is designed to transform tired and dull skin, best worn under makeup. This stuff really is magic in a bottle people, from it’s luxurious texture to its beautiful scent…I loved slathering it on as a prep before applying my makeup in the morning. The Magic Cream gets soaked up right away, so it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your face, which during the summer months is the last thing we want before putting on our foundation. Charlotte came up with the idea of the cream when working with fashion models. Early morning shoots had the models arriving with less than stellar complexion, so Charlotte wanted to create a cream that could boost collagen and give a supple look to the skin in a flash. Mission accomplished.

Charlotte Tilbury

The only downside is that with its hefty price tag, you MUST be conservative with your use. You don’t really need more than about a dime-size amount to cover your face, but I can easily see how using a lot more can be addictive. My solution to that? Only use the Magic Cream in the morning before makeup application (which was its original purpose), and then use your favourite moisturizer at night before bed. Now on to makeup!

Charlotte Tilbury

As the staple of her collection, Charlotte Tilbury designed 10 colour-coded looks inspired by her favourite past and modern beauty icons. Each look has coordinated eye palettes, cheek colours and lip products, but every item can also be purchased individually. The look I chose is “The Dolce Vita”, which Charlotte explained as being inspired by exotic beauties like Sophia Loren or Penelope Cruz…a woman with killer curves, who’s both feminine and confident. SOLD!!

Charlotte Tilbury

You can tell that all the products in her makeup line have been designed with makeup artistry in mind. Not to say that you have to be an expert to apply them, but rather than have immediate jarring deep pigments, Charlotte Tilbury is meant to be layered on for intensity, going on first subtly then building colour as you blend. This is fantastic if you just want to wear a light shade of eye shadow in the day, and then smoke it out for the evening. I absolutely love the eye palettes that have four different shades marked as 1. Prime, 2. Enhance, 3. Smoke, and 4. Pop. The texture is silky and the colours go on beautifully, with just a hint of shimmer. If you’re weary of how to apply eye makeup, I also love how you can watch guided how-to videos led by Charlotte herself on her website. That goes for the majority of the looks in her line, which really takes the guesswork out for women.

Charlotte Tilbury

My next favourites would have to be the irresistible K.I.S.S.I.N.G Fallen from the Lipstick Tree Lipstick (here in “Penelope Pink”) and her Lip Lustre Lip Lacquer (in “Seduction”). Soooooooooooo amazing, I literally cannot gush more about how amazeballs these two are. I actually don’t love wearing lipstick, as I find it often gets on my teeth and I hate the taste. But this is something else, so soft, so beautiful, so creamy, and the lip lacquer is the perfect finishing touch of sheen. GAH! I am in love.

I am not going to lie to you, Charlotte Tilbury is pricey, BUT it’s worth it if you’d like to splurge on gorgeous quality beauty products that have been designed by an industry leader who definitely knows her stuff. As an introduction to the line, perhaps start slow, I recommend purchasing any one of the products I mentioned as my favourites as a good starter. But, it will only be a matter of time before you’re hooked.

*All product photos by Mana Mansour

It’s Been Awhile…A Style By Mana Update!

StylebyMana returnsHello my dear Style By Mana readers!

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?? Apologies for the radio silence, will you forgive me? I hope so… because I have lots to fill you in on. This past year has been quite the eventful one. Exciting life and career changes, primarily my big move last fall to Toronto to become the new Associate Producer on CBC’s Steven and Chris (more on that in a minute), paired with an immense lack of time to update this little online space of mine, resulted in a longer-than-planned hiatus. Thank you however for still visiting, still sharing, and still emailing me your wonderful questions and feedback. I created Style By Mana as a resource for everything lifestyle: the best fashion tips, must-have home decor, my favourite beauty products etc…a playground for me to share what I love, while also imparting my advice. The time away has given me a chance to recharge, to get re-inspired and to plan a whole new series of content for you, which you will begin to see in the coming weeks!

A lot of the new content you’ll see will be inspired by my work on CBC’s Steven and Chris. As both a lifestyle producer and on-air fashion contributor this past season, I was given an amazing opportunity to be creative, working alongside an immensely talented team to produce segments that helped viewers improve their lives through their personal style, their homes and their health.

Steven and Chris with Mana Mansour

Steven and Chris with Mana Mansour Steven and Chris with Mana Mansour

*The photo above was taken for my 2015 bridal trends segment, one of my favourites, catch it here.

While we wait for a new and exciting season of Steven and Chris, I will be continuing those conversations that started on-air, and provide you with similar content, but with Style By Mana twist of course.

I thank you for your continued readership and look forward to hearing what you think!

xo Mana

Meet Lise Watier’s Jessica Kruger, Canada’s First Quadriplegic Beauty Ambassador + Product Giveaway

Lise Watier Beauty Ambassador Jessica Kruger

Lise Watier beauty ambassador Jessica Kruger in the print campaign for the line’s fragrance, Something Sweet.

 

There are certain members of our community that are an inspiration to many, including myself. Coquitlam, BC’s Jessica Kruger is one of them.

Last year, the 21-year old quadriplegic won a nation-wide competition to be the face of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet perfume. After a friend encouraged Jessica to enter the competition, community support and online voting got her to the top 5, but it was when she impressed the judges with her enthusiasm, positive energy and eloquence at Lise Watier’s Montreal headquarters that she won the coveted title.

I was first introduced to Jessica’s story while I was reporting for Global BC. She was in studio doing an interview to promote her campaign to win the Lise Watier competition and I remember how poised, determined and positive she was, especially when sharing her journey. When Jessica was 15, she fainted and fell from a ladder while painting a house for a summer job. As a result, she fractured four neck vertebrae, which deprived her from having full use of her arms and legs. Since then, Jessica has learned to accept her condition and lives her life to the fullest including becoming the youngest female wheelchair rugby player in Canada, all while finishing her undergraduate studies at SFU. She also speaks on behalf of Worksafe BC and the Rick Hansen Foundation. Now she can add beauty ambassador to that impressive list!

I recently had a chance to chat with Jessica during the London Drugs launch of the Something Sweet fragrance, and I left feeling so inspired, not only by what she has had to overcome but also by what she’s trying to instill in others. Here are some of the highlights from our interview:

Lise Watier Beauty Ambassador Jessica Kruger

Jessica Kruger and I at the London Drugs launch of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet fragrance.

 

How does it feel to come this far?

It’s kinda hard to describe the feeling, I’ve kept saying it’s going to sink in and suddenly I’d able to tell you how it feels but it still hasn’t sunk in. Obviously it’s been an incredibly humbling journey to get to this point, and just realizing all the support that I had behind me to get me to this point has been incredibly exciting.

Let’s go back to when you first started your journey to become the face of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet fragrance, why was it so important for you to enter this contest?

Obviously the big thing with this contest was that they were looking for a model, and when people think of “model” they don’t think of someone with a disability. Just entering it took a lot of courage on my part because I didn’t expect people to be behind me like they were, and then once I realized I had that support, it became this opportunity to educate people about what people with disabilities are capable of…what the definition of beauty is capable of being. It doesn’t have to be the stick-thin model that we’ve traditionally looked at, it CAN be somebody with a disability or people of different sizes- it’s the next step.

What are some of the misconceptions you’d like people to know about people living with a disability?

The biggest thing for me is that when people look at someone with a disability, they see them as less-than or incapable. For myself at least, I can do anything anybody else can do, just in a slightly different way. I don’t need people to look down on me, I don’t need their pity. I just want them to see me for myself. I want them to see that people with disabilities are just as capable as anyone else.

You’ve had a whirlwind adventure this year as Lise Watier’s beauty ambassador, from getting glammed up for photo-shoots to traveling across the country speaking to fans and the media. What are your favourite Lise Watier beauty staples to get you camera-ready? 

Something Sweet perfume of course! I love the smell, it’s so pretty and feminine and it’s the perfect start to getting glammed up. I have also fallen in love with Lise Watier’s Eden Tropical Eyeshadow palette from the Summer 2014 collection. It’s the perfect combination of neutrals as well as bright colours for my eyes. Plus I love the shimmer the colours have, perfect for summer!

You’ve already become such a great role model for so many women and girls as Lise Watier’s beauty ambassador, what’s the next goal you’d like to conquer?

I don’t know where life is going to take me but I am one of those people that say yes to any opportunity that comes to my door.  I am hoping that I can continue to say yes. I really didn’t believe that people were ready for someone with a disability to be seen as a model but I was completely wrong. It’s all those people who voted for me who got me into the top 5, it’s Lise Watier, a major cosmetic company who believed in me that all gave me this opportunity, and now I can spread the message that beauty has so many definitions.

GIVEAWAY CONTEST

Now for the even more exciting part! I’ve partnered with London Drugs to give you a chance to win Jessica’s favourite Lise Watier beauty staples.

Lise Watier

Lise Watier’s Something Sweet Perfume and the Eden Tropical Eye Shadow Palette from Lise Watier’s Summer 2014 collection.

 

To enter to win a bottle of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet perfume and the Eden Tropical Eye Shadow Palette from Lise Watier’s Summer 2014 collection, do all of the following:

  1. Follow @StyleByMana on Twitter
  2. Retweet the following on Twitter: 

The inspiring story of @lisewatier #beauty ambassador Jessica Kruger & how to win her fav products via @stylebymana ow.ly/ymA2c

Contest closes on Thursday, June 26 at 11:59 pm. 1 winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Lise Watier Beauty Ambassador Jessica Kruger

Lise Watier’s full line of cosmetics and skincare can be found at London Drugs. Be sure to also pop in to see what’s in store!

Current Favourites: Vancouver Beauty Spots

What gal (or guy for that matter) doesn’t love getting pampered once in a while? Be it massages, pedicures, or facials, nothing beats getting some tender love and care at the spa, while also getting beautified. But choosing where to go can sometimes be a challenge, considering it’s an investment of both time and money. I am always on the hunt for the next best place when it comes to beauty care in Vancouver, and these two spots have recently won me over, and I guarantee they will for you too.

1. 4 Angels Beauty Care – 1342 Burrard Street

4 Angels Beauty Care

Brow threading services at 4 Angels Beauty Care.

 

If gorgeous Bollywood brows a la Aishwarya Rai is what you’re after, then a visit to Vancouver’s 4 Angels Beauty Care is in order. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it downtown gem at the base of Burrard Street (before the bridge) is co-owned by Navkiran “Kiran” Sokhi and Kulwinder Malhi, who have well over 15 years of esthetician experience between them. I always say how South Asian women always have the best brows, and Kiran and Kulwinder definitely bring their South Asian roots with traditional brow threading to their business. Plus they both have great brows themselves, which to me, is a good indicator of the level of expertise.

4 Angels Beauty Care

4 Angels Beauty Care co-owners Navkiran “Kiran” Sokhi and Kulwinder Malhi.

 

I had their divine brow treatment, and I was almost shocked at how good my brows looked afterwards. Kulwinder first went over exactly what she was going to do, along with tips on how to grow out my brows to eventually achieve the look I want. No surprises here, she threaded exactly what she said she would, and finished it off with some brow makeup (from their own in-house brand of makeup the ladies designed themselves). Every brow service includes a brow massage, but it was too tempting not to throw in an arm and hand massage as well, which was a relaxing way to end my visit at 4 Angels. They also offer a range of back massages, head massages, waxing and facials for those looking for a full-service visit. And gentlemen, there’s threading services for you too.

4 Angels Beauty Care

4 Angel Beauty Care’s Bollywood-inspired interiors.

 

My only negative is the extra time needed to get there and find parking, due to the current construction mess on the Burrard Bridge. But once inside, the level of service and attention at 4 Angels Beauty Care makes it all worth it.

2. Bare Wax Bar – 1828 W. 1st Ave.

Bare Wax Bar

Kitsilano’s Bare Wax Bar.

 

My Kitsilano neighbourhood is full of good-looking, fit people. I see them at the beach, getting coffee at 49th Parallel, or walking their dogs at the park near my apartment. You know what I’ve discovered these people have in common other than their yoga memberships? They all have a good wax place, and for many of them it’s Bare Wax Bar in Kitsilano. After hearing good things about Bare, I had to visit them myself, and was impressed by the down-to-earth vibe owner Kimmy has created, along with the affordable prices of their services, which includes waxing for BOTH men and women, threading, lash services and Dermalogica facials.

Bare Wax Bar

Bare Wax Bar’s founder and owner Kimmy.

 

I love how they breakdown all the different waxing services in a playful way, so you don’t feel embarrassed asking for what you need in your most intimate regions. Plus their chic, modern décor is also a bonus. For my last visit, I tried their facial from their esthetician Samantha. Samantha made sure I was comfortable and adhered the service to my specific needs, especially the massage portion, which I often find lacks the pressure I like. I may be only five feet but I am not a wimp, and Samantha understood that perfectly. So whether it’s your face or fuzz that needs some attention, Bare Wax Bar has got you covered.

What’s In My Makeup Bag?

I do my own makeup for all my on-air television work (excluding the few occasions when I feature a makeup artist), and before I went to journalism school, I also did all my own makeup for my performances in the theatre.  So I’ve definitely had my fair share of experiences with different products over the years. Many of my colleagues, friends or even viewers often ask me what I use, and other than eyeshadow and lip colour, for the most part, when I find something that works I’m pretty loyal. Here are my top tried-and-true favourites that have stayed consistent in my makeup bag.

makeupbag

Mana’s Makeup Bag Essentials

 From left to right:

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara– When I originally came across Benefit’s line of makeup in the early 2000’s, I fell in love with their Bad Girl Lash mascara. Back then the California-based line was not available in Canada, so I remember buying tubes and tubes of Bad Girl Lash on trips to LA to smuggle back with me. But Bad Girl Lash was immediately replaced with Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara after I bought a tube of it on a whim at Sephora last year (reading the hype around the product may have also played into it). This mascara is a godsend! Its rubber applicator perfectly separates and lengthens my lashes, which is what I look for the most in a mascara (a lot of mascaras tend to make my thick lashes look clumpy). Plus, the formula lasts until the very end of your three-month rotation, which is appreciated considering its $29 price tag.

Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer– I don’t like bronzers that have too much shimmer, as I think it looks too fake and “done up” for everyday. This bronzer is great in that it has very little shimmer, giving you a more natural look when applied. It’s also velvety soft due to the mineral powder composition, and thanks to it being oil-, talc, and fragrance-free, it doesn’t break me out either. The cute snake-embossed leather case is a fun bonus.

NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker– I had been looking for a good liquid liner for years that could give me a straight cat-eye despite my shaky hands. You would think after all these years I would be a pro, but liquid liner is still my Achilles heel when it comes to makeup application. Enter NYX’s super easy-to-apply, super thin, super black, super long-lasting liquid liner. It operates like a felt marker, the harder you push down, the more ink comes out, which allows you to control the amount of liner on your eye. NYX products are currently sold at London Drugs, and they were originally designed for high-definition cameras, hence it’s lasting power and deep pigments.

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation– I am not one to wear liquid foundation layered with pressed powder, especially for everyday. It feels super heavy on my skin, and as I have a tendency to break out, I prefer to use the least amount of products to give me the coverage I need. I have been using MAC’s Studio Fix since I was sixteen years old because it just works so well with my combination skin. It has amazing coverage, and you can wear either very little by dusting it on with a brush, or a lot if needed by using a sponge applicator. Best of both words!

MAC Powder Blush– This blush (my colour is Desert Rose) comes in a wide array of colours and has good pigment without giving you a clown face. It also lasts for a really long time, despite its small case. There are many good blushes out there, but this one, again, works well with my combination skin, and layers well on top of the MAC Studio Fix.

Almay Intense i-colour Kit– This trio of powdered eye shadows has been set up to make it super duper easy to create a basic smoky eye. Almay has taken the guesswork out of it by even providing simple step-by-step instructions on the back of the eyeshadow kit (with a diagram) on how and where to use each colour. As a wearer of contact lenses, I love Almay’s products because they are designed for sensitive eyes. Also, as a drugstore brand (I buy mine at London Drugs), these kits are at a very affordable price point, and come in many combinations designed for different eye colours (brown, hazel, green, and blue).

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer– If you never want to see your eye shadow crease on your eyelid then buy this primer. It goes on your lid before applying eyeshadow, and keeps it perfectly in place for the whole day. I am obsessed with this primer and have been using it for 6 years now. The cherry on top is that this little tube lasts for almost an entire year (and that’s with almost daily use). FYI, Kitsilano’s Beauty Bar carries a huge stock of Too Faced, often with items that are sold out at other retailers.

Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss– This is a shiny lipgloss without the sparkle that’s great on it’s own, or when layered on lipstick or lip pencil. I also like how it doesn’t have that sticky gross consistency that may fend off kisses. My colour is Natural Look but there are 22 other shades to choose from.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35– As I mentioned before, I am all about efficiency when it comes to my coverage routine. This concealer takes away my dark circles and blemish spots, while providing me great SPF coverage and a breakout free face (I don’t wear sunscreen on my under eye area as my skin there is very sensitive and prone to milia breakouts). I use it under my Studio Fix when I need extra coverage, otherwise I just set it with some translucent pressed powder.

Clinque Chubby Stick Intense– This moisturizing lip colour balm looks like a big crayon, but can be turned open like a lipstick, so there’s no need to use a pencil sharpener. This product is more like a tinted chapstick to me, so it gives me the moisturizing I need, along with a fun shade (remember the efficiency!!). This colour is Chunkiest Chili and is great under nude lipgloss when you want to make your lips pop (especially on-camera), but it’s also quite pretty on it’s own.

There you have it, my favourite makeup products! Although I am pretty loyal to my favourites, you never know, these may change the next time I discover the next fabulous product. What are your top favourites that you can’t live without?