Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

March 17, 2013 7:57 pm

Kat Von D Lock It Foundation Swatches

We love trying new products, especially foundations, so we’re pretty excited to get our hands on the Kat Von D Lock It Foundation. Either it’s incredibly popular or it’s soon-to-be discontinued, because we had the worst luck finding it in stores. We ended up purchasing it online and are waiting in suspense for it to arrive!

A few of our fair skinned staff are pretty excited to try it out because this line apparently has an incredible range that suits a wide variety of skin tones. Here are a few of the Kat Von D Lock It Foundation swatches that convinced the QC staff to splurge!

From all the rave reviews we’ve heard, this foundation seems to be highly pigmented; excellent for those of us with acne and other less sightly skin imperfections. Take a look at this swatch from Lydia over at Cut Throat Beauty. It looks incredibly light with a rather neutral undertone; something our pale-skinned staff members say is a rare find these days!

We were curious about how well this product blended as it is clearly quite thick. We didn’t want anything that clumped up or dried cakey, so we were thrilled when we came across these Kat Von D Lock It Foundation swatches from The Beauty Professor. It looks like it will blend quite nicely without settling into fine lines or large pores. We’re also guessing it will layer well, which is a huge plus!

If you’re not quite as convinced as we are, take a quick look at this video where Kat Von D actually applies the Lock It Foundation to her own skin. It looks wonderful! If you’re worried there isn’t a shade to match your skintone, check out the entire range here. We think you’ll find one that works!

If you’ve tried the Lat Von D Lock It Foundation we’d love to know how you liked it. Leave us a comment below!


Even the most flawlessly applied foundation can be ruined if it is not set properly, which I’m sure everyone’s experienced at some point or another. Between wet and dry powders, mineral powders, and setting sprays (many that suspiciously resemble water), it can be tough to find the right solution for your skin and makeup routine.

So, if you haven’t already met, let me introduce you to MAC Fix+. This is a product I’m rather new to, but one that I instantly loved after the first use. Before I purchased it I did read many online reviews from people who used it for various things. The majority use it as a setting spray, but others also use it as a makeup base, eye shadow primer, and skin refresher for the drier months. Some even apply it to their brushes before applying makeup, as they say it results in a smoother application.

I’ve tried it a few ways, but I found it really works best when used as it was meant to be used, as a final setting spray over foundation. I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks now and I love it. It does absolute wonders in keeping my foundation in place and helping to avoid that flat, over powdered look.

The only drawback to this product is the packaging. The first few times you use it the spray comes out in a lovely fine mist. However, after a few uses I did find that it clogs up and the spray comes out in heavier globs. It then takes a quick hard burst of spray to clear it out and then you’re good to go for another few sprays. That’s not ideal as it does waste a fair amount of product, but it is the best setting spray I’ve come across so far. I’ll live with it until I come across something better, and I will definitely re-buy.

Have you happened across the perfect setting spray? We’d love to hear about it, so please share with us in a comment!


Are you a makeup novice looking to learn the fundamentals of makeup artistry? Then look no further! QC Makeup Academy is here to help you learn how to apply makeup for any occasion.

How to Apply MakeupOur courses really teach you from the ground up. We provide in depth training on the makeup environment, how to use each and every makeup brush properly and effectively, and how to maintain a sanitary practice. For example, if you’re merely looking to further your makeup knowledge for personal use there’s no need to worry about double dipping into blush or lipstick pots. However, if your goal is to work to work as a professional in the makeup field, there are some very specific sanitation guidelines you must follow.

You’ll also learn everything you need to know about facial shapes and skin tones, correctors and concealers, and how to cover up any type of imperfection you might encounter. Through hours of instructional video you’ll be taught how to apply concealing makeup on clients with acne, aging skin, and tattoos. In addition, you’ll learn the ins and outs of bridal makeup, and how to apply makeup for film and television.

Throughout both our makeup courses there is a strong emphasis on teaching students how to apply makeup to a wide variety of clientele while always maintaining a professional tone. It may not be the first thing you think of, but applying the appropriate amount of brush pressure can sometimes be the one thing that makes a client come back to you a second, third, and fourth time.

Lastly, our panel of professional tutors and outstanding student support specialists really help to seal the deal for most of our students. Each time you submit work, your tutor will take the time to look at your assignments individually. They will provide you with letter grades and audio feedback, to let you know exactly what you did well, and what might need a little improvement. If you ever have questions along the way, our well-trained and friendly Student Support Specialists are always happy and available to help.

Whatever your goals, QC Makeup Academy can help you achieve them! Click here to find out more and request a free brochure!


Do you dream of making a fruitful living as a makeup artist? If so, you’ve probably already started looking into makeup certification. Where working requirements are concerned it’s very important to do the appropriate research, as you want to ensure you’re meeting the regulations for your area. Do you need to be certified? What exactly does that mean? We know that looking for those answers can sometimes be confusing, so we thought we’d help you out!

Makeup CertificationMake-up artists are generally expected to have additional training beyond high school, though the formality of that education will depend on the regulations in the area they live in/plan to work in. Most make-up artists can receive that training through community colleges, professional schools, or certificate programs from specializing schools. Unfortunately it’s difficult to say for certain, as there are countless competing schools all over the world. You will simply need to choose the one that best suits your educational needs and goals.

So before you do anything else, find out what the regulations are (if any) for your area. It’s important to look into this first as it will help you to decide on the appropriate school and/or course. Some areas will require you to have a cosmetology license to work professionally as a makeup artist, while others will merely expect you to hold a certificate.

The difference between cosmetology courses and most certificate programs is this: cosmetology courses mostly deal with hair, skin care and nails, while only briefly going into makeup application. Most makeup certification programs run by specializing school will focus solely on the art of makeup application, providing you with in-depth training and fully preparing you to work as a professional makeup artist. Keep in mind that some regions will require you to hold a cosmetology license even if you only plan on working as a makeup artist.

Has this helped? Let us know in a comment below!

Visit QC Makeup Academy at


Spring is right around the corner, and we’ve been searching for makeup palettes in light spring hues to make the slushy transition a little more fun! Skip to Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder.

A notable one is Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Finishing Powder in Porcelain Pearl. This all-over powder contains mulberry, grape, and scutellaria extracts as well as moisture-magnet sodium hyaluronate. We’re not quite sure what moisture-magnet sodium hyaluronate is, but apparently it helps to keep skin moisturized and looking ‘fresh.’ We’ll take it!

We’ve tried this powder two ways; applied all over and as just a highlighter. It brings a subtle overall glow to the skin and doesn’t contain any over the top glitter specks like many of its kind, so it can really be used both ways. Though we do recommend that for day wear you use it more as a highlighter. Try brushing it over your temples and the tops of your cheekbones after you’ve applied blush and/or bronzer, and it will bring a soft focused glow to those areas. It will visually smooth out any imperfections, and is especially great for those mornings when you’re running late or your skin just seems to lack a little luster. Another tip; after applying your foundation and concealer run a quick stroke under tired looking eyes. It will deflect light in an oh-so-flattering way and make you look wide eyed and excited to tackle that 8a.m. meeting.

We rate it 7/10 because while we do see a big difference, we find it really does need to be layered over makeup. If you have no imperfections to hide (lucky you) than you could probably get away with wearing it alone, but for those who mainly use makeup to hide flaws, you’ll want to apply at least a BB cream first.

Have you tried this brightening powder out? Is there another brand you’re loving? Let us know in a comment!


March 13, 2013 10:01 am

Pamper Your Pores – Get Clean!

The colder months can be pretty rough on my face, and so I usually dedicate one evening each week to babying it. I usually do this every Sunday evening, and thought I’d share my little pampering ritual with you today!

First Thing’s First
I like to first soften my skin and open up my pores, so I start by steaming my face. I begin by boiling some water and placing a few drops of either lavender essential oil or some tea tree oil in it. If I’ve had a particularly rough week I’ll opt for the lavender, but if my skin is giving me grief then I’ll switch it for tea tree oil instead. I simply lower my face close to the water and cover my head with a towel. Then I sweat it out for about 5 minutes.

Wash it Away
Now that my skin is supple and damp I like to use a grainy cleanser to clear away everything that’s just been drawn out of my pores. I typically have dry skin which is aggravated by this cold weather, so I really adore Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin cleanser. This gentle moisturizing scrub contains chamomile blue oil and ground almonds, which works absolute wonders on my finicky skin.

Draw Those Imperfections Out of Hiding!
Next I rinse away the cleanser with warm water, pat my face dry, and proceed to apply a thick clay mask over my t-zone as my pores in that region are rather large. In the winter I can get away with doing a mask only once a week, but in the summer I apply it much more frequently. My favorite is the Body Shop’s Seaweed Ionic Clay mask. I leave it on until it hardens and then rinse it away with warm water.

Tone & Tighten
Now, I quickly rinse my face with cool water (this is a natural way of closing pores) and move on to apply my toner. I adore La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Toner, as it’s great for tightening pores and keeping skin matte. It leaves skin feeling smooth without the tightness associated with most toners.

Lastly I moisturize, using two different products. I first use Aveda Green Science Firming Eye Cream on my under eye area, and then slather La Roche Posay’s Effaclar H – Compensating Soothing Moisturizer over the rest of my face. The eye cream absorbs rather quickly and doesn’t leave my eye area feeling tight, and I really adore La Roche Posay’s moisturizer because it’s quite light and soothes without leaving any greasy residue. It also helps to keep imperfections at bay, which is a huge plus.

How do you relieve stressed out skin during the colder months? What are favorite products for soothing fragile dry skin?  Share with us in a comment below!



Join QC Makeup Academy today and start your career as a makeup artist! Our School has been excelling in distance education for over 25 years, and we hold our courses to the highest possible standards. We offer two professional makeup designations that are designed to fully prepare you for a successful career in the fast-paced and ever-changing makeup industry.

Jumpstart a Career as a Makeup Artist!Our Makeup Artistry course provides training in makeup for weddings, special events, advertisements, and makeover parties. Work freelance, at a salon, or at a cosmetics counter. Upon completion you will receive your designation as a Certified International Makeup Professional.

Our Master Makeup Artistry course includes all of the units in our Makeup Artistry course above, plus makeup for glamor, fantasy, photography, television, theater and more. Upon graduation from this course you will receive a professional designation as a Master International Makeup Professional. With it, you’ll be all set to tackle the television and film industry.

Whichever path you choose, we’re here to help you along the way. We really pride ourselves on the high level of student support we offer, as we are available via phone, e-mail, live chat, and student forums. Our Student Support Specialists will be there to help you throughout the entire learning process.

So enroll today! QC Makeup Academy will give you the education you need to approach any client with confidence and sure hands. Click here to find out more!


I wear lipstick pretty much every day. You can safely bet that it’s what I’m taking to any deserted island, and that there are usually at least two tubes of it on my person at any given time. Because of this my lipstick turnover rate is quite high, and I realized that I’m spending a small fortune on it! So, I decided to try and find a cheaper alternative to my high end brand favorites.

The problem is that it seems to be quite difficult to find a good matte lipstick at the drugstore. Most don’t last as long as high-end brands, contain way too much glitter for anyone’s good, and can sometimes smell a bit…strange. Or at least that was my general opinion until I happened upon Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipsticks. I now own this lipstick in two shades; #235 Warm Me Up and #365 Sugared Honey. I absolutely adore both. I could go on and on about why, so I’ve made a simple pros vs. cons list for you.


• It’s wallet friendly! I only paid about $6.00 CAD on each.
• Doesn’t settle into creases. I like to do a quick lip scrub every morning and let a light lip balm sink in for about 10 minutes before applying this lip color. It makes for a very smooth application.
• Long-Lasting Color – After I apply it in the morning before heading to work I usually only have to reapply twice a day, once after lunch time and once around mid-afternoon.
• Matte color – When applied alone it offers a lovely matte finish, and when applied over lip balm it gives a subtle sheen which I think I’ll like during the summer months.
• Wide range of color choices – If you’re like me and usually stick to just a few natural looking shades this won’t matter as much to you. But if you like to have variety, this line’s got it!
• Taste-free!

• Not as long-lasting as high-end brands. I’ll always have a soft spot for my MAC and NARS lipsticks because they have incredible staying power. But, it won’t kill me to reapply a few more times throughout the day either.
• Matte color can sometimes look a bit unnatural. That’s why I like to apply a light lip balm first, as it makes the lipstick go on a little lighter. I recently chopped off the tip of the lipstick and mixed it with a bit of Vaseline and really like the consistency.
• Contains Alumina and Aluminum Hydroxide. A lot of people are iffy on how toxic these are to ingest, and women ingest a LOT of lipstick over the course of their lives. However, this lipstick contains very low amounts of each and I’m not too worried.

Have you tried this line of Maybelline lipstick? I’m always on the hunt for great makeup deals so if you’ve come across a great drugstore find let me know in a comment below!

Image via

March 9, 2013 7:53 pm

Looking for Makeup Design Schools?

Are you looking for makeup design schools to help you break into the television and film industry? Then stop right now because you’ve found one! QC Makeup Academy offers two unique professional makeup designations; a Makeup Artistry course and a Master Makeup Artistry course.

Fashion PhotographyIf you’re looking to enter the exciting field of television and film makeup artistry, then our Master Makeup Artistry course is exactly what you need to get you there. While we of course start you off by covering the basics (sanitation practices, what each brush is used for, facial shapes, skin tones, correctors, concealers, etc), things quickly get exciting when you begin creating glamorous fantasy looks, and learn to apply makeup for fashion and catwalk photography, music videos, live events, and more.

In addition, you’ll learn every facet of makeup design for theatre, dance, and any type of live stage performance. We provide truly in depth training on character and aging skin makeup application, so you’ll be well prepared to apply makeup for TV, film, and high-definition media.

It can be tough to decide between the many different makeup design schools that are out there. Give QC Makeup Academy a call today and one our friendly Student Support Specialists will be happy to discuss our exciting courses with you. Working in the makeup industry today can be exciting but challenging as it is constantly changing. Let us tell you why we are the School to help you along your path to becoming the next big name in the media makeup industry!

Visit QC Makeup Academy today!


March 8, 2013 9:30 am

On Trend: Crimson Lips

One of this coming spring’s key makeup trends is the dark crimson lip. It’s typically a fall/winter staple but 2013 seems to be switching things up a bit, and we love it! The only drawback is that winter is still lingering and our skin’s been pretty sun deprived for the last few months. Many of the ladies in the office are shying away from the deep hue because they’re worried about looking like wannabe extras in whatever vampire flick is coming up next. Fortunately, we’ve figured out how to make it work! Read on to learn how to get crimson lips that are perfect for you.

Crimson LipsStep 1: Do a Lip Scrub
Please please please take the time to apply a quick lip scrub before even thinking about trying out this look! This will ensure that the color goes on smoothly and evenly, and you won’t have to deal with any streakiness or flaky dead skin. Yuck. You can DIY it with some white sugar and honey, or you can go with our favorite product right now – Lush’s Sweet Lips. It smells and tastes like chocolate chip cookies. Yum.

Step 2: Choose Your Hue
No matter what skin tone you have, if it hasn’t seen the sun in a while and you’re not an avid fake tanner, you’re complexion – like ours – may be lacking its usual luster this time of year. In this case we suggest opting for a lighter berry shade, as it won’t completely overwhelm your look. A stain will do nicely, as it offers shearer coverage, and extra layers can be added until the desired richness is reached. We love Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush. It suits a wide range of skin tones and while the color is lasting, it layers very well. It’s also very moisturizing for lips that have had a rough go in the winter months.

Step 3: Determine Your Lip Shape
Another thing to take into consideration is your lip shape. If you have fuller lips you won’t have any problems, but if they’re on the thinner side you’ll want to opt for a lighter shade. Going dark will just make your lips look smaller, and that’s the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve! Start by lining your lips just slightly outside of your natural lip line, as this will give the illusion of a fuller pout. Then fill it all in with your crimson shade of choice. Give NARS Gloss Lip Pencil in Club Mix a try. It’s more of a gloss, which will reflect light and add the illusion of some fullness. It’s super flattering on olive complexions but it’s sheerness works for fair skin as well.

Step 4: Get Your Flush On!
We also want to stress how important it is to add some color to your cheeks, as it will really help to balance this dramatic look out. You’ll want to keep it subtle though, so be sure to choose a shear product and apply it with a light hand. A blush we’re loving right now is the drugstore brand N.Y.C’s Cheek Glow Blush in Westside Wine.

Et voila! Now go take that chic crimson pucker out on the town! Have you found the perfect crimson hue? Share it with us in a comment!