Category Archives: Beauty

New spring beauty editorial for Ellements Magazine

Photography by Allana Wesley White

Hair and makeup by Marjo-riitta

Ellements Magazine

Summer’s most coveted makeup collection by Charlotte Tilbury with Norman Parkinson


Makeup artist to the stars, and a star herself, Charlotte Tilbury has collaborated with legendary photographer Norman Parkinson in creating this summer’s most coveted collection of makeup. I have a collection of vintage fashion magazines from the 50’s and 60’s filled with iconic images from Norman Parkinson and the compacts and cosmetic pouches with his images are treasures in themselves.  There are two gorgeous collections, “Miss 1975” and “Miss Kensington”,   my personal favorite, which is described as “haughty but naughty girls of the swinging sixties”.  Well, really, who doesn’t want to look like a youthful, fresh, sensual beauty from the era made famous by the likes of Audrey Hepburn?  These particular colors can go from glowing to glamorous by adding more product, depending on the occasion.  I know I will not be able to resist these pretty compacts and long after they are used up, they will have a treasured spot on my vanity.

Model Photography by Allana Wesley White

Summer’s prettiest hair


Soft, feminine hair is perfect for summer, showing off shoulders and neck, and keeping you cool at the same time.  Colleen Stone, hair and makeup artist for Blush and Beyond created these styles in our recent beauty editorial.  We began with a neat french braid that left our model’s hair with waves when we took it down.  After removing the french braid, she held the waves with just a bit of hair spray to help maintain their shape.  Next she gave our model a faux bob by pinning the hair up and underneath to create the illusion of shorter hair, showing off the model’s heart-shaped face.  Finally, she put the hair in a loose bun, pulling little pieces out to give it a soft, unfussy romantic look.  These looks go from office, to brunch, to evenings out.  Let your girly side free and try some of these looks for yourself.   The best part is, these looks are not meant to be perfect, only perfectly undone.

Photography by Allana Wesley White

Hair and makeup by Colleen Stone

Styling by Pamela Sarmiento

The top two makeup trends for summer:


This summer’s two best makeup looks are both classics with an updated twist.  Makeup artist Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond created these two looks on our recent editorial beauty shoot with Elite model MacKenzie.

Colleen let MacKenzie’s freckles shine through and simply evened out her skin tone with a light BB cream, followed by a bright matte fuchsia lip using Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say Never and black mascara for a look that really plays up her light eyes.

For the smokey-eye, Colleen used Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock’n’Kohl Eye Liner Pencil in Barbarella Brown that she blended and softened with a brush, and for the perfect nude lip, she used Bite Beauty’s Lip Pencil in Madeira.

Both looks are super easy and quick, and quite perfect for all your summer activities, whether you need to look polished and professional, fashionable and fresh, or sultry, so give yourself three makeup minutes and put your best face forward.

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography

Makeup and hair by Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond


Body buffed and pedi-ready with Spongellé

Skin that glows is essential for summer, and getting that glow can actually be a treat.  I will be  pampering myself with the new and innovative Spongellé Body Wash Infused Buffers for both the body and feet, which are infused with gentle cleansers and moisturizers to exfoliate and refresh your skin in the shower.  The luxurious, adorable body buffer is shaped like a daisy complete with ribbon on top to hang it in your shower.  I was offered one scented with exotic extracts of papaya and yuzu which is fresh, sweet and completely addicting, along with the beach grass-scented pedi-buffer that really gets the job done, leaving the feet pedi-ready.

I can’t wait to try the rest of the scents which include Ginger Bergamot, Bulgarian Rose, French Lavender and Coconut Verbena, and the Mandarin Mint pedi-buffer.  What a great treat for summer!

Shop for Spongellé here, and check out their lovely instagram feed at Beyond Cleansing

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography

Instagram AllanaWesleyWhitePhotography

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Travel-sized beauty treats to go:

Going on a last minute short summer get-away?  No need to pack a heavy kit full of all your beauty products.  This is the perfect opportunity to take along the great little samples that you collect throughout the year.  I keep them in cute little pouches collected on other travels,  all ready for me to choose the appropriate ones for my next trip.

This weekend’s treats include sheet masks from Balea that I stock up on whenever I am home in Canada:  Reviving Face Mask with Red Wine Extract and Vitamin C, and Collagen Face Mask with Green Tea Extract.  Skincare samples include Murad Renewing Eye Cream, and La Roche-Posay Mela D Pigment Control Serum.  Don’t forget sunscreen: Tarteguard SPF 30 by Tarte Cosmetics, and Benefit Big Easy Liquid to Powder Foundation with SPF 35.   Small fragrance samples like this delicious Coach Poppy Flower is light and fresh, and perfect for summer.

Bon voyage!

Pretty Pout: Plum-perfect for summer


Summer should be laid-back and easy, right?  That should include makeup and hair styling short-cuts, which means more time to relax and enjoy life and less time fussing in front of the mirror.  I actually like my own lip color and have never been one of those women who will not let anyone ever see them without a full-on lipstick, perfectly placed even without a mirror, the result of many years of applying it on the fly.  I also don’t like glosses that won’t stay in place and end up on my face in areas other than right on my lips, or catch my hair and leaving a shiny streak on my cheek.

No one should look like they are trying too hard in summer, so I am using thick, sheer lip pencil sticks that are neither sticky, overly pigmented, or colorful.  These two shades are both quite close to my own lip color and go on easily and without the need of a lip liner.  They are one step up from a lip balm but with slightly more color which fits perfectly with just about anything you want to wear all summer long, either to work or play, and adds just enough polish.

Bonus: natural plum shades show off a complexion that needs only a BB or CC cream and a swipe of mascara to finish off a perfectly fresh summer look.

My choices:

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien at Sephora

Clinique Chubby Stick in 14 Curvy Candy at Sephora


SOS for thinning hair: Pura D’Or Argan Oil Organic Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I have always had fine hair but I used to have a lot more of it.  For the past five years my hair has become much thinner and preventing further hair loss has been high on my list of priorities when choosing hair care products.  Whenever possible, I use natural, organic products and I was excited to be given Pura D’Or Argan Oil Shampoo and Lavender Vanilla Conditioner duo to review.  The shampoo has 12 DHT blockers which helps to prevent further hair loss and argan oil to give shine and body to the hair.  It has a a rather medicinal fragrance to it, but it isn’t overpowering, and it doesn’t have a big lather, which is fine. The conditioner has a really pleasant fragrance of lavender and vanilla and rinses out easily.  As I mentioned, my hair is fine and thin and it is hard to get volume into it.  I felt that the shampoo and conditioner used in combination actually weighed my hair down and it stayed that way until I washed it again.  I think my friends who have wavier hair would love that, as it seems to have a smoothing effect, but for me it was hard to actually style my hair in my usual way to maximize the appearance of volume.  The product does say it is for all hair types, but since my hair is quite smooth already, the effect was super smooth but flat hair.  I am sure my friends with hair that has been processed, colored, or hair that is wavy or course but still dropping, would no doubt love Pura D’Or Organic Shampoo and Conditioner, as it is organic, contains argan oil, and is free of parabens and chemicals.

Pura D’Or Argan Oil Premium Organic Shampoo and Conditioner 

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Going somewhere warm? Beauty treats for the sun:

Vacation booked?  It is time to start thinking about a winter get-away to bring you back to your senses and let your body breathe in the sunshine and warm air.  Everyone could use a good dose of vitamin d right about now and chasing the winter blues away is a priority.  Prepare your skin with Bamford’s Botanic Sugar Body Polish with its brown sugar, sea salt, and olive, sesame and almond kernel oils.

Prepare to be sunny-side-up with La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios  Sunscreen in SPF 50 for broad-spectrum coverage.  Newly exfoliated skin is extra-sensitive to the sun so don’t forget to reapply. Scorched skin and funky tan lines are not a good fashion statement in anyone’s books.

Celebrity makeup artist to the stars Charlotte Tilbury knows a thing or two about supermodels in swimwear and she has created Supermodel Body Cream to make limbs glow and appear firmer.  If it works for the glamazons on the runway then it is bound to make the rest of us look a little more radiant pool-side.

Extend your glow all the way to your hair with Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Oil  formulated with jasmine, lychee, sandalwood, cassis, bergamot, and edelweiss flower, which can be applied to wet or dry hair.  What could be easier and say “winter vacation” better than a sexy wet-hair look?

When the sun goes down maintain your sheen with Soleil Toujours Luxe Après Soleil Exotic Shimmer Body Oil for a lightly bronzed glow, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to restore your skin.

All products are available online at Net-A-Porter.

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography


Love your curls, girls!

I love curly hair! Big, curly, wild, natural hair!  As a photographer working with magazine editors and art directors for brands, I have noticed an upswing in casting models with afros and curls and I couldn’t be happier about it.  It represents a beauty esthetic based on being yourself,     being natural, and being comfortable in your own skin, all things I think are so important in the message my photography puts out there.  It isn’t about being inclusive, but more about loving all the things that make us different and unique.  I am over cookie-cutter beauty and I know most people feel the same way.  The model above is Jazzy and she is the perfect example of a young teenager rocking her curls.  Her hair frames her face and gorgeous eyes, and makes her stand out, which for a model is critical.  Her hair is becoming part of her trademark and getting her noticed in the competitive modeling industry.   And the best part?  She doesn’t want to look different or like anyone else.  She wants to be Jazzy and show off her natural beauty in all it’s glory.  That’s pretty amazing in a teenager who is bombarded with images of straight-haired models of all ethnicities, and her pride in being herself is so refreshing.

Natural hair shouldn’t just be a trend, but a viable option for everyone who doesn’t want to be a slave to chemical straighteners, flat irons or frequent blow outs.  Consider the damage these chemical processes and appliances do to hair, not to mention how time consuming it can be. Often models with curly hair will arrive on set with their hair straight, lifeless, flat, and damaged. The hair stylist has to make the hair look amazing which often means adding in extensions.  No one, from the hair stylist, to the model or to the client, is happy to spend time and money on making the model’s hair look right for the shoot.  When the above model, Tiffany arrived on set, makeup artist and hair stylist Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond was happy to work with her beautiful, natural, healthy hair.  How could we not love the wind blowing her hair, animating the curls?  Tiffany looked confident and  comfortable and knew exactly how to work her hair in front of the camera.  She didn’t fight the curls or try to tame them, but used them to show off her own special beauty.

Colleen has advice for those looking to rock their curls:  “Make sure to hydrate your curls well with a hair moisturizing product and let them air dry after washing.  Use a small curling iron to define a few of the face-framing curls when the hair is dry to show off the texture.”

I often work with little kids for catalogues and brands, and every time I get a child on set with curls, I smile.  These kids just look like they are having more fun!  They are being themselves, and they all look different and fresh.  The really young kids haven’t been influenced yet by hair trends or media, and they don’t have any hang-ups about their hair.  As they get a little bigger they start to be aware that women, and often times their moms, are straightening their own hair.   It makes them think that there is something wrong with the way nature made them and that they need to conform to be accepted.  The media has a lot to answer for in that regard and fortunately it appears that the advertising world is starting to accept that beautiful is beautiful, curly hair or straight.  So if you have a little one with adorable, wild hair, let the curls free!  Let the kids grow up without hang-ups about their hair.  And if you are blessed with amazing curls yourself – lucky you!

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography