Cosmetics & Perfumes

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Cosmetics are a woman’s best weapon to enhance facial features and cover up any imperfections. But with all the cosmetic products in the market, it can be overwhelming to know what to choose.

Picking the right makeup palette to complement your complexion is a whole lot easier if you know how to select and stick to a family of colours that works for your skin shade and tone. From redheads with fair skin to brunettes with dark skin, we’ve listed the best makeup colours that work with your eyes, cheeks and lips.

Whether you want to learn how to create the perfect smoky eye look or would like tips on how to contour and define the face using bronzer, we’ve put together a list of our favourite expert resources to help you in our How-To Makeup Lessons page.

Fragrances can affect us on a deeply emotional level by evoking specific memories and moods. For this reason, your signature scent should be an extension of your personality and reflective of your tastes. To guide you on choosing the right perfume for you, see our overview of the four major categories of scents, along with some tips on selecting the right one.

Just as you have different styles of clothing for different occasions, there are some tried-and-true rules for choosing fragrances that match distinct seasons and times. Learn more about perfume matching in our Tips section. 

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Picking the right makeup palette to complement your complexion is a whole lot easier if you know how to select and stick to a family of colours that works for your skin shade and tone.

Your skin shade is the surface colour of the skin, and is usually categorised as either fair, medium, olive or dark. Your skin tone (also known as undertone) on the other hand, is the warm or cool hue that shows through the surface colour of the skin. Although your skin shade can change depending on certain factors, in particular sun exposure, the skin’s undertone always remains consistent.

To determine your skin tone, a quick trick is to examine the colour of your veins in the underside of the wrist. If they show through as blue or purple, you have cool undertones. If your veins appear green or even yellowish, you have warm undertones.

Redheads with fair to medium skin

Think Nicole Kidman or Susan Sarandon. Women with this complexion steer towards earth tones like corals, salmons, browns, ambers and bronze.

  • Eyes: Choose sable or chocolate browns, toasty taupes, pale golds, peaches, light bronzes, coppers, burgundy browns, eggplants, or khaki greens.
  • Cheeks: Pick peaches, apricot pinks, or light coral shades. If you are fair with a warm skin tone, you could also try beige or tawny.
  • Lips: Go for peaches and warm pinks, sheer corals, apricots, honey-colored nudes, raisins, and gold-flecked reds.

Blondes with fair to medium skin

For blondes like Gwyneth Paltrow or Claire Danes, a range of pink shades bring colour to the face and provide contrast.

  • Eyes: Choose shades in cool browns, taupes, bronzes, granite, tawny pinks, pastels, mauves, and plums.
  • Cheeks: Roses, pinks, pinky bronzes, corals, and cool peaches all create a fresh and healthy look on blondes.
  • Lips: Think pink, mocha pinks, peachy pinks, sandy pinks, roses, mauves, golden raspberry, and cherry reds.

Brunettes with fair to medium skin

If your complexion is like Julia Roberts or Lucy Liu, rosy shades will suit you best.

  • Eyes: Play with all shades of shimmering browns, silvery taupes, mochas, golden pinks, gold, bronze, navy and sapphire blues, purples and plums, burgundies, and forest greens.
  • Cheeks: Choose rose, berries, plums, bronzes, and terracottas.
  • Lips: Wear pink or rose hues like berries, plums, mauves and golden pinks. Nudes, shimmering beiges or mochas, bronzes, sheer corals, and true reds also work. Avoid pastel colours as these will wash you out.

Brunettes with olive skin

Think Selena Gomez or Kim Kardashian. Women with olive skin have so many makeup hues to choose from, and look especially radiant in golden colours or in more vivid shades of rose and cherry.

  • Eyes: Pick caramels, toffees, coffees, chocolate browns, deep wines, navy blues, granites, golds, bronzes, emerald greens, teals, deep plums, and violets.
  • Cheeks: Look for berries, golden corals, bronzes, terracottas, deep warm pinks, and dark apricots.
  • Lips: Olive skin can choose lipsticks in warm browns, reds and pinks. Think sheer golds, beiges, coffees, caramels, toffees, bronzes, berries, plums, wines, pinks, corals, sheer raisins, and garnet reds.

Black hair and dark skin

Darker skin tones such as Halle Berry or Oprah Winfrey tend to wear soft natural tones such as nude pinks, soft browns, and corals. However, anything too light or sheer might look ashy. Women with black hair and dark skin can also pull off bold, jewel-toned colours extremely well.

  • Eyes: Darker, bolder eye-shadow is easier to wear. Choose from golds, coppers, bronzes, coffees, deep navy and cobalt, rich dark eggplant and purples, deep jewel-toned greens, slate and dark charcoal grays, metallics, ebony, and deep mahogany and chocolate browns.
  • Cheeks: Dark, cool skin tones should choose blush in shades of plums, while warm skin tones should go for burnt orange or bronze.
  • Lips: Pick sheer lip gloss in shimmery clears, golds, honeys, caramels, oranges, corals, tangerine, deep plums, bronzes, and bronzy pinks. Or choose lipsticks in sheer mahogany, blackberry, maroon, raisin, and deep red.
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Whether you want to learn how to create the perfect smoky eye look or would like tips on how to contour and define the face using bronzer, we’ve put together a list of our favourite resources to give you a hand:

  • Bobbi Brown offers a series of free step-by-step lessons that will teach you how to improve any part of your makeup regimen. From lessons on how to create well-defined eyebrows to the best techniques for applying concealer or bronzer, you’re guaranteed to achieve a professional finish. For makeup lessons go to http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.
  • Chanel’s website is another one of our makeup favourites. International Makeup Artist Lisa Eldridge shares her expertise and professional beauty tips including how to create relaxed day looks, dramatic night looks, as well as the hottest look for spring 2014. And if you like what you see, you can instantly buy the look. Find Makeup video tutorials on http://www.chanel.com)
  • Lancome USA, has a wealth of short makeup tips and tutorial videos. Either search videos by topic or by Lancome expert (including Sandy Linter and Michelle Pham) to find the information you’re after. Whatever makeup tip you’re looking for, they’re bound to have it in their extensive video library! Visit http://www.lancome-usa.com
  • Elle has a long list of articles to keep you up-to-date with all the latest make-up trends and products. If you want to stay on top of makeup looks as they come off international runways – this is the site for you. Visit http://www.elle.com
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Fragrances can affect us on a deeply emotional level by evoking specific memories and moods. For this reason, your signature scent should be an extension of your personality and reflective of your tastes. With the overwhelming choice of perfumes available, shopping for the right one can be tough. To guide you, here’s an overview of the four major categories of scents, along with some tips to help you select the right one.

Floral

This is the most popular scent family. Just like its name suggests, floral scents will evoke freshly cut flowers and are suitable for all occasions. Floral perfumes contain the scent of either one flower, such as rose or lavender, or a bouquet of several varieties. Perfumes in this category are both feminine and romantic.

Fresh

Fresh scents often include "green" notes, like fresh-cut grass, the smell of spring in the air, light citruses and airy notes. If you have an outdoorsy personality, this type of fragrance may appeal to you most.

Oriental

Oriental scents are made up of notes that are rich, bold, exotic and slightly spicy. Notes like amber and vanilla are usually present in the oriental group. Oriental fragrances lean toward the heavier side and are more sensual fragrances, ideal for nighttime wear or romantic occasions. Think warm, mysterious and sexy.

Woody

This fragrance group consists of your aromatic wood and moss notes, such as sandalwood, cedarwood, oak and bergamot. Perfumes within this category are subtle yet sophisticated. Many masculine fragrances fall into this category, given the richness of woody scents.

Tips to choose the right perfume for you

  • Consider your personality: To find your signature scent, identify the type of scent you connect with the most. Starting with a scent category you enjoy will help you narrow down your choices and consider options that suit you. If you usually wear little to no makeup and love the outdoors, opt for a fresh, clean scent rather than something spicy or musky. On the other hand, if you’re the more glamorous type of girl that loves getting dressed up, go for a bolder scent that’s richer and spicier. The idea is to choose a fragrance that best represents who you are and your outlook on life.
  • Go bare: Avoid using any scented body washes, lotions, or perfumes prior to shopping, so you can smell the scents on your skin without distraction.
  • Let it linger: All perfumes will smell very different on paper fragrance testers than they will on your skin. Make sure to test a perfume first, and wear it for a few hours to see how the scent blends with your skin over time.
  • Talk to the fragrance expert: If you know what category of scent you like, ask the fragrance expert behind the counter for assistance. They may offer some suggestions and get you started in the right direction.
  • Consider the season: Suiting your perfume to the season can also help with your choice. In general, choose lighter perfumes for warmer weather, and heavier notes for winter wear.
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Most people have a signature scent, a perfume which is reflective of your character and tastes. But just as you have different styles of clothing for different occasions, there are some tried-and-true rules for choosing fragrances that match distinct seasons and times.

Some perfumes seem ideally suited to special occasions, others to the office. Here's a quick look at the different scent families and the occasions they best match:

  • Floral scents: Floral perfumes are the most popular of all scent families as they capture a wide range of fragrances such as cherry blossom, jasmine, lavender and rose. Floral scents are subtle enough and pleasantly scented to be worn at every possible occasion, and at every moment of the day. Sophisticated and romantic floral bases are also perfect for special occasions, like weddings or anniversaries. A heavier, all-out-feminine floral fragrance works well for an event taking place in the evening.
  • Fresh scents: Fresh scents often include "green" notes reminiscent of fresh-cut grass, the smell of spring in the air, light citruses and airy notes. They lend a radiant and effervescent quality to any occasion. Perfumes with a citrusy aroma are suitable for daytime events, especially those happening in the morning, as they offer energy and freshness. Fresh bases are also great for outdoor activities, such as casual barbecues or outdoor parties. Fruitier scents within the fresh family have a youthful and playful quality perfect for a fun get together with friends.
  • Oriental scents: Exotic and evocative, the oriental family plays upon sensual oriental resins, sumptuously rich flowers, warm vanilla and plush musks. These scents are great for nighttime events precisely because they are intense, exotic and feminine. Dramatic and complex, the fragrances in this family have an unforgettable aura meant to make you stand out at special occasions. If you want to be a little daring or edgy for dates and nights on the town, perfumes that have an oriental base such as musk or civet are the right choice.
  • Woody scents: Woody perfumes make you think of the fresh scent of cedars, pines and sandalwood, and are usually unisex. Fragrances in this family have a character that is polished and assertive. Woody scents make ideal choices for the office, as well as for any other business environment. Wear them during the day, but also at work-related events taking place in the evening.
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