Style & Beauty

Beauty: Update Your Makeup Tool Kit

After months of being stuck at home, we’re finally going out more—and rediscovering makeup

By Mariève Inoue

Whether it’s going out for brunch with friends, having family over for dinner, or simply meeting for coffee, many of us have been rediscovering our social loves, and social events provide the perfect excuse for trying out the latest in makeup. “The current trends are all about diversity,” says Alexia Baillargeon, a professional makeup and hair artist and the owner of the Montreal beauty salon Au Studio. “The key is to find a look that highlights your personality.” Here’s what you need to know about the latest makeup products, along with some tips to help you apply them like a pro.



Hello, Hybrids!

Makeup products that boast skin-care ingredients continue to grow in popularity. “Over the past year, people have rediscovered the feeling of not wearing anything on their face, which has made textures reminiscent of skincare products more popular,” says David Vincent, a makeup artist at Lise Watier. Look for tinted moisturizers, foundations, liquid and cream blushes, and lip products that include ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, and plant extracts.

Lise Watier Teint Lift Anti-Rides Foundation, $48;

Clarins Milky Boost Cream Tinted Milky Cream, $49;

Milk Makeup Bionic Liquid Blush, $30;

Quo Beauty Glowy Lip Balm, $10.


Let There Be Light.

“Unlike the very structured, contoured faces of recent years, the current trend is a little more measured,” Baillargeon says. The goal is radiant yet natural-looking skin, which you can achieve by switching out your powder highlighter for a brightening primer applied under your foundation. “I like adding a brightening base to the cheeks and temples, and a touch on the chin, to create a more voluminous effect and give the skin a nice glow,” she adds.

If you’d prefer to highlight your features after applying foundation, reach for a cream highlighter rather than a shimmery powder. “A cream or liquid blush immediately makes the skin brighter without the need for any other products,” Baillargeon says.

Revlon PhotoReady Prime Plus Brightening and Skin- Tone Evening Makeup and Skincare Primer, $18.99;

Minori Cream Highlighter, $40;

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush, $37;

Charlotte Tilbury Pinkgasm Beauty Light Wand, $52.


Marvellously Monochromatic.

For a fresh, natural look, use the same colour (or products in similar hues) on your eyes, cheeks, and lips. “I recommend going for rosy, coral, or bronze shades, depending on your natural skin tone,” Baillargeon says. If you opt for a bronze hue, try leaving your lips bare.


All About Colour.

Makeup has been all about the eyes lately—and that’s no coincidence, given the masks we’ve all been wearing. “We’ve explored all the options—wearing a little, a lot, or no eyeliner at all, as well as glittery, matte, neutral, and colourful eyeshadows,” Vincent says. Whether you opt for a relatively monochromatic look or a very colourful one, “combine different finishes and textures by juxtaposing matte, satin, and even glittery finishes to add dimension to the final result,” he adds.

To amp things up even more, apply a brightly coloured pencil or liquid liner alongside your basic black or brown line. “You can also layer a colourful eyeshadow over your regular eyeliner—on the entire line or just the portion near the outer corner of your eye to make your eyes pop,” Vincent says.


Reinvent the Smoky Eye.

“The classic smoky eye is back,” Baillargeon says. Create it using black, grey, or brown hues in a matte finish. For a slightly less dramatic variation, try it in navy or burgundy, and for a finishing touch, how about a coloured mascara that matches your eyeshadow?

NYX Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow Palette, $24;

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow, $38;

Marcelle Ultimate Power Volume Mascara, $13.95.


Well-Styled Brows.

According to Vincent, the eyebrow of the moment is tousled, “brushed upward or left a little bushy, and not perfectly sleek”—in short, natural but cared for. “Don’t neglect your brows,” he advises. “When they’re well defined, they help create a younger-looking, brighter, wider eye.” Clear eyebrow gel helps give your arches more volume and sets them, whereas a tinted version “also colours white, grey, or thinner brow hairs.”

Guerlain Mad Eyes Gel Eyebrow Pen, $52;

L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Plump & Set Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, $22.99.


The Return of Colourful Lips.

Timeless red lipstick is once again making a comeback. Opt for fire-hydrant red to be precisely on trend, or go for an “orange- or raspberry-tinted hue, depending on your natural complexion,” Baillargeon says. If you’re wearing intense or colourful eye makeup, a nude mouth is the ideal complement.

“Choose a shade that enhances your natural lip colour,” she advises. Vincent says that gloss is also popular, thanks to its comfortable texture, hydrating properties, and luminous finish.

Bite Beauty Power Move Hydrating Soft Matte Lipstick, $37;

Shiseido LipLiner InkDuo (Prime + Line), $34;

Annabelle BigShow Lip Shine, $9.95.


Hair of the Moment.

“When it comes to colour, copper hues such as red, warm brown, blond with a touch of copper, and strawberry blond are popular,” Baillargeon says of the top hair trends. “As for haircuts, the shoulder-length bob is in, whether full length or with subtle curtain bangs that are long enough to tuck behind your ears. In terms of hairstyles, an elegant low centre bun will make heads turn. As a finishing touch, add a headband or clip that matches your outfit.”

L’Oréal Professionnel SteamPod 3.0 steam hair styler, $375.



For Radiant Skin.

Start with your regular skin-care routine, focusing on hydration. “Avoid richer products made with oils or shea butter, which could cause your makeup to slip,” Baillargeon says. Then apply a brightening primer and foundation—Baillargeon recommends opting for oil-free formulas (you’ll find that info on the tube or bottle), as these tend to wear longer. Vincent suggests using “thin layers of a succession of products to ensure a better hold.” These can include makeup primer, foundation, colour corrector or concealer, bronzer, loose powder, highlighter, and blush. It’s best to use the appropriate brush for each product.


For Bright Eyes.

Light is the key to making your eyes stand out. “You can add a touch of shimmer to the highest point under your brows and the centre of your upper eyelid to accentuate the zone and make your eyes look bigger,” Vincent says.

To avoid drawing attention to any fine lines or wrinkles, don’t apply too much face powder near the outer corners of your eyes.


For Natural, Defined Brows.

The easiest strategy here is to use eyebrow gel, which can also be combined with other products. “If your brows are asymmetrical or too short, start by applying a pencil or powder and then finish by brushing your hairs upward with brow gel to add volume and keep everything in place,” Vincent says.


For Plumper Lips and Lipstick That Stays Put.

“Lighter colours create a more voluminous effect than dark hues, as do shades that reflect the light,” Vincent says. Opt for shiny finishes rather than matte or powdery ones. He also suggests adding a lighter colour to the centre of your pout to draw attention to it: “You can use a lipstick in a lighter shade or a touch of concealer, which can be applied before or after your main lipstick, depending on how much light you wish to add.”


Don’t Forget to Apply Lipliner.

“It will create a barrier that helps keep your lipstick from bleeding into any fine lines around your mouth,” Vincent says. If you choose a shade similar to your natural complexion, you can use it with any colour of lipstick.


Photo credit: Marc-Antoine Charlebois