The festive season welcomes parties and the need to put our best face forward so that means “MAKE-UP!” Where do you start with so many choices and so little time? As a celebrity make-up and hair artist I have access to every cosmetic known to man so as my little gift to you I am imparting the 5 things to save on so that you will have the money for the 5 things that I think are worth splurging on.


  1. Pencils - Eye ,lip, brow they all come from the same place. The ones I use are from Annabelle from $7-8
  2. Powders - Bronzers, face, eye shadows and blushes. I use the Rimmel bronzers under $10 and the Annabelle Biggy Bronzer and the Essence Matte Big Bronzer at only $4.99! For studio touch-ups and brides the Revlon Photoready HD powders rock on sale for $16.99. Essence Rimmel, L’Oreal and Maybelline make terrific eye shadows that start at only $4.00.
  3. Mascara - We all love the prestige brands and I have spent almost $40.00 to get long lush lashes but everyone knows that after a couple of months they all flake anyway. The brush is key…a tiny brush for lengthening L’Oreal Telescopic on sale for 14.99 and comes with an eyeliner is great. For thickening try Rimmel Scandal Eyes $9.99 and who doesn’t love Maybelline Great Lash on sale now for $6.99.
  4. Lip gloss - This is a super way to save and in studio we use the Essence gloss either over a matte lip or alone for outside shots. It is only $2.49 and is not sticky.
  5. Dark and Novelty Nail Polish - Love the short dark nails now but it seems that no matter what they chip even after a salon manicure. Besides there is a huge assortment of dark and Sea Inspired colors out there now that range in price from $1.99 Essence to Sally Hanson on sale for $8.99.


  1. Foundation - This also includes tinted moisturizers and primers which are used under the make-up to keep it fresh and provide a buffer for the skin. Top selling Giorgio Armani is worth every bit of the $66.00. As re the tinted moisturizers and primers from Laura Mercier which are in the $50.00 range. This is where you plan to spend up to an hour with a professional to match your skin color and see what a beautiful finish does for your looks.
  2. Concealers -Creamy full coverage concealers are what most of need . I like the Bobbi Brown kits. They come with a setting powder and a little sponge in a mirrored compact. Plan to spend 30 minutes and $44.00 for the most seamless coverage I have found to date. For touch-ups fashionistas prefer Touche Eclat by YSL. This handy pen can light up your face eliminating shadows with a luminous light weight fluid…$50.00
  3. Super 3 Skin Items -These are products that do more than moisturize. They include what I like to call : Super Serums, Miracle Masks and Construction Creams. Serums are pricey and start at $75. They are crucial to boost the efficacy of your moisturizer and improve texture tone and clarity of skin. Protective repair moisturizers I swear by are La Mer and Bobbi Brown w SPF 25. Beauty editors cannot get enough of the new La Prairie Overnight Sleep Masque, and Sisley has a 4 pack of wonderful masks at a price point in the triple digits its worth penny pinching in the Save category:} Skin care lines like Kiehl’s and Lancome and Clinique have terrific skin care packages this time of the year. A kind of savvy splurge.
  4. Lipstick - If you are a lipstick girl it is worth trying out the color on your mouth instead of the usual back of the hand method. At the make-up counter you will have a trained professional help determine your natural, bright and /or fashion shade. This is the only hygienic way to see if you like the texture , color and taste of the lipstick. The ones I like are from YSL $38 , Chanel and Bobbi Brown around $30.
  5. Fragrances - Finally it is the season to spritz yourself with something delicious or to purchase for a loved one. Fine fragrance houses offer a sampling program to determine what works for you. Twice a year, now and at Mother’s Day fragrances are offered in gift sets to give you more value on your luxury items. Any fragrance that sells for $9. Belongs in a Carrie Underwood song.


All those parties…so little prep time! All you really need to go from the office to your soiree are 3 things added to your daytime look:

  1. Shimmer Brick add to eyes and cheeks...I like Bobbi Brown for $48 plus it looks great in candlelight and sunlight so keep it for the summer BBQ parties:}
  2. Black Liquid or Pen Liner…I like L’Oreal Felt tip in Carbon Black
  3. Sparkle lip gloss or a bright red lip my go-to color is Red #10 Bobbi Brown

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The generous sponsors of the December 10th News at Noon SAVE OR SPLURGE segments were Shoppers Drug Mart, Rideau Center and Holt Renfrew, Ottawa.