Wednesday, June 23, 2010

hug Life - Make-up Q&A with Davida Gragor

The Hip & Urban Girl's Guide chats up local Make-up Artist, Davida Gragor and gets her picks on the hottest trends and beauty tips.  Read our five questions for this savvy make-up pro:
1. What is a primer and why do I need one?
A face primer is what it sounds like - a cream or gel that you apply to your face after moisturizer and before foundation to "prime" or "prep" the skin for makeup. It acts as a barrier between your skin and makeup so your pores don't get clogged and the makeup doesn't absorb into the skin. Your makeup will end up wearing longer and you'll get a smoother finish with your foundation. Primers are great if you have oily skin or find that your makeup wears off quickly during the day. There are matte finishes and dewy ones so make sure to check the bottle for which one you're getting before you purchase!

2. What is your pick for the best eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow?  

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencils - They are harder than an eye khol so you can get a precise line, but they are still blend-able if you want a smokey eye or imperfect look. The key with these is to work quickly. Once they set, the pencil becomes waterproof and won't budge, which is why I love them.  I can put this liner on in the morning and not have to worry about raccoon eyes by mid-day. 

Dior DiorShow Mascara - I am all about volume when it comes to mascara. I find most women are either about the length or the volume and I am definitely a volume gal.  It's a guilty pleasure of mine - I love this mascara despite it's price tag ($30). In general I find that drugstore mascaras work just as well as the pricier brands, but DiorShow outshines them all. It makes lashes full and dark and I love the traditional full bristle wand.  A less expensive everyday mascara that I use is the Maybelline Colossal mascara, which you can get for as little as $4.

Makeup Forever or MAC Eyeshadow - These two brands have such a variety of colours and they are highly pigmented, so the colour in the pot is almost always the colour that shows up on your skin. With MAC, they are constantly coming out with new colours and collections so you're guaranteed to find a colour you like. Each of these lines are available in pro (not in a pot) form so I can put them in my makeup kit in my big palette or take them with me in a smaller four pack. One of my favourite MAC colours is a bright green named "Bitter". I wear it as eyeliner and not much other makeup for fun day look.

3. What are some of the hottest trends for summer make-up?
Orange and coral.  Any variation on these colours is tres au courant.  Orange nail polish or a coral lipstick is a great way to add a summer punch to an outfit. Don't overdo it thought. Pick ONE thing to accent and only one. Try doing a nude eye with lots of black mascara, no blush and red or coral lipstick for a fresh look. Add some bronzer to the cheek to give a tanned, beachy feel. 

Also, don't be afraid to go bright on your fingernails! This sounds silly, but a lot of girls will try all sorts of fun colours on their toes in the summer, but stick to a nude hand. Try a turquoise or fuschia nail polish on your hands, but make sure to keep the nails short and manicured. Other than that, I'd say the hottest trend is confidence. If you are rocking a look and you know you look good, it doesn't matter if it's a trend or not, people will notice and you'll feel great. 

4. What is one beauty product you absolutely can't live without and why?
Foundation.  I have naturally olive skin so I tan easily, but Im also prone to hyper-pigmentation which means I get circles under my eyes and scars from blemishes. Just evening out my skin tone with foundation makes a huge difference to my appearance and instantly makes my skin look brighter and more awake. 

My Motto: Makeup is there to be played with just like rules are there to be broken so experiment and have fun!

Toronto-based makeup artist Davida Gragor has been making people "beautiful" or "bruised" for almost ten years. Starting as an assistant makeup artist on feature films, she quickly moved to the head of her department - key-ing her first movie at 17. Davida specializes in short format, music videos and commercials. She regularly works with beauty industry leaders such as L'Oreal, Garnier and Maybelline, among others.  

Visit her online at

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