Hygiene in the beauty isle

After several years working on the retail side of the beauty industry, I have witnessed more then a few things that have made me cringe and the scary part is it happens on a daily basis. Here are a few friendly tips to help you navigate the beauty isle all the while protecting yourself from unhygienic practices.

1. Please ask someone to sanitize that lipstick before you put it on…

The number one thing to remember when trying on makeup is, you don’t know who touched it last, if it wasn’t cleaned prior to your use you might as well walk up to the last person who used it and give them a big sloppy kiss. Even though that lipstick looks untouched the last person to use it may have had a cold sore, someone could have just sneezed all over the tester stand, or a unsavoury individual may have just done there makeup using that very lipstick as a finishing touch.  Proper sanitation of lipsticks include spraying with 99% alcohol or a sanitizing spray. Ideally the lipstick should be applied with a brush and never directly on the lips.


2. Use Disposable wands for mascara and lipgloss. 

The beauty of a disposable wand means that the product inside the tube is never touched by someone else, that being said don’t double dip!

3. Samples..

When asking for a sample of that new foundation or fabulous new moisturizer there are a few key things to remember.

– If it comes in a pump there is very little risk of cross contamination and you are likely safe asking for a sample.

– No pump? Personally I would avoid taking a sample, I would try it on the back of my hand to feel the texture. There is no guarantee that someone else hasn’t stuck their finger in it. Creams are a breeding ground for bacteria, so when using them it is best to use a q-tip or spatula to dispense them to avoid contamination. You can ask for a sample from a jar kept behind the counter or if they have pre packaged samples.

4. Lip/Eyeliners.

For the same reason you wouldn’t directly apply a lip liner on your lips don’t apply eyeliner or lip liner without proper sanitization. To properly sanitize an eye/lip liner first sharpen it and, then sanitize it with 99% alcohol or a sanitizing spray. The reason it is done in this order is to remove the top layer that may have been exposed to contaminates. Cleaning after sharpening also ensures that any contaminates that are left on the sharpener are removed.

Keep in mind most people who work in your favourite beauty retailer have been trained to protect your safety and practice proper hygiene. So when you are looking for new makeup or would like to try something always ask a sales associate.


Brows 101

The concept of proper brow maintenance can be overwhelming to some, with such a wide variety of products available for the brows how does one know which to choose?

But I am getting ahead of myself; in order have perfectly polished brows there is a bit of grooming involved. You have three options when it comes to hair removal you can wax, thread or tweeze.

Waxing is the most invasive hair removal technique but also the most effective, when waxing a layer of skin is removed in the process, which means make up doesn’t stick as well, and if you spray tan or fake and bake some of the pigment may be lifted.

Threading is less invasive but it doesn’t last as long the hair is removed literally by using two strands of thread, the hair is entangled in the thread and pulled from the follicle it is slightly more painful then waxing and takes a little longer.

Tweezing is the least invasive form of hair removal, however depending on the amount of hair you have to remove it can be quite time consuming, tweezing is best for shaping the brow and maintaining your brows in-between other hair removal methods.

If you are not comfortable shaping your own brows I strongly recommend going to a professional who specializes in brow shaping, you can usually find reviews online of salons in your area or asking a few friends where they go (if you’re a fan of their brows). I recommend going every 4-6 weeks if you are getting your brows waxed and every 2-3 if you are having your brows threaded.

Aside from hair removal proper brow maintenance also involves trimming the brow hair, it sounds crazy I know but trust me it makes a HUGE difference. In order to properly trim your brows you need a brow groomer (it’s a brush that looks like a mascara wand), brush the hair up in the wand just above the brow and trim the hair that hangs over the edge of the wand, you won’t be able to do the whole brow in one go so start at the head of the brow (inner corner of the eye) and continue towards the tail of the brow (outer corner of the eye). The brow should instantly look more polished.

Now that you have well groomed brows you can begin the process of selecting a make up to perfect the brow, the first thing you need to know is what your concern is in that area and what kind of brows you have, is your hair sparse or unruly (less so now that it’s been groomed), do you want to alter the colour of your brow? Or is there a specific look you want sharp well defined brows or soft and natural brows?

There are four basic types of brow make ups, gels, waxes, pencils and powders and by answering the above questions it will become very easy to select which of these options will work for you.

Brow gels come in a mascara like tube with a wand applicator and are best used to hold the hair in place. Some gels come in a variety of colours which serve duo purpose, to both hold the brow in place and alter the colour of the brow (i.e., blonde, brunette and auburn). If you have fairly full brows that are slightly unruly or if you want to alter the colour of the brow a gel may be the only product you require, you can also use it in addition to any other brow product to control an unruly brow.

Brow waxes usually come in pots and are applied with a brush they offer soft definition for a brow that is sparse in areas to lightly fill in natural gaps in hair growth. They can also be used in conjunction with a pencil for a more defined shape.

Brow pencils come in a stick formula that is either wind up or sharpened, they work best if they are kept sharp as they are used to define the shape of the brow. A pencil is used on a brow that is fairly full (or been filled in with a wax or powder) to sharpen the shape along the edges. A pencil can also be used to lightly fill in the brow where it is sparse for the on the go girl, just remember to carry a brow groomer to brush through the brow once you have filled it in, it will break up the pigment and make the brow look more natural.

Finally brow powder is used very similarly to a brow wax, however it is no as long lasting as a wax and is slightly more natural looking, and it is best used in conjunction with a pencil.

Now that you have chosen your product it’s time to select a shade, when selecting a shade for your brows there are a few things to consider, for blondes you want to choose the darkest tone in your hair and match that to your brows, whereas if you are brunette you want to choose something that is the same colour or a shade lighter than your hair (darker for a bolder brow and lighter for a softer brow). If you are a red head choose a product that has a warm hue to it and avoid the impulse to match your hair colour usually a warm blonde pencil tends to work best.

I am currently on the hunt for the perfect brow product for myself, as my current brow pencil has been discontinued.I have picked up a few products that I will be trying out over the corse of the next week and I will let you know my findings. 🙂

All the best, stay beautiful


But I can’t do that

It has always irked me when I hear a women say “oh no, I can’t wear that I’m too old”

The fact of the matter is, you are never to old to have fun with your make up, or too old to wear a bold lip, to old for shimmer, too old for colour or, to young for that matter. There are no rules when it comes to make up, that being said there are still ways to best enhance your features for where you are  in your life. You can still wear sparkle or colour as you age, the only thing that changes is placement. Rather then lash to brow application, you highlight areas such as the lash line or inner corner with subtle sparkle/shimmer. Colours that have a satin finish where the pigment is finely milled are not shimmer, they are just a different texture of shadow and can still be worn on the lid. Bolder colours or pops of colour can be worn, the level of which you express such colour is dependent on the individual and can be tailored to you by a makeup artist. A bold lip is classic and looks good on any woman of any age it does not age you, but rather add an air of class and sophistication. Studies show that when you wear a bolder colour on the lip, the eye is drawn to that area when you are speaking to others and people will pay more attention to what you have to say.

The bottom line is you don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules, have fun, be bold, be playful and when in doubt consult with a make up professional.


Stay beautiful



Spring Forward

Spring is in the air, with spring comes new beginnings, new growth and new opportunities. It feels like a perfect time to start something new, the launch of my new website http://www.danielledawsonmakeup.com and a beauty blog. I often refer to myself as a makeup junkie so why not share my love of makeup and my knowledge of beauty products.  With a combination of recommendations of my favourite beauty products, beauty advice and the latest on trends in the beauty industry.

To start things off, Panatone has selected a new colour of the year Radiant Orchid, here are my top 3 picks for products to add a pop of Orchid into your beauty routine.

Laura mercier Caviar eye stick in Orchid


If you have not tried laura’s caviar eye sticks, run to your nearest laura mercier counter and try it now. These beautifully pigmented sticks glide on and blend with ease, they work as a base or stand alone colour that does not budge.

Nars Annes Follies larger than life lipgloss


Love this colour, perfect for a light tint of orchid on the lips, this limited edition spring launch is one of my favourite go to lip glosses.

Too Faced la creme lipstick in Lollipop


Love the texture of too faced lipstick soft and creamy and incredibly pigmented.


Can’t wait to hear what some of your Radiant Orchid picks are! Email me at Danielle@danielledawsonmakeup.com or find me on face book and instagram @Danielledawsonmakeup or twitter@Danielledmakeup for all things beauty.