by ANEEKA WARD
AMANDA MELHEM, 30, PROJECT PLANNING & CONTROL OFFICER, CANADIAN COAST GUARD
ON HER BEAUTY GRASSROOTS
“I think my fascination with makeup and beauty products first started with perfume; my mom worked in the beauty industry and I used to sit in her room opening and smelling all of her bottles. By the time I was 6 years old I could detect Obsession by Calvin Klein or Red Door by Elizabeth Arden from a mile away! As you can imagine, I eventually got into her make-up drawers and would always ask her to bring me home mascara samples and cover up from work. When I turned 18, my mom gave me my first bottle of anti-wrinkle cream and told me it’s never too early to start taking care of your skin. Inevitably, the last 12 years have been a constant experiment with just about every beauty product on the market.
I find makeup is such a fun way of self-expression. I actually enjoy taking the time to apply it and experiment with different looks. Even though liquid eyeliner is the bane of my existence and I have to use 75 Q-Tips to get my wing tip just right, I still love using it. It’s all worth it. Give me all the lipstick and ultra-black eyeliner and I’m a happy girl. Can’t stop, wont stop!
ON HER SKINCARE EPIPHANIES
I used to think wearing face cream would make my oily skin worse, but I have come to realize that a moisturized face is actually less oily. I now also religiously wash my makeup off my face before bed. I used to sleep with my makeup on all the time and wonder why my skin would break out. Even when my mom gave me my first line of skin care products, I wouldn’t use them routinely. I’m far more diligent now. I always wash my face, use a toner, eye cream, serum and night cream before bed, even after a night out and one too many glasses of vino!
TOP 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS
If I’m a little tired or my skin is looking dull, my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector gives me a little je ne sais quoi that brings my skin back to life. I definitely lucked out finding this. I’m mildly obsessed with Sephora’s app and decided one day to do a search for highlighters that could work for my complicated skin, as I really enjoy the glowing, dewy look. It’s amazing to me that I can screw up using this product, and it somehow still looks good. It’s so easy to use. This highlighter doesn’t set into my wrinkles or pores, isn’t super shiny, and it doesn’t make me break out. It instantly makes me feel fresh and pretty!
I wear my Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup every day. It gives me moderate to heavy coverage but doesn’t feel heavy at all. It is somewhat buildable, but I apply it lightly and a dime-sized amount covers my entire face. I’ve had my bottle since June and I’ve only gone through ¼ of it. It actually lasts all day and it blends well with my oily skin, giving me a matte finish with just the right amount of a dewy glow. Full disclosure though, of all the foundations I’ve tried, I wouldn’t say this one is the easiest to apply. You have to put it on quickly as the bottle doesn’t have a pump and the foundation dries quite fast. I apply it using Sephora’s Pro Press Full Coverage Complexion Brush #66; this brush is great because it has different angles and densities allowing you to use it for a moderate or fuller coverage. It’s like a beauty blender on a stick! All that effort aside, this foundation is totally worth it. I remember the first day I wore it to work, I ended up having a crazy day walking between office buildings for meetings, fitting in a lunch time yoga class then finally meeting friends for an after work libation. I was so worried to look at my face once I got home, but it looked exactly the way it had at 7am. It is my holy grail.
My Laura Mercier Setting Powder is one of those products I will use forever. I came across it while reading foundation reviews. I would always see people commenting about using this as their setting powder. Naturally, I had to give it a shot, and I’m so glad I did. It’s incredibly lightweight and it doesn’t sink into any creases on my face, as some other powders tend to do. I use it just before applying my blush, and find it sets my foundation in perfectly and then allows my blush application to go on evenly and more smooth. It’s the perfect finishing touch to my makeup. I also use it half way through the day if I feel like managing some unwanted shine. Another benefit of this powder is that it keeps my eyeshadow from separating and my eyeliner from transferring to the tops of my eyelids. It is so great that you can even use this product by itself. If I’m having a lazy Sunday, but need to venture out into the world for some groceries, I’ll apply this over moisturized skin to reduce the look of my pores and keep my skin looking matte. It’s amazing to me how effective this powder is and how little of it you need.
One day I was walking into my local drug store and they had a product display featuring Benefit eyebrow products. I usually research a product before spending more than $10 on it, but for some reason I decided to blindly purchase Benefit’s ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Colour. I love it because it has allowed me forgive myself for over-plucking my brows in high school! It’s super easy to apply and I use it almost daily. There are a variety of shades to choose from. I could have picked between 2-3 shades just for my own brow colour. I like I can subtly apply it for work and that I can also build towards a more dramatic look for a night out. I love how natural it looks after application and the fact it stays in place, even through lunchtime yoga.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment is like a tall glass of water for my lips. It’s really great because sometimes when your lips are dry you have to sacrifice colour for hydration – especially for me because I wear a lot of lipsticks that dry them out. This lip treatment gives me a nice tint to my lips while instantly repairing chapped lips. I love the smell and feeling the sensation of the essential oils in the product working on my skin. My lips are always so soft after I apply it. I use this almost daily, unless I misplace the tube, as I tend to do with all my lipsticks!”