by ANEEKA WARD
BINTA LAMOTHE, 24, INTERIOR DESIGN FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT & LIFESTYLE BLOGGER
“I value taking care of myself – skin and body. I feel like a compliment on my skin is the best physical compliment someone can give me. My mom started me on a good skin care regimen when I was 15. She taught me that if I wanted to have good skin later on in life I needed to start taking care of it early on. One of my aunts has taken amazing care of her skin ever since she was young. She stays out of the sun and always uses proper skin protection and it has really paid off in older age. She’s 62 but looks like she is in her 40s. She has a very minimalist routine but is so dedicated to it. She’s the reason I use a SPF 30 lotion every day!
ON HER BEAUTY INSPIRATIONS
My current beauty inspirations include Marianna Hewitt, Desi Perkins and Janice Joostemma. I love Marianna because she creates makeup and beauty tutorials on her YouTube channel that are easy to follow. I don’t get the impression I need to be a makeup artist to recreate her looks. I would consider her beauty style to be more ‘natural glam’. Moreover, she uses a lot of products from affordable companies so I don’t feel like I have to invest an arm and a leg to create a simple smoky eye. She also does drugstore reviews, dupes, as well as some lifestyle, nutrition and skincare. I love Desi mostly for the beauty looks she creates and for the makeup challenges she does on YouTube. I love her personality and find her to be very funny and down to earth. She too does a lot of drug store vs. high end product reviews, which is valuable information to me. Janice Joostemma’s Instagram feed is my go-to for beauty inspiration. Her content is great and she tags all the beauty products she uses in the majority of her posts, which I find very helpful.
ON FINDING HER SIGNATURE LOOK
I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis and don’t think anyone needs to wear makeup. However, I love that makeup allows you to highlight your favourite parts and gives you the ability to conceal certain things you might not be confident about. It has taken me about 5 years to find my signature beauty look and 1 year to perfect it. My signature look is generally winged eyeliner, thick false top lashes (which now actually take me less time to apply versus putting on mascara), mascara to my bottom lashes, bold brows, a little bit of contour on my cheeks and my nose, and then either a light brown or a blush nude lip to polish everything off.
ON EMBRACING THE CONTOUR
I used to be so afraid of contouring. I got over my fear one day while drinking wine before doing my makeup and thought ‘Ugh, whatever! I’m going for it!’ and tried a really bold contour. I was convinced I would mess it up and look ridiculous, but it was actually really easy! Even if you mess up, just remember you can always blend it out. It might take a bit longer than YouTube tutorials insinuate but just keep blending until it looks like second skin. Your cheekbones will love you for it.
TOP 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara has been my favourite for the past 3 years. I use it almost every day or whenever I am doing my makeup. I’ve tried many other brands before stumbling upon this one. I used to go on a little treasure hunt every time I travelled to find this mascara because only certain duty free airports carried it. Luckily it is now readily available in store or online at Sephora. My problem with most mascaras is that they are often too wet and runny which I find causes my lashes to look chunky. The Givenchy mascara is more on the dry side, which allows me to build up my lashes without them clumping together. This mascara costs a little more than drugstore brands but I definitely think it’s worth it. One tube lasts a good couple of months for me.
Chanel’s Hydramax + Moisture Mask has been staple in my skin care routine for the past 3 years. I use this product twice a week for hydration maintenance, generally after I do my bi-weekly face scrub. It is my go-to for moisture. It is really hydrating and I find my skin feels so much smoother and nourished when I use it. It gives my skin a great glow. The texture of this mask is that of a thick moisturizing cream. I put in on with my fingers before bed and it soaks into my skin. You can leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it off, but I like to sleep with it on and then in the morning rinse my face. Sometimes I don’t even need to do that! I use this mask year round, but I especially love this mask during our drying Canadian winters. When I introduced it to my roommate she loved it right away and now uses it too.
The moment I tried my Marc Jacobs Gel Foundation I knew I loved it. Before finding this, I never liked foundation because it was so hard to find the perfect shade. Any foundation I would try was either too pale or too orange for my skin tone; I either looked ghostly white or like a Dorito. When I went to try it out at Sephora even the guy that was helping me was totally amazed at how perfectly it matched the exact colour of my skin! In the winter I am a Fawn Medium and then summer I’m a Fawn Deep. I love this product because of the full coverage I get despite how light it is and the way it evens out my skin tone. It’s a really smooth and easy application too. I use my beauty blender or sometimes a foundation brush but I’m sure you could use your fingers. I haven’t had any problems with this one creasing. When I set this foundation with a setting spray its on for the full day and night. No need to reapply!
Anytime I get the urge to exfoliate my body, I always reach for Frank’s Body Scrub. I came across this product on Instagram last fall, and to be completely honest I was pretty confused and semi-annoyed at all the posts I was seeing of people wearing coffee on their bodies in the shower [laughs]! At first I thought it wouldn’t live up to the hype, but I decided considering I loved coffee and since it looked like people with lots of different skin conditions like sensitivity, scarring, blemishes, eczema, and stretch marks were using it I would give it a shot. I placed my order online and it came within a couple business days. Bearing in mind Franks is Australian based I was pretty impressed it was delivered so quickly. The scrub made my body feel so clean and moisturized. If you love the smell of coffee you’ll be in heaven. You know those pesky little blemishes you can get from gym clothes, working out, or just being in the sun? If I ever get those I scrub over the affected area, and the next day they are gone! I use it as needed, around a couple times a month, and so far one bag as lasted me a full year.
I love Citrine Perfume by Nest; it has become one of my new go-to scents. I tried this product as a sample because I had a ton of points at Sephora. It has a more mature, subtle, fresh, and lemony scent that I really enjoy. Prior to using this I was normally drawn to more floral and sweetly scented perfumes, which I feel, are ‘younger’ smells. I love how this scent still smells very feminine without smelling too sweet. Okay, so full disclosure, before I found this perfume I was using a One Direction perfume, but only because it actually smells so good! I went to smell it as a joke one day and then ended up loving it. I would hate telling people what smell it was when they asked what I was wearing [laughs]. After smelling Citrine I decided I had to break away from my ‘childhood’ scents. I’m still using my roller sample now and use it to put a little bit of the perfume on my wrist or on my neck. It’s not too expensive when you compare it to other designer perfumes. I think it still might be one of the Sephora’s samples if you put an order in online.”