Monday, March 2, 2015

From Day To Night Workshop

A couple of wks ago I had the pleasure of doing the makeup and hair for Award Winning Wedding Photographer Lisa Mark's first workshop.  You may remember we worked together in the Fall on that beautiful styled shoot on the cliff that showcased the changing of the leaves. She put this workshop together to help newer photographers see and learn some of her tricks and techniques for lighting wedding shots during the day and night.

I thought this would also be a fun opportunity for me to do what I wanted with a "bride" (since normally I obviously have to do what they want lol).  The couple for the day was real life couple Andrea & Billy and they were really lovely and great sports b/c it was a REALLY long day and I'm sure tiring to be modeling for Lisa + 10 students for both the Day & Night Portion of the workshop (they agreed to do the whole day after the original night time couple cancelled).  It also was a great opportunity for them as Lisa was booked on their real wedding day so I guess getting these pictures is kind of like the next best thing lol!

For the day look I wanted to work w/ pinks and grays on the eyes.  I wanted to keep it soft and glowy b/c I knew I was going to go a lot more dramatic for the night portion.  The cooler tones worked beautiful w/ Andrea's pale skin and dark hair. Airbrush foundation was used to create her flawless complexion.  For the hair I wanted it loose w/ curls pulled to one side.  I never met Andrea before but I knew from the pics I saw she was going to need extensions to get the fullness and length I wanted.  And can I just say without meeting her I did an amazing job choosing the colour for the extensions lol!  They were a PERFECT match!  I got a couple of nice pics from Lisa and one of the other photographers at the shoot Johanne Guignard (who probably took my fav beauty shots that day).

For the night look I wanted something  much more dramatic as I knew the lighting was going to be very dark.  I think Andrea was a little scared at first by the intensity but once the lights went down in the studio she realized it all made sense...which is something I'm constantly trying to explain to clients when it comes to a more intense look at the reception lol!  I went w/ a sophisticated side updo. Bold grey/black smokey eye and a deep berry red lip.  I personally believe in dark lighting and w/ the right features/skin tone there is no reason a person can't rock both a bold lip and intense eye.  It's definitely not a look for the shy or meek but it's personally something I wear on the regular when going out.

So overall some nice additions for my website!

Photographer - Lisa Mark Photography

Photographer - Lisa Mark Photography

Photographer - Johanne Guignard

Photographer - Johanne Guignard

Photographer - Johanne Guignard

Photographer - Johanne Guignard

Photographer - Johanne Guignard

Little Behind The Scenes Action 
Photographer - Johanne Guignard

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Fav Wedding Makeup Looks From Last Year!

I thought since I did blogs about some of my fav hairstyles I created for last year's brides it only right to do a blog post about some of my favourite makeup looks! Especially considering I am a makeup artist first, hairstylist second...although sometimes you wouldn't know that by the amount of brides I have contacting me to just do hair sometimes lol!

One thing that has always been a constant in my bridal business is brides hire me b/c they are looking for that "Natural, Soft, Glowing" look.  Very clean and very pretty!  For the most part my brides DO NOT want to wear or look like they are wearing a lot of makeup!  The thing is that to create those looks I often have to educate brides about the face that they do in fact STILL NEED TO WEAR MAKEUP!!! More makeup then they are probably use to lol...especially considering it seems like about 75% of my clientele were minimal to no makeup for the most part lol!  When I'm interviewing staff it's actually one of the things I have to stress to them is that my clientele for the most part wants a "NATURAL LOOK"...even if they are showing me Kim K. pictures I gotta ask them questions and determine what in fact they are actually looking for (99% of the time it's not Kim K let me tell you lol)!

It's actually funny/frustrating (depends on my mood lol) how much convincing I sometimes I have to do w/ clients to make them realize they are in fact not wearing that much makeup and it's not "too much".  My day look is often more than they will let me put on them for their wedding lol (and I don't get glam day to day fyi).  I actually don't know a bridal artist who has a lighter hand than I do when it comes to understanding the approach of  less is more...a lot of times I do actually think my clients could use a bit more "drama" but I do have to respect their wishes and comfort level of course.

With that said I do still get to create some beautiful makeup looks and I do really have some beautiful clients.  I think one of things that really helps when doing a natural look is that I pretty much insist on some sort of false lash whether it be strip or individual lashes.  I've mentioned this before but I include this not only for the bride but anyone getting makeup services (and my staff do too).  I think when you are doing a "natural look" it really is one of the best ways to make the eyes pop w/out the use of a lot of shadow and if I do get the chance to do a "glam look" it's of course necessary otherwise to me the look just seems unfinished!

I definitely see a rise in the amount of airbrush foundation I'm doing on brides this past season!  I got a new airbrush compressor/gun this year and I have to say I'm actually really loving airbrush a lot more than I use to!  I don't know if it's the new machine or just me getting more skilled but I'm loving the finish, the lightness on the skin and the coverage it my makeup phobic brides are really loving the fact that it still feels like "there is nothing on the skin" even though it gives them that flawless finish!

Adrianna is a classic example of "Pretty & Soft" Wedding Makeup! I used airbrush foundation on her and I'm still obsessed w/ her updo lol!  Photos courtesy of Azure Blue Photography

I did a return visit for Adrianna which is getting more popular with brides.  I changed up her lip to a bold red lip and smoked out the eyes a bit more!  It was the perfect addition for the evening look.  Making it a bit more "glam" but not over the top or "too much"

 Of course I have to mention Brittany when I'm talking about some of my fav makeup looks for last season!  She actually let me do a bronzy/brown/black smokey eye on her and give her a little drama.  The funny thing is that I'm always trying to explain to brides is it doesn't look that much in the pictures at all!  In fact it looks like the perfect person it didn't look "too much" either btw...but it's all about comfort level.

Airbrush foundation was used.

Diane was fun to work with!  She sent me dramatic pictures and she actually wanted dramatic makeup!  We did a full smokey eye and deep berry lip for her.  She was getting married in Nov. so it definitely worked w/ her Fall/Winter wedding.  Photos courtesy of Jennifer Moher

I love how glowy and soft Jasmine's makeup looks!  She's Eurasian and I loved working with her unique features and look.

Kadie was one of those girls that actually surprised me when I put the makeup on her!  She's a baker by trade and doesn't wear any makeup day to day but wow just a little bit of makeup on those blue eyes and porcelain skin and wow do her eyes ever pop!  I  kept commenting how she looked like a doll w/ her big blue eyes lol!

Katie and her entire group were so awesome to work with!  I knew I had to get pictures from Katie b/c I not only loved the hair I created for her but she's so pretty and I loved her makeup too!  Airbrush foundation was used.  Photographer Jennifer Ballard

Really loved the soft pink eyes, lips and cheek combo for Kyla's wedding.  Really suited her complexion and style well.

Lori was another one that let me put a bit more makeup on her!  You really can tell in the photos when everything just seems to "pop" a bit more!  Her and her entire group were so pretty!  So many great pictures from this wedding.  Renaissance Studios did a great job here! Airbrush foundation used.

Martha was so pretty!  A natural beauty, so of course we kept the makeup natural too!  Glowing cheek, soft pink lip and a neutral smokey eye!  I loved the textured updo for her so much!  Photo courtesy of Reid Lampshead

There probably isn't a bride I was more happy w/ how the makeup turned out on than Melanie.Though the look is natural Melanie had a lot of skin concerns and issues in the form of acne, scarring, redness and dry patches.As someone who has/still does suffer from acne and other skin issues I understand the stress and confidence issues it can cause.  I'm so happy I was able to create such a beautiful canvas for her so that her beautiful features and blue eyes could be the focus that day!  Her wedding photographer - Yuki Noda actually said it was some of the best wedding makeup she had seen - Big compliment indeed!  Airbrush foundation used! 

Of course I have to include my friend Sophia on the list!  She's gorgeous this was an easy one lol!  Her brother kept saying how beautiful her makeup was all night!  I took that as a huge compliment as he's in the fashion industry so he knows makeup!  Photo courtesy of Diane at DNA Phtography.  Airbrush Foundation used.

Okay well this wasn't actually a wedding I did but it was for a mock wedding photo shoot.  What was great about this is both I and the photographer understand the level of makeup necessary to create a good photo so of course I got to up it a bit more than a lot of my brides will let me do.  The results are gorgeous and I really love this copper/bronze/brown smokey eye!  Airbrush foundation used.  Photos courtesy of Lisa Mark Photography

 Tammy was such a pleasure to work with! We did a soft grey smokey eye and with a lot of Asian brides less is more and the real drama comes from the lashes and creating a nice brow to shape the eye.  Photo courtesy of Avenue Photography

To close it out here's a couple of brides I never did get photos from but I still REALLY love their makeup looks...sad I don't I have good pics of them :(  I'm thinking of adding a section on my website for snapshots b/c I don't like to mix non professional pics w/ the professional pics but it's disappointing to not share work you love or if the photographer didn't take any beauty shots of the bride (gasp...NEVER understand this one!!!)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Eyebrow Extensions - Game Changer!

On my first date w/ my boyfriend he commented that I had amazing brows.  I was happy as EVERY makeup artist is pretty much obsessed w/ brows and it's basically like giving one of the biggest compliments ever lol BUT I also felt a tinge of deceit b/c they weren't really my brows.  I mean they were of course but I filled them in quite a bit to get the shape and arch I liked...w/out makeup they were definitely not the well sculpted pieces of work above my eyes lol!

Years of over tweezing and waxing in the 90s (when thin brows were in...the last time, hopefully forever thin brows will be in lol) had left my sad little brows w/ holes and starting to far apart.  Now my brows weren't awful and since becoming a makeup artist I've definitely learned how to fix them and make them acceptable on a daily basis but of course that required makeup so it kind of excluded me from things like "no makeup" pics...w/out thinking I looked awful of course lol...I even filled them in if I was going swimming or on vacation backpacking.  Literally, even if I wasn't going to wear makeup I would still fill in my brows lol!

So when I heard about eyebrow extensions two weeks ago for the first time on Instagram I pretty much jumped for joy!  Immediately I started looking up where in Toronto I could get this magic service!  That's when I found Winks Eyelash Boutique in Yorkville (very close to me - bonus!)  I reached out to Winks and asked if it was possible to maybe try out brow extensions in exchange for a blog review (hey it has its benefits being a blogger ;) ) and they immediately responded saying Yes and on top of that they would give me lash extensions too! Bonus!!  Apparently they've been big in Europe for awhile but are just gaining popularity in North America now...I don't know what took us so long lol!

So on Weds I went to Winks for my appt.  Mei applied my eyelash and eyebrow extensions and she was friendly and answered all of my questions and helped me decide which lashes would be best for me.  I had had lash extensions before but this was actually a much more relaxing experience for me. She gave me a neck pillow and the chair reclined slightly so it was all very relaxing.  Plus, I don't know if she was just more gentle than the last person but my eyes weren't sore like last time during and after which was definitely a good thing!

Mei did my lashes first and she was very quick and gave me a very nice (not too insanely dramatic) lash w/ a sort of cat eye effect which is what I like when I wear false lashes too!  I do like lash extensions but for myself personally they aren't something I'd keep up all the time.  I naturally have pretty long lashes and I'm very good at putting on false lashes so I just don't personally see the point for the cost but I would consider them before a vacation or if I was getting married or something.  I definitely do understand why some ppl get them all the time though...especially ppl w/ short/sparse lashes like a lot of Asian girls.

But the BROW EXTENSIONS!!! That's something I might just keep up with!  Basically I have my dream right now!  Brows that don't need to be filled in and are naturally arched!  I really couldn't be happier about the whole thing!  As someone who has struggled with her brows for years this literally was a revelation for me.

As I mentioned before I don't have the worst brows and I do actually have brow hair it's just they start too far apart and they need filling a bit on the end and underneath to create the arch.  This actually makes the brow extensions easier for me b/c they can be attached to the hair I actually do have as well as to the skin in spots where there is no hair.

Brow extensions are not the same hair as lash extensions btw.  They are shorter and finer and of course come in a variety of colours to match your own brows.  Mine are dark brown.  They are very similar to lash extensions in how you care for them though.  You shouldn't get them wet for the first 24 hrs and you can't use oil makeup removers on them b/c they will deteriorate the glue. They will unfortunately need more maintenance then lash extensions (fills every 2 wks most probably) b/c often they are attached to the skin and not just the hair that is already there making them a little more delicate and not as "stuck" as lash extensions.

I'm not going to lie I do feel like I have/want to be pretty delicate with them.  If you are someone who rubs their eyes or brow area a lot lash and brow extensions wouldn't be good for you.  I'd also be very careful when washing your face.  I use to scrub my face in the shower but while I have these I'll only wash my face at my sink where I can look in the mirror and be precise were I'm washing and scrubbing so I can avoid the brow area b/c I do think they could fall out pretty easily :(

Because they require a bi-monthly maintenance they definitely aren't the cheapest beauty habit to keep up but if you're someone like me who is very obsessed with their brows and don't mind indulging in a little beauty luxury then you might find the cost worth it.  The results really are insane no one would know they aren't your brows trust me!

Cost varies at different places of course and I imagine it probably varies depending on the amount of reconstruction work has to go into the brows - whether it's just filling in holes or basically constructing a whole new brow for a client.  But it's definitely a beauty trend I'm happy to have discovered and keep up with!

Thanks again Winks Eyelash Boutique I couldn't be happier w/ the results!  Can't wait to share this info w/ my clients!

My "Before" Brows & Lashes...see not the worst brows my any means but not great!  Excuse my giant you guys know I DO NOT have great skin lol!

Not gonna lie...kinda glad my eyes are taped shut otherwise this might freak me out lol!

Lashes done and looking gorgeous! up I need to do something about those pores ugh lol!  But I do like to convince myself that my oily skin is keeping me young looking at least lol!

Completed brows!  Wow So NATURAL looking!

Before & After Shot of Brows & Lashes

Completed Day Look the next day w/ better lighting and makeup ;) lol

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fav Wedding Hair of 2014 - Down Hairstyles

Earlier this wk I shared w/ you some of my fav updos that I created for my wonderful clients this year.  So it only makes sense to share some of my fav half updo and down hairstyles of this past season.

In the past it was very much the norm and expected that brides wear their hair in updos on their wedding day.  Trends have definitely changed over the past few years and I for one am very happy about that.  For one hair for the most part is not about being stiff or "helmet" like.  Even with updos brides (at least mine) tend to want styles that are are a lot softer, more loose and romantic in style.

I think this soft, undone done hair trend has been part of the reason down hairstyles have gotten more popular in recent years.  No matter how it's styled there does tend to be a softer look when hair is left down.

Also, with the rise in popularity of clip-in hair extensions down hairstyles are becoming a lot more of a possibility for brides that may in the past have not been able to pull of the style.  Truth is when you see pictures of girls on Pinterest w/ big loose curls I'd say 90% of the time (especially if they are photo shoot/model/actor type pics) these women are wearing some sort of hair extensions.  It's very rare for a girl to be able to have really long, thick hair that holds amazing curl and style naturally...for those blessed few we call them hair models ;) ...for the rest of us hair extensions are the answer lol!

Luckily for my brides I also make clip-in extensions so they never have to worry about the hassle of matching and buying their own extensions b/c if they don't know what they are looking for or where to go it can all be a little overwhelming...and the last things brides need is another thing to worry about ;)

So here's some of my fav half up or down hairstyles from this past wedding season!

Of course if I'm talking about beautiful hair I gotta include my "Barbie" bride Brittany.  We did add extensions to her hair..not so much for length but more for volume and thickness.  Photos courtesy of Stephanie Amoroso

This is probably one of my fav accessories to date.  It was so unique and it just accentuated and worked w/ the style so well!  Crazy thing was she borrowed it!

This was all Chantal's hair...girl had A LOT of hair!  Photo courtesy of Heidi Ram

Personally I've found it to be a bit of a wive's tale that Asian hair doesn't curl.  Yes, naturally a lot of times it is naturally straight but I've also found b/c it's often very thick and coarse it can create some gorgeous down hairstyles that hold VERY well.  Diane was a perfect example of this.  Her hair held beautifully and was gorgeous, long and thick!  Photos courtesy of Jennifer Moher

Rasha was another bride I made extensions for.  Funny thing was we did her trial like a year in advance so on the wedding day she was having some doubts about the style we did at the trial.  I ended up taking the half updo style down and just leaving it all down and it looked gorgeous and full!

Amie was another bride w/ gorgeous thick hair.  We did a classic half updo w/ loose curls.  Her hair held so well I actually felt comfortable running my fingers through the curls to loosen them...there's a lot of brides I wouldn't dare try that with for fear that their curls would fall right out lol!

I'm so sad I don't have professional shots from Gabby's wedding.  Seriously, the nicest set of extensions I've ever made for a bride.  Love how seamlessly they blended in and the colour matched..even all the highlights!
 Eva was probably my "nicest" and "sweetest" bride last year.  Seriously the girl was just so genuinely sweet!

Stephanie was another bride I made extensions for.  Blonde hair w/ all it's highlights always photographs so nicely and choosing the right colour extensions w/ the right highlights is especially important!  Wish I had professional pics of pretty!