Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why I'm Okay With Getting Older

A couple of wks ago I turned 33...for a lot of people (especially women...even more so single unmarried women lol) I think this could be considered a pretty scary time.  I mean I think this is officially the last year I can claim to be in my "early 30s"...after this I think I enter mid 30s...(who knows next year how I'm going to feel about that one lol).

A lot of people have told me I look young for my age which of course I'll take as a compliment.  I believe this in part is due to good genetics and a healthy lifestyle...but I can't deny being a makeup artist doesn't hurt the cause ;)  I've even had a lot of guys tell me I should start lying about my age because I'm going to start limiting my dating options...I personally think this is fucking bullshit for a couple of reasons.  1. Why is being 33 a detractor - I'm established in my career, have a good sense of myself and a good amount of life experience to make me a valuable partner among other things 2. I'm way more confident and comfortable in my skin than I have been at any age in my life so why would I lie about my age 3. I'd really rather look like a smoking hot, young 33 year old than a "27 yr old" who looks her age lol!

I'm actually okay w/ the fact that I turned 33.  I've pretty much always been okay every year w/ getting a little bit older.  I've realized I think a lot of this comes down to where I am in my life at that point in time.  Am I happy w/ my life? Do I feel like I'm moving forward, achieving my goals, making the most of things?...if the answers to these questions are overall positive then I guess I'm okay w/ adding another year on to things.

I've also realized it's better to not look at "what you thought your life would be like"...I can definitely tell you that no part of my life is "what I thought it would be" if you would have asked me when I was a teenager...hell I don't think I thought my life would be like this 10 years ago...or even 5 years ago so who knows lol!  That's not to say my ideas of my future were better or worse...they were just different.  I mean in high school if someone had told me I'd moved to Shanghai, China and work as a makeup artist there for 8 mths I probably would have laughed or backpacked through India or done have half the things I've done...and that's what's so cool.  As we get older we keep experiencing new things and using those experiences to enrich and enlighten our lives now.  I know for a fact my 18 yr old self would not recognize my 33 yr old self...but I'd like to think she'd think she's pretty fucking cool lol!

Now it's not always been sunshine and rainbows with regards to getting older for me.  I remember one birthday in particular I was not happy....when I turned 28.  This to me was when I officially entered my "late 20s" and to be perfectly honest I was not at all happy w/ the direction my life was taking at that point.  I was broke, gathering debt, in a relationship I wasn't very happy to be in and my career was not going in the direction I wanted it to go...I think when I was younger I just imagined my life would be so different at 28...I'm pretty sure I thought I'd at least have my shit together enough to have a decent job or be married or something lol.  When in fact in that particular year I think I felt like I was regressing more than any other point in my life and actually felt pretty trapped to be perfectly honest...and it was pretty scary b/c I didn't know how I was going to get myself out of it.

Thankfully I did get out of it and I think a big turning point was leaving the relationship I was in at that time b/c after that everything seemed to get a little more possible and I started to see things in a different light.  It's so funny how relationships have a way of doing that to us.  I mean they really don't just affect our personal lives they infiltrate every part of our lives whether we want them to or not!

This past year I sort of had a situation like that w/ another relationship I was in.  It was NOTHING like that other relationship and I loved and cared for this person a lot but it was just not working for various reasons no matter how much I tried or how many nice things I tried to do I couldn't overcome this person's issues and it was actually making me miserable (I didn't even realize how miserable until after).  It was holding me back in life and I wasn't doing anything I wanted to do because I was living my life for them and making every decision w/ them in mind, trying to make them happy and change their mind/opinion about certain situations.  You'd think by 32 (almost 33 lol) I'd have learned better but matters of the heart are tricky lol.

It really sucks when I look back b/c I think it was literally paralyzing me and my ability to get shit done.  I couldn't concentrate, move forward, do things for my business etc.  That's not to say my business was failing but I wasn't taking the necessary steps to move it forward like I had wanted b/c all of my attention was on this person and our relationship.  I also wasn't going out, being social or doing things hoping to prove my devotion, accountability and trustworthiness.  I wasn't taking trips b/c I was waiting for them to go on trips with me...I also felt like me taking a trip alone or w/ a friend would be some sort of violation or example of how I wasn't trying anymore to make it work....yes...this all sounds pretty stupid and pathetic to me now as it's not really the person I aspire to be but it's funny how you don't really see it all going on until you're outside of the situation. I just kept thinking if I tried a little more and gave it a bit more time it would go back to the way it was...but eventually I realized that wasn't true.

It's been a couple mths since that realization and even though I'll admit 32 might not have been the best of years for me (although it started out pretty awesome w/ a lot of optimism, love and hope) I'm definitely trying to make the most of these last couple of mths of 2014!

The last couple of mths I feel like I've actually made up a lot of ground for the year!  I've been getting in shape and I'd have to say I'm probably in the best shape I've been in since Shanghai, China (if not better)...and yes you know what I might be a little vain and boastful and put a few too many selfies on instagram but you know what FUCK IT..I'm proud of my accomplishments so why can't I share them w/ others.  I've not always been proud or happy w/ the way I've looked...for years in fact I've usually had a lot of self doubt and been pretty uncomfortable or unhappy w/ things so to be happy now why shouldn't I celebrate Goddammit!  And yes, maybe I am looking for attention and adoration from others but really is that the worst thing in the world...doesn't everyone like a bit of attention or to be told good job?
I actually found a picture of myself from my 24th b-day on Facebook and I was just so thrilled w/ the fact that I looked BETTER now than me there are a lot of 33 year olds that cannot claim this to be true.  I am in fact getting better with age ;)

But it's not just about looks of course.  I actually just accomplished another one of my goals a couple of wks ago too!  I ran a half marathon!  It's crazy to think that my first run ever was literally my 32 b-day - it was 5 km and I thought I was going to die lol!  Literally a year later I was running a half marathon.  I wanted to be under 2 hours but came in at 2:02 which isn't bad of course and there's always next year ;)  I've been having some bad knee issues and I would have been under 2 hrs but at 17 k my knee just couldn't take any more and I had to slow down a lot unfortunately.  But still at 31 if you had told me I'd run a half marathon at one point I'd probably have laughed!

Plus I've booked another trip - 3 wks backpacking in Central America!  It's been way too long since my last trip - Singapore/Malaysia in Feb/Mar 2013 so I'm very excited to get out there and start experiencing and seeing the world again!  I'm excited too to be taking back my life and
not waiting anymore for the "right person" to travel with.  Would I love to actually travel with someone - yes, of course...but I can't just keep waiting on someone.  I feel in a lot of ways women tend to do this sort of thing a lot more than men and it's really a shame.
And even though I might not have felt like I was pushing my career enough this year (I totally could have done more).  I'm happy to say that it is surpassing last years goals.  I've booked more weddings this year than last and my sales are up from last year too...I've actually already surpassed last years sales so it's all gravy now lol...well not really...I am kind of wondering where a lot of that gravy has gone this year lol!

It's funny I've had it in my mind to do this blog post for a couple of wks now and like many things I kept putting it off...I really do need to work on my procrastination.  But it's actually rewarding and somewhat uplifting to see things written done in front of me and to really realize even if it's not everything I wanted I have made progress this year and I should be proud to be another year older b/c it's allowed me to gain another year of experiences and therefore be another year wiser...and I am optimistic as to what this next year will bring!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cocolush Natural Skin Care

I LOVE Coconut...basically anything that coconuts make or smell like I'm all over it...seriously - if a body wash, scrub, cream etc. smells like coconut or a tropical vacation I'm probably adding it to my shopping cart!  So when Cocolush Natural Skin Care contacted me offering to send me a sample of their Cocolush Body Scrub you better believe I was like "Hell Yeah"!

What I love about ALL of their products is how natural they fillers or artificial ingredients! Vegan, Gluten & Paraben Free plus no preservatives.  They don't test on animals and their products smell so good I actually want to eat them...and I probably could (although the argan oil might not be the best lol)!

All the ingredients in their products have a purpose...they aren't just put there for no reason.  For moisture they have coconut oil and argan oil plus Vitamin E oil which is a strong antioxidant which helps fight against premature aging and wrinkles.  Sea Salt for exfoliation and Epsom Salt a natural detoxifier and reduces inflammation.  Cocoa Powder increases blood flow to the skin and is also full of antioxidants.  And Cinnamon (another personal fav of mine) which is actually great for acne and eczema.  So basically these products are full of stuff that's good for your skin...and smells so freaking yummy!

The skin care line is small but I like that...just keep it simple w/ a few good, quality products.  I tested out the Cocolush body scrub and it was so moisturizing on the skin...and as I've mentioned several times before already smelled so good!  My only small gripe is a wish there was a bit more salt or grit to the scrub...I felt like it broke down on the skin a little too soon before I really got the scrubbing effect in...but this would be great for sensitive skin!  And I did like how moisturized it left me feeling.

They also have a lip scrub which I imagine would be hard not to just lick right off your lips and Chocolate Peppermint Facial Teas for steaming, detoxifying and moisturizing of the skin (not drinking ;))  The whole line is super affordable ranging anywhere from $6 CAN for the Lip Scrub to $14.00 for the Body Scrub.  Plus the body scrub comes in a resealable waterproof bag making it great for the shower!  There's Free Shipping Across Canada so definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a really yummy, natural product for your skin!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Clean Bandit - Canada AM

Almost a mth ago I had the pleasure of working w/ the UK group Clean Bandit on their EARLY morning appearance on Canada AM while they were doing their North American tour.  I totally forgot to blog about this but after I got my cheque in the mail this wk from Warner Music it reminded me I really should have hahaha ;)

They were a really great group of ppl and I'm totally in love w/ their hit "Rather Be" which is on repeat on my running playlist right now!  Cool thing was I also got to go to their concert at Mod Club that was totally packed and the crowd loved the show!  What was really awesome for the concert was their violinist (who couldn't make the Canada AM performance b/c of a Visa issue) came onto the stage about 3 songs into their act!  He came straight from the airport, into a cab and then up on the stage...of course the crowd went wild over this lol!

Anyway, here's their performance :)

Also, here's a couple of pics I took from the video and me w/ the was very early so excuse my appearance lol

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brittany - My Barbie Bride

Whenever I'm talking about my wedding w/ Brittany this past Summer to friends or clients I always refer to her as my "Barbie Bride".  I, in no way mean this as a derogatory term.  I LOVED Barbie growing up and I still think Barbie is awesome.  Basically I just think Brittany looked so blonde, gorgeous and glamorous on her wedding that it was like Barbie getting married!  In fact I basically made her swear on her life that she would send me pictures after the wedding lol!  I just thought it would be such a shame if I didn't have a bride like her on my site!

One of the things I really loved about Brittany and the look we created for her wedding day is that she actually let me put makeup on her!  She wasn't afraid to be a little glamorous and smokey eyed. That doesn't mean it was super heavy but it was definitely a level up from what a lot of my brides let me do.  The funny thing is I KNOW future brides are going to be telling me they want to look like her but they won't want the style of makeup she has one b/c they will think it's "too much".  Truth is when you look at her pictures it doesn't look "too much" at all.  In fact, it reads pretty natural w/ glowing skin and a soft lip but the eye was a decent level Brown/Black/Gold smokey eye plus there was full black liner all around the eye.  I will totally admit though not every bride can pull off this look - for some it would be too much.  It all depends on your features, skin tone and comfort level of course.

I think one of the most exciting things about the wedding for me was the fact that Brittany's mom was a glamour girl just like Brittany.  I could definitely see where Brittany got her looks from.  I only wish I had pictures of her mom too b/c I don't think I've had a mom that let me do such a dramatic look on them before...and the thing is she totally pulled it off!  She looked great and I loved the full dramatic lashes on her!

Brittany was also another bride that had clip-in hair extensions for her wedding day.  She wanted her hair BIG w/ big, soft curls and we did just that.  The funny thing is like the makeup when you look at the hair it looks perfectly in line w/ the dress, her face, everything and yet I know there was volume! It's so important for brides to remember everything looks less dramatic (or more appropriately dramatic) once you have a big white gown on!  Plus I LOVE her hair piece...still one of the nicest ones I've seen to different and unique!

More pics of this beautiful bride! Photography Courtesy of Stephanie Amoroso

Can you tell she's a dental hygienist - Perfect Smile!

Update...Brittany and her mom read the blog post and they sent me a pic of her mom...doesn't she look amazing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Adrianna - Bridal Updo with Extensions

I had the pleasure of working w/ Adrianna back in June for her gorgeous wedding.  I also got to fancy her up for not 1 but 2 different bridal showers (one her sister in law and one was her own) before her wedding so I definitely got a good chance to work w/ her hair and face before the day and learn the tips and tricks to make her look her absolute best!

After the first makeup and hair appt. (about a yr before her wedding) we both agreed to get the style she wanted for her hair she was going to need some clip-in hair extensions.  I've talked on here and to my clients quite a bit about the importance of hair extensions for when clients want to wear their hair down...pretty much every girl needs them to get that luscious "pinterest worthy" voluminous, long, big curl look but I haven't really talked that much about their importance and how much they can help a style when a bride wants an updo but has less than thick hair to fill it out.

Let me just say that Adrianna's updo on her wedding day has to be one of my fav updos that I've ever done on a bride!  And let's be real we all know how many updos I do EVERY wedding season so that means a lot!  It also helps that Adrianna hired an amazing photographer Azure Blue Photography and they took some gorgeous pics to capture my work.  Sometimes it's so sad when you know you've done amazing work and yet when the bride sends you pics you're disappointed b/c the photographer just didn't capture it...definitely not the case here!  There's also a video if you want to see a bit of my work in action...I always love videos b/c there is no hiding behind retouching in them - your work is on full display whether it's good or bad!

If I didn't know better I'd never know that there were extensions in Adrianna's hairstyle...sometimes brides and their fiances get a little freaked out about the idea of "fake hair" and not looking "like yourself" but anyone who knows me and my work knows that above all I strive to make my clients look and feel like the best versions of themselves.  And the truth is not all of us are blessed w/ thick, gorgeous hair so what's wrong w/ supplementing it to get the style you want on your wedding day!  Yes, it will cost extra but when you think of all the money you're spending on the day anyway isn't it worth it if it's going to bring your hairstyle from a 6 to a 10!  I just love the texture and tousled curls in this style!

Another great thing that Adrianna invested in on her wedding day was a return visit for her and her girls.  If it's in your budget and you're starting early in the morning w/ an early church ceremony before pics and the reception a return visit can be very beneficial to your wedding day look!  Yes, I do always give my clients an extensive touch up kit but at a return visit I touch up all the bridesmaids makeup/hair (if they got services in the morning) plus I touch up or adjust/change the bride's makeup and hair look.  Often times I darken the makeup a bit for night - or in Adrianna's case added a gorgeous bold red lip and a smokier eye.  Plus sometimes I'll change the hair going from an updo to down.  Plus after pictures...especially in the Summer when it's hot touching up the hairstyles and makeup can be a real lifesaver!

So here's some more of Adrianna's beautiful wedding look...there's even a couple of me looking serious as usual ;)

Adrianna and her girls

 Teaching how to take out the veil

Lips are obviously serious business for me lol!

Great shot of the back!  So often photographers don't take nice shots of the back of the hair :(

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Digital In The City - Digital Marketing Classes for Freelancers

Having a social media presence and being online and in touch w/ various social media platforms is a really important aspect of every freelancers career these days (whether they want to admit it or not).  For a lot of us self-employed freelancers this can be a very daunting and difficult part of our business.  

It's hard to figure out what social media platforms are best for you.  How to best utilize them for your business.  Sometimes we become resentful and overwhelmed by the fact that it seems we "must be online" in order to see our careers grow and get new clients.  Plus we already have so many other priorities and tasks to do w/ our business it's frustrating to feel like we have to add another thing on to the it's one that we have to nurture and keep up w/ constantly if we want it to work!

A few wks ago I had the pleasure of doing headshot hair and makeup for a digital marketing expert Wahida Lakhani who has just branched out on her own w/ her start up Digitial In the City!  Her main focus is to help freelancers and self-employed business owners learn about digital marketing and develop strategies for success that best fit their business!

After learning a bit about her company while doing her hair and makeup I thought this could definitely be of interest to myself (as I would never claim to be a digital marketing pro) as well as many others that are in a similar field or work lifestyle as myself.  

Right now she has a 1 Day to Social Media Pro Class that is definitely worth checking out!  I'm sure there will be more classes announced shortly!  Also just an FYI any reader of mine who signs up for a class can use the Discount Code - ILOVEDIGITALINTHECITY and get $10 off your class (even the early bird price)...which is an awesome deal!  Personally I think the cost of the classes is an amazing deal even without the code!

As anyone who knows me knows I think it's VERY IMPORTANT to constantly keep learning and developing your skills for your business.  As a freelance makeup/hair artist that doesn't always mean makeup or hair classes...sometimes it's about marketing or other things that affect a business.  So definitely worth checking out if you're looking to master social media platforms and have them work for your business!  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wow What A Deal! Rhythm Spa Downtown Toronto

 I love a good deal!  I also love going to the spa!  So when those two things can come together I'm totally game!  If you're a looking to get pampered for a couple of hours and not break the bank I definitely have a great deal for you if you live or work in Downtown Toronto!
Rhythm Spa located at 199 Church St. (Just South of Dundas St. E) is having an amazing special right now! 

For $120 (including tax) you get:

30 Min Massage
30 Min Facial
30 Min Exfoliation
Eyebrow Shaping 
Brazilian Waxing or Full Leg or Full Arm...and it can be used over multiple visits!

We can't all afford to have spa days at The Ritz...but that doesn't mean we don't deserve to be pampered too!

I think this would be really fun to do as an afternoon w/ a girlfriend...go to lunch, go to the spa, hit a patio for some know all that fancy fun stuff ;)

I've been to Rhythm Spa before and I can say the staff are really nice and friendly.  It's a clean place and they've done quite a few renovations over the past couple of years to expand the business.  It's not the fanciest place in town but you're also not paying the highest prices in town either.

I should mention they also have some great deals for Spa Parties - Great idea for Bachelorettes or Birthdays!  Plus they also have some Monthly Membership spa services definitely worth checking out!

So if you're looking for some pampering...or a gift for someone that is in need of some pampering definitely a deal worth checking out!