Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poverty Does A Body Good!

New Year - New Beginnings! I came to Shanghai about 6 wks ago or 1.5 mths...however you want to looks at it and it has definitely been a learning experience in many ways. I came during the "busy season" and unfortunately I can definitely say I did not prosper during this so-called "busy season" which to put it mildly sucks large!

It wasn't like I didn't prepare before I came here either. I saved a good amount of money and I've had several really good meetings I just feel like I'm just waiting for it all to fall into place...until then I live a very very modest life b/c who knows when I'll be getting paid next! The thing that first kind of screwed me over when I got here was the fact that to rent an apt. for 6 mths I had to basically give 4 mths up front. I had to pay 2 mths rent plus 2 mths deposit that I will get back when I leave. 4 MTHS RENT UP FRONT...that's a lot! I mean I don't know many renters in Canada who would be able to afford 4 mths rent right away.

Add to that the fact that the Canadian dollar took a hit before I came here so my money was worth quite a bit less then it was when I was here in the Summer. To put it in perspective a tall Starbucks latte costs approx. $3.50 Can in Canada well if you do the conversion that same latte costs $5.30 in China....insanity!!! So yeah right off the top I was feeling pretty poor...ooh yeah and don't forget how my computer broke my first 2 wks could we forget that lol!?! Basically if you break my weekly budget down I try to live on 300 RMB a wk (approx. $50 Can) anyone who knows this is NOTHING! I spend about 100 RMB a wk on transportation (subway) and laundry which is actually kind of expensive for me b/c my apt. doesn't have a washer but they do have a laundry service downstairs for the tenants to use. I just give them one load a wk to separating either just all in one cuz I'm THAT poor lol! Thank God I pretty much only wear darks in the Winter anyway. That leaves 200 RMB for food (approx. $34 Can) - break that down and it's less than $5 a day...aka less than a friggin' Starbucks latte!

There has however been one benefit to my new found poverty - WEIGHT LOSS! Anyone who knows me knows I have struggled w/ my weight for many many since I was 9 or 10. Anyway, since I arrived here those few short wks ago I've managed to lose 16 pds! It's a lot I know but I was also up about 5 right before I left. Hoping to lose another 10...I'll keep everyone posted w/ pics of course.

So before you all freak out I'll let you know Yes I am eating! Just less and I don't go out and I don't drink and I walk a lot and I basically eat the same thing every day...yeah I know sounds kind of depressing doesn't it lol! Basically, I'm eating a lot of fruit, vegetables, chicken, yogurt and soup. I've pretty much cut out the breads and I have to be honest I've never felt better. I've always had a very sensitive stomach I think this definitely proves to me that I have some sort of wheat intolerance. So below I'm including some pics of my new found weight loss and of course a Before Shot...Enjoy!

Side Note: Yes this was taken on Halloween. Yes I'm a French Maid. No that is not my hair I made some clip in extensions. This was taken approx. 2 wks before I left and it is the most recent pic I have before my departure. Sorry it's not a straight on body shot - As someone that has always been bigger than most of her friends I've "mastered" the side angle body pose lol!


The first ones are of my Face - I'm serious looking so you can see my cheekbones. No makeup or contouring involved - ALL NATURAL!!!

These are body shots. Sorry I couldn't get a more full length pic but I took the pics myself in my bathroom and I can only hold my arm out so far lol. I'm wearing a pair of my old jeans to show you the difference in size and how big they are. For all weight loss updates I'll try and wear the same thing to really emphasize the difference.

Luckily, I haven't lost my breasts or booty yet :)

Look I have a natural 6 pack forming!!

My goal by the end of this is to be able to wear some God Damn Skinny Fucking Jeans!!! For the last few seasons I've seen cute girls styling it up w/ skinny jeans tucked into boots or w/ heels or w/ flats and I've been stuck in my flared or wide leg pants (I'm a pear I carry it all in my hips and thighs). But no more...I will wear skinny jeans...I don't even care if they aren't in fashion I WILL WEAR THEM!!

Happy New Years

Hello All! Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy New Years! It's actually been 2009 in Shanghai for 6.5 hrs already lol. I was actually working New Years which I preferred b/c let's be real I'd rather make money then spend money. I can go out any night (esp. in Shanghai) who cares about New Years in my opinion. Plus I'm use to working anyway b/c of my years of bartending. I'll be updating soon w/ some pics about the job I've been working on here. It's been interesting I suppose and not quite makeup related which is kind of weird but it pays great so I'm not complaining!

New Years Resolution 2009: I almost never make these but let's see - To Learn A New Language lol...might help while living in China and all ;)

I never could have predicted the twists and turns of this past year. I'm excited to see what lies ahead in the New Year! I'm really hoping my career will continue to grow this year...I'm pretty pleased w/ the results of last year...I mean I am in Shanghai after all!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Beauty Blender

So during my editorial for Modern Weekly I got the chance to use a new product that is taking the makeup world by storm - The Beauty Blender! I had heard a lot of hype about this product from several other professions so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and I can tell you I was NOT disappointed!

Basically it's an egg shaped sponge that you can use moist or dry and it comes w/ its own cleaner so it's reusable (yeah for the environment). It was designed by makeup artists and it really does help create a flawless finish. The patented rounded edge helps you say goodbye to visible lines and streaks - very good when talking about HD makeup and the pointed side is great for getting into those hard to reach areas i.e corners of eyes, around the nose. I should also mention this little gem is latex free, hypo-allergenic and odor free.

Unlike a lot of makeup artists I really do love sponges for finishing my foundation look...I don't know why and I feel like I'm in the minority since it seems EVERY makeup artist has their personal fav. foundation brush. But now I feel like I can come out of the closet and be proud to be a sponge girl w/ my new hi-tech Beauty Blender!

I should mention I do use foundation brushes when applying moisturizer, primer and foundation but I've never gotten in the habit of blending in my foundation w/ a standard foundation brush. I personally always found it a bit time consuming and annoying and much prefered to either take my MAC skunk brush (duo fibre brush) and blend the foundation in or a sponge right at the end to finish it off. I do still love the MAC skunk brush btw for buffing foundation into the skin for me it has always worked so much better than a typical foundation brush.

So now you ask where do I get myself one of these amazing little wonders! As some of you know I'm from Canada and I got mine before I left for Shanghai. I actually got mine from Holt Renfrew (Fancy Canadian Dept. Store). If you're in the US I would suggest heading over to Camera Ready Cosmetics . It's an online makeup store that carries only the best professional quality makeup brands. I have NEVER been disappointed w/ the service and it has always been very fast and professional...even when ordering from Canada. You can also go to The Beauty Blender website to see if there is a retailer near you that sells it.

FYI a single sponge and cleaner retails for about $35...I found it was the same in the US and Canada hence why I just bought mine in Canada. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

View From The Bund

So last wk I told you about Nils the crazy German. Well anyway, after the shoot we actually kept in contact and have now become friends. Great guy, very funny and I really enjoy hanging out w/ him. I don't actually have a lot of friends in Shanghai yet which can get a bit lonely so it's really nice to meet someone new that you actually want to hang out w/. I find I often meet ppl who are perfectly fine and okay to hang out w/ once in awhile but I wouldn't actually call them "friends" more acquaintances which can get pretty lonely here in Shanghai!

So the day after the shoot Nils actually accompanied me on some errands and I followed him all the way to Pudong to pick up his new tailored blazers (very cheap to have stuff made here). Apparently they weren't done right but I think they look great...Nils is very fashionable being from Europe and all lol! After the Pudong excursion we found ourselves having a few drinks on The Bund at a bar called The Captain I think? Nils thought they had a happy hour there but unfortunately it was Fri. and it only ran Mon-Thurs :(

Shanghai is famous for its drink specials and happy hours! As a girl I can find a bar/club w/ a ladies' night and drink free almost any night of the's crazy! Also many places offer 2 for 1 Happy Hour drinks or a lot of clubs have drink specials 100 RMB all you can drink all night long (this includes Vodka Red Bull)! Side Note: 100 RMB = $17 Can approx or $15 US. Think about it all you can drink for under $ you know why many ppl come to Shanghai to work and leave Shanghai alcoholics lol!

Anyway back to The Bund. For those of you that don't know The Bund is a big tourist area in Shanghai. It is on the Puxi side of Shanghai right on the Huangpu River and overlooks the Pudong side of Shanghai. It has many amazing old historical buildings and a really great nightlife and club scene where a lot of the more "posh" clubs are located.

Nils actually hates all the tourist bullshit and believes that you can only truly appreciate a city and it's culture by really immersing yourself in it. For Nils that has meant partying in the city for the past 2.5 yrs lol! Unfortunately, all of his fav. bars are now being taken over by Western guys which of course puts a little crimp in his game lol. Being that Nils hates all the tourist stuff I thought it was nice that he was willing to "suck it up" for me.

Below is a pic of us on The Bund w/ the Pudong side of Shanghai in the background. You can see the Pearl Tower in the background. Personally, I think it's gaudy but whatever. Btw Nils will probably kill me for posting this pic b/c he doesn't look good in it...I swear he is cute he's just incredibly unphotogenic...we're working on this lol!

This one shows more of the Shanghai skyline

Thursday, December 25, 2008

CHEEK Magazine Update

So awhile back I posted about my beauty editorial in this really cool online magazine called CHEEK Magazine . Anyway, I now have the pics to post up here and I figure a lot of ppl are lazy and didn't click the link (even though it's so easy to do lol). So here are the pics that were featured in the editorial. Enjoy!

P.S. If you click on the Pic you can see it larger :)


So back in May I did a really cool photo shoot in a car junkyard and have since seen in published in a few magazines (Vision - China, Catalog - Singapore) which is always great. Now it is available online in a sort of live action editorial which is really cool. Check it out and hope you enjoy!


Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to do a shout out to all my friends, family and loved ones and say MERRY CHRISTMAS! This is my first Christmas away from my family and I thought it would be really really horrible but it's not so bad since it's not a holiday in Shanghai and the city goes on like normal. Only some Chinese celebrate it but only in a commercial way...not religious at all - which is actually how I celebrate it too lol - Only Commercially!

So Merry Christmas Everyone...or Happy Holidays if you don't celebrate Christmas ;)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Behind the Scenes - Modern Weekly

So last wk I did a shoot for one of the magazines under the "Modern Weekly" magazine company in Shanghai. I always love shooting for mags even if it is a rather simple look and they don't pay a lot just b/c of the energy on set. This shoot in particular had a very "interesting" energy to say the least lol.

Did the makeup at the magazine office and then headed over to the location. We were shooting at the mag editor's "friend's" place. When we got there we were greeted by the obviously still VERY drunk "friend" lol. His name is Nils and what a character to say the least! He opened the door, let us in and proceeded to stumble around the apt. for a few mins slightly confused about what was going on b/c he had apparently lost his phone the night before and didn't even remember that we were coming over to shoot. He was very polite though and a great host - even offering us a bottle of Moet at 9 am lol. Unfortunately, b/c I was working I of course had to decline (although anyone who knows me knows I love a glass of champagne every now and again)...maybe if I would have added orange juice the 9 am thing wouldn't have been a problem lol?

Once we got shooting things went great! Really loved the backdrop of the city from the rooftop - great view. Plus w/ the early morning sun burst in the pics I think some of them will look really cool so I can't wait to see them when they come out.

But lets get back to Nils the true star of the shoot lol. Nils and I hit it off right away...even if he doesn't remember this happening lol. We talked and bonded over his life and why he wasn't working on a Thurs. morning. He made many mentions of the fat, ugly model and feeling disappointed b/c he was promised many thin, chinese, nearly naked models lol. He declared his love/hate relationship w/ fashion and his inner desires to intern at the fashion magazine. Mostly, I just tried to keep him out of the way and occupied so that Todd didn't kill him lol!

As the shoot progressed like all drunk men Nils realized how fabulous I was even though in his words "I'm not thin, tall and flat chested" like his "usual type" lol. He and I danced around his apt. and he put a very select group of songs on repeat and even let us hear the song he wants played at his funeral. After the shoot was finished we all had a glass of champagne to celebrate...I wish every shoot ended w/ glasses of champagne!

He somehow managed to get invited to the studio for the rest of the shoot and when we took him back to his apt. he refused to get out of the cab...REFUSED!! After many minutes of begging, pleading and arguing we gave up and had to take him back to the office where I distracted him w/ coffee and the editor snuck away lol. I'm still confused how someone could maintain that level of drunkness for that MANY hours lol!

Here's a few of Nils during the shoot and me "enjoying myself" after the shoot!

A picture really is worth
a 1000 words I think lol!
Let's count the photoshoot cliches - alcohol, cigarettes, sunglasses inside, cell phones, drunk guy - add some coke and we're set lol!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ice Cream!

If there is one thing I have learned about the Chinese (besides the fact that they are CRAZY drivers) it's that they LOVE ice cream! Actually they LOVE all sweets and things involving sugar but especially ice cream! When I came here in the Summer one of the first things I noticed was the obsession w/ cookies, candies and ice cream. Every metro stop has at least one bakery type stall. The grocery stores have aisles and aisles dedicated to this stuff. Hell the grocery store I shop at even has free standing Dairy Queen AND Haagen-Dazs stands in it. I will admit in the Summer I did let my sugar addiction get the best of me and I indulged and indulged and then I bulged and bulged. This time though I have resisted temptation (for the most part)...I think my poverty may have something to do w/ it lol!

What's crazy is that in Canada we don't even have Haagen-Dazs parlours and I've seen several of them in China. I can't find Fat Free cottage cheese here to save my life but I sure know where at least 3 Haagen-Dazs parlours are! They also just got a bunch of Cold Stone Creamerys here this past Summer. It's probably better for me that these don't exist in Canada b/c they are sooo goood! In Xintiandi they have both Cold Stone and Haagen-Dazs about 20 ft away from each other. Never seen Ben & Jerry's yet...I'm sure it's only a matter of time lol.


Whenever I miss seeing white people or hearing the sound of the English language I like to head on over to Xintiandi to get my fix. For those of you that don't know Xintiandi is probably one of the most popular and well known tourist areas in Shanghai and the Starbucks at the front of it is probably Shanghai's most well known Starbucks (which says a lot b/c they are EVERYWHERE).

Xintiandi translated means "New Heaven and Earth". Basically the area is composed of a bunch of restaurants, cafes and stores that are housed in restored traditional shikumen "stone gate" houses on narrow alleys. It's a quaint little area and you really feel like you're not even in the crazy city that is Shanghai anymore. And like any tourist attraction it is of course obscenely overpriced lol.

It was a really beautiful night tonight so I took some pics of the area. It's all done up in x-mas lights right now which is really pretty.

The Front Entrance

The Famous Starbucks

Hidden Alleyway

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

At Least It's Warm!

What a gorgeous, sunny day today in Shanghai. It must have been at least 16C and this is DEC. ppl! This is how you know I'm Canadian when I'm so friggin' excited about the weather...haha to all of you back in Toronto w/ your snow and -10C temperatures! What's funny is how freaked out the ppl get here when it gets down to like 4C. I'm a suck when it comes to cold weather (mainly b/c I'm always cold) but this just made me laugh.

I remember reading an article once that talked about Canadian's obsession w/ the weather and how it's a regular topic of conversation for us. I remember being a bit confused and thinking well yeah doesn't everyone talk about the weather? Apparently not...apparently some other nations don't feel the need to go on about the weather to such extremes like Canadians. Think about it WE ARE OBSESSED! It made me think what do these nations do for small talk then. I mean as a Canadian I think the first instinct when making small talk is to talk about the weather. Either "We're having a beautiful Summer this hot!" or "This Winter is definitely colder than last yr!" get the idea. I mean even in Shanghai I find myself talking about the weather quite a bit to other ppl. Usually they are talking about how cold it is and then it's my turn to laugh at them and brag about enduring cold Canadians Winters all my life (they don't need to know that I'm actually a big wuss when it comes to the cold and bitch about it all the time in Canada lol).

The big problem is what am I going to do after being spoiled like this when I'm back in Toronto next Winter lol!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Got My Computer Back!


So I got my computer back and it's up and running again which is great! No idea what was wrong w/ it but I don't care. What was annoying was yesterday they told me to go there at noon to pick it up...of course it wasn't ready and wouldn't be until 5. I was pissed so I told them they owed me a discount on the price since they wasted both my time and money to get down there...and they agreed so that made me happy! Now back to more important things like networking, correspondence, meetings etc. I hate when something distracts you from the task at hand!

Thursday, November 27, 2008



So I took my computer to be fixed today. I have no idea what was wrong w/ it nor do I really care all I know is that it will be fixed for me tomorrow at noon and it won't be costing me too much (thank God for visa l0l). I've decided I must have been a giant asshole in a past life b/c my luck just royally sucks lately! Should have things back to somewhat normal by tomorrow...YEAH!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Okay I'm trying to remain calm. I think my computer is screwed up...hopefully not too bad :( It won't start up properly and it's currently running some sort of error repair thing. I am praying that it is able to repair itself. That's all I need to add to everything is a computer that is broken and needs repair! I have enough trouble getting a taxi driver to take me to the right location let alone explain to an IT guy that there are probs w/ my computer!! I'm currently at a cafe drinking a latte I can't even really afford right now b/c I have to use the internet to correspond w/ clients and things. I mean take away my tv, dvd player, even my ipod (which I love dearly) but NOT my computer!! F*@K! F*@K! F*@K!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So I had two meetings today and I think they both went really well...hopefully good things will come from this i.e. Work! lol

Monday, November 24, 2008


So true in Business and in Life

Good - Fast - Cheap

Pick 2 out of the 3 b/c you can't have it all!

Good and Fast: Won't Be Cheap
Fast and Cheap: Won't Be Good
Good and Cheap: Won't Be Fast

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Don't Worry...

I gave in and went and bought a blanket and pillow everyone! Thank you for your concern it's nice to know you guys care. They were the cheapest blanket and pillow I could find at Carrefour (French Walmart) and they are ugly but they are keeping me warm at night and that's what matters. I have to admit it's nice to sleep through the night and not wake up multiple times to refill the hot water bottle that I was sleeping w/ to keep me warm lol. I have some good meetings this wk so hopefully some good stuff will come from that! And of course I'll keep you all updated!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hey Everyone,

Well I just saw my Beauty Story published in CHEEK MAGAZINE which is so exciting. It's an online Canadian mag and it's super cool w/ a lot of great editorials and info so I suggest everyone go check it out. My story is called Liquid Paper and I'm really proud of the work I did on that shoot b/c I think it really captures my personal style as a makeup artist - clean, precise and beautiful! I have to give a big shout out to photographer Troy Moth on the shoot b/c without his style and talent it wouldn't have been possible. This was our first shoot together and I'm so glad we met! We've done some amazing work together and when I get back to Canada I hope we can work together more b/c our team chemistry is just awesome and I LOVE the pics we always seem to produce! Troy is definitely one to watch out for. He's so young and so talented. Please don't forget me while I'm gone Troy lol!

My Apartment!

Okay so I've been in Shanghai about a wk now and it's been a pretty busy start! Arrived last Fri. night, checked out apts. on Sat., moved into my new apt. Sun. and from there just been going to meetings and stuff.

I got an agent to help me find a place just b/c it's easier that way being that I don't speak Mandarin (yet) and I don't know my way around that well (and I get lost very easily). My agent was really nice her name was Sophie and she took me around to a couple of different places. I even got to ride on the back of a scooter through Shanghai which anyone who knows Shanghai knows is an experience in itself!

It was between two places. The one was newer, smaller and a bit cheaper but not near as central. The place I ended up going w/ is about a 5 min walk from Xinzha metro which is 1 stop above People's Square line 1...very central which is exactly what I was going for since as I mentioned before I'm directionally challenged and when you don't know the language it brings the game of charades to a whole new level when communicating w/ ppl. It's a one bedroom...nice enough...nothing fancy but whatever I really just want a place to stay that doesn't have cockroaches! And so far I can safely say I haven't seen I'll go knock on some wood!

As many of you know my apt. in Shanghai last Summer came w/ house guests aka cockroaches. I asked my friend Todd (Canadian photographer) during the Summer one request in apt. hunting- no cockroaches and no rats...well at least it didn't have rats. My second night there I saw two cockroaches in the kitchen...apparently it just can't be helped! Well I put out traps and only saw about one a wk...unfortunately I don't know if they were eating the dead ones or something but they started to grow to mutant size. At least I can look back and call it a character building experience lol.

One thing that majorly sucks here though is that they require 2 mths rent plus 2 mths deposit (that's 4 mths...with the Can. dollar in the crapper that's a lot!). Until I start working this has left me beyond poor...I haven't bought sheets for my bed yet but I think today I'm going to go buy a blanket b/c sleeping in my coat w/ a hot water bottle just isn't cutting it (no I'm not joking here). Thankfully I found out that the air conditioners in China are also the heaters as I was really beginning to worry that I had somehow rented an apt. that didn't have heat as I couldn't see a vent anywhere in the place... I was definitely cold and it's only Nov. so I was more than a little worried (esp. since I'm sleeping w/ a coat and hot water bottle lol).

Here's some pics of my apt.

Here's the kitchen

Living room...Love that orange couch lol...esp. w/ pea green wall off the kitchen!

Here's the bedroom - See no sheets! Actually I've just been sleeping on my orange couch until now!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hello All!

Hey Everyone,

Well this is my very first Blog Posting! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the most computer literate person so bear w/ me while I learn lol!

Anyway, as many of you know I'm currently residing in Shanghai, China working as a Makeup Artist. I've basically started this Blog to keep everyone up-to-date on my life here and to raise awareness about my work!