Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Interesting" Afternoon!

So yesterday night I noticed my water wasn't working but I thought maybe it was just them doing repairs for a few hrs or something but when I woke up this morning it still wasn't working. I went downstairs and talked (mimed) to the front desk the problem and I don't know what the maintenance guy did outside my apt. but he got it working. Yeah Great...I have water again!

Then randomly this afternoon my toilet starts over flooding...AHHH! Thank God I noticed soon after it started! It was just pouring everywhere and I of course am freaking out 1) b/c water is going everywhere 2) even though it's "clean" water it's still toilet water EWW! I grabbed some sort of bucket and was trying to collect the water to throw down the shower drain but that wasn't very effective. After like 3 mins I realized this isn't going to stop so I went downstairs and again mimed the problem w/ just a little bit more urgency this time. Came back upstairs and kept trying to keep the situation under control. Now I know why there is a drain in the middle of my bathroom floor! That drain saved my whole bathroom and probably hallway from getting flooded. Thankfully the maintenance guys are pretty quick here so I wasn't left waiting for too long and I was able to keep it somewhat under control. Again don't know what was wrong but he fixed it and all is good in the world again...hopefully!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inked Update

Ugghh sometimes magazines just really annoy me! So Todd sent the pics to Inked and they liked them but felt there wasn't enough tits and ass basically. Umm we were using an Asian model - she doesn't even have tits and ass lol! Well guess what it's Jan. in Shanghai and you want us to shoot outside how much tits and ass can we possibly show in the cold w/out getting arrested! If they wanted full glamour they need to supply us w/ a glamour tattooed model b/c unfortunately those don't exist in Shanghai.

It's just annoying b/c this mag gives no budget and then they aren't satisfied w/ the results. It's just like those annoying bridal clients who try to bargain you down and give them a deal. You'd think they'd be grateful that you cut them a deal but that's never the case they are always the most nit picky, complaining of the bunch and they are never satisfied always trying to get more and more.

I'm just happy to hear they are going to use the pics but they are going to go w/ a full Masson story like I'd hoped for in the beginning so that also works out fine for me although I feel sorry for the other model.

Inked Photoshoot

So last night Todd and I worked together on a shoot for Inked Magazine. It's based on of NYC and it's a tattoo magazine that also has a cool fashion element to it. Todd has been trying to shoot for them for a long time but it's really hard finding models (or even relatively attractive girls for that matter) in Shanghai w/ tattoos. Back when I was here in the Summer we did a test shoot w/ two twins that had a bunch of tattoos and let's put it this way there was A LOT of dim lighting and smoke being used lol!

Anyway, it was a night shoot w/ two girls. One a fairly well known Asian model named Masson and the other was just a girl that is getting an amazing dragon tattoo all over her back. The prob was the regular girl was okay but no model and next to Mason it showed. I think Todd is just going to push for the Masson pics to be used b/c they are just way stronger and she had tattoos in various locations on her body while the other girl had an amazing piece on her back but how many times for a fashion/editorial shoot can you shoot someone's back and make it look different (and for me it's not like you can really see her face for the makeup even). Also yesterday was Chinese New Year so the study Todd normally works out of is closed for the holidays so we did something different. We did the makeup and hair and my place. Which actually was really nice b/c I didn't have to lug my kit anywhere and they came to me.

The models were real troopers though b/c like I mentioned it was a night shoot and Todd wanted it to be a cityscape shoot too b/c this edition of the mag is suppose to be about travel so he needs to show it's Shanghai. On a normal shoot this would be unpleasant b/c of the unusually cold weather Shanghai has been having the last few days but it was even more so b/c this is a tattoo shoot which means these girls have to have limited clothes at some points. Like the back tattoo basically she's posing outside in jeans, no shirt - holding something to cover her front while he's shooting the back and Masson's biggest tattoo is on her leg so that meant lots of shorts and skirts...and they had to walk to various locations near my place and it was like at least -5C...ouch!

Normally, I like to be there on set while they are shooting but I actually couldn't be there for this one b/c when they were shooting one girl I was getting the other one ready or I had to wait w/ the one girl in my apt. while the other was shooting or wait for the pizza to be delivered (yeah a little dip in detox lol). But Karina, Todd's fiance was on set and she use to model so she knew how to brush hair into place and things like that so I wasn't too worried. I saw the raw pics today and I gotta say I like them a lot, very sexy to me. Plus it's an American mag so that makes me happy. Didn't pay well but I'll mention a cosmetic brand that I was using and get credit for products at least. So can't wait till that comes out! Sorry no behind the scene pics on this one since I wasn't there during the shooting and none were taken while I was doing makeup b/c they were out shooting.

On another note I saw the DestinAsian cover layout and I have to admit I'm not impressed and definitely a bit disappointed. I think the mag just chose a really mediocre and blah pic for their cover. I saw some of the other pics and there were definitely better ones so that's kind of disappointing b/c it's my first cover and I don't even really like it but hey at least it's a cover I suppose.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Apparently according to a translating program on the internet the title is suppose to mean "Happy New Year" or xinnian kuaile in pinyin ! If it doesn't mean that oh well I tried lol. It's Chinese New Year now so basically it's a mini war zone of fire crackers going off outside my apt. today.

I'm basically laying low and waiting for it all to pass to be honest. Nils says this is the best time of year b/c everyone is really happy and the Chinese girls are easier to get into bed lol...unfortunately getting Chinese girls into bed is not my modus operandi so it doesn't really help me out (btw Nils is going to hate me for writing that...Hi Nils!). Truthfully, I just want this whole thing over so work will start to pick up again...ugghh kind of annoying that this celebration is actually days/wks long.

Edit: Thank You Nils for telling me how to properly say Happy New Years!

Friday, January 23, 2009

PUSH it Magazine

FINALLY a magazine has picked up an editorial I did back in the Summer during my first trip to Shanghai. Just a re-cap back in the Summer I did this really awesome shoot at Jin Mao (same place as DestinAsian shoot) that was suppose to be featured in a certain mag I will not name but at the last minute they cut the story UGGHH! Ever since then Todd has been trying to get this damn thing published somewhere. I think it's coming out in some mag that's being specially made for the World Fair in Shanghai in 2010 but that's not for another yr! So I was happy to get an email from Todd saying that it was now online in PUSH it Magazine . If you go to the Fashion section and then go to the Editorial titled Power Lady you will see the shoot. I'm really hoping that it will be in a published version of the mag too b/c right now it's just online and the published version doesn't come out for another mth or so. The model Genevieve was amazing and so beautiful...and she's Canadian so that was cool to have 3 Canadians all working on a shoot in Shanghai.

Edit: Thanks Amy for reminding me I could use the save screen function on my computer for the online editorial...Duh! I'm such a computer's amazing I can keep this blog going w/ pics and links...seriously!!

Anyway, here's the featured editorial for your enjoyment:

Private Lesson

So I did my private consultation/lesson today that was postponed last weekend and it went so well! I know this sounds weird but sometimes I get more nervous doing private lessons and consultations then I do going to a shoot. I guess b/c the model has no real say in what I do to her at a shoot so I don't care whether she likes it or not but obviously that's the main goal in a lesson. I'm always paranoid that the women aren't going to feel like they learned enough or anything new to make it money well spent or that they are going to have unrealistic expectations as to what I'm able to accomplish w/ a makeup brush lol.

I was a little nervous about this one for two reasons: 1) She's Asian and sometimes Asian women are skeptical that I can teach them how to do their makeup since I am obviously not Asian lol 2) From talking to her husband I got the impression that she already knew quite a bit about makeup and had quite a bit of makeup so again I was worried I wouldn't be able to teach her anything new

She's only 24 and had fabulous skin but I was able to give her some good suggestions on skincare and prep before makeup aka moisturizers and primers for the skin. Overall she had good base knowledge for her day look I just helped her spice it up a bit and taught her how to incorporate eyeshadow into a day look as well as how to fill in and finish off her eyebrows a bit w/out making them look too done. Plus she really liked the tips I gave her about contouring/highlighting her cheekbones a bit plus how to highlight/contour the bridge of her nose just a bit so that it was a bit more pronounced and not as flat but still totally realistic for the daytime.

I think the biggest thing she ended up being excited about was learning how to do a day time and night time smokey eye. I think every lesson I ever give though that is the one thing every woman wants to master is that elusive smokey eye. I had to be careful w/ her b/c her eyes were quite slanted and a bit small so I had to make sure not to make them smaller by going to dark on the makeup but she really loved what I was able to teach her. She already had a pretty good makeup collection but just didn't know how to use it so that helped a lot. Plus she was a really quick learner which made things so much easier...seriously sometimes I just don't get how women can not understand how to hold and use an angle brush it just seems natural to me but apparently not! I think sometimes the reason I undervalue the knowledge I'm giving to these women is b/c to me it just seems like common sense. Like I just mention random things that I think nothing of but then I realize that to so many others these things are like the most amazing tips they've never thought about or heard of before. Something simple like blending is really what made this lesson for her. She had tried and tried to do a smokey eye before and couldn't get it and then I taught her all about blending and having the right brushes (the one thing she does need to go buy) and it was like I handed her the greatest piece of information ever...I never thought of blending as that big of a secret but I mean it does make sense I can always tell an amateurs work from a pros by their ability to blend. So yeah...feels great to make this young woman so happy and for her to have a birthday gift she won't ever forget!

Only problem...slight setback on Detox Day 5. Her husband was very sweet and brought us lunch during the lesson. Lunch unfortunately for me consisted of: croissants, jam, orange juice and basically we have everything I was trying to avoid all right there - bread, sugar and baby oranges...ugghh...of course I had to have a little bit I mean how rude and weird would it have been to not eat something after he went out and bought it for us all. Back on track tomorrow though!

P.S. I'm sorry my fellow Canadians that I mocked you yesterday w/ my talk of the weather. It's friggin' cold today in Canada style cold -3C but feels like -11C. I know it's no -23C like you had before but still it serves me right rubbing my nice weather in your face lol.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update: Haggling For A Curling Iron

So I went and did my haggling today...actually I didn't even really have to haggle so that worked out well lol! I went to the street that has all the beauty supply stores...and I found it quite easily which made me really happy b/c People's Square the central metro stop in Shanghai has 20 different exits so I'm really impressed that I picked the right one...I of course started to walk North instead of South upon exiting the metro but I figured out I was going in the wrong direction in less than a minute so that's really good for me lol!

So I went in a couple of beauty stores and then went back to the one w/ the most selection to do my haggling. Another makeup artist in Shanghai told me it would cost between 150-170 rmb for a decent curling iron that had variable temperature control on it so that was good to know before I got started. So a young girl is helping me. I should add that I literally don't speak a word of Chinese except Thank You (and according to Nils I don't even say that right lol)...btw yes I will soon be learning Chinese I've contacted what seems to be a very nice Chinese girl and we are going to meet once a wk to do a language exchange - My English for Her Chinese :) So back to the curling iron, the sales girl of course doesn't speak any English (this is VERY common btw) so basically we just play charades of me pointing to different irons and her showing them to me. Then I narrow it down and we have a pad of paper and she writes down prices and I bargain from there.

Well the first iron was the one I was eyeing the most and I ask how much and she writes down 80 right away I'm a little confused and wondering if I have chosen a crappy curling iron. Then I point to another and I realize she doesn't actually know what to charge me b/c she goes and asks another girl, they talk for a bit and then comes back and writes down another amount which is about 3X the price of the first one. I ask about another one and again she asks the girl and she writes down a price that's about 2X the price of the first one and this one doesn't even have temperature control. I ask about a fourth one and again she goes and asks another girl and comes back and this one is the most expensive at 4X the price of the first one.

So I soon realized she made a mistake w/ the first price but can't go back now b/c she's already told me 80 rmb that's why she had to check on the prices for all the other irons. So I tried to bargain a bit for the first one but I realized yeah she can't go lower she already made a mistake lol...I mean it's 100 rmb less then I was expecting to pay so I can't really complain much btw 80 rmb = $12 USD. It's a professional quality one too, temperature control, swivel handle and everything. So I bought the curling iron and then treated myself to a Starbucks latte for a job well done!

Btw for all you jealous Canadians it was a gorgeous sunny day today of about 12C in Shanghai so I got to enjoy my Starbucks over a nice, relaxing walk home...hope you're all enjoying your snow and -10C weather hahaha!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

U+ Magazine

So I'm sure you all remember the photo shoot staring Nils a few wks ago. Anyway, the mag that shoot was featured in has come out and I grabbed a couple of copies YEAH! It's actually for a new weekly magazine under Modern Weekly company (they have like 10 mags) and it's called U+ (well actually it's called something in Chinese but that's what I can read lol).
The spread is okay. Definitely not one of my favs but whatever it was paid and I like to see my name in print lol. The main prob. is that for the most part it seems Chinese fashion editors don't know how to choose good pics for editorials. There will be a bunch of really cools pics that could make a really cool story but they always want to play it safe and they seem to be really obsessed w/ making sure all of the details of the clothes are showing. Like the model could have some screwed up face but as long as the clothes are lying right on the body they will choose that pic...ugghh!

So anyway, here are the shots that were used in the mag. These aren't the actual tears just the pics used that Todd sent me. The model's name is Kristina btw.

I really like the pics w/ the sun burst but unfortunately it's a little too close to the face and the printing quality isn't that great so it washes out the details of the face and makeup too much :(

This pic I don't get at all! She's making a weird face why would anyone choose this pic!Align Center

Btw I just got the sample pics that are going to be used by Norbert Kniat in that awful, long photo shoot for Don Gil Magazine and I'm actually overall really pleased w/ them! If the printing quality is decent I'll definitely be happy w/ the editorial esp. w/ the conditions that were experienced that day...ugghhh!!

Haggling for a Curling Iron

So today I'm going down to GuangDong Lu to go haggle for a new curling iron for a shoot I have this weekend. Apparently this is THE street for curling irons and other hair equipment b/c it was suggested to me by two separate MUAs. I'm just hoping I can find the damn thing b/c anyone who knows me just a bit knows how directionally challenged I am. Seriously, Todd has said to me before if you think you should go Right...just go Left lol.

Haggling or Bargaining is always a weird one for me. In North America this sort of thing makes me totally uncomfortable but here I just get into my actor's mind and pretend I'm someone who's good at haggling...and last time I tried I was actually pretty good :) . It's all a game really and you can't get really aggressive during the process you just have to smile and play nice. Basically you have to pretend like you're not interested and they will tell you a price usually showing it to you on a calculator. You then sort of laugh and shake your head and pretend like you're not interested then they ask you to suggest a price and you suggest something really low and they laugh and you and usually say something like "NO...what's your REAL price...what's your REAL price?" Then you insist that is your real price and you start haggling from there until you are both satisfied or you walk away and try somewhere else. The important thing is to always keep it light and smiling. I'm a pretty good bluffer too b/c I've even walked away and had them chase me back and give it to me at the price I wanted. Let's see how my haggling skills are today!

Btw on Detox Day far not going too bad. Have had a couple of headaches but I figure it's probably the lack of caffeine and sugar.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Detox Time - Day 1

Last few wks I've been a lot busier w/ work which has been great $$$ but this has also meant that I've been eating a lot crappier too. Being broke I'm never one to turn down free food but unfortunately free food at shoots is usually not the most healthy - pizza, greasy chinese food, pastries etc. Also I've noticed being the sugar addict that I am I've begun to rely WAY to heavily on fruit for my sugar fix - hello mandarin oranges how I love you! Aww...mandarin oranges they are small (and cheap) and before you know it you've eaten like 10 lol!

Anyway, the Chinese New Year is almost here and that unfortunately means no work :( but I figure it's a good time to take hold and detox the diet b/c I won't be tempted by any of the deliciously bad for you treats often available on set. So for the next wk to 2 wks I'm going to clean out the diet - no fruit, sugar or processed flour/breads. I might start to add a piece of fruit in every day after the first wk I'll see.

So for the next two wks my diet it will mainly consist of water, vegetables, low fat diary and protein! I know I wasn't getting enough protein before as it was so this will be a good chance to rectify that situation. Plus I really need to work on the water situation. I'm one of those ppl that unless I make a conscious effort to drink 6-8 glasses a day I won't...and unfortunately I don't think diet coke zero counts lol. Ahh diet coke zero you will be missed :*(

Wish me Luck!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

DestinAsian Magazine Shoot

So a little over a wk ago I did my first cover shoot for this magazine called DestinAsian Magazine. Apparently, it's available all over Asia and you can sometimes even find it in North America which is cool.

The location of the shoot was at The Jin Mao Tower and more specifically in the Grand Hyatt Hotel Presidential Suite (costs approx. 42 000 rmb/night = approx. $6200 USD) and Cloud 9 (the highest bar in the world - 87 floor). I've actually shot in both of these locations before for a very cool shoot I did in the Summer. Until 2007 Jin Mao was the tallest building in the PRC (People's Republic of China) but since 2007 the Shanghai World Financial Center which is next to Jin Mao has claimed that honour.

The Grand Hyatt is actually a pretty cool hotel in that it's circular and from the atrium when you look up it's actually kind of trippy....looking down from one of the top floors makes me dizzy though.

Anyway, back to the shoot. This was overall a really easy shoot. The model Emily is suppose to be a real up and coming model in Asia so let's hope so b/c it really helps the mag (and my work ;) ) get more recognition. She had great skin and really knew her posing so shooting was a breeze in comparison to a lot of shoots in Shanghai. A lot of times the girls will not have good skin (both asian and foreign) and a lot of the foreigner models are brand new and therefore don't know the first thing about posing while a lot of the Asian models just don't get it and lack something in the eyes.

The dress for the shoot was this really pretty purple floral piece by Vivienne Tam. I decided to incorporate the purple palette of the dress into my eye and lip makeup and went w/ a loose, undone side updo as I wanted to capture the romantic and flowy feel of the dress I didn't want anything too structured or tight. I really hope the pictures from this one turn out well! As I mentioned before it's my first cover!

I think the pics from the Presidential Suite were definitely the stronger of the locations so I'm really hoping the mag chooses one of those for their cover. It's so crazy b/c the living room in the suite is probably the size of my apt. lol. The bathroom has it's own sauna which is nice and I think I've seen NYC apts. smaller than the walk in closet lol.

After the shoot we got to have lunch in one of the hotel's restaurants (The Italian Cucina I think) for free - drinks, main, dessert - everything! Definitely a step up from the usual pizza or greasy chinese normally offered on set. Now anyone that's been reading this knows I'm not rolling in the dough so when you offer me a great lunch in a great restaurant you better believe I take full advantage of it lol! The only thing that sucked was Todd was in a hurry b/c he was leaving for Singapore the next day and had a bunch of errands to do after the lunch so we didn't really get a chance to sit and enjoy ourselves all that much. Even in the rushed meal I still managed to fit in the the 3 course lunch they offered and a glass of wine. I had a mushroom soup to start, then a grilled snapper I believe and a chocolate torte for dessert...all very good!

So now I'll leave you w/ some behind the scenes pics from the shoot:

Todd shooting (again on the ground lol)

Touch up Time
Cloud 9 Bar
Presidential Suite
I really liked the feel of these pics on the couch hope one of these is chosen!
These had a cool feel to them too but better suited to an editorial not a cover shot.

Appointment Re-Scheduled

So my personal consultation/makeup lesson appointment had to re-schedule today which kind of sucks. A guy has bought this as a gift for his wife on her b-day which I think is a really thoughtful and unique gift for a guy to give. I mean who wouldn't want a professional makeup consulation/lesson w/ a professional makeup artist where you can ask all the questions you've ever wanted to ask, learn tips and tricks and have them design and teach makeup looks specifically geared towards you.

I kind of figured he might have to re-schedule though b/c he called me yesterday and told me his wife was sick in bed but then later in the day he texted me that she seemed to be feeling better. Well it's okay I'll do the lesson next wk I mean I don't want to go there when she's not feeling her best b/c she won't really enjoy it as much and I don't want to worry about getting sick myself.

Chinese New Year is fast approaching now which kind of sucks b/c it means pretty much absolutely no shoots for two wks as the city pretty much shuts down and there is nothing going on except celebrations.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shanghai - How I Got Here!

So a few ppl have asked me to tell my story about how I came to live and work in Shanghai in these recent mths. So I'll try to explain it as best as I can w/out being too long winded and boring (umm definitely ended up being long winded, hopefully not too boring lol). I think it's actually a pretty interesting story but I guess that will have to be for you guys to decide :)

Okay well I'll start w/ a little background info. I'm actually a pretty new MUA. I've actually only been finished school a little less than 2 yrs now so in the grand scheme of things I'm still a rookie! I was doing shoots while in school but officially I've been at this less than 2 yrs now...overall I'm pretty excited and happy w/ how I've grown as an artist these past two yrs and what I've been able to accomplish and do thus far. I wish I had some pics from my very first shoot so you guys could see just how much I've grown but I'm pretty sure I've burned all that evidence lol! Actually here's a pic from my third ever photoshoot (it was for school). The model is my beautiful friend Sophia. I actually still really like this pic but I can tell you they weren't all winners like this one!

I've been able to find a few pics from shoots I did while still in school...ugghh I can't believe I'm going to show these to you guys but I think they will motivate and inspire newbies that they can/will get better. Also it will show I didn't always work w/ great photographers and models! Even though I had some hits (ice princess above) I definitely had some misses and still do and I think it's important to see and realize that not ever shoot is going to be amazing and it's good for the growth process to sometimes suck lol! Here they are (btw these aren't the worst...those don't exist anymore lol):

This was for a school assignment not a real shoot just my digital camera - see even I did cliches like sprinkles on the lips lol! It's actually not that bad I mean my lines were clean...always a big thing for me!
This was my take on Kate Moss' The Biba look in Kevyn Aucoin's Making Faces

This one actually does make me was suppose to be pheasant inspired or something stupid...this was a shoot where I just felt oh no this is sooo not working! Btw same model as the pic above.
This was kind of a Halloween inspired look...for me the lines aren't clean like they should be!

Okay so that's a visit down memory lane now I'll get to my first "big break". About 6 mths after I finished school I saw an ad posted in Craigslist looking for an MUA for some magazine editorials. I thought this sounds kind of crazy (I mean what legit photographer advertises mag editorials on Craigslist lol) but whatever what did I have to lose! So I responded and the photographer got back to me and we set up an interview at Starbucks. So I went to the interview that day and that's when I met photographer Todd Anthony Tyler. He looked through my book and explained why he was looking for an MUA for mag editorials on Craigslist. Turns out he didn't know any Toronto MUAs b/c he was just in from Shanghai, China visiting his family in Toronto and wanted to do a few mag editorials while in town.

So anyway, he explained that he would be shooting editorials for two mags - Maxim China (male fashion editorial) and Vision (female editorial). We talked for a long time about his travels, work, fashion, the business, life...everything lol. I really lucked out b/c the MUA that was suppose to come after me never arrived so I talked to him for over an hr that day (I will forever be thankful to that flaky MUA lol)! He interviewed a lot of MUAs that day but he just really enjoyed my enthusiasm and excitment about the shoots and his work so he took a chance and hired me on the spot for the two editorials even though I can tell you my book was definitely not that strong!

So the first shoot we ever did together was for Maxim China w/ the male model. This started off awfully and thank God he didn't hold this day against me! I had to take the GO train out to the location (his mother's house lol) and I made a mistake and got off at the wrong stop. I was waiting for him to pick me up for over an hr and I was freaking out that I was blowing the biggest opportunity of my life. I kept trying to call him to find out what was going on but I couldn't get through b/c he only had a Chinese number. I was ready to cry right there and give up when finally this woman came frantically up to me "Jessica?" she asked..."Yes!!" I was his mother they had somehow figured out that I went to the wrong stop and she found me! YEAH! I felt soo bad though b/c I'm super anal about punctuality and all of that I even spoke to him about this in our first meeting...thankfully he didn't hold it against me lol!
Here's a couple of pics that were featured in that editorial (it was an X-mas shoot). The model's name is Justin:

So now on to the second shoot! The big shoot! I mean a male model is nothing but the next one was a female makeup and hair concept! So this shoot was on a Sunday and I almost royally screwed up this one too! Again I had to take the GO train out to Whitby but I almost did not make that train! I forgot on Sundays the subway doesn't start until 9 am in Toronto and I literally almost missed that train...OMG my heart actually starts racing when I think about it! The train was set to leave at 9 am I got to the station and bought my ticket at 8:57 I then had to run through the station and up about 4 flights of stairs to get to the train...did I mention I had my kit w/ me of course! Now this is why I am so glad I've always been one to condense my kit and never believed in those kits on wheels. Relying on the metro and living in a city w/ a lot of snow in the Winter a kit w/ wheels just doesn't make sense so I've always had something I can throw over my shoulder and run w/. And man did I run....OMG I ran up 4 flights of stairs and I literally was ready to throw my body through the doors if the train was closing I didn't care what kind of bruises I would have gotten! I mean can you imagine after the other mishap saying to the photographer umm I missed my train you have to come get me in Toronto the next train isn't for an hr! I got on that train w/ 1 min to spare. I sat there shaking and hyperventiallating for at least 10 mins once the train got moving.

Once on set everything was great that day! The only real issue was the model - Victoria (Elmer Olsen) was brand new...she was 15. Like other than a test shoot this was her first real shoot...damn what a way to start an 8 pg editorial in an international mag! Of course her posing was stiff but Todd made it work for the story. We were shooting at this awesome location. It was this stone, gravel and sand work yard and Todd shot two stories 1. featuring the stone, sand and gravel and 2. featuring the trucks and metal. I personally liked the stone and gravel story better in the end but all the mags went for the truck story (China doesn't really have big trucks so I guess it was different for them). Here's a few pics from the shoot that day. I'm including one pic from the unused stone story and a couple that were actually printed w/ the trucks:

I still love this pic! From the unused story! She's 15!!

These pics were actually featured in the mags!

Okay so that explains how I met Todd Anthony Tyler and our first couple of shoots together. During the shoots he said something to me about all the opportunities in Shanghai and how I should think about going out there to work or something. I'm sure he was probably just saying it casually like when someone says yeah come to my cottage this Summer...I mean no one actually goes to the cottage lol. Well I didn't care whether he meant the invitation or not I was going to take him up on it. So before even the second shoot ended I said I'm going to come to Shanghai at some point! I'm sure he didn't think I was serious but he was like yeah that would be cool. It's so funny b/c to me it seemed like a no brainer to take this opportunity but after talking to a lot of ppl it seems I'm actually a bit crazy b/c most ppl I talked to said they don't think they would have done it but I looked at it like I'd be CRAZY to NOT do it! But I guess that's what truly separates ppl - some are willing to risk everything to go after what they want and some like to play it safe.

Anyway, over the next few mths we kept in contact and emailed each other every couple of wks. Then I started to seriously talk to him about the prospect of me going out to Shanghai. He was totally up for it and was willing to help me out a lot. I decided that I would go in the Summer and check things out. Unfortunately, this past Summer was probably one of the worst times as a foreigner to try and come to China...umm the Olympics anyone!?! Yes they were in Beijing but getting a visa was an ordeal in itself. So before I left for Shanghai Todd came back to Toronto and we did three more editorials together while he was in town and then I left for Shanghai w/ him! So during my two mths in Shanghai I tried to do as much as I could as far as networking, meeting other photographers, mag editors, ppl in the business etc. Right away I knew this was a much better market for a newer MUA like myself. To be honest it was not that profitable for me in the Summer b/c everyone was preoccupied w/ the Olympics so there just wasn't as many shoots as usual which sucked but I could see there was potential and I liked the city enough that I decided I wanted to come back and give it a real try a few mths later.

When I got back to Toronto I made it my mission to build my book as much as I could during the next few mths before I went back to Shanghai. Plus w/ the few editorials I had in my book and working in Shanghai for the past few mths I seemed a lot more exciting and enticing to a lot of good photographers in Toronto. It's amazing how cool you sound when ppl ask so what have you been up to and you can say "well I just spent the past few mths living/working in Shanghai" lol. I mean isn't that the way in Canada ppl only care about you once you've gone somewhere else and done something lol! So it was during this time that I met photographer Troy Moth and as many of you know some of my fav. work has been created w/ him. It's literally been like the last 6 mths that my book has just gone threw an amazing growth and change and I've really started to come into my own.

So come Nov. I decided to head on back to Shanghai where I've now been these past 2 mths. It hasn't all been easy as many of you know from reading this blog. I've been pretty broke and I've been working hard but I feel it's all starting to come together now. It's important to remember that it takes time even when you have a great connection like Todd. I'm really optimistic about this yr. and I'm excited to see where this crazy adventure will take me! I mean if someone had ever said to me 2 yrs ago you'll be living/working in Shanghai I would have laughed at them! So yeah basically that's my story...I know it's long sorry lol. But hopefully some of you will find it inspirational or something and I figure if nothing else I can be the Urban Legend of the Makeup Artist who got her big break through a Craigslist Ad lol!

Old Video - Me @ Work

So I found this video of me doing some makeup at a shoot about 10 mths ago and I thought I'd share the link w/ you guys if you wanted to watch it! I guess for some of you it might be interesting to see some of my work from the past and where I've come since then. I don't actually have the video it's just tagged on my facebook so I can't actually upload it onto here but I'll try and do some videos in the future. It's so crazy b/c this shoot feels so long a lot has happened in the last yr! I had finished school pretty much exactly a yr before this shoot and 3 mths later I went to Shanghai (first trip) to work for the Summer!

So this was just a creative I did almost a yr. ago in Toronto w/ photographer David Chang, Hairstylist Tony Jorge and Model Shiya (Sutherland). Shiya was pretty much brand new at this time and she's actually really kind of exploded in Canada. She's appeared in all the big Canadian mags, ads for The Bay, Rogers, Winners and even worked in Milan this past Summer. So talented and so beautiful!

Funny I was in Toronto during this shoot but I guess even then I was trying to surround myself w/ Asians lol!

Here's the link: Me @ Work

Here's a few pics from that shoot!
First Look of the Day!

I actually still have this pic in my book!

This is a pic from the look featured in the video...sorry it's small but full size it's a cool pic!
Align Center

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fantastics Mag Editorial

So my editorial in the amazing online mag Fantastics Mag has FINALLY come out! I'm so excited and the editorial looks AMAZING!! It's called Powder Coated and it's the featured editorial at this time.

This is probably my fav. editorial I've shot to date! I love every single picture in it and shooting this was so fun and exciting! I love when you leave set after a shoot and you're on a high b/c you KNOW that you've produced some awesome images!

This was shot by one of my fav. photographers the very talented and very young Troy Moth . I'm so glad I met him when I did b/c I plan to latch onto him as he makes his way to the top lol! I've said it before the two of us have a great working chemistry and I can't wait to work w/ him again in the future!

The model's name is Amirah (Elite) and I just have to say she was such a good sport! I mean I threw so much flour at her but she was so great at holding the pose, not tensing up and not closing her eyes which is so hard when you're waiting for something to hit you from behind. Also you don't know how messy this was for her...and her hair...ooh don't even get me started. Umm flour + gel + water does not equal something pretty in the end! It was like a gunky, thick, paste by the end and I don't even know how many washes it probably took to get out!


Below is a taste of some of the pics featured in the editorial but seriously check out the actual editorial b/c it's so much more AMAZING on the site!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Interview About Me

Fellow blogger and makeup artist Amy V. asked me to do an interview for her blog where she features a makeup artist who's work she admires. I'm beyond flattered that she asked me to be the first makeup artist featured on this weekly segment that she has started.

So check out the interview here: Learning from the Best: Jessica Jean Myers

I would just like to add I'm nowhere near "the best" in any realm but thanks Amy for the kind words!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Advertising - Where The Money Is At!!!

So last Thurs. I did the makeup and hair on a shoot for an advertising campaign for some sort of face cream for a skincare company within Proctor & Gamble. I still have to find out what company it was for my resume. Funny thing is the production company running things didn't even know what skin cream line it was for just that they were owned by Proctor & Gamble. I guess that answers the question whether the product was used during the shoot lol!

Anyway, what a different shoot in EVERY conceivable way from the editorial on Tues lol! Again two models - guy & girl. Skin cream line so of course they want a no makeup makeup look (very common in advertising). So had them both in and out of my chair w/ hair/makeup in under and hr. In fact I would even say the guy was a bit harder b/c he had dryness around his nose and a bit on his forehead and a little bit of acne. The girl had beautiful skin...I'm sure in part why she was hired for a face cream ad lol.

The shoot itself only lasted I'd say under 5 hrs. And that's being generous w/ the time b/c in all honesty we could have done hair/makeup and shoot in 3 hrs. The only reason it took so long was the team members at the shoot in Shanghai had to send pics via email to the other team members in Guangzhou for final confirmation. This of course slowed things down a lot b/c they had to send pics of the two models in wardrobe/hair/makeup and get approval and then after every mini set of shooting send the favs. to them and see if there was any feedback and changes necessary. This would sometimes take like 45 mins between so really the actual shoot time was nothing it was just the waiting that took time. At least we were indoors, warm, dry and fed lunch unlike Tues. lol. Oh yeah the best part less then half the hrs of the other shoot and literally 5Xs the money...YEAH I LOVE ADVERTISING WORK! May be brainless and creatively lacking but guess what that's why it was great to have to mag shoots this wk and one advertising job...nice balance between paycheck and creative expression.

Here's some pics from the shoot - Really don't have that many as I didn't want my flash to interfere w/ the shooting and w/out the flash my camera wouldn't work.

Notice talent on cell phone...urrgghh...always in China!!

Oohh I'm using my beauty blender ;)

All clean and done...a little messy hair here we were using a fan during shooting

Todd shooting - He always gets right down on the ground when he shots it's hot lol!

Friday, January 9, 2009

When Everything Goes Wrong!

So I briefly mentioned in another post an editorial I did earlier in the wk. It's been a few days since that shoot and I think I purposely didn't write about it right away just so I could recover lol.

Man I hope I get at least one good pic out of that shoot b/c it was seriously one of the longest, coldest, most miserable days I've ever spent on set. In truth everyone overall was really nice but the weather was just awful and it was one of those shoots where if it could go wrong it did!

Basically right off the top it started rough. There was some kind of confusion on the one model's part and she was AN HOUR late!! Something about her agency giving her the wrong address I don't know. This is one of the problems when you speak two different languages it's always hard to figure out what's really going on. Unlike North America it's really common in Asia for models and everyone for that matter to be late ALL THE TIME!! But an hr is just ridiculous. The craziest thing is that the agency will always say things like 5 more mins and then after the 5 mins when you call again it turns out they have no idea how long the model will be b/c they never even actually called her in the first place!

So once the model gets there we get to problem #2...her hair colour is very different then her comp cards. She has it dyed some artificial reddish brown tone and I have to blend in my dark brown extensions b/c the mag wants her to have fuller, longer hair for the shoot. It ended up blending okay but the photographer will definitely have to do some retouch on that part.

What was great about this shoot was that I got to have a lot of freedom in my makeup concept which is always nice as a makeup artist. The model had really interesting features and amazing cheekbones so I really wanted to highlight and acentuate that w/ my makeup. The only difference of opinion was on the hair. I wanted it up again to show off the cheekbones and the bold cheek work I was doing but the photographer (Norbert) wanted it down b/c the mag wanted it down. I still think mine would have been better esp. with the weather.

So overall the makeup application went smoothly other than the model talking on her phone while I was doing the makeup. I find in China it's pretty much just a given that they will do this. But one thing I couldn't believe was right before I was done and doing my finally touches she actually lit a cigarette and smoked while I was right up in her face. The photographer was standing right there too! I mean he's the one that gave her the cigarette!

So anyway, I mentioned before that one of the probs was that this was a location shoot - 7 locations around China as a matter of fact. Now locations shoots always have there probs and 7 is a lot esp. since we started an hr later and it's lightly raining. The first location was in probably the most ghetto area of China I have actually ever stepped foot in. It was this super old lane house area that reeked fo urine and literally you could see it places so gross. Well at least you can say it was authentic. It's so weird to go to these places b/c I by no means live a fancy life in China but it's just so far removed from where these ppl live it's crazy. I mean they don't have indoor plumbing or probably even running water or heat and it can get cold in Shanghai. Like the little things in life I take for granted like say a latte at Starbucks is something these ppl will never even experience. We definitely got quite an audience at this location I'm sure it was the only time a fashion shoot has been shot in their area lol.

Okay another thing that went wrong on the shoot and really it was kind of a stupid move on the photographers part. The day before the shoot he decided to sell his camera b/c he could never get a price that high in Germany where he is from. So he was renting a camera from the production company we were working w/. I don't know any photographer who would think this is smart. I mean their camera is an extension of their arm and this one was soooo slow that he couldn't shoot fast at all add to that the late start time and all the locations and the rain and you begin to see where some problems come into play.

So after about 3 locations the rain started to get a little heavier and it started to get colder and windier outside. Btw the models (guy and girl) are not wearing overly warm clothes so I did feel for them. I think the most interesting location was the dead chicken stall. We shot at this butcher stall where there was all these dead chickens hanging all around and her outfit had feathers on it so I'm really hoping there is a good pic in that one b/c after that location it was almost a lost cause.

So the next thing that went wrong was our van driver was an idiot and he got lost and this ended up costing the photographer the last bit of sunlight that he needed. The next location was suppose to be his opener but then it ended up having to be shot at night so I don't know I guess the whole story is going to change. By this point it's really starting to rain too and the female model is litterally shaking. I have to admit by the last look her hair was definitely not looking fresh anymore...overall I am impressed w/ how her makeup held up in the spitting rain!

This is where things really started to get miserable though b/c my jeans are really baggy on me and therefore they were dragging on the groud. They ended up getting soaked like up to my knees, my shoes and socks were soaked through too. I can deal w/ the cold alright I mean I am Canadian afterall but when you have to stand in freezing cold wet shoes and socks for the next 4 hrs you begin to get a little miserable. Plus the fact that the production ppl fed us some breakfast type pastries and breads for breakfast but that was it! We didn't stop to eat any other time during the shoot! This shoot ended up being over 12hrs and I get bitchy and irritable when my blood sugar drops. We did still have some of the cookies in the car but you can't eat cookies for 12 hrs and feel good. They were these weird salty, sweet cookies too.

By then end I have to admit I just wanted it over and done w/. I think everyone felt the same way. I just wanted to go home and literally thaw my feet. Although even me getting home became a huge dilemma b/c after the van driver dropped everyone but me off he decided he wasn't going to drive anymore. I just wanted to get dropped off at a metro stop that would have been fine. So trying to argue w/ this guy when we don't even speak the same language was beyond frustrating. I was so tired, cold and hungry I literally almost started crying begging him to take me to a metro b/c it's impossible to get a cab in the rain. This guy was a major idiot too and I don't know if he was faking it or what but literally he couldn't find a metro stop. They are everywhere!! Once he realized though that he would have to wait w/ me in the rain until I got a cab he was miracuoulsy able to find one...Shocking!! So after it was all said and done the shoot w/ travel time ended up being like 15 hrs urrggghh! For really crap editorial money double urrgghh! Man I better at least get 1 or 2 pics from this one!

Below are some pics from the shoot...btw the makeup looked way better then the pics I'm showing as it was hard to take behind the scenes pics b/c of the crowds.

Norbert and Paulo (Brazilian/Korean mix model - super nice)

Ghetto lane houses at first location

Very common looking living area in China just weird when you're actually there and seeing just how the ppl live. It's like 1C and they still have to hang dry their clothes outside.

Cool chicken stall location - Really great except stopping every 2 secs for ppl to walk by

And now it's night lol! Great location just wish it wasn't raining and so cold!

KEROMASK Concealer

So basically I'm writing to tell you guys about another one of my new fav products - KEROMASK concealer! Again after hearing rave reviews about it on Model Mayhem for so long I knew I had to try it out. I ordered mine from Camera Ready Cosmetics and I have to say it was well worth the money! It is a bit pricey - around $36 per tube but you really do not need a lot trust me (when I first got to Shanghai my skin really broke out and I was using it every day but still barely any gone from the tube)! It's so creamy and pigmented - a little goes A LONG way. Great for those under eye circles and pimples.

I bought the light and the medium in the full size tubes and then I also bought white and yellow in sample sizes. That's one of the great things about CRC is that Mary allows you to buy samples of certain products just to try out and see if you like them. The little $3.99 sample of the white and yellow is perfect for adjusting the concealer colour or even your foundation colour if you want.

My only regret is that I didn't buy a full size tube of the yellow. That little yellow sample I bought has really saved me this wk on set! It is so good for adjusting foundation for asian skin. As I'm sure you all know a lot of asians tend to have yellow undertones. Well this wk I was only working on Asians and everytime I added just the tiniest bit of yellow keromask to either the concealer or foundation and the colour came out just perfect!