Sunday, October 24, 2010

Feeling Very French!

As I briefly touched on in my last post I'm definitely eating "French", although probably not like a French person who enjoys and savors the rich food and wine they are drinking...I mean I'm enjoying and savoring it like the French but I'm also stuffing it all in my face like a North American...and lots of it lol!  After 3 days definitely feeling the need to lay off the baguettes, cheese and wine for a few days.  In fact I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say I've eaten more baguettes and pastries in the last 3 days then I've eaten in Toronto in the last 3 yrs lol (I don't even typically keep bread in my house). 

Anyway, let's move beyond the food lol...I've done a few other things in Paris inbetween eating lol.  On my first day of course I HAD to go see the Eiffel Tower...I mean isn't that what everyone does on their first full day in Paris?  I got there early in morning and I'm actually really impressed that I got there using the metro from my hostel b/c it's not actually the most convenient location and required some transferring...I probably didn't take the most direct location but I got there nevertheless. 

I know this kind of sounds stupid and I don't know exactly what I was thinking beforehand but the first thing I thought when I got there is "Woah this is bigger than I imagined".  I have no idea how big I thought it was going to be but I know it was bigger then I expected lol.  It was pretty early so the lineups actually weren't that bad.  I considered walking up to the first and second levels but I have this weird fear of stairs and heights...esp. stairs where I can see the ground below me or I'm outside and walking up them so I thought it better to just take the lift up (yes I'm feeling British too ;) ). 

It was the MOST PERFECT day to go to the Eiffel Tower.  Cool, crisp Fall air. Clear, Blue skies w/out a cloud in sight (when I went to the Great Wall of China in Beijing it was equally perfect..but lucky have I been!?!).  Seriously, I couldn't get the smile off my face b/c I just couldn't believe I was there!  I took a bout a million pics on the second level and third level (which is as high as you can go).
Taken from a bridge after I went up it!
 Looking Up!
 View From 2nd Level

 Annoying thing when traveling alone...taking pics of yourself and holding the camera at arms length lol!

After that I met up w/ Steve and Ania at the Palais de Tokyo to get some culture, take in some art and feel smart...or stupid depending on how you feel when you go to a gallery...sometimes I feel a bit stupid like I'm not "getting it" lol.  We had a nice little packed lunch and then went to the exhibit which btw I somehow was able to use my university student card to get a discounted rate (always the thrifty traveler...hell I took a baguette from my free breakfast at the hostel so I had food for lunch yesterday lol)!'s 10 yrs old w/ no expiry date...why I still carry it in my wallet is really a mystery but I think what's shocking is the fact that I can still use it and get away w/ it lol!

Anyway, we all agreed the exhibit was actually a bit disappointing...good thing I only paid a euro w/ my student card for it ;)  Steve's show had it's VIP opening yesterday (which I'll talk more about another time) and I definitely enjoyed that show A LOT more...and not just b/c I'm a proud older sister.  Overall, it just was a much more cohesive show and the curator was really able to bring a lot of different art mediums together in a manner that really strengthened the themes and ideas of the show. 

After the museum we walked to the Arc du Triomphe took a couple of pics and then headed to the Montmartre area in Paris (you know where the Moulin Rouge is).  Very touristy now of course (and apparently sketchy at night) but we walked to through these really pretty cobblestone lanes after walking up a really really long flight of stairs.  We stopped and had a espresso at a cafe and got some crepes off of a vendor.  I got a buerre et sucre crepe (how do you like my french ;) ) which was so yummy but also very messy.  I don't know how much buerre was put in this thing but I literally had to finish it while standing over a garbage b/c it was dripping so much butter...literally I poured some of it out lol!  A gypsy stole the end of my brother's crepe right out of his was funny...sort of...only b/c it wasn't my one touches MY crepe lol!

 View from near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica

 Notre Dame at Night

 Steve and his oysters

After that we went back to Steve & Ania's place to relax and then out to celebrate a belated b-day dinner for me in the Latin Quarter.  I don't remember the name of the restaurant and the food was pretty good...not amazing but good but really it's all about the conversation and company you keep right!  I think for all of us our fav. part of the meal besides the conversation was actually our starters!  Steve had oysters (which he had never had before), Ania had escargot and I had French Onion Soup...all very yummy! 

So busy busy first day indeed!  Yesterday was amazing as well which I will get to in my next post..hint it includes me going to the Official Make Up For Ever Boutique in Paris!

Sorry for the delay in posts...slow internet takes  a lot longer to upload pics ugghh :(

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gothic Barbie Has A Birthday!

So last wk was my b-day...Oct 15 to be exact!  Another year has gone by and therefore that means I'm another yr older...which I'm actually handling pretty well esp. considering I'm in the twilight of my twenties which can be a little scary.  But personally I only find getting older hard when I'm not happy w/ where I am in my life and when I feel I'm not moving forward.  Thankfully, the last 6 mths or so have been amazing careerwise (fingers crossed it keeps up) so it makes the whole aging process a little easier to also helps that most ppl don't think I'm a day over 24 ;) lol. 

Having a trip to Europe to look forward to also makes having a b-day a lot easier to handle too lol.  I'm actually officially in Paris right now in the hostel bar using up the free WiFi...gotta love that!  Got here earlier today and arrived in London yesterday and not suffering from jet lag too bad at all...amazingly I've always been able switch my sleep and adjust to time zones really easily.  Visited my brother Steve and his wife Ania fact they met me at the train station and I had a wonderful and very French lunch at their place which consisted of: Quiche, Baguette, Cheese, Chocolate, Macaroons & Wine - YUMMY!

So anyway, back to my b-day.  I had an amazing b-day this year which I celebrated w/ my amazing group of friends.  On my actual b-day I went out for a wonderful dinner w/ one special friend and it was amazing and yummy.  I didn't have my actual party on the 15th b/c I had a early morning wedding job on the 16th and definitely didn't want to be hung over on someone's special day.  So I had my big celebration w/ all my super amazing friends on the night of the 16th.  First I met up w/ Sarah my bff for dinner...unfortunately she couldn't come to the bar b/c she was running a half marathon the next day...which she did amazing in btw.  After dinner I headed to The Underground Garage - probably one of my FAV bars in the city (been going there for yrs and never ever have had a bad time).  Very low key and casual and always an amazing mix of ppl w/ great music and no pretenses...hell they have bras hanging from the ceiling lol!

So being that it was my b-day I let loose and everyone did a great job of keeping me well lubricated w/ liquor lol!  Surprisingly, I wasn't that bad the next day thankfully...probably b/c I was smart enough to get a good amount of water in me before bed.  I'm so grateful that I have such an amazing group of friends that always show their support for my gatherings and we had such a great time dancing the night away!

So being that this is a makeup blog I'll tell you about my makeup for the night lol!  I called the look "Gothic Barbie" (only an MUA would name her "makeup look" lol) and I must say I'm really taking advantage of the deep purple/red lips being in!  Love it!

"Gothic Barbie" Look

Foundation: Yaby Liquid Foundation and Powder Foundation - Buff mixed w/ Honey
Contour - Benefit Bronzer in Hula
Highlight - Face Atelier Ultra Sheer in Peach
Blush - Face Atelier in Peach Glaze
Eyes - MAC - Silver Highlight (can't remember name)
                       Gray Lid - Print
                        Black Outer Lid - Black Tie (also used for liner)
Mascara - L'Oreal Voluminous
Eyelashes - Model 21 (I think 5b or 5c but can't remember to be honest)...although I will be reviewing these lashes b/c I LOVE them!
Lips - MAC - Cunning (very deep purple...not for the timid!)

So here's some pics from the night so you can see "Gothic Barbie" in all it's Glory lol!  I know how to cut loose so enjoy lol!
Me w/ fellow Hot Blogger & Friend - Christine Estima
Myself w/ Friend & Fellow Makeup Afficiondo - Miz Ashley Readings ...Yup that's right FISH LIPS!
 Shot Time!...okay this one doesn't really show the makeup but it's fun lol!
Showing off my super sexy shoes...and of course no "Gothic Barbie" is complete w/out fishnets lol!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eve - Ford

About a mth ago I did a test shoot w/ Alexis Walker a visiting photographer/stylist from L.A.  We worked w/ a really cool Australian model Eve who had just signed w/ Ford in Toronto.  I was super stoked to work w/ Eve b/c I totally LOVE her look.  It's so different from a lot of the other models in Toronto right now and I really hope I get a chance to work w/ her again.

Here's some of the results from the shoot...they're pretty cool...kinda wish a couple more were in colour though but that's always the struggle w/ photographers and MUAs.  Photographers LOVE B&W...MUAs like it too...but we need some colour or let us know it's going to be in B&W and we'll adjust the makeup accordingly. 

Still the pics are cool and Alexis and Eve were super cool to work w/ too...totally laid back and chill. 

Here's a little video from the shoot...I really want to do more of these they are so cool!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vintage Bride - Kathleen

As you guys know I had a very busy weekend this past weekend w/ weddings (all went wonderfully btw).  On Sunday 10/10/10 it was a VERY busy day for weddings all around the city.  My second wedding that day was w/ this gorgeous bride Kathleen.  I'm so glad I got to be part of her wedding day b/c her vision was so unique and creative and her and her whole family were so much fun to work w/!  Seriously, listening to her and her mother lovingly bicker w/ one another was hilarious...or maybe I just have a weird sense of humor. 

I did the Hair & Makeup for Kathleen as well as her Mother and Mother-in-Law.  Kathleen was a very non traditional and unconventional bride in every way which was part of why it was so much fun to work w/ her on her wedding.  She didn't have any bridesmaids.  Her wedding was kept really small at 65 ppl and it was held at The Fifth in upstairs terrace area.  She didn't go w/ a traditional long white dress either.  Instead she went w/ an above the knee, gorgeous white cocktail style dress w/ a vintage flair.  Instead of a veil she opted for a birdcage hair piece and another feathered hair piece for after the ceremony. 

With keeping all this in mind I knew it was important at the trial to bring a sort of vintage flair into the makeup...and we all know how I LOVE a bit of vintage vibe in makeup ;) lol!  Kathleen has the most gorgeous, milky white skin so I knew I didn't want to use a heavy foundation and therefore opted for a dewy Face Atelier foundation.  I also used my Yaby Highlighting palette (seriously cannot live w/out it) to highlight her amazing cheekbones.  I kept the eyeshadow rather natural w/ just some beige/brown shimmer shadows but of course I had to have a nice vintage winged black liner and beautiful but natural looking winged false lashes (Kathleen & both her mothers were obsessed w/ all getting false lashes and how amazing they looked lol).  And of course I couldn't complete my vintage inspired makeup look w/out a beautiful bright red lip!  And we all know I LOVE red lips!  Kathleen's hair was kept quite simple w/ just some loose curls, teasing at the front and half pinned back which looked gorgeous w/ the birdcage hair piece. 

I really can't wait to see pics from this wedding b/c it was so unique and different from a lot of the traditonal weddings I've worked on...I love those ones too of course but it's always good to show variety in the portfolio...even wedding portfolios ;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm On A Horse...Farm

Last wk I got the chance to work on a really cool shoot at a really cool location...or two locations actually - 2 Horse Farms!  I was invited into this shoot by one of my fav. stylists Alexandra Loeb.  It was mostly just a male grooming shoot on my part which isn't the most "exciting" thing but you know what it's always good to have some good, clean male grooming shoots in your book.  There were two girls on the shoot too - Danielle and Leah who were so nice and were brought on b/c they know how to ride horses (and the one horse farm was Leah's!)...but the stars were the boys - David P and Riley from Elite.  I've actually worked w/ David before and they were both great and really easy to work with!  The photographer - Jamie Fleck was actually an old highschool classmate of Alex's. 

So the shoot was all the way up in Orangeville and I actually got another chance to practice my driving skills lol.  Jamie lives in the States and her license is expired so I actually drove her dad's car up to the shoot...I'm happy to say there were no accidents and I think I've done more driving in the past 6 mths then I've done in the past 6 yrs...which is sort of scary lol.  The first location was an older less fancy horse farm but the location was beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a better day for weather and temperature.  The second horse farm belonged to Leah (one of the models) and her parents and it's super fancy, large and modern. 

The horses were gorgeous and they added so much to the shoot.  We were so lucky to have a chance to shoot at such great locations.  The day was long but I think it will be worth it...can't wait to see the pics!

Of course here's the usual behind the scenes photos ;)

Me Working On Leah
 Jamie Shooting David
 David & Riley - OMG what a Gorgeous Day!

 Who wouldn't want a roll in the hay w/ these boys ;)?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Exotic Beauty - Sabina

So way back in July I had the pleasure of working w/ this wonderful bride Sabina who was coming in from Colorado for her wedding.  Her parents live in Toronto so she was actually doing two ceremonies.  A traditional Muslim ceremony and reception here in Toronto and a Western wedding ceremony and reception back in Colorado for her husband and his extended family. 

Before my wedding jobs if possible I really like to have a makeup & hair trial for the bride.  Not only for me so that I know exactly what the bride wants and there's no surprises but also for the bride b/c it just makes everything a lot more stressfree b/c everything has been decided and agreed upon...the last thing anyone wants is surprises on the wedding day.

Unfortunately, b/c Sabina was coming from out of town we couldn't do a trial beforehand but I made sure she sent me lots of makeup and hair reference pics of what she was looking for as well as a couple of pictures of her so I could try and piece all the ideas together.  I always like to get pics of my brides before I meet them (even before the trial) just so I can get idea of what they look like and think about how to best incorporate their makeup & hair ideas w/ their faces and features...figure out what areas are best to highlight and also get a look at any areas of concern. 

Sabina is a more natural girl so she really didn't want anything too dramatic or intense like what you see w/ a lot of Hindu or Muslim weddings.  Really I just wanted to highlight her beautiful eyes and lips and giving her great glowing skin!  I find a lot of my brides really want a more natural look and it's great to be able to enhance their features and yet still make them feel comfortable in their own skin and not like they are wearing "a mask" which is often a criticism I hear from them when they speak about getting their makeup done in the past.  During a trial a lot of times I check in and say is the makeup or foundation feeling too heavy for you...almost always they say no ;)

Sabina is gorgeous so my job really wasn't that hard lol.  I was really happy w/ the way everything turned out that day and I thought she looked really lovely...apparently Sabina liked what I did better then the separate hair & makeup ppl that worked on her for her second wedding back in Colorado ;).  She may have been just buttering me up lol...but I'll take it!  She mentioned one of the big deciding factors for choosing me originally was the fact that I offered both Makeup & Hair services b/c apparently in Colorado most don' am I glad I committed myself to getting better at hair this yr.  Seriously, it really has made the difference in my bridal business.  I've said it before but I'll say it again - LEARN HAIR!  It really does make you a million more times marketable...and you know what I'm greedy if I can do the job and keep all the money why not!

So here are a few photos from her wedding courtesy of photographer Brett Gundlock

Btw I have 3 weddings this weekend...wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"I'm Kind Of A Big Deal"...

So today I got an email from a reader asking me I knew I had been named 1 of the top 50 Makeup & Cosmetic Blogs (#30 to be exact) on a certain site b/c I had never mentioned it on this blog.  I, in fact did not know this little tidbit of information but I must say I think it's pretty darn cool and I'm flattered b/c there are some really amazing blogs on the list that I, myself read and love!  So to be included in such an awesome list is pretty cool! 

I also think it's pretty amazing b/c I don't happen to have any giveaways or anything like that on this blog which I know is one of the things that makes a lot of makeup blogs really popular.  On a side note:  If anyone wants to send me stuff to giveaway or test I'd be more then willing to do so b/c I think contests are pretty darn cool too ;)

I'm still surprised sometimes that I even have readers to be honest lol.  I started this blog almost two yrs ago now (wow time flies) and basically it was originally just a way to be able to keep all my friends and family up-to-date on my life in Shanghai w/out sending out a million emails and from there it sort of transformed and evolved into what it is now...and hopefully it will keep evolving and keep getting more exciting and informative as I get bigger and better jobs :)!

My Fav Part was when they said "The most unique posts are the ones that offer personal ponderings and advice for new and aspiring makeup artists - mostly because Jessica's writing style is incredibly transparent and accessible".

I'm assuming when they call my writing style transparent and accessible they basically mean I keep it simple, say it like it is and don't hold back b/c for those of you that don't know me in "real life" that's pretty much how I am and that's how I like to write my blog too.  Definitely, not afraid to speak my mind and give my opinion on what I believe...I mean there's already enough fake bullshit in this industry why add to it lol!

So Thank You again to all my loyal readers...many more updates to come I promise!