Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ben Nye Banana Powder

So I heard about Ben Nye's Banana Powder yrs ago...like literally when I was in makeup school!  But I for some reason never actually went out and bought it...until recently.  And I have to admit I don't know what took me so long I wish I would have gotten it yrs ago!  I LOVE it!

In the Summer I assisted makeup artist Vicki Millar on a couple of weddings and she had it and it reminded me that it was something that I always wanted to try.  It's a great alternative to the traditional translucent powder that I always use to set my makeup.  I've used Ben Nye's translucent powder since I was in school and I've always found it to be pretty good and inexpensive (which is always a bonus). 

What's great about the Banana Powder is that it has just a slight yellow tint and it adds just a nice golden touch or glow to the face.  Not like bronzer or anything like that so don't think it gives that much colour...it's basically just like a translucent powder but w/ just a hint of yellow which I actually think is great b/c you don't have to worry about that sometimes white powdery cast off you can get a bit from traditional translucent powder and I work w/ a lot of ppl w/ yellow undertones so it compliments their skin tone nicely  and it doesn't alter the foundation colour or lighten up the skin at all. 

Don't think about this powder as adding any real coverage though...it's not a powder foundation.  So don't layer it on.  It's just used to control shine so use it like you would any translucent powder.  I will definitely be using this on set and w/ my brides next season (btw booking up quick so if you're looking for a bridal artist contact me now ;) !)

Also if you needed anything else to tell you what a MUST HAVE this product is it's listed on Makeup Artist Kevin James Bennett's In My Kit - The Ultimate Makeup Artist Must Have List of Products!  Seriously, if you've never checked out that site before go NOW and read up!  There is a wealth of information about all the best products for your kit from Moisturizer to Foundation to Eyeshadow etc.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ken & Barbie

Several mths ago I did a shoot that ended up getting picked up by Bello Mag w/ photographer Mathew Wilson and Stylist Alexandra Loeb.  I'm going to be real...this isn't really a makeup story at all...it's really a stylist story w/ the clothes and mannequin style of posing being the main focus but that's fine.  Alex as usual pulled some really amazing things...but I wouldn't expect less.  What I wouldn't do to have access to  her personal shoe collection...although none of her shoes would fit me even if I did :(

The models are Sarah M (Elmer Olsen) & Derek (NAM) and here's the story below...enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bridal Beauty At Any Age!

Gone are the days when we as women get married at 20 and had a handful of kids before we hit 25.  Nowadays b/c of schooling, our careers and overall life goals we're all getting married and having kids later...and as someone who just turned 29 (gasp!) I gotta say there is nothing wrong w/ that at all!
Many first time brides are well into their 30s or even 40s now and that doesn't mean they shouldn't get the chance to look beautiful and celebrate just as big on their wedding days. 

I had a pleasure of working w/ a couple of 30 something brides this past season and both were so much fun to work w/!

Cathy, my Greek bride readily admitted her life was straight out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding lol.  She was actually marrying an old friend from high school.  They got reconnected years later at a mutual friend's party (I think) and sparks quickly flew...ahh how romantic!  She actually was referred to me by this great hair salon in Etobicoke.  I did makeup there for a bridal party earlier in the Summer and they were all really impressed w/ my work...esp. on the Bride's mom.  So ever since then if they've had someone that inquired about a makeup artist they've referred them to me :)

For Cathy, like many of my brides the focus was on the eyes.  I decided to do a really soft grey/purple smokey eye to compliment her cool skin tones and eyes.  I've said it before and I'll say it again I LOVE Model 21 lashes on my brides!  They really open up the eyes and EVERY bride comments on how natural yet dramatic they look!  I kept the lips fairly natural and highlighted them a pink gloss.  Cathy actually had a blue vein under her eye as well as a couple of sun spots she was really concerned about covering.  I used the Yaby concealers and Cinema Secrets foundation on her and they both worked amazingly!

 My other bride Lu is Chinese so of course she was doing the typical Chinese red dress wedding attire.  She was also getting married on that magical 10/10/10 day...if you remember correctly I had 2 weddings that day.  I've been lucky w/ acquiring quite a few Chinese or Asian clients this past wedding season.  I think the fact that I've worked in Shanghai has definitely been a real selling factor w/ Asians in general b/c I'm fortunate enough to have quite a bit of experience working on Asian features.  For her I did a really nice soft gold/bronze/brown smokey eye and actually a pretty bold lip.  She had great full lips and wanted a pretty bold pink to match the pink flowers featured on her dress.  I think it looked great!  I also did a classic French twist for her hair.  The big thing for her was getting the volume through the top.  I was really happy w/ how the hair turned out...esp. since I never got to do a trial on her!
Actually, I didn't get to do a trial on either of the women!  I totally don't suggest not getting a trial b/c I think it's a really important and vital part of the bridal process and it just makes things run smoother not only for me but also for the bride too!  Unfortunately, neither of these brides wanted trials...thankfully I'm good at what I do lol...and both were very happy w/ the results!

Btw I recently updated my Wedding Website w/ Behind the Scenes pictures I took of my Brides and their Bridesmaids...really hope some of them send me some official pictures from their weddings.  Love seeing them looking gorgeous and glowing in their professional wedding pictures!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ahh To Be Young Again!

I've mentioned before I happen to do a lot of work w/ kids.  Well a couple of mths ago I did a shoot w/ this young girl named Hannah.  She came in so shy and unassuming w/ her glasses and quiet politeness.  Right away you could see she was a beautiful girl but I didn't realize how photogenic she was until she took off her glasses and stepped in front of the camera.  Seriously, this girl was a natural...what a stunner!  She had one of those great faces that looked beautiful both smiling and serious...so angelic, soft and innocent...just can't be faked!  God to be young again and have skin like that...heck I don't even know if I had skin like that when I was that young!  I've said it before and I'll say it again...Less Is More W/ Kids!  Just a bit of foundation, gloss, blush, mascara and powder and they are done!  Why would you want to mess w/ this natural beauty anyway?

Btw told you I'd go back to the makeup talk ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

...And then there was London!

Yes I know I've been back over two wks now and I really should stop blabbering on about Europe but it's kind of a slow time right now for work so let me relive my fun lol.  I realized recently I never did blog about my time in Beijing and all the amazing pics I had from that trip and I really regret it so I don't want to do that w/ this trip so I know it's not really makeup related but I promise I'll get back to all the makeup talk very very soon lol!

So after my almost wk in Paris it was back to London for the rest of my trip!  I was staying w/ my amazing friend Matt and his wonderful sister Maya (who I just met on this trip but immediately took a real liking too!).  What's crazy about this trip to London is sort of how it all started in the first place.  If you go WAY back in my blog posts (like a yr and a half ago) you may recall I briefly mentioned meeting two British guys while leaving Koh Phangan in Thailand.  Well one of those guys was Matt and afterward we connected through Facebook and developed quite a nice friendship through Skype, Email and FB.  Who knew that witty, ginger boy I met a yr and a half ago for a total of like 3 hrs would become such a good friend that I would stay w/ in London!  Life is so weird and unpredictable sometimes...love it!  He was actually suppose to come to Toronto in the Summer but it never actually happened so when the cheap flight deal presented itself to me I thought this is my chance...I've never been to Europe so why not!

It was crazy when I first arrived in London I met Matt at Victoria Station and it was literally like meeting an old friend that I've known forever...not just 3 hrs once in Thailand lol.  Btw the customs lady coming into the UK was NOT friendly at all and the second I mentioned that I knew Matt from Thailand I thought shit that sounds sketchy lol...I thought she was going to do a body search for drugs or something they way she questioned me up and down lol!

So overall my time in London definitely had a very different feel then my time in Paris.  When I was w/ Steve & Ania we were all sort of tourists and we did lots of really touristy things and it was like we were discovering the city together.  Where w/ Matt it was like a tour of neighbourhoods and areas...not near as touristy feeling.  It was great just to check out different things that I might not have seen if I'd done this on my own...plus we did go see some of usual touristy spots as well. 

We broke our days up into areas and neighbourhoods more then just say tourist spots.  We did the West End one day, South London another (btw this is where I saw Clive Owen!  He passed right by me on the street!) and the up and coming very trendy East London another day (got a great camel colour leather jacket for 10 pounds in a vintage shop there...funny thing is the jacket is from Danier leather and made in CANADA lol).  Plus we took one day to just chill and relax around his sister's neighbourhood...caught a movie and hit up a Primark...which is an AMAZINGLY cheap store that actually has some really cute things!

The food like the days was varied and it seems like every meal was from a different culture or ethnic group which was actually a nice change from all the bread, cheese, pastries and wine that I was eating in Paris!  Who knew eating Thai, tons of Curry, Argentinian and traditional English fare could actually make me feel lighter and healthier (well maybe that's a stretch but you know what I mean lol).

It was also great to meet some of Matt's friends the one night and his sister Maya made a wonderful and delicious English dinner another night where I definitely ate too much and got very tipsy off the wine lol!  Now that I think about it there were a lot of tipsy nights lol!  I even drank Cider for the first time and found out I liked it!  I HATE beer so I wasn't sure what to drink in the pubs b/c it just felt stupid to get mixed drinks or wine sometimes so I tried Cider and I will now say I'm definitely a convert!

So here's a collection of pictures from my time in London...and I promise this will be my last Europe post lol!
Guards at Buckingham Palace of course!

Matt seductively eating his Gelato...best gelato EVER btw!

Musicians at Covent Garden

 Big Ben
 London Eye in the Background

We stopped for lunch at this outside Food Market..yummy yummy Steak sandwich and then a Curry!

You may notice there are a lot of pics of Matt & I eating...we did that a lot lol and apparently it was one of the only times I thought to take pictures!
The Globe Theatre...Ahh Theatre History Memories!

Sunflower Exhibit at the Tate Modern.  Really amazing...these are actually hand painted porcelain sunflower seeds and there were millions upon millions of them on display.  Look it up it's pretty awesome!

 This is actually the only pic Matt & I took together can you believe it lol!  God I look puffy & tired throughout the Europe trip even though I having the time of my life!

 Tower Bridge

We made amazing pancakes one morning...it's like a work of art!  They don't really use Maple Syrup over there so we topped it w/ Honey, Greek Yogurt and diced Dried Apricots & Almonds in the yogurt...Sooo Good!

 Really cool graffiti on the East Side
 Dive Pub...Matt always the classy gent w/ his pinky raised lol!
 Final Dinner we went to this Amazing Argentinian restaurant and we were so lucky to even get a table b/c they were fully booked and it was a Sat. night...can you believe they brought all this meat for TWO PEOPLE!  Can you say lots of leftovers lol!
Ugghhh I miss London....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last Day in Paris...Let's Visit Some Dead People!

So after 5 activity packed, food indulgent days in Paris it was time for me to leave :(  I had an amazing time there and really enjoyed exploring the city w/ my brother Steve and his wife Ania.  It really allowed me to hang out and get to them as a couple which I've never actually done before.  Plus it was nice to have ppl to go sightseeing w/ b/c most of my trips up until this point have involved me going alone and asking strangers to take pictures of me lol. 

My train didn't leave until the afternoon so that still gave us the morning to hit up one more tourist destination - Le Pere Lachaise.  The famous cemetery w/ all the famous ppl buried there!  It's actually the largest cemetery in the city of Paris and one of the most famous cemeteries in the World. 

We were on a tight schedule so unfortunately we didn't get to visit too many famous ppl's graves but we did see a few notable ones.  I think the most famous grave there is of course Jim Morrison's (Lead Singer of The Doors for all you young ppl ;) ).  It's actually pretty hidden and took us awhile to locate and it's pretty humble esp. compared to some of the other gravestones.  It's actually blocked off from the public going right up to it b/c apparently in the past they had probs w/ ppl drinking, doing drugs and fucking on his grave!

After Jim's grave the only other grave I really wanted to make sure we saw was Oscar Wilde's.  I wanted to see it for a couple of reasons - 1. He has the same b-day as me and I've always enjoyed his work and humor 2. There is a tradition of kissing his gravestone so I wanted to do that!

Oscar's grave was a cake walk to find after Jim's but we didn't have much time after that so we only saw Proust and Balzac after.

We then went for a lovely last lunch and then I was on my way back to London...where my European adventure continues next!
We found a stray cat in the cemetery...bit weird
 No one famous just thought this was a really cool tombstone!
 Jim Morrison's Grave
 Tree next to Jim's Grave where ppl wrote stuff
 Oscar Wilde's Grave
  My Lip Print is the Red Lips (of course ;) ) right on the corner edge near where someone wrote Kiki 01/10

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

REHAB, the art of re-doing

One of the big deciding factors on my trip to Paris was the fact that my brother Steve had his art show opening the wk I just happened to be thinking about going there.  When I found that out I figured it was just meant to be and too perfect to pass up.

It's all pretty awesome and a big deal for him actually.  He actually got invited to be the resident artist at the gallery for 2 mths and gets funding to live and work there.  Pretty big deal for such a young artist...I mean how many 23 yr olds can open a conversation w/ "Well at my show in Paris..." lol.  I mean it even sounds cool for me to say "I'm going to my brother's art show opening in Paris" lol. 

I'm not a huge art person to be honest and sometimes the stuff goes over my head but this show was a collaboration by a lot of artists and I actually really liked the work and found the curator did an amazing job of creating a very cohesive exhibition. 

I'm not very good at explaining the show so I'll just include the little blurb from the press release:

REHAB, the art of re-doing

Espace Fondation EDF

October 27 2010 - February 20 2011

Over recent years, contemporary artists, whether they be openly eco-conscious or merely aware of the changes in the world, have found right ways to reveal an unsuspected artistic potential of ordinary materials. REHAB, the art of re-doing, the show curated by Bénédicte Ramade at the Espace Fondation EDF, invites us to follow the artists in a new creative experience, as their works, with their surprising aesthetic qualities, use familiar and everyday objects for something they surely were not meant for.

Neither ready-made, remake or pastiche nor eco-freaks, the works shown in REHAB let us rediscover materials we thought there wasn't much to them, from the Formica piece of furniture to the cardboard box. Sculptures, videos, photographs or installations are the favourite mediums used by the eighteen French and foreign artists invited.

The richness of their work is a good example of the ability of the artists to exploit double-sided things like waste: both contemporary material endowed with interesting physical properties and a perfect subject to talk about the most urgent societal issues as environment is. Neither peremptory nor accusatory, the artists express the possibility to take part to this social debate through their works, without passing judgment.

This exhibition extend the commitment of Fondation EDF Diversiterre by the side of architects, designers, landscape architects and artists who constantly offer a new perspective on the great contemporary issues. It also shows the involvement of the foundation in social cohesion and planet preservation.

Here's some of the other exhibitors:

This was in the front room right next to Steve's main piece...definitely a show stopper!
This is actually made out of cardboard
Steve's work was really well received too.  Many ppl came up to him to tell him how impressed they were w/ his work and how cool and different it was.  He actually had two pieces showing.  Lock Ness (which I had actually seen before) and Double Forgery (a new piece).  The interesting thing about his work is it's completely made from reclaimed materials found in the exhibition space so while it may be similar w/ a similar outcome during every exhibition it's actually different b/c every single time he has to deal w/ new challenges that come from the new materials he's using.

Here's his explanation of the two works b/c I suck at describing them in an educated way lol:

Lock Ness

Loch Ness is an evolving project developed over a series of exhibitions since 2008. In each exhibition, I reconstruct a photograph of a Loch Ness Investigation Bureau observation deck taken in 1965 using a live feed-video camera and materials collected from inside and around the gallery space. Assembled within the physical and material constraints of each exhibition space, a live-feed video system translates a unique assemblage of scrap construction materials (wood, cardboard, paper, foamcore board, masking tape, paint, etc…) into the image of Loch Ness on an external monitor.
Here's a the piece from behind the camera...I know it looks like a pile of junk lol
Then from that this is what the camera sees!

Double Forgery

Double Forgery is a small scale installation in which a photograph of Robert Smithson’s Nonsite (Essen Soil and Mirrors) (1969) is recreated using a live-feed video camera and materials (wood, cardboard, paper, dust bunnies, dirt) found at Espace Electra, Paris in October 2010. A “double forgery” historically involves the forgery of an already forged painting, perhaps most famously undertaken in the 1960s by Jacques van Meegeren, son of the notorious Vermeer forger Han van Meegeren. In Double Forgery, I forge not a nonsite, but a photograph of a nonsite that was already remade for a Robert Smithson retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2004.

So this is the piece as it looks just to view it
And this is the piece as it's seen by the camera and put on the TV screen...still don't get how it works!?!
So the VIP opening actually ended up being very exciting and high end!  Literally, unlimited champagne and INSANE appetizers and desserts which you know I took full advantage of ;)  This appetizers and desserts were like little works of art themselves...I can't even describe how some of them looked...and I made a point to try each and every one of them at least once...some even twice lol!  No wonder my face looked all swollen and puffy the whole time I was in Paris lol!

So now I'll actually bring the blog back to some makeup talk lol!  I did Steve's wife Ania's makeup for the opening.  Earlier that day we went to the Make Up For Ever Boutique and I had helped her choose some new colours just for her.  So I made sure to keep the look super soft and pretty b/c she's not a big makeup girl...and my brother is DEFINITELY not a big makeup guy...at least on his wife (which I found out even more at the opening).  To finish it all off and make it special I added some flirty, flared false lashes.  I used some of my Model 21 lashes and I have to admit I love these things.  All my brides go on and on about how natural they look and they looked so natural and yet dramatic on Ania.

So we got to the gallery and Steve was already there and he took one look at Ania and I literally thought he was going to cry...and not in a good way :S You'd swear he just saw her kissing another guy or something the way he looked! Turned out the false lashes were just too much for him! And I know natural makeup...they did NOT look like too much at all. Ania and I went to the washroom immediately and took them off. Now normally I would have told my brother to suck it b/c she looked gorgeous and she loved the false lashes so if she wants to wear them she should! But I agreed b/c it was "his special day" and I could tell he was really really nervous so I understood w/ all the stress he justed wanted to see his wife in her usual way that he's used to. I guess it's nice that he loves her natural beauty and doesn't think she needs anything to make her look better...although I still did ride him that night about making me compromise "my art" lol.

I took 1 pic in the washroom before I took off the eyelashes...too dramatic I DEFINITELY think not!
 Steve talking about his art
 They are so cute together!