Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Moving...And I LOVE My New Apt!

On Sat. Apr 2 I'm officially moving into my NEW APT!!!  Now I know you might be wondering what this has to do w/ makeup and why I'm blogging about it here.  Well actually it does in fact have to do w/ makeup and my career. 

This has been MTHS in the making!  I've been scoping out apts and checking out listing on craigslist literally since about the Summer but I wanted to at least stay in my current apt. for a yr plus I was really busy w/ weddings in the Summer and I didn't want to move during the Winter when the weather is all crappy and work is slow. 

Well now we're back into bridal season (did I mention I have 7 weddings booked for May alone!) and really my whole reason for moving is the fact that I needed more natural light then my current apt. was offering me.  I do a lot of bridal trials and it's not always convenient or economical to travel to them so a lot of times I host them and on a few ocassions I've even borrowed a friend's apt. w/ more light for the appts.  As kind as my friends are it's not always convenient to arrange bridal trials w/ them too therefore I knew I had to upgrade my current living situation. 

The crazy thing is that you usually have to give notice 60 days before you're going to move but most places don't list their apts until a mth before so it's like this whole nail biting, gambling game to see if you're going to find the perfect apt. in time to move!  Let me tell you getting this current place was a total nail biter! 

I had seen several places but nothing was really "thrilling" me.  They were okay.  Some were over priced IMO but mostly it was hard to find that combination of light, space, affordability and of course LOCATION!  I wanted to stay central on the subway line...either in the Annex or somewhere close by (esp. since so many of my friends live in the area). 

So about 2 wks into Mar. I saw a listing for what sounded like an amazing apt.  I asked to see pictures and again I was WAY impressed!  I asked about a viewing and Ellen the one in charge was actually having a viewing on Sun. when I was working.  I begged her if it was possible to see it Sat. and she made an allowance for me and luckily I was the first one who got to see the apt.  Literally secs after I stepped into the apt. I knew I wanted it! 

It has all just been freshly painted, the floors were just redone, the bathtub bottom retiled and they replaced the toilet.  The living room is a great size w/ 3 huge beautiful windows w/ TONS of natural light, a great little mock fireplace add so much character to the room!  The kitchen is a great size...esp. for a Toronto apt.  Great bedroom w/ air conditioning (hell I'm just excited that I'm getting a 1 bdrm...I was looking at bachelors as well)...and best of  all there is a HUGE and I mean HUGE patio right outside my bdrm doors and it's completely isolated from the street and noise b/c the apt. is a 3rd floor walk up (yes I'll be getting my exercise lol).  It's like my own little private oasis...perfect for those Summer get togethers (which I plan to have a lot of)!  Only minor downsides are limited closet space, I don't have much stuff anyway since fact I've been buying furniture to fill this place as my current place is only a bachelor and no laundry (I don't have laundry now so it's not a big change or anything).  Oh btw did I mention the location and price - Yonge & Grosvenor (just south of Wellesley) - $850/mth (this is insane for a Toronto 1 bdrm...esp considering the area & the size!).  Plus now that I'll be using my apt. for business I can also write off part of the rent!

I immediately told her I was interested and  made sure to make nice and talk about my work and how I was just coming from a job (I had my kit w/ me)...also just so she knows I'm a "working" makeup artist lol.  Sometimes it's hard when you're self employed to get ppl to rent to you b/c you don't have "employers" for them to verify..thank god I have amazing credit and great landlord references!  She gave me the application and I had it filled out, scanned and emailed back to her in under 2 hrs...I wanted to show I was interested lol!  I followed up on the Mon. to mention again just how interested I was and she said she's be letting ppl know later that wk.  On Thurs. I checked in again...I was trying to be persistent w/out being a pest and she emailed back saying that she current reach my current landlord for a reference.  They were on  vacation so I emailed them and asked if they would personally call her and give a reference which they so kindly did. 

During all of this I had to of course keep looking b/c I knew competition would be stiff for this apt. and there of course was a good chance I might not get it.  On the Sat. I saw a really cute bachelor on Spadina just north of Bloor...great windows again and lots of character w/ TONS of closet was actually more expensive then the other place - $890/mth but still within my budget.  I then again emailed Ellen explaining that I was still very interested but if she could let me know one way or another about the apt. in the next day or so b/c there was another apt. I liked less but didnt' want to lose in case I didn't get this one.  She called me a few mins later and said "Boy you really want this apt. don't you?".  I laughed and apologized for my harassing but persistant emails and I got the apt!

When I went to sign the lease this wk I asked if there were a lot of ppl applying for the apt. and she said "Yes, A LOT!".  Basically, I got it b/c she liked me and I was the first person to see it...which is so funny b/c literally the reason I've gotten EVERY apt. I've ever lived in it's b/c I'm the first person who's seen it lol!  I literally don't think I'll be moving from this place unless there is a marriage proposal involved...and I don't see that one happening anytime soon lol!
Living Room...Look at how High the Ceilings are & isn't that mock fireplace so cute!
 Another view of the Living Room!
 Bedroom (pic taken from patio)
 Another view of the Bedroom
 The Patio Oasis...come on admit're jealous ;)
 Bathroom...nothing fancy here but so many places I looked at only had a breaker as I'm a bubble bath fiend!  I literally don't know how I lasted 6 mth in Shanghai w/ only a shower! you can see pretty big!  Lots of counter and cupboard space.  You can't see it but there's also a cut out window so the kitchen looks out into the living room.  Helps it from feeling closed off.
So w/out further adieu here's some pics I took when I went and signed the lease...I'll post some new pics once I get all my furniture in and it's nice and set up!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

YYZ Spring/Summer Sneak Peak Video

A few wks ago I mentioned that I worked w/ an Awesome team on an Awesome editorial for an Awesome magazine - YYZ Living.

Anyway, the people at YYZ are so cool they created a little sneak peak video of the Spring/Summer editorial.  Gives you a little taste of the shoot, makeup, hair...all that!  I love these little behind the scenes videos...everything always seems so much more glamorous and hip when put to a sound track lol!

Plus look for a quick second and you can see me working my magic in all my concentrated serious glory (seriously I always look so SERIOUS in EVERY pic or video lol) at 11 sec & 56 sec.

Now I'm getting SUPER excited...can't wait for this one to come out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Splash Of Colour

Here's a sneak peak of a quick beauty creative I did last wk w/ photographer Manolo Ceron and the beautiful Mikayla (Ford).  I've actually known Manolo since pretty much the beginning of my makeup career...great photographer but definitely an "acquired taste" lol (Manolo I know you're going to be reading this ;) ). 

Manolo is a very honest no bullshit type of guy which doesn't always go over well in the Fashion World which can notoriously be made up of phonies.  He's very blunt but I'm also very blunt so that's probably why I can take it and not really care.  He's also annoying as all hell sometimes and literally the ONLY photographer that I have EVER argued back w/...repeatedly...all the time...nonstop...but I know he doesn't mind that's just how our relationship works (and it's all in good fun...mostly) .  Actually, I imagine that's how a lot of Manolo's relationships work lol.

The concept was originally clean, glossy this one shoot we had done back when we first met (can always use some clean beauty in the book...esp. in Toronto).  I did exactly what we did back then only to find out Manolo actually wanted clean, wet, shiny beauty...therefore sprayed her hair down w/ water and added a whole lot of glycerin. 

After that was all done we decided to have a little fun w/ some OCC pigments and the pic shown is the end results right at the end of the shoot before Mikayla had to jet to her dentist's appt.  Can't wait to see some of the other pics from the shoot...and to work w/ this team again.  Mikayla was a dream and such a beauty...and Manolo well he's lucky he takes such pretty pictures ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

M2 Product Review - I LOVE These Products!

Last wk I told you about Apothica and what a great company they are...well now I have more to tell you
about their sister company - Skin Care Rx (mostly deals w/ skin care products duh).  Now that I'm being sponsored I got to choose $75 worth of products from either site to try out and review.

Well, I've mentioned it before I'm getting older but I still do struggle a bit w/ acne so I'm kind of obsessed w/ finding a good skin care system that I really like so I thought the Skin Care Rx website would be PERFECT for this!  They have millions of products...brands I've NEVER even heard of and tons of reviews!

So after much reviewing and contemplating (hey I'm a Libra - hard to make decisions lol) I decided to go w/ two M2 skincare products - M2 Skin Refinish 20% and M2 Exfoliating Cleanser.  The line deals head on w/ the skin issues that plauge me the most - ACNE (& acne scarring) & Fine Lines/Wrinkles (sometimes hard to find skin care systems that deal w/ both issues not just one or the other) plus overall the reviews were plentiful and really promising so I thought they were great choices. 

Okay I just have to say I LOVE THESE PRODUCTS!  Like seriously I WILL be buying these again!  I have noticed an improvement in the overall tone of my skin, my pores seem smaller and my acne has DEFINITELY lessened!

Okay first I'll talk about the M2 Skin Refinish 20%. 

I'm going to preface this and say it is quite a potent product and can cause irritation.  In fact it is common to feel a slight tingling and burning upon first applying it to your skin so don't freak out.  I only use it every other night b/c it is so strong.  They do have a M2 Skin Refinish 12% for those w/ more sensitive maybe after using that for awhile you could work yourself up to the 20%.  Also it's a night leaves the skin a bit sticky till it dries I'm not going to lie so if that's something that might bug you I wouldn't suggest it.  Also don't sleep on your nice pillow cases if they are coloured b/c it may discolour them or bleach them in spots...I've learned this the hard way (not w/ this product but other acne products).  Some of the reviewers really seem to be stuck on wanting the Original Mama Lotion (product's old name)...I can't compare it to the old product so I really can't say if it was better but I can say I'm happy w/ this product...although I'm curious what the fuss is over the old product.

It's a decent size bottle and you don't need a lot of product at all.  The pump that the product comes out of is a little weird but nothing that really would detour me from buying it (although I'm a little curious when the product is getting low how it might effect me getting all of the product out).  I have been using it now for over 2 mths and I think there is still quite a bit of product left which to me is pretty good even though the product is a little steep at $48.50...but hey it covers so many bases - acne, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, wrinkles and fine lines. 

Okay so now that we've cleared that up I'll tell you all the good stuff about the save time and so I don't miss or mess up any info I'm just taking the info straight from website.

About The Product

Eliminate all your skin care woes with one easy-to-use serum. This multi-purpose facial treatment uses a high-potency combination of Mandelic and Malic Acids to rapidly even skin tone, reduce breakouts, and soften wrinkles. (Previously known as MaMa Lotion)

1.7 fl. oz.

Who It's For

Ideal for all skin types, especially hyperpigmented, mature, and acne-prone, who want a smooth, even complexion. Recommended for all skin tones, including dark skin. Click here to read why M2 HP Skin Refinish works well on dark skin. Safe for use while pregnant or nursing.

Key Ingredients

Mandelic Acid is naturally antibacterial. Malic Acid protects skin from damaging free radicals. Algae Extract moisturizes skin.

How To Use It

In the evening, apply to clean, dry skin. Wait 10-15 minutes before applying moisturizer. Use only every other night for the first two months. If irritation or excess flaking occurs, decrease frequency of application or discontinue use. Daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 is required for best results.

Full Ingredients

DI Water, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid,Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Acrylate/ Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane,Polysorbate 60, PEG-8/SMDI Copolymer, Algae Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Coenzyme Q10, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Tetrasodium EDTA

So basically I alternate at night - I night M2 Skin Refinish and then the next night I use my traditional acne cream. 

Okay onto the M2 Exfoliating Cleanser

I'm not going to lie, in the past I have been sometimes a bit cheap w/ my skin cleansers.  I know, I know I spend tons of money on other makeup products, wrinkle creams, diet products...but for some reason hated spending more than $12-15 on a skin cleanser.  Well I think I've changed my mind now!  Not that the M2 Exfoliating Cleanser is THAT fact it's under $25 USD.  Again it's a good size bottle but I think what makes it so worth the money (other than the fact that it's a great cleanser) is that all you need is one pump of the product which has a somewhat thick liquid gel consistency to wash your entire face.  Again I have been using this product for over 2 mths twice a day and literally onlly about 1/3 of the bottle is it that case it's ACTUALLY CHEAPER than other skin cleansers I have used in the past!

Okay here again is what the company says about the product.

About The Product

Instantly refine your skin every time you wash. This gel cleanser combines Mandelic and Malic Acids to gently exfoliate and remove impurities from the skin. Natural antibacterial and humectant properties restore balance, clarity, and tone. Soap-free and SLS-free.

6.76 fl. oz.

Who It's For

Ideal for those with dry, mature, or sensitive skin who want a clean, fresh, and refined complexion.

Key Ingredients

Mandelic Acid gently resurfaces the skin and is antibacterial. Malic Acid moisturizes and brightens. CoEnzyme Q10 neutralizes free radicals.

How To Use It

Apply a dime-size amount into the hands and run together to create a mild lather. Gently massage into dampened skin on face and neck. Let sit on skin for 30 seconds, then rinse. Use morning and evening or as directed by your skin care professional.

Full Ingredients

Water, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Laurylamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Mandelic Acid, Malic Acid NF, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Algae Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Coenzyme Q10, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, PEG-150 Distearate, Hydroxypropyl Bis-Hydroxyethyldimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol

I also should add that Skin Care Rx offers free shipping in the US on ANY M2 product purchases or ANY orders over $49...sorry Canadians we don't get the shipping deals :(

BUT I am passing on a code for ALL MY READERS!  If you want to SAVE 20% on ANY order w/ Skin Care Rx - follow this link! (takes a second for the coupon to pop up)  Told you they were an awesome company!

Btw how much do I LOVE this site...well I just bought some more products from them TODAY and I CAN'T WAIT to try them!  Yes...I used my own money lol...not just free stuff!  What did I buy you ask?

Well I'm a HUGE sucker for a GREAT sampler pack so I bought

The Beauty Cache - which is ALWAYS a HUGE BESTSELLER and sells out really quick so get one now!  It includes 4 full size products to try as well as a TON of sample products to try out (don't we all LOVE samples).  Plus I believe it also includes a $20 gift card (can be used on orders of $75 or more) so basically w/ that the Cache almost pays for it's self being that it costs under $30!  The reviews are amazing and EVERYONE seems to be a fan of this product so I'm VERY EXCITED to get mine!  A different one comes out every season and I tried to get one when I ordered my M2 products before but it was sold out so act fast!

Glycolix Skin Pads - I really LOVE the Avon Anew Pads so I'll be curious to compare these...again great reviews and a reasonable price so why not...since I ran out of my Avon Pads. 

MyChelle Dermaceuticals - Mostly just got this one b/c like I said I'm a sucker for a sampler pack and it was cheap w/ a lot of really fun products to try out!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Image Interview

So about a mth ago I did this really fun interview/photoshoot w/ Photographer Joel Yum who created this really cool Blog - The Image Interview.

Basically, it's this blog that introduces the public to different artists in all sorts of mediums - stylists, actors, painters, makeup artists etc.  What's cool about it is it's not the typical interview format.  It's an interview through pictures taken by Image Interview creator Joel Yum.  He does a mix of polaroids and pictures taken w/ an actual camera.  Some staged and some just taken in the moment.  Joel does ask a few questions about your craft or your own person style and inspiration and you right your answer on blank polaroids and he has tons of colourful markers to write w/ was like colour time in grade school lol. 

It was a really cool and fun experience to step in front of the camera again...and a little weird too I'm going to admit.  Joel was really cool and helped keep the whole thing nice and relaxed.   So go check out his blog and learn about some of the cool artists Toronto has to offer...and check out my INTERVIEW!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

YYZ Living Magazine - Behind the Scenes

YYZ Living Magazine is one of the newest and definitely coolest magazines to hit the Toronto Fashion Scene! It's a mix of Fashion, Art and Culture and it'd done in a beautiful, really high quality print magazine.  When most magazines are going the way of online YYZ is breaking the mold and are confident  enough in their product and it's uniqueness to come out from the very first issue in print.  I don't know about you but I still LOVE seeing editorials in's so much better than online.  It goes a long w/ why I still love to update my book and see my pictures printed and in person where I can touch them (w/ a protective covering over them of course lol). 

Their premiere issue came out back in Dec. and I was actually contacted by one of the editors Annie Lam to work on it.  Her and I had worked together previously on an editorial w/ Dexter Quinto which you may remember - Go Ask Alice.  Unfortunately, due to the editorial getting postponed I couldn't end up working on it b/c it ended up getting scheduled to shoot the night I was leaving for Europe back in Oct...I was soooo disappointed and made Annie pretty much promise me that I would get a chance to work w/ the magazine again lol. 

So fast forward to last wk.  I was on set at Studio Kaizen w/ Dexter Quinto when he got an email inquiring whether he'd be interested in shooting an editorial for YYZ.  Of course he was...and being the awesome friend he is of course he brought on his fav. Toronto Makeup Arist ;).  Plus he got Nadia Pizzimenti to style which is awesome b/c she's a really cool girl and we've been working together a lot lately.  Also, Dexter brought in a Hair Person for this shoot...yes you heard me right a SEPARATE person just to do HAIR!  OMG do you realize literally the FIRST commissioned editorial I have ever worked on where I didn't have to do BOTH Makeup & Hair!

So we did the shoot yesterday and I can honestly say it went really really well!  I never realized how easy and relaxing an editorial can be when all I have to do is Makeup & Nails and NOT worry about the Hair!  Yes, I'm getting a lot better at hair but it's still a lot to do on a shoot and it's a lot to watch during the shoot.  Dexter brought on an excellent Hair person - Earl Simpson...Nadia and I had both worked w/ him in the past so we thought he'd be a good addition to the team and he was.  He did a great job creating some big, beautiful and boucy curls...even when they were continually getting hit w/ wind (big, beautiful, bouncy curls worst enemy).  Our model that brought our beautiful vision to life was Ksenia (Elite).  Gorgeous girl, legs for days, great cheekbones and glowing really nice...ugh therefore I can't hate her lol!

The concept for the shoot was sort of lingerie as outerwear and involved a lot of loose, flowing fabrics and ruffles.  Lots of sheerness in the materials and overall the clothes just had a really romantic and 70s sort of feel to them.  As I mentioned above the hair was big curls.  The makeup was rather clean but did involve some very strong accentuated cheekbones which is totally something I love!  I'm all about the cheekbones...which I think I've mentioned before.  I mostly stuck to browns and taupes for the overall colour palette but did work in some peaches and pinks as the shoot progressed.  I wanted the skin to look luminous and the eyes to be defined but the shadow to be well blended and soft w/ no harsh lines.  It totally wasn't what I thought the direction of the makeup was going to be at first but I actually really liked it in the end and Ksenia wore the look really well.  Plus, a lot of my other editorial work can be very bold, dark or avant garde so it's good to mix it up w/ some really soft and clean but still strong makeup sometimes. 
Earl doing hair...I'm so stealing his idea about standing on an apple box...why the Hell did that NEVER occur to me before!?!
 Always so serious while I work lol!

 Nadia setting out her shoes...I won't even get into the stress the shoes caused her yesterday lol!
 Gorgeous Accessories...I LOVE Cuffs and Bangles!
 Finishing Touches Before the First Look!

 Hey Photographers...I'm NOT just good at Hair & Makeup...I'm also an Awesome Wind Machinist!