Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bridal Makeup - Something With A Little More "Drama"!

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I do a lot of very "natural" but beautiful wedding makeup.  It's great and beautiful and I really do feel it takes "extra" talent to create a natural but striking bridal look.  But I have to be honest...I get a bit excited anytime one of my brides wants something w/ a little bit of drama or doesn't mind going that extra step when it comes to makeup.  After all, anyone who has ever visited my Editorial/Fashion website knows I can bring the "drama" when I need to ;).

That's why I was so happy when Simone contacted me to do her wedding!  I actually met Simone the year before at another wedding I was working on.  It's always so flattering when a person you worked on the year before at a different event ends up reaching out to you later for their own event.  

Right away I was pretty excited to work this wedding for a number of reasons:

 1. It was giant...actually probably my biggest wedding to date - 1 bride, 8 bridesmaids, 2 moms and a flower girl - Hair & Makeup - Yes, obviously I had A LOT of help on this one!

2. Finally a group not afraid of a little makeup!  These girls are a bit of the glam type...I'm a bit of the glam type (at least when I go out) - so I LOVE when ppl aren't afraid of makeup and lashes!  Plus they are a beautiful group of girls...makes my life so much easier!

3. They are just all really nice ppl...and I knew the wedding was going to be very elegant and glamorous...somewhat different then a lot of the weddings I would great for my website!

So for the wedding Simone wanted a soft smokey eye in champagnes, browns and blacks.  It was nice b/c I got to do a bit more smokey than I normally do for weddings...a bit more of a MAC style if you will...stronger cut crease and what not.  

For her hair, she had bonded extensions added to her hair PLUS we added a set of clip in extensions on top of we obviously got some fullness going on.  Her hair w/ the extensions holds the curl great so I actually used a bigger curling barrel then I did at the trial....b/c at the trial I had to do A LOT of pulling to loosen up that curl lol...again this is why it's good to have a trial so you learn all about these things!

All the bridesmaids actually had the same hair - an elegant, curled side bun updo...looked great w/ the floor length silver gowns.  Also, even though we gave them all the same hairstyle it's important to remember it won't look the same on every girl b/c each of them have different hair lengths, cuts, texture even style it will end up being somewhat individual.  Plus, not that I believe the bridesmaids all have to have the same hair but I do kind of like the idea that if the bride is wearing her hair down the rest of the group wear their hair up...I don't know maybe that's just me.  At the very least I always make sure I'm not giving anyone in the wedding party a hairstyle too similar to the bride.  

Considering the size of the group I have to say my ladies and I ROCKED this wedding!  We finished in really good time and I made it to my next wedding perfectly on time (yes, I had TWO weddings that day)!

Thanks to Simone for sharing the pics and Tally over at Phototerra Studio for doing such an amazing job capturing the wedding!

Just a side note...for all those brides that are "scared" of makeup...even though I did go a little heavier than a lot of my brides on this wedding I think everyone can probably agree it doesn't actually look that heavy in the pictures.  Always remember the pictures!  Makeup reads differently in them and a lot of times what you think is "too dramatic" is actually "just right" ;)

Love this pic w/ the veil!

The hair and curls look great in this one to me!

Simone and the Ladies...what a gorgeous group!

Also here's a link to a slideshow from the beautiful wedding!  It really does capture the glamour, fun and excitement of the entire day!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Natural, Tousled and Beautiful Bride

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of working w/ a wonderful, curly haired bride - Michelle.  It was sort of a last minute booking and I'm so happy I was able to fit her into my busy, busy wedding schedule b/c working w/ her was such a pleasure.  I'm not the only one who was busy though...not only was Michelle planning a wedding but she was also finally finishing up her doctorate thesis that was 8 years in the making...I can kind of understand why Makeup & Hair services weren't necessarily at the top of her priority list lol.

So as I said above her wedding was literally 2 wks ago...and she's already sent me the pics!  How crazy is that!  Some brides have to wait mths to get their pictures and Michelle has already gotten hers.  And you know what - the look fabulous!  Michelle really lucked out.  Her and her now husband Michael were on a tighter budget like a lot of couples so they actually took a chance and hired a young photographer named Christopher M Taylor who literally just graduated from Ryerson a couple of mths ago.  That can be a good tip for some budget conscious brides...check out the photography schools...sometimes there's a gem there waiting to be discovered (at an affordable price)!

So back to Michelle.  Michelle has crazy, curly hair...not that long but man there is a lot of it!  I'm so happy she wanted to work w/ her natural curls...I just hate when brides don't want to work w/ their natural curls...esp. when the hair is super curly!  She didn't want anything too stuffy or formal so I wanted to create a lower curled updo that was romantic and soft.  In fact I felt the final product was very reminiscent of Kate Winslet in Sense & Sensibility (my fav movie of all time if you must know ;) ).

For the makeup I wanted to keep it clean and fresh but I did want to add a little something different w/ a bit of a black winged liner.  Normally, this isn't something I'd even suggest to a bride unless they mentioned it but Michelle like a lot of ppl has eyes that naturally turn down a bit on the end so one of the best ways to give the illusion of lift is to do an upward flicked liner!  We kept the lips natural and matte and I add a really nice highlight to the cheeks to give her that gorgeous glow that all the brides want!

I can pretty much say the wedding day Makeup & Hair always looks better than the trial.  It's simple...during the trial I'm doing just that - trying different things, making adjustments etc.  But it's almost never perfect...but on the wedding day being that I've already done it once I know the adjustments I want to make, colour choices, face structure, hair texture of the client.  This was definitely a case of me being WAY happier the day of w/ the makeup then at the trial...and the thing is the trial wasn't bad.  Not at looked good!  But I just made a couple of small changes that made a world of difference!  I did a thinner winged liner and a lighter colour on the lid and it really did open up Michelle's whole eye area and lifted it all.  It was really one of those days where it made me realize - Yes, even after doing this awhile I'm still learning and adapting w/ every job and that's a good thing!

So here's some pics of Michelle on her wedding day!  Can't wait to include these on my new Website!

 Definitely one of my fav pics she sent gorgeous!

I really love this one too!

New Wedding Website Is LIVE!

So I've been working and tinkering away at a new Wedding Website for about a mth now!  I wanted to re-do my wedding website b/c I found the old one although pretty, limited in the amount of material and additional functions I could add. Basically, I had just outgrown it.

Also, and this is a big point, I'm looking to build my business for next wedding season.  Already, during this last wedding season there were SO MANY weddings I had to turn down b/c I was already booked!  Very annoying!  So next year I'm looking to build a team underneath me.  Other like minded, talented Makeup & Hair artists that I can bring on for jobs when I'm already if you're a Makeup & Hair artist in the Toronto area and you'd maybe like to make some more money, book some more weddings, then get in touch w/ me!

So go check out my NEW WEDDING WEBSITE!!!  Let me know what you think!  I'd love to hear your feedback.

Personally, I can't believe I did it all on my own...I've come a long way in the last couple of years when it comes to web related things.  I think I was even more impressed w/ myself that I figured out how to switch my hosting and point it toward the new site.

Can't wait to share w/ you some new wedding pics a bride sent to me just today ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Billboards Full Of Irresistiful!

Ever since I saw my first Orville ad on the subway last mth I've been on the hunt to find the others!  The problem is the wedding campaign is the only one on the subway and the other 2 are around in billboard format...and for some reason I was NEVER seeing these billboards lol!

I got word from one of the actors on the shoot that ALL 3 billboardds were around the Danforth and Eglinton area...very East and way past anywhere I normally go (I have a thing about going East...ssshhh ;) ).  So I was waiting for an opportunity when I had a car to go search for these billboards and see them in person.

That opportunity came this Sat. after my two wedding jobs.  To be honest definitely not the most ideal day to go snapping pictures of random billboards as it was raining and even mildly hailing at one point but you gotta do what you gotta do!

So I drove all the way East into Scarborough and found these bad boys for myself!  Very cool to see your work in such a GIANT format!  Saw all 3 of them!  Took pictures of the Cheerleading campaign but then when I went to take pics of the Movie Premiere campaign the angle of the billboard was too far away to get a good pic!  Luckily, another fellow artist friend of mine told me he'd seen that very campaign all over his neighbourhood in downtown Toronto.  So I then drove back downtown and found that pic just East of Jarvis and Dundas E in a small poster format.  Funny thing is literally the next day on Dundas E. West of Jarvis I saw it also in a giant billboard format!  So it's everywhere and I've just been missing it lol!

Here's the pics...pretty cool indeed!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

MaskerAide Sheet Masks Review

A few weeks ago I got a lovely package in the mail from the ppl at MaskerAide who had asked me to review their amazing sheet masks.  I was really excited b/c one of my fav. beauty indulgences while in Shanghai was collecting and trying out different sheet masks.  They are sold EVERYWHERE in Asia and there are so many different brands and types and they are really affordable so it's a great "me night" activity...esp. if you're on a budget ;).

For those of you in North America who might not be that familiar w/ the concept of sheet masks.  Basically it's a cloth that has been soaked in various serums, vitamins and nutrients and has holes cut out of it for your mouth, nose and eyes...and you smooth is over your face...hence the "mask" name.  What's great about sheet masks is they are really easy to use, not messy and really portable for the "girl on the go".  Plus the mask acts as an incubator allowing the pores to open up and which allows for better absorption of the nutrients and vitamins and they are great for giving intense hydration to dry and dehydrated skin.

What makes MaskerAide masks that much better then the competition is that they are free of all:

Harsh Dyes & Pigments
Mineral Oils
Artificial Fragrances

They are super gentle and can be used on any skin type making them a great little gift or stocking stuffer (hey never too early to start thinking about x-mas ;) )

They come in 6 types...and lucky for me I got a box w/ all 6!

All Nighter - Awaken, Replenish & Refresh
Detox Diva - Clean, Exfoliate, Detoxify
I Don't Wanna Grow Up - Lift, Firm & Soften Fine Lines
Beauty Rest'ore - Restore, Regenerate & Repair
Weather Warrior - Calm, Soothe & Heal
Pre Party Prep - Brighten, Prime & Energize

The first one I tried was the Beauty Rest'ore.  I tried this out shortly after I had my second chemical peel.  My skin was a lot drier and more flakey after my most recent peel b/c they used a harsher peel this time.  The mask was great for soothing my skin, didn't cause any additional aggravation and it was super hydrating.  I could moisturize my skin w/ the left over cream that was on the mask.

The second one I tried was the All Nighter.  I tried this after an esp. long wedding work day.  I had been up since 3 am that day and started work just before 5 (yes for real).  I had two weddings that day and had made plans to go out that night so to say I needed a little help and relaxation before going out that night is an understatement lol!  The mask smelled good and was very cooling and invigorating on the skin.  My skin definitely felt refreshed afterward and it was a completely different feel then the Weather first I was concerned that all the masks might be really similar and it was just a marketing thing to come up w/ different names...but trust me they are actually very different masks.

I also tried the Detox Diva which unlike a lot of detox or clay masks didn't leave my skin feeling dry or itchy afterward.  It definitely felt clean and refreshed but also hydrated and soothed.

Tomorrow is my b-day so I've been saving the I Don't Wanna Grow Up for that b/c let's be real...I'm def. at an age where I've started to be concerned w/ my age lol...and it's my b-day so of course I deserve a little pampering ;)

I think the Weather Warrior will definitely come in handy w/ the cold weather coming upon us and all the harsh things that does to our skin and I'm saving the Pre Party Prep for a night when I actually go out to party...maybe next Sat. (I do have some fun plans in store for that night ;) )

At $4.99 a pack it's definitely affordable and like I said a great little indulgence for you or someone you at that price why not try all 6!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Collection of Weddings

As Summer has turned into Fall I've suddenly got quite a few pics back from brides in the past couple of weeks which is always exciting...b/c as you know I LOVE to see pics of my brides on their special day and I LOVE to share pics w/ you guys of my work and my beautiful brides.

So I thought I'd make a little compilation of sorts of a few of the weddings I've had the pleasure of working on the last couple of mths!


For Beth's wedding I actually just did her hair and 6 or 7 bridesmaid's makeup.  It was my second wedding of the day that day...and the one earlier that morning was just as full!  Beth just sent me a couple of photos of her and I think they turned out beautiful!  You don't even understand how much hair this girl has lol (which believe it or not is not always useful for updos)!

Love this pic on the bed...she looks stunning!


I did hair & makeup for Alison and her family (sister, mother & mother in law).  Alison was a particular bride and it took a couple of tries on the makeup during the trial to figure things out but once we did I think we nailed it.  I've seen a whole gallery of pics from her wedding and can I just say WOW, are her and her husband in can just see it in all the pics! Photos courtesy of David Gillespie.

I am such a sucker for Behind the Scenes pics lol!

I just wish they were in colour :(


Nazli was actually a last minute booking I got back in the middle of Sept...can't believe she got her pics already!  Her family and her were so sweet and so lovely to spend a day w/...and it was a long day lol!  Nazli had actually had a couple of trials for hair and makeup and was never pleased...sometimes that's a red flag for me as an artist before I take on a client but Nazli was so sweet.  Really I think it just came down to a personality thing and the other artists not really listening to what she was saying.  Sometimes I feel artists just want to do their own thing and don't want to take into account what the actual client wants.  Sometimes I don't agree w/ the client or their choices but guess what that doesn't really matter...they are the client after all and they are paying me so I personally do whatever it is they want.  Although I should say Nazli had good taste for makeup and hair and didn't do anything I thought was wrong or weird...I just don't think the other artists were listening. Photos courtesy of Reza at Royal Dream.

I know her hair looks simple here...but this was actually a lot of work to blow out smooth and straight lol!

All the time at trials I have brides thinking it's too much volume in their hair...I'm always trying to convince them it's def. not once you get the whole dress on and any veils or hair accessories.  Nazli is a perfect example...we put a lot of volume in her hair and w/ the tiara if it was anything less it would have looked flat!

Mother and Daughter...did both their Hair & Makeup

Btw keep an eye out for my NEW Wedding Website...I think I'll have it done in the next week or so!  Lots of changes in the works so look out!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Colder Weather = Dry Skin

 As the weather gets cooler I find my skin (and my client's skin) gets dryer and dryer.  The cold winds and cooler temperatures wreak havoc on not only my face but also my hands.  So when Yves Rocher sent me their complete Hyrda Vegetal line to try out I was more than up for it!

What's great about this line is that it has creams, cleansers and lotions for both Normal to Combination skin and Normal to Dry skin.  Sometimes when it comes to richer, hydrating creams ppl who have oily or combination skin fear them b/c they think it's going to make their skin greasier or shinier.  In fact I've actually found a lot of ppl who think they have "oily" skin in fact have combination or severely dehydrated skin and what they actually need to do is exfoliate and moisturize their skin b/c it's so dry it's actually overcompensating and producing more oil if that makes sense.

All the creams and face washes have a nice fresh scent to them.  Nothing overpowering...very fresh and light but if you HATE scents in your product this is something to be aware of.

Both the Gel Cleanser and the Hydrating Cleansing Milk did a good job of cleaning my skin and leaving it feeling soft and smooth...esp. when used in correlation w/ my Clarisonic Mia ;)

There are two face creams:

24H Intense Hydrating Gel Cream and 24H Rich Hydrating Cream.  The first one mentioned is for Normal to Combination skin and the second is for Normal to Dry skin.  I actually had reason to try both of these creams extensively.  I would use the first one normally but I actually got a chemical peel on my face early last week which left my skin quite dry and peeling for a few days afterward and the 24H Rich Hydrating Cream was exactly what my skin needed to calm and soothe it and also help w/ the dryness and peeling.  It was very gentle on my skin as well b/c it didn't irritate it after the peel or anything which is important when choosing skincare after a clinical skin treatment.   I should also mention that both products didn't leave my skin feeling heavy or greasy even though they are both richer hydrating creams.  A lot of times when you start using heavier moisturizers I find it can clog your pores or feel really heavy on the skin and neither of these did that.

To round out the system there is also the Instant Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer which is great for an instant plumping and moisturizing on those fine line prone areas and the Hydrating Toner...which is the only thing I'm not that crazy about b/c alcohol is listed as one of the top ingredients...this is true for a lot of toners but it's also drying to the I can't say I'm a fan.

So if you're someone that suffers from dry skin and are looking for an affordable skincare system I'd definitely say check out Yves Rochers Hydra Vegetal skincare!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Sweetest Family EVER!

Back in July I had the pleasure of working w/ no lie probably one of the sweetest families I'd ever worked w/ for a wedding.  I don't know what it was about them but they were just genuinely so nice and it didn't hurt that they loved EVERYTHING I did!  Seriously, I'm not exaggerating when I say I kind of want Pina (the mom) to be my mom lol.  Just watching Elissa (the bride), her sister Laura and their mother together just warmed my could tell they were all really close and loved each other a lot!  Just an fyi when I say something like this it means a lot b/c I'll be honest I'm not the most warm and affectionate "family type" person lol.

Funny enough I actually got the referral for the wedding through another artist and I'm so happy she referred me b/c it's families like this that really make working wedding such a memorable and enjoyable experience.  Plus it doesn't hurt that they've already hired me for the other daughter's wedding next year AND they've referred me for a couple of other jobs!

Originally I was just going to be doing makeup for the bride Elissa, her sister Laura and their mother Pina but after they were so in love w/ what I did at the trial for makeup I convinced Elissa to give me a try and do a hair trial another day.  It was actually an interesting makeup trial b/c all three ladies got a trial...not necessarily the norm but hey why not...makes things a lot less stressful for the wedding.

I was actually nervous at first b/c the girls kept looking at themselves in the mirror so much after I finished the makeup.  Usually in my experience that means there is something they aren't quite sure about or might want to change...but not these girls they were just admiring how much they loved their makeup.  The funny thing is they are all gorgeous seriously if a guy wanted to follow that old idea about look at a girl's mom to see what she will look like he'd be ALL OVER Laura and Elissa b/c their mom is I can't believe how good her skin looks and how young she looks...and she's funny too...she kept making jokes on the wedding day about wanting to look fatter and she was worried she looked too thin (she's italian and very petite...first time I've ever had someone say they wish they had a fuller face lol!) you can see I think I have a bit of a "mom crush" on Pina lol!

The big deciding factor for Elissa going w/ me for hair was the fact that I could make her a set of clip-in hair extensions.  I've mentioned before esp. w/ the down or half down hairstyles I make a lot of extensions for my brides and her usual hairstylist who is great at cutting doesn't work w/ extensions so it made me even more desirable.  I've seen the pics from the wedding now and I can't believe how great her curls look.  She has gorgeous hair and the extensions just blend perfectly into it and the curls look divine!

On the wedding day I ended up doing makeup on all three ladies and hair for Elissa and Laura.  And just to seal the deal on making them the sweetest family EVER they sent  me on my way after the wedding w/ a giant (and I mean giant) platter full of Italian cookies and desserts...UMM YUM!

Seriously, can't wait to work w/ these ladies again next year!  Check out some of the photos Elissa sent me of her special day!  So pretty!  Photos courtesy of Tobin Grimshaw.

Me fixing the was a gorgeous veil!

Look at the shiny and thick...the extensions look amazing!

Maid of Honour - Laura...she also has AMAZING hair!

Pina and Elissa...those are some amazing genes!

All of the women just LOVED the false lashes!  I love when I can convince a mom to go for the false lashes...makes such a difference and look how natural they look!

Elissa's dress was really different compared to a lot of the dresses I've seen this season but it was so her!