Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Vintage Bridal - A Timeless Look

I've been doing weddings for a few years now and trends and styles tend to go in and out but one style that never seems to wane is the "Vintage Look"....usually this look is referring to makeup and hair styles of the 50s/60s...sometimes 20s fingerwaves are also a popular request.  Women like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot etc are often referenced.  Current Hollywood trends also often play a big part in the popularity of this look. If a lot of actresses are sporting "vintage" inspired makeup or hair and the award shows or a big Hollywood movie is highlighting a time period (Great Gatsby I'm looking at you) can then have a big impact on the following wedding season.

I think a lot of this has to do w/ it being sort of a "timeless look"...even though of course it is of a different time.  Brides that usually request this look tend to want either a bolder lip in pink or red or possibly a winged liner.  Some want big bouffant hairdos, classic beehives or as mentioned above fingerwaves.  What's important to remember when doing this sort of look for brides is to be "inspired" by the period and to not do a total recreation of the era as that's when things can start to look a bit dated or cartoonish (1920s I'm looking at you ;) ).

This past year I had a few brides that were inspired by vintage trends and I thought I'd share a couple of them w/ you b/c they are all different but you can still see the sort of vintage vibe in all of them!

Photos courtesy of Ryan @ Luminous Studios
Michelle's tea length dress and fascinator immediately call out for a vintage inspired look...I love fascinators!  We decided on an elegant Audrey beehive for the day.  Michelle's natural hair is a bit on the shorter/finer side of things so I really think this was a great look to make her hair look bigger!  Kept the eyes soft and played up the lips w/ a pretty pink!

I actually had the pleasure of working w/ Jennifer earlier in the year on her best friend's wedding so it was such a pleasure to work w/ her again!  Jennifer LOVES the full out vintage vamp look - red lips, big winged liner, pale skin!  Plus her hair will do ANYTHING!  It's so full and thick...and boy does it hold curl!  Whenever a bride shows me pics of the vintage wave I get nervous b/c so many ppl the second you go to comb through a curl the hair falls completely..not Jennifer - hair model hair!

I already wrote about and showed pics from this wedding earlier this year but I thought I'd show a couple again to illustrate how the vintage look can be interpreted in different ways.  Adriana wanted a 60s vibe to her look w/ straight hair and a bouffant on top.  She also kept the lips a very mod style nude/pink and had a slight wing to liner (very slight ;) ).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

HUGE Holiday Giveaway - Whitening Lightning Holiday Bundle

'Tis the season to give to those you LOVE and guess what I REALLY LOVE my readers!  So much so that I've partnered up w/ Whitening Lightning again to give you guys the chance at another AMAZING Giveaway just in time for the holidays!

I've used and loved Whitening Lightning products in the past and I've done a few giveaways w/ them too...and they've always been super generous w/ my readers but this giveaway is really awesome!

PLUS they've also given me a new discount code to share w/ my readers...hey if you don't win the giveaway...or you just can't wait to have this awesome kit you can still get this amazing bundle for $89.00 (HUGE SAVINGS) by using the coupon code SnowMan or if you're looking to purchase some of their other cool products you can always use my discount code JESSICA70 to get 70% off your purchase!!

So what exactly am I giving away you ask?

I'm giving away 1 Whitening Lightning Holiday Bundle (basically the first pic on the blog) to 1 lucky reader in the US or Canada!

Whitening Lightning Bundle includes:

Get the Dial a Smile Teeth Whitening Kit, your choice of 2 pens (Any Pens) and 2 Lip Glosses (Any Colour). VALUE $499
The home kit contains 3 complete professional whitening treatments
  • Whiten your teeth at home
  • Takes only 20 minutes
  • Painless
  • 4-7 shades whiter per treatment on average
  • Great for smokers, wine, and coffee lovers
  • Great for teens that just got their braces off

The Super booster pen will whiten your teeth while you sleep with a Whitening Lightning Teeth Whitening Pen
  • up to 7-10 shades in 14 days
  • Works while you sleep
  • No unpleasant taste
  • Just paint it on 
  • No sensitivity unpleasant taste
  • No Mess

The Color Your Smile Lighted Lip Gloss 
  • Contains collagen peptides - increase lip volume
  • Reduces Lip Wrinkles
  • Doubles as a lip treatment
  • Feels smooth and light on lips - never sticky
  • Will not feather or bleed

How AWESOME is all that!

So how do you's SO Easy & Simple AND I've given a ton of options to choose from!  Do 1 or do them ALL!

Please allow a few seconds for the Rafflecopter Widget to's sometimes slow! 

Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Long Way From Home - MEGA Man Editorial

So I just got my hands on the final editorial spread for MEGA Man magazine (Philippines) featuring my photographer friend and resident photographer/judge on Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 1 Todd Anthony Tyler. Before he became a photographer he was actually a model for several years which I think has definitely influenced his work and shooting style. It was so fun to get to work w/ Todd on a shoot as it had been such a long time...although this one was slightly different as he was the model and not the photographer lol!

It was a little chaotic to get this whole thing even planned and executed as we had to get it done during Todd's last visit to Canada in Sept. which also happened to coincide w/ TIFF and NYCFW...yeah...not the easiest time to do an editorial or source wardrobe let me tell you!  But it all came together in the end and I think it looks amazing and Todd totally captured that rugged, Canadian outdoors look we were going for...very different from the Philippines obviously...which was also another reason Todd wanted to shoot this in Canada.

Once Todd explained the concept to me and everything he was looking for I knew I had the perfect photographer for him.  I'm so glad Zach Hertzman (who I've worked w/ on a number of occasions) was able to shoot this story b/c his style was exactly what Todd was going for and he's so great on-location and w/ natural light!

The location for the shoot was actually Todd's sisters farm and land (and we also did a mini detour to a horse farm at the end of the shoot)...what's funny is Todd was location scouting and asking his family before the shoot for ideas and no one thought to suggest the farm (which he had never seen prior) b/c they thought it was too run down or "not pretty"'s funny how ppl not in fashion don't always understand how we actually WANT those run down, dirty locations b/c they have character lol!

As far as my part in this whole editorial is concerned...I'm not going to was pretty easy.  It's male grooming and Todd has great skin so just cleaned it up a bit (covered some of those under eye circles) and styled the hair.  The thing w/ a shoot like this is to not make him too "clean" or "pretty".  I wanted him to look a bit rugged and dirty so I actually went to my friends at Blur Makeup Room  and picked up some Reel Dirt to work on to his hands and face to give him that slightly dirty, rugged look.

So here's the editorial!  I've also slipped in a couple behind the scenes shots from the day!  I actually have a bunch of pics that didn't make it into the editorial...there are so many great pics from this shoot!

His sister has mini cute are they!  Btw I know you can't tell but it was COLD outside...esp. considering it was the middle of Sept!!!

Zach doing his thing...Todd doing his

Me literally "getting my hands dirty" w/ the Reel Dirt

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Private Makeup Lessons - Great Holiday Gift, Great Personal Investment!

In the last year I've seen a surge in the amount of Private Makeup Lessons I give to women.  I think in part this has to do w/ the fact that I advertise the service on my Wedding Site but also b/c a lot of women are coming to realize that they know very little about makeup and in fact many are even scared of it but they do realize its importance in society...esp. in the professional sector.

The mere idea of hiring someone to teach you makeup seems like a fairly modern and new concept to a lot of people out there.  It's actually funny b/c so many women initially have trouble grasping the concept of investing in someone to teach them how to apply makeup b/c it is "just makeup" after all but then if you were to ask them many of these same women would express how "scared" they are of makeup and doing it "wrong".  I mean I remember when I was a teen I don't remember any sort of thing like this being available (and there def. wasn't YouTube around back then w/ tutorials and advice).  Plus, I find with many women makeup tips and skills are initially learned through the mothers and if the mother never wore makeup then it's more likely that these women never really started wearing or experimenting w/ makeup themselves.

So as the holidays are fast approaching it got me thinking about what a unique and thoughtful gift it might be to invest in a Private Makeup Lesson for your wife, sister, daughter, girlfriend, mother etc...basically any woman in your life lol!  I can almost guarantee no one else would be getting that person the same thing plus it really shows a lot of thought and people love when they get gifts that are "outside the box" and experiential gifts!  Plus how cool would it be for a lot of women to have a professional makeup artist come to their house and personally teach them "tricks and secrets" of the pros!

There are SO MANY women out there that LOVE makeup but are just too scared to try it themselves...or they have drawers and drawers of makeup that's going to waste b/c they don't know what to do w/ it.  With a private lesson a woman would learn what works exactly for her and how to apply makeup specifically for her features and face.  Plus she'd learn what specific products or brushes she should be investing in which for a lot of women would actually save money as they wouldn't be buying tons of makeup that either didn't work for them or they didn't know what to do with.

It's also a great idea for young girls that are newly getting into makeup.  I know we've all seen those young girls that are ruining their beautiful young faces w/ too thin brows and too much eyeliner.  Why not have someone teach them the basics and good techniques from the start so they don't have to look back on their teens years 10 years from now and think "What was I thinking?" lol!

Also, for any women out their reading this and thinking they might want a lesson...go for it!  Give a gift to yourself sometime!  I'm all about giving gifts for myself lol...especially when I was a single lady (b/c let's be real no one else was doing it)!  I often talk to my clients about this being an investment into one's self.  I honestly believe knowing how to apply a basic day look style of makeup is the equivalent of a man knowing how to tie a tie.  It's a life skill that every woman should learn that will help them in almost all professional settings.  Now I'm not saying all women need to wear tons of makeup all the time.  I'm just saying knowing and understanding the basics and how to pump those "basics" up for a night look are great skills to have and they come in handy in a lot of personal and professional settings.

I'd actually say I get booked most for lessons by women that realize they need to start looking more professional and pulled together for their career and workplace.  Often it's young women just entering the workforce that need to appear mature and polished or even women that are heading back into the workforce after taking some time off for their children.  Whatever the case may be a lot of women are seeing the importance makeup plays in presenting a polished and professional person.

So for anyone looking for a last minute gift idea that is guaranteed to be unique and memorable I'd definitely say a private makeup lesson could be a great idea or suggestion!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Time With Lush Cosmetics!

 Christmas came early for me this year!  After my excellent experience w/ Lush Cosmetics Halloween line I of course jumped at the chance to try and sample some of their products from their current Holiday collection.

If you're struggling w/ a gift for an friend, family member or someone in the office some of these little treats would make an excellent addition.  As I mentioned before Lush Cosmetics are handmade and fresh w/ little to no preservatives or packaging.  All products are vegetarian friendly and many are vegan friendly.  The only thing some people aren't a fan of (and I mentioned this before) is the fragrances.  The products do tend to have a lot of natural fragrance so if that's not something you're cool w/ you might want to pass on these things.

Now on to the treats!

Sandy Santa - This is a shower body exfoliant in the shape of Santa.  Good for buffing away that dry Winter skin for your feet, legs and elbows.  I'd probably avoid the face w/ this one as I think it would be a little too coarse or rough for that.  This year they've also added coconut oils and shea butters to soften the skin while exfoliating.  It's a good product but beware that Santa's red cap does bleed once wet so can be a little messy and your shower might need a bit of a rinse...I think my boyfriend referred to this product as "bloody Santa" or "bleeding head Santa" lol.

Buche De Noel - Another exfoliant/cleanser but this one is for the face.  It usesground almonds to gently exfoliate the face and almond oil and seawood to hydrate and nourish it.  I like this product and I do find a little goes a long way....which is great b/c my one complaint about some Lush products is that they get used up very quickly considering the price.  I personally wouldn't use this as my everyday face shower cleanser maybe more like 1 or 2 times a week.  Because of the ground almonds...even though they are ground finely I think it could be a bit much for the skin to use it I sometimes worry about the the micro tears almond exfoliants can create on the skin b/c of the rough edges (even when finely ground).  I do really enjoy the smell of this product though and I do not find it drying to the skin.

Snowcake - This bar soap has been a hit w/ my much so I'd say I actually only used it a couple of times lol.  He even said he'd consider buying other soaps from Lush as sort of "special soaps" to sometimes use instead of his regular day to day "man soaps".  I really liked the almond icing and marzapan fragrance and I did overall find the soap very moisturizing...although I'll be totally honest and admit I'm more of a shower gel girl anyway ;)

Rose Jam - Speaking of shower gel this leads me to my next product and actually probably my FAV out of the bunch.  I LOVED the way this shower gel smelled!  And I'll be honest I'm not usually a big "rose" fragrance fan but I really like this!  Plus unlike a lot of other shower gels the fragrance stayed w/ me after the shower.  I remember one time in particular thinking what is that lovely smell...then I realized it was me lol!

Bombardino - These are one of those cute and fun stocking stuffer type gifts!  It's definitely a little treat for your skin and a bit of an indulgence b/c they aren't really long lasting but that's what makes them perfect to give as gifts.  I personally love gifts that I'd never actually buy for myself but would still like to try and this little bath bomb is perfect for that!

Santa's Lip Scrub - This lip scrub feels and tastes so yummy on my lips.  It's very moisturizing and the sugar exfoliates while the coconut oil moisturizes.  Sure you could make this scrub (minus the flavour and colour) at home but this is a nice little treat that's easy to keep in your purse or again throw in a stocking or gift bag for a friend!  It has a cherry cola fragrance and taste and it's edible so you just lick it off your lips after you tastes so good I also lick it off my finger after I apply it too lol!

Santa Baby - This is a perfect companion gift for the Santa's Lip Scrub.  Made w/ shea and cocoa butters to moisturize lips during the cold, harsh Winter mths.  This lip tint/moisturizer does give some intense colour pay off so if you're not looking for some rosy lips I'd try something a little more neutral like the Eggnog Lip Balm. Another neat trick - you can use this lip tint to give your cheeks a nice rosy flush...I love when products have duel purposes!

The Christmas Penguin - Last but definitely not least!  How did Lush know my fav animal is the penguin ;) This little guy is another bubble bath bomb and every penguin is unique as they are each made from hand.  I thought this one was just too cute!

This is just a sample of the items available in the Holiday Collection by Lush this year so there's definitely something for everyone and definitely worth checking out online or in-store!

Cetaphil DERMACONTROL System Review

A few wks back I was sent some products from the Cetaphil DERMACONTROL line.  As someone who naturally has oily and acne prone skin this line seems like the perfect fit for my skin!

I've actually been a Cetaphil user off and on for many years.  I first got introduced to the brand through a dermatologist when I was in high school and suffering from severe acne.  The line has remained a popular staple for a lot of dermatologists, makeup artists and just regular people b/c it's non irritating, fragrance free and great for those w/ super sensitive it's super affordable and readily available at most drug stores!

So I received the 2 part DERMACONTROL system - Cleanser & Moisturizer

Cetaphil DERMACONTROL Oil Control Foam Wash 

  • Zinc complex absorbs excess oil while providing a soothing, hydrating cleanse
  • Non-drying, soap-free foam wash
  • Reduces shine and oiliness
Overall it's a good cleanser - it does what it says which is always a good thing.  Does a good job at taking off makeup, although I would still follow up w/ an alcohol-free toner after cleansing to really clean the skin.  I like the foam washes b/c they really seem to last a long time and I tend to waste less.  One or two pumps is all you need to wash your face.  It doesn't irritate or sting the skin and I didn't feel it dried out my skin at all or made it feel tight and stiff like some cleansers which strip the skin too much.  

  • The 3-in-1 formulation: hydrates, protects and controls shine
  • Ceramide infused formulation replenishes the skin's moisture barrier
  • Oleosome technology achieves SPF 30 with fewer sunscreen agents, minimizing irritation potential
  • Lightweight, oil-free, soft matte finish
Again another solid product.  I'm always happy w/ my moisturizer includes SPF b/c it's just one less product I have to add to my skin and it's important to remember to wear SPF all year round...even in the dreary Winter months!  I only use oil free moisturizers and again this moisturizer is very gentle and non-irritating.  It left my skin feeling moisturized but not greasy or oily and it absorbed well into the skin.

So overall these are two solid cleanse and moisturizing options esp. for those w/ sensitive and oily/acne-prone skin and they are very affordable.  

The only thing I will remind people is that these do not have any medicated ingredients to help control or fix any acne issues.  I wouldn't say my skin is any "better" or less acne prone b/c I'm using them but I will say it didn't make my skin worse or irritated in any way.  If you have acne you will still need to speak to a dermatologist for the best course of action for your skin or try various over the counter creams or gels.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes & Giveaway

As you all know I'm always on the lookout for new and awesome lash products to make my lashes fuller and longer!  Now as much as I love a pair of false lashes lets be real they aren't always practical for everyone for day to day wear.  That's why when I was asked to review Younique's 3D Fiber Lash (follow the link to get your own 3D Fiber Lash) I was super excited!

The 3D lash system is a two step process involving Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers that promises to make lashes appear 300% thicker and fuller but still maintaining a real and natural look.  It's water resistant but still easily washes off w/ your fav makeup cleanser and warm water.

The whole process does take a few extra minutes compared to your reg. lash routine but I promise the results are worth it and it's an easy alternative for all the ppl out there that can't figure out how to apply false lashes on themselves (b/c lets be real it's not easy).

I've used another similar fiber building product in the past on my lashes but the fibers in the product I used before were white and I really like that these fibers are black therefore matching my natural lashes and making them easier to cover w/ the transplanting gel.  Plus the fibers are 100% natural and are made of green tea.  The gel has collagen in it for additional volume and shine on the lashes.

I've attached a step by step pic guide so you can really see the full results of the product and how awesome it is!

PLUS I'm giving away 1 Younique 3D Fiber Lash system to one luck winner!  This contest will be open to anyone in the USA or Canada!  Look below for the Rafflecopter Widget to ENTER!

Okay so here are my natural lashes - no mascara/no curl...they are long but thin and very straight...much like my natural hair lol

This is them after I curled them and put 1 coat of mascara least now we can sort of see them lol!

Now this is them after applying 1 coat of the Transplanting Gel and 1 coat of the Natural Fibers...Big Improvement!

 And here they are after 2 coats of Transplanting Gel and 2 coats of the Natural Fibers...False Lash Territory!

They hit my brows they are so long now!

Now who doesn't want to win and try out this product for themselves!  Please have patience sometimes the Rafflecopter Widget takes a few moments to load.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Never Stop Learning!

As artists I think it's really important that we constantly learn and improve our skills through testing, workshops, research etc.  All too often we can get busy or complacent and comfortable in our skills and forget that trends, products, styles and skills all evolve and it's important to keep up to date on all the latest advancements and improvements.

No one ever said being a makeup artist was going to be easy or fact it's a really expensive career to take up b/c as a working artist you are constantly having to not only replenish your kit and products but also improve your skills and offer new services.

That's why when I found out while I was at IMATS last weekend that Blur Makeup Room was having a tattoo coverage workshop by Thomas E. Surprenant I knew although it maybe wasn't the best time financially to take a workshop (I did after all drop a little over $600 at IMATS eeek!..and I'm getting into my slower period for work EEEKKK!) it was well worth the investment.  And in all honesty that how WE as ARTISTS need to start looking at these things...they are investments into our careers and skills!  Investments that will pay off when we can start offering different services and charging more therefore making more money!

All the time I hear artists whine and complain about not getting ahead and not having money for this or that...guess what - suck it up!  If you want something bad enough and you think it's important enough you'll make that extra money for that workshop or save that extra money for that new product.  I know it hurts a bit b/c it feels like it's a lot of money upfront...and it is but it's so important to keep improving our skills as artists!  I can't stress that enough!  Okay enough of my mini rant ;) let's get to the actual workshop!

So I'll be real.  I took SFX in school but it's never really been my thing as my career focus isn't on movies or film and I'm just not called upon to do much guts and gore lol.  But a tattoo coverage workshop now that's the kind of sfx stuff I can use in my business!  Esp. for commercial or fashion work when you might need to cover up an actor or model's tattoo and it's becoming very popular in bridal too (and it's a great upsell opportunity)!

As someone who has been asked by brides in the past if I do tattoo coverage and I've always shrieked away at the possibility as I've never felt really comfortable in my skills I knew this was definitely an area I could use improvement on and also an area I could immediately see marketing and money making opportunities for my business!

So this week I got to take a very intimate and hands on workshop w/ Thomas E. Surprenant who has to be one of the nicest and down to earth artists around...and so talented!  I mean just look at his resume and body of work and you have to be impressed...hello Emmy winner anyone!  First he showed his tips and techniques for covering tattoos using his very own line of sfx prosthetic paints (available at Blur Makeup Room).  He showed how they can be used both by hand and in the airbrush gun and explained some colour theory and how it applies to the skin and it's colouring.

After watching him work away and cover a VERY large arm tattoo to perfection I got to test out my skills with him there to guide and watch while giving me some hands on tips and tricks.  I'll be honest...I usually SUCK at things when I first attempt worst in the class awful suck so I'm always nervous when pros are watching me but Thom is so friendly and nice that I felt a lot more comfortable and at ease and he's a really great teacher!  I did one wrist tattoo first w/ Thom stepping in to help me every now and again. After that there was time for me to even go after a second wrist tattoo on the other arm and I can definitely say I think I did pretty well if I do say so myself!

There is another Tattoo Coverage Workshop happening at Blur this Sunday Nov 17 from 2-6 and I definitely think it's worth the money!  If you can't make it out this time definitely stay in the loop w/ Blur to find out when they're having Thom back in the future for other workshops!

Here's some pics from the workshop!

 Thomas showing us how it's done!

Me working away!  My first attempt on the first tattoo!

Pretty good results I'd say!  Forgot to take a before but on the left arm there is a heart tattoo that's been covered...same tattoo as the right arm in the can see where I could have kept going w/ the coverage up further on the other tattoos on the left arm in the pic.

Thomas even showed us how to do veins on the arm using airbrush for an even more realistic finish...the skin has so many different tones and variations throughout it's important to not make it too perfect looking!  I def. still need to practice on the veins lol!

 Me working away on the second tattoo all by myself!

Thanks Blur for hosting such an awesome workshop and thanks Kory for having so many great tattoos to work on ;)

Also here's a couple of pics I took at IMATS last Saturday of Thomas at work flexing his SFX muscles and his model friend Josh flexing his real muscles ;)