Thursday, January 31, 2013

Seizing the Moment - Another Trip, Another Adventure!

So one of my New Years Resolutions was to LIVE more in the MOMENT and to continue to travel more and that's exactly what I've decided to do!  I'm getting an early start on this resolution and crazy as it is I've actually booked myself another trip!  And the crazy thing is I didn't think this one through for 6 mths hemming and hawing about the perfect time to go and what about missing work lol!  This time I'm heading over to Singapore and Malaysia for just over 2 wks - Feb 18-Mar 6!

What spurred this one you ask!  Well I had such an amazing and inspiring time in India I still had the travel bug inside me when I came back...thankfully that was the only bug I got in India ;)  Plus some of the friends I met over in India are still traveling for the next several mths and since I'd rather travel w/ someone else I thought this might be a good opportunity to pick up where I left off before and go traveling again! Work doesn't really really pick up again until March so Feb is the last chance I have to go on any sort of long term trip w/out missing a huge amount of work until Nov. - so I seized the moment!

Why Singapore some ppl asked?  Well shockingly enough even though it's one of the more expensive Asian countries to travel within it's actually one of the cheapest to fly to (at least from my research).  I got a round trip flight to Singapore for just under $1200...that's pretty darn good to me and like $500 or so less than my flight to India (not including the extra fee I paid to switch my flight to a later date)!  Plus my layovers going there and going home are so 1 hr at each layover...I do have 2 switches but still I figure it just gives me a chance to move my legs and walk around a bit at least!

I'll probably only stay in Singapore for a few days as it's a small country and as I  mentioned before on the more expensive side!  Then I'll head on over to Malaysia and travel around there!  One of the most insane things about the whole thing is you can catch a flight from Singapore to Malaysia for under $30 w/ tax!!!! How is that even possible!?!?!?!  I can't even take a train within my own country to my home city for under $50!

Again w/ living in the moment I'll be honest I've barely planned a thing lol!  So unlike me!  All I've booked so far is my hostel for 3 nights in Singapore...I found a good one, that's central and reasonably priced so I thought that might be an important thing to book ahead.  Esp. since my flight arrives at 1:30 am!

Another cool coincidence is my photographer friend from Shanghai Todd Anthony Tyler might happen to be in Singapore right during when I arrive...would be super cool to meet up w/ him for lunch or dinner in another country!

Yeah...starting to get excited and can't wait!  This time I'll try to actually blog a bit during my trip!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just Makeup - Wedding Edition

I've talked a lot in the past about the importance of learning Hair for my Bridal business.  In all honesty I literally wouldn't have a bridal business if I didn't do hair or at least have ppl on my team that do hair.  I'm also expanding my wedding business this year and that means adding more ppl to my team of artists.  It's actually been very interesting interviewing and meeting other artists out there.  I was actually surprised how many of them didn't do hair, or were surprised when I even asked about hair.  Truth is almost everyone will get their hair done for a wedding...not everyone will get their makeup done.  Do I agree w/ this idea, of course not but it's the reality of the business in Toronto and if you want to be successful (like I personally do) you learn this quick, face your fears and learn how to do hair!

Of course there is the odd wedding where I have the pleasure of just doing the makeup!  It's always nice and sort of a treat to just be able to focus on one thing for the entire wedding.  Sometimes this happens b/c it's a big wedding and therefore I've hired another artist to just do hair while I just do makeup or once in awhile I literally get hired for a Makeup Only job!

So I thought I'd share a couple of my Makeup Only weddings w/ you guys.

The first one was a wonderful, sweet and beautiful bride Melissa.  Melissa lives out West and booked her wedding well in advance. I first did her trial during the Xmas holiday of 2011.  She had a large wedding - 7 ppl Hair & Makeup so I thought it would just make it easier if I hired my trusted friend and artist Ashley Readings to do ALL the hair and then I could stick to doing ALL the makeup!  Makes both of our lives easy and a little more stress free when you can just concentrate on one thing all morning and really get in a groove.

The trial went fabulously and Melissa was such a sweetheart (I think she said she was more nervous about the Makeup & Hair then anything else lol).  We agreed I'd make her extensions b/c the girl wanted BIG hair...on the wedding day she kept saying BIGGER, BIGGER lol in reference to the volume!  I did a really soft pink, brown w/ a touch of gold/bronze smokey eye and a natural lip.  Just before the wedding I actually met up w/ Melissa to drop of the extensions and I barely recognized her, literally!  I know a lot of brides say they are going to lose weight but Melissa actually did it..she was beautiful at the trial but HOLY SHIT did she look good at that wedding!  Man that girl worked hard!

And she must have about the sweetest then fiance now husband EVER!  Her engagement story had both Ashley and I "Ahhing" and on the wedding day the gifts and card her fiance wrote literally almost had me in tears...and I don't usually cry at stuff like that!  Such a sweet girl definitely deserves a guy like that!

Both Melissa's hair and makeup looked gorgeous when Ashley and I were finished!  I saw pictures at the ceremony and she still looked gorgeous (which was a relief b/c it was literally one of the hottest days that Summer)!

Photos Courtesy of Maverick Photography

So Pretty!
 Got my usual "Game Face" on ;)

 Mother & Sister
What a cute couple!
 Ashley did such a beautiful job w/ the hair that day!

Another wedding I worked on in the beg. of Nov. where I did only makeup was for a bride named Stephanie.  Stephanie wanted a clean beauty look w/ a little extra "oomph".  The look we agreed on was so pretty I actually referenced her trial pictures to a lot of other brides to see if it was similar to what they had in mind.  What was great about this wedding was I actually got to airbrush ALL the girls!  Sometimes I get to do airbrush on the bride but I never have a wedding where ALL the girls get airbrush...and the photo I got really showcases how great they look!  This was also a group that wasn't afraid of makeup!  It was so refreshing to have a bunch of girls that wanted a bit of glamour and even still in the pic I think they look really beautiful and natural...but don't be fooled ladies - these girls were wearing some makeup - trust me!  See the camera really does eat up the makeup...that's why it's always a battle w/ my brides to let me put more makeup on them...not w/ this group though they were all for it!

Also, I didn't know their hair person that day but he was AMAZING!  Seriously, sometimes I've worked weddings where I've done just the makeup or just the hair and I've looked over and though oh those poor girls.  But that definitely wasn't the case w/ this artist...he had serious talent!

Man this group of girls looked good next to one'd swear they were all sisters w/ their beautiful blonde hair.  They just went so well as a group!  Esp. b/c they were all okay w/ a little more makeup, no one looked more "overdone" then the next one.

Giving Advice on Huffington Post

Being a professional in the industry ppl all the time come to me w/ their makeup questions or concerns.  I love helping friends, family even other artists this sort of stuff...I mean I just figure why not help others - I mean it's makeup tips not war secrets lol.

Recently I was asked to contribute and offer some advice and tips over at about Lipstick Trends and Makeup Mishaps.

Thought my lovely readers might be interested in seeing the articles!

Beauty Tips: 10 Common Makeup Mishaps & How To Fix Them

Beauty Trends 2013: Lipstick Colours & Finishes To Wear This Year - Not going to lie though...on this one they edited out A LOT of the specific product and colour tips I gave :(


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Model Bride

 I know I keep showing you guys pics of my brides from last year but I'm sorry I just can't help it!  When I get the pics I get so excited b/c they all look so beautiful that I have to share it w/ you!  I just got my latest bunch of pics from a bride I worked w/ last Nov. - Meaghan...and I'm SO GLAD I got these b/c as soon as I met Meaghan at the trial I was thinking "Oh my God she's gorgeous...I hope she send me pics after her wedding!"...then I think I asked "Were you a model?"...she's 5'11 and totally model worthy...and I'm in the biz so I know a model type when I see one.  FYI she never did actually model but was scouted (of course!)

Meaghan was having a rather small affair wedding.  Married at City Hall followed by a dinner at Luma (I believe) but like many of my brides that are having small weddings she still wanted to look her best and feel special on her wedding day.  She planned the whole thing in 4 wks and it's amazing what some ppl can pull together in such a short amount of time...her dress, which was from J. Crew was perfect for the affair - simple and understated but still very elegant and it fit beautifully...this is actually the second time this past year I've  had a bride get her dress at J. Crew and both times I've been really impressed!  She also had a vintage fur stole to help complete the look which is really a nice touch for those Winter brides.

For her makeup Meaghan wanted a very clean look - very light on the eyes but still a false lash, a nice flush to the cheeks and a nice raspberry stain to the lips.  I styled her hair in a very romantic, tousled and curled updo that was perfect for a chilly and windy Nov. afternoon.

All the photography is courtesy of Chris Bodnar who I think did a fabulous job capturing the romance and love between this couple!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Modern Elegance With A Vintage Twist

Back in Sept. I had the pleasure of working w/ a lovely bride Taryn and her wonderful group of family and friends for her wedding.  It was a large wedding and I even had a team of two other artists working w/ me that day.  I'm actually still impressed that we all fit into the hotel room and were able to work lol!  But at the end of day despite the tight quarters it was all worth it b/c Taryn and her girls looked beautiful!

Right away in the trial Taryn and I were able to hit it off and I helped create a look for her that had a slightly vintage Audrey Hepburn twist but w/ a very modern and elegant feel.  Taryn has a very exotic look - like some of my other brides this year she is mixed - Asian and Caucasian.  I love how when you mix nationalities and races you get some of the most beautiful and interesting features!  Taking this all into consideration we agreed it was best to emphasis Taryn's naturally full lips and keep her Asian eyes still defined but more on the clean and natural side.

Often when brides think of a sort of "vintage" vibe or emphasis on the lips they automatically think about red but that doesn't have to be the case.  For Taryn I custom mixed together a gorgeous and vibrant berry pink colour which I think was a perfect compliment to not only her skin tone but also the bridesmaid's dresses.  I think also by going w/ a more berry lip it creates a more "modern vintage" look w/out making things look too costume or character like which can happen when you're also doing a vintage Audrey Hepburn french twist.

So here's some pics of the gorgeous Taryn on her wedding day!  Photos courtesy of Luminous Studio.

I know I've said it before but I really do have the prettiest brides!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Goals & Resolutions!

Happy New Year Everyone!  I finished out the year w/ a fun night out w/ one of my long time friends Sophia.  She came over earlier in the night and I did her Hair & Makeup at my NEW makeup station...she's actually the first one to use it!  Then we hit the town for some dancing and drinking...perhaps maybe a bit too much drinking at the end ;)  Hence why I needed an extra day to write this post...yesterday was a bit of a write off to say the least lol!  But it was a great night and I had a great time...and it felt good to get myself all done up again for a night on the town.  Actually, I can't remember the last time I did that...still nice to know this old girl can clean up okay if she wants to ;)  Plus, it gave me another chance to play around w/ my clip-in bangs!  I was debating for mths about getting bangs again but it's such a commitment and when you're hair is as long as mine such a pain to grow out.  I got these off of ebay and they are allows me to have bangs when I want but not be committed to them full time!  They are actually bangs plus a top cover of hair that lays over the rest of your head so they blend more naturally into your regular hair and you can see the clips or seams of the bangs part.

But enough about that...let's get onto this years Goals & Resolutions!

As I mentioned before I think I did a good job last year but I definitely have some new goals for myself this year!

1. Live More In The Moment! - I have a tendency to be a major planner and thinker.  It's really hard for me to make a quick decision about things and I often go over and over things in my head until it drives me crazy.  Of course I still need to plan for my future but a lot of times I think I miss out on opportunities right in front of me b/c I'm thinking too much about the future and almost being too responsible if that makes sense.  This year I want to take some chances, have some fun and not think things to death!  This also leads into me keeping up w/ my traveling resolution of last year!  I want to take some spur of the moment trips this year...maybe it's not always the most "responsible" thing to do but you only live once and I should learn to enjoy my time more now b/c I'm sure there will come a point where I won't have this much time to only think about myself and be selfish!

2. Stop Comparing Myself To Others - As I said above I tend to get in my head a bit too much and over think things and do a lot of "What Ifs"...this isn't helpful for anyone.  I can't change the past, the choices I've made and the directions I've taken.  I need to stop comparing my successes and failures to those around me.  I'll admit it, sometimes I get envious of my peers when I feel like they are getting awesome opportunities that I'm not getting or that ppl that were once behind me are now passing me by.  I have to stop beating myself up over these things and remember all the good things I too have achieved in the past year.  And guess what, if I don't want to be passed by I have to figure out what it is I need to do to pass them by and do it!  None of this feeling sorry for myself crap!

3. Grow My Wedding Business EVEN MORE! - So last year I had a record year for myself w/ 72 weddings...this year I might be overstretching it a touch but I'd love to hit the 80 mark!  Also, I'm expanding my business so that I also have a team of artists that works w/ me that I can hopefully send out on weddings when I'm already booked.  There were so many dates I had to constantly turn away b/c I was already booked...I'd love to supply artists for these weddings (and make a little more money ;) ).  Plus I'm working w/ another artist to do some Wedding Makeup & Hair workshops for other Makeup and Hair artists..trying to grow my brand and all ;)...more to come on that one later!

4. Do More Commercial Work - I know I said it last year but it's worth repeating.  I'm not going to hit my goals for myself unless I find more of a balance between wedding work and commercial work.  And w/ that I need to get out there and do some more creatives too!  Sometimes I just get too busy doing other stuff that I forget why I got into this business in the first place and the kind of work I want to do!

5. Finish Decorating & Organizing My Apt. - Well I've started this whole home decoration and organizing kick and now I just need to finish it...but it will take time...and of course $$$.  Next I think I want to do some organizing for my kitchen!  Can't do too much decorating in there but it could definitely use some better storage options.  Plus I want to put some stuff up on the walls of my apt....they are so bare and they need some personality.  I have one picture that I still need to get framed and hung...also on the to-do list lol!  Probably most important and definitely most costly - I need to get a wardrobe for my room!  I LOVE my apt. but the one thing that is lacking in it is closet clothes are currently jammed WAY too tightly in a tiny dresser in my bedroom and a tiny closet in my living room...time to be a big girl and invest in a wardrobe!

6. Save Money - I did an amazing job last year of paying of my I just need to keep it up and put all that money I was using to pay off stuff towards saving for my future.  Sometimes once we get caught up on the debt we want to live a little more free and start spending b/c we've been so restrictive for so long...and of course that's okay...but I need to think about my future too!

7. Be More Productive With My Time - Most ppl don't believe me about this one but I feel like I'm actually a REALLY lazy person and not productive enough w/ my time AT ALL!  I think I need to start creating my lists for myself and scheduling myself a bit more.  When you're self employed it's easy to just waste a few hours doing this or that and I need to stop doing that!  I need to start scheduling things like workouts and blog posting.  I think if I make them a priority and actually have them in my schedule as things TO DO I'll be much more likely to do them!

So I think that's a good start for the year!  Let's hope I continue to achieve my goals like I have in past years!