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 on...at 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 cheap...in 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 them...like 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 pic....you 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 ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Last Minute Weddings

It's that time of year again where I start to see all the fruits of my labour in the form of pictures from my brides from the Summer's busy busy wedding season!  As I've mentioned on numerous occasions I LOVE getting back pics from my brides and seeing how everything turned out on that wonderful day!

Now most of the time I'm booked mths before the actually wedding day...typically 6-8 mths before but sometimes I do get last minute calls from frantic brides (or even their moms) looking for an artist to help them out on their big day.

 A lot of times unfortunately, I'm already booked and can't take these bookings but sometimes whether due to timing of another wedding or just a fluke chance I'm free I love to help these brides out.  What's crazy is sometimes I don't even have a chance to have a trial w/ the bride b/c it's so last minute (like 2-3 days before).

Of course I always highly suggest a trial not only for the bride but also for me.  It just creates a much more relaxed and stress free day on the wedding when everything has already been planned and worked out beforehand.  Plus it's a great way for both the bride and I to make sure we're a "good match" and it allows us to make any adjustments or changes necessary before the big day.

 Nevertheless I'm a pro and in fact sometimes these last minute bookings have turned out to be some of my fav wedding pics from brides!  I thought I'd take this time to share w/ you a couple of last minute bookings from this past wedding season!

Literally was booked just days before her shoot and wedding.  What was interesting here was they opted to do their pics in High Park before the actually wedding day...but they liked what I did so much they actually hired me again for 2 days later to do her hair and makeup for her actual wedding ceremony!  I absolutely loved Maria's dress and veil (not pictured).  She's absolutely gorgeous...and had some of the best hair ever plus she's also so sweet!

Now talk about last minute bookings!  This bride had her makeup artist cancel on her just days before her wedding :S.  Her mother called me in a panic and I'm so happy I was able to help her out..and oddly enough this was also the day I did Maria's wedding...2 last minute bookings on the same day - what are the chances!  I only did the makeup for her (not hair...although I did help w/ the flower wreath).  I really love the pop of colour on the lip!  It goes so beautifully w/ the flowers! The pictures are courtesy of  the great team at Little Blue Lemon.  You can also see more beautiful pics of this bride here!

Maryam's wedding was slightly different from the other two b/c I did actually get to have a trial w/ Maryam before the wedding...but it was still last minute...I think she booked me about 2 wks before...the only reason I was even available was b/c it was a Fri. wedding.  Maryam had actually had a trial w/ another artist previous to me and did not like the results...I think she described the look as Persian Malibu Barbie :S (which was not the look she was going for lol)...and the foundation shade was all wrong apparently... Like Chyrssi I just did the makeup for this wedding not the hair.  I also got the chance to work w/ her wonderful (and gorgeous) family!  I'm really happy w/ the way it all turned out and I love the blending of cultures in terms of her wedding dress!  Photos courtesy of Gary Vassilikos.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Another Wedding With One Of My Fav Families!

The sad thing about weddings (at least as far as my job goes) is that after I'm done my wedding services it's not often that I get to work w/ or see the bride again (well at least as far as weddings for them I hope lol). Sometimes this can be kind of sad when you really hit it off w/ a bride or family to think that's it...sometimes it's a blessing and you're happy to get your butt out of there lol (luckily for me the latter rarely happens lol).

Last year you may remember I wrote a post and shared some pictures w/ one of my fav. bridal families EVER - Elissa and Co.  On Elissa's wedding day the family actually hired me for her sister Laura's wedding for the following year which hadn't even been announced yet to the rest of the family.  I, of course was more than happy to get the chance to work w/ the family again!  And let me tell you it's so good that they asked and confirmed w/ me that day b/c Laura's wedding day - July 6th probably proved to be my most requested date this past year (I had two weddings and I also had my staff booked on a couple additional weddings too)!  Literally if they had even waited a mth I wouldn't have been available.  It was also the day I got to work w/ another one of my fav brides from this past season - Nathalie.  So I guess you can say July 6th was a great day for wedding bookings all around!

Having worked w/ the family before made the trial and wedding day process a breeze.  We both knew what to expect from one another and how to prepare for the day.  Elissa actually wanted something similar to her wedding day look and it was a great chance for her to use her extensions that I had made for her the previous year.

Laura - the bride this year definitely does not need extensions!  In fact her hair is literally the type of hair any stylist dreams about working with!  It's so thick and full AND it holds shape and has great body!  It's hair model hair and if every client had hair like that I can't even imagine how easy my job would be lol!

It was a sad moment at the end of the appt. when we realized Pina (the mom) doesn't have any other daughters to marry off lol!  But don't worry I was assured I'd be called back for other weddings they are attending, christenings or special events...and they are Italian so I'm sure there'll be a lot of those ;)

I really hope so b/c seriously this family is just so awesome to work w/ and Pina is a riot!  This woman never ceases to amaze me w/ some of the things that come out of her mouth - whether it's asking about Kleen Air the "Dancing Shoes" store I have across from  my apt. (it's a stripper shoe store btw lol) to asking me to feel her butt w/ her butt enhancing pads for under her dress lol!

Here's some pics from Laura's beautiful wedding day.  Photos are courtesy of Tobin Grimshaw who was also the photographer for Elissa's wedding as well!

Laura - the bride 

Pina - What a character!

Elissa - last year's bride...her extensions are still looking fabulous!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Luscious Long Lashes - Velour Lashes

I LOVE long, thick gorgeous lashes!  Whether I'm trying to achieve them w/ the latest serums, mascaras or falsies I'm always on the look out for the next great lash product.  I'm also a big believer in false lashes for night's out, special occasions, wedding or even day to day wear (depending on the style of course).

When Velour Lashes - an awesome company started by two best friends and actually based out of Toronto reached out to me to try their 100% cruelty free mink lashes I of course jumped at the opportunity!  Now I will admit I'm WAY overdue in writing this review as they actually sent me the lashes awhile ago but on a positive note I can attest to the products durability and longevity!  I have used these lashes MULTIPLE times and they still look and feel AMAZING!  Also, I can say w/out a doubt these are these easiest lashes to apply that I've ever used and I've applied A LOT of lashes on myself!  I don't know what it is about them but they fall on to the lash line so perfectly and easily...which is great for the average person b/c lets be real most ppl probably don't have the lash applying experience I have lol!

The lashes themselves are very lightweight, soft and hypo-allergenic.  The mink hair is retrieved through the natural shedding process and therefore is cruelty free and is free from any chemical processing or dye.  Now I will admit b/c they are mink and of high quality and packaging they are definitely not the cheapest lashes out there but they are a great quality and when you break down the cost/wear ratio they are actually quite affordable b/c they are reusable for up to 25 times!

As a makeup artist if you're trying to market yourself to a higher price point client or offer additional higher end add-ons to your services Velour Lashes is definitely an option as they do also offer a Pro Program!

Velour sent me two pairs of lashes to try out - Lash in the City and Doll Me Up .  These are both dramatic night time lashes in my opinion and would look a little crazy or over the top during the day.  Definitely not for the shy or demure...luckily for Velour I'm neither shy nor demure when it comes to rocking a false lash.  But that being said I have to be real and say the vast majority of my clients would definitely not feel comfortable wearing these lashes even on a night out b/c they are super dramatic and big...and I tend to work w/ very "natural" clients.  Also I wouldn't really recommend these lashes if you have small eyes b/c I think it would just overwhelm them and be "too much".  Just something to keep in mind...you don't want to scare off potential false lash lovers w/ something to different, dramatic or crazy then what they are use to the first time.

For a more natural look I'm definitely liking the look of Whispie Me Away or Are Those Real?  Personally, I think these styles would be much more wearable for the average false lash wearer or someone looking to experiment or try out false lashes for the first time.

Velour lashes are also getting very popular among celebrities right now and are showing up regularly on the eyes of the most famous starlets for lots of red carpet events and affairs...another great selling point for those clients that want what all the celebs want ;)

 Doll Me Up & Lash in the City - LOVE the packaging!

As you can see they are pretty long and dramatic!

I'm wearing Doll Me Up

As you can see in the extreme close up they look pretty dramatic but a little further away they don't necessarily look "natural" but definitely glam appropriate!

Lash in the City

Like the other style from a bit of a distance it adds drama but I think it completes the glam smokey eye night time look.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Beautiful Bluffs Engagement Shoot

Back in the Summer I had the honour of not only doing the wedding makeup and hair for one of my oldest and dearest friends Penny but I also got to work w/ her on her engagement shoot!  While I haven't seen any of the wedding pics yet if they are anything like the engagement shoot pics I know they will be nothing less than breathtaking!

I actually suggested a few of my fav. wedding photographers to Penny but strongly suggested Zach Hertzman who I've previously worked w/ on multiple editorial and fashion projects but never a wedding yet. Although I've always loved his wedding work too!  This past year he officially branched out on his own w/ the launch of  Times and Paper.  I absolutely LOVE Zach's style and he's so amazing w/ natural light and catching real authentic moments in both fashion and w/ his "real life" wedding couples.

The shoot couldn't have come together more beautifully - gorgeous weather...and the day after that insane storm we had back in the Summer so boy were we lucky there.  Penny wanted to look very natural and relaxed to go w/ the style and setting of the shoot - the Scarborough Bluffs which happen to be right near where she and her now husband Robert live.

I think these may be my fav engagement photos yet (and not just b/c it's one of my best friends in them ;) )!  I can't wait to add a few of these babies to my site!