Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Marc Anthony Body Care

As you all know I LOVE me some Marc Anthony Hair Care products and the wonderful people over there are always so generous when sending me things.  Recently they mentioned Marc Anthony was launching a new Body Care line so of course I was all over trying that!  Perfect timing too!  I was just running low on some of my body lotions and after this HARSH Winter we've had in Toronto my skin definitely needed a little extra help in the moisture and skincare department!

The body care line is broken into 3 different categories - Oil of Morocco Argan Oil,  Coconut Oil & Shea Butter and Macadamia Oil and luckily for me I got to try a little bit from everything!

First Up Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Body Wash - Well basically as soon as you put the word Coconut into something fragrance, food or body care related I'm sold!  It's literally one of my favourite fragrances...basically anything that makes me feel like I'm on vacation works for me lol! Plus like their shampoos/conditioners I reviewed recently this is also Sulfate Free!  Even though it's sulfate free it still lathers nicely onto a sponge or brush for scrubbing.  It's moisturizing and doesn't feel like it leaves a sticky film on the it's a really big size so you'll definitely have it for awhile!

Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Hand Cream - It's so funny when I was younger I never really understood why every woman seemed to carry hand cream in their purse and were constantly lathering their hands with it.  As I've gotten older, started working w/ my hands and constantly sanitizing them for work and noticed my hands getting much dryer in the Winter I've jumped on the hand cream bandwagon.  This hand cream is nice.  It absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn't leave it feeling heavy or creamy but still feels nourishing.  The coconut fragrance is subtle and doesn't offend which is important since I have my hands near and on people's faces all the time.

Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Body Lotion - Another super size product so you're definitely getting your money's worth here!  This is a great lotion for after the shower if you want to cover your whole body but not worry you're going to run out of it in a week!  It's also really light weight so it's great for those that feel that body butters or creams are too heavy for their skin!

I think my two favourite products were actually from the Macadamia Oil collection!

Healing Macadamia Oil Deep Moisture Body Butter - Ever since I was in high school and first discovered Body Shop's Body Butter I've loved these types of creams!  I really like the smell of the Macadamia Oil collection plus my legs tend to get VERY dry especially in the Winter and I find this body butter did a great job and hydrating and moisturizing it.  Definitely good for those w/ extra parched or dry skin!

My surprise favourite product from the collection was Macadamia Oil Dry Body Oil - not going to lie, the idea of spraying oil onto my skin didn't actually sound that appealing.  I thought it would be really greasy, oily and messy but weightless mist drys and absorbs into the skin really quickly and makes the skin feel really smooth and soft.  I would wait a couple of minutes before putting on clothes after applying it though be aware!  Plus I think it would be a great moisturizer for the Summer b/c it leaves your skin w/ a subtle glow which is always nice for your shoulders and legs when wearing your favourite sundress!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jamberry Nail Wraps

The last few years I've seen a real growing trend in the world of "nail art".  Even on set it's becoming more and more regular for their to be either a manicurist (if it's a big budget shoot or something featuring hands/toes specifically) or for the makeup/hair artist to also handle nails.

Usually this may just require the artist to make sure the nails look clean and neat but on editorials or fashion spreads it may be necessary for their to be something more elaborate or creative or sometimes there may even be multiple nail looks!  Yes, it can be nice to have complete control over everything and do something really cool but not going to lie sometimes it's just so much work to not only do makeup and hair but now have to think about nail art too lol!

So when I was contacted by Dana at Jamberry Nails to try out some of their really cool nail wraps I thought for sure!  For those that don't know these wraps adhere to the nail w/ the heat of a hairdryer and any excess wrap can be easily filed away.

I personally get a manicure every two wks b/c 1. I'm terrible at painting my own nails 2. I feel it's important to have nice nails b/c my hands are constantly in view of my clients so something like these nail wraps are an awesome at home option for people like me.  Plus they don't chip or peel off like regular nail polish always does for me...and NO smudges or smears lol!  And they come in SO MANY different colours, patterns and designs - literally you'd never get bored!

For set they'd be awesome b/c you could pre-make a set of false nails w/ the wraps and then you'd just have to adhere the nails to the models hand or you could do the wraps straight to her real nails. Instantly you'd have a fashion forward cool nail w/out the drying time and painstaking effort of trying to do "nail art" which is definitely an art in itself...props to those w/ the gift and skill to do it well!

Jamberry also have wraps for toes and tiny children's fingers.  I think something like this would be a great addition for a young girl or pre-teens b-day party as I know parents are always trying to come up w/ fun activities for their kids' parties!

I put the wraps on all of my nails and it does take a little practice to get them perfect and smooth...but overall it was pretty easy and I did it while watching T.V so can't complain too much. I tried out a really pretty pink floral pattern which is great for Spring/Summer.  I typically keep my nails pretty simple w/ just a solid nail polish colour so I think for me I'd probably keep the wrap to just an "accent nail" instead of the whole hand but it was fun to try something different and a little outside my typical nail polish box.  I think the wraps would look really awesome on just 1 or 2 nails on each you'd get more use out of the wraps that way ;)

So if you're looking for something fun and different for your nails definitely check out their many different patterns and styles to choose from!  You can even upload your own design and get wraps made of cool is that!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kaia Naturals - Bamboo Tapioca Beads

I love multi-use products!  I'm always trying to condense and minimize pretty much everything in my life whether it's my makeup kit for work or my personal makeup kit at home so when Kaia Naturals contacted me about trying out their new Bamboo Tapioca Beads I was very excited to give them a try!

So what is this product you ask - well it's a Cleanser, Exfoliator, Mask and Makeup Remover....Yeah it pretty much does it all!  Not only that but it comes in a powder form so it's PERFECT for travel and you can throw it into your carry-on and not have to worry about any liquid restrictions for planes or messy spills in your luggage!  Plus think of how much space you could save if you only had to take one product for all of that!  Also, great to throw in your gym bag if you shower at the gym!  Not only that but it's also Gluten-Free and Cruelty-Free!

It's full of really natural and non-irritating ingredients like kaolin and tapioca root starch which help absorb oil, control shine and purge the skin of toxins and chickpea powder and bamboo which are gentle exfoliants that help soften debris to clear pores and soothe the skin.

To use the powder you just need to activate it w/ a liquid - water if you want to use it as a cleanser, exfoliator or mask and oil if you want to use it as a makeup remover.  Not just typical cooking oil though...Moringa Oil is great for all skin types and the ppl at Kaia say it's their favourite b/c it's a dry oil and won't leave any sort of residue or oilness on the skin plus it penetrates really quickly.  In fact after using it your skin might feel so good it won't even need a moisturizer!  Other liquid suggestions include Almond Oil which is great for combination skin and Blood Orange Juice also great for combination skin and it will help boost the tone of the skin!

I do like to remind ppl to not be afraid of oils on their skin.  I know a lot of ppl w/ oily skin are petrified of adding more oil to their skin but this will not make your skin more oily especially if you use a dry oil.  Plus just b/c your skin is oily doesn't mean it's not sometimes dehydrated too or just in need of a good exfoliation!

So definitely worth giving this product a try if you want something small, light weight and easy to travel with that can do the job of several products!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Style Me Pretty - Modern Bride

One of my favourite sources for "real wedding" inspiration has to come from Style Me Pretty!  So whenever I have the pleasure of seeing one of my former brides featured on the site I'm more than excited to share it w/ everyone!  Not only is it great publicity for me and my company but Style Me Pretty really does encompass the brides, styles and weddings I want to work on or be part of!  It sort of makes me feel "famous" for about a day lol!

Yesterday I saw a feature on one of my favourite brides from last year - Nathalie.  Her wedding was on July 6/13 and in all honesty it probably had to have been one of my favourite Saturdays last season b/c I got to work on not one but two gorgeous weddings w/ two friendly, warm and beautiful brides!

I wrote about Nathalie's wedding previously in another post when she shared some of her beautiful pictures w/ me so I won't bore you w/ all the details again lol!

For Style Me Pretty Canada Nathalie was featured under the "Modern Bride" section and I think that perfectly encapsulated her style.  She wanted something clean, classic, sleek and sophisticated w/ her hair and makeup and it worked perfectly not only w/ her dress but also w/ the whole look of the wedding.  I really like how her modern style was somewhat juxtaposed w/ the backdrop of The Distillery District which has a very old and historical feel to it.

Here's the full Style Me Pretty story if you're curious as well I've attached a few pics from the day that I didn't share before!  Thanks again Silverlight Photography for taking such beautiful pics of this beautiful couple!

One of the things I'm most excited about is that I get to work w/ Nathalie again for her friend's upcoming wedding in June!  Love referrals and seeing my brides again!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hair Extensions and your Bridal Hairstyle

Over the last few years I've had more and more brides using clip-in hair extensions to supplement their natural hair on their wedding day.  I think clip-in extensions are a great tool for hairstyling and they aren't just used to create length, a lot of times they are necessary to create the volume and fullness you see in so many  hairstyles these days.

I find w/ almost every celebrity at some point sporting extensions on the red carpet and the invention of Pinterest hair extensions and have become more and more a necessity and often reality for many bridal styles.  The truth is almost EVERY amazing pic you see on Pinterest where the hair is styled down or half up and is so full, curly and gorgeous has some sort of "fake" hair worked into it whether it be clip-in extensions, bonded extensions etc.  A lot of the updos do too!

Plus, a lot of brides don't realize how long your hair ACTUALLY has to be to create those long, loose curl styles...curl after all shortens the hair so the hair needs to be long to create most of these down styles.

I, myself often use extensions for when I have special events or night's out.  Definitely not for length as my hair is well past my breasts but it's for the thickness.  Even when I'm wearing my hair straight the difference it makes is remarkable!  Sometimes it makes me wish my hair was actually like that but man would it be heavy and hot if it was!!!

The problem comes sometimes when trying to explain to clients how it is not possible to achieve these styles w/out the use of extensions.  I get not every bride wants to invest in extensions which she may or may not ever use again but unfortunately most people's natural hair can't create these styles.  So a bride either needs to adjust her expectations or invest!  And in reality if it's going to make your wedding pictures that much better (which are after all your memories) you might as well spend the couple hundred on extensions.  Just think how much you're spending on the dress, photography, makeup and would be a shame to regret it afterward in my opinion.

Also, talk to your hairstylist about what type, length, style of extensions to get for your desired style.  If your hair is just at your shoulders you probably don't want 18 inch extensions as it will jut be really hard to blend into your style.  If you're doing an updo longer isn't necessary better either...sometimes 14 inch extensions are more than enough for a style.

When I make them I personally make a set of 8-10 pieces.  I like having a variety of sizes and clips so that I can put the extensions where necessary.  Sometimes I've had brides come to me w/ just 3 very long pieces and depending on your style that may or may not work!  Also, I double up on the weft - thicker hair w/ less clips creates a more comfortable and less bulky style w/ less clips to worry about hiding!

With all that said I thought I'd share some of the styles I've created for brides the past few years using extensions....if don't right you shouldn't even know they're there ;)

This was actually for a wedding photographer workshop and was a mock wedding shoot.  I used a ton of extensions on this model's hair and a really tight barrel curling iron....tons of brides love this pic but they don't really realize how tight the curls are in reality lol!  Having highlighted extensions also helps to make them look more real as it creates great dimension and highlighting in the hair!
Photographer Taylor Jackson

One of the few times I had a bride that opted for a straight style w/ her extensions.  I think it was a good choice and really worked well w/ the 60s vibe.  
Photographer Nicole Duplantis @ Eclipse Photography

You can't tell in this pic but Suzanne actually has strawberry blonde hair so which was a bit tricky to match for the extensions...but I did it and they looked gorgeous! It was also nerve wracking b/c I hadn't met Suzanne until the trial and I had to choose the colour based simply on a small snippet of hair she had mailed me b/c she lived in Montreal!

You can see the colour a bit better in this one.

Kristen is tiny so she was a perfect example of someone that had to pick the right extension length for them!  If she would have gone w/ ones that were too long they would have overwhelmed her tiny frame!  I love the braid I incorporated in the front for this style!
Photographer Erin @ Renaissance Studios

Elissa was actually a bridesmaid for her sister last year.  The year before she was the bride and I made extensions for her wedding.  We used them again for her sister's wedding.  They look so natural! Perfect colour match!
Photographer Tobin Grimshaw

 Rashani's hair was actually a pretty blunt bob and she has very coarse hair which makes it a little harder to blend in the extensions so I was happy she opted for a side pony style which really helped to blend it all together and make it look all natural!

Simone actually had a combination of bonded extensions and clip-in extensions on her wedding day.  I was glad she opted to have the clip-in ones too b/c you're not suppose to tease bonded extensions which therefore makes it impossible to create the volume necessary for some styles!
 Photographer Tally @ Phototerra

Svetlana was not only a beautiful bride but she also happens to be my oldest friend (way back since we were 14!).  She has long hair naturally but needed more fullness.  That's where the extensions came in.  She said I created her "dream hair" :)
Photographer Toan Lam

Thought I'd finish off w/ a bridal updo that has extensions worked into it.  What a great looking couple and you'd never know that wasn't all her hair!  See it's not just half updos or down styles that sometimes need the help of updo can also be greatly enhanced by extensions!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Marc Anthony New Coconut Oil Collection

Anyone who knows me knows I'm kinda obsessed w/ anything coconut related...seriously if it smells like a tropical vacation or involves the concept of coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk...basically coconut anything I'm all over it!  So of course I was more than willing to try out Marc Anthony's new Coconut Oil Hair Care Collection!

I think for the last year or so coconut has definitely been picking up steam as the next big ingredient in many hair and body care items.  Coconut oil has a ton of healthy and wellness benefits and it's a great moisturizer for pretty much any part of your body so I can totally see why it's become an "It" ingredient!  I regularly rub coconut oil all over my body as a natural moisturizer and trust me it's been great w/ this never ending cold, windy Winter we've had up in Toronto!

So the newest line from Marc Anthony is targeted at those individuals w/ dry, damaged hair...another effect from this cold, harsh weather...or if you just happen to use and abuse you're styling tools or dye your hair a lot ;)  The idea w/ using both coconut oil and shea butter in their latest collection is that it will absorb into the hair and help nurture it from the inside out.

So I got to try both Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner. Love that they are sulfate free as that's a big bonus these days!  They both smell great but not in an artificial coconut way...just really nice.  My one concern was that these products would be too heavy for my hair being that my one prob is volume but I'm happy to say I didn't feel they weighed my hair down at all.  The shampoo left my hair feeling clean and even w/out the sulfates still created a decent lather.  I made sure when using the conditioner to mostly concentrate on the ends as that's where my hair gets dried and tangled and it worked well to nourish and moisturize them w/out leaving my hair feeling limp or lifeless.

I also got to try out the Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Treatment.  This treatment can be used on dry or damp hair and you only need a couple of drops.  It doesn't leave the hair feeling greasy though so no worries there!  It helps to nourish and moisturize the hair to help create smoother and shinier locks!  It also helps to protect hair against splitting and breaking...important for all those girls looking to grow out their luscious locks!

I must say the people at Marc Anthony have always been so generous w/ what they send me and their packaging is always first rate!  A few days after my initial gift I received a surprise second package to try out w/ their new Oil of Morocco Argan Oil 3X Volume Cream!  Now this is the type of product I need!  I have very long, straight hair so any product that can help me w/ volume and lift is great in my books!  I took about a quarter size amount and ran it through damp hair starting a the root and running through to the ends, blow dried my hair as normal and I can definitely say it works!  My hair definitely had more volume and lift to it at the roots!  I wasn't even doing any fancy blowing drying or using a round brush to help so I imagine if I did that it would have been even more!

So definitely some new hair care products to check out if you're in your local drug store...very reasonably priced and I think they are worth it!