January 22, 2015

the 10 dos and don'ts of bridal makeup.

Along with family visits and lots of food, the holidays usually bring with them a host of engagements, and by this time of the new year wedding planning is in full swing for many couples! Whether you are newly engaged or have been planning for a while, make sure you don't forget one important element - wedding beauty! Below is a list of 10 expert bridal tips, to make sure you look flawless on your big day!


1. 'Make sure you have your trial at least three weeks, but no more than 3 months before your wedding. If you plan on using fake tan for the big day, have a test run before your make-up trial so that your artist can see what colour your skin becomes with the tan,' says M·A·C Senior Artist, Rebecca Butterworth.

2. 'Wear a white t-shirt if you’re having your make-up test in a store so that you can see how the make-up looks against a pale colour and take a picture of yourself in day light (with no flash) to see how it looks' says celebrity make-up maestro Caroline Barnes.
3. 'Bring references to your make-up trial, also known as "tears". Start looking for images of make-up that you really like and bring them with you on the day. Try to identify what it is you like about the make-up in the image and take into account that if you have the skin colour of Dita Von Teese then the make-up of Kim Kardashian won't necessarily translate onto you,' says Rebecca from M·A·C.

4. 'Remember that bridal make-up needs to have enough colour to compensate for the whiteness of the dress. There’s a big difference between everyday clothes and a wedding dress, so there should be difference in your make-up, too. Starting with beautiful natural-looking skin, and adding colour to cheeks and lips will really make you glow,' says Bobbi Brown.
5. 'Use false eyelashes – whether strip or the more natural individual, they’re a brilliant way to make your eyes stand out, and looks amazing in photographs.'


1. 'Have your make-up trial anywhere with overhead fluorescent lighting. If you have a professional make-up artist coming to your home, arrange a time when it’s still daylight outside,' says Caroline Barnes
2. 'Trowel it on. It’s a total myth that your make-up has to be plastered on for the photographs. Lots of wedding photography is done in natural light, and if you choose a heavy base the make-up will look obvious. Just ensure your T Zone is matte and that can be achieved with fine translucent powders and blotting powders, not layers of make-up.'  
3. 'Go for anything too trend-led. It's worth bearing in mind that you'll have to live with photos from your wedding for the rest of your life, so it's best to avoid statement looks and opt for something more classic; that glittery eyeliner you saw on a Parisian catwalk might look super pretty and modern now, but chances are it'll look tired and dated in twenty years' time. This isn't to say that you'll have to make yourself up in a symphony of beiges though if you're used to a more punchy make-up - vintage wedding dresses in particular can look breathtaking with a classic old Hollywood lipstick colour,' says Alex Babsky.
4. 'Be scared of going a bit brighter. Neutral, brown, and pale lip colours can look washed out in photographs, so choose a lipstick that’s one or two shades brighter than what you would normally wear. If you usually wear a neutral hue, it should be worn as a base, with a pink or rose colour on top. If you typically wear dark lipstick, use that as the base, and apply a brighter pink on top to give the colour a lift. Pinks, roses and plums are all great, classic choices for brides,' says Bobbi.
5. 'Rush. Allow at least 45 minutes to an hour for make-up application on the wedding day,' says Bobbi.


January 8, 2015

my fave products of 2014!

2014 was an amazing year for me, and in the process of turning my passion into a career, I discovered a few favourite products that I want to share!


Starting with foundations, I really like Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation for a lighter, skin-finish texture. For a fuller coverage on my skin type (combination) I really like M.A.C. Studio Fix Fluid. If you have dry or mature skin I highly recommend M.A.C. Mineralize Moisture foundation - it really makes skin glow!

For concealer, M.A.C. Pro Longwear is amazing and lasts all day - but to avoid creasing MUST be set with a powder. For a drugstore concealer Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser is another great one to try.

Contouring was all the rage this year, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit is the holy grail, but another great contour product is Benefit's Hoola Bronzer... works great for contouring because it's matte.

I love a good blush and like to use different colours depending on the day and my mood, but I found myself reaching for Naked Flushed by Urban Decay. It's so nice because it's blush, bronzer and highlighter all in one that you can customize depending if you want more glow or more colour. Another blush I've been using pretty much everyday for the past month is "Blushbaby" by M.A.C.. It's very soft and natural and goes with so many looks.

A primer for oily skin that I discovered this year and absolutely LOVE is BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. It really keeps skin matte the longest of any primers I've tried.


For eyeshadows I was all about the Urban Decay NAKED palettes this year, specifically 2 (looked best with my colouring). I also liked Maybelline's cheaper alternative to a neutral palette aptly titled 'The NUDES'. (Can you tell I love a natural eye look?!)

I almost exclusively used liquid liner this year, and found myself reaching for Revlon Colourstay Liquid Eye Pen in "Blackest Black". Makes winged liner so easy, and stays on all day!

The lashes I finished my look with the most often was ...Ardell Demi Wispies! I used countless pairs on clients and got many compliments while wearing them myself. They are the perfect amount of drama and natural, and fit perfectly with the cat-eye look I do so very often. 

For brows I only use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade, but for those who want an easier option I recommend M.A.C.'s Veluxe Brow Pencil... The creamy texture makes filling in brows a breeze and comes with a handy brush attached for easy blending. 


LIPS! How could I pick just one?! Impossible! For luxury lipsticks I love all M.A.C. lipsticks, and at the drugstore I love Revlon lipsticks (sometimes you can even get them on sale at shoppers for $4.99! Keep an eye out for that).


For setting sprays, Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray works great to keep your makeup looking amazing for hours, and I also use M.A.C. Fix+ for setting, as well as prepping the skin, as a tool to make 'dry' eyeshadows 'wet', and to apply loose pigment (just spritz your brush before dipping into shadow/pigment).

Comment below with any other products you loved in 2104! I always want to hear about great products, old or new, as there are so many out there I don't get to try them all!

January 7, 2015

the school of professional makeup

It's been one year since I made the decision to pursue makeup art as a career, and I figured now would be a good a time as any to share my experience with the school that changed my career path. I started my journey where most people do - with an online search for the best school to attend. Being a resident of Niagara, I soon realized that I would have to travel to Toronto for the best program (and one that strictly focused on makeup art), and there were only three main schools that offered a recognized diploma program worth checking out. The School of Professional Makeup was one of them, and after much deliberation and soul searching I scheduled a tour. Rob Closs, the school's owner and creative director met with me and gave me a one-on-one tour of the school's facility and available programs. Rob and I clicked right away! He was professional but friendly, and down to earth (translation = hilarious!) After touring another popular makeup college, I knew what the right decision was; I decided to attend PRO makeup, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The program was very comprehensive and included everything a makeup artist would need to succeed in the world of Film & TV, bridal and editorial. Rob (who had previously worked with popular TV hosts 'Steven and Chris') instructed a few classes, but the majority of the time we had Christine, a veteran in the business having previously been a trainer for MAC Cosmetics, a regular backstage at Toronto Fashion Week, and a MUA for "So You Think You Can Dance Canada". We really learned from the best!  Every class was fun and engaging, and at the end of the semester we were privileged with the honour of working with renowned photographer David Hou on a professional photo shoot for our portfolio. 

Making the transition from Marketing to Makeup was a tough decision, but the easiest part of it all was attending The School of Professional Makeup... And the ironic thing is I live in Niagara Falls and commuted 4 hours every day to attend. I loved every second of my experience at PRO Makeup, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to make makeup art a professional career choice!