The Ordinary Skincare

I've always wondered if the more expensive the skincare, the better it is. Trust be told, my skin is quite reactive, which can be a challenge when testing out products. If you want to know if a product is irritating, I'm pretty sure my skin will tell you in 0.87 seconds.

 

So when I read about the brand The Ordinary online, I was intrigued. Actives, acids and serums for less than a tube of drugstore mascara? Nah...can't be. And even if it was so cheap, there must be some reason why. Lesser quality ingredients? Subpar packaging? Lacking customer services? Well, my first couple of weeks with the products, I can tell you it's a hard no on all those fronts.

 

And I'm pleasantly surprised.

 

At first, I found the website a bit confusing and tricky when trying to identify my needs. I mean, sure I'm in my late(r) 30's, but I wasn't really looking for wrinkle treatment. Prevention...sure. But not necessarily treatment. For me, I'm looking for something that can keep my adulthood breakouts at bay, not irritate my skin, and furthermore, work kindly with the products I already have and love.

 

It took some time to go through their site, www.theordinary.com, but I finally decided on 5 bottles (yes, 5...cause they are so dang inexpensive AND free shipping over $25CAD... and I'm brutally cheap when it comes to shipping). So I ordered the following:

 

 

The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum ($5.90, theordinary.com) really is a great, non-irritating product. While it won't help to control breakouts, it will help to minimize the appearance of blemishes, as well as pooling of sebum on the skin's surface. What I noticed while using it was, that while I still had the occasional breakout, it healed exponentially faster than when I hadn't used it. For example, a typical blemish for me could last 10-14 days. I would start treating from the moment I could feel it brewing, but it would be too late. I'd just wait it out.

 

While using this serum, I've noticed that blemishes are fewer and far between, and take less time to disappear (on average, 3-4 days). Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, also has the following perks:

  • Helps to improve acne
  • Reduces inflammation and redness
  • Can help to treat melasma and discolouration
  • Can help to boost elasticity and improve wrinkles

When I first applied the serum to my skin, it's gel-like formula dried down a bit too much for my liking. I think I was expecting a luxurious, silky formula, whereas this felt a bit like an acne gel. But I plopped my favourite moisturizer on top - Sonia Roselli's Water Balm and whammo - plump and happy skin!

 

The other product I was just having a fit over to try was the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG ($6.70, theordinary.com). It mentions on their site that it reduces the appearance of eye contour pigmentation (fancy way of saying dark circles) and puffiness. Right below that, it really puts reality in check with their disclaimers about how it wont work miracles with hollowness or fat deposits, which is great that they point that out. Managing expectations - I respect that!

Did you know that caffeine can help with the appearance of cellulite? I did. And now I want a bathtub sized container to soak in...

Another fun fact is that caffeine inside the body makes us hyper and agitated, but used on the outside in serums and lotions does the opposite - more calming, soothing effect.

I absolutely ADORE this serum - feels lovely on, doesn't smell offensive and works beautifully with my Water Balm. I use this just to treat the eye area before and then tap my WB on after. I've noticed a *big* difference in my undereye circles, and given the fact that I've used many of eye creams and gels over the years, this one will be a staple for a long time to come.

The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution ($4.90, theordinary.com) is a handy little gel to put directly on those unsightly spots to help speed along their healing. I've found it non-irritating, not overly drying and I've used it in conjunction with everything else I've listed here. Win!

 

I'm excited to try out the other formulas that I purchased but I wanted to go easy on the trials because a) my skin will freak out and b) it's only fair to let these products shine on their own - I need to know which is doing what! But for anyone that is needing extra moisture and lipids to their skin, I'm sure the Hyaluronic Acid and Rose Hip Oil with be great additions to the majority of people's regimes. 

 

And while I'm fawning over my new products, can I actually just say that I love the packaging? Clean and effective - even the box is lovely (I still have them all... I'm weird like that). I still don't understand how I can get actives and acids for the price of a Frappucino, but hey, I ain't complaining! I have four of their new foundations on order (2 of their Coverage Foundations, and two of the Serum Foundations), and I cannot wait to try them!

 

If you've been wondering about The Ordinary's product line, seriously, don't hesitate. Not only are they Canadian made, shipped from Toronto, they also have a return policy that is the bees-knees. Try it - they don't disappoint!

 

This is not a sponsored post; all products discussed were purchased and opinions are my own.

 

EXCITING NEWS - Expanding Across the Country!

Being one of Ottawa's most sought-after makeup teams certainly is a rewarding feeling.

To think - just over 4 years ago, I had this wild and crazy idea to quit my steady and rewarding career to start my own freelance company. Wasn't sure if it was the right choice, but it was a 'sink or swim' situation (and hope to heck I swim!).

Here we are - in year 4.5 and now we are across the country! You can find well trained, incredibly talented artists under the One Fine Beauty Team in not only Ottawa, but also in Kingston, Prince Edward County, Niagara and Vancouver!

I've been so gifted in my life to work with such exceptional makeup artists, but more than that, I work with people who CARE!

They care about their clients and their special day.

They care about their kits, keeping them super clean and having the best products.

They care about their reputation, and that of One Fine Beauty. We will never let you down.

They know they can offer the best service . We are more than just a group of makeup artists. We offer a wonderful experience to our clients' wedding day!

 

Feel free to check out the new gals profiles -  Marianne (Ottawa), Jordana (Vancouver) and Kathleen (Niagara)

TML - The Makeup Light aka: a Makeup Artist's dream!

Back a few years ago, I realized one thing that limited me while doing freelance that was never an issue when working at the MAC Stores - lights! Seems simple enough, right?

 

Wrong.

 

As artists, we are always searching for the best light. While natural light is obviously optimal, chasing light around a room isn't always practical. If I'm with a booking from the wee hours of the morning until afternoon, that potentially has me moving my station 3-4 times. Have you seen how much gear I have?! No thank you.

 

First off, I bought a lighting system called Glamcor, and by the looks of it, it was the bees knees! Easy to set up, looked great and was B R I G H T. It had a nifty little centre arm that I could use to clip on my iPad mini to film and be properly lit. Cause I was going to make all of these videos and such, and it just seemed to make sense... I needed it! Well that didn't happen. For one thing, I could never get the temperature right and I always had 'hot spots' of lighting on my face when viewed through my iPad. And secondly, did I ever tell you how I'm the world's best project starter and never-finisher? Ya well... moving on... LOL

Another thing I noticed is that everyone looked a bit 'green' when I used the Glamcor. Now, it wasn't totally off, but it just wasn't right. Like my clients with a warm, pink undertone always looked a bit neutral, or a bit gold even. Something was off. By no means was it bad, but I never really reached for it. I felt like I could make due without it.

The more and more I read up on lighting, I knew that obviously it was necessary, but the options are overwhelming to someone who just doesn't really know.

 

Incandescent. Tungsten. Halogen. Fluorescent (we all know this is a no LOL). But LED... LED is good.

 

This is where I started hearing more and more about TML - The Makeup Light. First I heard about it on the Glossible website, then it took over the Glossible Facebook page (a wonderful Facebook community that I help admin, which has 15k of the coolest makeup artists and enthusiasts there ever were)

I ordered The Makeup Light 2.0 Key Light on a pre-order and holy moly, when it arrived, I may have shed a tear. Or ten.

I was BEYOND excited to receive my beloved TML.

I was BEYOND excited to receive my beloved TML.

The Makeup Light was designed and developed by Michael Astalos, who has developed lighting for film sets and major motion pictures. Here's a really great video with Michael and my good friend Sonia Roselli, professional makeup artist, innovative product developer and blogger. It will answer all your questions!

https://youtu.be/sGQbPOp4JDk

They cover why it was created, colour temperature, and some other goodies in there. I just love hearing passionate pros chit chat! I feel like I learn my osmosis sometimes.

Here's another good read on the HOW and WHY (since, as artists, we need to know they why).

Just look at this sexy beast! I love the minimalist packaging too <3 This pre-order came with the light, power source with dimmer, suction cup mount and quick release.

Just look at this sexy beast! I love the minimalist packaging too <3 This pre-order came with the light, power source with dimmer, suction cup mount and quick release.

So while I still love working in natural daylight, this light has saved me in situations where lighting is a challenge (eg. the Canadian Tire Centre) or when Mother Nature isn't cooperating, like during yesterday's corporate shoot when it was all gloom and doom outside.

I love it. I especially love it when other professionals see it and go WHAT IS THAT?! Ahhh... appreciation for good light

I love it. I especially love it when other professionals see it and go WHAT IS THAT?! Ahhh... appreciation for good light

I especially love it when other professionals see it and go WHAT IS THAT?! Ahhh... appreciation for good light - these are my peoples!

 

From now on, you will likely notice The Makeup Light hanging out at future gigs, in the background while I'm getting brides ready or brightening up any places that seem a little shady. 

 

To learn more about The Makeup Light, visit their website. To learn more about Michael's incredible Emmy Award winning wife, Vivian Baker, check her out here. And my good friend Sonia - a wealth of information and the mouth of a sailor, Glossible is where you wanna be.

 

 

Le Belvédère - always one of my faves

I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to give back to some of our incredible Ottawa vendors. Ones who support me and my business, One Fine Beauty as a whole and who always seem to selflessly give back. Here's hoping this post will motivate me to not just blog more, but as a means to say thank you to those support us always. 

 

Here's a bit of backstory - I first met Jessica from Le Belvédère at a styled shoot we did, back about 4 years ago. I remember it exactly - it was April 13th and we had a *massive* freak snow storm the night before. She followed up with a few emails the day before stating that there was a pretty steep hill and that we'd need to really giv'er in order to not get stuck on the snow and ice. The hill was salted, but still, it was slick. So naturally... we got stuck LOL! A lovely gentleman met us down the hill, told us to reverse and back our way up the hill in order to not get stuck again. Needless to say, I hopped in the backseat, perched in a toddler car seat and gave him the honours. We got to the top, and at that moment, I feel like my heart literally skipped a beat. I have never seen anything more breathtaking and picturesque in my life. That was it. I was obsessed and a fan forever.

 

Now a different story... fast forward to a couple of years later, when my best friend Linda's daughter was diagnosed with ALL (a certain type of leukemia). Through the coming days, weeks, months, and ultimately years following her diagnosis, we rallied and tried to find a way to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. I came up with the idea of a photoshoot fundraiser as I had seen it done before, and felt like it was something that we could pull off. Linda was signed up to do an event, to stand in solidarity, for 46 Mommas Shave For The Brave in Boston, MA, with a fundraising goal of $10,000. That was a lot of money to raise and truthfully, I felt this was the best way I could help.

 

It was Jessica who graciously, and so incredibly selflessly, offered up her venue Le Belvédère for our photoshoot fundraiser. Knowing that it was a bit of a drive for most of the families coming from the west end, she made sure the experience was an amazing one for all. Not only did she open on a Sunday, but she also brought in one of her incredible chefs who made a gorgeous plated meals for all the families. And I'm not talking something basic (although that would have been appreciated just the same!), but really - the families felt so pampered with their delicious meal, kids had yummy chicken fingers and fries, and everyone felt so well taken care of from the moment they walked in.

 

That day was an incredible success - we were able to raise $1200 for Linda's cause, she proudly met her goal and represented in Boston that summer. It could not have been such a success without Barbara Ann Studios, who donated her amazing photography sessions, and gave families such beautiful photos to cherish for years to come. And also Amy+Jen Decor, who came and set up our display ❤️

 

So how can I give back? Well, I can offer her free makeup services forever, which pretty much goes without saying. But being their preferred makeup vendor for their brides, also would like to extend a special weekday offer to her Le Belvédère clients.

If your wedding is at Le Belvédère from Monday to Thursday, we are offering an exclusive 20% discount off your makeup services

Now is the time to book in your makeup services, as weekday weddings are no longer a thing of the past - we are booking up quickly! Of course, some conditions do apply, so please contact us at shannon@onefinebeauty.com for full details.

Need help hiring your Bridal Makeup Artist? We've got you covered!

"There's so much information - where do I start?!"

Stunning Whitney on her wedding day, September 2016

Photography by Mondays With Mac

Like any other vendor you’ve selected for your wedding day, hiring a professional makeup artist is not something to be overlooked. Having been married not-so-long-ago myself, I know of the costs and expense (and blood, sweat and tears) involved in planning a perfect wedding - one that goes off without a hitch, and leads to your happily ever after. Do you really want to be worrying about your makeup on THE day - whether it be the overall look, the execution and perfection of it, or just worried about it’s wearability in +35C weather?

No? I didn’t think so. 

Here are some reasons why hiring a professional is the way to go!

 

Experience

Experience, I’d say, is the number one thing that should be considered when hiring a professional makeup artist. Someone who has put in at least a few years in the industry and has some proof behind it. Sure, we all know someone who knows someone who can do makeup, and let me tell you - some of the most fabulous makeup artists I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with are self-taught! But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Anyone can pay to go to school for any trade, but it’s the years of skill and experience behind them that really allows an individual to hone their skill - and OWN IT. I can say, without a doubt, that I am a highly skilled makeup artist, but I am always willing to learn. My focus is in beauty and glamour, which is perfect for the bridal industry, but there are some amazing makeup artists who specialize in Editorial or Special F/X that are fabulous just the same. So how do you determine who to go with, you ask...

 

Portfolio

Most makeup artists that are freelancers will have some sort of portfolio to show you - and don’t be afraid to ask. It’s a big deal hiring someone to do your wedding day makeup, seeing as you want to put your BEST face forward. Do your due diligence and research - with the internet today, it’s not that hard to dig around. Check out some testimonials or references, if you can; frequent their websites and Facebook business pages for a while, to check the newer work they are posting. And remember - you're looking for work that they can produce on actual clients, not makeup on themselves. 

It’s about finding a good fit - do you like their style, the overall looks they create, how the products look on the skin etc... Oh, products you say...?

 

Products

Now, I believe that a true artist can work with just about anything, when it comes to products; a lot of the time it’s the tools and the creativity within that artist that can make the magic happen. But do inquire what types of products they use. Ask about wearability, longevity (will always depend on skin type), what can they offer that maybe different than the next artist (maybe airbrush vs. traditional foundation). Quality products really are key when it comes down to performance on your wedding day - considering the day will likely be 16+ hours long! 

 

Makeup Trials

I always, 110% of the time, recommend doing a makeup trial. This really is the time that you need with your makeup artist BEFORE your big day, to discuss your overall vision, likes and dislikes, and to try the actual makeup out before the wedding. Unless I’ve done the client’s makeup before for another occasion, or if she’s from out of town and can’t coordinate a time leading up to the wedding, I always suggest doing a trial to take away the unnecessary stress out of the portion of the wedding day. I think they are best planned around another wedding event, such as your hair trial or dress fitting. It is an added cost, but an invaluable one, at that. And now we get to pricing...

 

Pricing

Now, don’t judge a book by it’s cover - pricing is all relative when it comes down to it. Don’t go for the lowest priced individual; even artists that are just starting out shouldn’t be selling themselves too short. And you don’t need to go with someone with over the top pricing either - but if you do, simply do your research and make sure that you are comfortable with their expertise and that you are really getting what you are paying for. 

Furthermore, when it comes to such a booking such an important service, you need to review your service provider's contracts, terms and conditions and payment structure closely. Make sure you understand all areas of the documents and ask questions if need. Sure, a contract is put in place to protect the artist but equally protects the client (you!).

This is important : If you don't have a contract with your artist, how are you sure they are going to show up on your wedding day? 

 

You only have one chance to make the right decision for your wedding day vendors, and by taking all of this info into consideration, it should help you make the correct choice!

 

One Fine Beauty has been a leader in the makeup artistry business in Ottawa for nearly 5 years, but all of our freelancers have a minimum of 10 years experience in professional makeup (some closer to 20 years - ha!). We can help you pick the perfect artist and plan the most dreamy makeup - drop us a line on our contact form here, or email us at shannon@onefinebeauty.com

CTV Morning Live - Cover That Sunburn!

Oh boy - have we been blessed with some amazing weather this past long weekend! So what happens if you indulged a bit too much, and maybe weren't so liberal with the sunscreen? Here are some steps to get your skin back in good shape if it's been stressed out by all that sunshine!

Here is the video, this morning on CTV Morning Live with Melissa Lamb : Cover That Sunburn

First things first - let's take care of all that's happened to that poor skin! Sunburned skin can be quite painful, turn an unsightly pink, red (or even purplish, depending on the severity), lead to flaking, dehydration and mucho peeling.

 

So let's add some much needed hydration back in! First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery does just that - almost a serum type product, but most definitely a concentrated water base, this unique product adds intense hydration to the skin, as well as calms and soothes stressed skin, helping to repair damage resulted by environmental stressors. The sun is definitely one of those! [ETA : after a bit of research, it is clear that this is a miracle product given the reviews I've read - but it's also being discontinued by the company :( totally bummed! I will covet mine and highly recommend checking our your local Sephora to see if they still have it in stock. Their Anti-Redness Serum looks like a good second bet with Aloe in it!)

 

Another great product from First Aid Beauty is their Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 40 - love this because it's a physical sunscreen, not chemical. This provides great moisture, while loaded with skin soothing ingredients such as Colloidal Oatmeal, which is awesome on tender skin.

I gave a good explanation of the difference on the segment, but for more reasons than the fact that a physical sunscreen prevents the sun's rays from even coming close to your skin, they are just better tolerated than chemical sunscreens. A lot of people can break out from chemical versions, or have reactions at the very least, whereas physical sunscreens are great for sensitive skin. 

 

Next up - colour correctors! Let's dial it back to colour theory, and break out the ol' trusty colour wheel.

Opposite of red on the colour wheel is green, hence the green colour corrector recommendation. Because we are placing the green corrector on top of the sunburn, this will do a good job at cancelling out the colour (if it were placed next to the sunburn, it would likely intensify it!). For this, we used Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Redness Control. Also, you can achieve similar results using a yellow corrector - so if green isn't working, or it's sold out in your preferred product, go ahead and use yellow! After you're done with the light colour correction, you will need to bring life and colour back to the skin with a good concealer and/or foundation. Your work isn't done just yet!

Now, don't go wild on this part - I feel with a really good foundation you may be able to skip this altogether. 

 

This next step is pretty much the main player in covering up your sunburn - a good coverage foundation! I absolutely love Estée Lauder Double Wear because it coverage is incredible (medium, buildable), it looks super natural on, 15 hour wear and can withstand heat and humidity! When you've got a burn, sometimes it wants to roast and melt your foundation off your skin - won't happen with this one! If original EL Double Wear is just too much coverage for you, try Double Wear Light - it's heavenly on almost all skin types!

 

Last but not least, you'll want to add a bit of sunkissed glow back into your once overly rosy skin. Using a matter bronzer like MAC Cosmetics' Matte Bronze Bronzer will add that perfectly tanned hue to your skin, without drawing out the redness. I'd personally avoid anything with shimmer as this might undo a lot of your work of trying to cover the burn up in the first place!

 

This week in Ottawa we are expecting some pretty hot and sunny days, so grab a sun hat, slater on some good sunblock and enjoy the sunshine! 

CTV Morning Live - Music Festival Hair and Makeup Trends

This morning, Lori from Showpony and I were invited to do a super fun segment on CTV Morning Live with Lianne Lange all about Music Festival hair and makeup! We always love being guests on the show as their hair and makeup experts, and today was no exception, cause we played with C O L O U R!

Watch the full video here!

Mermaid, macrame and elastics - oh my! 

Photo credit - Shelby T. of Showpony Hair

 

First look - our beautiful model Jody wore a beautiful metallic elastic-tied hair style and this *totally* reminds me of my tiered ponytail styles of elementary school! Loved it! 

For Jody's skin, we used Prtty Peaushun to prep her skin with a luminous glow, and spot concealed with RCMA Foundation, and then drew on some cute freckles with two different NYX Micro Brow Pencils in Taupe and Chocolate. Simply dot them on the skin and gently pat over them with your fingertip. Easy peasy!

Second Look - for Karen's hair, Lori featured a woven yard/macrame standout piece! This is easier to achieve using a macrame wheel and a piece of hair extension - clip in and clip out, I like the flexibility of that!  

Karen's makeup look was super duper simple with a bold graphic liner on her upper lid only. I used MAC Waterproof Colour Stick in Royally Blue and topped with a new vibrant MAC shadow called How Royal.

Third Look - Sarah's mermaid hair has me weak in the knees, I tell you!! Lori achieved this look using two different Schwartzkopf temporary hair colours called Instant Blush - so easy and sooooo beautiful!

For makeup, we did a full upper lash from Esqido called Oh So Sweet, and we tied this colourful trend right into her lip colour with a new *permanent* lipstick from MAC called Dew! I'm completely obsessed with this look, especially her hair *sigh*!

What do you think about Lash Extensions...?

I'm always asked what I think about lash extensions, so I thought I'd bare it all and do a blog post about it. I imagine I may get a bit of flack, but I'm going for it anyways.

I don't like them.

There. I said it. Feels good.

As an artist, I like to be able to control certain situations that I'm in when it comes to a client's makeup. Now, that being said, I am probably one of the most easy-going artists out there. I never really have a 'concrete' idea of what I'll do for any given client, and for a lot of it, I just create as I go. I work with their skin tone and skin type, and I adjust as needed until the desired affect is achieved. 

Imagine working on a project, and being told you can only use a black magic marker for the art portion. Even worse, it's a black permanent marker. Ummm, what? I need to sketch something ever so slightly, do some proper shading and I have the darkest, most indelible tool to work with? No bueno.

Now that may have been dramatic.

Depending on how they are applied, lash extensions can be be way long, way too thick, and at times, really unrealistic. They have a mind of their own and can spin or turn - the worst is when you have a rogue lash that cannot be tamed. It's inevitable that shadow will fall on the lashes as you complete your eye makeup, and the lashes will be forever grey, as it's not recommended to apply regular mascara on them. If you do insist on having them, please purchase the mascara that is compatible with them so that we can tweak them as we need to.

I know that most adhesives are safe for the eye area, as well as the lashes. But keep in mind, an additional lash and adhesive on your own natural lash (and I'm talking 1:1 here), is a lot of stress on your natural fringe. While it's 100% true that our lashes shed naturally, and follow the hair growth cycle like other parts of our bodies, losing lashes and extensions is a lot more obvious. It's like a vicious cycle - they will fall out (or break off), but because the neighbouring lash is amped next to it, the gap it's left is all the more noticeable.

Now, I'm not totally hating on lash extensions - I've seen some absolutely beautiful lashes - thin and wispy, delicate and fluffy looking. If you have your heart set on lash extensions - do it! All I ask is that you do your due diligence with research and choose a certified specialist that works with your natural lash to perfect your look with the least amount of damage possible.

I much prefer working with a client's natural lash and apply a false lash when needed. False lashes have come a long way from when I first started wearing them, and can range from the most natural wispy effects to all out drama. The biggest complain we get from clients is that false lashes can be uncomfortable, or they fear them falling off throughout the day. Both very realistic fears. But fear not - we are professionals! I've done thousands… yes, thousands, of false lash applications, and can remember a handful of times when a client asked me to remove them. So I'll take that one for the books that it all depends on how they were applied, how long they were, the amount of adhesive used etc.

At One Fine Beauty, most of us stock two types of lashes in our kit that tend to suit most eye shapes - one natural and one slightly more dramatic. Lyz, our superstar eco-beauty artist, much prefers the individual cluster lashes to tailor her clients looks, so you may get a different application if you book with her! 

I (Shannon), have started to explore the idea of offering mink lashes as a higher end option to glam up your wedding day look. Our most popular lashes will still be stocked in my kit, as I do love how they look and feel, but if you're looking for a lash with a really wispy, tapered end (similar to how lash extensions tips look), the Esqido lashes would be a great choice for you. Currently, I'm stocking four different pairs, and am eager to see how my clients like them. Described as the world's most comfortable false lash, as they are handmade with a cotton band that lays at the lash line and the craftsmanship of these lashes allows for many re-wears, up to 25 times! So while they are more expensive than our basic lash, you are really paying for the fact that the materials can withstand many uses, if cleaned and cared for properly. Every set comes in a beautiful box with a magnetic closure and a care card. The natural, wispy ends make my heart flutter and I just can't wait to use these on our luxury brides this season!

I'll post a few photos of our current selection of lashes, for full info and pricing, visit our False Lashes page!

Basic Lashes

Luxury Lashes - Esqido Mink Lashes

Natural Beauty Seminar - Teen Edition

Private lessons and group seminars are easily some of my most requested services - besides weddings of course - and really, no makeup topic is off limits. While some people want to learn all about the glitz and glam of makeup artistry, by far the most popular is our Natural Beauty seminar.

In the Natural Beauty seminar, we cover everything from skin care to basic makeup application, how to turn your perfect day look into a night look, and creating what I call the "5 Minute Face". Everybody has those mornings where you literally have no time… or maybe that's you're regular, daily struggle. There just isn't enough time in the day, let alone morning, to get everything you need to get done, done. There are a few keys products and points I cover to help you put your best face forward to start your day, without sacrificing much time. Don't want you running out the door without your coffee because you spent too much time getting ready. Everyone needs coffee. Especially me.

So when I was asked by a local Stittsville Mom if I could put together a seminar for her daughter Alyssa's 13th birthday, I thought how great! An opportunity to talk to tween and teen girls about the importance of caring for your skin, as well as how to create pretty, effortless polished look. Now, before I get into what we covered for the day, I have to preface this to say that young girls do not need makeup. Let's separate the want from the need right here. In this day and age, our youth is exposed to the unrealistic image of what is expected, what is preferred and what is real, all thanks to the media, social media, celebrities, Instagram, YouTubers etc. The sad truth, in one aspect, is that this is not going to go away. We are in a digital world, and our kids have access to everything (which we all know is not always a good thing). It is our responsibilities as adults and parents to help separate what is realistic and what is not, and to celebrate everything about our children. Let them know what they see online is not real, the photos have been filtered, the bodies have been photoshopped, the blemishes have been airbrushed. What I covered in this topic with teens is the very sensitive reality that its a different world out there now, and I get it. I feel like I'm still able to 'relate' to this generation, as I personally feel like I fall somewhere between this topic myself, having been in the beauty industry for so many years. 

Anyways! Back to our topic! When I arrived, Allison (Alyssa's mom), had setup a great space for me in the living room. I laid out my kit on the table, accessible for the girls to get a closer look at the products. Each girl has their moment to shine in the hot seat, and I set up my Glamcor lighting and mirror to make sure they all received the full experience. Before we started any of that, we had a roundtable discussion where we went through all of their makeup bags, item by item. It didn't take too long, as most of them only had a handful of products, which I was happy to see. We discussed the important topic of expiry dates (always a good refresher, no matter the age), and what could happen from using old products or sharing with your friends. They all received face charts of the look I was going to create, with the products listed and lots of room for note taking. I was happy to see the girls so excited and engaged and really took this whole experience to heart. 

We then talked about skin care - the why's and the how's, and how it's so important to start with basic skin care now (they were all around 13 years old). Nothing fancy, but getting into a routine of basic cleansing and moisturizing, especially with our Canadian winters, can never be started too early. I let them know that not everything they acquire makeup wise needs to come from Sephora or MAC - drugstore products have come a long way from when I was their age. Most of the skin products I used are available at the drugstore, whereas some of the colour cosmetics were MAC, as I find the colour payoff better in the long run. Its okay to mix your products - us pros do it all the time!

Once we finished up our skin care talk, I had the birthday girl take a seat and we started her makeup. I really want to stress that we didn't do makeup-y looks on the girls. We used minimum products that provided maximum results. No one received full foundation, we used Garnier BB Cream instead. BB Creams generally are described as a glorified tinted moisturizer, and they help to provide moisture, even out skin tone, and brighten the skin. I explained that this isn't a everyday necessity, but would be nice for a school dance, or maybe for their school photos (only if Mom approved). The reality is, is that kids are getting inspired from what they see online daily (most of which are insanely heavy makeup applications), and I used this opportunity to show them how they can simply enhance their beauty, and maybe cover a blemish if needed. From there, I don't think anyone needed concealer, as the BB Cream was enough. I had a variety of Garnier BB Creams to show them, but my most favourite formula that I've been recommending for the past two years, is the Skin Renew Combination/Oily version. It works well on ALL skin types (even dry, don't let the name deceive you!). I also brought the Blur formula, as well as the the Acne Control, and helped explain what salicylic acid in this formula would help with acneic or temperamental skin. I brought along Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Foundation, as a medium coverage option, as I think it's one of the best drugstore brands for colour matching. 

A simple swipe of a neutral champagne shimmer shadow graced their lids, and I showed them how to use a dark eyeshadow with an angle brush as a natural liner (put the liquid liner down!). A light coat of mascara just to darken their lashes was all that was needed to complete the eyes. From there, we did a glowy peachy blush on the apples of their cheeks, and a light lipgloss to finish the look. The most popular shaded I used were MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow, MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Springsheen and NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée.

All in all, the girls LOVED it, and so did the Moms that were in attendance! Thank you to Allison for capturing the day so wonderfully :)

As we are about in embark on busy wedding season, we will have to slow down the amount of seminars we do, but we may be able to offer them on week nights. If interested, fill in our contact form here, and we will see what we can do!

 

 

CTV Morning Live : Valentine's Date Night Makeup

Ahhh, love is in the air! It's that time of year where we dust off our finest clothes and head out for a lovely romantic dinner. But what about if you're just heading to a pub and a movie, or a first date at a coffee shop? The makeup you choose to wear should compliment where you are going - if you're heading to Starbucks, you may want to hold off on the glitter (unless, ya know...you really love glitter!). This morning on CTV Morning Live, we discussed the when's and why's of the makeup I chose for three date night looks!

Here is the video : Valentine's Date Night Looks

First model, my lovely Jen - she's on her way to a coffee shop. Cozy, casual and comfortable, but bright lights, so we kept the focus on skin! Especially in the winter months, we need to make sure we pay particular attention to our skin, and feed it full of all the yummy things. For Jen's luminous skin, I used The Body Shop's Fresh Nude Foundation for that radiant glow, and some of the Shade Adjusting Lightening drops to lighten where I needed, as well as to highlight a bit. Next we used Stila Convertible Colour on the cheeks and lips! (note: for the cheeks, use a fluffy blush brush for a super glowy, diffused look).

For Marla, she's going to dinner and a movie! We gave her a slightly smokier eye using our trusty Urban Decay Naked2 palette, and perfected her skin with Fresh Nude Foundation listed above. Kept the cheeks soft and used Meredesso's Lip Treats in Sheer Burgundy for lightweight, buildable colour. Lots of yummy ingredients in this one with sunflower seed oil, grape seed oil and Vitamins C & E. It also doubles as a fantastic primer for matte lipsticks, as there isn't too much slip to it.

For myself (ahem...me, a model? Not really), I went all out with glitz and glamour! What can I say... it's kinda my style :) Smokey, sultry eye that I topped off with Stila's Magnificent Metals in Kitten, just stamped over my lid to give a twinkly effect. I'm wearing Ardell Demi Wispies (a huge fave of mine!), and MAC Retro Matte lipstick in Flat Out Fabulous. Under the lipstick (which believe me, has pretty incredible wear on it's own), I paired it up with The Body Shop's Lip & Cheek Stain. That way, once my lip colour wears down, I still have something behind it to back it up a bit.

CTVVal