How to Appraise the Art

I had the pleasure of doing the makeup for a boudoir photoshoot a few days ago. My client was a bubbly young girl who was very excited about the shoot and trusted my expertise with no questions asked, which is exactly what we want when working with new clients.

It helped that to her, I was also a dream to work with, since the makeup artist that she had originally paid for never showed up.

So, to change the subject, I was reading an article about how those outrageous contemporary art prices are come up with. They say it’s all based on a negative appraisal – that is, out of ten works, there is probably only one you will like, and will actually seriously dislike the other nine. So you have to ask yourself, how much would you pay not to have to take one of those nine home to hang on your wall and live with?

What does this have to do with anything? Well, think of the same principle when you are choosing a makeup artist and wondering if they are worth the price they are asking. The same can be said for aestheticians, hair stylists, or any other art form. This can be a way to decipher prices and rates that make a little more sense to those of us who don’t really know what prices in certain industries are based on.


Fundraiser Gala

Thanks to everyone who came out to get their makeovers at our gala today. We had a successful fundraiser for breast cancer research, had a lot of fun, and made a lot of women feel amazing!

Have a look around the blog if you’re looking for some instructions and pictures, and I always invite you to visit me in the store for more tips and tricks.

Ombré Hair at Home

So as everyone can see, I have had bright red hair for quite some time. My third wedding anniversary is coming up, and I had my hair red when we got married.


Recently, I had been wanting a change that was a little more sophisticated but I’m a makeup artist, I work in a creative industry, and I just wasn’t ready to give up my colourful hair just yet. Enter, the ombré.

First step was to cover the red in my bangs. I used GOSH permanent boxed hair colour, so far the only hair colour brand I have found that is cruelty free, and the product is very good. I have a mix of Mohogany and Darkest Brown. It took about three applications to cover that red completely. The first hardly covered anything the second came out very green looking and faded quickly, and the third has been just right and holding fast so far. This is not a reflection of how good the GOSH product is, but rather how good the Special Effects red dye is. You can’t even bleach that out, so I wasn’t expecting a permanent hair colour to cover it first round. I left the blue streak in at the side.

The next step was to lighten the bottom portion of my hair with bleach. It was previously dyed with this same mix of GOSH colour, so it was quite a dark brown colour. Since I was going to be dying it red in the end anyway, I wasn’t too concerned with the bleach turning it orange. I parted my hair down the middle and took the two pieces over my shoulders. From there I started applying the bleach starting about at my jawline and working downwards. I applied it up higher on the hair from the back of my head and down lower on the hair from the front of my head. I let it sit for about 30 mins, and had something like this:


I let the bleach settled for a couple of days before I put the red dye on over it. In those couple of days I did some conditioning and oil treatments, as the bleached hair was very dry. Once I put the red dye on, it was done!


It was a lot easier than I had expected it to be to achieve the look I wanted, since if didn’t really have a game plan going into it.

More Expensive Beauty Products

I get asked about the difference between skin care products from brands like L’Oreal or Olay and those from brands like Vichy or La Roche. There are a few very distinct differences:

1. Price point (seems to be the first thing everyone notices)
2. Ingredients
3. Testing.

Aside from these differences, you have to keep in mind that companies like Vichy, La Roche, are dermatological and pharmaceutical companies. They are developed by dermatologists and doctors. Olay, for example, is a beauty brand, and while the products do certainly have backing by scientists, they are often relying on technology that has already been developed by another source, and often not in equal concentration.

1. Price point is the thing that scares most people away from buying a dermatological brand of skin care. While a cleanser might sell for $12.99 by a beauty brand, a cleanser the same size for the same skin care issue might sell for $24.50 by a dermatological brand.

2. Ingredients are different between brands in two ways: the quality and the quantity. A dermatological brand’s ingredients are better quality for the same reason the coffee is better quality between Starbucks and Tim Horton’s, for example. The concentration of the active ingredients in a dermatological brand will be greater than a beauty brand, and is reflected in the price point.

3. Testing in this instance refers more to the research that goes into the ingredients and final products and how they react with different types of skin, and how well they do what they say they do. Dermatological brands have more research and testing that goes into them, and they take the time to really educated their clientele about those active ingredients.

Another main advantage of dermatological brands is that they hold workshops and seminars to teach their sales people about what the products do and how they do it, so that the sales people are properly equipped to deliver that information to their customers.

What Drives Makeup Artists Crazy

I was shopping with my friend when he asked me, “As a makeup artist is there anything that drives you crazy?” He followed by asking me if you can use different makeup products for things other than what they are actually made for or if there is a set of rules. It may seem like an obvious question, but let me elaborate.

Addressing what drives me crazy as a makeup artist, there are a few things.

1. When applying products to your face, do not use your fingers. Your fingers have oils and bacteria and all kinds of things you don’t want on your face.
2. Eyebrow powder is formulated differently than eyeshadow. Eyebrow powder has a different consistency and is made to last in a way that eyeshadow is not. Do not interchange these items.

These are the only two things that actually drive me crazy. There are some other things that will make my face do things, but I won’t say anything.

So, are there a set of rules in makeup? Here are my thoughts:
1. Eyebrow powder is not eyeshadow, eyeshadow is not eyebrow powder. I believe this is the only set rule.
2. There are a lot of products that I myself will switch up. I will use argan oil on my face as well as my hair. I will use blush and bronzer as eyeshadow. I will use illuminating cream on my eyes. I will use glitter eyeliner in my eyebrows and hair.

Makeup is creative and mistakes are easy to erase. Think of everything like a tool that will help you achieve your final look.

Organic Cruelty Free Shampoo Cont

Last I left off, I had settled upon Yes to Cucumbers shampoo and conditioner to satisfy my quest in replacing GOSH with an organic brand. Unfortunately, as I began to use it, I noticed the condition of my hair in a decline.

I first noticed that my roots felt oily still, as if I hadn’t washed my hair at all. Then I started to notice the rest of my hair getting frizzy and piecey looking. Both of these things were happening at the same time and it was unnerving. My colour still looked great, but my hair was dirty.

I set out again with my search, and I knew I had to get something else quickly, because I couldn’t stand my hair looking and feeling like it was third day hair all the time. I already had something in mind, and that was Organix. None of their shampoos actually say that are made for colour protection, but they are all sulphate free, which in itself means that the shampoos have colour protection built in. I admit, I was worried, but it got my hands on Awapuhi Ginger and never looked back. My hair is clean, soft, smooth, manageable, and my colour continues to look great. The test of time will tell if my hair gets used to it quickly, or if I will be able to keep using it at length.

Skin Care and Texture

Previously I touched on an important part of skin care for acne prone skin, salicylic acid, and how not to use it. This post was mostly centred on information about how bad salicylic acid and it’s counterparts are for the skin, and why using something like sulphur, with natural healing properties, is a better alternative. So here I want to go through some information that is useful to all skin types when choosing skin care products, no matter the line or brand.

Acne prone, Oily Skin
If your skin is acne prone, it is not necessarily oily, however you most likely have oily patches or sections to your skin (making it combination skin) if you are prone to acne, even if your acne is hormonal.
You probably like it when your face feels dry, and that is because as your skin produces oil, it gets shiny, and you associate that with the need to wash your face.
Do not go without moisturizing!
Instead, chose products that are light in texture, not creamy. These types of products with be absorbed into the skin quicker, so that those textures don’t leave you feeling like you need to wash your face again.
Chose cleansers that have a gel consistency to them. This kind of texture will act like a soap, taking impurities away easily without being over drying and stripping the skin’s protective barriers.
Chose a toner that is a little stronger, and one that has a mattifying powder built into it is ideal. It will continue to absorb excess oil buildup on the face hours later.
Chose a moisturizer that has a gel texture. It will deliver moisture while absorbing into the skin quickly. Gel moisturizers are water based, so it will not add to excess oil buildup.
In terms of makeup, chose a powder foundation or a water based liquid that you can set with a powder. If you chose a powder foundation, chose one that can be used wet or dry for more or less coverage.

Dry Skin
Dry skin tends to feel tight and sore, and is prone to redness and flaking. Some people mistake this dryness for sensitivity, and begin treating the wrong problem.
You probably don’t mind it if your skin is a little shiny, and think of it more like a glow than a shine. It probably makes your skin feel healthy.
You might be tempted to get oily products to use on your face, some of these products can still be pore clogging.
Chose products with a creamy, thick texture. Moisturizers described as “rich” are for you.
Chose cleansers that are milky or lotion-like. These kinds of textures have moisturizers in them and will kick start packing the hydration.
Chose gentle toners, and ones that are made for dry skin as opposed to ones that are made for normal skin.
In terms of makeup, sometimes a cream foundation can be your friend. Often when we hear about cream foundation we think about heaviness, full coverage, cakey, but to dry skin, a cream foundation can mean extra moisture and protection from the weather. It can be set with a lose powder or left by itself. Some oil based liquid foundations work well.