Bride-to-be Melissa’s Engagement Session

As one of our Bride-to-be’s, I’ve gotten to know Melissa quite well while working with her over the past few months, and she’s turned out to be an amazing client. When she booked me for her engagement photoshoot back in May and mentioned that her photographer is Vicki Bartel Photography I instantly knew that this was going to be one of my favorite collaborations. Vicki’s photography style is light, airy, romantic, and oh-so-dreamy. Check out the entire engagement session on her blog here.

Makeup: Melissa Lux of Lux Makeup Artistry
Hair: Melanie B.
Flower Crown: The Flower Shop at Thiessen’s

MelGcloseupMelJoeMelissa G Engagement

MelGmelissagengagementMakeup Products Used
Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector in T-zone, Temptu S/B Primer on the rest of the face
Temptu S/B colour correction & concealer under eyes
RCMA S-5 to contour, YH-1 to highlight
Graftobian HD Creme Blush in Vienna Rose
Temptu S/B Airbrush makeup in #6
RCMA No Colour Powder
Urban Decay Cosmetics Eye Primer Potion
Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked 1 palette: Half-Baked Eye Shadow on lid
Viseart Neutral Matte palette for brows & eye shadow
Makeup Forever Professional Aqua Eyes Gel Eyeliner
Urban Decay Cosmetics 24/7 Glide Waterproof Eyeliner in Perversion
L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Waterproof Mascara
NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo
Urban Decay Cosmetics All-Nighter setting spray

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Review: RCMA VK 11 Foundation Palette

Foundation: It’s one of the most important aspects to any makeup look. If something is not quite right with the foundation-be it colour or formula-it can throw off the entire look. As a professional makeup artist I have to carry an extensive range of colours, undertones, and formulas that read well on camera as well as in real life.

When it came time to replace my stock of foundation I had two professional brands in mind: RCMA and Graftobian. I began doing some research on both brands and their respective products, and finally settled upon RCMA’s VK 11 Foundation Palette.

About the Brand
RCMA, or The Research Council of Makeup Artists, was founded by renowned make-up artist Vincent JR Kehoe in 1962. RCMA was organized to further the research and development of specialized professional make-up products for the film, television and stage industry. Mr. Kehoe developed and designed a special foundation formula for professional working make-up artists which he called “Color Process Foundation”–which is considered the number one choice foundation by professionals. Today the brand is run by Kehoe’s grandsons who meticulously produce and hand-pour every single product, working in small batches to ensure colour consistency.

The Product
What makes RCMA so special? There’s actually a number of things that set RCMA aside from all the rest;

  • Neutralizes and perfects skin instantly–no colour corrector or concealer needed!
  • It is manufactured under very stringent, small batch conditions where the ingredients are weighed out to the gram to maintain both consistency and color standards exactly.

  • It contains only vegetable oils, pure waxes and FDA approved colors.

  • It does NOT contain any perfume, lanolin, petrolatum or mineral oil.

  • It is VEGAN and SAFE to use on everyone, including pregnant women!
  • Made with at least 50% pigments to waxes and oils so that a VERY little goes a long way on the skin. (Most commercial liquid foundations have a ratio of about 18 to 23% of pigment–hardly any!)

  • Produces as “skin color” rather than a heavy coat of make-up.

  • Lightweight enough for daily wear.
  • RCMA Foundations last better throughout a long shooting day than comparably employed theatrical or commercial foundations, and require less (if any) touch-up.

The VK 11 Palette
Because most of my clients are either fair-skinned or olive toned I decided upon the VK 11, the lighter counter part to the VK 10. The palette contains 18 shades that can be used on their own or mixed together and act as both a concealer and foundation in one step.

VK 11 Swatch

SH-I, SH-II, SH-III, SH-IV, SH-V, SH-VI | SH-VII, SH-VIII, Porcelain, Ivory, Gena Beige, Tantone | Olive-1, Olive-2, Olive-3, Olive-4, S-1, CS-2

I purchased my palette through the Beautylish Boutique and got an amazing deal–they offer $20 off your first purchase and I also qualified for free shipping! (To Canada!) With all of the discounts I ended up getting my RCMA Highlight and Contour palette for FREE! Besides the great deal, I received my package THE NEXT DAY without having paid for speedy shipping, and right inside the box was a sweet hand-written letter from Beautylish. You seriously can’t ask for better customer service, I highly recommend you check them out!

Beautylish

The Application
Im going to be completely honest–if it wasn’t for Kevin James Bennett’s how-to video, I probably wouldn’t have bought this palette. I’ve never worked with a cream foundation before and I had no idea where to start…which seems so silly now, because after watching the video you’ll feel like someone just pointed out the obvious, and application is a breeze!

The cream formula is best suited for those who have normal to dry skin. I prep the skin by applying a moisturizer or suitable primer and let that absorb into the skin for a few minutes while I gather the rest of the tools; a spatula, mixing palette (the back of your hand is fine–actually, preferred), a foundation brush (it can be the flat kind though I prefer my round kabuki, but it must be made of synthetic hairs), and a DRY beauty blender/sponge.

Using the spatula, I scoop a VERY small amount of the shade(s) Im going to use and put it onto the back of my hand, using the spatula to warm up the product by mixing it around. Once it’s workable, I use my clean fingers to dot the foundation onto the skin and buff it in using my beloved Sigma F82 round kabuki brush. (Some people use a dry beauty blender or classic flat foundation brush to work it into the skin, I just prefer the airbrushed finish the kabuki leaves.) I finish off with Model in a Bottle setting spray or RCMA No Color Powder.

Before & After using RCMA VK 11palette. No colour correcting or concealer.

Before & After using RCMA VK 11palette. No colour correcting or concealer.

Why I love it
The colour payoff is absolutely amazing, especially for such a lightweight formula! You can sheer it out to show off those freckles or build it up for fuller coverage. Its the first foundation that truly looks like skin, you literally cannot tell where the makeup ends & begins. It’s photo-friendly, looks great in person AND on-camera, its vegan, compact to carry, has global skin tones…there is not ONE THING I don’t love about this! If you’re a pro looking to re-stock your foundation, take your kit to the next level, or are looking for something to use in the medias, look no further! RCMA is the one for all of the above!

Summer Beauty: The Best Waterproof Mascaras

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Hot weather can mean many things, but for us beauty junkies it typically means figuring out ways to get our makeup to stay put. Number one on my list? Waterproof mascara. Most of us refuse to leave the house without a full layer of mascara across our lashes, so when the temps rise we need one that we know won’t smear down our faces. Luckily, that’s where waterproof formulas come into play – especially if we plan on jumping into the pool or the ocean throughout the day too.

But, most of us also know that not all waterproof brands are created equal. Some still flake off, and some simply will never come off when we want them to. Just because we want that mascara to stay on throughout the day, doesn’t mean we want it to rip out our lashes when we’re trying to remove it – right??

Below I’ve listed some of my favorite waterproof mascaras to get us through the summertime – from the ones that will give you the most volume, to the best length and more.

 

UDcanonThis gel-formulated mascara is lightweight and doesn’t flake – and will stay on through ocean swims and sweaty summer days.  (Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara, $20, sephora.com)

smashboxSmashbox’s hit mascara, Full Exposure, also comes in this fabulous waterproof formulation. It lengthens and provides volume – basically giving us what we all want. (Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara, $20, ulta.com)

scandleRimmel’s Scandal Eyes mascara has an extra-fluffy brush to help you reach every last lash. (Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Waterproof Mascara, $6.99, ulta.com)

revlon

Revlon’s Grow Luscious mascara has a tapered brush to help coat even the smallest of lashes. Plus, the “plumping” formula helps to fill out and make your lashes appear fuller than they really are. (Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Waterproof Mascara, $7.99, ulta.com)

falsiesMaybelline may have the iconic pink and green Great Lash mascara, but we also have a soft spot for this purple tube. The Falsies mascara has a special curved brush, helping to give you extra oomph to every last lash. (Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara, $6.99, ulta.com)

lancomeLancome’s Hypnose Drama mascara has an S-shaped brush to grasp on to your lashes and give them extra volume and a full-on fringe. (Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara, $27.50, sephora.com)

butterflyL’Oreal’s Voluminous Butterfly mascara has a winged out tip to it’s brush (like a butterfly wing) to really reach each little lash (especially the small ones near the outer corners). (L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara, $8.99, ulta.com)
lashblastCovergirl’s LashBlast has a volume-boosting formula to its mascara, plus, it doesn’t flake and stays put – it’s waterproof after all! (Covergirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara, $8.99, ulta.com)
Don’t see your favorite waterproof mascara on the list? Let me know what your go-to summer mascara is in the comments!
Peace, Love and Lipgloss xx

10 Things That Happen To Every Girl Who Does a Cat Eye

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Beauty Junkies and rookies alike will tell you that right now, the look to have down pat is the cat eye. Flattering on just about everyone, learning how to do a cat eye has become a staple in every girl’s beauty arsenal. With that learning comes a lot of trial and error, as figuring out how to get your winged liner right every time takes a whole lot of practice. Whether you’re in the midst of training yourself via YouTube tutorials or you’re an old pro, these are 10 things that are bound to happen when you apply a cat eye.

You run out of Q-Tips.
These things are a godsend when it comes to fixing up the outer flicks of your cat eye, and it you always seem to run out (or lose them all together) when you need them the most.

You search Pinterest for a tutorial.
There has to be an easier way. Maybe there’s a tool you’re not using? Whatever it is, there will be a pin.

You open your eyes before the liner is dry.
Rule #1 when using liquid liner: keep your eyes closed for a minute when you’re done for dry time. But no one really times this though, and we all end up with slick black creases. Hellooo Q-tip!

You try the tape trick.
Oldest trick in the book (and one I swore by before discovering Shadow Shields) Putting clear tape at an angle against your eye to draw the perfect winged flick. This almost always ends in irritating your delicate eye area when pulling off the tape.

That one tiny speck of mascara ruins the line.
Just after you get the lash line smooth, you apply mascara and get a speck of black just above where the eyeliner ends. Good luck surgically removing that with a Q-tip!

You sneeze.
It’s like your nose times it until you finish the perfect flick. The worst.

Liner gets all over your fingers, which gets all over your face.
Just accept that this will be happening and budget in some extra time for clean up. It’s inevitable.

You paint a couple of eyelashes together.
If you’re using a brush and pot, your lashes will undoubtably wind up stuck together somewhere along your lash line.

When both of your wings are magically even on both sides, you tell the world.
Snap chats, Instagrams, text messages and Pins will be happening because you deserve it!

Your friends compliment your makeup.
Bask in the glory, people, because your hard work paid off!

Peace Love and Lipgloss xx

#PUBLISHED.

‘Scuse me while I brag for a minute…

Because I’ve been PUBLISHED!

Little ol’ me. MY work. In a real-life magazine!

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind and I couldn’t be happier that they’re finally over at the outcome of them.

May was a completely crazy month that I finished off by hosting the grand opening of my studio! I held a wine & cheese party and invited some friends, family and clients over to help me celebrate the completion and opening of my beloved studio. It was a lovely night and everyone really loved the space. (A dedicated post and photos soon to come, promise!)

With the end of prom season comes the hurricane that is Wedding Season. As Brides begin to pour into my studio, Im beginning to think about how I can develop my career and skills in other areas of makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing bridal makeup, its just not exactly what I want to be doing. My choice to become a makeup artist had nothing to do with weddings or brides, and in 5 years time I do not see my career as mainly Bridal as it is now. So, I’ve been working on some “fun” stuff; getting in touch with models and photog’s to collaborate on concept photoshoots, doing hair & fashion shows…anything that doesn’t involve a white dress.

I submitted some of my work to Surreal Beauty Magazine and was lucky enough to catch someone’s eye. I received an email last week saying that they chose me to be the featured stylist for the “Head Over Heels” pinup issue! The feature was released last Saturday and I downloaded my digital copy immediately! SurrealBeautyCover

THAT’S MY NAME! When I saw my name on the cover I started squealing. I still cant stop looking at it.It’s just so…surreal. Bad pun intended!SurrealBeautyContentsSurrealBeautyFeat

And there it is! My name in lights…er, print. Either way, Im pretty stoked even 3 days later. And how awesome is it that I just so happen to share a spread with one of my favorite pinup models, Miss Memphis Monroe?! I seriously can’t thank the team at Surreal Beauty enough, as well as the lovely models and photographers who helped me create the images that got me noticed!

SurrealBeautyFeatureThis milestone has confirmed to me that hard work and determination DO eventually payoff. I feel accomplished, yet motivated to do more and continue to set new goals. To think and work outside of my box. To build my name, and my empire. I hope that my little triumph has motivated you to apply for that promotion or try something new that you had doubts about. Never doubt yourself or cut yourself short before you’ve even tried. Life is a big game of trial & error, you only lose if you never try!

Peace, Love and Lipgloss Kisses xx

10 Things No One Told You About Concealer

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You’d be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t use concealer as a part of her daily beauty routine these days. What with the dark circles, blemishes and generally uneven skin tone that seems to take over our faces, concealer is one of the most important beauty products we use. But, just because we all use it doesn’t mean we’re using it properly.

From knowing whether to apply concealer before or after foundation to learning the difference between green, pink and yellow formulas, I’ve pulled together 10 things no one ever tells you about concealer so that you can have flawless, even skin tone easily. Read on!

1. Apply before foundation: There’s been a debate about whether to apply concealer before or after foundation, but I suggest applying beforehand. Getting problem areas (like blemishes or dark circles) evened up before applying foundation makes for a smoother end result.

2. What green concealer does: Green concealers neutralize red zones on your face, like blemishes or red spots. Use green concealer to better cover up acne, but don’t use green on darker parts of your face such as dark circles or spots.

3. What yellow concealer does: Yellow helps to even out skin tone overall, so use this on your face in areas that need equalizing. Yellow is the safest concealer color and works well for women who need basic concealing in general.

4. What pink concealer does: Like green concealer, pink works to neutralize the dark blue or purplish areas on your face, such as dark circles or spots. If you’ve got serious under eye circles or dark spots, pink concealer will help to cover up those areas.

5. Use it with loose powder: Especially under your eyes, loose powder over top of concealer helps to set it in place and goes one step further to even out skin tone. Simply use a translucent powder with a large, fluffy brush to sweep powder over the concealer.

6. Go one shade lighter: When choosing a concealer, go about one shade lighter than your foundation. If you’re applying concealer to dark or red areas, using one shade lighter than the rest of your makeup will help to even out those tones. Be wary not to go too much lighter (or darker) with the product, though, as it can be a dead giveaway that you’re wearing too much makeup.

7. Use it as a primer: Nothing helps your eyeshadow stay in place more than a great primer, especially if you’re planning a long night or you’ve got eyelids that are more on the oily side to begin with. Because of concealer’s consistency, it works as a smooth, slip-free base for your eyeshadow, plus it’ll help to make your shadow colors more vivid because it neutralizes your eyelid color first.

8. To keep it from looking caked on: First, go for a more lightweight concealer to prevent a caked on look. Make sure that you’re prepping your eye first with a gel or cream moisturizer, as dry skin underneath concealer can make it look packed on.

9. Use a sponge, and dot: For the most even distribution, apply concealer along the bottom of your eye in four or five small dots. Using a makeup sponge, gently blot the concealer into skin. Applying in dots will help with even, crease-free distribution of the concealer.

10. Use it to clean up excess makeup: To clean up stray mascara (or other makeup) by dipping a cotton swab in a bit of concealer, you’re cleaning up the area and covering it up at the same time. Genius!

What are some of your concealer/flawless skin secrets? What’s your favourite formula or brand?

Peace Love and Lipgloss xx

10 Beauty Blunders We All Make

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Its said that 9 out of 10 women make beauty mistakes…and some don’t even know it! Whether its because of misinformation from old folk tales, teen magazines or your avant garde drama teacher, we’ve all fallen victim to beauty blunders at some point in time. Fear not though, here’s how to rectify the crimes. Welcome to beauty bootcamp:

1. Washing Your Hair Too Often
Frequent washing can strip hair of their natural oils but with dry shampoo to hand this is an easy-to-break bad habit. Try washing every two-three days if you can.

2. Applying Too Much Conditioner
We actually over-apply most beauty products, but conditioner is the most common one. Concentrate it on the lengths and ends where your older hair is damaged and leave your virgin roots to naturally condition themselves.

3. Not Using a Heat Protector
Heat styling from hair-dryers as well as irons, tongs and wands can frazzle your hair if it’s not well shielded with product. The result is frizz, dryness and brittle locks. Boo.

4. Tying Your Ponytail in the Same Place
Always wear your hair up in a tight pony? Try not to tie it in exactly the same place every day as it causes tension on the hair which over time can weaken it.

5. Not Washing your Makeup Brushes Regularly
It’s pretty obvious: bacteria build-up can lead to blemishes. Aim to give your brushes a clean once a week or fortnight using a gentle clarifying shampoo or baby shampoo.

6. Neglecting your Neck
Do you want a face like a baby’s with a neck like a turkey’s. No. Make sure you cleanse and moisturise below the chin – and don’t forget SPF too.

7. Over-Treating and Over-Covering Spots
Spot treatments work on your skin for hours, so make sure you always follow the product instructions – they’re there for a reason! Likewise, don’t cake them in concealer, your skin needs to breath and you can often end up highlighting a spot of bother unnecessarily.

8. Applying Foundation Before your Moisturizer is Absorbed
Moisturiser needs time to absorb so give it at least a minute before you start applying foundation. This also avoids your makeup thinning, peeling off when the formulas react, or getting a streaky finish.

9. Plucking Eyebrows Too Close to the Mirror
If you pluck too close to the mirror you find yourself looking at every hair rather than looking at the overall shape of your eyebrows. This can leave you with thin, and/or uneven brows. Instead use a large mirror and take a couple of steps back so you can see your whole face, not just your brows.

10. Having Yellow Nails
Nail artists and polish junkies will know that consistently covering your talons in colour can leave them stained yellow. The only way to prevent this is by always wearing a base coat. And remember that a top coat makes your manicure last, so don’t skip that either.