I am not a brand-whore. Seriously. So no, I do not use all MAC errrythang in my kit. But, I do absolutely love some of their blushes. I find the pigment is great, they are quite smooth and not chalky, … Continue reading
Enter the Contest HERE! Beauty By Jemz is giving away a fabulous prize full of goodies from MAC Cosmetics! The prize is valued at $113.00 and contains: “Whisper of Gilt” Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($34) from the Limited Edition Holiday 2012 … Continue reading
I love a good red. Wine or lipstick. When you wear a great red lipstick that really flatters you, it makes you feel über glam and brings out that inner sex kitten just a little more than usual…. atleast for me! … Continue reading
Great tips on wedding day timeline planning for brides-to-be!
Your wedding is a big event already, you want to ensure your day is Fun and Relaxed. Having mobile Beauty services come to you, along with all your friends/family at your side is just another enjoyable part of it all.
Candice from Michigan touched base and wrote us;
“I came across your site and I think your articles for brides are fantastic! I got married last year, and let’s just say the timeline was chaotic. I was over an hour late! Truth – because I didn’t plan out my morning the best. I tried to do salon services for Hair AND at home services for the Girls Makeup, and truly thought I didn’t need as much time as everyone told me. I was wrong.
I was reading your timeline posts and have a friend getting married in a few months (June). Would you be able to do a post in…
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Yes, yes, I know. V-day is still 4 weeks away. BUT I have a strong love-hate relationship with the day, so I like to prepare early. I love the festiveness. Hate the love part. My V-day’s always go bad. So…. … Continue reading
I recently received some product from a home-grown company, owned by Charlotte Lang, called Lang Lang Cosmetics. She was kind and gracious enough to send me 5 lipstick shades and 4 loose eyeshadow powders to review for my lovely beauty … Continue reading
I’ve been seeing a lot of products lately that seem to be dupes for other high(er)-end items out in the makeup world. And sometimes dupes are fabulous, really amazing, twin-like items. So my goal in this dare-to-compare blog is to … Continue reading
I do lots, and I mean LOTS of photoshoots for models and commercial clients where the #1 look I end up doing is creating a, NOT NUDE, but a “natural” lip tone. This also goes for a fair number of … Continue reading
Dear Santa… I’ve been a very good girl….
Time to round up the amazing beauty buys out there for the Christmas season! Now, I never get presents. Seriously. Nobody ever buys me things for Christmas. I get a lovely card, usually filled with sparkles and Santa stickers from … Continue reading
There’s nothing better than the Fed Ex man buzzing at 8:20am to give you a box of makeup goodies. Honestly, he could show up at 4:37am, and I would still be elated. Yay for makeup goodies!!! I Must say… Make … Continue reading
During Yaby Cosmetics‘s pop-up shop in Toronto in August, I picked up the “Natural Finish Liquid Foundation” among other things. I actually ended up using it that very same day on a photoshoot I did for a beauty editorial (seen here).
I purchased 6 shades and felt that was enough to cover any skin tone appropriately with a bit of custom mixing.
My daughter was hanging around and dying to ‘help me’ so I let her use her arm for the swatches. I think some “Hello Kitty” character may be seen in the background, not to mention her very tiny 5 year old arm was a bit tougher to swatch then I’d thought…
So the product…
I noticed that the texture is very light and the consistency is similar to a tinted moisturizer. The product is oil-free, which is likely for the best since I think it suits younger skin types best and it has a cyclomethicone base, thereby making it a great option for those with sensitive, acne prone or very oily skin types.
The product is not overly pigmented (no caking) and provides great very-light to slightly moderate coverage. It needs concealer to really even things out and provides a very nice, light coverage to those with nearly perfect skin or those needing only minimal spot coverage. It layers well but cannot be built up to a full coverage foundation.
It photographs very well and allows the skin texture to show through nicely. I also liked how the tones are very closely matched to real skin tones. The clear tubes also makes it easy to spot and match a shade in a pinch. I also liked the packaging and it’s travel and kit-friendly size. That being said, I noticed some of my tubes are half empty after about 6 uses. However, I must note the cost-effectiveness of the product as it retails for $13.55 and pros can sign up for the discount program for 20% off, bringing your price down to $10.85 (for 0.272 oz of product).
I would not apply this with a sponge and would go the foundation & stippling brush route to avoid the sponge soaking up all the product. It also warms nicely and applies well with fingers. I also used this foundation on one of my brides recently (who had very good skin). I used my Lise Watier concealer wheel to spot conceal and then used a mixture of shades “caramel” and “custard” to give her a custom match. You can see her lovely face here.
I probably wouldn’t use this as a personal use foundation since the coverage cannot be built up to full, and some days you just need that extra ‘oomph!’ BUT I would stock this item in my kit as it is not expensive to keep as a good, light coverage option with great packaging and that is highly photographic and mimics skin texture very well. I’d love to see a full-coverage liquid foundation Yaby!
Is there a product you’d like me to review? Want to see if an item lives up to the hype? Drop me a line!
When E.L.F launched their new HD blushes, I was the first in line to make my order! But I noticed that since these new HD blushes were part of the “Studio” line, I could use my handy coupon code for … Continue reading
All the time, everytime I wear it, everywhere I go… some female always wants it…. my fall 2012 lip colour that is!
So I figured I should post it, since it seems to be a fave with the ladies 😉
FYI, this picture does not do it justice!
It’s 2 parts Maybelline Superstay 14 hour Lipstick in “Wine and Forever #100” and 1 part MAC Dazzleglass in “Get Rich Quick”.
Quick note: No longwear lipstick will last anywhere close to 14 hours if you’ve layered it with a gloss product that was not specifically formulated to work with the particular lipstick. BUT, I love this for the colour, not for the longevity.
The Maybelline Superstay lipsticks have a really smooth and highly pigmented application. The formula doesn’t bleed out or feather on me when applied properly to a nude pencil-lined mouth. It also smells really good (for a lipstick) and doesn’t have a weird taste… bonus! In this shade (Wine & Forever #100) it has a great plummy colour that is closer to the deep purple side rather than the black cherry side. It’s very flattering on warm skin tones and particularly on women of colour.
The MAC Dazzleglass is, like all Dazzleglass products, amazing and light catching and shiny. This shade (Get Rich Quick) is a beautiful raisin colour (plum with hints of red). It looks gorgeous layered over top your dark lipsticks from reds to purples, and on it’s own for a high shine and tint of colour on a nude mouth.
Hope this helps you to get my ‘coveted’ fall lips! Hehe!
CanPar paid me a visit today and brought me some special FACE atelier goodies! I’m stoked!
FACE atelier Ultra Foundation is one of my absolute favourite liquid foundations. It gives amazing medium to full coverage, is buildable, and has a silicone base so you can save time and skip the priming step! To top it off… it’s a Canadian company! And I sure do love a homegrown product, especially one as amazing as this!
I recently used some FACE atelier products in 2 recent beauty editorials I had published (view MASK here or view Flight & Fury here). The shots and themes were COMPLETELY different from each other, but the thing is that this line is much more versatile than people and artists sometimes think. I use it on brides & clients, in video & photoshoots. Mature skin? No worries, this silky formula ‘floats’ atop the skin and doesn’t exaggerate fine lines by settling in wrinkles. Oily skin? get the Ultra Matte spray and mist a little before & after application to keep yourself shine-free. Dull skin? this stuff leaves a natural dewy look, just be sure to not powder on the whole face and just in the T-zone where needed.
Best of all….. FACE atelier was so kind as to hook me up with some professional gratis with my favourite items from their line!
I got the Ultra Foundation in 0-, 2, 4, 6, 8, 0+ a.k.a. 10, and 12 and the Ultra Matte spray. Covers every skin tone! And with 0- and 0+ you can customize the colour best for you (or your client). Enjoy the pics and the swatches!
Thanks again FACE atelier!
Attention bargain beauty lovers….
Z-Palette is having a sale on their small palettes! 20% off the regular price of $14.00 starting at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! And I have been eyeing up those hot-pink minis since that new colour launched!
Don’t forget to pick up your magnetic stickers for those non-magnetized items!
e.l.f. Cosmetics Has JUST launched their line of HD blushes! Look a little similar to the Make Up For Ever kind? They definitely look similar, but they are only a FRACTION of the price at $3.00 a pop! I’ve just … Continue reading
Well, it’s bridal season and my hands have been quite busy. Often too busy to post 😦
But in the midst of peak wedding season, I discovered a brand new favourite thing. Best of all, it is the most INEXPENSIVE favourite thing EVER!
I recently did a HUGE (and huge is putting it mildly) E.L.F. makeup haul (See haul here: https://beautybyjemz.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/my-e-l-f-makeup-haul) . In my haul, I purchase 2 ‘flat-head’ powder brushes. And truthfully, I really don’t know why. I thought they looked interesting. And since I ordered during the 50% off sale, they were only $1.50 each.
Little did I know, these brushes were about to become my new soul mates.
Holy smokes! I can’t even describe how much these brushes saved my life.
I am a blush lover. Now, this doesn’t mean I slab it on and give myself RuPaul cheeks. No. But I have a blush process that I use on myself and clients to give a really ‘lit from within’ and ‘natural flush’ type look. I often layer my powder blush with my NARS illuminators or with my MAC skinfinish powder but I prefer to not use powder blushes on their own because I find it always needs help to be long-lasting. So, I am a BIG believer in cream blush. I looooooove the way they melt into the skin and give that warm natural flush. I usually mix my cream blush on a palette to warm the cream and mix my NARS illuminator with it (usually Orgasm) and then apply. The application part is the tricky part. You need a brush that will not look streaky. You also want to be able to ‘push’ the product into the skin and make sure it melds with the foundation well. And you want to layer it on slowly and with a light touch so that you can make sure it’s even and lasts long, instead of giving yourself streaky 80’s cheeks.
Now this brush is the absolute PERFECT tool for this. It’s like it was DESIGNED with cream blush in mind. Forget your stippling brush, forget your beauty blender, and forget using your fingers. If you like cream blush, you NEED this brush in your life.
It allows for the perfect control in layering and blending. The flat surface picks up and distributes an even colouring on the face. And since you can push the colour into the skin instead of swiping it on, it gives a much more natural and blended appearance.
I only bought 2, and although I thought of sticking both in my kit I just had to say no. No, Jem. Enough is enough. One has to be for me. And I don’t feel selfish, in fact, I feel rather complete. My NARS Cactus Flower blush has never looked so good!
Want it? get it here! http://www.eyeslipsface.com/studio/tools/single-brushes/powder_brush#
Brides ask a ton of questions… the poor things are so bogged down with wedding plans and price lists, menus and measurements they often lose out on the details. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I get from my brides, and ones that I hear from fellow MUA’s with many of the same FAQs. Here goes…
1: Do I REALLY need a Makeup Artist? “Becky, my friend from high school is really good at eyeshadow! My sister always does her makeup really well, I’m sure she can do mine! I know, I’ll just go to MAC, get one of the girls to paint my face and then buy all the products, and I’m set!”
No, please do not go with Becky, “sister” or MAC-Lady. Yes, You do REALLY need a Makeup Artist. You need one who understands you, your style, the wedding esthetic, and is a real Professional. Not some girl who likes to play with lipsticks who is ‘really good at eyeshadow’. You need a pro who is good at doing ‘a whole face’.
On your big day, it is imperative that you get a few moments to relax before ceremony time. You want to get an artist who is mobile and will come to you so you have less running around to do on that day. You also want to make sure you did a trial with her before the day of so that the two of you know there is a plan in place. It is going to be your most photographed day of your ENTIRE LIFE. Hire a pro who can make you look good from every angle, in every light, and in your photographs and video. Someone who understands that a bride sweats, gets shiny, kisses people endlessly, and needs to stand out above everyone else in her photos. Get an artist who will make you shine, and, make you comfortable and confident in their skills. Even if you pay more for a mobile artist, the relaxation time and worry-free moments prior to the ceremony will be invaluable and is money very, very, well spent.\
2: Why do I need to leave a deposit?
Do all the rest of your bridal contractors take a retainer fee/deposit? Yes they do. It’s because no one wants to have a client retract services at the last minute and leave them high and dry. This happens, especially in a business where a couple sets a budget and often spend several thousand dollars over budget but don’t realize it until the last moment.
Leave your retainer for the date you are booking, and try to pay your balance prior to the date. Some artists ask to be paid the balance 30 days prior to the wedding, others ask that the balance be paid on the day but give you the option to pay in advance if you wish. If you can financially manage it, pay in advance. It’s one less envelop of money to worry about giving out on the big day.
3: Can I negotiate the price? I never budgeted for a makeup/hair artist for the wedding 😦
Firstly, don’t let this happen to you. Budget it in. You’re budgeting in something for everyone else that day from music, tuxes, food, entertainment, etc. so remember to include something just for you in the budget too.
Should you try to negotiate price? Some artists may budge, some may not. Artists who post their rates directly on their websites are usually of the ‘no-nonsense’ types and don’t play games with their vendors. Some Artists use the idea of not having rates public to either try to make contact with a potential client who may not have contacted them because their price is too high for the client or to make an individualized quote depending on how deep a client’s pocket is. You can try to negotiate, but always remember that you get what you pay for. Now if Gina around the way is charging you $10 for ‘just the eyes’ and you’re happy with her, go for it. But you can always find a great artist for a reasonable price. Pricing also depends on your geographical location. Ask a friend and see if that artist will give a referral discount. Book a large party and see if they will throw in the false eyelashes for free. You never know what you may get by negotiating, but in the end, be prepared to pay their worth if they are a worthy Artist.
4: Will you do touch-up services?
Now every artist is different in terms of what they do to perform their job, but professionally, I never recommend that a client do ‘touch-up services’. If a client needs a secondary makeup application, the Artist should start with a clean canvas and do a new application. Piling makeup on top of a sweaty, shiny, oily face is bad for the Artist’s brushes, bad for their makeup, and bad for the client. It will photograph as caked-on, opaque, heavy or even with a big colour difference (especially in women of colour). So no, no touch-up services. Please ask for details regarding a secondary application. If you have many hours between the ceremony and reception, this may be a great add-on for you.
5: I ONLY like ______ products! Do you use______ (<—- Insert consumer brand name cosmetic company here)?
Most artists I know are not brand loyal. We are not interested in selling you the products, we are interested in selling you our skills. Sometimes we may use items that are from a ‘prestige brand’ and sometimes we may use an item that is from the drugstore beauty section, but either way, we use items that perform. Period. An artist may use a Skinfinish by MAC or a blush colour from NARS, but their whole kit & caboodle usually doesn’t come from one place. And the mark of a good artist is someone who uses what WORKS, not just what looks expensive to a client. And therein lies the difference between what an Artist may buy verses what a client may buy. There are some notable differences between Pro brands and Consumer brands which often affects an Artist’s purchasing choices. Consumers often buy products because they are new, exciting, and marketed well. Pros use brands because they work, they perform, they are highly pigmented, waterproof, hypoallergenic, etc. We don’t care if it comes in a jar, bin or bucket. If it works well, we want it. It doesn’t need an expensive name scrawled across the outside packaging to impress us. The fact that our colleagues all talk about how well it performs is proof enough for us.
Also, many, many artists need travel friendly kits so they often downsize by ‘depotting’. This term is used to describe the many ways we artists eliminate heavy and bulky packaging by taking our makeup items (blush, eyeshadow, powder, bronzer, etc) out of their packaging and putting them in flat empty palettes that hold a multitude of items. This saves us on lots of space. Many Artists also downsize liquids (foundations, liquid bronzers, face cream, toner, etc) by putting them in small 1/8, 1/4, or 1/2 oz bottles to eliminate the heaviness & high possibility of breakage of carrying several glass bottles in our kits. Cream products (lipsticks, concealers, cream foundations) are also often downsized too in all kinds of flat palettes for ease of mixing and, again, to eliminate packaging & weight. Which means when an Artists opens their kit and it’s full of downsized items, they could be any brand: an Artist may be using an Urban Decay eyeshadow, a La Femme blush, a Ben Nye powder, a Joe Blasco concealer, and a Revlon Lipstick… but you hired the artist based on skill, photos of their work or a sound referral from someone who has hired them before so have no worries about what brands they’ve got and trust they will make you as stunning as you’ve hired them to. It doesn’t matter what they’ve used so long as it doesn’t irritate your skin, it lasts all day/night, and you love the look they’ve given you!
6: How do I know you’ll be able to do makeup on my Asian/Indian/Irish/African skin tones? Can you do “Indian” bridal makeup with heavy and dramatic eyes? Can you do “Asian” bridal makeup with a sculpted face? Can you do “African” bridal makeup with deep pigment in the blush and eyeshadows?
If you’ve hired a reputable artist, they SHOULD be able to do makeup effectively on every skin tone and skin type. They SHOULD have all the items in their kit to create any foundation shade to match any client. And they SHOULD be familiar with different cultures and how the makeup is styled differently.
That being said, some artists in more multi-ethnic and multicultural geographic regions may have more skill or more practice doing makeup regularly on a multitude of skin tones and complexions. If you live in a less multicultural area where you have not tried out the Artist you’re considering hiring, you might want to do a trial (ensure you take LOADS of pictures in all kinds of light) or you may want to considering hiring an Artist from a different part of town or a different close-by city. You may need to pay more for them to travel to you, but it would be worth it to have the peace of mind to know your Artist has the right skills and products to make you look your best. And at the end of the day, your comfort is the key to a smooth wedding day.
7: I think I want to look like Kim Kardashian! I really want that Nicki Minaj pink lipstick! I really think that I should go for J.Lo’s bronzed complexion for my ivory skin tone, don’t you think?
Remember, you may have an idea in your head of what you want but the Artist’s job is two-fold: one, to help you get the look you want and two, to help ensure the look is balanced, suits your skin tones, features and dress/accessories style, and will photograph wonderfully. So send your makeup artist an email PRIOR to the trial with a photo of yourself and a photo of the look you want. This also means that when you choose photos of looks you like, remember to picture them ON YOU and not on the girl in the photo. If you look like Brandy, but show up with a photo of Jennifer Lopez, please, please understand… You must be realistic about how a look may translate on you and whether or not it will flatter YOU specifically. (Kim K. lashes on a small almond eye? Nicki Minaj pink lipstick on a chocolate coloured lady? White-nude lipgloss on a mature bride? a bird-cage fascinator with an au naturelle curly fro? oh. hell. no.)
8: Can you change my skin colour? Can you change my eye shape?
Some tricks are easier than others. You want poutier lips? Easy. You have Brandy’s complexion but want to look like Beyonce? Harder.
And while we can take a mono-lid and double it, or take a darker complexion and brighten it, at the end of the day, the features you have are YOURS. Be proud of them! It’s what makes you who you are and makes you the person your groom-to-be is excited to marry. Be you on your wedding day!
9: I’m not sure what I want, I think I like these 10 photos of different hair and makeup styles, we can try them ALL and THEN decide on what I like, right?!
Not right. It’s ok to have an idea or two, but a trial is not meant to be a 5 hour session of playing “makeover” with your artist. It’s meant to help your artist determine your look and fine-tune the colours and shades that will be used on your big day, to make sure it photographs well, to ensure colours match the accessories or bouquet, and to ensure your skin’s comfort, and the longevity and wear-ability with the makeup. So do all the Googleing and photo scouring before the trial, so that when you see your artist you can focus on making that one look you have in mind, just perfect!
10: I really want to look amazing on my wedding day, I should try something fresh and new! Right?
Wrong. If you are the girl who is normally wearing heavy eyeliner and a pink lip, how will your Husband-to-be react when he sees you down the aisle in a smokey eye and red lipgloss? Do what suits you but what is also a recognizable style on you. Be you, just a more polished, photographic, and slightly more ‘done up’ version of you. You also want to look timeless and classy. Remember, your grand-kids could be seeing these photos one day and wondering who on earth that woman is standing beside Grandpa. So be the best version of you on your big day.
Now remember, communicating with your Artist is key. So if you have allergies, expectations, photos, or hopes and dreams about your wedding day makeup, share them with your Artist! It’s the only way they can make you gorgeous, happy and glowing on your most celebrated day.
So… I made an order through ELF makeup on July 10th during their 50% off site wide sale… Today is August 3rd and I JUST got my order. Literally, the postman just left. I am pretty unimpressed about the shipping. I mean, Yes, I am in Canada. BUT I’m also ONLY in Canada, and Toronto at that. It’s not a barren igloo-filled land up here. And our post is quite efficient. So why on Earth did I have to wait 3.5 weeks for my parcel when Camera Ready Cosmetics, in California, can get my order to me in less than 7 business days?! Ok. End rant. I’m not impressed with their shipping, but I know I’ll love what came in the box. And so will you!
Here’s what I got!
I got (left to right):
20 powder brushes
20 travel mirrors
10 “Butternut” eyeshadow quads (for my fair skinned brides)
10 “Luxe” eyeshadow quads (for my medium- dark skinned brides)
Second row, starting left again:
2 flat head powder brushes
1 “Eco tools” dupe foundation brush
2 Synthetic hair foundation brushes
2 concealer brushes
1 “Luminance” bronzer (hilighter)
1 “Matte Bronze” deep bronzer
5 “Brownie Points” Liquid lipstick (light brown)
5 “Strawberry” Liquid lipstick (pink)
5 “Maple Sugar” Liquid lipstick (nude)
5 “Ruby Slippers” Liquid lipstick (soft red)
5 “Baby Lips” Liquid lipstick (pink nude)
5 “Ruby Kiss” Plumping Lip Glaze (fiery bright red)
5 “Fuchsia Fanatic” Plumping Lip Glaze (hot-pink/fuchsia bright pink)
I bought the few individual brushes & bronzers for my kit, but I bought everything else for my bridal beauty bags that I gift/sell to my wedding clients (brides or bridesmaids usually) for them to give themselves touch-ups at their event. Bridal gift bags are a great addition to bridal makeup services and my brides always thank me after their big day!
I am super excited at all the items I got and I got shades I know are popular, neutral and brights, that will flatter all my multi-ethnic clientele.
The only thing I am not excited about is that I ordered an Angled blush brush and a Stippling brush which did not come with my order. But I checked online and it’s still in stock. And I checked my Paypal and they still charged me for them… I’ve contacted their CS by email and we’ll see what happens. I’m disappointed in their oversight, but I’ve been 3.5 weeks worth of patient for my order, so I’m sure a few more days waiting on their email rectifying their mistake, is something I can wait be patient enough to wait on for a few more days.
All in all, I am very happy I finally got my order. And even happier that I took advantage of their 50% off sitewide sale! All of these items… in total… cost just $56. With the extra cost of shipping to Canada, it still only cost me about $70 total. I’m happy, but my bank account is ecstatic.