the makeup artist life : can i have a swatch of lipstick for later?

October 30, 2013By stephanie 2 Comments

I once had a bride ask her bp makeup artist to have her full tube of lipstick from her kit …    she asked right in front of everyone, right as everyone was dressed and ready, and she didn’t even say please. Just “Can I have that tube of lipstick …?” She didn’t even offer to compensate the artist for it. Being ever so gracious, and perhaps somewhat stunned, the makeup artist handed over the tube of lipstick.*

As makeup artists for bridal clients, we completely understand that you’ll need to touch-up – especially lipstick – and normally, makeup artists offer three things :

  • to provide the name of the lip products used so that the client can purchase it for themselves;
  • to pick up the lip products used and the client can reimburse the artist; or
  • to provide a swatch or sliver of the colour used, free of cost (because really, a bride doesn’t need a whole tube to touch up).

More often than not, option #3 is what brides choose to go with and what makeup artists are more than happy to provide. The one issue – where to put that sliver of perfectly rosy pink lipstick?!? We often remember to pack the essentials : extra lip wands, mascara wands, cotton swaps and pads … but rarely a container to flip a chunk of lipstick into. Not necessarily because we are absent minded either … sometimes its because who really wants to carry one more thing in their kit? (Don’t lie MUAs  … you know you HATE having to carry unnecessary items.) Here are three things I use to pop a swatch into when the bride is ready to go:

  • Little bead/craft containers from the dollar store : the dollar store is nifty for stuff like that. I believe you can get 8 for a dollar and while the smallest size is still too big for a little swatch, it does the trick.
  • The plastic case from the set of fake lashes you used on the bride : I use this trick most often, because they plan to discard that case anyway. Reduce, reuse recycle, I say. I also like that I can swatch multiple colours across it and it won’t get messed up.
  • A square of tinfoil. This is a great option because a) if you have to bring it, a large sheet of tinfoil folded up takes up no space, b) if you are working in a bride’s home, chances are she has the tinfoil, and c) the lipstick stays in tact and doesn’t get absorbed in by the tinfoil.

Never get caught off-guard ever again and hold on to your precious tubes of lipsticks and glosses.

* For clients+brides : as makeup artists, we spend a lot of money developing our kit so that we can provide a selection of products, colours and brands to our clientele. In fact, plenty of our freelance earnings goes back into our kit, not our pocket. If you really want the full tube of lipstick and not just a swatch, it would be best to offer some compensation for the cost of the lipstick so that it can be replaced. Or, see option #1 or #2  so that you can enjoy a full tube of lipstick or gloss at your own expense and not the makeup artist’s. You wouldn’t ask the plumber for his wrench “just in case” before he left your home, would you? That is an essential tool for him, just as lipstick is to us.
For makeup artists :  always be prepared. The brides day is about kissing her new husband, so its not unreasonable for her to ask for a swatch or for some touch-item items. Use the tips and tricks above, or if you are okay with giving an almost empty, down to there tube of lip colour, go ahead. If a client asks for a product that is still pretty new, smile, say yes, and then request compensation for it.

lightbox : brides that belong on magazine covers …

October 29, 2013By stephanie

I’m pretty sure I might be biased, but the bp team always manages to have brides whom belong on the cover of wedding magazines …
they are just that beautiful …

Photo by
Hair by Donna D. for BlushPretty
Makeup by Naomi M. for BlushPretty

lightbox : dreamland+slumber

October 28, 2013By stephanie

dreamy eyes, dreamy hair, dreamy skin …
it is possible to have it all …

Photo by Kin Hai
Makeup by Giselle F. and Hair by Samantha Wilson for BlushPretty
Model: Anastasia Moss

scene+heard : l’occitane on bloor

October 25, 2013By stephanie

In early October, I was invited to check out the grand re-opening of the L’Occitane store in Yorkville (102 Bloor Street West, Toronto). The new store brings the south of France to us Canadians in the form of fragrance, body care and skin care, complete with  a new greenhouse treatment area for mini-facials, a hand massage bar and also a barber’s corner – straight blade shave anyone?

Upon entering the store, I was blown away with the space. Not too big, not small, it was easy to move around, every product line had its space, and most importantly, the entire venue smelled divine.

I couldn’t have had a better introduction to the space. I was greeted with treats, given a personal tour of each of the products and their benefits, and then, a hand massage. Le Sigh.

The great thing about L’Occitane is that there is something for everyone. From simple clean scents to something a little stronger; something for those who want to fight the signs of aging to something for those who just want great skin for right now; for mothers, for babies, and also, for men.

A couple of things that caught my eye …

This serum. You’re never too young to start caring for your skin or to worry about the future. So. You know. This serum.

A man should always smell good. And nature-y. Or like woodsy. Even if they spend all day inside tapping away at a computer or a remote control and not chopping actual wood.  The soaps even look manly … this would make the perfect gift for several males on my holiday shopping list.

With three children, two of whom get dirty just looking outside at grass and another one who make her own custom made dirt into a diaper … the scent, size and convenient pump dispenser of this body wash is a dream come true …

There is something about this throwback packaging that I am drawn to. And I like how I can use this and so can baby. A little something to pamper maman,  and a little something to pamper bebe. Yes please.

I highly recommend visiting the L’Occitane boutique if you happen to be in the area as its worth the experience. You’ll find something for you, I’m sure, and also, something for several others in your life. With the holiday season right around the corner – yes, I said it, the holidays are almost here – it would be a great way to cross many off your list!


musings from morgan : bring on the bb cream

October 24, 2013By stephanie 1 Comment

BB Cream has been an overnight sensation in the world of beauty. There was a time when we had no choice but to go through a beauty regimen with what could feel like endless steps. Individual products provided the SPF, moisture, priming, concealing and overall coverage we needed…then along came BB cream, solving all of that in one swift step.

BB cream (“beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” depending on who you talk to) is an all-in-one super-product designed to simply the face prep process many of us go through in the morning. Women on-the-go, rejoice!

Full disclosure: I never really took the BB plunge when the product first took markets by storm in North America, so the Dream Fresh BB I tested from Maybelline was my first venture into BB territory.

Dream Fresh BB touts 8 skin benefits:

• Blurs imperfections
• Brightens
• Evens skin tone
• Smoothes
• Hydrates
• Enhances
• Protects with SPF 30
• 0% oils and heavy ingredients

As a long-time foundation girl (be it liquid or powder – I like the guaranteed coverage of foundation, knowing every patch of red or blemish on my face will be hidden from the world as I go about my day), the challenge to try something new was perfectly timed. I was looking for a lighter alternative to foundation on days where my skin was calm and I just wasn’t up for my full routine.

I thought it would be best to test this product over the course of a few days. It’s one thing to swatch a foundation and get a sense of its texture and coverage, but a whole new product deserved a thorough test drive. I wore Dream Fresh for about three days, and then switched back to my usual foundation.

The formula is very lightweight and feels more like a moisturizer than a foundation. Using my fingertips (as suggested), I smoothed the product over my face and was impressed by its level of coverage. With the help of a little concealer, it truly did smooth out my complexion and even out my tone.

 Left: Before, Right: After

After wearing it for the full three days, however, I noticed my t-zone felt more oily than usual. I found the BB cream was not best suited for those of us with oily or combination skin, (perhaps because it’s designed to moisturize and hydrate throughout the day) as by mid-afternoon I found it just wasn’t staying put.

That being said, the product itself does what it says by providing decent coverage, while smoothing things out and helping to speed up your morning routine. I’d definitely recommend it to women with less problematic skin who want a simple beauty regimen.

Morgan Cadenhead is a self-professed beauty junkie living & working in Toronto. By day, she’s a PR pro who loves all things writing & media, but by night she’s often catching up on her favourite fashion & beauty blogs or hitting up the gym. Her makeup obsession stems from the realization that makeup is a powerful and (most importantly) fun tool – it can make the difference in how you carry yourself, set the tone for a good day and above all, make anyone feel gorgeous! Follow her on Twitter @morgancadenhead or drop her a line at