Introducing Well Wedded …

July 13, 2020By stephanie No Comments

One of the greatest things about being a beauty artist in the wedding industry is that I’m constantly meeting new people – clients, vendors and industry colleagues. Each person brings a happy memory, bright ideas, and fresh inspiration.

Over the years, my contact list has grown significantly and some of those contacts become“dream teams”. In these teams, we collaborate on photoshoots, events, and  in today’s case … publications.

Bridal Magazine Toronto bridal beauty makeup and hair

Introducing : Well Wedded

Well Wedded is an online mini-magazine produced by Samantha Ong (of Samantha Ong Photography) and Paulina Sazon (of Fete Florals and Events).  Both were kind enough to ask myself (representing BlushPretty of course!) to contribute to their inaugural issue alongside Alanna of Swoon Events, Brent of Brent Miller Live, and Justin of Tytan Ties.

The team and I are grateful and thrilled to share our ideas on looking and feeling your best on your wedding day. We’re truly are in great company with this magazine and are looking forward to collaborating more with Samantha and Paulina!

Check out the Spring/Summer 2020 issue here.

Have a great week ahead beauties!

 

The unexpected makeover …

May 25, 2020By stephanie

Photo by Stephanie Daga
Hair by Samantha Wilson for BlushPretty
Makeup by Stephanie Daga

Times are changing.

It is now the end of May 2020 and finally, here in Toronto, we are s-l-o-w-l-y starting to emerge from quarantine and the COVID19 pandemic. As Toronto and the GTA begin Phase 1 in opening the city back up, beauty studios like BlushPretty still do not have the green light to open our doors and our mobile team are unable still to provide on-location services. And that kind of sucks … a lot.

But what doesn’t suck is that we are FULLY prepared to bring our above-standard and exceptional skills and customer service to the table when our doors DO open. We’ve taken the last eight weeks of quarantine to educate and train ourselves on health and safety practices, cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and develop policies and plans to keep YOU safe. And that’s what really is important now – keeping our staff, artistry team, and dedicated clientele SAFE!

With these new policies and procedures in place, we have undergone a slight and unexpected makeover so to speak. While our services and offerings – both in-studio and on-location – remain the same, how we will operate and provide our clientele the exceptional experiences they have been accustomed to have had to evolve a bit. Just a little bit.

And while nobody likes change – not babies, not my 11-year old autistic son, not me, not you – I’m excited to tell you that along with changes to procedures we have also brought in new services. Yes, new services! More fun and beautiful ways to make you feel and look like your optimal best. So you know, there’s that to look forward too.

Over the next few days and weeks, we will be sharing with you all the different ways BlushPretty has evolved since the pandemic began and how we plan to make getting out and getting all pretty fun for you again … but also safe! Always safe …

Stay tuned here to the blog and our Instagram (@blushprettyteam and @ms.blushpretty) for more news as it comes!

Unbooked and Unbothered to Booked In and Beautiful …

April 21, 2020By stephanie

As we slowly watch April come close to an end, it’s a bit surreal to have a clear “social” calendar isn’t it. It seems that days no longer exist and we’re just riding out one super long extended weekend … or hour.

Well, no one misses having appointments more than we do but closing our doors temporarily and rescheduling bridal, beauty, and skincare treatments is the thing to do in order to flatten the curve and knock COVID-19 on its butt.

We remain optimistic that our doors will open sooner rather than later, and we can’t wait for the day when we can finally curl someone’s hair or apply false lashes or make their skin glow with a dose of low level light therapy. Until then, here are a few ways to get a head start on rescheduling your 2020 wedding (or planning your upcoming wedding), booking a beauty appointment once society reopens, and staying connected with the BlushPretty team.

  1. If you are a bride already booked with BlushPretty 2020 season but are unsure if your wedding is moving forward based on changing lockdown dates, don’t fret – you are NOT alone. We’ve had plenty of brides and clients from March, April and May already rescheduled to dates later in the season and well into 2021. We’re keeping on top of all June, July and August brides and are always available to discuss options, new dates, and beauty plans. All you need to know is your deposits are safe and transferable – just keep us posted on how your wedding day rescheduling is beginning to unfold.
  2. If you are a bride who hasn’t yet booked with our team but starting to plan your upcoming wedding, we are booking-in consultations by phone or video-conference. Our 30-minute consultations give you the opportunity to ask all the questions you might have about bridal beauty, how we operate as a team, and how we can serve you best! From there, we can set a tentative date for your trial run – post-lockdown!
  3. We get it – you got BIG PLANS for post-quarantine. You want your hair did, makeup did, everything did … and you want to hit up your favourite beauty team to get it done. We feel you. And we got you. Right now, we are taking in bookings for June 2020 and scheduling them in like its business as usual. Of course, should businesses still be closed in June, we simply cancel your appointment – but why not schedule in your makeup, hair or skincare appointment now? It’s encouraging to have something to look forward to and as they say – “if you schedule it, it will come!”
  4. Self-isolation brings about a lot of self-reflection. If you’re like me, you may have treated the past five weeks as a time to learn new things, begin new habits, or practice better self-care. Stay connected with myself and the team by following us on Instagram or signing up for our weekly email newsletter for hot tips and insider tricks! You can also schedule an online beauty lesson during COVID-19 via Zoom. We’re offering all of our beauty lessons at a preferred rate, so please send us as email to set one up!

So in the words of the Marvellous Ms. Maisel – tits up Toronto! Our day will come soon and better hair days will follow. Until then … stay safe and stay home!

April 2020 : Hello? Is anyone there?

April 1, 2020By stephanie

It’s April 1, 2020 … and today, we start this new month knowing that the world as we know it has changed; and that when the time comes and we emerge from the comfort of our homes : things WILL be different.

Perhaps, our Pinterest boards will no longer be filled with aspirational travel locales, but posts on how to travel locally with your health and safety in mind. Instead of Instagram feeds filled with #girlsquads at fancy restaurants weekly, an image of dinner for two made with love just once a month. Rather than a wedding in the countryside with 150 of your closest … it’s a quiet elopement and courthouse vows. My goodness, what will the new normal look like?

The truth is, no one knows. I surely don’t.

What you can do right now is take care of you. And yes, your family too, but I’m talking about you – you are important! And I’m not writing this post to preach about beauty based self-care – face masks, bubble baths, giving your hair a good wash – I know I talk about that a lot. I’m speaking more about taking care of you, your mental health, and doing what it takes to make you feel safe, secure, and as positive as possible coming out of this pandemic.

Everyone has the right to deal with the current world events in their own personal way. You can smile through it, you can cry through it, you can sleep through it. You do you. But, if you find that your anxiety or stress levels are getting the best of you, I encourage you to test out and try different actions and steps to protect your mental health. It could be as simple as practising a regular morning routine to bring back some normalcy to your day, or something a little more complex like finding an online therapist to check in with weekly.

My biggest concern right now, is keeping my family fed and healthy and keeping my small business, BlushPretty, alive. I’ve managed, for the past few weeks to maintain a calm and positive outlook, but as news broke yesterday that we potentially have another month to go … I realize I need a bit more than positivity and a go-getter attitude to keep on trucking. I need a plan. It’s the only way my mental health will survive.

And so, I made one and it goes like this :

Wake up everyday, stretch, have some water and walk the dog : Stretching and meditating calms me, water wakes me up, and being out in the sunlight instead of inside has made a difference; I just make sure I practise physical distancing.

Eat three meals a day : Because I’ve undertaken a “homeschooling” situation with my children, I treat breakfast and lunch as I do for their school schedule, and have dinner as normal. I have a chalkboard which lists out what they are getting for each meal so they don’t ask repeatedly, and it takes away the mental weight and strain of figuring it out in the moment.

Check in with my finances daily : We just moved into a new home last November, and I have rent to pay on two studios; drops in investments and interests rates don’t scare me – but I feel better knowing what’s coming in and what’s coming out. It calms me to check each of my banking apps daily, to know what payments are coming up and having a plan for each dollar that’s come in. I know for many this can be scary but try to find a financial check-in that works for you. Better to be aware than surprised.

Connect, even if briefly, with a friend : Not through an Instragram or Facebook comment … connect with one person daily by videochat or a messaging system. It takes two minutes on WhatsApp to ask how someone is doing. And a 30-minute videochat can do wonders for your emotional health.

Nap, Read and Work on the Business : I always said I would do it more, if I had the time. Guys – I have the time. After homeschooling my kids, I have three options : nap, read, or tackle my business to-do list.

Build my Animals Crossing New Horizons world : What we fear the most right now is lack of control. We don’t have control of our work, our day to day life, or what they have in stock at the grocery stores. But I do have control over my little virtual island.

I truly believe “having a daily plan” has gotten me this far. It’s definitely not a one size fits all solution, but the purpose of my post today is to tell you to seek out what you need to protect your mental and emotional health. I would love to hear about what you’re doing to have some consistency and routine in your life. Leave a comment and share your tips, tricks or troubles!

We’re in This Together : How We are Handling COVID19 …

March 15, 2020By stephanie

Today is March 15, 2020. And it has already been a tough March – heck, it’s been a tough 2020.

As you already know, here in Canada, we are currently under a proposed self-isolation until April 5th, 2020. This isolation against COVID19 will help to contain the spread of the virus, flatten the curve of the amount of outbreaks, and hopefully, relieve first responders, doctors, nurses – all medical aid – of the extended patient numbers and overflow in hospitals and clinics. We have never needed to come and work together more than we do during this pandemic.

By now, you have received (most likely) many emails/updates/stories from corporations, retail outlets, and small businesses (like BlushPretty) advising you of how they are taking precautions during this interesting time. You already know the basics of keeping yourself safe and how to prevent the spread of the virus. We too, take both our clientele’s and our artists’ health and safety seriously.

Is BlushPretty remaining open and providing services during COVID19?

The short answer to this is yes. Yes, we will still be providing our full set of services to all our existing and new clientele during the COVID19 pandemic. That said, during the next two weeks until April 5th, 2020, appointments and services will be provided on a limited basis, and come April 6th, 2020 – fingers crossed – we will be able to provide services under normal operation. This, of course is subject to change. We will continue to monitor reports of the pandemic, and adjust our services and policies to accommodate and support the stop of COVID19.

How will we keep our clientele and artistry team safe in the studio?

Our studios located in Toronto and Whitby run by appointment only and have always been low-traffic areas as we see only a select number of clientele per day for our makeup, hair, and skincare services, privately. We will continue this practice of running by appointment only, not allowing walk-in clientele, and keeping our daily appointments to a minimum.

In addition, not only do all BP artists sanitize and clean their kits, tools and work areas before, during, and after services, all surfaces and high-touch areas (door knobs, tabletops, sinks and taps) will also be sanitized and wiped down repeatedly.

To improve upon services and safety until COVID19 is contained, we will :

  • Continue to wash and sanitize our hands at a higher frequency between appointments, and when we have come into contact with high-touch surfaces.
  • Make hand soap, hot water, and hand sanitizer available to both our artists and clientele before and after services.
  • Extend our prep time between appointments. Normally on a busier day, we may leave only a 15-30 minute window between appointments in order to clean and prep for the next client. During this time, we will be extending to a 30-45 minute window between clients, depending on the services being provided.
  • Limit clientele in the studio to the client themselves and allow for no additional visitors to the studio. This also includes artistry staff not scheduled for the day.

What about our mobile services? How does COVID19 affect on-location services?

At this time, we are still honouring all mobile services requested for weddings and bridal parties. Most of our bridal clientele already have artists reserved and we are monitoring our artists and keeping track of their travel. Any artists who have travelled in recent weeks or immediately prior to a currently scheduled wedding will be practising self-isolation and will be replaced with another artist in order to keep you and your bridal party safe.

Much like our in-studio practices, our artists will continue to practice a high-level of hygiene by repeatedly washing their hands and keeping their kit, tools and stations sanitized. We kindly ask that you and those located in your home, hotel, or venue do the same when working around our artistry team.

How can we work together to ensure that everyone remains healthy?

It is all about teamwork, right? During COVID19, we ask that our clientele exercise the following precautions:

Please call to cancel or reschedule your appointment if you are feeling ill and under the weather. Please factor in all symptoms you may have even if they do not correlate to COVID19, including watery eyes, runny nose, sinus infection, etc.
Please practice your self-care SOLO! Normally, especially for bridal trials, we welcome additional guests in the studio – but during this time – we ask that only those receiving services be present at the studio. Limiting contact to individuals is how we stop the spread quicker!
Upon arrival, please wash your hands, and remove your outdoor gear at the door. Both our studios have access to private bathrooms. We have soap and water available, as well as hand sanitizer.
If you have recently travelled, kindly cancel or reschedule your appointment. Please adhere to advice that travellers should self-isolate for up to two-weeks upon their return.

It’s definitely an interesting time for all of us! But, it’s been great to see the entire community – globe even – come together, get on the same page, and put a stop to this pandemic. We’re stronger together everyone – even if we are all practising social distancing. :)

Thank you to all our clientele and followers for getting BlushPretty to where it is today. With your patience and understanding, we will still be here tomorrow, next week, the week after that … and for all the months to follow. We wish you, your family, and your friends all a safe and speedy three weeks!