Mariko and Shin – Catch of the day!

Just look at the cute couple!  From day one of planning this do.i.do post-wedding photoshoot, I was excited to work on this shoot because of their story.  Lisa, who was a good friend of theirs, informed us that they official married in March and planned to have their wedding and reception in Japan with their family.  Unfortunately, that was also the same time as the tsunami tragedy, throwing everything in a tizzy.  Luckily, both Shin and Mariko’s families live in southern Japan and were safe.  I can only imagine how much they must miss their family during a time when they long to be with them for two main reasons: to share the joy of their union and to be there to support them during a difficult time for their country.

Being a girl, I’m inclined to be sympathetic when I hear – no wedding, no white dress, no pictures, no celebration?  We wanted them to have a special memento of their marriage, even though they still plan to have their wedding in a year.

The theme of the photoshoot is “Catch of the Day” (credits: Lisa).  Fishing is a big part of Shin’s life.  He loves it and has the patience for it (plus he’s a chef so he’s also excited to cook it).  We wanted the couple to reel in their memories that they’ve built together so far.  Lisa began dress-hunting and bouquet-designing.  The bouquet was gorgeous – a combination of different flowers and seashells that complemented the calla lilies:

I wanted to create a Japan-inspired hairpiece for Mariko and came up with:

Mariko was very laid back and allowed me to do anything I wanted for hair and make-up.  I wanted it to be classic and natural (like for all brides), but I also wanted to insert her favourite colour, purple, into the look in a subtle way.  If you noticed, I’ve also attempted to add it into the hairpiece.  For more close-up photos, click here.

I think I was more excited than she was to see Shin’s reaction when he sees her for the first time in the white dress, all dolled up.  He said something in Japanese, which translated to ‘this is how I want you to look for our wedding.’ ^_^ Aww yay!  Jun Ying worked his ninja ways with the camera, as usual, and came up with beautiful shots.

At the end of the day, we were all pleased that we’re able to be a part of this shoot to bring a bit of ‘wedding’ to the lovely couple.  After all, they’re both a real catch.

For more photos from the shoot, check out my facebook album.

Every colour of the rainbow!

Colours and sparkles have always been my kryptonite.    I recently heard of a make-up retailer called Inglots through a very positive review/rave by xsparkage on Youtube.  I was so excited when I saw it.  You have to understand that I’ve spent A LOT of money on eyeshadows, and sometimes I regret purchasing them because the quality is low.  It has very little to do with brands.  What I mean is that either they don’t stick properly to the skin, they lack pigment, the texture is chalky, they don’t blend well, or they are not true to colour.  I’ve pretty much settled for MAC shadows as the safe route because they are relatively affordable for me with my pro discount, and they work well.

When I first heard of Inglots, the first thing I did was search up their website.  I’m practically a pro at online shopping =D  I was a wee bit disappointed that you couldn’t make orders online, however they can take orders by phone and all orders over $150 ships for free.  It just so happens that I was planning my trip to Las Vegas at the end of 2010, and I decided to look up locations of make-up retailers not in British Columbia.  I literally screamed with excitement when I saw that Iglots was at the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace.  My sister came running into the room wondering what the fuss was about.  When I told her, she informed me that there used to be a location at Metrotown but it closed (she’s guessing) due to lack of business/popularity.  WHY? WHY?!?!  I guess it’s not as flashy as Sephora, and MAC was their main competition.  Now there are only 3 locations in Canada and they’re at the other end of the country.

Anyways, enough of the story.  I got to the store and spent about an hour (probably longer) trying to choose my colours, and I’ve settled on the 3 palettes – neutrals, yellow-blue, purple-red.  Here are my lists of PROs:

  1. Freedom System
    Each palette above can fit 10 shadows and you can mix and match to your liking.  They have hundreds of colours so it does take some times to narrow down!  I’ve swatched till my hands turned black.  I didn’t have enough money to do so, but it also applies for concealers, blush, and lipsticks!
  2. Eyeshadow size
    They have round pans similar to MAC sizes for cheaper but the large rectangular ones are much bigger – similar to the size of Make Up For Ever shadows but for 1/4 of the price.
  3. Price
    Each palette costs $50  – that’s it.  No separate price for each shadow and then buying the palette.  It’s a one price deal.
    Compare to MAC: $13 per shadow + $16.50 for the palette = $211.50 to fill up one palette not including tax.
  4. Pigmentation
    Excellent!  The colours are vibrant and the camera managed to capture quite well the sparkles embedded in the eyeshadows.  This is one of the MAJOR pros of the shadows.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very attracted to sparkles so obviously I have a collection with quite a few sparkly shadows.  However, almost 100% of the time, they look good on the pan but no sparkles end  up on your skin.  It either falls off or the sparkles are only on the surface of the shadow and disappears after a few uses.  Iglot shadows have fine glitter pressed within the a matte colour and applies very well without looking overly glittery – that’s a eureka moment right there.
  5. Palette Casing
    Perfect for make-up artists, or just for traveling.  The case is heavy duty so the shadows don’t break as easily.  The lid is attached through strong magnets at the corners of the case. I can stack all 3 palettes together and only use one lid if I’m traveling to a job.  Genius!

CONS

  1. It is a bit difficult at first to remove the shadows from the pans once they’re in.  It look me some experimenting and chipped little bits of the shadows while trying, but eventually I figured out a way using a spatula.
  2. The casing is heavy duty, so it is slightly heavier to carry around by hand.
  3. They are numbered rather than named (probably because there are so many colours, it’ll take them forever) and the numbers are not in any kind of order.  For example, when I was looking through all the yellow colours organized by shades, the numbers are random.  It would have been much easier if the smallest number is for the lightest yellow and increase as the colour darkens.  The girl working there couldn’t even tell me which shadow it’ll be if I gave her a number.
  4. There are no close locations to me so I can spend my days swatching like crazy (that could be a good thing…).

That’s it!  All in all, it was one of the best parts of my trip.  I’ve found my eyeshadow palace and I’m staying for awhile =)

Hair Fare

Today’s featured product is not for make-up, but for hair.  I’ve been blessed to be exposed to many talented hair artists and who have been willing to share their knowledge and skills with me on top of my training from Blanche Macdonald.  Personally, I’ve never been the type to really experiment with my own hair, though I’ve been more adventurous in recent years.  But why not?  If you get an unfavourable cut, it’ll always grow back.  If the style looks strange, you can always wash it out and start over.  When I started working with hair, I purchased a variety of hair products thinking that they’re all probably the same, and I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.  Why was it not coming together and staying together?  Trying out professional products have made a huge difference in the outcome of the style.   First of all, the hold is softer on the hair and stronger on the style.  Also, it doesn’t flake when you try to tease it, keeping the style in tact and easy to change.  The particular product I’ve used recently and loved was Aerogel.  You just need to lightly mist, and the hair doesn’t feel stiff or sticky after it dries but the hold is amazing.   Not very expensive either considering the size.   My new favourite product – a great bu Continue reading

The Flawless

Make-up is great and it’s fun, but I generally reserve it for the weekend when I have some extra time to care about how I look.  However, even a low maintenance person wouldn’t want to leave the house looking like Edward Scissorhands.  I’m talking about those dark circles that never seem to go away despite 10 hours of sleep.  I’m one of those people with very thin skin and fine lines (aka wrinkles) beneath the eyes so finding a good concealer that would cover the darkness, yet not cake up between the lines is very difficult.  For those with only dark circles, a cream concealer would provide great coverage, but would be look cake-y for those with fine lines.  After many trials with many different types of concealers, I have narrowed it down to ConcealFX (by CoverFX) and Amazing Concealer (by Amazing Cosmetics).

ConcealFX can be found Shoppers Drug Mart or anywhere that carries CoverFX.  CoverFX as a line is famous for great coverage, being able to even cover tattoos.  The company is very focused on the medical aspects, and many consumers found the product to be great for even sensitive skin.  I think this concealer has great coverage and works really well with most of my clients, but unfortunately it still tends to cake in the fine lines after a day of wear.  Generally, I recommend it.

My #1 concealer is Amazing Concealer, which can be found at Sephora.  It has amazing (literally) coverage – only a pin-sized amount is needed for full coverage under both my eyes, it lasts all day, and it’s very moisturizing so it does not cake at all.  The only down side is that it’s quite pricey ($42 USD), however since I use so little at a time, it has lasted me for well over a year and has not changed in quality.  Highly recommended!

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick

This is my first post of many to come!  One of my hobbies is obviously is shopping for the greatest makeup products to add to my kit.  And I must say I’ve accumulated quite a stash.  My sister calls me a “makeup connoisseur” (I like that better than “obsessive compulsive shopper”).   However, I’m still one to feel badly if I’ve spent money on inferior products, but great products deserve to be shared!

So my first item is this Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Platinum Pink:

This palette is perfect for those who want that healthy glow.  When it comes to foundation, I personally can’t stand that matted, caked-on appearance.  There is a time and place for matte makeup (such as when recreating a 50’s look).  However, for everyday wear, most girls want their skin to look naturally flawless, and that sheen on your face is often the key (think Hilary Duff).  This palette will give your face that glow while adding a hint of colour (depending on where you sweep your brush).  If you desire more colour, then wear a blush underneath first.

Platinum Pink is more suited for fair skin tones since the colours don’t show on dark skin.  Not to worry!  It also comes in other colours such as Copper Diamond, which contains strips of bronze shades – perfect for darker skin tones and great for everyone to get that summer look while still battling that harsh spring storm!  I believe this item is special edition and I don’t know if it’s still on stores.  However, it can be found at the Cosmetic Company Store in Premium Outlets.