Wedding Time…My favorite Season!

Wedding Season is just around the corner and soon salons and spas will be overrun with beautiful bridal parties.

For those of you who don’t know already, I love makeup and most of mine and my coworkers weekends over the summer will consist of early morning wedding prep. Lots of hairspray and false lashes will be flying!!

There are some very important things anyone involved in a wedding needs to consider when it comes to their hair and makeup for the big day. Whether you are the bride, the bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride/Groom, etc.

For the Bride to Be, most of these tips are for you, but first lets start with the wedding party.

Bridesmaids- First and foremost, and I’ll be stating the obvious here but, you are not the Bride! Although it is great you are getting to spend this day standing for your sister, bestie, cousin, etc…It’s not your time to be the star of the show.! Sorry!…Not sorry!!(that’s still a thing right?) …However, you are aloud to be dolled up and look glam and beautiful and have false lashes and the big updo, whatever, but please keep this important reminder in your head. You want the day to run as smoothly as possible for everyone. Show up on time for your appointments, don’t be a diva. Be clear on what you want your hair and makeup to look like with your hairstylist and makeup artist. For Gods sakes, Don’t try and upstage the Bride!! Same goes for the MOBs and MOGs…everything will just flow better if everyone concentrates on keeping the Bride happy and confident and feeling pretty when she leaves the salon. If you are super worried about your hair or makeup, book a consultation and/or a trial run before hand. This can help alleviate any stress for you and  your beauty team.

Now that I’ve got that little rant out of the way, On to the Bride! 🙂

1) As I stated previously, book a trial run and consultation. Do it to save everyone grief on the big day.

2) For your trial run or the actual wedding day, prepare questions and any issues to address before we begin. If you hate red lips or hate dewy looking skin let me know. Bring pictures, products or anything you think will be helpful to your stylist and makeup person make you look the way you want. BUT, do realize pictures just give us ideas. You will not look the exact same as a model. Your eyes may be a different color or shape or the model may have a different face shape then yours. Have reasonable expectations. Pictures can be very helpful or a nightmare, if you are not realistic on how you really look.

3) Pick one feature you would really like to emphasize, especially if you want one of those features to be really dramatic. Rule of thumb with most makeup looks, if you go bold on the eye, you go more neutral on the lips and vice versa. Some people, but not many can pull off both at the same time and not look too cray cray! Bottom line, You don’t want to look too over done and clownish.

4) Flawless skin is a great way of guaranteeing the rest of your makeup looks nice. If you have no issues with your skin, Great! Lucky you! But if your skin is less then flawless, you may want to wear a little more face makeup then your used to. A good concealer, foundation and powder will help you achieve this. There are ways to wear a lot of makeup, but not look like you caked it on.

5)You should also know when getting your makeup done, at first it may seem like a lot, but you want that makeup to last an entire day, through crying, dancing, kissing, hugging, sweating, pictures, etc. You also want it to stand out in pictures and not make you looked washed out. Don’t be alarmed if there is a little more eye shadow and blush to begin the day, it’ll wear off as the day goes on.

6)Try false lashes! Whether they are strips or individual, they make a world of difference on how a makeup application can look. They make your eyes stand out in person and on camera. I personally love false lashes and wish I had the time every morning to put them on. They may seem weird and foreign if you are a first time wearer, but I Swear you get used to them as time goes on.

With Individual lashes you can wear a lot and be dramatic or wear a little just on the outside corners for a natural, flirty look. Strip lashes come in various shapes and thicknesses and are definitely more noticeable.

7)Invest in some good touch up products. If you like them, buy the lip gloss or powder your makeup artist uses on you, if they have it for sale. Most of your makeup should last the day, but lips with eventually rub off while eating or kissing and shiny foreheads and oil slick noses are not cute. Put these in your clutch along with mints, bobby pins, mini deodorant and whatever else you feel will be necessary to get you through the big day!

8) This may be hard in times of high stress, but when we ask you in the end what you think of the finished look, be completely honest, but not too brutal (we have feelings too you know 😦 )  Tell us if there is anything you want removed or fixed or added. We can usually tell if someone doesn’t like their hair or makeup even if they say “yeah, its fine” . I’d much rather know and fix the issue then know you went home only to have a meltdown and wipe most of it off or take out your updo.

9) The last and probably the most important thing about Bridal makeup is……You want to look like a better version of yourself, not someone else. Your significant other loves and proposed to you just as you are. Don’t try and change the way you wear your makeup so you don’t look like “you” any more. Sure, you want to look beautiful, but not look like someone you’re not. If you’re a natural gal who wears no makeup, don’t go full on glamazon so that you’re unrecognizable. And if you are always done up to the nines, then keep it the same but better(if that makes sense?)  This is all  my own opinion but I just don’t like it when people don’t even look the same in the wedding photos. You want to enhance and embrace what you already have. You want to walk down the isle feeling comfortable and confident and feeling like yourself.

Hope this was helpful for any of you future Brides and wedding party people.

-Nicole xo 🙂




Sun Safety and Self tanning…because Spring and Summer are hopefully around the corner :/

Being a  ”somewhat recovered tan-aholic” myself, I know first hand how much I love the first signs of spring and summer. Suns out, Guns out!! Woo Hoo!!!

The Sun however is not our friend. Tanning, even though everyone feels better with a little color on their skin, is not good for you.There are so many consequences to basking in the sun and cooking yourself to a nice, toasty brown color. I know because I did it and still have urges to just slather on some tanning oil and lay out by the pool all day. For some reason, I have this notion in my head and I know others do also, that being tanned is better and prettier. It may be temporarily, but in the long run, its sooo, sooo bad people!

This summer, I’m going to try as hard as possible to be a little more vigilant with sunscreen and resort more to self tanners and bronzers(which may be scary at first, but trust me they get easier the more times you use them!)

So before I get ahead of myself and start discussing self tanners, lets talk sun safety, sun tanning myths and sunscreens.

Like I previously stated, myself and others feel “prettier” with a tan. I don’t know why and where this all started (maybe we can blame those dam Victoria’s secret models…$#@*\=+ Giselle!!!!) but for the rest of use mere mortals we should be layering up on sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and covering up whenever possible.

-Find an SPF that you will use. Whether it’s a lotion or a spray or whatever. Make sure that it is SPF 30 or higher. A lot of makeup lines now has SPF 15 in them, which is great but not nearly enough to really protect you against the strong rays of the sun.

-Reapply your sunscreen. The biggest misconception people have is that putting on their sunscreen at 9 a.m. and going out for the rest of the day will be good enough….WRONGO! You need to be reapplying throughout the day. Especially if you are swimming or sweating  or outside for extended periods of time.

-Another big misconception is a “base” tan will prevent you from getting burnt or decrease your risk for skin cancer. Even though a slight tan doesn’t give you the pain of a full on burn, it is still damaging to the skin. You are altering the melanocytes and keratinocytes (cells that give your skin pigment) and speeding up the aging process.  You might not notice the affects today or tomorrow, but down the road when you look like a wrinkly old leopard at 40 or have to get treatments for melanoma, you’ll realize it wasn’t so smart to go tanning every day.

Another thing I believed for years and am still on the fence about, is tanning “cures” acne. It may temporarily fix the problem, but in the long wrong the tanning will be worse for your skin then the acne and can help along hyperpigmentations left behind from breakouts. ( I know this part all too well)

Now don’t get me wrong me, like I said, “I’m a somewhat recovering tan-aholic” . I tan so easily and rarely burn. I love the heat and used to go to the tanning beds religiously. This was all before I went to Halifax and stuck my face in a Wood’s lamp….Mother of God! Before this experience, I thought “I have no sun damage. Maybe a few freckles here and there, but my skin is fine.”  What I saw was all these dark marks and hyperpigmentation lying beneath the skin waiting to just jump out at any time! At this point in my life a tiny light bulb went off in my head and was saying “wait a second,you dummy!” All along my biggest hint about my skin and how it reacts to the sun and what it will look like when I’m older was my own mother and her struggle with hyperpigmentation.

Now supposedly, I’m the spit of my mother. She can never deny me!!! ( I have the papers and brown eyes to prove it) I got all her good qualities and bad,which includes the fact we can get so brown we don’t notice the damage we are actually doing. Now being the good little aesthetician daughter that I am, I’ve tried recommending things to Mom to help with her skin. Tried them on myself. I’ve stressed in previous posts, a good skin care regime is important. If you have signs of aging caused from sun damage, the sooner you start treating them the better.

If you really NEED color on your face and body and don’t want to look like Casper the Friendly Ghost, might I suggest self tanners and bronzing makeup?

The formulas for self tanners have come a long way. There are sprays and gels and foams galore. You can strip down and have someone airbrush tan your body and give you abs!!!!!! and who doesn’t want that?! or if you are more modest, there are lots of spray tan booth places popping up. With the rise in skin cancers and more people becoming aware of how bad the sun’s rays really are, spray tans are becoming more accessible.

I’ve used tanning gels and gradual tanning lotions which I don’t mind, but my favorite are sprays. I’ve tried a couple different kinds and by far my two favorite are Loreal’s Sublime Bronze Pro Perfect Salon Airbrush Self tanning mist (longest product title ever!) and the one I’m actually going to put on tonight is Quick Tan Instant Self tanner. This can be bought at Sally’s beauty supply or for fellow aestechians and hair stylists at Maritime beauty supply.


Some things I would suggest to make self tanning as easy as possible are;

-find a product you like. Easier said then done. Only way you will know if you like it is if you try it. What may work for me or the next person, may not work for you. Look up reviews on products. Worst things worst, you’ll look like an oompa loompa for a day or two. It washes off.

-Exfoliation is sooooo important. Make sure your skin texture is smooth and even before hand. Do any waxing or shaving prior to applying self tanner. Use a gentle body scrub all over and concentrate on your hands, feet, knees and elbows. These areas are prone to having the color pool and look blotchy.

-Moisturizing your skin is also helpful. If an area is dry, that area will look darker..

-If you’re using a tanning cream or lotion, wear gloves. Nothing looks worse then stained nails and palms.

-As far as tanners on your face goes, wear one that won’t cause you to break out. A lighter formula will do.

-Very important!! If you are using a spray, cover the floor, avoid walls, shower curtains, anything you don’t want stained. Lay out towels or anything you won’t mind getting ruined.

-Make sure you are completely dry before getting dressed or going to bed. Apparently, I hold myself in my sleep? I’m reminded of that when I wake up with hand prints on my chest or arms ( not a good look 😦 ) You can dry yourself a little faster by putting a hairdryer on a cooler setting.

-If you aren’t into the whole “tan in a can” thing. Makeup can help you achieve some color. I wear powder bronzers daily. Just apply them where the sun would naturally hit you. The Chin, forehead, cheekbones, neck and chest. Blend lots so that there are no harsh lines.

Now with all this being said, there are studies out there that show some ingredients in some self tanners are not great for you. I am no where near saying self tanners are healthy, but they are a “healthier” alternative to skin cancer from the sun, which I personally don’t want.  Do some reading and research, maybe you will find you don’t want to self tan and be paler. That is completely fine. Porcelain skin is gorgeous too. It’s whatever your preference is. Just be sun safe.

-Nicole 🙂 xo




Get Involved!

This past Monday I got to participate in something very different and fun.

A hair stylist (hey, Shauna!) and I were asked by a client to go to Access 808 and beautify some young mothers. Access 808 is a centre for helping youth in the community whether they are homeless, finically burdened or just in bad situations at home. Shauna and another hairdresser did the hair and I got to do makeup.

This was all put on because they were celebrating their first mothers day by having a mini photo shoot and the coordinator thought it would be great for the girls to feel really confident and pretty.

Some of these young mothers never do anything for themselves.They are either too busy chasing their children around or some lack the funds to do luxury things, like get their hair or makeup done professionally, that i must admit, I take for granted sometimes.

I tried giving them quick tips on inexpensive but good makeup and how wearing just a little makeup can make a huge difference on how they see themselves. Some girls wanted glam smokey eyes and others just wanted a little bit of gloss and blush. Meanwhile, Shauna curled and pinned her little butt off.

I cant disclose too much info about the girls, but seeing their faces after they were done was a great feeling! (One girl even got emotional  😦  )

Even though I sometimes moan and complain about doing extra work outside of actual ” work”…things like this are worth it.

Last year I also had the opportunity to work with Look Good Feel Better a few times til my work schedule changed. Doing makeup for women gong through cancer treatment was a pretty emotional thing.

I feel like if you have the opportunity to use your skills to help someone, whether thats doing makeup, hair, cooking, cleaning, whatever.. Just do it. A little goes a long way. People appreciate things and its good for your karma too 😉

-nicole xo