2010 - year in review

January was cold. Like really cold. I would wake up five minutes before work, hit snooze again, roll out of bed and onto my bike and ride to work. In January. Seriously. I hated waking up, sitting at work and lost interest in a lot of things. It was a bummer month and now I am sorry that I was so unpleasant to be around. In February, with $258 in my bank account, I withdrew $250 for a hair course and prayed, to Tonka, that it would be worth it. I started working at blo. It was worth it. Handing in my notice at Clarins felt like approximately 1 million lbs had been lifted from my shoulders. But I wasn't done... March rolled around and I was working eight days a week between Clarins and blo. Clarins and blo. Clarins and blo. Clarins and blo. Come April, it started to rain, but not much. I split my time between four blo locations and Clarins. I booked off time with blo to dedicate to Clarins. Then Clarins decided they didn't need me. I was pissed but now I see it wasn't that big a deal. In May I stopped spreading myself so thin and worked only at blo bloor west. I was relieved. I was exhausted. I finally knew that it was possible to love a job. I started a writing course and remembered that school is awesome. There were drinks on patios, friends birthdays and general celebrations for the fast approaching summer. In June I did prom and high school graduation makeup and remembered what it was like to be so awkward and so difficult and so so so so. One set of 17 year olds left pot underneath my coffee table. When I finally found it, I yelled at my roommate. I don't have clients over now. B and I saw Tune Yards and I felt inspired and grateful and elated. July marked the middle and the rush of wedding season. It was hot and hot and hot. After one wedding I got so hot I threw up and it was really embarrassing. Now I know to bring cold drinks and snacks. B and I went to snake island and I fell in love again and more. August was still hot. Hot. Photoshoots outside, free time inside. I found a new love in Dior pressed powder compacts. B and I had slushies. So many slushies. Tonka couldn't go on walks. At the end of the summer I was grateful for time off. September saw B and I travel through Germany with a stop in Prague. Frankfurt - Munich - Prague - Berlin - Hamburg - Frankfurt - Home. We ate the best food this mouth has ever seen. We layed in grass while B drank beer. And Damien Jurado owned my heart. October was my birthday. And the best I've ever had. B and I saw Sufjan Stevens and my brain exploded. I took it easy. But when I worked, I worked hard. I dressed up for Halloween and my greatest Halloween fear came true - no one else dressed up. Turns out that's not such a big deal either. November came and the makeup show was amazing. My kit became complete. B had a birthday. I reconnected with a bestie and forgot that other things were going on. December was difficult and I lost my grandfather. I am still afraid to go back to England because I don't think I can be there if he's not. I spent my first Christmas without my mum but B spent his first Christmas with my family which will always be special to me. Tonka got a red jacket that looks like a cape. We both looked forward to New Years Eve and 2011. Happy New Years, friends. xoxo.


Priscilla Queen of the Desert

When I found out that Priscilla Queen of the Desert was coming to Toronto I 'eepped.' That is to say, I shrieked, rather loudly, in excitement. I don't know if I've mentioned this before but I've always felt like I was meant to be a drag queen. Seeing the movie years ago, and I felt like I found my family. That is to say, my drag family. 

Here's a bit of a confession and side note: I get so weepy at theatre productions. Even happy ones. Sometimes, even at music concerts. The thing is, when I see people doing what they love and feeling like they've made it or their successful or they've really achieved something, I lose it. I get so overwhelmed with happiness for them and I start thinking about what the pinnacle of my career would mean to me and I'm in tears. It's so embarrassing. 

So, just before Christmas, my mum and I went to see the show at the Princess of Wales Theatre. It was sold out and our seats were fantastic. Perfect view of the stage and the crowd on the first balcony; audience members decked out in feather boas, holding LED martini glasses. 

The costumes were fantastic. The makeup was amazing. The hair was unbelievable. It's only playing until the 2nd of January so if you get a chance to see - GO!

(not my photo)

(not my photo)


What I've been up to.

Merry Christmas friends. I hope you're all enjoying the season.


At least her hair looks good.

Lets hold out on my opinions about Country Strong for a quick sec.

Her hair... it looks great. I'm gonna guess she's got extensions in her hair and I love how great they blend. Pony tails, while they look low-maintenance and quick can sometimes be harder than expected. The shape is great and the curls look good. It can be a big pain when trying to blend extensions into real hair in a pony tail to stop those shorter pieces from curling strangely. 

And that is why I managed to watch this video for 27 seconds. It was over after that.

Now for my opinion. Ok, rant.

Two weeks ago Heather and I went to see Burlesque. A preview for Gwenyth Paltrow's new movie, Country Strong, came on and I screamed. Well, I whisper-screamed. And when I got over my shock here is the exchange of words between Heather and I:

Me: "That is the worst casting for a role I have ever seen."
Heather: "Who do you think would be better?"
Me. "I would. I would be better. Or maybe Tonka. Tonka would be a more believable country singer than Gwenyth Paltrow."

For reference, Tonka:

Here's the thing. I pretty much love country music. Loretta Lynn, as previously discussed, is my hero. But I just don't know about this movie. Will we every be able to separate Gwenyth-GOOP-Paltrow from the decent-ish actress she can be?

I won't be lining up on opening night. I'll wait to see what the critics have to say.



Makeup Movie Monday - Kanye West

I'll admit it. I'm not up to date on all things Kanye. I don't dislike him or his music, I just don't pay attention.  I had heard this video was coming out and I kept seeing the shorter, music video version with subtitles at the gym. Last weekend Gala posted this on her blog and lying in bed on Sunday morning, I expected to turn it off. Ten minutes later I told myself I would get up to shower. Thirty minutes into the movie and I conceded. I stayed for four more minutes and finished the video.

Now it's your turn. Shut off the world for thirty minutes and check it out. Sans interruptions, qui?

Visually, there are parts I really love. The birds eye makeup is beautiful  and the way her hair is styled with the colour dusted over it tugs at my heart. I love the texture created in pulling her hair back which has the potential to be severe or unnecessarily clean. This however, is beautiful.



Christmas nails!

Friends, this week has been rough.

So I did what I always do when I'm bummed and I painted my nails.

I used Mettalic Top Speed from Revlon. It stays nicely, dries quickly and barely chips. The gems... well, I was just feeling a little tacky. 

I also found this picture in my photobooth and I have absolutely no recollection of painting my nails this white. I love white nail polish but only when it's super shiny and glossy. This is Sally Hansen Insta Dri in white. It looks great as soon as it's on and then gets dull and looks like white out. Ick.
Any recommendations?

I'm off this afternoon to a Christmas party of sorts. Holiday gatherings. 
I'm actually really excited. I love Christmas.



Makeup Movie Monday - Black Swan

Yesterday evening the bf and I went to see Black Swan. Thoughts on the movie aside, it was two hours of vacuous commentary from women behind and beside me. I won't go into too much detail but a direct quote from the evening includes: "sorry about the smell. It's my infection." The show we went to see was sold out so we hung around for a second screen thirty minutes later. I don't think I've ever been to a theatre so packed.

I digress.

The film? Were you wondering what I thought? Well... I loved it! L-O-V-E-D. The costumes, the makeup, it was so beautiful. Initially, I was expecting something really graphic, beautiful and slow. Every review told me how psychological it was.... And it is. Sorta. I don't think I can be descriptive without concern of ruining it. Please see it. 

Here is an interview with the head of makeup, Margie Durand and Judy Chin. I hope my career finds that kind of success... it would be a dream to put together the makeup for an entire movie like Black Swan.

Alas. One day.


Where have I been?!

At home.

Hunched over a table preparing for a beauty shoot 
with a focus on nails.

I'm excited. And tired.


New Work

A little while ago I took a break from creatives and testing with photographers because frankly, it was hard! Not like math is hard where if you study and perservere it will pay off in the end. But hard like models kept showing up hours late with hickeys and the photographers were over photoshopping and I was embarrassed of the crappy work that kept getting put out with my name on it. That kind of hard. And while I'm no quitter, I'm definitely a take a break and gain perspective-er. 

I had been thinking recently that I needed to return to model work but wasn't sure how to go about it. It's very nerve wracking when you feel like your book is crap and you don't think you know anyone and everyone is better than you and oh-woe-is-me. Then last week, Michelle Belsky, a photographer I worked with almost two years ago said she was looking for a makeup artist and I jumped.

Soooo worth it. 

The model, Janel from Ford, was stunning. STUNNING, did you hear me? Hair that makes men cry, legs up to her face, professional and charming. Oh, and a year older than me. Sometimes working with 14 year olds is a challenge. Just sayin.'

I don't have all the work but here's a shot. Just to get your pallette wet and wanting a little more. 

It was dandy to break out my new Yaby Dramatically Neutral palette. I loaded her lid with the most gorgeous bronze shadows and topped it with body gloss so it looked a little greasy. I covered her in baby oil and made her skin glowly and shiny. The highlight on the shoulder absolutely kills me. 

That night I made a million notes on all the things I wanted to do and all the looks that needed to be tried. It's so grand to feel motivated and inspired again. Working with clients and women that aren't models is amazing, and the reason I love hair and makeup. But fashion and models and beauty work... it's just so different.