I am a Makeup Artist - But here's why I hired one for my head-shots

 photo:  Michelle Valberg   Makeup: Angelina Luigi

Not everyone likes to have their picture taken. Including me, I'm more comfortable than I used to be, but still not my favourite thing. To be honest I'm actually more chill for a live TV segment because I can move around. I get it people and I'm here to help you through it and put your best, confident self forward. Here's how and why you should hire a professional Makeup Artist for your next head-shots or even public appearance.

It was time to update my own photos for my website, so I had a professional session with the incredible and lovely photographer Michelle Valberg at Westboro Studio. (she has such amazing talent, and client roster plus so much of her work has been seen globally) Truly someone I admire both as a woman and a creative professional. I've wanted her to take my picture for a long time and to have the experience of being in front of her camera lens. I've worked with Michelle and prepping many of her clients for years, so it was fabulous to be the subject. I wanted the full experience, the same one I give to my clients for same photo-shoot service. I HIRED, yes paid for a professional makeup artist for my shoot. Yep, that's right, I didn't do my own makeup. I called in my friend Angelina.

The incredible attention to detail on my face by Angelina was more intense than I would have given myself. We'll cut corners on our own makeup/hair some days, but for a photo shoot? No way. You want the fine details taken care of.  Here's what the best of us artists will do for you; even out complexion with the right shade of foundation, keep your skin looking like skin, smooth application by way of using great tools, make it glow or remove shine, hide dark circles and spots/blemishes and brighten up under eyes (this part is perfect for guys too). Eye and lip makeup is refined while lips and cheeks pop with a healthy, well-blended colour. 

I was relaxed and ready.  Above all, I looked and felt amazing!!! So glad this is what I can offer to clients too. First look (bottom) is a softer, natural look, we all need that photo. The second look (above) is my fave personal style; smokey eye with a nude lip. The end result, are photos that are freakin' amazing...so good in fact that it was tough to choose. 

Why you need a makeup artist.

  • Makeup artists understand the lighting on set is much different from your lighting at home.  We know what will be picked up by the camera and adjust accordingly. 
  • We see ALL the angles that you don't and take care of them. Trust me, you'll be glad you had me help you.
  • You've invested in the professional photographer. Why are you skipping out on the details of your personal appearance? Go the distance people...I make sure those details being photographed, your face, hair and outfit are seen in the best-polished look.
  • You should be moving around changing a pose to adjust those things.
  • Your photographer has the big picture in mind - lighting, background, posing you and getting your best angles, they just can't see it all. As a makeup artist, I'm that other set of eyes looking at those small details. We are a team!!
  • Makeup Artists are the pre-photoshop stage. It may actually cost more in the end than hiring a makeup artist to have your picture fully retouched afterwards (time and experience cost $) 
  • You want your clients to trust you with the details of your expertise...trust me with yours.
  • These pictures are an investment that could go a couple of years if done well from the get-go. 
  • Relax and don't sweat the small stuff. I got you, I want you to look great as well. May even want to use your pictures in my portfolio. 
  • Ease into the session. Feel the pampering that you deserve. (I didn't want to be concerned with messing up my own eyeliner before pictures, that can happen on a regular day to me, lol)
  • A makeup artist attending to you before photos are about having a set of eyes viewing you differently than you see yourself. Working with you to enhance the best.  
  • You deserve to look and feel your best. Feel like a superstar. 
  • My job doesn't end there. I go the extra steps and can help with hair touch-ups, make sure makeup gets any adjusting during lighting test and through the shoot. I keep an eye out for flyaway strands of hair, fix a jacket or shirt so it isn't bunched up and I have been known to help match outfits and accessories before the shoot.  
  • Bonus: Hello, you are in the chair of a Makeup Artist... I love to share beauty tips and recommendations if you ask.
 Photo:   Michelle Valberg                  Makeup:  Angelina Luigi

Photo:  Michelle Valberg                 Makeup: Angelina Luigi

And by the way, what is talked about in my makeup hair stays in the makeup chair. I value the trust you have put in me to put your best face forward and give it back to you.

Have you ever had head-shots done before? Did you love or hate them? If it's time for new ones, perhaps I can help? Reach out and we can chat about ideas and some photographer recommendations.

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Clean Your Makeup Brushes - Your Skin & Makeup Products Will Thank You

As a makeup artist is is absolutely imperative that brushes are cleaned after every client use. I have two types of cleansers, one is a liquid I put into a spray bottle and carry in my kit. It's great for quick colour removal and sanitizing on the go, however, all brushes should be cleaned with water and a cleanser to pull out colour, sanitize and product build-up and just a really deep clean. There are also several skin benefits to keeping your brushes regularly cleaned.

Washing brushes isn't tough to do, just not fun for most. Although I actually do enjoy cleaning mine. If you knew what was on your personal brushes or sponges after multiple uses you'd want them fresher more often. Click on the video to see what I'm using (pssst it's cruelty-free and vegan) and how it extends the life of my brushes while keeping them fresh and in shape for best application and client experience. 

*product was sent for trial. Opinions and pro tips are my own.
Thank you Hoppy and Poppy

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How I'm Fighting Gravity & Firming My Skin FT. Silk'n Titan

One day it just happened, I woke up, looked in the mirror - as per the usual beauty routine - then pulled, poked and squished my face checking out gravity’s work that looked like it appeared over night. I’m sure I’m not the only one wanting to fight the effects of gravity. Perhaps it’s time for more oomph in the skincare routine? 

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As a both a beauty industry pro and a consumer, I wanted to know, is there anything out there that can do a bit more than my lotions and potions? Can it be convenient, easy to use and complimentary to one’s existing anti-aging routine? Something I would be willing to share with others that had the same concerns? Not too big of a wish list is it? I'm thrilled to share with you my partnership with Silk'n Titan, the chic and sleek at home beauty device that was provided for me to work with during my treatment journey. I was to use it twice per week over a 10-week period. It's my #TitanTime. Perfect for those areas I was having extra ‘gravitational’ concerns over. 

I found the Titan to be super convenient and require no downtime, in fact, I’ve used it before an event because I needed to fit in the treatment that week and really liked the extra healthy glow it gives afterwards. During treatment time, the Titan gets warm and is working to stimulate cell renewal in a painless way. It helps to rejuvenate and repair collagen and elastin fibers (think of those fibers like tiny springs that push and hold up the surface) to tighten, firm and lift the skin from within, which leads to reduced lines and wrinkles. Just as each of us has different skin types, ages and stages of ageing, results can vary person to person.

The first thing I noticed after the first use was that healthy glow I mentioned. Then after a few uses, I could feel like my skin seemed to be juicier or plumper is the better word, firmer than before. The texture also felt nice, and I noticed makeup was wearing well (a bonus). I still used my regular skin care, nothing else was changed. With time and more treatments with the Silk’n Titan, I felt effects were lasting longer between treatments like my skin was being worked into better condition overall.

BEAUTY TIPS: Here are extra ones I learned along the way and were shared with me for even better results:

1)      I have drier skin, so I found my skin really absorbed the water-based, hyaluronic slider gel when used alone on clean skin, making for a few interruptions to reapply during treatment. I prepped my skin, as usual, using my nightly moisturizer before a treatment and noticed my skin didn’t drink up the gel as quickly, making for fewer interruptions during my #TitanTime. The use of the slider is also bonus hydration for me.

2)      Don’t be shy about applying the gel, the Titan needs to glide easily. Add some to the device head itself. I suggest ordering an extra tube of slider gel.

3)      When the Titan doesn’t glide smoothly, and you are still in your 15 minutes, time to add more slider gel to skin.

4)      Each area you want to work on is a 15 minute treatment. Work in small areas to get the most out of the treatment. i.e. work on half of the forehead at a time.

5)      While there are multiple intensities, the best results achieved are using levels 4 & 5 regularly. Start with the first 2 minutes on levels 1-3, like a warm up session.

6)      Yes, it’s warm. Do not hold your Titan in one place, keep it gliding over the skin. Try to work in upwards motion when possible

7)      I found evenings were the best time for me, as I could plug in the Titan, sit with a book or TV show and relax for some quiet Melody time.

If you are looking for something to add to your anti-aging skincare routine, but hesitant on heading into the pricier alternatives of in-office procedures, the Silk’n Titan is something I highly recommend you reach for. Just remember, you need to be consistent with treatments if you want to see changes in your skin, beyond your favourite creams. You can see my introduction and TV Beauty Segment ft. the Silk'n Titan to see why I trust and will continue to include it in my skincare routine. 

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.

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Magic Metals - Mini Eye Palettes By Huda Beauty

 Huda Beauty Palette from  www.shophudabeauty.com

Huda Beauty Palette from www.shophudabeauty.com

I’ve always loved the shine of metal since I was a child, something so luxurious with it. It goes back to a ring I found in the neighbourhood, dug it out of the dirt when I was about 6 yrs old. I ran home with it and showed my mom that "I found a real ring" (yep even then I knew the good stuff) Now as a Makeup Artist, I adore shine and shimmer and love mixing metallics. #MelodysMixology

Honestly, I'm a little bored with a new launch every 5 minutes. I'm not hypnotized by the media hype, many of them are just meh anyways. However, should a palette  A) have great shades B) have quality pigments C) have textures that are blend-able D) more timeless shades, perhaps I'll take a closer look. The Huda Beauty "Smokey" Obsessions caught my eye while I waited in line at Sephora. (not on Huda brand-wagon either, read exceptions A-D above) It has a beautiful colour payoff, super velvety to the touch and a friendlier price than most. At only $35 it was an easy purchase for experimentation In the Beauty Lab. 

My fave makeup/fashion motto: “It’s never too early in the day for sequins and smokey eyes” Please don’t be afraid of these shades, they can be worked softly and I share a few beauty tips below. These are neutrals, they'll go with any outfit you wear. The choice is yours of how soft or intense you want to pull them off. Absolutely ANYONE (any age and skin tone) can wear it!


  • Tap a shiny or shimmery shade on to the centre of the eyelid after your done with the eye look for an instant pop of light. 
  • Metal shades can be worn over the eyelid fully as their own colour. Sweep a little across the lid for a sheer version OR pat it on to build up the boldness of it. Go bolder and use a metal hue under the lower lash line.
  • Apply matte shadows first, then blend a metallic over top to alter it. Example black matte eyeshadows first, then topped with gold or silver will make the metallic deeper.
  • Apply metal shade first (see step #2 above) Then, in the outer corner add a touch of one of the deeper matte shades. Blend softly into lid but not too far across. You just want to keep it in the outer corner and soft looking.
  • Use the deep matte shades as a liner instead of a pencil or gel. Instant, easy smake show. 
  • Bonus, if you want to add a bit of shine but not gooey gloss to your lip colour, pat a touch of one of the metallics to slightly alter the lip look.                                                                             
    This palette has great pigment, so you only need a little to start off with. I purchased it at  Sephora.

PS Remember that ring I found? It was a vintage white and yellow gold diamond ring. (love for mixed metals) My mother posted the lost ring and asked around the neighbourhood many times but no one ever claimed it. She saved it for me and I still have it.

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Simple Everyday: 4 Makeup Must-Haves


We are often bombarded with trends and getting the latest and greatest for our closet or makeup bag. It’s both exhausting trying to keep up and costly. However, the good news is we probably already have some really great items we've  forgotten about, hidden treasures. Soooo, I've got a beauty challenge for you and it won't cost thing! The inspiration came from my friend Alyssa who recorded me in her bathroom and opened up her makeup drawer.  

A Fashion Stylist and my beautiful friend, Alyssa is a minimalist and owns less both in her beauty drawer and wardrobe. She is very mindful of what she purchases and sticks to more classic and timeless ideas. So we thought we'd do a fun challenge: To use what she had and create a classic look that fit her personal style and go day to night if needed.

So here is your challenge:
1) Watch my video for suggestions and tips.
2) Look through your drawers and makeup bags to work with what you already own (unless it's expired or very old, that’s the only reason for something new and it should be a classic piece, not the latest unicorn shade ; ) 
3) I'm not even going to show any new beauty items to tempt you with either.
4) Share what hidden treasures you found to create your minimalist makeup look in the comments below.        

If you’d love the same type of help and inspiration for your closet, please visit Alyssa at Ms. Beltempo for great wardrobe and style tips. She is all about working with what you own, wearing it several ways, vintage and thrift shopping plus much more.

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