September 25, 2018

Wedding Hair & Makeup Trial: How To Prepare and What to Expect

There are lots of things to be excited about when you're planning a wedding but for a beauty blogger like me, coming up with my wedding look was one of my most anticipated. I'm obviously not a Kardashian so getting professional hair and makeup is a pretty rare occurrence, and it's always fun to see what you'll end up looking like when you hand over the reins to someone else. Since I just had my hair & makeup trial, I thought I'd share some of the things I learned!

1. Research, research, research

If you decide to go the professional route, a lot of research is involved in picking the right makeup artist/hair stylist for you. I knew that I wanted someone who could do both (two birds with one stone) and they had to be able to offer services for an entire bridal party plus my mom. I obtained a list of recommended HMUA from my wedding planner, did my own research for any additional ones I'd read good reviews about, and e-mailed them all for quotes. After comparing quotes, I narrowed down my choices and checked out their work on Instagram to see who might be a good fit. Some brides may want a more natural look or prefer someone who works with a particular ethnicity often (e.g. makeup for Asian features). I ended up choosing Jayna Marie Makeup + Hair because she's won lots of awards, had great reviews, and I liked her work.

2. Pinterest is your friend

Once I picked my wedding theme/decor and found my dress, I already had a pretty specific vision of how I wanted my hair and makeup to look. I very rarely wear my hair up so I knew I needed a style that would allow most/all of it to be down. I also love bold eye looks and neutral lips but wanted to play off of my dress and wedding accent colours in the makeup shades. My wedding theme is "west coast greenery" so I purchased a custom greenery comb from Oh! Dina Millinery and combed Pinterest for ideas on how to incorporate greenery into a hairstyle. I also decided that I wanted a gold based smokey eye and found some examples that I liked.

Sources: left // right

3. Bring everything to your trial

For my trial, I purposely wore white on top so I'd at least know how the hair and makeup looked against white clothing (when I got home I did change into something a little fancier so I could get the full effect). I also brought all my accessories with me: my greenery hair comb, the earrings I'm planning on wearing, and hair extensions to add volume to my thin hair.

4. Be flexible

After meeting Jayna and talking about my vision, I let her get to work. It's important to trust the professional! Jayna ended up changing the hairstyle slightly from what I originally asked for (everything to the side) because my hair isn't super long and it wouldn't have looked as good. She did show me how it would look that way and left it up to me to decide what I'll end up going with. She also really amped up the lashes (they are double layered and basically triple the length of my natural lashes) which was a pretty huge shock for me when I looked in the mirror for the first time... it's a lot of look but I kind of like it!

5. Check the wear time and take pictures

After you're all fancied up, it's important to test the wear time on your makeup. You want it to really last since your wedding day is long. A lot of people recommend having your trial on the day of your engagement shoot or for your bridal shower so you can really get your bang for your buck, which I think is a great idea. If you have your dress, try it on to get a preview of how you'll look on your wedding day or wear it to an alterations appointment. I didn't really have that luxury due to timing but I did make note of how shiny I got, anything I want to change, and will bring that feedback to Jayna. I also took pictures when I got home to see how the makeup looked outside of Jayna's fancy studio lights.

It's so crazy to think that my wedding is just a few weeks away... I hope this post was helpful for any other brides-to-be. Stay tuned for the final look!

September 11, 2018

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex

The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair line is, I think, my favourite from the brand (the Intensive Recovery Ampoules are serious skincare saviours). I just love the idea of incredibly potent products that are meant to work their magic while we're sleeping so we can wake up looking more youthful and refreshed.

Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex is a new treatment for the eye area that helps repair the visible impact of lack of sleep, UV, pollution, and even blue light from all those screens we're constantly looking at. It's the first of its kind specifically targeting blue light pollution and I bet we'll be seeing a lot more products coming out with this in mind in the near future.

I was lucky enough to take home the Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex after a recent event (love the cute plastic globe it came in!) and have been putting it to the test ever since. It retails for $80 CAD which is quite pricey for an eye cream but a little goes a long way and you do get 15 mL in the container.

The texture is a lightweight GelCreme which feels luxurious on the skin and absorbs quickly. It doesn't leave a tacky finish either which can be annoying when you are trying to apply eye makeup on top. There is a slight perfumed scent, however, which may irritate sensitive eyes... I would just caution to be careful not actually get this too close to your eyes and concentrate just on the delicate skin around them.

Although I don't typically have bags unless I haven't been getting enough sleep, I have noticed that my undereye area does look brighter in general. Plus, it doesn't hurt to keep up with preventative measures! If you're in the market for a new eye cream/serum/treatment, definitely give this one a look.

September 6, 2018

90s Tommy Hilfiger

I remember back when I was in middle school and high school, flares and bell bottoms were all the rage and my mom/aunts telling me that they used to wear the exact same clothing. Well, I'm now old enough that trends are making their way back round again. Not gonna lie, it's a little weird!

For the recent I Love the 90s concert (featuring C&C Music Factory, All 4One, Young MC, and Salt N Pepa) I attended, I wanted to dress the part. Thankfully, my mom is the type of person who never gets rid of anything so she had this OG Tommy Hilfiger coordinates set that is actually from the 90s unworn and hanging in her closet. Funnily enough, I swear I've seen teenagers wearing this exact outfit. Turns out I'm actually into it... in fact, I will definitely be wearing it again and not just as a pseudo-costume.

Shirt: Tommy Hilfiger / Leggings: Tommy Hilfiger / Shoes: Reebok x Sandro
Hoop Earrings: Leah Alexandra

September 1, 2018

My Vegas Bachelorette

Yikes, somehow I've let the entire summer pass with barely a blog post in sight... it has just been SO crazy this year planning our upcoming wedding. I do have a ton of things I want to write about so hopefully will be able to get a few reviews out soon. In the mean time, I thought I'd share a recap of my recent bachelorette trip to Las Vegas!

The trip was planned by my MOH and one of my bridesmaids and was a total surprise until the day of. I was told what days to book off work and given a packing list but the ultimate destination and the activities we were doing were totally unknown to me. I'm the type of person who reads movie spoilers and flips to the back of the book to find out the ending before I've even started reading so the fact that I was able to refrain from shaking the info out of my friends was quite a feat. Side note: I'm keeping my friends off the blog for their privacy so the pictures in this post make it look like I was in Vegas by myself... I promise I wasn't alone!

My MOH got me a super cute Hello Kitty hat to wear (see below) -- when in doubt get me anything Hello Kitty because I am obsessed with her, haha. I was also excited to use my new Away Luggage, which ended up being the perfect companion for this 3-4 day trip (it's the Carry-On in white).

When I arrived at the airport, my friends were already there and on their phones they were playing a Backstreet Boys song... because we were going to the BSB concert that night!! Total dream come true. I had the best time singing along to all their classics and reliving my teenage years.

The next day we went to a pool party which is something I've always wanted to do in Vegas. It was super fun chilling at the pool, listening to the DJ, stuffing our faces with appies, and drinking cocktails. It also gave me the perfect opportunity to wear this "BRIDE" bikini that I've had for months.

Later that night we headed to the Strip for dinner at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill located in Caesar's Palace before we hit the club. I'm way too old to be clubbing but the clubs in Vegas are unlike anything back home (thousands of people, multiple rooms) that it really was something we all wanted to check out. We went to Hakkasan where Zedd was playing.

We didn't get to bed until 3 a.m. so a delicious brunch was in order the next morning. We had made reservations at Mon Ami Gabi, which is in the Paris Hotel. Afterwards, we decided to check out some of the other hotels on the Strip including The Venetian with its infamous indoor canal and gondola rides.

We ended off our last night in Vegas at our hotel, the SLS Las Vegas. It is a super cute boutique hotel at the north end of the Strip which meant it was much quieter and nicer to come home to. It also has its own monorail station so it's convenient to get around. If you are heading to Vegas, I would definitely recommend it!

Dinner that night was our favourite of the trip: Mediterranean tapas at Cleo. The food was sooooo good. We also hit the casino for a bit of "gambling" (in quotes because none of us are high rollers and won 60 cents only to lose it again).

It was tough heading back to Vancouver after such an amazing weekend with my friends. It's a lot rarer to get to go on girl trips like this now that we're all older and have so-called "adult responsibilities". I seriously cannot thank them enough for treating me to such a great time!

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