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Reflections From My Decade As A Makeup Artist

Posted on August 18, 2020 at 3:45 PM


When you have been a makeup artist for as long as I have, you meet many different women- different ages, backgrounds and skin tones. Every face I encounter and have encountered is unique; but there have been some recurring themes I have noticed among all of them. So, as I have had some time to reflect, I thought I would compile those themes or musings and put pen to paper, so to speak. So here are some of my top revelations about women and beauty, from the somewhat unique perspective of makeup artist:


Round face syndrome. In my experience, most women do not have a round face shape...but you know what? It’s okay to have a round face, full stop. It’s youthful, and you can always add some contour cream/powder to the natural contours in your face to bring out your bone structure. You can’t add volume to your face with makeup, that’s what fillers are designed to do; and that’s what so many women have put in their face- to achieve that youthful fullness in their cheeks. But if you already have that fullness, you can always use makeup to add structure to the face. So, in actuality, a fuller face is not a bad thing! Who knew?!


Look like yourself and forget about other people. It seems so simple; but I feel like there is a trend with makeup now, mostly due to social media and reality TV, that we are all supposed to look the same- and I say no to that! Give me variety! Give me an interesting face over a beautiful face any day. The funny thing is 99% of the “models” you see today have had invasive and non invasive procedures/surgeries to change or enhance their features- if you look at some photos from their early days, they look quite different; or to put it another way, they look normal, even average. Remember that next time you see a picture of Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner.


You’ve got the goods, now own them. I can’t count how many times I have started someone’s makeup, and as I get close to them I start to take in all the lovely features they have. The arch of their full brow, long amazing eyelashes, smooth skin, a beautiful hazel eye that looks gold in the sunlight, an even lip shape- all these features that I can’t wait to enhance and bring that beauty I see forward. But when I mention all these amazing attributes that live on their face, the response is almost always “really?” “I thought I had bad skin” “I wish I had your eye colour” “I used to have good lashes” ...when you stop and really take stock of your features, I guarantee you have a lot going for you. It never fails to surprise me how many times people say to me that I am so lucky to have beautiful clients; but the truth is that most people have the goods, they just need a little coaxing into the light.


Yes, you have good skin. Listen, I have been pretty blessed in the skin department; I don’t have facials or get treatments really, but I do take care of my skin daily and stay out of the sun. But I have never had to deal with serious issues like cystic acne, pot marks and deep texture, large spots of pigmentation, rosacea etc. There are major skin issues, and then there are minor ones. In all honesty, 90% of faces I have worked on fall into the minor category. The lesson? Most people have pretty good skin. I am not trying to be insensitive to people that have more serious issues with their skin. What I am saying is a little red dot or a tiny line under your eye is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Skin texture, pores and some bumps or redness is totally normal and nothing to really worry about. Take care with your skin, drink your water and wear your SPF. Let makeup cover up what you want covered, and relax a little about your skin.


Makeup can only take you so far. Accepting yourself is one of the hardest things to master for women, I truly believe that. To me, makeup is available to you as a tool in your life: to perk you up when you are feeling down, to give you a little confidence boost for a job interview or important work or life event, to express your creativity, to help you get into character, for all the roles in your life. Makeup is there for you to utilize, but it is not going to change your core self; Kylie Jenner didn’t just overdraw her lips and transform into a completely different woman (she had a lot of plastic surgery). Yes, makeup can be armor, it can help you convey the confidence you want to convey, but it is not going to transform you into the better, thinner version you think you need to be. You shouldn’t have to change yourself so dramatically, (a la Kylie Jenner) to feel good in your own skin. You should feel good first, and makeup should be the icing on the cake; delicious yes, but the cake needs to be good regardless of the icing. A way to show the world that yes, this is who I am, and I added a little red lipstick on top to help me take on the day.


TAKE AWAY: I think the main take away from this “list” is that what you see in the mirror is not exactly what other people see; and not what the world sees, either. If you approach beauty as a whole: face, mind and personality, it is more of a state of mind than merely the physical. Confidence in yourself, embracing all the parts of yourself, including your physical “flaws” can actually influence how others see you, and ultimately, how you see yourself. I think one of the reasons so many people respond positively to you when you do in fact have a little makeup on, is that you are showing the world you care about yourself- not just your “image” but the image you put forth in the world, as a whole, and your physical appearance is part of that. 

xx Daniela

For makeup inspiration and pro tips follow us on Instagram

Tips for Bridal Accessories: Hair Pieces, Jewellery and Veils

Posted on July 16, 2019 at 3:00 PM

If the hair piece/accessory is important to you, plan your hairstyle with the piece in mind 

The hairstyle and the hair piece should flow together organically. I think the best way to approach this would be to search for hairstyles alongside the hair piece. For example, if you have a tiara, search for “bridal tiara hairstyles” instead of searching for the terms separately. Seeing how each hairstyle pairs with each tiara will give you a sense of how the components work together.

Bring your pieces to the bridal trial- hair trial and makeup trial 

Testing out placement options at the trial is key to a seamless hair and makeup session on your wedding day. Bring your veil, hair piece or pieces, and jewellery to the trial. It’s also a good idea to wear something with a similar neckline, so you can get an idea of how the hairstyle will look as a whole.



If in doubt, go with your first choice

There are so many options for brides out there- it can be hard to make a decision on what would look best. If you find yourself going down a rabbit hole on Pinterest, stop and reflect on what you were first drawn to. I have found that what you were immediately drawn to right off the bat is usually a good indicator of the direction you want to go in. If you were not over the moon about anything, start by the process of elimination. Eliminate things you don’t like first, and that will leave you with some workable options moving forward.


Less is more

It was Coco Chanel who said “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” I think this sentiment holds true for your wedding day, as well. Too many accessories and jewels can take away from the bride herself. On your wedding day you want to shine as the best version of yourself, and not be hidden under too many distractions.


The images from this blog post are from a styled shoot that features some beautiful pieces from The Loved One, a boutique here in Toronto. Hair is by Nataliya of NV Bridal Hair, and photography is by Amrinder of Blackbox Photography. 

4 Tips For Natural Looking Makeup

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 9:05 AM

TIP #1 Skip Eyeliner

Skip the eyeshadow, too. A fresh and youthful look feels light, even if you spend some time on your makeup. Skip the smokey eyes or darker shadows. What you want to create is a bright and even toned lid. You can achieve this with a colour correcting primer and concealer, or a satin cream shadow that is very close to your skin tone. For some definition, sweep your bronzer into the eye socket, with a small fluffy brush. Add a touch of highlight to the centre of the lid, and the inner corners.

TIP #2 Rosy + Dewy

 Keep the skin dewy and fresh looking. I like to use an illuminating primer to give my skin a lift when it is dull, especially in the winter. I like a healthy amount of cream blush too- pat it on with fingers on to the cheekbones and blend upwards. I like blush to sit quite high on the face, to lift the complexion. If you are oily, use a cream highlighter under your foundation for a subtle glow, and follow with a powder blush. You can use your favourite creamy lipstick as a cream blush, too. Pat onto the cheeks, and blend out the edges with your foundation brush. 


TIP #3 Brush Those Brows 

Fluffy, full brows are #goals when you want a little youth boosting. A tinted brow gel will get the job done, adding tone and texture to the brows. If you have soe gaps, fill in with pencil first, and brush the gel overtop.


TIP #4 Get Lashy 

A good volumizing and lengthening mascara is key to this look (don't forget to curl!). With a smooth clean lid, the lashes will really pop. To widen eyes, make sure to apply more to the center, giving a doll eyed look. Finish the look with a shiny but hydrating lip oil or gloss- something that feels good on the lips. For extra definition, add a little lip liner- one that is very close to your natural lip colour.

xx Daniela

For makeup inspiration & pro makeup tips follow us on Instagram

7 Tips to Maximize Time Spent with Your Wedding Day Glam Squad

Posted on June 21, 2019 at 10:30 AM

Streamlining your schedule for the morning of your wedding can be tricky. There are so many moving parts- vendors, family members, deliveries- it can get a little hectic. Doing what you can ahead of time will not only help you feel in control, but those little things you can take care of beforehand really add up! Setting yourself up for success in this way will mean you can enjoy being present on the morning of your wedding day, rather than being stressed and burnt out even before the festivities have begun. Here are my tips for things to prepare or think about well before the big day:


Tip #1: Be Ready Before Your Photographer is Set to Arrive

This means makeup and hair done, so you can take those “getting ready” shots and look your best ;) Most of the time these photos are staged, so why not take full advantage, and have everything done ahead of time. Then all you need to do is get dressed, and put on your accessories. I like to schedule the bride to be finished about 20-30 minutes before the photographers are scheduled to arrive. This way, the bride can attend to any last minute items, and not have to be stationary.


Tip #2: Bridal Accessories Prepared/Laid Out Ahead of Time

This tip is related to Tip #1- having your bridal jewellery (rings!), shoes laid out, dress and veil hanging and any other special trinkets prepared ahead of time, really will help you feel on top of things. You can also opt to delegate this task to a member of your bridal party, so they can direct the photographer to your items. Keep everything in one place, so it is easy for them to get to.


Tip #3: Skincare the Night Before

 If you want to do a face mask, or take your time with your skin care, it would be best to really take your time the night before the big day. Any facial oils, creams and masks would be best applied at night. This way they have time to soak in. You want to avoid any heavy or complicated skin care on the morning of your wedding. Typically, any rich skin care can potentially move your makeup, and stop it from lasting as long as it is meant to. So, if you love your skin care, make it a priority weeks before the big day, as that’s when it will have the most impact. The best thing to do in terms of skin care the morning of your wedding is to cleanse and gently exfoliate, and apply a light moisturizer.

Tip #4: Snacks and Straws

 Make sure you give some thought to having some finger foods/snacks available on the morning of the wedding- easy little bites that will keep you going. Having a few platters, water bottles, orange juice and champagne ready to go in the fridge. Straws are also great to have, as well as toothpicks. Food that you can pop into your mouth and drinking water out of a straw is very impactful in helping keep your makeup pristeen until you are ready to go.

Tip #5: Designated Hair and Makeup Area

Your glam squad needs a space to work, so why not prepare an area ahead of time. They will need a large table and some chairs and stools, also a working outlet for their hot tools. Designating a zone for the makeup artists and hairstylists to work keeps everyone organized. If you are getting ready in a hotel room, ask the concierge to bring you some chairs the night before, especially if you have a large group getting ready.


Tip #6: Phone Duty 

Assign a bridal party member or family member to answer your phone while you are getting your bridal hair and makeup done. Your time getting ready should be relaxing and fun. If someone needs something, it is likely a small thing that someone else can take care of. Trust the process and all the planning you have done and take a moment for yourself to just be.


Tip #7: Collect Payments Ahead of Time

If your bridal party are paying individually for makeup and hair, collect their cash ahead of time, and have your payment ready in the morning, before you start hair and makeup schedule. Once everything gets going, you don’t want to have to remember to make your payment, and you will be thinking of so many other things. Pay first and forget about it.

35 or Older? Tips to Help Navigate the World of Makeup

Posted on March 19, 2019 at 11:15 AM


In the Instagram world we live in today, there is digital beauty, tutorials, tips, blogs, vlogs and everything in between telling you about the latest product launch and why you need it. And while I love the world of beauty, it can be a very overwhelming place. To be honest for a minute, a lot of these new trends or techniques really will work out pretty well for the younger gals. I am finding, being 36, that I must be picky with my makeup, and I encourage you to do the same, especially of you are over 30. The skin is just not what it used to be, and I am noticing fine lines and texture I never really noticed before.

So if you feel utterly clueless sometimes about the world of makeup, and you are not a teen or fall just out of the millennial realm, then these tips are for you.



My first tip is, and full disclaimer, these tips are very basic guidelines, that I think will help you find flattering, easy makeup that you can wear everyday and feel confident and polished. So, as I was saying, my first tip is to stay away from dark makeup.



Looking fresh and polished is a great approach to makeup, and one I often teach to my clients. That being said, the main purpose of makeup, in this way, is to bring definition to your features, and light to the shadowy parts. Brightening, youthful and “lit from within” is the vibe I am going for here. Makeup that is natural and fresh, does not really include these deeper tones. Stick to pinks, peaches and nude tones. If you like a little more colour, than coral, caramel and golds should suffice. Stick to a lighter colour palette, and you will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes to choosing products and shades.


My next tip is focused on what goes under the makeup, and that is skin care. So tip #2 is skincare, the time is now. Your makeup will only look as good as the skin it is applied to, and that skin needs some TLC. It doesn’t have to be a dozen products, you can get away with a good cleanser (one that removes makeup is a bonus), day moisturizer, and a night cream. Add a hydrating lip balm and your made in the shade. I have listed some of my current favourites below, but skin care is very personal.


Third, and as important as the first two, is the hotly debated “drugstore” versus “high end” makeup. Now, my personal feelings aside; I truly have found that drugstore base products, so your concealer, foundation and powder, is not going to cut it, when you are past your twenties. So tip #3 is: for the base, stay away from the drugstore. Investing in the skin is key; and if there were ever a time to splurge, it would be on a proper foundation, or tinted moisturizer. This will be applied to your face almost every day, and like your skin care, should work easily and be a joy to apply. I just find that drugstore base products, are not up to snuff, and not really worth saving that extra $15 or $20. Also, drugstore makeup has really become more expensive over the years, so if you are going to invest $20 in a foundation, why not spend an extra ten bucks, and open yourself to a whole range of formulas and shades that will likely suit your skin better.


My more mature clients often tell me they don’t wear mascara. To me, mascara is one of the ride or die, holy grail makeup products that instantly lifts your complexion. If you find mascara runs on you, you just need to keep trying different ones, until you find the one that works for you. The biggest tip that I can give you regarding mascara happens to be tip #4: don’t apply mascara to the lower lashes. This will save you a lot of the issues you may be facing with mascara. Nothing is there is smudge, and it saves you from looking, well, crazy. Another tip to help mascara from smudging, is to apply a tiny amount of translucent powder on the eyelid before you apply your mascara. This hinders any of the oils your eyelid produces, which can activate the mascara and cause it to run. There’s a bonus tip for you!


My last tip, relates to the first tip, bringing light to the complexion. One of the easiest and comfortable ways to do this is to go for the gloss. Tip #5 is, you guessed it: skip mattes on the lips and go for a lip oil, balm or gloss. If you want a little definition, pair it with a lip liner. The light that is reflected off that shiny gloss or balm, is very flattering, and I hate to say it, but it is youthful. So ditch the matte lipsticks, most of them have probably expired anyways, and go for a tinted gloss. I have included some of my favourites below. They are juicy and not sticky, my favourite combo.


→ If you enjoyed this blog post leave a comment below. I also post tips and makeup inspiration on my instagram page @facetimewithdaniela :

→ Curious about updating your makeup routine? We teach one on one makeup lessons. Head over to the makeup lessons page to book online:

Skin care shout-out:

Origins Ginzing Moisturizer |" target="_blank">

→ Citrus scent is nice in the a.m., and works well under makeup

Shiseido Moisturizer |

→ Pricey but leaves a lovely glow to the skin. 

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask |

→ Treats dry lips and adds a supple, satin finish. Lovely on it's own or over lip liner..

Neutrogena SPF |

→ Leaves a lovely satin finish on the skin; perfect under makeup. Spray for the body leaves a lovely glow.


Lip love:

Dior Lip Glow |

→ Lovely for everyday. Juicy lips are in your future.

Marc Jacobs Gloss |

→ I love the shade cream and sugar. Smooth, shiny with a lacquered finish.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector |

→ This one leaves a lovely shine, and is not sticky AT ALL. A winner all year round.

Clarins Lip Oil |

→ Another winner from Clarins. Super comfortable to wear, with a mirror like shine.

Lancome L'Absolu Lacquer |

→ One of the longest lasting glossy stains I have ever tried. Apply multiple layers for more colour payoff. A really unique lip product.

What to Look for When Searching for Bridal Makeup Inspiration

Posted on February 15, 2019 at 9:55 AM


Makeup inspiration for your wedding day is necessary, but can also be a little tricky. The internet is a bottomless pit for makeup and hair images, and 99% of the images you find are photoshopped, filtered or edited in some way. Lighting also has a huge impact on how the makeup photographs, and how flawless the skin looks. For example, many YouTube beauty gurus/bloggers will have a ring light or multiple lights when filming, or taking photographs. This lighting really "blanks out" any imperfections they might have, and add filters and editing to that, well, it's hard to compete with, never mind reproduce in any real way. Although I could talk at length about this, I am getting off topic. My goal with this post is to maybe change the dynamic a little. Over the years, as a bridal makeup artist, I have been shown many inspiration photos, and let me tell you, there is a lot of overlap. Below are the most frequent photos clients show me. I wanted switch it up a bit, and show you alternatives to these images. I think there are more modern takes on these makeup looks, and thanks to Meghan Markle, I think makeup for brides is going in this direction anyways: that direction being, skin first, makeup second. I will dive into more detail below, because I think pictures help to clarify what I mean...

Pay attention to how flat-looking the skin looks in the photo on the left, versus the right. Her whole look: eyeshadow, lips and skin, is quite matte and flat. I encourage you to inspect the look on the right. The skin has a satin finish, not too dewy and not completely matte. The finish on the eyes and lips is also a satin- it catches the light beautifully and looks fresh. The eyes have a luminosity, a glow that is warm, flattering and natural looking. The lashes look full and defined, no harsh black liquid liner. Those lashes look like her own (wink wink). The lips look full and creamy- unlike the matte lipstick on the left; where you can see the lip lines more.Finally the brows, I think speak for themselves. 

I want the take-away here to be the skin and the overall finish of the makeup- soft and glowing with definition, that is the perfect bridal makeup, in my opinion.

Again, skin is the focus here, as well as lashes. Listen; skin has texture, and we can pretend it doesn't, in this filtered, Instagram world, but when you are face to face with someone, you better believe they can see it. And, there's nothing wrong with that! Skin is alive, and should look like it. When I look at the image on the left, I see lashes first, then the rest of the face. When I look at the photo on the right, I see a glowing goddess, a natural beauty enhanced with makeup. The skin looks lush and glowy; whereas the skin on the left looks quite flat, and to be honest, really fake. I think makeup can really do a lot, but it cannot remove every bit of texture or fine lines, that's lighting and photo shop. Let's choose real beauty, real skin and a real glow from within.

See those expression lines, see that peach fuzz? That's real skin on the right. I love how Kate's cheeks have a natural flush to them, how her glassy lips catch the light. If you want to see real makeup on real faces, real smile lines, look at red carpet makeup. The image on the left is highly edited, lit from many angles and posed in such a way where her expression lines are subdued. If it is your wedding day, you will probably be grinning a lot. I mean it is the happiest day of your life. So smile big, and know that you will have some expression lines, and that is perfectly okay, that's normal! Kate still looks very beautiful, stunning- even though she has some expression lines, around her eyes and mouth. I think she is more inspiring than the model on the left.

When you see these images separately, I don't think it shows the contrast as much as when they are placed side by side- so you're welcome! See how almost cartoonish the image on the left looks? Well, that's because it is so edited and photo shopped, that it basically is a cartoon. I want you to pay special attention to the lashes and the brows in this one. I mean, I think you can clearly see the difference in the skin and lips for yourself. See how soft and wispy the lashes on the right look? These lashes are way more believable than the ones on the left. The left side ones almost look amature in comparison. The brows are both very filled in, but there is a big difference between them. The brows on the left are very linear on the top and bottom, I call these "Instagram Brows." See how the brow hairs on the right are left free on the top edge? This keeps them looking fluffy and natural, like how eyebrows would look in real life(imagine that!)

For more real-life makeup inspiration, head over to my Instagram page:

#weddingday #bridalmakeup #makeupinspiration #bridalglam #naturalbride #realskin #glowing #bridetobe