WEDDING | Hennie


August 23rd - Another beautiful day plus gorgeous bride and bridal party! See, I told you it's hard to make Hennie look bad...same goes for her knock-out bridal party despite a 5:30 AM wake-up time! Thank you guys for a great time.

Click here to view more from behind the scenes of Hennie's big day.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:54 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Generally, the most universally flattering shape for eyeliner application is a line that gradually increases in thickness from the inner corner of the eye to the outer edge. A good reference point for the outer edge is usually where your eyelashes stop. For an everyday, look you don't want to take eyeliner out too much further than that, unless your intent is to look dramatic!
The line should also be drawn right atop the lash line AND into the lashes - absolutely no gaps allowed between the drawn line and your lashes! Pressing the eyeliner into your eyelashes also enhances the lash line, helping your eyelashes to appear fuller. The final result should bring your eye 'forward' and make the eyes appear larger.

Where to stop drawing the line?
Usually it's best to stop the line at the outer corner where the lash line ends. I like to extend the line slightly and draw it slightly upwards to achieve an eye-opening look. Extending the line beyond the natural lash line also helps with eyes that are set closer together. This method helps to create the illusion of pulling close-set eyes apart, bringing them in balance with the rest of your features.

Having trouble?
If you're having trouble applying eyeliner, use pencil and start by drawing short strokes (see bottom photo. Use a connect-the-stroke like method to create a smooth flowing line.
To help with an unsteady hand, try to rest your elbow atop the counter/table of where you're getting ready, or you can try resting your hand on your cheek as you apply the eyeliner. These methods helps to give a shaky hand a steady surface to balance upon in order to draw on a smooth line. And remember, you can always clean up untidy edges with a q-tip. In the end, practice makes perfect so even if you don't master the technique initially, keep on trying and soon enough you'll be an eyelining make-up master!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:40 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Contouring with make-up is a fast and inexpensive way to skim pounds off the face. If applied correctly, contouring make-up can streamline the face, detract attention away from a 'double' chin and chisel the cheekbones. So for those of us who would rather not go under the knife in the name of beauty, here are some alternate (and less hazardous!) tricks to slim the face using make-up.

The basic formula is:


To achieve a contoured look, there are generally two face products required:
1. A product that is one to two shades lighter than the client's skin tone (for highlighting and bringing areas of the face forward)
2. A product that is one to two shade darker than the client's skin tone (for lowlighting and making areas of the face appear deeper).

The manner in which you contour can depend on the products you use, but the pattern of application is generally the same:

i. Place/blend the lighter shade on the area of our face that you want to bring forward. Areas to highlight include:
• under the eyebrow and above the eyebrow just atop the browbone
• the skinny of the nose
• under the eyes
• atop the cheekbone

ii. Place/blend the darker shade on the area of the face that you want to ‘deepen’. These areas include:
• below browbone
• sides of the nose (instant rhinoplasty!)
• under the cheekbone
• under the jawline (slim the face)
• sides of the forehead (streamline the face)

Traditionally, make-up artists use two shades of cream foundation to contour the face. These two shades are in addition to the matching skin tone colour foundation that is used as a base and to blend everything on the client. But for the everyday woman, applying three different shades of foundation in one sitting is likely impractical. A better way for everyday contouring is to use a contouring powder and a highlighting powder. Applied in the same method, bronzing powder can be used to exaggerate the hollows of the cheeks, contour the top sides of the face, under the chin, and along the jawline for a defined look.
TIP: Avoid buying bronzing powders that have sparkle/glitter in them when looking for a contouring powder. If it does have sparkle, concentrate the application only on areas where the sun would hit to avoid glitter overkill. i.e. cheekbones, sides of the forehead. If your contouring powder has sparkle and glitter, skip the highlighting powder.
Now, to highlight try either a shimmer powder or a highlighting cream. Apply with a light touch under the eyebrow and then above the eyebrow atop the browbone, along the top of the cheekbone, and blend a dot on the inner corner of the eyelid. Remember the placement of the shimmer should be strategic - otherwise you can go from shimmer goddess to shiny mess!

If you’re anything like me, a page full of text just doesn’t cut it – give me pictures, videos, the works! So with that in mind, I did some extensive googling to find tips about contouring the face. Check out the links below for more details, pictures and even online video demos!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 12:00 PM | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

It's been a busy (but wonderful) week of make-up...make-up class at Ryerson is winding down with this past Monday and Wednesday being some of our last classes. Tuesday was Look Good Feel Better, where I had the best time yet. The energy in the room was amazing and I was captivated by this one woman who spoke of her battles with three different kinds of cancer: breast cancer, colon cancer and another type of cancer (that I fail to remember here)....I was captivated not just because of her amazing survival story, but because of her contagious human spirit. I know it's easy to feel like that in everyday life with school, work, etc. that we're getting the short end of the stick. At the end of the day, we actually have a lot to be thankful for. I'm trying to be better with that in my life.

Today (Friday) was another great make-up day with a bride-to-be beauty by the name of Carina. We did Carina's trial, as she preps for her big day on October 18th. It was great to get to know Carina, and I thank her for letting me rant on about my crazy week! I'm excited about having the opportunity to doll her up on her big day!

This weekend I'm looking forward to Hennie's wedding on Saturday. It will be an early morning for all with a 5:30AM go-time, but make-up always gives me a different kind of energy!

Can I mention that it's really difficult to make Hennie look bad? So this one is a no-brainer. I'll post up pics as soon as they become available. Can't wait!!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:49 PM | , | 0 comments »

Yes, there is a longer version to attaining perfect skin, but for an everyday face, these steps will help make sure your skin stays fresh looking from day into night. A couple coats of mascara, blush on the apples of the cheeks, and some gloss and you're ready to face the day in 5 minutes!

1. Use a primer.
Using a pea-sized drop, apply primer all over face. See this post for more info on primer.

2. Stipple on foundation and blend.
Use a quarter-sized drop per application. I usually dot the large areas of the face with the product and blend from there. You can really start wherever you prefer (some people like to work from the outer edges inward), but just be sure to BLEND. Start in light layers (this allows you to control how much goes on) and build coverage if more is desired.

3. Apply concealer.

You can do this before/after foundation or both, depending on the area that needs to be concealed and how much coverage is required. I prefer to apply concealer after foundation - that way I don't have to use as much.

4. Set with a dusting of powder.
Seal the deal: use loose powder with a large dusting brush for when you first do your daily make-up routine. Use your pressed powder compact for touch-ups througout the day.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:30 PM | , | 0 comments »

On August 16th, I had the pleasure of working with Marta on her big day. Marta was such an easygoing and gorgeous bride, which always makes for a fun day. I swear she was the perfect bride - statuesque and beautiful - she could be the real life bridal Barbie. Here's a sneak peak at some of the photos while I go bug her photographer for the professional ones. ;)

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:00 PM | , | 2 comments »

Tightlining is a method of lining the eye coined by make-up artist and make-up line mogul, Laura Mercier, but I'm certain a lot of us were doing the method before we actually knew its technical term!
You can use either use:
• a thin, stiff eyeliner brush with gel eyeliner
• pencil (recommended)
• liquid liner (if you dare, but not recommended for sensitive eyes)
1. Looking down into your mirror with your eyes half-open, press the eyeshadow brush/pencil/liquid liner right into the top set of lashes. Be sure to concentrate colour on the area just where the outer edge of the skin meets the inner membrane (wet rim of the eye). Line across this outer edge, also commonly called the 'water' line.
2. For more seasoned eyeliner users, you can attempt the same method on the bottom lashes, keeping the line tight on the area just at the root of the bottom lashes on the outer skin, but not on the wet inner membrane of the eye
To make eyes really stand out:
Use a light pencil* to line the inside rim of the eyes to make them appear larger. This contrasted with the tightlining effect really has the effect of making eyes 'pop'.

*when lining the inside rim, to make eyes appear bigger use:
white pencil for light eyes
peaches and cream coloured pencil for darker eyes and skin tones

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:42 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:08 AM | , | 0 comments »

Unfortunately, unlike the make-up line with the name, make-up may last a day, but it does not last forever! I love to get the most value for my make-up so it's always a difficult day when I have to clean out my kit. But for the sake of being plain old sanitary, a little bit of pain is worth it! Here are some guidelines for when it's time to let go, as difficult as it may be:


Each time you open the mascara tube, remove the wand and insert it back in, it pumps air into the tube which promotes for the growth of bacteria inside the tube. It's best to not mess with a sensitive area like the eyes. Watch out for telltale soon as it starts to smell funky, it's time to say goodbye!
Life span: 2-3 months

NOTE: Same rule applies to liquid liner. your eyes will thank you for it!


Pencil is usually good for a year, as long as it is sharpened frequently. Provided you use it frequently enough, most eyeliner pencils do not make it to the one year mark before you need a new one. If the eyeliner was once creamy, and you notice the product has lost its potency and no longer goes on smoothly, it's definitely toss-it time.
Life Span:
1 year

Of all items, powdered products generally last the longest. Just like any other make-up product, they contain preservatives that help them to last longer. Once these puppies are first used, I would say using them for the next 18 months to maximum 2 years at best. Anything older than that...well, that gives you an excuse to go make-up shopping!
Life Span:
18 months - 2 years


Depending on its formulation, concealer can last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year. Liquid concealers tend to have a shorter life span, where as the pot concealers (that have a thicker, paste consistency) tend to go the one year duration. Concealer is generally used everyday and is one of the make-up products that is exposed to air more frequently which allows room for bacterial growth. When using concealer, make sure you use clean brushes always to avoid cross-contamination and to reduce the appearance of bacteria.
Life span:
6 months to 1 year

iii). BLUSH
Anytime a product is exposed to air or a brush that has been in direct contact with your skin and then used back and forth between the product and skin, the chances for bacteria to grow increase. This is why it is important to use clean tools all the time. Brushes should be cleaned after each use.
Life Span: 18 mos - 2 years


Some people will advise that lipstick can last up to 2 years. Lipsticks are comprised of preservatives and a host of different waxes to give the product its longevity. I find usually by the 18 month point, lipstick tends to not blend/apply in the same manner and it becomes a bit tougher to work with. As soon as lipstick starts to smell or glide on funky, treat your lips to some new products.
Life Span:
18 months - 2 years


Similar to pencil eyeliners, lipliners can last up to one year, provided that they are sharpened regularly. Since the mouth area can harbour a lot of germs and bacteria, it is better that you sharpen your lipliner everyday. I would suggest spraying it with 99% alcohol to ward off any bacteria, but the concentration of alcohol would dry out the the lipliner before you maxed out its usage.
Life Span:
1 year

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:35 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

Where to find: MAC counters
Price: $16
What It Claims: "Shades for a smooth, creamy, cushiony life, jet-milled with an eye for ultimate luxury, beyond-Tinseltown-chic."
Review: love it
Anyone who has had their make-up done by me knows my technique of how I love to do things in layers for more staying power, particularly the use of cream eyeshadow coupled with powder eyeshadow on the eyes.

MAC Starflash eyeshadows have enough stick like a powder eyeshadow, but still leave a smooth and shiny finish on the eyelids. The product formula lives up to its "Starflash " name, with a camera-ready sparkle that lasts. I've tried and tested these at my everyday 9-5 work, and they withstood the crease-proof test of 8 hours, which is amazing for eyeshadows, especially ones that are more creamy in texture.

Starflash is perfect to use when trying to achieve the metal eyes look that's been hot for summer. Keep in mind that the Starflash collection is limited edition, so stock up while they still have them and/or before I buy them out!!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 2:08 PM | , , | 0 comments »

WEDDING | Arlene


On June 26th , I had the opportunity to work with Arlene for her big day. The day started off a bit rainy, but by the time the ceremony was set to roll around, the sky had cleared and the sun and Arlene were shining.

Here are some wonderful pics courtesy of Arlene's close friend, Carleah Phoenix Goodard.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 5:23 PM | , | 0 comments »

Most women prefer not to bother with eyeshadow as they find it tends to fade away and/or gravitate towards the crease of the eye by the end of a typical work day's length. Hopefully, the following 4 steps will help you find ways to make your eyeshadow last you through your 9-5. You don't have to do all the steps, I've put an asterisk by the ones I do daily.

  • Prep the eyelid with eye primer or a mattifying gel. Similar to foundation primer, eye shadow primer acts as a base for eyeshadow to cling to and absorbs excess oils of bare skin.
  • Dot some concealer all over your eye lids, blend and finish by patting some powder on top to seal it, blend and smooth it out with a sponge to prep for eyeshadow application.
  • On top of the concealer and powder layer, apply a layer of cream eyeshadow (see picture 1), then finish with a powder eyeshadow layer. When applying both these products, use a stiple motion to apply and blend. (see picture 2)
    Using a stipling/patting motion, rather than a wiping back and forth motion, helps to build up the product in a controlled manner and prevent what you have already applied from being wiped away.
  • *Use an eyeshadow brush to apply powder eyeshadow and blend, blend, blend. Add layers to desired intensity (see picture 3).
    Why use an eyeshadow brush? It's a lighter touch than your fingers and unlike your fingers, it is clean of oil residue that can make applications look blotchy when applied directly from the fingers. A brush is way easier to apply eyeshadow with, and it helps
    to give you control in that small eyelid area!
Unfortunately, there's no way to prevent the natural oil process that leads to creasy make-up from happening on the eyes. Keep in mind that oily lids are not necessarily a bad thing - we need a basic amount of those natural oils to keep the skin around the eyes moisturized and young-looking. It does take a little more time, but applying eyeshadow with the tricks above will help to reduce migration of eye make-up towards the crease...and any midday frustration that usually derives from the need to re-apply!

Still no luck with the suggestions above?
If none of the tips mentioned above works for you or your schedule, stick to light 'base' colours (champagne, taupe, peach, cream colours) for your eyeshadow. These will help to brighten and highlight the eyelid area, but 'creasing' will not be as apparent, as the lighter colours are less obvious when they gather in the crease.

Good luck everyone and let me know if you find any success (or struggles) with these tips!
Recommended products:
i). cream eyeshadows: MAC Paints, MAC Paint Pots, NARS Cream Eyeshadow
ii). powder eyeshadows: INGLOT, MAC, Christian Dior, most luxury brands

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 2:08 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

Where to find:
Price: $150 and up (depending on size)
Review: love it

If anyone is in the market for make-up cases, try Yazmo for some unbeatable prices:

A couple of months back, I did some damage and bought a full-size rolling make-up case at $250 CDN and a set bag with removable trays for about $150 CDN. For the full-size rolling case, the comparable price range at a Canadian retailer was $400 to $600 CDN (see Industry Cosmetics to compare).

You need to only walk into your local Sephora or check out to see how inflated/ridiculous some Canadian pricing is, especially when our dollar has been doing relatively better than past years!

Aside from the reasonable prices, what I love about the cases from Yazmo is that they both contain removable trays that are standard size. I can easily transfer trays back and forth between the large case and the set bag without the constant need to reorganize everything! The trays also come with dividers that allow you to resize its compartments (see picture at right).

If anyone has any other deals and/or steals, please do share!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:38 PM | , | 0 comments »

What better to accentuate tanned summer skin tones than some metal eyeshadows that are all the rage this season?

To get the look:

1. Use a neutral cream eyeshadow as a base to help give eyeshadow more staying power, especially in the heat of summer. Spread from lash line to eyebrow using your finger. Try MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre or MAC Paint in Bare Canvas.

2. Take a medium tone neutral eyeshadow and apply all over eyelid using a flat sponge tip applicator.

3. Take a dark tone eyeshadow and use a crease brush to concentrate the colour where the eye folds. Then, using a blender brush, blend and get rid of any harsh lines. The look should be soft and diffused.

4. Use a flat sponge tip applicator with a metallic pigment (loose powder shadow) to get an intense metal look.

5. Use a highlighting tone of eyeshadow in a matte finish (off-white on fair skin tones, cream colour on medium tones and peach for darker skin tones.) Based on personal preference, you can opt to also use a shimmery finish for the highlighting eyeshadow. I like to keep the shimmer in one area (i.e. just on the eye lid), just so the eye doesn't look so 'busy' and detract away from the main focus around the eyes.

6. Apply eyeliner to add emphasis to the eyes and lash line.

7. Pump up the volume with an eyelash curler and two coats of a black thickening mascara.

8. Keep the cheeks and lips soft with peachy-pink tones so the attention is kept on the eyes.

Metallic shades that work best:
Fair Skin Tones - pale gold, silvers
Medium Skin Tones - gold, copper, bronze
Dark Skin Tones - silver, gold, deep bronze

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 1:15 AM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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