Here's one part of the big wedding weekend that I have to look forward to. This photo is from the trial Emily and I had back in August. After meeting and getting to chat with her for the first time, it was easy to see that not only is she gorgeous on the outside, but that she also has a wonderfully charming personality. Killer combo and her hubby-to-be is one lucky guy. I'll post some photos from her big day this upcoming Sunday, as soon as I recover from the upcoming big weekend!

Jin's wedding is tomorrow. I'm so excited that I hope I can sleep tonight and I know, I's not even my own wedding! Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 6:51 PM | , , | 0 comments »

Speaking of weddings, a great resource for all GTA brides-to-be out there is Toronto Wedding Professionals.

Toronto Wedding Professionals consolidates wedding vendors and resources throughout Southern Ontario on one frequently updated blog. Here’s a little bit more about TWP taken from the site:

This blog will showcase local event & wedding vendors that covers Southern Ontario. It will provide you with useful information, websites, inspiration, ideas, vendor profiles and interviews from wedding vendors that can make your wedding special & unique.
TWP is an initiative orchestrated by Dan Deveau, the talented owner and primary photographer behind Life In a Flash Photography. Check out Dan’s site to see his fresh perspective on wedding photography and the truly wonderful work he has provided for many couples throughout Southern Ontario.

Be sure to check out the TWP site for plenty of helpful wedding planning tips!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:33 AM | , , | 0 comments »

So maybe you've decided you should do your own make-up on your wedding day, or perhaps the make-up artist you wanted is fully booked? Try these pro make-up tricks to help put your best face forward for the professional photography ahead of you and to help the make-up stay put into the wee hours of the morning:


Look through magazines and books for examples of naturally enhanced make-up so you have a guide to work with when doing your own. Avoid a look that's too trendy and stick to a look that's more traditional (think about what you'll think in 25 years when you look back on your wedding photos).
TIP: Do at least a couple of trial runs on yourself with your desired look to get a feel for the time it will take and to see how the final product turns out (just in case you need to re-evaluate the look and go back to the drawing board!)
Use a foundation primer after cleansing and moisturizing, but before applying foundation.
TIP: Choose a primer that contains mattifying ingredients to help absorb and reduce excess shine on the face throughout the day.

Use a light to medium coverage foundation. You want your skin to be glowing and not hidden behind layers of caked-on make-up for the close-up photos you'll be taking. Blend!

Use concealer to get rid of any unevenness in the skin (i.e. undereye circles, blemishes). Be sure to blend.

Set the concealer and foundation with a dusting of translucent powder. Powder will help to keep the concealer and foundation stay put and reduce shine on the face.
TIP: Pack some powder for the rest of the day to touch up the T-zone and any other oil-prone areas of the face. You will be thankful you did it, especially with all the flash photography you'll face. You're definitely the star for the big day, but we have to make sure you're not shining in the wrong places!

Dust some matte blush (save the shimmer for nightclubs) on the cheeks, to give yourself a glow and ensure you don't fade when the bright flash of the camera starts going.

Apply a layer of a cream eyeshadow (try MAC’s Paint Pots in a neutral colour). The layer of cream eyeshadow will act as a base for the powder eyeshadow to adhere to and help it last (and remain crease-free!) throughout the day.

Use gel liner or liquid liner to keep your eyeliner lasting all day. Keep the line thin and tight with the lashline (see the technique). The line can get slightly thicker towards the outer edge of the eye (where the lashes are prominent), and can be extended just slightly to product a wide-eyed look.

Apply neutral shades of eyeshadow to enhance the structure around the eye. Use a matte brown for the crease, and a highlighter shade on the browbone (slight shimmer is ok, but avoid frosty eyeshadows as it will be too much for your photos.)

Curl your eyelashes and add some false eyelashes for a professional make-up look. False eyelashes have an eye-opening and enlarging effect on the eye that even the most perfect application of eyeliner can't produce. You should definitely practice these a couple of times to get a handle for the application or ask a friend to help you apply tip.
TIP: Cut a false eyelash set into halves. Use the half-set on the outer edge of the top lashes for a wide-eyed look. Make sure you place the longer false lashes towards the outer edge of the eye (where your own longer lashes are). Using the half-set will be alot easier to apply on yourself than a full set of falsies.

Curl your eyelashes once more to align the false set with your own and set the look with two coats of a waterproof (important) mascara.

Choose a lipstick that is 2 shades darker than your inner bottom lip for a naturally enhanced look. Use it with a matching lipliner to prevent any feathering of your lipstick and lipgloss. Once the lipliner has been applied, take a lip brush, smile and blend the the lipliner towards the centre of your lips so that it can act as a base for the lipstick to cling to.

Apply the lipstick with the lip brush for more control. Do one layer of lipstick and blot with a one-ply tissue so the colour seaps into the lips. Then, using the lip brush once more, top off with another coat of lipstick for long-lasting lip colour. Finish with gloss if desired.
TIP: Rather than applying gloss all over the lips, apply a light coat and concentrate the gloss on the middle bottom lip to make the lips look full. Your groom will thank you for not overdoing the lipstick and gloss - especially when it comes to the "you may kiss the bride" kiss!
Make an appointment with a make-up counter to get some free products. Usually, a make-up application is 'free' upon the purchase of a certain amount of products (approximately $50). If you need to update your make-up bag, this is a great way to gain some full-sized products for touch-ups on the day of...and you can also gain helpful tips from the artist you work with. Make sure you hold onto a mirror as you're getting your make-up applied so you have an idea of how to replicate the look.

You can also ask for sample sizes in the colours you need. These sample sizes given are usually perfect for touch-ups and small enough for putting in your purse for later rather than lugging the full-sized products.
This is your big day and no part of it (especially the make-up) should be stressful so smile and have fun. For as much as make-up can fake glowing skin, it can’t replace the natural glow of a happy bride’s smile! Enjoy!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:59 PM | , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Q: There seem to be tons of brushes out there to choose from. Do I really need make-up brushes to apply my make-up?
A: No matter what a salesperson may tell you, it really depends. If you have a basic make-up kit or use a minimal amount of make-up (i.e. a routine of powder, lip gloss and mascara), then brushes will just be added fuss and useless to you.

If you do anything more, a good set of brushes is an absolute necessity in my opinion. The product glides on better when you use good-quality brushes. Brushes can last you a long time provided that you take care of them properly - I've had some of mine for ten years! It may seem like a lot of money to spend initially, but it pays off long-term, as you won't have to spend on little applicators, sponges, etc.

Some basic brushes that you need:
1. powder/bronzer brush
2. blush brush (i prefer an angled type)
3. eyeshadow brush - medium, dome-shaped
4. eyeshadow brush - crease, smudging brush
5. eyeshadow brush - slanted (for filling in eyebrows or doing eyeliner)
6. lip brush

See here for more details.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:20 PM | , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Price: $8
Where to find: drugstores
Review: love it, kitessential

Filling in the brows is a trick I had to master at an early age, as my fascination with tweezers began when I was the tender age of 12. My brows never recovered - instead only to grow back in areas outside of where I would need them to (isn't that how it always goes?!). I didn't get the technique and the product right immediately, so there is past photo evidence out there of my brows looking either caterpillar thick (in an attempt to overcompensate for over-tweezing) to pencil thin (bad early 90s trend). I was pretty much filling in the brows before I actually knew how to do it properly, but fortunately, with experimentation and experience, there were gradual improvements.

Aside from the technique, one of the integral components to getting a great set of brows (if you don't have them already naturally) is to buy the right eyebrow fill-in product. I swear by Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown for my own applications and for clients with brown to black hair colour*. The Rimmel pencil in Dark Brown is perfect for a natural eyebrow look. The texture of the pencil is more waxy (and less creamy) which aids in achieving those light, feathery strokes when filling the perfect brow in. It also helps to ensure that the brow is not drawn on too heavy (think of those permanent tattooed brows that look obviously unnatural). The price point of $8 means you don't need to spend an arm and a leg on an expensive 'eyebrow kit' to resurrect your brows to their previous glory.

*The pencil also comes in a Hazel colour for those with lighter coloured hair. For blonde haired ladies, I would suggest an ashy blonde

TIP: Use a matching coloured matte (no sparkles allowed for this one) eyeshadow with an angled brush to blend in the pencil and give it a softer look. The powder also helps to set the look and make sure your great brows take you from morning to evening!

For more tips on how to fill in brows, check out this previous Beauty 101 post on the Power of Good Brows. See the before and after of Cheryl (pictured above).

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 1:16 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

A beautiful last Sunday of summer with the gorgeous Scerena - what a nice way to end the weekend! Not many people can wear the bold red lip colour well, but Scerena pulled it off effortlessly making it all come together with her outfit and accessories. She kept her clothes neutral (mainly black and white), and then added accents of colour with red accessories (and lips!) for an extremely classy look.
The same advice applies to make-up when dealing with bold colours: If you're going for a bold lipstick colour, pair it with a softer eye make-up look (and vice versa pair a dramatic smoky eye with a neutral lip colour). Keep this in mind and you'll avoid having that "too much make-up" look that just never looks right!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 5:22 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

NOTE | Blog Update


I'm still tweaking the blog with my limited technical aptitude (and limited patience for html code), so you will likely see a lot of changes throughout the upcoming week. If you see anything that needs fixing (typos included!) or have any suggestions to improve the blog, please feel free to email me at

I look forward to hearing what you think!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:00 PM | | 0 comments »

Here are some of the pics from Marites' bridal trial this weekend. Marites' wedding is coming up this October, and I can't wait to doll up the beauty on her big day!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 5:31 PM | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Q: How often do I need to clean my make-up brushes?

A: It always pays to be hygienic with those make-up brushes you spent last week's pay cheque on because:

1. they'll last longer if you take care of them (I've had some of mine since high school)
2. the bacteria and dirt that can build up is typically not visible to the human eye (unless, you've totally forsaken your brush cleaning and neglected your brushes in some moist, dark corner - if that's the case, then it's time to chuck those and learn some better brush maintenance habits!)
How often to clean them:
If you're using the brushes just on yourself, you don't have to clean them as often as when you're using them on different people. I'm certain we've all been guilty of not washing our personal make-up brushes in a timely manner. But under ideal circumstances, you should wash your brushes that you use with powder products every 2nd day that you use it. Your face will thank you for it, as the brush once cleaned will revert to its smooth feel. For synthetic brushes that you use with cream make-up products, these should be cleaned thoroughly everyday, as they are more prone to bacteria and dirt build-up, as the product used on them is wet.

How to clean the brushes:
You can purchase a brush cleaner or brush cleansing wipes out there from most of the major make-up counters, but I like to use a tip I picked up from from make-up artist Laura Mercier and wash my brushes with dishwashing detergent. I let the brushes air-dry over a sink and then once the brushes are dry, I then spray the brush with 99% alcohol to ward off bacteria and they're good to go for another day!
NOTE: If dishwashing detergent doesn't appeal to your make-up brushing senses, you can also try using hair shampoos - just choose a shampoo product made of more 'natural' ingredients to keep your brushes in their best shape yet!

Products to try:
Sephora Make-up Brush Cleaning Wipes
Japonesque Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner Wipes
Clinique Make-up Brush Cleaner

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 12:06 AM | , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Price: $20
Where to buy: MAC stores, The Bay
Review: (absolutely) love it

I always speak of my love for cream eyeshadows and a lot of you have been asking what exactly it is that I use and how I actually use it. Enter MAC Paint Pots, a follow-up to MAC Paints, but way more user friendly and easy to work with. With the previous Paints, although the colour was highly pigmented, you had to work with them really quickly or risk the Paint drying unevenly on the suface of the eyelid. The Paint Pot has a similar cream-like texture, but does not dry out as quickly once removed from the container. It glides on smooth, dries to a powdery finish and (my favourite part) helps to keep your eyeshadow creaseproof throughout the day.

I usually choose a neutral coloured Paint Pot and apply it as the initial layer on the eyelids. I then top with powder eyeshadows, blend those and proceed with eyeliner, etc. The great thing about choosing a 'base colour' Paint Pot is that you can layer it under any other eyeshadow colour and it will help the true colour of the eyeshadow come through (versus applying the eyeshadow to bare skin).

I use Paint Pots daily on myself and in all the client applications I do, and I never have to touch up my eyeshadow throughout the day. So yes, it is an extra step in the morning, but it will spare you the hassle of having to troubleshoot creasing eye make-up throughout the day.

Soft Ochre (for yellow to olive based skin tones)
Bare Study (for lighter skin tones)

p.s. This product is an absolute kit essential!
p.p.s. Note to the make-up gods at MAC: Please give us advance warning if ever you decide to discontinue this one!!

Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:16 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

I'm anticipating one of my busier weeks in make-up this week. It started off with a couple of appointments at Hanh Salon today, and then a wedding trial with Marites (who's getting married on the 10th of October). I'll post some of the shots of Marites once I get them uploaded. Tomorrow, I'll have more great photo opps when I meet with Scerena to get her dolled up for a wedding she's attending and will be performing at. My kind of Sunday.

Next Saturday the 27th, I'm really looking forward to the nuptials (and wedding make-up) of a close friend (and true inspiration), Jin. We'll see if she lets me post the pics of it all though. I know her wedding is going to be filled with freestyle raps, robot dances, laughs, and tears (the good kind). Man, I live for this stuff!!

On Sunday the 28th, I have the wedding of the lovely Emily to look forward to. First impressions go a long way, and Emily, aside from being beautiful, was a sweetheart from the moment I met her during the bridal make-up trial. Her wedding will be a perfect way to cap off the month of September!

It has been a great month of make-up and I'm excited that wedding season for me is going strong into October!! I hope you can tell by the excessive exclamation points how excited I am.

Thank you all for making this possible.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:03 PM | , | 0 comments »

Ever get fed up with an attempt at doing a smoky eye look due to straying bits of dark eyeshadow? Most black eyeshadows, even from higher end lines, tend to flake and get on areas around the eye where we didn't intend for them to be. For instance, the undereye area, which if it's anything like mine, has it's own natural darkness that definitely doesn't need any further shadow enhancement! But rest assured, there are some artist tricks around this. Try a couple of these tips that I stick to in my applications to get a professional smoky look minus the raccoon eye!

1. After applying concealer and foundation, lightly pat some loose translucent eyeshadow on the undereye area to catch any fly-away bits of eyeshadow. You don't need to blend this layer of powder (see the pic above), as it's meant to act as a barrier between the eyeshadow and your skin. The layer can be easily wiped away once you are done applying any dark shadows, and voila! Crisis averted.
Remember: Once you apply powder, your concealer and foundation are set. If you still plan on applying concealer or foundation after the dark eye shadow application, skip this tip.

2. Wet the applicator slightly before you dip it in your dark coloured eyeshadow so that the eyeshadow adheres to it better.

3. Once you have dipped your brush/applicator in the dark coloured eyeshadow, tap away the excess to prevent it from landing where you don't want it to.

4. Try cream eyeshadows. You have to be a lot quicker working with these than powder eyeshadows, but among the benefits of cream eyeshadows is that they last throughout the day and will also stay where you apply it!

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

If you find that you tend to wipe away your concealer when applying foundation, try these tips:

1. Use a stipple motion when applying concealer and foundation. Use this light patting motion to build up coverage instead of using a wiping motion that tends to wipe away all that you have already applied. Blend, blend, blend.

2. You can apply concealer before or after foundation – just stick to using this stipple method to prevent undoing what you’ve already put on. Some prefer to put on concealer first and then blend the colour of the concealer when applying their foundation. Others prefer to put on foundation first, as they won't have to use as much concealer when applying it after.
Note: If the concealer you use is lighter than your skin tone (i.e. to camouflage dark circles under the eye), then I would recommend applying it before foundation.

3. Use your ring finger (as it has the least amount of intensity and pressure) to blend the delicate area under the eye. The warmth of your finger will help to blend the cream make-up of the undereye area in with the rest of the skin.

4. Set the look with some powder, which seals the look and provides extra staying power. Use a dense brush to lightly dust loose powder all over your face or lightly pat it on with a make-up sponge.

Remember around the eyes especially, you want to use just the right amount of concealer. Otherwise, it will appear 'cakey' (and fakey!) and draw the wrong kind of attention to your eyes!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:12 AM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

For maximal coverage for scars and blemishes, try a formula that is more sticky and paste-like in texture. This type of formula is ideal for when you're attempting to conceal oil-prone areas, as liquid concealer is not thick enough and won't give the coverage desired.

Application Tips:

  • When covering up acne or older scars, use a q-tip to pat on the paste concealer. You only need a tiny amount to cover the area and the small application are of a q-tip is perfect for this. Using a q-tip will also reduce any acne-producing bacteria from contaminating your concealer brush.
  • To apply the concealer, use a stipple motion rather than a wiping motion - doing so ensures you don't wipe off the product you have placed on your face. Blend the outer edges of where you placed the concealer. Set the application with a dusting of translucent powder.
  • If you're trying to cover up a scar that is still healing, concentrate some moisturizer on top of the scar, as its texture will tend to be dry and crusty. This will help to smooth the surface of the scar and you can follow the steps above in applying concealer immediately with ease.
See more tips on perfecting the skin here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 5:51 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Don't be intimidated - modern eyelash curlers no longer resemble medieval torture devices! Eyelash curlers can make a world of difference, especially for those who desire a wide-eyed look. For my lashes (like most Asian eyelashes) that tend to grow straight downward, a eyelash curler is an absolute kit essential! I like to use the one displayed below as the flatter edge allows me to get right at the root of the lashes. Check out these helpful hints for maximizing your own lash potential:

1. Use the curler in a pumping motion starting at the base/root of the top set of lashes.

2. Continue this pumping motion as you bring the eyelash curler away from you in an upward motion (try to think of it as curling the lashwards upwards to open them up).

Curling the lashes this way helps to give the curl a more natural look. If you tend to curl the lashes just at the base, the lashes tend to shoot straight up and appear less natural (when viewed from your side profile).

3. Last but not least, finish with mascara. After curling the eyelashes remember to set the curl with your fave mascara. Hold the mascara wand at the base of the lashes, and wiggle the wand upward and away from you. One to two coats are usually enough.

4. You can use either clear mascara to define the bottom set of lashes, or after you have applied mascara to the top lashes, use the excess on the brush to lightly glide over the bottom set. Avoid using too much mascara on the bottom lashes, as they are naturally thinnerthan the top set. If you go too thick on the bottom set, you can risk looking like a clown or getting a 'spider-like' effect.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 2:49 PM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Q: How do I minimize my under-eye circles with make-up? My concealer just doesn't seem to cover it.
The usual recommendation for concealing dark circles around the eyes is to look for a concealer that is (no more than) two shades lighter than your skin tone colour. For light underye circles, this trick should be enough. For more prominent circles, I prefer to use a shade of orange or peach colour concealer, depending on the client's skin tone.

Use a light application and build layers. Concealer that is too cakey around the eyes will look to obvious and produce a reverse raccoon eye effect. After the peach concealer is applied, follow with your skin-tone coloured concealer or foundation to blend the area with the rest of your skin tone. Set the area with a light dusting of powder and voila!

Recommended products
MAC Select Cover-up in Peach

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:56 AM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Where to find: your local drugstore
Price: $12 regular price ($9 on sale)
Review: love it

I have been a devoted fan of liquid eyeliner ever since my friend, Chantele, first introduced it to me in high school. From day one, I have loved L'oreal's Lineur Intense for its precise application ability and for its staying power. The fine brush tip gives you total control over the lines you draw: either use a light hand for a thin line, or a heavier hand for a thicker line. The waterproof and sweatproof formula lasts throughout the day and is perfect for the wedding applications I do. L'oreal Lineur Intense is a classic and a definite kit necessity!

For tips on how to apply, see here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 2:06 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 1 comments »

The choice in make-up brushes out there is endless. If I had to narrow it down to only a few (I could only trim it down to six), here would be my 'essential' brush kit:

1. Powder Brush / Bronzer Brush
A large, natural-hair fibre brush that is used for applying powder or distributing bronzer all over the face. With loose powder, press the brush against the product and then tap twice to get rid of excess powder. Follow the natural contours of the face and blend using the brush.

2. Blush Brush
A medium-sized natural fibre brush that is used for distributing colour to the cheek area. Blush brushes can come in different cuts, including a tapered or a full edge. I prefer a rounded fuller edge for the one I regularly use.

Two ways to use the blush brush:

  • Start at the ears and concentrate colour from the hollow of the cheek in towards the nose (don't go further than two fingers in).
  • Smile and highlight the apples of the cheeks.
3. Crease Eyeshadow Brush
A pointed-tip eyeshadow brush made of natural fibres that allows for precise application of eyeshadow into the crease of the eye. I find these especially useful on Asian eyes for creating definition and dimension around the eye.

4. Tapered Blending Eyeshadow Brush
A second eyeshadow brush made of natural bristles that is great for blending eyeshadow colours, applying base colours, and applying a highlighting eyeshadow shade atop the browbone.

5. Angled Eyebrow Brush
A slanted natural bristled brush that is useful for sketching in eyebrows with eyebrow powder. If used wet, an angled brush can also be used as an eyeliner brush when mixed with eyeshadow. Be sure to clean the brush between each application, as the eyes are very sensitive.

6. Lip Brush
A synthetic fibre brush that is used to apply lipsticks or lip glosses. Using a synthetic bristled brush allows for maximal product transfer from the product to your lips; a natural bristled brush would absorb the product rather than distribute it.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 1:11 PM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Q: What type of eyeliner is best for me? i.e. liquid or pencil? cake or gel? Help!
A: What's best for you is really based on personal preference - this varies with how much time you have in your day for make-up and your comfort/skill level with different eyeliner types (i.e. pencil versus the more difficult liquid type). Never fret though - make-up is all about options, and both eye-lining beginners and experts have ample choice. Here are some benefits and disadvantages of different types of eyeliners to help you decide what suits you best:

Eyeliner pencils come in all different types and colours by most of the major cosmetic brands. For eyeliner pencils, I usually prefer to pick up one from a prestige line, as I need something that lasts as long as possible. One of the better ones I've come across is from Make-up Forever's Aqua Eyes waterproof line - it's among one of my fave products and a kit essential. (You can view my blurb on it here).

  • is the easiest eyeliner to work with - recommended for beginners and veterans
  • range of eye make-up looks from subtle and natural to dramatic and smoky
  • everyday wear (work, school) and convenience (easy to touch up!)
  • can fade and smudge (look for a waterproof type for maximal lasting throughout the day)
  • does not last as long as other eyeliner types
Ok, now manual sharpen type or automatic roll-up type of pencil eyeliner??
Again, personal preference. I prefer the manual sharpen type as it gives you more option and control over how the eyeliner is applied. The automatic roll-up style although easy to use is more difficult to use when you're attempting to draw precise and straight-edge lines. With the manual sharpen pencil type, if you prefer to go thick and smudgy for a smoky eye, you can always dull the pencil point to achieve the desired look.

Tip for the roll-up pencils: Be careful not to roll up too much of the eyeliner; exposing too much of the stick will make it more prone to breaking off and going to waste!



Liquid is always my first choice for eyeliner applications and is the best choice for women who want their eyeliner to last all day. Liquid is also great for women who prefer stronger eyeliner definition. Liquid goes on like a marker: the line can appear too harsh for those who prefer a more natural look, but can appear 'defined' to someone who wants a stronger eye look.
  • lasts all day with minimal touch-up required
  • great for dramatic eye looks (best for the cat-eye look!)
  • great for women who prefer no-fuss make-up
  • not recommended for beginners
  • can get very messy when it goes wrong
  • does not come off easily (eye make-up remover required, but you should always use that to remove eye make-up anyway!)
Ok now, felt-tipped liquid liner or brush-tipped liquid liner?
Felt tip liquid eyeliner usually looks like a marker. You shake the container to replenish the liquid liner at the tip. Brush tip liquid eyeliner usually looks like a fine-tip brush that can be twisted and removed from the container of liquid liner. Using a thin-tipped brush allows you to have more precision and helps in achieving a thin, tightly-lined eye.
Note: Brush tip eyeliner is not recommended for the eyeliner novice.

Tip for liquid liner:
Starting off with liquid eye liner can be discouraging to an eye liner beginner. If you're using liquid for one of the first times and find that you're having problems, use pencil eyeliner first and draw along your lashline of where you want the liquid to go.


(+ eyeliner brush):
Dip the tip of your brush into a bit of water and glide across the cake eyeliner (usually a highly pigmented eyeshadow, almost creamy-like in texture). Tap the brush twice to get rid of excess cakeliner bits (to prevent them from falling on your face and smearing). Apply accordingly.
  • ideal for those who prefer more of a natural look similar to what eyeliner pencil gives
  • cake formula is longer lasting than a pencil (but still not as long as liquid liner)
  • fairly easy to use with an angled brush
  • stray flakes can become messy and lead to smears on the face
  • two part process - need a brush for application

(+ eyeliner brush):
Apply in a manner similar to applying cake eyeliner (minus the dipping brush into water part). With gel eyeliner, you can create a line that is more defined than pencil eyeliner, but not as harsh as the line you would get when using liquid liner. Lasting power of gel eyeliner is also longer than pencil eyeliner, but less than the durability of liquid liner.
  • ideal for all applications from natural to dramatic
  • can build up intensity
  • less messy than cake eyeliner when things go wrong
  • two part application process requiring a brush
  • not as widely available as pencil eyeliners

(+ brush):
Yes, eyeshadow has multiple uses! Use it as an eyeliner by applying it either wet/dry with an eyeliner brush. Use a wet brush for a more intense look; a dry brush for a softer look. Swipe the brush across the eyeshadow and tap it twice to rid the brush of any excess flakes. Line the eyes, staying close to the lashline always.
  • good for beginners to experts
  • no need to buy another product - less to carry in your kit
  • good for natural or intense looks - change it up by applying it dry or wet
  • similar to cake eyeliner, can get messy when eyeshadow flakes stray on other parts of the face
  • not as long lasting as other eyeliner types
  • usually requires a brush for application

With eyeliner, always remember that you won't always get it straight (literally) the first time, but that it takes practice to achieve perfection. Once you get a firm handle on applications with pencils, with daily practice (and patience), you'll soon enough become an expert with gel liners and liquids! Have fun!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 5:00 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 1 comments »

For Hennie's wedding in August, the end product wouldn't have turned out so great without Isabel's and Louisa's work on the hair for the big day. I plan on working extensively with Isabel for 2009 to offer quality bridal hair and make-up mobile services (more on that to come!).

Check out some of Isabel's work to see why I'm excited about this upcoming collaboration:

To see more hair by Isabel, view slideshow. To see the make-up for the day, click here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:57 PM | , , | 0 comments »

I know Tricia through volunteering with Look Good Feel Better and aside from being a beautiful person inside and out, Tricia is also a talented and professional hair artist. I had the chance to work alongside her this past Saturday at Irene's wedding. There are many details that need to come together on the big day, and it's always great, when you get the opportunity to work with a professional who knows what they're doing. Check out some of Tricia's creations posted below to gain a different perspective of the behind the scenes of the big day!

To see more, view the slideshow here or see the make-up here.
If you would like to contact Trish for your big day, please email me at and I'll be pleased to pass on her info.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:58 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

A toothpick is one of the most basic beauty tools around. We all know the esthetically pleasing benefits of a toothpick post-meal...and we also all know the horror when we realize we've just been talking to someone with a giant chunk of food wedged between our front teeth! Where's a toothpick when we need one?!

Well, the benefits of toothpicks don't stop there - I find toothpicks great for separating lashes and for getting rid of stubborn clumps of mascara. Use one end of the toothpick to pull through any tangled lashes. Make sure to start the movement of the toothpick outward from the root of the lash to the clumped end. You always want to be delicate around the eyes.

p.s. Just don't use the same toothpick you used for your mouth for the separating!

p.p.s. If you have too many clumps, it's probably time to replace your mascara. Toothpicks can only do so much! Check out some recommended mascaras to try!

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



What a wonderful start to September with Irene's wedding this past Saturday! Aside from possessing gorgeous physical features, they were all very calm and organized making my 'work' that much easier. Thanks Irene for letting me take part - you are a beautiful person and you make a gorgeous bride! All the best to you and Alan!

To view a slideshow of more behind the scenes photos, click here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:55 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

I'm very serious and passionate about my craft, but I also always remember that make-up is all about having fun! It's an instant, affordable and temporary way to reinvent yourself. Try something different today!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:42 PM | , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Where to buy it: Sephora, Sears
Price: approximately $18
Review: love it

Black eyeliner is an absolute staple in anyone's make-up kit. Drawing on that black eyeliner can be just as flattering for eyes, as an actual full night's rest!

One of the frustrations I hear from many clients is finding a pencil eyeliner that lasts. I usually use liquid liners in my applications because of their proven lasting ability, but the bold look of liquid liner and the lack of ease in application doesn't make it suitable for everybody. Pencil eyeliner is a lot easier to work with and is also ideal for a softer look around the eyes. Pencil eyeliner is also a better choice for women in their 40s+, as eyelids that tend to be more crepey and liquid liner can appear too harsh.

Hands down the best black eyeliner that I've found for everyday use is Make-up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Black. MFE's is waterproof and sweatproof and comes in an array of colours. Tried and tested, it stays in place and still looks fresh after the length of a 9-5 workday. Definitely one of my faves as a make-up artist...and as a make-up consumer!
Photo courtesy of Make-up Forever

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 2:05 PM | , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Here are some more great shots of Marta's glamourous wedding day courtesy of professional photographer, Eva Goldberg. If you're interested in booking Eva as the photographer for your big day, email her at or contact her by phone at 416-854-2397.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 5:25 PM | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

Where to find: drug stores, some department stores
Price: about $30

I was at Shoppers Drug Mart the other week, and on a whim, I decided to buy Vichy Dermablend Concealer. (I'm usually a lot better disciplined and wait until days where SDM offers bonus points for their Optimum cardholders).

The $28 pricepoint did put a dent in the pocket, but I'm happy to say that my was it worth it! Vichy Concealer promises 16 hour coverage and it delivers. I've used it on my break-outs and usually depending on the stage of the break-out, especially during the early stages when the trouble area is a bit more oily, any type of concealer tends to slide off. I've tried Boing by Benefit, MAC Studiofix, Make-up Forever's Cream Palette

You just need a tiny amount for blemishes - literally a small dot-size. I squeeze this tiny amount onto the back of my left hand and then I use either a q-tip or a concealer brush to apply to the problem break-out area. The, I use a light dab of loose powder to lock the concealer in place.

For using this under the eyes, I recommend mixing it with a tiny bit of lotion to loosen up the thick consistency. Otherwise, the formula looks too thick and cakey for the delicate under eye area.

Photo courtesy of Vichy

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 3:19 PM | , , , , , , , , , | 4 comments »

Brows are one of my absolute favourite features of the face to do up! It is amazing the wonders a great pair of brows can really produce for your face! A great set of brows can instantly:
  • make you look more polished
  • add dimension to cheekbones
  • help to streamline your face shape and
  • give you an instant facelift.
Whats not to love?! Good brows are just as essential as that morning routine of eyeliner and mascara.

How to get good brows?
The age-old question. For the amount of great natural brows out there (congratulations, you are the envy of us all!), there are a significant number that have gone awry: overplucked, underplucked, lack of a shape, sparse, too short, the list goes on.

The shape that you want to aim for should closely follow your own natural shape (you don't want to completely alter your brow shape. Use your natural brow as a guideline for a shape that is most flattering on your face.) Tweeze away any strays that grow away from the dominant brow area and try the following steps to get your best brows (use diagram below as a guide).

1. Use a long pencil and hold it vertically against the edge of the nostril as a reference point as to where brows should begin. Tweeze away any eyebrow hairs that are inwards towards the nose.

2. Now, move the pencil towards the outer-edge of the iris still holding it in a vertical direction. This is the approximate area where the highest part of the arch should occur. Again, work with what nature gave you and you'll avoid having that perma-surprised look!

3. Lastly, take the pencil still holding the bottom part against the edge of the nose and tilting the top portion of the pencil towards the outer edge of the eye. The eyebrow should end where the tip of the pencil hits the browbone.

To fill in brows
Use a brow powder (that either matches or is a couple of shades lighter than your brows) with an angled brush. Use a light touch and draw short, feathery strokes in the direction of hair growth. Keep in mind that you want to mimic tiny hairs on the eyebrow by drawing these feathery strokes. Using a heavy hand and drawing one continuous line on the brows can border drag queen-like and scream unnatural.

Brows gone wrong...
Remember if you make a mistake and pluck more than you had initially intended, brows do grow back (well, to a certain extent). As a temporary fix, use the tips for filling in brows to fake a perfect set until the real ones grow back. For those that are a bit hesitant to pick up the tweezers, go see your trusted professional to have your brows shaped, and save money by doing the upkeep yourself. Believe me, the pain is a small price to pay for a look that is so refined. Post-tweezing, you'll definitely be raising eyebrows...and not just your own!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:38 AM | , , , , , | 0 comments »
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