In anticipation of the launch later this year, feel free to check out and join the facebook fan page for frequent (and convenient) updates!

Let me know your thoughts by email to Enjoy!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 3:52 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

On Make-up Junkie is the final installment of our Think Pink Make-up Tip series that offers helpful tips on being hygienic with make-up. Check it out here!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 3:06 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

Check out Day 4 of Think Pink Make-up Tips! The focus for today's installment is taking care of temporary changes in the skin and nails for women affected by cancer and its treatment.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:34 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

Check out today's installment of Think Pink Make-up Tips for applying false eyelashes on Make-up Junkie!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 11:00 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

One of the building blocks on the road to becoming a make-up artist is developing your professional make-up kit for use on clients. Remember it's the quality of the products in your make-up kit that will help establish your credibility and make your make-up work overall look better (and last longer!). Since a lot of the jobs in this industry are based on word of mouth, it's best to have quality products that reflect your quality of work! During those initial months of building your kit, it only makes sense to save where you can, as you try to nail as many gigs as possible. Here are some tips for building your professional make-up kit without breaking the bank:

1. Check out make-up warehouse sales.
L'oreal and MAC both have seasonal sales where prices are marked down anywhere from 25% to 75% off. Remember not only is it a good time to buy make-up, but it's also a good time to buy moisturizers, make-up removers and make-up tools.

2. Check out your local drugstore or discount superstore for deals.
I'm an avid fan of stocking up on supplies from Shoppers Drug Mart (sorry Canadian readers will know what I'm talking about) whenever they have bonus points sales. Nowadays, Shoppers also sells brands like Lancome, Smashbox, Make-up Forever and Benefit so you can get all of your favourite brands and rack in the bonus points as well!
The other night I was in Wal-Mart and picked up a couple of packs of Maybelline's Blackest Black Waterproof mascara at one of the best prices I've seen in years - 2 tubes for $5! Yes, reason enough for me to scoop up multiple packs!

3. Check out your local dollar store.
I've blogged about my love for dollar store q-tips before. Seriously, you can't go wrong. 400 q-tips for $1. The dollar store q-tips are my fave because they have a minimal amount of cotton, and won't leave a cottony residue on your face. Check out this post to see their versatility!

4. Check with your favourite counter to see if they offer any make-up artist or make-up artist student discounts.
MAC is great for supporting make-up artists, and you can find out more about their programs here.

5. Buy the lightest foundation and the darkest foundation in cool and warm tones.
Buy these foundations on opposite ends of the colour spectrum and mix in accordance with your client's skin tone. Until you start getting more make-up artist jobs, you likely won't need every colour under the rainbow. Splurge on the brand of foundation you buy - great-looking skin post make-up is always a winner with clients and may win you some referrals down the line!

6. Buy disposables.
Buy disposable mascara wands so you don't have to constantly replace your mascara. Check out Elegant Faces where 25 mascara wands go for $8. That means that's 25 times you can use your mascara without replacing it for only $8! Imagine having to buy 25 tubes of mascara at $6 each - totally impractical!

7. Try to get a part-time (or full-time) job at a make-up counter.
Not only will you be gaining valuable experience in your field of choice, you'll also be able to save money by building your kit with a handsome discount!

7. Pass on the make-up kit your school provides, and start building your own!
If you can, skip out on the kit that your school is offering, unless it contains brands that you'll use in your future professional make-up applications (if you're unsure of the quality, look up reviews and ask other people who have used the products.) Use that $500 (and up!) that would have gone towards the cost of materials for class towards buying good quality products.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:00 PM | , , , , , , | 1 comments »

Part two of my Think Pink Make-up Tips series with Make-up Junkie is up! This latest installment details make-up artist tricks on how to master the brows, particularly for when eyebrow hairs go sparse as a result of cancer treatment. For more brow tips, check out a previous post here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 6:42 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

Check out my posts on Make-up Junkie this week! All throughout the month of October, Make-up Junkie has been featuring Think Pink products that are both helping to benefit the lives of those affected by cancer while supporting the research for a cure. My series of Think Pink Make-up Tips are specifically geared towards concerns that women undergoing cancer treatment may have (particularly with changes in physical appearance). Today's installment focuses on how to maximize eyelashes when they become sparse. Click below to check it out and support Think Pink products!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 8:05 PM | , , | 0 comments »

Check out this sneak peek of bridal bombshell, Shannon, that I had the absolute pleasure of working with on Friday. Shannon and I went to the same elementary and high school, and it always makes for a real treat when you get to do what you love for those you know! Not only is Shannon a gorgeous subject in front of the camera, she is also a real talent behind the lens. Check out some of her work here.
Thanks Shannon for letting me take part! More pics to come from the behind the scenes of this bridal beauty's Big Day!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:00 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

I remember the word "stippling" from my high school art class, where we had to use the technique for our lesson in pointillism. The term stippling also has a meaning in the world of make-up definitions and you'll likely hear me and many other make-up artists reference the verb (in fact, many of you may use the technique without realizing it!).

What is stippling?
Stippling is a make-up application technique that is especially useful for building coverage. The act of stippling involves applying the make-up product with a light patting motion over the areas that need coverage. Many times I hear women complain that their foundation or concealer isn't giving them the coverage they desire, but more often than not, the issue is that the method of application is all wrong.

Stippling applied
For instance, to camouflage unruly undereye circles, avoid applying with a swiping motion, as this tends to wipe away what you've already done. Instead, stipple and build up a layer of concealer on the problem area and stipple more layers as required (without going overboard!). Stippling is best accomplished with a sponge or even your most accessible tool - your finger! Just make sure you use the ring finger as it has the least amount of intensity and is perfect for working make-up around the delicate eye area.

See more on the benefits of stippling here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 2:40 PM | , , , , , | 0 comments »

As promised, here are more pics of Carina's Big Day! To check out the behind the scenes, view the slideshow here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:30 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

WEDDING | Carina


This past Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in Carina's Big Day prep. The beautiful Carina was a total bride knock-out in her elegant wedding dress. I swear her dress was one of the nicest dresses I have seen...ever. And usually, anyone who knows me knows that I don't pay as much attention to wedding dresses as I do to wedding make-up! Thank you Carina for sharing your day with me! More pics of Carina's bridal party and behind the scenes will follow - I just wanted to show off this bridal beauty for now!Today I'll be doing make-up at Shannon's wedding - one of my last weddings of the season. My heartfelt thanks to all my lovely brides that have made it such a great year! You are all the reasons behind why I truly love what I do. Thank you.

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

The other night I was in my local Shoppers to get my make-up fix and "restock" my kit during the usual bonus points sale. I overheard the usual salesperson fodder, as the fresh-faced sales associate tried to upsell her customer on "the best" foundation and a foundation brush to accompany it. The customer was initially asking for wedge sponges, but as the store was sold out, the sales associate recommended brushes as they had "less bacteria". Now to disspell this myth based on the hygiene argument, let's remember that it depends on how you take care of your tools that will determine how hygienic they truly are. A foundation brush, if not cleaned with a brush shampoo and then sprayed with 99.9% alcohol will be just as prone to bacteria build-up and transfer as a sponge that is not cleaned appropriately. The brush should be cleaned after each use to prevent bacteria growth. I love foundation brushes for the application they provide, but if you're more of a make-up minimalist, the foundation brush and the cleansing of it will likely seem like extraneous steps. A sponge, when used and taken care of properly, can be just as hygienic as a brush. Either replace your foundation sponge after several uses or wash out your foundation sponge regularly to give it more longevity. Keep these tips in mind, as regular and proper maintenance of your make-up tools will make sure you get the most bang for your buck! (and who doesn't love that?)

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

I meant to mention another useful tip that MAC Senior Artist, Jane McKay, pointed out during our Pro Master class on Monday evening. A while back I did a post on mastering the smoky eye while avoiding the usual mess that the application of dark eyeshadow entails. Jane highlighted the most obvious one that I failed to mention during my own post (duh!). To help ensure you get your eyeshadow where you want it to go, do your smoky eye first. Once your smoky eye is complete, use eye make-up remover with a q-tip to clean up any stray bits of eyeshadow underneath the eye area (or anywhere else you didn't intend for it to go). Then, go in with your concealer and a concealer brush underneath the eye to complete the look.

Once concealer (and foundation if necessary) had been applied to the undereye area, Jane used a tapered blending eyeshadow brush (see MAC Brush 224) to lightly distribute a loose translucent powder to set the concealer. The eyeshadow brush was the perfect size for the small and delicate undereye area; a brush of a larger size (or a sponge) could end up distributing too much powder and making the undereye look cakey. Remember just because a brush is called an "eyeshadow brush" doesn't mean it's specific to that one area of the face. Jane herself was using brushes intended for eyeshadow application as powder brushes, and brushes meant to apply concealer as lip brushes.

Overall lesson: The rules with make-up and make-up tools are flexible. i.e. there is no set order to applying make-up to the face first and then to the eyes (and vice versa), and although a product says it's designed specifically for one area of the face doesn't mean it can't be used elsewhere. It's where you bend the rules that you become your own little make-up artist! Enjoy :)

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

I've been a MAC Pro member for a few years now, but finally attended my first Pro Master Class last night, which was led by MAC Senior Artist Jane McKay. Jane has an impressive resume that includes plenty of editorial and celebrity work (one of which is my favourite - Alicia Keys!). She demonstrated an artist trick she uses to hydrate and add lustre to the skin, even post foundation and powder application. I'm a huge fan of still seeing the skin through the foundation and powder (i.e. mom's pancake make-up is so yesterday!), so I thought I'd share a tip from Jane here.
Remember healthy and youthful skin has a dewy glow to it, and using too much foundation and powder can create a dull and flat effect on the face. Insert MAC's Fix+. Rather than starting your foundation and powder application from scratch - just give the face a spritz or two of Fix+ to bring back the glow. Fix+ is water-based and has a hint of glycerin (to help get that coveted glow) . The formula is also fortified with vitamins and minerals so your skin will be thanking you. Before you head out, make sure the T-zone is powdered just enough to get rid of the excess shine and voila! You'll be glowing in all the right places!

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

Here are a couple more photos of the creative I had with Braheem last weekend. Wendy is signed with Ford and has a wide range of experience in commercial and print, so you may feel like you've seen her somewhere! Aside from being gorgeous, Wendy had plenty of helpful advice during our shoot. Thanks to everyone for the great day :)

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

So now that we've got a handle on our foundation, it's time to discuss blush and its benefits. Blush is usually an overlooked beauty product, as its benefits are more understated than a pair of red lips or smoky eyes. But blush done right can add youthfulness and even shave pounds off of your face! Blush generally comes in one of three forms: powder, cream and liquid. The type that is "best" for you will depend on the look you are aiming for.

Powder blush (see pic of Nars Blush at left) is the most common and easiest to work with. It offers more of a buildable, opaque look that can work for contouring or for a light dusting of the apples of the cheeks. Use it with a brush to get a professionally perfected look.

Cream blush (Lancome Colour Design Creme Blush pictured at right) is second in line in terms of the easiest blush to work with. It works great for a naturally flushed and dewy look. It is also ideal for mature skin, as it does not set into fine lines and wrinkles as powder blush would.

Liquid blush (see pic at left of Benefit's Benetint) is the most difficult to work with. Once applied, the liquid is quick to dry and can leave a stain like effect. But when done properly, liquid blush should give a post-light-jog or post-coital glow! Work fast or you'll end up looking like a blotchy mess!

I prefer to use powder and cream blushes (on myself and in my client appointments) as they are more friendly to work with. What's your preference?

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:05 AM | , , , , | 0 comments »

I had a great time working with Braheem last Thanksgiving weekend. It's always inspiring and mutually reinforcing to come across people that are just as passionate about what they do. I'm looking forward to more book building with this talent as well. Here's part one of last weekend's session with our first model - the gorgeous Heather:
Make-up: Rhia Amio (
Photo and Post Production: Ibrahim Abusitta
Model: Heather

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:05 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

So now that you've decided on your foundation type, what's the best method of application? Here are some tips for when applying your base:

Sponge, brush or fingers?

The debate continues. The answer to this one is based on your own personal preference. I like to use a foundation brush in my client applications, as I find it helps build coverage more evenly. In my daily make-up routine, I quickly reach for a sponge to apply my foundation. When I have more time, my foundation brush becomes my go-to tool.

Foundation can very well be applied with fingers, but I prefer not to. Some artists will say that the foundation against the skin of your fingertips warms up the foundation and makes it better for application. I would rather not have the oils in my hands interact with the foundation and then be applied to my skin. Whichever way you prefer, make sure your hands are immaculate before you apply! Save the fingers for self-application, and stick to a brush or sponge for applications on others.
Less is more
Avoid slathering a bunch on initially. Instead, use about a quarter size drop and distribute evenly to the entire face. Starting off with less will give you more control over where the product will go. It's a lot easier to add more foundation later rather than trying to remove an amount in excess. Build the coverage up in layers as necessary and use a stipple motion to achieve fuller coverage.
Go down baby
Use downward strokes when applying foundation to cover the cheeks. Using this motion ensures that the tiny baby hairs remain flat against the face (and not stick out like peach fuzz!).
Buff and stuff
Use a buffer brush in a circular motion to blend out any excess foundation.
Ready, set, powder!
Set the foundation with a light dusting of powder to keep it longer lasting and combat shine. Powder should only be used once foundation is complete. Once the powder layer is in place, no more foundation should be applied atop of it.
Brush away
Clean your brush after each use to avoid breakouts, especially for cream products on the face.
Time to toss
Change or wash out your sponge every 2-3 uses.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 10:27 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

These photos come courtesy of the talented photographer Nadia Cheema who I had the opportunity to assist for a project last week. I took care of the make-up and Nadia worked her magic with the camera. I love them all, but my favourite shot is the black and white one pictured below. I'm looking forward to more creatives with this talent behind the lens so stay tuned!

Make-up: Rhia Amio (
Photography and Post-Production: Nadia Cheema
Model: Tiff H

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 12:59 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

The purpose of foundation is to balance out unevenness in the skin tone. Applied properly, foundation make-up creates a smooth consistency that gives one the appearance of healthy and glowing skin. Now that being said, we all want gorgeous skin, but with the numerous foundation choices out there, how do we know which one to choose?

With so many options and names like liquid, cream, mousse, you almost feel like you could be ordering foundation off a menu! Here is a breakdown of what each type has to offer (in order of lightest coverage to heaviest coverage) along with some recommended products, so you can narrow in on your base of choice:


  • Gives slight colour and moisturizes in one
  • Offers the lightest coverage of all foundation types
  • Ideal for those with good skin who just want to add light colour to the face (those desiring more coverage should opt for one of the latter formulas, as tinted moisturizer is not buildable)
  • Great for summer time, lighter days, heat waves and travelling for those with already healthy skin

    Recommended: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – adds colour and moisturizes, but also has a built-in SPF which translates to one more step in the morning eliminated!
  • Mineral make-up was the latest craze a few years ago, with many new and even already-established make-up companies coming out with targeted mineral make-up products
  • Mineral make-up is built around the notion that natural ingredients are better for your skin
  • Contains vitamins and minerals (refer to your product for specific ingredients)
  • Buildable coverage when used with a kabuki brush
  • Better-suited for those with clear skin

    Recommended: L'oreal Natural Powdered Mineral Foundation. See more from my post here.
  • One of the most popular types of foundation
  • Comes in many shapes and forms offering light to medium coverage, oil-free/water-based formulas, etc
  • Offers medium, buildable coverage
  • Suitable for all skin types - just look for one that's right for you
    i.e. If your skin tends to be on the oily side, look for a water-based formula. If your skin tends to be dry, look for a moisturizing formula

    Recommended: MAC Face and Body
  • Similar to liquid foundation, but with air pumped into it creating a lighter, whipped formula
  • Offers light to medium buildable coverage
  • Great for elderly women, as the light formula is not as prone to setting into lines and creases

    Recommended: Lise Watier Mattifying Mousse Foundation with Breathable Cotton

  • Similar to a pressed powder, but offers more coverage with a built-in foundation
  • Formulated for all skin types
  • Great for oily skin, as the powder component will help it to last longer (vs a liquid or creme on its own)
  • Use with a wet sponge for those days when you want to achieve a lighter foundation look

    Recommended: MAC Studio Fix, Make-up Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation
  • Comes in what looks like an oversized lipstick tube and can be directly applied to face from container
  • Offers maximum amount of coverage and can also be used as a concealer
  • Ideal for normal to dry skin types, but can be too thick for oily skin types
  • Blend thoroughly to avoid the dreaded "cakeface" look
Recommended: the beloved and ever-praised Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick

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

WEDDING | Natalie


On Saturday, I had the pleasure of working with the delightful bride-to-be, Natalie, along with her wonderful sisters and mom. Here are a couple of shots of the day's wedding make-up (and even more reasons to be thankful!):
View more pics of Natalie's big day here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 12:16 AM | , | 0 comments »

WEDDING | Marites


It has been a gorgeous Thanksgiving weekend and I definitely have a lot to be thankful for, including a great week of make-up. This past Friday, I was fortunate to work with the beautiful Marites and her stunning bridal party. Here are some photos of the Big Day:View full slideshow here.

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 7:51 PM | , | 0 comments »

Q: I've found that when I put on sunscreen, my face gets slightly moist (even when the lotion is completely absorbed), and that any powder on top (blush, foundation), goes on streaky as it "catches" on the sunscreen. It takes a long time for the sunscreen to be completely absorbed (back to normal skin consistency, anyway), so how do you apply powder foundation after (especially if you're in a hurry and don't have the time to completely dry out)?

A: There are a couple of options for SPF protection under your make-up application. You want to look for an oil-free face moisturizer that has an SPF built-in. If the moisturizer formula with SPF has been developed for the face, it should typically be less greasy and absorb into the skin better. Usually, you have to wait at least 30 minutes before any moisturizer is completely absorbed, but who has that kind of time to sit around and wait??? I use Neutrogena Moisture for face that comes in several versions along with one that incoporates an SPF. But what works for my skin, will not always be the same for what works for your skin.

To avoid the greasiness altogether, try a primer type product that has an built-in SPF instead. Along with having the benefit of an SPF, a primer product will help to prepare the skin for make-up application and help prolong the life of your make-up throughout the day. Since your routine consists mainly of applying powder foundation and powder blush, a primer would be perfect for smoothing out the surface of the skin. You should notice less the appearance of pores and slight lines once the powder foundation is applied atop primed skin. Here a couple of options to try:

Clinique City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25 helps to protect the skin against the harsh realities of the sun (with a choice of SPF ranging from 25 to 40). You can check out some of the reviews of the product here.

NARS popular primer also comes in an SPF version. The NARS Make-up Primer with SPF 20 is designed to have all the benefits of its predecessor, but comes in a more lightweight formula.

Before you commit to buying one product, I would suggest going to your local Sephora to obtain samples of the products you're interested in. That way you can test-run them and gage how your own skin reacts with the product before making the investment!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 3:10 AM | , , , | 0 comments »

Q: Rhia, what's in your make-up kit?
A: So now that I've disclosed ALL of the make-up products I use to get myself normal-looking under ideal conditions (i.e. when I have at least 40 minutes to get ready - yes, that long), here are the products for those mornings when I'm strapped for time and have to set my make-up routine on auto-pilot. I would love to have a 5 minute face, but I'm afraid this mug needs way more make-up lovin' than that! Here are the Big Ten products I use to help my face wake up with make-up:

Part IV | What’s in My Make-up Kit: Auto-Pilot


1. MAC Tinted Moisturizer NC35
Moisturizes and adds colour in one

2. MAC Studio Fix C4
Adds more coverage and leaves a powdery finish

3. MAC Select Cover-up in Peach
Self-explanatory. During the work week, I average 5-6 hours sleep on a good night, and the peach concealer is a much-needed and much-loved step in the morning to play down the dark circles that characterize the past night's lack of rest. I add MAC Studio Fix in C4 above to blend this lighter layer in with the rest of my skin.

4. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Deep Dark
I use this powder with a big powder brush as a bronzer to help add colour and contour to my face.

5. Nars Orgasm Blush
Adding some blush is an instant way to make you look awake! I usually take my blushbrush and start blending from the ear in towards the nose, along where the cheekbone is. This deposits the most amount of colour closer to the hollows of the cheeks and helps add much-needed definition to my face!
6. MAC Paint
Still can't live without my MAC Paint! I would rather take a little extra time in the morning to do steps that keep my make-up long-lasting so I don't have to worry about it anytime throughout the day. I usually grab Paint in either Bare Canvas or Sublime Nature.

7. L'oreal Lineur Intense
Another day to day staple. Liquid liner can be a bit tricky initially, but once you master it, you're hooked. It's worth every bit the practice as it lasts all day! It's going to be tough to wean me off this product even later in life once my eyelids start drooping. My skin will be sagging, but I'll probably still be trying pull the eyelids up with my cateye sweep plus massive amounts of eyeshadow.

8. Inglot Eyeshadows

9. Eyelash Curler and Mascara
10. Inglot Lipliner in #63
Total Make-up Time = 25 mins!

Ok, ok so I cheated up there, grouped multiple products and didn't factor in brushes, moisturizer, lip balm etc. But you get the point - I love my make-up!

For all installments of the What’s in my Make-up kit Series, check out:
Part I | What’s in My Make-up Kit: Face
Part II | What’s in my Make-up Kit: Eyes
Part III | What’s in My Make-up Kit: Lips
Part IV | Auto-Pilot

What do you use? Feel free to comment and tell me what make-up products work (or don’t work) for you!

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



Last weekend, I had the pleasure of playing make-up with a great friend and person, Jenn, in preparation for her engagement photos. Here are some stunning shots of the gorgeous bride-to-be! (...oh yes, and her groom-to-be Denny!)
Check out the talent behind the lens:
first image by Christopher Luk
second, third image by Claudia Hung


Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 9:07 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »
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