Aside from being able to do what I absolutely love, one of the most rewarding things about being a make-up artist is meeting and getting to know the people I am fortunate to work with.

Last weekend was no exception. Saturday started off my first wedding of 2009. It was a gorgeous and clear day for a winter wedding. Despite the early hour, Libby (pictured at right) was fantastic to work with and the epitome of a calm, cool and collected bride. The final result of our session was a classic glam look fitting for the beautiful bride-to-be. Click here to view more of the photos.

On Saturday afternoon, I also had the pleasure of working with bride-to-be, Bex – not for a wedding this time (that's coming up in May!), but for a Bridal Shower (neat idea, right?!). Bex (pictured at left) and her bridesmaids first treated her bridal shower attendees to a cooking demonstration and then to a smoky eye make-up demonstration (yes, that’s where I came in). The demonstrations all went hand-in-hand with the Stepford Wives theme of the shower. Neat ideas indeed! Lesson of the day: it never hurts to look good...even while cooking!

(Thanks for the picture, Bex!)

On Sunday, I had a couple more trials with these two lovely ladies pictured below, Denise and Hun-Sun. Both brides-to-be were after classic and natural make-up looks for their wedding days. We focused on perfecting the skin and adding subtle definition with make-up. I'm looking forward to working with these ladies later this year...and to the rest of the amazing year that 2009 is going to be! Thank you :)

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

Q: Hi, I'm a make-up newbie - my daily morning routine consists of Vaseline on the lips and mascara on the eyelashes (when I want to be "fancy"!). I'm trying to venture more into the world of make-up, but there's so much stuff out there!!! What's the diff between a lip balm, a lip conditioner and a lip gloss?

A: Both lip balm and lip conditioner are built to lock in moisture for the lips and protect the lips from the external environment. Once applied, they both provide minimal to sheer coverage. Depending on the formula, you can also have moderate to wet-looking shine from either product.

Gloss is primarily more of a cosmetic product, rather than a maintenance product like lip balm and lip conditioner. Gloss can be clear, sheer, or opaque. It can have moisturizing ingredients, or be purely intended for a shiny aesthetic with a sticky like feel. You can build up gloss more than you can a balm and conditioner, and the look is more finished overall versus when you use just a balm.

Now, which to choose? It's good to always have a lip balm/conditioner handy to help maintain soft and supple lips. Remember, make-up always starts with a good base and any lip products you apply will look better on moisturized, non-chapped lips! Yet, nothing beats the look of a high-shine gloss: light-reflecting effects can create the illusion of larger lips and an instant glamourous look.

Go to your local drugstore to score deals on lip balms (i.e. you don't have to spend much on a balm - think Chapstick, Carmex). Save the majority of your pretty pennies for lovely lip glosses - great finds are available both at the drug store and department store level.

(Yes, choose both!)

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



What a fab, but busy, weekend! Saturday kicked off with my first wedding of the season with the gorgeous bride-to-be Libby. Libby was after a classic 40s glam look for her wedding day (think a la Veronica Lake). The result was a look that was definitely red-carpet worthy (and wedding-aisle ready)! Here are the key elements to Libby's Wedding Day Look:
1. Balance the skin out with foundation.
Skin without foundation can be especially noticeable on camera. Foundation gives the skin a flawless and glowing finish, so you're ready for all those flashing lights!

2. Polished brows.
Libby has naturally perfect shaped brows. To polish the look, I filled sparse areas of the brow with a brow pencil and brushed the brows into place.

3. Strong eyeliner concentrated on the top lash line.
Focusing eyeliner application mainly on the top gives a polished look without looking overdone. Eyeliner that encompasses the whole eye can look too strong, especially when paired with bold red lips. I used a combination of gel liner and liquid liner on Libby's eyes to help give it longevity throughout the day.

4. False eyelashes.
Falsies are like the icing on a cake! Every make-up application looks better with a full set of lashes. When done properly, falsies will not only make the lash line look fuller, but will also make the eyes look larger. Love it!

5. Knock 'em dead red lips.
I used Make-up Forever Blue Red #205 to complete Libby's classic glam look. For tips on how to apply red lips, see this post.

Check out to see more of the behind the scenes photos of Libby's Big Day. Congratulations, Libby!!

Related posts:
WEDDING | All Weddings
Q & A | Choosing the Right Eyeliner Product for You

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

While recently perusing my local Wal-mart*, I happily came across one of my favourite eyebrow pencils in a never-before-seen colour! I discovered Rimmel London's Professional Eyebrow Pencil available in Black #004. Previous to this find, Rimmel's eyebrow pencils in Hazel and Dark Brown have been long-time staples in my kit (with Dark Brown being my personal daily go-to eyebrow pencil).

Rimmel London's Eyebrow Pencils are a steal at a pricepoint of only $6.99 CDN! I have yet to see the Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Black available at Shoppers Drug Mart (my other frequent drugstore make-up hang-out).

Whether it be from the lower drugstore end of the spectrum or a higher end department store choice, check out these tips for choosing an eyebrow pencil :

1. Choose a colour that is closest to your hair colour.
For blondes, choose a taupe. Redheads, go for an auburn to hazel. Brunette beauties can try out a hazel to dark brown. For ladies with black hair, opt for a pencil between the dark brown to black range.

2. Choose a pencil that has a waxy (rather than creamy) texture.
A waxy texture will last longer against the skin, and will prevent you from drawing on that "tattoed" eyebrow look.

3. Test the pencil out on your hand - it shouldn't allow you to draw the lines too dark!
Remember the key to natural looking brows is to use "light, feathery strokes". An eyebrow pencil that doesn't glide on too creamy is key!
For more brow power, check out these posts:
BEAUTY 101 | Arch Nemesis: The Power of Good Brows
PRODUCT REVIEW | Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil

*where no matter how far they "roll back the prices", I always end up spending way too much! Let's just say I'm doing my share to help our disparaging economy - ummm, right!

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

I was away last week when MAC officially launched their Hello Kitty make-up collection (so this post is a little overdue!). The special limited edition collection consists of two lines: Hello Kitty Mild and Hello Kitty Wild.

I popped into my local MAC store earlier this week to try out some items from the collection first-hand. Of course, I couldn't leave the store empty-handed! I scooped up a gorgeous pigment in Deep Blue Green, glitter in Reflects Pink along with She Loves Candy lipglass (detailed reviews and photos to follow later this week). There were many other great pieces to this collection--all made more enticing with the Hello Kitty branding--but I did my best to restrain my inner kid-in-a-candy-store tendency!

I grew up with Hello Kitty stationery, so I admit I have a slight affinity for the cartoon kitten, even though I’m a grown woman! I love the idea of Hello Kitty marked MAC products, and think that MAC has truly done a wonderful job in combining the two worlds. It reminds me what make-up is all about – looking good, but having fun!

MAC does Hello Kitty. The cat’s definitely outta the bag on this one! More to come!

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

We've been discussing warm-weather make-up looks since my return from vacation, but you don't necessarily need to book a winter getaway to achieve that coveted bronze glow! There are some fabulous bronzer products in every price range, available both at your local drug or department store. Check out these tried and tested bronzer finds:

1. NARS Bronzing Powder (Casino) $30 USD
NARS is an all-around industry favourite for the line's high quality and pigmented products. The universally flattering and coyly named blush, Orgasm, has won several beauty awards and is at the top of many of an editor list. NARS bronzers follow in the same lead, with creamy and pigmented textures that are easy to blend, but leave your skin with an effortless glow. NARS bronzer is highly potent - use sparingly with a large dusting brush and distribute well all over the face. Once you run your fingers through the pigmented product, you'll see why one to two layers of this bronzer is more than enough to achieve that glowing look!

2. Tarte Mineral Powder Bronzer (Park Avenue Princess) $28 USD
This shimmery powder bronzer is made with good-for-your-skin mineral make-up ingredients! Tarte's Bronzer is free of unnecessary make-up synthetics and is oil and talc free. The bronzer is also infused with vitamins A and E that help rid the skin of toxins. The chic mock-croc container makes Tarte's bronzer a fun addition to your make-up stash.

3. MAC Mineralize $30 CAD
MAC's Mineralize collection is the brand's series of mineral make-up with products ranging from powders to eyeshadows to blushes. I have raved of MAC's Mineralize collection many-a-time before - the powders are essential for any make-up artist kit. Mineralize powders come in matte and shimmer textures and flatter the skin like a dream. Even the matte textures are multi-dimensional, and work great to deepen your skin tone with a bronzer without all the usual shimmer.

4. Physicians Formula Multi-Coloured Face Powder (Bronzer) $19.99 CAD
When mixed altogether, this mosaic of bronzer colours gives a natural tan finish to the skin. The coverage is sheer and without shimmer. The hypoallergenic formula is also oil-free, making it a great option for those with problematic skin.

5. Bonne Belle Powder Bronze (Golden Tan) $9 CAD
Bonne Belle's Bronzer is great value for product. The under-$10 priced bronzer, comes in several different shades to help you narrow in on one that's right for you. My favourite is Golden Tan, as I find it the most versatile across skin tones. For my fellow Canadian readers only, I was at Shopppers Drug Mart earlier this week and this bronzer was on sale for $3.99 (until the end of February). Super deal!

Either way you choose--splurge or steal--these prices are an easy way to get the bronzed look, without having to spend the price tag of that vacation!

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

Winter's nearly over, but summer can't come soon enough! For those planning a Reading Week/Spring Break retreat (or for those wanting to fast forward to warmer days but are stuck here at home), here are some tips for a low-maintenance beach-ready look to help heat it up!

1. peachy pink blush/highlighter
I love MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in RedHead for achieving this part of the look. This highlighting powder comes in a spectrum of peachy pink. Its sheer but shimmery finish works beautifully to show off your tan in progress. Use a large powder brush to concentrate the application on the sides of the forehead, down the temples and atop the cheekbones. Now, just sit back and enjoy the sun...and you'll be glistening in all the right places!

2. a coral lipgloss
Add some punch to your lips with a coral coloured lipgloss. Coral is a universally flattering shade that will add a gorgeous complement to your tanned tone. To get the look, I like to keep MAC's Lipglass in Lychee Luxe (pictured above) handy.

3. clear mascara
Add some lift to your eyelashes by initially using an eyelash curler. Set the curl with a couple of light coats of clear mascara. You can very well use black (or any mascara colour of your choice), but just keep your plan to tan poolside, rather than in the water. Keep in mind that even "waterproof" formulas aren't necessarily made to withstand prolonged time in the water! In other words, stick to clear mascara and you're in the clear!

Lastly, don't forget your sunblock. Enjoy!

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

It's been a great past week on vacation, but I'll be the first to admit I missed having my laptop near! Blogging was never too far from my mind though as evident through my recent vacation and beach inspired posts!

I'm doing my best to catch up on emails, calls and inquiries and I really appreciate everyone's patience as I do so. Remember, you can always immediately view my schedule at to see my availability. Just scroll through the calendar on the bottom right-hand side to see what appointments I have for that day you're inquiring about. I'll be in touch soon!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist | 8:30 AM | , | 0 comments »

While on vacation, we all still want to look fab without necessarily being worried about our usual make-up routine. Returning from vacation recently, I realize that I did it again - I had packed way too much make-up and used only half of what I actually brought! There are some definite make-up travel essentials that I'd likely still take to a deserted island with me! Here's my list of essential make-up items when traveling (and hopefully I'll be more efficient when packing the next time, but knowing me...probably not).

1. Multi-Purpose Cream: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè (24-Hour Miracle Cream)This multi-purpose cream is aptly named. Embryolisse can be used as a moisturizer, make-up primer and make-up remover. The cream also quadruples as an impromptu shaving cream (your boyfriend will thank you for thinking of him as well!). Items with multiple uses mean less to pack in that bag...and who doesn't love that?! Embryolisse is also an industry insider favourite - make-up artists and models are known to swear by this cream for its many uses.

2. Tinted Moisturizer: MAC Select Tint SPF 15
Select Tint doubles as a moisturizer and foundation in one handy bottle. The tinted moisturizer formula offers the most minimal amount of coverage in a foundation, while still helping to lightly even out skin tone. Select Tint also has a built-in SPF of 15, which makes it the practical and perfect choice in attaining that polished look. My forehead has a tendency to catch most of the sun, and by the end of the trip, there are two different shades on my face! I apply Select Tint just on the forehead to brighten the skin tone there, and then I dust some bronzer on my cheeks to deepen the skin tone and bring everything in balance.

3. Blotting Tissues: Tea Tree Oil Facial Blotting Tissues
To keep looking fresh in the hot vacation weather, there's no sense in touching up your shine with more and more powder (which could contribute to clogged pores and break-outs). Instead, scoop up a handy pack of blotting tissues to keep your shine in check. Simply dab a tissue wherever you see an excess of oil build-up, and watch the absorbent tissue do all the work.

4. Bronzing/Highlighting Powder Duo: MAC Mineralize (Dark/Natural & Shimmer)
Use a bronzer and highlighter combo to accentuate your glowing bronzed skin. With the MAC Mineralize Duo, I used the dark matte powder as a contour on the cheeks and as an impromptu eyeshadow to define the crease of the eye. With the shimmery half of the powder, I used a large powder brush to dust it atop the browbone and on the cheekbones. Spotlighted tan? Check!

5. Lip Balm: Burt's Bees Radiance Lip Shimmer
The hot weather was a welcome climatic change for my lips. My lips had seen more than their share of dry and cracked days, courtesy of our Canadian winter season. I usually throw my Kiehl's Lip Balm No. 1 into my purse for its reliable moisturizing and SPF properties, but found that the balm tended to liquify in the extreme heat. Fortunately, I had Burt's Bees Radiance Lip Shimmer as a back-up. The waxy stick withstood the heat better while adding a moisturizing shine to my lips.

6. Liquid Eyeliner: L'oreal Lineur Intense
My failsafe way to beat the heat while keeping my eyeliner in check is to use liquid liner. I've worn liquid liner in extreme heat, and found that nothing beats its lasting power. To help prolong its longevity, I apply a neutral-coloured cream eyeshadow base to tone down my oil-pone eyelids.

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

Check out the original post on Toronto Wedding Professionals, your e-source for all things wedding!

Your Big Day is quickly approaching and you've got the dress of your dreams, but for a complete polished look, you can't forget about what to do for hair and make-up! Here are some helpful tips when it comes to choosing a make-up artist on your Big Day:

Ask friends for referrals.
Ask friends about their own experiences with the artist. Be sure to ask about reliability and punctuality of the artist and how well the make-up lasted or didn't last.

Look for an artist who goes on-site to where you prefer.
It's simply easier if someone comes to you on the big day so why not spare yourself the time and stress?! You can go to a salon if it's better for you - just be sure to factor in travel time into your schedule and choose a salon that has a convenient location to where you need to get ready.

Have a set price range in mind.
Think about your price range. For bridal make-up, you should expect to pay a similar price to what you would pay for hair on the big day. You can usually negotiate better deals when booking for a large group rather than booking make-up for just one person.

Do your trial early in the day.
This way you can evaluate the make-up later in the day to see how it lasts and feels.

Ask to see examples of work.
A better artist should be able to produce examples of his/her either work, either in hardcopy form or online on a website. This will help you decide if you even want to go for a trial with them in the first place.

Think of what you want your bridal look to be.
Look through fashion and bridal magazines for looks for hair and make-up that you would like on your wedding day. It's always better when you can help to predict outcomes, as sometimes the artist's interpretation of your preferences is not the bridal version of yourself that you had attempted to convey. Don't be afraid to show the make-up artist what you want your ideal look to be with photos. Your trial will go better if you have an idea in mind of what you want, and a good artist will listen to what you want.

See what extras the artist offers.
Does the make-up artist offer eyelashes and sample make-up products for touch-ups? Does the artist offer before and after photos of their work on you? Check with the artist to see if these cost extra or are they already factored into the rates.

Look at the make-up artist's own make-up.
First impressions are everything and if you like how he/she does their own make-up, then you are more likely to prefer their style of application.

Get freebies at a make-up counter.
If you decide to get your bridal make-up done with a make-up counter, be sure to go for a trial with them first. Most major make-up counters offer free products up to a certain amount when you pay for a bridal make-up application, which is perfect when you need to pick up items for touching up. See the individual counter you're interested in to see if it's something they offer.

Get a feel for the artist.
Go with someone you feel comfortable with. A good artist should be trying to build rapport with you to put you at ease. The last thing you need is a clash of personalities on the big day. Don't be afraid to say what you prefer, as a good artist will always be open to criticism and realize that it's your big day!

More make-up tips to come!

Rhia Amio, Toronto Make-up Artist

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

Professional photos from the wedding of Jin (my dear gorgeous friend and an inspiration!) are now available at To see more from her wedding day, click here.

Related posts:

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

I find contouring an indispensable method. The modern contoured look is a lot more subtle, and definitely not the harsh lines reminiscent of the 80s (i.e. think Grace Jones). The trick to make contouring work is to make it look like it’s not there. When applied right, the (untrained) eye shouldn’t be able to detect your contour make-up. It should look like the hollows of your cheekbones – only better and deeper! To sculpt your best face yet, choose a shade that’s not more than 2-3 shades darker than your own skin tone. Remember darker colours make areas of the face recede, while using lighter colours act as a highlight. Be sure to avoid orange colours, as in some bronzers, as these will scream unnatural! Opt for a matte product, as this flat texture helps to absorb light and deepen the illusion of shadow. (Shimmer textures tend to have light reflecting particles and won’t provide the same illusion of depth).
How to apply:
Use an angled blush brush for a flawless application. The angled brush will deposit the majority of the product at the back of the cheekbone and automatically taper the application as it goes inward. For a better view, suck your cheeks in (fish face time!) to get a better view of where the hollows lie beneath the cheekbone. Concentrate the brush right at the top of the hollow and just below the cheekbone. Blend in towards the nose, stopping at two fingers width away from the nose.

Recommended products:
MAC #168 Large Angled Contour Brush
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish powders
MAC Full Coverage Foundation

Related posts:
BEAUTY 101 | Contouring the Face
Q & A | Do I apply blush on the apples of my cheeks or do I contour?

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

The heavy-hitters at MAC have done it again releasing a new line of face make-up products developed to meet the demands of both make-up artists and everyday customers. In this latest Studio Sculpt collection (available February 7th, 2009 at MAC stores and counters), a new range of cream foundations and concealers have been designed to give the skin a satiny finish with medium buildable coverage. According to Nick Gavrelis, VP of Global Development for MAC, Studio Sculpt "had to have the wear, flexibility and flawlessness that our makeup artists demanded, as well as the comfort, moisturization, smoothing and perfecting qualities that real women have been asking for."

I love how MAC offers the widest range of skin tone selection - they definitely can't be beat in that department. I'm especially looking forward to trying Studio Sculpt concealer, as I'm always on the hunt for the next latest and greatest product to hide my undereye circles (my current fave is Stila Perfecting Concealer)! Since Studio Sculpt is also cream-based, I'm curious to see if they'll work well as contouring products (hopefully the "sculpt" lives up to its name!)

Check back as I'll be sure to post a follow-up on my experience with Studio Sculpt within the coming weeks!

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

Check out for more professional photos from gorgeous Miss Hennie's Big Day!

Related posts:
WEDDING | Behind the Scenes With Hennie

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

Launching this Thursday (February 5th, 2009) is MAC's latest release for lips: Creme Team. The collection builds on the success of MAC's lipstick formulation, Cremesheen, and combines more lipstick colours, lipliners and lip glasses to the mix! The collection's lipstick and lip gloss products glide on sheer to give a creamy and high shine factor to the lips. With the Cremesheen lipliners, you can easily fill in the whole lip area and use it as a base for lipstick application - and you won't have to worry about it being drying to the lips. (Sublime Culture lipliner is already part of my kit!)

I love the texture of the Cremesheen lipglasses: flat without sparkle and not overly sticky (as in past lip glass formulations!). I test ran Cremesheen Glass in Looks Like Sin, a neutral plum colour that worked great for both daytime (worn with liquid eyeliner) and night-time (when paired with a smoky eye).

NOTE: Be warned that if you try to apply the Cremesheen gloss as advertised, you'll likely encounter feathering gloss earlier than expected. The gloss actually goes on quite sheer so my attempts to build up the colour were futile...and messy! Save yourself the trouble and the wasted product - keep the gloss application to two coats max and you're ready to pucker up!

Cremesheen lipsticks will remain part of the permanent collection, but Cremesheen lipglasses are only available until the end of March 2009.

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

It's February and the site has been up for about a month now. The response has been amazing so far (thank you!) and we're continually looking for ways to improve the site, with the help of your feedback. A couple of updates to the include:1. Adding an easy click tab in the top-left corner of each page. This quick-tab allows you to easily navigate between the artistrhi site and the artistrhi blog. Remember the artistrhi blog is the place to find all of the frequent updates, make-up artist tips and the behind the scenes look at The official site features a portfolio of work and details of services offered.

2. is now twitter-friendly! You can view all status updates related to the site and blog through this widget or you can follow me on Twitter here. How tweet it is! 3. The Blog tab on now gives a sneak peek of artistrhi the blog and imports the three latest posts. To view the full blog, keep checking or subscribe here.

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

Speaking of American Beauty, what an historic time for our neighbours south of the border with a welcome change in Office that will undoubtedly affect the rest of the world! On January 20th, 2009, the world watched as Barack Obama was sworn in as 44th President of the United States. Our attention was also captivated by the new First Lady, Michelle Obama. Broadcasts everywhere focused on what the style icon, Mrs. Obama, would be wearing.

To complete the look, Mrs. Obama brought on trusted Chicago make-up artist and friend Ingrid Myles-Grimes. Myles-Grimes used a palette of neutral colours for a look that would be "read as very natural and polished." The end result was a classy and gorgeous make-up finish fit for the new First Lady. To get your own polished First Lady look, try these tips:

1. If you haven't done so already, shape your brows.
If you're unsure about doing it on your own, have them first shaped by a professional and then tweeze on your own to maintain the shape. Tamed brows frame the face and provide a more polished aesthetic.

2. Fill in brows with brow powder if necessary.

3. A key to Mrs. Obama's polished look is her glowing skin.
Use foundation to even out skin tone and surface and add concealer where necessary (undereye circles, blemishes).

4. Set face make-up with powder.
Use a multi-dimensional powder like MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish line to get rid of shine without looking dull and flat.

5. Skip the blush, but use a powder about 2 shades darker than your own skin tone as a contouring powder.

6. Apply liquid liner to the top lashes only.

7. Curl the eyelashes and apply two coats of mascara

8. Apply a nude coloured gloss.
NOTE: Yes, the natural and polished look is actually a lot more work than it looks! But when done right, people will notice that you’re glowing...and think that it's effortless! Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Associated Press

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