Get Ready with Me for a Date Night:

Getting ready for “date night” is a really basic beauty ritual that needs no explaining, in my opinion. We all do it, primp and preen and get our skin glowing for that special someone. But there is actually a lot more to it that flexing our vanity and grooming muscles. There is an order and logic to it. It’s a process, so let’s talk about that process. I will start by talking about my emotional state recently and how getting ready for this one date was so interesting to me.

So I do have a boyfriend. I guess that’s what he is, considering that it we’re monogamous and it’s pretty regular that we see each other. And it’s really difficult making time for each other with our busy adult lives. And the future is always uncertain, in terms of the longevity and meaning of the relationship. I recently feared a lot of things after some revealing text messages from my boyfriend. And I didn’t know how to deal with them. I am a hairstylist in Toronto; my day to day consists of taking care of the business of looking good, and not much else. So there it was–a wall of emotions that floored me and I didn’t know what to do for days. But as a date night with my beau approached, I did what I had to do. What I always knew how to do…prep and get ready. And believe it or not, the process of selfcare and beautification really made me feel more secure of myself and what I want and was therapy in a way.

After showering I love to just relax in my robe and plan my next beauty moves. Usually it involves grabbing a tea!

The Ritual of Getting Ready:

  1. Facial Pampering: I like to do this the night before a date, or the morning of. It’s exfoliating with a gentle face exfoliator. I used Deciem’s Lactic Acid. Then applying a mask. The exfoliating makes the skin cleaner by removing dead skin cells so that it can absorb the nutrients of a moisturizing mask and expel toxins trapped within. It’s also creating the ideal canvas for make-up application. Also the best time to do my nails is the night before!
  2. Cleansing face, body and hair: I like to do this a few hours before the date: I do the whole enchilada; shampoo, condition my hair, shave, brush my teeth. After all the cleansing, don’t forget to moisturize with a nice light body lotion.
  3. Blow Dry and Style hair. My hair style depends on the formality of the night. After being apart for a while from my beau, I needed to have a more carefree, low maintenance look. This was because I wanted to create a more relaxed vibe between us after the awkwardness of the previous week and the messages. So I opted for a tousled look without flat ironing or curling. It was very natural. To achieve this I just blow dry and add a bit of serum for shine and de frizzing.
  4. Decide on outfit: Do this before putting make up on. Even if I don’t dress until right before the date, I still need to know what colors I’m working with. After choosing the appropriate outfit, for this one night I chose a lace turquoise body suit spaghetti strap tank and flare jeans. Casual but stylish attire to match my mood.
  5. Make up time: I decided since few colours didn’t clash with turquoise I would wear a smokey beige shadow with a bit of shimmer. It was perfect. Subtle, but alluring none the less. Liquid line with a pen, my usual day to day make up. Blush, brows, and lots of mascara.
I’m a fan of mascara. I truly believe that is there is one make up arsenal that really makes or breaks a look, it’s the mascara on lashes!!
Tada! The finished look. Is it possible that something so subtle and easy looking took about 2 hours? That is the mystery of getting ready!

By the time I got picked up by him, I was looking fine. Not overdone…even with all the work and prep it took. I enjoy the process. By the end of out date, after a hard couple of weeks second guessing our relationship, it felt nice that at least I always knew how to put on a good show; even if the future is uncertain with my beau. And well…it’s who I am to put my best face forward.

Sultry Nude tones: a flirty Make-up look for Valentines

Over the years, I’ve sported a lot of make up looks…but for Valentines this year, I was feeling that nothing is more adorable and feminine than a nude palette with a bit of shine, topped off with a matte red lip. It’s romantic, doesn’t appear formal or done up, but looks fashionable and right, with jeans or with a dress. I’m not in a relationship and for those who are at the moment, I am envious of them. I’ve always loved the idea of a holiday for loving, and remember the little cards we’d send to everyone in class in elementary school. As adults, it’s now something so exclusive to couples, something that single people can’t celebrate, but as a single gal, I still want to have fun during this time. So I’ve concocted another makeup look for all the dates that are being enjoyed during this time. I can only imagine.

I have posted a valentines make-up look several years before, and if that is of interest, the link is here. It’s got smoky plums as the theme. But this year, I wanted to do something a little bit racier. I was actually inspired by the playboy bunny’s make up. Subtle nude tones, very glam black liquid liner and mascara, red matte lip. Ultra flirty and feminine. Bedroom eyes. As I was creating this year’s Valentines make-up look, I also realized this is a version of the cat eye, French girl, retro pin up look. It’s just a classic. So here goes.

This is the start of any good make-up, and flawless base. Highlighting can be a great way to make the face look more luminous in photos.
  1. Apply a good foundation on lightly moisturized face. Medium to heavy coverage is best for photos. Then apply and highlighting concealer in certain spots: forehead triangle, under eye bags, nose bridge, chin etc…then blend with a beauty sponge, powder to finish and set.
  2. Next, define the eyebrows with a pencil or powder or gel. Put on the eyeshadow base. I like to use a slight shimmer on my bottom lids for more cute glow. A skin coloured shadow for the top lids work great as a base. Next add a shimmery taupe shade all over the lid. Take a dark tan colour shadow for the crease and outer edges of the lid. blend with a fluffy eyeshadow brush.
  3. Draw in a cat eye line with liquid liner on the top lid. I like to use felt tip pens for control and thinner lines. The line should not be too thick or too thin. It should also extend past the corner of the lid lifting up ever so slightly on a slant.
The eye make up is almost complete. Notice the subtle tan and nude tones. Use a slight shimmer shadow for a romantic sheen.

Finish with a good 1 or 2 coats of volumizing mascara, and ample amount of blush just on the tops of the cheeks. Do not over blush, keep the colour in the area of just the tops of cheeks. And voila, the finished look should be polished, flirty, elegant, and fun. Perfect for any Valentines Day date night.

Do I scream flirty or what? I feel pretty classy in this make-up, and that’s the beauty of it. It just works for any occassion, really.

A tattoo is a skin wound that takes 3 weeks to heal…

I recently added some new designs and details to an existing tattoo. Working with a trusted tattoo artist, I let her carve into me some extra sea imagery to my Venus goddess tattoo. For those not familiar with the process, a tattoo is thousands of little holes punched into the inner layer of the skin with an electric needle tool. The holes are filled with pigment and allowed to heal. As a result, it will hold whatever image is placed under the skin permanently. It’s an artform that is truly transformative and meaningful. But it requires the skin to be broken, hurt and maimed. But after some time, it’s an art piece that is painless and wonderful to look at. There are no scars but for the colourful pigments left behind.

This is the original tattoo. Simple and pretty, but not reminiscent of the way Venus was “born of the sea”. I wanted some more water imagery. The artist preps me by shaving the area.

There are other physically painful things that take time for the body to physically recover but the outcomes are so amazing. Childbirth for example. A woman’s body is pushed and stretched beyond comfortable proportions. Labour is very traumatic to experience. Intense contractions, and a human being having to exit a small space, it’s actually pretty violent. But the rewards are very real. A tiny bundle of joy awaits, and it makes the ordeal all worth it. My own experience giving birth to my son had taken me a year to heal before I felt physically like myself again. Ballet dancers are another example. They put their bodies and feet into demanding, often debilitating routines. And the outcome is an artful elegant dance that looks effortless…

My finished creation: I love how the artist made the water so flowy and fluid looking. She looks like a goddess born of the sea now!

During my most recent tattoo session, I was personally going through a break-up of immense emotional pain, walking out of a one sided relationship scenario. I confided this to my tattoo artist and she was sympathetic. She advised me that I should and would find somebody better. I’m always skeptical about the idea that I will find true emotional/spiritual recovery after a break-up, since my heart is actually wounded and it doesn’t seem to have a heal date confirmed. A injured heart doesn’t seem to have a simple, or guaranteed healing timeline the way a new tattoo does. But I figure I will have to take care of my wounds during this time, and believe it can pass. It can be and opportunity for transformation. Skin that has been tattooed on takes 3 weeks to fully heal, my tattoo artist said….but I’m wondering now how long will it take for my heart to heal? I don’t know, but I’m hoping it will also be in 3 weeks time.

Yay, I’m loving it…this is week one of healing this tattoo. Can’t wait till it’s done. Still sensitive.