Tag Archives: Makeup and Hair Tips

Vendor Spotlight – Mishe Jewels

22 Jun

Today I wanted to take a few minutes out to show some love to an amazing friend and local accessory designer named Mandee of Mishe Jewels.

We have worked with her on a few occasions over the past year or so now and just completed a recent shoot with her for some new and exciting items for her 2011 line!

With more and more of our brides seeking something other than your “traditional” style bridal accessories we thought this would be the perfect time to introduce you to her designs with Bridal season in full swing now and many of our brides asking for accessory referrals.

We’d like to introduce you to Mandee; the maker of fine custom and elite feather headpieces!

These amazing designs are sure to kick it up a notch, while incorporating  elegant and tasteful pops of color to your hairstyle and/or dress. Her hair accessories are also a wonderful option for bridesmaids and flower girls alike.

Her one of a kind designs can be pre-purchased from her amazing array of on-hand accessories, or completely customized and tailored to your ideas and color schemes for your wedding.

With a love for color, and inspired by all ideas and cultures from around the world, her pieces have been seen gracing both celebrities and local brides a like.

Here are a few sample shots of some of my favorite pieces as seen from our recent shoot.

For more information on her designs or to custom order your own pieces, contact Mandee at: info@mishejewels.com

Mishe Jewels also will continue to sell at Private Pop-up Parties for a short time, only-until their WORLDWIDE launch SOON! To be on the mailing list for these exclusive sales, please contact her at the email above!

Photo Credits:

Photography by: Nuno Silva

Models: Laura, Vanessa, Kelsey, Gabrielle and Julia

Accessories provided by: Mishe Jewels

Bridal Gowns provided by: Pure Something

All Hair Services by: Victoria Kuzma

All Make-up services by: Felicia Bromba


Hair Extensions for your Wedding – The good, the bad, the ugly.

1 Jun

*Contributing post by Hairstylist Victoria Kuzma*

I regularly receive emails from women inquiring about hair extensions.  Many of my brides ask if I would do extensions for them, too.  Since we’re entering high wedding season, and many of my brides are going for long, flowing half-updos for their wedding, I’ve decided that it’s time to address this issue.

Guess who….Money can’t by “good” extensions!

Firstly, most women consider extensions when they feel like they cannot grow their hair long enough or thickly enough for their satisfaction.  Today I’m probably going to upset a lot of you when I say that in my experience, the reason you do not have the beautiful hair you wish for is that you are too lazy or cheap to take care of it properly (very few women have actual medical hair and scalp issues compared to the number of women who get extensions).  I will teach you how to do this, after I tell you about extensions…

IF you get extensions, there is a great likelihood that your hair AND scalp will be irreparably damaged and you’ll be even worse off than before you got them.  Above, you see photos of Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham.  They are proof that no matter how many thousands of dollars you spend, fusion extensions still look nasty.  Victoria Beckham still looks like she has a patchy bald spot at the back of her head from her extensions, and I believe it’s been quite a few years since she took them out.

Extensions damage your hair at the scalp level, within the roots before the hair cells in the shaft have ‘died’ and fully keratinized.  It does this in 2 ways that I have seen: by suffocating the scalp and pulling at the roots.  Your scalp needs regular washing and exposure to the air.  Without these simple things, you’re looking at fungal accumulations and dead skin buildup, causing itchiness, foul odor and poor nutrient supply to your roots.  This causes your hair to grow brittle and break off, and scalp issues such as dandruff or folliculitis.  The end result is little bald dots all over your head, spiky little patches of very short broken hair, and thinner, ‘sicker’ hair than ever before.

Did you know that you cannot shampoo your scalp properly with fusion/bonded or track-and-sew?  You can’t put certain shampoos directly on the bonds, and it’s advised to never use conditioner on the bonds either.  Hair must be gently shampooed with a squeezing motion, never scrubbed.  It’s very hard to get a properly clean head using this technique!  I find track-and-sew to be especially gross – the braids are done so tightly to the scalp that you cannot wash underneath.  Trust me when I say it is STINKY to have to style track-and-sew…I no longer shoot with models who have this type of extension.

And finally, extensions are expensive to maintain.  I have heard of prices starting at $200 up to $500 every 4-6 weeks!

The only extensions I endorse are the clip-ins.  They cost only $100-$200 and can last for years if properly cared for, plus you can cut, colour and style them to match your own hair (if the right colours are not available).  I recommend Lord and Cliff 7-piece sets, available in Vancouver at Abantu.  Clip-ins are very easy to put in by yourself!  If unsure, watch a Youtube how-to video :)

SO!  How do you take care of your hair so that it grows long and healthy?  Well, start from within.  Proper nutrition is essential to healthy hair, so I suggest seeing a professional if you are truly unsure of how to feed yourself.  Regular trims are a must when growing your hair, because split ends can fray and break right on up the hair shaft if left too long.  Do you find your hair doesn’t grow past your shoulders?  That’s breakage!  Get a mini-trim every 4 weeks – your hair grows about 1/2 inch in that time, so go get a dry cut to ensure the minimum is taken (wet hair stretches).  And do not get any razor cutting – razoring scrapes and splits the cuticle, resulting in intensely damaged hair.

Stop over-styling your hair.  I advise everyone to work with their natural texture anyway, so go get a texturizing wash-and-wear haircut, and put the blow-dryer and flatiron away.  It will take a few months for your texture to normalize after all that styling, so do regular treatments and be patient.  I prefer Redken CAT treatment because the enzymes only work for 5 minutes, so it’s quick and easy.  You can even stack treatments one after the other without rinsing, up to 3 times.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to use the right products!  Spend the extra money on a decent shampoo and conditioner.  It’s so much cheaper than extensions!  I prefer PureOlogy Hydrate duo for thick hair and Rene Furterer Tonucia duo for thin hair.  Tonucia should not be used longer than 6 months at a time due to the protein content.  Too much protein will damage your hair, so switch to something like PureOlogy Volume for a while until ready for Tonucia again.

The best leave-in product for all hair types is BC Bonacure Sealed Ends, because you need only a teensy bit for maximum benefit.  If your hair is extra dry, you can touch up with it during the day on dry hair.  I love this product so much that I’ll probably write a big article about it, so stay tuned.

And finally, go easy on the highlighting.  It would be beneficial to start colouring your hair even one level darker by doing lowlights or an all-over application.  This will ‘heal’ your hair because salon colours often have intensive protein molecules which hold the pigment in the hair and seal the cuticle so it doesn’t wash out.

Let’s say you really feel it’s too ‘expensive’ to do what I’ve said.  Here is some math for you:

-PureOlogy Hydrate shampoo 1L and conditioner 1L combo, $75 at Zennkai, lasts a year on LONG hair, 1 year and 6 months on short hair

-Regular trims, 1x per month at $40 each (my pricing) $480

-Redken CAT, about $20 at Zennkai, lasts about 1 year if you do biweekly treatments on your ends only (not your whole head, it’s unnecessary)

-BC Bonacure Repair Rescue Sealed Ends, about $15

TOTAL $590 for a year of natural care, which is around what you spend in 6 months on extensions and upkeep, without products or haircuts. You could even splurge and get some $200 clip-ins and still be saving money!

By the way, cheap extensions are a bad idea and will only make everything much worse than I’ve already described.  Be warned!!  I have seen horrible botched gluing jobs with big nasty crusts of glue on the scalp that won’t come off…just don’t do it.

Whiten those teeth!

25 May

We all want a pearly white smile, especially for your bridal photos….After all you’re going to be smiling in about 90% of those pictures!  😉

Crest White strips are widely popular for a quick at home fix to brighten your smile; or a visit to your dentist for treatment.

Here’s a few quick “at home” options for you:

Brushing your teeth with table salt and baking soda.
It helps to brighten and polish the teeth and it’s great for the gum’s and fighting off bacteria and infection!

You can also make a paste using a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of  baking soda. Apply this to your teeth and massage gently. This helps to both brighten your teeth but also aids in removing stains.

Other handy at home options include; strawberries, orange peels, apple cider vinegar and even charcoal (burn a piece of toast, scrape the burnt layer and mix with your toothpaste!)

Remember that teeth naturally have a yellowish tint because of calcium, essential  for strong tooth enamel. Brushing too hard and using to many acidic items or prolonged use of “whitening products” can and will often begin to eat away the surface. Once your tooth enamel is ruined, it’s permanent. Your teeth can become considerably weaker and much more prone to cavities and sensitivity as well. So as with any items that are being used to alter a color or state of appearance, use moderation in application and your discretion.

Amp your Hair up with Vinegar!

9 Apr

Apple Cider vinegar is a natural way to boost your hairs shine and helps breakdown the buildup caused by shampoos, conditioners and other hair products.

It has a naturally high acid balance which makes it an excellent cleaning agent as well. It helps to restore the hair by breaking down films left over from hair products,  it combats sebum oils and helps bring dull hair back to a shine!

There are many different mixtures you can try out like; Mix one part vinegar with approximately four parts water and soak the hair. Leave on for 15 minutes, allowing the vinegar to penetrate down towards the scalp and roots, rinse away, then wash your hair normally.

Other mixtures can include the combinations of baking soda to Sage oils and other oils for a more pleasant scent.

Remember it is still acidic, so use in moderation as to not dry out the hair…

Vinegar can also be used for at home treatments to help with dandruff and Acne problems too!

Haircolour Tips for the Wedding Photos

26 Feb

*Contributing post by lead hairstylist Victoria Kuzma*

Here’s a topic that has been nagging at me for some time, and I finally decided to put together a little note about colouring your hair for your Big Day.  I frequently tell brides to stick with their usual colour for their wedding; the reason for this is that you want to feel and look like yourself, so that your photos turn out perfectly.  However, there are always exceptions to this rule.  This is my focus today!

My main focus when working with a bride is to have her photos turn out.  “Turning out” means that the bride feels comfortable and natural throughout the day (so her smiles are genuine), and the hairstyle must look perfect all day and in all types of light. Unfortunately, the details of your hairstyle can be completely lost in photos if your colour is boring and one-dimensional.

Did you ever notice that the majority of wedding hairstyles are modeled by girls who are blonde?  This is because blondes have the greatest range in the dimension of their colour, and therefore all the intricate details are showcased.  You’ve probably also noticed that there are virtually NO dark-haired updo models…without much effort you can figure out that the style ends up as a black blob unless the photographer is a master of lighting.

My solution is this: If you are NOT blonde, I highly recommend some soft highlights to help your style show as clearly as possible.  The best option is to go with the ‘sweet’ colours such as chocolate if you have black hair, and caramel if you are a mid-brunette.  These are flattering because they don’t contrast – they simply enhance dimension.

Furthermore, if you ARE a blonde, you can opt for some blended low-lights to really punch up your style.  The trick is to avoid the stripy look!  Low-lights also help to ‘heal’ your hair and add shine if you are a chronic highlighter.  Another option is to get a clear glaze to ‘laminate’ your hair for insane glittering highlights and mirror shine. If you go “too blonde” in can actually photograph as a receding hairline, especially if you are of a  paler complexion, and in some light sources even look like it has color tints to it, often blue!

And as always, I’ve remembered my redheads!  Please please PLEASE do not get highlights that are too bright!  I see this way too often.  My own sister, a strawberry blonde, got yellow highlights for my wedding and I was heartbroken.  Yellow always shows up with redheads, since they lack eumelanin (blue) pigment in their hair which generally counteracts the warmer tones.  In all honesty I would much rather see redheads get auburn low-lights instead of highlights UNLESS you trust your colourist to give you a lighter strawberry for your highlight.  Just…keep it RED, okay?

A few little tips for today:

– Make sure your colourist highlights a couple millimeters back from your entire hairline (forehead, over the ears, nape) because otherwise, people will ask you if you got married in the mid-90s!  It’s all about subtlety, shimmering and blending highlights nowadays.  You want to make sure that there aren’t clear visible re-growth stripes around your hairline.  Balayage is a great product for this!

– The best time to colour your hair is 2 weeks before your wedding and no sooner.  You want to give your hair a week to settle into the colour.  Also, if your hair is too recently coloured, your hair may not curl or hold style properly!!!

– Make sure you remember to let your hair ‘air out’ by not washing for 2 days after your colour.  This helps the pigment to seal itself in through air oxidization.  Also, ask your colourist to emulsify the colour out without shampooing – professional colour is not meant to be shampooed out.

– If you plan to wear extensions, please have them coloured to match your hair if you can’t get the exact shade.  This goes especially for multi-toned hair (highlights or low-lights).  They do show up in photos and can look especially frightful in “down” styles if the colors are not matched to blend in.  For example, you can see Scarlett Johanson’s clip-ins in the famous ‘red dress’ paparazzi photos.  Even celebrities can’t avoid custom coloured extensions without sacrificing the quality of their hairstyle!

-For the love of all that is holy…if you spend the money to get your color done professionally, get some professional colour-protecting shampoo and conditioner, and throw away that Pantene and Aussie crap because it does NOT do anything for you or protect your colour!  My favourites are PureOlogy Hydrate and Kerastase Bain Miroir, and you can get great value from the mid-range Bonacure Colour series by Schwarzkopf.

That’s all for today!  Please feel free to contact me at hairstylist@victoriakuzma.com if you have specific colour questions, or visit my website for more info and TONS of photos!

The way you sleep = Fine lines!

15 Feb

Here’s a quick fact for today for those of you that sleep on your stomach.

It has been jokingly said by many famous Hollywood starlets dating as far back as the early 1900’s, that lying on your stomach to sleep at night is bad for a ladies “beauty sleep.”

They were right!

The average human head weighs  approximate 7 to 8 pounds… That is a lot of pressure to be putting on your face every night, day after day, for an average of 7 hours or more.

So much in fact, many dermatologists say they can actually tell what side of the face people sleep on by the number of wrinkles that are present on the face.

Just something to think about before you head to bed tonight!

Veil or No Veil?

22 Oct

*A contributing post by lead Hairstylist Victoria Kuzma.

Now everyone knows that the traditional Western veil and its antiquated meaning no longer applies to brides nowadays.  I know that feminism has done much for society, but to me its best contribution to this industry is a bride’s free choice to look however she wants on HER day.  So please give some serious thought to wearing a veil with your white dress!  I tell all my brides to at least try on some veils and take photos of reference.  Your wedding is the only time (other than confirmation for Catholics I think) that you’ll get to wear a veil.

I like to see a bride really stand out from the bridesmaids, so I prefer a veil.  But you don’t need to use the traditional kind if you don’t want to!  There are tons of fresh and modern options: birdcage veils, hats and headpieces are making a dramatic comeback and it can be really sheik and sexy.  You can buy them with coloured accents like feathers, lace trim or jewels.  Think Gwen Stefani or Katy Perry…or even Lady Gaga, because I have brides that wear those styles too!

The other thing is that you don’t need to cover your face or head if you prefer to break tradition.  You can wear a low, messy bundle of curls at your nape, and pin the veil right underneath.  This helps to keep the hairstyle from fuzzing out due to friction on your neck.

My most favourite veil ever was a colossal full length Spanish mantilla made by the bride herself and decorated with crystals and lace.  She wore it from the centre downward so it covered her from the front of her toes to the back of her train.  So romantic!!

I have even had brides wearing multiple veils!  This gives a rich and extravagant look.

If you really hate veils, I still suggest putting something in your hair to complete your look!  Many brides are choosing to wear jewelled clips from Swarovski or Mimosa, or handmade feathered pieces.

Many Brides now opt for a “reception changeover” because they don’t want the veil in all day.  They’ve taken out the veil and replaced it with the jewelled clip, hat or feathers.  This is a great option because usually I create a spot in the hairstyle for the veil to sit, and when you take it out there can be a divot or kink in the hair.  Clipping in a new accessory makes you still feel ‘done up’ and pretty without the veil.  Plain hairstyles are typically for the bridesmaids!

Flowers are always excellent hair decorations as well!  I have added everything to my hairstyles, from a single big flower to wire strings made up of many tiny flowers laced in with the curls.  When you order your flowers from the florist, give them a few U-shaped hairpins so they can attach the flowers to them using florist tape.  That way they’re guaranteed not to wilt or fall out.

Any veil conundrums?  Don’t know what veil to wear with your chosen hairstyle?  Contact me at hairstylist@victoriakuzma.com and I will help you.

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