Archive for February, 2013

February 28, 2013 3:55 pm

Winter Wedding Ideas For Your Client

A winter wedding can be so romantic and beautiful, but also very tricky. Especially in the month of December. After all, your client’s December wedding is in competition with the fabulous holiday parties that seem to take place nearly every weekend of the month. With all of these festivities, how do you make your event stand out? Read on for some winter wedding ideas.

Do you have some great winter wedding ideas of your own? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Don’t overdo it

It’s always tempting to go overboard at this time of year with the holiday theme. Reds and greens, holly and poinsettias are certainly beautiful, but are a bit overdone during December. What’s more, they might make your event seem more like a shopping mall than a classy affair. Instead, choose a more unique winter palette, like silver and blue, or plum and white.

Cover up!

Wedding dresses are not always weather-friendly. Strapless, backless, and sleeveless garments are stunning, but not always appropriate for the cold. After all, goose bumps don’t make very nice accessories. Thankfully, sleeved wedding dresses have been making a big comeback, so it’s now a lot easier (and trendier) for brides to cover up. If your bride still wants to go sleeveless, a classic faux-fur stole or cape is the perfect way to keep warm during chilly outdoor photo sessions.

Light up the night

At a time of year when fresh flowers are scarce (and expensive!), a creative planner can come up with some creative decor. Nothing says warmth and romance better than candles, so don’t be afraid to put them everywhere! In lieu of flowers, winter arrangements made from branches, evergreen, and pinecones really capture the simplicity of the season, while still keeping the budget low.

Comfort food

Root vegetables are all the rage in the winter months. Delicious, hearty, and comforting, they make the perfect soup or side vegetable for your guests. What better way to warm up? When it comes to winter treats, s’mores have been growing in popularity at weddings this season, so why not enjoy this fun and yummy trend as well?

On the beverage side, this time of year really lets you offer some interesting drink options. Mulled wines and ciders are always a hit. And don’t be afraid to go on the sweet side with hot chocolate and egg nog. Come to think of it, the best part of winter weddings may just be the food!


Why is the blush brush so amazing? When it comes to make up, there are really no rules. There are, though, a series of fundamental suggestions. One of the most important is… if you want professional results from your makeup, you need to use professional tools.

I am by no means suggesting that you run out and buy an arsenal of expensive makeup brushes. I am simply suggesting that you have a handful of the right brushes on hand. A great artist can work wonders on a face with very few tools, and when I’m done passing on my knowledge to you, you’ll be able to do the same.

Since flawless skin is the first building block to stunning makeup, I am going to begin with an amazing multi-functional brush every pro and consumer must have for complexion perfection. The blush brush is one of my absolute favorites, and I use it for so much more than just blush.

The Blush Brush

Uses: To apply setting powders, pressed powders, contour colors, bronzer and, of course, powder blushes.

Why it works: Powder makeups cling to the natural hairs on this rounded mid-sized brush, allowing for an even deposit on the face. The head is large enough to give a fast and even distribution but small enough to ensThe multi-functional blush brushure ample coverage over the cheekbones and in crevices (under the eyes and around the nose).

What to do: To apply any powder makeup, dip the brush into the product, then turn the brush upside down and tap the handle on the sink. This will pull the powder down into the brush, allowing an even distribution of color as you pull it across or buff over your face. (If you don’t tap it into the brush, you may end up with too hard a lay down of color on the first place the brush hits. Some people prefer to flick the brush to remove the excess powder, but I tend to think this is messy and wasteful.) Apply dry powder foundation all over the face and any other products where needed.

Tips and tricks:

  1. When using foundation as a setting powder, tap the brush onto the face, allowing the foundation to ‘grab’ the powder that it needs. This will ensure that your perfectly applied foundation and concealer will not be moved by the sweeping motion of the brush.
  2. Setting your cream or liquid makeup with powder will extend its wear and cut down on shine.
  3. To use the blush brush as a buffer (for contour or bronzer application), pinch the bristles close to the ferrule (the metal section that holds the bristles in place). This will tighten the hairs and lay down a heavier application of color. Use the same technique if you wish to lay down more coverage from pressed powder, and contour powders.


This multi-use brush is a staple that will help perfect your application.

If you are happy using your fingers, let me caution you: it is not hygienic, it causes needless wear on the skin and, like I always say, fingers are to make-up like the cookie monster is to cookies; they gobble it up. If you put it on with your fingers, you are throwing away at least 25% of your product and over a lifetime, that is a lot of wasted money. Save time, save money and look better…use brushes.

Get out there and be beautiful.


February 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Student Feature: Cristina Salerno

Cristina is a graduate from QC Design School’s Home Staging and Interior Decorating courses. She now owns her own successful home staging and redesign company, Ella Staging & Design. With a creative flair and an eye for all things decor, Cristina’s portfolio includes some very impressive spaces. Read on for Cristina’s insights on the home staging industry and to see some fabulous examples of her work!

Company Name: Ella Staging & Design Inc.

Description: We style to sell and design to please! Services include: Occupied home staging, vacant home staging, interior redesign, color consultation and professional organization.

Region: Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area
Phone: 905.605.2393
Facebook fan page:

What motivated you to start your career as a staging and redesign professional?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in design and real estate. HGTV was and continues to be my go-to channel. My shelves are filled with design magazines and I’m always exploring ways to improve my families’ quality of life through organization and function. It’s something I truly enjoy and provides me with immense gratification.
Then there’s my personality. Innately, I’m a very organized person. Friends, family, and colleagues would always comment on how organized and beautiful my home was, or how my office was perfectly ordered despite working on multiple projects at any given time.

I suppose the true turning point, however, was during the sale of our first home. It sold very quickly despite being a ‘buyers’ market. Our real estate agent stated that I should consider a career in Home Staging, saying that I was a natural.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

I’d have to say the most memorable moment of my career thus far was my very first staging job. It was a two-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto. It had been sitting vacant for a couple of months. The finishes were very attractive, however potential buyers couldn’t get past the perceived lack of space. Needless-to-say, it sold within a week of staging it. My clients were thrilled. It was a euphoric feeling.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

The QC Design course was great! Upon receiving my certification, I truly felt I had the knowledge, tools, and confidence to be a success in this industry. For example, space planning is especially critical in vacant home staging. The QC Design School course really prepares you well for this. There were also many optional assignments designed to prepare you for starting your own business, such as ‘developing a business plan’. After completing the course, I felt like I was already a step ahead because it was something I had to do to launch my business and it was already done. I loved that!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

The one thing I would have to say in terms of the training is not to cut corners. There are other programs out there that offer you staging certifications following a weekend seminar, but completing the course myself and learning all there is to know, I don’t see how that is even possible.

In terms of starting a career, my advice would be the same: don’t cut corners. Staging a property following the steps taught by this course will ensure you avoid costly mistakes such as ordering the wrong sized furniture. Third party furniture rental companies are only too happy to charge you that re-stocking fee.

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February 26, 2013 8:00 pm

Looking for Movie Makeup Schools?

Are you looking for movie makeup schools? Well, our Master Makeup Artistry course offers additional units on makeup for television, film, and high-definition media. It’s a great way to get a head start in this exciting industry. After all, makeup for film is very different than everyday makeup, or makeup for special events.

The most important task of the movie makeup artist is to create believable characters that are meaningful to the audience – whether the audience loves the character, or loves to hate him, a huge part of the character’s success depends on the makeup artist’s skill.

One thing you’ll learn in this unit is that when it comes to film, continuity is key. That means the makeup you choose for a particular character can’t noticeably change from one scene to the next – unless the scene requires it. This can be especially difficult during complicated filming schedules. Most films are not shot chronologically, from beginning to end. It’s the makeup artist’s job to keep detailed records, with product lists and photographs, of what makeup application each actor is wearing during what scene. There’s a lot more to it than you might think!

In the movies, the audience will notice every detail of an actor’s face – especially during an intense close-up scene. That means that the makeup artist on set needs to be aware of every little detail. If the makeup begins to fade, it needs to be touched up immediately. Details can also contribute to the overall mood of a scene. A dab of glycerine on the lip, for example, will make it seem like your actor is sweating in a stressful situation.

These tips just begin to scratch the surface of the film makeup you’ll learn in the Master Makeup Artistry course. There’s so much to learn!



Are you wondering how to be a wedding planner? Well, the best way is to enroll in a course that can teach you everything you need to know about the wedding planning industry. A course like those offered by QC Event School. If you enroll in the Wedding Planning course, you’ll work your way through four comprehensive units, all through distance learning. Here are just some of the things you’ll learn:

  • How to work with the wedding party, solve any problem that may arise, and maintain good relationships
  • How to work within any budgetary constraints
  • Different cultural wedding variations from a variety of faiths
  • How to add showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners to your event planning roster
  • How to assist your clients in preparing their wedding wardrobe – from the dress and tux, to the rings and makeup
  • How to choose the perfect venue for any wedding
  • How to find and work with vendors, such as catering, music, bartending, flowers, and more

On top of all that, you’ll also receive full business training. Among other things, you’ll learn how to:

  • Establish yourself as a small business – choose a great name, and write an effective business plan
  • Market your business so that you can get your name out to potential clients
  • Use the principles of project management to stay organized and handle any surprise that may come your way

A career in wedding planning could be just around the corner. With the help of QC Event School, you could be well on your way.


There’s more to being a professional makeup artist than having a love for makeup, or being able to blend a smokey eye really really well. That’s why QC Makeup Academy provides its graduates with a professional designation – Certified International Makeup Professional (CIMP).

become a certified international makeup professionalYou need to learn the basics:

  1. What each makeup brush is for and how to use it
  2. Creating a clean and sanitary work environment
  3. Basic client etiquette

You need to learn the techniques:

  1. Identify skin types and choose products accordingly
  2. Create interesting contours and dimensions with highlighting and contouring techniques
  3. Conceal any flaw your client may have using concealer

You need to learn the special topics:

  1. Take any makeup application from daytime to evening
  2. Create subtle makeup looks for your male clients
  3. Bridal makeup trends and how to create a timeless bridal look

You need to learn good business sense:

  1. Choose a unique and catchy business name
  2. Write an effective business plan
  3. Market your skills to grow your makeup artistry business


As a Certified International Makeup Professional, you’ve received a professional designation that acts as your proof that you’ve received industry training by a reputable online school. QC Makeup Academy specializes in makeup artistry training, and you’re sure to leave with the skills you need to launch an exciting career in the makeup industry.

To learn more, visit


February 22, 2013 9:04 pm

Get Defined Cheekbones Now

Cheeks are one of the most important features when it comes to transforming the face. Instead of just showing them off with a touch of blush, let’s accentuate them with some basic contouring. Proper contouring will reshape your face. Whether you want to show off your cheekbones, or make a full face appear slimmer, this is the trick for you. Get defined cheekbones now!

Contouring with cream or powder foundation
First off, you have to find the contour color that is right for you. Whether you choose powder or cream, the ideal shade is one to two shades deeper than your natural skin tone. If you have a matte bronzer that is deep enough, you can create the illusion this way, is not, invest in a separate product.

Here’s a tip: Use only matte bronzers for this effect. The shimmer in many bronzers will catch the light, illuminate the area, and defeat the purpose.

To apply: If you are using a powder, begin at the center of the ear and sweep it along the hollow of the cheekbone. If you are using a cream product, use your fingers or a foundation brush to smooth the product in the hollow below theNathan Johnson teaches you how to contour those cheeks cheekbones. Whichever product you choose, powder or cream, be sure to stop before you reach the point where the hollow reaches the apple. The outer corner of the eye is a good guideline for most. If you are confused as to exactly where the hollow is, suck in your cheeks. That spot where the shadow falls is exactly where you want to apply your color.

The most important tip I can give you about contour color is to BLEND. The contour shade should melt effortlessly into your foundation. A hard line will look like just that, a hard line of makeup. A blended kiss of deeper color will look like the shadow thrown from a beautiful high cheekbone. As a finishing touch, warm up the apples of your cheeks with your favorite shade of blush.

Contouring with blush
The steps to this are very similar, you just need to change products and colors. Choose a cream or powder blush in a deep nude shade. Apply the cream or powder blush; sweep it from the center of the ear along the hollow of the cheekbone. Bring it right up onto the apple of the cheek like a Nike symbol. Using a more romantic, and perhaps shimmery shade, apply the color to the apple of the cheeks. A beautiful rose or flirty pink really adds light and contrast to the beautiful depth created by the contour.
Either of these techniques will slim the face, lift the cheekbones and make the face into a perfect platform to showcase the eyes and lips. Contouring is a great secret to have in your makeup arsenal.


Have you ever completed the perfect foundation application and set it with your favorite setting powder only to look in the mirror and see cakey foundation? It’s a problem many of us have likely encountered, but there are a few simple steps to keep this from happening. Read on below to find out!

  1. Moisturize your skin, including an eye creamApplying makeup on top of well moisturized skin will keep your foundation and setting powder from clinging to any dry patches or flaky areas. Using an eye cream in the under eye area, and extending it out to your temple, will add an extra boost of moisture to this region and keep the area looking lifted and brightened. An eye cream will also ensure your concealer sits nicely on top of your skin and Keep your makeup from looking cakeydoesn’t settle into any fine lines or wrinkles.
  2. Use a primerIf you have oily skin, use the primer of your choice all over your face. If you have combination skin, apply a bit of primer over any areas that are prone to become oily throughout the day. If you have dry skin, you may be able to get away with using a very hydrating moisturizer and no primer. Take your time and find the combination of moisturizer and primer (if any!) that works for you. Using a primer will help even out your skin tone and texture, allowing your makeup to be more smoothly and evenly applied across the face.
  3. Apply less foundationOne of the biggest mistakes makeup wearers make is using too much foundation. However much you’re using right now, you could probably cut it down to 2/3 or even 1/2. The thinner you apply your foundation, the better your concealer will sit on top of it and the quicker your application will dry. This will be extremely helpful in avoiding your setting powder from looking cakey, as you need to wait until your makeup is completely dry before applying setting powder.
  4. Wait for your foundation and concealer to complete dry before applying powderWhen you apply setting powder on top of foundation or concealer before it’s finished drying, you’ll notice it starts to bunch and look cakey. This can be avoided by using less foundation, waiting for the application to completely dry, and then applying a dusting of setting powder across the face – focusing on the areas that are more likely to become shiny or oily throughout the day. A trick to keep a fresh, dewy-looking complexion is to only apply powder to these oil prone areas, and to skip applying powder on less oily areas of the face such as the temple, upper lip region, jaw line, and cheek bones.

Do you have any other tips for keeping your foundation looking flawless? If you do, then post them on our Facebook page!


Stephanie Hammermeister is still a student of QC Event School, but she’s already well on her way to industry success. She owns and operates her own wedding and event planning business, Memory Lane Events LLC. Stephanie believes in lifelong learning, and is using all the new skills she is gaining in her Event and Wedding Planning course toward her growing business. Read on to learn about her event planning career and her advice for anyone looking to start their own.

Below, Stephanie tells us how she got to where she is today, and reflects on the best parts of her career so far. She also shares some photos of her work…and they are absolutely beautiful. We’re so happy and proud to share her work with you this month. If you would like to learn more about Stephanie’s company, be sure to check out her website and Facebook page.Stephanie Hammermeister is our student of the month

Company Name: Memory Lane Events LLC
Description: Wedding and Event Planning
Region: Southern California
Phone: 949 444-5140
Twitter: @Stephanie_MLE
Facebook: Memory Lane Events LLC.

What motivated you to start your career as a professional event and wedding planner?

From early adolescence straight into adulthood, basketball had been my passion, my outlet, and my whole heart! So as you can imagine, the transition from tomboy to girly girl was certainly life changing. The idea of becoming a professional wedding and event planner was always an immense interest of mine (even while in uniform), but falling in love had ultimately become my motivation to pursue a career in the field. My journey to the altar grew to be my first project in the creation of Memory Lane Events LLC. After receiving wonderful feedback on preparation, design, decor, and execution, I made a decision to become more involved in the industry.

I was given a wonderful internship opportunity by a gracious wedding planner out of the San Diego region. In that position, I learned helpful skills and beginner techniques which provided a great foundation to begin my personal path for success. The enormous support of my caring husband, wonderful family, and gracious followers is all of the motivation and inspiration that I need for continual success.

What are some highlights of your career so far?

One of the many highlights I have received in my career thus far has been the remarkable feedback and generous gestures from my previous clients and other professionals in the business. The industry is competitive yet rewarding all the same. It has been a privilege to work alongside several successful professionals who I admire dearly. However the finest highlight, I must say, is bestowing emotions of peace, happiness, and bliss upon my clients in a monumental moment of their life’s journey, no matter how large or small.

How did your course prepare you for working in the field?

Still currently enrolled in the coursework, I have become more knowledgeable in the logistical aspects of wedding and event planning. I am eager to become more educated as I continue through each unit.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting out with their training or career?

It takes a lot of hard work to embark on your own business and you want to be sure that you are as prepared as possible. With that being said, the best advice I can offer those in training or beginning their careers is to always be open to educating themselves further! Even the best-of-the-best in the business are always continuing to learn. In my opinion, when you’ve become complacent you’ve stopped learning and when you stop learning, you become fearful of change. Change is one of the most common factors in a successful business. You have to be able to adapt to the change of our society’s needs and wants while still remaining true to who you are as an individual and as a business.

Running a business, like anything, takes a great deal of sacrifice and special attention. You need to continually motivate yourself and those around you every day in a positive manner. When you are dedicated to something you’re passionate about, you can never fail!


Every year we see new trends appear in the wedding industry and this year, some of the loveliest are being created with paper! Stationery plays an integral part in setting the tone for our clients’ weddings. The style, quality, color palette, and motifs can be carried throughout the various pieces to provide continuity to these special events. In the fall of 2012, we saw the chevron pattern take hold as the latest and greatest in wedding stationery designs. That has segued into other attractive motifs, and we’ve continued to see geometric patterns in designs (such as the honeycomb pattern) – the effect is certainly bold. Now that 2013 is well underway, we’re seeing three new stationery trends that really excite me: the die cut pattern, hot foil printing, and calligraphy. Read on to learn more about stationery trends in 2013.

Die cut patterns

Die cut invitations are all the rage and are probably the strongest direction we are seeing in stationery this year. As you can see below, die cut patterns range from the most romantic lace motifs to edgy modern bold typesets. Die cutting creates a 3D effect which adds to the visual interest and tactile feel of the various pieces to which it is applied. Die cut paper shapes are made using a steel cutting die. It can be used to punch out decorative shapes or patterns within a larger piece, or it can be used to create the primary shape by cutting the entire sheet of paper in a distinct way. The process is very similar to that used in creating letterpress designs. And needless to say, with as popular as die cut is this year, it is not reserved for invitations only! You will find it used in other paper products such as save-the-dates, table numbers, and even cake plateau edging, as seen below. Lovely, isn’t it?
Hot foil printing

The second trend that I’m seeing a lot of this year in stationery is hot foil printing. This technique is achieved by combining heat and pressure to the paper to create a letterpress look with added color. The designs are turned into a metal block that is headed to a certain temperature and then applied to the piece to create a foiled image pressed into the paper. Gold and silver seem to be the most popular colors this year which makes sense, since metallics are prominent in other areas of wedding decor. However, hot foiling is available in other colors as well!


Finally, and probably my favorite invitation trend this year, is the calligraphic design. We are seeing various scripted fonts in all forms of stationary, as shown in the example below. In a previous article, I told you that the Millennial generation is big on hosting and personalizing their weddings – so, creating a personal touch using handwritten calligraphic fonts is likely not too surprising! I’ve spoken with local calligraphers, and they too are seeing an increase in demand for their talent within our industry. Even I have jumped on the band wagon and recently purchased a Lamy fountain pen with which to write company thank you letters. Now I just have to remember how to hand write after years of typing on a keyboard!

As you know, trends come and go in this industry, and there are always some I’m glad to see arrive and others that I’m glad to see exit. I love the designs that I’m seeing in stationery this year and hope you are excited by them as well! Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about the hottest stationery trends of 2013.

Till next time, happy planning!