Posts Tagged ‘How To’

June 25, 2013 9:30 am

How to Wear a Maxi Skirt in Summer

The maxi skirt is a must-have for every woman, particularly in summer! It’s easy, versatile, lightweight, and will give you the illusion of added height when paired with a low heel or wedge. In this post, I’ll show you how to wear a maxi skirt three different ways for summer. Enjoy!

1. Effortless Glam

Effortless Glam


River Island crew neck shirt
16 CAD –

Frankie Morello high waisted pleated skirt
520 CAD –

Zara flats sandals
40 CAD –

Rebecca Minkoff mini handbag
195 CAD –

Lori s Shoes geometric necklace
25 CAD –


The first way to wear a maxi skirt is effortlessly glam. It’s comfy, too! Pair your favorite grey t-shirt with a punchy pink maxi skirt, white and metallic sandals, basic white bag, and add a statement necklace. You’ll be ready in a pinch for a day of shopping, visiting, or just about anything else. I love this laid-back but still glamorous take on the maxi skirt.


2. Edgy Cool

Edgy Cool


45 CAD –

Frankie Morello maxi skirt
520 CAD –

Pull Bear pull bear
93 CAD –

Cromia handbag
115 CAD –

Silver pendant necklace
70 CAD –


The second way to wear a maxi skirt is edgy cool. Perfect for a night out, music festival, or your favorite band’s concert – this look is sure to turn heads. You’ll stay cool in a cropped tank, comfortable in flat gladiator sandals, and will have plenty of room to store essentials in a medium sized neon yellow clutch. Add a few layered necklaces and your look is complete!


3. Office Appropriate

Office Appropriate


39 CAD –

Frankie morello
520 CAD –

Boutique 9 pointed-toe pumps
140 CAD –

Dsquared2 strand necklace
660 CAD –


The third way to wear a maxi skirt is my personal favorite – office appropriate. Who says you can’t look good at the office? Not me, that’s for sure! I love letting the maxi skirt take center stage. Pair your skirt with a fresh white silk blouse, metal and pearl mixed necklace, navy blue clutch, and closed toe gold heel. Can’t show your shoulders at the office? Swap the sleeveless blouse for one with capped sleeves and you’ll look just as great.


Which is your favorite way to wear the maxi skirt? Let me know in a comment!



June 24, 2013 8:00 am

How To Do Natural Looking Makeup

how to do natural looking makeup

Everyone knows what I’m talking about when I refer to the “no makeup” look. Of course, a lot of people aren’t sure how to achieve this ultra natural look without going accidentally overboard. The no makeup, or natural makeup look, is all about letting natural beauty shine through and only really evening out complexion, hiding blemishes, and emphasizing the eyes. Read on to learn how to do natural looking makeup!

Natural looking makeup starts with a good base. For the “no makeup” look, I would recommend going with a light but build-able coverage – something like NARS Sheer Glow. This will allow you to let natural beauty marks like freckles show through while being able to build up the coverage to cover any imperfections – like a minor break out, scar, or dark circles. Apply with a dampened sponge (I love the Beauty Blender sponge!) for a line-free, flawless finish. Working with a slightly dampened sponge will also help you use less product and blend more evenly.

To hide any imperfections that you weren’t able to conceal with foundation, grab a creamy concealer like MAC’s Studio Fix palette. Apply a little and build when necessary. For the under eye, try using the salmon colored concealer and only targeting the darkest area – typically right near in inner corner of the eye. This will break up the darkness and make the eyes look more awake, refreshed, and avoid too much product from being used on the face. Be sure to set the product with a light dusting of powder or setting spray!

As for the eyes, you have a few options. You can apply a matte champagne shadow, dark brown kohl liner, and finish with a swipe of mascara – or you can just go with mascara. If your client has darkened lids from lack of sleep or genetics, you’ll likely want to use a matte shadow to add some brightness without looking overdone. The dark brown liner will draw further emphasis to the eyelashes and the mascara will provide a finished effect.

Opt for a soft, peachy blush like NARS Sex Appeal or grab a bronzer like the Shimmer Brick from Bobbi Brown. For lips, we love a neutral gloss or balm. If your clients lips are a little chapped, like the model above, recommend a sugar lip scrub like the ones available at LUSH. They’ll help slough away dry, dead skin while infusing the lip with peppermint oil and moisturizing at the same time.

Et voila, you now have the “no makeup” makeup look. This is a great look for everyday, weekend, or when you’re headed to the beach and want to feel confident but not look overdone. There are plenty of waterproof mascara and cream blush options out there that will help keep you looking gorgeous and natural all day long, too!

What do you think of the natural looking makeup shared above? Let me know in a comment and feel free to share your product recommendations for achieving the look!


May 19, 2013 9:00 am

How to Take Good Makeup Photos

how to take good makeup photosAs a makeup artist, your work truly speaks for itself. Whether or not someone chooses to work with you will depend almost solely on the quality of your past work, and they’ll most likely be judging this by looking at photographs. If your photos are bad – even though your makeup skills are phenomenal – it can have a very negative impact on your success. In this post, I’ll be running through the basics of taking good makeup photos that will show your work for what it really is – amazing.


First off, you need light. No, I don’t mean bringing your model (or yourself, if you’re your own model!) to the bathroom and taking a photo there. Indoor lighting is artificial lighting, and is going to result in an artificial effect. This could mean harsh shadows, yellow or green tint, and an overall lack of detail. Sure, you could invest in a diva ring light or other professional light kit, but there’s a much simpler and more affordable option. Take photos by a window and use the good old natural sun as your light source.

When taking makeup photos near a window, make sure the light isn’t beaming in on your subject. You’ll want to wait until the sun is no longer at its peak, but also not beaming directly into the window. Sometime around 4pm is usually ideal, but this will change depending on the time of year and how early/late the sun sets in your region. You want a well-lit room, but you don’t want harshness. Have your subject stand in front of the window and face it. You’ll want to place your camera in between the subject and window, facing your subject. If you’re able to use a timer and a tripod so as to avoid casting a shadow onto your model with your body, that would be your best option. Otherwise, position yourself on an angle so as to avoid casting your shadow on her face.


Secondly, use a quality camera. Your iPhone or other phone will be fine for Facebook and Twitter, but you should at least be using a high mega pixel point-and-shoot for professional purposes. If you have a DSLR, that’s perfect. If you don’t, see if you can borrow one from a friend or just opt for your trusted pocket cam. The lighting is really what’s most important (aside from the makeup being the best you can produce). Make sure you’re using the right setting for portrait photography, and read your camera’s manual or head to Google if you’re not sure what that is. What you see when you look at your model may not be what comes out in a photograph if it’s taken incorrectly.

Go Easy on the Actions

Thirdly, go easy on the editing. You’ll want to color correct and crop to ensure the focus is on the face and the photo is true-to-color, but you should avoid anything aside from that. Do not add a bunch of brightness or contract, and don’t increase the saturation beyond what it actually should be. Also, avoid adding special effects like blurs, tints, or anything else. Once again, your work should – and needs to – be able to speak for itself.

Big is Better

Lastly, save the file in the largest and highest quality possible. If you have an online portfolio or need to email photos, feel free to save a second copy in a smaller size – but your originals should always be saved large. This is so you have the option to print them down the road without losing detail, and so you have the option to save additional copies in different sizes if you ever need to. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.

That’s about it! Sure, I could go into more detail and start going on about ISO and white balance and all those other fancy photography terms, but if you follow these four simple steps you’ll be golden. If you have a photography tip, I’d love to hear it. If you disagree with anything I’ve said, let me know too! I look forward to reading your comments, readers!


Now you know how to take good makeup photos! But do you have models to practice your skills on? Check out this post on getting models in order to build your professional makeup portfolio!

May 18, 2013 9:00 am

How to Wear White this Summer

 Many people find it incredibly difficult to pull of white, but it’s one of the simplest and most chic colors! This summer, it’s time to finally reach for your plain white top – or to pick up a couple of new ones – and wear white with confidence. Follow our four easy steps below and learn how to wear white this summer.

  1. Pair with something bright
    White can look all too basic, and even startling, against something too dark. It’s summer time, so grab your favorite bright pink shorts, printed skirt, or neon statement necklace. A crisp white top is the perfect backdrop for any colored ensemble, so take advantage! We love the above photo because the wearer has paired her lasercut white tank with candy colored jeans and a mint green and gold bracelet. Even though the colors she chose are bright, it’s well-balanced!
  2. Make sure it’s clean
    A dingy white shirt can break an outfit faster than it can make it. If your white shirt has become discolored and can’t be fixed by a little bit of bleach in the wash, it’s time to toss it and find something new. I recently had to go through my closet and say goodbye to a few of my white tops. It’s sad, but you really notice how yellowed they truly are when you pick up a brand new white article of clothing. It’ll make you wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner!
  3. Make it pop with a sunless tan
    If you’re like me, wearing white can be a little intimidating. That’s because I’m very pale – and sometimes feel a white shirt only brings more attention to that. Instead of baking beneath the sun, opt for a sunless glow. Something like the Light/Medium Bronzing Mousse by St Tropez will give you just enough color without overdoing it, and is so easy to use, too!
  4. Wear a flesh colored bra
    I don’t understand why, but a lot of women think they have to wear a white bra beneath a white shirt. This simply does not work, since you can still see it! What you should opt for, instead, is a bra in a color as closed to your skin color as you can find. This will keep a seamless appearance beneath your shirt and won’t draw attention to the fact it may be somewhat sheer. Or, you can always pick up a super thin camisole if you want a little more coverage.


What do you think, readers? Will you be rocking white with confidence this summer?


April 6, 2013 9:00 am

How to Wear Green Eyeshadow

After Pantone announced Emerald Green as its “Color of the Year” for 2013, beauty and makeup lovers everywhere started looking for ways to incorporate it into their makeup routines. Green can be a tricky color to pull off, and Emerald Green can be even trickier. Read on to learn how to wear green eyeshadow and how to add just a flash of color while keeping your overall makeup in-check.

1. Less is More

With any bright color, it’s so important to remember that less is more. There’s nothing that will kill a look quite as easily, or as quickly, as too much color. Sure, an over-the-top look might suit certain environments and occasions, but chances are that it’s not quite what you’re looking for when it comes to an evening out. You want to grab people’s attention for the right reasons.

2. Use Complementary Colors

We love Sephora + Pantone Universe eyeshadow trio because it gives you three gorgeous shades to use when building your look-at-me look. We’d use this trio to do the following: apply the silver all over the lid, create shadow in the crease with the deep blue, and add a flash of green to the inner corner. If you want to show off more green, extend the green from the inner corner into the first 1/3 of your lid. Just remember, don’t venture too far up and certainly stay beneath the crease!

3. Blend

Color shows off bad blending far more than a neutral shadow, so blend as much as possible. Use a fluffy brush and go over where the colors meet and where the shadow ends to ensure there are no visible start-and-stop marks or creases.

4. Keep the Rest Neutral

If you’re rocking brightly colored eyeshadow, skip the bold blush and/or lip. With the Sephora + Pantone Universe eyeshadows, we’d go for a peachy blush that’s fairly close to the wearer’s skin tone. You don’t want anything too dark or too bright. For lips, we’d recommend a neutral lipstick or high shine gloss.


What do you think of our tips? Feel free to comment with your own suggestions and tips! We’d love to hear them.


April 5, 2013 4:51 pm

How to Choose an Area Rug

Area rugs have the ability to completely transform a space, and should actually be one of the first things to consider when decorating a space. More often than not choosing a rug is an afterthought, at which point it can be tough finding the perfect fit for a space. If you’ve already decorated most of your space and are now faced with the challenge of choosing a rug, QC has some tips for you!

Rugs usually come in pretty standard sizes (4×6, 5×8, 6×9, 8×10, 9×12, 12×14). Before heading out to browse or purchase, make sure you get that measuring tape out to measure your space. Knowing your measurements will make it much easier for you to determine which standard rug size will best suit. Keep in mind that rug size will play a huge factor in the overall balance of a room. Having one too small will make the room look pieced together and mismatched, and you don’t want your rug to look like a lone island in a sea of furniture. To keep it grounded and looking uniform, try to ensure that all sides of the rug will at least touch the edges or feet of you furniture.

Many retailers give the option of taking an area rug home to test it out in your space before you actually buy. If this is offered to you definitely give it a whirl. If it isn’t an option just make sure you bring along color samples from the space you’re decorating; paint swatches, a throw pillow, and pictures of the various furnishing materials (taken in a variety of different lights) will all help you to match it all up as closely as possible.

Also keep in mind that the majority of rugs are displayed hanging up, but will look very different when laid flat on the floor. Always ask to see it flat and in natural light before purchasing this investment piece.

Has this helped? Do you have any tips for choosing the perfect rug? Share with us in a comment below!

Image via


April 1, 2013 6:51 pm

How to Wear High-Waisted Pants

I’ve seriously lusted after high-waisted pants for a very long time. If I’m being completely honest, it’s become a bit of an obsession. All I ever want to do is throw on a pair, tuck in a flirty top, slip on some slim black flats and channel my inner Audrey Hepburn. The problem is that high-waisted pants scare me. I hate to betray my deep love for them, but I must say…they aren’t the most universally flattering garment ever made. So, if you’re like me and you love the trend but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, here are a few tips for making it work with your body type.

If you’re on the petite side, then this style of pant will look great on you. Wearing a slim-fitting high-waisted slack or jean will do wonders for elongating your legs and giving the illusion that you’re at least a bit taller than you actually are. For all my fellow shorties out there, I know you know this is a big deal!

If you’re on the curvier side don’t worry! This trend can totally work for you as well, though you will need to be more careful with the types of garments you choose. If you have wide hips you’ll want to balance things out by choosing a pant with a looser leg. If that doesn’t work for you, instead try opting for a high wasted skirt or wearing a dress and belting it right at your waist.

On the other hand, if you’re lacking in curves and have a rather boyish figure, high waisted bottoms can really help to give you some hips! Your waist is the thinnest part of your torso and accentuating it will give the illusion of fuller curves – in the most flattering way. Just be sure to choose pieces that hit right at your waist. Extra detailing around the pockets will also add to the illusion of fullness.

Are you on board with the high waisted trend? What are your favorite ways of wearing it? Share them with us in a comment below!

Image 1 & 2 via

Image 3 via


March 26, 2013 8:04 pm

The Sweater Poncho – Wear It Right!

The sweater poncho has been a must-have item this winter, and it looks like lighter versions are going to be just as popular this coming spring! I personally love this style and am happy to see it stay, but have often seen it cross the line from casual chic to casual sloppy. Today I’m going to share with you my tips for keeping this look pulled together.

First thing’s first. When choosing a sweater poncho, make sure it is long enough. The biggest mistake most women make when trying this style is choosing one that is too short. A too-short poncho will visually cut your body in half and make you appear shorter and wider than you actually are. Choosing one that just skims your thighs will balance out the bulk and give your torso some length. This will keep the look sophisticated and chic, especially if paired with slim fitting bottoms.

That brings me to my second tip. Never wear a wide leg or loose pant with a sweater poncho as it won’t do your figure any favors. If you’re going to try out this loose fitting style you want to make sure your legs are well defined. Try opting for skinny jeans or leggings to keep the ensemble from looking frumpy, and if you’re comfortable in them, definitely throw on a pair of slim heels. Keep them close to the same color of your bottoms and opt for pointed toes. This will visually add more length to your legs.

Lastly, you want to keep the look current. A great way to do this is to choose a sweater poncho with a relaxed round or V-neck. This style already has you pretty covered up, so there’s no need to add a restrictive turtleneck to the mix. Also, as this style does add some width to your torso, it’s nice to show some delicate neckline.

Another quick tip: You can incorporate the sweater poncho into your wardrobe almost all year round, even in the summer. With warmer months fast approaching more poncho sweater styles are being introduced in lighter fabrics with looser necklines, so they make perfect cover-ups for chilly evenings spent on the beach or by a camp fire!

Have you fallen in love with this comfy trend? How do you wear it? Share with us in a comment below!

Image 1 via

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Image 3 via


March 20, 2013 7:55 pm

How-To: Tightlining Eyeliner

You know how once in a while you come across a new makeup technique or product that just completely transforms your life? Well, that’s what tightlining eyeliner has done for us. We know that achieving that perfect eyeliner line can sometimes be frustrating, which is why we’re so excited about the tightlining method! It’s just such an easy and quick way to achieve lash definition and fullness.

Tightlining is when eyeliner is applied directly to the lash line, usually from the underside of the lash line. This technique is great for adding definition and depth to any eye, but is also great for those of you who prefer a natural, wide-eyed look. If you have shorter lashes you’ll appreciate this method too, as applying a dark liner right at the base of the lash line will give the appearance of longer and fuller lashes. The best part about it? It takes a minimal amount of time and effort. It’s also quite easy to cover up mistakes.

This technique is pretty simple. Gently lift your top eyelid so you can clearly see your upper water line. Gently pressing just above your crease and pulling upwards will do the trick. Now, get right up to the mirror and start applying eyeliner to the underside of your lash line. We’ve experimented with this a bit, and find that dotting a liquid eyeliner in between individual lashes works best.

Depending on your eye shape you may only want to focus on certain areas of the lash line. If your eyes are close set, start from the middle of your upper lash line and work your way to the outer edge. Going all the way to the inner corner will simply make them appear even closer together. If you have large eyes you can probably pull off tightlining all the way around the eye for a very defined and wide-eyed look. No matter what your eye shape, experiment until you find what works for you, and don’t forget to apply mascara to polish off the look!

Have you tried tightlining eyeliner? Let us know what you think of this technique in a comment below!


Wouldn’t it be nice to have a step-by-step guide on how to become a professional makeup artist? We think so, because we know the process can be truly grueling for newcomers to the industry. You of course need to be persistent and make the most of every opportunity, but our best tip is to get some quality education behind you. It’s important to know what you’re doing and have confidence in your skills, and that’s where QC Makeup Academy can help! Our two professional makeup designations offer truly in depth training that will take you from being a makeup novice to a makeup pro.

How to Become a Professional Makeup Artist

Each course starts from the very beginning. In our Makeup Artistry course you’ll learn the basics of makeup artistry techniques, sanitation practices and the importance of client expectations. Then you’ll learn about facial shapes and skin types, and the appropriate correctors and concealers for each. Once you’ve mastered all that, the course will take you through various daytime, evening, seasonal, and bridal makeup variations. This course offers a C.I.M.P designation (Certified International Makeup Professional) and with it you’ll be well equipped to transform faces for any type of event or wedding.

In QC’s Master Makeup Artistry course we take things a little further. You’ll learn everything outlined above, but won’t stop there. You’ll move on to learn about the exciting world of glamour, fantasy, catwalk, and fashion photography makeup application. In the final unit we provide in depth training on how to apply makeup for any type of live stage performance; be it theatre, dance, or opera. Once you acquire an M.I.M.P designation (Master International Makeup Professional) your knowledge of character, aging, and body makeup will make you an unstoppable force in the television and film industry.

Upon graduation from either course you will be fully prepared to work as a professional in the fast-paced and ever-evolving makeup industry. You’ll no longer need a guide to teach you how to become a professional makeup artist!

Click here to find out more about QC Makeup Academy!