Monday, October 15, 2012

Brush Care 101

I hate cleaning make-up brushes.  Hate it!  It’s one of those tedious but necessary tasks, like doing laundry or making the bed, that I wish would just magically happen on its own.  Despite my distaste for the process, I can’t emphasize how important proper brush care is and I am psycho about keeping mine spotless!

Brushes are a huge monetary investment.  We need many different types and multiples of all of them.  It adds up, fast.  The only way to protect your investment is to properly care for them.  And properly caring for them also means properly caring for your client’s health.  Dirty brushes will transfer bacteria from one face to another.  This can lead to eye infections, skin irritations, breakouts and other horrible nasty things that I don’t want to even think about.

Here is exactly how I keep my make-up brushes clean and happy!

Monday, September 10, 2012


As if one film in TIFF wasn't cool enough, how about one more?!

Jonathan William's CANOEJACKED premiere's September 13 at 6:15pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 and screens again on the 14th in the morning at TIFF Bell Lightbox 3.

We spent a week in Georgian Bay shooting this comedy short, starring The Soprano's Al Sapienza, Falling Skies' Mpho Koaho and comedian Pat Thornton, along with a great stunt team!  With a cast of all men, the make-up needs weren't heavy.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

FROST at TIFF 2012

Today marks the beginning of the Toronto International Film Festival and I have TWO films playing in it that you won't want to miss!  I'll devote a post to each and share my make-up process!

FROST, directed by the extremely talented Jeremy Ball, plays in Short Cuts Canada #4 on both Tuesday September 11 @ 6:30 PM and Wednesday September 12 @ 4:45 PM.  Rumour has it that the Tuesday is sold out, so rush line it or snag some tickets for Wednesday!

Frost was a particularly challenging film as we shot it entirely in studio and predominately on a green screen.  I was also dealing with almost zero regular make-up.  By that I mean there was no beauty make-up, it was entirely breakdown make-ups, tattooing and exposure effects. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Julep: Taking the Nail World by Storm

It's been nearly a decade since I've been able to wear nail polish on the regular, at least not on my fingernails.  Long story short, I wore acrylic nails for about 2 years in my late teens and developed an allergy to nail polish.  It's my eyes that are sensitive, and because it's next to impossible to never touch your eyes, I'd end up with raw red rashes on my eyelids.  It took forever to figure out, but it was nail polish.

We know now more than ever that nail polish contains plenty of toxic ingredients that wreck havoc on ourselves and the environment.  The toxic trio that gets most of the blame is toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).  There's been a huge rise in the number of brands ditching these ingredients, calling themselves 3-free, like Butter London.  There's also plenty of brands that have gone even further to be totally free of all chemical ingredients, not just the top 3 offenders.  Brands like Sula, Honeybee Gardens and Suncoat are super safe, but they all have performance issues.  Most water based natural nail polishes peel off easily when in contact with hot water, which is pretty much immediately for me.  Honeybee Gardens has given me the best results so far, lasts as long as regular nail polish, but is really really difficult to remove. 

And then I discovered JULEP...

Urban Decay Pro Discount Program!

Urban Decay officially launched their discount program for professional make-up artists this week.  Artists can finally enjoy a 40% discount on many of their products (excluding sale items and gift sets).  They're also doing a compensation program for crediting Urban Decay make-up in magazine editorials, and rumor has it pro exclusive products are in the works!  All with no membership fee!

The down side?  It's only available to US residents.  They claim they "would love to expand someday", but "someday" doesn't instill a whole lot of confidence that this will happen sooner than later.

Regardless, US make-up artists get your beautiful butts over to Urban Decay PRO to register for the pro program.  May I recommend the Primer Potion, it's one of my holy grails of make-up!  My Canadian self will be quietly crying in a corner, knowing that I have to continue to pay full price.

And of course, I've updated the Pro Discount List to include UD.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wedding Beauty Blunders: The Do's & Don'ts

Actor Dan Park & bride Charissa! - Make-up by Kat

It's wedding season!  There is a lot of freelance wedding work to be had and lots of brides to make beautiful this summer.  I personally take on a fairly limited number of weddings a year, as film & tv tends to keep me busy, but I've seen no shortage of beauty hiccups that can easily be avoided by the bride and her wedding party. 

As an example, the last three weddings I did this summer had panicked brides calling me a week before the date to report beauty blunders from eyebrow waxing burns, allergic reactions to new products, and sunburns of epic proportions!  Two weekends ago I was fixing chest and shoulder tan lines on half of the wedding party.

It's beyond easy to avoid these mistakes by following some simple wedding DO's & DON'Ts in the weeks leading up to the big day.  Make-up artists, give this page link to your brides or share this info at the make-up trial.  Bride's, pay close attention to these tips so you can look your absolute best on your wedding day!

Let's begin with what you should DO!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Follow me on Twitter!

First, I would like you all to know that I'm writing this post while looking positively ridiculous in a Mario Badescu Whitening Mask (pure love!).  And I always leave it on way too long, so it's cracking & dusting all over the keyboard.  Picture it, please.

I've been a little absent these past two weeks and I have all sorts of excuses.  Canada Day long weekend, which also happens to be my birthday (July 1st! 29!), weddings, work on two different TV shows, and for the most part having a little 'me' time for the past couple of days.

But you can keep up with my antics on Twitter and Facebook, where I usually make daily appearances.  Twitter being my current go to for all those moments I just have to share (like my recent Illamasqua haul!).  I often Tweet or Facebook on set as well, when permitted, or during breaks.  And love posting pictures on Twitter and Instagram!

So between blog posts, if you want to keep up with me, click those social media icons to the right of this post.  Follow me on Twitter & Instagram and let's be Facebook friends!  Or search Kat Von Pire, you'll find me.

Come back this weekend for some rad blogs!  Brides and bridal make-up artists, you won't want to miss this!  I'm sharing my wedding do's & don'ts for a beautiful bride.

Now if you'll excuse me, time to wash this mask off and have fantastic feeling skin!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Dick Smith!

Today legendary make-up and SPFX artist Dick Smith turns 90 years old!

He is responsible for giving me years and years of nightmares as a child, thanks to his work on The Exorcist.  I was introduced to this movie far far too young, and it left a definite lasting mark.  Even today, at nearly 29, I still get chills.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Exit Humanity: Zombie For a Day

Ever wonder what I'd look like as a zombie?  No? Well there it is anyway. That's me, in all my zombie glory in feature film EXIT HUMANITY.

Writen and directed by John Geddes, staring Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses, Devil's Rejects), Dee Wallace (Cujo, E.T.), Stephen McHattie (300, The Watchmen), narrated by Brian Cox (Braveheart) and introducing Mark Gibson.  Exit Humanity is a zombie saga set in post-Civil War Tennessee.
Exit Humanity was just released on DVD last week and when I finally got my copy, I was delighted to see my ugly mug decorating the DVD!  I had a chance to visit the set and get zombified when they were shooting in early winter of 2010, so I thought I'd share a few photos from the experience. 

Don't pay full price for make-up!

Maintaining a well stocked and varied kit to meet any make-up needs can get very expensive.  For this reason many professional brands offer a pro discount program to qualified make-up artists and in some cases beauty students, stylists and actors.  It's also in these brands best interests to vie for those coveted spots in our make-up kit, as we're often the ones that 'sell' the product to our clients, models and actors.  I can't even count how many times I've been asked to jot down the products I've used on people, presumably so they can purchase it for regular use on themselves.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Make Up For Ever Must Haves!

This past weekend I spent two days in a Toronto Sephora as a guest artist for Make Up For Ever.  We were celebrating the launch of MUFE's new Aqua Shadow jumbo waterproof eye shadow pencils.  I was there to show off these fab pencils, help gals get gorgeous while nabbing the right MUFE products for them.

Make Up For Ever is easily one of my favourite make-up brands, so much so that I started working with them a couple years ago, lending myself to special events, product launches, fashion shows and the like.  So since I spent the weekend immersed in MUFE and singing it's praises, I thought I'd highlight some of their products that I can't live without and will always be found in my make-up kit.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Rise of the BB Cream

I first encountered BB creams, short for Blemish or Beauty Balm, when keying an Asian gangster film a couple years ago.  One of our shoot locations was a real Korean grocery store in Toronto.  It had a second level balcony that served as the beauty section, offering Asian skincare and cosmetics.  Of course I checked it out!  While I couldn't decipher much from the product labels, those two letters kept shouting out at me in bold print on the front of various tubes and bottles.  BB everywhere!

On the same shoot, at a different location, I had a bevy of Asian beauties to prep for a scene.  There was about 12 of them, 1 of me, and about 2 hours to accomplish make-up fit for a high end night club on all of them.  Fortunately many of them came with great skin and even complexions, making my job that much easier.  Of course I asked what skincare products they used, and several mentioned this mysterious BB cream.  I went home, did some Googling and ordered a couple BB products from my now favourite site for Asian beauty goodies,

The craze has apparently caught on!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Captured Bird

The Captured Bird, a short dark fable written and directed by Jovanka Vuckovic, produced by Jason Lapeyre and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, is having it's world premiere this weekend in Toronto at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.  Part of The Night Shift program, a collection of dark & horror themed short films, Saturday June 9 beginning at 11:30pm at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

I had the amazing opportunity to lend my make-up abilities to this film in late May of last year.  The key artist, Melissa Zimmerman, took care of our extremely talented 6 year old lead, Skyler Wexler, while I handled the background cast.  The animatronic creature, which anyone who's followed the making of this film is dying to see on screen, was made by Paul Jones and his team.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

SPF: What You Need To Know!

When it comes to tanning and achieving that beach bronze goddess look, I'm unlike most other gals.  I'm pale.  Like MUFE HD Foundation #115 pale.  And I like to stay that way.  I'm a natural redhead (shhh, it's a secret!) so really I'll just freckle and burst into flames with prolonged sun exposure.  I go to extreme measures to stay sun safe, from wearing long sleeves in the middle of a heatwave, to layering high SPFs, to wearing hats and hiding in even the tiniest patch of shade.  Pale or not, we all need to know our sunscreens! 

Last summer the Food & Drug Administration issued new regulations on how sun protection products are marketed and labeled.  This is good news, but the changes aren't scheduled to come into effect until December of this year.  So there's a few things you -need- to know in the meantime.

An Introduction of Sorts...

So how does one begin a new blog?  I thought I'd just launch into it, but then again maybe you would all benefit from an introduction.  Who the hell am I?  Why am I blogging? Do I really have anything to say?  Where's my lipgloss? Do vampires really exist?

Wait.  What?

This really isn't new to me.  Born in the 80's, I was a 90's tween and lived on the Internet.  I Livejournaled, I MySpaced, I ICQed, I MSNed, I chatroomed, I HTMLed, I always had something to say and made websites galore to say it on (some still exist, please don't go looking for them).  I was a make-up loving, vampire obsessed, goth gal and made my presence known where ever I virtually could.