The love story that almost wasn’t.Life is all about choices and each one you make brings you closer to something or someone or sends you farther away. The choice that would change my life, was not a smart one. And never in a million years would I have thought it would have landed me here. Happily married, with two kids.I was in my early 20’s, fresh off a bad break up and in the mood to party. I called a friend and we hit our favorite bar, where I proceeded to get completely and totally drunk. Once I got to the point where I could no longer stand, I stumbled into a cab and went home. I got a little sick, okay, a lot sick in the cab. But I’m nothing if not polite, so instead of ruining the cabbie’s car, I got sick in my purse (ewww, I know!)Some back story is necessary here. I didn’t get my license until I was 34 and during my clubbing years I had to use my passport as ID. Which would explain why my passport was in my purse on that fateful night. Continuing with my stellar choices, I decided to rinse the passport and leave it to dry. I will spare you the details on what the passport and I looked like in the days after that night. It was still passable as ID, so I didn’t give it another thought once the memory of that night and its aftermath faded.4 years, one relationship and another breakup later and it was time for some big changes. I had saved up money and decided to move to Paris, France for an indefinite period. With my apartment rented, my suitcase packed and my ticket purchased, I headed out for one last dinner with a friend. During that dinner I attracted the notice of an admirer. But, given the fact that I was Europe bound within the week, I spurned his request to meet him later for a drink. On my way home, later that night I happened to pass him sitting on a patio with a friend. After many repeated requests, I finally said yes to a drink.That night was one of those nights – everything had come together perfectly. I had one foot out of the country so I was not looking for anyone or anything. Unfettered by the pressures of “dating” I was carefree and genuine. He was cute, funny, nice, and wanted to have fun. We talked, laughed and had an awesome time. That night lasted well into the next day. And my last week in Toronto became a mix of days filled with family and friends, and nights filled with him. I was feeling something. He was too. But with my departure looming, we thought it would only ever be a casual thing and so we kept quiet.The night I arrived at the airport was full of mixed emotions. It was exciting to be starting this next chapter of my life, but I was sad at who I was leaving behind. Friends, family and now this boy. So you can imagine my surprise when after all the planning and goodbyes, they wouldn’t let me board the plane. Why? My passport. That washed out, rinsed out passport from that fateful night 4 years prior was too damaged to let me fly.And as you remember, I did not have a license. Turned out that my health card was expired too. So a problem that could have been solved quickly in any other circumstance, took a week. Another 7 days with the boy. And enough time for both of us to realize that there was something important at play between us.With new passport in hand, the next time I went to the airport was even more emotionally charged. Stranded as I was between two possible adventures, one at home and one abroad. But I put on my big girl pants and got on the plane. Paris was as magical as I had hoped and I loved every minute I spent there. But the pull of the boy was strong and getting stronger with every conversation and video chat. And it turns out you can run out of money quickly in Paris when you are living as a tourist. In the end I came back after 4 months, one mini adventure had and a new one just beginning. The boy and I were living together within the year and that boy is now my husband. We will be celebrating 13 years together this April.So thank you young, drunk me. You saved the love story that almost wasn’t and gave me my happily ever after.
I never found Mr. Right, or at least not yet. But I have always loved myself. Not in the Kanye West way, but in the happy with who I am and what I stand for way. As I often tell my friends – I am The One, and it’s going pretty well!There were some great guys in university and beyond, but never great enough for me to envision happily ever after. And I was okay with that. I was happy and with a wonderful family to boot. I bought a house at 27, had a good job and was confident enough to make bold decisions with confidence and ease. Like quitting my job of 9 years and spending 5 months backpacking across South America.It was on that momentous trip that I felt a familiar stirring. My biological clock had started ticking 3-4 years prior and I could no longer snooze it. It was time to make another life-changing decision. Would I continue to be single and fabulous, globetrotting around the world? Or were harried grocery store trips with little ones in tow be the only adventures for the foreseeable future?I was paddling down the Amazon river (I know right?!) when I thought “I think I want to meet them” and right then and there I made my decision. I was going to be fabulous and a single Mom.Back in Toronto, I began my journey into motherhood. With no Mr. Right on the horizon, the process was a solo mission. Over the next 12 months, I met one of my closest friends, who also a genetic counselor (score!), purchased sperm (yes, I actually have a receipt for sperm!) and went through a total of 6 rounds of insemination, either with or without hormones. I was equally terrified of either result with each test.By January of that year, I was very pregnant. In other words, I got two for the “price” of one! I cannot tell you how happy this made me. I had always wanted two but wasn’t sure if I would go back down the rabbit hole to have a second. Also, I wanted them to be “real” siblings, not such an easy feat when you are buying sperm. My pregnancy was an easy one. Phew! And I’m a planner, so the logistics were worked out long before they arrived in September that year. The best part – it was a boy and a girl!They turned four in September of last year and we are all doing amazing (well, most of the time, anyway). As for the kids? They are complete opposites and yet, they always have each other’s backs. Exactly as I hoped. For me, I love that all the decisions are mine to make and that the challenges of co-parenting are not an issue. Though I have other issues to be sure.Four years later, I’m not dating or interested in dating, though I am open to the possibility of Mr. Right one day. For now, I am still fabulous and still single, but with the added title of Mom, which I think is my best one yet.Hey Mr. Right, if you’re reading this – you’d better like to travel…
Spark. Chemistry. Dare I say it, love at first sight.
Who knew these things actually happened outside of The Notebook?
I had just finished a Masters in Social Work, but it was clearly not the right path for me. In a tale as old as time, after feeling completely burnt out and emotionally overwhelmed from the program and placements, I came to Toronto to get my bearings and ended up bartending. I knew I could take my passion for all things beauty and makeup somewhere BIG, but just couldn’t figure out how. So there I was a month in Toronto, working at a bar when Paul walked in.
The chemistry was immediate and mutual.
We made small talk on that first visit and he paid and left. The SPARKs flew again when he turned up later that week and then again, the next week.
He began coming regularly and asking me out every single time. I was wary however and turned him down every single time. He was 40, established, a mature business man as it were, and I was a 25-year-old with a big dream and a bartending job. But the chemistry remained. He came into the bar on and off for a year and asked me out every time. Eventually, I said yes, and that first date was the one of the best nights of my life.
It is now 7 years later, we are married with a beautiful little girl and plans for more children. He is still a mature businessman, but now I enjoy drinks instead of pouring them and am the proud Owner and Founder of The Blush Parlour, my big dream made real.
While parts of our relationship may be considered “unconventional” – our age gap and the fact that our daughter was at our wedding, we started in the most fairy-tale, traditional way, with an instant SPARK.
Dare I even say it, love at first sight.
Since the early days of Khol, the husband endangering days of Aqua Tofana, and the lead and bloodletting days of the renaissance, hair, and makeup has (thankfully) evolved quite a bit over the last thousand years.
Yet, most of us are still as confused today, as our historical counterparts. Certainly, we no longer resort to using burnt matches for our eyes, egg whites for our face or worry about the impropriety of loose waves. Still, the perfect smokey eye and smooth complexion elude most of us. Never mind the perfect beach wave. Moreover, the sheer number of products and tools available leave us spinning in our makeup chairs.
As eyeliner replaced the burnt match and foundation replaced the egg white, makeup and hair tutorials are the answer to our collective hair and makeup question. We cannot emphasize enough how much we LOVE them, their value and lasting impact.
We get to do what we love, and help you achieve your beauty goals with selective products and tools that won’t break the bank! Still not convinced?!
Check out our Top Five Reasons Why You Need a Hair and Makeup Tutorial!
- Less is actually more!
A common misconception is that you need a ton of product to achieve your dream look. A hair or makeup tutorial should actually help you pare down on expense and number of products/tools by helping you choose ones right for your skin tone, hair composition, desired look, and lifestyle. Better yet, if you have your own preferred products our beauty experts, we will show you exactly how to use what you have and clear out what you no longer need. No massive shopping lists or overflowing makeup bags here! You will actually leave with a small list and/or trimmed down bag and know exactly how to use each product/tool to your best advantage.
- Flatter YOUR face!With a continuous onslaught of flawless beauty standards and “ideal” looks, it’s easy to lose sight of YOU! Our beauty team has worked with hundreds of women, all with different hair, coloring, and features. Our years of experience and beauty smarts will ensure that we help put your best face forward, with shades, tones and hair techniques that flatter YOU. Have a specific look in mind?! Perfect! Let our experts show you how to copy that look and tailor it to your distinct features and lifestyle needs.3. Hands up!
A tutorial is a chance to ask our experts all your hair and makeup questions in real time with a hands-on demonstration to boot! You will gain insight into product and tool usage and learn techniques that will be actionable long after the appointment and every time you visit your local beauty counter. With all that knowledge in hand, you will become your own beauty expert in no time!
4. Ch, ch, changes! So, you know about makeup and hair and have a good grasp on product and technique. No need for a tutorial, right? Think again! A hair and makeup tutorial is a great way to freshen up both your look and routine. Our beauty experts will work with you to refresh your hair and makeup game. Showing you new techniques, tricks, and innovative products! Always go for beach waves? Let’s try a boho braid! Always do a red lip? Let’s try a neutral shade! Thinking outside the box with a beauty expert will take your makeup/hair places you didn’t know you wanted to go!
- It’s fun! Who doesn’t love getting dolled up?! Grab your besties, hit up your favorite coffee bar and head over to our studio! Learn some great tips and tricks of the trade, while listening to some great tunes and walk out to any of the bars/restaurants in Liberty Village at the end of the lesson #nofilterready. And who doesn’t love any class where a selfie is the homework?!
It may seem counterintuitive to recommend a makeup/hair tutorial while talking about the perfection and purchase pressure we face. However, we promise it’s exactly what you need to navigate this crazy beauty world!
A proper makeup and hair tutorial – like our most popular group sessions HERE and HERE. Or click HERE to book a one on one tutorial which will allow you to create a custom beauty routine that fits YOU. Armed with selected products and proper techniques, you will know exactly how to achieve the looks you want.
Literally put your best face forward in 2019!
And so it starts…
It starts when we are little girls. That first sleepover. The one where we got giddy and excited to hang with our besties, played dress up, did our hair and if we were really lucky (and had truly understanding parents), put on real makeup. We would get to sip bubbly Ginger Ale and talk which Disney princess we were most like and what our little girl dreams were. It was magical.
And so it changes…
The sleepover changed as we got a little bigger, eventually, boys would enter into the fray, and sadly, sometimes, mean-girls. There would be homemade facials and cootie catchers with our dream lives and boyfriends laid out for us. Then as we got a little older the sleepover became less magic and more necessity after a night on the town. There was still hair and makeup and boys, but alcohol and many tears shed in bar/club bathroom were probably involved too.
The Sleepover Grows Up…
Now we are a little older and a little more mature and the sleepover has evolved once again. Jobs, daily Starbucks runs, good friends, good wine and better boys have returned some of that sleepover magic. “Let’s try it makeup sessions” have become “contour and baking lessons”, homemade egg facials are now the new “must try peel” from Sephora, boys have become boyfriends, partners or fiancés and fizzy has become Prosecco and on truly special occasions, Champagne. The sleepover has become less about sleeping bags and trying to stay up all night and more about connection, comradery, the latest downtown hotspot and just plain fun.
Join us for the Sleepover Package…
With fond memories of our own sleepover evolution, we are thrilled to offer The “Sleepover” Package at The Blush Parlour. Grab your besties and head over to Liberty Village for a night of retro fun. Think makeup, hair, bubbly and your favorite tunes! Great for bachelorettes. birthday parties or just a fun night out in the 6ix. Join us for a pre-celebration prep night that’s sure to bring you closer together and ensure those selfies are #flawless all night long!
As the wildly popular Game of Thrones oft warns us, Winter. Is. Coming. But with chill-busting winter bridal trends like these, winterizing never looked so good!
For many of you, you will either become engaged in the next few festive months or will be saying I do while the rest of the world looks outside and say I don’t! But if Pinterest proves anything it’s that Winter Weddings can be absolutely beautiful! Remember Phoebe’s outdoor wedding in Friends?
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Hair and makeup trends for winter brides are all over the map and we LOVE it! Check out our take on winter bridal trends in this segment on CHCH Morning Live with our resident beauty guru Shira Ben. Every look is covered (pun totally intended), from dewy natural to matte nude, to the bronze glow with some added trendy pops like metallic or white shades. The eyes are covered too (yep, we did it again), with looks ranging from smokey to pale, and the lips get their moment in the spotlight with neutral, bold or gothic hues. There is literally something for every face and tone. As self-diagnosed #makeuplovers this gives us the chills in all the right ways!
GOWNS TO FIGHT OFF THE CHILL
Winter bridal trends continue to wow us with the dresses. Intricate lace, voluminous ballgowns, and modern lines are represented, with added details like sleeves, high necklines, and feathers. Topped with accessories like faux fur shawls, leather jackets and, dramatic capes you can be sure to find a style that brings your bridal vision to life and keeps out the chill. Brides Magazine UK recently listed their top 50 choices for winter bridal gowns and we literally had heart palpitations trying to pick our favorite from the bunch (spoiler alert – ALL OF THEM!). Another Winter trend we can get behind? The two Groom Look! This year The Knot predicts that Groom’s will get in on the two-outfit idea and we LOVE their suggestion of a velvet suit jacket! As for the bridal squad think “dark, moody, florals” says The Knot, but don’t shy away from big, bold patterns.
DECOR; THE FINAL FROST
Winter bridal trends for decor seem to be either cozy, illuminated, naturally elegant, and fun or a mix of one or two or all of those themes! Going cozy? A basket of blankets and a cute sign (check out this one at Bridal Guide) at the entrance seem to be the go-to, along with a personalized warm beverage like this one from Martha Stewart. For the illuminated ceremony and reception, think tons of candles, tea lights, and string lights to help beat the chill and (more importantly) provide a flattering glow. And the natural winter wedding trifecta? Think winter greenery, acorn accents, and simplicity. As for the elegant winter wedding, it’s all white, crisp, and sparkling with plenty of crystals and candles like this winter wonderland featured on Bridal Guide.com.
So fear not the winter flurries or chilly temperatures! Winter weddings can be just as fabulous as their more popular seasonal counterparts. Especially considering the winter bridal trends we so helpfully cataloged for you! From the fashion to the makeup to the décor, winter weddings have a theme or style that can appeal to every bride and groom out there! Check out our range of services HERE and let us be a part of your winter wedding wonderland.
Also, the outfits on these tots below make us seriously consider polygamy!
To see Founder and Lead Artist Shira Ben discuss winter bridal trends on Morning Live click the link : https://www.chch.com/winter-bride/
After 5 years as an award-winning, mobile beauty team glamming all around the GTA and beyond we are finally committing to the 6ix with our very own boutique in Liberty Village!
We are committing to the 6ix:
And now that we’ve got a steady thing going, we are upgrading and rebranding as The Blush Parlour! It’s us, the same beauty team you know and love, but with a little more sophistication, a little more maturity and a lot more services! Committing looks really good on us if we say so ourselves 😉
We have a new look and name:
And while we may look a little different, we will still be offering the same amazing, award-winning mobile wedding services, just with a whole lot of extras, such as;
- Clip in Hair extension consultations
- Blow-out tutorials
- Pre-bachelorette/Event makeup and hair services
- Professional headshot makeup and hair services
Like all newly committed relationships, we are now going to GUSH about our steady. First off, it’s in Liberty Village, considered the “sought after address by young urban professionals”. Its location is near perfect, with great access to public transportation, parking, hotels, and the city’s premier party venues – it is Uber accessible, pun fully intended.
Our new home:
Now we aren’t shallow, but we do need to talk looks! Our little brick house ticks all the boxes. Think soft pastels, natural light, an intimate atmosphere, fabulous decorative touches, LIT mirrors for days and all the makeup a girl could wish for. We promise it really doesn’t get any better than this.
As part of our re-brand we will be offering special discounts and services in the coming months. We would LOVE to be your go-to beauty gurus for all the big and small events in your life. Plus we totally want to show off our “new catch”.
We cannot wait to GLAM with you!