beauty lessons from vanity school

You walked into the party like you were walking on to a  yacht….

Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re all a little bit vain. I attended Vanity School, hosted by ilaika and v:space studios to learn beauty tips & tricks from some of the industry’s best. I can safely say that even I, the beauty junkie, learned something new from this event & emerged pampered.


Gafas Optical on Queen St. W. was transformed into a tiny beauty school, with stations set up amongst rows of gleaming, fashionable frames. Our wonderful hosts set up stations of sweet and savoury snacks around the venue, including some of my favourites – cupcakes, p&j, popcorn &  popchips! Also, there were these amazing gummy sugary stick things that every girl was nibbling on.

After receiving my “report card”, I made a beeline for the first station, Sherri Wu, for some lashes. Although Sherri typically does eyelash extensions, she and her team brought along dozens of falsies for us to learn to apply. Abigail Keeso from The Well Rounded snapped this pic of me getting my lashes done:

I got some serious fringe, hey? I picked the most dramatic set of lashes.

Tips for falsies:

  • trim the lashes to fit your eye
  • get a good glue. I overheard Sherri’s staff say she usually uses Duo glue
  • use tweezers to apply as close to your lash line as possible
  • practice makes perfect!
My next stop was Bodies by Maria Kovatchev, a self-described hippie who usually sets up shop in Bloor West village. Using a self-made massage lotion of olive oil, shea butter and other natural ingredients, Maria chatted about reducing stress through massage and ensuring you have good alignment. Thanks to a previous disc injury, I have frequent appointments with physiotherapists and RMTs, so it was a real treat to get a “fun” de-stressing massage. Maria has magic hands, seriously. I could feel my muscles melting under her touch and I left feeling seriously relaxed.
Next up, I watched Yasmin get her hair done by Industry Hair. The reps showed that, with the right straightening iron (curved edges! I use a CHI iron on my curls), you can create nearly effortless curls.
Since I already had a face full of makeup (and falsies!) I opted out of having any more applied. Instead, I watched Abigail get her makeup done by the ladies from Inspire Cosmetics and got some lessons on highlighting and contouring from SheShe Beauty.
Tips for highlighting and contouring:
  • Apply bronzer in a “3” on your face – forehead, cheeks, chin – everywhere the sun would naturally hit your face
  • Using a blush brush, apply blush on the apples of your cheeks, starting in line with your pupil and sweeping into the hairline
  • Brighten with highlighter, using a fan brush to apply highlighting powder wherever you haven’t applied blush or bronzer. Key ares: down the bridge of your nose, lightly on your forehead, along the tops of your cheeks and along brow bones
The ladies from SheShe also handed out cheat sheets. Don’t worry if you couldn’t make it – I snapped a pic of one for you! Here’s how to get the perfect smoky eye (click to enlarge):
Thanks to Eliza for the invite! I had a great time and it was wonderful to meet so many ladies IRL!