Blanche Macdonald Centre News from Blanche Macdonald Centre #BMCSOCIALSAYERS - INSTAGRAM SUPERSTAR AND MAKEUP GRAD STARRLY GLADUE! The internet – the final and ever-expanding frontier of, well, everything. These Blanche Macdonald SUPERstars are storming the boundaries with a visual vengeance and boldness in voice, as mega-influencers on the World Wide Web. They are bloggers, vloggers, Insta-stars and Facebook friends to millions in the online community. They are beauty gurus, style mavens, entrepreneurs and artists. They are doing what they love, doing it with passion, and sharing this passion the world over, often making of it a killer career. Want to know what it takes to make it, and make a difference online? Take a leaf from the feeds of our #BMCSOCIALSAYERS!  

Top Makeup School Graduate Starrly Gladue

Starrly Gladue on FacebookStarrly Gladue on InstagramStarrly Gladue on Twitter 

EASY FOLLOW FOR: Kit goods gluttony, fiercer than fierce shadow techniques and eye-popping pigments to pour over. 

Bold beauty with an urbanite bite – Blanche Macdonald Makeup graduate Starrly Gladue’s creatives hurtle through your feed with eye-pummeling pigment, and flawless flicks of liner that slice through rich hazes of hue. Born into the small community of Beaver First Nation in Northern Alberta, Starrly’s star has risen with its trail close to her roots, empowering Native Youth through her journey on the up. She daylights as a Makeup Artist at MAC Cosmetics at Edmonton, and illuminates the insta-sphere with sumptuously saturated glamour and tip-offs to tip-top product. THE Jeffree Star, mega makeup icon and generally fabulous human being, once reposted one of her chroma-tastic looks. Oh, and she once doused models in glow-in-the-dark paint for a Riff Raff rap video...


top makeup school graduate starrly gladue 

You bring focus on the fact that you are an Aboriginal Makeup Artist – what is the importance of this to you?

I’m proud of my cultural background, and there’s not a huge amount of Aboriginal Makeup Artists out there, so I like to represent and prove what we’re capable of. And I also want to inspire Native youth, and show them that you can pursue your goals and dreams, no matter where you come from.

One thing that we love about Instagram is that it has given rise to these amazing online communities – people engaging and sharing with one another, giving shout-outs etc. Do you consider yourself a part of an Instagram or social media community?

Yes for sure. Instagram is an awesome place to gain inspiration and connect with other makeup lovers. I’ve connected with so many amazing artists from all over the world, and it still blows my mind that people have taken interest in my work and choose to share it. If it wasn’t for Instagram and the artists involved in these communities, I wouldn’t have the large online following that I have today.

How do you approach a face?

When I’m working with a client I first talk with them and determine their overall vision, then I assess their features and decide what colors and techniques will look great on them. I think it’s most important to communicate and find out what it is they love about makeup. 

top makeup school graduate starrly gladue  

Go-to Makeup technique?

Glamour is probably my favorite style to do. The process of transformation is amazing to me, and I still get excited when clients want to glam it up.

Your current top 3 kit favourites / must haves:

MAC Studio Fix Fluid is my favourite foundation (for normal to oily skin). It’s long-wearing and leaves your skin looking flawless without feeling too heavy. Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks have been my fav lately too. They’re matte and last all day. I love them for weddings! And I recently bought Inglot black gel liner, which is amazing because it’s super black and waterproof.

What are some BMC tips that you still use to this day?

My first BMC instructor taught us to always blend everything and pay attention to detail. Unblended makeup is not cute, and those little details can make or break a look. Blanche always told us to be on-time for everything too, even if it’s a volunteer job, it’s still important to be professional. Also don’t burn bridges in the industry, for example, you never know if a makeup assistant that was below you will end up being your boss one day.

Top Makeup School Graduate Starrly Gladue

How did you come to study at Blanche?

I was living on my reserve in Northern Alberta and had no idea what I wanted to do after high school. One of my teachers gave me an assignment to research my top three dream jobs and Makeup Artistry was one of them. I found Blanche online, I applied and was accepted! I moved to Vancouver six months later.

What is your daily social media routine?

I always check Instagram throughout the day, replying to comments and scrolling for inspiration. I try to post makeup looks at least a couple times a week, and I mainly post on my IG and Facebook fan page.

What makes for a great feed? ie. your Top Tips for IG:

Having good quality pictures makes it that much better. Post original looks, be creative, and be yourself. Also, engage with your followers!

What sort of camera/editing program do you use for your photos?

I use my Canon Rebel t5i for most photos, and sometimes my iPhone 5s. For editing, the Facetune app is my go-to, and/or Photoshop to adjust coloring. I try to keep editing minimal and as natural-looking as I can.

Top Makeup School Graduate Starrly Gladue

What’s the most empowering thing about running your Instagram platform?

For me, it’s inspiring others, which is one reason why I always share which products I use. I love doing bold looks to show people that you can have fun with your makeup. It’s my creative outlet.

If @starrlygladue could be described as a recipe, the ingredients would be:

Colour, creativity, glam and passion.

Your favourite follows (accounts/blogs/vlogs/personalities that you love):

@JackieAina is my fav YouTuber. She keeps it real and has amazing skill and knowledge. @Amrezy was one of the first IG artists to show me love. She does the most gorgeous looks and has un-real fashion sense. I also love @Sugarpill, their makeup line is made up of vibrant colors and they share insanely creative looks. And last but not least, clothing boutique @CrownTheQueens; I’m obsessed with streetwear and Queens kills it for the ladies.

Favourite places to look for inspiration?

Instagram, Pinterest, and Beautylish are great places to look for inspiration. And a lot of times I'll go through my own makeup collection to draw inspiration from colors and textures.

Your #MVF, Most Valued Follower?

I don’t just have one, there’s so many that show love!

Weirdest personal beauty phase from the past?

I think we all had an “ugly eyebrow phase.” There was a point in time when I used to tweeze my brows to as thin as humanly possible. Then, a few years later, I would use black eyeshadow to fill them in...lmao.

top makeup school graduate starrly gladue

First time you were recognized ‘on the street’ by a follower?

It was literally on the street one night in Edmonton; he was so sweet and told me he was a fan. It’s awesome when followers approach you – when you can connect with them in real life.

Most influential person you've met?

I was fortunate enough to have [Blanche Macdonald Fashion Makeup Program Director] Jon Hennessey as an instructor at Blanche. I also had the opportunity to work alongside [Blanche Macdonald Makeup graduate and] Celebrity Artist Andrea Tiller, and had the chance to meet beauty vlogger Jackie Aina. All amazing artists I’ve been able to meet that are influential and definitely worth checking out.

Coolest Freelance Makeup job you’ve ever done?

One that stands out is a music video I worked on for Hip-Hop artist RIFF RAFF. I did glow-in-the-dark makeup for all the UV scenes. It was such a fun project to be a part of, and it challenged my creativity (which is always a good thing).


Biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

When I moved to Vancouver by myself at 18 years old so I could to attend the Makeup program at Blanche. It was my first time there and I barely knew anyone, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I also achieved a Fashion Marketing Diploma a couple years later while in Vancouver, so it was a great move for me.

Proudest moment?

Honestly it has to be graduating High School, because I thought I would be another drop-out. But I’m happy I pushed through it because I wouldn’t be where I am today.

When I was younger, I got caught up in the partying lifestyle, running away from home... I let it affect my schooling. So graduating high school was an accomplishment because it gave me a huge confidence boost and I felt I could pursue anything after that. If I wasn't in school I wouldn't have found and applied to Blanche. And Makeup school was a breeze for me because it felt right and I knew I’d found my passion.

Five years down the feed dream?

I’m not sure where I want to be in five years... I just want to continue to inspire others.

Motto in artistry? Motto in life?

“You can never stop learning” and, “dreams don’t work unless you do.”

Top Makeup School Graduate Starrly Gladue

Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:00:00 PST

“Artel, in Russian, means an association of artisans living and working together. We brainstormed a whole list of names but I really felt that this summed up what we were about. We’re all artists, we’re all independent but we’re also a family. We’re a team, we all learn together and we’re under one roof,” says Eliza Trendiak proudly, glancing about her sun-soaked empire. The Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair graduate ushers us about the polished concrete and vaulting space surrounding, giving us the grand tour of her newly opened Artel Salon.  

Plump succulents scatter about countertops and pastel-packaged product blooms from the walls. The rustic salvaged wood coffee table (hand-crafted by a friend) jostles warmly with rich textiles, coaxing you to plunk down on the couch and make snug with a magazine. Nestled into the niche hubbub of Fraser Street for only a few months now, Artel has already become the neighborhood’s favourite hair haunt-meets-hang out, with a constant flow of clients chattering through the door.

Eliza is a natural Entrepreneur, but then again, she’s been self-starting since before she can remember.

“My family has always made fun of me, saying that I came out of the womb trying to start a business. As a kid I did lemonade stands, dog walking, sold cucumbers on the side of the road... you name it and was trying to start a business with it,” laughs Eliza.

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

It was no surprise to her parents then when Eliza declared that she was leaving her native New Hamburg, Ontario to go to the School of Business at Trinity Western University in BC. What did come as a surprise to Eliza was that she wasn’t 100% satisfied with the path that now lay at her feet.  

“I didn’t want to end up working in an office. At the time I was doing my dormmates’ hair and I just loved it. A friend told me that I should do what I wanted to do because I was going to be waking up and doing it every day. I took that to heart, so I graduated university and went straight to Blanche Macdonald. 

“My sister and one of my best friends went to BMC for Fashion Marketing and the quality of their work attracted me to this school from the get-go. Blanche has one of the longer Hair programs in Vancouver, twelve months as opposed to six months; I felt that if I was going to invest in my education, I wanted to spend the most time I could learning. And I loved that Blanche Macdonald had a Business program built into it, as well as Makeup and Hair for TV & Film; you could really get a taste of everything. I wanted to come out of school feeling prepared. Blanche just seemed to be the right fit.” 

It was. Eliza took to the program like a curl to heat.  

“My group was awesome! We prided ourselves on being loved by the instructors. There was a lot of bonding through the intense practical exams and I still keep in contact with some of the girls from my program. I went into hair school like, ‘Oh, I’ve done an undergrad, this is going to be easy,’ but I’d be out in the hallways with the rest of them afterwards just exclaiming about how intense it was! It was a really great experience.”

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

It was during the Pro Hair’s Work Experience program that Eliza was introduced to Style Lab Headquarters, and by the time her internship had come to an end, they were already at a loss with what they’d do without her. They hired her on to their roster of independent stylists, and the four years she would go on to work there would inform the trajectory of her career. 

“I love the idea of being independent and working for myself, but also within an environment of like-minded people that I could learn from. When I was thinking of opening a salon, I thought about getting a small studio by myself, but that didn’t appeal to me. I’ve always learned so much from working with other people. Style Lab totally opened my eyes to that and I feel really blessed to have only ever worked in chair rental salons. I run the structure here at Artel very similarly.

“One of the coolest things about being a chair rental stylist is that my clients have always had a direct connection to me – they’ll call me or text me on my cell, whether it’s to book an appointment or to joke back and forth about ridiculous hair photos. There’s never been a middle man. That that makes it really personal. It’s crazy – I actually still have some clients that first started coming to see me at the Blanche Macdonald salon. They have followed me all these years, from being a student dreaming of opening a salon to working at Style Lab and Beaute Salon to now opening my own salon in reality. I really feel that these clients have made the journey with me.”

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

Even with an appointment book brimming with eager salon clientele, Eliza still found the time to take on a side project; she and her lens-wielding power-couple-other are the team behind one-stop-shop personal photography collective Trendi Creative, which has been sassing-up and snapping Vancouver since 2012. 

“It started as a life partnership; Rob was working in the film industry while we were dating and it was a really difficult lifestyle to pace, to have any kind of balance. We got married and literally two weeks later he quit his job. It was terrifying. But I thought, ‘I’ve been running a freelance business myself, so I know that we can do this.’ We came up with the concept of Trendi Creative on the flight to our honeymoon. We would be cross promoting each other.”

Launching Trendi Creative succeeded both in pushing the artists into new heights of awareness, and in whetting Eliza’s appetite for entrepreneurship. She wanted more of it, and with her ever-growing list of loyal fringe followers, she knew that her salon ownership aspirations were now within reach. 

“I’ve always been interested in real estate, and for two years I had been searching online for potential spaces, always keeping my ear to the ground. I had even written a full business plan so that I would be ready.”

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

She’d been daydreaming about this since she first began Hair School. And when 3558 Fraser Street popped up on the market, Eliza was ready to pounce. 

“The exciting part is just seeing all of these ideas and Pinterest boards come to life! I really wanted to create a space that felt like you were coming into someone’s living room, a place you’d want to curl up in and hang out. We had all of these ideas going in and we would wonder how we were going to make it all come together, if it was going to look right.  

“I’m incredibly proud of this space, proud of the stylists here and of the culture that I feel is forming. As much as you want to plan out what you want a vibe to be, it’s something that grows organically. And I’m really proud that people have told me that when they come in they feel welcome.”

It only takes a moment, the distance from door (which greets you with a golden ‘hello’) to the lounge of Turkish throw pillows, to ease into the chic friend’s living room vibes, but they didn’t come easily. 

“Oh man, were there some trying times during the renovations! There was one week where I probably cried every single day, it just felt like one hang up after another. I was still working full-time at Beaute Salon, coming here before and after work every day to keep on with renovations. Not being a builder or a contractor myself, I didn’t understand why some things were taking so long and just really wanted to be open. There were definitely some times in the middle of it where I questioned if it worth it, being so stressed and tired. But once we opened our doors, it was kind of like having a baby, how you forget all of the pain once it’s finally here. I’d go through that ten times over for what I have now!”

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

There have been a lot of firsts for Eliza in opening Artel. For a stylist who has been so proudly independant throughout her career, the transition to having a roster of stylists depending on her launched a steep learning curve.  

“Being on this side of things now, I have so much more understanding and gratefulness for my previous employers. Oh man, now I totally get why they did some of the things that they did! 

“A lot of my hiring process was laying out clear expectations, being honest with every one of the stylists, saying, ‘Hey this is my very first salon, this is my first time being a manager; I’m going to make mistakes. I’m learning as I go but let’s learn together.’ I want the channel of communication open.”

Eliza may be new hand in the Boss Lady business, but she knew what she wanted and what she was looking for in curating the Artel team.  

“For me, it was really really important when I was hiring stylists to look for a level of professionalism. Looking not only at their work but their vibe and what they put out there on social media; maintaining a level of professionalism inside and outside of the salon. I was looking also for a warmth and a welcoming because I wanted Artel to be an approachable space. 

“The level of professionalism was one thing that was instilled very early on in Blanche and something that I still value. This is a very personal industry, but you always have to maintain that level of professionalism in the way that you dress, with your language, with your topics of conversation. You really never know who’s sitting in the chair beside you and you never want to make anyone else feel uncomfortable. Just because you feel comfortable in a space doesn’t mean everyone else does. You should always keep that at the back of your mind.”

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

Eliza has done a lot of learning throughout her career and now, moving into this next big step, she has a lot more to come. The culture of constant education that she has surrounded herself in up to this point is one that she is eager to carry through to her own salon. 

“I’ve learned to be more transparent and vulnerable with other stylists. When you first start out, there’s this constant fear that you don’t know what you’re doing – because you really do have little idea of what you’re doing. And sometimes there’s this pressure to appear like you do. As time went on, I learned to be more open about when I was struggling with a colour formulation, or when my client wanted something and I wasn’t sure where to start. Being humble enough to ask other people for help. The more open you are, the more other people are open back and that sharing of learning and being able to carry each other along has been huge. 

“Surround yourself with people that are willing to teach you, that you look up to, whose work you want to emulate. I’ve been blessed to have worked with some really incredible stylists and I would constantly pick their brains, watch them and learn from them. That is invaluable.”

Top Hair School Graduate Eliza Trendiak

Artel Salon is an exercise in balance: organics play with industrial in the decor, team success supports independent success, and each plays their part as mentor and mentored. It is professional and it is intimate. And just like Eliza herself, Artel is both savvy in business and rich in warmth. 

It’s early still, but Artel is already slated to be up there with the best of them in Vancouver’s thriving salon scene and Eliza is doing it all herself, in her own way. The new day begins as the first client arrives, and Eliza leaves us to claim the hours with the same fire that brought her here, from chair rental stylist to owner of her six-seat, sun-slicked hair empire.    

“Be hungry, stay hungry. When I was in school every person that I saw on the bus was a potential client. It’s an easy industry to get into, but it’s not necessarily an easy industry to stay in if you’re not hungry. You have to work hard, put in the time and you have to really want it.”

Eliza Trendiak Top 5 Favourite Products from Kevin Murphy Hair Care

Wed, 18 Nov 2015 00:00:00 PST

Exactly where the climax of a career in TV & Film hits is relative. And upon first meeting, Krista’s down-to-earth sincerity belies her soaring perch in our Hollywood North. Her name tops a colossally impressive imDb list – which includes credits for AMC series Fear the Walking Dead, Warcraft, iZombie, Proof, Final Destination 5, Disney’s Descendants and The L Word – and you might not ever have guessed it, had you not caught the focussed glint and forward keel of her speech.

We’re sitting in one of Atelier Campus’ vast glass rooms, where Krista is sharing with us the career that has been tetris-packed into her years since graduating from Blanche Macdonald’s Makeup program. And as with all TV & Film stories, there are delightful deviations of plot to be had too...

Sam Elliott is a total icon, and he has a beautiful moustache that is almost equally iconic. And I had to trim it the first time that I met him. All I could think was, ‘Please don’t let me be the person to ruin Sam Elliott’s trademark ‘stache!’ ” laughs Krista who, thankfully, left the actor’s golden feature intact.

“It’s important to stay grounded through it all, especially with TV & Film. Maybe you make up some celebrity types but that’s not really what the job’s about. It’s just an aside. It’s not why you’re there.”

Top Makeup School Graduate Krista Seller

So why is she where she is, a hurtling force of the industry, pruning the big screen elite? Together we rewind.

“I fell into TV & Film in the best possible way. I had already gone to University and done a degree in Sociology, had done a lot of traveling, had lived in London, England. And when I went back to Saskatchewan, where I was from, I decided that it was just too small and moved to Vancouver. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life at that point so I started taking a lot of art classes and it was actually a drawing instructor that suggested a career in Makeup for me.”

Krista’s indecision-fuelled leap to Canada’s Top Makeup program was one that would inform the artist that she is today. By the time she left Blanche Macdonald’s halls, she was eager to write Makeup into the next chapter of her life.  

“I use everything I learned at BMC in my work. It gave me a foundation of knowledge on which to build upon, and gave me confidence to go out and try to achieve a career in Makeup Artistry.

“I had to make it work. And I did. If Makeup is what you see yourself doing, then you have to throw everything into it, give it your all. I know that’s a cliche but it’s completely true. When I graduated, I really focused on print and fashion initially just to build my portfolio. I was lucky that at that point I fell into a group of people who were producing a new magazine called Butter, which was a big local fashion publication in the early 2000’s in Vancouver.”

The experience came full and fast, and Krista took it all in eagerly. As such, she was a hot spot on the roster radar for Lizbell, then a fledgling collective of artists, now a world-renowned premiere boutique agency. She whisked about the fashion scene as a represented Makeup and Hair Artist in Vancouver, and in Toronto with The Artist Group for five years. Working creatively within the this world was a dream for Krista, who had always admired it from afar. And some years later, she happened upon her chance to make it to the very core of Fashion’s culture.

Top Makeup School Graduate Krista Seller

“I was in Hawaii shooting a print campaign for the Sheraton Hotel, working with my friend Tania Becker (who co-owns Moods Salon and works on virtually every major fashion show in all four central Fashion Week cities) and I was telling her how sometime I would love to work on a Fashion Week show. She said, “Jon Hennessey is keying a show in New York next month, you should ask him if he needs any more people for his team." And that was that!

“The designer was Raif Adelberg, and it was a menswear show that [Blanche Macdonald Fashion Makeup Director] Jon Hennessey designed and keyed. The look was savage and slightly tribal, and it was a really fun and exciting experience.”

This was 2012, and back at home, Krista had already been making big climbs in the world of TV & Film as a full member of IATSE. During her years signed on with Lizbell, she had begun taking on student films and commercials between editorial shoots. As soon as she had enough credits, she applied for her Permittee Status with IATSE [International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts], worked her 90 IATSE set days and was sworn in as a Full Member. The full time Union gigs rushed in.  

“In the beginning, when you’re not as established and people don’t quite know you yet, you have to take jobs in a quicker succession just to make those connections, get that experience and get your name out there. Day calling is great for that. Working on The Chronicles of Riddick really helped me establish a lot of connections. I met so many Makeup Artists just by working on that one show. But that’s also a part of the battle because once that show’s wrapped, all of the artists split off to work somewhere else; if you’re someone that stood out in your work and in how you worked with your team, they’ll remember that and call you back when they need help on their future shows. So building up your reputation and those relationships is so important.”

Of all such relationships forged on Krista’s first heavy-hitting day call, there is one that brings out the most sparkle in her voice; it was on set of The Chronicles of Riddick that she first worked “out in the real world” with fellow Blanche Macdonald graduate and Associate Makeup Director Jennifer Folk.  

Top Makeup School Graduate Krista Seller

“I love Jen – she’s honestly been my biggest cheerleader and I can’t thank her enough for that. I really looked up to her as a mentor; when you’re new, you observe people and how they work. It’s important to step back to watch the people around you, watch what it is they’re doing, to try to emulate those good qualities. Jen was really sweet but firm; she knew what there was to do, made sure it was done and did it all in such a nice way. I had incredible respect for her.

“I worked again with Jen on The L word and then, for Painkiller Jane, she gave me a huge opportunity. She was asked to go to Europe to shoot but the timing wasn’t going to work with her. She put my name forward to go to Budapest, Hungary for two months. It was awesome.”

Since then, Krista’s name has rarely needed introduction. With over two dozen credits under her belt, and a sweet-meets-steadfast demeanor, Krista has become a choice call-up on big league sets. One Head of Department even proclaimed Krista as their “absolute favourite First Assistant!”

“I was working on the Fear The Walking Dead series before going on to X-men Apocalypse and that was pretty cool, with all the buzz surrounding it!

“Had you told me when I was still in Makeup School that I’d be doing what I’m doing now, 15 years down the road, I would have been overjoyed. It is exciting, but you always want to stay humble. I feel very fortunate to be working as a Makeup Artist for TV & Film. It is really difficult but it’s also possible; the main thing is to have perseverance.”

Top Makeup School Graduate Krista Seller

Difficult and possible, high demand and high reward – the tough realities of a career in TV & Film is not something that Krista gleans over, even if she does love what she does.

“It can be a real eye opener when you start. I remember my very first IATSE day call was 21 hours long. Day one, had never set foot on an IATSE set, and I didn’t leave until 21 hours later. I thought, ‘OK, this is what it is.’ Since that time I don’t think I’ve ever done a day that long, but there are people out there who will have those hours.

“We have to do a lot of creative improvisation in this job too. When I was working on Warcraft, we were shooting with a lot of facial hair. For one group we’d hand laid a lot of crepe hair because we had been told that they would be in the deep background. Of course, at the last minute, these people were brought to the front and these pieces that weren’t finessed for tight camera range were going to be up close. In this sort of situation, you have to make adjustments on the fly to make things camera ready. You have to keep sharp and always watching what the shot is because it’s often not going to be what you’ve been told.”

And yet, the rush, the push and an element of improvisation suits Krista well, both on the job and off.

“I really love the variety of my career. I love that we don’t have a regular schedule. I can’t even imagine having only three weeks vacation a year, or whatever it is that most employees have in their jobs! Traveling is a super important part of my life that I do a lot of when I’m between jobs. I’m usually trying to jump a plane to go somewhere!”

No matter how enticing the faraway is however, Krista always finds herself coming back to Vancouver, settling back into the day-to-day adventure of her career.

“We have uber talented crews here in Vancouver, and I’ve heard the same statement coming from a lot of teams coming up from the States or from out east. The talent pool here is stellar, I’m really happy to be a part of it; to learn within this group of peers and mentors.

“As I’ve gone further in my career, there are only more people that I’ve aspired to work for, that I have worked for and still hope to work with, to add to my list. My goals are to keep learning from the people in this city who are at the top of their game.”

Top Makeup School Graduate Krista Seller

Kindness under pressure and humbleness in the face of well-mustachioed stardom have made Krista mentor herself to those starting out in the TV & Film industry. For some, it may seem she’s reached a climax of her career, but the moxie to bring her bold personal visions into being has made Krista’s climax ever-rising.

“I’ve learned that it’s important to set your own goals, and that you can achieve them if you name them to yourself or to others. If there is something you want to go after or if there is something that you would like to do, I do believe in the power putting it out there. Because people remember. If something comes up, people will remember that and pass it along. It’s using the power of networking and the people that you know.

“You have to keep your ego in check. Nobody knows it all and it’s fine to not know everything. If you have a bit of success, just keep going with it. Don’t think you’ve reached your pinnacle because there is no pinnacle. You set your own ceiling.”

Krista Seller's Top 5 Movie Makeup Artist Kit Product Must-haves!

Thu, 12 Nov 2015 00:00:00 PST

As a leading fashion stylist, Amy has created an aesthetic that makes fashion believers of even the most disenchanted crowds.  

These days, Amy is most often found jet-setting about the hottest of US destinations, or surrounded by racks of dreamy pink and cream designer gowns. Putting it simply, Amy has made it. A self-proclaimed lover of all things sparkly, Amy is always bringing something luxe into the mix, never shying away from texture, and using her incredible knack for layering in editorials that are always alluring: daring yet polished, edgy yet refined.

Building a high profile styling career overnight isn’t a reality. Amy understands that. It is a passion for what she does, along with immense drive and talent, which makes her a salient figure in the world of Fashion Styling today. 

Her strong work ethic, paired with an inimitable eye for Fashion and unrivaled creativity, has landed her in the driver’s seat of numerous artistic projects and lust-worthy editorials. Since graduating from Blanche Macdonald’s Fashion Marketing Program, Amy has worked with renowned photographers, models and celebrities in locations around the globe. Following her time at Blanche Macdonald, Amy relocated to Canada’s Fashion epicenter, Toronto, where her career success continued to flourish. She had no other direction to go but up.

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

Currently based out of San Francisco, California, her work has appeared in editorials for FASHION Magazine (in which she was also voted one of Canada’s “Best Dressed”), Vanity Fair, Interview, People, Zink, Sport Illustrated Women and Hello Magazine, and in national advertising campaigns for Coca Cola, Levi’s, Anthropologie, Cover Girl and Nike. If this wasn’t impressive enough, she has also worked with celebrity clients including: Jessica Pare, Selena Gomez, Nina Dobrev, Russell Crowe, Jason Priestley, Lily Cole and Georgina Chapman.

This award-winning stylist has also received BC Apparel’s Fashion Stylist of the Year award and some images she styled for photographer Barbara Cole won the Grand Prix of Fashion Photography at the International Festival of Photography in Cannes. Chances are you’ve seen this fashionphile make appearances on Inside Entertainment and Canada’s Next Top Model.

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

We recently checked in with Amy to get an update on all her fabulous happenings and styling feats: 

BMC: So San Francisco! How was it that you ended up there of all places? 

Amy: I have always wanted to live back on the West coast; I have a life-long love affair with Los Angeles but San Fran is the best of both worlds – city vibes, beautiful nature, and it's a quick flight home! I anticipate I will be traveling to LA often but there are definitely amazing things happening here. Toronto is an incredible market for fashion photography; there is world-class talent there. But coming to San Francisco was a personal decision. I missed the ocean.

BMC: Your aesthetic clearly reflects your love for beauty found in nature. Can you remember some of the most memorable locations that you have worked in that parallel with this artistic pull?

Amy: Besides the Fashion, working in brilliant locations is my favourite part of the job. I have been blessed to shoot in some of the most incredible nature locations in North America. I'd have to say shooting all over the Lake Tahoe area was one of my most favourites; it was mind-blowingly beautiful. Oftentimes we shoot in big fancy mansions too, which is uber inspiring!

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

BMC: We know while you were in Toronto you were represented by one of the most prestigious talent agencies in Canada - Judy Inc. Are you now doing Freelance work, or are you still repped by them (or someone else)?  

Amy: I'm still with Judy Inc in Canada and have been represented by them for over a decade. But since moving to SF, I am doing more freelance work. Judy Inc does work with international clients, but I find it makes the most sense to be represented by an agency that is in the marketplace you want to work in. My plan is to align with a top US agency once I am a little more settled in!

BMC: Sounds like the best of both worlds. Now let’s talk clothes. For your shoots, which shops and stores do you love to pull from?  

Amy: It really depends on what the job is. And of course what the budget is like! For ad jobs in Canada, I love Holt Renfrew and Zara the most. For editorial, it's all showrooms and online designer look books. It is hard to choose a favourite designer because they change all the time, but I usually start with Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Greta Constantine. 

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

BMC: What would you say was the pivotal moment in your career? 

Amy: There isn't one I can pinpoint, I was as excited to style a granola bar advertisement at the beginning of my career as I was to style A-list celebrities later on. All of the moments lead to the next big thing. I did have a dreamy moment when I was surrounded by Marchesa gowns in the Lowell hotel in NYC a few years ago, I do love beautiful clothes after all. And more recently I was shooting in LA with one of my favourite photographers, Richard Bernardin. I took him to this lookout spot I have been frequenting for years and we shot a whole editorial around it. That was pretty epic.

BMC: What is it that inspires and drives you in your artistry?

Amy: I love clothes and beautiful images. Styling has allowed me to dive deep into both worlds.

Day-to-day, I am inspired by nature, which is one of the reasons I moved back to the west coast. I love the ocean, sunshine and flowers.  From an industry standpoint, I am always inspired by innovative Fashion photography. Sometimes I feel totally over it and then see a killer editorial by one of my favourite teams and then I'm totally fired up again.  I am also intrigued by the total transformation of our industry by social media; to be honest, I don't completely understand it or my place within it, but have seen it change before my eyes and can't help but be inspired.

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

BMC: You clearly found your calling! Having now worked extensively in the industry, how do your feel your time at Blanche Macdonald set you apart from others?

Amy: I am grateful for my time at Blanche because it gave me an entire year to dive deep into Fashion without distraction. I spent all of my time reading magazines, studying, thinking and daydreaming about Fashion. When you dedicate that much energy to any craft, it makes a difference. The opportunity to immerse myself in Fashion for the duration of the course was, in hindsight, invaluable.

BMC: So beautifully put. For any future students coming to Blanche Macdonald to study Fashion Marketing, what advice would you give them?

Amy: Take advantage of all of the opportunities. Volunteer or intern whenever possible, network, go above and beyond what you think you should do. It’s not only about getting good grades; it’s about making the most out of the opportunity as you can.

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

BMC: Of the many projects that you’ve done, which kinds are the most unforgettable?

Amy: Unforgettable projects can be unforgettable for many reasons; sometimes the photographer is someone I have wanted to work with for years; it could be an incredible location, or racks of the most amazing clothes; a beautiful model, the buzz of working with a celebrity. It’s all relative to where you are on your path. 

BMC: You said it perfectly. It’s truly all about perspective. Looking back at your career from where you currently stand, what is your biggest point of pride, your “tour de force” if you will?

Amy: There are so many moments and they change all of the time. Sometimes it's the early morning drive to location, or a quiet moment on set, or seeing a story on shelves in print where I'm like, ‘Wow, this is a cool job!’ I'm really proud of some of the images I've worked on, the experiences I've had and the career I've created for myself. I wouldn't change a thing.

Top Fashion Marketing Graduate Amy Lu

BMC: Creating a career for yourself based on what you love. That is definitely something to be proud of! What is your personal motto in career and artistry?

Amy: Be true to yourself and just fucking do it! Listen to yourself, work hard, and don't give up. 

BMC: Lastly, what tips can you share for any budding stylists who are just starting out in the industry?

Amy: Get started! It takes a long time, a ton of dedication, passion and hard work, but if you are in LOVE with clothes and photography, it is the best job in the world.

Amy Lu's Top 5 Styling Tips

To view Amy Lu's incredible portfolio of work, visit her website at, or on her Instagram @amylustyle


Sat, 07 Nov 2015 00:00:00 PST

Envision this: you’ve just been chosen as one out of tens of thousands of face-painting hopefuls to join the backstage ranks of the world’s reigning Cosmetic Queen for New York Fashion Week. You soar out to the Big Apple on the order of an Instagram notification and join right in on the frenzy of shows like Anna Sui, Diesel Black & Gold, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss. A few days later you’re pulled onto a flight to Milan where you brush it out for luxury legends Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta and Versace. Another ticket is thrusted at you. It reads Paris. Givenchy happens, as does Jil Sander and Valentino. You’re there amongst it all, and you end it with a magical motorcycle tour of the city.

This is Jenna Kuchera’s fantasy. A fantasy that flung through into real life.

“When I found out I had won Pat McGrath's #backstagewithpatmcgrath Instagram contest, I was on set with my friend Alan Chan shooting for Kit and Ace – just a regular work day – and I hadn’t looked at my phone for hours. When I had packed up I saw that I had something crazy like 50 missed calls,” recalls the Blanche Macdonald Makeup graduate-turned-Pat-Prodigy. “I knew at that point that I must have won.”  

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

“I threw my life together, my kit together and I was away for over a month with her team. I wasn’t expecting that time frame either so it was all just really crazy!”

Jenna can’t reveal too much of her whirlwind month with PatMBE (that’s Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), and widely-dubbed ‘Most Influential Makeup Artist in the World’ – but what we do know is that what was supposed to be just one Fashion Week turned into three.

“She asked me to come along to Milan and Paris and of course, you’re not going to say no. It was a dream come true for her to ask me that, as was every opportunity that came up during that time with her. I was so in shock that I didn’t really think about it too much. I feel that if you’re thinking about how, ‘I’m here, working on the World’s Best Team,’ you start to get panicked and nervous. For me, the more that I relax and do my thing, and not really think about, the better. It wasn’t until I came home that it sunk in.”

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

As astonishing as this may all seem to be, it is not all that far-fetched. After all, like Pat’s ennui-blasting reinvention of editorial beauty in the 1980’s, Jenna has been vivaciously reimagining the standards of artistry in Vancouver. Her boldly singular style, which elevates character in unapologetic blitzes of glitter and hue, has made her one of the most sought-after Makeup Artists on the local scene for a mind-boggling gamut of sets. From the fresh calm of Aritzia lookbooks; to eye-pummeling conceptual editorials with the likes of Grimes; music video sets for Hedley and Eating Out; and face-doodling sessions with Norman Reedus (we’ll get to that later), there is simply not enough space in this article to describe her range of artistic reach. Jenna takes it all on with chroma-packed prowess and enviable cool. And the international scene has taken note.

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

The fashion-slick scapes of New York, Paris and Milan can seem distant dreams for most, but especially so for Jenna, who began her journey in a small town just outside of Penticton, BC.

“When I was young my mom would have friends come over on some Saturday afternoons and we’d have hillbilly barbecues with all of these characters drinking Budweisers and – as it was the nineties – wearing cut off denim shorts and big blonde hair,” laughs Jenna nostalgically. “There was one instance where my friends, my sister and I snuck into my mom’s makeup and dressed ourselves up like our moms – teased our hair and did beauty marks and the lip liners that are too dark. The women thought it was hilarious and everyone was having so much fun about it, working together to find us more props.”

This was Jenna’s ‘Cosmetic Awakening’ – Makeup for fun, Makeup for transformation, for characters and collaboration.

At just fifteen years old, Jenna forayed out into the world of freelance with a beauty-tome-taught talent (it can be said that her first classes were coached by cosmetic greats Kevyn Aucoin and Bobbi Brown), working on a circuit of word-of-mouth bridal gigs, and dreaming up outlandish creatives in the studio of then high school pal, now renowned New York photographer Owen Bruce.

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

She might have stayed a big fish in a small pond forever, had it not been for one irresistible invite. Her best friend was going to Blanche Macdonald. She should join.

As would become something of a motif later in her life, Jenna packed her bags up in flurry and whim, not knowing quite what to expect of Canada’s Top Makeup School, but ready for big changes.

Blanche was the best. I had the most fun. We were all super tight buddies in my classes. I remember them all fondly and keep in touch with some of them still. We were always dying with laughter over whatever – whether it be beard day, dressing up like pirates or some hilarious thing. There were always some crazy shenanigans going on.

“That’s also when I became quite serious about what I wanted to do. I started to realize that I cared a lot about doing well with this. In a small town sports are considered competitive, but we were definitely competitive with creative work within our class. That really helped me to excel in those days.”

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

The rapid pace of expectation and growth that her in-class competitions brought left Jenna wanting more. Shortly after graduating, a recommendation from instructor Jennifer Folk to apply to the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) Battle of the Brushes was an easy yes for Jenna, and an even easier yes from the application board.  

I found out that I had been accepted and needed to make money – quickly – to get to LA, so I made a raffle basket with a bottle of tequila and a bag of Doritos. All of my friends would come by my work to put money down. All of a sudden there were more than 100 people who were going to be want to know whether I had won or not, so I was like, ‘Shit, I better win.’”

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

Jenna did win. She took first place in the Beauty/Fantasy competition with her macabrely brilliant black widow creative (which can still be spotted on the IMATS banner to this day).

Having swept the podium of the Canadian Makeup show earlier that same year, placing first in each of the three competitions she entered (Glamour, Fantasy Runway and Body Painting/Airbrush), one might imagine that Jenna walked into the IMATS, and her many subsequent challenges, with easy confidence and ease of mind. That this is not the case speaks strongly to how she has come to be where she is today.

“I have confidence in what I’m doing, but I don’t ever have that assumption that what I’m doing is going to be better than anybody else. Or that I’m going to win a competition because I’ve already won three or four. After each is over I reset. New game. Anything can happen. The constant challenge drives me, and drives any artist to keep up their game and keep performing. It’s so important.”

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

It may not be the gold that Jenna is interested in with these intensive artistic trysts, but the golden opportunities that have presented themselves as a result of her years competing – both in the arena, and with herself – she takes in gratefully. Her brazen vision, coupled with a modest and genuine mien, caught the eye of Blanche Macdonald Fashion Makeup Director Jon Hennessey, who promptly signed her on with his bar-raising talent agency Nobasura

“The industry has really expanded for me, just in meeting new people and having these opportunities come up. Last year I was able to work with Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou, who are amazing, awesome guys for a film called Air. Norman Reedus doing my makeup was funny. That was a good time.” (He’s apparently quite talented too.)

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

“A big reason that I like working film is that it can be so fun. And as I do Beauty and Fashion Makeup almost every day, it’s really important to me to keep up in the world of Special Effects. Those skills transfer into other projects that I do; they definitely help with problem solving, and I’ve used this mindset at shows and shoots.”

It is this sort of invaluable industry-reaped insight that Jenna has been bringing back to the classroom, as an instructor at the Blanche Macdonald Centre. Though well under 30, she’s far more than qualified for the position – having worked her first Fashion Week at 22, keeping a swift and cool-headed rise ever since, Jenna has become somewhat of a hero to her fledgling creatives.

“I like to come back to Blanche because my students all look at me with sparkles in their eyes. They all listen to every word I say and are just so excited to be there. To have relationships with people that are learning something from you is such an interesting feeling. They’re really happy and thankful to have me there and I feel the same way about them.”

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

In the wake of her glorious globe trot with Pat Mcgrath, Jenna hints at BIG things on the horizon. It’s unsurprising and, of course, all very hush-hush for now. Wherever it is that she ends up, Jenna insists that she’ll hold Vancouver enshrined as her creative home.

“What I really like about working here is that a lot of these people in the creative community are open to doing something new, having fun with it and not taking it too seriously. Once people feel like they have mastered whatever they want to master here, it’s a lot easier to bring it to other markets. You feel confident with your work once you’ve had this playground to figure it out in.

I’ve been very lucky in having people allow me to do whatever craziness I’d like to do. I call them my friends, but they are professionals – really amazing photographers, stylists, models. I’ve just worked with them so much that they’ve become my friends.

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

Makeup has always been a means to great times with great people for Jenna. And even now, making her break into the prestigious hustle of the backstage elite, she manages to source out these two happinesses.  

“Everybody on Pat’s team is super welcoming. They are all extremely talented – some of the best Makeup Artists in the world – and that can easily make somebody a jerk. I deeply respect all of them, not only for their experience and their skill, but because they’re good people who accepted me and were super generous with their knowledge. They went beyond my expectations of just being really awesome-cool-amazing humans. If you’re like that you’re going to get further ahead.”

Top Makeup School Graduate and Instructor Jenna Kuchera

Though we’ll greatly miss Jenna’s own liberal outpourings of savvy and artistic wit about campus during these next thrilling stages of her career, we can think of few more fitting to take on the challenge of making over the world of Fashion Beauty.   

“Fashion is at a point where it’s starting to change and I’d like to be a part of that in a positive way. It’s been a nice feeling for me to be a supportive friend or role model for younger people that are in the industry. It’s something that I would like to continue to do. There’s going to be a new generation that challenges the older conventions of beauty and I’m hanging out waiting for that to happen, but also hoping to be a catalyst for it to happen too. In my own way. In my own work.

I'm looking forward to seeing how my work will change into the future, as I go out to experience and learn more of the industry – what it will look like when I break out some of my weirder Jenna Kuchera stuff down the road, and make people question things.

We can’t wait.

Jenna Kuchera's Top 5 Fave Products

Thu, 22 Oct 2015 00:00:00 PST