Blanche Macdonald Centre News from Blanche Macdonald Centre BLANCHE MACDONALD PRO HAIR GRADUATE ERIN MURPHY FLOURISHES AT JUJU SALON top-hair-school-graduate-erin-murphy


You’d hardly expect to find your hair’s next best friend deep in the corridors of one of the city’s busiest train stations - but that’s exactly where you’ll find Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair graduate Erin Murphy. Nestled in Vancouver, a city famous for its artists and creatives, Erin has managed to build a steady clientele at her salon, carving a niche out for her instantly-recognizable hair skills just a few years after graduating from Canada’s Top Hair School. Recently recognized by both Allure and Teen Vogue for her superior holographic hair creation, Erin’s Instagram teems with her most luscious creations : from silky smooth balayages to dizzying dollops of the most electric colours you could possibly paint! Stunningly sweet, gracious and humble, Erin is here to whip your locks into the frenzy you’ve always wanted.

Blanche Macdonald: So firstly, tell us what a typical day looks like for you.

Erin Murphy: Very busy! And always different. If I’m doing colours, I can usually do two big colour jobs a day. In between that, there may be some cuts or Instagram stuff that I can fit in, but everyday is always fun.

BMC: And what is it about Juju that made you feel like it would be a good salon to call home?

EM: My friend worked here and was moving away so she messaged me saying how great a fit she thought I’d be and that I should apply. At first I was apprehensive because until then, I’d only been an assistant but I applied anyways and the owner really liked me and it’s been great! I’ve been here since last March and it’s an amazing fit for me.

BMC: In a city where there’s so much competition amongst stylists and salons, how did you build such a loyal clientele in such a short time?

EM: It’s a hard thing to do! Word of mouth definitely helps. People notice nice hair and ask ‘Oh, who did that?’ but social media is huge. I’d even go so far as to say that Instagram brings me at least 75% of my clients. Luckily for us, our salon is also in a great location so we get a lot of traffic through because of that as well.

BMC: Can you tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to do hair?

EM: I was working in an office and one day I just looked around and was like ‘What am I doing? I need to be creative.’ I’d already taken the Makeup program at Blanche Macdonald and initially, I thought I’d take hair and be able to combine it with makeup but as soon as I started I loved it so much more than makeup and it became my main passion.


BMC: And was your family supportive?

EM: My family is great and always supportive of me but they were a little iffy when I made the decision to go into hair. They knew I had a good job and so much security so when I said I was going to quit, they were kind of like ‘But, why?’ Then they saw how passionate I was and now that I have a job I love, they’re so happy for me.

BMC: So what made you choose Blanche Macdonald?

EM: I lived on the island when I was looking into schools so I basically just Googled a bunch and Blanche Macdonald came up and had by far, the most recognition and best reputation. When I came to Vancouver to check it out, I knew it was for me. When I decided to go back for hair, I didn’t even look anywhere else. I really enjoyed the Makeup program and knew that I learned everything that I could possibly need to have a career in it and I knew the Pro Hair program would be the same.

BMC: What was the most memorable day / time / teacher at BMC for you?

EM: That’s hard because everyday was so interesting! I loved all the instructors in the Hair program. When we worked in [student salon] Q+A, they would always give me the clients who wanted something bright and fun because they knew that was what I loved to do. They were really great about helping us find and develop our niches as Hair Artists.

BMC: What’s your niche now that you’re out in the hair world?

EM: Definitely vivids! Any fun, bright colours or pastels. I love a good balayage too!  

BMC: What’s one of the looks or styles you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

EM: Recently I did a pastel holographic colour job for a client and it got included in a hair article in both Allure and Teen Vogue! That was such a good feeling. One of my clients sent me the article and I was going to respond being like ‘OMG, I love it!’ and then I realized it was my hair! I’ve had a few clients come in that have seen it also and the salon was super proud of me so that was a pretty cool thing and definitely one of my best hair moments to date.

BMC: So was there a certain technique that you learned and adapted to create the holographic look? Or did you teach yourself how to do it?

EM: I watch videos and techniques, of course, but it’s all about knowing the technique and then adapting it to yourself and your style. When I’m doing those types of colours, my co-workers always ask to watch how I do it but I just put colour where I feel it should go!


BMC: To create these looks, you must have to keep constantly inspired. Where do you find your inspiration?

EM: From all over! I get lots through other work I see that I can build off of. Colour is a big one for me too, we always have flowers in the salon so lots of time I’ll get inspiration from the colour palette of our bouquets!

BMC: Is there a hair trend you’ve seen on Instagram that you’re loving right now?

EM: Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m loving all the crazy festival hair in such fun colours with braids and things added in. I love it all!

BMC: What about a certain cut or colour you’re dying to try out on someone?

EM: I get to do a lot of colour but there’s a few styles I’d love to be able to do - lots more braiding definitely. Things that are a little more ‘out there.’ But it’s hard to ask that someone stay to let you play with their hair and style it after they’ve spent four hours getting a colour process done!

BMC: You’ve done so well since graduating, is there advice would you give to new stylists or people looking to get into the career?

EM: You’ve got to really put yourself out there. Get out and volunteer and meet people. It’s also very important to get into a salon where you can assist or apprentice to learn all you can. It’s definitely not a job that will just come to you if you just sit back and take it easy.

BMC: What are some challenges of being a stylist?

EM: It’s definitely the hardest when you first start out, for sure. It’s super intimidating to put yourself out there, especially when you’re a new stylist.

BMC: And what is your favourite part of being a stylist?

EM: I love doing what I do and I love doing hair! It’s really awesome to meet people that I do and hear their fun stories. Our area has lots of tourists from all over the world so it can be really interesting to meet them and get to do their hair!


Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 PST
Vanessa Giles Brings Movie Makeup Secrets to Blanche Macdonald Top Makeup School Graduate Instructor Vanessa Giles

If you find yourself in one of Vanessa Giles’ classes at Blanche Macdonald, pay attention to every word. You never know when you’re going to be treated to a magical story from the daily adventure that is the TV and film industry.

“On Once Upon A Time I was working with Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays Snow White. In a horseback scene Ginnifer was knocked to the ground by a horse. Our lead lady literally flew face first into the ground as hooves landed all around her! Ginnifer, being the trooper that she is, got up with her face covered in blood and the crew tentatively applauded her as she walked off to get treated. She asked me to accompany her to the hospital for stitches on her brow. It was up to me to calm her nerves about the prospect of scarring. I promised I’d do everything I could for her to continue shooting. We returned to the makeup trailer where I counter-shaded her swelling, covered her bruising, reshaped her eyebrow and camouflaged her bandage as best I could. She was able to return to set that same afternoon and I received flowers from production the next day for allowing them to keep shooting as planned.”

Vanessa’s always ready to save the day. The Blanche Macdonald Makeup graduate-turned-instructor has a dazzling résumé, working on blockbusters including The Chronicles of Riddick, Watchmen, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, War of the Planet of the Apes, 50 Shades of Grey, Sucker Punch, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Night at the Museum 2 (which narrowly missed an Oscar nomination for Makeup), The Assignment with Sigourney Weaver, and the forthcoming Tully, where she was the personal Makeup Artist for the legendary Charlize Theron. Pretty impressive for someone who didn’t even consider herself an artist until towards the end of her high school career.

“I really wasn’t the best artist until I had an art teacher, Mr. Sandvoss, who showed me Georgia O’Keeffe’s work,” she recalls. “I’d never seen anything like that before. A switch went off in my head, and all of a sudden I could draw and paint.”

From that moment Vanessa knew she was going to be an artist. She just didn’t know what kind.

Top Makeup School Graduate Instructor Vanessa Giles

“I was building my portfolio but the work I was doing at the time was pointillist. I had to spend a lot of time alone to concentrate. I like being around people, laughing and interacting. I told my Mom this and she said, ‘Why don’t you do drawing, painting and sculpting on people?’ I went down to Blanche Macdonald to check it out and signed up the next week. I’ve been doing makeup ever since!

“The program incorporated all the elements I was looking for – drawing, painting and working with people. I had great teachers, including Jen Folk. The first time I saw myself with a white goatee in Jen’s class was hilarious.”

Blanche Macdonald provided Vanessa with more than facial hair and creative guidance. It also gave the young makeup artist the keys to the door of the TV and film industry.

“A career director called me and asked me if I wanted to work on an independent film called Horsey. One of my co-workers on that film was Leanne Podavin. We hit it off immediately. I thought that if this is the kind of person I get to hang out with, then this is a great job.”

She’d made a great start, but Vanessa was taking control of her own destiny, embracing new experiences and expanding her professional network.

“I sent out my résumé a lot. I would look through the phone book and cold call and fax photographers. It totally worked. I was doing beauty shoots and began working my way up the independent film circuit.

“I covered for another makeup artist for two weeks with a production company called Sodona Entertainment. They started offering me Department Head positions and I worked for them happily for many years. The one downside was that I was always hiring people with less experience than me. I wanted to work with industry leaders who had been on the big shows who I could learn from. As it was I was figuring things out on my own. On Lone Hero, I had to create full tattoo sleeves for Lou Diamond Phillips and keep them on him for a month. This was before tattoo transfers existed. I made stencils and did touch-ups by hand every day. And I made him wear saran wrap in the shower!”

Top Makeup School Graduate Instructor Vanessa Giles

Vanessa had a comfortable and prestigious position with Sodona, but she wanted to experience more. Job security couldn’t compete with the prospect of learning from the best of the best. 

“I joined the ACFC West Local 2020 union and started Department Heading small TV series. I taught Lil’ Romeo how to shave for his series. I did another show called Skate, where I got to work with the world’s best skateboarders. I became an IATSE permittee and ended up working with Jen Folk on The Chronicles of Riddick. She would help me by telling me when to be invisible and when to make myself visible. It was wonderful of her to help me like that.”

It was on that set that Vanessa had the first of many brushes with Makeup Royalty when she was summoned into the trailer of the legendary Ve Neill.

“A group of us were working on necromonger women test makeups. Ve was watching what we were doing and would take over for a second, make these beautiful brush stroke adjustments, and we would follow her lead. It was so exciting: one-on-one tutoring with Ve Neill! The other fantastic thing about that show was that it led me to my friend and mentor for the past ten years, Victoria Down. Victoria brought me in as a second first assistant on John Tucker Must Die and we started working together regularly after that.”

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. As one of Victoria’s right hand people, Vanessa has been the Key First Assistant on War of the Planet of the Apes, The X-Files, Night at the Museum 2 and 3, 50 Shades of Grey, Big Eyes, Hidden, Superman: Man of Steel, Once Upon a Time, This Means War, and Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief. Happy to share her talented assistants, Victoria recommended Vanessa to Rosalina Da Silva, who brought Vanessa into the fold for the explosion of creativity that was Watchmen and Sucker Punch.

“Most movies want less Makeup, but Zach Snyder, who directed Watchmen and 300, always wants more, more, more makeup! We created looks for Knights and Devil Girls on Sucker Punch and Zach kept asking for bigger and bigger, so we started busting out rhinestones, eyelashes and airbrushes. Which was amazing!”

Top Makeup School Graduate Instructor Vanessa Giles

Now Vanessa is sharing her expertise and stories with the next generation of movie makeup magicians in Blanche Macdonald’s classrooms. Her most important lesson is that no matter how great your work, it’s your professionalism that will take you into the top of the industry. 

“There are a lot of egos in this industry. Everyone has one. You need to know when it’s not about you, and you need to be ok with that. You need to know when to fade back and when to shine. You can’t step on a department head’s toes. Making your department head look good is the key to your success.

“I encourage students to consider that their professional career begins the moment they come to Makeup School. Let’s focus on learning to do makeup on other people and learning how to present yourself. You can have piercings and tattoos, but having the proper professional decorum will be what takes you far in the film industry. You have to work hard to succeed, but it’s possible. I taught at Blanche 15 years ago, and many of my students from then are now Department Heads.

“I’ll talk about some of the ‘personal’ body makeup on 50 Shades of Grey. Sometimes my students look shocked when I explain that you have to paint things other than faces. I try to prepare my students as best I can for what to expect. I want them to feel confident and excited to start working. It’s an action packed road ahead!”

If you do find yourself in one of Vanessa’s classes brace yourself for the highest levels of professionalism, techniques and, above all, stories that will challenge your TV and film preconceptions. 

Top Makeup School Graduate Instructor Vanessa Giles

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:00:00 PST

Vancouver, A.K.A. Hollywood North, is home to towering mountains, lush rainforests and stunning ocean views. It’s a small slice of filming heaven which has helped make the past year one of the busiest and most exciting in Canada’s Film and TV history. In and around Vancouver you can find alien invasions and fairy tale endings, Super Hero battles and monster truck adventures. It was a blockbuster year that saw studio space become limited due to an ever-expanding line up of productions from X-Files and Prison Break reboots to comic book juggernauts Arrow, Supergirl and The Flash fighting crime across the Lower Mainland. In a historic move Hollywood studio giant Skydance opened up one of the world’s longest and tallest stages right here on the West Coast, breathing Altered Carbon to life in Netflix’s biggest creative endeavor yet! With impressive scenery, diverse shooting locales and an incredibly talented pool of TV and film crew, the decision to utilize everything British Columbia has to offer was an easy one.

Vancouver boasts some of the world’s best TV and Film Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists, a previously exclusive club that’s now parting the ropes as high demand for their skills continues to skyrocket. With our city playing host to gruesome hits like Supernatural, iZombie and Deadpool our Blanche Macdonald Hair and Makeup family is beyond busy creating epic looks and winning major awards. In the past year they have been recognized with multiple Emmy, Canadian Screen Awards and Leo Awards for their outstanding work and dedication to their craft. The diversity of the abilities throughout our Fashion scene is becoming more involved and the Film & TV industry is taking note! They are scouting local talent and our contribution is only growing. From Vancouver to Prince George, film productions dotted the landscape in this momentous year and Blanche Macdonald graduates and instructors were lucky enough to take on leading roles.

At the forefront of many of the main costuming jobs that roll through Vancouver is Blanche Macdonald Costuming for TV & Film instructor Derek Baskerville. As an industry veteran with titles like I, Robot, Untold Stories of the ER and Wedding Bells behind him, Derek has an innate understanding of all the demands and responsibilities that come with a role in the costume department of any production. He also has an excellent eye for those students of his who possess such gritty sparkle. Students such as Fashion Marketing graduate Madison Douglas, who is excelling as an assistant to Derek on a number of his upcoming projects! Luckily for our Fashion Marketing and Design students, Derek is also an extraordinary mentor and has placed many Blanche Macdonald Fashion students and graduates behind the scenes of multiple productions.

“One of my greatest pleasures when hiring Blanche Macdonald graduates is that within a very short time they make themselves indispensable with their willingness to take it all on, ‘own it’ and have fun at the same time. In the industry we are always looking for people with fresh ideas and ways to make challenges work while working on tight timelines.  We are looking for people who bring enthusiasm, courage and a positive attitude when they join a new costuming team!”


Whether you are scouring the shops for that perfect piece as a Buyer, dressing background actors for key scenes, giving new clothes “old” life as a breakdown artist like Fashion Design graduate Julian Leclerc is on Netflix’s vampire hunter series Van Helsing, or challenging your skills in sewing and breakdown as a Truck Costumer; being prepared for anything and everything is crucial. It was this ability to acclimate quickly that saw Fashion Design graduate Andromeda Nelson ignite her passion working alongside Derek Baskerville as a Background Costumer on myriad projects and then promptly work her way up to Assistant Costumer. Similarly, Blanche Macdonald Fashion Marketing graduate Angela Ivanochko’s capability to be adaptable in all situations allowed her the opportunity to work as a Buyer on the CW’s breakout hit drama Riverdale.

Be over prepared and always expect the unexpected to happen. No day in film is ever the same, one day you might be shopping glitzy cocktail gowns at Nordstrom and the next your sourcing men's jockstraps for the high school football team. It can be challenging at times, like anything else in life worth having it requires a lot of effort. But there is nothing more rewarding than hitting up the theatre and seeing you and all your team's hard work showcased on the big screen - that is a moment I live for!”  


Building an encyclopedia of knowledge on style, fit and silhouette is pivotal in being able to translate fundamental looks for TV & Film projects. Just ask Iranian born Fashion Design graduate Maryam Asgari whose role as a Truck Costumer has her responsible for everything from assisting cast at their trailers to properly hot-stocking costumes with a complex series of breakdown phases. Maryam’s hard work has propelled her steady rise through the ranks on hit CW shows such as The Flash and Arrow, ABC’s Once Upon a Time as well as Disney’s Descendants 2 – where she was fortunate to work alongside LA-based Fashion and Costume Designer Kara Saun. As an International student, Maryam faced many adjustments while living abroad and in addition to those was now discovering a whole new terminology – all outside of her native tongue.  

“When I learned the term silhouette it was a huge deal for me. I was asked to day call on The X-Files reboot shortly afterwards and the designer needed me to find him a ‘beautiful silhouette’. I felt amazing because I had the confidence in knowing what that meant! The Fashion Awareness course gave me the knowledge to completely envision a look – beyond even the clothes. I’m able to make sure that everything is there to pull it together from top to toe and place it in the correct era.  Every day on set is completely different, I might be responsible for breakdown, design, background or even sewing. Moving across the world and enrolling in Fashion Design at Blanche Macdonald was intimidating, but has paid off – I work in an industry I love and feel creatively fulfilled.”  

TV and Film is an industry where being at the top of your game 100% of the time is the expectation – space at the top is limited and to play alongside of the best you need to have your game face on. Long hours, changing weather conditions and working accurately under pressure are just a few challenges working on set will throw at you and preparation is key! Fashion Marketing Graduate Renata Mihalickova (Assistant Prep Costumer/Buyer – Love Finds Its Way) quickly found this out maneuvering the world of Hollywood North.

“You have to be on time, whether it’s an early morning crew call or an overnight shoot, so organization is key. You need to work quickly and, most importantly, be accurate and communicate. In this industry it’s important to stay cool under pressure and be able to roll with a changing schedule. There is a very fast moving work flow and you have an ever changing job description. It’s so important to be able to be adaptive and ready for anything – all skills I learned at Blanche Macdonald!”

Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 PST
"Blanche Macdonald is the Harvard of Makeup." - Eve Pearl, five-time Emmy Award winning Makeup Artist new-makeup-brochure

We’re so excited to introduce you to the pillars of our Global Makeup Artistry program, the creative forces that drive it and the graduates who are continuing to gain world-wide recognition for their unmatched Makeup skills. Our commitment to the global artistry community has only strengthened our dedication and reputation for excellence. Throughout the years, we have been fortunate to have forged incredible relationships with some of the top artists in their field who contribute to the successes of our programs and our graduates even now.

We are so humbled to be recognized as the “Harvard of Makeup” by someone of Eve Pearl’s stature. As a five-time Emmy Award winning Makeup Artist and one of the leading authorities on beauty, Eve Pearl is also a highly successful entrepreneur behind the international cosmetics brand Eve Pearl with over two decades of experience in TV, film, print and theatre.

With a myriad of remarkable Daytime Emmy nominations and wins, along with multiple Leo Award and Canadian Screen Award nominations in this past year alone, we are so proud of the local, national and international artists that have come through our halls! Of course, it helps that our Global Makeup program was written by Hollywood Makeup royalty, our own Makeup Director Todd McIntosh who also happens to hold two Emmy Award wins and 13 nominations under his name.


We are so happy to announce that a mere ten days ago Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup graduate Jenna Servatius joined the ranks of award-winning artists and took home the 2017 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup on PBS’ Odd Squad.

"With a show like Odd Squad where Kid Agents could run into any number of strange people, there is no shortage of new characters and villains to create. A challenge when working on a show with this target age range (5-8 years) is creating characters who are both fantastical and villainous without being frightening. This was achieved by pulling inspiration from various eras, historical figures, Japanese animation, familiar childhood silhouettes and lots of research. In some cases it meant the use of faux fur, resin moulds, and prosthetics, in others, beards, brow blocks and even bread.

"Being a graduate of Blanche Macdonald I feel has really set me up for success. The in depth training I received certainly has set me apart from other artists in my area. Hiring many assistants over the past few years I have seen at first hand the vast difference in the confidence, skill level and overall knowledge of an artist who has graduated from Blanche compared to other schools graduates."

Flip through the stories and successes from Blanche Macdonald Global Makeup graduates from all over the world going from experiencing the majesty of Europe through the eye of Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick, master of atypical beauty and the youngest member of Kat Von D’s Beauty Collective; to the phantasmagoria of Instagram star Mimi Choi’s mind-bending makeup; to the couture creations that have helped Lyle Reimer reach global audiences with his celebrity collaborations; or to Makeup graduate-turned-instructor Jon Hennessey’s cultivation of Vancouver’s top creative beauty agency, NOBASURA.


Tue, 09 May 2017 00:00:00 PST

Makeup is different for everyone. For some, it’s designated to special occasions; for others, it’s an essential daily routine. For Blanche Macdonald Freelance graduate AJ Woodworth, it’s a sacred ritual, deserving of respect in an appropriate space and environment. Upon graduating from Canada’s #1 Makeup School, that’s exactly what she set out to create. AJ’s dreams of a private and comfortable makeup studio have come to fruition in The Glamoury – Yaletown’s newest luxury styling salon.

“Before I did anything in makeup, I was a musician and there were always TV segments, performances or rehearsals that I had to be done up for, usually super early in the morning. I do not go out without my makeup on so the idea of going out to a store to get my makeup done, if they were even open that early, was horrifying. I always wanted something that was really private and that gave the clients an experience, which didn’t exist. So that’s when this idea started to take hold in me.”

With the idea firmly planted, AJ took the plunge and began searching for the perfect location to create her makeup heaven.

“Yaletown was a natural place to be in my mind. I was putting my business plan together and I contacted a leasing agent. I told him what I wanted and he basically told me it would be impossible! Weirdly enough, he called me a few weeks later and was like ‘I found your space!’”

Armed with a business plan and now a place to set it all up, it was time for AJ to decide exactly what aesthetic and feel she wanted her dream studio to take on.

“I can’t take credit for the beauty in here! The one thing I can take credit for is the fact that I knew I wanted something different, something that would make a statement and feel luxurious when you were in it. I knew I wanted lights around the mirrors, lots of privacy – hence the partitions – and an old Hollywood vibe but without the sparkly chandeliers. So I started working with the team at Ste Marie [design studio] and they presented me with this colour palette of reds, eggplant, brass and wallpaper and I just fell in love. They basically took everything I wanted, combined it all and bumped it up 1 million percent! We also worked with Glasfurd & Walker [branding and identity design studio] who did all of our branding and signage.”


Now came time to decide exactly how to shape the perfect experience AJ had dreamed up so long ago. Needing no honing or clarification, AJ knew exactly what variables needed controlling in order to give each client the salon experience of their dreams.

“When people come in, they’re greeted with a client card and given a robe. They can tell us if they’d like to talk or keep it quiet, if they want photos or not, and what exact services they’re looking for. It’s really the best way for them to tell us what they want and for us to deliver it with the least amount of pressure. If they’re having a bad day and they want to come in and relax, they can. If they’re here to catch up on girl talk, we can do that too. I want people to feel like they can get whatever they’re coming for.

“After the card, they get our look book which has our 8 looks and 7 hairstyles to choose from. There are also other options and add-ons they can choose from, like teeth whitening. Basically we’ll do everything a client needs to get them ready for wherever they’re going or whatever they’re doing. This is also the reason we have little pockets of merchandise around the store like body glow, jewelry and a bit of nail polish. We want you leaving completely styled!”

Having each team member’s kit stocked with AJ’s personal favourites, as well as industry and cult beauty picks like NARS, Anastasia and MAC, is the perfect way to make sure there’s consistency and unification between each look or visit, no matter which artist’s chair you sit in.

And if that’s not impressive enough, there’s also the branded line of cosmetics The Glamoury carries.

“I wanted clients to be able to take products with them for touch ups but it was hard to get some lines in here. So I started working on our own line with a company in Toronto to supply some lip colours for us. It’s made in Canada, paraben free and not tested on animals.”

In assembling a team to complete her space, AJ knew that any artists she hired would have to understand the Glamoury’s culture and respect the sanctity of makeup as much as she did. The task seemed daunting, but luckily AJ knew exactly where to look. With such specific needs, it’s no wonder that half of AJ’s team are also graduates of Canada’s #1 Makeup Program.

“It happened pretty organically but Blanche Macdonald has been just so supportive in this area too. I go off of personality and my gut mostly, skill too but personality here is just so important. For example, when I first met Claudia I thought she was the sweetest person I’d ever met and her work was incredible. Then came Martha Camara and Ksenia Ogolikhina and of course, they’re all from Blanche!”


Before AJ could capitalize on her brilliant idea of a private makeup studio, she had to get the training she needed. When the day came to enroll in a Freelance Makeup program, she knew exactly where to go.

“My sister went to Blanche Macdonald for Esthetics and she knew Heather [Sosa, Makeup Career Director] really well from working with her at Holt Renfrew. I always knew Blanche was the only place I would ever go. I loved my time there and my teachers were amazing! You learn so much about everything, from sanitizing stations to interacting with clients and working with other artists, as well as the technical aspects of makeup. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done if I hadn’t gone to Blanche.

“I went back to Jen [Rothfelder] and Heather when I first opened and asked questions about everything from stocking to kits to the interview process. I go to them for absolutely everything, partly because they have so much to say and partly because they’re so awesome!”

Since their May 2016 opening, AJ has not only created this refreshingly unique space but has also launched a mobile version of The Glamoury for shoots and location services, pinned down collaborations with a number of events and other businesses, and is preparing for the launch of their educational classes starting in the spring. The Glamoury has met so much success in its first few months of business that it’s already got AJ dreaming about the future.

“We’re the official beauty sponsor for the Love Her event, we’re doing a fashion show at the Pacific Rim and we’re going to be in Hush’s Wedding Show at Terminal City! I want to grow this store and make sure it would be good to stand on its own first, obviously, but I’d love to open another location in Toronto. I’d probably never sleep again but I’d love it!”


Tue, 02 May 2017 00:00:00 PST