edmonton beauty blog

EDMONTON PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER | DARBY

I recently photographed this lovely young lady, Darby, at my home studio. I had been itching to do a few indoor creative shoots during the tail end of this winter, so when I found Darby and her magnificent mane of pink hair, I was instantly excited to photograph her. I created a subtly mermaid-inspired makeup look with iridescent pastel tones using the Yaby Cosmetics World of Pearl Paint pre-set palette, which I would highly recommend. I wanted to let her naturally perfect skin shine through, so I used only a small amount of Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation. On her lips I used Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Reflex Frosty White.

Darby, thanks so much for modelling for me. I wish you the best of luck in all your adventures.

Many thanks to my friend Katryna Rae for lending me the beautiful ombré backdrop!

EXPLORING EDMONTON | MAISON CREME DE LA CREME

Maison Crème de la Crème is not your average beauty boutique. In both its opulent setting and unique product line, there is nothing standard about its approach. When owner Akosua Nyarko was conceptualizing her shop, she planned to offer products that couldn't be found anywhere else, which is what led her to focus on customized beauty goods.

For example, a customer can arrive at their newly opened beauty lounge in Sherwood Park, AB with a specific idea or even a vague imagining of a lipstick shade, and Nyarko and her team will whip up an entirely customized lipstick right in front of her eyes. They also offer custom face oils and self-guided fragrance creations, as well as nail glosses, hair extensions, ready-to-wear perfumes and a large variety of mink eyelashes.

The lashes, which were their first products, have developed a cult following through online sales before the opening of the beauty lounge. They've been worn by many celebrities, most notably by Rihanna (!!!) and are also stocked by Edmonton's LUX Beauty Boutique.

I recently dropped by the beauty lounge for a tour and to experience a custom lipstick creation. The process began with a conversation about what kind of lip colour I had in mind. I told them I prefer bold colours, but was open to anything they thought might look nice for the holiday season. One of Crème de la Crème's makeup artists, Sondra, began the design process with me by mixing together various "colour truffles" on a palette until she reached a desired shade. She created three options for me and invited me to try each on in turn. Keep reading to see which one I chose!

Yes, in the end I chose the darkest shade of the three, a deep berry colour. I loved the pink and nude tones, but this one seemed just right for an evening look for the holidays! Once we decided on the colour, I was asked to choose a scent that could be added to the lipstick. I decided on "sugared strawberry."

Above, you can see the colour applied at full intensity, straight from the tube. The formula is matte but very creamy so it glides on easily. Below, I've blotted is off a bit with a tissue for a more muted, stained effect, which has a lot of staying power. Sondra recorded the exact recipe she used to create my custom colour and stored it in my customer file, so when I am ready for a refill, (which I will be!) it's all in their records.

While Sondra completed the mixing and moulding process of the full-size lipstick, I had an opportunity to explore the space a little more. As I mentioned, nothing about Maison Crème de la Crème is ordinary, so it's not surprising that Nyarko had all the furniture and packaging custom designed to her specifications. The result is a rococo-inspired wonderland that is as comfortable as it is ethereal.

Aksoua, thank you so much for inviting me to visit your magical space and experience the joy of a custom lipstick creation. I can't wait to come back!

Maison Crème de la Crème 

Unit 182-150 Chippewa Road

Sherwood Park

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