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Makeup for Professional Artists, Fashionistas and Makeup Junkies


Summary of Game Based Learning Advantages


1. Intrinsic Motivation

2. Self Efficacy

3. Self Pacing of Instructional Content

4. Exploration of Related Information

5. Cognitive Efficiency and Cognitive Mapping Boost

6. Refinement of Decision Making

7. Operation of Simulations within Defined Parameters

8. Interpersonal and Team Development

9. Incorporates Play (exploration within boundaries)

10. DOSE (dopamine release -rewards), (oxytocin release – group interaction), (serotonin release – satisfaction with outcomes), (endorphin release – tension during game play)


Disadvantages of Non-Game Learning Systems


1. Lecture – not useful for long term retention, after 20 minutes attention fades, recall limited

2. Reading – not useful for learning other than to work as a reference, writing notes as one reads is superior.

3. Problem-Based Learning – resource intensive, requires a high tutor-student ratio

4. Online didactic – often is presented as a combination of reading with multimedia, not an improvement over classroom, but allows distance education, lacking interpersonal mentoring often

5. Self Directed – lacks direction without close supervision

6. Essay Writing – easily plagiarized and difficult to monitor without “cut and paste” detection software


Specific Cases Where GBL is Helpful


1. Converting Simulations into intensive learning environments

2. Applying knowledge in a relevant context

3. Reviewing didactic information and rewarding recall

4. Engaging learners where content is insufficient to drive fascination and discovery

5. Supporting discovery-based learning with practical skills development

6. Fostering learning teams


I had the joy of apprenticing with Vancouver makeup artist Rob Walters some years ago and I learned so much from this modern makeup master. Rob isn’t someone you find easily and he doesn’t promote himself with Likes and shots of his beauty work. Rob humbly works in theatre, film and beauty and is also a master of hair and wigs. You can find him if you search really hard but his teachings live on in the many hundreds of students who have worked with him on Vancouver productions over the years.


For theatre, we use Kryolan panstick foundation, applied with as sponge. It must be softened first on a pallette with a pallette knife and then it flows on like butter. Rob would always chide me for using my foundation brush on actors, he felt it gave a fake surface that wasnt clean. Instead Rob insisted that you get the best results with the flat end of a sponge, detailing the coverage. For women we used a more fair foundation, and for men we used an olive tone. The same foundation was used on all the actors, the only difference being that of gender. This powder was set with Ben Stein powder with a firm, pressing motion, almost lightly hitting the face, what drag queens call, beating face. Its not uncomfortable, but sets the powder in for hours without a touchup.


Theatrical eye makeup was a great specialty of Robs and I don’t feel right disclosing all of his secrets, but here are a couple of gems. The eye was prepped with a layer of Kryolan panstick, then a solid layer of Ben Nye luminous white was used first. The reason he did this was ingenious, when stage lighting filters through the eye pigments, it then hits the luminous surface and reflects back toward the audience, causing the eye to pop. In a large venue, the eyes convey much of the actor’s expressions and without this step, the eyes disappear in strong lighting, regressing into two tiny beads.

One other tip Rob uses is very strong creases which are drawn on the front of the browbone, rather then in the crease itself. This enlarges the eye makeup and produces strong contrast from a distance. If you draw a crease regular style for theatre, no one will see it. Rob used to say, if you look like a clown backstage, you are perfect for theatre.

I won’t give away any more of his eye makeup secrets here, but there are many. You cannot use “going out to dinner makeup” for theatre and this applies to eye color choices. I will leave you guessing, we need to think bright and we need to think about the many color filters that stage lighting uses. We want to create a character who is memorable, a living, breathing presence on the stage from any distance in the venue, and it takes alot of good judgement and color theory to pull this off. No one could do it like Rob could. I might be tempted to share some of his looks with you if you ask nicely and he agrees.


The treatment of cheeks and facial contouring is a speciaty for theatre, first pioneered by the master Hermann Buchmann. They used different colors of foundation to blend into a shadow, primary and secondary highlight base. This base could then be used to create any set of features you desire. Today’s contouring, promoted for beauty shoots and such, are a mere fragment of this repository of knowledge. Suffice it to say that contouring for a bridal party is just adding some shadows and lines. Contouring for theatre is a craft in itself. Unless you can make your subject look either thin, obese, old, or young, or  like they are made of tiles, with foundation, you cannot contour. You are simply shading, as they say in drawing.

I will give one tidbit on contouring to get you excited to learn more about the real art of contour. We would use a grey eyeshadow under the cheekbone, with a strong rose on the surface of the cheek, extending the rose up toward the outer part of the eye. Next, we surround both the blush line and the under cheek shadow with a matte white Ben Nye eyeshadow to block out the cheek. This surround simply makes the cheekbones explode off the face and projects a long distance. Since the cheekbones define the character more than any other part of the face, they shape the face at distance, mastery of this design is crucial. Again, this is just a teaser, a way to make you want to go out and rescue the lost art of character creation from the bin.

There is much more I can say about theatrical makeup and we are teaching a course in it at Theatrix School of Makeup at the end of April. Groups of theatre students are taking the course and much of what I learned along the way will be imparted there. It seems as though we must rely upon a few dozen high school students to carry on these traditions, as they are all but lost in modern beauty and print. And digital effects make them all the more redundant for film, and the larger theatre venues are now using giant screens for those far away. I have even heard it said by some modern theatre artists that we should just do regular beauty makeup for theatre, since the distance factor is less important.

To this I say, nonsense! Theatre is not about conveying a plot with regular looking people. It is about something much bigger, about creating a character that is more than human, like the ancient Greeks who immortalized themselves with classical makeup for stage. If we want to see a 2 hour story, we have television makeup.

For those who dare to dream big, who long to see what we can be in our imaginations, and attend theatre, opera and ballet to be swept away to a fantastic land and to shed tears at the final curtain, Rob Walters has taught me to bring each actor to life, larger than life, for stage.

As William Shakespeare said in As It Happens…”I would not change it”.

Stay tuned for more Spring inspirations from the bench….

Hello folks, time to update. Look for alot more updates in the months to come. I was asked by one of you to provide some advaned makeup tips for the upcoming party season. Here is the first of my updates, On Trend.

Lets get some basics down first. This winter, what I am doing, is going with flawless matte features. I am holding back on the luminosity on the foundation and focussing on the lips and a luminous eye.

To start, I use Smashbox face primer, and undereye primer. If there are bags or wrinkles, I use the new Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye primer, it provides a temporary moisture boost and really calms and sooths the eye area. Next, I correct any blemishes with Camera Ready concealer or High Definition. Remember to use a stippling action when applying concealer and then feather the edges out with a small synthetic brush. Layer the concealer carefully, adding layers until you get the coverage you want.

Next I use my Kett airbrush foundation applied with an airbrush or a synthetic foundation brush. Lately I am using the MAC foundation brushes, I have 4 of them and each has its own specialty. The two I use most are the flat foundation brush and the Kabuki brush. More about using the synthetic Kabuki brush later! When I get to the area I have concealed, I STIPPLE the foundation on that area, putting down layer after layer until the skin is flawless. When I work for Smashbox, I use their Studio Skin foundation for this. Finish with a dusting of colored pressed powder, I use something called Air Care, a powder I bought from LA. It is very light and provides a flawless matte finish suitable for close ups.

Now about foundation application this season. I am using two colors of foundation for each model. I start with a slightly darker color than their own skin tone on the cheeks blend that backward toward the ear. Then I take a foundation in their own natural skin tone and finish the rest of the face. To do this, I start with bringing up a big FAN SHAPED foundation sweep along the nose, up to the forehead and sweeping outward in both directions, so the lighter tone looks like you drew a palm tree in the center of the face. Then I blend that upward into the hairline. Now, for the lower face, I STIPPLE the lighter foundation over the skin, then I use the Kabuki brush to feather it to an even blend with the skin. The result is a highlighting of the center of the face and an emphasis on the cheekbones. At this time, the model will not need any blush, the difference in  foundation color will bring out the cheekbones, and look freshly bronzed, with a MATTE bronzer. I dont need to use bronzer this way. I have the cheek definition I need. Note that I DO NOT CONTOUR under the cheekbones for this look. I let the 2 foundations work their magic. So use TWO FOUNDATION colors, and make it MATTE with powder and blend to perfection. Now we have a dynamic bone structure.


This season, deep violets are IN! All shades of lavender, violet, and their related colors are the lip of choice. However, some women look rather scary with dark purple lips, it just doesnt work on them. But do give it a try first and wear it a bit before you pass judgement. Its the hottest trend in lips right now. If there is an issue with the intensity of the color I use a new trick taught to me by Shawn H., lead trainer for Smashbox Canada. The produce a lipstick called POUT, which is a soft, sexy pink. Now, if you put this on thick, it has a great “stripper” look, very reminiscent of early Pam Anderson. But, if you put it on in a thin layer, it works as a color blocker, ie. it cancels the lip color and brings the lips to a natural look. This lipstick or its equivalent from any line, is then coated with a layer of Smashbox reflection clear lip gloss.

Now, if the girl wants another color, like Patriotic Red, and wants to go Marilyn Monroe for Christmas parties, we use the POUT lipstick first after coloring in the lips with red lip liner. That would be the Dark in Smashbox, but any good red that flows on is fine. Smashbox isnt red, but its dark, as its name suggests, and works great for both red and violet lips. So to review, we use a lip blocking natural pink shade FIRST, and then apply our desired color OVER TOP of that layer. This leads to a flawless lip.

In order to produce a pout, I use two tricks. First, I only apply the High Shine Reflection lip gloss over the center of the lips, not the outer 2/3. Then I use some brown eyeshadow under the lower lip, in the natural space there, and blend well with a Q Tip. This produces two effects, the center of the lips comes forward with the gloss and the lower lip is doubled in size by creating a fake shadow underneath it.

Next blog post will be on dazzling Christmas eye looks. Happy face painting!

My good friend Cam agreed to let me post his review of TIFF this year. Enjoy!

TIFF was something of a disappointment. Mostly our own doing, since we
bought the cheap day pass and were duly punished for our cheapness by being
denied access to film selection for daytime films until Labour Day. So we
saw 29 films, of which about 10 were so amateurish/boring that we wondered
why they had been selected for screening. But i am counting among those a
disgracefully badly acted film by Brian de Palma called PASSION. It cast
sweet little Rachel McAdams as a Bette Davis style manipulative bitch. Bad
idea. Then there was Colin Firth slumming in a mediocre road movie called
ARTHUR NEWMAN. But worst of all, there is THE PAPERBOY with Nicole Kidman
and Mathew McConaghey in southern gothic territory complete with southern
accents, crocodiles and astonishingly bad taste. It made us long for some
classy Tennesse Williams like BABY DOLL. In THE PAPERBOY, young Zach Ephron
is stung by a whole hive of bees. Our Nicole brightly offers to urinate all
over him to ease his pain, then does so. On camera. And so on.

The best American films we saw were: 1. THANKS FOR SHARING about sex
addicts. Not as much sex as you might expect, since Mark Ruffalo and the
lads were trying to abstain via the 12 step plan. The best parts were when
they went off the wagon. 2. DISCONNECT which involved the computer crowd.
Three separate plots arrive at their climax on the same evening. The big
scenes are splendidly intercut. But good as these two were, neither one got
a mention in the press I saw. SHORES OF HOPE, a German film about life in
the STASI era was excellent, as was the Danish THE HUNT about a teacher
accused of molesting a 5 year old. Finally, if you really feel a need for
some Middle Eastern Angst, try THE ATTACK about the inevitable
Palestinian-Israeli animosity. Believe it or not, the filmmaker made this
one trying not to take sides!!!!

On Wednesday afternoon, the Department of French held a retirement party for Professor
Derrick de Kerckhove who is acknowledged as Marshall McLuhan’s number ons disciple (and translator).  He also taught in the Cinema Dtudies program.   He had been unable to attend one in the spring, so
they exceptionally found – with much difficulty – a date when he would be in
Toronto in September. They provided a particularly lavish spread, and had a
good turnout of colleagues, old and current. But Derrick never showed up!
At 5:45 the two speakers made their speeches with the guest of honour
decidedly in absentia. I could not contain my mirth. Apparently, he had
phoned a secretary in the early afternoon saying that he would be slightly
delayed. So he did not forget. Kind of like Clint Eastwood speaking beside
an empty chair.  he was always famous for not turning up for his classes.



Well this year at TIFF has been an exciting one. We have seen many do’s and don’ts on the runway and off, fashion wise. I wanted to discuss some looks I used behind the scenes. I was working for Smashbox this year and so all of the products used here are from them.

I think my favorite makeover for the Toronto International Film Festival was on Danish actor Dina Rosenmeyer. She is friends with alot of the who’s who of Scandinavian perfomers, including the director of the Dragon Tatoo series starring the incredible Naomi Rapace. Dina was going to a premier this evening and she needed some impact generating makeup. She came to my chair saying “I guess a half liter of wine before a makeover isnt the best thing”. I responded “honey, its the best thing you can do!”

I started with leaving her perfect skin bare, no foundation. Foundation isnt necessary for a gal like Dina with her fantastic skin. Instead I focussed on her eyes, and used a great Trio from Smashbox called Photo Op. This had me using a nylon nude base over her whole eye, along with a peach lid color. I completed the look using a violet waterproof eye pencil  and then dropping some chocolate brown in her crease. The last step was using Smashbox Icon creme eyeshadow to create a warm diffused line underneath her eyes for that sultry look. Time was at a premium, we had less than a half hour to work. So I skipped eyeshadow primer and went straight for the look. I used Gingersnap blush just below her cheekbone and then added some Passion blush over top of that to create a sensuous blend of eye popping cheek color. Her lips were done in Nylon Nude with a layer of high reflection gloss. She snapped up the violet liner, and bought a Chai lipstick for more impact. Next we had to get her hair done, so we set her up with a Tony and Guy curling iron and some great hi hold spray.

Another great makeover experience was with Louise O’Brien Moran, head of the Manitoba film commission. She funds alot of Canadian productions and had 4 films at TIFF. For Louise and her premier events I used Black Onyx liner and Studio Skin 3.1 foundation on her skin. I dressed her cheeks in Chiffon blush and her lips on a delicious red lipstick, I cannot remember which. My goal this season was to keep the features clear and hit the eyes with an impact liner. Louise loved her new look and ran into an old flame right after leaving my chair. She wrote me a lovely email the next day, thanking me for preparing her for looking good for an old love interest!

I probably completed 20 makeovers over the past few days for the TIFF crowd and every woman was a pleasure to work with. From the simple BB cream with bronzer I did for Director Sandra Feldman (Please Kill Mr Know It All), to the fantastic coverage I acheived by combining a BB cream with Studio Skin, I really had a gas making Smashbox do its work! I think one of the highlights today was when Eddie Malter, Lead Artist for L’Oreal Paris walked in and bought 2 of our Soft Lights fusion face shapers! When the lead artist from LOreal comes to Smashbox to do some luminous touchups, well, my heart just sings. I taught him a trick using tinted moisturizer overtop of the Soft Lights powder for luminosity and he liked the concept.

TIFF has been a wonderful experience this year and parallels the rush I got working the Much Music Video Awards show in Toronto. My special thanks goes out to the Smashbox folks who work hard to help create fabulous new looks each season for TIFF. Smashbox does its part to contribute to trend setting makeup and this was my first season representing them at TIFF. Last year I was on the Arden team, without the playful assortment of colors to work with, and in the two years prior, I was teaching at the School of Makeup Art and missed TIFF, being so busy passing on knowledge to new artists in training. It was nice to connect with TIFF in a new way, and I look forward to the next year, wherever the industry finds me.



There are many herbal home made moisturizer recipes on the internet. The basic combination is lanolin and some sort of wax. These are heated together to form a cream in one pot. A second pot is used to heat water and borax. Then the two liquids are mixed together and various herbal fluid extracts or essential oils can be added. Refrigerated, these are good for a long time, preferably sealed in a dark bottle. Small amounts of it can be decanted into a beautiful moisturizer jar as you need them, they will remain fresh for a week or so this way. The upside is that the cost is minimal.

Lets look at a simple home moisturizer most women can use. Take AVOCADO oil and use it as your moisturizer. To a liter of avocado oil, add the following;

a. 30 drops chamomile fluid extract

b. 30 drops of peppermint fluid extract

Mix well and refrigerate and take out small portions to decant to your moisturizer jar.

What does this do? Avocado oil is high in vitamin E, and Omega 3 fatty acids. It contains a ridiculously high level of Omega 6 fatty acids. Internally, it is rated as anti inflammatory and a very low glycemic index. But we are discussing its topical, external use. Omega fatty acids have been shown to treat a number of inflammatory skin conditions, including psoriasis. When I was at UBC our research team was investigating that very clinical trial. If you want effective redness control, nutrition for the skin, and therapeutic dosages of Omega fatty acids to prevent skin damage, this is your huckleberry.

Chamomile contains an alcohol called alpha bisabolol which is anti inflammatory and soothing to the soft tissues. There was only one cosmetics company making a moisturizer with this in it, that was Arden’s mat moisturizer, sold in a distinct blue bottle. They discontinued this for what reason I have no idea, but you are going to have to buy some fluid extract of chamomile and make your own in the avocado oil.

Peppermint contains circulatory stimulants and traces of nutrients and is an epithelial cell repair molecule. The oil has been shown to increase cell division in gastric ulcers, and increase the speed of wound repairs. They did this work using tritiated thymidine uptake studies and the data is sound. It is of note that licorice root, in the same study, had comparable wound repair action. However, peppermint oil is soluble in the skin, as is alpah bisabolol from chamomile. This means they enter the epidermis and speed cell recovery.

This is your basic skin care program that I suggest for all women. I also suggest that you take a couple drops of both plant oils and put them on the inside of your fore arm to test for sensitivities. Wait 24 hours. Chances are that you will show no reaction. But we always test plant oils out on the skin to screen for sensitivities.

In future blog posts I will discuss anti aging strategies for skin care.

Until then, remain rational and scientific about skin care, and luxurious and sensual with your makeup!