Aesthetician spotlight: Portraits with Natasha

Aesthetician spotlight: Portraits with Natasha

Every woman has the right to be beautiful, but first, she must achieve health.

I’ve met Natasha at #LoveYourselfChallenge at 80/20 Hub in Calgary. She was an active participant, but also an inspirational speaker who was not afraid to share her personal journey to beauty (ask her about it!).

You see, Natasha is a Holistic Nutritionist, Orthomolecular Health Practitioner and Aesthetician at Natasha Rae Skin & Nutrition. She helps to tackle skin problems from the inside and out through nutrition, lifestyle and modern skin care treatments.

As we transitioned from sporty to glam look, I’ve asked Natasha a few questions about what it takes to run a business, who inspires her, what’s the best beauty routine and her favourite pass times.

Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned in running a business.

Don’t give up! Starting a business from the ground up is one of the most challenging experiences. It’s hard not to let our minds and frustrations take over.  I’ve had many days where I thought giving up and taking an easier route as an employee with no worries somewhere would be the best solution.  But I am so so happy I’ve stuck it out through all the tough times.  It’s been such a rewarding experience.  Your time and hard work always pays off eventually! 

What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?

I take 10 minutes to myself the moment I wake up to plan out my day and set intentions. 

Name a woman (or women), past or present, whom you admire or look up to and why. 

Elizabeth Arden – She was one of the smartest, wealthiest businesswomen in the world.  She changed people’s attitudes about makeup during a time when the only ladies putting makeup on were showgirls or women who lived “loosely” or were “unstable”.  She changed this mentality and taught women how to use/apply makeup and dress for the working world to help them find success and live independently. 

The best beauty routine regardless of your skin type is… Cleanse, tone, hydrate (externally & internally), and eat colourfully!

While the summer is now over, what do you like the most about that season?

I love sunshine, playing in the water, patio time with friends and not having to wear 8 layers of clothing 🙂

What’s your favourite vacation story?

I once went to a little town in Mexico with a friend who had to go back to Canada a few days into our vacation.  I decided to stay alone while she went back home. It was the scariest, most gratifying experience I’ve ever had.  I stepped outside my comfort zone and learned so much about myself every single day.  It was the most empowering feeling in the world.  This unexpected solo vacation allowed me to do some soul searching and change my perspective on life.  AND I brought home a special little puppy I met on the beach as a souvenir! We hopped on the plane back to Canada together and the rest was history. He was the cutest little pitbull with a huge personality that will leave an impact on my heart forever. 

You’re currently reading … Rising Strong by Brene Brown 

Your desert island must have is …  The naive side of me would like to say a hammock 🙂 …but the practical side of me will say a knife for security, hunting and cutting resources.

Thank you Natasha! Keep on helping people!

Calgary Portraits: Amanda

Calgary Portraits: Amanda

Meet gorgeous Amanda! She drove all the way from Red Deer to partake in celebration as the #LoveYourselfChallenge came to an end. As you’ll find out from my chat with Amanda, while the challenge has ended, she walked away with a valuable takeaway that she continues to apply on daily basis.

But first, let’s talk about summer days and vacations.

What do you like the most about summer?

I love the sun and anything outdoors.  If I can get to the mountains, even better.  Honestly, I am one of those people that actually gets grumpy if I am indoors on a beautiful day.  So give me some sun and nature and I am one happy lady!

What’s your favourite vacation story?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  I love travelling.  I don’t know if I have one favourite story, but usually, the best moments have happened when I got off the ‘gringo’ trail and immersed myself into the culture.  Experienced the food, talked/lived with the people.

You’re currently reading …

Nothing 🙁  I am waiting for “Eat. Move. Sleep.” by Tom Rath. Hoping it’s a good one!

Your desert island must have is …

Besides food? Because that’s my 1st must have, but after that………hmmmmm, I’m probably set if I have sun and the beach.

What’s your personal or professional motto?

I have a couple I guess, one is “I can do all things through Christ because He gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13, and after this Love Yourself challenge, I have been working on “being vulnerable and showing up.”

Who is a strong female who has influenced you in your lifetime and how did she change your outlook on life? 

Man, I am not giving very specific answers here, but I would say the women that are changing my outlook on life right now are those genuine women who truly love and encourage those around them.  The women who do not strive after that typical stereotype of beauty, but seek to grow, learn, become stronger, and encourage those around them. I do really enjoy a lot of Brene Brown’s work and her books kind of started this perspective change for me.

What’s your secret beauty weapon?  Sleep and a good mascara! 

Thank you for being real, Amanda! 


Shoot Credits:

Makeup: @truebeauty_byv

Hair: Carla (@carla_fetish_hair); Robert Gautreau (@hairbyrobere)

Manicurist: Talon Nail Bar (@talonnailbaryyc)

Love Yourself Challenge Hostess: Debora Sousa (@debysousa)


 

Summer Portrait: Laura

Summer Portrait: Laura

This summer I’ve had a pleasure photographing beautiful Laura for the #LoveYourselfChallenge that took place at 80/20 Hub. With the music pumping and a few sets complete, we decided to give the lights a break and transition to outside. I love how Laura’s softness contrasts with the industrial location.

While September is spoiling us with hot (warm) days, I’ve asked Laura about summer days and how she likes to spend them, what she’s currently reading and the joys of motherhood. 

What do you like about summer?

Summertime, to me, is all about being outdoors. I spend 4 plus hours outside every day with my son. Some of our favourite activities include exploring splash pads at various parks in the city, gardening at our community garden, and hanging out at the local beach. 

You are currently reading…

I am currently reading quite a few books. To name a few, I am reading a gardening series by Nora Roberts (I’m a suck for romance), “A Colourful Way of Living: How to be more, create more, and do more” by Barbara Bradley and “Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids” by Eline Snel. I also love anything with recipes and my go-to book right now is “It All Begins with Food” by Leah Garrad-Cole. 

Your desert island must have is…

My desert island must have is a two-part answer. My practical side would definitely need floss. My chill side would for sure need a very large hammock 🙂

What quotation or saying inspires and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?

My go-to quote is, “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” by Mary Anne Radmacher. 

Best part of being a mom is …

There are so many joyous and satisfying aspects of being a mom. One of my most favourite things is the connection I have with my son. Our connection is solid. I view my son as a whole, capable being, and although it can be challenging as he is just shy of two years old, I choose to parent with respect and trust. Ultimately, he in turn respects and trusts me with everything he has. It’s an amazing feeling.

The hardest part of being a mom …

The hardest part of being a mom is having a husband who works out of town. His career keeps him away for weeks and sometimes months at a time. It is so tough to see him missing out on every special moment and every milestone. We miss him every day and count down the minutes until we get to see him again.

Thank you Laura for stepping in front of my camera!


Shoot Credits:

Makeup: Jessica Sosnowski (@jesssosnow)

Hair: Carla (@carla_fetish_hair); Robert Gautreau (@hairbyrobere)

Manicurist: Talon Nail Bar (@talonnailbaryyc)

Love Yourself Challenge Hostess: Debora Sousa (@debysousa)


 

Photo Shoot: Alexandra

Photo Shoot: Alexandra

The hair is straightened. The makeup is done, and we’re finalizing the wardrobe choice.

I love when the clients bring several outfits as each one will tell a different story and reveal a unique personality trait.

Stunning, in a beautiful floral print dress, Alex looks strong yet feminine. She is ready to rock her glam shoot! 

As the days are getting shorter and the night temperatures start to dip, we chat about the summer warmth, books, and motivation.

What do you like the most about summer?

Early mornings that are warm and bright, but still so quiet; that feeling like the rest of the world is still sleeping.

What’s your favourite vacation story?

Too many for just one.  Disneyland when I was eight still totally was amazing…I was tall enough for most of the rides! The motel we stayed at had topiary animals around the pool, I thought they were the coolest! I came home with mouse ears!

You’re currently reading … The LifeChanging Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.

Your desert island must have is …  a palm tree, at least one maybe a volleyball to converse with.

What quotation or saying inspires and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?

“Never be a prisoner of your past, it was just a lesson, not a life sentence.” A reminder that it’s the journey, not the destination that matters and those life lessons build the person I am today.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself up?

Small pieces, I break my time or the task or challenge into little pieces and work through them. One done and then the next, trying not to look at the whole, but manage the pieces.

What’s your favourite thing to come home to after a long day of work?

My dog Sofia, she is the best!

Thank you for letting me capture your gorgeous smile, Alexandra!


Shoot Credits:

Makeup: Jessica Sosnowski (@jesssosnow)

Hair: Carla (@carla_fetish_hair); Robert Gautreau (@hairbyrobere)

Manicurist: Talon Nail Bar (@talonnailbaryyc)

Love Yourself Challenge Hostess: Debora Sousa (@debysousa)


 

Portrait Shoot: Lady in Pink

Portrait Shoot: Lady in Pink

It’s a beautiful summer day with multiple shoots well underway. Lina has just finished up undergoing her glam transformation with our talented creative team.

She emerges wearing a beautiful pink dress and beaming with excitement.

Wow! Lady in Red please step aside, because Lady in Pink is just about to take your place!

Absolutely gorgeous and look at that smile! She exudes confidence that I know will translate so well in the photos.

We go into the shoot. She’s still all smiles and I’m loving the way her portraits are turning out.

Lina is a personal training specialist, who is also certified in Reiki Levels 1 & 2 and is the CHNC (Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant) in the making.

With summer coming to an end, we’ve chatted about the season, vacations and aspirations.

What do you like the most about summer?

The sun! Being in the warmth and enjoying all the outdoor activities including hiking, running, bbq and camping.

What’s your favourite vacation story?

My favourite vacation story is when my closest girlfriends and I went to Cuba in 2008. We were young, enjoyed each others company and laughed all day long. We still look back at those pictures and giggle. Lots of memories and inside jokes were made.

You’re currently reading … Nutrition Pathology

Your desert island must have is … Definitely country music!

Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned in running a business.

Never give up. No matter the obstacle. Even if it pushes you back, keep going. Never quit on your dream or yourself.

What’s your personal or professional motto?

Move more. Eat well. Smile often.

Name a woman, past or present, whom you admire or look up to and why.

My Mom. She shows true strength every day and in everything she does. She has been a rock in the family and has taken on a lot with no complaints. She possesses admirable qualities and has done an amazing job raising my brothers and me.

Thank you for stepping in front of my camera, Lina!


Shoot Credits:

Makeup: Jessica Sosnowski (@jesssosnow)

Hair: Carla (@carla_fetish_hair); Robert Gautreau (@hairbyrobere)

Manicurist: Talon Nail Bar (@talonnailbaryyc)

Love Yourself Challenge Hostess: Debora Sousa (@debysousa)