Category Archives: From Mary’s Desk

My Exclusive Interview with Maribeth Madron, Makeup Artist & Eyebrow Specialist

Maribeth Madron

Whenever I get the chance to promote smart, successful, and talented women, I leap like a frog at the chance because their examples serve to remind us all of what you can achieve when you embrace potential, push up your sleeves to work hard, set and achieve goals, and never settle for mediocrity.

In today’s post, I share my Exclusive Interview with Maribeth Madron, who is a highly acclaimed makeup artist and eyebrow specialist.

I was honoured that the queen of eyebrows and makeup took the time to answer my questions, so that I could help others get their eyebrows on fleek!

Continuing to make her indelible and inspiration mark on the beauty industry, she has numerous recognitions including Best for Brows by Allure (eight times!), Best for Makeup, Best for Wedding Makeup, and a feature in Vogue’s prestigious beauty listing, “The Guide” for her brow work.

Working hard and remaining dedicated to her passion have always been part of her repertoire, as she began training since she was a teenager!

To date, under her belt, she has 10 years as Laura Mercier’s international makeup artist and educator.

Over the course of her fast-paced career, she has made personal appearances, been a globetrotter for press events, photo shoots, launches, and educational seminars. Clearly, there’s never a dull moment, and her drive propels her to tackle new and greater challenges.

Taking the beauty, entertainment, and fashion industries by storm, her work has been featured on many of today’s popular shows on television: The Today Show, Access Hollywood, The Bachelorette Wedding, the Grammy Awards, the Tonys, Good Morning America, The View, Late Show with David Letterman, Extreme Makeover, and Fashion Emergency.

Her work has been also featured in print in many of the top beauty, fashion, and lifestyle magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar (HK), Vanity Fair, Allure, Marie Claire (UK), and Ladies’ Home Journal.

Being able to juggle everything, she still also squeezed in time to be a frequent panelist for the Women’s Healthy Beauty Product Awards, and she was an Emmy Awards judge in the makeup categories.

Since 2013, Maribeth has been Maybelline‘s Global Brow Expert, and she’s involved in many of their initiatives including product development, as well product launches and print and video shoots.

Keep reading the rest of this post to get the lowdown on tips for keeping your brow game strong and insight into the upcoming brow trends, according to Maribeth in my exclusive interview!

Also, I talk about my eyebrow journey when I was a teen. (Hands up if you also tweezed too much in the 90’s!)

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Help Provide Fort McMurray Fire Relief Support

Fort McMurray Fire

The above photo was captured by Sarah Peats (@SarahPeats1 on Twitter). She was born and raised in Northern Alberta. Her tweet reads: “Praying I have a home to go back to. Fire isn’t over officials say the worst is yet to come. #FortMcMurrayStrong” This was one of the many tweets I came across that compelled me to write this blog post.

Hey everyone,

I was going to publish my usual post about beauty products. However, I had some things on my mind that I wanted to share, following the catastrophic events in the news. (If you’re not interested and want your usual daily dose of nail polish, check out my social media. I will still post a manicure on there later today.)

While I don’t live in Alberta, which is in a state of emergency, I am Canadian, and it hit me hard to learn about the raging wildfire in Fort McMurray.

The countless images and videos I’ve seen of the Fort McMurray fire sent shivers up my spine. All the flames and smoke remind me of what I envision hell to look like.

Many families have had to evacuate their homes, knowing that they may have nothing but rubble and soot to return to afterwards. *Sigh* I can’t even imagine how that feels. It’s the province’s largest evacuation of over 70,000 people.

If you’re an evacuee:

Forget about your opinion on the oil industry, politics, and climate change for a second. Don’t even add insult to injury to the people who have been torn from their homes by making snarky and distasteful remarks. Sadly, I’ve seen a bunch of these social-media posts.

Remember that people are being ripped from their homes and the things most precious to them. They’ve had to abandon the things that have made their house a home. They’ll have to rebuild their lives, not just their homes. Think about that.

At the time of writing this, so far, there have been no fatalities, which is amazing and something to be truly grateful for! Also, some women have gone into labour while being stuck in traffic during all of this!

Through any catastrophe, there’s always a beacon of light, and we shouldn’t ignore it because it breathes hope back into humanity.

Sometimes, it takes the worst situations to remind us of the best in people.

I am thankful for all the firefighters and emergency first responders who risk their lives daily to help the rest of us feel safe. I am also inspired by the numerous volunteers who so generously give their valuable time to help others in need.

The full extent of the Fort McMurray fire probably hasn’t been realized just yet, and the community will have to rebuild from the ground up when it’s all over.

The rest of this post includes additional information for how to contribute to the Fort McMurray Fire Relief Support.

How to Help with Fort McMurray Fire Relief Support

Donation to the Canadian Red Cross via the Website

To help them get back on their feet faster and also to help with the immediate relief support, I strongly urge you to give what you can and donate to the Canadian Red Cross. They have an official Alberta Fires Appeal where your contribution can make a huge difference, whether you donate $5, $5,000, or anything else.

The Canadian Red Cross’ website accepts donations via credit card or PayPal, and you don’t have to be a Canadian to contribute. (There’s a drop-down menu, so you can select your country of residence.)

The Alberta government will be matching dollar-for-dollar donations made to the Canadian Red Cross for Fort McMurray.

According to Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Canadian government will not only provide future assistance, but will also match charitable donations to the Canadian Red Cross for Fort McMurray.

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My Thoughts on the Sephora Epic Rewards (aka Sephora Epic Fail) Yesterday

Sephora Epic Fail Epic Rewards

Yesterday, most Sephora customers (myself included) felt like Chris Bosh.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a beauty enthusiast like me and you spend a good chunk of change at Sephora (also known as a makeup paradise).

But with the Sephora Epic Rewards fiasco yesterday, many have been referring to it as a Sephora Epic Fail!

Is Sephora now a paradise lost?

Today, I share with you my honest, raw opinion about how everything unfolded.

Although it’s a departure from my usual nail-polish and beauty-product reviews, I feel that the topic is worth discussing because: 1) This is a beauty blog, 2) Some of my readers were probably affected, and 3) I was one of the people who tried to score the Sephora Epic Rewards and didn’t.

This post isn’t a rant. It contains constructive criticism and my viewpoint as a customer, the marketing missteps I think Sephora made, and how the company should see it as a lesson to be learned, so they can avoid making the same mistakes again and avoid a similar hailstorm of complaints.

Although I feel like I’m in the minority here, despite them being under attack from all angles, I still support Sephora and hope that they’ll find their footing again.

For the record, I’m very disappointed in what went down yesterday. They dropped the ball.

Readers, get comfy, and start painting your nails because this post is very text-heavy!

Also, if you were affected by the Sephora Epic Rewards event yesterday, how did you feel about it? Even if you didn’t participate, but heard about it, I’m curious to see which way the pendulum swings for you.

P.S. I added the caption to the image of Chris Bosh, which is from my video clip I posted over a year ago on Instagram. I think it expresses how a lot of Sephora customers feel.

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Public Relations (PR) & Requesting Press Releases & Samples (Part 4)

PR-Public-Relations-Blogging-Public-Relations-PRPublic Relations (PR) is a topic that I’ve wanted to blog about for a very long time because I’m very opinionated on this, and I have so much to share.

In case you weren’t sure, in an overly simplified nutshell, PR is managing information between a company or an individual and the public.

For all brands, it’s very important that the company’s information is consistent, accurate, and positive. It’s in PR’s interest to make sure that press releases are sent to the right media sources and that the public views the company in the best possible light.

There’s a lot of pressure for PR firms, and I really respect and admire their work – it’s not easy. Even when scandals break out, the PR team has to work their tail feathers off to do damage control and to ensure that the public still views the company in a hospitable light. That takes sharp wit!

When it comes to blogging, PR often spells press releases and samples. This is what I’d like to address in this post because, although I’ve had only a few questions about how to get on PR lists, it’s enough to make me want to help…or at least outline what I did in case it helps.

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – How to Plan & Execute a Blog Giveaway (Part 3)

How to Plan a Giveaway for a Blog SwatchAndLearnIt has been a while since my previous installment of From Mary’s Desk, so I thought that it was fine time for this Smorgasbord Sundays post.

Today’s topic is How to Plan and Execute a Blog Giveaway.

I think that this might be especially helpful to those who are new to blogging and have been considering running a giveaway.

Some things I’ll go into more detail about are why a giveaway could be a good idea for your blog, how to choose what to offer, sponsored giveaways, online giveaway tools, how long you should run your giveaway, etc.

No, I’m not an expert on blog giveaways, but I have run a few in the past on Swatch And Learn, and along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two.

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Smorgasbord Sundays: From Mary’s Desk – Pictures & Swatches (Part 2)

Swatch And Learn From Marys Desk Part 2 Smorgasbord SundaysWelcome to the second installment of From Mary’s Desk, a series focusing on issues that bloggers face on a daily basis. (See Part 1 here.)

Even if you’re not a blogger, I urge you to read this because it’ll give you a little peek backstage.

This time, I tackle the pressure of taking pictures.

Although I’m not a professional photographer and I haven’t taken any photography lessons, I’ll share basic tips and tricks that I’ve learned since the beginning of Swatch And Learn.

I hope that veteran bloggers will chime in and share their experiences when they first started out so that this may provide comfort and reassurance to new bloggers. And, I hope that new bloggers will say what they’ve been struggling with to help others realize that they’re not alone.

The underlying theme of the From Mary’s Desk series is that learning is a two-way street. And on that street, there’s a streetcar named Desire. And in that streetcar is Marlon Brando. And…wait a minute, stop distracting me! 😉

Warning: This blog post is text heavy! Continue reading