Parenting Times editor Kelly Roesler gets the full star treatment – professional hair, makeup and photography – all within the comfort of her home.
Juggling multiple kids with several jobs and trying to run a household is exhausting. It can be overwhelming.
But I’ve recently made a pledge to myself to reduce stress, live healthier, strike a better work-life balance, and spend more time enjoying my children.
And I’m also vowing to take more time for the indulgences that boost my self-image and make me feel happier and more confident.
For me, that means spending a bit more time on my beauty routine, which often falls by the wayside with the intense demands of parenting and my career.
Lately, I haven’t been putting in as much effort, and I’ve been feeling – and looking – more sluggish, tired and old.
But changing and enhancing my look has always been empowering and fun for me.
So when I recently had the chance to get a makeover from Ottawa professional makeup artist and certified esthetician Tracey Lahey, I embraced it.
Lahey, founder of Beauty by Tracey (www.beautybytracey.com), has a background that includes television, theatre, bridal, photography, film and beauty industries, having done makeup for many local celebrities, including Justin Trudeau, the late Jack Layton and others.
She offers a variety of in-studio and mobile services, including airbrush makeup, spray tanning, makeup lessons and more.
And her mobile spa service – she will come to your home, office or hotel suite – is a super convenient option for busy moms.
Lahey, a mother of five, also offers children and teen spa parties, for which she says there is huge demand.
For my makeover, she arranged for Ottawa hairstylist Cynthia Truong (search her name on Facebook) to do my hair, while photographer Bilal Hamdan (search Bilal Hamdan Photography on Facebook) would photograph the process.
I’m very into a classic-glam look, and always dreamed of having long, soft, flowing waves, which I mentioned to Cynthia, who quickly went to work to carry out my wish.
Starting with a flat iron, then using a curling iron, she was able to create gentle, cascading, luxurious waves that took my breath away, locking them in with hairspray.
It really didn’t take long, and the result was incredible: my hair was thick and lustrous, the loose waves softly framing my face and accentuating my ombré hair colour. I loved it.
When my hair was done, Lahey set to work on my face, beginning with a primer to vanish fine lines and prepare my face for the airbrush makeup (the only type she uses). Among her top makeup tips: invest in a great foundation.
Lahey was precise and masterful as she swept neutral shades of shadow, and then a light smoky shade along the outer corners of my eyes.
I was excited about wearing the false lashes she applied (made with human hair). They felt heavy, but the look was sultry and dramatic.
She filled in my brows with colour and clear gel, then my lips with a nude liner, wine colour and gloss. A black liquid eye liner, blended carefully with my lashes, was next, followed by mascara.
She also applied concealer under my tired eyes, not only to get rid of the dark circles, but as a highlighter.
Her handiwork was simply gorgeous. I definitely felt ready for the limelight.
As if I wasn’t pampered enough, my beauty “team” was joined by photographer Bilal Hamdan, who documented the whole makeover process.
He captured a series of candid shots as Tracey and Cynthia worked their magic, and then worked carefully to create the perfect settings – amid the purple tones of my living room – for the post-makeover shots, and his photos are magical.
The makeover was a quick, fun and powerful boost, and while the average working mom can’t keep a crack team of stylists at hand (unlike, say, J.Lo), there are things we can take the time and effort to do to enhance our natural beauty.
It was exciting to get a glimpse of my most glamorous self, and these photographs are a treasured reminder of how it felt to be a star – at least for a few hours.
Photo: Bilal Hamdan