Remembering Princess Diana 


Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana 

It is hard to believe twenty years have passed since the news of Princess Diana’s death. I grew up with Princess Diana from the moment the press found out she was dating Prince Charles. I still remember waking in the wee hours of July 29, 1981 on summer holidays in Sudbury to watch the Royal Wedding and essentially fell in love with everything British and Royal. How incredibly lucky I would be that I was in Ottawa on a school trip when Charles and Diana would make their first trip to Canada in 1983. I waited on a hot and humid June day with a few public school friends and likely a teacher given our young age to just get a glimpse of Princess Diana from her car as it entered the Rideau Hall Gates. It was a dream come true. I followed Princess Diana in the newspapers, magazines and television. I loved her style and elegance but more importantly I was inspired about how she made it her mission to help others, advocate and shed light to causes that were not considered glamorous. Diana had this warmth which was evident in her interactions with others.

In June 1997, my university friend and a fellow Princess Diana fan and I planned a trip to London. The trip was originally planned for around the time of Princess Diana’s death but at some point we decided to moved it up to June. What a different trip it would have been from the one we experienced. I was up north in cottage country when I heard the news of Princess Diana with one fuzzy television channel and a radio. As the days passed, I would watch the coverage from London and once again woke in the wee hours of September 6, 1997 to say goodbye to the People’s Princess. 

Since the world lost Princess Diana, I have been lucky to see her dresses twice in Toronto, travel to her resting place Althorp with my mother on her birthday in 2002 and then onto Paris to where she lost her life that fateful day. I hope to travel to London to see the Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace before it closes in early 2018. 

In a world that celebrates and worships all things celebrity, it is Princess Diana who continues to inspire me. Princess Diana embodied love, kindness, compassion and inclusion. I aim to embrace these values as I go about my own travels on this earth. I love seeing her boys William and Harry along with Catherine carry on her legacy and continue to champion causes that were important to her while also charting their own course of what is important to them. Diana would be so incredibly proud. As a life-long volunteer, they all inspire me to continue to contribute to my own community and helping others. 

“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.” – Princess Diana

Diana – forever remembered and missed. 💗

Memories of an afternoon with Bobbi Brown UK Senior Pro Artist Hannah Martin 

Life is all about experiences and thanks to Instagram and a wee bit of good timing, I got to spend a fun afternoon at Harrods two years ago today with Bobbi Brown UK Senior Pro Artist Hannah Martin (@BBPRO_HannahMartin). Imagine an afternoon chatting all things makeup, learning new techniques and getting a bit glam for my evening out in London. Incredibly awesome experience! 

My mother loved makeup and never left home without it especially her pink lipstick. As they say, the apple does not fall from the tree. I have adored makeup for as long as I can remember, always love a chance to have my makeup done and the opportunity to learn new things. With London calling, a telephone call across the pond to Harrods secured an appointment for Friday afternoon before meeting my friends for an evening of drinks, dinner and dancing. I was very excited for the chance to meet and learn from Hannah after following her for many months on Instagram. I also love how I had absolutely no idea she was on hand at the 2011 Royal Wedding until after my holiday but no less exciting to find out after the fact. I have loved all things British since childhood including the Royal family so this was icing on the cake to this experience. 

Having your makeup done by Hannah is like hanging out with your BFF. Reflecting back, I share a few of the awesome tips I learned that day. 

* Lip Balm – nourish your lips when you start to apply your makeup and then apply lipstick or lip gloss once you have finished your makeup. Always the final step. 

* After applying foundation, smoosh your face with your hands. The warmth will help melt your makeup into your skin. A simple tip that Bobbi Brown taught her.

* Bronzer and Blusher – Place bronzer high on the checks, the temple and don’t forget to warm your neck. Think of drawing a figure eight on both sides of your face with a pop of blush on the cheeks. Hannah’s favourite is blue pink called pale pink which she often uses on brides – maybe even one famous one. Finish up with a bit of Shimmer Brick to highlight on the upper cheekbones. Remember to smile during these steps.  

* Brows – I never filled mine in until Hannah introduced me to Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil in Wheat. 

* Eyes – Hannah created an evening smokey eye look for my night out with friends. I normally wear brown, navy or purple eyeliner (or eye shadow as liner) but she promised me a Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Blank Ink would make my green eyes pop without being too harsh for my fair complexion and blonde hair. It definitely did. Gel Eyeliner can take a bit of getting used to it but I love it. I use the Ultra Precise Eyeliner brush to apply it close to the lash line and will carefully dot below the lid. For a smokey eye look, I will smudge it with the Smokey Eye Liner Brush. Another fun addition was sparkle to my eyelids with Sparkle Eye Shadow in Mica. It has become a staple for my evening eye look. Finish with Mascara. 

I loved that Hannah made me look like a more glamorous version of me. To this day, she continues to inspire me through her Instagram feed, YouTube videos and many articles. If you love everything makeup, definitely subscribe to Hannah Martin’s YouTube Chanel. 

Hannah – I consider myself so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from you. Hope our paths will cross again soon in London or Canada. Thank you for your beautiful spirit and teaching women everywhere to be who they are. xx 
 

Dear London | A love letter

Dear London,

Happy Anniversary! Twenty-one years ago today we met for the first time. It was definitely love at first sight. 

Growing up in Canada, we had many British influences from food, music, fashion and traditions. I will always remember waking in the wee of hours of July 29th to see Prince Charles marry Lady Diana. A few years later, I was lucky to catch a glimpse of Princess Diana outside Rideau Hall when my class trip to Ottawa just happened to correspond with their Canada visit. Likely the beginning of my love and fascination with all things British. 

After my first year of full time employment, I embarked on a holiday to Marbella, Spain to meet a dear friend for a mini break. With no direct flights to Malaga, I flew to London Heathrow with an eight-hour layover where I decided to take full advantage of my opportunity to see the city. I hopped a bus to Central London to take a Big Bus Tour where I was immediately memorized by the charm, history and architecture. I promised to return again soon. Little did I know a week later, an unexpected airline strike would find me travelling to London a day early so I did not miss my flight home. My dad arranged for me to stay with our cousins who lived in Wembley Park. My less than 24-hour visit included being collected at Victoria Railway Station only knowing each other from printed photographs, finally meeting and getting to know my family, enjoying a lovely whirlwind underground adventure the next morning and a homemade lunch before I made the long journey home. I absolutely love everything Christmas so was dazzled by Selfridges and Oxford Street all decorated for the Christmas season. I have returned twice in December and it is truly my favourite time of year to visit. 

This anniversary is also a reminder that things in life don’t always go as planned but this bump in my travels led to the beginning of a beautiful friendship with my family across the pond and a lifetime love of this beautiful city. London is definitely my home away from home. 

London – It was definitely love at first sight that October day. No matter how many days between our visits, you are always in my heart. A true love like ours last forever. 

Till we meet again.

Love,

M xx