Makeup Artistry by Erin Halisky

I think of makeup as an art and I have always been a fan. I started drawing, colouring, painting, sculpting on anything I could get my hands on ever since I was two. My mum became a Mary Kay lady when I was a teenager and that’s when I discovered makeup. It was a daily art for me. I was always that crazy kid in school experimenting and trying new things. I used to get made fun of all the time for wearing fake eyelashes!


Onsite working with a beautiful bride for hair and makeup


After high school I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Job after job, nothing had interested me. I ended up getting my first cosmetic job at a little drug store and I absolutely loved it. Getting to go to updates and schools of each brand to see the latest trends in skincare and the makeup world kept me intrigued.


I worked my way into a management position at a larger boutique store, and at a young age had a big responsibility. I loved it. And I loved everything about the beauty business, so that is when I decided to make it a career.


I packed up all my things and moved to Vancouver to attend John Casablanca’s full time makeup artistry program. Best and funnest thing in my life I had ever done.


In my mind makeup could only go so far from what I knew, and then what I was learning; from glamour to airbrushing to special effects, the possibilities were now endless.




I moved back to Calgary a year later and worked full time at MAC for a few years before I got onto my teaching path. I never ever thought of myself being a teacher, but I love it so much.

Here I am with my most recent Advanced Makeup class

To be able to share my creativity, talent and skills with others who have the same interest, and to be able to help them grow as an artist, it’s so rewarding!


My favorite makeup looks to do are everything! But my most favorite thing to do is anything with airbrushing and special effects because there is sooo much to do. And prosthetics are super cool.



You can cover tattoos, do car decals, actual paintings, body paintings,sculptures and monsters! Anything can be your canvas.

Before tattoo coverage
After tattoo coverage

Halloween has always been my favorite time of year. It’s a time to get crazy and creative! Transforming anyone into the imaginative! One of my fave pages on Instagram is Prorenfx. How they transformed Heidi Klum into Jessica Rabbit last year for Halloween was unreal!

Halloween makeup by me

There are a ton of makeup artist that inspire me but my #1 has always been my past manager and now good friend from MAC, Noelle Dow. She taught me everything from techniques to application and even communicating to customers, clients and now students! I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without her.



Erin Halisky is a Makeup Artist and licensed Hair Stylist. She teaches all of our makeup programs here at Delmar College, as well as teaches in our Hair department. Stay tuned for more posts from Erin, as she will be a regular contributor talking about all things makeup!

no gimmicks. just great education


Infection Prevention Control by Linda Villeneuve

“Strive for excellence and never compromise, even if we have to change the industry one Esthetician (Clinical Esthetician, Nail Technician, or Makeup Artist) at a time.” That has been my code of ethics ever since I started my own spa back in the ‘90s.

Being an Esthetician, Clinical Esthetician, Nail Technician, or Makeup Artist in Alberta is challenging. We are not a regulated industry, something I have worked to change for most of my career as an Esthetician.  I am on the board of a world-wide organization (International Professional Standards Network) based in Australia that is working to change standards globally. So although we tend to look inward at our own province, there is a global movement to strive for excellence without compromise.


Alberta Health can only cite spas or salons on infractions that are currently in the health regulations. Unfortunately our industry continues to lag behind when it comes to updated health regulations. We all have stories about low standards in the Esthetics industry!

One of the ways I worked to keep my spa ahead of everyone else was to seek out advice and disinfection products from an industry leader, STAT Healthcare. With their help I was able to maintain a very high standard of Infection Prevention Control. I brought that thinking with me when I developed the Delmar Spa back in 2010.

This is our autoclave that we use in our student spa. It is used to fully sterilize metal implements, and is an integral part of keeping our clients and students safe

Now I am once again leading the industry by announcing that every student that attends Delmar College will graduate with a certificate in INFECTION PREVENTION CONTROL.

This certification is something our graduates can be proud of. Adding this document to your portfolio shows industry that your commitment to excellence has already begun. Even without regulations in place, you will ensure that your standards exceed health standards as they exist today.

Think of how much this will mean to your clients! Seeing your certificate on your wall, they are assured that you are taking the necessary steps to protect every client that comes in contact with you. That peace of mind is worth more than you know.

We can all be a part of the conversation about industry standards. Educating the public is an integral part of that conversation. INFECTION PREVENTION CONTROL certification is one small step that speaks volumes to the changes necessary to create a safe working environment for ourselves as professionals, while also protecting our clients.

But I have always envisioned this strive for excellence to move beyond the education of new industry professionals. I also wanted to appeal to the existing spas and salons to bring their standard up as well. A collective move to excellence can only serve to help every one of us to a higher professional standing.

I am thrilled to announce that one major spa chain here in Alberta has taken that step towards excellence! They want to make sure that every one of their employees takes Delmar’s one-day workshop and exam so that they can proudly display their INFECTION PREVENTION CONTROL certification. This will move the industry forward on an even larger scale!

Now that we have added Lash Extensions, and Micro-blading to the Esthetics field there is even more reason to move forward with improved standards. Alberta Health continues to work hard to update the Personal Services Regulations but industry isn’t waiting for that to happen. As professionals in the field we have to continue to strive for excellence, without compromise if we want to keep our clients safe.

We will change the industry one Esthetician, Clinical Esthetician, Nail Technician or Makeup Artist at a time but we must unite on this front and keep the conversation going about INFECTION PREVENTION CONTROL.



Linda Villeneuve is a certified Esthetician and Nail Technician, and our Director of Esthetics. She oversees the management of several of our programs, and is constantly working to bring integrity and recognition to our industry.

no gimmicks. just great education



Halloween Skin Care by Vanessa Oakley

Autumn is here, the days and nights are getting colder, drier and harsher. Usually around this time we start thinking about what we are going to be and do for Halloween. I want to prepare you for the season. As the climate shifts, so should our skincare. For a lot of my clients I recommend that a person switch to using a richer moisturizer than you use in the summer months.  I also think that exfoliating at least once a week is great if you are noticing that your skin is starting to look a little dull. If you are ever unsure what your skin is telling you, please make an appointment to see your skin therapist! After a facial she will have a wealth of knowledge for you on your skin’s particular needs. Some people tend to forget about sun protection as we move closer to the winter months. Please remember that it is always time to protect your skin from the sun.

Here’s some of my theatrical makeup (I love Ben Nye)

Now that we have dealt with the drying effects of October in Canada, we are ready to get into some Halloween Makeup!! Always look into the types of makeup or face paint you might choose to buy this year. There are so many different kinds to choose from like latex, creams, wax, adhesive appliances, oil based, cheap-o dollar store and professional brands that are becoming more readily available. If you can, always go for quality.

I did this makeup for a photo shoot where we were playing witches

Another thing to consider with your Halloween makeup is, to actually remember to remove it at the end of the night. Not all makeup and removers are created equally, some will need different products to get it off and some can’t be done with just soap and water. Depending on type and brand, you might find yourself needing cold cream, coconut oil, baby oil or even good old fashioned makeup remover to look like yourself again. Especially for the little ones, you want to remove the face paint easily. This could effect what you choose to buy.

Fantasy makeup by our Professional Esthetics class

So…on the big day, wash off all of the debris from your day. Whether it be school or work or whatever your normal day throws at you. Gently exfoliate and hydrate your skin so that you are super clean and refreshed. Moisturizing your face will prevent your face paint from flaking off during the night’s adventures. If you are going out before the sun goes down please make sure not to miss the sunscreen. My favorite is the Physical Fusion from SkinCeuticals. (For the little trick-or-treater’s, simply wash, moisturize and SPF.) Once this has fully absorbed you are ready for your ghoulish design!!!

Skull makeup I did for Halloween a couple of years ago


I hope that you have so much fun and don’t eat too much candy!!

Happy Halloween




Vanessa Oakley is an internationally certified Esthetician and an instructor at Delmar College. In her past career experience she worked in the theater industry, and has a love of theatrical makeup and costuming.

no gimmicks. just great education