Welcome to Skyla Arts!

Skyla Arts by Elizabeth Chang is serving the Bay Area and strives to provide makeup and photography that satisfies the client 100%!

For initial consultation and appointments, please email liz@skyla-arts.com or call 323-346-7599 between the hours of 9:00am-5:00pm.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Styled Bridal Shoot - Spring/Summer Inspiration! {Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park}

It is my great pride & joy to share a shoot conceptualized by Christine Le and myself to highlight the various wedding vendors located in the San Francisco Bay Area - specifically the South Bay vendors and hidden gems! We were hoping to submit it at the time it was produced & shot in June of 2011, but at the time there were an over saturation of stylized shoots! The photos were shot on film and are as is without alteration.  Nearly 2 years later, I am excited to share a few of the images here on my blog.  All of our vendors and the models worked hard and we are really proud of our work.  Watch the video now! :) :) :)

I also wanted to thank my friend Patty for agreeing to join!  What had happen was the original 'maid of honor' we casted had to cancel because she had to go in to work that day.  Patty & I went to grade school together in Bangkok, Thailand...we were supposed to hang out but I got the dates mixed up!!  And then I begged and begged Patty!  lol this is her acting & modeling debut! 

Here is the description of our project:

Christine & I drew our inspiration from the heart of California and its Spanish heritage. By juxtaposing a beautiful historic venue with modern elements, we salute old world
Spanish charm but present it with a modern twist!

Allied Arts Guild, a cooperative of artists, has been an inspiring sanctuary for artists and craftsmen since 1929. Originally owned by a Spanish King in 1700s, it was designed in the classic Spanish Colonial Style with tile work broughtby art lovers. The location is picture perfect with its exquisite over from Spain and Morocco and purchased Spanish-style gardens, making it a dream destination wedding venue. The Spanish architectural details of the red-roof tiles, archways, courtyards, and wrought iron reflect the beauty and history of California.

Our color palette of soft peaches, yellows & ivory was inspired by the warm California sunset as well as the hues of the venue's Spanish tiles. Indelisa Montoro from Royal Bloom designed the romantic yet modern floral designs. Also found in her charming boutique, located in the Allied Arts Guild, is the chandelier, vintage utensils and plates, as well as couture wedding favors like the bird nest our ring bearer is holding in his palm!

The groom and ring bearer wear custom fitted tuxedos provided by Eli Thomas. The lines and ruffles of the bride’s organza ball gown {“Chelsea from David Tutera by Faviana 2011”} echoe the motif of the Spanish tiles. Complementing the gown is a hand-made hair accessory by Bonnie Harper from One World Designs Bridal. Jewelry featuring an elegant organza & cotton flower on top of ivory feathers with a pearl accent in the center; it is placed carefully on top of the modern, side-parted low. The bridesmaid and mother of the bride wear Simone Carvalli – all gowns chignon on the bride by makeup & hair artist Elizabeth Chang from Skyla Arts, and the unique floor-length Sara Gabriel “Rachael” Veil are provided by BoLee Bridal Couture. Also showcased on the bride, is Yael Design’s bridal “Novelique” collection that is opulent and stylish –featuring a beautifully crafted diamond engagement ring. Jewelry worn on thebridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride is from Yael's “Lyra Collection” containing colorful diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.

Staying true to our Spanish/California inspiration, Tim Prestoza from Low Tek & Elizabeth
chose “Mi Corazon” (My Heart/Love) as the background music of our video, and the style of the digital videography –mixing the old and the modern - replicates vintage Super 8 mm film but is done instead (remove instead) digitally.

It was a surprisingly warm day for June, but despite the heat, all the vendors and models pulled out all the stops to create these images & video! We hope you enjoyed the photos and thevideo as much as we do!

Star Vendor List: 
Venue: Allied Arts Guild {Menlo Park, California - contact: Tiana Wong}
Makeup and Hair : Elizabeth Chang @ Skyla Arts {assisted by Erika T}
Photographer: Christine Le @Magnolia Photography {assisted by Erik L}
Videographer: Lowtek Studios {Tim & John}
Jewelry: Yael Designs
Hair Accessory: One World Designs Bridal
Bridal Gowns:  BoLee Bridal Couture, designer - David Tutera
Tuxedos: Eli Thomas
Flowers: Royal Bloom Boutique
Stationary: Inviting Ideas

Bride: Jana Molder
Maid of Honor: Patty Wu
Groom: Kelly Murphy
Best Man: Shane Swenson
Mother of the Bride: Astrid Tromp
Father of the Bride: Al Valdes
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer: Kelsey & Travis@ JE SF

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MixedBagDesigns Spring 2013 Catalog!

I have to admit it's a pretty great feeling to see your makeup & hair work fill up an entire catalog! woohoo! Even though these images have been out for a while now (since I'm lagging on my blogging), I am still thrilled to share the work I did for Mixedbagdesigns for their Spring catalog! For 2 of the days we shot, I was lucky to have my friend Melissa Hoffmann as my 2nd in command to help me get the kiddos ready! I remember distinctly that we had a lot of adventures with the CalTrain....because it coincided with another Giants Parade....! At 5:30am Melissa was trying to catch the CalTrain and almost missed it because the line to get the tickets was so long!! I had no idea fans woke up so early to get into the city for the parade!! Luckily she made it and we were on the train together! So much excitement (or rather anxiety!!!) to get to a job ....! If we drove, we might have missed the job with all the traffic!!!

Wardrobe stylist Peggi Jeung and I had a lot of fun on this job! And I was thrilled to work on the Fall catalog again with the same team last week!  We also got to work with great models - Men & Women, kids and teens from Stars, Look and JE Models!

I'm looking forward to sharing the Fall catalog when it comes out!! :) Until next time!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Amy & Steven {Nestldown, Los Gatos Wedding}

Congratulations to Amy & Steven!  Or rather, happy anniversary!!  I know...their 1 year anniversary already passed recently- but it's still a great day to celebrate their love and admire their beautiful photos!  It was a fairly warm day, and while we were comfortable while in Cypress Hotel, I know that it was definitely warm in Los Gatos at the bridal cottage! The heat did not take away the charge of Amy & Steven one bit!!! I loved how Calvin of Fisheye Photos and Richard+Rose of Grover Films captured the couples happiness! 

During the consultation, Amy had described that the hair she wanted was a flower bun with some branches and leaves branching out!  

Even on a really warm day, if you properly and gently blot off the excess moisture (or sweat) or oil, your makeup will be sure to last throughout the day with little disturbance.  Just remember that makeup can be water proof but not oil proof or smudge proof! If we've worked together, I am sure you heard me say this!  

Anyway without further babbling, please enjoy a few of Amy & Steven's images & the video by Grover Films!  For more photos, be sure to visit Calvin's blog, Fisheye Photos! Until next time, have a fabulous week ahead! 

Makeup & Hair: Skyla Arts {Liz!}
Photography: Fisheye Photos 
Florist: Precious & Blooming
Wedding Venue: Nestldown
Videography: Grover Films
DJ: Big Fun DJ

Getting Ready Venue: Cypress Hotel Cupertino

Thursday, March 7, 2013

{Re}Post! "My Five Top Tips for (Most) Clients"

Greetings from Los Angeles! I am down here briefly for The Makeup Show LA that happened last weekend for education/kit investment, for work (and hustling!), and two bridal consultations! I have consultations and meetings lined up when I return home and  I cannot wait to meet my potential brides of 2013 (& 2014!)!

This morning, I am feeling particularly grateful to have great clients & great potential clients!  To potential future clients & vendors alike, I urge you to read this blog by Preston Bailey: "My Five Top Tips for (Most) Clients"!

Just in case you did not click through to the link, I will highlight - in quotes the 3/5 that stood out to me (even though ALL 5 are important!)
"I. We are artists who have gone into business to make a profit. Please refrain from placing us in a position where we feel you are trying to get us to give away our services. It is disrespectful, and leads to resentment of both the client and the job itself.

II. Our main goal is to make you happy. We have the utmost respect for you and your budget, which is why we are willing to be honest about what you can and cannot afford. Please remain flexible with your budget, if you want “more” than what your budget allows.

V. Last but not least, know that we value and respect you. Without you, we do not have a chance to design, and we do not have a business. It is for this reason that we are always willing to go the extra mile, and further. Please be generous and responsive with your feedback, as it is the only way we can learn and grow."
These are great advice, and written so concisely and nicely! I couldn't have said it any better than Preston!  I have some thoughts that came to mind when I read them and here it goes:  Regarding #I, we are artists and service providers, but we are people too - we need to make a living doing what we do! #II. We would not be in this industry if we did not have any desire to make you happy - in fact, that is our main goal! But please understand that our rates are a reflection of our services and unique artistry, something that can't be interchanged with another artist based on pricing, and if you like what we offer and are interested in hiring us, then please don't forget to think about us when you are designating where to spend your budget!  #V. If you don't provide any feedback (positive or constructive), it would be difficult for us to meet your needs. We are artists with our own vision, tastes, and personalities.  We are eager to please you (the client!) and make you happy but we cannot do that if we don't know what you are looking for! 

To end this seemingly random blog post, here is a random photo from Monday's photo shoot! :P  You know backstage in fashion week where the photographers come in and snaps away of the makeup in progress? This was one of those images! I was in the middle of finishing up her makeup, lashes are not done, and obviously her lips are still missing! :) :) No worries, with the right products, you can reduce the appearance of dryness!  

It was an absolute pleasure to work with an amazing team - this gorgeous model (Sacha from Wilhelmina LA), photographer Alvin Nguyen, and celebrity hair stylist Daven Mayeda on this shoot.  I was definitely excited and inspired again with everyone's creative energies coursing around! Most importantly, I challenged myself with trying to do eyebrows a different way than what I'm used to (based on the class/demo taught by Sam Fine last Saturday at the Makeup Show LA)!  I'm just happy to be pushing myself harder to get to the next level!!! 

Until next time! Have a happy Thursday/Friday and Weekend ahead! v^o^v

Friday, February 15, 2013

Danica & Alfred {St. Ignatius Church/Legion of Honor San Francisco Wedding}

Makeup & Hair: Skyla Arts {Liz & Carolyn}
Photography: Nightingale Photography {Christina & Richard}

Please meet my "shimmy shimmy Bride" Danica! Special thanks to Christina from Nightingale Photography for sharing these beautiful images with me. This awesome video highlight is from Christina's blog, where you can see MORE beautiful photos of Danica & Alfred!!!!

I love this video by Nightingale Photography!! Makes my eye water a little every time! I love their story, and I love the editing here!

I was introduced to Danica via my bride Jill! They were co-workers, and when Danica saw Jill's photos on her handheld digital camera, Danica decided to sign the contract with me right away, even though her wedding was almost a year away at the time! I thought that was awesome....! But even more crazy is I received over 11 more inquiries for Danica's date!  It's fate I guess that we got to do Danica's wedding! :)

I felt even more honored when I found out that Danica wanted a more glamorous look, something that I didn't already showcased in my portfolio.  She trusted in me in my artistry enough to know without a doubt (without seeing any glamorous makeups, without trying me out!) to send me the contract and retainer fee!!!  During our consultation, we did a smokey eye, but Danica realized she wanted more, and on the day-of, she requested 2 sets of faux lashes, and asked Carolyn to add the hair extensions!  Even my teammate Carolyn was surprised because she has never seen me do a glamorous look like this before, after working with me for so long!

Carolyn and I also 'glammed' up her mom (who also wore 2 sets of faux lashes!), and a few of her bridesmaids; the rest of her bridesmaids were glammed up by her family members! It was a lot of love and positive energy in the getting ready suite at the Hyatt, and....I will never forget this...! After Danica got in her dress and Christina was snapping away, I looked over to snap some photos of her with my phone, and I see Danica doing the Shimmy!  This is why I call her my shimmy shimmy bride! She was feelin' the whole thing!!! She was feeling great, and her happiness was so contagious!!!  Carolyn and I left with a huge smile on our faces, all the way until we drove home!  :) Just wanted to emphasize that even though a glamorous style is not 'my' personal style, it doesn't mean I don't find it beautiful or I don't know how to execute it! What's MOST important is that the client, the bride, looks & feels the most beautiful!!!!  Brides that Shimmy = unforgettable! <3 p="">
Please enjoy a few highlights from Danica & Alfred's wedding! 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Mindy and Steven {Capitola D.I.Y. Wedding}

Makeup & Hair: Liz 
Photography: Pascale Wowak

I had a great pleasure working with Mindy + Steven for their big day last March in Capitola, CA.  Mindy, with the help of the mother of the bride + mother of the groom really put everything together - they decked out her mother's beautiful backyard/garden in Capitola. 

When I met Mindy for the consultation, she said to me (paraphrased) "I am so lucky to marry my best friend." It is always a joy to see two families become one! Mindy is a successful blogger & book author.  It was really fun to listen to her share with me her experience as a professional model! It's no surprise to me that Mindy was working full-time as a model, (she is gorgeous!) flying to Germany and Japan! I also got to work with Daphne, Mindy's beautiful daughter, who requested an elegant french twist.  I was also thrilled that Steven was open to receive Groom's grooming services! :) Trust me...it's very subtle. If I didn't tell you, could you really tell he had a little bit of concealer and some powder on? A little goes a long way for those wedding photos! 

Please enjoy the beautiful photos taken by Pascale Wowak!  Special thanks to Mindy for sending me and sharing her beautiful photos! Congratulations again to Mindy + Steven! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sara & Conrad in San Francisco...or Paris? {Summer 2012, photographed by Matt Edge}

Photography: Matt Edge
Makeup, Hair + Men's grooming: Elizabeth Chang (me!)
Styling: Matt + Allison
Models: Conrad @ Stars, Sara @ Scout

Last summer I posted the teaser for the "Behind the Scenes" from this shoot and discussed some of the Fall Trends on the runway.  Even though the photos were up on my portfolio (wink wink...I have updated my bridal website's slideshow + commercial print portfolio) but I post more images on the blog! Enough babbling!! 

We were going for a Parisian vibe, but it was shot in the beautiful windy San Francisco! 

I am so pleased with this set! All of the photos were shot on film photography - the colors and richness!      To my knowledge, most film photographers do not spend a lot of time in photo shop, so I try to make the subjects look as perfect as possible for every frame. I love the film look and I am thrilled with how the hair/makeup/grooming turned out too! Woohoo!  ^.~ The middle to last part of 2012 I had a lot of men's grooming jobs, either working on CEOs or for print work on male models ages 20-40.  I am quiet enjoying it more than before!  While men 'take less time' or could be thought of as 'easier' compared to woman, I have to say it's definitely a balance making it look like they are not wearing any makeup at all, and their hair natural but 'well groomed.' It's actually a lot of fun styling men's hair - it kind of feels like 'molding clay' or something into a mini sculpture, but it's actually hair! Fun! 

Matt posted the photos on his blogs - I selected a few different ones to highlight because I'm trying to showcase my makeup/hair work but I really love how he put it together! The wonderful thing is Matt moved from LA to the SF area, and so we'll be working together again! Very excited to work with Matt again!  Previously I had to go to LA to work with Matt, or wait for him to come up to the SF area en route to work a wedding in Napa/Sonoma! 

P.S - Matt shoots beautiful weddings as well as fashion/commercial/lifestyle work {Matt Edge Wedding Photography} so if you are a bride-to-be for 2013/2014, please check his work out! 


Monday, January 7, 2013

Contemplating for an exciting 2013!

I hope everyone is having a great January so far! I thought long and hard about what to blog about as the first post of the year! I think blogging is like exercising; once you've stopped for a while, it is so much harder to get started again! I took an entire week off work over the Holidays, and that was really lovely! Last October, my husband and I FINALLY made it to our honeymoon (it only took us 3-4 years of marriage to finally go on vacation/honeymoon!).  I figured if I worked majority of the year, I should take Christmas and New Years off!  For a week, I felt like a normal person - going to the grocery store, cooking, spending a lot of time with friends and family, regular exercise, de-cluttering my home, spending time with my husband.  It sounds terribly mundane, but these moments are precious to me because strangely, it doesn't always happen, and definitely not in such a peaceful manner!  You could say because of work-aholicism (admittedly, my partner and I are both workaholics) or...a more neutral yet accurate way to say it is "I'm a small business owner." I prioritize my work over a lot of things and I've been gradually working towards having a more balanced lifestyle!  Reflecting back on 2012 and how it buzzed by, I am determined to work on that balanced lifestyle in 2013! 

I shared with my close friend outside of my industry that I have March-Dec 2012 weddings to catch-up on my blog, and he said: "Liz, you better get to it!! Do it now!!!" I'll be trying my best to put those up, but I'm not making any promises!  I thought about it over the holidays - my purpose of having a blog is to give the reader (or potential client) a glimpse to who I am/who I am as an artist (they are not mutually exclusive!), who I am as a business owner, and a sample of my personal aesthetic. I find that while I do want to showcase my work (Look what I've done!! yipee!!!), I think that it's more important for my future clients to know that my personal aesthetic is actually not as important as my clients' personal aesthetic! 

I really just want to make my client happy.

On occasion I would get into deep conversations about beauty with people I encounter, about the visceral impact it has on us.  People outside of the fashion/beauty industry and don't care much for it would be surprised to learn how up-close and personal a hair and makeup service can get.  It's visceral, emotional - it can trigger something that affects them in a way they never thought a simple makeup/hair service could!  It can be anything...I compliment the client's lips while doing lipstick, and she says: "they are just like my grandmother...I miss her..." I enjoy meeting different types of people, but what's even more enjoyable, is if I can help them reach their goal with their hair and makeup!

I sometimes ask myself: Who am I to decide what you "should" look like?  What gives me the right to be a "taste maker" with your makeup & hair? When I was little, art teachers would say: "You really have an artistic eye" and I knew it was meant to be a compliment and felt joy hearing it - thanked them politely, but I never felt like what I saw was necessarily unique or "better" than my classmate next to me - my vision and interpretation is divine, and sacred - to me! The same way my classmates' interpretation is sacred to them.  However, I understand when my clients come to me, they generally do want my input and opinion, which I do share, but I end up either following the clients' preference, or meeting in the middle!  Why? Because my goal is not  to impose my aesthetic; my goal is really that the client looks in the mirror and loves what s/he sees, feels beautiful, and their day is "uplifted" in some way! Sometimes my clients' preference follows my personal aesthetic to the dot!  When that happens, I feel like: "Wow! you really 'see' like me!!" and that's a lot of fun!  But not my primary objective!  When I see how fabulous they feel, I cannot help but "see" them as simply "Beautiful" - even if the up-do or the shade of lipstick is not one I would normally choose. I see beauty as being beyond a person's subjective interpretation of their reflection.

Earlier today, my client from last fall used g-chat to let me know that she had written a review on yelp for me! I immediately went to read it, and it really made my day! Immediately I was reminded of an inspirational book, "Life of a Daymaker" by David Wagner, owner of the Juut Aveda Salons.   I loaned that book to my mother-in-law who brought it with her to Seoul {who also is still holding onto my copy of "The Philisophy of Andy Warhol"! Hey Omeoni! I want my books back! ;P} but if I still had my copy, I would be opening up a passage randomly, and find a paragraph to inspire me. After reading Life of a Daymaker, I love my job even more! I want to be my client's Daymaker, and that's my goal - but when my clients tell me I made their day, they actually become MY daymaker! ♥ I highly recommend reading the story that changed his life, and the rest of the book! I loved the part where described how he got into his career, one that his family did not support, and that he started humbly as a valet car parker for the clients who went to the Aveda salon. He made sure he was the BEST car parker and worked his way up and was determined to become a hair dresser!  If my goal in life was to make a lot of money, I probably would have opted for a career in finance - but alas, that is not my goal for my life!  I love being of service to someone who needs my service, and I love making someone's day.  As makeup/hair artists, we don't have the easiest job nor the hardest job. There are parts of it that I am sure we all do not LOVE doing - just like any other job in the world. For us, we feel like we have the best job! I truly feel grateful to have worked another year in this industry, doing what I love - Hopefully many more years to come!! But as my friend says, cross the bridge when you get there! Take it one year at a time!  

If you managed to read all of this rambling...then...! In conclusion, I am very excited for 2013! I'm looking forward to all the new people I will be meeting, seeing their vision of beauty with the "inspiration" images they will be bringing me, and just doing lots of makeup/hair!!! Yay!!!

A blog always looks better looking with a photo! I'll have to do a full credit later, but for now, Makeup, hair, men's grooming by me in June 2011! Photo by Christine Le. Florals by Indelisa @ Royal Bloom Boutique, hair piece by Bonnie @ One World Design, Jewelry by Yael Designs, gown by David Tutera @ BoLee Bridal Boutique!