I suppose I can laugh at it all now. But let me tell you – 48 hours ago, I was highly stressed out.
It all started with my recent press trip to Visit Orlando. In exchange for a family vacation, my obligation was twofold: blog coverage on my site (a given), and media appearances to chat about our amazing adventure (a bonus).
Now you’re probably familiar with my blog coverage, as I’ve been churning out reviews of the places we visited and the wonderful things we did. But, you may not be familiar with some of my media appearances. I’ve chatted about Orlando and family travel on outlets such as Daytime Live, CH Morning Live, and this past Friday – CP24 Live at Noon.
And while all media appearances give me the opportunity to go LIVE in front of the camera (which I actually adore! Yes, I’m an attention-you-know-what) I was particularly excited for my CP24 appearance on Friday afternoon. After all, if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, who hasn’t tuned in to the all-news station? It’s like media royalty, if you will.
So, Friday arrived and I was super pumped. Because not only was I appearing on Live at Noon, but then I’d literally be walking over to the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms PR Agency Boot Camp, where I was a speaker on the Social Media Blogger Panel. And so, I gushed accordingly –
I checked over the instructions once more. Chatting with Stephen Ledrew, segment to air live at 12:45pm. Check. Arrive at 12:00pm, as one of CP24’s professional makeup artists will get me camera-ready. Check. Need to get to the infamous 299 Queen Street West, where there is ample parking within a few blocks. Check.
Okay, I was ready.
Now I must admit I’m always a tad nervous when somebody else does my makeup. I even consider myself a bit of a makeup snob; I know what looks good on me, and I know how to apply it well. And don’t get me started on eyebrows! Without a word of lie, NOBODY touches my eyebrows. In fact, the last time I allowed a “professional makeup artist” to touch my face, it was quite the disastre.
So I jumped in my car, giving myself an extra 30 minutes in case I ran into traffic. Driving along with the tunes blaring, I was blissfully unaware of the here-comes-the-heart-attack moment I was about to encounter.
Driving into the city was smooth sailing; it was late morning, and all of the rush-hour traffic had long since dissipated. However, as I always make it a habit to listen to the traffic report, I tuned into 680 News. Then, I heard this:
“If you’re travelling on the Gardiner Expressway Eastbound it’s a dog’s breakfast. The ramp to Spadina is closed for weekend construction, and there’s a two-car accident just west of Yonge blocking the two right lanes. To add insult to injury, Lakeshore is also down to one lane at Spadina for construction, and the two left-turn lanes are also closed for weekend repair. Your best bet is to take Strachan to King West and slowly make your way into the city.”
F*ck. F*ckity F*ck F*ck.
The time was now 11:30am, and I was just exiting at Lakeshore. Okay, calm down Lena. Surely it wouldn’t take me more than half an hour to drive just 5.3 km… would it?
At 12:00pm, I still hadn’t turned on to Strachan. It had taken more than 30 minutes to drive 2.4 km on Lakeshore, inching forward one car at a time.
At 12:05pm I called the PR company, to let them know that although I was running late, I was sure I would make it in time for my 12:45pm time slot. I had just turned on to Strachan, where there was (surprise) more construction, but I was certain the worst was behind me.
And then I realized… I didn’t have a lick of makeup on my face.
I was about to go on a popular, live afternoon show – media royalty, as I called it – without any make up, except beautifully sculpted eyebrows. Oh. My. God.
I considered cancelling the appearance, because honestly, I really don’t believe in fresh-faced beauty and rely on my eyeliner and bronzer the way a child tugs on a security blanket. Second, I had already told the world to “tune in!” – and was mortified at the possibility of looking like I rolled out of bed and yet somehow decided that it was appropriate for high-definition television.
But, I carried on. “I only need 5 minutes to look presentable,” I said like a mantra, over and over. I only need 5 minutes in the makeup chair and I could pass for pretty. I only need 5 minutes…
At exactly 12:34pm, I rushed through the doors at 299 Queen Street West, huffing and puffing from the 3 blocks I ran in -12°C weather in not-intended-for-running designer boots.
“Take me to makeup!” I announced like a madwoman. “I’m on in 10 minutes!”
The crew swept me to the makeup room, where after falling unceremoniously into the makeup chair, the producer told the artist: “This is an urgent one – we’ve got less than 10 minutes.”
“Oh honey, I’ve worked with less than that!” she replied jokingly, smiling from ear to ear.
Turns out, she had to. Because no sooner than she had applied two quick lines of eyeliner, we were informed that my slot had been pushed forward to 12:41pm. Grabbing a fuchsia lip stick and stabbing it in the general direction of my lips as the producer yanked me out of the chair, I wanted to cry. I thought about the beautiful array of MAC blushes laid out in front of me. Of the mascara that was not applied to my eyelashes; of the contouring and brightening techniques I was sure would make me look like a flawless specimen who spewed words of Family Travel wisdom.
But the urge to cry was suddenly overtaken by the overwhelming reality that I was still out of breath from my stressful commute, afternoon winter jog and rush-rush-rush to get mic’ed and ready. I was about to go on live TV and I didn’t have my sh*t together AT ALL.
Turns out, the appearance was fine – just chatting with Stephen Ledrew helped to calm me down immeasurably. That’s a still picture that I took from my TV – I don’t have a copy of the video clip yet, but I’ll be sure to share when I do. As you can see, I look quite presentable. And my husband assured me that I came across as composed and professional, regardless of the shenanigans beforehand. Sigh.
And so there’s the tale of my brush with fame… without a makeup brush. Moving on.
I missed your appearance on the show but from the pic you look great! Loved your post. Always entertaining :)
Thanks Nicole :) I figured the story was too good not to share!
I LOL’ed through half this post. You are beautiful Lena, and I’m sure you did an amazing job, even without mascara!!
Haha thanks RubyRed! Makeup is just a security thing. Not planning on repeating that, though!
Too funny! I would have cancelled the appearance when I knew I couldn’t be there for noon. So I commend you for sticking to it and following through. And yes you looked great.
I won’t deny that it crossed my mind every minute from 12:20 – 12:30pm… glad I stuck it out in the end!
it’ a good thing your a natural beauty, I would have looked scary without a make up artist! lol
Oh, I doubt that Jennifer! And thank you!
You killed it- while under extreme pressure!! SO PROUD OF YOU!!
I would have been a mess if I was late….this is what I would have looked like
BAHAHAHA and NOW I wished I had included that clip in my post. Actually, I think I will! Thanks husband!
Wow I can so relate to this post! I was asked to do a live taping for eonline too, also at the famous 299 queen st. west building, and was so nervous about getting my make up done. Makeup turned out just fine, but I thought they were going to do my hair too, so I didn’t bother getting my usual va-va-voom blow dry at the salon. So I went in with a limp ponytail. To my horror they said they don’t do hair! Ah! I ended up looking okay…but definitely not my best. Love your blog, just found it!
Hi Helen! It’s great to meet you! And I can totally relate to you – you must have been horrified when you found out that they didn’t do hair. OMG. Looking forward to checking out your site!
You must have an out-of-this-world ability to compose yourself! I loathe commuting downtown, as it is impossible to gauge with any degree of accuracy what time you will arrive! I’m not nearly as together as you when I arrive late for meetings, appointments, etc. — I’m a red-faced, panting, perspiring, flailing mess! So go you!
Thanks Victoria! I used to do a lot of corporate training, so composure in unfamiliar situations is definitely one of my strong suits. And I hate traffic! One of the reasons I’ll never have a job downtown!
Lena, you always look stunning. Great story. Can’t wait to see the clip once you get it. I know your love of sculpted brows. You are my brow guru xoxo
So sweet! Thanks Crystal – of course my eyebrows were the only thing done with any degree of competence. I think from now on, I’ll just ALWAYS volunteer to do the makeup myself!
I wouldn’t worry so much. You probably look good fresh out of bed with bad hair and no make up on.
:) Thank you for the kind vote of confidence, but I do feel better with makeup on. And I’ve never achieved that sexy kind of bedhead look – my husband says I look like I just came back from a heavy metal concert and spent the last few hours headbanging!
No lie, you looked great!
Thank you Jannette!
awwwwww i missed your appearance! you look stunning tho, you don’t need makeup :)
:) Thanks Sarah! Hopefully I’ll soon get a clip of the appearance, it was actually a good one!
I agree with everyone else, you look gorgeous in that still! A natural beauty!
Although… I would have been FREAKING out as well! haha. Glad you were able to compose yourself for the interview! :)
Thank you Nicole :) I have to admit it’s not as tragic as I thought it would be!
I can only imagine your stress building as you were sitting in traffic. I hate that. Funny what we stress ourselves over, and in the end it doesn’t really matter.
It’s so funny – I was literally dropping the heat in the car by one degree every 5 minutes as my stress level built up. At first it was at 24 degrees, but by the time I arrived I had the heat off altogether and the windows cracked open because I was heating up from all the adrenaline!
Margarita Ibbott ~ @DownshiftingPRO
You always look fabulous. People take in what you are saying not just what you look like & you always have great things to say. Well done! P.S. the next time I see you, I want make up lessons ;)
Thank you Margarita! And anytime on the makeup lessons – I love playing with colour!
I think we are our own harshest critics and you’re right – 99.9% of the audience was likely more concerned with the information I was giving – not if I was wearing mascara!
You always look gorgeous! I’m sure you didn’t need any make up :) Love the way you wrote this post. True gift of story telling!
Thank you Christine! Too kind!
Awww!! What a great story, Lena! I can only imagine the stress of the situation! Oy vey! Way to rock it out under such extreme pressure!
And for the record, I’m pretty sure it would be impossible for you to NOT look beautiful though :-)
Aw, you are so sweet! Actually give me about 2 days with my boys non-stop, and I’ll start looking scarier :)
You looked great..more put together than me even when I head to work for the day!
Hahaha I’m sure that’s not true, but thank you!
You don’t even need make up, your gorgeous, and a great smile too!
Thank you. My husband always tells me, when in doubt, just keep smiling. Glad I took his advice!
Lena, I caught it segment the day it was on and I thought you looked amazing! I honestly could not even tell you had no makeup on. Your bubbly personality and friendly persona shone through! Great job!
Ah, a real life observer who can provide an impartial opinion – SUCCESS! Thanks so much for the kind words and feedback – makes me feel so much better!
Lena, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your awesome blog this morning. I was flipping through the channels on friday afternoon and was lucky to catch your clip. As always, you did an amazing job – very composed and professional. Don’t worry about make-up Lena – you’re a natural beauty and you looked great!
Another successful encounter! Thanks so much for the uplifting words, Marissa, and so happy you caught the segment!
You sounded great — savvy, knowledgeable and hip. As for makeup — next time don’t leave home without it! You looked pretty (certainly far better than the average person) but I’ve had you on camera before, and you looked GORGEOUS. You’ve got the perfect features and bone structure. The camera lights are so d-mned bright they wash everyone out, which is why most of us look like transvestites if you see us in full makeup. I always do my own makeup (often driving in the car, since we’re always in a rush). If I’m at the desk, if there’s time I wash my face and the makeup artists start fresh. The biggest musts — liquid liner when you’re on camera, foundation and powder and lip liner and lipstick. I know you know all that — but I’ve been in your position before, and it’s not pretty! Lol. That’s why I always carry an “emergency” makeup bag in my car — with the bare essentials — just in case!
Thanks Janice! The segment was actually all over the place – I felt like Ledrew didn’t give me a chance to actually finish a thought before he was on to the next question.
And trust me, I don’t think I’ll EVER leave home without doing my makeup again. I’d rather have them wash my face and start over than risk not having any at all. The makeup artist did get in a quick line of eyeliner and blotted my face with powder but meh, that’s it. Tragic!!!
I agree. Didn’t want to diss a colleague but it felt like he was cutting you off and rushing you. And he was jumping all over the place. He must have had some serious time constraints. You handled it all beautifully, though!
Thanks Janice. I’ve said that as far as media appearances go it’s been my least favourite, but, it did make for a good story so I’m happy to share just the same!
Oh — or do it yourself, and they can touch it up and make it darker to suit the lighting if need be next time around. You know your face best. I always touch up my eyebrows and lids, and I don’t let anyone touch my mouth.
Yep, at least my eyebrows were done!!!
You did (and looked) beautiful as always. The camera loves you.
Thank you Caroline :)
just saw the clip. You looked beautiful and smart (as always). I agree, it’s in the genes!!!
Oh, you’re just saying that because you share those genes, hahaha! Thank you Cheri!
I think you look naturally beautiful and you look even better with black / dark hair. The blondish hair color takes off the natural, fresh look you are naturally blessed with.
Ah, Polly – you sound just like my BFF. She prefers me with dark hair, but it’s hard to explain – I just feel more like “me” when I’m blonde!
Wow, good for you for sticking with it! I’m not so bad about going in public with no makeup since being with my boyfriend and him telling me I don’t need to wear makeup..although I kind of think he just wanted me to get ready faster in the mornings haha.
Hahaha my husband would say the same thing, for the same reasons!
And I agree with everyone else, you are a natural beauty and looked great!
Thank you Mandy :)
Lena, you have the best stories…ever! By the way, I just watched your segment and you were great. And you looked damn good for having not much makeup on!
Thanks Sophia! I literally had a pouf of powder and a swipe of eyeliner, but it seemed to be enough to take off that “I just got up” look!
lol oh boy. thankfully you have the pretty genes on your side! ;)
:) I am pretty lucky, ha ha ha!
Wow…I was stressed out just reading this. You are one cool kitty kat lady!! You look great and it all turned out wonderfully. BTW…I hate traffic, can’t deal with it at all.
LOL Lee I didn’t mean to stress you out! I DETEST traffic and my heart was beating a mile a minute.
I think you are a natural beauty, it shines from within
Thank you Debbie, you are so kind :)
lol love it! TY!
:) Happy to entertain, Amy!
Lena, you looked gorgeous, as always – though I totally sympathize with that feeling of facial nakedness and how stressful those minutes before your appearance must have been! You did great!! (and *groan* for CRAZY traffic issues in the GTA)
Thanks Jen! I appreciate your kind comments and vote of confidence!
Look at you CP24 Celeb! I get excited when they read my tweets nevermind being on the show! lol you looked fantastic! you don’t need a make up artist your pretty enough without the touchups.
Thank you Jennifer :) Hardly a celeb, but definitely a brush with fame!
I love the side-by-side pics of you… I’d wanna string up that makeup artist as well, considering YOU did such a better job! But, you look gorgeous no matter what you’re wearing – makeup or not. :) Once again, you made me laugh and I felt like I was right there with you.
Thanks so much Lisa! xx
“F*ck. F*ckity F*ck F*ck.” hahaha
You looked great!
Hahaha thanks Kam!
You look beautiful! I think blonde suits you better – I’ve been rocking blond curls (a la Beyonce) myself for the past two years (I need to update my pics of dark flat ironed hair). I didn’t see the segment but you look great on screen.
Thank you Sharlene! I just feel better as a blonde :)
you look wonderful! What a stressful time though! Eeeek I can’t imagine how I would of looked in the same situation! Nice that you pulled it off like a pro :)
Thanks Connie! It was definitely a segment to remember!
What a great blog and you look great in all pictures. I agree that we know as women what looks best, I also love your eyebrows…any tips on how you tweeze them so perfectly?
:) I am kind of obsessed with eyebrows, so I absolutely appreciate you taking notice! I just use a Tweezerman tweezer and fill in the sparse areas with CoverGirl eyebrow pencil in midnight brown. Thanks!
I can’t imagine staying ‘cool’ under those conditions, Lena. You are amazing!
HA! Thanks Teresa, it was definitely a sticky situation!
You looked cool as a cucumber not sure I would of been the same in that situation lol
:) I think my heart was beating through my chest!
Chandra Christine O'Connor
that was funny to read, I probably would have tinkled all the while I would have been running if that was me lol
Hahaha hilarious Chandra!
I chuckle at this blog, only because I remember a time, when I never left my apt., without the “Full Makeup” (no part-sees were allowed and all my makeup had to be co-ordinated..along with my hair).
Nowadays as a grandma, I have payed the price for so much make up…..lots and lots of wrinkles. So if I had the chance…would I have changed anything?? Heck, NO WAY. You have to LIVE! :)
HAHAHA LOVE THIS! Thanks Karen!
You looked fine – wow and you are blessed with amazing eyebrows. I am a former downtown Torontonian and understand what you went through….will never miss that.
Uh huh. Worst stress ever! Hate traffic.
I can feel your pain but you’d look good anyway (not up to how you like to look but good anyway).
can’t believe the traffic though
Thank you Robyn :)
You are a beautiful lady. You don’t need make up.
:) Thank you Debbie!
Reading this not only brought to mind innumerable unforeseen, nightmarish traffic delays (with quite unfortunate consequences), but made me realize how lucky I am that I really don’t care about people who might judge me based on superficialities… Much less stress to prioritize differently. To each, her own.
Ah, indeed! Because I DO stress about things like a makeup-free face!
You are a beautiful lady…..no makeup required :)
Thank you Susanne :)
Just read your blog about your dilemma with your CP24 experience. Although it was a panic momemt situation, you wrote it in a very light-hearted & humorous way…it was fun to read :)
Saw the update with the CP24 clip/link, and from reading your story, I never would have guessed all that you went through before that appearance. It was great and you looked fabulous !
Aw, thank you so much! You’re too kind.
Lena, you looked GREAT! You don’t look flustered at all. I live 6 km outside of downtown Toronto and can’t stand the traffic. It’s nutso and unpredictable but the most important thing was that you got there and did amazing!
Thanks Cheryl! My voice was shaky but otherwise I think I pulled it off!
Lmao…too funny. I too must always have my makeup on when presenting myself to the outside world. But sometimes, being a mom does not allow for what I like to call “the presentable circumstance”
Lena you look beautiful with or without makeup. (ps I can’t even tell when your’e wearing makeup as it looks so natural and yes you do have gorgeous eyebrows)
Aw, thank you! Totally appreciate that!
Woww looks like it was amazing!! And you’re a gorgeous gal, no need for make-up! =)
You looked great!
you look amazing!
Aw, thanks Amy!
You are beautiful! No makeup needed
Too kind! Thank you Valerie!
Gotta love Toronto traffic! You look great. I don’t wear make up…but i’m starting to think I should. I’m getting older and looking pretty tired. But I have no idea how to put it on so I don’t look like a clown, so just keep plugging away o’natural. I may need a lesson before too long.
Oh Cathy, it’s so simple! A little lip gloss and blush goes a LONG way :)
Just reading back through your readers favourites – this one made me ROFL ! I absolutely refuse to drive anywhere in Downtown Toronto – I park at an “outskirts” TTC station and take the subway from there. Keep that in mind for next time (as I am sure there will be for you) :)
You bet it will Flora! That, or I’ll leave an EXTRA two hours early, LOL!
love Toronto, but hate all the traffic….come from city of 21.0000 and 20,0000 seniors…lol
Ha! I think my high school had 21,000 students… just kidding :) But seriously, there were about 3,000 of us!
Oh my. I was feeling stressed just reading that. And I wouldn’t have recognised you from the before and “after” picture. But also, too, too funny. Heheh.
I get stressed reading it too!
Big smiles from me this morning. If I could only look so good.
Ah stop it Lori! As you can clearly see, I need a little help too!
love the “glass case of emotion” clip! :) wow, good for you for being able to still be composed! i would have freaked out.
Oh, I think I was freaking out, Thankfully I don’t get stage fright or it could have ended badly :)
You are a natural beauty. You really don’t need make up
Thank you Debbie :)
wow, what a story! quite a rollercoaster ;-)
LOL it really was! Can’t believe it was about a year ago already!
Your site is wonderful and I think you are an inspirational woman!