A few weeks ago I was featured in Moms In TO, an awesome blog that tells the stories of successful moms around the city. For the feature I was photographed by my friend, photographer extraordinaire and a frequent collaborator of mine, Emily Doukogiannis of EmilyDPhotography. I was interviewed by Emily’s partner in crime for this blog, Renee Tratch, who also created the blog KidsInTO. Check out the full feature on me below. For more features on awesome moms in the city, and to see the full sized images of me, check out their blog, Moms In TO.
Founder and Lead Makeup Artist at The Beauty Movement
There was never a moment when makeup wasn’t on Shira Ben’s mind. In fact, it was something that helped her through life’s many changes since leaving her home in South Africa.
The self-described “makeup and beauty junkie” moved to Toronto at 17 after spending her teen years in Israel. As soon as she arrived, the city felt like home.
Studying and working in the field of social work eventually led her to follow her lifelong passion for makeup and create The Beauty Movement, an award-winning mobile beauty business offering luxury makeup and hair to Toronto and GTA clients.
“When I am working and helping women feel more confident, it makes me so happy – a feeling I bring home with me,” says the mom of a very cute toddler. (You may get a glimpse of the sleep-resistant cutie on Shira’s instagram.)
When she’s not creating a customized look for a special occasion or unique ‘survival kits’ for GTA brides, she is hanging out with her family in her home-hood of the Beach. (Read below for her not-to-miss T.O. destinations.)
Oh, and she’s also getting ready to work alongside Gwyneth Paltrow next month – Shira is one of the few Toronto makeup artists choosen to participate in the launch of the organic beauty line by goop and Juice Beauty.
Motherhood at the moment
I didn’t expect my daughter (who is now 20 months) to grow up so quickly. Every day brings new challenges and decisions. I feel like every day she is a new kid. My biggest mommy challenge at the moment is trying to pick a good daycare – turns out I have trust issues I wasn’t aware of. I am trying to enjoy every moment as it all changes so quickly.
Current kid challenge
My daughter is pretty much against sleeping and has been that way since birth. It’s not exactly a current challenge more like an ongoing one. My partner and I would love some extra shut-eye but we are assured that she’ll get there. She’s also a bit of a picky eater so I am always trying to come up with cool and creative recipes to get her to eat more of the good stuff.
After completing my undergrad I went to the UK to pursue a masters in social work where I also worked in the field for 4 years. My role was regenerating rural communities and helping adults who had been unemployed for many years to get back into work. I found myself burnt out and upset all of the time. I knew I couldn’t do it as a career. I came back to Toronto and didn’t even bother looking for a job I went straight to the College of Makeup Art & Design and never looked back.
Smallest change biggest impact
Starting yoga. It has significantly helped me stay focused and enjoy the moment. When I am doing yoga I feel incredible both physically and psychologically, which benefits me on many levels.
Having your own business is a challenge and I think that I’m a better mom because I am showing my daughter what it looks like to be a strong and resilient woman. I also feel that when I am working and helping women feel more confident it makes me so happy – a feeling that I bring home with me. Being happy and feeling successful in what I do makes it easier for me to take on all the mommy challenges.
Keep mom sane
I stay sane by walking down to Tori’s Bakeshop on Queen St. E and enjoying a gluten-free muffin with a yummy soy latte. My hubby and I like to sneak out to Leslieville once in a while to enjoy some good food and a bottle of vino. Our favorite places to go and relax are Gio Ranna’s really really nice Italian Restaurant or Leslie Jones.
This is a strange one but I love the feel of the downtown financial district. There is always a vibe of success in the air. I also met my husband (to be) there, which always brings back good memories and fun times.
Favourite place to visit as a family
We live in the Beaches so we usually spend a lot of time together walking our dog and visiting all the parks in our hood. When the weather is nice we go down to the boardwalk and enjoy the beautiful lake. Stopping in at Ed’s Real Scoop for some ice cream seems to be a regular occurrence for us in the summer time.
Perfect day alone
This must be a trick question…alone? A perfect day would be browsing the shops on Queen West and walking down to Dark Horse Coffee on Spadina for a delicious Americano. I’m a bit of a nostalgic person and Queen West brings back so many good memories. I would do a bit of shopping then stop in somewhere hip for lunch and probably end my solo day by having a glass of wine with a friend or two at the Shangri-La Piano Bar.