The dust, excitement and celebrations have finally settled, and I'm ready to talk with a clear head about my latest competition experience. On Saturday September 12th, I competed at SAF's Toronto Fall Spectacular
. It was my thirteenth show, and my 5th SAF
show, and my first show since "retiring". I wrote a very well-received post about my personal experience preparing for this show here
After so many shows and my other very public work, fitness shooting for BodyRock.tv
, I'm no longer racked by nervousness by getting on stage in a bikini with other amazing girls and being judged. For me, this stuff is super fun and I'm quite at ease doing it. Obviously, I like winning (oh, in case you didn't know, I won!) but it also doesn't mean everything to me. If I didn't win, I would have still had a fantastic time.
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Me, having a fantastic time.[/caption]
And while I love competing, there is only one organization I will now compete with, and that is SAF
. Everything about SAF
is different to other organizations -- it's an all female competition, there's cash, awesome prizes and promotion and the camaraderie backstage is something else at SAF
. If you're considering a show and live near Ottawa or Toronto, consider SAF.
A large part of the crazy fun of this particular show was because my dearest friend Jenna Chadwick
(IG@missjeannachadwick) also decided to compete. It was kinda like poetry. I met Jenna backstage at our first SAF
show and we hit it off right away - though we lived in different cities and I didn't really see her again until I moved to Toronto three months ago. Since then, we've kinda been joined at the hip.
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Check out my tan hands! I couldn't find my gloves[/caption]
Both she and I decided we wanted to save a bit of money and bling our own suits. She found a basic black suit at Bikini Village for $90 and I got a basic competition suit online from Suitsyouswimwear.com
for $150. We headed over to Micheal's got some cheap bling, glue and invested hours upon hours to gluing those suckers on.
I thought I had this great vision for something unique for my suit. Instead of the regular sized clear crystals that is the norm, I used a variety of sizes and shapes -- even stars! As soon as I started up until I finished I thought I'd made a grave mistake. I really felt my suit looked liked a 12 year-olds craft project. I called it the Katy Perry and Jenna laughed her head off. If I would have had more time I would have abandoned the childish thing completely and bought a new one. But I was stuck with it.
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Worried about the suit I was, but about my themewear and presentation I was excited. Some sort of feathered display is the usual default for elaborate themewear and my only personal requirement for this was something not feathers. I looked high and low for weeks for something stunning and I knew right away when I saw it that these hand-painted silk isis butterfly wings were it. I found them on Etsy from this seller
. I was so incredibly happy with the quality and service from her, I highly recommend her if you want a set yourself.
I knew the wings would be great on stage not just for looks but for movement and flair.
The outfit I bought to go with the wings was bought from yandy.com
. As was the stunning asymmetrical cutout leotard I wore the next day to shoot with Paul Buceta as part of my prize.
Above are the beautiful shoes I got from Steve Madden.
My hair and make-up was done by Lori Fabrizio of Twochicksandsomelipstick
. They always do my makeup for shows and they are simply the best.
As for tanning, I always do my own. This time I went a little differently. I got a regular normal spray tan as a base the day before, then used Pro Tan Bikini Bronze Instant Competition Color
the morning of to get stage dark -- which is really dark. The great thing about this product is it's cheap, quite easy to apply and washes off right after.
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I applied it myself in the bathroom while waiting for make up[/caption]
Come showtime, I was ready to have fun and put on a display.
The show started and we did our thing. Did I mention I love being on stage? I think it shows. There will be a video of my performance and I'll be posting it on my page come time.
Turns out I had no reason to feel shame for my suit. I ended up walking away with the prize for best bikini in my division as well as best themewear. Jenna, too, won her division and best bikini for her crafty efforts. We were tickled pink.
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But now I'm feeling the pressure. I'll be competing again in a little over a month at the SAF Ottawa Pro Championships
on October 17. This will be an even bigger show against the top-placing pro elites of the year. I have the challenge of both those amazing girls and out doing, or at least meeting, my last presentation. But the wheels are a-turning, and the passion is a-flowing. Get ready.
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