What's Happening

Blog / Body Spa / Fashion / Hair / Makeup

How to Take Better Instagram Photos


Capturing a picture for social media requires patience, good apps for filters and a lot of editing. Don’t worry if you don’t have a professional camera, you can use your old iPhone 5 and still make a photo look bright and sharp as if it were taken with an iPhone 7.

The Tips and Tricks to Taking High-Quality Instagram Pictures: 

The Basic Rules:

Before you take any picture with your smartphone, make sure you have the grid feature turned on and try to use natural lighting as much as possible. Keep an eye on the subject you are trying to capture for your photo, and play around with the angles. Taking pictures from unusual viewpoints tend to come out very interesting and different.

The Background: 

The background where you take your photos is crucially important. Choose an appropriate background that will go along with your Instagram feed and one that doesn’t have distractions. A great image can often be ruined with a Starbucks cup or other clutter in the back.

Here’s some inspiration for different styles of photos: 

Hair Photos: 

When using a ring light for hair photos, make sure you are up close and personal with your client! The closer you are, the clearer the picture. Using natural light is also a great option. Get your client to laugh, play with their hair or shake it around to add some movement to your feed. With those action shots – use the burst function to get a clear photo.

Up your Instagram hair page by using decor with clients pictures. See these inspirations photos from John Casablancas Institute’s Hair graduate and instructor, Elissa Wolfe:

Fashion Photos: 

Fashion photos are always tricky, because finding that perfect background that suits your outfit is time consuming. Take a look at where local bloggers around you take their pictures by clicking on the location tagged in their photos. That should give you some inspiration on where to find good backdrops around your area! Try a mix of urban settings, natural backgrounds and plain walls to capture the perfect #OOTD post.

And don’t forget to take pictures from all angles!

Nail Photos: 

Before taking pictures of your nails, or your client’s, many bloggers say that their secret tip is to use baby wipes to moisten any dry bits on your hands and have it looking clean before taking pictures. Lighting is also super important! Try using a ring light or taking your pictures outside to get the clearest image. Make sure your nails are the focus in your pictures and use these pictures as inspiration:

Makeup Photos: 

Whatever you do, do not use the Instagram camera to take pictures, especially when taking pictures of close-up makeup looks. Makeup pictures always have to be extra clear in order to view crease lines, eyebrow colouring and all other products used on your/your client’s face. See below for examples:

The Smartphone Rules:

  • Always use the Rule of Thirds
  • Keep HDR off: Photos may turn out unnatural and overdone
  • Try a clip-on selfie ring light for your smartphone when taking close-up selfie pictures
  • Shoot during cloudy days: lighting is diffused and these days are perfect for photography


Here are the must-have editing apps that you will need:

With these tips and apps, your Instagram pictures will be better than ever! Remember to stick to an Instagram theme and you’ll start gaining more likes and followers.

(JCI) is widely recognized as the industry leader in providing job-ready training and has been setting the standard for artistry and innovation for over 30 years.

Established in Vancouver since 1978, JCI continues to stand behind top professionals in the areas of fashionmake up, hair and esthetics. With note-worthy careers as award-winning makeup artists, international fashion stylists, skilled spa technicians and cutting edge hairstylists, graduates of JCI continue to shine.

Supportive and positive learning practices provide students with the most beneficial educational experience.

Our faculty is comprised of leading industry professionals and guest instructors from various aspects of their respective fields. Our instructors and graduates continue to win awards and gain recognition for their work and contributions to their industries. Just 1 block down from the Waterfront Station, JCI sits surrounded by cafes, design studios, art galleries and photographers’ studios – the perfect place for students to absorb creativity and find constant inspiration.

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Body Spa

Top Nail Trends to Try Right Now


Make a statement with your nails for this last month of the summer holidays. Try new neons, creamy pastels, out of the ordinary colors and fun designs on your nails. Whether you’re going to a party or simply off to work, your nails will definitely stand out with these trends:

Summer Nail Art

Why paint your nails one color when you can mix and match different shades together? Take a look at these minimalistic and creative nails painted and designed by John Casablancas Institute’s Body Spa Instructor, @lili_beautyart.

Fun Fact: Lili was featured in FLARE Magazine this month!

New Month, New Colors 

Are you one of those indecisive people that can’t seem to pick one color at the nail salon right away? Try these new trending summer nail colors that will save you time at the salon for your next visit!

Acrylic Nails by @nailsbydenyse 

Two color tones that compliment each other are better than one. JCI graduate @nailsbydenyse added Swarovski crystals to glam up her client’s nails.

Coffin Cherry Nails by @nailsbyfrancesca 

You can never go wrong with a classic red polish. Check out this list of the perfect red nail polishes to add to your collection. This cherry red polish is done by JCI Body Spa graduate @nailsbyfrancesca.

Mustard Nails by @lili_beautyart

From Beyonce to the Kardashians, the color yellow has become a popular summer polish and there’s something about it that brightens up our mood!

There are several shades of yellow to choose from: mustard yellow, neon, and even golden yellow. This mustard yellow nail color is by JCI Instructor @lili_beautyart.



Find Nail Shapes That Suit You

The round nail shape is everyone’s go-to because it is simple, classic and easy to maintain. Try a new daring shape for your nails to freshen up your look this summer. From coffin nails to almond shaped, ask your tech to give you a new feminine silhouette for those claws:

The 44-week Body Spa Program is one of a kind in professional spa training, encompassing basic and advanced spa services. The program consists of in-depth theory and practical knowledge, constant student practice, family practice week, weekly tests, creative projects and spa floor services in a beautiful spa setting. By the end of the program, you will be spa ready by projecting professionalism and confidence in performing both basic and advanced spa services.

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Body Spa

Lash Extensions Trend for Summer


Lash extensions by JCI Body Spa graduate Gillian Cortes

Summer is almost here, and with the new season comes new trends. Luckily for those of us who like to hit snooze, you can save some time off your daily routine with the latest phenomenon to hit the beauty world! Eyelash extensions are the longer-term alternative to false lashes, which are attached individually onto your natural lashes and can last up to a month.

With great lashes come great responsibility, so here are both pros and cons of getting extensions:


Waking up ready to go for the day is by far the biggest advantage of lash extensions. During application, you get to relax, lay back with your eyes closed and listen to chill music in the background as the lash technician makes your lashes long and beautiful. The completely painless procedure will give you the lashes of your dreams in only 1-2 hours. Having lash extensions will definitely make Monday mornings easier. You might just find yourself getting addicted to batting your eyelashes!

“Lash extensions complete the look for an effortless morning.” — Jenifer Sterling, JCI Body Spa Instructor 


Let’s be honest, once you start getting lash extensions, there’s no stopping there. The only pain you may experience from your extensions is the swiping your credit card every few weeks. Lash extensions are not cheap and getting the best treatments can cost upwards of $100. Though fill appointments (upkeep after the initial application) are less costly, they will add up over time.

Maintenance doesn’t end there – you have to remember not to rub your eyes and will even be required to blow dry your lashes after showering. Brushing your lashes is also a must to prevent tangles. As with any treatment, it’s important to understand that infections and allergic reactions can sometimes occur, so chose a properly trained lash technician to keep that risk to a minimum.

There you have it, the pros and cons of lash extensions! Ready to try them out for yourself? You can book lash extensions appointment at the JCI Body Spa by calling 604-688-0328.

The 44-week Body Spa Program is one of a kind in professional spa training, encompassing basic and advanced spa services. The program consists of in-depth theory and practical knowledge, constant student practice, family practice week, weekly tests, creative projects and spa floor services in a beautiful spa setting. By the end of the program, you will be spa ready by projecting professionalism and confidence in performing both basic and advanced spa services.


Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Body Spa

Treat Your Skin with IMAGE Skincare


IMAGE Skincare is a innovative skincare brand which utilizes revolutionary technology to provide the most effective products for all skin types. Founded in early 2007, IMAGE is known as a results-driven company with clinically tested products.

If don’t have time to make it to the spa as often as you’d like, you can now pick up your favourite IMAGE products and take the spa home with you. Stock up on these essentials at the John Casablancas Institute Body Spa for amazing at-home skin treatment! All lines of IMAGE skincare are paraben free and if you’re a JCI student you will receive 30% off these products.

“I was first introduced to Image Skin care products in August 2012. What I like about this skin care line is that there are different product lines for each skin type. I have used the product and love it.” – Dr. Cynthia Pridgen  Sophistication ME Medical Gynecology

The Clear Cell line provides highly effective skincare products to help get rid of acne. This line reduces inflammation, eliminates excess oil and purifies skin. It utilizes the most effective acne fighting ingredients and potent anti-inflammatory botanicals to clear up skin problems.

IMAGE Skincare Clear Cell Products:

Salicylic Gel Cleanser: This foaming, salicylic-based gel cleanser gently removes makeup and eliminates excess oil while lightly exfoliating dead skin cells and keeping skin smooth, soft and shine free. This is the ideal cleanser for oily/acne prone skin and teenagers!

Restoring Serum: An oil-free and lightweight moisturizing serum that soothes and absorbs surface oils for a mattifying effect.

Salicylic Clarifying Tonic: A salicylic/glycolic acid skin clarifier that removes excess surface oil. A blend of antioxidants leaves skin fresh and shine-free.

Mattifying Moisturizer: A hydrating moisturizer that absorbs surface oils for a refreshed, mattifying effect.

“The mattifying moisturizer clears oily skin and is one of the best products to purchase. You’re not going to have a shiny face and your makeup will stay on because it has a matte finish. This product also helps with balancing out the oil production of your skin.” – Heather Haslam, JCI Body Spa Instructor

Medicated Acne Lotion: A daily, oil-free lotion to control over-production of oil and bacteria. An antioxidant blend improves hydration and health of acne skin. Natural skin lighteners diminish redness of acne lesions.

“If you have any issues with acne the medicated acne lotion is really good to use. You can spot treatment it, go to sleep and by the next morning it is usually gone and dried up. Sometimes it can take a day or two.” – Heather Haslam, JCI Body Spa Instructor 

Salicylic Clarifying Pads: A salicylic/glycolic acid skin pad to effectively remove impurities and excess oil. Deeply clears clogged pores and follicles to leave skin fresh and clean. A blend of antioxidants and calming ingredients reduce acneic inflammation. Excellent for on the road cleansing and after physical activities. Effective home care exfoliation.

Medicated Acne Mask: An AHA/BHA blended acne masque designed to immediately draw out impurities and excess oil. Anti-oxidant blends of nutrients soothe irritated and red acne lesions. This masque leaves skin fresh and oil-free.

Medicated Acne Facial Scrub: A micro-exfoliating cleanser with benzoyl peroxide to treat active acne. A blend of antioxidants soothes irritated and red, inflamed lesions leaving skin healthy and blemish free.

“This Clear Cell IMAGE line will treat all the way up to grade four acne. Most times regular lines only treat basic acne and not the grades of acne, however, these products treat up to the highest grade of acne and people struggling with grades of acne will notice a difference.” – Heather Haslam, JCI Body Spa Instructor 

 The 44-week Body Spa Program is one of a kind in professional spa training, encompassing basic and advanced spa services. The program consists of in-depth theory and practical knowledge, constant student practice, family practice week, weekly tests, creative projects and spa floor services in a beautiful spa setting. By the end of the program, you will be spa ready by projecting professionalism and confidence in performing both basic and advanced spa services. 

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Body Spa / Events

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift Ideas


Are you tired of wandering around the mall, scratching your head trying to figure out what to get your mom this year for Mother’s Day? Surprise your mom with a unique gift, because nothing says thoughtful than a handmade crafted gift or treating that special woman to a day at the spa.

John Casablancas Institute is giving away an amazing promotion which includes a facial, pedicure and manicure all for $45, which definitely beats the regular price at $75. Your mom deserves the best so book her in for an appointment at the JCI Body Spa now! This offer expires May 15, so if you can’t make it on the day of Mother’s Day, don’t worry, the spa can still book you in the next day. 

Client Testimonials:

“I have been going to the JCI Spa for a few years now, and I have pretty much tried all of the spa services. The quality of the products is optimal and they offer a wide variety of spa services. The students are friendly and professional, and the instructors are always around if the students need them. I refer my friends and family there without hesitation!” – Shelly Prasad 

“My daughter and I have been enjoying the services offered by the John Casablancas Spa for over five years now and can’t speak highly enough of the professionalism and services offered through the school. The instructors of the program show the highest level of excellence in their teaching and always demonstrate kindness and integrity towards all the students in the program. Having had many services provided by many difference students—we have always received the highest standard of care, compassion, respect and service. JCI spa provides an exemplary level of service and we definitely give them the highest level of recommendation.” – Shaida Javer

Get crafty with DIY – “Do It Yourself,” gifts for Mother’s Day. Check out our “DIY” board on Pinterest for inspiration on handmade gifts. Here are a couple of our favorites:

A Basket Full of Goodies: 

This gift is easy and fun to create. Take a trip to Dollar Store and buy a basket and other decor you want to decorate your basket with. Then add in stuff that your mom would love such as candles, lotions, a bottle of wine, flowers, perhaps a gift card and other essential things that she likes.

Floral Cupcakes: 

What’s better than receiving flowers? Definitely flowers made out of cupcakes! If you love to bake and your mom loves cupcakes, then this gift is perfect. Create flowers out of cupcakes for your mom and she will get the best of both worlds.

Mason Jar Candles: 

Yes that’s right, instead of buying candles this year; why not make one with scents you know your mom will enjoy! This gift can be paired with a book if your mom loves to read, because who doesn’t love relaxing with a good book while smelling scented candles.

Check out more DIY gift ideas here.






Davneet Dhillon,
Learn more about available Programs at John Casablancas Institute