I had the pleasure of working with one of the amazing photographers in my area for a New Years Eve styled Bridal Shoot. It was everything I hoped it would be. Gorgeous model, amazing decor (who doesn't love gold and white?) and the icing on the cake -- pictures under the beautiful lights in Downtown Culpeper. Enjoy!
DC weddings never fail to make me swoon. Being a city girl myself, anytime there's a city wedding, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it reminds me of home (NYC). I love seeing all the beautiful landmarks in the photos. The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial and The U.S. Capitol are my favorite.
Traci and Jeff's wedding photos have all the things I love about D.C. and more. Seriously, how beautiful is she? I can't express how much I loved being a part of your day. xo!
The airbrush...what is it? How does it work? Is it better? Does it last longer? What's the difference? All questions I'm asked often. Many artists, including myself, use this method for all sorts of mediums such as bridal, photoshoots, film etc. Do I use it because it's better, easier, faster? Nope! I use it because it's what I felt like using that particular day.
What is airbrush & how does it work?
Airbrush makeup is makeup in liquid form sprayed onto the skin using compressed air instead of sponges or brushes. The foundation is thinner than hand-applied foundation so that it runs through the airbrush applicator without clogging it. There are different types of foundations such as silicone based, water based and alcohol based (mostly used for special effects or tattoo covering).
What's the difference and is it better?
Apples and oranges...it's not exactly better, it's different. The airbrush system is basically just another tool, another way of applying makeup. The same way some artists prefer to use sponges to apply makeup, some prefer brushes. Some use both. I even know artists who apply airbrush foundation with a sponge. It's really all in what the artist prefers or feels most comfortable using. No two artists make art the same way and there are no rules. I like to use this analogy with my clients -- It's like asking someone if they'd like a $1 in paper or $1 in coins. In the end, it's still the same amount of money.
Does it last longer?
Yes and no. I know, I know. I'm not really answering the question. The thing is, because the airbrush is just another tool of application, the tool is only as good as the artist behind it. My artistry methods, whether I use hand applied foundation or airbrush foundation, is meant to last through dancing, kissing, hugging and sweating. In fact, I recently had a bride with an overzealous husband who smudged a bit of cake on her face. She told me that the makeup didn't budge even after carefully removing the cake off her face. And I used hand applied.
Does it feel lighter?
Depends on who you're asking. I've had clients specifically ask me NOT to airbrush because they didn't like the feel of it. Some didn't like the air blowing in their face. Some say it felt heavier. Then I have clients who love the airbrush because to them it feels lighter. If you've never been airbrushed before, you can ask your artist to do both at the time of your trial. Many times I've done half the face airbrushed and the other half hand applied and I let them choose which they preferred.
In the end, choose what you feel works best for YOU. Try them both if you'd like and wear it for a while once your trial is over. Good luck and happy makeup-ing ;)
As a bride, you probably have a long list of things that need to get done. Getting the dress, booking the venue, picking out invitations...the list goes on and on. One thing that I know many brides put on the back burner or discard all together is Skin Care. I can't stress enough how important it is to start a skin care regimen many months before your wedding. All the makeup in the world (whether you do your own or hire a beauty professional) cannot hide bad skin. Brides commit to a new diet or start new workout routines but often forget that their skin is equally as important.
Doing simple things such as taking off your makeup before bed and using SPF can do a world of difference to your skin when done daily. Yes, daily! There are no magic creams that will do it in a day. If you want to see a difference in your skin, you need to be consistent. Below are some tips and tricks that can help make a difference in your skin and create a flawless canvas.
FACE: Your face will be in every single photo. And not just the photographers photos. Auntie May and Uncle Tom will have pictures of you too!
- Use SPF daily - Using SPF daily ensures that your skin is protected from UBV rays. Leaving your skin unprotected runs the risk of sun/age spots, premature skin aging, wrinkling and other skin conditions such as melanoma.
- Take your makeup off before bed / Have a night time skin care routine - At night, while sleeping, your skin goes into "recovery mode" which means your skin is most able to absorb the skin care you apply on it. Not taking off your makeup may cause clogged pores which leads to breakouts.
- Use a scrub or mask 1 - 2 times weekly - Using a scrub and/or mask is a great way to remove and pull out dead skin cells or impurities and uncover fresh new cells. This helps your skin care products penetrate the skin and be more effective.
- Use oils in conjunction with your moisturizer - Doing this helps lock in moisture. Oil and water do not mix, so when an oil is applied over moisturizer, it makes for very quenched skin. This is very important if you suffer from dry skin or during the winter months.
- Use an eye creams/patches - The skin around the eyes is the most softest and fragile of all. It's prone to dryness and fatigue which later shows up at dark circles and/or puffy eyes. Using creams/gels/serums/patches helps to address these issues.
- Get facials done - While getting facials are not 100% necessary, they're definitely amazing. However, if you suffer from problematic skin (such as acne) visiting an esthetician monthly leading up to your wedding is very highly recommended.
NECK: Your neck and decolletage are part of your face! Give it some love too.
- Make sure to apply SPF and all skin care onto your neck and decolletage
- Be gentle and always apply skin care in an upward motion (against gravity)
LIPS: Someone special will be kissing those babies, keep them silky smooth.
- Use a lip scrub
- Use a tooth brush to remove dry skin
- Keep them hydrated with lip balms/ointments
HANDS: Your hands will be photographed almost as much as your face. Think about it. Ring shots, flower shots, hand holding shots. Don't forget about them, they're important!
- Get manicures
- Keep them hydrated with hand/body creams
- Exfoliate and smooth skin with hand/body scrubs
DIET: Make your skin shine from the inside! I'm not going to tell you to go on some crazy diet and exercise, but I will tell you this. Drink lots and lots of water. Water, water, water! It flushes out toxins and keeps skin hydrated.
Always be mindful of your skin type. Is your skin dry, oily, normal, combination, sensitive, etc. Be sure to choose products that are meant for your skin type. Not sure? Choose products directed to "All Skin Types".
I personally do not use skin care that is full of harmful chemicals. Unlike makeup that sits on top of the skin, skin care is absorbed into your blood stream. I use mostly botanically based products in my kit that are Gluten Free, Paraben Free, SLS Free, non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) and are Leaping Bunny Certified (not tested on animals).
Here are a few of my favorite skin care products that I both use on myself as well as my clients and are available in my shop:
One Drop Wonder
Masque of Zen
Creme of the Crop
Forty Cure Creme
Here are a few more of my favorite things:
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
Every year when I receive bridal inquiries, I'm asked for "simple makeup". What that usually means is that they are looking for makeup that looks natural, not over done, and doesn't look/feel cakey. Here's a little secret...Natural makeup is NOT simple. If it were simple, anyone would be able to do it. In fact, doing the "no makeup, makeup" look takes about the same amount of time and work as any other makeup application.
Creating a natural look that will last hours through kisses, hugs, dancing AND comes through in photos beautifully is no easy feat. The makeup look below gets a lot of comments and I'm often asked to re-create this look or something like it. Most comments consist of:
"Her skin looks so flawless"
"She looks so natural with a little pop in the eyes, I want that"
"I love that her lips are natural yet have color at the same time"
Below her photo I will share with you all the products I used to create this look. The only things I wont share is tools and techniques but I will tell you this, her natural look took about 45 minutes to create.
Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate
Urban Decay B6 Prep Spray
Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance
Fortunate Face Minerals IntensifEYE eyeshadow primer
FACEatelier Lip Putty
FACEatelier Ultra Pro Foundation
Make Up For Ever Camo Concealer
Tarte Cosmetics Clay Pot Waterproof Liner
Yaby Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Eggplant
FACEatelier Eyeshadow in Metallic Taupe
Smashbox Eyeshadow in Fizz
FACEatelier Cry Baby Waterproof Mascara
Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil
Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel
Ardell Strip Lash
Cheeks & Lips:
FACEatelier Ultra Blush in Peach Glaze
NARS Bronzer in Laguna
Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight
YSL Lipstick in Rosewood
Setting & Finishing:
FACEatelier Lip Lock
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
Not so "simple" after all, huh? Here's a little tip when contacting a makeup artist, don't say you want simple makeup. Perhaps try communicating that you want your makeup to look natural. Be honest, if you wear little to no makeup, tell them. If you're contacting someone who has been doing this for a long time and knows what they're doing, they'll know exactly what you mean, will able to work with you and do the exact look that you want.
I've had the pleasure and honor of joining these two on their beautiful journey pretty much from the beginning. From their Engagement Photos to the Rehearsal Dinner and their gorgeous wedding day at Rixey Manor. These two started off as clients and wound up as amazing friends. Thank you for letting me be a part of your big day.
Had the pleasure to do makeup for her bridesmaids as well. These ladies (as well as the groomsmen) were so much fun!
The incredible Rixey Manor. I love this venue so much. I hope to see more of you next year!
Planner | Venue: Isadora - Rixey Manor (www.rixeymanor.com)
Photographer: Sarah Houson Photography (www.shoustonphotography.com)
Flowers: Bride DIY
Catering: Taste of Elegance (www.tasteelegance.com)
DJ: Nate Clancy (www.imthedj.net)
Hair + Makeup: Me
There are no rules on how your hair should be styled on your wedding day. I've done all sorts of styles. Up, down, braids, twists, straight, waves etc. on all sorts of hair types. It's all in what YOU like and what YOU feel comfortable in. With that said, I want to speak to the brides who have fine thin hair. I feel your pain. I was dealt with the thin hair card and let me tell you that the struggle is real. If you're a bride that has thin hair, here are a few things to consider:
- Easy and Low Maintenance
Anything that's easy to maintain is always key. Going around worrying about your hair is the last thing you want.
- Hair Accessories
Adding hair accessories such as hair combs and headbands to your style can hide and distract away from any areas that may not have as much hair and/or fullness.
- Make It An Updo
That's right! You can still put your hair up if you have good enough length but revert back to tip #1. Keep it low maintenance. Updo's with texture near the crown area always give the illusion that there's more hair than there really is.
- Add Hair Pieces and/or Fillers
- Hair Pieces: Think about adding some extensions to give your hair more volume (and even length!) If you have some areas where your scalp is exposed, perhaps you can go with a hair topper. Hair toppers are pretty amazing. I've had a bride wear one for her wedding day and no one except myself and her bridesmaids knew she was wearing one. She even had it cut and dyed to match her hair!
- Fillers: If you'd like to do an Updo, discuss with your hair stylist in advance about adding fillers to your hair. There's these awesome things called "hair rats." I'm aware that it sounds a little creepy but I promise you it's not. Check them out here.
If you're a simple girl like me and prefer not to add any "fluff" to your hair for your wedding, that's perfectly fine. I didn't. Here are few simple updo's for thin hair I love that are low maintenance and beautiful.
I met Marie when I did a Bridal Bootcamp at the lovely Rixey Manor this past April. Her and I connected almost instantly and at that moment I just knew that this bride and her party were going to be a delight to work with. And I was right! It was an honor to work with you, thank you for letting me be part of your big day.
In my previous post I discussed why it's important to hire a makeup artist for your wedding day and only slightly touched on the expense of it. I feel that most people don't really understand what they're buying when getting ready to hire a hair / makeup artist. And that's ok, that's why I'm here to enlighten you.
So, WHY is it "so much"? Let's break down what exactly it is that you're paying for.
Makeup Artistry is an art. Professional makeup artists have knowledge in:
- Various skin types, tones, and conditions.
- Techniques to have your makeup last all day
- Correct sanitary protocol
- Appropriate makeup application for all age groups
- Products and what works best for camera
We come to you! We bring all our products and tools to your location. Some artists even bring along a mobile studio which includes chairs, tables and lighting. What do you get to do? Absolutely nothing! And that's the beauty of it! You get to sit in your home/hotel in your PJ's with your bridesmaids having some good laughs and making memories.
PRODUCTS & TOOLS
My kit is full of professional grade products. What does that mean exactly? It means that I use only the best! You may not recognize most of the brand names I use and that's because they're professional and not consumer based. These brands have amazing blend-ability and finish. They are also high in performance and the best in longevity.
TIME & MISC "FINE PRINT"
I'm not just talking about the time it takes to make you over or the time it takes to get to the location. What I mean by time is, the time I invest in you and my products overall. The emails, the texts, the phone calls. I keep in constant contact with my brides. We share inspirational photos, frantic texts of breakouts, last minute lipstick changes. I've answered phone calls as early at 8am and as late at 11pm. Why do I do this? Because from the moment you invest in me, I invest in YOU! We are in the journey together.
Keeping my kit well stocked, clean and sanitized costs time and money. I have insurance costs (what if my kit is lost or stolen?), advertising and website costs and the most important - taxes. That's right! I pay taxes just like everyone else. This is how I feed my family and pay rent. This is not a hobby, its my career and my business.
PEACE OF MIND
I take your wedding day seriously. As a professional it is my duty to show up, be there on time, and provide you with the best service possible. I know many artists, myself included, who have missed birthdays, funerals, holidays, etc. because letting down our brides is something we refuse to do. And we gladly do it because we LOVE what we do. I always tell my brides "I'd have to be seriously ill or dead for me not to show up". Having peace of mind that your artist will show up is something you can't put a price on.
Hire a professional beauty vendor for your wedding day. I promise you, it’s worth it and you won’t regret it.
The day you get married is when you should feel the most confident and beautiful. You search countless hours, days, weeks, and months for the perfect dress, shoes etc. And rightfully so as all eyes will be on you. It’s the most photographed day of your life. Your face will be in every picture. Which is why hiring a professional to do your hair & makeup for your wedding is one of the best decisions you can make, and here’s why:
Face it, you’ve thought about it. Why can’t I just do my own makeup? I know how to do it, I know what I like and I’ve practically been doing my own makeup since, like, forever. I do an awesome job! That may be true, but keep in mind that every day makeup and special event makeup are two completely different things. Think about how much you’ve invested in your photography. Do you really want to skimp on your face? Besides, everyone deserves a little pampering.
A true professional understands bridal beauty and photography. A professional will have the tools and expertise. A lot of the brands that I use aren’t found at your local beauty shop. I use professional products in my kit. You many not recognize most of the brand names I use and that's because they are professional and not consumer based. These brands have amazing blend-ability and finish. They are high performance and the best in longevity.
I get it, you do your own hair every day or perhaps you’ve been going to the same salon for years. The lady who does your hair is familiar with you and your hair and knows what you want every time. I bet you didn’t know that most salon personnel aren’t trained to style hair. They are trained mostly in cutting and coloring. Most cosmetology schools don’t train their students in the art of styling hair for special events. I’ve experienced this first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a salon and have had an awesome cut, but the lovely lady simply can’t style my hair. What do I do? I go home and fix it. Is that something you’re willing to do on an already busy day? I think not!
At this point, you’re probably thinking that you can’t possibly afford hiring a professional beauty vendor. Or maybe you just don’t understand why something as “simple” as getting your hair and makeup done costs so much. News flash! It’s a luxury service!
What makes us a luxury service?
There’s no need to drive all around town and risking the possibility of hitting traffic. I come to you! An on-location artist will pamper you and create a relaxed environment. I don’t know any bride who wants to be completely stressed on the day of her wedding. You should be relaxed and having some good laughs with your bridal party. Having that relaxation and pampering before the ceremony is key.
While heading out to a makeup counter may sound like a good idea, it’s really not. When you go to a makeup counter, you have the possibility of encountering one of two people. The person who has little to no experience or someone who is amazing. The question is, do you really want to take that chance? A counter “makeup artists” primary goal is to sell makeup. They can’t take the time out for you the way a professional would. Besides, think about the makeup testers she's going to use on you. Testers that everyone touches and probably have not been sanitized correctly. A professional brings their own kit which has been cleaned and sanitized after every client.
We provide the utmost customer service. I highly doubt that your salon girl and the makeup counter employee will respond to your emails and texts as effectively (or at all) the way a beauty professional would. I’ve received texts and emails as late at 10pm and as early as 6am.
If you're feeling a little overwhelmed in choosing your beauty vendor, not to worry! Look at an artist who has a portfolio, good reputation and reviews. No doubt you'll find the right one for you!