We at Weddings in Houston firmly believe that take-home treats shouldn’t be just for wedding guests. That’s why we put so much love—and LOTS of good stuff—into our exclusive I Do! Bridal Soiree swag bags! We want to thank the exceptional brands and vendors who contributed gifts and goodies to the swag bags our brides took home from the fabulous I Do! Bridal Soiree at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Not only did Greenleaf’s First Blush and Gardenia Fragrance Votives have us totally swooning with delight over their soft, romantic scents, but their packaging was pretty much perfection. Love the idea of these for visiting guests’ hotel rooms, amenity baskets, and reception powder rooms and dressing rooms. Don’t you? #weddingfavor #guestroomamenity #homefragrance #bridesmaidgift
Infused with jasmine, rose, hyacinth, lily of the valley and other divine floral fragrances, Thymes’ Goldleaf Foaming Bath Powder is our new favorite soak-time ritual. Did we mention it leaves our skin feeling like silk and smelling like Heaven après-bath? #bridesmaidgift #spabasket #bathandbody #fragrance
When the amazing Kate Somerville offers to treat you to a skincare treatment, you’d best take her up on it. I Do! Brides: Make sure to schedule your complimentary Kate Somerville DermaQuench Treatment at Neiman Marcus…TODAY! #bridalbeauty #bridesmaidbeauty #skincare #ideserveit
Nothing Bundt Cakes
So. Freakin.’ Delicious. Once you take one bite of a Nothing Bundt Cakes Red Velvet, White-Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate or Lemon cake, drizzled and basically filled with decadent frosting, you’re a fan for life. And they make wedding cakes, too! #bundtcake #weddingcake #desserttable #ideserveit
Cookies make us happy. So we kinda figured they’d make y’all happy, too. And Tiff’s Treats knows how to make a cookie that’d make anyone happy. ‘Nuff said. ENJOY!
#weddingfavors #cookies #desserttable #coupon
Last but most definitely not least, we’d like to give a big ol’ Weddings in Houston shout out to Save-On Crafts for the gorgeous romance-red Sola Flowers adorning our I Do! Bridal Soiree “Bride” name tags. These natural-tapioca-fiber flowers aren’t just beautiful, they’re versatile, eco-friendly and absolutely awesome for DIY wedding decor, favor packages and other fun stuff. Check ‘em out!
Herbs, blossoms, delicate spices—sounds like the recipe for a delicious spring treat. And it is!!
Aveda’s limited-edition Art of Nature collection, a natural-makeup lineup that starts with delicate spring shades and segues into lush high-summer colors, includes flower-wax-based, crease-resistant eye shadows (awesome for humid conditions), hydrating lip colors and a super-sexy lip gloss with great shine. Our fave of the bunch? The “Cana” Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Color—a gorgeous coral-red shade that’s perfect for outdoor fêtes, pre-wedding parties and romantic date nights. Check out Aveda spas, salons and retail locations, or shop online!
It takes a pretty dang awesome makeup item to make us here at HWB go, “Whoa.” After all, as bridal editors we see a LOT of impressive cosmetics, from airbrush foundation to stay-put lipstick to perfect false lashes. But dramatic eye shadow sans brushes is something we hadn’t encountered…until now. Behold Eye Majic: pre-set, pre-contoured eye shadow sponge strips you simply press against your eyelid, slide across and voila—flawless eye makeup! Or…mostly. If you like liner or shadow along your lower lash line, you’ll need to apply that separately. And for a more diffuse look, you can use your fingertip or a medium shadow brush to blend the stripes of color—an especially important step for the darker Eye Majic shades, which can be rather intense. Other add-ons might include black liner along the waterline for a true smoky look, mascara and/or false lashes. But, we gotta say, Eye Majic has really, um, opened our eyes to the possibility of foolproof, no-brush eye shadow. And with all those pre-wedding parties you are certain to attend, doesn’t easy-peasy evening eye shadow sound like something to celebrate?
If you’ve been noticing quite a number of women walking around Houston with an extra-special glow, skincare superstar Julie Macklowe is probably to thank for it. The founder of vbeautè—the anti-aging skincare weapon in the arsenals of in-the-know women around the world—recently brought her coveted line to Houston with an exclusive launch at Therapy Hair Studio, and the buzz has been HUGE. Which is why we are so very delighted and excited to have Macklowe on HWB today for a special Q&A on how to get radiant bridal skin, and maintain it through years of milestones, anniversaries, free-radicals, and just plain ol’ growing up.
Houston Wedding Blog:At what age should a woman start thinking in terms of “anti-aging” skincare?
Julie Macklowe: It’s always easier to prevent rather than to correct, so when it comes to anti-aging, the sooner the better.
HWB: How can a bride-to-be prepare her skin to look its best on her wedding day?
JM: Ideally start prepping your skin about six months in advance. You want to give yourself a good amount of time in case your skin requires more invasive procedures like chemical peels and laser treatments. Then, once you get closer to the big day you can opt for a gentle facial. Aside from starting early, it’s also key to find a reputable esthetician that can develop a game plan depending on the condition of your skin, and you’ll want to complement your spa/medical-spa treatments with an effective at-home regimen. I specifically designed my product line to meet the needs of all women—even those like myself with very sensitive skin—so vbeautè’s products are a fantastic way to get and keep your skin looking its best.
HWB: What kind of home skincare regimen would you recommend to a newlywed?
JM: Being a newlywed is an incredible time, but it can also be a stressful one and as most of us know, stress equals acne. It’s important to make sure to wash your face morning and night, exfoliate at least once a week to reduce clogged pores, and keep your skin hydrated with water-based skincare products and alcohol-free toners (even if you have oily skin), so as to prevent flare-ups.
HWB: What skincare treatments should a newlywed consider getting, and how often, to maintain youthful, healthy looking skin?
JM: Like most working moms I’m “go go go,” which is why I designed my vbeautè’s It Kit. It’s a no-fail, easy-to-use skincare kit with all of the skincare essentials we need, housed in a chic, portable kit.
HWB: As she approaches her 10-year wedding anniversary, how might a woman’s skincare regimen change? How about her 20-year anniversary?
JM: I designed my products for every age so whether you’re 20, 30, 40, 50, or beyond these are products that will work for you now and in the years to come.
HWB: What’s your top tip for the bride who wants to keep her skin looking as fresh and glowing as it did on her wedding day?
’Tis the season, darlings: holiday shindigs, cocktail parties, evenings out with old friends who are back in town, family gatherings, perhaps an engagement party or two…
If you’re looking for special-occasion dress-up ideas, get inspired by our recent guest post on pre-wedding-party style. Also a great fashion/makeup/accessories resource: PrettyShinySparkly—a delish lil’ style blog by recent Houston bride (and medical resident!) Kristina Braly.
Oh—and don’t forget flawless makeup to go with your fabulous outfit. Check out this little party-night makeup tutorial by our favorite beauty-blogging Brit Tanya Burr, demonstrating step by step her OWN birthday-night-out look. A little smoky, a little sparkly and just the right mix of sexy and sweet—perfect for holiday-season nighttime socializing. DO try this at home, ladies!!
Here’s the thing: We know that the French manicure—tailored, versatile, classic—is the hands-down favorite for the majority of our beloved Houston brides. But here’s the other thing: With gels, crackle, wraps, gems and hand-painted designs, there are SO many gorgie-gorge mani styles, it seems a shame not to go for something a little extra special on your most special of special days. A bit of metallic shimmer, perhaps? A few well-placed Swarovskis for sparkle? And for our ultra-glam to-be-weds, the ultimate: The high-gloss-black-on-top, vixen-red-underneath, super-swank “Louboutin” mani. Pull up this post on your mobile at your favorite salon, point out your favorite look, and let your manicurist get you STYLED!
Photos (From Top to Bottom, Left to Right) : Courtesy Grant Photography ~ Courtesy Ashley K Photography ~ Courtesy Grant Photography
Texas brides are SERIOUS about looking spotlight ready on their wedding day. Which is why so many of them flock to Houston’s Makeup Texas for their bridal beauty regimen. Remember last week’s featured bride Meredith—the gorgeous blonde with the white horse? Yup, that understated-glam look was a signature of makeup artist Christen Hobbs and her in-demand hair-and-makeup studio, which is known for amazing airbrush makeup artistry and warm, attentive service. Beautiful, right? We’re huge fans of Christen’s work here at HWB, so naturally we were thrilled when we proposed to her (you know, that she drop in and share her bridal beauty secrets), and she accepted.
Bridal beauty begins with good skin. “The key to a flawless wedding-day complexion lies in your diet, exercise and skincare regimen. This is not a well-kept secret, but somehow we always fail to follow through with these four simple rules:
1. Get plenty of rest. A well-rested bride lacks bags under the eyes and has a radiant glow.
2. Drink plenty of water. Rinse out those bad toxins from your body with good H2O.
3. Cleanse and moisturize your face every morning and night.
4. Exfoliate once a week. This helps remove dead skin cells and leave your skin looking fresh.
If your eyes are rolling as you read this, have no fear. For every bride that has seven million things to do the night before her wedding and has to drink Champagne for all those rehearsal toasts instead of water, airbrush is your best friend. Airbrush makeup is applied with a compressor that sprays thousands of tiny makeup pixels onto your skin, to give you a glowing, flawless look without the heavy makeup feel. Unlike traditional makeup it doesn’t sit on top of your skin in a creamy consistency, but appears to come from within.”
Natural doesn’t mean nude. “When your photographer takes your pictures on your wedding day, a good portion of your makeup will disappear with the flash and lighting equipment. A photograph is a two-dimensional art piece and it is our job, as your makeup artist, to create shadows and dimensions with contour, so that you appear as three-dimensional as possible. We always tell our ‘au naturel’ brides to be prepared to wear a little more makeup than usual. Don’t compare your everyday makeup to your wedding-day makeup. You are in the most glamorous dress of your life and your makeup should reflect that beauty. We still want you to feel like yourself, just more glamorous.”
A lush lash is a glamour-girl’s best friend. “For our extra-glamorous ladies, we always recommend false lashes. They are the best invention since the push-up bra! They give your makeup that last touch of drama. For each client, we measure their eye width and match their eye shape with the perfect lash size, for the most comfortable fit and posh look.”
Don’t forget your touch-up kit. “Lip gloss or lipstick is essential to have in your wedding handbag. After a good smooch at the altar, every girl needs a quick retouch on her lips. For our extra-glowing brides, a couple of tissues to blot excess oils from the skin are also a must. There are a lot of blotting pads that are on the market these days for similar purposes, but some can have a negative reaction with your makeup composition. Tissues are always a safer bet, and they’re versatile. They can also be used for catching those happy tears!”
Lastly, Christen reminds brides to preview their bridal makeup in natural light, which makes it much easier to see tiny details, “and harder for shadows to conceal imperfections!” And don’t forget to have your photographer or a friend snap a few pix: “A good makeup artist knows that after a wedding the most important piece of evidence a bride has of her beautiful day are her pictures, so applying makeup that is picture-perfect is the way to go.”
To schedule a Makeup Texas consultation, call Christen at 281.394.2922 or e-mail!
‘Tis the season…for dry, tight, chapped skin. Next thing you know, it’ll be the season for swampy heat and endless sweat.
That’s just life in the big city. Of Houston. And we’re OK with that. What we’re not OK with? Looking anything less than picture-perfect on our big, beautiful wedding day. So let’s skip ahead a few months to the coming humidity—a bane for many a Houston bride. If you’re planning to walk down that aisle, or pose for engagement or bridal pics during our steamy season, you have GOT to get your hands on goods from Rae Cosmetics. We love this awesome line based in Austin and created by local makeup pro Rochelle Rae, who formulated her heat- and humidity-resistant products for professional athletes—and ended up making makeup that happens to be perfect for Houston brides.
Our favorite bridal beauty products include Rae’s weightless, antioxidant-packed Surface Primer, which creates a smooth, matte canvas for wedding-day makeup, and Rae’s silky, triple-milled, SPF 15 Mineral Powder, which won’t crease or smear from humidity or sweat. Sweet. Also in our bridal beauty toolbox is Rae’s Lush Silk Mascara, with actual silk powder, which binds to water, making it heat- and sweat-resistant, while creating long, lush, smize-tacular lashes. One note: Mineral face makeup tends to have light-reflecting properties, so be sure to check with your makeup artist before having your face done for photos!
Of course, we all know that bridal beauty prep starts months in advance of the main event. One of the best products we’ve found for keeping skin soft, supple and dewy looking during winter’s cool, dry months is new Midnight Recovery Concentrate from natural-beauty fave Kiehl’s. More a serum than a moisturizer, this lavender-enriched oil is formulated to repair and regenerate skin while you sleep. And you better believe it does. Smooth on a few drops, and, voila—wake up with fresher, more elastic, more hydrated skin (P.S. contrary to what you may think, it’s excellent for oily skin—many blemish-prone gals report a reduction in breakouts when using it!). And the scent? Soothing and heavenly—perfect for the stressed-out bride-to-be. Pair it with Kiehl’s paraben-free Midnight Recovery Eye treatment as part of your pre-wedding bridal beauty routine, and get ready to glow, for real.
We’re thrilled to feature famed bridal expert Barbara Wallace’s input in Weddings in Houston magazine, with an excerpt from her book (with co-author Annie Withers and photographer Lars Wanberg), “Beautiful Bride from Every Angle.” And we’re even more thrilled to have three, count ‘em, THREE copies of this utterly gorgeous hard-bound, photo-rich, wisdom-filled volume to give away to our readers! How to choose a dress, how to accentuate your best features with bridal makeup, how to find the perfect hairstyle, how to be a gracious bride, how to thank your friends and family, how to seek serenity in the storm of wedding-planning stress–this book truly does cover bridal beauty in all its internal and external forms. Whether you want a copy for yourself, or as a gift for a beloved bride-to-be, here’s your chance to score one!
HOW TO WIN: First, if you haven’t already, “Like” Weddings in Houston on Facebook…and we’ll immediately love you right on back. Second, drop your comment here letting us know what (or who) makes you feel beautiful (your favorite pair of heels, that perfect red lipstick, getting your hair cut, winning a marathon, trying on your wedding dress, that look in your fiances eyes…). We’ll announce three winning Facebook fans on FB on Friday! Yay!
With the acres of white organza, and all the frilly finery and pretty flowers and ceremonial gravitas, we sometimes forget that being a bride is just, well, sexy. Under all that white wedding stuff, after all, lies a woman passionately in love. Houston Boudoir Photography’s Norma Schutt makes it her mission to capture that passion in pictures. Pictures that just may be the best gift your groom could possibly get…besides the real thing, in the flesh, of course.
We tapped into Norma’s know-how for an inside look at what to expect, what to wear and how to pose for your bridal boudoir photographs (hint: that come-hither pout takes PRACTICE!), plus lots more great input on the sexy side of bridal.
Houston Wedding Blog: What’s the idea behind bridal boudoir photographs?
Norma Schutt: It’s fun! It’s also a very cool way for a bride to surprise her groom with a peek at her passionate side…and bring out the passion in him. Every woman wants to feel like a supermodel. Brides have usually been dieting and exercising to look their best on their wedding day. Doing a boudoir photo session a few weeks before the big day is a way to always remember how fantastic they looked. And surprising your groom with a boudoir album is a lot more fun and personal than cufflinks! It’s the perfect gift for the man who already has everything.
HWB: What’s your best boudoir-session beauty and lingerie advice?
NS: Get your hair and makeup professionally done. Make sure you tell your makeup artist that it’s for a photo session. I recommend you wear false eyelashes because they photograph beautifully.
Do not get a spray tan before your session. It can come out splotchy, slightly orange, or with pale feet and hands. I’d much rather use my retouching skills and time to enhance your natural beauty than to fix a bad spray tan.
Bring anything you want to make your photos special. I always encourage my clients to bring something belonging to their fiancé that he will recognize as his such as a dress shirt or sports jersey. Wedding day undergarments or wedding night lingerie is very popular, and, of course, you can bring your wedding dress along for a few shots of it, unlaced, maybe showing some bare skin down the back.
Practice your expressions in the mirror. For several days before the session, try out that pout when nobody is around. Getting that sexy pout to look sexy is not as easy as it looks. I can always tell who has practiced and who hasn’t!
The most important thing is to choose outfits that make you feel sexy. A good rule is to bring at least one thing white, at least one thing black, a pair of booty shorts, a thong, and something in a favorite or bright color or two so you can mix and match. A corset will create sexy curves. In addition to lingerie, don’t forget your shoes, jewelry, and your engagement ring. I also supply props like pearls, gloves, silk wraps and shoes.
HWB: What about the bride who may not be sure boudoir is the right thing for her? And once she’s decided to take the plunge, how do you make a bride feel comfortable during her session?
NS: First off, I encourage anyone who is undecided to give me a call or arrange for a tour. We can talk about it and you can see where I photograph and check out all my props. There’s no obligation. Sometimes just having all your questions answered and knowing how it works is all it takes to know if this is something you want to do. Even if you decide to wait for now, there’s always that first anniversary gift, same time next year.
Most of my clients have never done anything like this before so part of my job in the beginning is to help get rid of the jitters so they can relax and have fun. Before I take any pictures, I talk with the client about her clothing, the style of photos she wants, her best assets and her “problem” areas. I answer her questions, and use it as an opportunity for her to get to know me, and feel comfortable with me, and to trust that my goal is to make her feel beautiful and sexy.
During the photo shoot, I frequently show her images on the back of the camera so she can see that she really is looking good. And I think the biggest thing is not to over-think it. Just have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously during the process. Some girls will laugh in the beginning because they feel so silly until they start seeing what the camera is capturing between the giggles. Before long, the girls get over their self-consciousness and get into the “being sexy in front of a camera” state of mind. At the end of the sessions, my clients tell me they can’t believe how much FUN they just had!
HWB: When should a bride present her groom with her boudoir album?
NS: Some brides like to be there when he opens his gift, so they opt to give it to him on the night before the wedding, maybe after the rehearsal dinner, when the two of them can steal away for a moment and exchange their gifts. Other brides want give it to him on their wedding day before the ceremony. Either way, I recommend secretly telling the wedding photographer what is planned so he or she can be ready to capture the expressions on the groom’s face when he opens it.