Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category
Monday, June 20th, 2011
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.
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
We’re pretty sure you’ve had your fill of Friday’s royal wedding, so we won’t add too much to the mix. Here’s our take. The ceremony? Sweet and touching, just as any wedding should be—this, despite the precise choreography and the zillions of dignitaries in attendance. The dress? We seriously adored it and thought it was perfectly fitting for both the setting and the woman wearing it (although we have an eensy bit of sympathy for those who thought the gown, by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, a bit austere).
But you know what we really loved? How pretty and natural and unfussy bride Kate Middleton managed to look, there amidst the soaring columns and royal crests and acres of gilded and velvet-covered everything.
Which, naturally, made us think of Heather Hughes, whose Hues by Heather is responsible for many a Houston bride’s picture-perfect, yet utterly natural-looking, wedding-day makeup. We asked Heather—who, BTW, does tons of TV, film and print, along with bridal—and she told us her brides want to look “fresh—not like they spent all day getting ready.” Along with subtly smoky eyes and a hint of sparkle, she’s giving brides loose, sexy updo’s accented with headbands, feathers and flowers. “It’s not about us coming in and ‘painting their face.’ We do want their fiancé to recognize them when they walk down the aisle,” Hughes says. And she wants brides to recognize their own loveliness when they reflect on their big day: “We want them to look back at their pictures 10 years from now and say, ‘Wow! I was beautiful.’ Not…’Oh yeah, I got married in ’87!’”
Plus, besides being insanely talented professionals, Hues by Heather artists are so sweet and nurturing, they make brides feel comfortable, calm and happy while getting their bridal hair and makeup done–and that, more than anything, is the key to looking beautifully, naturally, on your wedding day!
Photos: (clockwise from left) Robert Fuel; Adam Nyholt; Pink Posh
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
We Buzzed on Pressing Events’ new CITYCENTRE store last week, but we just couldn’t get to all the stuff we love at AND about the new PE in that teeny, tiny newsletter item. So here we go.
First up, Emilie Sloan bags. How cute are designer Lisa Murphy’s fully lined totes, market bags and carryalls? The folks who put on the Academy Awards think they’re awfully cute, which is why they included Emilie Sloan in this year’s official swag. Pressing Events owner Nancy Billingsley Calvert is likewise a fan, and told us she “expects big things” from the collection, which, she notes, is already attracting brides and graduates in droves. These would make fabulous bridesmaid gifts, don’t you think?
Next: Kaas Decoupage. The renowned New York decoupage studio makes absolutely gorgeous decoupage plates with designs sourced from flea markets, antique shows and estate sales. If you’re a bride with vintage vibe, or a traditionalist with a passion for classic wedding commemoration, Pressing Events’ newly expanded line of Kaas plates is perfect for preserving wedding invitations, photos, collages…you name it. Then press it.
We also adore Pressing Events’ very impressive selection of stationery, which includes all our favorite styles from Crane, Elum, Smock, and Charleston, S.C.’s wonderful The Lettered Olive, among others. But PE’s forté is “one-of-a-kind, singular design,” Calvert points out—“much like a designer-original wedding dress.” If you’re looking for truly distinguished custom invitations, you must meet with Pressing Events’ Amber Anglin Fowler. Calvert regaled us with the story of how Amber searched Dallas without success for a store to produce the exact right custom invitations for her wedding last year…and ended up creating her own. “Though her mother grew quite weary of her quest, I must say she has found her home with us,” Calvert says. “Our brides love her!”
And we do, too.
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
You’ve been asking about the cover of the latest Weddings in Houston (“Who’s she wearing?” “Where did that stunning headpiece come from?” “That necklace–OMG, I gotta make it mine,” and so on). So we’re answering. Here’s the who, what, where and how much on the items worn by our gorgeous model, styled by the ridiculously talented Summer Salah, and shot by the superb Larry Fagala.
Gown: Rivini, $5,900, at Ivory Bridal Atelier
Headband: $149, at Parvani Vida
Jewelry: Earrings, $49,650; ring, $59,665; necklace, $99,230; all at Zadok Jewelers
Set Design: Darryl & Co.
So there ya go, now ya know. We are so thrilled to work with such outstanding Houston wedding vendors and professionals, and delighted when you take notice, get excited and let us know. Please keep it up!
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Plenty of salons and makeup artists offer bridal hair, nail and makeup packages. A few throw in pre-wedding skin care, massages and other spa services. But only one Houston beauty expert is also a licensed professional counselor and life coach, and a trained portrait photographer, with her own line of custom-blend makeup products AND a 2,700-square-foot “world-inspired” beauty and wellness studio that can accommodate groups of up to 12.
She’s Sarah Ali, owner of The Transformation Studio, and she makes it her mission to provide brides with everything they need to become their beautiful best, from the inside out.
Looking to get in shape for your figure-hugging wedding gown, and have a little fun while doing it? Ali’s studio offers international dance classes, from Bollywood to belly dancing, and Zumba, too! In need of some pre-wedding pampering? Go for one of the studio’s signature treatments, like the Indonesian Oasis Facial of Himalayan Head Rub (absolutely heaven, by the way). Desperate to defuse bridal-party quibbles? Ali says she’s only too happy to “bust out my therapist techniques” and entertain your grousing group with tales of “my tragic yet hilarious man troubles” (they, and Ali, were featured on the front page of the Chronicle Lifestyles section last year—and are, indeed, LOL funny).
All that, and she’ll give you that gorgeous tousled updo, subtle smoky eye, flawless skin and perfect matte-red lip you’re lusting after for your bridal look, too.
She and her team of eight fabulous freelance experts are happy to host you at their place, or yours. Call her at 281.240.7102 or e-mail to schedule a consultation.
Monday, July 26th, 2010
Slimming A-line gown? Check!
Spanx Hide & Sleek Full Bodysuit? Check!
Chubby bridesmaids? … Huh?!
According to London’s Daily Telegraph, which released results of a recent research survey conducted by diet-shake-maker Slim-Fast, one in three engaged British women admitted they would choose fatter friends as bridesmaids over slimmer pals, as a way to boost their bridal confidence.
We gotta say, we were kinda blown away. It’s one thing to diet before your wedding day—something 50% of surveyed brides-to-be said they did—and quite another to choose your bridal party based on the size of their bodies, rather than on the strength of your bond.
But maybe the survey results shouldn’t surprise us all that much. According to Slim-Fast nutritionist Fiona Hunter, “Women are obviously feeling such pressure to look good on their big day that they’re resorting to selecting bridesmaids larger than themselves … It’s very sad and a real shame. Looking at these statistics, it seems to be a worrying new trend.” This, from a representative of the company that recently targeted engaged women with an ad campaign depicting a wedding-cake topper of an overweight bride and the question, “Need to lose a little weight before your wedding?”
Hmm…disingenuous much, Fiona?
We’re all for looking our slender best on our wedding day. But instead of choosing fatter bridesmaids as flattering accessories, how about choosing bridesmaids who support our efforts to get fit, who graciously wear the bridesmaid dresses we’ve selected for them no matter how they feel their own bodies look in the dress style, and who make us feel beautiful and special on our wedding day just by being our best friends.
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
It’s been ages since we talked about the essential bridal survival kit, hasn’t it? Well, we’re delighted to inform you that we’ve just come across a product that makes making it through your wedding day unscathed just a little bit easier.
Family operation Ms. & Mrs.–mom Georgette Kaplan (Mrs.) and daughters Stephanie and Jamie Kaplan (Ms. & Ms.) launched the biz with the Working Girl Survival Kit, and quickly branched out—offers pre-packaged survival kits for just about everyone involved in your wedding.
For you, Ms. Bride (soon to be Mrs. Wife), there’s the Wedding Day Survival Kit. Packed inside a sleek train case decorated with a white satin ribbon and novelty “diamond” ring (aww…), you’ll find the works in wedding-day beauty, hygiene and apparel maintenance. Items include toothbrush and toothpaste, clear nail polish and nail polish remover, super glue, earring backs, bobby pins and tons more.
Your groom’s gonna love the Groom’s Survival Kit, complete with mints, deodorant, razor and shaving cream, lint remover, boutonniere pins and oodles more vital wedding-day survival items he probably has no idea he might require.
New in the Ms. & Mrs. Lineup is the Aisle Survival Collection. These adorable, affordable, pre-packaged mini-kits are practical AND perfect for gifting. There’s one for brides
, one for bridesmaids
, and sweet little versions for MOBs
. Each kit comes with such wedding-day staples as emery boards, blotting tissues, pain reliever, waterproof mascara, safety pins and breath freshener.
We heart these handy kits like nobody’s business! But we also want to remind you that if you do opt for a pre-packed kit, you’ll want to make sure to add non-standard items like your specific wedding-day makeup, and contact information for your coordinator and vendors (especially taxi and transportation services). And maybe, depending on the season, a pop-up wedding tent, a pre-fab hurricane shelter and a couple hundred umbrellas. Welcome to Houston!
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
There are basically two kinds of pre-wedding beauty prep: the totally unglamorous kind that requires sweating and pain and feels like a chore…and the relaxing, intimate, even decadent kind—the Occasions Spa kind, in other words.
Occasions Spa, in case you didn’t know, is
Maxwello Dental Spa & Wellness’s
spa-within-a-spa. To create a customized Occasions package that she can enjoy with her bridesmaids or dearest friends, a bride simply selects four menu options—choices include, but are not limited to, massage, reflexology, facials, teeth whitening, Botox and Juvederm—and adds to these her choice of beverage and dessert. On the scheduled spa day, the gals gather at Maxwello
’s luxurious, private 2,100-square-foot Houston facility, and get primped and pampered to the max.
We love our spa days like any Houston girl, but we were also wondering if there was anything really new and fabulous to help get our dull smile in shape for wedding day pix. So, of course we asked Dr. Letitia Plummer, DDS—the talent behind Maxwello and Occasions
. She told us about something called Snap-On-Smile
, which she describes as “a comfortable, removable dental appliance offering an affordable approach to restorative and cosmetic dentistry.” Could it be? Is it possible? An instant straight, white smile at a fraction of the cost of veneers?? Um, basically, yeah. Dr. Plummer explained that brides, grooms, MOHs, MOBs, FOGs and basically anyone who wants to look their best “can wear this appliance all day every day, and they can even eat with them.” Which is cool, because as much as we like to look good, we love our wedding cake!
Dr. Plummer recommends scheduling your Occasions Spa appointment for at least 10 days before your wedding if you plan to have any cosmetic procedures like Botox or teeth whitening.
And she offers this great advice to Houston brides: “This time can be very stressful, so the more you plan and evaluate options, the smoother everything unfolds.” Dr. Plummer says her goal is to give the bride an occasion to be with “her dearest friends and family, to become transformed in a relaxing spa atmosphere—to brighten your smile, relax your body and enhance your natural beauty.” Well, what a coincidence—that’s our goal here at the HWB, too!http://www.weddingsinhouston.com/Professionals/bridal_beauty_health_fitness/occasions_spa_by_maxwello.aspx
Monday, April 12th, 2010
We’ll go ahead and admit it right here: We’re not nearly as good to our nails as we should be. If you’re like us—prone to nibbling cuticles, peeling snags and generally neglecting, even abusing, our poor, defenseless nails—you’ll be pleased to know that there is still time to change your ways before your big day.
To get your hands in fighting shape for your debut as a bride, you should ideally start training a few months out. That means from here on out, NO washing dishes without wearing gloves; NO picking, peeling or otherwise harassing cuticles or hangnails; NO removing labels or untying knotted stuff or doing other utilitarian chores with your fingernails instead of the appropriate non-fingernail implement.
It also means ALWAYS applying lotion or hand cream after exposing hands to water (you can’t beat
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream for dry cracked hands, and we love the silky feel and pretty scent of L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream; ALWAYS treating any cracks or snags immediately with judicious clipping and moisturizing; and, whenever possible, getting a regular manicure—even if it’s just to groom and buff natural nails.
For at-home nail conditioning and maintenance, we highly recommend the Nailtiques line—especially the much-beloved Nailtiques Formula 2, with calcium and hydrolyzed keratin. This stuff is a godsend for weak, brittle nails like ours, and for nails damaged by years of acrylics. Apply it exactly according to instructions, and you can expect noticeably stronger nails in about a month.
Stick to a nail regimen like this, and by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ll be able to sport hot, new bridal nail looks like these:
Monday, February 8th, 2010
A little Greek goddess, a little Midsummer Night’s Dream, a dash of vintage elegance, a smidge of Cinderella and a LOT of detail, detail, detail. That’s the word on this season’s new crop of wedding frocks, Houston bride.
Whether you decide on a flouncy ballgown or an ethereal empire-waist column—both are big for 2010 weddings—the season’s best wedding dresses offer a bounty of truly extraordinary accents from handmade fabric flowers (Augusta Jones) to bodacious bows (Vera Wang) to zillions of organza pleats (Oscar de la Renta) to oceans of tulle (Jim Hjelm). And more.
These dresses are a lot of things…but slick and sleek they’re not. Neither is the new look in wedding-day hair.
Our favorite new wedding hairstyles are very feminine and very elegant but never ever fussy or stiff. Allow us to show you:
This year’s Golden Globes gals had the right idea about updos. Check out these sensational styles—formal and refined, but with a natural touch. Perfection.
Oh, Carrie, we’d love your hair even if you yanked it back and tied it with a sweat sock. Fortunately, you’ve got way more style than that. And this half-updo with side-combed straight bangs and rivers of soft curls is one we want to steal for our big day!
Feast your eyes on this fabulous down-low updo with bangs. So graceful, so pretty, so perfect for showing off our lovely shoulders in our strapless ballgown… Gorgeous!
Here’s another nape-level updo we love. Soft, pretty and special-occasion fancy when accented with seed-pearl, Swarovski crystal or other sparkly hair jewelry or accessories.
As for braid styles, we can’t get enough of them. There’s an obvious wow-factor to these complicated-looking creations, but also an earthy, sensual sweetness that is a perfect complement to the season’s dreamy, fairytale gowns.
Like these looks? Got a lead on more examples? Let your sister brides-to-be know. Post your comments here!