’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.
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
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!”
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.
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!
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.