Sometimes you just feel lucky, you know? Outside of the whole “lady luck” situation that Vegas has. This particular #30daysgorgeous session made me feel really lucky. Lucky that photographer Ella Gagiano was on board with the project. Lucky that I happen to know a beyond beautiful model who just so happens to be a friend. Lucky that our friends at Couture Bride would loan us yet another dress. Lucky that this team of ours is 5-star, all the way. Lucky that M Resort liked the idea and would let us shoot there. Lucky, lucky, lucky are we.
In a pow-wow with Christine over at Floral Couture, she mentioned that we should do something over at the M Resort for the project. I admit, for all my candor I can be a bit nervous when it comes to reaching out. But I did, and the results were so awesome that it makes me wonder what else my nerves are getting in the way of. Anyways, after chatting with Tina over at M, she recommended reaching out to Ella Gagiano to do the photography for the shoot. Oh, here we go with nerves again. Ella and I had crossed paths briefly before, but we weren’t exactly on each others Christmas card lists. So I swallowed my nerves and reached out anyways. She was on board too! It was like the stars had aligned just for us, just for the project.
We’ve had the luxury of being at the M several times. The first time was when it first opened, my husband and I did an extended “date night” there and sipped our martini’s over an unparalleled view of the strip. The resort is on the far south side of the strip, far away from pretty much all the other big properties, and at the top the Lux provides an incredible view of the city. Then, a couple years ago, our company sponsored an industry event that was also in that same space. If you’re on the hunt for a sexy, swanky, sophisticated venue, let me tell you this is it. It’s got all the fixings for a glamorous Vegas wedding, easy on the Vegas. Of course, our bride Brittney had to have an equally swanky gown that hugged her curves in all the right places, and Couture Bride had just the dress. The ensemble was finished off with a chic bouquet from Floral Couture, and ‘Co artists Bri and Hayley sealed the deal with all the sexy vibe that the shoot was sure to be. And yes, it was sexy in all the right ways.
In the middle of our #30daysgorgeous project, we also had the massive bridal show that is Bridal Spectacular. Naturally, bridal shows at the start of the year are lavish productions, riding the wave of all the holiday engagements. (Here in the ‘biz, we know you husbands-to-be like to pop the question between Thanksgiving and Valentines day. There ya go, a little insider info for ya!) That means that between organizing, collaborating, and actually doing 30 shoots in 30 days, we also needed to have one EPIC booth for the biggest and best bridal show in Las Vegas. A whole day and several f-bombs later, Chief Dude and I finally got our booth up and promptly went to the nearest margarita distribution facility to toast our hard efforts. The next day, when we got back, we finally took some time to notice our neighbors. Directly across from our booth was a quiet and pretty lady with a dazzling display of jewels. Britni of Blue Luck Bridal was having her first booth at the show, and we exchanged pleasantries and a few hot tips. Towards the end of the show, when my own exhaustion was being replaced with the thrill of meeting loads of beautiful brides, we chatted more about lots of things, including the project. Jewelry was a definite must for truly bridal shoots, and it was a great chance for us to work together to create something beautiful! A couple weeks later, Britni in all her motivation (and let me tell you, she is small but mighty!) pulled together the epitome of wedding-fashion bridal photoshoots. We were way stoked to hear that she had gotten our girl photographer Ella Gagiano on board, and then our beautiful model just make everything perfect. Alana and Hayley completed the picture-perfect bridal look with sultry, smoky eye makeup and a classic hairstyle that would look amazing with dozens of different accessories. The result was absolutely, utterly, and completely perfect. Britni, we couldn’t be more thrilled working with you on this! And to all our brides to be, you gotta swing by Blue Luck Bridal and check out her beautiful jewels. Hair pieces and earrings, necklaces and bracelets, she has a lovely selection to complete the ultimate bridal look!
PS- Still need that Something Blue? At the end of the show, Britni gifted me the sweetest necklace. A double horseshoe, the outside beautiful crystal-clear rhinestones and the inside a kind of perfect-beach blue. It sparkles, it’s adorable in every way, and if you can’t figure out your blue, grab one of her signature necklaces!
Mineral makeup is wildly popular. Phrases coined “swirl, tap, buff” have taken on a cult following. Boutique stores and alluring kiosks all promise better skin, free from breakouts and allergic reactions. Even dermatologists, my own included, sell the popular Jane Iredale line in their offices as a better alternative to more conventional makeup formulas. All this is well and good, but one thing I’ve learned over the thousands of brides our company has worked with is that:
1) Most women hate the feel or look of non-mineral makeup (poorly applied or of low quality) and usually tell us they have an allergy or sensitivity so that they can use their own mineral makeup for their wedding day. They usually are also terrified of breakouts or lack of sanitation.
2) Mineral makeup looks flat-out awful in photos.
While mineral makeup may be a viable option for day to day wear, it is not appropriate for any kind of photography medium and is unreliable for long term wear. The concerns about conventional makeup are not unfounded- it’s true, too many sub-par makeup artists have spackled faces with greasy, oily products that shimmy down sweaty cheeks and oily noses in a really unattractive way. However, in my (experienced) professional opinion, that is almost entirely the fault of the artist and rarely the fault of the makeup line.
The reasons why mineral makeup is not suitable for your wedding day are few and simple-
- Mineral makeup is a dry powder. When the dry powder oxidizes and mixes with the skins own natural oils, the color of the foundation alters and usually turns darker than the original color intended. Depending on the skin type, this can happen within a few minutes or a few hours- but far sooner than your wedding day will come to a bittersweet close.
- Most mineral makeup contains a handy little ingredient named bismuth oxychloride. This synthetic ingredient (wait, isn’t mineral makeup supposed to be natural?) give that pearlescent finish to the skin. It also makes an otherwise normal sized pore look like a hole in the galaxy of your skin.
- Another regular party-goer to the mineral makeup rave is titanium dioxide. This one at least earns it’s keep- it acts as a sunscreen, reflecting harmful rays that could damage the skin. This is a great thing! Except, it also reflects the flash of a photographers camera. That’s when you get the whole floating-ghost head situation happening. Your face, no matter how it looks in person, will be highly reflective in any photo using artificial lighting. Unless you plan on taking photo’s only in natural lighting outside, you can see why this wouldn’t work out so well.
All this is not to say that ALL mineral makeup should be banned from wedding-day festivities. Mineral lipsticks, blushes, and some bronzers can be a sure thing. A little gentle highlight on the cheek or lips will not negatively effect the outcome of your wedding day photos.
For day-to-day wear, mineral makeup is definitely a boon to those who have skin concerns or sensitivities. In this regard, it get’s an enthusiastic blush brushes up, especially for the sun protection factor. Applied correctly and used sparingly (heavy powdered faces are reserved for the 18th century Lady of the House) then mineral makeup is an excellent daily regime. However, mineral makeup just not the right choice for your wedding day.
Really, someone should come up with a standard language that means the same thing across the board so we all know what the other means when we say “big curls”. But, since that doesn’t exist yet, and they don’t seem to have a font for it either, here’s what we hair dressers think when you try to describe a style.
Long Layers: This means you want long hair with some layers in it. Very few layers, at that. Your asking for mostly long hair with a couple of inches of layering at the ends. That means your shortest layer is going to be quite long, depending on how long your hair is.
Soft Curls: This usually means hair is curled with a big iron and little hairspray. Depending on the texture of your hair it might not hold, but it will be soft and if the hairdresser is good, smooth.
Up-Do: Do you want it high at the crown, centered in the back, or low on the nape? That can also mean something to the side. The term up-do has really changed, because girls stopped getting the crunchy-curl high and tight look and started going for low and full. An up-do just means that the hair is up somehow.
Ringlets: This usually means you want a tight, super firm curl all over. Think Shirley Temple. Be very careful with this. If you want a Playmate do and ask for ringlets, don’t get mad when you come out looking like your off to grammar school.
Half-up: Pretty self explanatory, but be prepared to explain how high you want the part that’s up pulled. It can be brought low and loose for a romantic, hippy feel or with tons of volume and high for a modern sexy effect.
No matter how aptly you describe your style, keep in mind that things can always be misinterpreted. A visual aid is always the best when trying to explain how you want your hair, or makeup for that matter, to look. This is just what goes thru my head when I am asked for these things. And keep in mind: The hairdresser who cuts and colors your hair is probably not the best person for styling. It’s two different beasts so their scope of possibility may be limited. Not saying they aren’t a fantastic hairdresser, but just like I’m not the God’s gift to women with gray hair, they probably are the same to special events and brides. Just sayin.