My Most Bubbly Bride Ever, Julia!

You know those bright, cheerful, effervescent people that you love to be around?  Those folks that remind you of puppies and weekends, with whom you’d picture yourself watching a really juicy episode of Real Housewives with a glass of rose’ in hand?

This is Julia.

Julia is joyful.  Julia is effervescent.  Julia is bubbly, like champagne kinds of bubbly.  She has an easy laugh, thinks of others often, speaks her mind, and sees no shame in enjoying things that others would judge you for and label as “guilty pleasures”, things like a deep love for Lauren Conrad, the best undereye concealer, and the Bachelor.  Julia is fun.  And she married her man in uniform, Roy, on a beautiful day in May at the church that my husband had worked at for over four years by that time.

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Julia was a college student when my husband and I were first welcomed to Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California.  She was part of the first round of students that we worked with, and there was never a doubt that whenever she was present, you would hear Julia’s giggle fill the room.  Everyone knows that giggle!  She is an unmistakably happy woman.

Julia is also beautiful.

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One thing that I especially loved about doing Julia’s makeup for her wedding was that she had such deep product knowledge. She’s tried this, she loves that. She had clear ideas for what she wanted and so it was easy to get right to work.  She knew she wanted a purple somewhat-smoky eye with nice, defined eyebrows and a relatively nude lip.  I used a combination of MAC eyeshadows such as Sketch and Shroom along with Dior’s 5-Coleur Palette in Stylish Move to create a smoky plum look.  We used Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette in Native for bronzer and blush.  I loved this blush on Julia.  We tried a couple things for her lips but for her pictures she went with a classic- MAC lipstick in Blankety.

The foundation we used also turned out to be one of the best I’d ever tried on a client- Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation.  It’s great for a matte, full coverage look and it has awesome staying power.

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I also had the privilege of doing four out of five bridesmaids’ makeup as well, and once again teamed up with the WonderWoman of wedding hair, Laura Licata.  It was definitely a marathon day, but my favorite part of the bridesmaid portion was spending time on Marlene, the girl on the far right.  She hadn’t really gotten “glammed” up this much before and wow- she looked stunning, especially with that gorgeous red hair!  It was great to start the day with her, and everyone wound up looking just lovely.

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A military uniform like Roy’s always looks fantastic in photos like these, and my goodness, Julia looks incredible!  Is anyone getting Will and Kate flashbacks from this picture?!  Sheesh!

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Julia, you looked breathtaking and were an absolute delight to work with. I can only hope that any brides I work with in the future will be as happy, hilarious, and easygoing as you were. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as a witness to you and Roy’s vows, and you make a truly stunning couple!  xo, MR

All image (except for the last) are credited to the award-winning Eric Slay of Paperwhite Photography.  For more of his awesome work, check out http://www.paperwhitephotography.com.

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With Love From Chicagoland- My Bride Erin

So, it’s not like a lot hasn’t been happening in my life, but I admit that I am very late in posting my weddings from this past year.  Very late.  However, it is a sweet and beautiful thing to be able to sit down here in Illinois, after all this transition, and look back at an amazing day in California that was only four months ago.

I had the pleasure and the honor of making up my dear friend Erin on her wedding day.  This day was a marathon because the party was an all-day affair, literally.  We hit the ground in the early morning and things didn’t stop until late in the evening, and there might have even been a happy hour stop during an hour or so of downtime.  There were a lot of tears, a lot of tacos, plenty of wine, and an abundance of good, good people.

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I remember when a friend of mine suggested I meet Erin because he was convinced that we were sort of the same person.  No two people are ever quite alike, but some of my most authentic, messy conversations have been with this woman.  I have felt safe to be my unfiltered self around Erin, and I have received nothing but grace, edification, and laughter (loud, soul-empowering laughter) in return.  There’s no conversation too frightening and no drink too strong for this girl, and I am thankful to be called her friend.

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When Erin and I talked about what she wanted for her makeup, she immediately mentioned Princess Kate.  Inspiration like the Duchess of Cambridge fits well within my philosophy of “natural-but-enhanced”, with glowing skin and a bit of extra drama for the eyes.  I even managed to pick up the exact lipstick used by Kate on her wedding day- Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Sandwash Pink.  Nothing crazy; a perfect bridal neutral-pink.  I also did some research and managed to use one of the eye colors from Kate’s wedding day- Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Taupe.  I love this color.  It’s not brown, it’s not grey.  It’s perfectly in between the two and extremely flattering.  You can wear it everyday as a liner or build it to create a slightly smokey eye as I did for Erin.  I blended this shade with my trusty MAC Shroom, maybe a shade or two from Dior’s Earth Reflection palette, and Christian Siriano for VS Makeup in Royal (yes, I’ve had this shadow for YEARS and I’m not sure what I’ll do when it runs out because I’ve yet to find a perfect match). I used Bobbie Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Liner in Black to line Erin’s upper lids.

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For Erin’s skin, we used her BareMinerals Original SPF15 Foundation after applying Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer.  I used Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed palette in Native for some light bronzer-based contouring and blush, along with MAC’s Mineralize SkinFinish in Soft and Gentle for highlighting.  Once I’ve applied everything (including lips), I tend to finish off the face with an all-over dusting of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light and a couple sprays of setting spray.

We also put a lot of focus on Erin’s brows (never a problem with me, as you know) using a powder eyeshadow of her choice and a gel to set.  We used accent half-strip lashes instead of full strips because we agreed (after some discussion) that while full strips work nicely for photos, they just didn’t quite fit the look we were going for.  Moreover, Erin already has long, beautiful eyelashes that really don’t need much help.

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I don’t know why but for some reason I’m obsessed with this shot displaying the finished product (minus the dress).  It might be the fact that I would wear Erin’s shirt and sweatpants out to dinner, but it might also be that I am just really, really happy with how she turned out and I love shots of the bride looking down.

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Seriously, would you check out those eyes?!  She looked stunning.

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And in case you’re dying of curiosity, here’s a shot of the dress, which was like nothing that I had ever seen before …

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What a great day this was.  I wish all weddings could be like this one, with this much laughter and this much open display of emotion and the sense that you have been invited into a marriage as a witness and an encourager.  Love you so much, Erin, and oceans of love to you and Carp.  I’ll be seeing you soon.  xo, MR

All photography (except still shot of makeup) credited to the fabulous John and Michelle Klewer, who turned out to be a special find amongst the beautiful chaos of the day.  If you like what you see, be sure to check out more of John’s work here.

A High School Reunion With My Gorgeous Bride Mindy!

Okay, okay- I’m back!  It’s been a crazy month of too much stress at work, too much good food, too little vacation, too many special occasions, not enough blogging, and a lot more working out than usual.  I barely know who I am these days!  But anyhow, what better way to bring things back than with my first wedding of the season?

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I’ve known my friend Mindy since high school, and I truly can’t tell you what joy and honor it brought to my heart when she contacted me to do her wedding makeup.  I’d considered Mindy one of my favorite buddies during our senior year; I couldn’t have done AP art history or government without her!  I hadn’t seen her much since our high school glory days (which looked something like fusing together Phantom of the Opera with the North American Free Trade Alliance to create a mini-musical to perform for our classmates … super glorious).  There’s honestly no occasion I’d rather reconnect with an old friend over than her beautiful wedding.  And it was also great to be back at the fantastic Red Horse Barn!

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My day with Mindy started out in the hotel room she’d been sharing with her bridesmaids at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach.  All the chaos of a bunch of girls getting ready together is one of my favorite things.  The twenty different curling irons out, the makeup kits spread across literally ever surface, and the music … you never know what you’ll get with a group of girls on a wedding day.  It could be Backstreet Boys, the Grease soundtrack, or Jason Derulo.  You really never know, but it’s always a good time.

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For Mindy, I’d chosen what could basically be identified as a smokey eye, but I wanted to keep it within shades of bronze and brown to bring out her gorgeous blue eyes.  The Stila Eye Shadow trio in Gold Glow (pictured in the first image) worked its magic for me.  Mindy wanted to keep her look very natural, but it wasn’t hard to make her features stand out.  NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna and a little NARS blush in Orgasm on her cheeks basically sealed the deal, along with a light dab of Dior’s Addict Lipstick in Tulle.  She really is beautiful, isn’t she?!

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I so wish I could’ve been around for the bridal portraits; I admit that I love being the stalker makeup artist that lurks around insisting on touch-ups in between every shot!  It’s probably quite the nuisance for the photographers though, and Mindy clearly doesn’t need any help looking amazing.

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I loved this next shot because her eyes just pop so much, and her beautiful cheekbones too.  Major props to Tyler Branch Photo!

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I also had the opportunity to do makeup for one of Mindy’s awesome bridesmaids named Crystal.  She, too, had an incredible face and personality to match.  I only managed to get a close-up shot of Crystal on my own, and I’m sure glad I did because I was so pleased with how her look turned out!  I used one of my trusted Dior palettes – Earth Reflection – to create a classic look that focused on highlighting and a somewhat silvery finish.  For Crystal’s lips I used NARS’ Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien, a vibrant rosy pink.

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Like I’ve said in times before- with gorgeous faces like these, it’s hard to make ’em look bad.  The day just went so swimmingly between myself, the two girls, and the incredible team surrounding Mindy on her day.  I left Mindy as she was waiting patiently for guests to be seated so she could go out and meet her groom, and I felt a rush of energy as I left the room for the last time from all the thick anticipation in the air.  With a feeling like that, you know it’s been a good day.  xo, MR