When Snow White got married. Or, my bride Ali!

Oh, where to begin?  I have been looking forward to this wedding for a long, long time.  Mike and Ali have been dating for as long as I’ve known each of them (since they were seniors in high school), and my husband and I have spent so much time around them both as individuals and as a couple that when their wedding weekend was finally upon us, it just felt like some kind of surreal.  And I’d had a feeling that Ali would be giving me the honor of doing her makeup for her wedding day, but having me as her bridesmaid?  Too much.  Too much joy.  Ali is all at once lively and calm, silly and subdued.  She’s at first glance an introvert, but you then come to realize that she’s an adorable rabbit waiting to pop out of the magician’s hat.  Ali is wise, thoughtful, mature, and unwavering in her convictions.  She’s a gem, and I’ve barely seen her since the wedding day and it’s killing me!  Just a few more days, Ali!

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Now, back to business.  What’s great about doing a friend’s makeup for their wedding is the fact that you’ll probably get to do multiple trial-runs on them, editing and choosing different things as you go along.  Ali and I got to do exactly this, as I did her makeup for her engagement shoot (which I blabbed about here), for fun several times, and for two of her bridal showers.  Now, I’d given Ali a smokey eye for her engagement shots and I’d say it turned out pretty well.  It was sultry, exciting, but not quite … I don’t know … Ali?  If you know her, you get it.  It was ridiculously fun at the time, but as the months passed I was still uncertain as to what I was going to do for the big day, and I knew it wouldn’t be a smokey eye.  So for her first bridal shower, I decided to have a little fun and go with a hot pink lip.  It was a hit.  I absolutely loved it.   It worked with her fair skin and dark hair, and it took the drama down a necessary notch while still having impact.  And then the wedding inspiration came: a berry lip.  I dreamed of something along the lines of Snow White, and the vision began to come together.

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I began collecting the tools necessary for my vision, and l once again lucked out by owning a foundation shade that matched my bride perfectly (MakeUpForEver HD Foundation, uh-gain).  I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve built such a kit that I don’t have too much of a need for new product.  However, I chose to invest in Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light, mostly because I wanted a great finishing powder that A) wasn’t loose (like MakeUpForEver’s HD Finish Powder) and B) didn’t leave any possible ghostly white traces (like MakeUpForEver’s HD Finish Powder).  Hourglass did the trick perfectly.

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There I am at work!  We’re just about ready to walk down the aisle, so I’m just doing touch-ups here.  For myself, I had my hair blown out by the fabulous Dani of Salon reBelle in Orange, and I went with a deep side-part just to add some drama and show off the lovely highlights that Justin of Salon 9 had given me some time ago.  I chose a smokey eye for myself, which I tend to favor when it’s time to dress up.  I wasn’t completely happy with the combination of shades I chose … a bit too grey for my taste, which is oddly my least favorite shade on my own eyes … but it was fun anyhow.  Any time I *need*  false eyelashes is a fun time.

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Here’s a shot of mi’lady I took once I was completely finished with her makeup.  I had to have my dear friend Laura (who was responsible for hair, by the way) help me apply Ali’s eyelashes because by that point my hands were so shaky from caffeine and small finger movements.  But nonetheless, everything turned out exactly the way I’d hoped.  Oh, and speaking of things being exactly what I’d hoped for: Ali snapped up my out-of-this-world talented friend Bethany for her own wedding photography.  I’ve raved about Bethany in my post on Ali’s engagement shoot, but also in this post here when she envisioned an old-world romantic desert wedding using my husband and I as models.    I really can’t explain how ethereal Bethany’s photography is to me.  Everything she sees is romance.  There’s a special character to her eye that I just can’t describe, and so I just have to let her work explain for itself.  Below, the perfect kind of shot I was hoping for once Laura and I were finished with Ali’s hair and makeup.  This particular shot is nothing special, and yet, it totally is.

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Things just kept getting better once Ali put on her dress.  And oh, THAT DRESS.  Ali had tried on a number of dresses, and while they all looked stunning on her, this one both looked stunning and perfectly captured her personality.  Again, if you know Ali, you just get it (not to get all insider on my readers, but some things are just difficult to explain without knowing a person).  This dress was something out of Downton Abbey, it was!  And it doesn’t hurt that Ali has always reminded me somewhat of Michelle Dockery.

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I remember how I kept constantly saying, “YOU LOOK LIKE SNOW WHITE” allllllllll day long.  But I meant it!  If there were ever an illustrated bridal interpretation done of that princess, this is what it would look like.  I just couldn’t get over it.

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I happily reapplied Laura Mercier’s Lip Stain in Mulberry on top of Stila’s Lip Stain in Cherry Crush frequently throughout the day.  The former can be a tad drying, so Ali’s sister offered up some of her own gloss later in the day for the reception, which worked out nicely.  For Ali’s cheeks, I only stuck with some contouring (no blush, technically) by using MAC’s blush in Buff.  I absolutely love that shade for contouring on fair-to-medium skin, as using bronzer for contouring just doesn’t work on everyone.

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Isn’t she something straight out of a fairy tale?!  I kept waiting for bluebirds and chipmunks to start following her and carrying her train!

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And at last, the beautiful couple.  I couldn’t have imagined a more glorious bride for this day.  And this day in it’s entirety was, in fact, wonderful.  I got to play bridesmaid duty for an incredible friend, one of my own bridesmaids did the magnificent photography work, and my husband performed the wedding ceremony!  I was in heaven.  But that’s what weddings are, aren’t they: the slightest, sheerest picture of a heaven that we’ve yet to see.  Love you so much, Michael and Alison! xo, MR

All of the photography featured in this post (save for the fourth picture) is credited to Bethany Carlson Photography.  For more of Bethany’s beautiful work, you can visit her website at www.bethanycarlson.com.

The talented magician and the beautiful girl that the magician saws in half.

I shall be raving about *two* people that I love on this particular post.  Let me begin by saying this:  It takes two components to create a good magic show.  First, you must have a talented and crafty magician.  And second, you must have a beautiful girl that the magician impresses his or her audience with, an assistant of sorts that the magician then magically saws in half (or something like that) that causes everyone to gasp and say their “Oohs!” and “Aahs!”.  Both are essential for a great magic show.  I’ll also admit that I got to play a little part in this show, too- I got to be the makeup wizard for the beautiful girl that gets sawed in half.  I would’ve been glad to simply have been the rabbit that gets pulled out of a hat for this one, so needless to say, I was quite thrilled with my role.

For this particular magic show, let me first introduce you to the beautiful girl that gets sawed in half.

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This is Ali.  It’s Alison, really, but everyone calls her Ali and she is beautiful.  I’ve known her for a while now, and for as long as I have known her she and Mike have been together.  These two are awesome, to say the least.  Their engagement is one that a lot of folks have been excited for, and needless to say I was ecstatic when Ali asked me to be one of her bridesmaids next summer.  In addition to this though, I shall also have the honor of being Ali’s makeup artist for her big day.  Double stoked.

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Ali and Mike had their engagement shoot in early December at Disneyland on a Friday morning, and I was initially so bummed because I already knew I’d be teaching that morning so I’d have no chance to do her makeup.  But then it dawned on me- Ali lives right by the school I was booked for, and I was going to have a free hour in the earlier part of the school day, so why not do her makeup beforehand at the school?!  Let me tell you, it’s a little awkward doing someone’s makeup in a teacher’s lounge as teachers pass you by and whisper, “Maybe it’s Maybelline!”, but hey, I was asking for it.  And it was worth it.  And there’s nothing better to give me energy before teaching high-schoolers than doing makeup for a friend!

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I went for a more dramatic eye on Ali (because let’s face it- those eyes are too much fun) using L’Oreal’s eyeshadow that I talked about here, and we did some false lashes too because she’d never done them before!  And of course, falsies are great for photos because they ensure that your eyes will not be ignored (Dan!).  I used my trusty neon-hued NARS blush in Exhibit A to also help Ali’s cheekers not go unnoticed, too.  And Ali and I are both huge fans of BareMinerals Original SPF15 Foundation, so we naturally stuck to it.  And check out Mike!  Ain’t he a regular ole’ Captain America?!

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Ok, now let me introduce you to the talented magician behind this magic show.

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This is the lovely face behind Mike and Ali’s amazing Disneyland shoot- Bethany Carlson.  I had the privilege of having Bethany as one of my own bridesmaids, and there are few individuals I know so personally that are so deeply talented.  Seriously, I mean it when I call Bethany a magician.  I’ll be posting in a bit on a bridal shoot she did of my husband and I (I’ll give you two hints- Downton Abbey and Mojave desert), but all I can really do now is encourage, no, implore you to check out her site here for some of what I’d shamelessly call the most stunning wedding and engagement photography you’ll ever see in your life.  All Bethany seems to see through her lens is romance and beauty, and some of her work from this past year is nothing short of breathtaking.  I also have to briefly toot my own horn and say that I had the pleasure of doing Bethany’s hair and makeup for this particular shot, which is credited to Damaris Mia (and I so wish I could credit you more, Damaris!  Please send me a link if you have your own blog so I can share it!).

I can hardly wait to be part of Ali’s wedding next year, whether it’s by helping her into her dress, applying those finicky false lashes, or being photographed alongside her by Bethany!  xo, MR

All of the shots in this post are credited to Bethany Carlson Photography, except for the shot of Bethany which is credited to Damaris Mia.  For more of Bethany’s work (and in case you were silly and didn’t follow the previous link), check out her site at http://www.bethanycarlson.com.  The girl does not disappoint.

P.S. Oh, and if any of you caught the Fatal Attraction reference in the middle of this post, a million points for you.