Bridal Beauty: Katie

I say all the time that I love my job-because I do! Every bride is so special to me, and it is such a privilege to spend the morning of their wedding day with them and their loved ones, helping them look and feel their best.

Katie got married in early summer–on one of the rainiest days of the year! But as you will see in these photos, she didn’t let grey skies stand in the way of celebrating! Since I was able to get so many stunning images thanks to Nicole Christine Photography, I am actually going to do a couple of posts about this wedding, because I really want to highlight a few different aspects of this gorgeous bridal party.

Let’s start by focusing on this stunning bride!

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Katie, like many of my brides, doesn’t wear a ton of makeup in her everyday life. At her trial, she expressed concern that if she wore a lot of makeup she wouldn’t feel like herself, and her fiance might not like it. THIS IS A VERY COMMON CONCERN! But I’ve learned a few things in my years of doing natural-looking bridal makeup. The first is, you can be wearing what might seem like a lot of makeup (if you don’t normally wear much) but if it is applied skillfully, it won’t LOOK or FEEL overdone once the process is complete. Secondly, your significant other doesn’t need to know how long it took you to get ready on your wedding day, it is our little secret! And lastly, I am not suggesting that you wear this amount of makeup every day. You don’t wear a wedding dress every day, do you? Of course not! This type of makeup is special occasion! It is appropriate for the setting and your outfit! Lastly, this is going to be one of the most photographed days of your life. You need makeup that will enhance your best features, make you feel confident, and photograph beautifully.

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SO back to Katie. We did her trial at her mom’s house. Katie’s mom is a lot like my mom. They are proud of us, think we are gorgeous, and they want their daughters to wear more lipstick! But having your mom at your trial is a great thing. We settled on a look that they both were happy with, and then Kay (Katie’s mom) wasn’t nervous about having me do her makeup on wedding day either. (Another common concern–moms worry they will look way overdone!)

Katie has beautiful, big, wide-set eyes. At her trial, we used a half-strip of false lashes on each eye, but after we finished on wedding day, she came back to my chair and asked for more! WOO HOO! I almost never say no to more lashes! LOOK at how gorgeous she is!

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I almost can’t handle how amazing those thick lush lashes look! (And isn’t her gown just amazing?!)

I trimmed Katie’s brows just a bit, and filled them in with Anastasia brow powder in taupe and light brown. I used Kett airbrush foundation as I do with most of my brides, and we kept her look softly bronzed and glowing.

I always love the reveal!

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For her lips, we wanted just enough color to look defined, but still natural. We went with MAC Creme Cup which is a pretty pink that she felt comfortable in and was MOB (mother-of-the-bride) approved.

I’m a total sucker for proud dad pictures. Look at the smiles on these two!

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Ok one more so you can see these gorgeous lashes!

 

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And I leave you with one more gorgeous picture of this lovely bride. I will do another post about her fun bridesmaids, and then a third about her beautiful and fun mom!

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Thanks for reading!

Check out more amazing photography by Nicole Christine at http://nicolechristinephoto.com/

Love and lipstick,

Tricia

 

 

1920’s Wedding: Fabulous Friends

I shared in my last post about one of my favorite weddings so far this year. {K}’s party in June was 1920’s themed and each of her bridesmaids wore a different flapper-style dress, along with a custom made headpiece. They all looked amazing, and even better, this group of women knew how to have fun! The morning spent doing their makeup was definitely a highlight of my summer. I truly love what I do, but when I get to do it for really lovely people, I really appreciate it!

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The bride and groom rented a sweet vintage car and EVERYONE dressed up for this wedding! Can you even imagine?

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{K} also had a friend on hand during the prep portion of the day to take some getting ready shots. I especially enjoyed doing makeup on {K}’s niece, as she is the same age I was when I started to realize I seriously loved makeup, and I just have a heart for adolescent girls. She was delightful.

 

 

 

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Side note: When did my hair get so long? Sheesh! And if you’ve noticed, I pretty much wear the same shirts when I am working, I wear this pink one from Express all the time, it’s comfy, doesn’t wrinkle, and I can move in it! For a busy mom, this is a good thing, I need easy to take care of clothes!

My other favorite part of the day was doing makeup for {K}’s mom. I truly love my bride’s moms. They are harder to win over, but once you have established trust, they are the sweetest. They’ve spent years taking care of other people, and rarely get to pamper themselves. This mother in particular was a dear. She waited to go until the very end, to make sure everyone else was taken care of, and then held her granddaughter on her lap the whole time! They were both the sweetest.

 

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Love this shot of mother and daughter, glammed up and looking fabulous!

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This really was a fun family, here is the bride with her sister, love that the sister wanted to do smoky eyes. And I love the ringlets on both of them!  I wish I could take credit for these hairstyles but it was a friend of the brides who worked that curling iron all morning!

 

 

 

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I will leave you with a color shot of the lovely bride. Thanks {K} for hiring me, your wedding was a highlight of my summer!

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A special thank you to Kristin Kukla of Kukla Photography for these beautiful images!

Bridal Look: 1920’s Glam

Early in the summer, I got an email from a bride whose makeup artist had cancelled at the last minute. (I can’t even. What stress!) She’d been referred to me by a fellow makeup artist and wanted to know if I was free for a Saturday wedding. Normally in June, with only 3 weeks notice, no way! However, as I am constantly striving to balance my personal and professional life, I committed in 2014 to work one wedding per weekend, and for that weekend I had booked a Friday wedding. Well, rules are made to be broken, right? And there was no way I could leave a bride in need!

We made the arrangements, but realized with her real-life responsibilities and the limited time, there was just no way to do a makeup trial. I ALWAYS require a trial for my brides, so I was super nervous to forego one in this case, especially because I didn’t know the bride! My worries increased as I drove to her parent’s house that morning, because I realized she’d said the wedding was in a town that is known for its summer-long Renaissance Faire! Would I be asked to do Ren Fair makeup? What would that even mean? She had sent a picture of makeup she liked, and it didn’t scream corsets and 14th century, but one never knows. Determined I would satisfy her no matter what, I thanked my lucky stars I had a smart phone, and figured Google would help me if I had to quickly research Elizabethan makeup! Huzzah!

My worries were unfounded when I was greeted at the door by a beautiful woman with clear skin and strawberry blonde hair. As we chatted while her hair stylist worked and I set up my kit, I tactfully inquired as to what style she was hoping for, and she laughed when I confessed my Ren Fair concerns. “It’s a time period wedding but we’re not going that far back,” she laughed. “It’s 1920’s!”

WHEW! And, how FUN! This was by far, one of my favorite weddings to work on this summer. Every single woman that sat in my chair was so fun, we had a blast all morning. They each chose their own flapper style dress, and a friend’s mom made everyone fantastic headpieces.

The bride herself opted for a look that was all about the eyes. We used a strip lash and some dramatic shadows to really let her gorgeous green-blue eyes stand out. Here are some shots of the process so you can see the transformation!

Under-eye concealing with my MAC 224 brush and MAC Pro Longwear Concealers.

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About halfway there, she still needs lashes, lips and some finishing blush and bronzer.

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WOW! (If I do say so myself!) Look at those lashes and that GLOW! I loved how her ringlets really pulled the whole look together.

3501This black and white shot is my favorite because she really could be a glamorous moll from the 1920’s, don’t you think?

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And here is the happy couple! Cheers you two! Here’s to a lifetime of laughs and love, I think you are off to a great start!

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Thanks to Kristin Kukla of Kukla Photography for the beautiful images! My next post will feature some of K’s fabulous family and friends. They were so fun, I had to do a separate post. Check back soon!

Stay pretty, ladies!

 

Bridal Look: Understated Elegance

It’s kinda funny, as a bridal makeup artist, I am invited into people’s homes and welcomed to touch their faces, usually mere moments after we meet for the first time! It’s exciting but also daunting, because we’re each trying to get a feel for one another. I need the bride to be honest about what she wants to look like on her wedding day, and I am hoping I interpret that correctly! Sometimes I also have to help frame someone’s expectations, and explain what will and won’t work for them. Often at a bridal trial I can suggest that someone start using eye cream, or begin seeing a professional esthetician for brow grooming. These seem like little things, but when you are going to spend a day being photographed they make a big difference.

In Giles’ case, her bridal trial was scheduled for the night of her bachelorette party, which turned out to be really fun, as she included her bridesmaids in the action, and everyone got to get dolled up together. It also gave Giles a chance to wear her makeup all night, and see what she loved AND what she wanted to change for her wedding day look. I really value this chance to get feedback from my brides, because I want them to feel phenomenal when they walk down the aisle. I can do what I think is a flawless makeup application, but if the final look doesn’t match the bridal vision they’ve been dreaming about, they won’t feel truly confident and stunning.

After her trial, Giles emailed me and requested we tone down her blush, because she tends to flush naturally. And, although she found the strip lashes I applied to be comfortable (which is crucial!) she wanted a more subtle look. I was able to take these requests and adjust my application so that she felt like the best version of herself on her wedding day. That’s always my goal: to make my brides not only feel beautiful, but like the most beautiful version of their authentic self. Then they can really shine!

Here’s Giles on her wedding day!

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For those of you who like product details, I used Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light, MAC PRO Longwear Concealer and Kett Airbrush Foundation, applied with my Kett Jet.

 

I applied just a touch of a light MAC Cream blush prior to airbrushing her foundation, so  just a very soft coral would appear as a gentle flush. I contoured her using Benefit Hoola, applied with a very light hand.  I used MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium Plus to give her a bit more dimension on her cheeks without veering in pink or red territory.

I primed her eyelids with TooFaced Shadow Insurance in Lemon Drop, and used various MAC shadows on her eyes, Eye liner is Bobbi Brown gel liner in Black, and I used Cover Girl Lashblast mascara in Very Black, then applied Monda Studio Lashes #213 using Duo Glue.

Giles’ lips are lined in MAC Subculture, and topped with Creme Cup. Here are some of her posed and candid pics from the rest of her day! Look at those lashes!

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GilesJoe_598These two clearly have a blast with each other!

And these two bridesmaids, so fun! I loved coming up with fun eye looks to play off their purple dresses!

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Still looking good well into the night, that’s what I like to see!

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Bridal Beauty: Behind the Scenes

Gorgeous pictures from this summer’s weddings keep rolling in! Seeing my beautiful brides in their professional pictures is seriously one of my favorite things about being a makeup artist. For Giles’ wedding, I actually got a bonus.  Her photographer, the fantastic Erin Hoyt, actually took pictures of me in action, and best of all, I don’t look gross in them! Sometimes by the end of a gig, depending on how big it is, how hot the room was, and how long I was up with my teething baby the night before, I can look really ROUGH! I actually look ok in these! (We’re always our own worst critic so of course I start analyzing what I could have done differently…but enough! We should all quit obsessing sometimes.)

But enough about me! Giles’ wedding was really fun. She scheduled her trial for the night of her bachelorette party, so I got to meet her bridesmaids too! I did their makeup as well, so that everyone would be looking amazing for their night out in Chicago. The great thing about hiring your wedding makeup artist for your trial is that everyone gets to know each other a bit, and things on your wedding day go that much more smoothly. I even wrote a whole article about it for Chicago Style Weddings, which you can read here.

Shameless plug aside, in the case of Giles and her bridesmaids, it worked really well to have had trials for everyone. I walked in on wedding day feeling like we were already all friends, and we had a blast. And now, I will stop talking and show you some pictures!

If you look closely in this one, you can see the makeup spraying out of my airbrush!

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Talk about natural light! It was a pleasure getting to work in that room!

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I have to concentrate really hard on eye liner. Even pros have to work hard to get even lines! I am almost sticking my tongue out here!

 

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The big reveal. I am always nervous! Love to see the smile on her face.

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Now it all starts to come together as her mom helps her into her amazing dress. Loved the sheer detail and applique. Giles picked the perfect dress for her style and figure and looked stunning. And can I just say, I love that wine lip on her mom!

GilesJoe_092And here is the beautiful bride!

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We opted for very, very soft neutral blush as Giles said she flushes naturally and didn’t want to look too pink. We also used more subtle lashes for her wedding than we did for her bachelorette party. She really wanted the focus on her eyes, without them looking overdone. How did we do?

I hope you liked this sneak peek into what it’s like behind the scenes! Come back on Friday for this lovely brides posed pictures with her handsome groom.

Stay pretty, ladies! xo, Tricia

 

Chicago Chic Engagement Session Makeup: Maureen

As I shared in my last post, July marked my one-year anniversary since starting Tricia Clarke Makeup. Prior to that, I worked for a major cosmetics company as a store manager. I loved what I did, as I love developing people and it was always busy and exciting,  and I also really liked my company. When I decided to leave the corporate world,  after my son was born,  I was nervous to go out on my own. I knew I wanted to be the primary caregiver for my baby, but I also knew I needed a creative outlet. I’d turned down freelance work for years (you don’t take Saturdays off if you work retail!!) and  really only got to do wedding makeup for close friends and family. I took the leap and it’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve every made, and every gig I’ve had this summer has solidified in my mind that it was the right thing to do.

Although Facebook and Instagram have opened up a new world for me in terms of how I can be in touch with other artists, I really have word-of-mouth referrals to thank for most of my new business clients. So if you are reading this and have referred me to someone, THANK YOU! I appreciate every recommendation, every reader of this blog, every “like” on my facebook page, every one of you who tells their friends “I know this girl who does makeup!”.

The subject of this post was no exception. I used to work with her cousin, and was very excited to hear she was planning to get married in downtown Chicago on New Year’s Eve–how glamorous, right? As we were discussing her trial, she mentioned she had engagement photos coming up, so we decided to do her trial the night of the session so she could get more bang for her makeup buck. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I got these photos. Not only is Maureen absolutely stunning, but WOW did she pick a great photographer! If you have not checked out Christy Tyler photography, you simply must!

Maureen is blessed with quite possibly the most beautiful skin I have ever laid my hands on. So I am saying up front, I can’t take credit for how luminous she looks, although I wish I could! Because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time concealing blemishes or under circles or minimizing the appearance of pores, I could focus on giving her a beautiful glow and really emphasizing her gorgeous eyes.

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Look at those lashes and brows! I started with a black and white photo to warm you up…wait until you see the color shots! We opted to use individual Ardell lash clusters to add some volume to her lashes but still feel very comfortable. I contoured her face using a combination of Kett creams and MAC Studio Fix powders, and used Kett airbrush foundation.

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A petal-pink blush (a combination of Kett creams and Benefit powders) gave her a gorgeous flush, and we kept her lips “bridal pink”. My philosophy on bridal makeup is that I really want my brides to look like themselves, but the absolute most radiant version of themselves. We’re usually not going for statement lips (although I’ve done it a few times on request!) or such extreme contouring that we alter the entire appearance of someone’s face. I love Maureen’s expression in the above photo! She knows she looks amazing!

Here’s a few more of this Chicago-centric session, and you can read about it from the photographer’s point of view as well. And thanks, Christy, for the shout-out!

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Maureen, I am so excited for your wedding day. I know it will be here before we know it! And to all my friends and readers, thank you again for bringing wonderful brides like Maureen to me!

 

Stay pretty ladies!                          xoxo, Tricia

Simple and Sweet Bridal Beauty: Melissa

I can’t believe it’s already August 3rd–this summer has flown by. In July,  I celebrated one year of Tricia Clarke Makeup! As I look back on my first full year as a freelance makeup artist, I am so grateful for all of the brides and brides-to-be who have chosen me to make them feel beautiful for their special days.

As my busy summer draws to a close, I am finally able to start posting some of the gorgeous pics that are beginning to flood my inbox! It is always exciting when I see an email from a bride who has sent me her professional pics.Depending on the day and on the bride, sometimes my job is done and I leave before her dress is even on, so I just ADORE seeing the pics of my brides completely dressed in their stunning gowns, with jewelry, head pieces and colorful flowers. So get ready, because over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my favorite brides from wedding season 2014!

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First up is sweet Melissa. Oh Melissa, what a dear heart. This girl is special to me. I have known Melissa since she was about 5 years old, and she joined the Swedish Children’s group my family was in, I was even the folk dance instructor for a few years while I was in high school! ( I have never hid my nerd status and I am not about to start, so there!) While our parents lived in the same town, the fact that I was about 10 years older than Melissa meant that once I graduated from the group, I didn’t see Melissa for about 2 decades, but would hear through the grapevine that she was doing well. Imagine my delight when she contacted me last year and asked me to do her wedding makeup. It was so fun to see her again, and to realize that the sweet little girl I knew had grown into a lovely young woman, so composed and professional, but still genuine and charming and funny.

When we met for her trial, Melissa had already told me that she wears VERY minimal makeup on a daily basis, but understood that she wanted to look great for her wedding and to photograph beautifully. I kept my application to a minimum, and used a light touch in eyeshadow, and did only minimal contouring and foundation, as she really wanted her freckles to remain visible. Melissa took my advice and had her trial on the day of her wedding shower so that she could get feedback from her family and friends . Here is a picture of her finished trial look:

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While overall she told me she felt very pretty, she shared with me she still felt like the makeup was too much. THIS is why I insist on trials with my brides. It is so important to me that they not only feel beautiful on their wedding day, but also LIKE THEMSELVES! Because we did a trial, I knew what I had to adjust on the day of the wedding, and I was able to give Melissa exactly what she wanted. Here is a picture of Melissa’s final look on wedding day!

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To keep the look as natural as possible, I opted to use individual lash clusters, instead of strip lashes. These really blend with her natural lashes and just give her a bit more volume so that her eyes pop but are not too dramatic.

I also used a dark brown gel eye liner (Bobbi Brown, my fave!) instead of black. Melissa had a daytime, outdoor ceremony and we really wanted to keep the look soft and effortlessly lovely.

Using Kett airbrush foundation sparingly, I was able to really perfect Melissa’s already glowing skin so that it would look great in HD photography, but also not look “made-up”. Ooh, look, action shot!

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As you can see, Melissa has great skin and beautiful rosy tone to her lips. It was really easy to make her look great, I just played up her eyes using soft browns with a bit of gold in the center of the lid to make her blue eyes pop. I also softly defined her brows using my Anastasia of Beverly Hills Pro Palette, which I splurged on this year and have loved SO MUCH! I don’t even know how I did brows before!

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It was also a treat to get to see Melissa’s mom again after so many years. I love doing mother of the bride makeup, because often times, I really have to win their trust, but once I do, we have a blast. Like Melissa, her mom doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, and wasn’t even sure she wanted me to apply any! I use Benefit’s Porefessional to really smooth out her skin, applied mascara and defined her brows, and did a subtle pink lip–and VOILA! She still looked like herself, but felt special, as she should on such a special day! When Melissa emailed me and told her that her mom really liked the way she looked that day, I smiled for a whole hour. If I can make women feel better about themselves, my work is done!

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Melissa, thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding day. You are beautiful inside and out. It was a privilege to be allowed to make you feel gorgeous and can I just say, I am THRILLED to have pictures of your beautiful face in my portfolio! I mean, just look at this smile!

02_583_D_S_0683I wish you and your husband a lifetime of happiness! And I leave you, dear readers, with one of Melissa’s favorites from her wedding day. Photo credit goes to Dave Jilek of George Street Photography. I love having these fantastic images–he really captured their joy at becoming husband and wife! Cheers, Melissa and Nate!     xoxo, Tricia

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On honesty and hair styling

There’s just something about the smell of hairspray in the morning.

Call me crazy, but to me, the scent of hairspray has always been the smell of possibilities. A morning filled with makeup, hair products, and helping girls look and feel their best is so exciting–I really do love working weddings!

For the last few years, I’ve focused on makeup. But I’ve always been fascinated by hair, in particular the art of the blowout and beautiful up styles. I always did my little sister’s hair for school dances, and though it’s been a while, I knew it was something I should pursue. Starting last year, I took a few mini-lessons from friends, and began practicing on friends and family.

I am pleased to say, I can now confidently offer hair styling as part of my services! I believe in living honestly and authentically, and it wouldn’t be fair to some of the extremely talented stylists I know to claim that I am as experienced as them. I am not. But I have a passion for it, and am always striving to improve my skills. That’s all we can do in life, right? Acknowledge what we love, find our heart’s desire and go after it!

With that, here are some pictures from the first wedding for which I did only hair! It felt so weird to leave my makeup at home and arrive with a just a bag of hot tools and bobby pins. But I loved it! All up styles in these pictures were done by me, makeup done by the amazing Makeup By Jaycie. ( I like to call her my mentor–she’s been amazing as I’ve started my freelance career. Check out her work and you will see why I find her to be so inspiring.)The bridesmaids who wore their hair down did their own hair, and the bride used her own personal stylist.  I’ve done a few weddings now, with both hair and makeup, and I will share more pictures soon.

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Thank you to Eric O’Connor of Allori Photography for the beautiful images! And Jaycie, thanks for telling me to just start doing hair already! You make me want to be a better artist, and I am privileged to be able to work alongside you!

What have you done that you thought was scary, and found out it was exhilarating?

Stay beautiful, ladies!

xo, Tricia

Bridal Look: Red Lips

I love when brides come to me with a point of inspiration. It can be their veil, a color they love, or a celebrity they want to emulate. In Rachel’s case, she knew she wanted a classic look to go with her chic head piece, and she’d found  a great red liquid lipstick that she thought would work. She was right, and the color was perfect with her gorgeous porcelain skin and rich, dark hair color.

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In contrast, her sister wanted to go for the smokey eye/nude lip combo that is always popular with bridesmaids. She had gotten a spray tan the day before the wedding, and she would be the first to tell you, get a trial spray tan so you know what you’re in for!

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I always love collaborating with my brides. Every woman has their own personal style, their own vision of what bridal beauty means to them, and everyone comes with a different level of comfort and experience when it comes to makeup. It is so fun to work together to create a look they love. I adore this picture of the new Mr. and Mrs. B! Thanks Rachel, for letting me be a part of your big day!

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Hair by Krista at Urban Lift Salon

Photography by Alicia Griffith  www.aliciamphotos.com