May 31, 2012

The Perfect Summer Wedding...

Memorial Day weekend held a special moment in my heart this year.  One of my dearest friends, Christine, was getting married *sniff* in what amounted to the perfect summer wedding.

The bride, Christine, and I go waaaay back to my first days as a transfer student at Sonoma State University.  At the time, Sonoma State (SSU) had just opened a new set of "apartment-style" dormitories which housed four people in a four bedroom/four bath apartment with shared kitchen/living space.  By luck, I was placed in the same dormitory as this gorgeous girl here:

Halloween 2003
Little did I know that in the coming months Christine and I would become incredibly close bonding over late night sing-alongs to Rent and Moulin Rouge soundtracks (Christine majored in Theater).

Who knew that months later Christine would introduce me to her high school friend, David, who is now my husband!

3 month dating anniversary 2004
Ren Faire Turkey Legs - YUM!

In short, I adore this girl to her very core...

Christine's wedding was held at the American River Resort in Coloma, California on a perfect May summer day. 

The location backed directly up to the American River providing a feeling of serenity and nature. 

Choosing a color palette inspired by the sunset, her bridesmaids wore pale yellow and carried a variety of sunflowers.

The bride imparted a vintage feel to her look by styling soft pin curled hair with a single flower, finishing the look with black winged eyeliner, corner lashes and a rich plum lip color (L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge in Everlasting Plum).

The day was a perfect collection of everything wonderful: Good Food, Good Friends, and much love.

Many congratulations to the bride and groom!

May 30, 2012

Product Rant: Mascara

I have a very cut and dry relationship with my mascara, you're either in the drawer or in the trash.

High standards?  Absolutely. 

When a new mascara comes on the market, I always approach with a high level of skepticism.  Products ranging from 5.99 at the drugstore to 30.00+ dollars at Sephora and Department Stores always tout lofty promises like "fatten lashes by 120%" or create "5x the length" with a single coat.  More often than not, they disappoint.

Then there is the issue of staying power, smudging and waterproofing.  Don't get me started.  Lofty claims indeed! You can swim in me, cry with me, and then NEVER get me off!

I don't use waterproof mascara, ever.  Waterproof mascara makes me feel like a claustrophobic person, stuck in an elevator.  At the end of the day, when it's time for the magic to be washed off, I practically break into hives thinking that after a soak with makeup remover and a good washing, my delicate lashes may still be coated with whatever chemically induced cocktail was combined to create the chosen mascara formula.  Do you see how as I talk about it I become more melodramatic?  Just as the claustrophobic person becomes more hysterical the longer they are trapped between floor two and three.

My rules for mascara are simple. I want:
-Rich inky black color
-Completely coated lashes, in ONE coat
-Soft and approachably separated lashes (no spider lashes need apply)
-A non-waterproof formula
- NO smudging even on the hottest days
-Affordable price tag (which I would define as under 20.00 or so)

I would fear that my standards are too high, that I ask too much, however, I have found a choice few mascaras to live up to these standards - more on that later.

What are your mascara make or break mascara rules?

Bridal Makeup: Plum Promises

 This is one of my "go-to" eye looks for bridal work.  Using plum colors instead of neutral browns adds some interest to the look while still looking beautiful on a full range of skin tones.  Purposeful highlight on the lid and inner corner gives a luminous glow on camera without looking too "frosted" or overdone.

This look is perfect for outdoor and indoor weddings alike and can always be adapted to fit your style and event type.  You'll notice the right eye has lashes, whereas the left eye does not, proving that this bridal makeup look can be tuned in to fit your personal preference!

For a full tutorial on how to create this look, please view the video below.  A full list of products used can be found after the jump!

To create this look, I started with the following products:

From Left:
Elf Blush/Bronzer Duo (GREAT value at only 3.00!)
Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation
Urban Decay Primer Potion
MAC Patisserie Lipstick

To complete the eye look, the following products were used:

From Left:
Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara
Bobbi Brown Black Mauve Gel Eyeliner
MAC Pigment in Pink Opal
MAC Blanc Type
MAC Tete a Tint
MAC Haux
MAC Blackberry
Ardell Black Demi Wispies (not shown)

Natural Daylight

Natural Daylight

Natural Daylight

Mod Inspired FOTD, Urban Decay Lashes

This Face of the Day (FOTD) was inspired by the Mod look of the Twiggy era.  Big lashes and white liner!

This look was created using a surprisingly small number of products.  Sometimes its not how many items you use, but the way you use them.  Blending was absolutely essential for this look to avoid any harsh lines.  The goal was to create contours and gradients which had no beginning or end to them.

See the full product breakdown and more pictures below:

Estee Lauder Daywear Moisturizer
Benefit POREfessional Primer
LOreal Visible Lift Foundation, #160 Classic Ivory
MAC Studio Fix Powder in N4

Illamasqua Blusher in Nymph

MAC Painterly Paint Pot (all over lid and browbone)
Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Sparkle Eyeshadow (crease blended, a lot)
Jessie's Girl loose shadow in Secret Weapon (inner tear duct, lightly dusted over lid)
Lorac Front of the Line Pro Liquid Liner in Black
Urban Decay Lashes - Lure

MAC Lipliner in Just Wonderful (Limited Edition)
No7 Poppy Collection Lipgloss in Glamour