Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Surprise Prom for Ashley - Mascara alert!

Don't have a lot of time, but I HAVE to take a second to tell you about this....
I did prom makeup for a super sweet girl named Amanda just a few weeks ago.  Her mom reached out and told me that Amanda's friend Ashley had been very ill, in and out of the hospital nonstop, missing tons of school and missed her own senior prom.  Turns out Amanda had contacted the local radio station (Kiss 106.1FM Dallas/Fort Worth, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show) and they jumped up and offered to hold a special prom...just for Ashley!  They wanted to know if I could do the makeup.  Are you kidding?!?!  I was honored to be asked, and so excited to have even a tiny part of this wonderful surprise.

I called up my dear friend Renn Traylor to assist with hair, we set an appointment for them to come by...ready to go!  Ashley, her mom Michelle and stepdad Rodney showed up and right away, I could tell Ashley wasn't feeling so great...she arrived in a wheelchair and walked very slowly up the stairs, she's suffering from major vertigo and weakness.  Ashley thought she has having hair and makeup done for a prom-style photo shoot, she had NO IDEA what was really in store!  Here is a pic of Ashley "before"

Totally adorable, even without a stich of makeup, right?  She asked me to fix up her brows and create a sophisticated bronze smoky eye for her.  Plus...she wanted to "not look sick"....just pretty! I got to work on this gorgeous face and here's the results!

You know what I see, so much more than the makeup?  The SMILE.  Look at that!  That is the best part of what I do!  When she looked in the mirror, she teared up and said "this is better than I ever imagined" and hugged me super tight.  I just melted into a puddle....humbled and happy to be able to give her that feeling of confidence.  Renn did her hair and her mood just kept climbing....she kept saying "wow, I look GOOD!" as we shared winks amongst ourselves.  Renn created a red carpet ready updo, Ashley got into her dress and we snapped a quick pic with her before she left....
She had a photography session at the Fort Worth Water Gardens nearby....gorgeous!  (I need to find out who the photographer is, so I can give credit!)

Then, she was whisked away to the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth for the big surprise!  Here are just a few pics that her mom and friends posted...don't you just love the look on her face?!?!  She found a complete prom, just for her...including her closest friends, lovely d├ęcor, a photo booth, a DJ, seated dinner and.....her boyfriend, who the station flew in just for the occasion!

Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show cast greets Ashley...she's so surprised!

Ashley was surprise to see Jeshua, her boyfriend who was flown in as another surprise!

Ashley having a blast on the dance floor!

With Kellie, J-Si and Jenna from Kidd Kraddick in the morning

Ashley's mom Michelle, Kellie, J-Si, Ashley, Jeshua and Jenna
I've been a fan and listener of Kiss 106.1 and the Kidd Kraddick Show for years and years, I just love these guys even more for stepping up to help with this. Isn't it nice to know how people will jump in and do something so wonderful for someone else?  For more details, check out this Youtube video....

I hope Ashley's story touched you as much as it did me.  In the short time I've spent with them, I already felt like I've known this family forever, and I can't wait to see the next chapter of Ashley's life as it unfolds.  She's already weathered some pretty tough times, but she's got such a sunny outlook!  So many wonderful people contributed to this event, Birds of a Feather Events, the Omni Hotel Fort Worth, Lacey and the staff of Kidd Kraddick, plus a ton more....I wish I had a complete list of everyone who helped, if I did, I'd list them all here.  Kudos to all of those people, along with Ashley's friends and family who truly gave her a night she'll never forget!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

High Fashion in Azle, TX....Glam Spring Shoot!

I LOVE to do styled shoots!  It's a chance to get creative and contribute to the overall vision by whomever is planning the shoot.  In this case, Angela Navarro of Inspiration Blooms called me up and said she had a shoot in the works and could I help?  You betcha!  Angela and Armando from Jade Special Events got to work on sumptuous linens, accessories, sweets and florals while Vanja from Vanja D Photography planned out how to capture her amazing signature style (just wait til you see below!!).  We got the fabulous Renn Traylor lined up for hair, the super talented Lauren Blake Paper for invitations and paper goods, and Wendy from Bliss Bridal agreed to provide a gorgeous gown.  A gorgeous gown in a super TINY size to fit the fabulous maybe-five-feet? model, Allanah Bennett!  Vanja had worked with her before and knew that she was perfect to bring this project to life and I'm telling you, this girl models like a 6 foot runway glamazon, so don't let her tiny stature fool you. The date was set...and reset (rain!) and then finally the day came when we all headed out to the Orchard in Azle, TX (about 30 minutes from downtown Fort Worth) to create some magic.  The backdrop? Idyllic country scenery in a real....you guessed it, orchard!

Renn started on Allanah's hair and began to craft an edgy/bohemian braided topknot...it was super intricate and looked incredible!  One of the most creative styles I've seen in a while and it was so perfect for the vibe we wanted to create.....

Then, on to my makeup chair!  I created a smoky/edgy eye using shades of acid green, forest green and black, punctuated with slightly spiky false lashes, pink cheeks and burgundy lips topped with a little fuschia eyeshadow for a plush and dimensional look.  Here's the before and after of hair and makeup:
We got Allanah into her dress, and then Renn and I stepped into our "stylist" roles...after considering many options, we decided upon on major strand of pearls and some delicate gold and crystal earrings to complete the look.  It's more high-fashion than a real wedding look, but that's what I love about it!  Here was a quick test shot of the completed look.....
Meanwhile, Angela and Armando had been crafting the colorful elements outdoors in vibrant shades of orange, fuschia and gold , and Lauren had created beautiful paper goods too.....

Ready to see the final images captured?  Here you go...Orchard fabulousness, glamour with a twist, rich bohemian...however you want to describe it, the final results were GORGEOUS!  This is only a small portion too, it was hard to narrow down which images to choose.  If you want to see more, check out Vanja's post here.  We had such an amazing time shooting this.....hope it inspires you!




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Makeup for your Imaginary Self? The new Urban Decay "Electric" Palette......

I follow a few fashion blogs and over the years, I've seen some interesting posts on a phenomenon we are all familiar with...you buy stuff not for your REAL self, but for that other lady...the one who goes to gallery events and wears heels everyday and never looks sloppy.  Right?  (Hopefully not just me here....)  I've been in that boat!  I tend to love "fancier" clothes....pencil skirts, dressier dresses, embellishments, evening gowns....stuff that honestly, my every day life doesn't require all that often.  Between splitting my time working in an office setting (PR/Marketing/Writing) and on sets or at hotels (shoots, weddings, etc.) ..... I really don't need super fancy stuff too often. I gravitate towards fairly simple separates punctuated with fun accessories...and I try to stick to things I know I'll actually wear (psst...this means NO IRONING).  I still occasionally will buy a gorgeous statement necklace only appropriate for the red carpet or neck-breaking heels I'll wear twice out to dinner,  but I do it less and less frequently the older I get.  The result?  More stuff in my closet that is less about my fantasy life and more about my real life.

So...what does this have to do with makeup?  I think women tend to shop for makeup the same way.....we buy cosmetics for our "Imaginary" selves....not our real selves.  Yep, I've done this too!  I justify it by because I do need such a wide variety of products and I actually will use acid green eyeshadow and orange lipstick on occasion for a photo shoot or something.  But on a daily basis?  My makeup is pretty normal....usually neutral eyes (taupe, gray), black liner...lipstick could be anything from a soft peachy pink to my signature cherry red, but otherwise...nothing crazy happening....and not too many reasons to break out wild colors and glitter.  But....that doesn't stop me from wanting to buy things like this:

Behold...Urban Decay's newest palette....ELECTRIC!  What the?!?!  Naked, this is NOT.  Fuschia, Chartreuse, vibrant orange.....these are some of the most vivid eyeshadows I've ever seen!  The beauty blogger world is abuzz with reviews and talk about this palette...I think it's a refreshing change from the ho-hum neutrals that have dominated the land of spendy palettes the past few years. 

Here's the good stuff - the colors are highly pigmented, have a buttery texture and blend like a dream!  The (potentially) bad stuff?  A few of the colors are so vibrant that they could cause eye irritation (the package denotes this) and many women really might not have luck wearing colors this bright....particularly if they don't know how to choose colors based on their skin tone, and/or how to blend properly.  This is the kind of palette that could go wrong in a hot second!  In short....if you're the kind of woman who mostly does a little concealer, mascara and gloss....there's a good chance that this palette will pretty much sit there unused.  Fun to play with and fun to look at, but not super useful in your daily beauty routine.  For those with a bolder style and darker skin tones?  There are some ways you can integrate these bold shades for added pops of color...."Fringe", the vivid blue/green below?  That would be lovely used as liner with an otherwise soft neutral eye, for example....blended well, it would really make chocolate brown eyes look especially amazing!
I'll let other beauty bloggers give you the full review of the palette...there are already tons out there.  Looking at this palette (which I did buy last week!), it just got me thinking about a more interesting topic... the real self/imaginary self battle we women tend to have.  I think it's great to step out of your comfort zone every so often.....you might discover that turquoise liner really suits you!  Makeup is there to help us polish up our natural beauty, but in this case....it's more about fantasy and imagination, and I'll never tell you that's a bad thing....even if it means having stuff in your makeup stash that doesn't really get used.  If a palette like this can inspire creativity, that's awesome. I've used this palette several times already to add a little punch and vibrancy to softer looks...but I'm definitely blending these colors way down to make them wearable.  Have fun trying these shades, but please don't pack on orange eyeshadow for the office!  There's a time and place for makeup like this ladies...a time and place.
 Have any of you already spotted this palette and considered buying it?  Did you actually purchase it?  I would love to hear your comments on not only this palette and how you're using it, but also makeup for our fantasy selves...and if you've found a way to integrate it with your real self.  Please share!
In the meanwhile, don't be afraid to try a little chartreuse eyeshadow..... in moderation!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Let's Hear it For the Moms! Mom Makeovers.....

If you follow my page, you'll see occasional mom photos sprinkled in with brides and models.  Why?  A couple of reasons....
I want moms who are scoping out my work to see images tailored just to THEM...fresh, pretty makeup that looks great on women in their 40s, 50s and 60s.  If I only show 22 year olds, it's hard for that mom to wrap her brain around appropriate makeup for the more mature woman, so I want to be sure there are some great examples available!  Sometimes the moms truly are the best makeovers....the change can be subtle, or astounding.  Depending on their situation, many haven't updated their look in a while, or have spent so much time focusing on their kids...and their daughter's wedding, that they really haven't had time to spend on themselves.  Why shouldn't the mamas look great on wedding day too?  They DESERVE it. Often they are running around helping you make arrangements, possibly paying big bucks for wedding elements....plus your wedding is a big day for them as well!  Friends, family, tons of photographs....trust me, your mom will be a lot less stressed with fabulous makeup helping her to feel beautiful and confident.  Here are a few of my favorite wedding day  "mom makeovers" from recent months:

Aren't they gorgeous?!?!  I loved being able to help these moms feel like the best version of themselves for such a special occasion...there is truly nothing like that big smile and hug when they look in the mirror when I'm done!  I just love it. So, if you're getting married, be sure to ask your mom if she wants to be included in the makeup service part of the day...if she hasn't thought about it already, she'll be happy you asked!

I hope all the moms, aunties, grandmas, stepmoms and special ladies who take care of and love children have a fabulous Mother's Day with all the pampering you deserve!