The “I Do’s” & “I Don’ts” of Wedding Makeup

Getting ready for a wedding can be daunting, to say the least.  Thankfully the beautiful people at Bridal Guide have taken some of the stress out of planning.

In their most current issue (July/August 2016) there is a fantastic section called “ask david” , by none other than wedding guru David Tutera, that talks about the do’s and don’ts of makeup prep.  We picked our top four do’s and top four don’ts to share with you, but if you’d like to see the full list pick up the most recent issue of Bridal Guide and check out page 58.

Makeup Application with Mary
Makeup Application with Mary

I Do’s

  • Book a Consultation:

WEtv’s star says, “There are usually fees for your consultation, so plan for yours to happen when you have something special going on, or when you can test it out with your dress. Get your money’s worth!”  We at Brush Strokes recommend scheduling your trial run at least two to three weeks before your big day. On the day of the trial run, we charge 50% of the original service amount and on the day of the wedding, we charge the remaining 50% balance.

  • Start Early & Create a Timeline:

The suggestion by Mr. Tutera, “Allow 45 minutes to an hour for your makeup application” and “figure out prep time required for each member of the wedding party…” We suggest working with our makeup stylists when figuring out your timelines. When in our salon we usually set aside at least two hours for makeup application.

  • Think Classic & Bright:

According to David, “Sure, Kim Kardashian’s uber-smoky cat eye and full-on faux lashes looks fab, but in 10 years? Maybe not so much”. We love using Jane Iredale makeup for several reasons, but one of the biggest is because it is great for your skin and it is perfect for creating soft, timeless, and effortless looks.

  • Mascara is Key:

Our guru states “use waterproof mascara. This is bridal-makeup rule number one!”  All of our Jane Iredale mascaras are “water resistant” and are exactly what the wedding planner ordered for your big day!


I Don’ts

  • Don’t Wait:

The host of David Tutera’s CELEBrations discloses, “Book your hair and makeup artists early-about six months in advance.” We couldn’t agree more with this key piece of wedding wisdom! Thankfully we can provide both hair and makeup services for your big day. We also ask that you fill out one of our Bridal Contracts to secure your date, time, and services.

  • Keep it Simple:

David expresses that, “less is more, especially when it comes to your wedding makeup. You still need to look like you.”  This goes back to our “Do” about thinking classic. Let our stylists enhance the already beautiful you on the day of.

  • No “Blah” Shades:

Just like with the dark lipstick, David warns, “those beige and brown-toned lip-colors you wear every day can make you look washed out in photos.” We suggest using a great Jane Iredale product called LipDrink, especially in its new color “flirt”. Not only is it an amazing color, but it also hydrates and keeps your lips looking fresh from first kiss to the farewell send off!

Jane Iredale's LipDrink in Flirt
Jane Iredale’s LipDrink in Flirt New
  • Be Prepared:

The final piece of wisdom Mr. Tutera imparts is, “have a bridal-beauty emergency kit for your maid of honor to keep close by in case anything goes awry.” We can help you set up this kit (at least as far as hair and makeup is concerned). We sell all of the Jane Iredale products we use, as well as some great hairsprays and style aids by Eufora to help keep everything in place!



Now you are prepared for your dream day! If you’d like to view the complete list of “Do’s & Don’ts” pick up the latest issue of Bridal Guide or check out their website

Planning a wedding or know someone who is? Call to set up your Bridal Hair and Makeup services at Brush Strokes Salon (703)435.8002.

Hairstyles for Brides

Summer time is a big time for outdoor weddings.

Most brides we get around this time of the year decide to skip the veil altogether. Some like the freedom of not wearing one, others just like the boho feel that cascading waves free of accessories have.

A lot of our brides, though, love accessories. They want the accessory to be the real star of the show. We’ve seen beautifully crafted pins, combs and even birdcage veils on our last weddings.

Some are skeptical of how formal a hairstyle will be if you skip a veil, but I tell you brides still achieve a very formal look without the veil. We’ve scouted Pinterest to find beautiful dos that do not require a veil to share with you today.

Depending on the style of your wedding, you may want to consider a few options:


– Combs:

Big or small, they add something extra to the overall look. We’ve seen them in many ways – around buns, on french twists, on a side do. They bring the style together and add the “bling” when there’s no veil.


– Hair pins:

They can be of various shapes. Some of our brides like small flowers or pearls, that aren’t apparent, but provide a nice surprise when a guest truly looks at the style. They add the extra, but don’t steal the show from the updo itself.


– Headbands:

We’ve seen many flower headbands (crowns) that amp up the boho vibe of a gown. We’ve seen small ones that are incorporated into a do, and one of our favorites – intricate, pieces of art that go over the style, bringing out a regal vibe to the look.


– Bejeweled gowns:

Many gowns have jewel details. They can be as big as the whole shoulder piece, or a big detail on the gown. Some have flowers and lace as straps. When you have a busy gown, the idea is that you should stay away from too many accessories on your head.

We highly recommend a style that will either use small pins, or nothing at all. The exception is when the gown’s details are mostly located in the front. When that happens, you can definitely add some bling, or even flower details to the back of your hair.

We found this great image that combines most styles discussed. I love how it shows the different nuances that accessories can have. How similar styles can be played to be boho, modern, or romantic.




What do you think? Which style of accessory are you most likely to go for?



Short Bridal Hairstyles

Fall is approaching fast, and with that, all the beautiful Fall weddings.

Some of our Fall brides have touched base with us about ways of styling short hair for the ceremony. It’s not uncommon to hear a bride saying she’s growing her hair out for the wedding. Many believe there are not many options out there for short haired brides.

We think the opposite. As much as a very intricate hairstyle wows, short hair gives accessories a chance to shine. So we put together some images that are blowing us away for our Fall brides!



For our brides going for a sweeter look, there’s nothing more beautiful than a half updo adorned with a soft flower and chiffon/tulle.

It pairs greatly with a softer, sweeter gown.



Birdcage veils are perfect for shorter do’s. It frames the face beautifully and also lets your hairstyle be the center of attention. Just as the picture, a bold statement earring brings the right amount of drama to the look.



There are few things more chic than big, bouncy curls. It’s very glamorous and adds a flair to your look. Paired with a smoky eye look (whether in soft brown hues or deep blacks), it oozes black tie event.



If your hair is short, but with some length to it, this would be a perfect updo. The shorter pieces are perfect for framing your face, while the rest is pulled back in a messy bun. Add a small hairpiece to bring some attention to the intricacy of the do.



For short asymmetrical bobs, headbands are your best friend. Specially for brides who don’t want to incorporate a veil to the look, you can add a big adorned headband and subtle earrings for a chic, soft and even vintage look.



For the 20’s lover, there’s nothing more chic than a bejewel headband with curly locks. It’s the perfect pairing to a glitzy gown to complement the headband and hairdo.



A twisted updo is perfect to wear with short hairstyles. It can create the illusion of longer and fuller hair. Just like the picture, we love pairing this updo with a softer headpiece and we cannot get over this feathery beauty.



Very short pixie cuts are more challenging to add a headpiece to. Sometimes the hair isn’t longer enough to hold it in place, or to add a nice curl to. This is the best hairstyle to add a headband to. You can go as busy or as subtle as you’d like. We love that this one looks like it has a little bit of a birdcage feel to it.



The image says it all. This over the top, almost fantasy like headpiece is just perfect for shorter do’s. It’s definitely a statement piece, so we advise you to keep your gown and jewelry to a minimum. We love how soft the headpiece looks and how it pairs perfectly with a more dramatic eye look.




The last idea we have is for the brides who want to wear long veils. A simple, thin headband (whether only fabric or bejeweled) is the perfect complement to a long, soft veil. For this look, a dramatic makeup like the one the bride has works wonderfully but you can also wear it with softer tones for a daytime wedding. We think it would look ethereal.



So this is it for our round up of gorgeous hairstyles for our ladies with shorter hair. Don’t think, for a minute, that you can’t look as glamorous on your day, or that you have to grow your hair to be able to walk down that isle. There are tons that we can do with your hair!

Do you ave any questions on any looks? Or in general about bridal hairdos? Just leave them on our comment or facebook page.



Bridal Season and Tips

Hi everyone,

what a gorgeous day it is, outside! We are really busy in the salon with all the spring looks, but we are loving all the sunshine!

This time of the year is when the calls starting coming in. Bridal season is one of the most joyful times of the year for a stylist. You get to be part of someone’s story on their most special day. We absolutely love it, and we make sure to treat our brides with care, letting them know they can count 110% on us to deliver their perfect look.

Since we are getting so many calls,we felt it’d be appropriate to give out a few tips about your look of the day.


1. Be you – and be comfortable!

So many people think the bride has to have the tallest bouffant with the whole can of hairspray to be able to stand out on that day. It’s a myth! Lately, we’ve been seeing brides who are sticking true to their style, going for an easy up-do, or even half-do, with no fuss.

And trust us, there is absolutely NO way a bride won’t stand out on her wedding day. The hair is there to compliment you, not to be the look. It has to work with your gown, with your head piece (if you’re wearing any) and with your own style.

Also pay attention to the placement of your hair-do. If there are any bobby pins digging at your scalp that make you uncomfortable, let the stylist know as soon as she/he places it. It’s easier to change something you just did then wait until the end.


2. Pick your accessories in advance!

When browsing for your look in one of the million bridal magaiznes/sites be mindful of any head pieces you will want. You may fall in love with a style that won’t necessarily work with a veil, but there is always something the stylist can change to accommodate that.

We have a few accessories in the salon that we sometimes add to one of our trials. It just shows the bride a different twist on her look that she may not have though of. Sometimes it’s that littlest rhinestone flower that transforms your up-do.

Let the salon know if you’re planning on having any accessories/veil and bring them with you on your trial if you do have them already.


3. Enjoy the process!

Find a salon that will give you the peace of mind you need. The bride usually has so many things on her mind, the last thing she needs is to worry about whether she is happy with her look, or if the stylists will show up on the day of.

We can’t talk about other salons, but we try to make sure the bride will feel welcome, peaceful and most of all happy on her wedding day. We call, we email, we leave messages, we do all we can to ease the bride’s mind and let her know we are on board with the planning.


4. Invest on a hair/makeup trial!

We also truly encourage the bride to come in for a hair trial. And the trial shouldn’t be done over a month away from the wedding. We find that brides tend to doubt themselves and the style they chose if there’s a long gap between the trial and her wedding day.

A trial will insure you that the style you looked at works for you and on your hair, and will make you THAT much more excited for the day of! As I mentioned if you do have accessories on you we can make sure on the placement of them, we can know how to work around having a veil for the ceremony but not for the reception, and all other details that need to be looked at.

Most of our brides just come in for their hair trial, but we also can have a makeup trial. If you are even a little unsure of how it’s going to look like, book one. We’ve found it’s better to cross that worry off your list.


5. Think of wants/needs.

Most salons offer to travel to your venue if you need them to. And they all charge differently if they have to leave the salon. Ask for all the price differences, ask for schedules, and try to know in advance what will work best for you.

If you’re having a weekend wedding at your venue, chances are you’re looking to hire stylists that can come to you. Depending on your wedding day, prices can also vary.

We all know weddings are expensive, but brides and families have to be mindful of the stylists time as well. When leaving the salon, stylists not only give up having clients for a long time (getting to the venue, styling the bride/party, driving back) but they also have to make sure they take all tools with them. That’s why you can expect to be charged more if you need a stylist to come.

If you think you want a trial, ask about them. Many salons already have in the up-do quote the fee for the trial. Others charge a percentage of the final quote to do a trial (it can vary anywhere from 30% -50%).


And finally, find a stylist you really like. Having an open line of communication will guarantee that your expectations on how you want your hair to look like will be met, and also that your stylist will be honest about whether the look will work for your type of hair and your length as well.


Well, there you have it! These are our top tips for brides. Feel free to comment, or call us at the salon to know about our bride specials and quotes!




Brides and Weddings Photoshoot

Hi, everyone!


We are here today with a fresh out of the oven news! A couple months ago we posted about a photo shoot we all did for Brides and Weddings magazine, with some talented vendors and great teams.

Well, it finally is here! The magazine is printed, and you can get your complimentary copy here at the salon, share it with anyone you know that is starting their wedding process and of course just browse through it if you want!

Besides that gorgeous magazine (in which the photo shoot we helped with is featured on the cover!) we are also featured on their blog post! Click here to check it out! And don’t forget to check out all other vendors that made this shoot possible.


We will be back really soon with more tutorials! Check back this week!


Brides and Weddings Photoshoot

Hi, everyone! We are really excited about today’s post! And if you’re writing this, be prepared for some pictures galore!

We were honored to be invited by Cindie, from Brides and Weddings, to participate in a photo shoot that will be featured on their website, and will be published early next year. The group of vendors couldn’t be better, and we are just itching to share some of the behind the scenes!


The backdrop of the photo shoot? The gorgeous Marriott Ranch, in Hume. The venue is perfect for brides looking for a rustic chic feel to their wedding, and the Inn is quaint, and so full of charm it’s impossible to resist.


As I said we had such a great group of vendors on the day of, and our model was just a dream to work with. Here are some shots of Mary getting our model Carolyn, ready for the pictures. We featured two hairstyles and gave her airbrushed makeup for that all day flawless look.




Then it was out of the chair for some pictures. The lovely Lindsey and her team from The Glass Eyed Pony, were shooting all day long, and we were able to catch some lens action.


These girls are just hard working, and so passionate about their work. We are looking forward to the final result.

While they were snapping away, it was time for Miriam, over at Soliloquy Bridal and Mary to watch, and to adjust the hair and dress when needed.



After they finished taking all the pictures in the house, it was time to go outside with the other model of the day, and just how gorgeous is it?



And that was all supervised by the watchful eyes of Miriam and Mary, who made sure the dress and hair do were perfect on the shots.

Tired? There’s still some to go! Then it was time to change the do while the photographers moved to the Pavillion, where the receptions are usually held. I don’t want to give it all away, but even from afar how gorgeous is it?

The place was decorated beautifully with pieces from Diamond Events, and flowers provided by Cynthia, from Design in Bloom.



And of course, after a long day of beautiful weather, amazing company and a lovely time provided by Cindie and the staff at Marriott Ranch (Stephanie is just the nicest! She’s been in the ranch for a few years now, and made sure throughout the shoot that all her guests, and us, were enjoying our stay), we were lucky to get to taste some of the heavenly pastries from Victoria, over at Cakes by Happy Eatery.


(Stephanie T., Stephanie D., Cynthia, Miriam and Mary)


(Cindie, Mary, Miriam and Carolyn)



Cindie and the team at the end of the day.


There are so many people to thank for the day! So, here’s a big thank you to:

Cindie Reinhold (Brides and Weddings of Northern Virginia), for inviting us to be a part of this wonderful photoshoot, and for being a great company on the day of;

Stephanie Dasch (Diamond Events), for putting together such a great team, and for planning and supervising everyone, making sure the day went by smoothly;

Stephanie Thimons (Marriott Ranch), for taking such a good care of the venue, and for being passionate about her work, as well as making us all feel welcome;

Lindsey Warren and her team (Glass Eyed Pony), for doing a wonderful job with the pictures – we can’t wait to see them all!;

Cynthia Damico (Design in Bloom), for providing the gorgeous flowers for the photoshoot, as well her great personality;

Victoria Wu (Cakes by Happy Eatery), for letting us eat all her beautiful work of arts (seriously, they looked almost as good as they tasted);

Miriam Liggett (Soliloquy Bridal), for providing such a jaw dropping gorgeous dress for the shoot, and for being such a great company on the drive;

Carolyn Cutshall (Hunt Country Jewelers), for being such a great model to work with, very patient and professional, as well for providing the beautiful jewelry for the shoot;

Lori Shepherd (Everything Linen), for providing beautiful linens for the set ups;

Holli Rathman (Outside the Window), for the beautiful artwork she created for the shoot.

Please check all of them out! They are all wonderful professionals and you’re sure to love their work and services. We had a great day and we hope all of you survived all the text and pictures! Links for each vendors are next to their names!

Styling for Soliloquy Bridal Couture

Soliloquy Bridal Couture hosted, on June 23rd, a gown sample sale featuring local and latest designers.

Brush Strokes Salon was invited to participate in the styling of hair and make up of all the models.

All proceeds from the event, priced at $10, went towards the IIIB’s Breast Cancer Foundation – an organization dear to the owner of the Bridal Salon.

A few snapshots of the event.


The Most Anticipated Hair Trends For Spring 2013

The Most Anticipated Hair Trends For Spring 2013

Source: Best Hair Trends for Spring 2013 – Harper’s BAZAAR
Photo Credit: Imaxtree


Tying The Knot
Simple and striking are two ways to describe the tightly wound knots seen on the runway. As hairstylist Guido explained of his low chignon at Ralph Lauren, “It’s a very chic, put-together style…This look goes along with what I typically think we create in New York in that it’s very American and wearable…” To master your twist, blow-dry hair straight, create a clean center part if wanted, and secure hair into a firm ponytail at the nape, spritzing with shine mist. From there, you can wrap the tail into any number of looks—a loop with the ends pointing up or tucked under, a round ballet bun, or the classic double knot—sealed with a shot of anti-frizz spray.


Making The Braid
There’s something endlessly appealing about a braid, especially when it was shown so many ways this season. Things got super intricate at Marchesa and Hervé Léger, where plaits crisscrossed the head or formed an equestrian harness across the back. The look was refreshingly simple at Balmain, with a single, slightly messy weave tied with an elastic (easy enough to do without a mirror) and at The Row, where hair was twisted back in two sections, mimicking a braided-like effect.


The New Low Pony
The modern ponytail was defined by two factors: it was positioned low, hovering just at or below the nape, and ironed straight, which beautifully emphasized the length of the tail. From there, variations came into play. At Michael Kors and Elie Saab, a wide hair band held strands in place while at Etro a black ribbon provided an elegant touch. Over at Akris, strands were pulled forward to form a round silhouette that framed the face, and at Elie Saab locks were subtly tucked behind the ears. As for which style you think is most chic, take your pick.


So Slick
Remember the “wet hair” trend from last spring? It’s back but worn in a less drenched-from-the-ocean way. At Carolina Herrera, Loewe and Rodarte, hair was slicked down into graphic center and side parts around the crown. At Nina Ricci, dewy strands were raked into a shiny French twist while at Thakoon and Alberta Ferretti, glossy “goddess” waves abounded.


Rock n’ Roll Waves
Hairstylists took inspiration from nineties grunge backstage, giving hair a tousled effect that suggested the hair wasn’t really “done” at all, but left loose and flowing with a natural bend. In reality, creating the look does require some effort. At Versace, hair pro Guido applied volumizing foam to damp hair and rough-dried with his fingers, scrunching up the ends before twisting strands into a bun and misting with aerosol hair powder for texture. After hair had set, he released the bun and sprayed with more powder for a “cool-girl” look that was sexy and “uncomplicated.”

Topping It Off
Hair accessories have been dominating—and often stealing—the show for the third season running. This time around, there were sporty neon bands slipped on the head (Fendi), brass sculpted branches worn like a crown (Balenciaga), oversized fabric flowers tucked into ponytails (Rochas), pretty pearls draped down the nape (Chanel) and impossibly chic beekeeper-inspired headpieces (Alexander McQueen). Not feeling quite that bold? Look to the gorgeous printed scarves tied around the head (Dolce & Gabbana, Marc by Marc), which give your off-duty look a chic spin.


Undone Updos
At shows like Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Chloé and more, it looked as if the models might have left the hair stations a bit too early—with strands only semi-fastened in place. Turns out, the effect was entirely intentional. So whether you’re pinning your hair up into a twist, pulling it into a bun, or wrapping into a ponytail, there’s something to be said for not making things too tidy. A little casual coolness goes a long way this season.