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.

Concealer How-to

Have you ever wondered how to best cover your pimples? Or those pesky under eye bags?

You’ve probably heard of the power of concealer then.

But concealers aren’t just for this. They have multiple uses, multiple colors, and formulas. There are tips and tricks on how to put it on, where to put it on, and what to do if you happen to not have them around.

Interested yet?

Check out the Cosmopolitan link and get the inside scoop on how and where to apply concealer.



Caring for your False Eyelash

Not many people wear false eyelashes daily. Most of them prefer to wear them in special occasions, and more often than not they end up in the bin after one use.

The reason? We don’t always know how to properly clean them. It ends up in a tangled mess with glue, mascara and leftover eyeliner on it and it’s just easier to toss them.

Well, we found this great tutorial by The Beauty Broadcast on how to care for your false lashes and we wanted to share it with you.

We hope this is not only informative, but we hope you can benefit from it! We know we will be reusing our lashes from  now on (on ourselves – you’re still getting a brand new pair when you come in for your makeup visit!)



Is makeup affecting your life?

Working in the beauty industry, it is pretty much required that you show up to work with your hair and makeup done. We also believe that no matter where you work, you should be putting your best face forward too.

There are 2 types of makeup loving people:

1. The ones that put makeup on to work, but love their bare face to work at home, in the garden, or for a quick grocery stop;

2. The ones that wake up and immediately cover themselves in makeup for fear of people seeing them with nothing on.

Nicole Weaver wrote a post on yahoo! beauty about 7 crazy ways makeup affects your love life.

It’s such a neat piece to read. On one hand, guys will respect you, and be more attracted to you if you wear makeup – consisting of mostly eye makeup and colored lips.

On the other hand, too much makeup drives them away. We all understand it. There are guys that love seeing you all dolled up, but fear hugging, touching, or kissing you and having all that transferred to his clothes. We’ve heard stories of coworkers who put so much makeup on it transferred into their office papers she touched!

It’s all about balance. Women are driven towards makeup, to enhance, mask, cover, or highlight their features. It’s up to how comfortable both of you are with how much/little women like to wear. Nicole does mention on her piece that “A new study found that 57 percent of women would break up with their boyfriend rather than break up with their makeup bag.”

No need taking chances on which one she will choose, right? We’d love to hear how makeup affects your life!


The 5 minute face

If there’s one thing most people would like to have more of, it’s time. With more time we can do everything: clean the house, exercise, sleep!, work, finish that last page of the book. Possibilities are endless.


More and more people have been navigating towards a hassle free makeup routine. One that will make you look presentable and put together, but that will still allow you to hit the snooze button on your alarm, or will allow you to get ready at a minute’s notice.

We figured we could help out, sharing with you our own 5 minute face.


1// Moisturize

Depending on your skin type and needs you may need more than this, but most people could double up their primer as a moisturizer. With ingredients such as Grapefruit, orange and apple extract as well as aloe vera, Smooth Affair is the perfect candidate. It has anti-aging properties that even skin tone, minimize the appearance of pores and increase luminosity.



2// Protect

Sunscreen is a must on every person’s routine. No matter what your skin tone you have. If you want to be faster, you can opt for Dream Tint, a Tinted Moisturizer with SPF15. If you need more than that, add your own liquid sunscreen then.



3// Cover

This step depends on how much coverage you prefer. We prefer a shearer application, so we turn into the Liquid Minerals foundation. It’s lightweight, but still powerful enough to cover dark spots.


If you need more coverage, opt for the Glow Time BB Cream, which also contains a SPF 25.b2ap3_thumbnail_JI_GlowTime.jpg

4// Add color

This step is what takes some time, usually. But there are a few products that may cut your time in half. Opt for double duty products, such as the Just Kissed lip and cheek stain. They can be applied, as the name says, on both lips and cheeks and will last you the whole day!


For the eyes, opt for something fast like the Eye Shere. They can be used on their own (just add them to your lid and blend towards the eyebrows) or as a base, for days where you’re not in a rush. We absolutely love the Brown and the Bronze.


For mascara, we love the Longest LashThickening and Lenghtening Mascara. For daytime we usually choose brown (navy is also amazing!), but we bump it up to black for night outs.



5// Brows

A lot of people skip this step – but we would not! You don’t have to spend hours fixing them, but they deserve a nice coat of color to stand out. For that opt for the PureBrow Gels. If they are full enough you can just use the clear to tame them, or opt for the Blonde or Brunette, to tame and fill in one swipe.



There you have it! Of course if your skin needs a lot more coverage for spots, or acne, then just add, or remove, products according to your preference.


What are your 5 minute face products?


*All images used are from Jane Iredale’s website.

Spring Looks with Jane Iredale

Spring has sprung! And with it, a ton of Spring makeup looks have popped up everywhere.

Spring is one of our favorite makeup seasons. Every artist takes on the beautiful Spring colors seen on trees, birds, flowers, as inspiration. And with that, we have a mixture of pastel, of soft earth tones, of bold colors, richer purples/pinks. There truly is a plethora to choose from.

And with this mindset, they picked out a few examples of what has been seen on the runway and listed the products you can use to achieve it. We’d love to share this with you!



If you’re trying to achieve this look, and more, head over to their makeup blog!

The problem with the Instagram Brows

Makeup artist and Youtube Guru Wayne Goss is known for his great makeup tutorials and tips.

This week on a conference he tackled the problem with today’s Instagram brows. You know the ones, where the tip is not filled and the ends are dark and perfectly shaped.


The days of the instagram brows are limited, he says. While this makeup trick photographs beautifully, he mentions that the top makeup artists out there: Laura Mercier, Mary Greenwell, would never put that look on their clients.

Check out his full video for all the reasons why “Your Instagram Eyebrows are Scaring Everyone”.

City Nights Collection

Jane Iredale did it again. We absolutely love the new Fall 2014 collection that they just came out with. It’s already a huge success with our clients, so we wanted to share it with all of you.

Naturally, this collection was inspired by the rich autumn colors. There’s no shortage of boldness in the City Nights. A beautiful plum/brown lip color with a rich eyeshadow palette! And the new Jelly Jars colors are fabulous.



To bring out the bold hues of the season we have an olive green eyeliner, perfect for hazel, green and blue eyes. For browns and deep browns there’s a purple eyeliner. Jelly Jars are soft and creamy, and glide on smoothly. It can be used either as a defined line, or you can smudge it right after applying. They are long lasting and super pigmented.




A key change you can notice with this trio is that the shades are sized to fit the recommended application. A bigger pan for the base shade and smaller shades for the crease and outer v shades. The compact is a beautiful rose gold, with a mirror and a sponge tip applicator. For best shade application, pat/press the eyeshadow on the lids, and blend the edges.



The base shade is a beautiful Matte beige eyeshadow called Mist. The other two shadows are sparkly, in tones of gold and plum – with a hint of warm brown. A perfect reminder of the changed leaves on this season.


For the bold lips, there are two new products.

Katerina Puremoist lipstick is a rich plum color. It’s made with orange peel wax, avocado and sunflower seed oils – that deeply moisturize and nourish the delicate skin of your lips. It’s packed with antioxidants such as organic Pomegranate and Blackberry fruit extract.




To top it of is the new PureGloss lipgloss in Kir Royale (how fun is the name?) It’s a beautiful mauve color, with a little more hint of purple. It has a luxurious formula, feels ultra creamy on the lips and delivers a sheer tint of color.

It is also formulated with a base of organic oils like Moringa, Lotus flower wax extract and Orange peel wax. It is remarkably long lasting and free of petroleum-based ingredients.




Stay tuned for a tutorial coming out with this collection. And as always, all products can be found at the salon. Also, keep your eyes open because we are soon announcing a fun Jane Iredale Day at the salon! For now, here’s a video made by wonderful Jane Iredale MUA as a tutorial on how to use the products of the collection in two different looks!






Mascara tricks for sensitive eyes

Some people are more sensitive to products than others – after all, no two skins are made the same. We’ve recently had clients with very sensitive eyes complain that they can never find a mascara that won’t make their eyes water and redden.

Granted, we do advise that you read carefully all the ingredients in your mascara. Most mascaras in the market, drugstores and brand-names alike, are packed with chemicals. No one can be sure of the long-term effects of putting those chemicals on your skin, but short-term effects include irritation, redness and watery eyes.

Not everyone will have trouble with mascaras. As I said every skin is different. But we would recommend for you to find a mascara that has the least amount of chemicals. We are, as you all know, advocates of Jane Iredale: the brand’s mascaras have no shellac, no petroleum products and no coltar. Perfect for sensitive eyes.

Besides finding the brand that works for you, here are a few points to be mindful of:


– Layer the mascara:

Don’t overload the mascara wand. Sometimes that leads to product bumping on your eyes – which can lead to irritation. Work with small quantities – it will also be 10 times easier to control the application.


– Don’t coat the eyelash all the way to the root:

To avoid hitting your eyes, stick to applying the mascara from the middle up – you’ll have the same effect of fuller lashes, and you can always darken the roots with a dark kohl pencil.


– Don’t use waterproof mascaras everyday:

Waterproof mascaras are tougher to remove, that’s their whole deal. If your eyes are sensitive, the last thing you need is to be tugging and pulling at your lashes to remove all of that mascara every night. Leave the waterproof mascara for those emotional evenings, and opt for a normal formula for daily use. Some brands even make water resistant mascaras – that won’t smear as easily, but won’t need all that work to be removed.


– Avoid the bottom lashes:

99% of people have more trouble reaching the bottom lashes. It’s not unusual that some of the wand will end up in your eye. It’s painful, it irritates, and your eye waters so much that it takes a miracle for your makeup not to smudge. There are ways to make the eye stand out without touching those little guys. Just focus on a nice coat on top and add a brightening hue to your inner rim. You can always dust a darker color over the lashes for a sharper look.


– Optional: Use a lash conditioner

If you want to go a step further, invest on a lash conditioner. They will, as the name says, condition your lashes, making them stronger and more beautiful. It’s a known fact that mascaras dry out your lashes, specially waterproof formulas. So if you want to maintain the health of your eyelashes, we definitely recommend adding this product to your routine. You can use it as a primer, before your  mascara, or incorporate it to your skin care routine at night, just coating your lashes with it and going to sleep.


Do you have any other recommendations? Tips? Let us know!

Highlight trick for lips

Hi, everyone!


We found this little ” trick” on Pinterest, and wanted to share it with you.

We use it all the time to achieve the perfect highlighted, dewy pout.



via Drugstore Princess. original divine caroline

There are many ways and variations to this technique. A lot of people add a dab of highlighter to their cupids bow, others add two lipsticks in similar tones (the darker goes closer to the outside of your lips, and the lighter stays in the middle), and many just dab a bit of shiny gloss right in the middle of their lips.

They all work in various degrees to achieve the dewy look.

Have you tried this before? Will you? Let us know, and tag us on facebook or twitter so we can see your images too!