How to Choose Your Wedding Hairstyle

March 30, 2012
Deciding how to do my hair for my wedding was the hardest thing ever for me!  I changed my mind every day, there were so many things I liked!  How can you choose just one?  Plus what will look good in pictures?  And what will last all day?  After working with a lot of brides, I've noticed a lot of the pros and cons for each type of wedding hairstyle.  Whether you go with an updo, half updo, all down or to the side, here are the pros and cons for each one.

All down:

-It's goooorgeous, especially if your hair is extra long.
-It's comfortable.  You won't have a headache by the end of the day because you won't have a million bobby pins in your hair.
-It's moveable.  You won't have to worry about it moving around because unlike an updo, it's supposed to move around!
-The biggest con for hair that's all down is that it's the least predictable wedding hair style.  Since it is moveable, it's almost impossible to keep everything in place.  By the end of a long day it can look ratty and messy.   One out-of-place curl can ruin a picture, and it's hard to keep volume and shape in hair that's not pinned at all.  

My recommendation:
-If you are going to wear it all down, make sure you have time to touch it up through out the day.  If you can touch it up a few times, by the end of the night it should still look great.  It also helps to start a little curlier at the beginning of the day to give it some room to relax a little and still look good.

Half up:
-You get to keep the look of long curls while still having the security of bobby pins.  Best of both worlds.
- It's easier to find a place for hair accessories in half updos than in all down styles.
-Since the top half is pinned up, it's a lot more likely to hold shape and body for the whole day.  

-Since half of it is still down, it can easily get messy and out of place just like an all down style

My Recommendation:
-If you aren't comfortable with an all up-do, I would choose a half-up style over an all-down style.  It will be more secure, hold it's shape better and it's an easy way to fancy up an all-down style. 

-So fancy schmancy and fun!  When do you ever get to wear a beautiful updo and not feel overdone?  Your wedding is the perfect occasion.
-There are SO many options.  An "updo" can mean so many things and fit so many different styles.
-It will hold it's shape all day, making it more likely to look good in pictures.

-Some updos can look boring from the front.
-They can be uncomfortable, especially if you have really heavy hair.

My Recommendation:
Make sure you really love your updo not only from the back and side views, but from the front too.  Keep it soft and feminine around your face so it's more interesting.  It helps to leave out some soft curls to frame your face. 

To the side:

-If you are wearing it long and side swept, it's just like the half updo in the sense that you get to keep the length while still having the security of bobby pins.
-It will look good from the front and in pictures.

-It can be uncomfortable.  Most side updos are low set on the neck, and having an updo right there at the base of your neck by your ear can be annoying after a while.
-In pictures, one side will look great, but the opposite side can look boring.

My recommendation:
-Make sure you know what side of your hair will be facing the audience during your ceremony, and do your updo on that side.  Also try to be aware of what way you are facing while your photographer takes pictures.  Always try to have the side with the updo towards the camera.  

Good luck!

How to Braid with Volume: Four Tips

March 29, 2012
One of the complaints I hear the most from my clients is that they can't get their braids to have volume.  They love doing braids, but have a hard time not making them super tight or flat.  Here are four tips that I use when I want my braids to have volume:

 1.  Backcomb it first.  This helps a lot because it gives your braid a base to lay on.  I always backcomb the section I want to braid and then go back and smooth down the outside layer so it doesn't look ratty.
2.  Hold the hair SOFTLY while you braid.  This one is huge and it helps a ton.  If you are gripping the hair way tight and pulling it way tight in between each section, try loosening your grip a little.  I never hold my hair very tight while I braid, making it automatically a little loose and giving it volume.

3.  Scrunch it up.  Once your braid is complete, push the end of it up and in, scrunching it up a little. Once it looks how you want, bobby pin it where you are holding it to secure the body.
4.  Pull on it.  After your braid is complete and secured with bobby pins, pull on each section slightly to lift it up and loosen it.  If you're worried you are going to pull your braid out, hold the end of it secure with one hand and then pull up slightly on each section with the other hand.


March 28, 2012
Landon Drean is a friend of mine from high school, and currently he is studying photography at BYU.  Yesterday I did 4 different hair and makeup looks on a model for him for a photo shoot. 
These are a few of the shots I took of the hair and makeup and the behind the scenes action. 

Here are the final shots from Landon Drean:

How To: Soft Flat Iron Curls

March 27, 2012
Recently I've had a lot of requests for a step-by-step on these curls -

These curls are done with a flat iron.  A huge part of getting your flat iron curls to turn out is using the right kind of flat iron! When picking out a flat iron that's good for curling, look for one that's skinny, has rounded edges, and gets somewhat hot on the outside of the plates as well.  For these curls I used the GHD Classic Styler.  Also, don't be fooled by those kiosks in the mall claiming their flat irons are the only ones designed to curl and straighten.  If a flat iron is skinny, has rounded edges and gets hot on the outside, you can curl with it.

See a video tutorial for flat iron curls HERE.  

1.  On dry hair, brush out any tangles.
2.  I always start curling at my part, but if it's easier for you, you can do it in sections and start in the back.  Either way, take a section about the size of the one I am holding.
3.  To start curling, place the flat iron about 3/4 of the way up the strand.
4.  Close the flat iron and twist it away from your face one time, then pull it slowly down the rest of the hair strand while it's still clamped shut.
5.  Your curl should look similar to this one, but if it doesn't, these tips might help:
*If your curl doesn't look this curly:  slide the flat iron more slowly down the hair strand, giving it more time to get each part of the hair hot enough.  You can also try taking a smaller section.  Flat iron curls also work best on clean, smooth hair.  If there is too much product or if it's too tangled it won't curl as well. 
*If your curl is only curled at the very ends:  Spend more time curling at the top of the strand than at the ends.  I always hold the flat iron longer at the top because I want to make sure it's curled. 
*If your curls are kinked:  Your gripping the flat iron closed too tightly.  You don't need to grip it really tight to get it to curl.  Try holding it closed a little more softly.
6.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 to curl the remainder of your hair.
7.  Once it's finished, it should look similar to this.
8.  To smooth the curls and make more of a wave, run a pick through your hair. 

 9.  Once it's combed out it will look less curly and more wavy.
10.  I like my curls a little less bouncy than this.  If you want your curls not so curly, run the flat iron over the ends a few times until it has the amount of curl you want.

11.  This is how it looks after I flat iron the ends.
12.  Finally, get some pomade or wax on your fingers and run them through your hair to add more definition and body.  I am using Unite Second Day.   

 Lovely flat iron waves!

Recommended Products:


March 26, 2012
Three different looks in one blog post today!  Here are the hair and makeup looks I did for Sam for her engagements, bridals, and wedding day.  Photography by Julie Parker.


Trends I Love: Effortless Twists

March 23, 2012
I don't know what to call this trend.  It's not quite curly, it's not quite straight, it's not really a chignon, it's not really structured.  It's twisted, knotted, braided, airy, and effortless.  Whatever it is, I love this updo trend I have been seeing every where this year.


March 22, 2012
 Krysti!!  You are so beautiful.  This photo shoot was for a photography workshop taught by Julie Parker.  As Julie and I were talking about the different concepts for the workshop, she told me she wanted one of the models to be really high fashion, but that I could do whatever I wanted.  Yay!  Love it when that happens.  We did half the shoot with white lashes and half the shoot with black lashes.  Love how they turned out!

Photography by:
Julie Parker Photography
Blackbird Photography
Andrea K Photography
Tamara Eppens Photography
Karman Schulz Photography 
Lookie Loo Photography
Cheryl Eresuma 
Meagan Forsgren
Dawn Chapman
Carie Howell