Airbrush or Traditional Makeup? What is best for your Wedding Day?

Hi Everyone-

Long time no blog. I have been B.U.S.Y! Seriously, 2018 has been a whirlwind of blessings thus far, and I could not be happier for where life has taken me. I enjoy being busy, especially when it involves helping my awesome clients. Due to the demands of wedding season and my business, I took a small hiatus from writing...BUT...I am back!

Recently, I have been contributing to a locally founded ( Charlotte, NC) wedding planning site called Bustld. This is a fantastic place to create a customize wedding plan that fits your personal style. Take a look at my recent post on the differences between airbrush and traditional makeup application. This is the MVP of makeup questions for a bride to be.  I hope this blog provides some insight into the differences of each application.


When you head over to Bustld, check out all of the talented vendors over there!



My Favorite Foundations of ALL TIME!

Happy Tip Tuesday Friends!

Tonight, I want to chat about the question I am asked the MOST frequently when it comes to makeup, what is my favorite foundation? It is time to discuss this hot topic! Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on you view makeup, this is not a one size fits all question. As an artist,I do believe there is a product for every skin concern, type and color. When I think about what makes a foundation great for me, I think it about a few things: How does it make the skin look? Ease of application? Can my client wear this foundation for a long period of time and in various climates? How does it look behind and in front of the camera? Is the shade range versatile? ( <-- very tricky)

So my TOP three foundations absolutely KILL IT when it comes to all of these questions. Time and time again I recommend them to clients and I use them in my kit weekly. Any product that makes it into my kit, and stays there, is a win in my book. With such a wide array of foundations on the market today, it would be impossible to cover them all.... But believe me when I say I have tried SO this may be short, but your options are not:)

  So without further ado... And in no particular order:

1. Lancome Teint Idol Ultra Longwear Foundation


This foundation's staying power is top of the line. No one should ever wear makeup for 24 hours, but with this foundation, it is possible. It easily covers imperfections on the skin and builds without looking cakey. The shade range is AMAZING!!! Regardless of your skin's undertone, this foundation has you covered ( literally and figuratively).  I love how comfortable this foundation is from the moment it's applied. It photographs so well and works in every climate. You skin looks healthy and even!

2. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free or Moisturizing Formula


This is my most days and definitely my desert island foundation. Regardless of skin type ( normal, oily, dry, young, mature) this foundation looks fantastic. There are two formulations and I keep both in my kit. This foundation comes in a smaller bottle than most on the market, because it's almost pure pigment. So if you are looking for options, this foundation can do that. Applied directly to the skin it will give you medium to full flawless coverage, but, it can also be mixed into your favorite moisturizer for a sheer wash of color. My brides who want coverage, but do not want to feel like they are wearing makeup, love this foundation. It is also great for sensitive skin as its free of fragrance and parabens. Be sure to apply with a sponge for optimal wear!

3. Makeup Forver Ultra HD Foundation


Two words- Gorgeous Skin! This is what everyone tells me when I wear this foundation. This product was developed for film and specifically HD cameras. It works with almost all skin types (extremely oily gals will need a great oil controlling primer) and feels so lightweight. I love the color range and it applies like a dream with either a brush or sponge. This foundation has medium coverage, so it is a great choice for special events in warmer climates ( AKA the South!) and for my more natural clients!

Norelle Baker Favorites-0003.jpg

What is your favorite foundation? I'd love to know!!!



Wedding Planning 101...5 Reasons to Hire a Pro Makeup Artist!

Happy Friday Beautiful People!

Fall is here and I could not be happier! It is my favorite season for so many reasons. I love the colors, the foods, the weather, the pumpkin spice everything( yes I basic of me) and most importantly...FALL BRIDES!! So I thought it would be awesome on this Fabulous Friday to share some insight on why you want to hire a professional makeup artist (and Hair Stylist for that matter!) I spend my Fall season very busy with wise brides to be who made a smart investment in their wedding day style...If you are going to invest in "the dress" and "the photographer", make sure you invest in "the people" who are going to make you look your best!

1. Doing your own makeup well on a daily basis is not the same as doing your makeup on your wedding day. Hiring a professional who understands color, tone, shape and uses professional products is going to make all the difference in how you look. 

2. Your pictures will look 100x better when you hire a professional. When you hire a makeup artist who understands your style and vision for your look, everything will jive!

3. A professional knows the latest trends and techniques when it comes to hair and makeup. You may watch a lot of YouTube, but recreating those looks is not always as easy as it seems. Let a pro help!

4. Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist often work with many other like minded wedding vendors. If I refer another wedding vendor, I assure you they are excellent at what they do. 

5.  Last but not least..If you think its expensive to hire professional, wait till you see how expensive it is if you hire amateur!

pro quote.jpg


Have a Beautiful Evening!




Current Skin Care Routine


Happy Saturday! Is anyone as happy as I am to see some SUNSHINE!! I love a good rainy day, but enough was enough!

Next week I will celebrate my 32nd birthday...which actually does not feel bad at all. Some years I really have a hard time with the "number", but, I am at a point in my life where I am really happy with where I am and who I am personally and professionally. I am growing, working hard and evolving everyday...and that is exactly where I want to be :)

BUT...with this AGE comes some challenges that were once a thought of the far future. One of those challenges has been my skin....I get compliments on my skin often, and I appreciate the kind words...But I am here to tell you, this skin takes work!!! It seems like overnight I have some new areas of concern on my face that have forced me to adjust my routine. Our skin goes through serious change every four years...So it does not surprise me when clients tell me that they previously had "great skin." In a perfect world these changes would be for the better, but we do not live in a perfect world. For me, I noticed pores, dullness and PIMPLES for the first time. So I took my own advice ( I always tell my clients, " You only have one face, take care of it!") and started taking care of it! 

So here are my current AM and PM routines...just like a fine wine, my skincare gets better with age! 

AM Routine:

Cleanser: Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar 

Why I love it:  This cleansing bar is pH Balanced and leaves my combo skin feeling clean and fresh.  I feel like my skin is so normal when I am done cleansing. Not too dry or too hydrated. Just right. It is gentle but effective. I saw a change in the texture of my skin and how my makeup was wearing within three days of using this! I LOVE Drunk Elephant products for their commitment to bringing their consumers a very good quality product without chemicals. Added perk- it's a cruelty free line!

Serums:  I alternate between two products:

Lancome Genifique

Why I love it: This product was in my arsenal years ago and then I switched it up...but its BACK! I love this serum because it really works on dullness and texture. It tackles all the visible signs of aging and it gives the skin the most beautiful glow. Sometimes I will mix this into my full coverage foundation to help my makeup wear like beautiful skin!  If my skin is feeling extra dry,  I will add this to my nighttime routine as well.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

Why I love it: Vitamin C is a very important skincare ingredient for women 25 and up, especially if you were  (and still are) a sun worshiper like I am. Vitamin C helps brighten the skin and prevents future sun damage. This serum is packed with an amazing blend of antioxidants that really work well at keeping my skin looking firm and healthy. Its great for all skin types and its chemical free! Please wear sunscreen everyday...but most definitely wear it if you use this product! Vitamin C and the sun are not friends!

Eye Cream: Laura Mercier Eyedration

Why I Love It: In the AM I need as much hydration under my eyes as possible. I love this eye cream because it provides excellent hydration and depuffs my circles. It leaves my eyes looking awake and ready for concealer! ( Let's face it...concealer is always the real hero in the AM!)

Moisturizer:  Again I have two I love...Especially for summer!

Tatcha the Water Cream

Why I Love It: My skin feels AMAZING after this moisturizer! I seriously think there is magic in the jar! I got a sample from Sephora and I was hooked! I feel hydrated, balanced and my makeup wears SO well!  Since I have very combo skin, I can't stand the feeling of heavy moisturizer and this moisturizer does not lay heavy at all. Check out the link for all the great ingredients!

Lancome Energie De Vie

Why I love it: Its the definition of weightless moisture! Perfect for hot summer days where your skin needs environmental protection but you don't want to feel anything on your skin. It helps calm redness and keeps my skin glowing!!!

PM Routine 

Cleanser: At night, I take my makeup off first with a makeup wipe ( I personally really like Neutrogena Makeup Removing wipes) and then I wash my face. So many clients I speak to tell me that they stop at the wipe. This is not ideal. Removing makeup is only the first step of cleansing but not the last. Step two is to wash off excess sweat, dirt, pollution and remaining makeup. There are several excellent options that will both cleanse your face and remove your makeup in one step ( dual cleansers) and these face washes are usually foamy or oils. After I remove my makeup, I wash my face with the:

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleanser

Why I love it: This cleanser is great for Combination skin. It gently exfoliates the skin with fruit based Alpha Hydroxy Acids and cleanses away excess oil and dirt. Skin feels balanced and soft.

Serum:/ Oil:

 Sunday Riley Sleeping Night Oil

Why I Love It: This is my desert island skin care product. It has completely changed my skin for the better. This link above is the Refinery 29 Article about this amazing product and why you need it in your nighttime skincare routine. Within one week my skin was firmer, brighter and my pores were less visible. This product is pricey, but one bottle has lasted my over 9 months and still going. Of course with any retinol product, sunscreen is a must for daytime. If you are over 30, some type of retinol product should be part of your daily skincare routine. The smell of the active ingredient in this product ( Blue Tansy) is quite strong, so if you are a person bothered by smells, this may not be for you.

Eye Cream:

Mario Badescu Gylcolic Eye Cream 

Why I Love It: This is my HOLY GRAIL of eye creams that actually WORKS and it is super affordable ($20!!!)! It was love at first use for me. My eyes were immediately looking more hydrated and my fine lines were much softer within the first week of use. If you are looking for an all in one eye cream with a GREAT price tag, here you go! Disclaimer- Gylcolic acid does exfoliate the skin, so if you tend to be extremely sensitive, this eye cream is not for you.

La Mer Soft Cream

Why I Love It: So...I know this stuff is extremely expensive..And I did work for La Mer years ago, so I do have products from my tenure there, but I do stand behind them, because they do work. This moisturizer lives up to its hype. It balances my skin and leaves it looking so incredibly healthy. It is important to use something very hydrating if you are using exfoliating products ( AHA's, Vitamin-C, etc) often. 

Once a week:

I love to experiment with sheet masks or clay masks. Some of my favorite sheet masks of the moment are from Biobell. The masks are full of natural ingredients and completely biodegradable. My favorites are #staygorgeous and #Iwokeuplikethis. This brand is so fun and was started by some amazing business women who wanted a better product for their skin.  For treatment clay masks, I love Origins and Glam Glow. If you are feeling creative, try making your own masks at home. Many kitchen ingredients multitask as excellent skin and hair care! 

If you have questions about a particular product or routine, feel free to email me or leave comments below! 

Have a great weekend loves!












Drug Store Makeup Favorites! Part One!

Happy Friday Friends! I am writing this blog from the air on the way to paradise. This break is much needed. I am looking forward to some major R&R! I wanted to get this post out yesterday, but that was wishful thinking trying to pack and prep for a long trip.....

**FAST FORWARD**** I lost WiFi on the plane and could not finish this post and once I got to the islands, my brain was not in blog mode.... So I am picking up today, on July 11th! Back from vacation and feeling super rejuvenated! I have decided to split this blog into two parts, the first part is complexion products and the second part will be color products.

Lately, I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding makeup application tips and tricks. While I am huge fan of luxury cosmetics, I am realistic that they are not always an option for everyone. At one point, I was extremely against anything that was not high end cosmetics(meaning not drug store) but times have changed and so has makeup. Some brand name "Drug Store/Target" brands have really reinvented themselves, so why not show them some love! So now, I consider myself an equal opportunity makeup enthusiast. I am more concerned with how a product works for me and less concerned about where I purchased this product. I encourage everyone to take a stroll down the makeup aisles Target, preferably with a coffee in hand and kid free (I do not have kids) but this activity is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine! :)

So here are just a few of my complexion favorites.....Let me know what your favorites are! I am always looking for new great products to try!



So this is one of two categories that I really feel Loreal and Maybelline have really stepped up their game!

My first fave in this category is Maybelline's Fit Me Matte and Poreless Foundation.

Why I Love IT:

Great Medium Coverage

Does not settle in pores at all...very smoothing on textured skin

Great color selection

A little goes a long way and blends beautifully with a sponge or buffing foundation brush.

Reminds me of Cover Fx Oil Free Matte Foundation

Second Fave in this Category (and seriously my Go-To foundation of the Moment) Loreal's Pro Glow Foundation.

Why I LOVE It:

This foundation is AMAZING!! Even though I have combination skin, it never makes my skin look oily, cakey, or shiney.

It wears all day with minimal touch ups needed.

Excellent shade range.

Photographs beautifully

Full Coverage that looks like healthy skin ( And who doesn't want that!!)

Reminds me of Laura Mercier Silk Creme Moisturizing Foundation. I actually think its an amazing dupe. 

Honorable Mention in Foundation:

Loreal Infallible Total Coverage Foundation

Why I Like It:

This foundation is great for the woman who wants the MAX coverage that last.  It covers all redness and discoloration.

Its extremely smoothing because it is a silicone based foundation. This is a catch 22 for me. I like silicone based foundation for airbrush, but I do not like silicone based primers normally..So the Total Coverage foundation feels like a primer/ liquid foundation hybrid and performs pretty well. 

For me on daily basis, this is more coverage than I normally like, but I do like this on a night out. 

If you are a Lancome Tient Idol Fan ( 24hr Total Coverage and waterproof) this would be a great substitute!


I am a concealer snob....I really am a HUGE advocate of the TWO C's ( Coffee and Concealer!) I would be lost daily without both of those items. So when I say that its a HUGE deal that these products made the list, its a huge deal. In a different blog, I will discuss my department store makeup favorites.

For Contour/Cream Highlighting and Concealing:

NYX HD Concealer

Why I Love IT:
I really like this concealer to contour. It is extremely matte and drys quickly, so unless your under eye area is well moisturized, I would not recommend it. It does blend well and I think the shade range is excellent. I do prefer this over a matte foundation. It looks heavy over a dewy foundation.

LA Girl Pro Concealer

Why I Love It:

I was a little late on the bandwagon of the LA Girl products. They seemed so inexpensive, I assumed that they would not work, I was SO wrong. I had a fellow makeup artist friend tell me that this concealer was the ONLY concealer she ever tried that did not crease, so I decided to give it a try. She was right!!! Fantastic full coverage with a creamy, hydrating finish that does not settle. Fantastic shade range for all skin tones to conceal and contour. Applicator is built in, so its fairly fool proof. A little goes a long way. 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Why I LOVE it:
I came across this concealer ( the sister product to the foundation above that I love so much) on a beauty vlog about a year ago and I am so glad I did. This is a excellent low cost replacement for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. So Nars pretty much hit it out of the park with their concealer ( it smooths, brightens, color corrects, I could go on and on), so having a low cost replacement that performs almost exactly the same way is gold. The FitMe concealer has a decent shade range and gives a natural finish under the eye. I actually love this concealer on my "no-makeup" makeup days for a boost under the eyes. The applicator makes it very easy to apply concealer in the hard to reach areas and to spread it out evenly. 

NYX Color Correcting Concealer Palette

Why I LOVE it:

Color Correction is not for everyone. Everyone does not need it, and, everyone definitely does not understand color theory. Regardless, in today's world, you can learn a great deal with just a few clicks. So if you are interested in color correcting or think you may need it ( ie-you have dark circles under the eye or redness on your face) the NYX Color Correcting Palette may be for you. This highly pigmented product can be used for a wide array of complexion corrections. It is less than $15 dollars,and if applied properly, is completely undetectable under foundation.

Beauty Sponges

Morphe Flawless Beauty Sponge

Why I LOVE it:

So Morphe is not technically a "Drug Store" brand, but it is inexpensive and easy to order online. I love this sponge for a few reasons. The shape is ideal for not only the hard reach under eye area, but also for the contours of the face. The sponge is firm, but not too firm. I use this mostly for the under eyes, but also to give myself a very skin like finish to a full coverage foundation.

Real Techniques Miracle Sponge

Why I LOVE it: 

In my book, this sponge is by far the best on the market. It helps the foundation blend into the skin perfectly. No cakey messes with this sponge. I LOVE the flat side of the sponge to perfect the under eyes after concealer is applied. Worth every bit of $5 it cost :) 

PS- Also great for blending cream contour!

Finishing Sprays

Pixi Glow Mist

Why I LOVE it:

This is a such a versatile product. Pixi is a really great line that you can find at Target. Its cruelty free and full of natural ingredients. This spray leaves the skin hydrated and GLOWING! I love to use this on dry clients or over a tinted moisturizer. The Argan Oil keeps the skin looking fresh and healthy. Another great tip, I love to set my highlighter with this mist and my Oily "t-zone" with a matte finish spray. I know that is a little "extra" but whatever! Reminds me of Tatcha's Glow Mist! ( and much cheaper!)

NYX Setting Sprays

Why I LOVE them:

$8 dollars and my makeup is not moving for 12 hours? Sold! I have been a huge fan of these setting sprays for my bridal clients for a long time. They are lightweight and lock the makeup in place ALL day. I personally use the Matte Finish Spray almost everyday on myself. If you have a problem with your makeup moving after a few hours, I would definitely give these a try. I  love to set matte foundation with the Dewy Finish spray, to prevent the makeup from appearing heavy on the skin. On Dry Skin, the Dewey skin will keep you look hydrated and fresh!

Maybelline Master Fix- A Great Low Cost Alternative to Urban Decay All Nighter

Why I Love It:

Master Fix on your face is like Aqua Net was to your Grandma's hair....Not moving! So if you are extremely oily or headed out for a long night, I highly recommend this product. Your makeup is there to stay! Not recommended for dry skin. 


As far as foundation primer and setting powder goes, I am very loyal to two prestige (department store products) and I have yet to find anything else that performs as well on myself or clients. If you have questions about those categories of products feel free to comment below or email to ask!

Stay Beautiful!


Southern Love- Dunn Style

I am always happy to receive wedding requests from people I know. So when Jordan emailed almost a year before her wedding (talk about on top of things!) about hiring me to do her makeup, I was excited to connect and help her with her planning. What I really loved about having Jordan as my client was her calm demeanor and SO the fact that she is so sweet. Although I never mind a challenge (I am super competitive), my job is much easier when my client is down to earth, prepared and open to suggestions. 

Jordan's look was one of my favorites this year so far...She wanted a little drama on the eyes and glowing skin. This is my favorite bridal look on most women, as I think it's the most flattering in pictures. 

We decided on airbrush makeup for Jordan because of its weightless feel. She mentioned not wanting to feel like she had makeup on, so I knew airbrush was the answer. Her foundation, contour and blush were all airbrushed (Temptu Pro). For her highlight, I layered a Temptu Highlighter and Becca's Champagne Pop. I swear Becca's highlighters work on everyone! They are beautiful! For her eyes I went with golden and bronze tones to bring out her baby blues. Again to make the eyes pop, I worked in layers. I mixed Laura Mercier's Caviar Stick in Sandglow, with several shades from Anastasia Beverly Hills Makeup by Mario Master Palette. For my brides who want their eyes to pop, I always opt for Ardell Demi Whispies. They are my favorite lashes. For lips I went with Mac Brave and Creme Cup mixed together ( go to for Brides). For her lovely bridesmaids that I had the pleasure of working with, I was able to experiment with various looks as well. They were a great group of ladies and we shared lots of laughs!

 Jordan and Chad had the perfect sunny Spring day for their wedding at the Watershed Pavilion. Her romantic updo was done by Heather from Heirloom Salon, in Pineville, NC. The beautiful pictures below were taken by Deeana Beckley of Deeana Kourtney Photography. She is extremely talented behind the camera. Follow her on Instagram! She seriously takes such gorgeous pictures! 

What I loved most about Jordan and Chad's day is the happiness and love that was surrounding them from start to finish. You could feel the happiness in the air and the love in your heart. Congrats to this beautiful couple :)


Wedding Makeup Trial... Be Prepared! What you need to know!

So this blog post has been on my mind for some time now... and I felt like today was the day I was going to put it out there to the world. I have had some recent discussions with fellow industry professionals about trial runs and I think many of us are on the same page...Pintrest may be the most hated and loved word in Bridal Beauty...

So here it is...Ten Steps to a Successful Hair and Makeup Trial!

Practice Makes Perfect &lt;3

Practice Makes Perfect <3


1. Come in with an open (but realistic) mind.... What do I mean? If you are an extremist in any way..For example-  a very simple ( or NO) makeup or hair person...OR...the Full Glam Girl (everyday) open minded to some tips and tricks from a professional who was hired to help you look your very best.

2. Come with pictures (but remember that word applies here too) So this is probably one of my personal least favorite points of your trial run.....I ask to see some pictures of what you would like your makeup to look like (and hair for my stylist friends) and you, my wonderful client, pull out your phone and open Pintrest. And I wait...because there are about 5 makeup looks on Pintrest that I see ALL.THE.TIME.. and one of them is of Kim let me get on my soapbox here for second. I LOVE Kim K's makeup artist Mario, BUT....regardless of what you think of her morally, she is an extremely beautiful woman with or without makeup. So...dear client,  remember that we can definitely achieve that contoured face and perfect nude lip, but you are NOT going to leave my chair looking anything remotely like Kim K...I am Makeup Artist...Not a Magician :) So after we get done with Pintrest....I then ask for a few pictures of when YOU felt your best...Let me see you, because YOU is ALL that matters at the trial! Of course a few pictures of bridal makeup looks never hurt...but I will be asking lots of questions about what you like or don't like about the pictures (from Pintrest...I know:) )

3. Be OK with suggestions...There are going to be times where we are going to need to have open discussions regarding the health and appearance of your skin or hair. If there are easy recommendations I can provide for your skin, I am going to do so. For example, if you suffer from blackheads...many people do, I will recommend some products to clear up your skin. Your hair stylist may recommend a cut or extensions to help your hair look its best on the big day. PLEASE do not get offended by our recommendations, as we are only providing our professional advice, with your best interest at heart.

4. Be honest...Like something? Great! Love something...even better! But there will be times where you may not know which option is best ( airbrush makeup? Lashes? ) so please ask tons of questions and speak up if you don't love something. This is the time to make changes and experiment with different looks or ideas.

5. It's all in the details. In order for your stylist to understand your vision and theme for your wedding day, we need to know all of the details. Some important details of your wedding that are NEED to KNOW: Location (Indoors or Outdoors?) Colors or theme? What does your dress look like? Whats your style (Romantic, Chic, Elegant?). The more details the better.

6. Any challenges you have with your skin or hair? Some normal answers to this would be..oily skin, frizzy hair, dry skin. Now is the time to let us know, that way we can choose the right products for you!

7. Have an estimate of how many people will need services on the day of the wedding. That way we can discuss a preliminary timeline of events. 

8. If you have any allergies or sensitivities to products, please mention that at your trial. No one wants to have an allergic reaction on their wedding day :)

9. Please commit to taking care of you skin before the wedding day..Wear sunscreen, drink water, use eye cream and moisturizer ( pretty please) and get rest. These all have a lasting effect on your appearance. I am happy to recommend some products for you or help you shop for skincare to enhance your natural beauty!

10. And most importantly...HAVE FUN!

Have beauty questions? Email me! Your question may be my next post!

Wildflower Photography Senior Shoot

In January, I was contacted by the talented, and super sweet, Hailey Kemper, of Wildflower Photography. And what do you was another senior photo session. I seriously think these are becoming a "thing" for me and I am totally OK with that! SO we get to planning and have everything squared away for this creative shoot. We are going to set up outside, in a field, orchids in bloom, all whimsical ( I hope I painted the picture for you), and BAM! Mother nature messes us up, not once, but TWICE! I mean seriously!!! So Hailey, being her creative self, comes in with the ultimate save and plans this industrial, editorial and fun shoot...Indoors! Fast forward to April and this shoot finally took place at The Laboratory Mill in Linconlton, NC.

Since we changed the venue...we had to change the makeup. What was once going to be light, bright and clean, was now edgy and dark. I enjoyed experimenting with some color and textures on the eyes for this shoot. Since the majority of my clients are brides, it was fun to do something different. I used a combination of creams and powders to create dimension on the face. I loved the willingness of the models to go with any ideas I had for their look. They really embraced the creativity. Hailey did an amazing job of editing this shoot and using lighting to create such magic in these pictures. If you are looking for an amazing photographer who can  in any space...Hailey is your girl! 

Clothing provided by : The Cheeky Bean

Hair Styling: Jody Fallows 

Furniture: Carolina Charm Rentals





Melissa Lynn Hunt 2017 Senior Shoot!!

If there is one thing I have learned more than ever lately... It is...Have a SAY YES ATTITUDE...and enjoy what you do every day..Ok..that is actually two things, but you get the idea! So last year when I had my first opportunity to work with Melissa Lynn Hunt,  I said..YES!! Little did I know that working with her that first time{and her amazing Senior Models} would open up so many doors for me to be creative. I was also quickly reminded of how important it is to get up every day with purpose in your work and a true love for you do. Melissa does that every day, and I feel honored to be on a creative team with her behind the camera. She cultivates positivism in these young women through encouragement, kindness, friendship and love... Over the last few weeks, I have watched young ladies come alive in front of the camera. It has been such a special experience. I look forward to working with the #mlhseniors again <3

A few weeks back, Melissa had her kick-off shoot for her upcoming Seniors. This was the most fun I have had on a photo shoot...maybe.... ever. Remember I just what you do every single day...Well this was on of those days where I was BEAMING with love for what I do. I had the pleasure of being on the beauty team for hair and makeup with Layne Barter, of Layne Barter Makeup, and Sabrina Laine, with Be Pretty . We had a BLAST glamming these gorgeous gals for their Powder Puff Football shoot. Melissa provided the music, the energy and the inspiration for this amazing day. Many of the girls had never had professional hair and makeup, so it was such an honor to take them through their first experience. 

These are some of my favorite pictures from the team shoot and a few individual shots of the girls I worked with that day. Enjoy the pictures!

And remember...Love what you do...everyday <3






First Online Publication!

It all started with a girl in the mirror playing dress up...

And now...I am still a girl in the mirror playing dress up....BUT... I get to be creative with other people playing dress up too! I personally think that is pretty awesome :) 

I was so excited when Lizzy Barrett, (my partner in crime) from Ups and Do's, approached me about doing the makeup for a styled shoot this past January. The concept was a "White Out Shoot." ( aka all White, Silver, bling and glam.)  Lizzy's client, Sarah Deer, of Sweet Scene Cakes, had an amazing idea and complied a stellar team to make it come to life.

Julie and her team from Old South Photography were behind the camera capturing all the beauty, one shot at a time. I hope you enjoy these pictures that were recently featured on Bustld and will be featured again in a few weeks on another online publication! ( Check IG for details!)



Vendor Team:

Venue - The Dairy Barn

Photographer - Old South Photography

Rentals - Creative Solutions

Cake - Sweet Scene Cakes

Coordinator - Mint to Be Weddings

Florist - Jimmy Blooms Floral

Wedding Dress - Paige & Elliott Bridal

Mens Ware - Men's Warehouse in Rock Hill

Hair - Ups & Do's

Make Up - Makeup by Norelle B

Stationery - Elle Dee Design

Jewelry - The Beady Lady in Concord

Game Rentals - Pinnacle 

Broach Bouquet - Natalie Klestov Designs

Model Team: Stephanie, Joy, Laura, Courtney, Maddie + Erin, John, Sean, Joshua & Jonah! 



Kelsey and Luke's Hometown Wedding

Kelsey and Luke's Monroe, NC wedding had all the feels of a southern hometown wedding. The bride and groom have the most loving friends and family who helped them have a wonderful wedding day. I enjoyed getting to know Kelsey's best friends and sister while we glammed this fun wedding party. I partnered with Lauren C from Beauty Asylum for makeup for this group.

Some key products used in Kelsey's look:

Temptu S/B Foundation

Mac Creme Cup Lipstick

Adrell Demi Whispie Lashes

Becca Flowerchild Blush mixed with Laura Mercier Indiscretion Face Illuminator

Morphe 35N Palette on the Eyes 


Congrats Kelsey and Luke!

Photography: Heather Hooks

Ariel and Gui's Fall 2016 Wedding

Ariel and I were connected through her best friend, Erin. Erin and I go way back..we were Nordy Cosmetics girls together (that is Nordstrom to the rest of the world).. and ironically enough, she went to prom with my brother...The world is small! Keep connections...they always pay off somewhere in life!

I immediately could feel Ariel's calm presence at her wedding trial. I knew that she wanted a look that would be a true representation of her style. Easygoing, but classy. Ariel had never been airbrushed, but we decided that was the way to go. Her South Carolina Fall wedding was still going to be a warm day...airbrush was the best choice. This was the sure bet to guarantee her makeup lasted well into the evening. Ariel wanted some glam...but nothing too over the top. I enhanced her natural beauty with cool tones that complemented her eyes and smile. She told me all about her love story and how she met her Brazilian husband, Gui. While I worked on her look,Ariel mentioned how extra special their day would be because many of Gui's family members were coming to SC for their wedding. I had the pleasure of meeting and glamming a few of his family members, and they were wonderful!

Her wedding was at the Watershed Pavilion in Edgemoor, South Carolina. I am long time friends with the owners of this fabulous place. If you are in the Charlotte area, I highly recommend this venue for your wedding. When I saw Ariel's reception decor I was inspired to take her look up a notch. The rustic feel of this venue really gives any event charm, but on Ariel's day, this place looked extra amazing. I wanted to make sure she did too....

Then I saw her dress...It was stunning! I decided to enhance the colors on her eyes a bit more...and I am so glad I did. I think the addition of a little more color really tied her look together. Her bridesmaids looked extra chic in their floral robes.I enjoyed working with them as well.Ladies...pick your bridesmaids wisely...they really can make or break your wedding day! Ariel had a wonderful group :) 

This wedding was photographed by Jamie Shook of Vintage Daisy Photography. I highly recommend Jamie for your photography needs. She is professional and has a great eye for a beautiful picture.


Enjoy the pictures! Congrats to Ariel and Gui!




Nikki and Sean's Garden Wedding

Being a wedding makeup artist has so many perks...The excitement, the dresses, the bridesmaids,  the joy of making a woman feel her best on her big day. All the feels and happiness from loved is such a special feeling that I enjoy more than I can probably express adequately through words...

But the greatest perk of all is to share those feelings with  family. To be the Bride's makeup artist, friend, bridesmaid,and now sister, all in one day....well that's just perfection!

I have known Nikki for many years, as she has been an important person in my brother Sean's life since college. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow in friendship love, faith and now marriage. Despite the events happening around Charlotte the weekend of their wedding, September 24, 2016 was a beautiful day. We had a fantastic suite overlooking Uptown Charlotte at Center City Marriott to get ready and have fun before the ceremony.

The ceremony and reception were held at the McGill Rose Garden in NoDa. The venue was beautifully decorated with custom vintage pieces, well placed lighting and just the right amount of charm for a garden wedding. The bride and groom shared personalized vows under a clear blue sky. We danced the night away with friends and family.

For Nikki's beauty- we went with a soft look to compliment her stunning blue eyes. Her hair was elegant and really complimented her dress. During her trial we decided that airbrushed makeup was the best option since her wedding would be outside in a humid climate. 

Hair stylist was Lizzy Barrett of Ups and Dos

Photographer: Jennifer Steele of J-Lynn Photography out of Greensboro, NC

Venue: McGill Rose Garden 

Wishing my brother and sister a lifetime of love and happiness <3



Audrey's Rustic Glam Wedding

Audrey was the first of two old friends I had the pleasure of working with this year. What a special honor to be a part of a friend's wedding day!  She and her husband have a beautiful love story and I was so excited to help make her vision for her wedding come to life. She really wanted a full on glam to complete her look. I was pretty excited about this request, as it was a nice change from many of the softer looks that are often desired. We went with a purple smokey eye and an airbrushed complexion. Since her wedding and reception where all outside, I suggested the long wear and flawlessness of airbrushed makeup. I was so happy with the final result! A few images of her special day<3

Wedding Venue: The Watershed Pavilion ( Edgemoore, SC)

Alicia's Wedding- April 2016

April was a BUSY BUSY month for me... Wedding Season was in full swing and I am so behind on raving about all the beauty that happened that month...So lets begin :)

My favorite weddings have a mix of the following things:

A beautiful AND laid back bride -Check!

A stunning  AND romantic venue- Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

A talented team- Check! Check! Check! ( See Below)

Hair: ( my beauty partner in crime)- Lizzy Rivera of Ups and Dos -

and a SUPER AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHER- Amy Ellis Photography

So enjoy a few of my favorite images from her special day<3


Wait you're booked?

 It starts so often like this " Hi, I am Bride XYZ, and I am getting married in (anything less than 3 months) and are you available on this day?

And here I am running to my planner (which is usually not too far away) to see if I can squeeze Ms. Last Minute in for a consultation, a trial run and then of course the big day in a very short amount of time.

I have been that person, the one who works well under pressure, who waits till the last second, you spontaneous. Well if there is one thing in life you do not want to fly off the seat of your pants about, its ANYTHING pertaining to your wedding. According to The Knot, the average engagement is 14 months! So do yourself a huge favor and set aside some time to plan. I know life is busy, you have a job, a budget,  like 5 bridal showers,  family, social activities, etc,  but you also decided to have a wedding, so spare your family and friends the drama of becoming Bridezilla, and plan properly.


So let's talk about what planning for your wedding makeup should look like!

Let's say you planned, you're organized ( and if not here's an awesome article to help you get started) Planning tips

Your next step is to do some research about who you are going to hire. I would ask some of your other wedding vendors, or use forums like Wedding Wire or The Knot. Or good old faithful Google.

Do you have a family member or friend who looked fantastic on their wedding day? Ask them! Most of my clients are referrals! (word of mouth is a powerful tool!)

I would start this process at least 6-9 months prior to your wedding. If you are going to take engagement pictures, maybe sooner. Finding the right makeup artist can make or break what  your pictures will look like on your special day. I have worked with enough brides and photographers to know that if you have bad makeup, your pictures will be nothing more than OK at best.  

Once you find the right person be sure to ask them the right questions. Refer to my Q&A section for some great ideas of questions you should be asking the artist. Some other things to consider are asking for a look at their portfolio ( does it match your style?), what they charge ( does it fit into your budget?), what products they use ( are you sensitive, have troubled skin, etc) because these are all factors the artist needs to know! Find some ideas of looks or styles you enjoy ( Pintrest is full of them) and start collecting them. Pictures are a great starting point to creating your look!

Lastly, this same process goes for your hair stylist as well! One of the biggest consistent complaints I hear from my stylists friends is how stressful a last minute client can be.  Anyone in the beauty world is used to working long hours, being flexible with last minute changes and working hard to please our clients, but one thing we cannot tolerate is Ms. I Waited Till the Last Minute. At the end of the day, and in all seriousness,  I will do my best to accommodate every client possible. It just makes my job as your makeup artist and your job as the "bride" a lot easier if we have plenty of time to plan :)

Update: Consider taking your planning a step further by protecting yourself with wedding insurance. Check out this great article to see why this may be a good idea to incorporate into your planning process!