Monday, August 29, 2011

Behind the Bridal Scenes

We were so happy to receive a CD of photos from one of our stunning summer brides, Lauren Stewart, this afternoon. I absolutely loved working with Lauren and her family! I believe I asked her mom to officially adopt me for the day :)

Here are a few beautiful photos of us prepping miss Lauren for her big day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One of our Blend brides featured in the Washington Post!

For as long as she could remember, Jennifer Zimmermann had sat in church every Sunday praying for a man who would “love, honor and cherish” her. But he’d failed to materialize, and by August 2008, two weeks away from her account’s expiration date, she’d had as much disappointment as she could take.

“I’m giving up on finding Mr. Right. I’m just going to focus on my career,” decided Zimmermann, who was going back to school for a degree in elementary education.“Why don’t you try dating single dads?” her friend suggested. But Zimmermann was skeptical; she had gone out with a single father once and had gotten the impression he was more interested in finding a new mom for his children than a compatible life partner.

Still, when she got a message from a man named Bill Iott the next week and read that he had two sons, she recalled her friend’s words. What do I have to lose? she thought.

Iott, an Army medic, had married at 21, but after five years and two sons, the marriage crumbled as he began a second deployment to Iraq. In 2008 he was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and decided to try online dating. But the process was frustrating — it felt as if all the women he met wanted him to “rescue them from their lives.”

Zimmermann sounded independent in her profile and had written that she wasn’t into playing games. “I was like, ‘Okay, good, somebody who’s on the same page I am,’ ” he recalls.

When Iott called, Zimmermann broke her own rule against long phone conversations before a first date and chatted with him for two hours. Normally she insisted on meeting just for coffee, but before they hung up she agreed to go to lunch.

A few days later, Zimmermann spotted a cute guy she thought might be Iott as she rode the escalator out of the Gallery Place Metro station. “Please let that be my date,” she thought. He was.

After lunch at Ruby Tuesday they walked around the monuments. For hours, they sat on a bench at the World War II Memorial, talking about their shared love of history and the importance of family. By the time he walked her to the Metro, it was 10 p.m.; he called an hour later to make sure she got home safely.

That night, Zimmermann told her friend she had butterflies in her stomach.

She and Iott began seeing each other a few times a week. Although she is hyper-organized and he’s laid back, the two found themselves matched in their candor, values and their Catholic faith. “And he always makes me laugh,” Zimmermann says.

At Thanksgiving, Iott’s two sons, Dominick and Tyler, came in from Michigan, where they live for much of the year with their mother. Zimmermann, now 29, was apprehensive about their first meeting, but when she stuck out her hand to greet 3-year-old Tyler, he immediately jumped into her arms.

“We all really clicked,” she says. “They were a great family unit. And I wanted to be part of it. We just had a lot of fun together.”

In spring 2010, Iott, now 30, began thinking about marriage and asked Zimmermann to move in with him. “I just couldn’t see my life without her,” he says. “When I thought about my future, she was a part of it.”

That Columbus Day weekend, on a beach in Florida, he told Zimmermann he was saving up for a ring. But at 5 a.m. on the day he got back to work, Iott got orders that he was being assigned to Korea. “I think we need to move the engagement up a bit,” he said.

In October — after consecutive laundry mishaps, one that soaked his cellphone and another that left two uniforms dotted with ink stains — Iott asked Zimmermann to help him look through his pants pockets before he threw in a load. There, she found an engagement ring.

The two quickly planned a courthouse wedding so that the Army would recognize their union and consider sending Zimmermann with Iott.

They wed privately in December, but when he shipped out in March, arrangements were not made for her to go along. “It was the worst day of our lives,” she says. “I just cried the whole time.”

This summer, he returned for a month-long leave. And on Aug. 6, they exchanged vows at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria. Iott stood at the altar with his hands on his sons’ shoulders as Zimmermann walked to meet them. That evening, they held a vintage-themed reception at the Army Navy Country Club, where a 1943 map of the world was hung in the cocktail room and Western Union telegrams were used for place cards.

Iott returned to Korea at the end of the month, and Zimmermann continues to look for teaching jobs there so she’ll be able to join him. “Bill is my home,” she says. “Wherever Bill is, that is my home.”

As for those prayers she recited for years: “They’ve definitely come true,” she says.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are you ready to stop Tweezing?? Fall is Bringing us the Thick and Full Brow!

Fall is Bringing us the Thick and Full Brow! Are you ready to stop Tweezing???

Eyebrows are the most important feature on a woman’s face. This Fall it is all about the thick and beautifully natural eyebrow. Inspired by Actress, Audrey Hepburn, tweezing overload is not the way to go this season. 

If you are looking to achieve that naturally here are some home remedies to help speed up brow growth! 
  • Lemon: Cut a slice of lemon and rub it on your eyebrows.
  • Egg: Beat an egg yolk and apply it on your eyebrows with a cotton ball. Keep for 15-20 minutes and wash off with cold water. This helps in improving the hair follicle.
  • Almond Oil: Massage your brows with almond oil. 
  • Milk: Dip a cotton dab or a sponge into milk and apply it on your brows. Rub the cotton or sponge into your brows. Do this as and when you get time. You can use coconut milk too.
  • Onion: Fresh onion juice also helps in augmenting brow hair growth. It may make you cry but it will be worth it for the price of thick eyebrows.
Artist Tip: You can always use an eyebrow pencil to help volumize your perfect brow!! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 Beauty Bag Essentials for your Wedding Day

It's your wedding day! You've hired a glam team (hopefully, the Blend gals ;) and they have perfected your make-up. You look more beautiful than you ever could have imagined! But in the back of your mind, you know that you'll be eating, drinking, dancing, hugging, and kissing until the wee hours of the evening. Even the most durable make-up is bound to wear a little. We've compiled a list of essential products to keep you looking fresh and gorgeous on the most photographed day of your life ;) 

Touch-up Lipstick/Gloss
Lipstick/gloss will be the first thing to fade on your wedding day. Ask your make-up artist for the name of the product used on your lips. Most will offer to supply a touch-up kit for you, but you should definitely be prepared to reapply. Faded lips will make you appear washed out on camera, so touch up's are crucial!

Blotting Papers
These are a quick, no-fuss way to avoid looking shiny or sweaty on camera. Gently press these small sheets down onto oily areas (usually your t-zone) of skin to absorb excess shine. Toss the sheets when you're done! Very simple! 
Quick fix: If you've misplaced or run out of your blot papers, those protective toilet seat sheets do the exact same thing. We won't tell if you don't ;)

Compact Mirror
For obvious reasons: checking for food in your teeth, reapplying lip color, fixing stray hairs etc. 

Even with water proof mascara and liner to stand up against abundant wedding tears, smudging can still be a concern. A quick swipe of a good-ole' Q-tip under your eyes can save you from black smudges. 

Breath Mints
Ordering Caesar salad or garlic chicken to be served at your reception may have seemed delicious at the time, but with wedding kisses and guests looking to offer congratulations, the last thing you should be worried about is your breath. Classier than chewing gum, popping a quick mint in your mouth could definitely be a life-savor (pardon the pun)!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Twilight Fans! Want to purchase Bella Swan's Wedding Dress?

Shamefully, I must admit my love and devotion to the Twilight series rivals that of a hormonal teenage girl. (Team Edward! ;) So, you can imagine my excitement as it was announced that an exact replica of Bella Swan’s 'Edwardian-inspired' wedding gown is set to be released to the masses upon official release of the first Breaking Dawn movie in November.
Originally designed by Carolina Herrera, Alfred Angelo has been appointed to manufacture the gown for worldwide distribution. Angelo is most recently known for collaborating with Disney on a line of Princess gowns. Amazing! The replica gown will be priced between $600-$2,500 and available for purchase in November. 

Check out Bella's wedding look in this blink-and-you-might-miss-it Breaking Dawn trailer! Swoon!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Best Mascara on the Market!

It's no secret that Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara (you know, the one with the pink bottle and green top?) is a favorite among make-up artists and celebs, but do you know the history behind the product? Coming up on it's 40 year anniversary, we have no doubt that Great Lash's flawless reputation in the beauty industry will continue for another 40 years to come!

Here are some fun facts:

-Great Lash sold for $1.75 when it launched in 1971.

 -A tube of Great Lash is sold every 1.7 seconds in the US

-In 1971, Lilly Pulitzer, a designer known for her bright & cheery fabrics, inspired the legendary pink & green tube.

Here's a vintage Great Lash Ad from the 70's! Check out that original packaging! Love it!
Priced at an affordable $6.40, it blows away other "designer" mascaras priced at $30 and more! Trust us, this is the best product, at the best value. Now... can we put the age old question, "What's the best mascara" to rest? ;)

Maybelline teamed up with designers Tracy Reese, Max Azria and Vivienne Tam to create this gorgeous new limited edition packaging. Each designer took inspiration from their own collection to create inspired, fresh takes on the iconic pink and green tube.

Here's what the designers had to say: 

Max Azria Inspiration: “Maybelline has been backstage for BCBGMAXAZRIA’s runway shows for the past several seasons and I’m thrilled to be once again partnering with them on the 40th anniversary for their Great Lash Mascara. To bring the BCBGMAXAZRIA design aesthetic to such an iconic product is a true honor.” – Max Azria, Founder, Designer and Chairman of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP

Tracy Reese Inspiration: “Great Lash Mascara is a timeless product; every woman knows the iconic green and pink packaging. I was excited to design limited-edition packaging in celebration of the 40th anniversary and chose a graphic floral print that exudes fun and femininity and complements the signature colors of the brand.” – Tracy Reese

Vivienne Tam Inspiration: “I’ve worked with Maybelline New York for the past several seasons of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. I’m delighted to work with them again to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Great Lash Mascara. My Great Lash design is adorned with the Chinese symbol for “Lash,” creating the perfect fusion of the Vivienne Tam and Maybelline esthetics. It’s the must-have beauty accessory for fashionistas this fall.”

Maybelline New York has partnered exclusively with Target to distribute the Great Lash Limited Edition collection for a limited time only starting August 21st 2011 for a suggested retail price of $6.99. Definitely a must have purchase for every beauty lovers worldwide! 

Cosmo 2011 Blogger Awards!

Okay lovelies... Cosmo has announced their 2011 Blogger Award search! The more nominations we receive, the more likely we are to be recognized by Cosmo. They had over 16,000 submissions last year! Ahhh!! We realize that we're brand spanking new (less than 3 months!), but how cool would it be to be nominated to fresh out of the gate?

We absolutely love every moment of what we do, and are grateful every single day to have such an incredible creative outlet. And we'd like to take a moment to THANK our clients and readers for supporting our Blend team.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Nominate us HERE!
Nominate us HERE!
Nominate us HERE!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fall 2011 Beauty Trends

Fall is just around the corner and we can not wait to put the shorts and flip flops away, and bring out the boots, cute scarfs, and hats! The fall season allows for a beautiful collaboration between tones and textures of make-up and fashion. 

Fresh from the runway, here are some of the things you can expect to see trending in fall 2011:

Muted Nail Polish: 
While Summer's bright lacquers and nail art craze turned heads, it looks like we will be shifting to more muted tones in the colder months. Think less-is-more next time you hit the nail salon! 
Try: Sweetheart by OPI

Red Lips:
A personal favorite of ours, there is nothing that makes a statement like a clean red lip! Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese, and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the celebrities who swear by a rockin' red mouth. Tone down the eyes, and let your lips be the focus this fall!
Try: Ruby Woo by MAC

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/
Think golds, silvers, and coppers! Amp up your fall routine by adding hints of this textured iridescent  look. For every day wear, apply metallic shadow to the inner corner of your eyes, use as a liner, or dab onto the center of your lips. 
Try: Gunmetal by Urban Decay

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/
Spider Eyes:
Allow us to introduce you to one of fall's more surprising looks: spider lashes. Making their way down Gucci, Versace, and Valentino's runways, this clumpy (or as MUA's called it backstage: "cloggy" effect) look is something you always thought to avoid, right? Not this fall! Start layering, ladies!
Try: CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara 

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/
Classic Pony:
Take a trip down memory lane with this pretty playground inspired look by Gucci. Far from traditional, this pony is sleek on top and secured at the nape of the neck with hair wrapped around it's base. A peek-a-boo feather adds a trendy touch to this chic look.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why Airbrush on your Wedding Day?

In the last few years, airbrush make-up has gone from a hollywood secret, to a huge trend in the wedding industry. But why? Allow us to break down the benefits of using airbrush make-up for your wedding day!

What is it? Airbrushing is an application technique that utilizes compressed air to spray on a fine mist of foundation. The velvety texture lays beautifully on the skin in an even, misted pattern, creating a beautifully natural finish. This process is hygenic and allows the  makeup to conceal while also enabling your skin to breathe. 

Brush Application

Sponge Application

 Airbrush Application

Why is it good for brides? There are several reasons we prefer to airbrush for our brides and their wedding parties. Most importantly, it is completely water resistant! It will hold up against tears, hugs, kisses, eating, drinking and dancing. It's also popular among our brides because of it's super lightweight feel. Despite it's durability and flawless finish, the product doesn't feel (or look) heavy on your skin. Awesome, right? 

Is airbrush makeup right for everyone? Women of any age can benefit from an airbrush makeup application. Airbrush makeup is hypo-allergenic, oil and alcohol free, so it’s safe for even the most sensitive skin, no matter what age or condition.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

5 Must Have Make-up Brushes on a Budget!

Achieving flawless make-up is as easy as a flick of the brush... er... wrist! Having the right tools can really take your make-up look to the next level. Of course we all know that brushes can be expensive, and determining what to use and where can be confusing.

We have chosen the 5 most versatile brushes for anyone looking to apply their make-up like a pro without spending money like one! 

No need to break the bank! All of the brushes we've featured are from and are under $10 (some as low as $2)!! Check their site for a huge selection of brushes, sets, and even make-up pallets.

This duel fibre beauty gives an airbrushed look without the noisy machine! It's flat bristles leave foundation, blush, or powder looking simply lovely. 

Every gal (or guy!) should own a big fluffy powder brush. The bristles allow for a more sheer application of product and cover a large surface area. Perfect for applying powder, bronzer, or blush.

Allow me to introduce you to your new best friend and one of the most versatile brushes in your growing collection: the angle brush. This amazing little guy can apply your gel or liquid liner, concealer, brow shadow, lipstick and even eye shadow. At a whopping $1.97 you can't afford NOT to have him.

With it's flat, rounded bristles, this brush will allow you to pack on color or concealer (or both!) for a flawlessly opaque finish! Remember: when layering color, press the product into the skin in a patting motion rather than rubbing it back and forth. 

Another tool capable of tackling multiple tasks flawlessly is the blending brush. Absolutely crucial for buffing away harsh lines, it separates the pro from the every day make-up wearer. Use it to softly apply color all over the lid, blend and apply crease color or even buff on your favorite concealer! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Cover a Tattoo/Scar

We're super excited to share that Get Married Magazine's new How-to "I do" blog published our article on "How to Cover a Tattoo/Scar for your Wedding". We are collaborating with Get Married on a few more postings, so stay tuned for more How-to "I do" entries!

Click the link below and enjoy! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 4 of our Hair Challenge!

This morning I had an early meeting that I wanted to look professional, but still fun for. This is what I came up with (and yes, that's a tattoo behind my ear... lol). 10 days to go! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 2 and 3 of the Hair Challenge!

So, we've been slacking just a bit on posting pics of our hair challenge progress, but rest assured it's still in happening in full force! Here are the looks from day 2 and 3!

In the "Day 2" look, I curled my hair all over with a 1 1/2 inch curling iron. Then braided 2 sections of hair on each side (just above the temples) and secured them in the back with bobby pins. So simple!

"Day 3" was sort of old hollywood/50's inspired. Soft curls with the left side pulled back and secured with a pretty hair clip. (Sorry the pics are a little blurry)

Stay tuned for Marquia's looks!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

14 Day Hair Challenge- Day 1!

Okay guys, here is the first look to kick off our 14 Day Hair Challenge! Messy side-swept bun. Super easy to do, and felt so good to have my hair off of my face all day. 

Let's see what you've got tomorrow, ladies! Remember... the winner will be chosen at the end of the 14 days! Submit photos to:

14 Day Hair Challenge!

Hello lovely ladies!

The beginning of this week brought on a harsh realization... 

...My hair is BORING! 

Sure, I can go from curly to straight in the blink of an eye, and now and then I'll throw on a little hat if I'm feeling sassy. But that's about the sad extent of my follicle creativity. Spending so much time and effort on my make-up has left my poor locks seriously neglected!

SOOO our team has decided to accept a 14 Day Hair Challenge, and we want you to join us! Every day for 14 days we will execute a different hair style! We will feature pics, and even tutorials if you guys are interested in replicating anything we've done. Keep in mind that while our team can glamorize your face like you've never seen, we are NOT hair-stylists. All of the looks we come up with will be completely elementary. Which means that YOU will be able to replicate them 100%! 

At the end of the 14 days we will choose the BEST overall challenge winner, and that person will receive an awesome (and we mean AWESOME) prize!

So join us! Spread the word! Switch it up and spruce up your do with the Blend team! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blend's Budget Beauty Buys!

Every girls knows and loves Forever 21 for their famously affordable and trendy duds. But did you know their beauty line, "Love & Beauty" carries some seriously cute and quality beauty products? 

We've chosen 5 of our favorites from the line. Here's the kicker... 

...everything we've chosen to feature is under FIVE dollars!! Seriously, you're not going to believe these prices. 

<3 Enjoy it, beauties!

 Slanted edge tweezers that feature padded sides and a small light. Push button activated. Pewter finish hardware. Lightweight. 
Cost: $3.80
Why we love it: Why WOULDN'T you love these? Oh my gosh, we just want to order a ton of these to share with all of our clients! Ever wished for better lighting when removing stray hairs? These super cute tweezers have it built-in! Just click the little button and let there be light! :) We also love the slanted edges for less ouch factor. 

Remove make-up in one step! Deep cleansing and moisturizing. 30 sheets. Green tea extract.

Cost: $2.30
Why we love them: These are amazing make-up removers! Use them before cleansing your skin and see how much MORE dirt and oil is removed! The green tea extract is soothing, and leaves your skin feeling soft and happy :) Lazy ladies: Don't wash your face before bed? Keep these on your night stand to quickly remove make-up and toss. At 30 sheets a pop, these are an excellent buy!

Skin recovery treatment blended with Cucumber Extract, Collagen and Vitamin E. Visibly moisturizes the skin and restores skin tone after UV exposure. Natural pulp sheet prevents skin trouble and provides close adhesion to the face. 

Cost: $1.50
Why we love it: Stocked full of anti-oxidents, this mask will leave you feeling silky smooth for a fraction of the cost of department store skin-care treatments. Will it be a spa quality? Yeaa, maybe not. But for $1.50, we'd say it's definitely worth a shot!

Keep your face free of shine with these blotting papers! Cushioned case featuring a wide stripe pattern and mirror inside. 

Cost: $3.80
Why we love them: Blotting papers are a dream for brides and on-the-go ladies! They are a quick and easy way to absorb excess shine on the oily areas of your face without having to worry about building too much product on your skin. These come in a variety of colors and with a mirror built in! Too cute!

Kissable lips are never out of style! Love & Beauty set includes lip scrub and minty gloss. Tube applicator. 

Cost: $3.80
Why we love it: As make-up artists, we see a lot of chapped, flakey lips which makes color application uneven. The lip scrub is basically a mini-exfoliator for your lips! When the dead skin is removed, it allows for more opague coverage and longer lasting color. As if that weren't worth the three bucks, you also receive a mint gloss. Mint is a natural lip plumper! This combo is the perfect way to achieve a smooth fuller looking pout without breaking your budget!

Monday, August 1, 2011

How to: Fix a Broken Shadow

With the cost of cosmetics these days, most make-up savvy ladies can't afford to simply toss a broken shadow. Fear not butter finger beauties! Follow this super easy "how to" and fix a broken powder shadow in minutes! 

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Butter Knife
  • Ziplock Bag
  • Eye dropper
  • Rubbing Alcohol (the higher the %, the faster it will absorb! Yes, Vodka works!)
  • Thin piece of cloth (a cut out little square of an old cotton t-shirt works great!)
  • Coin (Preferably a quarter)

Your super sad broken shadow :( Womp womp. 

Slide the broken shadow into the corner of a zip lock bag for less messiness. 

Over top of the ziplock bag, take the handle end of a knife and crush the remainder of the shadow into little pieces (while still inside the packing) until it looks like....

Then, carefully take the crushed shadow out of the bag and place it back on top of the ziplock bag (again for less mess).

Use your eyedropper (or in my case, all I could find was this doggie medicine dispenser thingy... haha)... saturate the product with about 6-10 drops of alcohol. It doesn’t need to be swimming in it, just make sure that all of the little pieces of shadow are damp. 

Put just a little rubbing alcohol (or vodka) on the t-shirt square so that it doesn’t stick to your product. Place the coin on the damp spot of the t-shirt and wrap it around to create almost a stamp-like device. Aha! Do you see where we're going with this?

Press the wrapped quarter down really REALLY hard onto the crushed shadow to seal it until you don’t see any more loose pieces. 

Once the alcohol is completely absorbed (about an hour) your product will be like new and ready to be used again! All we could find was a penny, which is why there's more than one "stamp" mark. A quarter fits most shadows pretty well, and makes a much nicer stamp.