Monica & Kevin

Photography by Lindsay Coulter (www.lindsaycoulterphoto.com) 

Welcome back Bridal Season 2017! 

Monica and Kevin's April 22nd, 2017 wedding was one of my first weddings this year and it couldn't have been a more perfect way to roll back into the exciting madness that is bridal season for a professional makeup and hair artist. 

First off, I have to say that I absolutely adore Monica. She is not only awesome to talk to, but she is flexible, fashionable and super thoughtful and kind! A special shout out to her for making my job so fun and so rewarding! 

So let's get down to the nitty gritty of how we custom created her perfect bridal look!

In her makeup consultation, the key word that I got out of her was "smokey". She had a vision of a very defined eye with a nude lip. The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous the green tones were in her eyes, which automatically led me to suggest a plum/purple look. 

For her up-do we started with a wider low bun with some soft wispy pieces hanging in the front. This is how it all turned out:

We nailed the makeup right away and had no revisions going forward. With the hair, although she liked how it looked, there was something not totally right about it for her wedding day beauty vision. I asked her to email me some more photos of up dos that she loved and then I copied one on a mannequin head for her to review. She sent me the picture on the left and I recreated the photo on the right. 

We decided to go ahead with that one but after a bit more thought, she started to have doubts about that look as well. The problem was that her vision was classic, elegant and simple and there was just too much going on with these intricate up dos. Just a few days before her wedding she sent me this photo: 

YES! YES! YES! I LOVED IT! This was so perfect for Monica's entire style sense but also went so well with her face shape, features, dress and veil! Nailed it! She didn't want another trial, so we just went for it on the day of the wedding and we couldn't be happier with the way that it turned out. Check it out! 

Thank you Monica for trusting me on one of the most important days of your life and remaining so flexible throughout it all. I really loved making your bridal beauty dreams a reality! :-) 

Kayleigh & Ian

Photography by: Brandy Meyers (www.brandymeyers.com) 

If I have to give an award for the most unique bridal experience of the 2016 season, I would have to say that Kayleigh would hands down win it. This girl is such an incredibly interesting woman with an amazing sense of style! 

Kayleigh immigrated here from England and is employed as a large animal veterinary technician. She not only works on a farm with cattle but also lives on one in the small Ontario village of Ethel near Listowel. Not to completely stereotype her as a country girl, but I didn't expect when she came into the studio for her trial that she would be so completely fashion forward and knowledgable about the hair and makeup industry. This girl loves big hair, high fashion accessories and glamour! Therefore, we were instantly friends! :-)

For trial number one, Kayleigh showed me some photos of low buns that were voluminous and structured. Her makeup look was inspired by photos that showed a winged liner with a soft smoke on the top lid and a lot of highlighter. This is what I was able to come up with:

When Kayleigh went home, she sent me some bridal revisions. She felt like the hair was just not glamourous enough. We needed more height on the sides and on top. She also didn't like the highlighter on the brow bone or the way that the liner started close into the tear duct. So what did we do? We opted for trial number 2 to perfect our alterations! Check it out:

The hair changed from low to high and the makeup from frosty and light to more neutral and soft. We nailed it on the second trial and I felt really prepared for her big day! (** Note: I must say that this updo still remains one of my favourites of all time.)

Although we had planned everything from the smallest detail during the trial, what we did not plan for was the INTENSITY of the weather that day. It was HOT. And I mean HOT. It was raining like crazy, windy and aggressively humid. Although this climate is the most difficult to do hair and makeup in, the girls (Katlyn McCulley-Hayden did hair and Carolina Soares did makeup) got us all set up with fans and we used our most aggressive antihumidity products (including powder powder powder) and got to work. 

Kayleigh's entire ceremony was planned to be outside and it had been her dream to marry Ian on the beautiful landscape surrounding her home. Just as the ceremony was about to begin, the torrential downpour of rain stopped, the clouds parted and she was able to execute her wedding as she had hoped to. It honestly felt like we were given a sign in that moment. It was truly magical!

Kayleigh, thank you so much for putting your trust in my hands and allowing me to customize the look for your British high-glam country wedding. It was truly a pleasure getting to know you! Congratulations as you embark on this new journey! 

Katryna & Mark

Photography by Cameron Shaver (www.cameronshaver.com) 

Katryna was first referred to me by Lucy and Jenn; two of her bridesmaids whom I had previously done wedding-day makeup and hair for. Casey, the third bridesmaid, is getting married next year and just booked me for her day as well. This means that I will go full circle in this group of friend's weddings. Can I just say, as a stylist, how awesome that is for me? Not only because I can pay my mortgage (Haha! Stole that line from Cameron :-)) but also because it means that I have gotten to know these girls REALLY well throughout the years, as brides and as bridesmaids! I have built a personal relationship with each one of them which has really allowed me to cater their bridal styling accordingly. 

How do I even begin to describe Katryna? She is sassy, fun, hilarious and super positive. She's the type of girl who walks into a room and commands attention simply by being there. She makes situations feel happy and makes everyone around her feel so comfortable, yet also so special. I have loved getting to know this girl!  

Katryna did a lot of work prior to her wedding day with diet and exercise in order to feel her best. I had the pleasure of watching her transform throughout the year into such a confident and sexy woman. When we landed on her trial day, we decided that we wanted our key theme to be SEXY which for her meant long beautiful hair and defined makeup. 

During her trial, I got Katryna to look through my line of hair extensions (Clip in Cabelo - 100% Brazilian Human Hair extensions) and choose the colour that she liked the best. She went for colour #60 which is a stunningly cool platinum blonde. I had not done her colour before the trial so the extensions didn't match but I guaranteed her that they would after a couple of color sessions. 

After I highlighted and cooled down her hair colour and analyzed her trial photos, I decided to change our eyeshadow direction from golden warm tones (which matched her previous hair colour) to cool silver tones and really play up the Old Hollywood red lip which went perfectly with her pearls. 

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With the help from Katlyn who did the bridesmaid's hair, the day flowed beautifully and turned into the fairytale that Katryna and I had been talking about for a year. It was flawless. :-) 

Thanks again for the referral Lucy and Jenn and a big congratulations to the beautiful Katryna! I have enjoyed our many hair appointments, laughs and shared stories and was truly honoured to be apart of your special day! 

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Jessica & Brad

Photography by Lindsay Coulter (www.lindsaycoulterphoto.com) 

Jessica is literally bridal barbie. If bridal barbie came out after Jessica got married, I would have definitely said that Mattel somehow found this blog and copied her (wishful thinking maybe? Thanks for reading my blog Mattel!) She is absolutely beyond beautiful. The best part about her though is not her gorgeous figure, perfect feminine facial features and shiny blonde hair - it's her sweetness. She is hands down, one of the sweetest and most easygoing girls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with. 

Jessica decided not to go with a bridal trial because she didn't have any events coming up that required such fancy hair and makeup. I was not kidding when I told you that she was easygoing. Naturally, me being a psychotic perfectionist, I had a minor panic attack and wrote her about 5 emails convincing her to come in. Instead, she emailed me some looks she liked, came in for me to color match her and order her a custom set of extensions and then happily told me she was excited to see me on the day of the wedding.

But...wait...what if you don't like how I do your hair on the most important day of your life? I will crumble in dispair!!! 

Therefore, I took her bridal inspiration image that she sent me, did it on a mannequin head and sent her 360 degree videos and photos of the hair on the night before her wedding for critique. I am really that crazy people. Being Jessica, she loved it, had no revisions or negative things to say so...we went with it! 

This is her inspiration: 

 

This is my mannequin head take on the inspiration photo: 

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With help from Katlyn McCulley-Hayden who did all of the bridesmaid's hair, the wedding went off without a hitch and was the perfect wedding day for bridal Barbie and Ken! 

Thank you for choosing me and my team as your bridal glam squad Jessica! We wish you and Brad nothing but the most beautiful marriage! Congratulations!

Steph & Pete

Photography by Jess Collins Photography (www.jesscollinsphotos.com)

Steph is not only one of the cutest, most genuine people I have ever met, but she was also an absolutely beautiful (inside and out) bride that I had the pleasure of working with this year. Beyond being super fun to hang out with one on one (I have also become her hairstylist), she has the world's most awesome mom and some pretty cool best friends too which made my entire experience with this group nothing but positive, exciting and so so so much fun! 

During Steph's trial, I made sure that the key to her look was LUMINOSITY. I wanted her beautiful soul to shine right through in her bridal day style. I used highlighter and then more highlighter on top of that highlighter (Benefit High Beam with MAC soft and gentle on top) and kept everything soft, natural, yet, defined. For hair, even though she has a shorter bob, she wanted some glamorous curls and the addition of a beautiful sparkly headband. I gave her a glamourous half-up/half-down look that was super fun and so chic! 

Her wedding morning went off without a hitch as Katlyn (my go-to hairstylist from my team) and I got to work glaming up the girls! 

Thank you to Steph for trusting Artistically You on your special day and to Katlyn for all of your hard work on the bridesmaid's hair. It's weddings like these that remind me why I am so blessed with a job that I truly LOVE! :-) Congratulations Steph and Pete! 

Kristin + Kyle

Photography by Alicia Ryley Photography - Makeup by Courtney Lacker (Peachy Keen) 

The beautiful Kristin was one of the brides this year who stood out to me because of her quiet, yet confident and incredibly elegant demeanour. Beyond looking like she should literally be a royal princess at Buckingham Palace, she is also unbelievably nice and just an all around sweetheart, which is not only immediately felt but also clearly shown in the love that her family and friends have for her.

Kristin had already hired an awesome makeup artist (Courtney Lackner from Peachy Keen) when we met, so she chose me for the hairstyling only option. Read below to learn how I created Kristin's signature bridal look. 

During her trial, I created a smooth, elegant, bun shaped up-do with soft tendrils hanging from the front and twisted pieces criss crossing throughout the back. One of the things that I noticed that could be improved during the trial was 1. a lack of dimension in the bun and 2. a lack of face framing layers in the front for softness. 
 

I have some extra hair pieces in the studio for brides to try on and get ideas for what they may want. This is one style that I recommended for Kristin's particular updo. 

I have some extra hair pieces in the studio for brides to try on and get ideas for what they may want. This is one style that I recommended for Kristin's particular updo. 

Kristin booked a hair appointment with me shortly after and I deepened her brown base tone and gave her some caramel peek-a-boo highlights throughout the under layer. For girls who LOVE their dark hair, HATE maintenance but want dimension, peek-a-boo highlights is literally the perfect solution. The grow out is undetectable, the darkness still frames the face and the entire top layer, yet you get some beautiful brighter tones shining through when the hair moves or is curled. It's been months and she's let me know that she still loves the way that they look! I also gave Kristin a soft side fringe/face framing layers throughout the front for softness. This is how it all turned out on the day of: 

Thank you to Kristin for putting your trust in me on such a special day and to my Artistically You team for being an extra set of talented hands on each amazing booking! 

Congratulations Kristin + Kyle! 

Emily + Brandon

Photography by Catherine Farquharson (http://www.documentographer.com/)

One of the things that I love most about my job as a makeup and hair artist is the fact that I continually reencounter people from my past who I would have otherwise never seen again. In this wedding, I knew the groom Brandon from high school. I remember him vividly as an unbelievably genuine and kind guy who was loved by everyone! When I got an email from his fiancee Emily Stock about doing her makeup and hair for their wedding day, I was thrilled that I was able to be a part of it and that I got to meet the girl who stole this guy's heart!

Read below about how I designed Emily's signature bridal style. 

I'm going to be honest here, Emily is one heck of a beautiful woman without a lick of makeup on, so my job was not that hard at all.  Beyond that though, what stands out the most about her, is the warmth and kindness that she radiates from the inside. From the moment that she walked into the studio and introduced herself, I just knew she was going to be lovely to work with.

Emily was extremely easygoing when it came to designing her bridal look. She showed me a photo of an elegant and simple up do for inspiration which had a braided element to it and explained to me that she wanted her makeup to be fresh, glowing and natural. She then just totally let go of the control and let me create it. Our initial trial turned out like this:

After the trial, I always ask my bride's to send me a list of "revisions" to execute on the day of the wedding in order to create their ideal bridal look. Because Emily is so easygoing, all she asked for was that the lipstick colour be a warmer pink tone instead of the cooler pink which I used on her. I always feel like the bridal trial is as much for the bride to test out the look as it is for me as an artist to test out the canvas. Once I know how things look on the bride, I can customize it a little bit more to make it that much better. In true obsessive-compulsive-Gabi fashion, I analyzed her photos extensively before the wedding day and came up with some revisions of my own.  I felt like in the trial, I extended the eyeliner too close to the inside of her eye which made her eyes appear smaller. I knew that if I took some of this darkness away and removed the illusion of depth, that I could create a really wide-eyed look which I felt was more suitable to Emily's overall personality and sense of style. 

This is what we ended up with: 

 

Thank you to Brandon for referring me and trusting me to take care of your beautiful wife and to Emily for being such an absolute pleasure to work with. Brides like you consistently remind me why it is that I love my job so very much. Congratulations!!! 

Kristen & Cody

Photography by Cloud 9 Photography (http://cloud9photo.ca/)

Sometimes, my job just rocks! It was clear to me, almost instantly after Kristen Macdonald walked into my studio, that I was going to love working with this bride! Kristen is not only absolutely gorgeous but she is also an amazing mom to a beautiful little girl, a hardworking and successful woman and super fun to just hang out with!  Thank you for being such a truly wonderful bride and for making my job so much more fun!

Read below for details on how Kristen and I customized one of my favourite wedding day looks of the year! 

Kristen had two trials during her engagement period which is very typical for modern brides as they want to experiment with what makes them feel their best. We did the makeup trial once (we nailed it!) and the hair trial twice.

The makeup was a breeze as Kristen had a clear vision of how she wanted to look. Her key points were: Dewy, Contoured and Radiant  --> Not too much smokeyness and not overdone! I went with a champagne lid, a brown matte contour in the crease, a black liquid liner, full set of lashes, lots of highlighter on the cheekbone (Benefit High Beam + Mac Soft & Gentle look amazing together!), dewy setting spray and a baby pink lip. She looked flawless and perfectly bridal

She originally had a plan to do her hair half-up with minimal backcombing/volume because she knew Cody wasn't a "big-hair" fan. As we started working on it during her first trial, we both quickly realized how much her face suits a lot of volume and how beautiful she looks with height at the front and on top. We switched directions a bit and this is what we ended up with: 

A few weeks later, I did a full head of cream-blonde highlights to brighten up her hair and overall bridal look and got her a set of Cabelo Clip in 100% Brazilian Human Hair Extensions in color 613  (Gold Collection - $179.00). We chose the Gold collection (100g of hair) over the platinum collection (160g of hair) because Kristen already has long hair and she mainly needed extensions for volume and hold and not for a lot of added length  (my hair extensions rarely drop a curl so it's perfect for bridal!) We switched up the look of her half-up do in her second trial and ended up with this: 

On the day of the wedding, we decided that we liked elements of both looks and that we should melt them together. Instead of doing a middle part like we did in trial #2, we would keep the same half up-do shape but with the part and height of the look in trial #1. We ended up with an overall bridal style that I am so proud of! With Kristen's guidance, a little extra hair and a lot of extra  highlighter the two of us were able to create bridal barbie! 

Thank you again for choosing me as your bridal makeup and hair artist and for trusting me on such an important and special day!

Lisa & Steve

In my ten years of doing makeup and hair for wedding parties, I can say with true sincerity, that this couple was one of the most deeply in love humans I have ever known. I had the absolute pleasure of being apart of Lisa's special morning getting her ready to walk down the aisle into the arms of the love of her life. I feel so honoured to have been able to share this moment with such a beautiful family and such a truly special, kind-hearted and wonderful bride!

Photography by Denise Belanger (http://www.denisebelangerphoto.com/)

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Lisa is a radiant woman who is often compared to the celebrity Julia Roberts (and I think we can all see why!). She has the most stunning big eyes, a beautiful mouth with full lips and defined cheekbones. Her trial was scheduled for her bridal engagement session. 

Lisa always imagined having big beautiful hair on her wedding day, however, her natural hair is collar bone length and fine in texture. We added a set of Cabelo Human Hair Extensions (clip in) in the platinum collection to give it the added length and fullness that it needed. 

Her makeup was a breeze to do because there was not a lot of correction needed. She gave me some creative freedom so I choose to do an iridescent silver shadow that melted into a gold and then into a bronzed smoke at the end. We added some liquid liner and a full set of dramatic lashes for pop! Underneath the eye, we opted for some dark brown liner and mascara for definition but not too much drama. The lips were kept neutral so that the focal point remained on the eyes. 

Her engagement pictures turned out ridiculously beautiful after our session!

The actual wedding day went off without a hitch as I focused on perfecting the look already created for her special day. :-) 

Thank you so much Lisa for choosing me as your bridal makeup and hair artist and allowing me to be a part of your incredible day! 

Stephanie + Matt Say I Do!

On June 3rd, 2016, Stephanie and Matt said "I do!" and I had the great honour of being apart of her special day! Read below for Stephanie's style inspiration + see how her trial photos translated to her wedding day look! 

Incredible photography by Lindsay Coulter - www.lindsaycoulter.com 

It's a truly special moment for me when I meet a bride for the first time during a trial and instantly connect with that person's soul. This is how I felt when I met Steph. As a professional nanny, my son instantly ran up to her, trusted her and totally fell in love with her and I can see why! Stephanie is not only easygoing and incredibly kind but she's also super fun and gorgeous! It was a true pleasure to be apart of this beauty's special day!

For Steph's makeup trial, I used a soft baby pink shadow from the Urban Decay Naked Pallet on her eyelid, shadowed at the crease with a plum-toned contour and some cat-shaped liquid eyeliner from MAC. As a more natural girl at heart, I kept the contour simplistic and instead focused on flushing the cheeks with a rose coloured blush from Estee Lauder and soft + gentle highlighter by MAC. It was an overall natural, yet defined, glowing bridal look. 

During the hair trial, Steph and I tried a couple of different half up styles but she never felt as beautiful as she did when it was all down with big loose waves and lots of height at the top. I always tell my brides to do the look that makes them feel the MOST beautiful and not what they feel like they "should do". With that in mind, we decided to stay true to Steph's personal aethetic and keep it all down, super flowy and full. I was certainly not disappointed with the way that it turned out!

Steph's girls also wanted a look that was soft and relaxed for their hair and makeup. I decided it would be beautiful to have all of the hair down to one side of the shoulder with soft curls and textured pieces. I used a braided accent to tie their looks together. My co-stylist Carolina Soares (from The Event Firm) did a natural, yet defined glowing bridal look on both ladies that turned out perfectly! 

Congratulations Stephanie and Matt! Thank you for choosing me and my team on your very special day and for being such a pleasure to work with!