P.I.Y: prettify it yourself : dry shampoo

November 17, 2014By stephanie

I’ve come across many whom either a) don’t know what dry shampoo is or b) know what it is but don’t know how to use it and therefore avoid it. And I think that’s a shame because in a world where hair can easily go from healthy and shiny to over processed, over coloured, and over done, washing it daily just because you think you have to can end up doing more harm than good. Once you find a dry shampoo that’s right for you and learn how to use it properly, better hair days will follow.

One of my current favourite dry shampoos: Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak!

What :
Dry shampoo is as exactly as it sounds : a shampoo that can be used for the hair WITHOUT the addition of water. It comes in two formulations, powder or aerosol.

Why :
Hair isn’t meant to be washed and stripped clean daily. It needs your scalp’s natural oil to protect and nourish the hair from root to tip. People who shampoo everyday might notice that their ends are dry or their hair splits easily and that’s because the hair never has a chance to be coated in it’s natural oil. Allowing oil to build and brushing it down the shaft of the hair keeps hair healthy. Dry shampoo helps to lightly clean and boost the hair on non-wash days while maintaining balance.

It’s recommended that hair be washed with shampoo and conditioner approximately 2-3 time a week. Using dry shampoo in between washes allows you to freshen up the hair and absorb any excess oil accumulated at the root. It is also great for post-workout and post-beach pick-me ups!

Dry shampoo should be used sparingly. It’s really easy to overdo it. The trick is to apply to the root. You want to aim towards the scalp, not the entire shaft of the hair.

Depending on the formulation you use, dry shampoo can be applied in two ways. Powder formulations are best for fuller, thicker hair. I like to shake a bit of the product into my hands and then massage into the scalp and root area. Then I take a brush and brush the product down the hair shaft to distribute through the hair.  For thinner or finer hair, I prefer aerosol.  It’s lightweight which is perfect for those whose hair falls limp all on its own. When working with aerosols, lift one inch sections up and spray to the root keeping the can about 6-8 inches away. Spray to close and you risk product overload. Again, brush through the hair to distribute the product.

Now you know! time to P.I.Y!


should i? shouldn’t i? : makeup and hair for your engagement shoot …

September 29, 2014By stephanie

Brides often ask me if it’s worth getting your makeup and hair done for their engagement shoot.  Engagement shoots, depending on the bride, are normally more of a lifestyle/casual affair. Some brides feel that since it’s not the wedding day … maybe they can DIY it (which of course is always an option!). Some on the other hand, still want the polished hand of a professional … but aren’t quite sure if its a necessity.

So back to the original question: Should you have your hair and makeup done professionally for your engagement shoot … the short answer is “yes”.  I really do think taking the time and money to have a professional doll you up is money well spent.


Well, because it allows you the opportunity to see how your chosen’s artist work and makeup application will translate in photos. Did they use enough coverage? Did they apply enough blush for your liking? Does your request for a natural look seem almost tooooo natural on film? Or, did your request for a smokey eye look like just a mess?

The way you take a photo (but first … let me take a selfie …), the way the artist takes a photo, or the way your family takes a photo, will never compare to the way a photographer captures your look on screen. Arranging for your artistry team to beautify you and then having your wedding day photographer capture you on camera is the perfect test before the BIG show. Your photographer will capture you from all angles, in all sorts of different lighting and moods that it’s like getting a full 360 look at your best “almost” wedding self. Once you receive the teasers from your photographer, I highly suggest that you share your professional photos with your artist(s) and provide any necessary feedback or changes.

A game plan like this ensures a very VERY happy wedding day.

(Sometimes, my brides will use their trial run as the opportunity to prepare for their engagement shoot, which I personally think is a great idea. It’s a great way to utilize your trial run … it’s a great way to make the wedding budget stretch.)

Tell me … do you plan to hire a team to get you all  blushpretty for your e-shoot?


lightbox : my DIY brides …

August 11, 2014By stephanie

I am saying this because it’s totally true … but the bp team attracts the best brides.
The absolute most resourceful brides.

Recently, Samantha had a bride whose parents made the silk robes she and her bridesmaids wore, and also created the gazebo in the backyard
where she had her ceremony.

One of my recent brides made the cufflinks for her groomsmen,
(and they were super cute!),  and the decorations for her reception
amongst many other DIY projects.

And another one of my brides … well … she made her cake. Yep. Her cake.
And that pic above is it. In all it’s glory.

Beautiful, huh?

My hat goes off to all my awesome-sauce, Grade A, DIY brides.
You are all so inspiring. You are like my very own personal pinterest … :)


beauty hacks : the vanity table …

February 17, 2014By stephanie

Every lady loves a a little pretty in her life. I’d been living in my home now for about 5 years … it’s just a little wartime home, bungalow style with a lot of character. Over the years, we’ve made some improvements to the common areas of the home (some paint here, some new floors there) but I finally had the opportunity to spruce up my personal space; well, in all honesty, it’s mine and my husband’s room but other than the colour blue … you’d have no idea I share the room with a man. (Don’t fault me – it’s a small room. We gave our two sons the master so they can have bunk beds …)

I forgot to take a pic of my vanity before I started to strip it, but I remembered just before it was completely naked :

There were actually some cute cards and accessories and what not all over the place but you can see what I was working with here  (although a very blurry pic – my bad).  I wanted to keep the same idea of how to utilize this old closet and found some pretty wallpaper to create this:

Some glitzy black on gold instantly made the space a little more … dark glam. Yes? Now, add back in my accessories, vintage trays, accessories, cake plates and tea cups, accessories and more accessories … and you get this :

With more room to hang and showcase more accessories in the future, I’m loving getting ready at my new vanity. It doesn’t stay very neat though :

Somehow my Kindle, my 3DS, and all my makeup pots and tools start to spread magically out of their cases and what not … but a lived in vanity is the best kind of vanity!

What does your vanity table look like?!


quick beauty: dry brushing … get on it!

February 20, 2013By stephanie

We have started carrying dry brushes at the studio and while many people have heard of the routine, they aren’t quite sure what it is all about. Fair enough! For those of you who are curious, dry brushing is a great way to release the body of toxins, exfoliate the skin, and stimulate blood flow and the production of skin cells. The end result is softer, smoother, and glowing skin. Some even believe that daily dry brushing can improve the appearance of cellulite. The act of dry brushing (or skin brushing to some) is as quick as 3 to 5 minutes before you hope into the shower. All you need is a dry, natural bristle brush and some elbow grease.  Here is a video that shows you how it’s done! Try it!