BRIDAL PREP

So you said yes right? You're getting married, yes? You're about to go down the rabbit hole of wedding planning yes? I'm engaged too and planning a wedding so I know how much attention that can take but it's important not to forget yourself in this process. You know how your wedding books tell you that you need to have your dress picked by... so you can have it altered by... You need to have your venue booked by... and all that jazz. I'm not a wedding planner so I can't guide you on that but I am all about beauty so here's a timeline you should follow for your bridal beauty preparation:

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BROWS - 6 months out start growing them out! Find a great brow girl (if you have a Nordstrom near by see the Anastasia Brow Studio for your initial guidelines). Then make sure you get your final wedding clean up 2-3 days before the wedding.

FACIALS - 3 months out at the very least. Take really great care of your skin during this time and if you plan on changing products or your routine, you don't want to do that too close to the wedding in case you react negatively to the new ingredients. Plan to get you last facial a week to ten days before then use a gentle exfoliator (like a pumpkin enzyme or AHA) frequently to keep up the facialist's results.

HAIR - Most brides I meet started growing their hair out the day they got engaged but that isn't always necessary. CUT: If you regularly get your hair trimmed then you stop for months and months, the likelihood of your hair being crappy and damaged looking by your big day is really great. If you're planning on an updo then yes, settle down with getting a lot of layers cut since those tend to make some braids and updos a little challenging. COLOR: I love my dark hair but I will say that highlights do make your hair look fuller and bridal styles have more dimension so even if you only want to commit to baby lights that's enough. Your color should be touched up within 3 weeks of the wedding so it can settle in. EXTENSIONS: If you want to wear your hair down work on keeping it healthy all the way to the tips and don't panic, chances are you will want length and thickness added so you can always pop in extensions (I make them by the way - look in the more. section). If you have a great stylist, take them with you to your hair color appointment to make sure they match or can be colored to match your hair.

MAKEUP - Whether you are hiring a professional makeup artist or not, I suggest you investing in a great foundation that not only matches you flawlessly but also you know that it photographs beautifully (meaning, test it out in different lights and with different cameras ahead of time). Your makeup artist might keep limited shades and formulas and if you are like me, I break out over any change so I'd rather know that what is being used is guaranteed to not bother me.

So darling... add these to your massive TO DO List in your wedding binder and make sure you don't neglect YOU during this hectic time!

xoxo

Trichotillomania: A Look At The Disorder & How to Improve the Look of Your Brows

You've probably met someone suffering with Trichotillomania but like most of us you didn't notice because even if you see them pulling or what looks to be playing with their brows or eyelashes, you don't immediately think that they are actually tearing out their hair causing pain, bald spots and in some cases causing their hair to stop growing completely.

Trichotillomania before microblading
Trichotillomania before microblading Austin
PHOTOS: Client's own from iPhone

PHOTOS: Client's own from iPhone

Trichotillomania (TTM), also known as hair pulling disorder, is an impulse control disorder characterized by a long term urge that results in the pulling out of one's hair. This occurs to such a degree that hair loss can be seen. Efforts to stop pulling hair typically fail. Hair removal may occur anywhere; however, the head and around the eyes are most common. The hair pulling is to such a degree that it results in distress.

I recently met someone who has been dealing with this disorder since the age of 12. I offered to microblade her brows in hopes to help her save the integrity of her brows before it is too late. Her name is April and she agreed to do a little interview with me before her session. 

KS: What made you interested in microblading?

AC: I've had issues with my eyelashes and eyebrows for as long as I can remember. When I was about 12 years old I remember seeing an article that my mom left in the bathroom talking about a disorder called Trichotillomania and I immediately identified with it and knew that is what I had.

KS: When do you struggle with it the most.

AC: Anytime boredom or stress sets in I find myself, with whatever finger nails I have, just pulling or picking at whatever hair I could grab, whether it was my eyelashes or my eyebrows, it doesn't matter.

KS: So you seem to do it most during high stress times... when things are going well and everything is under 'control', do you still struggle with it?

AC: Well as much as it is heightened by stress or boredom, it's like a compulsive disorder for me. I'm a big face toucher, so if I run my fingers over my brows or lashes and I feel a hair that is "out of place" that would trigger me to start pulling in that area to get rid of it.

KS: And would you stop after you got THE hair?

AC: Sometimes. Normally I don't do it in front of a mirror, I'm usually sitting on the couch or doing something that is distracting me so I will just pull and pull until I feel like it's gone but by the time I get to the mirror, there is usually a big hole because I've totally overdone it and I look ridiculous with a big chunk missing.

KS: When you were young, did you ever talk to anyone about what was happening?

AC: I don't think so. Years later I told my mom and she oddly started laughing and said that she does the same thing.

KS: Do you remember seeing her do it when you were a child?

AC: No, I remember that she did and does have sparse eyebrows but growing up I really never noticed which as an adult means that she was probably just really good at hiding it.

KS: You've gone back and fourth pulling your eyebrows and eyelashes, is it ever at the same time or always one or the other?

AC: No, its usually one or the other. I can't remember ever doing both. In fact it's usually just one brow or one eye, not both.

KS: Does it seem to be your right or left side more?

AC: I don't think so. It's just both.

KS: When we first started talking about you being a candidate for microblading, I told you for your best results you would have to grow your brows out which would mean forcing yourself to stop pulling. You've obviously done that because your brows are so full! How did you keep yourself from succumbing to the urge?

AC: I think just having a goal. Knowing that if I truly wanted a good result I couldn't keep pulling. There were plenty of times where I caught myself, stopped myself and restricted even my access to tweezers. I had to try so hard not to touch my face because I knew at the end of this KS: There was a reward. AC: Yes, my goal was the reward.

KS: I am blown away at your brows right now and how much brow you have because when I met you there was barely a single line of hairs.

AC: Honestly I've never seen them like this either. I know even if I grow them out they are still sparse, that I'd never have the brows I wanted so to me it didn't matter. Then when I found out about microblading and you told me how great my results could be if I just grew mine out before doing it, I thought, this could finally be the way to get the look I've been hoping for.

KS: Have you noticed that you've been pulling your eyelashes out since you can't do it to your eyebrows?

AC: No. Actually I started an anxiety medication that I feel is helping with those compulsive things right now. That has been really helpful. Honestly I've been more stressed in the past few months than ever but I think with the medication and the goal of getting this done, I think that has really helped. Plus I constantly see your before and afters and that is encouragement for me too when I'm feeling weak.
KS: I assume you've spoken to various doctors over the years about this, what has been their advice in conquering your disorder?

AC: They really haven't given much. I guess because it's not a health issue, they don't see it as a problem that needs attention.

KS: That's what's really shocking to me because I've been several people with Trichotillomania and it doesn't seem like they get any help or guidence. That's odd to me because obviously I'm not a doctor but if something is happening internally to you that is causing you to harm yourself externally, there is clearly a bigger issue at the core and if the actually ACT of pulling your hairs out isn't a concern, what's going on inside should be.

AC: I don't feel like it's looked at very seriously. Maybe eventually it will be. It's embarrasing. There was finally a point where I showed my husband what I was doing. He didn't know. That was really hard for me. Letting him see me being very vulnerable. Seeing that embarrasing side of me. It looks awful. It looks ridiculous.

KS: What is the worst point in your life that it has gotten?

AC: I mean, to the point where I've stayed home from work to give it a few days. I've had to get more into makeup to try to hid it. Sometimes I'll draw my brows on really really dark to camouflage it and that looks really crazy. I used to dye my hair really blonde so penciling my brows in so dark it looked really bad. I avoid eye contact with people or direct face to face conversations.

KS: In the long run, how do you see having your brows microbladed will impact you dealing with tricitillomania?

AC: I hope by doing this it will make me feel more proud of how they look and be an incentive for me.

KS: Well thank you for being so open and honest. I hope by doing this interview, anyone out there suffering with this can find somewhere in their area who can give them an incentive through microblading and so that those suffering know that they are not alone.

Trichotillomania before and after microblading
Trichotillomania before and after left brow microblading
Trichotillomania before and after microblading right brow

 

I am going to follow up with April in five weeks time when she returns for her touch up. Let's see if microblading her brows does help her. Fingers crossed! Check back next month for an update on how she's doing.

Thank you for reading.

xoxo

-Kara

 

Wedding Beauty Checklist

Wedding Feature Image It's that time of year again where many engagements happened over the holidays and depending on when you set the date, some of your beauty needs will need a few months of preparation so I have a comprehensive list for you to refer to as you move forward with the rest of your wedding planning.

Are you booking a professional hair and makeup artist for the big day?  If so, remember, the good ones book up quickly and you will want to have a contract with your artist 3-6 months before the wedding date.

Another necessary step that needs to happen 3 months before the wedding is a brow consult.  I would strongly recommend visiting your local Nordstrom Anastasia Brow Studio to get some guidance on the best shape for your face.  Since a hair cycle is typically 4-5 weeks, this guideline will allow you to have 3 appointments leading up to your wedding day, allowing for any grow out or correction necessary.

Are you planning to do a hair/makeup trial?  I suggest if your schedule allows, doing the trial the morning of your fitting, this way not only will you see how the hair and makeup look with your dress, you will also see how it photographs and how the hair and makeup wears through the day.  You're looking for everything to stay in tact for 8 hours minimum.  Keep in mind if you had both done at 11am and it doesn't last til midnight with all the dress trying on and running around, that's fine.  You need to look perfect for the photos and the wedding, anything beyond that is a bonus!

Wedding Makeup Styles

Lashes are another aspect that you should consider.  For close up photos, individuals are preferred because they appear far more natural then strips although they are a little more difficult and time consuming to apply but lashes (as well as brows) seem to look much weaker and sparse with professional photography flash and this will make it look like you have fluttery natural lashes in all of your photos.

Another factor to consider for close ups is your skin, now yes, you can pay your photographer to Photoshop your skin making it flawless but wouldn't you rather look flawless to your fiance, wedding guests and in your photos on your own?  This can be as simple as deep cleansing or hydrating facials 4-8 weeks before the wedding or laser work 3-6 months before.  Depending on your needs you can choose your route with your Esthetician or Dermatologist but either way, keep your routine simple, don't introduce any new products within the last 3 weeks and be sure to clean your skin well before bed and exfoliate regularly... this will ensure a natural glow not digitally enhanced.

Are you having bridesmaids?  The number one thing I hear is that after the cost of the dress, shoes, flights, hotels, etc., your girls' paying for their hair and makeup get 86'd.  My suggestion is consider letting them pay for their hair and you figure in their makeup into your wedding budget.  After all they are YOUR photos and YOUR album that you will have forever so it's more important than the 7 varieties of hors d'oeuvres that you are mulling over.

Wedding Party Beauty

Are you planning to spray tan?  You definitely should have a trial run with the tanner before the day so you can make sure you are hiring the best sprayer and you are happy with the quality and wear of the solution you choose.  St Tropez is amazing and I recommend it!

Wedding Hair & Tan

Will your dream hair style require extensions to achieve?  If so then you will want to order them after you have decided on your final hair color/cut for the wedding and in time for you to take them with you on your last hair appointment just to double check the shade.  If your wedding day hair professional is great at her craft, she will know before your trial whether you need extensions to achieve the look you're going for and if so, she may even have a sample set to use at your trial so you can see the full effect.

Are you opposed to highlights?  Highlights really enhance a hairstyle whether it is up or down and if you aren't willing to commit to permanent highlights, keep in mind you can use extensions in a lighter shade to give you temporary lightness for the day.

Manicures/Pedicures are essential and we all know that but I want to talk to you a little about shade selection.  If you are traditional then go with a pale pink shade like Essie Mademoiselle, Deborah Lippmann La Vie En Rose but steer clear of a french manicure.  It is very dated and you can do better.  If you are more edgy think outside the box and go with a lovely greige color like Essie Chinchilly, OPI Tickle My Francy or Metro Chic by OPI for Sephora.  If you are trendy then look at what's hot right now... is it red, bold pink or metallics?  Any of those will photograph well but stay away from super dark shades or nail art as it will be distracting in your photos.

Wedding Venue

Bobby Pins & Blush offers BROW SERVICES, MAKEUP, HAIR & SPRAY TANNING so please check our services listed on the homepage for details and if we did your wedding, please share your bridal hair and makeup photos with us on Instagram with #BobbyPinsandBlush