2017 Year In Review Pt. 2

Ok, so you got the backstory of my year in Part 1, so I thought I'd keep this part casual and share a few fun roundups!


Books Read: 


Music Enjoyed: 


Trips Taken:


Weddings Worked: 25!

Bridal, Maternity, & Engagement Sessions: 16


Corporate Photoshoots: 8

Bridal HAMU Trials: 18

Lulette Gazettes Sent: 9

2017 Trends I Loved:

  • Bright lips, Wavy/messy hair, all-natural/non-toxic beauty products

Most Loved Beauty Products:

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Most Visited Local Date Locations:

  • Boulted Bread - for the best pastries and a cup of coffee in a cool neighborhood
  • Brewery Bhavana - for the yummiest dim sum in a hip atmosphere, with locally brewed beer
  • Raleigh Raw - for when we wanted to be super healthy, we highly recommend the Complete Breakfast (a CBJ smoothie and Crack Coffee)
  • Foundation - for the best drinks in Raleigh

Top Lessons Learned

  • Stay true to yourself.  No one else's life or business should be your goal or standard.
  • Share your story.  The road you've walked is unique, and God is doing something in it.  Opening up in vulnerability can be one of the most powerful tools in your healing and connecting genuinely with others!
  • LAUGH - laugh in the face of anxiety, failure, and fear.  Laugh through it.  It is healing!
  • Busyness does not equal success
  • Friendships are worth investing in and saying yes to!
  • You are worth respecting - your health, what you feed yourself, who you spend time with, and the activities you do.

I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for us!  

What has your year been like?  What are you looking forward to in the new year?

Here's to a great 2017!  Thank you for all of your love & support! 


What to Know before Hiring a HAMU artist

Having your hair and/or makeup professionally done isn't something most of us experience regularly - myself included!  The process can be a little unnerving if you don't know what to expect, and you probably have a few questions.  Having been on the side of providing those services to countless women, I wanted to make a quick list of things to know before you hire someone to do your hair and makeup to make it the best experience possible.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Ray, at the Trouvaille Workshop 

Photo courtesy of Nancy Ray, at the Trouvaille Workshop 

Do your research

You might have an artist in mind, whether they were recommended through a friend or someone you follow on Instagram.  Or you might just finally have a reason to get your hair and makeup done, and you can't wait to book your artist!  Either way, do a quick google search for a few options in your area, and compare websites.  Things to look for are the artist's Portfolio (do you like the majority of the looks?), up-to-date social media (are they active?), and pricing, of course!  Reach out to your number one first, and wait to hear back.  If you don't hear back in a timely fashion, go ahead and send out your inquiry to your backup choices and go from there!

You get what you pay for (...mostly!)

This is not a general law, but know that the less you pay, the more likely the artist is just starting out and learning as they go, and you might have some communication speed bumps as a result.  Of course, this is not always the case, and we all love a good deal!  More seasoned artists set their prices higher because they are busy with active clients regularly, they invest in great products, and they have learned to communicate what women need to know.  Their skills are sharpened, and this is likely their only job.

Trust and communication go a long way

Artists love nothing more than a client who tells us succinctly what they want (2-3 pinterest inspiration pictures, or a brief explanation) and what they don't (if there is a specific sensitive issue like to cover ears, or make their forehead look smaller)  From there, it really helps us to hear some form of "I trust you!"  We see a lot of faces, skin types, hair types, and shapes all the time, and we are able to make choices for you that maybe you wouldn't make for yourself - and that's a good thing! If you don't like something - please tell us.  We just met you, and while we strive to listen to what you do and don't want, we still might do something you're not totally in love with, and it's no problem for us to tweak.  It's better to tell us than to keep it to yourself, or worse, whisper something to someone nearby.  We are human and feel insecure, too.  The more comfortable and valued we feel, the better work we do for you!


Though most on-site stylists come with their entire kit, a chair, an extension cord, and sometimes a table-like situation, we still need a few things from you.  Access to an outlet, an additional table or counter, and natural light are super helpful for us!  It helps if you clear us a little table space by a window if possible to save us some time.  Our job is a little more difficult the more crammed a space is, so keep that in mind especially if you are hiring us for a wedding day where there are many individuals (and their belongings) involved!


How long is it going to take?  A seasoned artist should provide you with a timeline (especially where multiple services are involved, like a wedding day), and should let you know what time they will arrive, how long it will take them to set up, and how long each service should take.  Each artist works at a different pace, but somewhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour per service is normal.

To tip or not to tip?

Tip!  Think about it as a salon experience, but an added benefit of the salon coming to you! Anything up to 20% per stylist is SO appreciated!  If you have a lead stylist who brings along assistants, you can tip each stylist individually, or give all the tip to the lead and specify that the tip is for all the stylists.  The lead will split accordingly!  If your stylists show up late or ill-equipped to do their job well, or if their conversation or conduct is inappropriate, do NOT feel trapped into tipping!  Hopefully you should have a feel of whether your stylist is tip-worthy before meeting in-person.  If not, go ahead and find another stylist ASAP instead of getting a less than great experience! 

We cannot make you look like a Kardashian

...or Carrie Underwood or Blake Lively or Rachel McAdams.  And that's a good thing!  I love a good Pinterest inspiration, and that usually involves a few of the aforementioned celebs! Don't worry about including those if you really love an element of their look like their eyeshadow, lip color, or updo.  Pick specifics about their look, instead of a "make me look like her!" attitude.  In general, it is helpful to choose inspirations that have similar face shape, skin coloring, eye color, and hair type/color as you.

Do some prep on your own

Before meeting with your stylist, do a little skin and hair prep on your own!  We recommend a hydrating face mask the evening before or the morning of (such as Garnier SkinActiv Moisture Bomb), a soothing eye mask the morning of (such as Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Eye Lift Algae Mask), and a nice moisturizer both the night before and morning of (like Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream)  Prep your lips, too.  It's hard for us to work with chapped lips, so use Aquaphor on your lips nightly leading up to your day (and the morning of!)  We also like washed hair as opposed to the outdated "dirty hair is better" idea of the 90's!  Just make sure it's 100% dry dry dry before you sit in our chair!  We've got the products to get the hold we need.

Nancy Ray Photography for LULA

Nancy Ray Photography for LULA


Other artists, do you have anything to add to this list?  Comment below!  And ladies, what else do you have questions about for the best hair and makeup experience?  I'll be sure to answer you!

Happy styling!