November Recap + End of Year Thoughts

Hi beauties!  How was your November?  

To be honest, I can't believe it's already December - I haven't stopped to really consider all that has happened in November, but I just know it was a lot!  A lot of great things, memories made, laughter, family time, a couple of tough moments, and celebrating.

Work

  • Road-tripped to the Outer Banks with Nancy to do a tag-team hair/makeup and photo session for my cousin's engagement photos!  
  • Met with one of my favorites (& designer of this website) Sarah of Native State Design to dream about some creative endeavors I've been combing through over the last several months, hopefully to come to life in 2018!
  • Partied hard at the Southern Weddings Volume 10 Launch Party!  What a fun night to dress up to the nines, celebrate a beautiful print magazine & their team, & hug people I love but don't often get to see outside of a wedding day!  By the way, did you see this editorial I was a part of?
  • Did hair and makeup for my friend Katie's wedding day (& tried Lipsense for the first time for her wedding! What do y'all think of Lipsense?? Gonna compile my thoughts here soon!)
  • Did hair and makeup for my sister-in-law and one of my dearest friend's, Jess', wedding!  I was running behind with HAMU, I was sweating like a pig, I remembered what it's like to be IN a wedding whilst getting hair and makeup done (& have a renewed sense of purpose to provide as much structure, peace, and stability as possible to my clients!) It was SUCH a beautiful day!  Joanne & Amy joined as well to help out the rest of the girls, and did a fantastic job as always!
  • Joined Beautycounter!  After a ton of time, a ton of thought, trying out product, reading up extensively on the business, purpose, and mission.  Click here to read why I chose BC for me and for LULA, and click here to shop with me!
  • Facetimed with my sweet friend Rhi of Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations and got encouraged about business, taking time away, the highs and lows of social media, and dreaming of 2018.  It is SO good to connect with other business owners in your industry to be encouraged and uplifted!

Personal

  • Took care of my little Milly niece and Winston for a couple of days
  • Helped host a bridesmaid day at my home to celebrate Jess pre-wedding!  We got our nails done, visited her new beautiful home, ate lunch back at my place, watch Gilmore Girls, did a little gifting time, and ate dinner at Bartaco (if you haven't been, you need to go! And trust me when I tell you to get a margarita and a pork belly taco!)
  • Left for the beach and celebrated all week long for Jess and Kyle's wedding!!  Woohoo!
  • Slept one million hours after that
  • Had a Thanksgiving Eve surprise date-night with John to Brewery Bhavana at the bar - Pork Bao, trust me on this one too!
  • Made the most kickass apple pie - I use this recipe from BHG every Thanksgiving and it's not for the faint of heart, but it is SO GOOD.
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with my husband's family on T-giving day, then my family on Saturday.  On the day in between, we hiked part of the MTS trail in north Raleigh and the day was just the finest Raleigh in the fall has to offer.  We got our tree - at Kroger : )  Nothing like good prices and simplicity sometimes! 
  • Decorated our tree and our home for the holidays!  
  • Dealt with a little surprise meltdown moment, only to realize I was still dealing with loss - it was the 2 year anniversary of being pregnant, our only time conceiving in the last 3 years.  What a journey!  God is good and present through it all!
  • Reading Animal Vegetable Miracle still, and finishing up the last chapter (December) of The Life-Giving Home.  I highly recommend both of these for your 2018 reading list!
  • Trying to wake up a bit earlier to enjoy more daylight and have extended morning time to do all the things I like to do - time with Jesus, a few chores, breakfast, and working out.  Going well so far!

December + End of Year Thoughts

What an amazing year.  I really want to thank you, my kindred friends, for supporting me through so much change this year!  It wasn't easy, but I'm glad I told you all about it.  I really believe that being vulnerable and transparent is one of the strongest tools God uses in us, to encourage one another, bridge the gaps of isolation, and do some real healing.  I'm really thankful for you!  I can't wait to see what 2018 brings, and I can't wait to share what I've been dreaming up for all of us.  Thank you for your patience, your kindness, and your encouragement with and to me!

In December, I'm looking forward to a few things:

  • One engagement session, one trial, and one wedding (because let's be honest, the extra money is going to be helpful for holidaying!  And, I want to keep my skills sharp and my heart soft!)
  • Hosting our first ever holiday party for a few friends in our home.  I'm a little nervie but the best way to get over that is to just do it : )
  • Maybe sing a little
  • Go see the Governor's Mansion all beautifully decked out in red, gold, and green
  • Hang out with friends and family
  • Attend a few parties as well!
  • Do a little more shopping and wrap my presents
  • Get back in the gym with all the pre-wedding gusto I had a few weeks ago!  It really does make me feel so much better physically and emotionally!

How can I encourage you this month?  Message me or comment below.  Do you have goals posted - link em!  I wanna cheer you on!

All my love Lulettes,

Sam

 

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!

Space

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!

Time

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!
Sam