Southern Weddings V9 Chapel Charm - Behind the Scenes

Five years ago, I remember telling my husband-to-be that if I could shoot for the stars, I would do hair and makeup full time, and I would do hair and makeup for spreads in Southern Weddings Magazine.

Southern Weddings V9 Chapel Charm

At the time it seemed like such a large and far off dream.  I was working several part-time jobs to make ends meet post college, and I had only done beauty on the side, just for people I knew personally - proms, homecomings, and a few weddings.  

Getting to do hair and makeup for Southern Weddings for the last three issues has been one of the biggest joys of my career, and I am forever thankful that they saw something they liked and took a chance on me!  There is nothing like seeing your work in print!  I am eternally a paper and pen kind of girl.  There is something magical about holding a magazine in hand -the weight, the smell, the sound of turning the pages one by one.

In late May of this year, LULA joined an incredible team at the Parlour at Manns Chapel to create the Chapel Charm spread.  There were 5 girls total.  In hair-and-makeup land, that's 10 services, so I called on some of my favorite gals to provide a helping hand with the looks!  Thank you so much Joanne Maye of Makeup and Hair by Jo, and Aislinn Cobb (a family friend who joined my for the shoot, and thereafter, I begged her to please let me train her up and join me for weddings this fall! She did, and she's killing it.  More on that soon!)

The feel of the shoot was very light, airy, and romantic, with a hint of feminine whimsy.  There were lots of pinks and pastels!  The SW gals envisioned hair down or mostly down, beautiful and unfussy.  We kept the looks very natural with the makeup, but I knew I wanted to play up Logan's lips to compliment the pinks and corals in the stunningl bouquet by Mallory Joyce.

Fun note:  Logan and her man are real sweethearts, and are getting married next March!  I have the honor of doing Logan's hair and makeup again for her actual wedding day - woohoo!

Thank you to Landon Jacob for all of the spread photos, and Blue Barn Photography for all the behind-the-scenes photos!  

And thank you to everyone in this amazing team!!  It was a pleasure to create with you!

@SouthernWeddings | @LandonJacob | @RichardPhotoLab | @Mallory_Joyce | @TheParlourChapel | @lulahairmakeup | @FavoriteCakesKathy | @Alexandra.Violet | @Spoonflower | @PaisleyandJade | @LaTavolaLinen | @ShopSweetLulu | @ASignatureWelcome | @LunaBazaar | @Leaannbelterbridal | @MyraCallan | @WeddingtonWay | @CamilynBeth | @HighCottonTies | @DonnaMorgan_NYC | @JoannaAugust | @KendraScott

With blush + bobby pins,



Three looks for the Everyday Girl

It is so important to play and create things for fun when you are in the visual arts.  I had been finding myself scouring through images on Pinterest and noticed a bit of a gap between what I was naturally consuming (lifestyle - beauty, food, sacred moments) and what I was producing (bridal).   I was itching to create looks for my own portfolio that were non-bridal, but still extremely soft, romantic, and still within the realm of being achievable.  I envisioned a very simplistic backdrop with great light to let the hair, makeup, and personality of each girl take center stage.  I knew I wanted props, but only just a few. 

I love working with brides.  It is definitely a niche that requires a lot of warmth, listening, understanding, skill, patience, and love of the occasion.  Many times I feel like instead of styling,  I am treading in a sea of wedding-day-timeline matrices,  switching around schedules like domino pieces, and making sure everything will get done well and on time.  

One of the best pieces of advice that I have received is to create the art you want to see (thanks to Austin Kleon in his booklet Steal Like an Artist).  Some of my favorite ways to relax on my days off are to go to the farmer's market, get a cup of really really good coffee, and snuggle up with a book.  So I had this idea to create looks I would want to wear, for activities I enjoy, with a hint of romanticism.

I am so thankful that Nancy of Nancy Ray Photography said yes to this.  Quick background:  Nancy and I met in 7th grade and were best friends by 9th grade.  Even then, she would tell me "Sam, I want to be a photographer and have a studio in my house some day," and she would read books on photography technique.  That's Nancy for you, you guys.  She would always invite me to get in front of the camera as a guinea pig and for that reason too many blackmail photos and also my favorite life images exist.  

Brooke and Priscilla of the Mim's House were gracious hosts, and I am so thankful!  The Mim's house has beautiful, historic walls and great light, with plenty of space indoors and outdoors for all of us to move around.

Katie, Hannah Grace, and Kristin were so amazing to hop on board and let me create looks on them.  We chose items of clothing from their own wardrobe to keep things authentic and simple.  No false lashes or smoky eyes for this one.  Just real life!


I am so proud of the way these images turned out.  Nancy had the suggestion to go ahead and submit them, and Style Me Pretty Living was so wonderful to publish the hairstyles in particular with some tutorial steps from myself.  I hope everyone has enjoyed them!  And seriously - if you try one of these looks, can you tag or message or let me know somehow?!  I'd love to see!

A very special thank you to Nikelle of Wylde Flowers for her lovely bouquet, Stephanie Drummond for assisting in creative direction & styling, Aislinn Cobb for helping look after Kristen's beautiful kiddos, and my husband John for being there and cheering me on!

With blush & bobby pins,


Spring Styled Series - Look Two

LULA Styled Series

Another March Monday has rolled around, and we are so excited to share our second look of the Spring Styled Series with you!  We hope you enjoy this soft, romantic look on Courtney!

Courtney Spring Look Two

This look is feminine, fresh, and versatile for an array springtime soirees.  Whisk the curls up into a messy updo, like the one shown, and enjoy attending that outdoor wedding.  Or, leave the curls down and meet some friends for Saturday brunch.  Use this look to inspire you to try something new, and maybe you will find a look you love on you!

Quick Tips to achieve Whimsical Curls:

  • Thinner curling iron = tighter curls.  Use a curling iron with a 1" width or less.  If you have longer hair, use a 1" barrel - if you have shorter hair, go for a 3/4" or 1/2" barrel.  Starting from the bottom of your hair and working up in layers (pin the top hair as you are styling the underneath layers), curl 1" sections or less of hair and set with a styling cream before working on the next layer of hair.  Once set, pull apart the curls to create 2 or 3 thinner, whispy-er curls from there, and set your final look with a light spray.  You can leave these curls down or whisk them into a messy updo.
  • Wrap the hair around the barrel.  For this type of curl, we love to wrap the hair around the barrel instead of clamping it into the iron (such as with a traditional curl).  To do this, take a 1" section of hair, and start wrapping the top of the shaft of hair with the bottom of the barrel (near the handle), and wrap-wrap-wrap the whole strand to the top of the barrel.  It helps if you point the iron downwards.  It does take a little practice to get the muscle memory down if you have never tried wrapping before, but is so worth it for everyday curl styling.  Wands are great for this curl, but a traditional iron works just as good and produces an even softer curl!
  • Use a styling cream.  When you are creating the curls, we recommend using a styling cream (such as Rusk "Wired") to set the curls before curling the next layer of hair.  Use a pea-size amount, rub it with your fingertips, and style the curls from there.  This gives a bit of a softer look than spray.
  • Choose the right pin for your hair.  Courtney has naturally fine, wavy hair, so it was easy to get those messy curls swept up using simple "U" pins and a few small bobbies.  If you have longer or thicker hair, and want to sweep some of those romantic curls up, we recommend using a mix of large Roller Pins and small bobbies.

Quick Tips to work soft, romantic pinks:

  • Embrace the pink.  Many women shy away from pink-pink blushes and lip colors, though they tend to love the look on others.  They may fear that it is too feminine for them, or unnatural for their coloring.  Can we just say, pinks are universally flattering on women of all shapes and colorings!  Go for it!  It gives a beautiful flush, and does not have to be too overpowering.  If you are concerned about matching your coloring, take a friend with you to Sephora and try some shades out, or ask a consultant at a makeup counter.  That's what they're there for!
  • Use a cream blush.  We love NARS Matte Multiples (specifically in "Laos"), but you don't have to break the bank either for a great cream blush.  Maybelline Dream Bouncy works wonderfully ("Pink Plum" is super flattering) and is available at drug stores.  Using the tip of your ring finger, dip into the color and spread gently into the apple of your cheek, moving up-and-out toward your temple, using your cheekbone as a guide.  You can build on to make the color pop more, or keep it nice and simple.  Creams give a natural flush look and have a bit more staying power in warmer weather.
  • Don't limit to cheeks.  Dab a bit of that pink onto the very center of your eyelid, use a light pink gloss, or both, for an instant romantic look.

Quick Tips for Billowing lashes:

  • Go natural!  Ok - who doesn't love long, soft lashes, especially for spring?  Mascara is magic on any day for any woman.  It's the one thing I put on when I'm dashing out the door and have zero time for anything else.  We love when lashes take center-stage on eyes, and there are a few ways to pump them up without getting spidery.  Pick a mascara with a thinner wand.  This will allow you to get every-single-last-lash.  Brush 3 times towards the inner corner of your eye, then 3 times back towards the outer corner.  Then, take the tip of the wand and brush up individual lashes to make sure they are covered.  And this is our game-changer: get really into the outer-corner lashes (where the top and bottom lashes meet) - try to get all those little whispies in there, whether they are top or bottom lashes!  We also like to brush the top side of the top lashes.  Gently twist the wand to curl those top lashes up and out even more.
  •  (and add a few individual falsies if you are up for it!)  We love individual lashes for giving a little extra somethin-somethin on the outer corner of the eyes, as shown on Courtney.  So soft and billowy without being overtly "fake" looking.  You can find these at most drug stores or beauty supply stores, along with the glue (which is different than strip-lash glue!)  We recommend using tweezers to pick up the lash, dip the teensy bottom into a tiny dot of glue (you can put the glue on the back of your non-dominant hand), and stick right in the lash line near the outer edge of the eye.  Use 3-4 sets of individuals, and blend into the natural lashes with mascara.
  • Let them take center stage. Go for a simple, soft black line and understated shadows.  For a soft black line, use a basic black pencil and work into the top lash line using short "dashes," and, if you'd like, top off with a powder-line with an angled brush from there.  For understated shadows, think creams, pinks, champagnes, and grays.  Use that champagne color to highlight the brow bone, the inner corner of the eye, and tap a tiny bit right into the center of the eyelid.


How do y'all like it?  Are there any parts you would like to try?  Let us know!  If you have questions along the way, we are here to answer!!

With joy and a cup of coffee,