30 Days of Thanks- Year 3

The last 2 years, I have participated in 30 days of thanks in one posting- to avoid cluttering every one's facebook news feed on a daily basis. Its a great thing, to sit down and think of all of blessings in life. People from all over the world rejoiced so I figured I'd do it again this year. 

1. Thank you Tinder, for introducing me to my husband. We collided through the tinder-sphere and will live happily ever after.
2. Thank you Amazon Prime for getting me everything I need with free 2 day shipping. 
3. I am thankful for Megan Trainor's song, "All About that Bass" for making it cute to bring back retro pop with body positivity. No treble. 
4. Thank you, peer pressure. For being totally not cool anymore. Unless my friends think its cool. 
5. I appreciate the ability to unsubscribe from emails, then getting an email saying I am successfully unsubscribed. 
6. Thank you, Pita Bread, for being a great combination between wheat and envelopes. 
7. My family, my friends, my clients- thank you for your unwavering support in all of my endeavors.
8. Thank you clapping, for giving me the ability to high-five myself. 
9. How I Met Your Mother, thanks for ending the TV series and having Ted still end up with Robin. As it should be. 
10.  Thank you Taco Bell, for finally getting into breakfast. 
11. Thank you Uggs- for having the most honest product name in today's society. 
12. Thank you Weather Channel for the 10 day forecast. 2 days are accurate and 8 days just make for a fun guessing game. 
13. Thanks Dove for being the brand name of both soap and chocolate. My shower this morning was delicious. 
14. Thank you Robin Williams. You made the world a happier place during your time here, and I hope you've found peace.
15. I'm still thankful for my Athena, being the best dog and companion a this girl could ever hope for. 
16. Thank you America- where Love and Civil rights are no longer mutually exclusive. 
17. Thanks Fireball. I can't remember what happened- but I think I had a good time.
18. Find My iPhone App, I bow down to you.
19. Thank you headphones, for being the international symbol of "Don't talk to me". 
20. Thank you, people who say "Have a safe flight" for meaning "I hope you don't die!"
21. Sincerest thanks every other professional, for your referrals and recommendations, I value your opinion of me.
22. Thank you to hairspray, you hold my life in place. 
23. My Adam, thank you for showing me how to be the best version of myself. I love you. 
24. Thank you to my parents, for keeping our elopement a secret even though I know it was challenging. 
25. Thank you Gatorade. When I carry one around at 9am, it lets everyone know I partied too hard last night. 
26. Thanks brevity. 
27. Thank you fruity pebbles, for being rice crispies that came out of the closet. 
28. Thank you Urban Dictionary. Without you, I wouldn't know where Felicia went. 
29. Thank you to my vacation buddies over the last year. It was nice to travel with someone else for a change.
30. In closing, I'm forever thankful for flip flops, they make it socially acceptable to never wear shoes.

Of Love and Shadows

I love styled shoots! They always provide me a creative outlet and I always come away from the experience renewed and inspired. Check out the wonderful imagery created by Justina Bilodeau Photography below!

Hair Stylist: Alise Buckner Makeup Artistry: Mariah Hennet Florals: Pretty Petals Charleston Hair pieces: Treats for Tresses 

Cottage Hill Magazine Homecoming Issue

I was fortunate enough to be asked to work on this lovely editorial for Cottage Hill MagazineCottage Hill celebrates lives worthy of an elegant and meaningful legacy. It’s about more than weddings and lifestyle, it’s about community. It’s a magazine and online blog where marriage is more important than color palettes, authentic work and influence is more important than popularity and living a rich life serving others is the most elegant lifestyle of all.

Check out some of the awesome images from this shoot. Makeup artistry by Dannon Collard, photography by Buffy Dekmar. Venue Riveroaks Charleston

What is Balayage?

 The go-to for modern, chic hair, balayage creates depth and dimension, and leaves you with a sun-kissed finish.
What is balayage?
Balayage is a French colouring technique that was developed in the 1970s. It’s a freehand technique where the colour is applied by hand rather than using the traditional foiling or cap highlighting techniques. Balayage can be used in even the shortest pixie crop however the best results is in hair below the shoulders.
The appeal
You can achieve so many different effects from soft, natural highlights to something strong and punky. The fact it’s so low maintenance is such a drawcard for women too. People want to look fashionable and feel good about their appearance but in this day and age we don't all have the time to be in the salon every few weeks for a touch up.
It’s also a very economical way to color your hair as you never have a solid demarcation line or regrowth, so if you can’t afford to get it done for another month it won't look atrocious. However, if your balayage isn't done correctly you can end up with excessive overlapping that can cause damage.
How it’s done
The process varies depending on the length of the hair and the desired result. You can expect to have individual strands coloured with a brush and a backing board. Some colourists like to separate their sections with cotton wool or foil, others tease the hair in sections first then freehand color the ends.
I find that all my balayage clients are going for different looks and need to maintain it at different rates. You will need to have a minimum of three appointments to really build up the colour initially. These appointments are spaced six weeks apart. From there you could go up to four months without having more balayage. You would just need to come in for a glaze and a treatment to freshen up the color in between appointments.
Is it for me?
Balayage is best done on natural hair, but never fear, most of the work I do to create a balayage look is initially done with foils until the hair is ready to have only balayage. There are many different techniques that people use to create this look. If you’re seeing a color specialist they should always be able to come up with a technique to achieve the look you desire that best suits your hair type and colour history.
The best hairstyles for balayage
I always love to see balayage finished with loose curls or a beachy, tousled look where you can see the colour variations ribbon through the hair. Sharp, strong haircuts like a bob require a stronger color or a block color to show off the cut. Balayage is best left to more flowing hairstyles.
Top maintenance tips
Balayage will dry your hair out no more than classic foiling as long as you have a trained professional applying your color. As with foils you should always use salon professional shampoos and conditioners as well as have regular treatments. No matter what the technique, your colour will always look its best if your hair is in good condition.
Does balayage have an expiry date?
The technique has been around for so long and will remain an integral part of the way we color in the salon for as long as I can foresee. However, the trend at the moment with the heavy graduation from dark to light is constantly changing. It started out about five years ago being very subtle with people like Gisele Bundchen being a favourite. A more natural, sun-kissed effect was desired then. In the last few years we have seen much stronger effects being worn. This winter we have seen the same techniques used but with a warmer, deeper feel. Lots of celebrities have their balayage finished with copper or red glosses and this is now being called the new ombre look.
Alternatives to balayage
At Elysium Salon,  I love to use different foiling techniques to create a more structured, gradual fade out effect. I put more ribbon-sized weaves with a lighter colour through the interior of the hair then I work up to deeper colours and softer weaves as I work up to the hairline and partline. It’s a truly beautiful way to create variation in the colour while maintaining a more structured technique that can be worn in many different styles.

I do. We did.

Hello! So, we surprised most of the world by deciding to elope on November 5th, 2014! It was a perfect day. Adam and I met back in May from this little weird dating app called Tinder. I had downloaded the app several months back out of sheer curiosity, the whole world was talking about it! I did end up meeting about 8 or so guys from the app, all nice dudes but not enough spark, you know? All of that changed when I met Adam. I never believed in all of that "soul mate" and "when you know, you know" hoopla. Always assuming I was the best version of myself when I was completely alone, I had never contemplated marriage. I didn't consider my lifestyle condusive to the institution of it all.

I was wrong. The more Adam and I talked about the M word, the faster I realized I wasn't against the institution of it, but only the opening act. The W word. The wedding! Don't get me wrong, I love weddings! I love my career as a bridal stylist! However, after seeing the behind the scenes action of 300+ brides, the wedding aspect of marriage has lost its luster to me. While its the right choice for so many people, it just wasn't the right choice for us.

Adam proposed in late August. I expected myself to be more hesitant and trepidatious. But yes was the only answer I could provide, I love this guy so dang much. What does a girl do when she gets a ring.. we look at Pinterest! After ruling out the option of a big wedding and months of planning: elopement was the idea. We had already planned a trip to San Francisco for sightseeing and a concert. Pinterest led us to the idea of eloping in San Francisco, CA! The more research we did, it was clear that this was the place and plan for us. It was far enough away from home that it would truly feel like "our moment" and people wouldn't be upset they weren't invited. Plus, SF City Hall is beautiful! We also decided it would be way more interesting if we didn't tell our friends! Yes, both of our immediate families were in on it but how often do people get to truly surprise one another? It was so difficult not to share the news with my awesome friends. Especially after they noted the changes I was making in my personal life.

Our wedding day came on Wednesday, Nov, 5th. After getting ready together, we walked hand in hand down to City Hall. My parents joined us for the intimate ceremony at the top of the grand staircase. Afterwards, we all celebrated with champagne and delicious french food at Absinthe Brasserie. That evening, we strolled along the bay and wharf, enjoying our first sunset as a married couple. Our "reception" was going to a rock concert! While eloping is not for everyone, it was the right choice for us. I applaud every bride for following her heart and making her wedding the way she wants. I love watching my clients as they get ready for the wedding of their dreams- knowing I was able to have mine.

Even though we decided on small scale wedded bliss, we wanted to properly document the day. Many heartfelt thanks are in order for Emily Gutman. She is a fantastic photographer who specializes in City Hall weddings. Please visit her website if you are ever in need of a San Francisco photographer.


Makeup by Amanda Rose 
Florals by Farm Girl Flowers