How to Plan a Successful Styled Shoot

How to Plan a Successful Styled Shoot

Ever just wished you had a blueprint to help you get started on planning a styled shoot?

Whether you're lost on how to get started and just need a basic blueprint, or you’re looking for a few tweaks to revamp your current process for connecting with your dream vendors, I’m here for you.  I’m going to teach you how to plan a successful styled shoot—one so great that the images will get your work published and get more clients to book with you—and share all my swipe files to get you started.

If you’re new to my blog, I’m LaTonya Turnage, makeup artist and entrepreneur, who can now add author, educator, and business mentor to my belt. For more than ten years, I've worked in the makeup industry, and I've done it all from editorial and runway to stage and bridal (Bridal is my favorite!). I’ve been featured in Munaluchi Bridal, Baltimore Sun and FOX-TV to name a few.

To stay top of mind for brides, I had to add styled shoots to my marketing strategy. It’s a lot of work, but a genius way to do the work I love and attract my target audience.

If you’re scratching your head wondering “is a styled shoot right for me,” that’s ok! Here are 4 benefits of planning one.

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Styled shoots allow you to do it your way

If I had to guess, I would bet that you started this business because you love it. Yet, I know that clients don’t always want what you want to create. Styled shoots can offer the outlet you need to spread your creative wings and work on your dream projects. You can get as over-the-top or as minimalist as you want because you are not limited to your clients’ demands.

Styled shoots can connect you with your vendor crush

Networking and collaborating with your vendor crush—you know that one creative that you've been dying to work with since the beginning of your career—is a major plus for styled shoots.

When planning the collaboration, plot out time for networking on the day of the shoot. Most importantly, follow up afterward and make sure you stay in touch.

Challenge yourself to learn more about them, their business, the type of clients they want they want to serve, so you know who to refer to them. Referrals are a two-way street, and if you can start by sending someone to them, they will remember and be inclined to return the favor!

Styled shoots can help get your work published

If you haven’t noticed, blogs and magazines LOVE styled shoots, especially in the wedding category. And, who could blame the editors? Styled shoots are representative of the creatives best work and (sometimes) the most imaginative. 

Styled shoots can help you score new clients

If your styled shoot is featured on a wedding blog, couples will soon start to visit your website to learn more about you. We can almost always trace some of our clients directly back to a styled shoot we had published.

Even if your goal isn’t to get your shoot featured, the images will enhance your site and social media channels so that your ideal client identifies with you and takes that next steps to move deeper into your sales funnel.

So how do you plan for success?  Here’s a quick way to get started.

Be Clear on the Concept

Before you start emailing or reaching out to vendors, make sure you have a clear vision of the shoot’s concept.  Have an idea of all the players and props needs. A mood board can be beneficial and offer you a way to communicate your vision to the team and venue succinctly. Having your ideas thought out and on paper will save tons of time and the vendor will be assured because of your preparedness.

Send Out an Invite

Soliciting vendors can be intimidating, I’ll admit. There’s no guarantee that they will respond favorably. I encourage you to move past the fears and just go for it!  Honestly, there were a few vendors who had to turn me down due to scheduling conflicts, but almost every vendor was more than happy to get involved! Despite the uncertainty and fear that comes with contacting others about your styled shoot vision, feel the fear and leap regardless. The worst thing they can say is, “No.”

Compile A Shoot List

I’ve found that the best way to ensure your expectations for a shoot are met is simply by making them known. Before meeting with the vendors, we think through all the images we want to walk away with once the shoot ends.  Compiling a list of “must have” images and sharing them with the group before production day is crucial to the shoot’s success.

If you’re working with a photographer you trust, you can work together on your shoot wish list.

Show Your Partners Love

From start to finish, it’s important that the vendors know just how much you appreciate their contributions. Make it clear in the beginning what sort of exposure they’d receive at the end of the project.

It’s important to keep in mind that these vendors are donating their time, services, or products to bring your vision to life, so it’s critical to make sure they feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.

Set a process and rules for sharing images, both physically and online. Each vendor should walk away with positive memories of working with you and eager to collaborate again.

Click below to grab your FREE Swipe Files to get started planning your next styled shoot!

Beauty Expert and Entrepreneur turns Author: LaTonya Tells All About Her New Book

Beauty Expert and Entrepreneur turns Author: LaTonya Tells All About Her New Book

As you may already know, I’ll be speaking at MINT Conference this week. The MINT Conference is a two-day intensive powered by Brown Girls with a Camera, a group of professional photographers. The conference on all things related to the business of photography aims to celebrate, inform, collaborate and bring together photographers and videographers of color. The MINT Conference offers multiple sessions packed with experts of all kinds to share their knowledge, experience, and recommendations on the business side of photography.

So, I can imagine that you must be thinking what does a beauty expert need to say to a room full of photographers?

Great question.

I’ll be sharing advice on how photographers can level up in their business by partnering with beauty professionals. When it comes to getting quality images—the ones that get you published and get you the clients willing to pay top dollar to work with you—you need to get a beauty team on board. We share all the tips for meeting, vetting, and establishing a professional working relationship with beauty professionals from the moment you sign an agreement. Yes, you need an agreement…And, we cover the appropriate contracts and forms needed, too.

Sounds interesting, but you can’t make the MINT Conference? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered!

I’ve compiled all the must-know tips, forms, and template into my new book, HOW TO BUILD YOUR DREAM TEAM: A GUIDE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS.

As a beauty expert, I work with tons of well-renowned photographers. And, as a mentor to budding beauty pros, I instill in my mentees the importance of having professional relationships with photographers. I've established a process in my own business for working with photographers in a way that is consistent and professional and gives the clients an elevated, high-end experience each time.

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  •  Instant access to the digital download
  • Tips and templates to personalize and enhance your relationship with beauty pros in less than a minute, giving you a consistent 1-on-1 relationship, including:
    • How to know what you need in a beauty partner
    • Tips for vetting the beauty professional properly
    • My Checklist for all the items you need to ensure they are the right beauty pro for you
    • The Standard Agreement Template--no matter the type of pro, this template works for them all
    • A Model Release Form
    • My customizable SOP, so you have something to send when a project's a fit

 

Our expert weighs in on the squiggle brow trend

Our expert weighs in on the squiggle brow trend

Talk about squiggle brows has dominated social media, blogs, and beauty news everywhere. The beauty community has posted their take on the trend all over Instagram, and mainstream media has picked up on the craze.

So, what are squiggle brows? Makeup artists create the look by shaping the eyebrows into a squiggle shape with washable glue. No hairs are actually plucked, which means the brows can be coaxed back to its natural state. But, is this trend appropriate for everybody?

Our beauty expert, LaTonya Turnage, owner of Elite Secrets weighs in.

"Your eyebrows should frame your face and work hand and hand with your eye shape to enhance your facial features. When you deviate from the natural structure it breaks the original shaping and draws attention from all the other striking features," she explains. "Squiggle brows may be great for theatrical makeup or for the girl looking for a daring, bold look, but it's not for the everyday beauty."

"The way a beautiful picture can enhance an image, your eyebrows can frame and enhance your face," says Turnage.

She recommends a few simple tips to nail the perfect brow for your facial form.

  • Follow the natural arch of your eye and resist creating a different shape.
  • Use the appropriate shade of eyeshadow to fill them in and ensure a more natural finish...when in doubt, follow the hair color.
  • Properly grooming your brows help and cut time spent on perfecting the full eyeshadow look.
  • Invest in a good brow gel, (for unruly brows) or brow pencil. These tools are perfect for adding instant definition to the brows.
  • Set the brows with a brow powder for a less waxy look and a more natural appearance.
  • Use short feathered strokes to fill in the brows and avoid a harsh, overbearing look.
  • For more dramatic look, use products such as pomade for a clean, dramatic look.

Some of LaTonya favorite beauty products for eyebrows: 

Want to book an appointment with the beauty pros at Elite Secrets? Click here to schedule your beauty appointment today.

The Ultimate Bridal Beauty Timeline from Now to your Big Day

The Ultimate Bridal Beauty Timeline from Now to your Big Day

The end of the week marks the beginning of September. Soon the leaves will change, school will be back in session, and pumpkin spice lattes will return to Starbucks menus everywhere. Exciting, right? Well, to most this sounds endearing, but if you are a fall bride images of orange leaves and warm seasonal drinks may be overshadowed by all the looming tasks left on your list of wedding to do’s.

Between seating charts and first dance song selections, you’ve got enough on your plate without having to worry about the beauty tasks, so we figured we could help with another way to avoid wedding day stress. Here’s your last-minute Elite timeline for all things bridal beauty so you will look and feel your most beautiful self ever on your wedding day.

 Two months before

  • Test out tanning options. You don’t want to wait for this task. Starting early ensures that you won’t get stuck with a color you’re not proud to wear.

[Related Post: Everything you Need to Know about Wedding Airbrush Tans]

  • Make an appointment to see an eyebrow specialist for shaping. Working on shaping those fine hairs above the eye now, gives them plenty of time to grow back and start over if you don’t like the outcome.
  • Talk to your dentist about teeth whitening or begin an at-home regimen for enhancing your pearly whites.
  • If you’re thinking about making a dramatic change to your hair color for the wedding, this is the time to try it out. Figure out your desired hair color and work out a plan with your color specialist. This gives you plenty of time to grow it out or change the hair color before the Big Day.

Two weeks before

  • Touch up roots on your hair color. This is optional and depends on the color and the process. It’s best to consult your color specialist for customized instruction for keeping your strands flawless for your special day.
  • Exfoliate your entire body 2-3 times a week. Slough off dead skin and reveal your natural glow-- all over.

 One week before

  • Start eating healthy from here on out. Cut sodium to beat bloating and start eating clean to boost your metabolism.
  • Zen out with yoga and meditation to reduce your stress. Extra stress leaves your skin vulnerable to break outs. This important tip is sure to help keep your zit-free on your wedding day.

If you're in the Baltimore area, check out our friends at Charles St. Barre for a great workout. They even have special programs just for brides. 

  • Make appointments for all your waxing needs, brows, legs, lip, and bikini line, etc.

Congratulations, your big day is almost here, and you have everything needed to look your best self. All you need to do is smile and enjoy the beginning of this new chapter.

 

{EVENT RECAP} Elite Secrets Hosts Trunk Show Featuring Marina Semone

{EVENT RECAP} Elite Secrets Hosts Trunk Show Featuring Marina Semone

This past weekend, August 18th through August 20th, we hosted a trunk show featuring sought after designer, Marina Semone. Brides gathered at our Mount Vernon bridal boutique to say yes to the couture dress.

The definition of couture elegance, Marina Semone’s collection of gowns are incredible. From the romantic combination of stunning fabrics to the organic details and delicately applied beading, our brides fell in love. Imagine soft traditional fabrics, vintage details, and modern style all coming together to create some of the most elegant and show stopping gowns you will ever see.

Beyond extraordinary gowns and accessories, shopping with Elite Secrets Bridal supports a worthy cause! A portion of the proceeds from retail sales will go to For 3 Sisters, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization with a mission to raise awareness and improve the quality of life for men and women affected by breast cancer.

What’s next for Elite Secret? Our very own LaTonya Turnage will be speaking at the MINT Conference September 15th through 17th. Hosted by BGWAC, MINT is a two-day conference aiming to celebrate, inform, collaborate and bring together women and men photographers and videographers of color. The MINT Conference offers multiple sessions packed with experts of all kinds to share their knowledge, experience, and recommendations around the business side of photography. Tonya’s session on Building your [Beauty] Dream Team is sure to be a conference hit.

Interested in attending? Score your tickets here.

 About Elite Secrets Bridal

Located in Baltimore's esteemed Mount Vernon fashion boutique district, Elite Secrets Bridal opened its doors, bringing to Baltimore’s bridal scene an experience that cannot be found in any other Baltimore bridal boutique. The pedigree of founder LaTonya Turnage, bridal beauty, and fashion expert, has been fundamental to our philosophy to combine expertise and excellent service with style and grace. Leaving pretense to the side, we focus on bringing the best designer and emerging bridal gowns from all over the world to Baltimore Brides!

8 Expert Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping at a Bridal Trunk Show

8 Expert Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping at a Bridal Trunk Show

Wedding dress shopping can be a bit overwhelming. Not only are there so many choices (so many gorgeous dresses!) but the pressure is on to find a dress you love, look and feel fabulous in, and comes in (ideally!) under budget. Add a sample sale or trunk show into the mix, and we’re officially bewildered. But fear not, we’re here to help!

What is a Bridal Trunk Show?

A trunk show is a special event in a bridal boutique where they invite a designer to showcase their collection. Sometimes it’s a one-day event, but for particularly popular collections, it could last for multiple days. Often the designers themselves, or stylists from the fashion house will be on hand to help you find the right dress.

Trunk shows are a particularly good opportunity to check out a visiting designer whose full collections aren’t stocked in your city.

8 Expert Tips for Shopping at Sample Sales and Trunk Shows

So, now you know what bridal trunk shows are, how do you get the most out of shopping at one? Here’s where bridal beauty expert LaTonya of Elite Secrets Bridal steps in.

Located in Baltimore's esteemed Mount Vernon fashion boutique district, Elite Secrets Bridal opened its doors bringing to Baltimore’s bridal scene an experience that cannot be found in any other Baltimore bridal boutique. The pedigree of founder LaTonya Turnage, bridal beauty expert, has been fundamental to our philosophy to combine expertise and excellent service with style and grace. Leaving pretense to the side, we focus on bringing the best designer and emerging bridal gowns from all over the world to Baltimore Brides!

1. What Lies Beneath

Feel your best underneath your wedding dress. The appropriate undergarments will not only help you feel your best; they will help your dress look the best. Opt for nude-colored underwear and a great strapless bra.

2. Bring a Companion

Take a trusted friend—someone you trust that will give you sound advice. Honest encouragement and constructive feedback can be extremely helpful and great company can up the factor for your bridal dress appointment.

Leave the whole entourage though. Too many conflicting opinions can leave you confused and stressed.

3. Mind Your Budget

Know your budget! Bridal trunk shows often offer a discretionary discount (usually 10%) off gowns ordered over that weekend.

It’s a great way to spend a little less in the event you find your dream wedding dress.

4. Do Your Homework

Research the designer first – for a trunk show the boutique will primarily present the featured designer only.

Make sure you are interested in their styles and silhouettes to get the most from your experience.

5. Necklines, Shape, and Silhouettes Oh My

There are so many variations to a wedding dress. Have an idea of what neckline, shape and silhouette you like best. Research the different styles, so you’re familiar will the lingo, too.

You will soon find you have narrowed down your style and what is flattering for your figure.

6. How High?

Bear in mind the height of your heels you plan to wear on your wedding day when you begin your dress shopping.

Keep in mind that hemlines cannot be lengthened, only shortened, so it’s a good idea to take the maximum heel height with you.

7. Ask the Expert

At a trunk show, if you are lucky the designer or stylist may be there in person, take full advantage of expert availability and ask for styling advice.

With their experience and knowledge, you are likely to find that they know what suits you—sometimes better than you! Check out Elite Secrets Bridal’s upcoming trunk shows here.

8. Consider Your Timing

Know your time frame. Some designer dresses need up to eight months to be completed and altered.

Learn beforehand, how long the designer needs for your dress and let your stylist know if you’re in a time crunch.

Elite Secrets Bridal Hosts Trunk Show Featuring  Marina Semone, August 18-20

Elite Secrets Bridal Hosts Trunk Show Featuring Marina Semone, August 18-20

We can’t think of a better way to find that dream gown than attending a trunk show at Elite Secrets Bridal. Lucky for you, Friday, August 18th through Sunday, August 20th the Baltimore salon will host a Marina Semone Trunk Show featuring seriously stunning gowns that are all about luxe fabrics, flattering silhouettes, and unique details. Mark your calendars and prepare to fall so in love.

The definition of couture elegance, Marina Semone’s collection of show-stopping gowns is one not to be missed. From the romantic combination of stunning fabrics to the organic details and delicately applied beading, there is something for everyone. Imagine soft traditional fabrics, vintage details, and modern style all coming together to create some of the most elegant and show stopping gowns you will ever see.

With amazing customer service and serious know-how from the talented staff at Elite Secrets Bridal, The Marina Semone Trunk Show is a win-win when it comes to finding that dream dress. Grab your besties and book your appointment NOW to attend between Friday, August 18th and Sunday, August 20th. You’ll get to bask in the beauty that is Marina Semone, plus receive an exclusive 10% discount on their stunning designs. By Appointment only. Schedule your appointment at https://elitesecretsbridal.com/events/ or call 443-219-7049.

New And Noteworthy At Elite Secrets Bridal

New And Noteworthy At Elite Secrets Bridal

July was an epic month for Elite Secrets Bridal with two major events, Baltimore’s RAW Showcase and Brides Across America’s Operation Wedding Gown Giveaway.

Elite Secrets goes to RAW

On July 19, the Elite Secrets hair and makeup team showcased their talents in the RAW Showcase: Fixate. RAW, an international community of independent artists, host more than 30 eclectic showcases each month in communities across the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia.

Every other month, RAW Directors in cities across the world hand-pick and spotlight local artistic talent in visual art, fashion design, film, music, performance art, hair & makeup artistry, and photography through local eclectic RAW events. With artists from all genres in each showcase, RAW events come together to form an amazing one-night circus of creativity. We were honored to be chosen among this Elite group of spectacular talent.

Related Post: {EVENT RECAP} STELLAR WEEKEND FOR ELITE SECRETS BRIDAL


Elite Secrets Bridal and Brides Across America

July 21 and 22nd Elite Secrets Bridal proudly collaborated with Brides Across America for their Operation Wedding Gown Giveaway Event. The nonprofit’s annual event honors our heroes by giving wedding gowns to military couples and making their wedding dreams come true. The program is designed to reduce financial stress in wedding planning, financial relief, and transform lives. Since its inception in 2008, Brides Across America, in collaboration with bridal salons, designers, and individual donations has donated more than 20,000 wedding gowns nationwide.

“I’ve visited Elite Secrets as part of a Brides Across America event that they were hosting. I will be honest and say that I did not expect to have a stellar experience. I will be honest and say that I did not expect to have a stellar experience. I expected that since I was coming in to try on a dress to take home for free that I'd be marginalized, or shown only worn-out sample dresses, I went in with a very specific idea of what I wanted and was completely convinced that I wouldn't possibly find it," said one bride. "By the end of my appointment, I walked out with a gorgeous gown that I would never have chosen. I'm absolutely in love with it, and can't stop looking at it in my closet! I'm so grateful to Sabrina and Tonya (the owner) for treating me with such kindness, and making the dress ‘shopping’ experience wonderful for my mom and me.”

Over the two-day event, nearly a dozen brides said, “yes to the dress” and more than a dozen walked away with accessories for their Big Day looks.

Looking for the perfect dress? We’ve got you covered. Join us at Elite Secrets Bridal on August 18th -20th for the Marina Semone Trunk Show. Book your appointment today!

Expert Tips for Styling Your Wedding Dress with Accessories

Expert Tips for Styling Your Wedding Dress with Accessories

Now that you've found your gown, the next step is choosing the perfect finishing touches. Sure, your wedding dress may be the highlight of your look, but the right accessories can elevate your presentation and add personality. But between head pieces, jewelry, shoes, and other pieces, there can be an overwhelming amount of choices to make. Before you buy anything else, read our top style tips for accessorizing your wedding dress. 


Veils
The veil is the iconic bridal accomplice. From whimsical bird cages to royal cathedral-length veils, there are tons of choices. But there are a few things you should keep in mind as you narrow down the right veil for you:
•    Try to match the exact color of your gown. 
•    If your dress has a lot of details, opt for a simple veil that won't compete with your gown.
•     Consider your stature: Longer veils will lengthen a petite frame while mid-length styles, can visually cut your frame in half. Short styles, like a birdcage, work for most brides.


Headpiece
If you want a unique look or just don't care for veils consider a headpiece, like an ornate hair comb or fascinators.
It's important to choose your hairstyle first! Some accessories pair better with updos than others. A flower crown, for instance, is best with loose curls. 


Sash
Want to add a bit of personality to your wedding dress (and accentuate your curves)? Add a satin belt or shimmery sash. Whether you go with a classic satin sash with a pop of color or a beaded belt, it'll give your dress an instant wow. Here's an insider tip: When selecting the piece always consider your body type. Thin belts are better for brides with short torsos, while thicker belts work well for those with longer ones. 

Discover your perfect accessories at Elite Secrets Bridal


Cover-Up
A cute cover-up is almost a requirement if you're getting married during the fall or winter months and want to stay warm. From jackets to cashmere wraps and fur stoles, the options are infinite. Select a cover-up that compliments your gown in style. Simple styled gowns pair perfectly with more beaded capelet or a bold sequined bolero jacket. For gowns with more detail, go for a more subtle accent. 

Want more wedding style advice? Sign up for Elite List. Get styling advice, beauty tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.

 Fashion and Beauty Mistakes Every Bride Needs to Avoid

Fashion and Beauty Mistakes Every Bride Needs to Avoid

Your wedding day is the most memorable day of your life, so it’s only fair that you would want to make sure your bridal look is just right. With so many fashion and beauty trends on social media, magazines, and blogs, it’s tempting to get caught up in the hype and want to experiment for your Big Day. But trust us — you don’t want to look back at your photos and not recognize yourself. Before you head down the aisle, read on to find out what major snafus can happen, and LaTonya’s top tips on how to avoid them.

 

Not Testing Your Wedding Day Hair and Makeup: Surprisingly, many brides forgo a bridal hair and makeup trials to save time or cut costs, but that might not be the best plan in the long run. Scheduling a hair and makeup trial is always SO necessary before the wedding day. There are many benefits, but one of the biggest gains is saving time. You will not have the time to re-do your hair on your wedding day.

Book your Hair and Makeup Trial with Elite Secrets

Wearing a Makeup Look Completely Different from Your Normal Routine: Your wedding day is not the time to try new eye shadow tricks or heavy contouring if it isn’t part of your usual style strategy. Whether you wear a lot of makeup or no makeup on a daily basis, for the wedding day, you shouldn’t go with a look that is dramatically different from your routine. After all, you want your significant other to recognize you walking down the aisle. We suggest talking with your makeup artist about intensifying your everyday method and makeup look versus going with a look that is a total deviation from the norm.

Not Wearing a Robe While Getting Glam: There is a reason that hair and make-up artists suggest wearing a robe or button-up blouse while getting hair and makeup done, and that is because you can easily remove these garments without smudging your makeup or ruining your hair. It’s especially important if you won’t have someone at the wedding venue to do touch-ups.

Not Using Waterproof Mascara: Even if you’re sure you won’t cry at the altar, it’s always a great idea to have a backup plan in place. Weddings are emotional, and even if you aren’t anticipating waterworks, you may shed a few tears at some point. Do yourself a favor and wear waterproof mascara to avoid having black streaks run down your face or raccoon eyes. Also, consider keeping a fabric handkerchief on standby for simple touch ups in between tears.

Tanning Mishaps: Avoid tanning before your wedding day. Poor spray tans are hard to reverse and will be in all of your photos. There’s no turning back from that. If you plan to get a spray tan, do a trial well in advance of the wedding, so you have time to get your skin back to normal in case there are any mistakes.

Related Post: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEDDING AIRBRUSH TANS

Ordering a Dress in a Size Too Small: You may have goals of dropping a dress size or two before the wedding, but you should still plan to order a dress in your current size. If you lose the weight, good for you. You will most likely have many fittings with the seamstress to make alterations— so keep it realistic. On the other hand, if you don't loose the weight you will need to order extra fabric and have additional modifications.

Wearing Heels That Are Uncomfortable: Figure out what your feet can handle before the wedding. Far too often, brides will choose style over comfort, and that’s never a good idea. You will be on your feet for most of your day, so having comfortable shoes is a requirement. You do not want to be unable to make it down the aisle or share in your first dance because of uncomfortable shoes! We advise buying a chic pair of wedges or keeping a pair of simple satin flats on standby.

Related Post: 5 INSIDER TIPS FOR STAYING COMFORTABLE ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

Want more wedding style advice? Sign up for Elite List. Get styling advice, beauty tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.

Elite Secrets Bridal Offers Relief to Brides Affected by Alfred Angelo’s Store Closure

Elite Secrets Bridal Offers Relief to Brides Affected by Alfred Angelo’s Store Closure

Baltimore, MD, July 14, 2017 – Moved by news of brides possibly losing their wedding dresses, Elite Secrets discounts replacement gowns to $300 for couples affected by Alfred Angelo’s abrupt retail closures.

On Thursday, July 13, bridal retailer Alfred Angelo, abruptly closed its US stores (they have more than 60 and over 1,000 wholesale locations) and filed for bankruptcy, according to the IB Times, via The Wall Street Journal.

“We can only imagine the devastation these brides are facing right now,” says LaTonya Turnage, owner of Elite Secrets Bridal. “There is so much time and money invested when planning a wedding, and we want to ensure that the couples affected by this news can still have the day of their dreams. Significantly discounting select dresses is the least we can do to help the brides in our community.”

About Elite Secrets Bridal

Located in Baltimore's esteemed Mount Vernon fashion boutique district, Elite Secrets Bridal opened its doors in 2015, bringing to Baltimore’s bridal scene an experience that cannot be found in any other Baltimore bridal boutique. The pedigree of founder LaTonya Turnage, bridal beauty, and fashion expert, has been fundamental to our philosophy to combine expertise and excellent service with style and grace. To learn more about Elite Secrets Bridal, please visit EliteSecretsBridal.com.

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Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Airbrush Tans

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Airbrush Tans

The venue is set, the flowers are ordered, you’ve even nailed down your hair, and makeup looks. The last thing you need is a wedding airbrush tan mishap, such as tanning formula smeared on your dream wedding dress and distracting you from the wonder of your wedding day.

Wearing white is a feat on its own, without the worry of a bronze stain or two. That’s why we penned this post to help you achieve your wedding day glow without the faux pas.

Choose your tanning salon wisely

Choose a salon that uses a variety of shades and not the same shade for everyone. When doing your research ask in advance which spray-tan formula they use most often.

Pick the perfect time to get your spray tan

Schedule your tan appointment two days before your wedding. That gives you a day for the product to settle into your skin and time to wash off the first layer to avoid staining your dress. Also, you will have time to make sure you like it and get any touch ups, if necessary.

Prepare for your appointment

Just like your makeup and hair trial, it’s a good idea to have pictures of your desired look. Flip through your favorite magazine for celebrities with similar skin tones, hair, and eye color. If you want to save on the five-buck splurge for the latest People magazine, go to Pinterest, the options are endless.

Select the perfect shade for you

Choose a base color that is close to your current skin tone. If you’re planning a summer wedding and you've been at the beach this whole time, you want to select a darker hue than you would during the winter. Although it may be tempting, we caution against don't go more than a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. Your glow can look artificial, and you will want to look like the best version of yourself on your Big Day.

Avoid staining your wedding dress?

It’s so important to schedule your tanning appointment two days in advance. Once you shower and rinse off the extra formula — which is just bronzer, not the actual tan itself — you'll be left with just the color on your skin, avoiding any mishap with your wedding dress.

 

{EVENT RECAP} Elite Secrets Ends Anniversary Month with Sweating for the Wedding Event

{EVENT RECAP} Elite Secrets Ends Anniversary Month with Sweating for the Wedding Event

On Friday, June 30 in Baltimore Elite Secrets Bridal hosted “Sweating for the Wedding,” a Zumba fitness class for area brides and bride tribes. 

With a goal to get brides and their best gal pals moving, we brought in Zumba Girl Boss, Crystal for workout unlike any other. Guests were treated to a 45-minute class, craft cocktails, refreshments, and a VIP gift bag.

With over 15 individuals attending, the room was bursting with energy. Attendees had an exhilarating workout to the tunes of hip hop, Latin, and R&B. The class ended with refreshing cocktails made with cold-pressed juice from local crafter, Gundalow Juice. A great time was had by all.  

Contest Winners

June was a major month for Elite Secrets Bridal and we wanted to treat our Elite Friends in a major way. Everyone that registered to our Elite List during the month of June qualified for one entry into our anniversary contest for (1) bridal hair and makeup trial, (1) makeup for a graduate, or (1) bridal veil.

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the contest:

(1st) shakiaw1982@live.com  

(2nd) clshort96@gmail.com and  

(3rd) brendajford60@yahoo.com

Stay Tuned

The anniversary is over, but the summer deals are still here. Stay tuned and don’t forget to join the Elite List to get tips and specials directly in your inbox.

3 Things You Need To Know About Our Anniversary

3 Things You Need To Know About Our Anniversary

As July approaches, we are reminded that our anniversary month is coming to a close…but, the party is not over yet! Here are three things you need to know about our anniversary. 


We are still booking bridal hair and makeup trials at 50 percent off regular prices until June 30. So whether you schedule your appointment for August or December even, but book before the end of this month can enjoy half off your trail. Book Now>>


We’ve been in anniversary mode all month, so of course, we had to end the 30-day celebration with a bang. Join us this Friday, June 30th for our FREE Sweating for the Wedding Event at Elite Secrets Bridal. It’s the perfect happy hour event for your bride tribe or a fun twist on girls’ night out in downtown Charm City. Be prepared for 45 minutes of cardio with Baltimore’s best Zumba instructor, followed by healthy craft cocktails mixed with Baltimore-based Gundalow Juice, and makeup consultations by our very own bridal beauty expert, LaTonya Turnage. There are only a few spots left. Reserve your free spots here


Last but not least! Don’t forget to sign up for our Elite List. Every email entered this month is an automatic entry into our raffle contest. Winners will have a choice of


(1)    Wedding veil
(1)    Bridal hair and makeup trial
(1)    Graduation glam session (makeup only)


We will announce the lucky winners Friday at the Sweating for the Wedding Event.  
 

Elite Secrets Bridal in the News

Elite Secrets Bridal in the News

We are so thrilled to share that Elite Secrets Bridal was featured in the Baltimore Sun! In case you missed it, our girl boss, LaTonya Turnage was featured in John-John William's Fashion 5 column on Thursday, June 15. 

The column highlights LaTonya's timeline as a makeup artist and announces our recent expansion into the wedding dress and accessories space. 

Related Post: {EVENT RECAP} STELLAR WEEKEND FOR ELITE SECRETS BRIDAL

This press hit was timely, as this month we are celebrating our anniversary! Yes, it's our anniversary! And, because we want you to join in our celebration we are giving brides HALF OFF hair and makeup trials. This special ends June 30, so book your appointment now! 

We will end this stellar month with a zoom. Zumba that is! Join on Friday, June 30 for a FREE ZUMBA CLASS. You won't want to miss this "Sweating for the Wedding" event. In addition to 45 minutes of cardio, we will have craft cocktails and hair and makeup consultations! Email us at info@elitesecretsbridal.com or call us at 443-219-7049 to reserve spots for you and your bride tribe. 

Our New and Improved Look!

Our New and Improved Look!

We’re so excited to share our new and improved look! After many long hours spent writing, choosing images, colors, and fonts our new website is finally live.

Spring-Clean Your Makeup Stash In 3 Steps

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Spring-Clean Your Makeup Stash In 3 Steps

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Are you frustrated how messy your makeup stash is sometimes? Do you want to throw it away and replace it with another one? The good thing is that you don't have to throw those things away. All you need to do instead is to take a deep breath and take a fresh look at your beauty bag. What is inside may look frustrating at first - but thanks to the steps we are outlining below - will definitely be easy to clean and re-organize.

'So, how to begin?' - you ask?

Step 1: Get Rid of All The Things You Don't Actually Need

Remember those worn-out lipsticks that have been in your purse for a long time? Or that brush that you rarely use and just got stiffer?

We know that sometimes getting rid of stuff is hard. However, replacing makeup every season is what every modern lady should do in order to always look good. And if you have products that you haven't used once over the past six months - you may need to watch out on your spending.

And if you cannot bear to throw things away, there is always that friend in need (that is a friend indeed).

Step 2: Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If your makeup brushes look good but need a thorough cleaning, it's time for you to give it to them. In most of the cases, makeup brushes are notorious for harboring bacteria and other things that make you puke.

The truth is, if you don't clean your brushes - they won't clean your face as much as you expect. The best way to do that is by using baby shampoo. Who knew, right?

Step 3: Start Organizing Your Makeup Stash

Now that you got rid of the things you don't need and cleaned your makeup brushes, it's time to get a bit more responsible about your makeup. After all, organizing your cosmetics in a drawer (or that fancy organizer you have been eyeing) is great because next season, you won't have to go through this process again.

In the end, spring cleaning your makeup stash should be just like cleaning your room. You ditch the things you don't need, clean it up - and get organized for the next season!

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{EVENT RECAP} Stellar Weekend for Elite Secrets Bridal

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{EVENT RECAP} Stellar Weekend for Elite Secrets Bridal

This trunk show and the media attention around it was unlike any other. We kicked things off on Friday with a press preview. Some of Baltimore’s most recognized journalists met at the Studio to preview autumn and winter collections from Justin Alexander’s Sweetheart and Sincerity Bridal. A few even tried on some of the couture wedding dresses. Early on Saturday morning, beauty expert and CEO of Elite Secrets, LaTonya Turnage, headed to WBAL-TV to do makeup for the morning segment on Preakness Fashion with Baltimore Sun's John-John Williams. It was a treat to see the big hats and glam outfits paired with the famous Elite Secrets beat.

After some fun on set, the team headed back to Elite Secrets to welcome brides to the trunk show. Brides and local wedding vendors gathered at the Mount Vernon bridal boutique to shop and mingle over champagne.

When the show ended, the team packed up the dresses and made their way to Port Discovery for the Philanthropik’s Shade event, a benefit for Baltimore’s Mayor Hugh’s summer jobs program. Models revealed the collections as they mixed and mingled with Baltimore elite crowd of professionals and celebrities.

Last but not least, our friends from WBFF-TV interviewed our favorite girl boss and entrepreneur, LaTonya during the trunk show on Sunday. Needless to say, the weekend was a huge success!

In fact, because the show was such a success we’ve extended the Justin Alexander Trunk Show special through this week! Book your bridal appointment today and enjoy 10% off Justin Alexander wedding dresses and 50% off wedding accessories.

From breathtaking ball gowns to romantic A-lines to sleek modern dresses, the new Sweetheart and Sincerity Collections by Justin Alexander is what fairy-tale dreams are made. Equal parts classic and romantic there is something for everyone. Think soft traditional fabrics, intricate details, and graceful hues all coming together to create some of the most elegant and show stopping gowns you will ever see.

Beyond extraordinary gowns and accessories, shopping with Elite Secrets Bridal supports a worthy cause! A portion of the proceeds from retail sales will go to For 3 Sisters, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization with a mission to raise awareness and improve the quality of life for men and women affected by breast cancer.

About Elite Secrets Bridal

Located in Baltimore's esteemed Mount Vernon fashion boutique district, Elite Secrets Bridal opened its doors, bringing to Baltimore’s bridal scene an experience that cannot be found in any other Baltimore bridal boutique. The pedigree of founder LaTonya Turnage, bridal beauty and fashion expert has been fundamental to our philosophy to combine expertise and excellent service with style and grace. Leaving pretense to the side, we focus on bringing the best designer and emerging bridal gowns from all over the world to Baltimore Brides!

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5 Insider Tips for Staying Comfortable on Your Wedding Day

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5 Insider Tips for Staying Comfortable on Your Wedding Day

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All the blogs and magazines share tips for looking flawless on your wedding day but rarely do we talk about how to feel great on your big day…especially when you’re wearing a beaded gown with layered of tulle and tons of hairspray. To ensure you’re as comfortable as you are beautiful, take LaTonya’s tips for enjoying your day with fidgeting or readjusting a thing.

Bypass too-tight shapewear

Squeezing yourself in shapewear that is too small is not worth the agony…seriously. Yes, you will cinch in an inch or two, but you won’t be able to sit, eat or (most importantly) dance comfortably. Besides, you’ll look gorgeous without it and feel much, much better.

Save the lingerie for your honeymoon

While it might seem sweet to wear sexy lingerie under your gown, it may not be worth the discomfort—especially if you’re getting married during the summer. Plus, after dancing and just general wear, you’ll likely want to change into something fresh before your wedding night officially gets under way.

Unzip when you can

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If you’re wearing a corset top dress, have someone undo your dress for the ride to the ceremony, especially if you have a long trip. You’ll likely be nervous and sweating more than usual anyway so being all zipped up into your dress might get uncomfortable. Have your maid of honor or stylist help you secure your dress before you walk down the aisle.

Bring a cover up

If there’s even a chance of a breeze or low temperatures, make sure you have something that you can wrap yourself up in. You don’t want to shiver during your pictures (they always take longer than you think!) or at the end of the night when you’ll want to continue visiting with guests in the night air. Bring along a wrap or a cute shawl to wear over your wedding dress.

Pack a backup pair of shoes

Even if your shoes are comfortable, standing in heels all day will take its toll on anybody. Bring a pair of comfortable flats or slippers so you can swap out your heels when needed. By the time your reception comes around you will thank me.

Join us the JA Show Ad (1)

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