Black Friday gone bridal! White Friday sale all weekend.

Black Friday gone bridal! White Friday sale all weekend.

It's that time again, and we are happy to be ringing in the season with you! Join us as we host our first annual White Friday Sale ALL WEEKEND in our new bridal showroom on North Charles Street (across the street from Bella Bridesmaids) in downtown Baltimore. 



With the family in town for the holidays, it's the perfect time for dress shopping. So grab your favorite girls—mom, sis, and grandma, too—and come ready to find your dream dress. 

Enjoy up to 70% off sample gowns,
plus 10% off all new orders! 

Be sure to book your appointment as showroom spaces will fill up quickly. We cannot wait to celebrate with you!

8 TIPS FOR WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING AT A BRIDAL TRUNK SHOW

8 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 hems cannot be lengthened, only shortened, so it’s a good idea to take the maximum heel height with you.

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!

Join our mailing list to get exclusive details on upcoming shows and events. 

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.

Looking for the perfect dress? We’ve got you covered. Join us at Elite Secrets Bridal this weekend for our indoor sidewalk sale. Click the button below to make your appointment today! You don’t want to miss this! 

Three Big Announcements You Want to Know About

Three Big Announcements You Want to Know About

So excited to share all the incredible things happening at Elite Secrets Bridal. Who would ever guess that we would end an already epic year with an even more epic ending?

In case you missed it yesterday, I announced our biggest news yet on Facebook Live revealing our new bridal showroom in its new location. We’re still on Charles Street—just a few blocks from our previous space which is home to our custom and ready-to-wear boutique. Directly across the street from Bella Bridesmaids, our transition makes Baltimore’s Mount Vernon area a true fashion boutique district and Charles Street the epicenter for all things weddings.

Mark your calendars! We are having our very first indoor sidewalk sale this month. If you are getting hitched anytime soon, you cannot miss this bridal event. Check out our new bridal showroom and enjoy incredible savings. There will be super specials on bridal accessories and dresses discounted as low as $99. Who says your dream dress has to be a fortune? Join us Friday, November 17th through Sunday, November 19th. Just in time for Thanksgiving, you can say yes to your designer wedding dress. No appointment needed.

Finally (drumroll, please), Elite Secrets Bridal will be the official fashion show partner for Baltimore Bride Magazine’s Aisle Style. Check out the dynamic show and our wedding beat on live models, Monday, January 22nd. Take in an evening of spectacular harbor views at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, while sipping bubbly, tasting wedding cakes, and sampling treats from local caterers.

At 7:45 pm, move into the grand ballroom and prepare to be inspired by Baltimore Bride’s third annual fashion show produced by the Stephanie Bradshaw design team highlights the newest styles in bride and groom fashion and beauty trends by Elite Secrets Bridal. Before the end of the night, enter your name to win fabulous giveaways courtesy of our Aisle Style participating vendors. Can’t wait to see you there! Get your tickets here.

Want to stay on top of all Elite Secrets Bridal news? Join our Elite List. Get news, tips, and specials delivered right to your inbox. 

Elite Secrets Bridal Hosts Trunk Show Featuring Mink Maids, December 1-10

Elite Secrets Bridal Hosts Trunk Show Featuring Mink Maids, December 1-10

Are you ready to find your dream dress and create a lasting memory with your bride tribe?

If this sounds like your jam, we have something in store for you. Mink Maids is hosting one show in all of the DMV, and it’s going down at Elite Secrets Bridal. For 10 days, we will be celebrating Mink Maids’ newest collection of custom gowns so mark your calendars for some serious dress shopping, December 1st through December 10th –it’s a can’t miss event for brides. Think clean, modern silhouettes, architectural elements with a side of sexy, AND a 10% discount.

For the out-of-the-box bride who wants a fashion-forward dress that can’t be found at every other bridal shop, the new Mink Maids Collection is everything you’ve ever wanted and so much more.

Imagine wedding dresses that will have your guests talking from the moment they lay eyes on you. Whether you plan to tie the knot in a garden ceremony or say I do in a city ballroom, Elite Secrets Bridal’s Mink Maids Trunk Show is THE place to find your perfect wedding dress.

Here’s how to say yes to your Mink Maids wedding dress:

  1. Click the button below to book your appointment between Friday, December 1st, and Sunday, December 10th, or call 410.727.7000.
  2. Grab your besties. We’ll bring the champagne!
  3. Let’s make magic! Our professional staff is ready to serve you and your tribe—with bubbly in hand.

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. If it has anything to do with bridal beauty, Elite Secrets Bridal is your source. We serve brides with beauty for their Big Day from bridal hair, and makeup to accessories and wedding dresses Leaving pretense to the side, we focus on bringing the best designer and emerging bridal gowns from all over the world to Baltimore Brides! For two years in a row, brides voted us best in class with the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award. Elite Secrets Bridal is located at 330 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.To book an appointment or for additional information, please visit www.elitesecretsbridal.com.

 

 

The Top 4 Secrets to Success in the Beauty Business 

The Top 4 Secrets to Success in the Beauty Business 

With a license in cosmetology and state board exams under my belt, I started my career in makeup with M.A.C. Cosmetics and Estee Lauder brands. After 14 years of juggling makeup artistry and a corporate job, I launched my beauty business, Elite Secrets. And, as they say, “the rest is history.”

When I look back on when I started my business, I can’t help but wonder “If I only knew then what I know now…” So as all great mentors do, I’m sharing the most valuable lessons I learned in the beginning. Read on to learn the things that kept me grounded and focused as I launched my own beauty business. These practical tips would apply to anyone who’s starting their own business, so please share with your business bestie.

1. Decide how your business and money will work.

Don’t spend another dollar on another program or service until you have a handle on this part first. Get clear on how much money you need to make to survive, based on the kind of beauty business you own

2. Know that nothing will work unless you do.

This is especially true when it comes to launching your beauty business. Opportunities won’t always just fall into your lap, and eventually, you will have to work at making money. So instead of putting it off, create a plan to attract your dream customers now and do the work to make your dreams come true.

3. Get very clear on what you want from your beauty business.

Define how you want to be perceived and who you want as your customer. Otherwise, you’ll just be running in circles doing work that doesn’t motivate you for clients you aren’t excited about working with every day.

4. Join a community that you can go to for answers, advice, and support.

Connect with groups that get you. Don’t miss out for fear of asking for help or sharing your struggles. Some of the biggest, most important breakthroughs can come from your significant hurdles and challenges. Keeping them to yourself and suffering through them alone will only delay your success.

Looking for a community? I invite you to join the Beauty Business Unplugged a specialized monthly subscription service—made specifically for entrepreneurs in the world of beauty. We provide the best resources on how to build a business built on passion and intended for profits.

The Beauty Business Unplugged gives you exclusive access to other members, business experts, and resources that will guide you step-by-step on how to grow a profitable beauty business that fits your lifestyle.

5 Secret Ways to Attract the Clients You Love to Your Beauty Business

5 Secret Ways to Attract the Clients You Love to Your Beauty Business

We all want those dream customers that come back all the time, love our services, and refer all of their friends—and lots of them.

The great thing about the beauty business is you can have your cake and eat it too, (and by cake, I mean a business you love with clients you love just as much).

Here are my five secret tips for growing your beauty business and attracting your ideal customer.

Identify your dream client.

To attract your dream customer, you must identify who they are. Start by creating a profile for your ideal client. Try to be as detailed as possible.

Determine your worth.

For your prospects to value what you do, you must first assess it yourself. Determine your worth, then set your prices to reflect your value.

Go where your clients are.

To attract your ideal customers, you have to go to their hangout spots. Being consistently present so your ideal clients can find you is an essential marketing strategy. If they are on Instagram or Pinterest, you should be there too.

Offer services and products they want.

It’s important to offer services or create products that your target customer wants, not just things you want to provide. Remember a goal in business is to solve a problem for your savvy customer. If you don’t service their needs another business will.

Hold yourself accountable.

This tip is the most important. It’s the one thing to say you’re going to do all of these things for your business, but it’s another to roll up your sleeves and do it. I recommend finding an accountability partner. An accountability partner can lend support, offer constructive criticism on new ideas, and make sure you stay on top of your to do’s.

If you’re not sure where to find a beauty business bestie, check out The Beauty Business Unplugged. The Beauty Business Unplugged is a specialized monthly subscription service—made specifically for entrepreneurs in the world of beauty. We provide the best resources on how to build a business built on passion and intended for profits.

The Beauty Business Unplugged gives you exclusive access to other members, business experts, and resources that will guide you step-by-step on how to grow a profitable beauty business that fits your lifestyle.

Your Expert Bridal Fashion Week Trend Report

Your Expert Bridal Fashion Week Trend Report

Another New York Bridal Fashion Week has come and gone. If you’re obsessed with bridal fashion (like we are), but couldn’t catch a flight to the Big Apple, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for my 2018 fall and winter trend report and my favorite designer from the shows. 


Fierce Jumpsuits
This hot trend piece could easily replace the traditional wedding dress or could be worn for your pre-wedding events—think super chic bridal shower attire. Di Santo and Theia included glamourous takes of the jumpsuit down their runaways this week, and the crowd loved the sleek sets.

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Fringe and Feathers
Added texture from rich embellishments like feather and fringe made an appearance at the Hayley Paige and Berta shows. Pronovias ended their show with a banger: a gorgeous gown adorned with beads and fringe from top to bottom. 

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Structured Jackets
We were stunned to see so many structured blazers and intricately designed bolero jackets paired with a variety of gowns, but loving it all at the same time. Inbal Dror’s tulle skirt with tailored blazer was a fave with onlookers. 

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Off the Shoulder
Another new trend was the off-the-shoulder-wedding-dress. Strapless dresses have been a favorite with brides for years, but this year designers are adding sleeves for a more off-the-shoulder look. From sleek to bouffant all types of off-the-shoulder sleeves were spotted, and most are detachable. 

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Nude is the New White
Almost all of the designers had some representation of the blush-tone trend. From taupe-like shades of nude to soft shades of rose, we witnessed some sort of departure from the traditional white. My favorite was the Lydia Tulle gown by Mink Maids in Dusty Pink. 

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Speaking of Mink Maids, not only was their Lydia gown a favorite, I loved it all. In fact, I love the collection so much that we will have them here in December. Yes, Mink Maids will be in the building for a full trunk show December 1 through the December 10. 


From ballgowns to romantic A-lines to sleek modern dresses, the 2018 Fall Winter Collection has something for every bride. Think soft tulle fabrics, down-to-earth details, and modern hues all coming together to create some of the most fashionable gowns you will ever lay your eyes on. Now pair those gorgeous gowns with a team of bridal fashion experts that knows everything about exceptional customer service and making brides feel gorgeous.


Grab your besties and book your appointment NOW to attend between December 1 and December 10. You’ll get to bask in the beauty that is Mink Maids, and receive an exclusive 10% discount on their stunning designs. By Appointment only. Schedule your appointment at http://bit.ly/2kyUiTX or call 443-219-7049.

What to Look for in Your Next Beauty Team Member?

What to Look for in Your Next Beauty Team Member?

Last week, I shared why it is important to hire a beauty team and how it can help you with your business. Today, I want to share tips on how to actually start searching for beauty teams.

After all, you certainly want to look professional when hiring someone—and expect the very same from any prospect. Plus, there are many things to discuss when hiring your own beauty team, and they include work ethic, business organization and variety of services.

The truth is, building the best beauty team is not easy. You need to start thinking like a business owner and take care of your team. So, how to begin?

Start Advertising

The first and foremost step to do when hiring a beauty team is to advertise. Even if you try and look for referrals by other beauty professionals, you will hardly get to the number of specialized and targeted beauty team members you expect.

Some of the places where you can find experienced artists and stylists include Facebook Groups and local beauty message boards, Craigslist, Cosmetology schools or social media - where you can advertise as well.

Look for True Professionals

You should always look for artists and stylists that are on-time, educated and professional. You’d actually be surprised to hear how many of these ‘professionals’ actually do not show on time or come up with constant excuses.

It goes without saying that every member of your bridal team should be polite and have good manners—not only because of work ethics, but as a great tactic to keep and retain all the great customers.

Search for Different Levels of Skillset

As soon as you start opening your doors and holding interviews, you should see the different levels of education and experience your beauty team candidates have. In order to suit their needs and expectations, it is best if you work on tiered levels of skills. We have two skillset levels at Elite Secrets:  beauty advisor and senior beauty advisor. The beauty advisor may be slightly experienced and have a small portfolio, where the senior beauty advisor has years of experience and a large portfolio of work.

This will also help your customers choose the option they like most - and know what they are getting in exchange for it.

So, are you ready to grow your team and make most of your wedding business?

 

4 Telltale Signs Telling You It’s Time to Build Your Beauty Dream Team

4 Telltale Signs Telling You It’s Time to Build Your Beauty Dream Team

You’ve worked really hard to build your beauty brand into a viable revenue generator. Appointments are piling in, and your dream of becoming a beauty business owner is finally coming true. But you start to notice something…you’re constantly turning away work. You must remember that there are only so many hours in a day and you are only one person, so what do you do now?


Let’s face it - its time to grow your beauty dream team. Potential clients are coming to you because of a referral or they know your work and want to pay for your services. If you turn most of them away your once great reputation will be tarnished. Is that a risk you can afford to take in your beauty business? 

If you are still not sure that you need a beauty dream team, let these signs gauge whether it’s time for you to make some considerations.

1. You are turning away consistent work week after week

If you’re turning down appointments because you’re booked solid, it’s time to grow your team. This basically means that you are leaving money on the table and missing out on potential revenue. It’s a sure sign that you need a beauty team.

2. You have no time to grow

Sure, you’re able to handle day-to-day operations without letting your customers down, but adding new customers is out of the question. You don’t have time to stop to think about where your business is going next because you’re too busy trying to keep your existing business model operating.

3. You are sending clients to other artists in your area

Sending clients to other artists in your area is good - but only for the other artists. Even if you are making some commissions from these referrals, you are once again leaving money on the table that is offered to you based on your professional approach.

4. You need assistants when organizing larger parties

Big bridal parties and productions with lots of customers will require the use of an assistant. If you think you can manage it alone, it is certain that you will always need a helping hand or two to run errands and manage client expectations. However, the big picture is that you need a team by your side that will help you earn more money and a solidify your reputation.

So, don’t you think it’s about time to...start thinking like a business owner!

Looking for more beauty business advice? Join our list for beauty pros and learn about our community for beauty pros.

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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