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8 Black Women Who Broke Barriers in Beauty

8 Black Women Who Broke Barriers in Beauty

It’s Women’s History Month and with it being right on the heels of Black History Month—and because we’re all about beauty—we decided to pay homage to some amazing black women who redefined beauty.

From Madame C.J. Walker, who became the first female self-made millionaire, to Beverly Johnson, who became the first woman of color to appear on the cover of Vogue; black women have fearlessly fought and overcome the limitations placed on us by society with grace, excellence, and a whole lot of eyes watching.

Be it in film, modeling, business, or on the Miss America stage, we have had to create our own spaces in order to redefine society's ideas of what is beautiful.

Check out this video highlighting eight black women whose talents, intelligence, and innovation have changed the beauty game and broke major barriers while doing so.

Everything you need to know about bridal hair and makeup trials

Everything you need to know about bridal hair and makeup trials

We've all been there - experiencing makeup disasters and hair failures. However, when it comes to the most special day in your life, epic fails should never happen. That is why more and more brides choose professional bridal services for their hair and makeup. The truth is, only a professional can guarantee the look you want without any possibility of a disaster. 


Booking a professional will not only give you peace of mind, but you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the planning process leading to your Big Day. Still, choosing a professional wedding hair stylist and makeup artist is not an easy mission which is why bridal trials are SO IMPORTANT. A bridal trial will give you an opportunity to test the looks you like and the skill of the artist. 


Here are a few tips for bridal trial success. 


1. PLAN THINGS AHEAD
Coming to your hair and makeup trial prepared will help you ace the look from the start. The more inspiration you pick up from the online Pinterest boards, magazines, and TV shows, the better your trial will be. The best way to be prepared is to have a rough idea of the dress, your hairstyle, and makeup - and communicate it clearly with us.


2. YOUR WEDDING DRESS COMES FIRST ON THE SHOPPING LIST
There is a big reason why you should purchase your wedding dress first. According to wedding makeup and hair experts, the entire look should revolve around your dress. Your hair and makeup should balance its style, length and level of details and always comply with it. That is why it is important to buy your dress first and bring a photo of it to the trial!


3. WEAR A WHITE T-SHIRT ON YOUR TRIAL
A crisp white T-shirt (or a color that resembles the color of your wedding dress) is a great way to get a better idea of how your hair and makeup will work with your dress. You can also cut the neckline to match your wedding gown and see if everything fits perfectly as you imagined.
Not only this will give you a better idea of your wedding look, but it will also help you choose the perfect bridal makeup and hair choice and whether they match the white color on your body.


4. SCHEDULE A LONG ENOUGH APPOINTMENT
Your Baltimore bridal makeup appointment should be long enough, especially because of the different styles you may want to test out. After all, it is your wedding hair and makeup that we are talking about - and such things deserve special attention.


KEEP READING FOR A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! 


5. GO CLEAN BEFORE THE TRIAL
For the makeup trial, it is always better to come clean and avoid putting on any products before the trial. A clean face holds makeup better and will let us make the look perfectly match the color of your natural skin without makeup.


6. TAKE NOTES
As soon as you book your wedding makeup and arrive at your appointment, you should start taking notes on how to touch up your look during the day- so you know how to fix any smudges in case they happen during the ceremony or afterward. At Elite Secrets we give every bride a touchup kit with all the items needed to keep your glowing look throughout the Big Day.


7. GO CAMERA CRAZY
Once your bridal makeup and hair are done, it's time to start snapping photos and taking them from different angles. Make sure to also switch the backgrounds and test photos in both daylight and nighttime. That way, you will have a better idea of your look in every minute during your wedding.


Ready to book with us? We have something special for you! In honor of Women’s Month, we are giving 50% off bridal hair and makeup trials. Yes, enjoy half off your trial for the entire month of March! Book your hair and makeup trial with Elite Secrets today.

It's Beauty Week at Elite Secrets...and love is in the air!

It's Beauty Week at Elite Secrets...and love is in the air!

Elite Secrets' Beauty Week is well underway and we’re so excited about all the things we have in store for you this week! What’s Elite Secrets Beauty Week? Well, for seven glorious days beauty lovers you can enjoy discounts and events at Elite Secrets. Here’s the lineup of what’s in store for the remainder of the week.

WEDNESDAY

Love is in the air at Elite Secrets! Today, we have a special surprise on Facebook Live. Join us at noon today for a LIVE look at love! Pop on over to Facebook and prepare to be wowed.

THURSDAY  and FRIDAY

Enjoy our Half Off Special—our Valentine’s Day gift to you! It’s always the perfect day to feel and look good. Come in choose any our services for half off the regular price. That includes bridal hair and makeup trials!

SATURDAY

Calling all friendors, newlyweds, and brides join us for this special open house this Saturday. We’ve teamed up with B'more Fluff and LaMarca Prosecco for an event you don’t want to miss.

We can't wait to see you at the Elite Secrets Cotton Candy and Bubbly Social on Saturday, February 17th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

The celebration does not have to end after this week. Our Bride event extends through the entire month. Brides, book your bridal trial before March 1st and receive half off the cost of the session. Hurry slots are filling quickly! Book your trial here.

What Your Wedding Lipstick Shade Says About You

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What Your Wedding Lipstick Shade Says About You

Not every bride treats her lips equally when it comes to the big day. Some prefer gentle and more relaxed lipsticks - and others are brave enough to go with the bold red. There are plenty of choices when it comes to lipstick shades, and you should know their meanings.

Mauve - Luxury With A Hint Of Mystery

Mauve is the softer shade of purple and a color that symbolizes a luxurious woman with a shade of mystery in her. It is great to show off your sophisticated style and portrays strength and confidence. Also, it is modern, trendy and stylish choice that many brides go for recently.

Hot Pink As The Color That Stands Out

Hot pink lipsticks are not for everyone. They are ideal for the brave and energetic brides who know how to light up a room and are never afraid to stand out. They replicate the center of attention and give a bubbly, excited and friendly flair to your wedding.

Coral - The Adventurer

Coral is a new trend and perfectly suits tanned brides with love for adventure and the outdoors. It replicates proud, bravery and ability to stand out for yourself. Brides who wear coral are lovers of the environment and want to spend weekends in the outdoors rather than sit at home.

Taupe As The Earth Shade

Down-to-earth is one way to describe taupe as a bridal lipstick shade. It makes your look wholesome and comfortable and at the same time genuine and dependable. It is natural and gives a hint of expression but at the same time laid back and not too flashy.

Bright Red For The Boldest Brides

Red is probably the boldest color of them all. It is sexy, passionate and confident. Brides who wear red lipsticks know what they want and what they deserve - and are passionate about their moods at all times.

Nude As The Confident And Classy Bride

Last but not the least - nude lipsticks replicate shyness and quiet. They are a great fit for brides who actually don't want to be the center of attention but still want to look classy and elegant and show their kindness and genuine personality.

Book your bridal hair and makeup trials today and enjoy 50% off now through March 1st! 

 

♥ ♥ ♥

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Should you pay for your bridesmaids' hair and makeup?

Should you pay for your bridesmaids' hair and makeup?

Every bride wants her bride tribe to look fierce on her wedding day, from the perfect hair to flawless makeup. To ensure there’s a uniform look she may book hair and makeup for her bridesmaids. The cohesive beauty makes for amazing photos and memorable girl-time before the soon-to-be Mrs.’ trip down the aisle.

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Although, whether the bride picks up the tab for her bridal party’s hair and makeup is an individual decision, it is not a guaranteed one. If the bridesmaids are responsible for beauty services, what happens when one doesn't have the resources to pay for hair and makeup? Should she do her hair and makeup, or should you cover the costs? Our bridal beauty expert, LaTonya Turnage, weighs in.

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If you want your bridesmaids to have professional hair and makeup looks, it should be discussed in the early stages of the wedding planning process. Even though it may not be understood, there are some financial costs associated with bridesmaid’s responsibilities, so if she can't do the hair and makeup, it's important to be honest upfront.

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However, if one of your girls can't afford to get her hair and makeup done, it'd be a generous gesture to help her out. In this case, it may be best to chip in privately. It's not a rule, but it's the right thing to do. It's an honor to be a bridesmaid, but the bride should know there are different levels of financial responsibility.

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Common courtesy also suggests that if you require hair and makeup for all of your bridesmaids, the payment for said services should come out of your pocket. If the choice is left to each bridesmaid, you are by no means obligated to pay. By the same reasoning, if your bridesmaid doesn't want to have her makeup done, there is no need to push the issue. However, leaving one member of the group out of the bonding beauty session is not an incredibly gracious way to treat a friend. And, you risk the bridesmaid doing her hair and makeup herself, which could potentially clash with the others. To remedy this situation, offer to pay a portion of her hair and makeup expense. If your economics are such that you can manage to foot the bill for all of your bridesmaids, you may want to do so. At Elite Secrets, we provide discounts for large groups, so you may be able to secure a deal while pleasing every member of your wedding party.

Want to book your bridal hair and makeup trial with Elite Secrets? Enjoy our New Year special and save 50% on your bridal hair and makeup trial. Book here today!

Merry, Marry Christmas Styled Shoot

Merry, Marry Christmas Styled Shoot

With Christmas just a few days ago, what better way to continue the jolly season than with this festive wedding inspiration?! It’s romantic, cozy, and green all over!

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This beautiful shoot is all about the warm and rich color palette. Evergreen wedding inspiration is everywhere from the greenery in the bride’s crown to the hue in the groom’s suit. The color palette had to be rich yet natural.  We wanted it to feel like the holidays but not scream Merry Christmas. Hints of cranberry red, evergreen and winter white with natural wood tones felt like a classic holiday card.

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Our bride wore a lace Justin Alexander gown with a sweetheart neckline. The glorious crown was the star of the show and the bouquet was just as dreamy with mixed winter greens, berries, and large white blooms. A perfectly coiffed updo and makeup with nude lips pulled the entire look together.

Venue: The Living Well

Photography: Bliss Culture Photography

Sugar Artist: Cupcake Syn       

Florals: B Willow

Bride’s Dress and Accessories: Elite Secrets Bridal

Bride’s Accessories: Ilieana George

Hair and Makeup: Elite Secrets Bridal

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?

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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. 

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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7 Bridal-Worthy Red Lipsticks You Will Love

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7 Bridal-Worthy Red Lipsticks You Will Love

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Whether you are saying 'yes' to the love of your life soon - or just want to get a professional opinion on the best lipsticks on the market, you have come to the right place. This week bridal beauty expert, LaTonya Turnage, gives her picks for the best bold and beautiful reds for any skin tone.

1. NYX Full Throttle Lipstick in Up the Bass

Highly pigmented and just brilliant - the red NYX lipstick is so stunning and so affordable that it deserves a place in every bride's trousseau. The best thing about it is that it is fit for any special events even after your wedding!

2. MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Ruby Woo

Not too warm or too cool, this popular shade of red will flatter every skin tone, and the matte texture will give a long-lasting finish. This can be your go-to red lipstick that you can even wear at your wedding! It is a perfect everyday option but has that tone of red that also makes it classy for special events.

3. Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick

Featuring a seductive red color that can be interpreted as amazingly sexy and self-contained, this bestseller by Marc Jacobs makes the perfect red lipstick that matches all of your bridal dress combinations.

4. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Adora

The design of this lipstick’s rose tone is so nice that you will immediately want to put it on your list of wedding day makeup must-haves. It comes in studded packaging and even features tiny specks of gold throughout its pigment that acts as a great alternative to traditional reds.

5. YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Rouge

This French classic is the nicely designed and the goldish bridal lipstick that will dress your lips in couture color. With buying it for your big day, you will ensure that your lips are properly hydrated and enriched with antioxidants with a bold and creamy red coverage.

6. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb

This deep, sumptuous red color will capture your guests’ attention without drawing too much attention away from your dress. It’s a statement lip tone that’s perfect for the bride craving a little drama. You can’t go wrong with this gem...it’s our CEO’s favorite!

7. LimeLight by Alcone Onyx Perfect Lipsticks in Black Cherry

More deep than bright, but still undeniably red, this is the perfect shade for a girl who’s classic with a twist. The matte finish looks edgy, chic, and totally put-together. This lipstick adds intensity to any look and offers opaque coverage that is surprisingly hydrating. *Note: this is a limited-edition item, but you can purchase through Elite Secrets here.

So, have you made your choice yet? Can't decide? Let us help! Book your bridal hair and makeup trial with us today. 

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5 Important Things EVERY BRIDE Must do to Look Your Best on the Big Day

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5 Important Things EVERY BRIDE Must do to Look Your Best on the Big Day

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5 Important Things EVERY BRIDE Must Do to Look Your Best on the Big Day 'How to look great on my wedding day?' is a thought that runs in the mind of many brides. The truth is, it is not rocket science - and it all boils down to a couple of important wedding day makeup, hair and dress tips you need to follow.

Speaking of which, we are outlining the best ones for making your look absolutely flawless - below.

1. Strike a Pose In Front Of Your Mirror

It may sound silly, but knowing where your hands are at all times during your wedding, and what your pose is, can be actually helpful. The best way to practice it is in front of the mirror, by trying each celebrity pose.

Oh, and did you know that some poses can make you 10 pounds lighter in front of the camera? Grab a friend and have them help you out!

2. Have a Professional Apply Your Makeup

Just because you have a bridesmaid who knows how to apply makeup, that doesn't mean that she will do a great job on your wedding day makeup.  Most likely she will have a lot going on and things to do that day to get herself ready. You won't be her center of attention, and your makeup may suffer because of it.  A professional makeup artist makes it his or her job to make sure that the bride is the most important face of the day!

3. Learn How to Work your Face for the Camera

Double chins are the enemy of every bride. In case you don't know what it is, it's the pose when you are looking down, and your chin is doubling and colliding with your neck. They can make even the slimmest of women look bad in pictures.

The best way to prevent a double chin from happening on your wedding photos and videos is to always move your head forward. Just make sure you are not looking at the ceiling or making awkward poses, right?

4. Embrace The Beauty Of Laughter

Sometimes, the best wedding photos are the ones where you and your friends laugh. Fake smiles are not flattering for sure - however, the same cannot be said for fake laughs. So, next time when you want to relax - let out a forced 'Ha! Ha!' - and do it again, again and again.

The results? Natural photos that everyone loves!

5. Buy The Dress, The Shoes And The Accessories

Be sure to purchase your attire in the right order. First buy the dress, next select the shoes, and lastly the accessories. That way is the easiest to follow and the most hassle-free choice to go for. And remember - always choose your wardrobe wisely. Try not to get caught up in the trend of the moment, but instead focus on your personal style and what flatters you most.

Looking for the perfect dress? We’ve got you covered. Join us at Elite Secrets Bridal on April 21 and 22 for the Justin Alexander trunk show. Click the box below to make your appointment today! You don't want to miss this! 

Eventbrite - Elite Secrets Bridal Trunk Show

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