Sunday, March 29, 2009

I love-a Jelly Bean!

When my daughter was a toddler, jelly beans were her favorite candy. She would ask for them and then say, "I love-a jelly bean!"

I love-a jelly bean, too. A few years ago I started making jelly bean lip balm, adding the flavors of orange, grape, pineapple, lime, and passion fruit to make it taste like a mouthful of all the best jelly bean colors!

This year we've added a Limited Edition Jelly Bean fragrance. Imagine a burst of citrus, with hints of apple, peach, and pear...a luscious fruity fragrance!

For a few short weeks, we'll have these Jelly bean gift sets, with lotion, bath gel, and lip balm. Wrapped in a colorful pail with nylon pouf, they're such cute spring or Easter gifts!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring & Summer Palette 2009

Are you someone who follows trends so you can:
A. copy them to the letter?
B. take the concept and give it your own spin? or
C. avoid them and start your own trends?

Regardless of your approach, it’s always useful to know what is trendy. When Pantone posts their fashion color charts for the upcoming seasons (released during New York Fashion Week), we check to make sure we’ve included the new hues in our palette. Now that it’s officially spring and people have started ordering for their spring and summer events, I figured I’d weigh in on which of these colors seem to be popular choices this season.

The Pantone Fashion Color Report for Spring 2009 includes 10 colors, ranging from fuchsia to lavender, two pinks and a yellow, a handful of greens and blues, and a neutral gray. Specifically (see graphic above, clockwise): Fuchsia Red, Palace Blue, Lavender, Dark Citron, Super Lemon, Lucite Green, Vibrant Green, Rose Dust, Slate Gray, Salmon Rose.)

We added steel gray tulle to our bow selection last year due to the popularity of this color (the “new black”?) and it’s still a trendy choice paired with almost any other color. We like it because it is softer than black and cooler than brown. (Right now we’re loving it with fuchsia.) Our Williamsburg blue is a close match to the blue-green of this new Pantone slate gray.

We've also noticed an interest in metallics, specifically silver, which look great paired with gray and bolder accent colors. We have several metallic tulle colors which add sparkle to our favors.

While bright pinks were a popular choice for bridal shower or bachelorette favors last year, we’re seeing lots more purples this year, from that funky fuchsia almost-pink to lavender and even deeper violet and eggplant shades.

We’re still seeing some pinks, but they are orangey or muted—the Salmon (close to our coral pink) and Rose Dust (similar to our dusty rose) mentioned in the Pantone report really seem to be the new pinks of choice. We’ve seen requests for true orange replaced by coral and vermilion this spring, and this seems to be increasing as we begin to prepare designs for summer events.

The blues are still hugely popular for spring, with Pantone’s Palace blue (similar to our turquoise) and Lucite green (our tiffany) being paired with grays and reds, as well as with bright vibrant greens (like our lime green).

Pantone’s “color of the year” for 2009 is called mimosa (similar to our goldenrod), a bright orangey yellow. This color is supposed to represent the optimism we need in these difficult economic times, and it looks like some folks are taking the cue by incorporating this color in their bridal and wedding events. We’ve seen an increase in the popularity of bright yellow, in particular (think daffodils), often paired with black or gray.

By far the most popular color this spring has been green. Commonly paired with brown or gray last year, this year we’ve seen it with lavender as well as aqua or periwinkle blues, too. The perfect pear/pair theme seems to be enjoying a revival, as well, and is a perfect choice if you want to use these dark citron or vibrant green shades (lime, neon citrus, mint, or sage green in our palette).

Almost all of our designs can be customized to include your event’s colors, so check out our chart of tulle bow colors and let us know if you have a specific palette in mind. Whether you’re following a trend or starting your own, we’d love to work with you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Idea for Child's Party

I've been putting together a lot of party favors for kids' parties lately, which is one of my favorite things to do. The flavors and designs are usually more whimsical than the wedding and bachelorette favors we make, and the colors are usually brighter, too (which is just what I need in the spring!!).

If you're looking for a great idea for a child's party, why not make soap? Debbie Chialtas of Soapylove has a great video tutorial that shows you just how easy this project is for all of your party guests. I've posted the video below, but please check out Soapylove, too...the soapsicles are some of the coolest melt and pour soaps you'll ever see!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Prisoner of Love?


Your gown was a steal--and on your wedding day, you'll look simply arresting. But don't make this couple's mistake. If you drink heavily at your reception, make sure you have a designated driver (read: limo, best man, friend) drive you to the airport, or you could end up spending your wedding night in the clink.

Prisoner of love, indeed!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bridal Makeup and Skin Care with Kelley Maddison

As a bride, it's natural to want to put your "best face forward" on your big day. But weddings are notorious for bridal breakouts and blemishes! What can you do to make sure your skin is healthy and beautiful for your friends, family...and photographer?

Consult an expert! I'm so happy to know Kelley Maddison, a fellow member of the Indie Beauty Network (and a Twitter friend). Kelley is a licensed aesthetician who has had her own skin care practice since February of 2006. Involved in the fashion and beauty industry for over 12 years, Kelley had been doing bridal makeup for over 6 years before deciding to go to school for her aesthetic license. Earlier this week Kelley launched her new company, PRIIA Cosmetics, featuring a line of natural mineral makeup and skin care products. Kelley was generous enough to answer some of my questions about bridal makeup and skin care.

What can a bride-to-be do in the weeks or months prior to her big day to improve the condition of her skin and (hopefully!) prevent breakouts?
First, a bride should really consider professional skin care. A properly trained skin care professional can help a bride-to-be get her skin in tip-top shape BEFORE her big day. Preventing blemishes can sometimes be just the “luck of the draw”. Unfortunately, blemishes seem to rear their ugly heads at the WORST moments; especially in times of stress- good or bad. This is where a trained makeup artist comes in and can help properly hide any facial imperfections. I HIGHLY encourage all brides to invest in a good aesthetician and/or makeup artist because the ultimate goal that day is for a bride to look her most radiant and beautiful. Plus, a bride ALWAYS wants her pictures to be stunning and a well-trained makeup artist can make this happen.

Lots of brides want that sun-kissed look, but is tanning worth it? What do you recommend to give brides that "healthy glow" without tanning?
Well, I’m an aesthetician first and foremost, so I’m really against the whole tanning thing. It’s so damaging to the skin. There are many alternatives to a tanning bed such as a spray tan and face and body bronzers. Personally, I love face and body bronzers the best. I’ve seen some spray tans that turned out to be an awful mess! You can’t go wrong with a beautiful face and body bronzing powder that’s not too shiny or sparkly.

With so many of us on tighter budgets, lots of "DIY" brides will be going it alone for their makeup. What are some of the biggest mistakes you think people make when they do their own wedding makeup?
Some of the biggest wedding day makeup mistakes I’ve seen include makeup being applied way too heavy, false eyelash nightmares, the wrong colors being applied for the time of day for the wedding (this is super important), fake tans that were splotchy and uneven and the worst thing was seeing an obvious line of demarcation on the face and neck. The bride’s face was orange and her neck and décolleté were white!

How can brides avoid making the same mistakes?
I really feel a bride needs to set aside a budget for makeup. Even if she takes a lesson from a makeup artist beforehand and then does her own makeup for the wedding, it’s well worth the monetary outlay, which really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things.

For those brides who are still "on the fence," what are the best reasons to hire someone to do your bridal makeup?
See mistakes above! Plus, a bride has enough to worry about on the biggest day of her life. She doesn't need to be stressed out over applying her own makeup.

What about brides with acne or other skin conditions? Should they think more seriously about hiring someone to do their makeup?
Absolutely!! There’s really a knack to being able to cover a blemish or other skin imperfection properly so it looks like it never was even there!

What do you see as the recent trends in bridal makeup? Want to make any predictions for the future...?
I actually see more mineral makeup being used on brides because it’s so much healthier for the skin. There are so many options with mineral makeup plus you just can’t beat the pigment colors. They make a bride look so radiant. I haven’t noticed specific color trends for brides per se because again, the makeup colors being used need to coordinate with the time of day the event is being held. If there are trends, I don’t follow them for that reason.

When you're choosing someone to do your bridal makeup, what do you look for?
A bride should look for a qualified licensed skin care professional first. But more importantly, the aesthetician should have experience working with brides. If they’re not an aesthetician, then the person should be able to supply the bride with examples of their makeup artistry such as a portfolio. The makeup professional should be asking the bride specific questions such as what time of day is the event taking place. This is a very important question because it makes all the difference as to what colors should be used on the bride.

In my practice, I schedule a trial run with the bride-to-be first. There is a fee involved for this. Then, if she likes my work, she will give me a deposit for her actual wedding day makeup in order to book and hold that date. I also have her sign a professional contract. A bride should expect these things when working with any wedding professional.

I mentioned that I follow you on Twitter, but where else can we find you online?
My blog is called The Mineral Makeup Coach Blog and I am also on Facebook. On March 15th, I launched my product line, PRIIA Cosmetics!

I'd love to know more about your products!
My line consists of natural mineral cosmetics and results-oriented skin care. The loose mineral foundations I offer are actually wonderful for brides because they DO NOT create a reflection for the camera like most mineral makeup brands can - my foundations have been used on High Def photo shoots for companies like Frigidaire!

I have many other mineral cosmetic products such as lip glosses, lipstick hybrids, natural eye & lip liners, shadows, blushes, oil-control powder (excellent for brides!), brow crèmes, face concealer, under eye concealer and so much more. All of my products are natural and do not contain parabens, petroleum-derivatives, sulfates, bismuth oxychloride, nanoparticles or any other questionable chemicals. My line of cosmetics and skin care are also certified by PETA as cruelty-free, which I’m very proud of!

Thank you, Kelley! Visit Kelley's blog to see even more of her skin care and makeup tips, and PRIIA Cosmetics to learn about her new natural products.

Please let me know if you found this information helpful. Leave your comments below!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Small Weddings

Came across this article last week that sings the praises of small weddings. When it comes to the size of your wedding, this article says less is more: more fun, more relaxing, more intimate, more of your dreams-come-true. And the best thing: more attention on you. Which is what every bride really wants, right?

I think this is all positive spin on the REAL reason more couples are planning smaller weddings: they are much less expensive. It's pretty simple math, since the reception can end up being half of the total cost of a wedding. The food, drinks, wedding cake, and entertainment for a smaller group of people almost always have a more modest price tag.

Smaller weddings can also be "greener;" Consider fewer invitations, less fuel for transportation, not as many flowers. The carbon footprint of these smaller events is...well, smaller. Just another of the many good reasons to have a small wedding.

How about you? Are you planning a small wedding? What do you see as the benefits of planning a smaller event? Please share your comments below!

Monday, March 09, 2009

"Picky" Eater?

I have often considered my kids picky eaters. They do the typical kid stuff, going on kicks where they won't eat certain things at all, or will ONLY eat a few foods. But these have always been phases. They outgrow them and move on to something else equally exasperating.

This story provides some perspective (and proves that you can ALWAYS find someone worse off). Imagine having your child eat her first food at age 10. The girl in this story was born prematurely, with a gap between her esophagus and stomach. The medical issue was fixed, but she had a "food aversion" and required tube feeding until just recently.

It's one thing to complain that your children don't eat their vegetables, but imagine if you never got to share ice cream with them, or lollipops? Or chocolate?! Think about those priceless photos you took when they ate their first birthday cake (or first lima bean!). Think about how many fun food things they'd miss! I don't think I'll be complaining about my kids' eating habits again!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happiness is the Key

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." ~Albert Schweitzer

Friday, March 06, 2009

Balmaholic Review

If you like lip balm, you'll love this new lip balm review site. The "Balmaholic" has only been reviewing for a short time but she already has reported her opinions of an impressive listing of brands. We're excited to be included with such a group! Check out our review!

The Balmaholic gives us a rating of 4.5 out of 5, and says, "This balm has gained a spot on my list of all-time favorites." She tried a number of flavors, with some of her most favorable comments reserved for our new Cupcake lip balm. "Cupcake absolutely floored me. I have never had a lip balm that was so close to the way an actual cupcake smells. I can smell the cake batter and icing, and it kind of makes me hungry. I really need more of these."

Many thanks to the Balmaholic and best wishes to her with the new review site!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wicked Excited about Wickedly Chic

A couple of weeks ago, GCDSpa.com was a featured Indie of the Week at Wickedly Chic. I have to admit, I was (wicked) excited about this. If you haven't visited Wickedly Chic, I'd recommend it. No, let me rephrase that: get your heinie over to Wickedly Chic and check out all of the cool stuff they feature there!

Liz Nonnemacher is the editor and has been offering up her reviews and recommendations for three years. Claire Lipton is the teen editor, and finds the best stuff for those under 20. They feature lots of independent businesses and links to the best Etsy shops, lots of natural products and amazing designs. Beauty products, fashion, purses, art work, jewelry...you name it. You will be amazed!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

When you are in pain

I have to thank a good friend for giving me this reminder today (you know who you are!). This friend recently spent some time in the hospital, eventually having her gall bladder removed. As I am personally facing this same procedure in my near future, I think her comments hit even closer to home.

She told me that the lip balm I sent reached her in the hospital just as her lips were cracked and she needed it most. She observed that many of the spas in her area focus on "beauty not healing." She noted that her parents, as her caretakers, needed "care" as much as she did. She said, "All details are important when you are in pain."

Most of my work keeps me focused on happy events: weddings and their associated showers and parties, baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries. I love this and enjoy participating in these celebrations. But I admit, the most touching notes I've received have been about comforting and healing: the cancer patient who used sugar scrub to remove the last hairs from her head during chemo; the newly-divorced mom who ordered divorce party favors to focus on one positive message in the chaos of her new life; an elderly woman in a nursing home who put cream on her chapped hands and feet. And my good friend who was soothed by a lip balm that was in the right place at the right time. People who are hurting are the ones who need the most care and soothing.

I often forget this when I'm putting together products to make people feel special: everyone deserves that feeling, but some people NEED it. People taking care of elderly parents, folks in the hospital, women who've lost spouses through death or divorce, those who have lost a job. There are so many people hurting, and as my friend said, "All details are important when you are in pain." Little things can make a big difference.

What do you think? What do you find soothing when you're feeling down or you're hurting? What do you share with those in your life to make them feel better? Please share your comments!

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