Monday, July 6, 2015


One of the most important days of a bride's life is her wedding day. In our minds we have a story that we have carried in our hearts for a very long time. It doesn't matter if the wedding will take place in a big venue or a small ceremony in your backyard; it is a time to celebrate true love.

The pressure is high and every second counts in preparing for your wedding day. A bride wants to feel good and look beautiful on that special day. When your search starts in looking for a makeup artist, there are a couple things to consider:

You want to be sure that you do a trial with your makeup artist at least 4-6 weeks before the big day. This will not only set the stage so things run smoothly on your wedding day, but also will identify if the makeup artist's personality is the right fit for you. You don't want to spend a lot of up close and personal time with someone if your styles are totally different. A makeup artist should be professional and have excellent communication skills.

Experience and Training
I believe that education is important, as well as experience. Ask your makeup artist to see examples of her prior work. Every makeup artist should shave a look book or portfolio they can share with you. This not only displays their experience, but also their style. Be sure to ask how long they have been a makeup artist and where they got their training.

Technology changes all the time so do the current makeup trends. Ask your makeup artist if she has experience with mature skin and knowledge of color theory. Most bridal parties will have people of all ages and all different skin tones. You may also want to ask if she knows how to work with problem skin. Your makeup artist should be trained in all aspects of artistry. Color correction is very important to know when working with clients for the first time, especially under tight time constraints. Everyone brings something beautiful and unique to the wedding that day. If someone from your bridal party has problem skin or wants to hide a scar, your makeup artist should know how to adjust their techniques to each individual need.

Ask your makeup artist about their products. Do they have makeup for all skin types and do they use camera ready makeup? It is important to use the right product for the right reason. Some makeup might not have the pigment or texture that is right for the bride's big day.

One of the first questions most brides ask a makeup artist is: "What is the cost for your services?" You may wonder what is it that you are paying for. You are paying for their time, creativity and their use of product. Your makeup artist should be able to tell you the price of the trial and the prices for the actual wedding day. There may be extra costs for lashes, airbrush makeup, or additional makeup services. You can also expect to have a cost for mileage depending on distance from their place of work to yours. Be sure to ask if there are additional costs for mileage.

The amount of time you invest with your search for your makeup artist will surely pay off in the end on your wedding day. You will feel comfortable knowing that you and your makeup artist got everything out of the way in the trial and communicated all your needs up front.

Dana Schuster is a Freelance Makeup Artist with over 10 years experience under her belt working with brides in the Chicagoland area preparing them for their special day. She is also the owner of Clarity Make Up Artistry. She’s worked with MAC, Bobbi Brown and Senna Cosmetics, and is a state-certified makeup artist by Makeup First, LLC. For more information on Clarity Makeup Artistry, email or call 630-802-2991.

Photography: Mark Serrano / Makeup + Hair: Dana Schuster, Clarity Makeup Artistry / Designer: C. Rinella Designs / Model: Iryna Kindelevych

Article originally published in VS Chicago

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ceremony + Reception: Crystal Ballroom Renaissance Hotel, St. Louis, MO / Gown: Allure Bridals / ​Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid​ / Planner: Katie Saeger Events / Florist: Special Event Florist ​Band: Griffin & the Gargoyles / Photobooth Backdrop: PK Paper Art / ​Photo Booth: Todd Studios Chairs​ + Chargers​: Renaissance Grand Hotel / Linens from Nuage Designs Inc. / Paper Goods: Livia Paul Paper​ / Transportation:​ Best Transportation​ / Hair + Makeup: DanielleStyle​ 
Photography: Taylor Cincotta and Laurin Thienes of Salvatore Cincotta Photography

Monday, June 29, 2015

We began our relationship as two work friends sharing a mutual love of Chicago and all it had to offer a couple of urban, liberal, fun-loving souls – the sights, sounds, food, drink, music, people, sports and activities! An impromptu first date to a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music kicked off a journey that “peaked” with our engagement while hiking in the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps. Exactly five years after that fateful first music-date, we came together with family and dear friends for the relaxed, neighborhood-centric wedding of our dreams.

Our Chicago home is important to us and we wanted to share that with our guests. Leveraging vendors from our immediate neighborhood, we were able to provide both a fantastic time and great sense of what life in Roscoe Village is like – all in a single, fun-packed weekend! Begin with a night-before party for out-of-town guests at Riverview Tavern, add the convenience of family staying just a few doors down at the lovely Roscoe Village Guesthouses, dress it up with beautiful flowers from Gratitude-Heart Garden, weave in terrific music by local DJ faves Style Matters, capture all the great memories via Elle Rose Photo, and of course, bring it all together at Volo, the ultimate neighborhood restaurant + wine bar...and we had all the ingredients for an amazing, very local, wedding celebration!

The atmosphere for our exchanging vows was absolutely perfect in Volo’s rustic patio garden lined with quaint cabanas and bistro tables. With nieces and nephews by our side, the brief ceremony included our officiant sharing some of the things we love most about each other – Sara’s radiant and infectious smile, Dave’s wicked sense of humor and ability to cause said smile, and our shared value in the importance of loved ones. As the celebrant put it, "perhaps the best example of this value is Sara’s idea to forgo wedding presents in exchange for contributions to support Dave’s nephew, Drew’s eventual kidney transplant. Beyond the wonderful generosity of the act itself, what struck me was the unmistakable pride Dave exuded when telling me about Sara’s idea, as well as Sara’s humble response, that she 'already has plenty of kitchen appliances.'" *

As for the rest of the evening’s festivities, Volo’s balance of cozy / chic design elements and urban vintage charm offered the wonderfully laid back, inviting, and romantic ambiance we wanted. Chef Stephen Dunne’s tasty assortment of small plate fare and novel culinary twists helped ensure we continue to receive raves about how delicious the food was. Of course, a selection of some of our fave wines helped guarantee “reviews” on the beverage front were equally effusive. The staff’s attention to each and every detail – all smoothly handled by coordinator extraordinaire, April Thornley – ensured our guests had a marvelous time. We continue to reminisce about how absolutely perfect everything was and hope that in the years ahead, friends and family continue “hanging in the hood” with us!   -- Sara and Dave

* Dave’s nephew, Drew, will be undergoing his kidney transplant this summer. Additional donations to help offset transplant costs are welcomed at:

CEREMONY + RECEPTION SITE: Volo Restaurant + Wine Bar / PHOTOGRAPHY: Elle Rose Photo / OFFICIANT: Erin House / BRIDE’S GOWN: BHLDN / HAIR: Salon de Vive  MAKEUP: Simone Blushr / FLOWER GIRLS' DRESSES: Mini Boden / FLOWER GIRLS' NECKLACES: Hartley Studio / RING BEARER VESTS + TROUSERS: Janie + Jack / RING BEARER POCKET WATCHES: RC Personalized Gifts / INVITATIONS: Wedding Paper Divas  FLOWERS: Gratitude-Heart Garden / CATERING + WEDDING CAKE: Volo Restaurant + Wine Bar / ENTERTAINMENT: Style Matters

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