Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013: A Year in Review

From all of us at the studio, Happy Holidays!

Click here to view our Holiday Slideshow recapping 2013's highlights

Hello, friends-

It's that time of year again!  The time when we have the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, and a lot of holiday get togethers.  The time when we reflect on this year's accomplishments and memories, while thinking ahead to next year's goals.  We are so thankful that you were a part of our world this year, and that you let us be a part of yours.  It's been an honor and a privilege.

We are grateful that we got to create amazing experience for clients, to help them look and feel their best for their biggest events, shoots, projects, and moments in their lives- both personally and professionally.  It is in those moments that our talents become a gift.

We have enjoyed fruitful collaborations with colleagues and vendors to further grow our work and the delivery to our clients.  We thank those folks for their sense of community and support.

The studio space we moved into almost two years ago has become our forever home.  It is a wonderful gathering place for clients and artists to become empowered and inspired.  It's professional, yet warm, eclectic, and inviting.  We are looking forward to creating more experiences in our space for everyone.

And a huge thanks to our family and friends.  It is that support system that we need to stay dedicated to our fast-paced industry.  You believe in our passion for the work we do, and you support us with your positivity and understanding...for working most nights and weekends while you are off.

I would also like to personally thank the studio team for their professionalism and dedication.  I am happy to have been able to grow the studio by offering more staffing with our exclusive team.  We are the pulse of the client experience and the pride you have in your work and respect for them shows.

2013 was a big year for us!  We grew our services by offering more classes for artists and private clients, taking on bigger bridal parties and events, and launching photography services.  We also celebrated five years in business!  Stay tuned for an announcement in 2014 for an event to celebrate that achievement.  

We're looking forward to offering more client experiences and offerings next year!  See you then!

To you and yours!


Brett Dorrian

Brett Dorrian:  Owner and Lead Artist of Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios

How Airbrush Foundation Can Create Skin That Looks Like Skin- and Lasts All Day

A Clean Beauty Makeup Application with Integrated Airbrush Foundation

As a professional makeup artist, I started offering airbrush services to clients several years ago- when the trend was really becoming more popular.  Brides especially requested airbrush services because they heard it was totally the way to go for long wedding days and making sure the makeup stayed on.  And they were right on- airbrush makeup is a great tool to help with longevity and making foundation more water resistant.  It also helps with discoloration and texture issues (i.e. scar cover, acne cover, and tattoo cover).

There are different formulations of airbrush makeup that are meant for different skin types, coverage, and parts of the body (i.e. face vs. body painting).  Your artist should be able to make a good decision about what route to go based on your needs if you inquire about hiring airbrush services.

A "Before" Picture with No Makeup On

There is definitely a split among clients who have had airbrush makeup done before:  they either LOVE it, or they HATE it.  Whatever their opinion is of it, they've decided it's the airbrush makeup they like or loathe.  But, it really comes down to the talent and approach of the artist.  The airbrush foundation and equipment is just one more tool in our arsenal of options to create makeup designs.  It's just like anything in makeup- you can hand two artists the same brush and same purple eyeshadow, and they'll create two different eye designs based on talent, experience, and approach/style.  The same is true for airbrush makeup.

Left Side:  No Correction | Right Side:  Traditional Cream Neutralizers and Correction Only
I am a big proponent of doing sheer color correction in traditional cream bases and neutralizers BEFORE going in with airbrush makeup.  I base my style in color theory.  What that means is that I like to do my underpainting and correction first.  Otherwise, you would just have to spray a tremendous amount of airbrush makeup on the face to cancel out the discoloration issues (that everyone has to some degree in their skin).

Left Side:  Too Many Layers of Airbrush Makeup | Right Side: Sheer Correction with Sheer Airbrush (My Approach)

If you look at this picture closely, you can see that the left side (too many layers of airbrush only) is dull and actually pulls out texture in the skin, making it look older and more tired than it actually is.  Doing too many layers of airbrush to cover blemishes and discoloration is overkill.  That will create more clients that hate airbrush makeup.  But, when you embrace color theory, do your correction, and then add airbrush in as a step that works congruently with your other foundation steps, it's a winning combination.  

Personally, I choose to only use airbrush for foundation, scar cover, acne cover, tattoo cover, and injury cover.  I do not prefer to airbrush eyebrows and eyeshadow.  I like to still build designs traditionally with a brush in my hand to create my signature style for clients for brows, eyes, cheeks, and lips.

If you're thinking about choosing airbrush foundation for your makeup service, here are 5 questions you should ask your artist:
1.  Do you do concealer and color correction before airbrush, or airbrush only?
2.  Do you use water-based or silicone-based airbrush makeup and why?
3.  How long have you been airbrushing?
4.  Do you have back-up equipment in case something goes wrong with the compressor or airbrush gun?
5.  Would you recommend that do airbrush foundation and why?
*Anyone experienced will know these answers and will be happy to help educate you about the "what" and "why" of airbrushing

We include airbrush foundation with all of our bridal makeup packages since it really does create a perfect, glowing skin that still looks like skin- when used well.  

Here are some examples of before/after snapshots showing varying degrees of natural and glam designs.    

Friday, November 15, 2013

Black Friday Sale Announced: Huge Savings on Gift Certificates!

Black Friday Sale Announced:  Huge Savings on Gift Certificates!

Personal Makeup Lessons {$60 off!}
Group Makeup Lessons {$85 off!}
Makeover + Photo Shoot {$100 off!}

See the Black Friday Newsletter Announcement Here

Happy Holidays!



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Difference of Design: Makeup for Color Photography vs. Black & White Photography

You've heard the old adage:  you have to do the makeup heavier for pictures!  It's a cliche because it's true.  When doing makeup for live events vs. photography vs. black & white photography, there is much to consider.

In general, the camera has a tendency to flatten 3-D forms (like the face) just a bit and it will also show a makeup palette and finish as being lighter and sheerer than it is in person.  As a makeup artist, that means needing to work with an overall contour on the face to make it slightly more spherical.  In studio art terms, a circle becomes a sphere when you add a light source to have light and shadow, thus contour.  Well, we need to do that to the face in a delicate way with bronzer to assist in keeping the face's form on camera.

Additionally, you have to decide as an artist how heavy to go on foundation and how saturated to go with colors to make sure they photograph well, but still look good in person.  When it comes to makeup that works well for clients attending live events at which they will be photographed, you have to pick a happy medium of coverage and color.  This will be true for bridal and event clients.

Here is a picture of a makeup and hair design done for a client prior to a black tie event.  She wanted to look vintage, but not theatrical.  So, we did a medium coverage base/foundation and gave structure to the brows, eyes, cheeks, and lips without over-doing it.  The main details of the look were the slightly winged liner and red lips (to get that vintage look, darling).  

When you see this design photographed between color, black & white, and sepia, you can see that the most striking picture is the one in color.  This design approach to color and coverage gets lost when you move the image to grayscale.  To successfully design makeup for black & white photography, you have to change the way you look at color and form.  

The piece that you have to consider is tint and shade.  Tint and shade refer to the lightness or darkness of a color, or hue.  When you are designing a look that is specifically going to be photographed in black & white, you need to adjust your coverage and color palette accordingly.  If it's only going to be in a shoot, then it can be heavier in coverage.  If it's going to be in grayscale, then I need to worry about tints and shades (lightness and darkness) of the colors used.

It's very difficult to see beyond the hue.  It's easier to work in either cool tones or warm tones in order to do so.  But, when you do some research on the history of makeup, you'll find that the old black & white movies were styled with cooler-toned makeup.  The face was built with shades of blush, essentially.  So, break out your pinks, purples, and blues!

Here is the same client, still styled with a vintage look, but more appropriate for the period and more appropriate for the purpose of the design:  to be photographed in black & white photography.  

You can see that in color photography, this look is much more over-the-top.  In person, it's downright garish.  But, in black & white photography, it shines.  The base work was much heavier, with deliberate contours built up in creams before moving to powders.  The lips, cheeks, and eyes were colored in and contoured further with a cool-toned palette.  Note that the lip is not red for this design.  A true red lip will photograph closer to black than to gray in black & white photography (as you can see above).  Also, the lines in the brows and eyes had to be exaggerated to not get lost.  

 Photo by:  Serendipity Photography

  Photo by:  Serendipity Photography
As you can see, the difference of the two designs directly impacts the success of the look.  Tint, shade, form, line, and color are just a few of the tools an artist will use to wield their art in the world of makeup and hair design.  No design is left to chance.  Every choice the artist makes is deliberate.


Makeup and hair by:  Brett Dorrian

Getting a Custom Airbrush Spray Tan for Your Wedding

Many brides debate getting an airbrush spray tan before their wedding.  Who are the right clients for airbrush spray tanning?  Brides, grooms, and bridal parties who want to look like they've gotten some sun, but want to skip the harmful rays and the time to do so.  Who are they not for?  Folks who need to embrace their fair skin if, in their heart, they don't really want to look tan.  It's certainly a service that has become trendy and popular, but it's got to be the right fit for you to be the right look for you.    

I have a couple of examples below of brides from this season who did their trial-run appointment for hair and makeup design, and then after the fact decided to have a spray tan done.  So, on the day of the wedding, you can see what they're like a few shades darker.  

Here is a picture from a bridal trial-run design of makeup and hair:  

Here is a picture of the same bride on her wedding day after having a custom airbrush spray tan a couple of days prior to the wedding day (the lighting is a little darker and more yellow since it's indoors):

Here is another example of a summer bride at her trial-run makeup and hair design appointment:

And here she is with a spray tan done a couple of days prior to her wedding, on her wedding day (a little flush in the face from all of the excitement, but you can see the tan more true to color on her arms and chest):

{Here is the link to her full wedding by Ray + Kelly Photography}

If you're wondering if a spray tan is for you, consider these criteria in your decision making process:

1.  Hire an airbrush tan specialist - skip the tanning chambers at the bigger tanning salons.  By hiring an airbrush tanning artist, you will get a more custom color and more precise coverage wherever you do (or don't) need it.

2.  Have a trial-run tanning appointment before the week of the wedding.  The wedding week is no time to experiment with new services.  You will want to try out an airbrush spray tan 1-2 months prior to your wedding to ensure that it's the look you want for your big day.  If you like it, then book an appointment 2-3 days prior to your event.  

3.  Be sure to ask about the prep and aftercare instructions from your artist.  For example, if you exfoliate too much prior to an airbrush spray tan, the product has nothing to stick to and it won't look great; and if you exfoliate too much after the tan, you'll make it go away faster.  

4.  Plan for anywhere from 2-8 hours of no sweating, no showering, and looking a little funny while the product has time to set in for the tan to develop.  You probably want to do this on a day off from work.

5.  Be sure to get your manicure or pedicure before your spray tan- otherwise their process of soaking and scrubbing could remove your tan from your hands and feet.

6.  Plan to invest $50-85 per airbrush spray tan session with your artist.  These are approximate rates for Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, and they will range depending on the level of experience and the convenience of your appointment (i.e. in home vs. at a studio or salon).  Some providers offer a group rate for tanning parties.

At the end of the day, it's a great service to try out.  It's just like coloring your hair a few shades lighter or darker- you'll know if you love it and can't live without it or if you're good going au naturale.  

Happy tanning!



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Technology and Weddings

We caught this super interesting and informative segment on The Takeaway last week about the role of technology in weddings. The discussion featured etiquette expert (and great-great-granddaughter of the one and only Emily Post) Anna Post, who had a great perspective on how smart phones and social media are changing wedding traditions.

Did you run into any technology issues at your wedding? Or did you use social media to your advantage (such as asking guests to use a certain custom hashtag to make photos more accessible)?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Makeover Monday

Photo by Brett Dorrian

Here's another amazing transformation that shows the power of the right makeup and hair styling.

Want your own makeover? Schedule a personal makeup lesson with Brett and she'll give you a whole new look. Email for more information.

Minnesota Bride Magazine's Best of 2013 Awards

Brett, Megs, and Mallory from the studio team attended Minnesota Bride magazine's Best of 2013 Awards on July 10th at Aria in Minneapolis. We were honored to be nominated for Best Hair & Makeup for the fourth year in a row. Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners! We didn't win in our category, but it was an honor to be nominated again. Cheers!
The full list of finalists can be viewed here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

July Special: Custom Organic Airbrush Spray Tanning

Feeling a little paste-y? Get bronzed for your next summer event with our custom organic airbrush spray tanning service.
Airbrush tans are a safe and natural-looking alternative to the sun or a tanning bed.
Our tans are administered by airbrush specialists (no automatic booths here!). We custom blend the color according to your skin color and the depth of tan desired.
Photo by Serendipity Photography
Special rate:
* Package of 5 Sessions In Studio: $250 ($50 per tan, saving $75 on the total package rate)
Use them yourself or share with a friend!
Find our answers to some tanning FAQs here.
Email to purchase.
Note: Valid only on in-studio tanning. Deal must be purchased by Wednesday, July 31st, 2013. Must be redeemed by December 31st, 2013. Scheduling is subject to availability. Gratuity is not included in the service rate.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Makeover Monday: Red Lips Edition

Photo by Brett Dorrian
Ok, so it's technically Tuesday, but we wanted to share this spectacular "before and after" nonetheless. Cheers!

P.S. Want your own makeover? Schedule a personal makeup lesson with Brett and she'll give you a whole new look. Email for more information.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June Special: Custom Organic Airbrush Spray Tanning

Feeling a little paste-y? Get bronzed for your next summer event with our custom organic airbrush spray tanning service.
Our tans are administered by airbrush specialists (no automatic booths here!). We custom blend the color according to your skin color and the depth of tan desired.
Plus, airbrush tans are a safe and natural-looking alternative to the sun or a tanning bed.
Photo by Serendipity Photography
Special rate: 
* Package of 5 Sessions In Studio: $250 ($50 per tan, saving $75 on the total package rate)

Use them yourself or share with a friend!
Find our answers to some tanning FAQs here.
Email to purchase.
Note: Valid only on in-studio tanning. Deal must be purchased by Sunday, June 30th, 2013. Must be redeemed by December 31st, 2013. Scheduling is subject to availability. Gratuity is not included in the service rate.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Red Carpet Glamour at Cannes Film Festival

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival is underway in France, and BellaSugar has a beautiful slideshow featuring the stars' best looks. Here are some of our favorite makeup and hair styles from the red carpet.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wedding Dress Inspiration from Spring 2014 Bridal Fashion Week

Bridal fashion week just wrapped up in New York, and we're loving a lot of the new gowns that designers sent down the runways.

Fashionista has a beautiful slideshow of runway photos from the collections, which you can check out here:

Lots of great bridal fashion trend inspiration for our upcoming brides!

Designed by Monique Lhuillier, photo courtesy of

Designed by Oscar de la Renta, photo courtesy of

Designed by Christos, photo courtesy of

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Beauty Trends

By Sabrina
Studio Artist

Spring is arriving and with it the chance to update some new pieces that are in line with 2013′s spring fashion trends. While it’s up to you to interpret and adapt the trends to suit your own personal style, here are just a few things you can expect to see popping up in the next few months.

Emerald is the color of the year, so you may see many accessories for your wardrobe and pieces to spice up your daily makeup. Also, hot pink matte lipstick will be spotted all spring and possibly through the summer.

If you're a fan of a five-minute style, then the knotted hair trend will be your favorite this year along with low ponytails and messy updos.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started! Happy Spring!

Images courtesy of: