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Engagement Photoshoot Tips

Image: plantheday.com

 

There are numerous good reasons why you should take engagement photos with your newly betrothed. First, it’s super fun to be a model for a day. If you wish to be included in your local newspaper’s wedding announcements, a professional engagement photo is almost always a requirement. On a personal note, engagement photos also make wonderful mementos that you can give to members of your family and keep for yourself for years to come. You can even integrate wedding photos with the decor at your wedding reception, using them on the wedding program or on your save-the-dates. It’s also a great practice run for getting those poses just right for your wedding photos and learning how to get the best shots of you as a couple. Read on to learn how to look your best in these special pictures and ensure your photoshoot runs smoothly.

Finding the right photographer

Image: laurahernandezphotography.com

 

Ask your recently married friends who they used for their engagement or wedding photographer, or search the web for photographers in your area. We recommend checking out their deals and packages and selecting a photographer who includes an engagement photoshoot as part of the overall package for your whole wedding process. The engagement photoshoot is a time you can get to know your photographer one on one and see how they work. You can even think of the engagement photoshoot as an audition for the photographer. 

If you plan to submit a snap to your newspaper, check the paper’s website for their photo guidelines, which may dictate everything from picture quality to size to passable poses. Inform the photographer of these rules before the shoot so he or she brings the right camera and steers the shoot in the right direction. Think about how you want the photos to look. Do you want to be candid and casual, or formal and posed? Make sure you, your fiancé, and the photographer are all in agreement and on the same page. Don’t forget to plan ahead: you should submit your photos to the newspaper at least three months before the date of the wedding.

Choosing the location

Image: Glamourandgraceblog.com

 

You can take your engagement photos almost anywhere, from a photography studio to your living room to outdoors, or even in your own backyard. If you wish to shoot on location, let your photographer know. He or she will probably have some ideas for beautiful places to take your photos. If you and your fiancé have someplace that holds a special memory for you as a couple, you may suggest that as a location. Otherwise, look for a park, a botanical garden, or a landmark in your town or city that holds meaning for you and is aesthetically pleasing. Again, choose the location in advance. You may have to contact the management of the location to get the go-ahead for the shoot.

What to wear

Image: Favim.com

 

You can choose your outfit based on the vibe you’re going for. If you’re doing a casual photoshoot in your home, you can even wear dark colored jeans and a sweater as long as they’re well fitted, classy, and not frumpy. It’s your shoot, so wear what makes you feel comfortable. You can never go wrong with a cute sundress, but we recommend avoiding loud patterns and prints. You and your fiancé don’t have to be matching, but you should coordinate enough that your outfits are complementary, not clashing. Simple jewelry is the best way to go with accessories: you don’t want anything distracting from your gorgeous face!

Beauty Prep

Image: everafterguide.com

 

You want your smile to shine bright and white in your engagement photos, and this goes for both of you, so of course teeth whitening is a must. This step can require a bit of planning in advance if you need to book an appointment with your dentist. However, you can also choose a home teeth whitening system. You’ll want to maintain your pearly smile in the months leading up to your wedding, so it’s much more budget friendly and efficient to invest in a home system rather than making repeated trips to the dentist. Opt for classic whitening strips, or try an at home LED whitening system. Make sure to start the whitening process at least two weeks in advance of the shoot to get the best results. 

As any good bride-to-be worth her wedding cake knows hair and makeup trial appointments in advance of the wedding are essential to the beauty prep process, so knock out two birds with one stone and book your trial appointments on the morning of your engagement photo shoot. Professionally done hair and makeup will help you look and feel super confident and polished while on the shoot. Beware you make sure to leave extra time in between the salon and the shoot, just in case your look ends up taking longer than expected, or if you have to make unexpected changes to your hair or face. You may be able to get a special deal on your engagement and wedding makeup if you are using the same makeup artist, with the added bonus of knowing you like the way the artist works.

The most of important thing to remember is why you are doing the photoshoot in the first place - to celebrate your engagement to the person of your dreams who you want to spend the rest of your life with. So enjoy your engagement shoot and get ready to cherish the photos of you as a couple forever after!

Ready to start planning the wedding and have a budget to stick to?  Have a look at DIY Bridal Tips For the Budget Savvy Bride where we’ve put together a heap of hints and tricks to plan an amazing day on a budget.

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At Home Whitening Kits vs Dentist Whitening Treatments

Image: vivadental.co.uk

When it comes to your teeth, you only want to use the best and most effective products. You choose everything from your toothpaste, to mouthwash, to dental floss carefully to ensure you keep your smile healthy. But what about your whitening products?

There are so many options out there, and it can be tough to know which whitening method is best for your teeth. Let’s talk a bit about the reasons whitening works, and two of the most popular methods: whitening kits you can use at home and professional treatments at the dentist’s office.

Why Whiten?

If you have stained, dull, or yellow teeth you might find yourself hiding your smile. It’s important to feel confident when you smile, so using whitening products is a simple way to get that confidence back. DearDoctor.com tells us how these whitening products work, “Whitening involves applying bleach solutions to the teeth. The bleach attacks the highly colored organic molecules that lodge between the crystals of tooth enamel (the outermost tooth covering) or in the dentin (the tooth material under the enamel). It's these organic particles that give the teeth a stained appearance.” Applying a whitening solution to your teeth can restore them to their dazzling shade of white in a short amount of time.

About at-Home Whitening Kits

The American Dental Association’s Mouth Health blog breaks down the process on at-home whitening kits, “Peroxide-containing whiteners actually bleach the tooth enamel. They typically come in a gel and are placed in a tray that fits on your teeth. You may also use a whitening strip that sticks to your teeth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lower than what your dentist would use in the office.” You can get these kits at your local pharmacy or even order them online. They typically come in varying strengths, and the strength of the bleaching agent can impact the price of the kit.


About Dental Office Whitening Treatments

WebMD explains the basics of getting a whitening treatment at your dentist’s office, “The most common one involves custom-made trays filled with bleaching solution that fit firmly over your teeth. Because your dentist supervises the procedure, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than what's found in home kits.” The process can often be done very quickly, and you can leave the dentist’s office with drastically whiter teeth the same day you get your treatment. 

Which Method Should You Use?

First things first, talk to your dentist and see what they say. They know your teeth better than anyone, and they will probably have some good advice about which method you should use.

  • Choose an at-home kit if you don’t have far to go. If your teeth aren’t too dull or stained, then you might want to consider using a kit at home. If you don’t need to make a huge improvement, then an at-home kit will give you great results.
  • Choose a professional whitening session if you want to see drastic results. If you have lots of stains and discoloration, then a dental visit might be in order. Professional whitening at your dentist’s office can drastically whiten your teeth in a very short amount of time. Dental Health’s blog shows how fast these treatments can work, “Your dentist will need to assess your teeth to make sure you are suitable for the treatment. Once it has been agreed, this procedure usually takes about one hour.” One hour to whiter teeth, that’s fast!
  • Choose an at-home kit if you’re on a tight budget. These kits are typically cheaper than a professional whitening session at the dentist. This is because you are obviously doing all of the work yourself, so you aren’t paying for the dentist’s time. A professional whitening session can be pretty expensive as Your Dentistry Guide illustrates, “in-office bleaching is more expensive than take-home alternatives. Its cost, on average, is $650…” Depending on the at-home kit you purchase you will probably pay a lot less – the Pearly Whites kits cost as little as $59.99. You might get a whitening formula that is slightly less powerful than what they use at the dental clinic but for many people that’s not an issue as their teeth don’t require very much work to whiten.
  • Choose a professional whitening session if you have specific dental concerns like fragile or problematic teeth. Since these sessions are performed by a certified dentist, you will always be under the care of a professional.
Whichever method you choose, whitening your teeth can improve your self-confidence and make you feel proud of your smile, so get whitening today and start seeing the difference a brighter smile can make!Save
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6 Gorgeous Wedding Hair & Makeup Combinations

Choosing the perfect bridal hair and makeup is just as important as choosing the wedding gown itself – a beautiful hair and makeup combination will make you truly glow and look your best on your big day and on the pictures as well. We gathered six absolute favorite bridal hair and makeup trends at the moment, for every bride from edgy and bold, to soft and natural!

Wedding Makeup No.1: Peachy Goddess

image via wedding.com

Regardless of your skin tone, hair and eye color, this makeup will look absolutely flattering on you! It is definitely a very simple, yet stunning makeup look that creates the illusion of natural, blushed porcelain skin. Instead of masking your face, emphasize your features with a sheer coverage foundation and a peach shimmery blush. Leave your brows natural and a bit thin, and follow your natural eye shape with a dark brown or black eyeliner instead of creating a bold cat eye look. Since the color palette of this look is very neutral, a pop of black on your eyelids and lashes will make the makeup look subtle yet still interesting. Use a warm, peach lipstick on your lips and matte it down with a hint of translucent powder.

Wedding Makeup No.2: Soft Smokey

image via wedding.com

A refined, shaped smokey eye is one of the most popular bridal makeup looks, because it keeps the focus on the eyes without being too over the top or edgy. If you are not a fan of grey and black eyeshadow, try out a mix of mauve and brown shades on your lids and a rose pink lipstick. Because a heavy eyeshadow can make your lashes ‘’disappear’, use a pair of natural looking false lashes, and finish your look with a nude or peachy pink lipstick. 

Wedding Makeup No.3: Classic Red Lips

image via wedding.com

Depending on your skin tone, make sure to choose the perfect red shade of lipstick to flatter your smile and skin tone. If your skin has cool undertones, a berry or icy red color is an amazing choice, but for girls with warm undertones, deep, brownish and burgundy reds will look stunning. Because it will be a long day, matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks are more comfortable and practical options. To complement the vintage red lipstick, choose a red undertone blush (a very light, pastel red or fresh rose) and add false lashes to open up your eyes a bit more.

Wedding Hair No.1: Boho Chic Floral

image via wedbook.com

We couldn’t imagine a more perfect hairstyle for beach or shabby chic weddings! The combination of floral details and soft, messy curls will go amazingly with more simple, minimalistic dresses, as well as with beautiful lace gowns. Our favorite flowers would have to be light pink roses or lilies in your hair, but if you are feeling really experimental, why not try out a pop of color with a sunflower accessory or wear an all-white flower crown instead of the regular tiaras? To achieve this boho chic look, use a curler to create loose waves and create different sections in your hair, so the curls will all look a bit different.

Wedding Hair No.2: Crown Braid

image via wedbook.com

Halo braids became very popular these past seasons, and besides other special occasions, this look is also great for weddings. The beautiful braided crown frames the face beautifully while creating an overall romantic effect, so it’s perfect if you have a lace maxi dress or a wedding gown with a sweetheart neckline. Create a side part in your hair line and start braiding the front section of your hair, starting from the top of your head all the way down. Once the braided crown is done, secure it into place with bobby pins and hair spray. If you would like to make your hairstyle more romantic and interesting, simply add a few small flowers or bows to the braided section.

Wedding Hair No.3: Bombshell Waves

image via pinterest.com

If you are not a huge fan of the boho chic or more hip romantic hairstyles, the classic bombshell wave hairstyle is the perfect choice for you. To recreate this look, use a texturizing spray that will give a hold to your curls and keep them long lasting throughout the day. You can make this hairstyle even more voluminous by creating a mid-part and softly teasing your hair before starting to curl your locks.

You and the whole bridal party want to look your absolute best on the big day so we’ve helped by putting together some tips to help the whole wedding party prepare their beauty routine with our beauty bootcamp for the bridal party.

 

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The Ultimate Wedding Photo Checklist

Image: weddingsbeautiful.com

In any woman’s life, that beautiful fairy tale moment where the doors open and we are finally the princess of the story, is one most of us have dreamed about since we were young: As we walk down the aisle to join the one we love.

Any wedding is a chance to glam up and find a new sophisticated style, but for our own wedding, it’s more important than ever. With the day evolving around you and your partner, there’s so much to prep in the weeks prior to the big day. Which is why we’ve created a prepping checklist to make it easier to get those perfect wedding photos: From prepping to posing!

Pre-wedding Pampering

Unlike any other occasion, your wedding is a day completely focused on you and your fiancé. Having a pampering regime in place will help keep you looking beautiful and fresh for any sneaky, raw emotion pictures the photographer takes.

Skin
For a fresh, ivory dress, elegant flower arrangements and adoring onlookers, it’d be a shame to have stressed and tired skin to co-ordinate.

The inevitable stress of wedding planning actually stops our pores from absorbing as much water – leaving it feeling dry, and ultimately stressing us out more! Using a hypoallergenic or fragrance-free moisturizer – like Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizer Cream - will correct this, and stop pores being built up with any unwanted grease, skin and perfumes.

With that in mind, be sure to keep topped up with water too; keeping those fluids up will also help energise your body - leaving you feeling a lot less tired, stressed and under eyes bag-free. Speaking of those bags, treat yourself to breather between seating plans and cake tasting and relax with mini cucumber ice packs! Acting as a way to stop red blood vessels from bringing blood to the area, you’ll be left with smooth and brighter skin all round. And whilst there’s a tonne of celebrating and catching up with family from out of town, be sure to keep a strict sleeping schedule. This is the easiest, and cheapest way to assure picture-perfect skin.

As for foods: Vitamin E and C are your pre-wedding cravings. Grains, vegetable oils and nuts offer the wonder-woman Vitamin E, whilst C can be found in citrus fruits and veg. Basically, a structured, healthy balanced diet will do the world of good. Another tip: Use a daily cream with an SPF factor to help prevent sun marks and dark spots when out and about.

Hair

Image: Bridalpulse

 

Depending on your choice of hairstyle, you’ll want to plan accordingly: Some up-dos will need dirtier hair in order to keep their shape throughout the day, or a little BB Surf Spray (salt spray) rinsed through.

For anything where most of your hair is down, a deep cleanse on the day or night before is crucial for that natural shine.

Teeth 

Teeth whitening is an absolute must to ensure that perfect white smile in your wedding photographs, and this goes for both you and your beloved. An at home whitening kit is just the thing to get that bright smile, and don’t forget some pearl drops to whip out of your bag before any photo opportunity and so that your breath is kissing sweet for that all important ‘I do’ moment.

Feet and Nails

There’s very few of us who’ll be sensible enough to opt for a flat footed shoe for our wedding day. So keeping skin soft, smooth and pain-free is the key to success. Massages, exfoliators and a pedicure are in store for the pre-wedding week of pampering, along with a mad dash to the shops for heel grips and Compeed blister plasters! Don’t let those sores take you down!

Image: Letsgetweddy.com

As for your nails, remember everyone will be getting a close up look at your hands and wedding during the ceremony and after, so go for a manicure to ensure the perfect, glossy look. You can opt for the classic French manicure, or go for some more personalised nail art for your big day.

Make-Up

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than looking at old photos from your angsty teenage years to see the wonderful fashion and makeup choices you made. Don’t let the same happen when looking back at your wedding photos…

Your wedding makeup should be as natural as can be: A few products to lighten your complexion, and lippy to suit your coloring. Other than that, it’s all about highlighting the brows, eyes and cheeks to brighten the whole face; offering beautiful shading for any prime photo opps. In your huge box of concealers – ranging from Tango to Paper shades, scout for the perfect coverage, two shades lighter than your skin tone. Smudging across the cheek bones will highlight the areas, and offers additional structure your face.

Image: Collection Illuminating Touch

Add a little highlighter or rose gold bronzer to the cheeks, browns and inner eyes to add a dewy look that stays fresh all day long. NARS The Multiple – Copacabana uses gold and pink shades adds a blush to the colour, whilst a terracotta bronzer will look a little too harsh contrasted with the bride’s dress. Lastly, make those eyes a little larger with a nude, eyeliner pencil to add definition.

Photography Planning

With all the prepping involved, it’s time to discuss the perfect scrapbook style wedding photos you’ll want to have taken, so that you can cherish the day forever.

Just Married

 

Whether it’s riding away in a convertible, roof down, tin cans traipsing behind like all the films, or an adorable ‘first kiss’ bride and groom photo, the Just Married pic is the first of many to come for you and your new partner.

Confetti Throw

Image: Guidesforbrides.com

The cheerful confetti photo is a perfect choice for remembering the joyful day. Whether it’s a complete disaster, or a captured-in-one moment, the confetti pic shows a wonderful amount of emotion and fun.

Bridesmaids and Ushers

Image: Topweddingquestions.com

Both the bride and groom will need individual – or together – photos with their bridesmaids and ushers. The best buds and family members of the party that have kept everything flowing nicely: The ones who offer those #squadgoals for the Instagram fans.

Parents

Image: Apentertainment.com

The hopefully not so awkward parent photos are always a blissful memory to look back on. When both families combine together for the monumental day, it might be the only time the two are together. So it’s important to remember the unity!

Backdrops

But whilst there’s a few group photos that need taking, the photographer will have a keen eye out for romantic moments between the new couple, so with that in mind, take a look for picturesque backdrops around the wedding venue that you want to escape to for some Newly Wed photos!

Backdrops are easy to find, especially in any wedding venue – whether it’s a country field gate, a Church door, or somewhere that means a lot to you both, there’s a tonne of places to pose with your new bride or groom. Finding those little, secret places will offer you the best photos.

Poses

Anyone who’s been to a wedding knows full well how awkward posing can feel. Being directed to ‘act natural’ or cheer, smile, look away from the camera, can get a little uncomfortable after the 45th shot… but prep yourself for some awkward poses by practising beforehand a few you definitely want to incorporate into the photoshoot.

Double Look

Image: insideweddings.com
Whether you opt for a photo where you’re both looking lovingly into each other’s eyes, or choose to have one of you smiling to the camera, this simple pose is perfect for showing your adoration on your ceremonious day.

Up in the air

Image: BridalGuide

This is an adorable photo showing you as a couple who can trust and depend on one another to stay strong when you need a little help.

The Wrap Around

Image: Whimsiephoto.com

The wrap around is a classical pose, which can be brought into any group photo or romantic and caring moment. It shows a connection and unity between the two of you.

I Do

Image: Pinterest

Capturing the first kiss is the ultimate goal for any good wedding photographer, so think about how you want to approach it!

And with all that to think about – and hopefully not adding too much stress – it’s time to slip away into a calming sleep, dreaming of the big day under a cucumber ice mask whilst wait for your nails to dry.

To ensure you and your bridal party are camera-ready for the big day, start planning your beauty regimen with a beauty bootcamp for the bridal party.

Congratulations on your wedding day!

 

 

 

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Does Activated Charcoal Really Mega-Uber Whiten Your Teeth?

Have you heard about the activated charcoal teeth whitening craze? It is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to whiten teeth, but why? It seem counterintuitive, how can rubbing a black powder over your pearly whites actually take away stains instead of leaving them black as coal? People are often shocked when they first see activated charcoal being used in this way, but the truth is it has been a component of dental care for a lot longer than you think. Let’s take a closer look at activated charcoal, how it might whiten your teeth, and everything else you need to know about this huge beauty trend.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Don’t just run out and get regular charcoal to start brushing with, activated charcoal is special and you need to get this variety to potentially reap the whitening benefits. According to WebMD, activated charcoal is formed after regular charcoal’s surface area is expanded through a combination of increased heat and gas or some other activating agent. These complex chemical changes give you what is popularly known as activated charcoal.

The History Behind Activated Charcoal and Teeth Whitening

Charcoal has been significant for centuries, and has been used for everything from treating water to combatting toxic poisonings. In fact, early versions of toothpaste including the one that the Romans used, often called for ground charcoal as one of the ingredients. While these uses were not specific to teeth whitening, they do prove that charcoal has been important to many societies for a very long time. It isn’t surprising that people are still discovering new uses for it.

How Do People Whiten with Activated Charcoal?

Whitening with activated charcoal looks a little strange, which is probably why it has gotten so much attention on the web recently. You’ve probably scrolled through one of your social feeds and noticed a video of someone brushing their teeth with something black. That’s how it looks when you brush with activated charcoal, like you are using a black toothpaste. First, obtain activated charcoal (not regular) that will be safe for you to brush your teeth with to get them white. Then, get a special toothbrush that is just for your charcoal brushing. Mix the powder with some water to make a paste, and put the paste on the brush. Then, brush the paste on your teeth for a few minutes (typically just two or three). Now comes a very important part, spit out the charcoal carefully. You don’t want to get it all over your outfit or bathroom. Then, rinse out your mouth with water and spit it out. Repeat the rinse and spit steps several times until you do not see any more charcoal powder on your teeth, gums, or anywhere else in your mouth. Otherwise it might migrate back to your teeth making your smile look unappealing and black.

The Dentist Verdict on Activated Charcoal for Whitening

Dentist Joseph Banker told Prevention that it did look like it had improved the whiteness of his teeth, but he also noted it wasn’t the neatest option. Blogger xoJane looked into the reason behind why activated charcoal seems to have a whitening effect, and her doctor Dr. Jessica Emery said it’s because the activated charcoal is attracted to tannins. Tannins are those things that lurk in your favorite dark colored drinks and leave behind ugly stains on your teeth. So if you are seeing lots of tannin stains from drinking red wine or something similar, it stands to reason that activated charcoal brushing might be able to help.

Alternative to Whitening with Activated Charcoal Powder

Not convinced that activated charcoal is right for you? Whitening strips that contain activated charcoal are an excellent alternative. For one thing, they are not nearly as messy as brushing with charcoal. The powder can get everywhere, not to mention how dark it is on your teeth while you use it. You have to be really careful and rinse thoroughly when you use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth. Otherwise you risk flashing people a smile that’s covered in black paste, which pretty much defeats the purpose of whitening.

Whitening your teeth with activated charcoal is a natural way to get rid of some of the unsightly surface stains that might be lingering on your teeth. It is a trade-off, because the process can be a bit messy and has varying results depending on the person and how stained their teeth look when they start the process. Talk to your dentist and get their take on using activated charcoal in your whitening routine. It never hurts to ask!

Learn more about what your smile says about you and your health.  

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