The Bridal Cottage Blog

How to Get Southern Belle Sized Hair!

How to Get Southern Belle Sized Hair!



From Designer: Essense of Australia



How to Get Southern Belle Sized Hair!

“The higher the hair, the closer to God” is gospel truth in the South. Southern belles love them some big hair…it’s a rite of passage. Their Mimi and Mama set a blazing trail before them which could not be ignored. High fashion and it’s sometimes androgynous silhouettes has no place in the South. Southern belles are all woman…Perfectly polished and primped to within an inch of their life. Full, soft, voluminous bouncy hair is her calling card. After all…” what would Dolly do?’

Hairspray is their choice of weapon and makes no mistake these ladies are not afraid to use it! I mean when the Dry bar names one of their signature blowout styles “the Southern Comfort” Y’all know it’s major! Labeled Flirty and ultra girly, this style is a go-to hairstyle for many brides to be, who want to ramp up the glamour and tone down the basic. Dry bar even named a range of volume enhancing products “Southern Belle” which add volume and hold to your hair that would even make Dolly proud. So whether it’s for your big day or just a big night this hair is glam with a capital “G”.

How to get southern belle sized hair

So how do you get this soft, bouncy curly voluminous hair on your big day? These next 10 steps will have you singing “AMEN” in the church of “big hair don’t care!”

  1. Always start with super clean hair after washing with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner.
  2. Add a heat protectant and also Southern Belle mousse throughout and then brush throughout your hair to distribute product through hair evenly.
  3. Part your hair and rough dry it.
  4. Section the back and take approximately a one-inch section at the front and start drying.
  5. Blow-dry hair up and away from your face with a round brush.
  6. Hold the brush horizontally to add tension when blowing your hair up and away.
  7. Once one section is complete add a soft grip round roller and roll away from the face, make sure the tension is tight. Spritz with some hairspray to add hold. Repeat with every section.
  8. Take out rollers once the entire head has cooled down.
  9. Throw head over and spritz with more hairspray at the roots for extra lift and tousle while its upside down.
  10. Backcomb if you want extra oomph at the crown.
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How to Fix Your Biggest Bridal Beauty Emergencies!

How to Fix Your Biggest Bridal Beauty Emergencies!








We never think we will be the ones to make “THAT” call but your wedding day arrives and after all your planning and late nights, sometimes, somethings gotta give.. and it’s usually your face! Not to say it happens to every bride, but it does happen. Just like you prepare everything to go right on your big day, you also need to prepare for those unforeseen beauty emergencies that can send you sideways with shock and fear.

Here’s your 911 plan for those bothersome beauty emergencies that will become a tiny blip on the radar on your wedding day!


Could you not?! Talk about bad timing.. This is the dreaded “3RD EYE OR CYCLOPS” that turns up just when you prayed for clear, radiant skin. Skin shows your health. Your stress levels, your lack of sleep and your diet. If you drop the ball, when it comes to any of these close to your big day, it will show.


Make an appointment with your dermatologist to get a cortisone injection into the cyst. Sounds awful, however, in less than 12 hours you will be glad you did. This injection works for pimples and cold sores, so remember this one because it works! Ever seen an A-lister on the Red Carpet with a cold sore? You’re welcome! J An ice cube will help bring down inflammation and size also.


Lack of sleep due to last minute scheduling dramas or timing delays can mean you end up with less rest than you need around the time you need it most! Your skin can look flat, tired and dull on a day when radiance and luminosity are in order. To be honest, this trick can and should be used daily as a quick pick me up.


An Ice Water Facial is the fastest and most truly effective way to depuff your face and eyes and refresh your skin. It will shrink your facial pores (which helps with oil production control) and also help with your makeup application. Your skin will feel smooth, tight and glow with a radiance of a woman who has slept for 8hours uninterrupted!  Take two trays of ice and place them both in a very large bowl with cold water. Add cucumber slices if you wish. Dunk your face for 10-15 seconds for around 15-20 mins.  This can be a daily ritual for those who want to sculpt their face or alternatively run an ice cube all over your face for 2o mins, paying particular attention to your jawline, eyes, and forehead.


This puts the fear of GOD into any makeup wearing woman because at some stage in her beauty life… she has been there. Lipstick on teeth, mascara that has run, lipstick that has bled and concealer or foundation that has separated with heat. Of course, these should not happen to you with a professional makeup artist applying your makeup on your wedding day, but life happens and weather can get the best of us so it’s best to be prepared.


Always carry a few pointed q tips pre-dampened with Micellar Water and kept in a ziplock bag with a touch extra micellar. This is amazing for cleaning any mascara that has moved and run around the eyes and also any lip colour that has traveled due to kissing and smiling. I would also carry a beauty blender or sponge pre-moistened with Smashbox Primer Water. Carry this in a zip lock bag with a little extra primer in it. Squeeze to reduce any extra primer out of the sponge and dab and blend lightly over areas that your base has separated or maybe the area just looks too made up. This will bring back a flawless, radiant look to the skin.

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Naturally Boho Bridesmaids Dresses

Naturally Boho Bridesmaids Dresses


Sorella Vita is back with new bridesmaid dresses and they are better than ever! Refined and romantic, these bright and airy gowns have a natural boho aesthetic that is hard to beat. Featuring the on-trend style moments Sorella Vita is known for, there is no doubt brides and their bridesmaids will fall in love with these latest dresses.

Sorella Vita Boho bridesmaid dresses

Chiffon Bridesmaid Dresses

Made of in-demand chiffon and available in over 30 gorgeous colors, these bridesmaid dresses have classic silhouettes with trend-worthy elements added. Two of the new dresses have halter necklines—perfectly flattering on any frame, the necklines evoke a modern sensibility but with a boho flair. Pairing the column silhouette and sheath skirt makes these gowns universally flattering and exceptionally stylish.

chiffon bridesmaid dresses

Bridesmaid Dresses with Flutter Sleeves

Inspired by today’s modern bride, flutter sleeves are another addition Sorella Vita has made to evoke a sense of romance while remaining true to boho style. Capturing the easy-to-wear elements of ready-to-wear tops women are wearing today, Sorella Vita takes everyday style and makes it bridal. We just love how the necklines and sleeves come together naturally to create a boho style.

bridesmaid dresses with flutter sleeves

Off-the-Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses

If flutter sleeves aren’t your thing, Sorella Vita has also introduced a dress with off-the-shoulder straps. These draped straps have a very soft feeling that matches the refined romance of the other two styles, making all three ideal for a mix-and-match bridal party. Done in the same stunning chiffon fabric, Sorella Vita has carefully curated a collection made for mixing and matching while remaining cohesive and stylish. Even the most discerning bridesmaid will love these dresses!

Book your bridesmaids appointment today to try these beauties on!

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Matte Makeup for Summer!

Matte Makeup for Summer!


Blog by one of our favorite designers!

Matte Makeup for Summer

matte makeup


Guest Blogger

AHHH Summer..the season when we go from glow to WHOA! It’s my favourite time of the year but going from glow to greasy is pretty easy in the hot and humid summer months. Planning a summer wedding on a beach or in a secret garden needs your undivided attention when it comes to your makeup and how you stay fresh and shine free throughout your day. While your beach waves will need an extra can of hairspray, there are a few tricks to keep you makeup smooth and long-lasting. Matte makeup doesn’t need to mean flat either. You can apply matte makeup products to your face strategically, just where you need a little extra mattifying help without compromising any dimension.

I usually apply mattifying primers to the T-Zone for most faces and keep the cheeks luminous. Don’t fight mother Nature with powders that clog and look made up; work with her a little with some well-placed product that keeps your look fresh.

Here are some of my favourite matte makeup products that will take your summer beauty game to the next level and help you face summer head on feeling flawless!

Matte Makeup Products for Summer

  • BECCA’s Ever-Matte Primer has to be my favourite primer to use to mattify and keep you shine free and fresh in humid and hot weather and have you ready for your close up! This is what I use to prep my girls in heavy duty summer weather. I apply it (lightly) with a synthetic brush to the areas the girls tell me they shine. Never apply this product under the eyes-you will dry out and any under eye lines will become apparent. You will feel this product tighten your skin in seconds! If you are extremely oily and you start to see some shine through the day, blot your skin with Premium Facial Oil Blotting Paper, 200 Counts – Natural Bamboo Charcoal Face Blotting Sheets-they are amazing at keeping you shine free. Then, dab with a brush the Ever Matte Primer over your makeup again for a fresh, not powdery, perfect in direct sunlight look. Try and stay away from powders and reapply your foundation and then add your primer over it again. The look is more natural and fresh. #summerready
  • BECCA Anti Fatigue under Eye Primer which is a blurring, moisturizing, non-creasing formula that brightens and gives a flawless base for your concealer to effortlessly glide over and never settle into any fine lines you may have. This is the real deal. Warm the product between your fingers and wipe your under eye (not dab) this way it provides a smooth base to apply concealer. You will look as fresh as can be and it has real staying power even in the heat! I also now apply it to my own marionette lines around my mouth to soften the look and it works wonders!
  • SEPHORA Waterproof Jumbo Pencils are the best for hot days. The oiliest part of your face is actually your eyelids so this is where you will need to pay most attention-blot with some blotting papers before applying any product. I am not a huge fan of “most” eyelid primers personally. They can leave the eye looking crepey and a touch older than they should. These pencils are SUPER quick and handy for touch-ups and are easy to blend with your fingers only! They have awesome staying power and even are swim proof! Shadows will crease and fade in the heat of the day. Work quickly with these pencils as they set fast!
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils keep the lips kissable and not dry; like many other pencils can leave your lips. I’m not a fan of a totally matte face, I like a lip balm or a semi-matte lip, to be honest. Crayons like Honest Beauty’s Truly Kissable Lip Crayon add colour and shine and are perfect for on the go touch up’s at a wedding or beach chic looks that take you from the beach to the bar on holidays!
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Natural vs Organic Beauty

Natural vs Organic Beauty


Blog by one of our favorite designers!


Guest Blogger

Natural vs Organic Beauty – What You Need to Know


I remember sitting across from my physician many years ago in my twenties and he said to me “do you work with chemicals?” I said “no!” My boyfriend at the time said, “yes you do?!” The Dr. said, “what’s your occupation?” I said I’m a makeup artist! He wrote down on his clipboard ..WORKS WITH CHEMICALS. It was the very first time as a young girl I even thought about makeup as containing chemicals. Back then it wasn’t really a discussion like it is today. But it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

Today’s consumer is much savvier and twice as demanding when it comes to knowledge of ingredients within products and expecting efficacy especially in beauty. On a whole, the beauty industry is virtually unregulated. Let’s say… Loosely regulated.

The average woman can apply over 500 chemicals a day before she leaves for work! Let that sink in.

I will leave this link below for those who wish to read a short page from the FDA’s actual website regarding cosmetics. It’s quite scary considering whatever we put on our bodies in the form of deodorant, lotions, perfumes, makeup, serums, hair products eventually get absorbed into your largest organ which is your skin and then travels through our bodies.

The FDA does not require any pre-market testing or approval before you purchase your beauty products off the shelves. In the US, many of the ingredients in the products on our shelves here have been banned in many other countries around the world like Europe because the scientific studies have shown that they could be linked to reproductive harm, neurotoxicity, and cancer!

CERTIFIED ORGANIC– A certified organic product must be between 95-100% chemical-free ingredients.

NATURAL PRODUCTS-a natural product usually is 50-70% chemical free.

So just take a second here, and read the above two sentences again slowly and take it in. The words that stick with me are “chemical free” So looking at this, to me says that either option is a head start and a good bet that the cosmetics that have not been certified as natural or organic. I have had so many conversations with people saying to me that something has to get you in the end and where do you draw the line? I will say- so if I go and now pour a small shooter glass of a known carcinogenic product and asked you to consume it would you? It’s funny when something makes you look pretty, is a pretty color, smells nice or tastes nice…Cannot possibly harm us? We choose to turn a blind eye.

So who is looking after our health and safety? Clearly, there are many professionals that advise us to use caution and purchase wisely when it comes to our beauty routines. Ingredients in our beauty cabinet and bathrooms contain certain ingredients are known to be endocrine disruptors, irritants even carcinogenic. So why are we still buying them? For those who may be pregnant reading this, this is super important you take note and reassess your beauty routine while a baby is on board.


Thank goodness some smart, caring entrepreneurs have our backs when it comes to beauty. There are so many eco-chic safe products that look good, smell good, work great and are safe for us to use. Below are some of my tried and true favorites. It’s time to go Au Naturel.

  1. NATIVE DEODORANT– I’m obsessed with this product. Because it actually works. It smells delicious. You get a great bang for your buck. Their customer service rocks and their marketing is genius. It’s $12 but pretty big so great value for money. I found the coconut and vanilla to be my go to. Their website has the opportunity to purchase travel sizes in different scents so you can try them all. It works. Also look for Vapour Organic Beauty Aer Next Level Deodorant.
  2. RMS BEAUTY- Rose –Marie Swift is the brainchild behind this cult brand. She is a makeup artist to Miranda Kerr and Giselle Bundchen. This makeup line is all good when it comes to efficacy and price. You can use several products several different ways. Love this range!
  3. ZOCA LOTION — SPF 30 Reef-Safe Zinc Oxide Sunscreen. This beauty sells out quickly. It’s all organic and reef safe. Also, the amazing company STREAM2SEA sells a zinc oxide sunscreen on their website that is in a tinted formula so you don’t have that thick white zinc look. Happy you happy Fishies! Check them out!
  4. ILIA BEAUTY – This beauty range is making waves for all the right reasons. Stylish and efficacious this brand has dialed up the style while keeping it good for you and the earth. Inika Beauty is an Aussie brand that has been a go-to for me for a long time. They have countless beauty awards that prove that their expectations are as high as yours!
  5. Honoré des Prés Nu Green Eau de Toilette – All certified ingredients, this heavenly line was created by world-class French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. Another perfectly layered scent is by Ayurveda Apothecary Kapha Balancing Perfume Oil, $28. I went natural with my fragrances years ago and I haven’t looked back. They always take a unique scent that I find many are curious about when I wear them.


  1. PHTHALATES-linked to cellular damage. It’s found in hairspray, nail polish, perfumes, and lotions. It’s called “fragrance” on your labels if listed at all.
  2. PARABENS-linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Europe has banned parabens 6 years ago. The US is yet to regulate its usage. This has even been found in breast cancer tumor biopsies. SERIOUS STUFF LADIES!
  3. FORMALDEHYDE-cleansers nail polish, mascara and more. It is a known human carcinogen.
  4. CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS-causes cellular damage and cancer. Benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate, methoxycinnamate and Wear Titanium Dioxide and zinc as they are not absorbed by the body. Look for REEF-SAFE also to keep it safe for the fishies! An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions end up in coral reefs each year. L
  5. SYNTHETIC COLORS-carcinogenic and linked to ADHA in kids. Europe has banned these. Look for combos of letters and numbers such as such as FD&C Blue No. 1 or Blue 1.

Whether you choose to do organic or all natural beauty, one of my favorite places to shop for safe products is The Detox Market. They have tons of products and are very picky about what goes into them.

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