Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Most Over The Top Haute Couture Brides Ever!

 More couples get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine's day than at any other time of the year. Combine that with Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture this past week, and came up with this fabulous post on the 22 Most Over The Top Haute Couture Brides Ever.
Dior Couture, Spring 2007

I loved it! I adore Haute Couture. I had the enormous pleasure of working couture shows back when I lived in London and worked extensively on the runway circuit. Couture has the distinction of having the highest level of craftsmanship, paired with the ultimate in style, and sometimes it walks way out there on the wild side.

So for you upcoming brides seeking a dress, and those of you who love couture, here are my 10 favorite of Vogue's Most Over The Top Haute Couture Brides. Ever.

Atelier Versace 1999

Atelier Versace Fall 1993
Givenchy Haute Couture spring 2003
Christian Lacroix Haute Couture, Fall 2002

Emanuel Ungaro Haute Couture, 1991
Chanel Haute Couture, Spring 1994
Chanel Haute Couture, Fall 2003

Givenchy Haute Couture Fall 2002

Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture 1965
Don't you wonder which of these dresses were sold, and who wore them??

See the rest of the story - there are 12 more dresses! here at

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Midweek Wisdom #5

Don't you just love this image?
Shirley Maclaine looking entirely fabulous in long black gloves and rhinestone glasses,
rocking a little PanAm-glam in 1960 at Idlewild airport,
on her way to Italy.

Shirley Maclaine traveling to Italy from Idlewild, 1960

Midweek Wisdom quote #5

"Don't let your past steal your future.
Move on."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chrissy Tiegen And John Legend For GQ Magazine February 2015

I like these two together.
I always think Chrissy Tiegen looks like she is fun to be around.

The husband and wife team up with photographer Anders Overgaard for this Valentine's month shoot in GQ Magazine.


She is so sexy in these images, but don't you think John looks like he just wandered in? Like maybe he's not supposed to be there?
Somehow his vibe just doesn't match.


But I bet they have fun together.


5 Tips To Keep Valentine's Date Makeup Looking Gorgeous Til Sunrise

It's only a couple of weeks until Valentine's Day.
Maybe your Valentine's Day date will last well into the wee hours.
Maybe you will watch the sunrise together.

It sounds super romantic and lovely, but if your makeup is all smeared and worn off, or worse - looking chewed up and nasty, it
can feel like a romance buzzkill.

So how do you make your makeup last and look gorgeous until dawn?

Here are 5 tips to keep your Valentine's makeup looking gorgeous all night long:


Prep your skin well.
Exfoliate first and get your complexion nice and smooth, then hydrate your skin so that its not parched and dry. Give yourself 10 minutes for your moisturizer to really soak in, and then use a good primer.
Try Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer


Go Easy On Your Foundation.
"Less is more" should be your motto. Use foundation sparingly, keep it sheer, and only use enough to even out your complexion.
Thick foundation is unflattering anyway, but looks hideous as the evening turns into the early hours.

Don't Over-Powder.
The more powder you add the dustier and more deathly your skin looks. 
If you are getting too glowy, opt for a good blotting powder instead. I use Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers both on myself, and on my red carpet ladies.

Tatcha Blotting Papers

Touch Up With Touche Eclat 


When the makeup under your eyes starts looking seedy your whole look crashes. YSL's amazing Touche Eclat basically mixes a little luminzer with color correcting concealer and eye cream. So it repairs your under eye makeup, disguises the dark circles under your eyes and then pops a little light off the area, making you look fresh and bright and awake.

Change Up Your Lip Game
Julie Hewett Camellia lip Balm
That fierce red lip that looked so stunning and on point at 9pm looks vampiric after the witching hour. A huge red lip at sunrise looks like you're trying too hard, and a chewed off red lip doesn't exactly look invitingly kissable. (Not wearing red? The same applies to any color.)
Once the night is waning start softening your lip with a good lip balm. As your color starts to disappear use a warm, nude toned lip liner for color and top it off with Julie hewett Camellia Lip Balm to keep your lips hydrated and soft. This way you subtley transition your look and will not only look lovely but totally kissable when the sun comes up.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Planning An International Vacation

I was recently asked to write a series of articles about international travel, and how you go about making that dream trip actually happen. Especially if you don't want to go on a cruise or a package tour. (I cringe at the thought of each of these - so not my type of travel!)
I thought it might be fun to share with you on my blog.

So how do you get started planning an international trip? Where on earth do you begin? Especially if you don't have a specific destination in mind, or if you just have a big concept such as the name of the country you want to go to - like I want to go to France or I want to go to Australia.
I always am planning the next 5 (or 500) trips that I want to go on. If you are already a follower of this blog (---> sign up on the sidebar to have Corinna B's World delivered to your inbox each day) you will know that I am obsessed with Italy, and try to go there each year. So I am perpetually figuring out the next Italian sojourn, but within Italy there is so much to see and do, which means I am always having to refine my travel plans.
I came up with these 4 questions that I ask myself at the beginning of each year when I am in the first stages of thinking up a trip:

4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Planning An International Vacation

1. What type of vacation are you thinking about? Are you dying to get to a white sand beach, soak up the sun and drink in the exotic air?

Navaggio Beach, Zakynthos Greece
Or maybe you want a hiking trip. Or a trip to Europe to take in some history. Or maybe you've always wanted to go on a safari.
The first thing to do is start identifying the type of trip you want to take.

2. When do you want to travel? Sometimes you are able to cut out and go whenever you want to, but plenty of people have to use their vacation time within certain months, such as they can only leave in February, or have to go during school holidays.
If you want a beach holiday, but have to go in February, then you should think about the southern hemisphere or the equator. If you want a ski trip but your vacation is in August, then you should look at my homeland, beautiful New Zealand.

heli skiing in Queenstown New Zealand

A word to the wise: avoid Europe in August! All of Europe take their vacation in August, so its the most crowded, the most expensive, and the absolute worst time to go.

3. Does language matter to you? If you really are uncomfortable going to a non-english speaking country, then your options get narrowed for you. I'm super comfortable with all the European languages, but would find traveling in some parts of Asia and the middle east quite daunting, which narrows the scope for how far off the beaten track I would venture. I am dying to experience Marakkesh, Shanghai and Dubai, but probably wouldn't stray too far from the city when there as I can't even figure out the alphabet. Other friends of mine are super comfortable with that and don't think twice about it.

I haven't made it there yet, but Dubai is on my wish list every year
4. What is your budget? Don't let money put you off exploring the world. Just have an idea of the amount of money you can put towards your trip, so that you have a place to start from. Once you have an idea of what you can spend you can start maneuvering a trip into your price range.
I do all my travels on a super tight budget. I'm a single parent and just cannot throw big money on my travels, but I am not going to let that keep me from exploring the world. My banker once got really mad at me for going to Italy for 3 weeks, thinking that I would have blown too much money. It turned out that he spent vastly more taking his wife to Vegas for a five day getaway! Another time I wanted to take my son on a beach vacation and looked at two weeks in the San Diego area, renting a beachfront apartment, but it turned out to be cheaper to go to the east coast of Sicily and rent an apartment with a giant balcony overlooking the Ionian sea. 
The key is knowing how much you can spend, and then figuring out how to travel on that amount.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hiring A Makeup Artist For Your Wedding Day

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hiring A Makeup Artist For Your Wedding 

Here in America, engagement season is in full swing.

image by Sergio, makeup by Corinna Cooke

The big question gets popped more between Thanksgiving in November and Valentine's Day in February than at any other time of the year.
So over the next few months brides are going to be planning their weddings, creating wedding budgets and allocating vast sums of money to an array of vendors, all of whom will be part of making this the best day of their life.

With your budget, which may run from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars, its important that you, the bride, make sure that attention is paid to the areas that are important to you.
If your flowers are important to you, don't go cheap on them. If a wedding video is important to you, don't have your cousin shoot it for free - hire a really great wedding videographer.
If your wedding photographs are important to you, don't find the cheapest photographer - find the one who brings your dreams to life. (As a side note here, I have never, ever heard a bride say she was really glad she scrimped and got a cut rate photographer to capture her on her big day. There's a reason photographers charge what they charge. Don't expect a $5000 job from a $500 photographer - its just not going to happen.)

image by Sergiomakeup by Corinna Cooke

Within the budget you are creating, right from the very start, allocate money for beauty.
This is the one day of your life where looking and feeling beautiful really reallycounts. You're spending money on your dress, your flowers, your photographer, and now you need to make a plan for your hair and makeup. Many brides leave this part of the planning until later, and end up with only a tiny amount of money left to make them look their most beautiful on their big day.
Your hair stylist and makeup artist play a massively important role in your day.

image by Sarah Hagerty for Phoenix Bride and Groom Magazine,
makeup by Corinna Cooke

Today I want to address the makeup part of the equation, specifically booking a makeup artist.
Generally when a bride is working with a wedding planner, the planner will make a point of discussing the hair and makeup team, and the importance of booking them early. The good ones always get booked up.

Lately I've been noticing in my own market, and then hearing from fellow makeup artists both nationwide and from far flung regions around the world, this crazy trend where so called makeup artists, or beginner artists, are offering their services for weddings at ridiculously low prices. Sometimes even on Groupon.

At first glance this may seem like a banging deal.
But maybe you should look at the total picture, and see just what you might be getting yourself into.

In the markets that I have researched, including my own, pricing for makeup artists for weddings tends to run into 3 tiers.

1)The most expensive, which is typically comprised of a handful of artists with enormous experience and incredible skills. If they are in your price point, grab one before they get fully booked. And they will get fully booked.

2)Next there's the main tier of makeup artists. Their pricing will be very similar, normally within
$5 - $15 of one another. These artists tend to be very good at what they do. In general they have plenty of wedding experience, are able to airbrush, and are going to do a great job.

3) Then there is the bottom tier. These artists are super cheap. In most instances in life you get what you pay for, and there is a reason why these artists charge well below the median.

So lets have a look at what goes into pricing for wedding makeup.

* Training.
I concede that some of the greatest artists in the world have had no formal training.

Bill Gates left school early. But most people who leave school early don't turn into Bill Gates.
Although you may run into the next Pat McGrath or Billy B in your search for a wedding makeup artist, there's a strong chance that you won't.

If a quality artist hasn't been to a makeup school, they probably are still always pursuing higher knowledge, and are on a quest for greater skills. Some of the most exceptional artists that I know, from all  around the world, constantly seek more training and attend workshops and day classes as often as they can.
In a constantly evolving business it is really important that an artist is keeping up with training to remain both relevant and on point with current technologies and trends.
An artist who is paying for more training is going to cost a bit more. And they will be worth it.

* Professional Products
When an artist opens their kit you should see mostly professional, or at least high quality products in there.
Professional products are different from most commercial retail products in that they are more highly pigmented, so colors stay truer and more even, they are more refined, built to withstand more, and they are going to last longer on your skin.

Think of it this way: professional makeup is designed to make movie stars look flawless when shot in the most unforgiving HD and shown on a screen that's 30 feet tall. That's the kind of clarity and perfection you want for your wedding day makeup. And you won't get that from products purchased at a drugstore or from a distributor.
I personally like to airbrush my brides so that their skin looks flawless but not overly made up, and also because the airbrush product I use lasts a good 14 hours.
Building a kit with quality products costs money, and that will be reflected in the artist's pricing.
A kit that is full of cheapie products or products that are not intended to be used in the professional arena is not likely to produce a makeup that will last. And most wedding makeup needs to last at least 12 hours.

* Experience.
How many weddings has your makeup artist done? What other makeup experience do they have?
Anyone with an instagram account or access to youtube can apply foundation or put on lips, but when it comes to a wedding, experience is important.
For example: does your artist know how to interpret the light? You maybe getting ready in a softly lit hotel room, but your pictures are happening in bold, afternoon light. Someone who knows what they are doing will factor that in when choosing intensity and color of makeup, length of lashes and how much gloss or sheen will work on your lips.
Even more importantly someone with experience will know how to handle all kinds of calamities that may arise. And with weddings, things do happen. From unexpected tears, to people running late, to allergies, to stressed out skin, to giant day-of-the-wedding pimples popping up, to an unexpectedly hot/cold/windy/rainy/humid/dry/sunny/cloudy you name it day, and plenty more.
Sometimes the most mellow, sweet natured girl will turn into a demon on her wedding day (luckily not often though). An experienced artist will be able to see whats really going on and roll with it, rather than getting frazzled or moody. An experienced artist will not only arrive with a makeup kit full of products that are ready to fix any problem, but he or she will be able to diffuse situations before they arise, stay calm and friendly, and keep everything moving along.

image by Stuart Thurlkill for Eyes 2 See Photography
makeup by Corinna Cooke
I've been hearing horror stories from girls in bridal parties, about hideous makeup in prior weddings that they've had to wash off and redo themselves, unclean brushes and products being used, colors mismatched, looking like ghosts or raccoons in wedding pictures - you name it. They tell me over and over that they wish they or the bride from that wedding had had the foresight to book someone better.
And funnily enough, I have never heard anyone say that they are so eternally happy that they booked a $35 makeup artist for their wedding, or that they looked and felt their most beautiful in their smoking deal, super cheapie makeup job.
It tends to be the exact opposite.

When choosing your makeup artist for your wedding day, do some research.
Find out what experience the artist has.
Ask to see some of their prior work.
Schedule a trial well ahead of time, so that you still have time and options if you don't like their work, or don't mesh with them.
When you have your trial keep an eye out for cleanliness. Brushes, tools, makeup and makeup cases should be clean. Both for hygiene and also as indication of the artist's professionalism.

A final thought from a fellow makeup artist:

Don't let a $45 makeup job ruin $4000 of photography....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Midweek Wisdom and Airport Celebs # 4

Happy Hump day!

Here is some midweek wisdom
that you should take to heart...

Frank Sinatra 1956

"Always be careful of what you hear about a woman.
Rumors either come from a man
who can't have her,
or a woman who can't compete with her"

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