Is my hair too big for my dress? Or Will three kilo of hair extensions really make my waist look smaller?

I've spoken so much about makeup, but have not given bridal hairstyling issues the "blog time" it deserves.
In today's world any and every imaginable hairstyle is available to any bride. You can go from super short to über long and silky (Cher circa 1970s) in no time (ok, that's a lie, it takes hours and hours of work to attach hair extensions and then style the hair, but the end result, if done correctly, can look magnificent). You can tease, curl and straighten your hair and then make it do incredible feats of acrobatics around combs, pins, crowns, clips and veils.

But the bottom line question is: What are you looking for in a bridal hairstyle? or Will three kilo of hair extensions really make my waist look smaller? Like everything else in your wedding, here too, you should begin by asking: What is your overall wedding style? Formal? Country? Laidback? Traditional?

Begin at the beginning… With The Dress
First of all, take a good look at your wedding dress or the types of wedding dresses you are drawn to. Now - WITHOUT taking into consideration your hair (length, color, hair type) or your facial structure - which hairstyle do you feel would be most suited for this style of dress?

You may be "lucky" enough to have seen your dress modeled, in an ad online or in print, with a certain hairstyle that seems absolutely PERFECT for it. [I put the word lucky in quotes, as that piece of luck can make your life hell if you think that this specific hairstyle is the ONLY ONE suited for this dress. It's NOT!]

Remember, you want your entire look to shine: your dress, your face and makeup, your hairstyle and ALL OF YOU! You do not want any one of these components to outshine the others.

Having said this, there may be a 'tiny' part of you that you may wish to downplay or you would rather not emphasize; say large feet or if you are very tall and thin. You can cover up large feet with a long wedding dress that trails the floor and/or wear very simple, matte, not shiny, ballet-type shoes that call no attention to your feet. If you are very tall and thin, you can lessen the severity of any look by wearing a wedding gown that is not too form fitting or wear a dress style that cuts you on a bias or a dress with fabrics that create a sense of fullness without making you look like a wedding cake. And you all know what I mean!

More is More only if Less is Less
Now back to the hairstyle. A simple rule of thumb is that a big, poufy, multi-tiered dress or any dress that has a 'presence' demands a larger, more obvious hairstyle; while a simple, clean-line style should be accompanied by a clean, softer hairstyle.

Your hair should not be competing against your face!
Now that I've set that ground rule, it's time to take your hair and facial structure into consideration. If a big hairstyle fits the dress and your face is just too small and delicate or even too round – IT'S TIME TO RETHINK THE DRESS! REMEMBER: Unless you've just walked down the aisle, it is NEVER TOO LATE to change or modify your dress. You can have your dress altered, adjusted or just sell it on Ebay. You are NOT stuck with any dress!

The point here is that you do not want to look at the wedding pictures ten years from now and exclaim: "WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I PICKED OUT THAT DRESS???"

I've said it before and I'll say it again, your wedding look is not supposed to be a contest between your hair, your dress and your makeup! Sit quietly on a desert island if you need to, but take time to think through your whole look. Sit down with a trusted, objective friend or family member and review your whole look – sketch it out, piece it together with pictures of your gown, your hair and your face if you need to. But don’t wait until the makeup/hairstyling trial session to find out that something may be very wrong with your overall look.

Comfort, Comfort, Comfort
Another consideration when thinking about your bridal hairstyle is comfort. OK, comfort may be the wrong word to use, but you must be able to carry off the style with some modicum of ease. If the style is too heavy or too tight or too exaggerated, you will not enjoy a moment of your wedding. And you are supposed to enjoy your wedding! You are supposed to be able to dance, sing, run, eat and kiss relatives (only after the chuppah) to your heart's content. You are not supposed to spend the evening worrying about ruining your hairstyle and counting the minutes until the simcha is over and you can rip the hairstyle out of your hair. And that may not be possible when your hair has been held captive under a kilo of hair spray, a half kilo of glued beads and crystals and those three kilos of hair extensions. It took my daughter a week of intensive shampooing just to get the hair spray out of her hair!

Want to be daring? Go Bungee jumping after the wedding.

While we are on the subject of hairstyling, I cannot over emphasize the importance of not trying out new haircuts, styles and colors at the last minute before the wedding. Try out any new hairstyle alternatives at least three to six months before the wedding, in order to give your hair time to grow out, return to normal or change the look should anything have gone wrong or you are not happy with the results.

You don’t have three to six months to experiment? Well then YOU SHOULD NOT BE DOING IT! If hair extensions are not enough to create the look you dreamed of, then you should drop the idea. You wedding is not the time to be daring about your looks.

Under the assumption that you do have six months prior to the wedding to change or modify your hair style, you should be doing the following.

• Start with a good hair cut or at least a good trim, even or should I say especially if you plan to grown your hair long. I know many brides want LONG hair for the wedding and don’t want to part with those few centimeters of shagging unhealthy hair as they think it makes their hair look longer. But you have to understand that those few centimeters of broken ends will not take the curl correctly and, if you intend to have an updo, these unsightly hairs will not behave themselves. Let it go and trim your hair and I guarantee your hairstyle and over all look will be wonderful.

• Start treating your skin kindly. No unnecessary tanning (beach or bed), harsh facial treatments, cosmetic surgeries or anything that may not heal in time for the big day.

• Let your eyebrows grow out a bit, so you can style them and have a little more 'to work with" for the wedding.

• Plan any waxing enough time in advance to allow for any redness to subside.

Remember EVERY KALLAH IS BEAUTIFUL on her wedding day!

Hairstyling Primer

In response to requests for information on hairstyling, please find the first in a series on hairstyling.  Look out for hairstyling photos coming soon!

Before Your Style Your Hair
Planning to style your hair for a simcha? Don’t wash your hair for one or two days prior to the event; the oil in your hair will help the style hold better. If you forget and wash your hair the day of the event, put some Moroccan oil or styling gel on your hair before you begin to style.

Oils? Gels? Creams?
Are you confused about all those oils and gels and creams and serums out in the market for your hair? Here's a short review of what you should know.

Moroccan Oil? Grape Seed Oil? Silicon/Serum? Styling Gel?
Moroccan oil is perfect to apply before you blow dry or style your hair.
Grape seed oil and silicon/serum are perfect to apply after you've blown dry your hair to give your hair that final touch of shine.

How should you apply these oils to your hair?
How to apply oil to your hair: Put a few drops of oil into the palms of your hands and rub through your palms and fingers. Then gently touch the tips of your hair, then run your fingers gently through your hair finishing off at the roots.
Use any of these oils sparingly! Too much oil will weigh down your hair and prevent you from creating a hairstyle, ruin the style or prevent the hair from being adequately blown dried.

Blow drying your hair
To get that 'salon-just-blow-dried-look' always work on damp hair. I recommend you purchase a simple spritz bottle and fill it with plain tap water and a few drops of a good cream rinse. This combination will make your hair more manageable and even give you a bit of a shine. Change the water in the bottle every two to three months. If you only blow dry your hair occasionally, fill the bottle with fresh water and cream rinse each time you blow dry your hair.

Where to start? Rule number one: Never put a moisturizing hair crème on your hair before blow drying it, it will weigh down your hair.

It's best to with small sections of hair at a time. You should start with the hair at nape of the neck. Brush your hair well and then clip up all your hair, except a few rows of hair at the nape. Then brush this unfastened section of hair with a round brush, hold taunt and blow dry from the root.

Once the root is dry the hair will be less 'fly away' and easier to manage. Blow dry the hair straight. Once the back of the head is blown dry, dry the sections in the front and your bangs last.

Once the hair is blown dry smooth, you can curl or style your hair in any fashion you wish.

Rule number two: Be careful not to use too much oil before your blow dry or you may burn your hair. Be careful not to use too much oil after you blow dry or you will weigh down your hair and it will look too oily.
Quick hair tips
• Always dye your hair (on dry hair) before cutting it (on damp hair).
• Always dye your hair before applying highlights.
• Always straighten hair before cutting it.
• Curly hair appears shorter when it is dry than when it is wet. A 'dry cut' (cutting hair when dry and not damp as usual) is great for trimming curly hair to ensure you are not getting a too-short haircut or even for do-it-yourself touch ups.
• Trim your hair every six to eight weeks, even if you want to let your hair grow longer or grow out of an old hairstyle.
• Can't stand those in-between times while you are growing your hair out of its old style? Use styling gel to comb back your hair and keep it in place until your reach the desired length. To get more volume out of thin hair, have your hair cut with one or two layers only. The layers give the illusion of volume, without taking away from the length. Too many layers create a look that thins out your hair even more.

Remember to enjoy your hair, it's why we have it!

APPLYING EYE MAKEUP - Absolutely Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Eye Makeup

The focal point of any makeup look is the eyes. In this article I will take you step-by-step through the eye makeup process. As always we start with a good base: clean, moisturized skin. Then we apply the foundation.

No matter what makeup style you wish to achieve: dramatic, subtle, light or whimsical; every look must begin with a good foundation. See my article on How to Apply Foundation and Concealer.

Concealer or Foundation
First let's define the eye area; it's from just below the brow bone (you can feel it with your fingers) until the edge of the sunken area under the eye / the top of the cheek bone (again you can feel this area with your fingers).

You can apply the same foundation around the eye area as to the rest of your face or apply concealer. What's the difference? Concealer is designed to be applied to the area around the eyes and as the name suggests, is designed to conceal any discoloration around this area. It is usually a more oily or heavier consistency than foundation and is not kind to older skin, since, as it dries, it tends to forms cracks in and around wrinkles. Concealer can be used on young skin, which may not always have what to conceal, but some amount of cover or base MUST always be applied in order for the eye makeup to be applied smoothly and be absorbed as little and as uniformly as possible. What about the shade of the foundation/concealer? As with all life, there are two schools of thought: the shade should either be a half a tone lighter or exactly the same shade. I believe that for an everyday makeup look, you should choose a shade that is the same as your foundation. For photo opportunities, use a shade half-a-tone lighter.

Now there are some interesting rules of thumb here:

No matter what the age of the skin, once the foundation/concealer is applied, it should be gently patted down and smoothed again just before applying makeup, as creases will form and the eye makeup cannot be applied as smoothly as it should.

Eye shadow
Today's idea of beautiful eyes is roundish, almond shape eyes, angled slightly upwards at the corners. Any and all eye makeup will help enhance or create the illusion of this eye shape (as much as possible).

As with all makeup, there are basically two types of eye shadow (there are in truth many more types, but they can nearly all be divided into these two categories): powder and cream. As always, the powdered version is much easier to apply and blend and kinder on older skin. Shiny, metallic eye shadows can be found in both cream and powder versions and should be avoided like the plaque on older skin and for photo opportunities, as the camera flash will reflect off this area and the optical illusion created is of a big blank spot. Not attractive on anyone.

Applying eye shadow – where to "put it all":

Confused about where to put "it" all? First 'divide' your eye into three sections measuring from the top of your nostril to the top of your brow with a makeup brush. Section 1 is from your nostril straight up to the beginning of your brow and until the beginning of the iris. Section 2 is from your nostril across from the beginning of your iris to the end of your iris, including the highest point of your brow. Section 3 is from your nostril, past the end of your iris and through the corner tip of your eye and to very end of your brow. These section divisions are also excellent guide lines to determine how to shapes your brows.

Most eye shadows will be applied in sections 2 and 3. Eyeliner will be applied along the top of whole eye. Under the eye you can apply eyeliner or eye pencil, either along the length of the longer lash line or under just section 3.

Start with eye shadow, either a light shade on the eyelid and a darker shade along the crease or the opposite: the darker shade on the eyelid and a lighter shade along the crease. Apply color a bit at a time with a brush or your finger and blend it in to this area of your eye and a little at the edges of the area; each time adding a bit more color and until you get the shade you want. The end result should be a smooth, blended look of color.

The eye shadow illusion:

On your eyelid

When thinking about applying shades – dark vs light - (not colors), take into consideration your eye shape and whether your eyes are set close together or wide apart, sunken or protruding, drooping or slanted. Now look over the following optical illusions eye shadow shades can create.

Remember makeup is there to help us accentuate what we like about our faces and help disguise what we do not. See my site for before and after shots to see how makeup can make the difference.

• Dark eye shadow makes your eyes seem more sunken in, wider and closer together.

• Light eye shadow makes your eyes seem more protruding, smaller and further apart.

Make sure that the outer edge of your eye shadow ends on an upturn. This means that the eye shadow from the tip of your eye till under your brow should be on an angle facing up towards your brow. Don't try to create this angle while applying the shadow. First apply shadow and then "clean" the line using your foundation sponge. Some makeup artists use a business card – you heard right – and apply the shadow on the eyelid and over the business card and once it is removed, the shadow is on a neat 'incline'. I recommend you clean the angle and then gently and lightly brush the eye shadow brush over this line to create a less 'demarcated' area and a more natural-looking eye.

Another makeup tool that can change the way your eyes appear is a line of eyeliner (with an eyeliner pencil or non-metallic liquid eyeliner) drawn above the bottom lashes; from the tip of the tear ducts to the outer corner of the eye. When choosing a shade for this area, consider the following:

• A dark line (black or dark brown/blue) above the bottom lashes, makes the eye look smaller but more angled upward.

• A light line (white) above the bottom lashes, makes the eye look larger and more open.

Tip: When you have some 'extra time', experiment on which eye shadow effects are best for you. Draw a dark line in one eye and a light line in the other and then see which look is better for your shape eyes.

Under your lower lashes:

A line of color under your bottoms lash line creates a more complete eye look. You can either draw a line with an eye pencil or eye shadow. There are two kinds of eye pencil (aren't there always?): a chalky dry consistency and a waxy, smoother consistency. Many times the waxy version has shine or sparkle to it. I personally recommend using the waxy version as it rolls on smoothly and gently. Once applied, you can either rub it gently to give a more subtle look to the eye or you can put powdered shadow on top of it. The wax of the pencil helps the powdered shadow adhere to the area and last longer.

When eyeliner is applied properly, it can create a flattering and attractive look to your eyes. Don't apply to eyes that are too small or sunken in or wrinkled; eyeliner will just your eyes and your whole face look older. Applied well, it can give the illusion of altering the shape of your eyes. Eyeliner comes in a variety of forms: liquid with its own thin brush applicator, pen-like with a thin marker applicator, a nearly solid form that is applied with a thin brush. You'll need to find the product that works the best for you.

The trick to applying eyeliner:

Here is a nearly fool-proof way of applying eyeliner: apply the eyeliner beginning in the middle of your eyelid and then apply to the outer corner of the eye; just until the end of the lash line and then apply from the middle to the inner corner of the eye. Apply a thin line and then if you wish you can retrace the line to create a thicker and more dramatic line.

Now, you can also create a pointed upward tip at the outer corner of the eye by continuing upwards from the point you stopped. First draw a line perpendicular from the end of the outer corner to the highest point you want for your tip. Then draw a line across from this point back to your lash line and fill in the triangle. The maximum height of the point should be determined by whether you have wrinkles in this area or not. Eyeliner in wrinkles will crack and look very bad. In this case, keep the eyeliner at a minimum.

Instead of standard eyeliner, you can use an eye pencil, as described above in Under your lower lashes, as an eyeliner and draw a line of color across your eyelid. You can smudge this line gently with your fingers to get a less defined, more subtle definition to your eyelid.

False lashes
False lashes are great for simachot. For everyday makeup, I would consider false lashes overkill. If you are considering wearing false lashes, have them applied professionally. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, practice applying and wearing the lashes several times BEFORE the big event. As with everything else in life: practice makes perfect.

What to buy?:

For practice sessions buy cheap lash sets you find in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. For the real event buy only good quality name-brand lashes. These will have a realistic look and feel. Lashes come in the usual set of two upper lashes or as a package of individual lashes to fill out sparse areas/or thicken the outer edge of the lash area. In all cases, buy ONLY good quality glue – the glue should dry clear and clean and be approved by the Ministry of Health.

How to apply?:

Whether this is a trial session or the real event: Lashes should be designed like real lashes: shorter lashes at the inner corner and long/slightly thicker lashes at the outer corner. Check the length of each lash line to your eyes, by lining it up across your eye lash line. If the lashes are too long, cut the OUTER edge. I recommend applying a line of eyeliner before you apply your lashes, as the eyeliner will help give the optical illusion that the lashes are your own and cover up any slight mistakes in application. If the mistake is too glaring, take off the clashes and START AGAIN!

First curl your lashes. You will not be able to do this AFTER you apply the lashes, without pulling them out. Apply a thin layer of glue to the edges of the lashes and let dry for a few seconds; until the glue is tacky. Then apply the lashes, either with lash tweezers or your fingers to a closed eye (this is the reason why it is reasonably hard to apply your own lashes) as close as possible to your natural lash line. Apply beginning at inner corner and then patting down gently as you move towards the outer corner.

Once the entire lash line has been applied, pat down gently and hold in place for some 20 seconds. Then open your eye s-l-o-w-l-y. You many need to "pry" your eye open a bit, as some of the glue may have seeped onto your bottom lashes. Work slowly and gently. Once lashes are applied to both eyes and you are happy with the results, you should reapply eyeliner to ensure the lash line looks realistic and then apply a coat or two or three of mascara to ensure that the lashes are 'integrated' into the lash line.

If you applying individual lashes, first apply mascara to your real lashes and then the fake lashes. If you apply mascara afterwards you may mistakenly pull out these lashes with the mascara brush.

Should you apply mascara to both your top and bottom lashes? If your eyes are round and somewhat bulgy, then apply mascara to the top lashes only. This same rule is true for droopy eyes. However with small and/or 'normal' size eyes you can apply mascara on both top and bottom lashes. In all cases, the best way to get that long lash look is to curl your eyelashes with a quality eyelash curler and then add at least two coats of mascara and you're set.

Brush your brows with a brush comb. You can fill in sparse areas or lengthen a too-short brow with eye shadows in shades close to your own natural brow color. Mix a darker and lighter shade to produce a more natural effect.

Great Hint:
 Use baby wipes without alcohol to clean any mistakes/smudges on your face (remember to reapply foundation – you can also use your foundation sponge to clean mistakes), as well as to clean your hands and surfaces when you are finished applying makeup. Make sure the wipes are packaged as alcohol-free, as the alcohol tends to dry out your skin. Even if you have oily skin, this product is not recommended for use.

Check out my article Makeup and ROI (Return on Investment) or Do I really need to buy everything the ladies in the "Pharms" try to sell me? to understand which eye makeup is worth investing in and which are not.

See and learn more on Styles by Yochi: Your makeup artist, hairstylist, wig stylist for all your weddings and simchas


I am always asked "How much should I spend on makeup? and "What makeup should I invest in?". Let me rephrase the question: "Which makeup is worth investing in and which isn't?"

Let's start by listing the makeup that should be found in your makeup bag, no matter if you wear makeup on an everyday basis or just once in a while:

• Foundation

• Concealer

• Powder (loose)

• Mascara

• Eye liner

• Lash curler

• Eye shadows – powder or cream

• Blush – powder or cream

• Lipstick/gloss/pencil

Here's my Invest / Don't Invest / Don't Go Crazy (Don’t spend a lot of money) list. This list does not discuss how to apply the products, just the "economics" behind them.

Facial cream        Don't Go Crazy

A good day cream, absorbed into your skin before you apply makeup, ensures that the makeup will sit better on your skin. You can buy facial creams either from a well-known company and or a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. Try different creams and see how they feel on your face. Don't be tempted by pretty packaging and large or pretty jars. READ the label to compare the actual quantity of cream in the container, looks as always are deceiving. A good rule of thumb is: the more it smells like medicine, the less perfume additives and the purer the cream.

Foundation        Invest

This is the base for all your makeup. There are basically two kinds of foundations: liquid and solid. Liquid foundation is kind to all skin types, while the solid version is not recommended for older skin, as it may dry and crack and build up in wrinkles. However, as a rule solid foundation is used for all photography opportunities, including weddings, as it is the most long-lasting. For the usual 8 hour days, liquid foundation is more than acceptable. Your foundation should be of a high quality and a well blended consistency that doesn't separate or dry out over time. A high-quality foundation should last you anywhere between 6 months to a year, depending on how often you wear it and how much you apply each time. Foundation should be matched to your skin tone by a professional makeup artist.

Concealer            Invest

Concealer (created to be worn around the eye area, to conceal dark circles, etc.), like foundation, must be of a high quality and a well blended consistency that doesn't separate or dry out over time. A good foundation should last you anywhere between 6 months to a year or more depending on how often you wear it. Unlike foundation, concealer is NOT A MUST in your makeup bag. A good foundation can be used as a concealer. Concealer should be matched to your skin tone by a professional makeup artist.

Powder (loose)          Don't Go Crazy

Loose powder is for young skin only. Powder is not kind to older women's skin. So don't go crazy: buy a good powder from a well-known company and not a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. Although there are only a limited number of powder colors, you should still have a professional makeup artist match the powder to your skin. Tip: in a jam, you can use – SPARINGLY - plain talc to minimize shine from the T area of the face (above the eyes and down the nose).

Mascara              Don't Go Crazy

Mascara MUST be replaced once every 3 months. Why? First of all mascara dries up sooner or later. Secondly, the mascara tube is the perfect place (dark and warm) to grow bacteria that could cause eye infections. Remember, three months and the tube is in the garbage. As to the question of waterproof vs. non-waterproof: the jury is still out on this. I believe it is a matter of personal choice. Non-waterproof mascara is easier to remove and kinder on your lashes. So don't go crazy: buy a good mascara from a well-known company and not a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores.

Eyeliner            Invest / Don't Go Crazy

This is a tricky one. If you use eyeliner once in a while: just buy a good eyeliner from a well-known company and not a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. Get rid of the eyeliner every six months or so. If you wear eyeliner daily you can still get away with a reasonably priced one. However, if you use eyeliner daily and need it to last LONGER than the usual 6 hours or so, then you need to invest in a good pot of water-proof eyeliner and good brush.

Lash curler             Invest

Buy a lash curler from a well-known company, it should have a good silicon insert. Many lash curlers have rubber inserts, these dry and crack and will inevitably pull out your lashes. Touch the inserts to feel the difference, if you can or ask a reputable makeup artist to recommend a brand-named eye lash curler. A good eye lash curler should last FOREVER.

Eye Shadow                 Invest

There are basically two kinds of eye shadows: cream and powder. Let's start with cream eye shadow: Cream shadow is not kind to older skin; it will eventually dry on the eye lid and form cracks and shows every wrinkle. Powder eye shadow is perfect for everyone. Powder eye shadow should feel soft to the touch, with an even, powdery consistency. When you rub your finger tip gently over the powder, you should be able to see the same shade of color on your finger as in the container. When you rub your finger tips together, the powder should feel smooth and leave a nice shade of color on your finger tips. Mineral shades have a more coarse consistency since they are made with a combination of color and crushed minerals. But they should still have an even consistency.

Blush             Don't invest

There are basically two kinds of blush: cream and powder. Let's start with cream blush: Cream blush is harder to manage and should only be handled with a very light hand. Cream blush is great for photo opportunities, as it is very longer lasting. However, it is unforgiving and mistakes are hard to correct. Powder blush is perfect for everyone. Unless you are looking for a shimmer blush, which is only good used sparingly for photo opportunities and only on young skin, there is no reason to buy blush. I'll repeat that: There is no reason to buy a separate blush product. Use eye shadow. Yes, ladies you heard me correctly, eye shadow. What shades?  Pinks and browns are good on nearly everyone, EXCEPT women with full faces and red heads. These lovely ladies should be a peach tone color.

Lipstick/gloss/pencil        Don't invest

Lip treatment fashions, such as lipstick, gloss and pencils, change according to style trends, seasons and even the age of the woman and the shape of her lips. Don't invest in any of these. Buy them wherever you wish, even in the cheap makeup chain stores. Have a good selection of colors and treatments and change with the seasons and your mood. There are no hard and fast rules here: pinks are kinder on blondes; dark colors, such as eggplant, are wonderful on dark skin; but there are so many other factors such as creating a dramatic look, a natural look or a pale look. Play with colors and have fun. One good rule is using a lip pencil to create a outline around your lips, this keeps the color in and prevents it from blending into the skin around your lips. This is especially important for older skin.

On this blog, you will find articles on all aspects of makeup and makeup application. Some articles are already published; others will be published in the weeks to come. If there are makeup, wedding or hairstyling topics not yet covered or you would like to learn about a specific makeup topic, please contact me through this blog.