I was shopping for some summer fashions the other day and found myself drawn to anything and everything neon: bright costume jewelry, an amazing chartreuse laser-cut dress, strappy fuschia sandals and on and on. It got me thinking…how fun would neons be incorporated into a wedding!? I love the idea of juxtaposing them against a rustic backdrop like a barn or sleek white furniture and walls. Either way, the important part is to let the colors take center stage (after the bride of course!). I hope you like my inspirations and have some fun dressing yourself in brights.


{credits clockwise: 1. lipstick | 2. dip dye wedding dress | 3. J.Crew necklace | 4. Brian Atwood pumps | 5. strappy heels

6. DIY vases | 7. pink maxi dress | 8. Rebecca Minkoff bag | 9. yellow skirt | 10. table setting | 11. green skirt | 12. bouquet}

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“You may kiss your bride”–the moment that seals the deal on your “I do’s”, and one you surely don’t want to experience with a chapped pout! If the Chicago winter winds have left their mark on your kisser, you’ll want to read on. Maya P. Alluring Artistry strives to create a long-lasting look that will leave the bride feeling confident (and smooth and supple!) on her big day. Owner Maya Puentes has enhanced the art of painting on a pristine facial palette for the past 10 years. With a trusty Blistex in hand, we sought out an education on pout perfection from the beauty expert.

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Photography

Q. With winter starting to wreak havoc, many of us are facing the chapped lip conundrum. What is your best cure-all?

A. “MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! Make sure that your lips are always well hydrated and are never left unprotected from the cold. Exfoliating is also a huge must, as it keeps your lips smooth by removing the dry skin.”

Q. With all eyes on the bride and subsequent photos that last a lifetime, how can a bride swap parched lips for a photo-friendly pout?

A. “Making sure to start a good moisturizing and exfoliating routine a few weeks prior to your wedding will help ensure that your lips are kissablly smooth the day of. One to three nights a week, I suggest exfoliating your lips with an edible and delicious DIY scrub.

DIY Lip Scrub

1tbsp oil (olive or coconut)

1 tbsp honey

2 packed tsp of brown or white sugar

Gently rub the mixture onto  lips in a circular motion for one to two minutes. When finished, wipe off scrub with a warm cloth, or even eat it if you wish! Follow it up with a very hydrating lip balm or Vaseline.

Photo Courtesy of Maya P. Alluring Artistry

Q. What are your favorite lip trends this season and going into spring?

A. “Crimson lips! There is something so sexy yet sophisticated about a red lip to me, so I am thrilled that it has found its place among the best beauty trends for the winter/spring seasons of 2013.

What is unique about this trend though is that we are seeing more of a matte or satin finish than the glossy or creamy look of the past. I suggest wearing more of a deep burgundy or berry hue for the winter and in the spring opting for a pink/coraly red.

If you already have your perfect shade of red in a creamy finish or you cannot find a matte hue you like, use a matching/similar shade of powder (think eye shadows or blush) and lightly press it over your already applied lipstick to achieve a great matte/satin finish!

Bonus: It makes your lipstick last longer! Also, ALWAYS be sure to apply a lip liner when wearing red lipstick to avoid bleeding!”

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Photography

Q. What go-to product do you suggest our Chicago beauties stock their make-up bags with?

A. “As far as lip balms go, my makeup bag must haves are Rosebud and Avon’s Dew Kiss. As for lipsticks, I am a huge fan of Inglot and Illamasqua. Both have beautifully rich and longs-lasting colors.”

To get a head start on your bridal glow and to perfect your big wedding look, book a pamper party! The Maya P. Alluring Artistry team will happily teach the ways of hair and makeup, a great option for a #Be-U-tifiyng bachelorette party. Need more flawless face know-how? Catch up on “Bring on Bridal Beauty” with an insider look at Puentes’ bag of tricks.

What color will you paint on to pucker up to your love with? Tweet us your favorite kissable colors @beuweddings.


From the moment we laid eyes upon Sarah Seven, we were smitten and now Chicago brides can have a dose of the magic all their own. Looking right at home on West Arlington Place, in Lincoln Park, the San Francisco based bridal designer has opened shop {leaving us with a new home away from home, hope the staff won’t mind}. #BeUBrides will find that Seven’s racks of tulle and beaded lace speak to the romantic inside. We picked a few of our favorite matrimony finds from the new boutique to give you a taste {and a few photos from our day with the designer}. We are certain you will be reaching for the phone to book your appointment after spying these feminine beauties!

Sarah Seven-Practically PerfectPhoto Courtesy of Sarah Seven, Practically Perfect {The dress that started it all}

Sarah Seven-Blythe

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Seven, Gold Label Blythe 


Photo Courtesy of Sarah Seven, Dove

Goldie Gown Sarah Seven

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Seven, Goldie

Reveal Sarah Seven

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Seven, Reveal

Now for some fun shots of the new 1,100 square foot Lincoln Park boutique to wet the shopping appetite. Encapsulated within its bridal chic walls, gems from the Spring 2014, Fall 2013, and the brand new Gold Label Collection. To partake in the magic call 312-802-5585 to book your private appointment!





IMG_20140306_204927_resized_1{Practically Perfect makes an appearance again}





Will you walk the aisle in Sarah Seven? We’d like to see you and groom in all your wedded glory. Send your #realwedding photos our way and you just may see your day gracing our pages. Happy shopping!