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October Birthstone Tourmaline

by | Jewellery Wisdom, Wisdom


Pascale of Style Rocks

Green Tourmaline Engagement ring via Etsy

The October birthstone Tourmaline is your’s if you’re born in this month. Happy Birthday to you :-)

Tourmaline has been known since antiquity in the Mediterranean region, but it was only in 1703 that they brought it from Sri Lanka to Western and Central Europe. The Dutch gave the new gems a Sinhalese (being from Sri Lanka) name, Turamali, which is thought to mean ‘stone with mixed colours’.

While tourmaline has the largest colour range of any gemstone, most people are probably familiar with pink and green tourmaline. Tourmaline is indeed in Madagascar, Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan and some East African countries.

Green tourmaline is very popular; the dark olive or bottle green colours are the most easily available, and therefore the most affordable. However, the most desired variety is called chrome tourmaline, being similar in colour to some emeralds.

But it’s really pink which is the most popular of all the tourmaline colours: the pinks can range from deeply saturated pure-pinks, through to some colours of brown or salmon. In some markets, any deep-pink tourmaline is called ‘rubellite’ (misleadingly) – for it to truly be rubellite, it needs to have a scarlet-red colour to the stone.

The most expensive is the paraiba tourmaline, an electric blue-green stone seen here, originally found in the Brazilian district of  Paraiba. Its supply is very limited, so prices are sky-high!

Paraiba Tourmaline and Diamond Double Halo Ring from Blue Nile

Which is your favourite tourmaline colour?

Pink tourmaline is the most popular of all tourmaline colours, and I’ve found another beautiful ring from Cassandra Goad to showcase it:

Swirl divider12 Pink Morganite Engagement Rings

Ms Gingham says: Absolutely stunning!!! Love all the information in this post too!

About Pascale: Pascale Helyar-Moray, Founder and Director of StyleRocks has fourteen years of financial services experience as a marketing and communications professional working with blue chip companies in Australia and the UK. Maternity leave forced her to re-examine her career options and in looking for a business she could run from home, created StyleRocks in order to harness her lifelong passion for jewellery.

What Would They Know? Janice Wu of Janice Wu Hair & Makeup

by | Hair and Beauty Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

 Janice Wu

 Hair and makeup – two of the essential ingredients to helping you look and feel at your most confident and beautiful on any day, but especially on your wedding day. Janice of Janice Wu Hair & Makeup is a super creative person who has made a career out of pursuing her passion for hair and makeup. Using her knowledge of the fashion and photography industries, Janice helps you achieve a flawless look that is long lasting and camera ready at all times. And who doesn’t want to look like a better version of yourself on this most important of milestone days! So grab a cup of coffee and gather some tips from Janice…….

What is your background in the beauty industry? How long have you been in this profession?

I have officially been in the industry since 2009, but have been doing hair and makeup for as long as I can remember.  I came from a fine arts background when I was younger and attempted to pursue a graphics design career straight out of high school, but I could never shake my passion for the hair and makeup industry so I decided to take a chance and chase my dream career.

I started out with doing only makeup but found out later that I had a knack for doing hair and also really loved it so now I do both professionally.

I initially started out in the fashion and commercial side of the industry but realized I really loved being involved with people’s big day. It is always very exciting and fun day to be a part of!

How do you help the bride decide what hair and makeup styles suit her best on her wedding day? Does the style of her dress influence the decision?

My advice is to always go with the style and look that makes you feel the most sexy in but at the same time still feeling comfortable and like yourself. My first question for them is always “What kind of hair and makeup do you do on yourself for a big night out or a formal event?” I also like to find out what they DON’T like. I use these two questions as a starting point, which we can then start to work together to come up with a look that is personally suited to their own style. We work out together what will make them look their best and at the same time making them feel confident and beautiful. Brides usually want to look like the best versions of themselves on their big day, so working off a celebrity look that is completely opposite to their own personal style (no matter how beautiful) might not always work.  Confidence is beauty, so if you are comfortable and confident then you will naturally look your best!

 Al HabjanRS

Image by Al Habjan

Is it best to do a hair and makeup trial before the big day?

It is definitely recommended for the bride to do a trial. It is not only beneficial for them to see what their hair and makeup is going to look like before the big day but it is also a chance for them to meet and build a rapport with their artist. It will help their artist understand fully what it is that they are after and also help the morning of the wedding day run smoothly. When trust is built between the artist and their bride before the big day, there will be less chance of stress and panic and it will make the entire preparation process extremely fun and memorable.

What is it that you love about the wedding day and helping the bride and her wedding party?

Being a part of a couple’s wedding day is always very exciting. There are a number of big milestones in everyone’s life that always means a lot to people and getting married is one of them. To be allowed to witness such an important day in someone’s life over and over again is a real privilege and pleasure.

I love the feeling of assisting someone on such an important day in their life, it is exciting to see their thrilled reaction at the end of it. So much time and effort is put into planning this one day and to make a difference and be able to help make the day special, even if its just something small like doing their hair and makeup, is very satisfying!

Do you see any trends emerging for wedding hair and makeup over the next 12 months?

A lot of natural, bohemian styles and trends have emerged over the last couple of months. There are a lot of natural relaxed styles with softer curls, lots of body in the hair but less volume. Brides are opting for a more natural coverage with makeup with a dewy skin finish and natural looking lashes, rather than the full face.


Image by Boy Loves Girl Photography

Five tips for beautiful skin on your wedding day?

If you already have a great skin care regime that is working for you, don’t change it just because you have a big event coming up. Stick with what works and keep at it. If you have problematic skin- see a professional dermatologist, they can usually help you solve the problem within a couple of months.

If you’re not a spray-tan kinda gal, don’t do it just because. If you would like to try it for your wedding, make sure you do a trial to see if you like the look of it on yourself first!

Give your skin a rest and let it breathe, better skin will always make your makeup look better and help it last throughout the day. Have your dedicated no-makeup days! Your skin will love you for it!

Cleanliness is key. The fewer bacteria around your face the better your skin will be. (i.e. wash your face with gentle soap like Cetaphil, before exfoliating, and change your pillow case regularly.)

Less is more!


Image by Dylan Buzolich

Five tips for beautiful hair on your wedding day?

– Get a trim more than a month in advance. It promotes growth and also gets rid of your split ends.

– Wash your hair the night before your wedding day. (If you have extremely dry hair, the morning of the day before your wedding). Clean hair always helps make the hairstyle look better.  Oily hair will weigh down the style.

– Find a hairstylist and colorist you trust and don’t experiment with new looks a month before your wedding! If you are not happy with the results it will be very hard to get it back to the way it was.

– If you are going with a new color, try it a couple of months before hand to make sure you are happy with it.

– If you have extremely dry hair, get a professional hot oil treatment, and also do hair treatments yourself at home.  Ask your normal hairstylist for advice!

Any hair and makeup tips for things we shouldn’t do for the wedding day?

This isn’t really a hair and makeup tip, but rather an important piece of advice; when choosing a hair and makeup look for yourself try not to be confused by other people’s opinions. One or two trusted confidants are okay but having multiple opinions will only confuse and possibly upset you. Know yourself and what you like and what you are comfortable with, then ask a trusted friend or family member to help confirm your thoughts. You will be much more happier and stress free this way.

Mitch and Aaron by Iain Sim Photography

Image by Iain Sim Photography

Mothers of the bride and groom – do you have any tips to help her to look her best?

Know your assets, emphasize them and stick to your own personal style. Less is definitely more when it comes to makeup. The more you apply, the more lines will show, so sticking with a more dewy light coverage finish and using less powder will make you look 10 years younger!

You also do commercial work. How does this influence the way you do bridal hair and makeup?

Coming from a fashion and commercial background is definitely very beneficial when it comes to doing hair and makeup for weddings. Understanding lighting and how it affects the hair and makeup is extremely important when it comes to explaining to my client what needs to be done to achieve a certain look. It is something I learnt while working alongside professional photographers in the fashion industry and has become really valuable knowledge. The reason why brides enlist the help of a professional artist for their day is so they can look their absolute best in and out of photos, so to be able to explain to them what will and won’t work is really helpful!

What are the favorite items you have in your makeup toolbox/kit?

My favorite makeup items are my Becca Skin Illuminator, MAC Face & Body Foundation and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Items I cannot live without in my kit. My motto for makeup is always less is more. I believe bridal makeup should always be used to enhance your natural beauty, not create a mask, so products that help achieve that natural flawless complexion is so important.

I also cannot live without my Kevin Murphy Powder Puff. It helps create volume and body without over teasing the hair and having to use too much hairspray, yet it provides enough hold to help the hair last the whole day. It’s amazing!

Girl Loves BoyRS

Image by Boy Loves Girl Photography

What do you like to do when not working? 

I am a bit of a geek and I am also a huge animal and adventure lover, so if I’m not addicted to a game or t.v show, I am outdoors on adventures with my fur kids and my friends. I am also a huge foodie, so whenever I get a chance I am always trying new foods. I also love to travel, whether within Australia or overseas. My mission this year has been to try and see as much of Victoria as possible, because when people say travel, they always think to go overseas, yet we don’t realize how much beauty is right here within arms reach! That is also one of the perks of this job. You get to see some pretty amazing places!!

Thank you Janice for sharing your thoughts with us today. To find out more about Janice Wu Hair and Makeup please visit her website.

Headshot  by Irena Matic Photography

Planning Your Photography Wedding Day Schedule

by | Photography Wisdom, Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


James Harvie of James Harvie Photography
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

The wedding day schedule. If you’re a bride to be I bet those 3 words send your pulse racing! Planning your wedding schedule is no easy feat and just when you think you have it all down pat along comes Aunt Bessy with her own elaborate explanation of what you should and shouldn’t do.

But it’s your wedding day isn’t it? Or is it everyone else’s day? Yes, after 6 months of planning  I bet you feel a bit like you’re chasing your own tail. I know when I got married (way back in the dark ages) all I wanted to plan was my honeymoon. But I am a boy.

So with well over 10 years experience helping couples plan out their photography wedding day schedule I think I might just be able to share with some tips with you. So here goes:

Don’t stress – the sooner your realize that things do not go exactly to plan on your wedding day the better. Those brides that get all stressed out find the day over in a whirlwind and they remember very little. Remember everyone is there for you both. So take a deep breath.

The groom’s home  – Generally allow up to one hour to photograph. Remember its great to get all the detail shots here, like shoes, belts, cuff links, rings etc.

Brides home – Allow up to 2 hours. Here it’s great to get all those small personal items, like shoes, dress hanging up (remember a wooden hanger is best) flowers etc. These shots take time and you also need to plan your hair and make up timings to ensure they fall in line with the photographer’s scheduled. There is nothing worse than your hair and make up eating into your wedding photography time.

Ceremony – Allow 30 minutes. Generally outdoor weddings with a celebrant take about 30 mins. Allow extra time if you plan to be late.

Group photography – Allow 30 minutes. You may want to prepare a list of people that you’d like to take photos with to give to the MC.

Location shoot – Allow 1 hour. The location shoot is where you achieve your most treasured wedding images, so you need to work closely with the photographer to discuss ideas and options. We generally spend 45 minutes per location. When planning your wedding timings allow extra slots of 45 mins per location.

The reception – Allow 30 minutes. This area you need to discuss with the photographer, but generally speech shots are pretty tricky (particularly if the spekaer avoids eye contact). The best reception shots are when everyone is looking really relaxed and casual, perhaps during drinks and nibbles before the big formal sit down. Cocktail style weddings make for better images as people are more relaxed and can mingle with who they want to.

One other tip is I would avoid fixed 5 or 6 hour packages as before you know it you will run over time and you will be paying more. Another hint, ask your photographer to give you their rundown of the timings. We do it all the time and have a good grip on how your wedding day might run. This allows for you to plan your day more concisely and avoid running late.

Images by James Harvie Photography

Swirl divider7 The Groom Wedding Survival Guide

Ms Gingham says: Some solid advice and a great idea to work these things out as a couple before the day comes around.

James says: “What I specifically like about wedding photography in Melbourne is the character of the city. The Docklands offers dynamic images and we love to use the curves and lines in our images that the many bridges of Melbourne portray. The cute laneways lend themselves to black and white contrasty images which really gives Melbourne wedding photography that artistic edge.”

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