Go for a pop of color

Wearing a bold lip on your wedding day doesn’t have to be something to shy away from. Its an easy way to make a statement that can be classic and timeless if done properly. Here are some tips to pulling off a bold hue on your lips.
1. Keep the eyes rather simple and neutral. A neutral eye, simple liner and natural lashes will let your lips be front and center. It will look more timeless in photos as well.
2. Keep the skin fresh and clean. Its tempting to go with full contouring and highlighting but that can distract from a classic look. Luminous, glowing skin with only make you look fresh and awake ok your big day.
3. Opt for a matte finish over a glossy red lip. Glossy red lips can be more messy than a matte color. If applied correctly, a matte lip will act like a stain through the night and will require less touch ups.
4. The most important tip is to discuss it with your makeup artist at your trial. There are to many options for red or bold lips. Talk to them about what you are comfortable with and they will recommend the best option for you. What is bold for some is tame for others, so a trial is the perfect time to try on some different shades. Update your artist after wearing the lip color so they can get you the right shade for touch ups on your big day.

Manhattan Bride Cover Shoot

There are two parts to what we do that we love. One, we love making a woman feel and look beautiful on such an important day and two, we love the feeling we get seeing our work in a photograph.  There’s nothing like seeing someone that is gorgeous and knowing you had a part in the overall look.  Doing photoshoots are so much fun for us because we know our work will get captured at it’s best and we will get the photos to share. We were lucky enough to get the chance with Manhattan bride and not only be able to share but, have our work on newstands everywhere! We were so excited at the opportunity. We had worked with Manhattan Bride for their Spring issue last year. Our work was featured on the inside of their magazine. After the amazing feedback on the looks we created for the inside of that issue, we were asked to do the cover of their Fall issue!  Imagine the excitement then.  At the time, I was 8 months pregnant! The shoot was scheduled on my due date.  I knew it was a good possibility I would go nto labor early so I took a chance and said I would do it!! I really didn’t want to pass it up for me or my team.  We had just wrapped doing hair and make up for a movie shoot in the city and at 8 months I was able to work that out lol. So, this would be no different.  In the end it all did!  My daughter arrived two weeks early and I had just enough time to recover and make it to this shoot in New Jersey.  It was a long day of shooting but, an experience I’ll have forever. To see this cover and this magazine I am so proud.  I hope you enjoy!!    The link is to their 3d magazine online. 






(the night of the Magazine launch party in the city)

(Cover) Hair  Ashley Stone, Make Up Kyle Samolik

Inside of the magazine we have a few features and another model with hair done by Ashley Stone and Make Up by Nicole O’Hare.



Beauty Entourage Boutique

ImageFor years our bridal clients were lost on what to choose for their wedding day hair accessories. We always wanted to have a boutique that could help them find the perfect piece for them.  With the love we have for fashion and wedding day hair we found a company that finally met our needs in our search! Classic and timeless accessories to compliment your overall look is what we strive to find and offer our clients. It’s always the bride with the beautiful accessories not only make the look but the photo that is always so memorable. Every bride should have that one statement piece. Whether its in their jewelry, their hair accessory or their Veil.  These pieces are apart of fashion and compliment your overall look.  We hope you enjoy browsing through our boutique that we will keep updating and adding to so always check back in.  If there are items you are looking for and don’t see let us know! We would love to know and may possibly be able to find just for you!  All Beauty Entourage Brides receive 15% off of their orders.  

Visit the Boutique: http://beautyentourageboutique.com/


Updo Tricks on the Fox Morning Show

With Prom and Wedding Season in Full force we were asked to go Live on the Fox Morning Show with our quick tips for updo styling on your own at home.  As we always recommend a professional Stylist for events to guarantee a look to last for your event we of course can give you some insider tips to how we create some of the red carpet looks you see!

Here, owner Ashley Stone, demonstrates 3 different looks that can be used for Prom, weddings, or any other special event this Spring and Summer!


Choosing the right Shampoo and Conditioner

This blog is dedicated to the girl in front of me at Stop & Shop that bought a shampoo for $1.05.  I’m not going to lie, it took alot for me to not intervene and stop her. I wanted to give her a consultation right in line! Maybe it’s the Stylist in me but, what I do is my life and goes with me everywhere!  It’s like when you know your in a room with a hairdresser and you say, “OMG, your probably looking at my hair. I didn’t do it today.”  Yes, we noticed you haven’t done your roots either. lol   It’s just natural for us!

As for shampoos and conditioners I find most people have complaints about their hair that most often could be solved by what they are putting on it or in it I should say. If you color your hair you have to understand that colored hair needs to be not just maintained but, nourished. If you spend $150 on your hair but skip the $25-$30 on shampoo and conditioner  that is going to protect your investment then the least of your worries is saving a buck on what you buy to wash your hair.  Your expensive color service is slowly getting washed down the drain with the harsher products you are using.   Most professional products these days won’t cause direct damage to your hair but there are definitely ones that are better than others.  One of my favorites for color treated is KMS California’s Color Vitality. (retail shampoo $15.78, conditioner $16.78)   If you have blonde hair they have Blonde shampoo as well thats is apart of the color vitality line (retail $15.78) . I highly recommend especially in the summer. It keeps your blonde shiny and bright. The purple hue helps kick out any brass or keep it out.


Do you have well water?  I feel for you ladies! Your hair is going to battle with what’s in the water every time and most often than any it is losing. Well water can dry out the hair and severely alter a color. Especially blondes. I would recommend a clarifying shampoo to just use once a week. A clarifying shampoo is going to help get the minerals out and clean the hair really well to prevent build up. Don’t use more than that because it will dry out your hair.  We carry Hair Stay Clarifying by KMS (retail $15.78)  Honestly, any clarifying will do, they are just not always easily found just anywhere.  I also recommend this if your hair has excessive oil. It will help prevent oil buildup as well…. Sometimes I come across ladies that have a bad habit of tying their hair up while it is still wet and leaving it like that for hours. I DO NOT RECOMMEND. Not only does this cause breakage but believe it or not you can get mildew in your hair.. It has a particular smell. I don’t know how to explain it but, I can definitely know immedietly if a client is a culprit for doing this.   Another great option is using Malibu for well water. They have a shampoo or they have packets with powder in them. The powder you use once a week and is left on for a minimum of 10 min. This helps pull the minerals and metals out specifically. We carry the shampoo (retail $13.00) or the packets ($3.00 each)   The shampoo I would say is ok for my blonde clients but if you have other colors in your hair or darker color I would use the packets.


Do you wash daily or just have average hair you want to keep healthy?  Sebastian Professional Light is perfect.  It’s just that LIGHT on your hair. It’s great for daily use and won’t dry out the hair. If your hair is dry I would recommend Sebastian Drench or Penetrait. The Drench is more for thick and dry hair where as the penetrait is for deep repair. So breakage and over processed hair would definitely benefit even more from penetrait. It’s one of those you definitely notice over time that will mend your hair back to health.  Once you nurse it back to health switch it up.  I think that’s the biggest problem is people use the same thing for so long, their hair may just need something different over time because the climate changed or their styling needs have changed. It’s not that the product doesn’t work anymore, your needs just might be different.  Other great moisturizing shampoos and cond: Moroccon Oil (retail $22.00 for shampoo and $23.00 for cond.)  and Q10 by Scwarzkopf. Q10 was designed for women over 40 to fill the collagen in the hair and to help women with wiry gray hair. It’s great for that but what I LOVE it for is for clients with severe damage. Like broken over processed blondes. This stuff is gold. (retail $23.00 each)


Volumizing.  I’m on the fence with volumizing shampoos and conditioners. As a colorist I don’t recommend as often because volumizing products leave the cuticle open to plump up the hair which is leaving it wide open for your color to come out.  Color lives deep in the hair but shine doesn’t and to me the color does fade and doesn’t look as good over time. For blondes I would say it would be ok but for red heads or darker shade I would say no.  If your worried about weighing your hair down then go with the Light shampoo and cond by Sebastian and then use a great volumizing styling aid like Add Volume line by KMS. Their mousse is pretty great! Add lift and thickness all over. Or if you need just a lift then the root lift would be used. (retail $15.78)


Curly Girls.  Do you wear your hair curly all the time or most of the time? Well I have the best recommendation for you!! I recently got more in depth with this line to know the ins and outs of it. Curly hair needs moisture and most over the counter grocery store brands are so bad with chemicals and detergents in their shampoos that it severely deprives  curly hair the moisture it needs causing frizz and dry hair.  Deva products are specifically designed with the curly girl in mind. It’s a vegan line with no sulfates or parabans.  I also recommend this product for ethnic hair. Because the hair tends to be coarser and dry it helps maintain your own natural oils instead of stripping it while also putting other goodness in there.  Their gel is amazing and doesn’t leave behind hard crunchy curls either.  One note with this product, when you shampoo there is not any lather. So it may feel like you are not doing it right or something is wrong with the product. It’s OK!  Friction from your fingertips will cleanse the scalp with this product. Pair this with a Deva cut by one of our specialists and you will be a believer and will never go back!  In 12 years of my salon experience curly hair was the most challenging for me and was so complex. After discovering Deva I’m instead empowered to educate my curly clients and confident I found what they have been looking for!!  (All products retail $18-$19 a piece)


Hopefully,  these tips helped give you some insight or make you think more about what you use the next time you step in the shower.   Shampoos and conditioners are the foundation to your style and to the health of your hair.  I have seen first hand the damage or the repair the right one can do and I am a BIG believer in making the right investment for your hair when it comes to choosing your shampoo and conditioner.  These aren’t the only products you can use these are just a few recommendations.  Our salon offers a few ways you can save. We offer monthly specials that usually reflect in some of the lines we carry, we have a loyalty program that you can save on your service and maybe splurge on some products, or buy liters! If there’s something you don’t see in stock we special order any of our products in bigger sizes if needed. Just let us know before you come for your appt. If you have to, skip the styling product but never skip the right shampoo and conditioner.

Join our mailing list to receive our emails of specials, classes and events: Notify me! 

Stay Tuned for even more we have added for our clients. We are excited to bring in a new line BLOW Pro.  We will be announcing Blow out events coming soon!!

Also, Add us on Facebook. The next event is for Curly Girls!! Free demos of the Deva line and how to style your curls and kick the frizz… Date announced on Facebook soon!

Lash Extensions

Clients are always asking about Lash Extensions and are enamored by the look of them with no mascara!  That’s right, no mascara needed when you have lash extensions. You get the look every day without needing anything in addition.  We offer Lash extensions at our Salon, Salon Alexander. Lash extensions are a more permanent option that lasts up to 4 weeks. If you would like to maintain the extensions then you would fill every 2-4 weeks depending on how glamorous of a lash you have. The thicker fuller lashes require more touch up to maintain. The lash is attached to your natural lash with platinum bond glue and shed when your lashes shed! The life of each lash are always in different stages so lashes will shed at various times. Lashes are synthetic fiber and are hypoallergenic. We do offer two types of glues so if you do have very sensitive eyes or prone to allergies then we do still have an option for you!  For the month of March we have a special for a full set at $125. A $50 savings.   Otherwise a full set is $175 and fills range from $55-$75 based on a 2,3,or 4 week fill appt.  Fall in love with the latest salon addiction! Amazing option in the summer time to ditch the mascara but always have the look that your wearing it!

Before & AfterBefore & After

To Book your Lash Appt you can call 860-667-7722  or online!  BOOK NOW

Photographer Recommendations

Over the years of doing so many weddings we get to meet many photographers and see their work of our clients. Some we even gain relationships and collaborate off season!  I have such a respect for photographers and finding the right one that suits your vision is so important. I am not one to ever think anyone with a camera can take a good picture. There’s definitely more to it than that. Some have their own niches just like we do in the beauty industry.  Like any artist, a passion in a specific category with what they are shooting will show in the end results. We get to have a different view of the process of a photographer but still be an outsider to their world.  We are all creative artists to what we do so the respect level for me is high when I find a photographer that produces great work, is easy to work with, and is reasonable to their approach with business and how they handle clients. With that being said, I wanted to give some recommendations based just from my own experiences paired with clients feedback.   I make these recommendations not as a benefit to my business in any way for exchange for promotion but, an honest opinion from one artist to another.  If your not on my list, I don’t mean it as an insult whatsoever.

Starting the list… Catherine Fiehn   http://www.catherinefiehnphotography.com/

She is my go to photographer when I need an artistic approach to a photo. What she does with editing amazes me every time. To me with clients she has a journalistic approach paired  with something editorial. That’s the best way I can describe it! lol  We have crossed paths many times on locations with weddings and every year she collaborates with me for the promo of our Wigs for KIds charity event. Her stunning daughter has graced many of our charity promotions. She also documents the Wigs for Kids events for us every year. Not only does she shoot a wedding pretty fantastic but she also is known for her work that she does with pageants.  Traveling throughout the U.S. You can check out more of her photos here as well for pageants and child modeling photography. http://www.catherinefiehnphotogenics.com/

Example of a project we worked on…


Next up, Marisa Balletti-Lavoie of Sassy Mouth Photo  http://sassymouth.net/

We crossed paths also on weddings.  Her name came up initially highly recommended by one of our clients and I had never heard of her work.  Not long after she became a name that was quite frequently mentioned via clients so we had to check her out. She is definitely Sassy! lol  Very fun to work with and easy going. Her photos  have the same kind of fun spirit and always reminds me of something I would see on Pinterest! Even her studio is like you walked into Pinterest in real life! She is very creative and can bring out the best in you in a photo. She too has volunteered her time on a few charity projects we put together as well as done our staff photos on our website and most recently my maternity shoot!  As a person self conscience in front of a camera she produced amazing photos that you would not be able to tell how much I hated to smile lol.  She does alot of weddings and also has GLAM by Sassy which I also highly recommend for some hot photos of yourself. Everyone should feel comfortable and at ease and she has a knack for dragging it out of you easily with a laugh. Check out GLAM by Sassy too! http://sassymouth.net/GLAM.html

example from my Maternity GLAM shoot..


David Apuzzo, http://davidapuzzo.com/

I initially met David on a wedding that was the first of it’s kind I had come across. It was my bride’s second wedding with the same man. They had married prior to in another country where her husband was from and then in the states. David came to the salon when she was getting ready and documented the whole thing. It was the first time I saw someone not only capture so much detail with the bride but even for me! He took photos of the salon and things he saw throughout the salon. Details that I thought were so nice to have and never thought of to have either.  That made him stand out to me from the beginning. We have since worked on more weddings together and collaborated outside on other artistic projects with myself personally or my staff.  His work always impresses me without need for edits outside of what he already knows what to do.  Again, his attention to detail and knowledge of what he does is impressive and very respected.  As creative beings we have had our differences on a project but we can agree to disagree and work together very well. I find that really important. So that is another aspect to him I appreciate and why also I mention as a great recommendation.  His work is versatile and very artistic.

Example from a recent project my staff did with him…


Joe Crawford, http://josephscrawford.com

Foto Joe! Always a pleasure to work with. Although we haven’t worked on too many of the same clients I have worked many times on personal projects with Joe and he delivers every time. He brings out another side of the art of what I do and makes me think in his terms… Lighting and not much editing. From my point of view he likes to bring out the rawness of what he sees. He uses lighting in a way I have never seen a photographer do. But when I see the results of what he produces I totally get it. His raw images are fascinating to me as they sit with no edits.  I always look forward to when we can work on a project together and lose ourselves in the art of what we both do. He’s so easy to work with and an all around nice guy.

example of a project we collaborated on…one of many! Image

Kevin Stiles… on Facebook.. https://www.facebook.com/kevin.stiles.5?fref=ts

Kevin is not a wedding photographer but I had to have him on my list because of the high respect I have for his work as an artist in general. He is a tattoo artist and does photography more on the side or as a hobby. I’m not sure. But, in a tattoo session with him I was surrounded by is unbelievable art and it was apparent his talent in other realms outside of tattooing  He has a niche in photographing nudes. I had zero experience in this category and quite frankly never had interest. He asked to collaborate and I am so happy I did. His photos are always breathtaking and his ability to work with natural light is stunning. I am a huge fan of his work and always love any photo we create together. He can take a woman that is nude and make the photo literally a piece of art. He is a little quirky in his ways and I NEVER know what he is thinking. Because of the overwhelming art he exudes I feel sometimes intimidated and up for the challenge when I work with him.  His approach is always tasteful and his eye for what he see is inspiring.

example of a past project:


Rounding out the list… Jerome Braga  http://www.studio1923.com/

I have yet to collaborate or work on any projects with Jerome but from an admirer of photography aspect and feedback from clients, he is with out a doubt a person I mention when talking to people. We have often had the same clients and also follow on facebook and instagram. I would say I am definitely a fan. When inquiring on something for myself they were quick to respond and always professional. Unfortunately I was not able to book him at the time because his schedule does fill up and between the both of our schedules being chaotic it just didn’t work out. I would say based on what I see with what he captures he is also fantastic with editing and pulling creativity out of a photo. He is always professional when I see him on location and have yet to hear a negative comment from any client I know that has worked with his company.

Example of Jerome’s work can be seen on his FB page as well… unfortunately I have no personal photos I have the rights to share.  https://www.facebook.com/studio1923

I hope my recommendations were helpful on your search to finding the right fit for your needs. In no way would I want to discredit any other photographers work because I have also seen some others that have done amazing jobs for clients of ours. I was just hoping to share the few that I have had the pleasure of working with more consistently to give an honest opinion.  I am back on my hunt to find a newborn photographer for my daughter. any recommendations for me feel free to comment on this blog!   Thanks for reading! 🙂

Editorial Avant Garde Photo Shoot

Winter time is definitely not as busy for wedding season so we like to express our creativity in different ways. Ashley Stone, the owner of Beauty Entourage and Salon Alexander, has a love affair with Editorial and Avant Garde hair and make up. You may have seen or heard of the annual Wigs for Kids Charity event that we put on each year to share that creativity for a cause. Those shows showcase Avant Garde hair to the extreme and leading up to it we like to share other aspects of this creative side in a Photo.  On Sunday February 17th we planned a shoot and went off to that creative space to do just that.  Unfortunately, upon completion of hair and make up prep we discovered the original photographer booked had a family emergency and wasn’t coming. Luckily, with the great relationships we have in the industry, Marisa from Sassy Mouth Photo was just a phone call away and saved the day!!  We loaded up the models and headed to the Sassy Space.

What Felt like an ambush photo shoot lol Marisa didn’t know what we would be walking in with!  She was up for the challenge and without much direction she created magic!! We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome and we are grateful for her inviting us into the Sassy Space on short notice.

Check out the model prep pics and the final looks!


Check out more photos of our Avant Garde work and our Charity event Wigs For Kids on Face Book!!


Hair: Ashley Stone

Make Up: Kyle Samolik

Models: Samantha Mally, Amber Beauvillier

Photo: Sassy Mouth Photography

2013 Wedding Trends by: Ashley Stone

Bridal Trends for 2013

Besides all the holiday excitement December is one of my favorite times of year. Wedding season has slowed down and it allows for some time to blog, write for some magazines and beauty sites and do some research for the trends hitting the runway for the next year. Bridal trends are no different than other must haves and must do’s throughout the year that are inspired by, fashion designers, celebs, and the go to hair stylists and make up artists in the industry. Every year the trends are a piece of something new and innovative mixed with a touch of something classic and sometimes vintage. The beauty of Bridal trends I find are most are timeless and regardless of what’s hot and what’s not, Brides seem to always find the perfect look that suits their style. My best advice is be inspired by what you see. Anything can be tweaked to suit your needs, your hair, or your face.

Trends seem to come about from what your favorite celebs wear on the red carpet to the runway. I find celebs and stylists also get inspired by the movies they are working on. The Gatsby will be hitting theaters in 2013 and those 1920’s styles will be hitting the aisle as well.
Vintage brides grow in popularity each year but to have so much inspiration tangible on the silver screen I expect to receive many requests for soft waves, pinup style sets, and birdcage veils. To really give yourself a different look, a faux bob can be created to give you that downstyle with the hair still off of your neck without much fuss. Here are some examples of the styles inspired by the 20’s


If the styling from the 20’s is not your thing maybe you will get inspired by the accessories inspired by that era. Birdcage veils are always a classic piece to give that vintage touch but if you want to stray away from a veil, maybe flowers are a good option!  Headbands and fascinators can either be used for the bride or the bridal party as well.


I personally love these looks and am always excited when they make it back to the top choices we see when we travel. Waves are a great style for short or long hair. It gives you the most out of your length. A spiral curl however will make your hair appear shorter. Waves can drop over time but still remain to give you that effortless look that is also big trend this season.
Who doesn’t want effortless looking beauty?

Going into a more modern and very popular look are braids! We’ve all seen some beautiful ways braids can be worn thanks to Pinterest! Waterfall braids are one of the most popular I get requested and I don’t see that changing. This technique of braiding can also give that halo effect a flower halo can give that will be popular but also look amazing with the texture of the waves. here are some photos of some of our own work that was requested most recently:


Braids Can also be incorporated into an upstyle


Low buns will be very popular with a clean finish. For a more simple look you can have your style more centered. For a more modern look and to create softness around the face, you can have a style more off to the side.




Make Up  this season is also another timeless trend that I love to see. Softer nude looks with one focal point that gives a pop of color. This is a look I feel translates well on everyone whether you wear alot of make up or prefer something more simple. How you play up the eyes can really vary and can give a soft accented effect or a dramatic smokey effect. I was always told they are the window to your soul so what better day to play them up is on the day you marry your soulmate!


Lashes are the ultimate way to add some drama.
Keep in mind, If you play up the eyes I would recommend a softer lip or nude lip. The key is too look fresh and flawless.
Smokey eyes are always a popular request but smokey with color? Yes! Smokey eyes can be done with color. It adds a beautiful effect to the eye and really makes them stand out.


The nude lip really helps to not take away from that one focal point, the eyes!

If you don’t wear alot of eye make up then you can play them more natural and wear a bolder lip.


or just go with the “no make up” lookImage

No matter your choice or your taste the make up trend is a clean flawless look. Light contouring to enhance your features and a soft glow. You can have one focal point or just a clean soft pallete. Your choices should always be made with what you feel most comfortable with. I think these trends can satisfy any bride’s style and thats what I love as an artist. I love to have options for my clients that can be suitable for every girl. 2013 trends do just that! No matter your skin or hair texture, a timeless look is easily accessible and right on trend with what you see on TV and the magazines! Because who doesn’t want to look and feel like themselves and a celebrity on a day that all eyes are on you!

Make Overs for some deserving women!

Last week we had the honor of doing 10 make overs for some women that reside at the Interval House in Hartford, a battered women’s shelter.  We were so excited for this opportunity to take what we love and use it for such a great cause to empower other women in a different way.  The staff of Salon Alexander & Beauty Entourage provided coloring services, cutting, styling and make up as apart of the day to pamper the women.  Also involved was Lyn Evan Potpourri Designs of West Hartford, Dress barn, and Sassy Mouth Photography.

Together we created a new look that was captured at the end with beautiful portraits!  The day was a great success for all involved and I want to thank everyone for being apart of it.  Also, Dress Barn was kind enough to donate an additional $150 gift card to two of the women that were unable to make it that day.


“Giving a woman confidence and support gives her power to succeed.”


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We were thrilled to discover the Fox 61 news got word and sent someone to the salon to document our story. The smiles on the women were so priceless and I think it will be a day we will all remember. I hope to continue to holding this event every year.

Thank you again to Jamie Taylor for helping put this all together and to the staff that helped make this all happen as well.

Hair: Ashley Stone, Carly McKay, Kyle Samolik, Sywia Zoltobrzuch, Kayle Salwocki, and Veronica Vasquez

Make Up: Kyle Samolik, Kayle Salwocki, Sylwia Zoltobrzuch