Bridal Makeup | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Sterling, Virginia


creation waits pic

Beautiful Ilene!  In anticipation of their first anniversary I wanted to pay tribute to an amazing couple!  Howard and Ilene got married last August as family and friends surrounded them on their special day. The bridal party was gorgeous and the Bride – stunning!


I had such a wonderful time getting to know Ilene.  Before her wedding we did a bridal makeup and hair consultation. She also scheduled one for her mother and mother-in-law. At the consultation we discuss the bride’s style and beauty wishes.  I customized a look for her and her bridal party.  I did hair and makeup for her and all of her bridesmaids on the day of the wedding. It was wonderful getting to everyone!

ilene and me

My goal is always to capture the bride’s style and enhance it so that she feels like a princess! That includes making sure she stayed cool on a hot August day! I was blessed to be a part of their special day!  God bless you both!


Photo Credit: Creation Waits Photography


5 Brushes Every Women Should Own – As seen in Posh Seven Magazine | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Loudoun County, Virginia

posh brushes





In my opinion you can never have too many makeup brushes. But it’s more important to have the right brushes for the job at hand. Here is a link to an article I wrote for Posh Seven Magazine.  I go over the 5 basic types of brushes that will take care of most of your makeup routine.

Click here to go to my article in Posh Seven Magazine on makeup brushes.

If you have any questions comment here on my blog or on my Facebook page.

Photo credit: Angela Goodhart, Goodhart Photography




E.L.F. Cosmetic Must Haves – $3 and Under!| Meredith Ehler | Beauty Blogger | Sterling, Virginia

Hey Cosmetic Junkies!!!  

Hurry over to today and get yourself some great beauty bargains with free shipping!

Here are some of my faves:




Studio Volume Plumping Mascara - $3. This mascara is a great buy and creates long lashes that look natural and won’t clump.





makeup remover pen


Studio Makeup Remover Pen - $3. This is the greatest tool invented!  Just dab it on a makeup smudge and voila! It’s gone!

elf lip





Studio Matte Lip Color -  $3   Love this lip color.  Goes on easily and has the perfect amount of pigment.









Studio Pressed Powder -$3 This powder is great! comes in a few shades and will cover the shine in the hot summer months!






Brow Gel



Essential Clear Brow and Lash Mascara – $2 Bushy brows need this product! At this price – get 2!



Leave me a comment if you have any questions or want to share your fave ELF products with other readers!  Have fun shopping!!!




My Favorite Makeup Finds| Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Washington, D.C.

Cleaning my brushes.

I love to shop sales!  Stores like TJ MAXX and Marshalls are my favorite places to shop for clothes.  For makeup, finding a sale was a bit more difficult.  I always felt like the only places to buy makeup were the counters at the department stores or at Target and Walmart.  All of those places are great but my favorite place to get a makeup bargain is ELF:  I signed up for their emails and I am always alerted to their latest sale.  I also have searched online for coupon codes to use when I checkout.  They now carry ELF products at Target as well.

I love ELF’s mascaras and glosses.  I also love their translucent powder compact.  They carry a wide variety of brushes too.  My favorites are the ones that you can see in the above picture with orange tips and white handles.  The Essential Eyeliner Brush and the Essential Foundation Brush, and the Essential Concealer Brush.    Can you believe that they are only $1!  I use the eyeliner brush to fill in my eye brows with brown shadow as well as to line my eyes with dark shadow.  I sometimes line my eyes with a pencil then I use this brush to dab into dark shadow and pat the brush down along the pencil line.  That sets my eyeliner and it lasts all day.  It also makes the line look thicker and more professional then if I just left it as plain pencil.

The concealer brush is very tiny which makes it the perfect brush to dot concealer onto a blemish.  Covering blemishes can be tough.  I suggest using the brush to put a small amount of concealer onto the blemish.  Let it air dry for about 20 seconds and then use the brush to gently blend in the edges of the concealer so that it disappears into the skin.

Be smart with your money!  Have fun.  Look for a sale or pick out a product at Target.  See if they are a good fit for your face and your wallet.  - Meredith




Makeup Makeover | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Northern Virginia

meredith FB header

My favorite thing about my job is when I have the opportunity to help someone realize how beautiful they are.  I just had a client come over for a “Makeup Makeover”.  She brought her makeup bag with her and we talked about the contents and about her makeup routine.  I like getting to know how my clients approach their face of makeup, it tells me a lot about them. Once I learn about their current routine I then can help them re-design a new, more fabulous face plan for them.

Maybe you prioritize time, maybe simplicity, maybe you are bold and adventurous and want a new, trendy look.  No matter what your style is, I can help.  Of course, working with you in person would be so much fun, but here are a few tips for you to enjoy until then.

1. When in doubt throw it out!  

Every so often we need to give our makeup drawer a makeover!  Start by giving your makeup a “sniff test”.  I recommend to all of my clients that they periodically throw out some of their makeup.  When makeup develops a smell that seems odd or there is now a smell where there was previously not a smell, just toss it!  Makeup can grow bacteria which can cause infections so it’s better to be safe and get rid of it if you notice it changing.

Dry makeup like eyeshadows tend to last longer than liquid or cream makeup.  Lip glosses and mascaras tend to go bad the quickest. It’s a good idea to wipe off dry makeup occasionally to keep the top layer fresh.

2. Cheap is chic!

Don’t be afraid to mix cheap  makeup with expensive.  I love ELF mascara, brushes, primers and powders.  But I never skimp on lipsticks or lipglosses.  There are a few things that you do not have to splurge on…look for that blog post soon!

3.  Try a new look!

Every once in a while try a new color or product.  Having a girlfriend do your makeup or visiting a makeup counter and buying a new product like a primer or a new eye or lip color is a great way to keep your look fresh!  It’s important to keep our styles current and prevent us from getting into a makeup rut.  And new technology is actually making it easier to look better!  Primers help makeup go on smoothly and can reduce the look of wrinkles.  So go and play around with something new.

4.  Invest in tools of the trade!

There are somethings that you cannot do without.  Brushes are the most important tool in my kit.  I recommend investing in brushes that are specifically designed to do a certain step in your makeup routine.  That is the key to looking amazing without having to do a lot of work.  Using the right brush in the right way is the key to a great face!

Have fun ladies!  Be daring and try something new!  Send me a picture or a comment about what you try!  -Meredith


How To Survive Shopping At A Makeup Counter | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Sterling, Virginia

Believe it or not, clients hire me to go with them them to department store makeup counters to buy makeup.  Some clients feel they need to bring me along with them as an advocate.  Come to find out, they were right to hire me.  I was shocked to see some the lack-luster talent and over-zealous treatment they received.  I am happy to say that my clients all survived and were very pleased with their end result.


One client wanted to buy cosmetics from a very well known cosmetic line.  We went to the counter where we were greeted by an artist who asked how he could help us. I stepped up and explained what she was looking for.  My goal for my client was that she sit back, relax, and tell us if she liked what the artist was doing. Well, I was less than impressed with what he was doing.  The colors he had chosen weren’t flattering and he was not applying makeup that would give her the look she had asked for.  I was also disappointed by the quality of the makeup itself.  It was shocking because we were at a high-end department store, shopping at one of the most popular counters around.  I decided to intervene buy kindly, yet prematurely, wrapping up our time with the artist.  I was happy to do the dirty work so that my client could avoid a poorly applied face of makeup resulting in the the inevitable, uncomfortable, hard-sell.  We made our escape and headed to my favorite store.  The artist at this free-standing cosmetic store is someone I work with often.  She and I pulled together the products perfect for her and she was happy with her new look.

I was happy that I was able to step in as an advocate for my client.  I was able to discern that the first counter was offering less than stellar service and got her out before she received an unflattering makeup jo (which she would be wearing back to her office that day), and got her to a place where she would be well served.  At the end she looked beautiful, and I was happy I could help get her the look she truly wanted.  -Meredith

Prom Prep | Meredith Ehler | Fashion Stylist | Northern Virginia

It’s PROM TIME!  I am so happy for all of the lucky girls who get to look forward to prom! When I was in high school I loved prom – any excuse to get dressed up and buy a new dress!

Three beautiful girls I had the pleasure of doing hair and makeup for – Sammy, Arie and Kelsey from Potomac Falls High School!

As you are preparing for prom I have a few tips for you.

Dress:  The item upon which all other prom elements revolve!  Once you have your dress you can accessories with shoes, jewelry and the right bag.  Then I suggest taking some time to do trials with your friends for hair and makeup.  Take pictures of each other in your prom dresses with your hair and makeup done.  This way you can see how the dress works with the colors of makeup you have chosen and whether you like your hair up or down depending on the lines of the dress.

Hair:  Depending on how simple or blingy your dress is, you should choose a hair style that flatters the overall look for the evening.  Long and straight with a simple rhinestone barrette, simple curls, or an up-do with tons of interest each add a different feel to your look.  I recommend balancing the hairstyle with the entire ensemble.  Having a crazy hairstyle with a very detailed dress may be a bit much.  Sometimes it’s nice to have one element being sleek while another takes center stage!

Makeup:  Prom is the perfect time to shine!  Don’t be afraid to sparkle whether it’s eye shadow or shimmer on the top of your cheek bones or shoulders.  This is the night to have fun with makeup you would not normally be daring enough to wear.  I recommend trying fake eyelashes too! sells them for just a few dollars.  Practice before the big night because using the eyelash glue can be tricky.  I will post a blog with tips on applying lashes soon!

Friends: Finally – have a safe and fun night.  Start off the night with your girlfriends, and maybe a makeup artist and hair stylist like me!  Take lots of fun pictures and enjoy your night!  I would love to post some of your pix on my blog so message me!  -Meredith

Makeup Tips – From Eyes to Lips! | Meredith Ehler | Fairfax County | Makeup Artist

Me doing makeup and hair for beautiful Sammy. Photo courtesy of Christy Jenkins Photography.

A big “hello” to all the ladies I met tonight at the Open House for Generations Medical Aesthetics,   I had the BEST time meeting all of you and doing makeup for you!  Many of you had questions about the products and techniques I used so I decided to post it all just for you!  I hope everyone else can benefit as well.


I am a fan of using shadow as eyeliner for a daytime look because it has a softer look than liner.  I apply a dark shadow very close to the actual lash line.   The best way to apply it is to use my favorite tool is the eyeliner brush from ELF.  I used a dark purple that is almost black, Shadowy Lady.  I line it straight onto the lid or I use it on top of a pencil liner.  I love gel liner and liquid liner but those looks can be dramatic.  Using shadow allows you to control how much drama you want on your eye.


I also use this brush to extend and darken the brows of many women.    I use the MAC Espresso eye shadow.  Dip the ELF liner brush in the shadow and make light brush strokes all along your eyebrows.

Eyeliner Brush

my favorite brush!



The above eyeliner brush from ELF or  I use it constantly, on eyes and brows and it’s only $1!

Eye Primer:  I can’t live without MAC paint pot in Painterly.  It’s an eye primer.  Put it on your lid before you apply makeup.  It will prep your eyelid and ensure that the shadow will not move around on you.

LIPS:  I prefer a 3 layered lips – liner, lipstick and gloss.  Lining your lips gives you a finished look and helps make smaller lips look fuller.  Adding gloss just to the middle section of your lips makes them look poutty.


oh so pretty!

I am not sure if I covered everything.  Ladies, please leave me a comment and ask any questions you may have.  I will update the post with the new information.  Like my facebook page ( so you will see when I post new posts and updates!   -Meredith


How to Prepare for Your High School Senior Portrait Session | Meredith Ehler | Image Consultant | Loudoun County, Virginia

Congratulations – you are about to have a portrait session with a professional photographer!  Get excited because you are in for a great time!  There is a bit of homework to do beforehand however.  But don’t worry,  it’s fun homework.  You have to become your own personal stylist to ensure that you look amazing in your pictures!

Whether your session is in a studio or outside, you need to prepare yourself and the outfits you will be wearing for the shoot.  As a stylist I want to make sure your personality shines through but doesn’t overwhelm “you” in your pictures.  Choose your hair style, makeup and wardrobe carefully so that your style is your perfect accessory!

Choosing Your Outfits

Most likely you will be photographed in a “drape” for your yearbook picture as well as in a few of your own outfits.   The typical outfits to prepare are a few casual outfits, an outfit that reflects your hobby like a sport or an instrument you play, and a formal outfit like a prom dress.  Your job is to go through your wardrobe, plan out the outfits and accessorize each of them, from jewelry to the shoes and even undergarments they may require.  Solid colors are best because patterns and busy designs can be overwhelming and don’t always photograph well.  You can always bring an outfit you aren’t sure about with you and the photographer will let you know if it will work.  Shoes don’t always show in the shot but assume they will and bring them along just in case.

lay out your outfits

Attention to Details

During your session you will be posing in different positions.  Some poses will show your fingernails and maybe even toenails.  Make sure to have a fresh manicure and pedicure for your shoot.  Even if you do your nails yourself.  Choosing a simple color, even a clear coat or a french manicure will look great in the pictures.  If you choose a deep color or a mutli-colored manicure it may be distracting.  And remember, we want YOU to stand out, not your nails.

Think about the jewelry and watch you wear in the shoot.  I recommend choosing different accessories that fit the “feel” of each outfit.  For example:  remove your sport watch or friendship bracelets for outfits that are dressy like a prom dress or senior drape.  I suggest laying your outfits out on your bed, with clothing, shoes and accessories too.  This way you can see everything for the entire shoot right in front of you.  If anything stands out too much, consider swapping out that item for one with a more subtle look.  The most important thing in your pictures is you!  Your personal style should not overwhelm you in your pictures.

Beauty Prep

Little things can show up in a big way in your photos.  I recommend having your hair and makeup done by me or a professional like me before your shoot.  I finish the session by making  sure my clients have the essentials with them to do touch ups during the shoot as well.  I recommend bringing a lip gloss with some color in it to re-apply as yours wears off, a compact of powder or oil-blot sheets in case you get shiny, and a hair brush to keep your hair from getting messy as you change your outfits.

A week before consider having your eyebrows shaped and make sure your roots don’t need a touch up.

have your hair and makeup done

OR – Hire a Stylist to Get Ready for Your Shoot

Treat yourself to one of my most popular services  - styling services before and during photo shoots.  I will do all of the work for you!  I am available to help you plan your wardrobe as well as do your hair and makeup for the session.  I can also stay during the session to style you during the shoot, ensuring that you look your absolute best in your photos. Most importantly – have fun and SMILE!




Makeup Brush Care | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Northern Virginia

Before each client I have a routine for prepping my makeup, brushes and work area.  An important part of the routine is cleaning my brushes.  Recently, I posted about the importance of investing in good quality brushes and how taking are of them will extend their life to last decades.  Each brush has a specific job to do and makeup built up over time prevents the brush from being able to do it’s job.  A reader shared with me how she read my post and decided to cleaned her brushes for the first time in a long time and she felt as if she had just bought a brand new set of brushes!


Cleaning my brushes.


You won’t believe how washing your brushes will improve the quality of your makeup application.   I keep a bottle of brush cleaner and a plastic cup in my makeup cabinet so I can clean my brushes easily.  I use a brush cleaner from MAC.  It is similar to a simple shampoo or a dish soap which can be substituted if you would like.  Use a very small amount, about the size of a pea and dilute it in about a cup or 2 of warm water.  I swish the brushes around gently, being careful not to break the bristles.  If they are heavily soiled with makeup you can first wipe the brush onto a dark washcloth or a disposable cloth.  I have a few dark brown wash clothes to use with my makeup so I never see a stain.  Set aside brushes on a towel for rinsing later.


Some brushes may need to be cleaned a few times to remove dark makeup.  It can be necessary to use many cups of this solution because brushes that are very dirty will muddy the water quickly.   After all are clean I then swish each brush in the same cup this time filled with clean cool water.  Larger brushes can be shaken out a bit into the sink to remove excess water, then gently towel dried.  Each brush is gently dried with a towel, reshaping the bristles.


Drying my brushes.


I set out the damp brushes on their sides, slightly tilted brush end down.  This is important because you do not want water running down into the brush itself.  This will cause the brush to come loose and the bristles and brush head may detach from the handle.  Let the brushes dry on their sides for a few hours or over night.  Then enjoy your clean, rejuvenated brushes!  -Meredith