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


Makeup for High School Seniors | Meredith Ehler | Makeup Artist | Sterling, Virginia

This past week I had the pleasure to do makeup for 2 beautiful rising high school seniors, Marisa and Maddy.   Basically I am their personal stylist – just like stars have before they walk the red carpet

makeup and hair for Maddy.

I have the privilege of working with a few local Fairfax and Loudoun County photographers and their clients.  The clients typically come to me before they have their photo session for makeup, hair styling, and styling of their outfits they will be wearing for the session.  It’s traditional for high school students, both girls and guys, to have a professional photographer do a portrait session just before their senior year.

makeup for Marisa.

Today, the session with Marisa started with styling her wardrobe.  We chose the outfits that will work best in front of a camera.  We chose the accessories that will best highlight each outfit.  Today’s shoot was with Angela Goodhart of Goodhart Photography.  She has amazing backdrops that work with a myriad of colors and styles of clothing, and personalities!

adding accessories to the adorable dresses.

Then we moved onto makeup.  My goal is to have my client go to her photography session feeling beautiful and confident.  I like to prepare each girl for what to expect during the shoot.  The more they know then the quicker they can become comfortable in front of the camera and the more fun they will have!


Any occasion for a professional is a perfect occasion for me to style you!  I recently did hair and makeup for a beautiful client who was doing a special photo book for her husband-to-be as a wedding gift.   I am also available to stay with your during the shoot and style each shot to make sure your hair, makeup, and wardrobes look amazing!   Schedule me right after you schedule your shoot with your photographer to ensure I am available for your shoot date.


Table Centerpiece Ideas | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Northern Virginia

I am always changing the decor in my house.  Some part of my house is changing every few weeks.  My latest table centerpiece, however, has stuck around for a while because I love it.  I thought I would share it with you.

my kitchen table.

My design starts with the most reflective surface there is  - mirrors!  I love sparkle! Anything that glitters makes me happy!  I started with simple mirror panels from Lowes. They come in a pack of 10 or so and are about $12.  They are so versatile.  The beveled edges give it a high end look.

a package of mirrors are the base.

Go shopping in your cabinets!  When I go to a clients home I always ask if i can see the cabinet where they store their wedding gifts they never use, or to show me that tray they got from Aunt Edna and have no idea what to do with.  Inevitably that item becomes the inspiration piece for what I end up designing for them!  My inspiration piece was the blue tray I got from my mother-in-law for my birthday.  It was too pretty to put away in a cabinet.

a peacock Christmas decoration from my mom.

From there I added a few of my favorite knick-knacks.  They don’t necessarily make any sense together which is why I like it.  It’s whimsical and fun.  The items I used were from my own collection of stuff.  Yes, I do have bags of fake fruit and peacocks and antique silver candlesticks just laying around in a storage closet.   But if you don’t, items like these can be found at places like Pier-1 and Michaels, and the Herend china items are found at Neiman’s.

my favorite Herand bunnies. they stay out all year round.

Have fun, and comment or send me pix!  I would love to share your masterpiece on my blog!  If you are local, have me over  - or let’s Skype!  Message me or find me on facebook on my page.  I am excited to help you build your beautiful home!

the final product.