Real or Fake? What’s The Difference?

“You get what you pay for”… it’s true in many cases, and we all know it.  If you have your heart set on designer gown, buying a knock-off will never be the same. Not only the designer tag, some key elements may be missing. The same goes with jewelry, shoes, and just about everything else. Here are the facts  surrounding the  real vs. fake argument.

Gown– Buying a  copy of a designer gown is never a good idea. Can you spot the fake in this picture?

Headpiece– The same headpiece for less money (made poorly)  is usually a disaster. Once your hair is done, having a headpiece that is poorly made can fall apart and will most likely destroy your hairstyle.

Eyelashes – Applied by a professional individually or even in strips is fine. Doing it yourself is probably a bad idea unless you have tons of practice. Otherwise, they will look like caterpillars stuck to your eyelids. Three words: Professional makeup artist.

Hair – Even the best hair extensions can ruin your hair for a period of time. The good news it is rarely permanent damage, bad news is that it escalates permanent hair loss if you are already prone. Bad hair extensions look like hair plugs and can fall out in clumps at any time for no reason. If you decide on hair extensions for your wedding, make sure it is done professionally and short term only.

 

Tan – Over exposure to the sun in tanning beds and in real life has a negative affect on your skin. Self spray tans have a distinct odor and can streak or come off on your clothes plus they usually come out looking orange. The best idea if you must tan before your wedding is a professional spray tan  no less than 5 days before the wedding. Even if your tan is just perfect – don’t forget to exfoliate the day before your wedding to avoid discoloration of the gown.

A good spray tan should look like this:

Not this:

Nails – Artificial nails, either gel or acrylic can look very natural so if you break a nail shortly before your wedding, this is an excellent option. Having extra long nails when you aren’t used to them makes things difficult to maneuver but, having extra long nails applied too long before the wedding runs the risk of  breaking one or more shortly before ( or during) the wedding.

This is a suitable manicure:

As opposed to this:

Shoes – Knock off designer shoes are the absolute biggest mistake you can ever make. Your shoes should be comfortable, well-fitting and made of natural materials. Buying a copy of designer shoes in pleather is a mistake. Find the shoe that feels and fits the best on your foot without worrying about the label and you will never regret it.

Makeup – A lot of research and testing goes into cosmetics. Well, not all cosmetics. Although it may  possible to find less expensive makeup that does the same thing as a really great (probably expensive) foundation or Bare Minerals, the chances are you won’t.

At the end of the day what really matters is how you feel. If you are so bedazzled and bogged down with tips, extensions, weaves and spray tans that you are hardly recognizable or if you are so worried about designer names that the quality has become an after thought, it might be time to re-think your priorities. When it is all said and done spending a little more money for quality products may sometimes be the only option to avoid becoming a knock -off of yourself.

After all , you get what you pay for.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

Horror Stories – Wedding Style

For most people, planning any event  can bring on nightmares of showing up in your underwear and all kinds of other things that probably won’t happen.  When planning a wedding, this can easily be magnified by the size of the event and level of stress you are able to handle. And if your imagination is vivid enough you will imagine fires being set by candles, gobs of food staining your bridal gown, the groom passing out, and some other equally horrific events. The truth is that some of your worst nightmares can come true if you don’t plan ahead.

ZOMBIE BRIDE – Not getting enough sleep, dirnking too much alcohol or caffeine or Red Bull can temporarily affect the way you look. To avoid dark circles, use the days leading up to your wedding to relax and implement healthier eating.

TEXAS CHAINSAW BRIDE – This is not the day to do a complete makeover. You want to look like a very pretty version of yourself, not a over-processed, over made-up, over-the-top version of yourself. If you look into the mirror and don’t think you look like yourself, you might want to tone it down a bit – leave the big hair to the Texas beauty pageants.

JACK O’ LANTERN BRIDE – Spray tans and self tans can turn out the be the wrong color for your skin and there is very little you can do to fix it at the last minute. Don’t experiment with a new bronzer on the day of your wedding, either. Orange is perfect for Pumpkins but not so much for bridal photos.

BRIDE OF DRACULA  – What makes a great photo? A great smile! Even Dracula knows that yellow teeth can ruin the best outfit. 

DISAPPEARING BRIDE – To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late. Plan ahead, traffic and construction can give you a migraine on the day of your event!

No matter what your worst nightmare may be, planning ahead and attending one of our Luxury  Bridal Expos will help you avoid the horrors of wedding planning.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

Modern Cinderella – It’s All About The Shoe

If you missed it, Disney just re-released Cinderella on Blu-ray DVD.  This quintessential fairy tale originally brought to life by Walt Disney in 1950 is more popular than ever… not so much because women are looking for the perfect man to rescue them from their humdrum lives but,  because the modern Cinderella continues the quest for the perfect shoe!!!

Even better, Disney partnered with shoe design guru, Christian Louboutin to bring the famed glass slipper to life. The Louboutin version is made of netting instead of glass for obvious reasons but the sparkling Swarovski crystals remind you of the delicate and reflective nature of glass. You will have a hard time finding them since there are only 20 pair of these remarkable shoes being made and are being ‘given away’ in various Disney promotions around the globe.

As if that is not enough,  Christian Louboutin (himself) makes his acting debut in a short film entitled “The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story ” which is a bonus feature on the recent re-released DVD. The story is cute, sweet, simple and very short. I won’t spoil it but, you can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRbsTwBHMTo

Congratulations Mr. Louboutin for a job well done, Walt Disney himself would be proud!

Feeling like Cinderella and can’t find the right sparkly shoe to fit your budget or your sole? Princess Bridal Shoes can turn just about any ordinary shoe into a show stopper!

 

 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Wedding Shoes – Summer Favorites

There is something very special about the relationship between women and their shoes. For me, it is red shoes; anything from a light, orange-y red to a burgundy red, from a smooth patent leather to a buttery suede, I gasp every time! For wedding shoes it goes double. Almost as important as the gown is what to put on your feet. Because the right shoe will give you every reason to slightly lift the corner of your ball gown and show everyone your sassy little secret! If I had known then what I know now, I would have gladly worn red shoes on my wedding day … whether anyone noticed or not.

Without hesitation here are the hottest trends for wedding shoes for Summer 2012:

Bedazzled: Flawless, shimmering stones adorn shoes in every size, color and style. Whether completely encrusted with jewels, or merely a hint of sparkle  – get a pair and you won’t be sorry.

The Wedge – Once considered a casual style, the wedge has made it’s way into Bridal Fashion through sheer determination. That, and the fact that a wedge is probably one of the most comfortable styles of shoe if you plan to be on your feet for an extended period of time. You can have comfort and style!

 

Platform –  To add height, elongate your legs and feel like a showgirl, platforms are a fantastic solution. I various shapes, size styles and colors, platforms are everywhere!!!

Designer – The unprecedented success of the Christian Louboutin ‘red sole’ has seen an increase in designer shoe sales.  Ladies, if you allow yourself  one splurge, this should be it!!

Color – Brides everywhere are embracing the color trend and using it to express their individuality, style and love of shoes. My favorite? Something Red, or maybe even something Blue!

Can’t decide which trend is best for you? You don’t have to! This sparkle, wedge, platform, designer shoe by Benjamin Adams is dyeable in a multitude of colors and priced at under $400 retail, you don’t have to break the bank!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

You Get What You Pay For

Its true and we all know it. If you have your heart set on designer gown, buying a knock-off may seem the same but, it’s not. Not only the designer tag, some key elements may be missing. The same goes with jewelry, shoes, and just about everything else. Here is a look at  the pro’s and cons of the  real vs. fake argument.

Gown– Buying a less expensive copy of a designer gown is only a good idea if it is made well, made of quality fabric and has all the same elements that made you fall in love with the gown in the first place.

Headpiece– The same headpiece for less money made poorly is usually a disaster. Once your hair is done, having a headpiece that is poorly made can fall apart and will most likely destroy your hairstyle.

Eyelashes – Applied by a professional individually or even in strips is fine. Doing it yourself is probably a bad idea unless you have tons of practice. Otherwise, they will look like caterpillars stuck to your eyelids.

Hair – Even the best hair extensions can ruin your hair for a period of time. The good news it is rarely permanent damage but it does escalate permanent hair loss if you are already prone. Bad hair extensions look like hair plugs and can fall out in clumps at any time for no reason. If you decide on hair extensions for your wedding, make sure it is done professionally and short term only. 

Tan – Over exposure to the sun in tanning beds and in real life has a negative affect on your skin. Self spray tans have a distinct odor and can streak or come off on your clothes plus they usually come out looking orange. The best idea if you must tan before your wedding is a professional spray tan  no less than 5 days before the wedding. Exfoliate the day before your wedding to avoid discoloration of the gown.

Nails – Artificial nails, either gel or acrylic can look very natural so if you break a nail shortly before your wedding, this is an excellent option. Having extra long nails when you aren’t used to them makes things difficult to maneuver but, having extra long nails applied too long before the wedding runs the risk of  breaking one or more shortly before ( or during) the wedding.

Shoes – Knock off designer shoes are the absolute biggest mistake you can ever make. Your shoes should be comfortable, well-fitting and made of natural materials. Buying a copy of designer shoes in pleather is a mistake. Find the shoe that feels and fits the best on your foot without worrying about the label and you will never regret it.

Makeup – A lot of research and testing goes into cosmetics. Well, not all cosmetics. Although it may  possible to find less expensive makeup that does the same thing as a really great (probably expensive) foundation or Bare Minerals, the chances are you won’t.

At the end of the day what really matters is how you feel. If you are so bedazzled and bogged down with tips, extensions, weaves and spray tans that you are hardly recognizable or if you are so worried about designer names that the quality has become an after thought, it might be time to re-think your priorities. When it is all said and done spending a little more money for quality products may sometimes be the only option to avoid becoming a knock -off of yourself.

After all , you get what you pay for.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

Wedding Shoes – The Sky’s the Limit!

Today’s brides know they don’t have to wear the same boring white bridal pumps or have them dyed off -white to match their gown. In addition, the bridesmaids don’t have to wear the same shoes,  either.

Shoes are a fashion statement all their own. The wrong shoe can destroy a gorgeous outift. The right shoe can bring a boring ensemble to life and steal the show. As long as we are talking about it;  it is never a good idea to let your shoe  be either something borrowed or something old. The shoes you choose for your wedding day should be comfortable, stylish and new… and yours.

Comfortable AND stylish? How is that possible? I’m glad you asked! If you never follow any other advice – this is the ONLY shoe advice you will ever need and it works for every occasion. Buy shoes that fit and are comfortable on your foot. The end.

Do not buy shoes a size bigger thinking your feet will swell. They will be uncomfortable and leave blisters.

Do not buy shoes that are too high or low for you to walk in gracefully. You might fall.

DO wear the shoes around the house. Scuff the soles on the sidewalk, wear them while doing some work around the house (inside) and break them in properly before you take the biggest step of your life in ill-fitting shoes and risk having sore feet to prove it.

If you never wear high heels, do not wear high heels for your wedding. Find a lower profile heel to wear that looks good on your foot and fits comfortably.  Try Kitten heels. Kitten heels are small, slender heel no more than 2″. The placement of the heel is directly in the center of the back of the foot so they provide excellent support for larger boned women and allow less pressure to be placed on the ball of the foot. Walk around the shoe store, if you are still wobbly – then don’t buy them and proceed directly to flats. Flats are exactly what they sound like – flat shoes with no heel or a heel less than 1/2 “. They are also sometimes called Ballerina slippers but, they aren’t.

If a medium heel is wearable for you but, you just can’t find a comfortable fit – consider a wedge. The wedge shoe provides tons of support for feet that must endure a wedding marathon. Also great for outdoor events because if the wide base, unless you would like to aerate the yard with your stilettos.  

If you have found a pair of shoes that you love, the heel is a little high and  and must have these shoes, buy them. Then buy a second pair of shoe for the reception.. lower heels or flats. Do not wear birkenstocks or Uggs or crocs. I will find you. Which brings me to my next point – do not take your shoes off at the reception. My absolute worst nightmare is seeing bridesmaids and female guests ditch their shoes at a reception and hit the dance floor in bare (sometimes still stocking-clad) feet! I understand that wearing 3 or 4 inch heels for several hours can be torture on a woman’s feet.  I understand that at the end of the night you just want to take your shoes off and give your arches and instep a break. The end of the night, however, is after you are back home or in your hotel room. The reception is still part of the wedding and I am begging you to keep your shoes on. If the shoe doesn’t fit, you must not quit…. there are attractive, comfortable options to baring your soles.

Are you ready for the fun part? If you can wear heels, high heels, the higher the better, then you are a lucky woman. Shoes today are glamorous, sexy, higher than ever and still comfortable. The platform shoes are towering up to 4 1/2 ‘ but are still wearable, seriously. I can go into instep ratio and all kinds of other things but, basically there are no rules.  Flowers, feathers, jewels, buckles -whatever you like, there is a shoe out there just for you!

Don’t rule out color ! Ever since Sarah Jessica Parker donned those famous blue Manolo Blahniks as Carrie Bradshaw in the movie version of Sex in the City, brides from near and far embraced the idea of mixing it up with all kinds of color on their feet.

Whats your style? Conservative, classic or funky? Bridal Expo has dozens of accessory salons who specialize in bridal and bridesmaid footwear, call 847-428-3320 today to get tickets to a show in your area. Take a moment to visit some of our vendors’ websites and you most definitely  find the perfect fit!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

If the Shoe Fits – Buy It!

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, shoes are her lover. Closer to your heart than any other accessory,  more personal and more complicated than any one piece of clothing. This makes buying shoes for your wedding very tricky. You want to wear the 4 inch platform pumps that you fell in love with but, can you manage those shoes for this long period of time?  You want to be stylish and comfortable at the same time but, it doesn’t always work out that way. There may have to be some compromise. 

The trend toward self-service has led to an unfortunate side-effect: not knowing what size shoe you should buy. Almost 20% of all women do not buy the correct size shoe so it is important before you set your heart on a pair of shoes that are not suited for your feet, have your foot properly sized up. In addition to the actual shoe size you will want to make note of the width of your foot and (oddly enough) the length of your toes and the arch.

Buying shoes that fit:

 If you put on a sandal and it feels comfortable but your toes are hanging over the front, the shoe is too small.

If you are trying on a  pair of mules and the back of your foot hangs over the back of the shoe, they are too small.

If the shoe has more than 1/2 inch of space between the end of your toes and the end of the shoe, it might not be the right size or style.

If you can’t wiggle your toes, move on. The ‘toe box’ area should have enough room to wiggle your toes.

If there is space around the back of your heel, this might not be the right style for you.

Consider a wedge heel since it offeres more support for the entire foot.

If you are not comprtable wearing 3 or 4″ heels, don’t buy them for your wedding day. You will be miserable all day long. Try a kitten heel instead.

Dont buy shoes that are snug thinking you can break them in to fit your foot. They should fit comfortably at the time of purchase.

Always try on shoes in the aftenoon or evening. You’ve been walking around all day and your feet are more likely to let you know what feels good or bad.

Do wear the shoes a few times to avoid getting blisters from any new stress points. This will relax them a bit and although it will not change the siez, they will feel more comfortable on your wedding day.

To really avoid foot pain for your wedding, consider buying a second pair of shoes that are attractive and more comfortable. At  he point when your feet become exhausted you can inconspicuously change into the other pair to provide yourself some relief.For the second pair of shoes, select something  that will be comfortable for dancing.

Just like clothing, shoes are made differently and cut for different shapes of feet. A pair of size 7 shoes can fit two pair of size 7  feet very  differently. Talk to the salesperson about how that brand runs. Stuart Weitzman are notoriously narrow and  even buying a bigger size won’t solve that problem.

Style does not have to be thrown out the window to be comfortable if you shop smart and if the shoe fits…… BUY IT!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago