Emily Dawn

Makeup + Hair

Stephanie + Chris : What Happens When a Woodworker + Metalsmith Marry


This past weekend I had the incredible honor of being a part of such an amazing wedding! But first, let me back up to the beginning. A couple of months ago, I got a call from a curly-haired bride-to-be who was having trouble finding the right person to tame her mane for her big day. We set up a trial, and I was so excited to get my hands in her curly head because I ADORE working with curly hair. We chatted a bunch about life, love, and business during the trial, and I came to find out that Stephanie is an AMAZING metalsmith and jeweler here in Asheville. We talked about how her and her fiancé, Chris, met, and how they shared a passion for creating amazing things. Chris is a woodworker, and built her a custom jewelers bench where he hid her engagement ring–a stunning vintage piece she had fallen in love with a year prior, and thought had sold to a couple out in Charlotte. She told me about their plans integrate their respective crafts into their ceremony and MAKE their bands as part of it, I almost died.

Over the last two months, Stephanie and I just kind of clicked, and on our final chat about her wedding day timeline, she invited me to stay for celebration. I really tried to keep my cool, but I was so so so excited to get to WITNESS not only Stephanie and Chris’s union, but also this amazing, spectacular ring making ceremony.

Before I get to that though, I want to take a moment to highlight some of the other amazing details that made up this glorious day.

Florals by Jocelyn at Lavendar Fox Florals

Jocelyn is amazing. I met her back in the spring on one of my first shoots here in Asheville. She made these incredible live succulent jewelry pieces for the shoot, and I have been obsessed with everything she does ever since. When Stephanie and I chatted the week of her wedding, and she told me her original florist had flaked but she was able to secure Jocelyn, and I knew she was in great hands.

Stephanie requested that she wanted “moody” vibes, so Jocelyn went to work creating the most beautiful bouquet filled with dark amnesia roses mixed with pops of pastels, lights pinks, and high contrast whites. She chose chocolate cosmos, which are the darkest flowers in the bouquet to kind of “dance” around and add movement within the arrangement. My favorite detail however, was the giant and stunning king protea which not only tied together all of the light and dark tones, but also matched, in the most beautiful way, the hand dyed velvet ribbon that was used around the base of the bouquet. This arrangement was just show stopping.

Stephanie Ellis wedding florals.png

Gown by Hayley Paige from Wildflower Bridal

Stephanie’s bridal fashion was so beautifully authentic. She had a gorgeous and romantic Hayley Paige gown which we purchased at Wildflower Bridal here in Asheville. She paired her gown with a chunky pearl necklace and victorian lace up boots for the most romantic feel. To complete the look, I really wanted to keep with the romantic vibe and highlight her natural curls by doing a chunky topsy fishtail “braid” with loose face framing curling, and a soft smoky eye with bronze and wine tones.

stephanie ellis wedding dress, hayley paige gown, wildflower bridal.png

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for, The Rings!

I want to share the excerpt from Steph and Chris’s ceremony to explain how this magical union of a woodworker and metalsmith lead to the creation of their wedding bands.

“The process will involve melting silver down with an acetylene torch and pouring it from a small crucible into wooden molds carved from Juniper. The rough castings will be cooled, removed from the form, and hammered to size. In many diverse cultures, Juniper has historically symbolized protection, purity, cleansing, and youthful spiritual energy. This particular wood was harvested from Stephanie’s residence when the couple met.

This process is experimental. Like any craftwork, like a marriage, like any human relationship, it will be imperfect. It may take a sustained attempt. But with some skill, a bit of patience, and a little luck, they will forge their own hand-hewn symbols of their love and life together.”

Rereading this now, I have chills. This was such a powerful explanation of what we were about to witness. Then they told us not to stare directly into the light, they put on their safety glasses, lit the torch, and made some magic!

stephanie ellis ring making .png

Witnessing this creation of skill and love was truly one of the most awesome and unique experiences I have ever had, and I am so honored that I had the opportunity to be a part of this truly magical day!

Thank you so much to Folk and Wayfarer for these awesome images! Check the slideshow below to see some more beautiful shots from Stephanie and Chris’s wedding day, and let me know in the comments below what the most unique ceremony experience you’ve witnessed was!

Enchanted Forest Styled Shoot with ROAN Events

Hey all, and happy Wednesday! As a little Hump Day treat, I would love to share some images from an amazing collaboration of incredibly talented Asheville wedding vendors. I was so honored to be a part of this!

A couple months back, I was contacted by Kelly of Roan Wedding + Events, a Western Carolina-based event planning company, to see if I would be interested in joining a styled shoot that she and her business partner, Summer, were putting together. When she sent over the inspo board filled with romantic florals, quartz crowns, and textured fabrics and furs, I was sold!

I was excited to learn that many of the vendors participating in the shoot were businesses I had been peeping on instagram for the last few months just hoping to get the chance to work with. See people, dreams do come true! If you follow me on social media, you will know that the photographer, Alina Kolberg, and I have been collaborating a ton, so I was obviously stoked that she would be the one to capture all of the magic.

As we drove to the location at Roan High Bluff, I was expecting another bald mountaintop. Don't get me wrong, I love so much the incredible mountaintops here, but I was blown away when we arrived to find the crew setting up on the mountaintop hiking trail of the most enchanted forest.

Nestled into a sea of ferns and moss-covered trees was the head table, which was draped with hand-dyed cheesecloth, and adorned with rich florals, brass candlesticks, crystal glassware, and quartz accents, all placed atop a luxurious fur rug. The mixture of statement pieces by Vintage Indigo Rentals, coupled with the layered fabric, fur, metals, and stone textures could not have been more beautifully executed or breathtaking.

Asheville Makeup Artist, Emily Dawn Makeup, Roan Events, Roan Mountain, Asheville Wedding Vendor

The floral arrangements by Kara of It Can Be Arranged were an eclectic mix of greens, pods, and blooms. "Our goal was to play off of the natural setting of Roan Mountain with a foraged feel," she noted. "We also wanted to play with the contrast of light and dark so, White Protea was used as our bold focal flower against an array of greens that included Grevillia, Eucalyptus, Millet, Lily Grass, Ruscus and Salal." Hanging Amaranthus, Black Scabiosa, Scabiosa Pods, and Crown Jubiliee Lucadendron provided pops of color and tons of texture. The groom's boutonniere complimented the bride's bouquet and hairpiece with a blend of greens, and a quartz accent.

styled shoot florals.jpg

And speaking of the bride! I was so thrilled to know that Brooklyn, who I have worked with before, was going to be our model. Brooklyn has adorable freckles, which I absolutely adore. When I am working with a client who has freckles, I often will use them as a reference point to test my technique. As a makeup artist, it's easy for me to properly layer products and add "natural" shine and dimension to the face so that the skin looks natural, even when I am aiming for a higher coverage of foundation. But when I am working with freckles, I really have to control myself to use as little product as possible to allow those natural pigments to show through whichever foundation I use.

Emily Dawn Makeup, Asheville Makeup Artist, Asheville wedding makeup

For this, I tend to put small amounts on at a time, and step back frequently to assess how the total look is coming together. For Brookyln's freckle-friendly foundation, I used MAC Cosmetics Face and Body Foundation layered on top of their Strobe cream for a natural, "lit from within" look. I popped a little peach concealer from LA Girl under her eyes to conceal any darkness, and then brightened the area with IT Cosmetics Perfect Lightening Pen in Radiant Neutral. Of course this look wouldn't be complete without adding some dimension to the skin with Soleil Tan De Chanel, and Glossier's Cloud Paint in the shade Dusk. (Click the link to receive 10% off your purchase! Full disclosure: this an affiliate link.)  For a full rundown of the products I used, scroll to the end of this post. Brooklyn's hair was then loosely curled and put into an intricate half-up braided style by Amber, and topped off with a quartz crystal crown.

As the sun shone through the trees in all its Twilight-esque glory, I couldn't help but think at how pleased I was to have been asked to be a part of this magical shoot with some of the best artists in Western Carolina. Take a look at the photos below and tell me what you think! Which detail is your favorite! 

Makeup Notes:

  • MAC Face and Body Foundation
  • LA Girl Peach Corrector
  • IT Cosmetics Perfect Lightening Pen 
  • Soleil Tan De Chanel
  • Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk 
  • Fenty Beauty Matchstick in Yacht Lyfe
  • Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone
  • Glossier Lidstar in Fawn
  • Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess Palette
  • Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Pillow Talk & Confession
  • Kiss Lashes in Pageboy


Vendor Spotlight:

photographer: Alina Claire Kolberg
dress: Wedding Inspirations Bridal Boutique
veils and headpiece: Judy&Madeleine
mua: Emily Colt Radin 
hair: Amber Potter Hoilman 
calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carrie
florals: It Can Be Arranged Floral Studio 
videography: Blue Ridge Film Productions
design & decor: Vintage Indigo
event planner:  Roan Wedding + Events
models: Brooklyn Stutzman &  @thomascrown20

    Caroline + Will's Black Balsam Engagement

    Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I would love to share with you some stunning previews from an engagement session I had the pleasure of styling a couple of weeks ago with TWO amazing photographers... one of whom happened to be the bride-to-be! I have to say, as an Asheville makeup artist, I am so thrilled about the beautiful landscape that I get to send my clients off into – Black Balsam being a favorite!

    asheville makeup artist, Amanda Sutton photography, asheville elopement, asheville hair and makeup, black balsam

    I "met" Caroline (of 704 Photography) a few months back over Instagram when she reached out to me about her upcoming engagement photo session and fall elopement. After our conversation, I went to stalk her page to try and get a sense of her style, but what I found was such beautiful body of work, and I was hooked! What can I say? I just have a thing for insanely talented people!

    When I finally met Caroline IRL on the day of her engagement session, it was like we had known each other forever! She is just so darling and adorable and down-to-earth... and of course I can't forget about her fiancé, Will, who was the best too! (Seriously going to steal them for double dates.) We chatted as I dolled her up and she told me all about their love story, which was straight out of a country song. Cute neighbor boy grows up and drives by her mama's window on his tractor one day lookin' fine. Mama alerts daughter that neighbor boy has turned into a neighbor man. Girl and boy fall in love, life challenges them, love prevails. Pure country music gold! 

    Will was nervous about the southern heat on the day of their shoot since their first attempt at engagement photos was scheduled in the spring. While the temps would've been more mild, it was rained out. So all Sweet Caroline could do was pray for no rain and moderate heat on this day.

    As they hiked up Black Balsam trail, the winds picked up, and the temperature cooled. Soon they found themselves swirling in 40 miles-per-hour winds, and 50 degree temps at the top of the knob. Their incredible photographer, Amanda Sutton, used the unusual weather to capture the most stunning and unique photos. I especially love the movement she captured in Caroline's dress. It all looks so moody and enchanted all at the same time. A statement piece indeed!

    Browse the gallery below and scroll down for key makeup mentions. Let me know what you think, and if a mountaintop session is on your bucket list!

    Makeup Notes:

    • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation
    • Soleil Tan de Chanel 
    • Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach
    • Mac "Cork" eyeshadow
    • Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze
    • Kiss Blowout Lashes in Pageboy

    Hair Notes:

    • T3 Whirl Convertible Iron 1.5-inch
    • GHD Classic Styler 1-inch straightening iron (alternate with T3 wand for texture + dimension)
    • Kenra #25 Hairspray
    • Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo

    Kyra + Bryce Styled Shoot

    Happy Happy Monday everyone! If you follow me on instagram then you have probably seen a teaser from this styled shoot I worked on a few weeks ago in collaboration with some ahhmazing fellow Asheville creatives. I got the full album on Friday, and seriously cried a little when I opened it up. I am going to take a little departure from solely talking shop so that I can highlight these amazing folks, so if you're here for just the makeup, keep scrolling to the  bottom to find my product spotlight.  I am so excited to share these amazing images with you all, but first, let me introduce all of the incredible people who made this shoot happen!

    First, let me shout out Belle Crouse of Wedding Belles NC who coordinated this whole thing. She is an amazing, super detail-oriented planner and future venue owner here in Asheville, and she was the main brain behind this operation. From selecting our models to lining up all of the vendors, to mood-boarding and inspo, she handled all of the finer details of taking concept to reality. 

    Next is our gorgeous IRL couple, Kyra (who was simply a DREAM to make up) and Bryce. Not only did they do a fabulous job modeling, but they also hiked up a dang mountain in wedding attire to make it happen! (Stay tuned for some makeup highlights at the end.)

    And speaking of wedding attire! Can I just take a moment to gush over this amazing convertible gown from Charles Josef?! This gown can be worn long for the ceremony, and then converted to short for dancing the night away!

    Asheville hair and makeup, Charles Josef bridal, convertible wedding dress.jpg

    Next up, we have the most gorgeous florals from Hannah at Fern and Flora Studio in Hendersonville. I just love her bohemian approach. For the shoot, she crafted the dreamiest bouquet filled with peonies, kangaroo paw, wax flower, lilies, fern, and foraged greens from her garden; all hand-tied with pink and gold velvet ribbon. Oh, and let's not forget about that beautiful and understated floral crown!


    And last, but certainly not least, was our insanely talented photographer, Briana Autran. Like me, she is a recent transplant to Asheville. She is in the process of transporting her already thriving Michigan business to Western North Carolina. I seriously wasn't even kidding when I said that a big old ball of tears welled up in my throat when I opened the gallery and saw the images from this shoot. Here is my two cents on photography: with how accessible semi-professional camera equipment has become to the masses, it's "easy" for anyone to take a pretty good photo these days. But there is so much more to photography than just capturing a properly exposed and focused image. As you look through this gallery, and the images on Briana's site, you will see that, yes, her images are beautiful; but more importantly, she is able to capture the subtleties of that emotional moment. For this reason, she is sought-after for elopements and intimate weddings.  

    Ok, ok. Enough gushing already! I am so pleased and honored to share the rest of the images from this shoot. Let me know in the comments which image is your favorite!

    OH! And keep scrolling for some of the stand-out makeup products I used to create this look!

    Makeup Spotlight

    • Face Atelier Ultra Pro Foundation
    • Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach 
    • Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze on cheeks and lips 
    • Fenty Beauty Matchstick in Yacht Lyfe

    Feminine Rock Chic with Ivy Hawkins

    Ya'll! Can we talk about my new favorite look from a recent photoshoot that I did? But first, to give some context to my excitement, let me just share that as a makeup artist working in live television, the opportunity for creativity is pretty limited. It is important not to detract from the content. Clean and beautiful, but non-distracting looks are my staple in live TV. 

    Moving to Asheville–while it has definitely challenged me to redefine my career–has provided me the opportunity to collaborate with some incredibly talented photographers and models, and to step out of my creative comfort zone.

    Clean Beauty is still my all time favorite style, but with amazing brands like Glossier (click for 10% off your order) making their way to the forefront, it is easier than ever to create a look with exquisite washes of color that somehow simultaneously create that pop, yet melt into the skin for a natural, beautiful effect. 

    I was inspired to do this look after I received my latest order from Glossier. I took a major step out of my comfort zone ordering their Lidstar Liquid Eyeshadow in Lily. Being the queen of all things bronze, brown, and neutral, I was equal parts excited and terrified when I swatched that gorgeous, cool, lilac eyeshadow across the back of my hand. I knew that if ever there were a product that was going to get me out of my Golden Goddess rut, it would be this one.  

    The wonderful thing about Glossier's Lidstar is that it provides the most luxurious, not-too-shimmery, yet sophisticated sheen while being completely transfer proof. Yet also it is a buildable product, which means if you are someone who is afraid to use color, you can safely dip your toe into this realm of playfulness, while not fully committing to it being the entire look (e.g. Kim K.'s previously trending Bright Blue Smokey Eye). 

    Let's talk through some of the finer points of creating this look.

    For the eyes, I started with just a wash of Lily Lidstar, and took a moment to process it. I added some definition to the crease with a warm neutral from the Natasha Denona Tropic Palette (which I purchased for the amazing bold shades in the bottom row, but have yet to venture into). I took care not to over-blend the crease and risk losing that beautiful Lily shade. I really had to force myself to put down the blending brush before muddying the look. My model, Ivy, has beautiful natural lashes, and with her edgy up-style, I wanted to keep the look soft but still a bit rock and roll. I skipped eyeliner so as not to overdo it, and also to reserve as much lid space for that Lily to peek through! I curled the lashes, and used my Bdellium Tools Bent Fan Lash Brush (#730) to apply a hearty coat of mascara to the tops and bottoms of her lashes. I wiggled the brush at the base of her lash line almost creating a tight-line effect (side note, this brush has totally changed my game... more to come on that later). I brushed her brows up, and filled in the gaps lightly with an IT Cosmetics Universal Brow Pencil. I combed through her brows using Glossier's Boy Brow in Blonde, and left them combed up and just a bit messy as they set in place.

    After stepping away to process the look, I decided to add another layer of Lily across Ivy's mobile lid (the part of the lid between the lashes and crease) in order to intensify the color. I then moved on to perfecting her skin before deciding on her lip color (products listed below). With her skin complete, and eyes beautiful, feminine, and soft, I decided to take another leap from my comfort zone. I paired the eye look with a bold and bright red lip to bring back that element of rock and roll I wanted to tie it all together. I chose Carina's Love from my gorgeous, rose gilded collection of Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks.

    While I'm happy to talk shop all day–and you're welcome to find me in the comments section–I'm equally proud to share the final result. While Lily might have translated with more subtlety than I've described in these photos, I assure you it was magnificent in person. 

    What do you think of this look? Ready to try rocking Glossier Lily yourself? Let me know in the comments.


    Hair + Makeup: Emily Radin | Photography: Alina Kolberg | Model: Ivy Hawkins

    Product breakdown:

    • RCMA foundation
    • Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer
    • Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate 
    • Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk
    • MAC Invisible Set Powder
    • Natasha Deanna Tropic Palette
    • Glossier Lidstar in Lily 
    • MAC Haute & Naughty mascara
    • Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde 
    • Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Carina's Love