Destination Wedding: Guest Style


Katie and Jesse are currently down in the sunny Caribbean putting together all the fabulous details for one of our lucky couples' wedding weekend including a welcome party, ceremony/reception and day after brunch- (we promise to share all the amazing photos from this event just as soon as we have them!).  In honor of this destination wedding in Anguilla at the gorgeous Viceroy Resort, we thought it would be fun to put together a little outfit inspiration for the travelling wedding guest


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welcome party dress by Halston Heritage

wedding ceremony/reception dress by David Miester

day after brunch dress by Karina Grimaldi


INSPIRED BY: Met Gala Glamour

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While getting wedding inspiration from magazines, blogs and pinterest are the main go to sources for every bride, we hope you dont forget to turn to a more star studded inspiration: the red carpets!  We have been loving seeing all the bold choices the celebrities, fashion stars and models chose to don for this year's Met Gala which took place a few nights ago.  Even though most red carpet dresses would not be fit to walk down the aisle, there is a lot of inspiration to be had in the way of accessories, beauty and hair!   Here is a little board we put together inspired by the glamour of the Met Gala red carpet:  [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="6484" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

INSPIRED BY: Kate Moss' Boho Flower Girls

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We are still swooning over the images of Kate Moss' romantic bohemian English countryside nuptials.  When a wedding is that beautiful and perfectly executed it's hard to get it out of your head!  We were recently reminded of Kate's entourage of impeccably styled boho flower girls when we opened the most recent email from BHLDN announcing their new Flower Girl dresses.   It is hard to go wrong when selecting a pint-size outfit for your flower girls since they tend to steal to the show at the ceremony (right up until the bride appears of course!), but we suggest going with the timeless ease of a bohemian flowing dress in shades of off white or ivory accessorized by a floral halo crown of course!  [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][vc_single_image image="5923" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Kiki Kiss Mirror

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There weren't just fabulous dancers and delicious drinks at our Kiki party, there was also the now infamous "kiki kiss mirror." As guests arrived, they were given a "kiki lip" in either bright fuchsia pink or marvelous red courtesy of the talented ladies at Reiman Condron Beauty! We then set up a mirror outside of the powder room for guests to leave their Kiki kiss as well as their signature claiming their smooch! We were inspired for the Kiki kiss mirror from our very own Kara Superfine who has guests sign their names using lipstick on the bathroom mirror at her annual holiday bash! What a fun idea for a bachelorette hotel room or even a saucy bridal shower!!



dive. turn. work.

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Real Wedding: Kristen & Charlie

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Being in this business, we get the true honor of getting to work with gorgeous decor, 5-star cuisine, dreamy details and, most importantly, we get to meet so many amazing people. And wow... does this wedding capture all of these honors and so much more. Kristen and Charlie look straight out of Hollywood... Kristen's a stunning, tall blonde with the most infectious smile and impeccable style. Charlie is dapper and dashing and loves Kristen (and golf!) in the ways that you see in the movies. But on top of it all, they are a thoughtful, incredibly fun couple who wanted their wedding weekend to celebrate their families coming together in a chic and personal manor. Kristen and Charlie were married at Kenilworth Union Church - a church that was a big part of both of their childhood's, followed by drinks, feasting and a wild dance party at the {gorgeous!} Peninsula Hotel. The inspiration for the day was elegant but cozy and the palette of ivory, cream and gold complemented the perfect fall day. To celebrate Charlie's love of golf, we (Jesse Deckard and the Event Creative team) transformed the cocktail party in to a smart little golf party - with a custom mini-golf set up and personalized golf balls, golf-flag drink stirrers and green and white custom fabrics for the pillows. The playful golf details were left behind as guests entered the ballroom for dinner {to the incredibly talented and lively tunes from Colby Bessera!} where white orchids draped down long feasting tables, thoughtful details by Cheree Berry Paper graced the tables and thousands of candles flickered around the room. After a surf and turf dinner, guests twirled on the dance floor, enjoyed the terrace at the Peninsula (where we arranged for a cigar bar in light of Kristen's dad's love for them!) and even enjoyed a surprise performance from the groom's brother. It was a night of beauty and love and we were honored to be a part of it all!



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A Little Bliss Belle Holiday Outfit Inspiration


Now that we have decadently dined ourselves through Thanksgiving and given our credit cards a nice little

work out on black Friday, it is time to start looking ahead to all the holiday parties dotting our social agenda in the coming month!

 Here is a little black tie appropriate holiday party inspiration to get you in the spirit!




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1. Issa Jadeite dress- the color of this dress is picture perfect for the holidays and the simple silhouette is to die for!

2. We love the vintage yet glamorous feel of these Lulu Frost for J. Crew earrings.

3. This chic little Christian Louboutin purse was made to be taken to a holiday party- it's even tied with a luxe velet bow on top!

4. We are swooning over these modern Nicholas Kirkwood gold bow slingbacks.


Bridal Beauty by BHLDN


The beauty of all our Bliss Brides never cease to amaze us!

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Photographs taken by Studio This Is

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Photograph by Olivia Leigh Photographie

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And although a smile is the ultimate must-have on your big day, BHLDN has come up with a few how-to videos for a few unique bridal looks; The Romantic, The Lady, La Bohemienne and The Muse. Download their free printables here!



The 2012 Olympic Games


You know we love a good theme party. Especially, when the chance to celebrate comes along only once every four years. The 2012 Olympic's Opening Ceremony begins tomorrow at 6:30pm and we are already excited to suck up the hat hair from our berets and cheer on all the athletes. Whether your attending or hosting a party we've got your Olympic look all planned out for you! Throwing a party? The Today Show has got you covered with how to throw an Olympic theme party!  Go Team USA!!

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What you will need to steal the show: Women- The most talked about piece of this year's Olympic Collection, a beret. A navy blazer. A red, white and blue scarf (pick one color if too hard to find). A white skirt, socks and tennies! Add in anything with a pony on it for extra points! Men- Man up with a beret. A white collared shirt, an all American tie, preppy belt, and khakis. Again, work in the pony anywhere you can! Get a little creative with sporting metallic nails ladies, preferably gold of course! Butter London has an adorable limited edition right now!

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Bronzed Bride

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Chicago Summer has finally come! But if you’re schedule is anything close to ours, finding time to take advantage of it can be hard.  Instead of going through summer without that sought after glow, we turn to our friends at Ortanic to spray us down with that glistening tan. We cringe at the tan lines and sunburn epidemic that can hit bridal parties one too many times, but these geniuses have created a foolproof tan plan customizable to each individual’s skin tone. We asked Kristi Gabrione, co-owner of three-year-old company, everything a bride-to-be should know about the Ortanic experience:

Describe the Ortanic experience and process.

Our mission from day one was to provide the type of customer service usually only seen at ritzy hotels and restaurants, but without the pretentious attitude or price tag. We spend a tremendous amount of time training our team so you can be assured that the results we deliver are nothing but the best. All of our team are licensed estheticians with extensive makeup backgrounds, so you can feel comfortable that they will find the proper shade for your skin type and desires. Best of all, they make you feel comfortable, because we know it isn't easy to undress in front of a stranger the first time you meet them!

During each appointment, each client will get a skin consultation to find the perfect recipe for your desired look and skin tone. The solution is completely customized to each client and is applied by hand with two different airbrush guns, one larger gun for the body and a smaller airbrush gun for the feet, hands, face, and any contouring – all ensuring an even flawless tan. Ortanic also has state-of-the-art extraction booths that eliminate all of the overspray from the air allowing for a very safe tanning environment.

What do you recommend to your clients that come in for their wedding?

Ortanic is the perfect solution for bride’s looking for that wedding day “glow.” We recommend that brides come in and trial the service prior to their big day so we can ensure we find the perfect color. We would recommend coming in and trialing the tan at least a month before (maybe before a big event – ie. Bachelorette party, shower, dress fitting, etc.) We keep all of our recipes on file so that when a bride comes back in to any of our 3 locations, our team knows all about the tanning history and colors used during previous appointments.

We recommend that the bride tan 1-2 days before the wedding day, depending on when the rehearsal dinner is. We also recommend that the bride gets any manicures, pedicures, waxing, etc done before the tanning appointment to make sure that the tan remains flawless.

What is the number one mistake you see Bride’s committing?

We see four! 1. Not using Ortanic for their wedding! You just look so much better in pictures with a nice glow :) 2.  Not trialing the tan before the wedding day, 3. Not having their wedding party or husband tan as well, it looks a lot better in pictures when you are not the only tan one, 4. Going to the tanning bed and having burnt skin

What do you recommend for the entire bridal party?

Mobile tan parties! We can come to you at any location within Chicago. We bring with an overspray tent/towels to ensure there is nothing left over in the room, our solution, and an airbrush caddy. We can do about 4 people per hour. For larger parties, we can bring 2 airbrush machines and technicians to move a little faster.

Here are the tan packages for mobile: 1-2 people: $60 each, 3-4 people: $50 each, 5 or more people: $45 each, 6 people (including the bride) – bride tans for free and $45 each for everyone else.

Is there such thing as too tan? If so, how do you avoid this? (I am picturing Ross in that episode of Friends!)

Yes, we have several different colors that we customize for each person depending on their skin tone and personal preference. Our aesthetic skin consultants our experts are ensuring no one comes out looking orange or too tan for their skin tone.

Can you come to the client or does the client come to you?

Both. We have three different locations in Chicago all at Fitness Formula Clubs: Lincoln Park, West Loop and Gold Coast. Or we can come to any location within Chicago for a mobile tan!

What are the benefits to using Ortanic compared to your competitors or self-tanner?

Ortanic is the only company in Chicago that has state-of-the-art booths that extract the overspray out of the air so you do not breath it in.  Our solution is 92% natural and there is no more than 11 ingredients so it is very safe and does not have that horrible chemical smell! We also offer a pH balancer for a pre-treatment to the tan that balances out the skin’s pH to make it the perfect level for airbrush tanning.

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Real Wedding: Whitney & Rob


Bliss Weddings & Events is delighted to be featured on Style Me Pretty Illinois today! Katie, of Bliss Weddings & Events, created a beautiful wedding that incorporated tiny touches important to the bride and groom that fit into the preppy, elegant style of their big day. Large monogram moss letters, a chalkboard menu and bar sign, a fully loaded candy bar, mix matched vintage plates, plenty of votive candles and their closest friends and family filled the beautiful space of The Ivy Room. The bride, Whitney, chose the perfect preppy palette: Navy, Ivory, pink and touches of natural greens. The couple said their I do's at Chicago's gorgeous St. James Cathedral, before dancing the night away with the help of The Larry King Orchestra. We are so grateful to have been able to help these lovebirds with their special day and wish them the absolute best from the Bliss Belles! Katie's write up on Style Me Pretty Illinois about Whitney and Rob: "From Katie Kozlowski of Bliss Weddings & EventsWhitney and Rob are fun, friendly, family-oriented and have impeccable taste. They wanted to bring special touches of their personality to their inspired Chicago wedding at St. James and the Ivy Room, all while keeping the wedding comfortable, elegant and special. We wanted it to feel as though Whitney and Rob had invited all of their closest family and friends to their home away from home for a special celebration. Using the preppy palette of navy, ivory, pink and natural greens, we complemented the dreamy Ivy Room courtyard with moss-letters in their initials, delicate blooms and cutie details, like stir sticks for the bars with the couples’ monogram and a hand-written dinner menu on a chalkboard (Whitney’s a teacher!). Once guests got inside for dinner, polished tables with mismatched china, tiny lapel wax blooms on each plate, and different centerpieces on each table set the stage. We used a variety of candlesticks, vases and blooms, as well as soft pin-spotting, up-lighting and drapes to welcome guests to dinner. No detail was overlooked, with a candy bar to pay homage to the bride’s love of sweets, and a surprise video-speech from the groom’s brother stationed in Afghanistan. And of course, there was the fun: A Polaroid camera and scrapbook provided guests with a chance to leave their personal message, The Larry King Orchestra kept guests on the dance floor all night, and Chicago-themed late night snacks recharged the dancers."  


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A special mom and daughter moment. They were truly a hilarious duo

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Whitney and Rob at the St. James Cathedral.

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A beautiful bouquet for the bride!

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It's all in the details!

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Wouldn't be complete without some moss covered initials!

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Polaroids of all the guests made a memorable guestbook for the couple to take home.

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Beautiful tablescapes.

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Whitney was stunning in Vera Wang.

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The dessert bar took care of everyone's sweet tooth that evening.

:: Photographs by Dennis Lee Photography ::



Veronica Sheaffer


One year and three collections deep into designing bridal gowns, Chicago based designer, Veronica Sheaffer, is no stranger wedding season! And although Veronica’s orders are stacking up, she is currently 15 gowns deep (some custom!), she dropped her fancy fabric and dished her advice to brides, what her gowns stand for, and where she finds inspiration. Veronica started her career on stage. A play in high school made her certain that acting was the right direction for her. However, after designing costumes and always making her own clothes, her friend asked her if she wanted to help her start a clothing line. Thus, the birth of the women’s clothing line, Coco & Irene. It wasn’t until another friend had asked her to design her a gown for her big day that everything came together for Veronica. After making that gown for her friend, Veronica found everything else to be a nuisance, and anxiously awaited to get home from work to make more gowns.







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What sets a Veronica Sheaffer gown apart from the rest? There are a lot of gorgeous dresses out in the world. I feel the need to do something different, people describe my gowns as vintage looking I say classic femininity. There is nothing sexier than being a lady and an intelligent, strong woman. You make a lot of custom gowns for your clients, what is that process like? When my friend asked me to make her a bridal gown, I found the fabric and the dress started to take on it’s own life. Women will show me what they like and what they don’t like and it evolves from there. It mostly comes from spending time with them and getting an overall feel for what they are like. We really do become friends and the dress takes on their personality. How many hours of work does each gown take? (Laughing) It’s done when it’s done! Tell us a little bit about your blog, “My Hands Made It”. I started it when I was engaged two years ago. My wedding was a heavily DIY wedding. There were only so many emails I could send to my friends showing them what I had made. My blog started as a way to share all of my projects for my wedding and get it out of my system. It then spiraled and became a success on it’s own.  Do your readers ever influence your designs? They are definitely my best cheerleaders. I follow a lot of them on pinterest, which I think the main reason for that site is to inspire, so I can get a lot of inspiration from them that way.  What is the best advice you give to your clients? Trust me.  What is the best advice you were given as a bride? I wish someone would have told me to CALM DOWN. Thank you Veronica for talking to us! We are so honored to be given this little glimpse into your life and are looking forward to seeing many more collections!

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Lash Lust

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="7609" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]  Butterfly kiss away! Full, flirty and fun lashes are completely attainable for your big day as we round up a few break through mascaras. Finding the right mascara is a daunting task...Who knew there were so many ways to curl, separate and lengthen those little buggers? Recently, Bobbie Thomas of the Today Show featured a "Lashing Out" segment and I felt it was our duty to share! Below are the products Bobbie shares, however we added the ultra-classic Maybelline waterproof mascara whose tube is recognizable by just about any girl in America! Love, Live, Lashes!

 [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="7610" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]1. Cry Baby Mascara, Semi permanent and last up to two weeks! $25 & up // 2. Too Faced cosmetics, Better than False Lashes, $35 // 3. Maybelline, Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, $5 // 4. Benefit Cosmetics, They’re Real, $22[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Feature: Kate & Dan


We are thrilled to be featured on Elizabeth Anne Design's Wedding Blog today!! Kate and Dan's wedding took place this past January at the Ritz Carlton Chicago. The bride was stunning in Vera Wang and Manolo Blahnik heels and the floral arrangements, by Asrai Garden, followed the "English Garden" vibe with fruits, feathers and antlers hidden throughout! The cake was gorgeous (and delicious) draped with pops of green from kiwi and grapes and the most vibrant purple you can imagine! There is not one detail we don't love! Before you head over to Elizabeth Anne's take a look at some more pictures, by photographer Colin Lyons, from their wedding. Congrats Kate & Dan, and a wonderful job to Katie Kozlowski our wedding consultant for this wedding!!

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The Bohemian Bride


With pictures from Coachella surfacing from this past weekend and the announcement of Chicago’s Lollapalooza lineup, we are channeling our inner hippie and taking a second look at the “Boho Bride”.  Something is mesmerizing about the Bohemian Chic look, flowy dresses, long loose wavy hair with braids hidden throughout, always adorned with a wreath of flowers or bejeweled statement piece. The bohemian bride is the perfect mix of hippie, vintage, romantic and sophistication all rolled into one and designs her wedding in the same carefree fashion that she lives her life in.  We are dying over the fun-loving free spirit of a boho bride!  

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No one does a Boho Bride better than BHLDN!

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Ballet Babes


Give those feet of yours a rest with these fun, flirty flats! While we are a huge fan of the summer wedge and the classic pump, we like to step out in the occasional ballet flat as we run around the city. Nothing can conquer Michigan Avenue like a comfy and stylish flat, your feet will thank us!


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1. Zara, $69.90 // 2. J. Crew, $148 // 3. J.Crew, $138 // 4. J.Crew, $135 // 5. J.Crew, $250 // 6. Kate Spade, $225 // 7.  Lucky Brand, $59 // 8. Zara, $89.90

We will take one of each, please!


Neon Trend


You might remember these hues from the '80's but they're back and having a major moment! Spice up your next event, outfits and home decor with these unexpected and sophisticated pops of neon! Use these hues on invites and the tops of your tables, adorn yourself with bright jewels or color block away. These colors are fun and are guaranteed to brighten your day!  

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Our favorite combo? Neon and tan!

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For the Maids


Your Bridesmaids are an important part to your big day. They comfort, calm and celebrate until the very end. They'll promise to love and wear whatever you pick out, tan to your liking and smile for the hours of pictures! They cheers and "Ooh" & "Aah" to you all day long and are most likely the girls that will always be at your side, wedding day or not. So what do you get these lovely ladies on your big day? Use our guide to monogram those maids of yours!

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1. IOMOI Canvas Bag // 2. Dannijo Jaimere Monogrammed Bracelet // 3. Sarah Chloe Kiyla Block Monogram // 4. I Wish You Were Here Initial Signet Ring // 5. The Original Satchel Store // 6. Williams-Sonoma Monogrammed Trifle Dish // 7. Fontaine Maury, Swoozies Move aside velour tracksuits, your lovely ladies are sure to love these preppy and sophisticated alternatives! Monogrammed plush robes and button-downs:

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For the Love of Lacquer


The walls of polish can be intimidating as you walk into the salons. Use this easy guide of great Bridal nail colors to calm that anxiety! Polish is an easy change that can be made, however, we do recommend a trial run before your big day! Nothing screams girl time more than booking our brides and all her maids to some of our favorite salon's for some much needed R & R before her big day! These are some of our favorite salons of Chicago: 1. The former Elysian spa, now known as the Waldorf Astoria // 2. The name is just as fun as the experience, the Mojo Spa // 3. It's all in the name, Bliss Spa


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1. Deborah Lippmann, From Top to Bottom: Sarah Smile (Created with Sarah Jessica Parker) $16, Stairway to Heaven $18, Shape of My Heart (Created with Shape Magazine to help fight Breast Cancer) $16. // 2. Our March pick, Essie, Sheer Bliss $9. // 3. Chanel Le Vernis, From Left to Right: Dragon $26, Particuliére $26, Orange Fizz $26. // 4. Butter London, From Left to Right: Yummy Mummy (what they call their "magic" color) $14, Teddy Girl $14, Pink Ribbon (Their French pink) $14, The Full Monty $14.


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Dare to get a little Crazy? The ombré trend hits the nail world and the classic French Manicure with a little twist!


March Madness

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1. We vote Bellini's as this month's drink!/ 2. Our obsession over Ombre centerpieces continues / 3. Spotlighting the Barre Bee Fit workout this month...These girls are no joke! / 4. Essie's "Sheer Bliss" is our nail color of the month / 5. Dying over this River North hot spot, Epic. Great place for dinner with girlfriends or for the trendy couple's rehearsal dinner. / 6. All about chunky, yet delicate bridal jewelry like this Kate Spade cluster bracelet. / 7. Daring our brides to pucker up with a pink lip! /  8. Mad over March's color palette of pinks! / 9. Loving lose curls for all our March brides!


84th Academy Awards Beauty Trends


We were glued to the TV last night, not missing a beat of this year’s Oscars. While many stars seemed to be playing it quite safe, we picked up on a few beauty trends that we were sure our Brides would love! So start working out that right leg of yours and get on board with this year’s Oscar Red Carpet trends… We hate to say we told you so… Red Lips! Rooney Mara, Angelina Jolie and Milla Jovovich all splashed a dose of color on their lips this year:

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Image via US Weekly.

Bangs never looked so mature and sophisticated on these lovely ladies, Rose Byrne, Rooney Mara and Ellie Kemper:

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Image via US Weekly.

The sleek and no fuss ponytails on Gwyneth Paltrow and Sandra Bullock:

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Sexy side swoops on Stacy Keibler and Maya Rudolph. An effortless half-up-do and lose curls on Jessica Chastain and beautiful braids incorporated in Berenice Bejo bun:

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Up, up and away! Up-do’s on Jessica Lopez, Tina Fey and Shailene Woodley:

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