Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I thought very hard about this shoot, and how to maintain a classic, vintage, and conservative style. One of my favorite things about building my business is creating new pieces and then creating a beautiful photo shoot to match. When I designed this new collection, which included my first long veil, I knew the veils were unique and needed to be featured as a solo shoot. I had the privilege during this veil shoot to have the lovely Miss Melisa Dixon as a model, who didn't miss a beat. I was also very excited to work with the incredible Michelle Ketchum for hair design, the very talented Kacy Kizer for photography, and Miss Shannon Berecek, who also assisted. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed producing them!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just when you think your job couldn’t get any more exciting it does! Last year was the first year I decided to be a part of Portland Fashion Week. I had so much fun, met so many talented, encouraging, and inspiring people that this year I wanted to be even more involved. I was given the privilege to team up with an incredible group of artists as part of the 2010 makeup team. Having more responsibility this year allowed me to involve my interns as part of the makeup staff for the show as well. Aubrey Childers, Shannon Berecek, Courtney Rogers, and Destiny Taylor came in as interns and left as super stars. I was so proud of these incredibly talented women that show so much enthusiasm and talent for what they do!

One of the most incredible opportunities I was given by Sunny Fire, the lead Make up artist for the show, was to be the key makeup artist for Project Runway winner Seth Aaron. His talent and charisma was electrifying! Being back stage with this designing genius was nothing I have experienced before. I wanted to share some of the shots from that night, as well as thank Sunny Fire and Portland Fashion week for this amazing opportunity. I would also like to thank the amazing Jared Birt for capturing all the images.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One of my most favorite parts of new hair pieces is photographing them. When I make a piece the photo shoot usually comes to me right away. For this collection of Summer Pieces I was thrilled to be able to work with two beautiful models Justin Roisom and Jessica Hansen. The chemistry these two had on set was addicting. Kacy Kizer was loving life because shooting them was just a breeze… The beautiful garments Jessica is wearing as well as some of the accessories worn by Justin were all made by the very talented and up and coming designer Maggie Saunders. Maggie recently won Judges Choice for the 2010 Oregon State annual fashion show. What a beautiful collaboration…

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am so proud to share my beautiful feature from Portland Bride and Groom magazine. I could not have been happier when I found out I was going to be featured…I actually started tearing up at the blessing of this feature. Working with the magazine was amazing! The creativity and thoughtfulness that combines seamlessly with their professionalism is an ideal work environment for anyone. Allison Jones worked so hard to turn the feature into a beautiful piece of art. I was also part of another published wedding for the magazine and want to thank Hillary Barbour and Zachary Traasdahl for allowing me to be part of their special day. I want to thank everyone at the Portland Bride and Groom magazine for creating such a beautiful spread for me and allowing me to share my passion with a much broader audience. I can’t imagine a better way to start what is going to be a busy wedding season- so thank you Portland Bride and Groom!

Friday, June 4, 2010

When I started making hair accessories I never thought I would be making a custom piece for someone sitting in the millionaire row at the Kentucky Derby. Sylvia B my Kentucky Derby client had this to share:

Derby 2010..... What a Derby it was! If you've never been to Louisville to experience Derby, the best way to describe it is "Rites of Spring". The entire city is redolent with flowers, blossoming trees, and buckets of bourbon. If you've never been to Derby, it's the best party you've ever been to in your life- it's the time where we all connect, fall in love and come out to play!

Photo of my sister Selena wearing the hair piece

Derby is the ultimate mix of highbrow and lowbrow- You have the infield where it's muddy, crazy, fun:

And then, up above, Millionaire's Row:

A woman's hat is a piece of performance art she'll create in Louisville all year- it tells a story about who she is.
Derby hats are typically something like this:

BIG! And full of all kinds of ornaments. When I thought about what I wanted to wear to Derby this year, I really wanted something different. The work I saw of Austie Eckley on Etsy I knew I had found an artist who I could trust.

Austie made a hat of legends. I swear, I was stopped maybe 50 times with people commenting on the hat. It was sooooo beautiful, different, light and easy to wear (some of these hats are so heavy they give people headaches). Mine was so comfortable I wore it 12 hours without a break- and it never slipped, I never even felt it on my head. So many people took pictures of the hat- even, Ruben Stoddard- the guy from American Idol- he asked to pose with me because he loved- the hat!

This photo is of Sylvia B wearing the hair piece with Ruben

Did I mention that there are horses at Derby too? We love our horses, and we bet on them for sentimental reasons- the name, the jockey, the color of the blanket on the horse, the number- really it's a game of luck, there is very little science in picking your horse. That's what makes it so much fun- anyone can win. And if you bet against the odds, and win- the payouts are huge!

My husband has a sixth sense- he's picked the Derby winning horse every year we've gone, and this year was no different- Super Saver took the prize and we cashed in a fat ticket after the race- hurrah!!!

So, from Louisville, Happy Derby!

Friday, May 28, 2010

“Before & After”

Hair and makeup by Austie Eckley with images by Kacy Kizer

I have always been fascinated by the “before & after” page of many websites. I don’t like to do things like other people so I knew my “before & after” shoot would be something different and totally my own.

When I think of the pictures on those pages, I immediately think of improvements. The improvements on those pages though, tend to focus solely on the outside…hair and makeup aren’t the only things that make a woman beautiful. I tend to believe that true beauty lies on the inside and that awoman can be just as beautiful picking up her kids from school as when she is walking the red carpet.

When I decided to collaborate with Kacy Kizer for my “before & after” page, I knew I wanted to show not only how great makeup and great hairstyles can make a woman beautiful, but how a woman is already beautiful without anything added to her at all. I also wanted to show how fun a mini-makeover can be and how everyone deserves to be treated like a celebrity once in a while. I truly believe the way a woman feels on the inside will reflect how she looks on the outside. I really enjoyed turning the already beautiful women on my page into stunning red-carpet-ready celebrities.

I got to work with some amazing mother/daughter combos for my shoot. I think my favorite part of doing a wedding is being able to observe the intimate relationships between the bride and the women she surrounds herself with on her special day.

I want to say thank you to all the wonderful, beautiful (inside and outside) women who gave of their time to help me with this project. I also want to thank Kacy Kizer for being an amazing photographer and capturing the images that show off the true beauty of these women. Thank you to everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This video was produced and filmed by the very talented brother of my good friend Jared Birt. Josh Birt is a very fun guy to work with and was really great at putting me at ease while we filmed (I know, it’s shocking to think of me as nervous!). He was very professional and gracious about all the takes I ended up requiring!

I hope the video helps you get to know me and what I do a little better- I also hope it inspires you to do what you love too!

I am very lucky to know (and be able to work with) this extremely talented family. Thank you Josh for all your help!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I wanted to share some incredible news with all of you! I was recently interviewed by Glamour magazine to be feautured on the new wedding section of the Glamour website!

The new wedding section of their website is absolutely beautiful and extremely helpful for brides. There is nothing like seeing your product being advertised for an incredible magazine like Glamour!

Thank you Glamour!

Photos done by two amazing photographers Jared Birt and Lavenda Memory.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

This is my blog. I have waited to launch a blog in order to be ready for it. I feel like at this point in my business and life I am ready for anything… so watch out bloggers, here I come!

I have been doing makeup for almost 8 years. During those 8 years I have been able to be a part of some incredible experiences. I worked for MAC for many years, traveled and trained by some of the best makeup artists, participated in MAC Chinese Dress Event in San Francisco, and got the Resident Trainer position for the Seattle market. Whoa! I realized through all of the chaos that training people how to do makeup is truly one of my biggest passions! I have participated, as well as organized, many fashion shows and I have to say there is no better thrill than watching a model walk down the runway in your work!

Makeup artistry with MAC led me to start my own business doing makeup and styling for weddings! I love my brides! When I first started working with brides I thought that it was too good to be true. I had such a blast working with them. I hear people say “BRIDEZILLA”, and I say, “No, they just want their day to be perfect… you can have an ugly wedding if you want to, but not me, and not my brides!”. After that statement, usually people will agree! I commend my brides, and after how scary venturing in to freelance make up was, I couldn’t live without every fabulous one of them!

I recently stumbled, and I mean seriously, stumbled, on to an extremely exciting part of my career…hair pieces! Beautiful wedding hair accessories! I started making hair pieces and veils about a year ago. This whole adventure began with little feather headbands, and turned into designing bridal veils and custom hair pieces. Who knew? When I sit at my creation desk behind the sewing machine I am filled with a feeling I cannot explain. I absolutely LOVE making each and every single piece. I am inspired by everything I see, touch and experience. I finish each piece with a vintage female name. Sort of like leaving my mark, if you will. It’s like putting the topper on the wedding cake for me!

This journey has also blessed me with some incredible photographers as friends and associates. There is so much passion and inspiration that comes from working one on one with a photographer. I look forward to posting work from some of Portland’s finest that I have already met, and to future connections that I meet along my way.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I put a personal touch into everything that I do. I want to tell you all a little bit about my personal life, so that you know who you are reading about. I come from the most loving family who I cherish very much. I was raised in the small town of North Bend in Oregon, with the beach, the fog, big trucks, country boys, and the big green bridge.

I recently gave my life to Jesus Christ and my heart has been filled with a love I cannot put into words. I look back now and I don’t even know how I ever made it without him. Being a Christian in the Business I work in is very hard. It’s like having a million dollars and sitting in the middle of a shopping mall, but you can’t buy anything... HARD! We live in a world that everything you do is looked at under a microscope. Everybody has some other opinion or wisdom on how things should be done. My mission in this life is to love people for who they are, and serve them in a way that I know Jesus did. I am working to follow in his footsteps.

Lastly but very importantly, I was recently married to a man named Justin. It’s impossible to describe the kind of man that he is. I have never met a man like him. He has my heart somewhere that I will never find, and I know that he will always cherish it as his own. We don’t

have any children yet, however, we do have a fish that Justin’s little brother Mac gave me for Christmas last year. His name is Raaazzzzllleee Dazzzle, and I swear he is immortal! He cannot die! I will forget to feed him for a week, not change his water, and he is still alive! He does glare at me whenever I look at him, although he is a beta and they are awfully ugly little creatures.

My sister just had a beautiful little boy named Weston. He has graced our family with the most wonderful spirit, and we are so excited to watch him grow up to be just like his daddy. For those of you who have not met me, I love to talk! For some of you, I know that this will make you laugh because we probably met through me talking to you in some random place about some random thing! I love to read, and yes I am a HUGE twilight fan. I am also a firm believer in being nice. Being nice is probably one of the hardest things for people to do consistently, especially in the business I work in. I believe if you are nice you will succeed far more than anyone else working next to you that is not nice. Simple, but very true!

With all of that said… I love what I do, I believe in it, as well as positive, uplifting relationships, and I look forward to knowing and working with you in the future!

Austie Eckley