Styling Sunday: Hair Stress and Breakage


Little fly-aways or baby hairs can be the worst. Check out this awesome #stylingsunday tip from Rachel to avoid breakage!

"If you’re experiencing a lot of breakage around your hairline, watch the way you pull it back. If you always pull your hair back the same way it’s putting stress on the same pieces of hair which will make it break. Try doing a braid one day, a high ponytail another day, and a low ponytail the next. Keep the stress on different parts of the hair each time so there’s less breakage."

Where Did the JOL Philosophy Come From?


We recently had a family from church over that we just started getting to know. As we exchanged "how we met our spouse" stories over pizza and beer, we then moved on to "what we do."

It's so much easier for people who've known me for years to understand what it is my Team and I do, and why. They've seen it all evolve. But it can be really difficult to concisely explain to those not in the wedding world, why we hold to the philosophy we do, and refuse to offer our brides any less than the services that come as a result of that philosophy.

I shared with our new friends that having done Hair + Makeup for weddings for years, my Team and I would so (so SO) often hear the same thing from brides, moms, and bridesmaids in regards to past Hair/Makeup experiences when we asked: 

"I'm sure the Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist did a great just wasn't me."


"I'm sure it looked great, I just didn't feel like myself."

And since we are committed to being dedicated listeners, and bettering our services each and every year...the negative past experiences of our clients is what has continued to fuel our passion for getting to know them, their styles, their preferences, and what makes them feel beautiful.

I honestly can't get over the fact that SO.MANY.BRIDES in the world have HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of professional photos they spent thousands of dollars on and in they don't "look/feel like themselves." We think there is something SO WRONG with that!


I'm not sure where this, "technically it was great, but I sort of hated it" attitude (that I happen to think is incredibly gracious, by the way) comes from. Maybe it's because sadly, many in the Cosmetology industry can have pretty big egos. (Did I just put that in writing?!) And, I've witnessed it: the big ego can translate into a condescending, "You have no idea what you're talking about" tone with clients. An, "I know best." attitude.

Now. Are there times it is clear that our Cosmetology knowledge and experience allows us to better understand how styles and looks work, causing a need to educate the client? Of course.

But as one bridesmaid shared a past will never hear someone on our Team say anything along the lines of, "You look exotic. We'll give you an exotic look." 

What is that?! Assigning someone a certain Hair + Makeup style without their input at all? Who is wearing this all day, anyway?! (Can you tell this is a hot button for me?!)

Weddings are once in a lifetime. They are the most photographed day of someone's life. And it's with this in mind, that we emphatically refuse to provide Hair or Makeup Services without getting to know our clients first!

Images compliments of Alison Dunn Photography and Kristen Kiraly Films

Makeup Tip Monday: Enhanced Natural Eyebrows

Eyebrows are so important in framing the face-- and a little can go a long way! Here's Sara's #makeuptipmonday for you: "My personal pro secret behind awesome brows is an angle brush and two shadow colors. Not just one, but two. Use a slightly darker shade and outline the brows. Take your brush and drag the color into the outer half of the brows. Then, take the lighter color and brush it into the front half of the brows. Having two colors will mimic your natural brows hairs creating a more natural look. If you ever feel they're too dark just take aclean mascara wand and brush them in the direction of the hair growth, to remove excess product! My go-to is Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo! Or, your favorite matte eye shadows work just as well!"

Image by Alison Dunn Photography

What Makes Up a Janelle on Location Bride?


Having been in the industry for so many years (this year makes my 17th of doing weddings!) I have noticed similarities in our brides. Especially these last years as our branding has become clearer, and our process always more stream-lined to make the most out of the JOL experience.

Here are some common attributes of JOL Brides:

Love for Friends + close to Family.

We are regularly amazed to find that our brides are incredibly intentional about their friendships and relationships. We so often hear a desire to use their wedding as an outlet to bless, pamper, and love on others, even when they are the ones being celebrated. 



Whether this is expressed in the sentiment of wearing a re-purposed veil or dress, or teeny-tiny pieces of the day that are intentionally thought out to bless those around them, our brides are SO.THOUGHTFUL. And in their thoughtfulness, unbelievably kind.

Detail Oriented.

Whether they're planning everything to a "T" themselves, or have hired a Wedding Coordinator or Planner to do it alongside/for them, our brides care about the details. The decor, the timeline...what they look like and how the day feels!


Self Awareness.

Knowing what they like, and don't like is key. Being comfortable in their own style and skin, they are an expert on "them." We are experts on hair and makeup. Together, we are experts on hair and makeup for them. This self awareness doesn't have to be immediate at the outset, sometimes it grows in the journey and discussion. But our brides aren't afraid of identifying things that "aren't them" and pointing to things that are when we suggest them.


When we explain options in achieving various looks, our brides trust our experience and education. Often, we find that brides will ask for our input about head pieces, extensions, their need for false lashes, or what application type of makeup we think would be best for them. 


I have no idea why. I have no idea how. I don't have an "answer" for this. But we seriously work with the SWEETEST brides. They send us hand-written thank you cards, write meaningful and encouraging emails that make our hearts soar, ask about OUR food allergies so THEY can serve us food at their Trial Run or on the Wedding Day...the list is endless. Maybe its because they feel like genuine friends by the time their wedding rolls around...I'm not sure. But we certainly love and appreciate it, and feel completely spoiled by them!

Images by Lauren Fair Photography and Alison Dunn Photography

Styling Sundays


If you've been around any length of time, you know that we offer #makeuptipmondays pretty often over here. Well, gear up! We're adding #stylingsundays to the mix and are so excited to share with you hair tips, tricks and product recommendations.

What are you most excited to hear about?

Team Tuesday: Meet Janelle


Last year, I introduced our Hair + Makeup Team: Rachel, Sara, Lindsay, and Nicole (we've added one more since then: another post to come!) At the time, it felt really silly to "introduce" myself since I feel like I'm everywhere. In our video you hear and see my passion for the industry, it's my words on our website and all throughout the Styling Guide we send to each #jolbride , etc. etc. You guys already know me, right?

But, then I started thinking: I'm not just the owner of Janelle on Location. I'm the Senior Stylist, too. And, as a Stylist, I figure, I should probably introduce myself. So. Here goes!

Hi! I'm Janelle. I'll be 32 this month- the day before Valentines Day. I've been married for 6 years (by the end of February) and we have two adorable kiddos: a 2 year old girl, and a 3 month old boy (and their oldest sibling is in Heaven.) My little family moved to South Carolina last year, where I run Janelle on Location and am stoked about expanding to Charleston this year. Also. We travel a LOT. It's worth the work that travel is with kiddos to have our windows open with warm, fresh air starting in JANUARY. Not exaggerating. The weather here is GLORIOUS!

After watching my aunt do hair for my cousin's wedding, I did my first updo when I was 13. It was for a friend who had a piano recital. And then in typical 13-year-old-fashion, when you do one "updo" that gets're dubbed as the friend who "does hair." Hey, I'm not complaining. That reputation spread fast, and I had so many guinea pig volunteers who were an incredible asset to gaining the unheard of hands on experience I had at such a young age. Some of this I alluded to in my recent post about "The Beginning" of JOL.

At 14, two girls in my Study Hall (who were two years older than me) asked if I'd do their hair for prom. PROM, you guys. I was so nervous. But I love a I said yes! They went to prom, got lots of compliments, and their friends freaked out that they got their hair a Freshman. The next year...and I'm not exaggerating...I was booked from like 8am to 6pm for updos in 30 minute appointment slots. I think I gave myself a lunch break- but it was 15-16 heads of hair in one day. AS A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD. I was EXHAUSTED. And loved every second.

My parents were really strict that I not charge anyone un-licensed. So. After losing money buying so much hair spray and so many bobby pins out of my hard-earned babysitting money, I asked for Homecoming that the girls bring their own supplies. Cue: my first lesson in learning the VAST differences good and bad hairsprays make! OH MY WORD!

I was booked for multiple school's dance-dates every Homecoming and Prom throughout High School. I also did my first wedding at 15, and had done ten weddings by the time I was 17. After that, I lost count!

Fast forward through getting my Cosmetology License before graduating High School, working a Disney World internship to learn about Customer Service, moving to Florida, and loving "formal" styling WAY more than ANY other service I offered working in a salon there...I moved to Wales for a mid-term Mission's Trip. Yes, the country. And no, it's not "in" England. And yes, the Welsh are offended by that question. ;) Wonderful experience. Hard year. Life-changing in amazing ways.

I came back to the States and make Janelle on Location official. With literally $18 in my bank account. Eighteen. One-eight. No zeros. I've worked extremely hard and sacrificed a ton over the years for Janelle on Location to be debt free- even since it's inception. Busting my butt doing haircuts and highlights throughout the week, I FINALLY started specializing in weddings, (then added Curly Hair as a specialty a month later). I wanted to focus so hard on what I was best at, and what my passion was.

Oh my goodness, I worked so so hard those years. Before sunrise to after dark. Getting up crazy early to do hours of admin, reach out to local vendors via email, schedule appointments, write out directions from one client's house to the next while I saved for a GPS because I had a dumb phone (and then friends surprised me with an iPad for Christmas!)...doing confirmation calls while in the car between appointments, and I took clients alllll day, to come home and do hours more of admin responding to those who emailed me back during the day. I was a one woman show! Maybe circus?! This went on for years (though, after the first year I had an iPad and a Scheduling Coordinator-- which were SO NEEDED to take the edge off of my many responsibilities so I could business plan better, providing a bit of momentum.)

Met the hubs (at a wedding, no less! He was truly the Best Man ;), got married, moved to PA, and ONLY focused on Hair + Makeup for weddings. Best decision. Why do other things when you can do what you LOVE?!


And now, as my family actively grows, I personally take a small number of weddings and continue investing in the absolutely incredible Team God has blessed me with. You guys. I am not exaggerating when I say they are the best. They are THE.BEST. There is such affection in our friendships, and camaraderie in sharing our passions serving brides. And we manage to work with such incredible brides! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! We genuinely think they're the best in the world. True relationships that are long lasting are born from this journey of getting to know each of them, and helping them come up with the best Bridal Look for their day.

This adventure has had it's fair share of sleepless nights, and tears. But not even close the amount of excited squeals and enthusiasm it's given me. I simply wouldn't want to be doing anything else!!

Photos by our amazing and talented friendor, Alison Dunn Photography

A JOL Reference Page: What You Need to Know


We know we're different. We don't solely offer Wedding Day Hair + Makeup (far from it!) and that throws a LOT of brides off. There's almost a learning curve to understanding our philosophy and process because we differ so significantly in our mindset and services to others in our industry.

Consider this blog post (right here, that you're reading!) your cheat sheet! The big pieces of who we are, what we do, why, and what that means for you...all in one place.

Maybe you want to know: Who is Janelle on Location? or What Are Our Team Dynamics Like?

Maybe you want to know What to Expect at Your Trial Run or you're eager to get the most out of your experience by Investing in Our Relationship and Process.

Sometimes Brides aren't sure how to Choose the Right Hair + Makeup for themselves. Or they forget we offer Massage Therapy Services at any time.

Perhaps you want to start off by learning a bit about your Lead Stylist: Janelle, Rachel, or Sara.

If you're lost on even HOW to look for inspiration hairstyles, get our guidance here and here.

And if you'd can get Five Tips to the Perfect Wedding Morning just for kicks!

Always feel free to comment or email with questions!!

Makeup Tip Monday: Goodbye Tired Eyes!

I'm pretty sure there are days we ALL need this #makeuptipmonday from Sara. "Do you ever wake up and feel that you look super tired? If so, go grab yourself a white or beige eye pencil. To make your eyes look brighter, wider, and more awake add one of these lighter color pencils to the waterline. It will look like you got a whole night of sleep! My go-to is the Charolette Tilbury Rock 'N' Kohl Eye Cheat Pencil."

Image by Alison Dunn Photography

A Sincere Bride: Beautifully Herself

When a bride starts her description of the desired "feel" for her wedding day with words like, "sincere" or "heart-warming", "sentimental" and "light-hearted"...basically, we're hooked.

Well, that was Jaime. A #jolbride we won't forget. With an absolutely KILLER gown from Klienfeld Bridal  (the most amazing illusion neckline!) and wedding inspiration that echoed the warm, genuine, thoughtful description of the desire for her wedding day, we just loved being a part of it all.

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For Jaime's hairstyle we played around a lot at the Trial Run with various types of structured and unstructured curls within the side-updo to make sure we got the perfect texture for her style. A side part, with soft pieces framing her face, and the style itself visible from the front below her ear, I just love what we landed on.

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For makeup, we kept things consistent with the tones and product types that Jaime typically wears, while highlighting and drawing more attention to her beauty by taking everything up a notch. Stunningly herself: that's always our goal.

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And when a Bridal Party's timing and service needs call all JOL hands to be on deck...we tend to have that much more fun!

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Thanks, Jaime, for inviting us to be a part of your spectacular day! It was wonderful meeting your family after getting to know you, and seeing all of the different styles and personalities of your sisters. Wish we could do it all over again!

How My Kids Make Me A Better Wedding Vendor

During my short Maternity Leave with our dear Wesley this Fall, I wondered what adjustments needed to be made to my new mundane and how I could better position myself for my Team and our Brides in the coming year...while not compromising on the extremely high-calling I believe motherhood is. Or the service, availability, guidance and friendship we offer our Brides.

I asked myself this crazy hard question:

In order to keep the standards at Janelle on Location as high as we have them, do I need to cut back significantly on the number of weddings we take so I can, with a clear conscience, invest in my kids in a way I believe is important, irreversible, and valuing these precious short years?

I'm not going to lie, there was a fear in my heart as I genuinely considered that question; seeking to evaluate honestly. I started picturing my life with less Janelle on Location, assessing if it would make me a better mom for my kids.

As I pondered, I realized that this job actually makes me a better mom. And. Being a mom...makes me a better Wedding Vendor and Team Leader. Hear me out.

My days and nights are full of mundane: keeping humans alive with food, sleep, and basic hygiene over and over again. Constantly doing what will just be undone, or need to be re-done again in moments. These days of postpartum cushion, sleep deprivation, yoga pants, over sized t-shirts and my two year old thinking that anytime mama wears makeup we must be going to church...

...these days need an outlet of "Fancy." Of beautiful. Of planning. 

Basically, weddings are the opposite of my life right now. They are thought out, planned, with all hands on deck from tons of professionals, details intricately designed, days, months and sometimes years of Pins saved and Wedding Vision brainstormed. The most spectacular once-in-a-lifetime dress. Emailing and texting close friends regularly about all of the plans. Fancy, delicious food, vacation around the corner, with almost every single moment of the most amazing, detail-oriented day of a couple's life being documented by the best photographer around. Images to be hung on the wall and given as gifts to last a lifetime.

My days are repetitive. Rotating the same 5 of my husband's t-shirts that currently fit while my body re-gains it's un-pregnant shape. With my hands overflowing with laundry, dishes, spit up, crumbs, making scrambled eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches...sometimes being too busy to eat them myself. The details of my day are entirely un-fascinating, and feel un-worthy of documentation. I'm out of touch with so many friends I deeply care about.

So getting to mull over clean, un-fingerprinted, bright images of wedding vision from our Brides, hearing their heart-warming love stories (which make me fall in love with my husband all over again!), seeing a Bride's sweet friendships on full display, and journeying with Brides and other vendors in the planning of THE a beautiful, needed outlet for me. I look forward to my emails, and pinterest boards, and wedding days...caring for these women who've entrusted so much to us. It is a tremendous joy. And a refresher for my heart, mind, relationships, and pace. And I need it. And because I'm a believer in self-care as it allows us to care for OTHERS more effectively... kids need Janelle on Location, too. 

Team Tuesday: The Beginning


We all get our start somewhere.

There's always a beginning to every business, every career...each person has their own story.

While mine was born in my Aunt and Uncle's Salon in New Jersey on the day of my cousin's wedding, heading back home to Virginia is where my passion for the beauty industry really began to take root. In 7th grade, I had a very detailed plan of how I was going to get my Cosmetology License, specialize in Customer Service, and one day own my own salon. (Turns out I LOVE owning an on location business WAY MORE.) Believe it or not, my 7th grade plans weren't far from what my dreams materialized to be! More on that in another post. Full of others who influenced me, encouraged me, and LOTS of peers who were willing volunteers to be guinea pigs for Proms and Homecomings!

These two ladies pictured above, invested in me more than words can say. Jean (left) and Judy (right) were two of the Stylists who worked at the Salon I first Assisted at in Charlottesville, Virginia when I was 15. As I was sweeping floors, doing shampoos, making coffee, and cleaning, these ladies would pull me aside mid-updo they were working on, and show me a trick. Or explain how they knew their client was interested in something she wasn't even verbally communicating style-wise. They showed me how to hold hairspray when your hands are full, how to make hair pins be "fully committed", and how to appreciate the value of the work they (and I) did.

Their investment in me is one of the reasons I'm so passionate about investing in other Stylists, and the motivation behind the precise way our Team is structured here at Janelle on Location. Building into others both as professionals, and as people has become a tremendous passion, and I am unbelievably thankful for Jean, and Judy (among so so many others) who took time to encourage me, and teach me more than words can describe.

From a 15 year old Assistant, to the video below, my heart bursts. This is the fruit of so much love from others, many kind words, ridiculously supportive parents, lots and LOTS of mistakes, and almost two decades of unbelievably hard work. I am absolutely stoked about what this next year holds!!

Thanks for being a part of our story.

Makeup Tip Monday: Blending Shadow like a Pro

Your #makeuptipmonday fix is right here from Sara. "Does anyone feel they can never get it as good as the pros? There a few key tricks to get a perfectly blended look. The first, is when blending hold your hand closer to the end of the handle (away from the bristles) this will give you less-control, but allow for softer blend and will not remove product. If you are trying to pack or layer on a color (specifically on the lid) hold your hands closer towards the bristle to have a heavier application. Also, never forget a primer. My favorite is Urban Decay Primer Potion!"

Image by Alison Dunn Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: Beauty Blender Care

This is a fantastic #makeuptipmonday from Sara! "If any of you ladies use a Beauty Blender, you know sometimes they get smushed or ripped when thrown into your makeup bag. This clever storage tip will help prevent it: grab yourself a plastic Easter egg. The beauty blenders resemble an egg shape and fit perfectly into these. Easy fix and no more destroyed beauty blenders!"

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: A Fresh Look

We all know that concealer hides our blemishes or red spots. But is there any other use for it?

Check out this awesome advice from Rachel: "I think it works great if you use a slightly lighter concealer under the eyes, down the bridge of the nose, in the middle of the forehead, and on the chin to give a fresher, more awake appearance and to add dimension."

Photo by Brittney Kreider of #jolbride Melissa.

Makeup Tip Monday: Covering Blemishes

This morning's #makeuptipmonday is from Sara. "Do you have any redness or blemishes on your face? My makeup artist Tip to combat the redness is green concealer. You heard me! The green color will counteract and neutralize the redness in your face. Remember: apply in a thin layer under your foundation. My must-have green concealer is NYX Green Concealer in a Jar."

Image by Alison Dunn Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: The Right Foundation Shade for You

With SO many different shades and tones of foundation out there in the are you supposed to find the one that's the right match for you?!

Here are some great things to keep in mind; some advice from Rachel: "To choose the perfect shade of foundation you should test it on your neck because your face and neck are the same color (the arm is generally darker than the face or neck area so it generally isn't the best place to test what will match your face.)"

Image by Alison Dunn Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: Lip Exfoliator

Fabulous #makeuptipmonday from Sara! "Dry and flakey lips a problem? To help your lipstick apply more smoothly, you need to exfoliate. The best part is, you can use some common household products to do so. Grab some brown sugar and coconut oil to create a scrub. Mix together and use a toothbrush to lightly exfoliate the lips. Rinse and add some Vaseline to hydrate. The next morning, your lipstick will glide right on!"

Image by Justin Johnson Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: Airbrush vs. Traditional Application

Today's #makeuptipmonday is more of an educational piece for when you have your Makeup professionally done. One of the questions we ask our brides during our first phone call, is their preference/experience when it comes to Airbrush or Traditional Application of foundation.

This isn't because there's a large difference in the finished look. Quite the opposite! Achieving a flawless complexion that will last alllllll day can be done with either and both methods. The difference, is simply the form of application. The WAY the makeup is applied. You can use "airbrush foundation" on a beauty blender, and apply it by hand!

So why do we ask, then? Because comfort of our clients matters. And sometimes, if someone has had a positive, or negative experience in the past with one form or the other, that's what they're drawn to...or. away from.

In a phone call with a #jolbride, Murrey, (who is getting married very soon!) she had the clarity to articulate essentially, "I've had airbrush makeup before, and it's not that I didn't like the airbrush, I just didn't care for the way my makeup looked as a whole." BINGO. But our negative experiences can often influence the way we feel about something altogether. The same concept goes for False Lashes! There are hundreds and hundreds of different kinds. Lengths. Density's. Just because you hated them once, doesn't mean you hate all False Lashes! And just because you liked them once, doesn't mean you like them all either!!

This is one of the reasons Trial Runs are essential. After getting a feel for the past experiences, and overall personality of our brides, we get to play around with various looks and methods to land with the one that makes each #jolbride feel THE MOST comfortable. Looking beautiful is a must. Feeling comfortable is equally as essential.

Image by Alison Dunn Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: The Dewey Look

We hear a lot of bridal parties interested in a dewey finish to their foundation- especially if they tend to have dry skin. (Typically we find that ladies with more oily skin prefer a matte finish.)

Rachel has a great trick for the dewey look! "In order for you to obtain a dewey look but without actually being oily I like to highlight the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the Cupid's bow (right above the upper lip) and the highest point of the chin. 

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Makeup Tip Monday: Touch Up Service and Re-style


Listening to our bride's needs is something we take extremely seriously. So a few years ago, after receiving requests for Stylists to stay on site for touch ups and/or complete Bridal Hair + Makeup re-styles...we added it to a Collection we offer.

Whether you're changing into a surprise dress, or want your hair down for the ceremony but up for the reception...or, maybe you're thinking a neutral palette is best for daytime, but you want a bolder makeup look for the evening...we've got you covered! Have one of our Team Members stay on site-- available for touch ups in between photos and available to completely change your look to surprise everyone if you want!

I also can't help but include this totally embarrassing picture of myself because it is just THAT hysterical- I am sure it'll make you laugh! This is from a workshop in France with Lauren Fair and Julie Paisley in August. Our beautiful model, Julie, had something in her eye and I was trying to help find it. But oh my goodness...the squat, the hand on the hip, the squint, the pregnant belly...its just absolutely hysterical!! I burst out laughing the first time I saw it!


Photographer: @kir2ben
Models: @juliannaleemurphy and @shane.m.murphy
Gown: @clairelafaye
Florals and styling: @oleandercurated
Hair and makeup: @jol_stylist
Ribbon: @honeysilksco
Paper goods and invite: @prettyininkshop
Tie: @neckandtieco
Shot at @laurenfair and @juliepaisleyphotography Provence, France Workshop. #LandJworkshopabroad