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Local makeup mogul Nancy Dawson is on a mission to simplify the beauty process for every woman and she’s hosting an event you won’t want to miss. Keep reading for details.

Photo by: TM Photography
Photo by: TM Photography

Cluttered makeup drawers and vanities: it’s a common scenario for many women. That’s why Nancy Dawson, owner of BRIDEface Cincinnati, is on a mission to simplify beauty. “Women really want to look like the best version of themselves,” she says, and she wants to help them get there.

So, mark your calendar for March 18 as Dawson hosts the “Just for Fun: Makeup Palette” event at The Creative Hookup in Montgomery. Guests will get a personalized beauty consultation to discover the styles and shades that best suit them. From there, they can customize their own palette to ensure that they always have the colors they need – and get ride of the ones they don’t.

“When I teach makeup classes, I always ask the clients to bring in their makeup bags. Time and time again, I see pre-made palettes that are only being utilized about 15%. I see clutter,” Dawson says. “The palettes we sell enable clients to curate the shades they actually use into one sleek collection, and get rid of all that extra stuff. It’s so much better when you have the ability to fully customize your palette.” Ladies who don’t so much need a full vanity makeover but who instead want a few fresh spring looks will also have the option of purchasing individual shadows.

This simplified approach to beauty has long-inspired Dawson’s career in cosmetics. She explains, “I am more about enhancing a woman’s natural beauty and bringing out her very best, than transforming them into another person or giving them an overly artificial look.”

Dawson is the owner of on-the-go bridal beauty company, BRIDEface, which is in its 11th year of serving Cincinnati brides. “The honor of being chosen by someone on the most photographed day of her life and making her feel like a celebrity for the day is priceless.”

But the beauty love isn’t just for brides. She also created her own line of beauty products called FACEing. Dawson and her team love to help anyone find the best version of themselves with her one-on-one and group makeup classes.

Dawson is looking forward to sharing fresh makeup trends for spring at the Just for Fun event. One of her favorite tricks? “Color on the lips! Our FACEing collection features bright pops on the lips and defined nudes on the eyes. So modern and very flattering!”

To learn more about the Just for Fun: Makeup Palette event or to reserve your spot, click here. To learn more about BRIDEface, visit

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From running her own makeup application business to mentoring other makeup artists and fostering other small business owners – Nancy Dawson, founder of BRIDEface, does it all.

Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface.
Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface.

It’s always fun to “play in makeup,” but Nancy Dawson, owner of BRIDEface, knows that her job entails much more: being a therapist, a mind reader, a diplomat and a marketer.

Dawson’s journey first began when she worked at Saks in the cosmetics department for eight years, doing onsite weddings by special request for her clients. “At that time, almost no makeup artists were ‘legit’ doing weddings – no website, no contracts,” she says. “A lightbulb went off when I realized that there was a real need in the market my services.”

With years of experience under her belt, Dawson has definitely had “live and learn” situations. “I started BRIDEface when I had babies at home, so I was very careful to grow my company at the same rate that my children were growing,” she says. “I started out sharing studio space until I felt established enough to have my own storefront. I kept my retail line small and tight – I was very careful not to get in over my head.”

Ten years later, Dawson and her team of 10 women do an average of 350 weddings per year and the sister company, FACEing, Dawson launched offers both classes and lessons. “We are a six-time winner of ‘The Best of The Knot’ and a five-time winner of the ‘Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice’ award,” says Dawson. “We also do charity events several times a year to benefit various local causes.”
When considering the intimacy of the job, women often find that they can be quite vulnerable with Dawson.

“Women are so critical of their appearance and obsessed with their flaws,” she says. “There is a trend in beauty right now that is more about Total Transformation than enhancement.”

“The Kardashian Kontour Kraze has confused women into thinking that they have to re-sculpt themselves into something unrecognizable,” Dawson continues. “My philosophy is more about looking like the best version of yourself – not going into the witness protection program!”

If you’re wondering what keeps this creative lady motivated – it’s her passion for makeup. “Trends, techniques, products – that’s all my team and I talk about and train on constantly,” she says. “The artists on my team inspire me, my fellow vendors inspire me with their passion an my brides’ excitement inspires me.”

As for Dawson’s personal goals, she hopes to expand the boutique aspect of her business. “Three years ago, I started a signature lip color line, and now that product has grown to include several more niche items that I developed as a direct result of working with women in private makeup lessons,” says Dawson. “I would see what they were pulling out of their bags, what was and wasn’t working for them, and what their dream makeup would be.”

In regards to the retail portion of BRIDEface, Dawson has big plans for the studio to evolve at the same pace as our OTR neighborhood. They will be featuring the work of local artist, Kayla Risch, and will also have an exclusive on the popular product, sexapeel, which was developed by a makeup artist colleague of Dawson in Chicago. “It feels great to support other women whenever I can,” she says.

However, with the popularity of her lessons and classes growing, Dawson also plans to expand her offerings. “That in addition to our retail expansion as well as our wedding workload will be more than enough to keep us busy!” she says.

To learn more about Nancy Dawson and BRIDEface, visit or check out her Instagram.

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Bella Rey Salon is hosting an upcoming event to focus on brows, makeup, skincare and anti-aging. Keep reading for all the brow-raising details.

Amanda Arias, owner of Bella Ray Salon
Amanda Arias, owner of Bella Rey Salon

“I can’t even…” That’s what you’ll be saying when you see the beauty gurus work their magic at the upcoming “Eye Can’t Even” event.

Amanda Arias, owner of Bella Rey Salon in Oakley, is hosting this Happy Hour and Beauty Bar to feature experts from her salon, Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface, and a select line of skincare.

“Clients are always looking for new ways that focus on their faces, specially anti-aging skincare and makeup,” Arias explains. “Bella Rey Salon works closely with Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface – she’s the best in town.”

Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface
Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface

Dawson will be at the event giving complimentary brow lessons to attendees. “Eyebrows are definitely becoming a “thing” that people are concentrating on more,” Arias says. “Nancy personally showed me what I was doing wrong and how to do them correctly and what tools to use. Ever since then, I actually have people compliment my brows. It’s crazy!”

FACEing, the brand of makeup Dawson developed and launched, will be available to purchase, including brow tools used in Dawson’s lessons.

Arias will also feature the Rodan + Fields skin care line at her event. “I’ve dealt with troubled skin my entire life,” she explains. “My friend suggested a product six months ago that changed my life. I bought it and never looked back.”

In fact, she says, it improved her skin so dramatically in three months that she decided to go through the training and become and Rodan + Fields consultant herself. “It has literally been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and now I am fortunate enough to be able to offer these products to my clients as well,” she says. “Everyone is loving their products and their immediate results.”

Arias will have the entire Rodan + Fields line available for purchase at the event. In addition, there will be several giveaways and raffles, including sample and full sized products.

Arias says she recently hosted a similar event, and it was such a success that they decided to have another. “One of the products that I love is the multifunction eye cream. It literally got rid of my crows feet and dark under eye circles in a matter of weeks,” she says. “So, we teamed up with Nancy to really out the emphasis on eyes this month!”

The free event is on Friday March 13, from 6-8 p.m. and includes light food and beverages. To learn more, visit Bella Rey Salon on Facebook for the event link and more information including before and after pictures.


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The Brideface team in front of their new Over The Rhine storefront


Ask and you shall receive. At least that’s the way it works at Brideface.


Based in Over The Rhine, this multiple-award-winning posse of makeup artists specializes in bridal and makeup coaching throughout the Tri-State. Their coaching classes can be customized for tweens, mother-daughter, or a girls night out.


In addition, owner Nancy Dawson launched a “FACEing” cosmetics line in 2013. The line currently includes lipsticks, lip glosses, cheek color, brushes, brow mascara, brow kits and eye shadows. Dawson has plans to soon launch more offerings.

Brideface “Blockbuster Box”


“I hear it over and over in my FACEing classes,” Dawson recently posted. “So many women hate foundation. They wish they could buy a lightweight product that is good for their skin, evens the tone, and makes it just look healthy, not covered up and flat. Well we have a new product coming that will blow you away!”


Client feedback is what fuels new ideas for her business, Dawson says. In fact, prior to the holidays, she began receiving requests for “beauty bundles,” or just a few of her favorite things all wrapped up with pretty packaging to give as a gift. She obliged, and says it’s been a big hit.


“A long-time client contacted me just a few days before Christmas and asked me to pull together six $200 beauty boxes for the women in her family,” Dawson explains. “I customized them each and added a note on how to use the products, gift wrapped them, and shipped them out!”


After posting an example on Facebook, orders began to flow. “I can do them in any price point,” she adds. “A husband called me because his wife had just taken a FACEing class with me, so I pulled together the things I had recommended for her in the lesson.”


According to Dawson, a “Brideface Blockbuster Box” typically includes an assortment of brushes, lip collection, cheeky cream blushes, and brow collection. “We also have brush rolls and canisters and lot of people have been loving those to keep their tools organized,” she explains.


Price points vary depending on the products included, but a $200 gift package includes seven makeup brushes, two lip colors, cheek color, liner, twissors, brow mascara and brow sketchstick.


Not only is the Blockbuster Box concept a big hit for Brideface, but their new location is too. “We did so well in our new location over Christmas,” Dawson says, “we just love it!”


Located at 2009 Elm Street, Dawson says foot traffic has been steadily increasing with the rapid development in OTR, and foresees a major boost once the streetcar is up and running. “Because we are so off the beaten path from Vine and Main, we haven’t yet been able to piggyback off [OTR’s] shopping events. But when we did Fuchsia Friday, on black friday, we were listed in the OTR Chamber of Commerce marketing materials so we saw a huge surge from that,” she explains. “We rely heavily on Rheingeist traffic now, since we are the only businesses at that end of the street. That all [will] change rapidly though as the streetcar gets closer to opening!”


To learn more, visit