Katheen Trotter Hartwig, My Belmont Babe!



This post is a unique one to write, as I reflect on how special this bride is to me. Kathleen Trotter Hartwig and I go back as far as the college days at Belmont University in Nashville, TN more than 5 years ago! Even though we were close in college, I never had the opportunity to meet Kathleen’s now husband, J.D., until the day of their wedding! Seeing how smitten they were with one another on their wedding day, I asked Kathleen how they met and how they fell so madly in love! When interviewing Kathleen for this blog post, this is what she had to say about how her romance with J.D. blossomed: 

“JD and I met at Belmont University. We had religion class together our senior year and I sat behind JD and had the biggest crush on him admiring the back of his head (lol) at a far. At a friend's birthday I mustered up the courage to talk to him. The only thing I could come up with: "I don't know if you know me, but my name is Kathleen and I sit behind you in religion. You have really great hair." And he does! At the time, it was long enough for his locks to be in a ponytail! We ended up talking more later that night, and later, he asked me on our first date. Which, little did I know then, it would be not only our first date spot – Love Circle – but also our engagement spot 3 years later.” 

When choosing their wedding venue, they chose the ever-popular Graystone Quarry! I was especially excited that they chose that venue, because I had heard from fellow hair and makeup artists how beautifully stunning the bridal suite is. One of the many things that people may not know about hair and makeup artists is that we really appreciate a great bridal suite that not only has plenty of space for the team to style, but also individual stations, along with salon-type chairs and professional makeup lighting! Even though we have our own portable lighting, my team and I always appreciate when venues provide that for hair and makeup artists. 

When it came down to booking me for her wedding, I actually reached out to Kathleen as soon as I heard that she got engaged! She is so stunningly beautiful, I prayed that she would choose me to work with. The day her bridal trial arrived, Kathleen was indecisive on how she wanted to wear her hair. The first question that I always ask my brides when they are torn on hairstyles is to see a photo of their wedding dress. Since I have a background in fashion and worked as a wedding gown consultant for a year, I am very knowledgeable about choosing the appropriate hairstyle to complement the style of the wedding gown. Since Kathleen had chosen a stunning two-piece Rime Adoky gown from The Dress Theory in Nashville, TN, her hair definitely needed to reflect that old Hollywood glam vibe! Since I already knew that she preferred not to wear her hair up, I suggested that she wear her hair completely down with soft vintage waves. I am partial to this look because it is exactly what I chose for my wedding hair, which I had my dear friend, Madison, style. 

When creating this particular style of vintage waves, you have to be very patient and know how to curl properly to achieve that wavy, glam look. The process is created by locking the curls securely using the pin curl method. This is a style that I hope to recreate on my future YouTube channel. To prep the hair, I sprayed each section of hair with Kenra Thermal styling spray (link), along with Kenra working spray next! I used my 1-inch Paul Mitchell curling iron with a clamp (I find that using a wand is a little more challenging to create the proper curl). Kathleen did not want a lot of volume; therefore, I only teased lightly at her crown using Oribe Swept Up Volumizing Powder. After setting the hair in pin curls, I let Kathleen’s hair sit for 45 minutes before taking the hair down to style. 

As for Kathleen’s makeup, she wanted to keep it very soft and romantic. To prep her skin, I used Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Face Cream. After moisturizing, I wanted to give Kathleen’s skin a soft glow. I applied Becca’s Backlight Priming Filter on her T Zone areas to create a nice warmth to her skin. For her foundation, I used Temptu airbrush foundation and set it with MHD Cosmetics dual powder foundation. For her eyes, I wanted to keep the eyeshadow on the subtler side but with bold, winged liner (the classic Hollywood look!) 

I used Anastasia Beverly Hills “Soft Gold” on her entire lid, a blend of Anastasia Beverly Hills shade “Nude” and MHD Cosmetics shade “Lacy” on her upper crease, and lightly swept MAC Cosmetics shade “Brown Down” on her outer corners. For her bold eye liner, I used Tarte Cosmetics Clay Paint liner. When it came to lashes, I wanted to go very bold to make her eyes pop! I used House of Lashes in “Demure Lite” to complete her look. Another method that was used in the 40s was to make the water line of the eye pop by using a white or cream liner. I used ColourPop creme gel liner in the shade “Honeydude” in her waterline to really open her eyes and make them pop even more! As far as contouring goes, I was careful to be very light, as contour was not a common go-to during this era of makeup. I mainly wanted to focus on the cheeks! I used MAC cosmetics blush in shade “Plum Foolery”. For her lips, Kathleen wanted to keep them matte, so I used Tarte’s Creamy Matte Lip Paint in the shade “Lovespell.” This made her lips pop and thus completed the old Hollywood glam look! 

In conclusion, working with Kathleen and her lovely bridesmaids (aka my college girls) was truly amazing and I had the best time styling everyone that day! I have posted Kathleen’s review below. Enjoy! And below, more from the gorgeous bride herself: 

“I loved having Katie as a part of my special day. Not only are her services polished, professional and out of this world beautiful, but Katie herself is so kind and pleasant that she was a big part of what made my day so special. Katie had me and my bridal party laughing and smiling the entire time she styled us for my wedding. She is calm and comforting while also doing a gorgeous job with our styling. I loved all the products she used and felt like they were of top quality. From booking to completing our looks, she made the process super smooth. She is timely, a great communicator and truly cares about her clients. I would highly recommend Katie and her team to any bride!”

Professional photographs taken by Dale Benfield 

iPhone photographs taken by me

Katie Kendall