Earlier this month, "Wedding Day Makeover" premiered on TLC. The show, which follows brides-to-be as they decide on their pre-wedding beauty regimen, will feature a local salon.
Design Visage, a Newport Beach business near John Wayne Airport, was selected to style 21 of the 50 brides featured in the series.
Owner Caren Lazarus is a pioneer in the bridal industry. In 1991, the Los Angeles Times published a story on her as the first to market specifically to brides. Now her salon, an Orange County institution since 1986, styles 500 weddings a year.
"Hair and makeup for weddings is really common now, but back then no one was doing it," Lazarus said.
TLC asked around, and her name repeatedly came up, Lazarus said. It eventually lead the production crew to the steps of Design Visage.
The show is centered around what stylists call a "preview" — when a bride visits a salon and tries out a variety of styles to consider for her wedding day. In an ordinary preview, the stylists work step by step, seeking the approval of their clients.
The show, however, adds a touch of drama by giving family and friends a chance to voice their opinion. Plus, the bride isn't able to give input or get a glimpse in the mirror until the final swivel of the chair.
The cliffhanger is when the wedding style is revealed.
"It was a little more stressful for the artists because you could turn them around, and they could either love it or hate it," Lazarus said.
However, the team was more than up for the challenge.
Missy Garland, a stylist at Design Visage, was featured the most during TLC's tapings. She has been with the salon for 10 years and believes the show is an important glimpse into the common problems brides face.
"One bride had dark circles and she never let people put makeup on her," Garland said. "It was awesome that she trusted me and to see how happy she was when I corrected it."
However, the show isn't just aimed at brides. The reality series offers tips any gal can follow, whether it's new hair techniques or trying a makeup trend.
Design Visage is feeling the aftermath of the show. The phone has been ringing, Lazarus said. Even though they've had their share of celebrity clients, Lazarus would like to stay true to the business plan.
"When I started this it was for the average person," she said. "We like to bring that star look to our brides."
Although the team gets nervous whenever a new episode airs, the excitement is palpable. During the interview with the Daily Pilot Lazarus received a text message from a stylist. It said: "Oh my God, this is the best episode.
Lazarus said "we watched with one eye open and one eye closed" while seeing the first two episodes at a stylist friend's house.
Both Lazarus and her team feel the show will not only reveal some beautiful local weddings, but also unite brides who might feel anxious about the big day.
"This is the best reality show because girls get so stressed out about their wedding day," she said. "It's a big decision. The TLC crew captured the reality, how the business works, and the dilemmas brides go through."