Here's What Happened When We Were Transformed Into Our All-Time Favorite Princesses
Fact: Almost all girls dream of being a fairytale princess at some point in their life (myself included).
There's something about these elegant, beautiful and kind royals that's so majestic and so captivating, that one can't help but want to emulate their qualities.
Until recently, I never thought I'd ever actually get to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a princess, but then I discovered Once Upon an Island—a boutique shop in Newport Beach, California, that hosts unique princess-themed events for all ages.
Upon my discovery, my coworker—and fellow princess-enthusiast—Ashley, and I eagerly signed up for a personal, one-on-one princess transformation session at the enchanting store.
Read about our meaningful experience and see our complete makeovers by scrolling below.
Arriving at Once Upon an Island
From the very moment we arrived at the storefront of Once Upon an Island in Newport Beach's Balboa Island, we knew we were in for a very special experience.
The store is a vision with pink doors, teal accents and fairytale picturesque shutter windows. We couldn't wait to get inside.
Eager as can be, Ashley and I knocked on the front door and were greeted by the two masterminds behind this magical play space: co-owners, Bree Baker and Heather Burbich.
The two kindly opened up their door and let us venture into the store, leaving our eyes wide with excitement.
This place is, no joke, a wonderland. Up front is a small boutique store, and in back there's a private area for storytime, meticulously decorated with floral pillows, wood scenery and a giant castle mural. There's even a beautiful floral-covered wall with a swing!
After appreciating the enchanting space, we stepped into another room, their "jellyfish" salon, decorated to make you feel like you're under the sea.
There, our transformations took place.
Before our makeovers truly started, we chatted with Bree and Heather about which princesses would suit us best.
The verdict? My golden locks would make me an excellent Sleeping Beauty, and Ashley's piercing eyes would make her an ideal Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
We took a quick before snap and waved goodbye to our former selves. ????
The first step in becoming our designated princesses was a full makeup look by our fantastic makeup artist for the day, Andrea Mendoza.
I sat down in the makeup seat and Andrea did her makeup magic by filling in my brows, giving my face full coverage with foundation, contouring with blush and bronzer and making my eyes pop with a frosty smoky eye. She finished the look with a poppy pink lipstick.
Ashley received the same treatment, but with nude shadow and a bright red lip—the same color as Belle's rose, of course.
The fun really began when we next started prepping our hair for wigs.
Bree carefully braided both of our heads, pinned the small braids flat on our scalps and then covered our heads with a hairnet.
Here's a snap of Ashley having her hairnet put on. A glorious moment.
After both of our hairnets were in place, Bree carefully put Sleeping Beauty's blonde, gorgeous mane on top of my head, and Belle's chic bun on top of Ashley's.
We avoided looking at ourselves in the mirror and headed out to the main room where we would slide into our dresses, deck ourselves out with our princesses' accompanying accessories and complete the looks.
Once finally dressed, we made our debut.
The First Glance
When I first took a look in the mirror, I honestly didn't recognize myself.
Who was this girl with long, blonde hair? Certainly not me.
I felt awkward, uncomfortable and definitely too clumsy to pass as an actual princess. I stared myself down from top to bottom. I really did have all the features of Sleeping Beauty. The wavy locks, the long lashes, the pink pouty lip and the dress. The beautiful dress.
The more I stared, the less I doubted myself and the more I started to like what I saw. Something about being dressed as a princess makes you actually start to feel like one.
After a few minutes of walking around, gaining comfort with the way my dress swished and moved with me, I felt beautiful. I reached the point where I didn't feel like I resembled Sleeping Beauty, I felt like I was Sleeping Beauty.
Here I am reading my own fairytale and soaking up every moment.
Ashley's experience dressing up as Belle, was quite similar to my own.
I could see the disbelief on her face when she first peered at herself in the mirror. For Ashley, this was also a lifelong dream, so you can imagine it was an emotional experience. In fact, I almost teared up just watching her almost tear up from joy. Not kidding!
Doesn't she look just like an actual princess? Stunning.
Now that we finally looked the part of a royal, Bree and Heather wanted to make sure we were fully equipped with the proper princess mannerisms.
In a fifteen-minute crash course, they taught us the basic etiquette we needed to know, including:
- How to properly curtsy
- How to wave
- How to properly blow a kiss
- How to move from place to place in an effortless manner
- How to sit
- How to never break a smile
We tried our best, but, guys, being perfectly proper is not as easy as it's cracked up to be.
A Magical Finale
Because we wrapped up our etiquette lesson quickly, Bree and Heather decided we had just enough time in our session to be transformed into one more princess.
We squealed in excitement when we learned we'd both be able to dress up as our personal favorite royals: Cinderella and Ariel.
A quick makeup touch-up and a wig and dress swap later, we were two completely glowing new princesses.
This picture perfectly sums up our excitement.
If this experience taught me one thing, it's that you're never too old to have even your wildest dreams come true.
It's a strange, but wonderful, feeling to see a silly childhood fantasy become a reality. Even though I'm no longer a little girl, that day, I acted, felt and lived like I was one.
That day, I experienced the joy, the magic and the wonder of being a fairytale princess just the same way I would have if I were six years old—and I'm sure Ashley can agree.
If anyone ever tries to tell you that your daydreams will never become a reality, laugh and show them these pictures.
If you want to experience the magic of transforming into a princess for yourself, head over HERE and check out how you, too, can experience the magic at Once Upon an Island.
Has Ariel always been your fave princess? If so, you're definitely going to want to click HERE to see some of our fave Little Mermaid-inspired items.