I genuinely love weddings. There is something so optimistic and hopeful about participating in the celebration of true love. I also look forward to the dancing... The amount of dancing I do surely makes up for the many pieces of cake* I consume. At least, that's what I tell myself.
For our first series, I interviewed several experts on the subjects of hair, make up, photography, nutrition, and travel to ensure I dole out some good advice. I learned quite a bit from this interviews, and I hope you do, too!
We start this week with hair and make up tips. Whether you're planning a wedding or just a weekend at the beach, you'll find this to be useful advice that should make your life a little bit easier.
*You have to at least taste the wedding cake. My mother told me it was bad luck for the couple if I didn't. Since there is a good bit of Italian superstition in me, I take her words to heart.
Matt Fugate is a stylist at Sally Hershberger in NYC. He’s our go-to-guy for photo shoots (usually the one, lone, dude), and we couldn’t think of a better guy to help us get ready on our big day! He’s know for his height, his humor – he is very entertaining on set – oh, and his amazing talent as a hairdresser ;)
For a classic bride, I like a smooth and shiny up do – chignons have a glamorous effect. Styling the hair down and to one side in falling curls also adds a soft romance to the look. Either of these styles should be accompanied with a classic veil.
To me, modern brides are all about extremes. Hair should be texturized and wild with a matte finish to lend a romantic, whimsical, and touchable look, or very straight and glassy, with an almost reflective finish. Hair accessories in addition to the veil make a modern statement.
The beauty of this style is imperfection of it. I like loose waves, braids, and hair extensions to help create a mermaid effect. A wave spray helps hair to look lived in, emphasizing the relaxed and carefree nature.
For any bridal style, the beauty lies in allowing the bride’s personality to shine through.
Resist hairspray! It gets sticky and can look crunchy in pictures. Instead, use an anti-humidity spray or a dry texturizing spray. Oribe makes great versions of both. For the classic looks described above, use a shine spray, like Sally Hershberger Smooth Fix. For the modern bride, it can really depend on the look, but dry shampoos are great for matte finish and volume. Dove Dry Shampoo is awesome.
Dry shampoo is the one product she should carry with her. The best version for this purpose is Shu Uemura Volume Maker – it’s as small as a lipstick and applies with a brush applicator so you’re not spraying it all over your dress and makeup.
A side-braid or elegant hairline braid is always an easy way to get away with not washing your hair and still look chic. It also looks effortless because of all the messy texture your hair will have from the night before.
Yes - bring your hairdresser! Having someone you trust with you is not only going to ensure your hair looks great, but will ensure your big day starts out with someone you know. It’s always special because I’m usually familiar with all of the fun times she’s had with her man (most clients spill in my chair about “this new guy they are dating” and ask for my dating advice, etc), and so I’m a part of the journey she’s taken to get to this day. Then it isn’t weird to have me stay through the ceremony and change up her hair for the reception… and then again for the after-party…
WEDDING MAKE UP
Elaine Madelon is the most fabulous makeup artist, based in New York. A regular collaborator with Annie Leibowitz, Arthur Elgort (and Alessandra Mackenzie, of course), she is known for the fresh, unabashedly gorgeous looks she creates for models, celebrities and real women alike. Who better to get bridal makeup tips from than her?______________________________________________________________________________________________
We’ll start with the different bridal styles. How can the following looks be achieved with makeup?
My version of a classic bride would be a twist on the fairytale, a bride who personifies romantic, feminine and timeless themes. Lip colors would be natural - roses and pinks - and her makeup wouldn’t pull focus from the overall look. Instead, it would work to enhance and elevate the occasion.
This is a woman who takes risks. She is an individualist and will do whatever makes her feel the most comfortable. A version of this look could be a bold brow and a signature bright or dark lip with no eye makeup at all. It could also be a more carefree or simple hairstyle and overall makeup look.
This look to me is a bit undone. She takes cues from the classic look, but might add a smoky or bronzed eye. Her skin would be slightly dewy, created with products that are sheerer (allowing freckles to show through, for example).
There are a few products that really make the difference particularly in muggy weather, and the first is moisturizer. You need moist skin to have your foundation apply properly, but using too much in humidity will make you sweat (as will sunblock). In hot climates try a gel or serum moisturizer before your foundation (in a normal or dry climate, don’t be afraid of moisture - it’s what makes skin look youthful).
There are also some serious makeup primers that help with hot and muggy conditions, but these can pill easily so need some practice beforehand. I prefer to layer powder colors over cream, with a layer of powder in between, for example: apply cream blush and bronzer, then a dusting of face powder, then powder versions of blush and bronzer. This builds depth, dimension and staying power. The final step when you want your makeup to last is a makeup finishing spray. These seal in your look and are a good investment. I like the ones from Makeup Forever or Urban Decay.
I’m of the “set it and forget it” school of makeup, I don’t love touching up too much in general because her focus should be on her party. One thing to think about is the photography, as camera flashes in particular (which are necessary) can make you look like a sweaty mess. Ask your photographer to “soften” or “gel” the flash so that everyone looks better in the end - there is only so much makeup can do.
That being said, I would keep a lip gloss or balm that is kissable, and for touch ups, the makeup sponge that you used to apply your makeup wrapped in tissue for dabbing and blending. A powder puff or compact is okay before pictures, but don’t bother at the reception. Using these on top of dance sweat will just make a mess and have little to no impact. Embrace the glow!
When listed out it sounds like a lot, but taking 3-5 minutes to put on a light coating of the basics will help with vacation photos. If you’re blessed with dark brows and lashes or perfect skin you can customize for your own needs.
Any other tips that can help the bride feel and look her best?
A bride should feel like herself above all else, so focus on amplifying what you typically do versus a full makeover. I am all for hiring beauty professionals if that is what makes you the most comfortable, but I also suggest investing in a lesson and new products before the big day (especially for destination weddings).
Whatever beauty decisions you make, it always helps to get ready in a relaxing environment - music, natural light, comfortable Alessandra Mackenzie PJ’s, a candle and some refreshments always help - and remember to enjoy the process!