Broke-Ass Tag: wedding makeup



I’m sitting here as I type, enjoying the delightfully foreign sensation of dramatically long lashes and a super-duper-moisturized face. You guys, I wish I had a Gatsby-caliber party to attend tonight, because I LOOK HOT.

What just happened? My wedding makeup trial session!

Being a runner/CrossFit freak, you wouldn’t think that I have a girly side but let me tell you, I can throw down at some Sephora with the best of the divas.  However, when you get past the basic Naked 2 palette and some fabulous Buxom lip gloss, I’m worthless. Contouring, blending, falsh lashes… yeah, they and I are not on speaking terms. So when it came time to try out my wedding face, I made the personal choice to not go it alone. I needed to call in some help.

Lucky gal that I am, I befriended Andrea of Andrea Carter Artistry last year and we’ve been talking about doing a trial sitting ever since.  To brag on my girl a little, Andrea has seriously impressive bridal and editorial makeup artistry credentials (think Style Me Pretty, Huffington Post, 100 Layer Cake, The Wedding Chicks) and was also featured on Pottery Barn’s blog for her DIY champagne bottles! Talk about some BAB badassery!

Today was the day where our busy schedules aligned and I couldn’t be happier with the results!! We spent a few hours doing all the magical pampering you’d expect, along with trying several different looks to make sure I absolutely got the look I wanted. As she lovingly fussed over my face, I managed to pick her brain a little bit. For you my friends, I wanted to share some words of wisdom from Andrea, along with some things I learned, too.

1. Have a vision. But make it realistic.

I almost ruined Andrea’s work, crying laughing about her description brides who ask for “a natural and smoky eye”. That, in and of itself, is like asking for a dry shower. It’s an oxymoron. A smoky eye will not, never has been and will never be natural looking. And hi, if you wake up looking artistically smudged to perfection, then I want to be you. Ladies. Natural or smoky. Pick one. Andrea really appreciated my communication so that she could see the whole vision – I showed her pictures of the venue, pictures of the dress, told her the vibe and let her see my accessories. I knew what I wanted (and didn’t want) for my face and was able to convey it to her. As she said, “you have to know how to speak the language” of the artist. And surprisingly enough, the language isn’t too difficult. Just remember, too… If it’s hard to verbalize, there are always gazillions of images online to choose from. Just remember that you should still look like YOU. But a wowza version of it.

2. Be vocal!

Not only do you need to know what you want, you need to be able to speak up if something isn’t quite right. I wasn’t too shy to ask about wonky eyebrow hairs or a wayward clump in my lashes. We tried two very different eye looks and she had zero issue with spending the time to adjust my look to make me happy. And when the lip color was just good, but didn’t have the “AH-HAAA YES!” I was after, we kept trying until we found it. By the time she left, I wanted to do nothing but sit and stare at myself in the mirror because, DAMN.  That is a really great feeling, both for her and for me. I’m so glad Andrea was patient, open to my feedback and kind enough to guide me through the process smoothly.

3. Budget for it.

I  would be a crappy Broke-Ass Bride if I didn’t mention the reality – makeup, the trials and sessions do cost. So I will say loudly, that it is a matter of personal preference as to whether you want to engage an outside resource. But with careful planning, you can easily budget for the expert help. In the Atlanta area, they range anywhere from $50 to $100 per trial session, with top artists around the $150 to $200 range for the day of. Me personally, it would be a hot mess disaster if I tried to do my own wedding day makeup no matter how many Pinterest boards/links I scoured. I’d probably be so nervous the morning of that I’d stick a false eyelash into my eyeball and wind up in tears, pissed off or both. Or completely sweat it all off on the dance floor. My belief is that some things are worth the investment for the quality of the work. And any makeup artist worth their salt will come with full ammunition to make you the most beautiful version of yourself possible, for the entire day. So if there is room in the budget, why not sit back and let a professional help you?

4. Words of wisdom

From Andrea herself – “You want your makeup artist to feel like one of two things: either your very good friend who puts you at ease OR a no-nonsense professional who you trust implicitly to do the job. But if you run into anyone who doesn’t listen to you, who refuses to try something differently at your request, or in any way makes you feel uncomfortable? Walk the other way, with a quickness.” Lucky for me, Andrea simply flew into the first category. The session was easy, fun and we reached a collective “hell yes!” on my look. BOOM. Then we made plans to have coffee soon, because she’s just that awesome.

From me – Be relaxed and be open to trying new things, even if they put you out of your comfort zone. Remember that bridal makeup does need to be a bit more amped than your everyday look to photograph well. Don’t worry too much if you have a little out of body experience when you see the final outcome. Because with your clear vision and with an experienced makeup artist in your arsenal, you’ll look stunning both in person and in photos.

Till next time,

  • 11/27

    Confession: Wedding planning has turned me into a way more superficial brat than I used to be.

    There’s nothing like imagining walking down the aisle with all those eyes on me, plus getting professional photographs taken of myself, to make me worry like crazy about how I will look.

    Yes, I know everyone says brides ALWAYS look beautiful.  I know I have dreadlocks so I won’t seem like a traditionally-styled bride no matter what, not that I want to.  But I still feel tons of pressure to look my best!  This pressure is mostly self-inflicted, and lately I’m just feeling like an ugly duckling!

    Oye vey.

    Pardon the bitchfest for a moment, but my two main complaints are my weight and my skin.  In a way, the weight is the easy one.  Too many desserts and cervezas have taken their toll on my midsection, but if I really commit to healthier choices I know I can shed a few pounds by June.  I don’t want to be unrealistic and go on a torturous diet, just lose the beer belly and get more fit!  I know if I can pull it off I’ll feel much more confident on my wedding day!

    My skin has always confused me.  First of all, my skin tone is very uneven, freckly, and red.  I blame the Irish in me.  I’ve tried several different makeup regimens over the years but I always end up looking shiny by the end of the day.  With an outdoor summer wedding, I’m really worried about looking like a sweaty beast in all the pictures!  Secondly, I have really dark under-eye circles.  No matter how much sleep I get or how little caffeine/alcohol I drink, they remain.

    The concealers I’ve tried never really hide my circles as much as I’d like, and they too end up melting down my face after several hours.  I’m really worried about how I’m going to DIY my wedding makeup when I’m not even satisfied with my day-to-day look!  I’m terrified I won’t feel confident and I won’t like how I look in the photos.  I know these concerns are totally stupid and conceited, but I can’t help feeling stressed about the beauty aspects of the big day!

    Has anyone else been infected with Ugly Duckling Syndrome while planning “the most important day of your life”?  Anyone have advice on longer-lasting makeup brands?

  • 4/17

    One of the hardest lessons for a Broke-Ass Bride is that it is sometimes cheaper to hire someone to do something for you than it is to do it yourself.  Broke-Ass living can give you control issues.  You tabulate every cent you spend in a color-coded spreadsheet, you try to will yourself to be warmer so you don't have to turn up the thermostat, you…

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