Posts in the 'wedding makeup' Category

Real Bride Peach: Bridal Makeup – Get Good Face.


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,

{Real Bride: Carrie} Wedding-Induced Ugly Duckling Syndrome

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?

{DIY or… Live?} The Broke-Ass Makeup Conundrum

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 have to build the fortitude to resist the siren call of cute spring dresses (or shoes, or vintage books, or sports cars: whatever your consumerism poison).  It’s bound to make you a little Type-A. I think that’s why we love DIY so much: it’s not just the savings, its not just the fun of crafting, it’s that we get exactly what we want.

This is why I am not hiring a makeup artist for my wedding.  Because I’m a control freak about my face.  I worry that if I let a stranger make me up I’ll look like Marge Simpson after Homer shot her with the makeup gun he invented:

But I know from experience that it is often cheaper to hire someone to do your wedding day makeup.  When my sister got married in 2008, I offered to do her makeup for her so she could save some $$.  Problem is, my sister doesn’t wear makeup. Ever. So we had to buy EVERYTHING. The cost of that first makeup shopping trip would have easily covered the price of a makeup artist. And of course we had to make a second trip when we found out that the lipstick shade wasn’t quite right and the allegedly-waterproof mascara wasn’t cry-proof. That would have covered the tip. At the time, I justified that spending because hiring a makeup artist lasts for one day, but these products would be good for at least several months.  But my sister still doesn’t wear makeup. If I had to bet, she never used any of that stuff again after her wedding.

But what if you’ve already got a whole drawer full of makeup? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to DIY your wedding makeup in that case? Sure… but only if you can promise yourself you’re not going to let the wedding justify buying a lot of new products (especially products more expensive than what you normally buy).

Can you make that promise? I know I couldn’t. I have everything I need. But didn’t the wedding justify replacing my worn-out powder brush? Ye$. Shouldn’t I find a waterproof eyeliner that doesn’t flake off? Of cour$e I $hould. Wouldn’t  this be a great time to finally try foundation primer? Ab$olutely!

$150 dollars at Ulta later, I’m at twice the price of the makeup artist quote I got from my hair salon. [In a lot of areas, the price of a makeup artist is considerably more, but I could have easily spent twice as much at Ulta.  TRUST ME.]  Unlike my sister, I will use these new products on more than one day. But I wouldn’t have missed them if I just used the money to hire a makeup artist for my wedding.  I’m really not following my budget here. I’m following my heart.

Because now I know that I won’t have my eyebrow scar filled in with brow pencil by a well-meaning pro while I’m not paying attention. I won’t have to worry about my skin reacting to any strange products in the artist’s kit. I won’t have to worry about not looking like myself on my wedding day, because the same person who always does my makeup will be doing it.

So while I’ll repeat today’s lesson that Broke-Ass Wedding Planning is that DIY is not always cheapest, but add on: sometimes it’s worth it anyway. If you’re not into makeup and never will be, and you don’t have control issues about how your face looks, go ahead and hire a makeup artist.  If you’re like me and obsess over your makeup too much to outsource it, just make sure you don’t think DIY makeup is “free,” and allot some money in your budget for new products.  And if you are somewhere in between, take stock of what products you might buy, check the rates of local makeup artists, and let your budget be your guide.

Where do you fall on this spectrum? Are you hiring a makeup artist? Were you surprised how expensive doing your own makeup can end up being?