I admit it: I love to play with makeup. Such a confession might lead you to believe that I wear a lot of it, but I really don’t — I’m strictly a “wear-it-when-I-feel-like-it” type of girl and I feel perfectly comfortable wearing none at all if the occasion (or lack of time in the morning, when I wake up ten minutes from the time I’m supposed to leave) calls for it.
Still, I knew I was going to want to wear some on the wedding day, and I did plenty of research when I was first planning. Once I found out the prices for professional hair and makeup, though, it was a pretty easy decision to go the DIY route. While I did end up spending quite a bit trying out different products, in the end, I was very glad I chose to handle it myself (and I can now still use the makeup I bought, too!). Contrary to what some wedding magazines or websites might tell you, it was not stressful at all, and most importantly — a reason which was more compelling than the cost of a pro makeup artist — it allowed me to really control how I looked.
This pic displays a weird expression on my face (well, normal for me, I guess”¦ dazed and confused haha) but shows my makeup pretty well”¦
Normally, if I feel like wearing makeup, I use Bare Escentuals mineral foundation powder. This product has performed really well with my sensitive skin and doesn’t take a long time to put on ”“ I wrote a post about this long ago, and about how much I love the luminous, soft look it lends! But, on the actual wedding day, I opted for products that would give a bit more of a matte finish which would show up well in photos (the mica content in Bare Minerals products tends make skin quite glowy ”“ great for every day but not my choice for the wedding!). The products that I’m about to list below form my “special occasion” makeup arsenal, and I’ve used them well for others, and as well as for myself!
Here’s what I used that day, in the order that I put them on, shortly after washing and moisturizing my face:
1) Primers: Clinique T-Zone Oil Control Pore Minimizer. I applied a light layer of this gel-like product over my entire face, contrary to its name (a little goes a long way!). Then I followed with Clinique Instant Perfector in Invisible Deep on my forehead, eyelids, nose, cheeks, upper lip, and chin for an instant matte finish and ultra-smooth, primed surface.
2) Foundation: I used two different foundations ”“ one very sheer one for areas that really didn’t need much help other than slight evening out, and another slightly thicker one for areas that needed more coverage. #1- Vincent Longo Water Canvas in Warm Beige. This stuff is made mostly of water and has a very light, soufflé-like consistency and a great, buildable sheer finish ”“ this stuff is admittedly a huge splurge! #2 ”“ Prescriptives Virtual Skin ”“ I think in Real Ivory; this is a thicker formula and covered up blemishes better than the Vincent Longo. I used a large synthetic fondation brush by Clinique to apply both foundations and to blend them seamlessly. I touched up blemishes with a matching Vincent Longo cream concealer, using a tiny concealer brush. Finally, I added a touch of a powder bronzer (Bare Escentuals warmth) in a C-shaped arc from directly below the brow to my chin, along the outer edges of my face.
3) Powder: Clinique Blended Face Powder in Transparency 3. I put a little bit on my clean fingertips and gently smoothed them over my face, then dusted the lightest coating over everything with my largest, fluffiest powder brush.
4) Blush: Since cheekbones can stand to have (and even benefit from) a little bit of luminous definition, I stuck with my Bare Escentuals blush. I used two shades: light, peachy Sorbet on the apples and softly brushed along the cheekbones towards my hairline, and then a little bit of the more mauve-y Secret run discreetly on the underside of cheekbones and blended. (In retrospect, I could have put on more blush, I think ”“ the photos don’t really show it so much. But in person, I felt as if I put on too much! It seems like this is a pretty common complaint for bridal makeup though: that the artist uses too much blush. But, they know what they are doing ”“ those seemingly overly-rosy cheeks show up great in photos!)
5) Eyeshadow: I used a combination of matte and shimmery eyeshadows to help my eyes “pop.” I didn’t want too much, at all ”“ just a nice gradient to offset my eyes. I started with a base of B.E. Chenille matte shadow over the entire eyelid, then put a little bit of the more shimmery Chardonnay glimpse (from the Wine Country collection) on the upper lid, below the brow, on the inner corners of my eyes, and just a teeny bit below the lower lashes. I used its partners, Pinot Noir and Merlot, in the crease and outer edges of my eyes, respectively. I lined my eyes with shadow liner in Black Ruby, applied wet instead of dry, then touched the inner corners of my eyes with glimmer in Joy. I used B.E’s Heavenly Eyeshadow and Tapered Eyeshadow brushes almost exclusively for all of this, except for the liner, which I applied precisely with a pointed liner brush.
For eyeshadow, the precise colors I used aren’t necessary ”“ just make sure you have a very light “highlight” shade, a medium shade, and a darker shade ”“ and all three should complement your eye color and skin tone.
6) Lashes: I think I’ve done too many posts on this one (hehe), but in the end, I did end up getting these done professionally. Kat Vercelli, the stylist who did my hair on that day, also is an expert at applying individual lashes. After I decided the strip lashes were “too much” for me, and even a great mascara didn’t quite cut it, I went to Kat a couple of days before the wedding to try the individual lashes (cost me $25 and the lashes last up to two weeks). They were perfect ”“ natural-looking, long, and didn’t require me to wear any mascara at all! I curled my lashes gently (I love Shiseido’s curler, even over Shu Uemura’s) and that was it!
7) Eyebrows: You would not believe how much of a difference eyebrows can make! I think their appearance can really finish off the look and makes or breaks how “polished” the end appearance is. I used Vincent Longo’s eyebrow compact, which comes with a matte brow powder with a silky consistency, as well as a coordinating tinted eyebrow wax. I applied the brow powder with a stiff, angled eyeshadow brush, brushing it on lightly in layers until my brows were as dark as I wanted them to be, making sure the arch was defined. Then I tapped my index finger on the wax and drew it across the brow from the center of my forehead out, effectively combing them into place.
8) Lips: I exfoliated with my toothbrush while I was brushing my teeth that morning, so my lips were already primed and ready to go. I put on a layer of chapstick to keep them hydrated, then held a one-ply tissue over them and dusted a light layer of loose powder on top to yield a dryer surface. I carefully filled in my lips with a nude-mauve lip pencil (Bare Escentuals Earth), and followed with a moisturizing, non-gliittery or shimmery lipcolor applied with a lip brush (Bare Escentuals Empress). Finally, I touched the center of my bottom lip with Bare Escentuals Wearable Bronze lipgloss and pressed my lips together lightly.
All done!!! â˜º
Professional wedding photos by GB Photographers, 2007. Please do not take/repost without a credit.
Product photos via Google Images.