Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DIY Wedding Tips: Hair & Makeup

Hi girls

This is (mainly =)) for you. Grooms can go for a walk or brush their suits. =)

Jokes aside, I saw many people stare and go white when I told them I'd done my own hair and makeup for the wedding(s). Well, it wasn't that big a deal actually, it's like anything else: it takes time and practice and your enthusiasm. That said I can understand why you wouldn't want to do it. It might be frustrating and stressing for some and you also might have to stock up on products you'd never use again. BUT: if you're even a bit like me you'll enjoy it.

So why I did it. At first I was sure I wanted professionals to work on my look and I must admit that I'd been back to this plan several times during the months I spent planning. But then my enthusiasm for makeup and crafting as well as my perfectionism won me over. I'm the worst of perfectionists in fact. A visual thinker, I have a mental gallery of the things I'm doing or want done and if things don't fit exactly -- well, I'm disappointed and am not shy about it. That's why my friends usually help me plan things but I'm left alone with the execution, which I don't mind one bit. I know my follies and I usually try to protect people. :)

Besides, while I had my own ideas of what I wanted I also felt confident of my skills. They're not very strong but together with the time on my hands and my perfectionism, they were enough to start with. And I either had all the necessary equipments or wanted to buy them for future use anyway. So here's what I did, along with a list of products I used.


I found this video on Youtube and after a practice session I knew exactly what to do on my wedding day. I knew I needed

- 1 hour entirely free of anxiety or anything else to do. This is important because I was really stressed out before the "second wedding" and you could really tell the difference. So ONE STRESSFREE HOUR. =)

- A ton of hairpins in my exact hair color (lucky me it was easy to find!)

- A very good hairspray. (I used Syoss Professional Max Hold Mega Strong Hold 24 Hour Hairspray, which I loved.)

- A thin barrel curling iron. I had a really basic one (part of a 5 piece set so though good quality not really a special thing.) You want it to have a thin barrel because then it's easier to roll the separate tresses as you don't have to be so careful to roll tight.

- Some practice and my own solutions. In order to do something like this, you really have to be aware of your own skills and capabilities. I knew I needed time, so I took that into consideration. I also knew that as I'm not very skilled at hairstyling I will need more pins and a better hairspray, etc. So it's important to be fair to yourself and practice more than once if needed. Also, take into account your own hairtype when buying products or choosing a hairstyle. What works for me might not work for you.

Well, when I saw the video I already knew what hairstyle I wanted. It was slightly different and I still couldn't decide whether I should do it on my own or go to a hairdresser. Because it was less spectacular but as it was less constructed I thought I could not make my hair stay like that for an entire day. While watching the video, however, (and the music video right after) I totally fell in love with this style. It's so romantic, so special, yet so easy to make that I was won over.


Makeup was trickier. There were more possibilities and much more products to get my hands on. The problem with doing your own makeup for your wedding -- once you decide to -- is that probably it's going to be cheaper than hiring an artist but you might not want to buy the same quality products. I am really enthusiastic about makeup and though I'm not very very good at it, I can still do it well. So I was sure I had the skill to tackle the task. The dilemma presented itself in buying the products. As I'm not exactly wealthy, I only own drugstore makeup and I didn't want to extend my budget for the wedding either. So I had a difficult quest ahead: finding the best drugstore products that last long but are gentle on my sensitive skin and also look fabulous in pictures. I was lucky, because I found some excellent options.

Here's what I did (for the second wedding):

I went for a rosy combination in terms of colors. I have very fair skin, which has golden undertones (yes, I know!) and light grayish blue eyes and dark blond hair. Besides, I love a good smokey eye so I was pretty determined to do one for my wedding. One of the difficulties was that with my fair skin it usually gives me a grungy look, which I love but wouldn't really have fit the event. On the other hand, yellow undertones in makeup (like mocha browns) make my eyes and teeth yellow and clash with my skin color too: they emphasize that I'm too beige to be really fair but too fair to be a beautiful olive. But I'm not saying that I'm in any way dissatisfied with my skin color! I'm telling you all this to emphasize that knowing what works for you is essential for this mission.

So I chose browns and pinks with decided gray undertones. This way they were cold enough not to make me look as if I'd committed some style crime but were also soft enough to suit the occasion. And my makeup was also a little special, not your usual long lashed soft contoured eyes with the overhighlighted browbone.

Here's what I used:

- I started with a good moisturizer, key to the whole look. Glowing cheeks are in and they make you really radiant. Smooth and glowing skin also looks younger, fresher and, above all, adds hours to the time you slept the previous night. (Precious at a time like this! =D)

- I left the moisturizer time to absorb and in the meantime applied a coat of eyeshadow primer. I've told you I was on a budget, so I cheated a bit here. People apply the MAC Paintpots as primers and I used my M.A.D. Minerals Indelible Crease-Proof Waterproof Smudge-Proof Creme Eye Shadow in Bare Necessity. It's especially useful to apply a cream eyeshadow in a nude shade as it also acts as concealer on your eyelid and complements your nude eye makeup. I know it's not the place to brag about it but I just love this product. (And the link leads you to the place where I bought it, it's the cheapest site so far and has very nice customer service!)

- Then I covered my mobile lid and up to slightly above the crease (to give you an impression of color even when my large, non-hooded eyes are open) using the medium color in my Yves Rocher Matte Tri-Tone Eyeshadow palette in Rosewood. I left the most inner corner of my eyes bare to give more definition to the smokey effect and create what I call a fairy eyeshape (slightly tilted and prone to smiling).

- I applied the darkest color gently to the crease and draw a V shape at the outer corner so that the darker color followed close to my lashes on the outer third of my lid. I blended the colors together.

- Then I added the a very tiny amount of the lightest color to the tear duct area and just below the browbone.

- I drew a slightly thick winged line (that began very thin in the inner corner) of my M.A.D. Minerals Indelible Waterproof Smudge-Proof Gel Eyeliner in Black Out (a product I love) for a more dramatic effect.

- A hint of grayish brown pencil liner on the lower lashline.

- I applied foundation (mine was Maybelline's SuperStay)and concealer.

- Several coats of black waterproof mascara (CoverGirl Lashblast is a fav although hard to remove).

- A pale rose colored blush.

And I was ready to enter to Mendelssohn's Wedding March. =)
And how I tweaked it for the civil ceremony:

I actually don't remember. =) OK, it was all happening so fast and I just don't remember which plan I followed exactly. (I had several.) But I'll show you how the above look can be toned down. The thing is that as the ceremony was two days before the party I had the luxury to have two different makeup looks. Also, while the "second wedding" would be in the afternoon and into the early hours, the civil ceremony was much earlier and the photoshoot was planned to take place outside. I felt that the event called for a more innocent, more elevated look. We were to be experiencing things for the first time in our lives and I wanted my makeup to reflect what I felt I stood for as a bride. I didn't have to bother about looking stunning or sophisticated, though I look both in the photos. But I had a different objective in mind and I think it did come through.

So the actual difference was that instead of the pink undertoned palette I used my Art Deco eyeshadows 551 (a cram color) and 527 (a grayish medium brown). I went all mat, with no shimmer and applied the cream color generously in the inner corner. Instead of using the black eyeliner, I used Chocolate Mousse, a gentle brown. But with my light eye color it was still dark enough. I used the same lining style and with the cream color in the inner corner I did look a little elvish. =) I applied the pale rosy blush high up on the cheekbones to play up the young and innocent effect.

I found this video really inspirational though I didn't follow all the tips:

So it wasn't really a big thing. I'd say with a little practice anyone could do it. Of course, I do understand any bride who simply wishes to be left alone relax in a chair for some time while a professional prepares her princesslike looks. I totally understand that. But if you feel like undertaking something special and are up to the challange, I'm telling you it's great fun and absolutely doable! ;)

Enjoy the summer,
have fun at weddings
(especially yours ;))
and stay tuned for more. ;)

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