When you're planning a wedding, you're asked the same turntable of questions: What does your dress look like? Where are you getting married? Are you excited? (The latter of which always makes me laugh a little—what if I said no?) Another question I'm always asked is How are you wearing your hair and makeup? Because I work in the beauty industry, I think people assume I've enlisted the help of a major glam squad and curated a Pinterest board full of inspiration, but in reality, I'm planning to do it myself.
The reaction I get when I tell people that I am my own wedding hairstylist and makeup artist is a mix of utter shock and fascination. The thought of a bride wielding her own curling iron and gluing on her own false lashes the morning of her wedding has most people dumbfounded like it's going to be a burden and having someone else do it would put me at ease. But the truth is, almost every time I've gotten my hair and makeup done, I've hated it. My brows don't look right, my lips are overdrawn, my hair is flat—I can't risk that on one of the most important days of my life.
I'd rather put that responsibility on my own shoulders, especially considering I've been doing my own hair and makeup every day for the past 13 years. (I even once did the makeup for my cousin's entire bridal party since she'd forgotten to book an artist. I only had my own makeup bag on me so everyone was the same shade of foundation—hilarious, but it somehow worked). Doing my makeup is insanely relaxing for me. I love the entire process and escape into a state of zen when I'm tapping the Beautyblender and buffing on bronzer. No, getting ready won't be a burden at all—I know which products work for me and I'm excited to see it all come to fruition.
Curious what I'll be using for my summer wedding? Take a scroll with me.
I live and die by this foundation. It's only $13, and it works perfectly with my combination skin. In fact, as the day wears on and I get slightly oilier, the product starts to melt perfectly into my complexion and looks better than when I first applied it that morning. I also love how full-coverage it is without looking cakey and how well it lasts throughout the day—I can even blow my nose and have the product still be intact (something I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of that day with all the happy tears).
It's likely I'll be too excited to get a proper night's sleep the night before (though I'll try my darnedest), so I'll need a high-powered concealer to hide any trace of exhaustion or (I shudder at the thought) a potential breakout the day of. This full-coverage formula doesn't crease and hides just about every imperfection possible.
I was once the victim of powder flash-back in a photo, and it was so horrifying, I've vowed to never try a new product before a heavily photographed event. That's why I'll be sticking with my tried-and-true Translucent Loose Setting Powder, a light, see-through matte formula that locks my foundation in place. I use a big fluffy brush from Beauty Pie and lightly dust a bit all over my face.
I'll admit I've had a few (several) bronzer mishaps in my day, whether it was going too heavy-handed, not blending well enough, or choosing the wrong shade. Thankfully, this variation from Nars is virtually foolproof. It's not super concentrated, so you can build on the color for a healthy, believable, kissed-by-the-sun tan. I plan to use an angled kabuki brush to trace my hairline, my cheekbones, my jawline, the bridge of my nose, and my neck for chiseled, defined features and to warm up my complexion.
I usually keep far away from shimmery blushes in fear of looking like a Bratz doll, but this gorgeous variation from Becca is like a blush and highlighter mixed together for the healthiest glow imaginable. I only need to tap my blush brush ever so lightly into the compact to get the perfect amount of color for the apples of my cheeks and up into my temples.
Ah, the OG Naked palette. There's nothing that quite compares to its highly pigmented, beautifully blendable prowess. Given my pale skin and pink undertones, not many eye shadow shades look good on me except beiges, taupes, and bronzes, so I've leaned on this palette for years to create my signature contoured eye look. I start with Sidecar on the lids and then add definition to the bone with a mixture of Buck and Darkhorse. I'll probably tap a bit of Virgin or Sin into the inner corners of my eyes too for a little more glimmer.
[Ed. note, this palette is now discontinued.]
Like I mentioned earlier, having bad brows is a non-negotiable whether it's my wedding day or not. I've found very few pencils that compare to this tiny-tipped offering from Nyx. It has a waxy consistency, so it stays put on my oily skin, and the color perfectly matched my brow hairs. It's the one product I'm constantly repurchasing.
Considering how expensive a wedding photographer is, I need to make sure every aspect of my makeup is on point, and nothing makes you look like you've been Photoshopped more than a good highlighter. I'm completely in love with this offering from Revlon—it's a cream-to-powder formula that gives off the prettiest sheen for a J.Lo glow in pictures. I draw inner-facing Cs along my temples and cheekbones right near the outer edge of my eyes and then tap it with my finger along my nose and on my Cupid's bow.
I know I'm going to be a puddle by the end of my wedding day. I cry at strangers' weddings, so my fate's been cut out for me. I feel confident that I won't be a Lauren Conrad mascara teardrop meme with this waterproof mascara from Mary Kay, though. It's got a silicone brush that grabs onto every last lash, coating it with a thickening, lengthening inky black formula that's everything-proof, yet still washes off without me needing to relentlessly scrub away at my eyes.
I only ever wear falsies for special occasions, and I'd say this event ranks pretty high up there as a lash-appropriate affair. Strip lashes tend to look too costume-like on me, so I use individual lashes for a more natural, just-got-extensions look. I like this offering from Kiss because the strip is straight instead of pointed, so the lashes lay flatter on your lash line. Plus, the larger surface area makes it easier to use. I generally apply these after coating my real lashes in mascara and then go back in with the mascara wand to coat the falsies.
I want to keep my makeup look overall pretty soft, so I won't be wearing a bold red lip or matte liquid lippie. Instead, I'll opt for this gorgeous long-lasting creamy lipstick from Kosås. It's the prettiest rose shade that's essentially my natural lip color but amped up a notch or two. I'm definitely going to carry it in my clutch that day so I can touch up between cocktail hour, dinner, sips of champagne, and kissing friends, relatives, and my soon-to-be husband.
Although this decision has been met with protest from my mom and other family members, I'm wearing my hair down. I have a narrow face and feel prettiest when I've got a head full of voluminous, wavy curls to fake a rounder face shape, so that's exactly what I plan to do for my wedding. I cut my hair into a lob several months back thinking it'd be mid-ribcage length by the wedding (not sure what I was thinking), but it hasn't quite reached that status, so I plan to get professional extensions beforehand for longer, fuller hair. Then, I'll use my favorite GHD curling iron for beachy waves done in small sections so they last longer.
Lately, I've noticed my curls haven't been holding up in the heat as well as they used to and discovered my hair spray was to blame. Celebrity stylist Nick Stenson told me I need to use a fine-mist, alcohol-based product to fight off humidity (denser, stickier sprays will just melt into your hair in the heat and cause the style to fall), so this new compressed spray from Tresemmé will be key to ensuring the curls last through hours of dancing.