So if you aren’t following Solange Knowles or Beyoncé on Instagram (in which case you should probably get on that ASAP), we were all graced with the news of Solange’s recent marriage to director Alan Ferguson via some beautiful shots from the wedding. Continue reading NEWS // SOLANGE KILLS IT WITH BRIDAL BEAUTY
As you know by now, I did not only my own but also pretty much all of my bridesmaids’ makeup (with assistance from Anna, of course) on my wedding day. With practice, good products, and a good amount of time on your wedding day, I believe that any bride can take matters into their own hands when it comes to bridal makeup. Hiring a make up artist might not always work out for the best, and like I said before, no one will know your face better than you.
Step 1: Prep your face
You absolutely need to have a good foundation before you apply any makeup at all. Make sure that you give your face a good exfoliation either the morning of or the night before. I did the night before with Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.
Step 2: Prime
Apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to your clean face before you begin. Then, I applied Benefit’s Porefessional to my nose, chin, forehead and cheeks to fill in any pores. Think of it as spackling your face to create a smooth surface (kinda gross, I know). Then apply a primer–I used Smashbox’s Photofinish Primer–for me this is ol’ reliable. I’ve used it multiple times, and it just works. Follow suit under the eyes with Smashbox’s Undereye Brightening Primer, and on the lids with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer.
This might seem like a ridiculous amount of products, but primers are essential. They will adhere the makeup to your face, making it last longer and prevent creasing in the eyelids and in any fine lines.
Since I have freckles, it was actually quite hard for me to find a great foundation that matched. Too light, and it enhanced my pale complexion in a bad way and I came out looking dead. Too tan, and I got severe foundation jawline. As I’ve mentioned before, I finally found Diorshow Airflash, and fell in love. No SPF, so no flashblack, and buildable coverage with an ever-so-slight pearlescent finish to hide any imperfections and give a nice glow. Spray the foundation on to a foundation brush and apply to your whole face, making downward strokes. Be sure to blend the jawline.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to cry or not at the ceremony, but I decided to play it safe with a waterproof undereye concealer, Lancome’s Effacernes. Great consistency and coverage. Apply this under the eyes and in the inner corners of the eyes.
For any facial imperfections, I applied Cle de Peau’s concealer with a brush to pimples and the sides of my nose to cover any redness.
Lock it in–Step 1
Generously powder your face with Vichy’s Dermablend Powder. This powder is a miracle worker–sweat-proof, shine-proof, rubbing-proof–your makeup won’t be going anywhere. Apply tons of this to your face, let it soak in for 2 minutes, then brush off the excess.
Apply Nars’ Laguna bronzer with a fluffy brush at the top of your face, tracing down the perimeter of your face, down your cheekbones, and then tracing down your jawline (it will look like you are drawing a big “3”). Also apply down the bridge of your nose and on your chin. Make sure you blend this in well. Nobody wants to see where you’ve actually applied this step. You just want to give a bit of definition and glow to your face. It will also make your face look smaller.
I don’t care who you are, eyebrows are crucial to the architecture of the face, so they need to be strong and well-defined so that they show up on camera. I filled mine in with Lancome’s Eyebrow Pencil. This pencil is foolproof–I just colour it on where I need it and brush it through with the handy spoolie attached to the end. Pick a pencil that is a shade lighter than your hair colour for a natural-looking brow.
For my engagement photo shoot, I applied both a cream and a powder blush for a long-lasting flush. However, I didn’t apply enough. I really wanted a rosy-pink glow to my face, so apply more than you think–you might feel silly, but if you want it to show up, put more on. I first applied MAC’s creme blush in So Sweet, So Easy for a good base, then I layered over Nars’ Orgasm blush. Orgasm is a shade I wear in everyday life, and gives a great bridal flush. It has little pieces of gold flecks, so it will give you a pretty glow as well.
For my eye makeup, I applied Urban Decay’s Virgin (in the Naked Palette) all over the lid, Toasted on my eyelids, and Buck in the crease and lightly following my lower lash line. Then, I traced along my tightline with Sephora’s Waterproof Eyeliner in brown, and ever-so-lightly along my lower lashline for added definition. I then curled my eyelashes, lined my upper lid (with a thicker line than normal) with Smashbox’s Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Brown and applied Lancome Definicils Mascara.
Lock it in–Step 2
Spray your face a few times with Urban Decay’s All Nighter to set your makeup.
Kirsten, my maid of honour, applied all of our fake eyelashes (I knew that I wasn’t going to have time, and she is a cheerleader, so she really is a pro at applying fakies). I chose a more dramatic set of Ardell’s lashes than usual to really make my eyes pop. Make sure you get a waterproof eyelash glue!
I was going for a pink, glowy, blushing bride look, so I opted for a slightly brighter lipstick than usual. It showed up on camera really well and perfectly matched my flowers.
You are going to be kissing people all day long, so you can’t afford to have a lip that fades. I applied Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage concealer to my lips (make sure that you wipe off any excess lip balm first), then I filled in my lips Chanel’s lipliner in Fuschia, and then followed up with one coat of Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Paradis (the Rouge Coco formula is my favourite for lipstick), straight from the tube. Blot, with one layer of Kleenex. Then I sprinkled and brushed some translucent powder (the Laura Mercier from the undercover pot). Apply one more coat of lipstick, and bring it with you for touch ups. I chose not to finish with a gloss because it can look like you ate some goop in photos.
Anything I would have done differently:
The only thing that I would have maybe done differently is take a moment during my reception to apply some blotting powder to my nose. I was having so much fun that it did not even occur to me that I might be shiny after about 5 hours wearing a 10-pound wedding dress in July. But, the day goes so quickly that there is no need to even worry yourself about that. Having fun is the priority.
All the products I used:
Smashbox Photofinish Primer
Smashbox Undereye Primer
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer
Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
Chanel Lipstick in Paradis
Chanel Lipliner in
Cle de Peau Concealer
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Undereye concealer
Vichy Dermablend Powder
Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray
Sephora Waterproof Eyeliner
DUO Eyelash Glue
Lancome Definicils Waterproof Mascara
Nars Blush in Orgasm
Nars Bronzer in Laguna
Dior Diorflash Airbrush Foundation
Lancome Eyebrow Pencil
P.S. My bridesmaids all still loved me even after I was bossy with them.
Some bridal makeup tips:
- Skip the highlighter. You don’t want your face to be too glowy and sparkly, it won’t translate well on camera (avoid the dreaded flashback–and while we’re on the topic, avoid any products with SPF).
- Stay true to yourself and your makeup personality.
- Wait until a month before to purchase your foundation–you can test some out beforehand (ask for samples), but your skin tone can change in the months leading up to the wedding.
- Try to prep your face months in advance with a good facial and a good skincare routine.
- Blend, blend, blend.
- Apply more than you normally would. This is not the time to have a light hand.
- Don’t be afraid of a slightly brighter lip and cheek. It will look great on camera.
- Definitely wear fake eyelashes or splurge for lash extensions.
- Remember that your face tells a colour story–either pick all warm or all cool colours for a consistent look.
- Know your strengths: Don’t have a steady hand? Ask one of your bridesmaids to do your eyeliner. Can’t figure out fake eyelashes for the life of you? Get one of your maids to learn (here is a great video), practice and apply them for you on the big day.
- Watch some tutorials on YouTube (here are a few I took inspiration from). You can learn so much from some great makeup videos.
On my wedding day, I did not only my own makeup, but also pretty much all of my bridesmaids’ makeup. Anna was my right-hand woman and assisted me, and my maid of honor, Kirsten, applied the fake eyelashes, but there was not a single makeup artist in sight.
Sounds crazy, right? I was a little bit stressed out, and had my bossypants on, but we all looked exactly how I wanted. I think it really is quite attainable to do your own makeup on your wedding day, and brides-to-be shouldn’t be sucked into the wedding planning vacuum and immediately feel they need to hire a makeup artist.
Don’t let someone talk you out of it
Many makeup artists tried to talk me out of it, they all said the same thing–you’ll be too stressed, too nervous, too emotional. However, after a makeup trial at Sephora (and coming out looking like the corpse of a drag queen), getting my makeup done at Dior (with lacklustre results) and having the girl at the Nars counter try to convince me that her scary clown makeup demonstrated her skill, I knew that finding a makeup artist do my makeup on my big day to my standards, was just not going to happen.
Now don’t get me wrong–there are amazing makeup artists out there, but they are few and far between. Your wedding day is the last day in the world that you would want to emerge looking like someone else, with too much makeup on. You want to look like you. I’m sure you have a vision of what you want to look like on that day–since you want to look and feel your most beautiful, you don’t need to feel that you have to leave that in somebody else’s hands.
Do your research
I truly believe that even if you aren’t skilled at makeup, you can have great wedding makeup with good products and few practice trials. I researched what I wanted to look like for months, and found these videos especially helpful. Go to a few makeup counters, and ask them to create a bridal look for you. You might feel silly, but believe me, they will quickly teach you what you like and what you don’t like, what you want to emphasize and highlight, and what kind of products and colours work best for your face.
Know your look
This is my version of wedding day makeup–I’m not saying it’s how every bride needs to look, it’s how I wanted to look. Brides need to think about what kind of makeup they wear every day (dramatic?–do you wear a cat eye or a red lip everyday?, natural?– no makeup-makeup, or hardly any makeup at all?, glamorous?–wear a smoky eye no matter what the occasion?). My advice is to take what you do on a regular day, and amp it up a bit with great, long-wearing products. If you feel most comfortable with a cat eye and a red lip, and that’s how you want to look on your wedding day, do it. There are no rules you need to follow. If you try to adopt a totally different person’s look for your big day, you will not only feel uncomfortable, but you probably will look back at your photos and wonder what you were thinking.
For me, personally, I hate wearing foundation (I feel like my skin is suffocating)–I only wear tinted moisturizer unless there is a big occasion. I knew that for foundation I wanted great, natural-looking coverage. For the eyes, I don’t do anything crazy for everyday–just usually natural colours in peaches and browns, with a pretty pink cheek and lip. These qualities were the basis for my look.
Don’t be scared
I think what scares people the most about makeup like this, is they are doing it wrong and that it is for a big occasion. As long as you select the right products, and blend, blend blend, you will be fine. You will also need to get over the fact of how much makeup you are putting on. This isn’t the day to just apply just a touch of blush. Want rosy cheeks? Pile it on. I’m not joking. If you want your eyes to pop, make that eyeliner thicker, get the more dramatic fake eyelashes. Don’t be scared. You need to exaggerate for it to show up on camera.
Be sure to monitor your trials with photographs. Get a friend to take some photos of you to see what shows up on camera, what colours work, what looks bad, etc. so you can tweak it.
Also, I know that a lot of brides will think, I’ve already spent so much on my wedding, I can afford to get some cheaper cosmetics. Honey–no you can’t. You are the face of the day whether you like it or not, and it is a long day. You want/need to look good for hours, without having to worry about your face while you are rushing around from the ceremony, to pictures, to the reception. Higher quality cosmetics will have more staying power and more pigment (you’ll use less product and your face won’t look cakey) so splurge, and go for the good stuff.
At first I noticed some colourless bumps on my chest appear, but since they weren’t real pimples and were just under the skin, I figured they would probably go away and wouldn’t be a problem. BUT, then I went for my hair trial.
I was freaking out in my head the whole time. As soon as I sit down in the chair, the girl doing my rollers complains that my hair is so fine and slippery and is making the hot rollers fall out, then the hairdresser complains how stubborn my J.Lo-like baby hairs won’t stay in place and my hair frizzes when she touches it, and then the updo I wanted doesn’t look how I imagined it in my mind. I like to think I am no Bridezilla, but with my lack of sleep, stress and then this, as soon as I saw Jordan when I got home I burst into tears. Jordan looked at me, gave me a hug and said, what happened to your chest?
Stress gave me chacne, y’all. Not cool three weeks before the wedding.
Don’t fret, my hair turned out fine on the day. As did everything else, but stress and lack of sleep can wreak total havoc on the skin.
Anyways, on to my pre-wedding skin prep routine. This is all about exfoliation, protection and hydration.
Following my facialist’s advice to use very lightweight moisturizers in the lead-up to the wedding (you want skin to look plump and youthful), I used Babor’s Skinovage Moisture Plus Serum day and night to pack in the moisturizer without any heavy oils. In the morning, I applied Lancome’s Advanced Généfique eye and facial serums to keep any fine lines at bay and to help even out my skintone. At night, I used Visionnaire to give an extra punch to any forming stress wrinkles and even out my skin texture. I locked everything in with Kiehl’s super lightweight but very hydrating Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion.
Once a week I used Ren’s Glycolic Lactic Radiance Mask to unclog pores and exfoliate my face. This is crucial for keeping any new pimples at bay and fighting any current spots and bumps. When the chacne happened, I even used this twice on my chest. On my newly resurfaced skin I applied Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask to draw out any impurities and clarify my skin (also applied to both face and chest twice a week).
I also made sure to protect my face from any new freckles, burns or pigmentation (if you are using glycolic acids, you need to be protecting your new baby skin) with Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Water Light Sunscreen. This super lightweight liquid packs a serious punch of protection with SPF 60. I made sure to double cleanse my face every night when using sunscreen to ensure that I had throughly removed every last bit.
Even though I wore fake eyelashes on the big day, I wanted to have a good base of lashes, and really, who doesn’t want full, long lashes everyday of their lives? Every night I applied Fusion Beauty’s StimuLash to grow long, thick, dark lashes. Just make sure you don’t get this anywhere other than your lashes, hair will grow!
And finally, to keep my hair in primo, silky condition I applied Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak to keep my hair hydrated, healthy and free of split-ends.
Do you know how hard it is to find a foundation sans SPF these days? Very hard.
With the upcoming wedding, and the feelings that accompany it, my mother and I thought it would be a nice idea to have a day together of shopping and pampering ourselves. We made our way over to Bloor Street where we looked around for bridal jewelry and makeup and then into the Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt where we enjoyed their beautiful facilities and a facial.
Having been here before, we knew what to expect–serene surroundings and amazing scents throughout the spa (after coming here the first time, my mother renovated her bathroom to have the aura of this spa), as well as amazing treatments.
Their facials truly make me the most relaxed I have ever felt–I walk out of the treatment room feeling half asleep, in a happy daze. They take care to incoporate a massage along with your facial (extra zen points), so you really are getting a lot for what you paid for.
We left refereshed and with glowing complexions (though mine a little redder, since I had about 40 extractions done on my face–me to the facialist Luana, “I want beautiful skin for my wedding! Go nuts on extractions!”, her jokingly, “Ok, there will be some torture then”. Beauty is pain, what can I say.) While sipping on tea and eating cookies, we decided that we must make this a traditon and make time to get facials twice a year. Let’s hope that we can keep that promise–my skin will look amazing if we do!
Some bridal skincare tips from my facialist:
-Try not to use heavy moisturizers or sunscreens in the weeks leading up to your big day. This way your pores will stay unclogged and will prevent pimples from forming. Try instead to use some lighter, hydrating serums (she recommended this one for me).
-Try to avoid using acne spot treatments. They dry out the skin and make the blackheads very hard which makes them very difficult to remove. Leave your pimples alone!
N.B. If you’re going to get a facial before your wedding, be sure to do so about 6 weeks beforehand. This way your face has enough time to adjust and recover.
P.S. Also, I know I said in my first wedding skincare prep post that I was going to be forgoing a facial in lieu of doing it myself, but when your mom suggests you go for a facial, are you going to say no? Of course not.
Wedding Skincare Prep Part 1, Part 2.