Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Beauty

I know that last week's Wedding Wednesday post on my final budget was a bit technical, but this one might be more up your alley: it's about bridal beauty!  But, just going back for a second, I do want to take all of the responsibility - or blame - for this increase even though it says "for bride AND maids"...

See, like I mentioned before, I totally forgot to factor in bridal beauty when I first mapped out our budget.  I mean, I knew that bridal beauty is a huge industry.  Most wedding magazines include a section on looking your best for your wedding, including skincare regiments that should start a year before the big day, advice on various teeth-whitening options, suggestions about weekly manicures and monthly hair touch-ups, and, of course, pages and pages on getting a gown-ready body.

I never wanted to do any of that.  Obviously you hope to look your best on a day when you and your fiancĂ© are the center of attention, but Jon has been in love with me since November 2008 - that's almost five years without any extraordinary measures.  I figured I'd just make sure to take off my makeup before bed, floss every day, and be good about eating and exercise.  That's all there could be to looking like the best me when I walk down the aisle, right?

Wrong.  So wrong.  Here's what I've already invested in for my bridal beauty and what I've got coming up over the next few weeks:

Last fall, when I stopped taking a medication that I'd been on for years, my skin didn't react well.  Although I went back on that medication just after Christmas, I went to a dermatologist in February because the break-outs were still pretty bad and she prescribed me a topical cream called Acanya to apply daily.  I also had a facial in March just for a jolt to the system.  My skin is now almost entirely clear, but I've also made a real effort to wash my face properly twice a day, exfoliate once a week or so, and to moisturize - I use my favorite Simple brand, which arrived in US stores last summer.  (None of this, by the way, was/is included in my wedding budget.)

I always planned to do my own makeup for the wedding; it seemed like an easy thing to save money on.  However, I knew that I needed a lesson beforehand. I don't want to look different than usual, but I do recognize that looking good for 8 hours (and photos!) takes skill that I simply don't have. I thought I could just schedule a normal 30 minute make-over appointment at Blue Mercury and buy the requisite three products at the end, but it seems that's not the way it works. Instead, I scheduled an hour-long $90 bridal lesson for two days after I come back from my weekend on the beach.  I understand why they suggested this, but I definitely hadn't included that figure in my original budget!  I'm going to ask that we use as many products as possible that I already have so I don't have to buy new things - wish me luck.

I haven't done anything special with my hair.  I have a trim scheduled for Saturday, but otherwise all is as usual - I tried a mini Keratin treatment last summer (thank you, Groupon!) and really loved how it calmed my frizz, but I haven't done it again this summer.  Part of the reason the budget line for this went up, though, is because I simply forgot to factor in a hairstylist for our wedding.  I had a trial on Suffolk when I was in England a few weeks ago, and she'll be coming to the venue on my wedding day to help Sarah, Ellie, Jon's mom, and me!

A lot of brides use their weddings as a spark to light the fire under healthier lifestyles - Evani is a totally inspirational example of this - but I knew that something drastic wouldn't work for me.  I needed to he healthy anyway; my grandfather is a cardiologist with diabetes, so he often lovingly reminds me about the dangers associated with being overweight. I wanted to switch into a sustainable healthier lifestyle that included smart eating and a commitment to running I'd be able to maintain long-term.  So I didn't have to add any gym memberships or cleanse subscriptions to my budget - this was something I wanted to be part of my life regardless of the wedding!

I rarely get manicures. I will walk to the ends of the earth and back for a pedicure (which, after all the walking, I'll need), but I don't really like color on my fingernails. I did get a mani with Essie Ballet Slippers before our engagement shoot in September because I knew there would be close-ups of my hands, but I haven't gotten one since. My plan for the wedding is to get a pedicure and a shape-up of my fingernails in the States (where it's cheaper than in the UK) a week before the big day and then to apply Dior's Nail Glow myself the morning of.  The nail polish is going into the budget, but that's it.

Honestly, I would have loved to splurge on professional whitening before our wedding, but that just wasn't an option. Instead, I was extra careful about brushing and flossing, scheduled a normal dentist appointment (which included a cleaning) for last week, and have been trying to minimize how much coffee and red wine I'm drinking this summer. We had a Go Smile at-home whitening kit sitting around in my parents' bathroom, so I'll do that next week. Total for the budget: zero.

I guess the only unnecessary luxury - though that phrase is definitely subjective - I'm allowing myself for bridal beauty is fake eyelashes.  See, I cry.  I'm a weeper.  Sad things, happy things... it doesn't matter.  I sob.  When Jon's family and I put on Monster's, Inc. on Christmas Day night a couple of years ago, they watched me instead of the movie at the end when Sully reunited with Boo because my hysterics were more entertaining.  So I really want to avoid mascara on my wedding day - even waterproof mascara might fail before my joyful tears.  When I was in London a few weeks ago, I tried out the Flirty lashes at Blink, which lasted a week, and I'll get the Classic on the Thursday before my wedding.  As this was a last minute realization, it got added to the budget relatively recently.  (Also, in case anyone's curious, I tested Marc Jacobs Daisy when I was in England in April and Jon liked it, so I'll be wearing that when we get married.)

Am I missing anything, dear readers?  We do have a little wiggle room in the budget because of that gorgeous cushion I included, so let me know if there's anything I should add...


  1. I don't have much budgeted for beauty either. I am having one of my bridesmaids doing my makeup and we will be hitting the MAC counter before our wedding day, but that is basically it. I do have a dermatology appointment scheduled for this Friday (about 11 months from our wedding day) to start my wedding face routine. But I have money on an FSA card that I had last year, so I won't (hopefully) have to pay for anything.

    It's crazy how these little things add up, especially when you aren't thinking about them.

    Thanks so much for linking up!!

  2. I just don't know how I didn't think I'd have to spend any money on this stuff! Clearly I was in denial... haha

  3. Haha!! I honestly always thought that I would have hired a professional to do my makeup on my day. That wasn't really in the budget and I didn't want to do it myself, so I knew having Joanna do it would be the best option (she did her sister's makeup on her wedding day).

    Facials and manis and pedis are expensive! HAHA! I hadn't really thought about getting facials. I can't wait to go to the dermatologist and get my acne taken care of. I'm so sick and tired of it!

  4. does your own mother not want her hair done?
    [I almost asked if she wants her hair "did" but wasn't sure if you'd get the joke?]

  5. first of all:

    She doesn't. I asked her over and over again and she keeps saying no, so I've dropped it. (Mom, you're probably reading this. You can change your mind!)

  6. Crest white strips are the best. I used them for a month and my teeth could blind someone.

    Oh, and I started breaking out right before my wedding... like really bad cystic zits. It was awful. I was told that microdermabrasion would help so I went somewhere in DC and it totally ruined my skin. Then I had half of my eyebrow ripped off at the Canon salon. Thank God for wedding day makeup. :)

  7. Loved this post! I'm glad you're doing a little splurging and gussying up for your big day! I loved having a hair and makeup artist (and loved having the trials so I knew what to expect) but leading up to the day, I kept things pretty simple and regular. I did have one facial and used whitening strips at home 3 weeks in advance, but other than that I just stuck with my normal beauty routine. One big tip I have: drink tons of water each day. It will help keep your skin really clear and glowing!!

    I did the fake lashes too...I didn't want them at first but I was convinced in the end and I'm so glad I did (as you will be). They make your eyes pop!

  8. I have some tiny sample bottles of Daisy sitting in my makeup drawer if you would like them. They are adorable, which is why I've held onto them.

  9. The day before my wedding I had manicures & pedicures with friends (as I didn't have a hen-do or anything of the sort as I was living in Africa.) The day of I had my hair and make up done. It was nice to feel pampered on the big day :)

  10. skin problems are the worst - aren't we supposed to grow out of it at some point? yargh.

  11. I used them in college! well, I did my top teeth and it was great... and then I tried the bottom teeth and it hurt like [expletive] so I had to stop after the second go. there's STILL a slight difference in color haha!

  12. YES PLEASE! but is it not a good smell for you?

  13. I would LOVE to have a make-up artist... I'll have to find another special occasion for that :)

    amen to the water!

  14. oh man that sounds lovely! if we were in a city I'd probably take us all to the spa for an afternoon right before, but we'll sort of be in the middle of nowhere...

    but I got myself that "bride" tank from Target so I'll feel pampered anyway!

  15. I wore it for years and still like it, but have moved on to different scents.

  16. oh man I didn't even add any of this stuff to our budget! I think that fake eyelashes are a good call!

  17. see? I'm not the only one!

    (I used to totally snark on Kim Kardashian for her fake eyelashes. Mine weren't nearly that blatant - see above - and I still got HOOKED on them so quickly. it's addicting!)

  18. I've tried Crest Whitestrips a couple of times, and sure enough, a few days in, BOOM I cry when anything touches my teeth. Makes me sad. I want shiny white teeth for not a billion dollas.

  19. I think I'm one of the only people that didn't wear perfume on my wedding day! I'm not much of a perfume person anyway, but I have started wearing Kate Spade "Twist". "Daisy" used to be my go-to scent :)

  20. Because I'm a creeper and read all of your comments and responses.... I just wanted to tell you that the fact that you linked a Glozell video makes me love you even more.

  21. Whenever this happens for me, I hope to still be working at the salon and getting all my skin/hair/nail services steeply discounted. So I'll get the works: a facial, mani/pedi, fresh highlights and cut, deep conditioning treatment, and brows waxed. Which will cost (not including tip) a grand total of $45.

  22. I'm definitely also splurging on fake eyelashes for my wedding day! They have looked incredible on everyone I know that has gotten them. Aside from that, I'm also keeping it simple - and I like that you're doing your own make-up, it's something that I may also consider. :)


  23. I love Daisy! I think that was the first "real" perfume I ever owned. Have you ever tried a gel manicure? I don't think they are the best for your nails long-term, but a one time thing wouldn't hurt. Here in Loudoun County it costs around $40 (including tip), and it usually lasts for about two weeks without chipping or looking rough (mine even lasted through a week of a summer camp that I worked at). You can get a color one or they can do french tips, which is always a classy look.

  24. I wore fake eyelashes (well just at the ends) for my wedding and loved it. I think it's a great addition just because of all the pictures! I'm also not a manicure person but just because it never lasts more than a day for this klutz. I did do a french manicure for my wedding and it lasted until the honeymoon when it looked atrocious due to the pool and ocean. Pedicures though--I'm right with you.

  25. I worked for MAC for years and have done tons of weddings and here are a few tips that might come in handy, esp. if you're doing your own makeup -

    * Get cheap false lashes, and get the ones that are spiky (alternating rows of long and short), they look weird but are actually the most natural. If you're putting them on yourself, it sometimes helps to set a mirror on the counter and look down at it while you put them on.
    * Make sure your foundation DOES NOT have SPF in it, the SPF reacts with the photographer's flash to turn your face white
    * Get a full coverage foundation, if you don't think you will wear it every day (and you probably won't), just go to Sephora and ask them to give you a sample. It will be more than enough for your wedding (they last me for forever). I like Makeup Forever HD foundation.
    * If you're a cried make sure you get waterproof mascara and liner (obviously). Doesn't need to be anything fancy, Cover Girl is very popular among MUAs :)

  26. honestly, I'd love to have someone do my make-up for me - it seems like the ultimate luxury! but it will be fun to know how to do it for myself :)

  27. I haven't! my sister has done them and loves them. I don't know why but I'm just not that into manicures other than the shaping and massage!

  28. when I am fabulously wealthy I will have a pedicure every week.

  29. YOU ARE MY HERO. you're hired!

    I'm definitely not doing my lashes myself! For every time I do strip lashes right, there are five times I've screwed up. And YARGH my fave tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier) has SPF in it... thank you. I needed to know that.

    Do you think I'll still need liner even with the full fake eyelashes?

  30. Yeah, definitely just go to Sephora and ask for a sample (you can give a reason like you have sensitive skin or something if you feel uncomfortable just straight up asking, but they won't hassle you).

    In regards to the lashes - you can now get tinted DUO glue that dries black at CVS (should be with the fake lashes, it's called DUO surgical adhesive - I also just get my fake lashes at CVS or Walmart), so you might want to try that. I think you still need a little liner. You can put it on first (might give you a good idea of where to put the lashes) and then what I usually d is put a little liner on AFTER I put the lashes on to cover the band. Usually I just use a skinny angle brush and dark eyeshadow, but you can use a pencil or whatever you have on hand. Just something to blend the band in with your own lashes so it's not totally visible. You can also put mascara on your fake lashes after you've applied them - this pushes your real lashes into them and they look more blended. It's not nearly as complicated as I am making it sound, I'm just being overly descriptive!

    Honestly, I just use whatever I have on hand, the only part I think is pretty important is the foundation - you can make anything else work.

    The only thing I would add is that you should go a tad bit heavier/darker with the makeup than you are use to - a lot of it won't show up in the photos otherwise.

  31. I'm going to do lashes, too! Isn't it silly how expensive beauty is for the big day? Sheesh I get so stressed about it that I I try to not think about it! lol :)


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