Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Makeup

Today is perfect for this post on the makeup I wore for my wedding, dear readers, because I wanted to let you all know the topic that my September sponsors have agreed on for our link-up next week and it ties in perfectly.  Ready?  Here's the prompt:

I felt the most beautiful when...

Yes, I'll admit that my answer has to do with my wedding - but I promise you'll be surprised where I go with the post!  I can't wait to see how KC, Belle, Emily, Sarah, and Belinda answer.  The link-up goes live at 8am EST next Tuesday, September 30, and I very much hope you'll all join us!  If I know you like I think I do, you'll have some unexpected answers, too.  (Email me at if you're interested in sponsoring Betsy Transatlantically in October or November - I have just one spot left for next month!)

So, beauty!  And, although one does not necessarily indicate the other, make-up.  I got tons of compliments on my wedding make-up and I'm enormously proud of myself for having done it with my own two hands, so please do forgive a little bragging in this post.  I learned a lot of new skills - it was a big deal for me!

As I said in my pre-wedding post about bridal beauty, I decided to do my own make-up for my wedding because I didn't think we could afford to hire a professional to come to Bruisyard Hall on the day.  For those of you who are planning your own weddings, let me give you some advice: don't do what I did for purely financial reasons.  It obviously all worked out in the end, at least in terms of beauty, but I didn't save any money!

My hour-long make-up lesson at the Bethesda Blue Mercury was fantastic.  Before we started, I showed Sissy what make-up I already had and asked that we incorporate as much of it as possible so I didn't have to buy tons of new products.  She laughed and then gently explained to me that, in the grand scheme of make-up, what I owned was lovely but as basic and everyday as it comes - not what a bride wants to wear on her wedding day!  (I wrote a post almost two years ago about the make-up I usually wear and it hasn't changed much since then.)  But she totally understood the look I was going for and walked me very patiently through the products and techniques I'd need to look beautiful through 8 hours of a ceremony, photos, and a reception.

Then, after we'd finished, we added up the cost of all the products she'd used - and I almost fainted.  It came close to $500, and that was on top of the $90 I'd paid for the lesson!  So Sissy very generously gave me a sample of the primer and the foundation she'd used on me; she knew I'd never use either for any occasion other than my wedding and it would be a waste of both money and product if I bought the full bottles of each.  We also went through the remaining products and she very candidly picked out the ones that didn't need to be as high quality so that I could substitute in drugstore purchases.  With her help and after a trip to Ulta, I managed to cap my make-up spending at $200.  It was still more than I wanted to spend, but I will be using most of the products again and again now that I know how!

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
Chanel Perfection Lumière Foundation
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (I already owned this)
bareMinerals Mineral Veil
Bobbi Brown Blush (not pictured and I'm not sure which it was exactly - I borrowed it from my sister!)

Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
Laura Mercier Petite Eyes Palette (very old; I already owned this)
Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Heather
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush
Maybelline Volum'Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Flash (I already owned this)
Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Potpourri

(plus the 6 Piece Day-to-Night Set of brushes from ecoTOOLS)

As you can see, I choose in the end not to do fake eyelashes again - the Maybelline mascara looked amazing and withstood all of my tears, as did the Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner.  When I posted this Instagram a few days after the wedding, celebrating the fact that my eyeliner skills hadn't left me, a few of you asked for a tutorial; all I can say is go slow and start with a smaller line than you want to end up with!


  1. You look gorgeous! I still think getting a lesson to do your own makeup is an awesome idea. My dad actually did that for me when I got back from my first deployment - he knew I was self-conscious about some scarring and sun damage I had on my face - and it made a world of difference. I'm thinking of doing it again, because while I think I've got my everyday makeup down, it would be fun to learn how to do some more special-occasion worthy makeup!

  2. You look insanely beautiful!!! WOW! Great job getting makeup down to $200! I'm always amazed by how much makeup costs. I have terrible rosacea, but it's only on my face and rather than pay $1000 every 4 months for a dermatological treatment (isn't that insane?!), I use make-up to hide it. And while I'm often horrified by what I spend, the truth is I feel much better with much higher self confidence with a makeup on. It's amazing the mood boost you feel when you know you look beautiful! But oh the cost... (sorry for the wordiness).

  3. Well when you have that pretty of a face to start with, it doesn't matter what makeup you have because you're gorgeous either way! Congrats on doing it yourself, that's awesome!

  4. You look absolutely beautiful! Your skin is glowing! Although that might have more to do with a happy heart than expensive makeup. ;o) I still just use cheap-o drug store brands, and most days I'll leave the house with only a little mascara on. But the days are fast approaching when that's just NOT going to cut it. I need a makeup lesson, too!

  5. Saxon @ Let's Drink Coffee, DaSeptember 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    You looked beautiful on your wedding day!

    I did kind of the same thing, thinking I could do my own makeup cheaper. After researching and buying all the products, it was so much more expensive than if I would have paid my hair stylist to do my makeup as well. But at the same time, I still have and often use the products I bought, so that's good!

  6. You looked gorgeous (as always), and thanks for listing the products, I'm always looking for new ones to try!

  7. I got them (as a trial to make sure they didn't make my eyes explode) for my bachelorette and got HOOKED - they looked amazing! but getting them agaib would have set me back another £60 whereas the Maybelline was like $12 so...

    and thank you :)

  8. why thank you! and WELL DONE your dad - what a thoughtful thing. it doesn't mean you always have to be made up but there's power in knowing you can be if you want, right?

  9. Getting a makeup lesson is a great idea, and even though you spent the money on the products, as you said, you will still use them!

  10. I get a little teary-eyed when I read about men doing such thoughtful "feminine" things for women.

  11. Can you do a trial run beforehand, or a consultation, to make sure that your stylist does your professional make-up the way you want?

  12. my goodness, me too! you don't realize it because you usually buy one product at a time, but OH MAN do they add up :/ but feeling good about yourself - however you have to and whatever that means - is priceless.

  13. haha yes you are getting towards my "I feel beautiful when" post now... but I'm totally with you on the drugstore stuff - I love my Maybelline mascara!

  14. thank you! it's good to know what to use and how, you know? an investment :)

  15. of course! I might actually go buy the primer - it makes a huge difference!

  16. I'm looking forward to reading that post!

    P.S. Rimmel is even better than Maybelline! ;o) I switched from Great Lash to Rimmel two years ago and I love it!!

  17. Such a beauty! I'm really into the shades you chose for eye-shadow. Those seem like the perfect elegant day-to-night look.

  18. So pretty! I just wish all the fancy makeup wasn't so expensive. Nice of her to give you samples!

  19. I'm always scared by eyeshadow - maybe because I abused it when I was a young teen - but I was thrilled that Sissy encouraged me to try these! I overcame my fear :)

  20. you SHOULD be able to do a trial, but I often find it hard to be firm even if I don't like something in these situations...

  21. I am a total dumdum when it comes to make-up. I tend to wear the same look every day, and when we go out for a night on the town then I experiment with eyeshadow layering.... but eyeliner? Oh, eyeliner. I still haven't figured that one out. Your look is beautiful!


I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.