Welcome to the MEGA post which is all about hair and beauty and skin care for your wedding day! My special guest today is the super talented Sara Lovell, Rochester MUA/Hair Stylist for fabulous brides – thank you Sara for such informative answers to all our questions. Hopefully this will help our brides get some good ideas and better prepare to look fabulous on the big day!
First, meet Sara:
Braided updo (photo by Photo Impressions)
How should I take care of my hair in preparation for my wedding? It’s a good idea to have your color touched up about a week before the big day. Early on the day before the wedding, wash and style your hair as you normally would. Day-old hair holds a style much better than fresh, clean hair does. The morning of the wedding, shower but DO NOT wash or even wet your hair. Even if you are on the oily side, I have special products that will soak up any greasiness.
What are some updo styles that are popular and how do you make each request unique? Bridal styles are usually very timeless and classic, but I’d say that the last few seasons I have had more brides wearing their hair half-up with loose, romantic waves or curls. Other than that, soft updos with lots of texture are still popular. I like to take a few things into consideraton, like the neckline of the dress, type of jewlery, and personal preferences while working with the bride to achieve the look she is dreaming of.
flower hair piece and curls (photo by PhotoKisses)
What are some of your favorite accessories for bridal hair? Last season, fascinators were very popular, along with birdcage style veils. I personally love the vintage inspiration with those, but it’s not a look for everyone. There are classic accessories like fresh flowers that will always look appropriate and tasteful for a bride.
Any specific brands or types of hair products you like? I use a lot of Kenra, Rusk, and Surface styling products for my bridal parties and studio work. I have tried many, many products that don’t deliver what the bottle says it will, and I need reliable products that are priced well… Kenra seems to have cornered the market for that.
Any no nos? Two major tips: 1. Look like yourself. I am all for changing up your look and doing something different, but your wedding day is not the day to do it. You should look like a really awesome version of yourself for the day, and you want your new husband to recognize you as your walking down the aisle. 2. Stay away from glitter! Glitter will get all over everything and everyone. When lit up by flash lighting, it looks like dandruff in photos. Soft,suble shimmer is great, but glitter is best left for little girls.
Priscilla asks – My hair is very fine and brittle, what kind of products should I get and are there any tips you can give me to avoid flyaways in an updo? For fine and brittle hair I highly recommend a strengthening regimen to bring back some integrity to the hair so that it can hold up to styling better. Surface Trinity Shampoo, conditoner and leave in tonic will protect color treated hair, strengthen your strands, and has built in styling protection so that you don’t have to worry about as many hair products that may weigh your hair down. I like to finish dry, styled hair with Surface Push powder which adds texture and makes your hair feel thicker, followed my a good finishing spray like Kenra Volume Spray. Spray it on your hair brush before teasing to help build volume and mist over your finished style and smooth any flyways down with your hands before it dries.
What kind of preparation can a bride do a week or two before the wedding to get ready for make up? A facial is great to have done, usually you’d want to have of series of these done over the course of a few months, with the last one being no sooner than a week before the wedding. The night before, I recommend using your normal skin care routine, with a rich and hydrating eye cream.
How about the morning of? Use your normal skin care routine, including a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. Use a light eye cream to reduce puffiness and smooth fine lines. Make sure you eat something for breakfast, no matter how nervous or excited you may be! Any specific brands or types of makeup you like? Among my favorites in my kit, I like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Makeup Forever Professional, Mehron, and Smashbox. I use a little bit of everything; many lines have great products for different needs and I haven’t yet found one single line that meets all of my needs as an artist.
Most unusual request? I had a bride that had a tattoo on the back of her neck that her mom didn’t like! I have a special tattoo concealer that did the trick, it was gone for the day until she washed the makeup off.
I heard about airbrush make up, is that something I should consider? It is the lightest, most natural-lookng coverage you can get possible that offers a feather-light feel with full coverage and lasts ALL DAY, making it my favorite for brides. The water-based formula and fine spray-dot pattern it lays blends with your skin’s tone and texture seamlessly which is why it is my favorite choice. I really love the airbrush makeup system by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. There is no brush, sponge or any other tool that can duplicate the “spray dot” pattern that the airbrush creates, which is why it’s the preferred modality for artists like me, working with photographers shooting hi-def digital images and videos. It makes a huge difference and offer durability unlike anything else.
Brooke asks – I am not sure how I should do my makeup for the big day. I do a pretty good job with my day-to-day makeup… would you recommend a more natural look? It’s always a good idea to take your everyday look into consideration when planning your bridal look. If glam is your usual look, you don’t want to stray too far away from that, same as if you are more of a fan of the natural look. With that said, I do find that the most timeless makeup look is a natural, “glowing” one… just make it yours!
What brand of lipstick do you recommend? How do I find the perfect shade that works for me? I HATE buying lipstick only to find it looks HORRIBLE and I can’t return it! Whether you prefer lipstick, gloss, stain or pencil, I highly recommend shopping for your lip color at a shop like Sephora or Ulta, where there are hygenic ways to sample the products before you buy them. My favorites for brides are stains or long-wearing liquid colors that won’t “kiss off” like NYX semi-permanent lip color or ColorStay Overtime by Revlon.
daytime wedding make up
How do I know my makeup will last through tears, oil, and sweat? Prepping the skin with appropriate skin care products and primers is crucial before any makeup goes on. High quality & highly pigmented makeup expertly applied to suit your skin type followed by appropriate setting powders and/or fixers. It may seem like a lot, but it makes a difference in the durability of your makeup!
Christine asks – hi Sara! i have almond shaped eyes… how do i make them appear bigger and still pop? Almond-shaped eyes are beautiful and exotic and you can easily make them pop by lining the inner lower lid and tear duct area with white or very light shimmer, then smudging darker brown or black eyeliner into the outer corners of the lower and upper lash line. smudge out the liner from the middle of each eye out towards the corner and blend well. Curling your lashes and adding lots of black mascara will also make your eyes pop.
airbrush make up and strip eye lashes (photo by Photo Impressions)
My natural lashes suck! Is there a natural-looking lash option? Yes! False eyelash inserts are very natural-looking and comfortable. The extra strong adhesive holds up to water and tears very well, when latex-based adhesives may fail when exposed to moisture.
Should I do a hair and makeup trial? There are many schools of thought on this one, this just happens to be mine. it’s not always practical for every bride to have done before she chooses to book with me if they live out of town, but they have seen my portfolio and reviews and that makes them feel comfortable in my ability. I think many brides-to-be think that this is their deciding factor when booking a beauty artist, when I think trials are most appropriate when used as a planning tool closer to the day of your wedding. Its a great way to plan your look for the day, and even better when done before an engagement session, (to see how your look reads on camera) or before a dress fitting, (to see if your entire look is cohesive and what you want it to be) Ultimately, you should do what makes the most sense for you. What I consider more important is the consultation, which is always free, whether its done in person , over the phone or using video chat.
And most importantly… get as much rest as possible, avoid drinking too much alcohol so you will feel great and look well rested in the morning!
Thanks so much Sara!