We are sharing the tips, tricks and all the best there is to know about living your life beautifully. In this edition of the series, contributor Jane Marie documents her wedding-day hair and makeup preparations. Spoiler alert: she looked stunning walking down the aisle!
Deciding on your hair and makeup look for your wedding can be even harder than choosing a dress. I went on this weird head trip from wanting my overall look to be way out there to wanting to play it extra cool and traditional—for the photos and posterity mostly.
When you're trying on dresses, it's really hard to imagine how everything else is going to come together. I loved this crazy dress (it really was my first choice for a long time!), but I didn't want to style my hair the way the model did. Would it work with a softer coif? No choker? A few extra pounds on one's frame? Ugh, I gave up. And this happened again, through about 50 more dresses.
Halfway into my trying-on process, I did start to get a little more gussied up for the shopping trips. I'd always done a full—if not special-occasion—face of makeup. I also began putting my hair into a simple updo, trying for some height and volume. Then, just after I'd selected my gown, which ended up being similar to my first choice but at the much simpler end of the spectrum, I fell in love with this feather fascinator from BHLDN. That turned everything upside down again; my makeup, jewelry and shoe ideas went out the window. I was back at square one.
This was when I began wondering if you should only have two months to plan a wedding so you can't change your mind so often.
Okay, so I brought the fascinator with me to my first gown fitting. It was…fine? But comparing the photos from that day to the photos from the day I chose my dress, it just seemed over the top, too costumey and like I was trying really hard.
So I went back to the drawing board, again.
Finally, one day, it flashed before my eyes: Betty's hair during her trip to Rome. I am talking about Betty Draper from Mad Men, of course. The style was the perfect mix of formal and traditional, yet striking and a bit out of the ordinary. I decided to go for it.
Luckily, choosing a hairdresser was easy: my husband-to-be's cousin, Kerri, works at a salon in Philadelphia, where we were getting married. Her boss, Jo Clapson, is a makeup artist. They became my team. Since I live in Los Angeles, our preliminary plan was to use a sponge insert like this to create the arc bun. If we needed lots of extra hair for more volume or to cover the insert, we would use extensions. The extensions ended up being unnecessary, but you can't come too prepared for a destination wedding!
At the trial the night before, Kerri blew out and set my hair in curlers.
When cool, she brushed through the curls, pinned my bangs out of the way and left the hair at the back of my head down to be later coiled into pin curls. Then she got to work on the bun. She put my hair in an elastic on top of my head and rolled it around the foam insert. She pinned either side down to form the arc and then wrapped a piece of hair around the elastic to hide it. She added a few pins to hold up the hair in back, spritzed on a ton of hair spray and, voilà, I was Betty Draper!
Jo also tried out a few makeup looks on me. I knew I wanted a slight cat eye. I also wanted serious contouring with foundation, à la Kim Kardashian. Jo laughed and obliged, adding lighter foundation to the bridge of my nose, forehead, chin and cheekbones and a darker shade under my cheekbones, on the sides of my nose and under my chin. Then she suggested we use a light turquoise wash over my lids just above the cat eye for a more vintage feel. She nailed it, and I came away having a classic wedding look with a few unexpected twists, which made it me. And we were all set for the big day, when…
There was a water-main break in Philly on the wedding day, the salon team had to come to my hotel to do everyone's hair and we ended up blowing the fuses in my hotel room running too many blow-dryers at once. Hahaha!!!
It turned out okay; we just bumped some dudes out of their rooms and spread out through the hotel to not overload any more circuits.
Then we walked for five windy blocks to the venue, which gave all of us a more natural look :)
My husband later said that he wished there was a service where you could rent me out to other husbands for their wedding days, because I looked like the perfect bride walking down the aisle. That's all I needed to hear to know I'd made the right choices.