the wedding chronicles | decisions #16 and #17

HAIR & MAKEUP

probably two of the more important decisions to make for many brides, your wedding hair and wedding makeup can make all the difference in helping you feel your absolute best on your big day, and this is coming from a girl who pretty much never wears makeup nowadays and considers it a small miracle if her hair manages to stay presentable from sun up to sun down.  the trick to it all, as several past brides have told me, is to let the stylists create a wedding day look that simply enhances, not masks, what the good Lord already gave you.  well, when i look at it that way, i’m much more open to the idea.

now, the question regarding hair and makeup is where do you begin your search?  as far as things go for me, i first started with what i knew, which was who my sister-in-law kari hired when she and kyle got married back in 2014.  she happily gave me some contact information, and i quickly turned around to send the first of many e-mail messages.  kyle and kari got married in roswell, georgia, which meant most of their vendors were local to the greater atlanta area.  therein was a bit of a problem for me:  with our wedding being in peachtree city (practically on the complete opposite side of town and definitely outside the greater atlanta area), i would have to pay travel fees per mile for the stylists to get to me.  now, if we were having a remote destination wedding, i’d understandably bite the bullet and pay, but before committing, i decided to investigate and see if we had other options.

as it would end up being the case for many of our vendors, i asked the director at glendalough manor if they had any preferred recommendations for hair and makeup.  what do you know, they did!  as soon as i was able, i booked the trial appointments and invited the crew to come along for the fun.

now, if you aren’t in “the know” in this regard, oftentimes you do a trial or dress rehearsal for hair and makeup before your actual wedding day.  i know, i know.  among all the other things on our to-do list, you might not feel like you have time for this sort of thing.  i used to think that way, too.  however, i highly encourage you go through with the trials and here is exactly why.

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the fall look

according to michael kors’ 2016 fall catalog, the colors plum and moss/hunter green are in this season.  well, i wasn’t ready to splurge on a fabulous handbag or garment (at least not just yet), but i figured i could get creative with how i incorporate these colors into my fall look.

yesterday i was out and about running errands, including a quick stop into ulta for some must-haves and want-to-haves.  i made my way to the nail care area and did a couple laps around the shelves.  the lovely thing about nail polish is that it comes in nearly any shade of the rainbow you can imagine.  this undeniable fact had me hopeful that i’d find just the shade i was seeking.  to no one’s surprise, there aren’t nearly as many green shades of polish as you might find pinks as reds, but i did at least find what i wanted:  a hunter green called front runner by opi.  when i first brushed it on my nails, it almost appeared blue-green.  but in the right light, it’s the excellent fall green i was wanting, especially out in the natural sun.

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now that i had my deep green fix, i enlisted the help of an employee to find a plum lipstick.  she showed me several samples, some too dark and others too pink.  we finally came upon, though, the one i would take home with me:  buxom’s matte big & sexy bold gel lipstick in vampy plum.  the matte is ultra chic, i think, and the color is very sensual against my rather light complexion.  i’m in love with this stuff already!  oh, and did i mention that the lipstick case is magnetic?  when i put the cap back on and realized it, i swear i died and went to makeup heaven.

ps:  if anyone finds they’re in a splurging mood, i’m all kinds of obsessed with mk’s faux-fur peacoat and the mercer tote in cinder.  just saying!  😀

wedding makeup!

our dear friends jamie and greg are getting married in just nine short days, and i have the honor of being one of the bridesmaids – yay!  with the big day around the corner, i have been getting my to-do list and packing list together to make sure i don’t miss a thing.  one of the items on that list is all of the new makeup i’ve recently purchased to complete my bridesmaid look.  like many ladies, i have created a makeup collection over the years and that old stuff just had to go.  so, since i was basically working from the ground up, a personal consultation at sephora sounded like the perfect plan.  i mean, i think i have an acceptable day-to-day look, but i knew i needed to step up my makeup game for the wedding – gotta look good in those pictures!

my stylist grace was ready to get to work the moment i hopped onto that stool, and with my close friend alison at my side (her makeup always looks stunning), i knew i’d be in good hands.  thankfully grace was willing to work with some of the basics i already have since i have sensitive skin, so i didn’t totally break the bank on that day’s purchases.  we had a gay ‘ole time as grace showed me where to sweep the eyeshadows, what to do with that charming little makeup egg, and, perhaps the most entertaining part of the afternoon, how to apply false eyelashes!  i mean, i might be biased, but i think the end result was kind of lovely (despite the silly faces).  🙂

now, all throughout the appointment alison was diligently taking incredibly detailed notes, as i am going to have to recreate this look myself the day of the event.  so, armed with her notes and all of the supplies, i followed the instructions and….voila!  with the exception of no false eyelashes, i gotta say i don’t think i did too bad of a job.  again, please pardon the fish face – just gotta show off those cheekbones…!

although i got most of my supplies at sephora, some of them i had to hunt down at ulta.  i don’t want to take sides in this post, but the stores don’t carry all the same products, so you do what you gotta do.  and, to give credit where credit is due, here’s a list of all the products used in the making of this look.

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almay & ecotools

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so, very long story short i wasn’t wearing makeup for a few months in an effort to tone things down and just let my skin breathe.  i’m not a heavy makeup wearer to start, but going cold turkey for several weeks did wonders for my face.  it probably helped that i was using gentle face washes and prescription topical treatments, and i’m happy to say that things are balanced these days.

once i decided that i was ready to go back to the makeup routine, i knew i wanted to introduce items one-by-one so that i wasn’t bombarding my skin.  i figured the best place to start would be with the powder and foundation, and that’s just what i did.  in the past i’ve just picked up whatever i knew and whatever was cheapest, and although i didn’t want to skimp on some good products, i also did not want to break the bank.  that meant i started things off with some calmer products by almay.

first up was the truly lasting color liquid makeup as a foundation.  the key here for me was to get good coverage without caking it on.  thankfully with smoother and clearer skin to start, i only now need a light layer of foundation to create a uniform tone.

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next i started using (and have really been loving) the smart shade loose finishing powder.  a little dab of this stuff will do ya to finish off a smooth and natural look.

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but to use that finishing powder, i needed just the right brush for the job.  it was time for a new set of brushes (i’ll admit i’d held onto my old ones for way too long), so while at ulta i stopped by the cosmetic accessory aisle.  now, i’m no makeup artist, so paying a ton for a single brush didn’t seem very sensible for me.  what i did find, though, was the most darling little pack of brushes in the ecotools five piece travel set.  besides coming in the most adorable little pouch, these brushes (as you would find out from other reviews) are ridiculously soft.  the big blush/powder brush picks up just the right amount of product before i sweep it on my skin.  i can tell that these few basic investments i’m making now will be the building blocks of good, appropriate makeup wear for years to come.

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who wants a beauty wedge?

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recently i was at my neighborhood ulta, a place where it is easy to get lost in all the interesting stuff they have for skin, hair, and body care.  i had already picked out my new favorite lipstick and was on the hunt for a new concealer.  i found it in the cover girl trublend makeup, shade l6 buff beige, which i am loving more and more the more i use it.  it provides great coverage while really blending with my natural skintone.

now, that word ‘blending’ is what got me thinking, and i’m glad i stopped myself before heading to the checkout counter.  in the past, i would just use my fingertips to apply concealer and foundation whenever i needed it.  however, my eyes were caught by the makeup application aisle, conveniently placed on my way to pay.

i quickly found a package of beauty wedges, and i’ll easily say that i don’t think there will be any turning back at this point.  even though it’s now a beauty expense i didn’t have in the past, these little wedges are still quite affordable.  a package of 32 wedges for three bucks isn’t a bad deal, and considering i don’t wear foundation/concealer all the time, they won’t be of daily use.

more importantly, though, i’ll be using a clean surface to apply my makeup.  i don’t think my hands are overly oily, but anything on my fingers will still transfer to my face when i touch it.  these little wedge sponges help me more evenly apply the makeup, avoiding a patchy or uneven look.  i don’t really consider myself a makeup expert, but anything i can do to help keep my face clear and clean can’t be a bad thing, can it?

plus, they make me feel ultra girly and classy, a great way to feel before whipping out the door and facing the world.

lipstick: my new favorite accessory

last night a bunch of us went to the painted pin in buckhead to celebrate valentine’s day.  i don’t have a significant other, so i considered all of my friends that night my date!  i was pumped for a carefree evening and was also looking forward to hearing our friends play in the band velvet runway.  they rocked the place for a solid four hours, playing all of your favorite 70s and 80s hits.  the bartenders kept the 7s and 7s coming, and after several rounds of bocce ball, i deemed the night a great success.

before the festivities began, though, i went to do a little shopping, hoping to find a new outfit, if not maybe a new top, since it was a special occasion.  my closet might be packed, but there’s room for a couple more blouses in there.  ah, my father would be proud!

i unfortunately had no luck on the racks and felt a teeny tinge of disappointment as i left another store empty-handed.  it’s always that you don’t find something when you’re looking for it, isn’t it?  well, at least that’s what they say.  i turned left and took the stairs down to ulta, for i needed a few beauty supplies.  growing up i was never big into makeup, and there are times these days when i find that i hate “having” to wear it.  i know, i know, i don’t have to, but honey, this face doesn’t look perfect when i roll out of the bed in the morning.  i firmly believe that natural days have their place, as do makeup days.  🙂

i like to think i have the basics of makeup down (somewhat), but one area where i never venture too far from the conventional look is with the lips.  i usually lean more towards subtle glosses or nude shades.  i thought, though, that even if i was going to wear something in my closet, i could easily transform it into a whole new look with a new lipstick.  at least it would feel new to me, and feeling confident is what matters, right?  if you feel confident, you’ll appear confident to others, and according to society today, confidence is the best accessory in your closet.  wait, was that tyra who said that?  or is it your smile that’s your best accessory?  maybe it’s both?  maybe i’ve watched too many seasons of america’s next top model…

so, with that i began the hunt for the new perfect lipstick.  i already had a tarte lipstain that i was in love with, but they didn’t have the right shade i was looking for that day.  i wanted something a little more red-orange, not too pink and not too coral.  i began to peruse the shelves and was finally spotted by an employee who was ready to happily assist.  we walked up and down the aisles, trying out different shades on our hands, and then we finally found it:  urban decay’s revolution lipstick, the bang shade.  it was the perfect shade, super saturated and super rich.  not too glossy but not too matte.  it was a match made in makeup heaven, if such a thing can even exist, and i’ll say it looked killer with the rest of my outfit last night.

it’s quite amazing how something like a little pop of color on the lips can make you feel like a whole new person.  heck, i even threw some on when i went to starbucks to write this post, just because i can!  the lipstick print on my coffee cup is adorable, and i cannot keep from smiling.  *kiss kiss*