Good grooming must run in the family because my 16-month old son, Westley, was having a ball yesterday as I was giving him a pedicure. He wanted to take charge, so I handed him the nail file and clippers (closed, of course) and he was a pro. Look how much fun he’s having!
I may be the cosmetics connoisseur of the family, but my mom is definitely the nail phile. I know a lot about polishes and own an extensive library of lacquer, but every now and again I get schooled by my manicure mixtress mother. Her latest combo is a coat of OPI Servin’ Up Sparkle (from the Serena Glam Slam collection) layered over her all-time fave, Essie Chinchilly.
1. Don’t get too trendy with your makeup or hairstyle. You want to look like a knockout on your wedding day, but you should still look like you. Years from now, you don’t want to look at your wedding photos and think, “Who is that?”
2. If you’re planning a pre-wedding facial or similar treatment, make sure you schedule it at least a week before. The last thing you need to deal with is an allergic reaction or an extraction-happy esthetician that leaves your face a marked up mess days/hours before your nuptials.
3. If you can, hire someone to do your hair and makeup on your wedding day. I’m not doubting your abilities…you might be the second coming of Kevyn Aucoin, but having someone to help means that you’ll have one (or two) less things to worry about on the day of. And it needn’t cost a fortune, either. You don;t need to hire a celebrity makeup artist to look like supermodel. Find a local beauty school and ask if any of the students are available for special events. Or go to the mall and get a makeover at your favorite makeup counter. If the salesperson does a good job, ask him/her if she makes house calls. My longtime friend/mane man, Erik, did my hair at my parents’ house…and then attended our wedding as a guest.
4. Whether you’re paying someone to do your hair/makeup or you’re a DIY kind of bride, always do a trial run. And take photos – from different angles and in different lighting. You might love the reflection in the mirror, but the pictures might tell a different story. And better for you to figure out what works (and what doesn’t) in the months/weeks leading up to your big day – when you actually have time and the means to fix problems.
8. If your skin is on the oily side and you’re afraid of looking shiny in photos, make sure to have blot papers handy on your wedding day. Powder does cut down on shine, but it can also get cakey-looking and settle into lines. Blotting papers are a better bet. Or you can do like I do and just grab a bunch of Starbucks brown napkins next time you get a Frappuccino; those suckers work better than most blotting papers I’ve used – and when Starbucks charges you $4-5 for some coffee, milk and sugar, they owe you some damn napkins. So take a handful and put ‘em in your purse.
10. I wore Giorgio Armani Silk Lipstick topped with Armani Lip Shimmer on my wedding day (click here to find out what else I wore). I asked one of my bridesmaids to hold my gloss for me – but when I needed it for a mid-reception touch-up, she didn’t know where it was. To this day, she still insists that I lost it. Um, as if! I would never misplace a brand new Armani lip gloss. Anyway…I digress. Though this was a minor snafu, I’m often reminded of my mistake when I look at my photos. My lips are almost the same color as my face, so in some of the pictures, my mouth kind of just disappears. It still irks me to this day. So do yourself a favor and use a lip stain (like CoverGirl Outlast Lipstains) before applying lipstick and/or lip gloss. And don’t ask your flighty friends to hold nuthin’.
On Saturday, I attended the master makeup class I told y’all about. Mama Spoiled Pretty and I headed to Bloomingdale’s at the Willow Grove Mall to participate in Studio Talk, “the easiest, most intuitive and entertaining way to discover key makeup applications used by MAC artists.”
Here’s how it’s done:
1) Mist the face with Fix+, an aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi.
2) Apply moisturizer using 190 Foundation Brush.
3) Using the 190 Foundation Brush, apply Prep + Prime Skin to entire face; this product acts like double stick tape for your face, so foundation lasts longer than a hot minute.
4) Using a synthetic eye shadow brush like the 242 Shader Brush, apply Paint Pot in Painterly to the eye – from lashline to brow bone. Paint Pots are an excellent shadow, but also do double duty by preventing creasing and acting as a lid primer to prevent shadow slippage.
5) Apply brown eye shadow to lid, from lash line to crease, with the same brush from step 4; I used Mulch Eye Shadow (red-brown w/bronze pearl), which I later purchased. It’s that gorgeous.
6) Using the 219 Pencil Brush (another product I purchased post class), apply gold eye shadow to the lash line, starting at the inner corner and working your way half-way along the top and bottom lash line.
7) Line the eye – in short straight strokes – with Technakohl Liner in Graphblack (rich graphic black) along the entire top lash line.
8) Starting at the middle of the bottom lash line, line with Graphblack – and line outward.
9) Using the short stroke method, create a sideways V on the outer corner of the eye; so start at the outer corner, draw a few short strokes, horizontally – then continue the strokes upward and inward towards the crease of the eye.
10) Take the 219 Pencil Brush and blend the liner you applied in steps 7-9 and smudge them, softening the line.
12) Blend the entire eye using the 224 Tapered Blending Brush and circular motions – to avoid any harsh lines.
13) To create more depth, Jesse suggested I also apply a black shadow in the same manner as step 11 (I used Carbon – intense matte black). He was absolutely right, as it amped up the smokiness. Afterwards, use the 224 Tapered Blending Brush to blend again.
14) Next, apply foundation to the entire face, using the 190 Foundation Brush from steps 2 and 3. Make sure not to disturb your kick ass eye shadow.
15) Using the same brush, apply concealer directly underneath the eyes.
16) If your face is looking a little dry by this point (mine did), mist your face again with Fix+.
18) Using the 129 Powder/Blush Brush, apply Mineralize SkinFinish in Cheeky Bronze (soft golden coral w/ bronze pearl) to cheekbones for a subtle glow that illuminates bone structure when it catches the light; it looks so amazing, I ended up buying this product. Jesse also recommended that you say “Bladow!” when applying it; saying this won’t make it look any better, but it’s hilariously fun.
19) Using the same brush, apply a light dusting of blush (I used Sincere Powder Blush, a muted beige/coral) to the apples of cheeks and blend outwards.
20) Line lips with Spice Lip Pencil (pink cinnamon stick) and fill them almost all the way in; leave the center of the bottom lip bare.
21) Using the 316 Lip Brush, apply Viva Glam VI Lipstick (terracotta-plum with pearl) to both lips.
23) Using the 316 Lip Brush again, apply Dazzleglass in Love Alert (raspberry red with red pearl) to entire mouth.
24) Finish off the look by applying Prep + Prime Lash to lashes; and while it’s still wet, top lashes off with two coats of Zoom Lash Mascara in Zoomblack (rich black).
I’d like to give a shout out to Spoiled Pretty readers/Twitter followers who I had the pleasure of meeting at the event: Felicia, Stephanie, Jackie, Sandy and Libby. You ladies looked ab fab after the class, and I hope you all had a fabulously fun time like me and Mama Spoiled Pretty!
I have been told my many a professional that my eyes were made for makeup. Not to sound cocky or anything, but I’m pretty sure that when God formed me in the womb, s/he said to her/himself, “Wow…when this girl grows up, she’s gonna rock a fierce cat eye.”
So to celebrate my third annual 29th birthday, Mr. Spoiled Pretty and I dined at Tinto, one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia – and I sported this ferosh feline eye.
Here’s the recipe to replicate the look:
Apply Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to entire eye, lashline up to brow bone.
And here’s a bonus – thanks to the products’ staying power, your eye makeup will have nine lives. Meow!
You know how they say magazines sell more issues based on which celeb is on the cover? Well, even though I know it’s true, I never paid a cover much mind, to be honest. I’m a magazine nut – and if the pages are filled with beauty, fashion and star style, I’m buying it – regardless of who is on the front.
“She was mad for her new look with the sexy bangs and shoulder-length cut,” recalls Beauty and Cover Director Mikki Taylor, who led the makeover team in creating this transformation.
When I brought the issue home, I showed Mr. Spoiled Pretty. “Isn’t her hair to-die, Graham?” I asked. To which he replied, “Um…isn’t that how you usually wear your hair when it’s down?” Well, yeah…I am pretty handy with the flat iron and this is the look I’m going for. But Gabrielle’s do is the gold standard, and my limited styling prowess has only achieved bronze status – at best.
But you best believe I’m going to tack this photo up and practice, practice, practice to perfect the look. Too bad there aren’t any products to help replicate Gabrielle’s flawless cocoa complexion and girl next door dimples.
The September 2009 issue of Essence is on newsstands now.