Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Beauty Message in a Bottle

One $100 replacement power cord (thanks to the IT bogarts who neglected to return mine), one passive-aggressive encounter at the nearest AT&T store to establish myself as the wireless-software martyr (I swear on all that is holy, it was all I could do not to inflict bodily harm on the poor girl who was forced to interact with me), one borderline-psychotic voicemail to said IT bogarts, and I'm BACK, baby!

I'd promised to elaborate on my wedding-beauty stories (and there are a couple doozies), but I thought I'd post what ended up being the column entry for the March issue of VIP magazine first. This should at least get you going. Please trust that I will be back over the weekend to give you the full-freakin'-monty, replete with shameful bridezilla episodes. (Whatever, like you've never been there.) Peruse and ponder, I'll anxiously await your input...

“You’ll Laugh About This One Day…”

Spring is in the air, as is the wedding season. This is the time to plan (or perhaps wrap up plans for) the wedding of your dreams. There are infinite details that accompany planning a wedding, which are best left to the professionals. Instead let’s get you ready for a day that demands you look and feel your absolute best.

Readying yourself for the Big Day can seem daunting: there are makeup looks and hairstyles to be considered, skin to whip into shape, etc. Let’s start with your skin. Head to your favorite day spa and ask its most experienced esthetician about facials. It’s best to start early—several weeks before the wedding—and book a series of facials appropriate to your skin type. I chose the Microexfoliation facials at Private Edition. I discovered this fabu facial by stumbling in and telling the sweet girl at the counter, “I’m getting married and I need baby’s-butt skin!” Classy. Nevertheless, she delivered—I did a series of six about three weeks apart, with the last one about a week before my wedding. I did indeed emerge with baby’s-butt skin. It’s not exactly a cheap endeavor, but having beautiful skin in all those all-important photos makes it well worth the price.

Consider the rest of your skin, too. Need a little color before W-Day? Opt for self-tanning over those wretched tanning beds (wrinkles! Aging! Cancer!). Self- and airbrush-tanning formulas produce a very believable color. Make sure that you build gradually, and that you don’t apply too often (not pretty). This is another chance to hit up the day spa about their airbrush services; alternately, try the Mystic Tan system. If you choose to do it yourself, try Modelco’s Airbrush Tan in a Can (available at Sephora and the Cosmetic Market). Start several weeks out so you can get the hang of tanning yourself. Exfoliate (then shave) beforehand, dry yourself off completely, wear dishwashing gloves, start from your feet, and work your way north. It takes a little practice, but it’s much more affordable than going to a salon.

On to makeup: this is obviously of utmost importance. Don’t talk to me about going makeup-free on your wedding, unless you’re barefoot on the beach (and even then, would some mascara and lip gloss kill you?). If possible, work with an artist—cruise the makeup counters for advice as well. If that’s not an option, peruse the bridal mags for makeup ideas and buy accordingly. This is not the time for dark, smoky eyes or a screaming fuchsia lip. Think soft, think defined, think pretty. Experiment with different looks weeks before the wedding to pick your best option (ask your friends to rate your choices, and take pictures). Choose a foundation without SPF; otherwise, your face will be lighter than your body in pictures. Find the perfect liner, lipstick, and gloss, and pack them in your pretty purse for reception touch-ups.

Rude awakening alert: things don’t always happen as planned. Your hair falls flat, you wake up with an angry pimple. You can’t possibly anticipate every “what-if?” scenario for your wedding, so just roll with the punches. Hence this column’s title: I’m “confessing” my wedding mishaps. My intimate knowledge of self-tanning comes from the fact that I had an airbrush tan two days beforehand and woke up the next morning with brown hands and feet. Not bronze—BROWN. Why would I suggest that you time your waxing and self-tanning accordingly? Because I had an underarm and bikini wax the morning of my airbrush tan, and ended up with gray—ahem—areas. (I now realize that the tanner reacted with the open pores created by the waxing.) At the rehearsal, my sister deemed me “mentally unstable”—to my face. In retrospect, I don’t blame her. I thought my world was going to collapse over my brown hands and gray underarms. In reality, I scrubbed most of the brown away (lemon juice, pool water, and multiple expletives helped), my dress concealed the then-faded gray pits, and I now find these stories completely hilarious. Since my sister got married soon after, I have plenty of blackmail on her (handing her my eyelash curler before her wedding whilst fearing for my very life comes to mind—I have pictures).

Here’s to all the beautiful brides: do your homework, put in a little effort, and then relax. Kick up your heels, and enjoy one of the most fun days of your life. Cheers!