Whether or not you buy into the hype of weddings, it’s a pretty important day and you should look — and feel — your best.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, and on top of the dress fittings, cake tastings, venue tours and creating the guest list, seating charts and more, you also want to make sure your hair and makeup look amazing and last all day long.
To best plan your wedding glam, here are some tips from the pros on everything you need to know about putting together the plan for your wedding look. (Plus, for those brave beauty souls, how to do it yourself.)
Finding the artist or stylist
To secure the perfect person to get you ready for your wedding day, you can pursue a few avenues. Many women already have a relationship with their hairstylist and book with them, said Maura Zangardi, a hairstylist at AMS Loft Salon & Bridal and The Bridal Above, Moosic. Zangardi also noted brides may book based on recommendations from friends or family or after an online search of bridal salons in the area or through social media. Most people look through hundreds of pictures on social media, Zangardi said.
Many salons do makeup, too, but it’s also a popular option to hire a separate pro who specializes in makeup. Personal recommendations as well as searching social media are both ways to find a makeup artist, said Keiera Kisel, who owns Scranton-based business Keiera-Lanay, Makeup Artist. She recommends looking through an artist’s work on Instagram to make sure his or her style is what you want for your big day.
“If you want a natural look, going to somebody who specializes in big, glam makeup may not be the right fit for you,” Kisel said.
Since you’ll spend a few hours with the artist, Kisel also suggested getting to know him or her to ensure that is someone your personality gels with.
When to book
Both Kisel and Zangardi suggest booking your hairstylist or makeup artist as soon as possible. Some women have their stylist secured before they’re even engaged, Zangardi said. Salons — especially like AMS, which has “bridal” in its name — book up fast, and Zangardi noted she and her fellow stylists will sometimes do up to three wedding parties a day. They’ve also had brides change the date of their wedding if they couldn’t secure that date at the salon.
Makeup artists tend to book up to a year in advance, Kisel said, and she advised that brides should be ready to put down a deposit and sign a contract once they find their artist.
The bridal party
Don’t forget your besties. The pros both suggest booking services for your bridal party as well as the bride’s mother and the groom’s mom. Kisel said brides always have the option to book her for the day.
It’s less stressful for all, they said. Plus, Zangardi noted, everyone is usually in the same place if it’s a traditional wedding, and it’s a time for memories to be made and shared.
Fees for bridal beauty services vary and depend on location, skill set and level of experience, the type of look or style you’re going for, the number of people in your bridal party and more. Regional salons may charge $60 to $100 for services, Zangardi said, while services in places such as Philadelphia or New York City can range anywhere from $150 to $300. AMS uses a rising scale for cost of hairstyle in accordance with what the person chooses, Zangardi said, such as specialty down versus all up.
Kisel said it is crucial to have your artist or stylist send over a contract or list of prices for you to read over.
The big wedding hair trend over the past few years was more Bohemian styles, such as loose waves with braids or big, loose buns at the nape of the neck with ornate hair pins.
“Now, I am starting to see a slight curve of more polished styles (with) less braids,” Zangardi said.
Modern bridal makeup is a little like red carpet makeup, Kisel said, including sleek, clean and skin-focused makeup with strip or individual lashes and subtle lip stains or glosses. The future of bridal makeup will continue to build on minimalistic trends.
“Nothing overdone,” she said. “Basically yourself but enhanced in all the right places.”
Trials, aka test runs for bridal hair and makeup, are a must to nail down a look and to help brides and their beauty guides get to know each other and feel comfortable.
Kisel suggests having at least one makeup trial at least three months before the actual day to ensure the look is right. That way, you won’t have any doubts or drastic changes the day of the event. This also gives brides time to talk about the colors and kind of look they want and to color match their foundation, determine their skin type, go over their current skin care routine, find out if they have any allergies or sensitivities they may have, and more.
“Never be afraid to let us know what you would like to change and tweak during this session so we can fix it for you,” Kisel said. “I usually suggest making plans that day so you can wear it out to make sure you feel comfortable and test the longevity of the finished look.”
For hair, brides should come to their trials with two to three pictures so stylists can create the hair of their dreams, Zangardi said. There are ways to make almost every style work with the right tools and products, she said, unless it’s something that can’t possibly be recreated without hair extensions. Usually one trial seals the deal, Zangardi said, but sometimes brides choose a different style and do a second trial.
Before the wedding, make sure your canvas is prepped for the artist or stylist to get to work.
If you’re getting a skin care service like a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or injections like Botox or filler, Kisel suggests scheduling them for at least two-and-a-half to three weeks in advance of the event to curb any peeling, redness, bruising and more. For similar reasons, don’t experiment with new skincare products up to two months before the date, as they can lead to allergic reactions and irritation, redness, flaking and dryness, or breakouts.
If you get your eyebrows waxed or threaded, doing it one week before the event is ideal. Don’t go overboard with alcohol starting about a week before, as it can cause bloating and puffiness. Also, drink plenty of water. On your wedding day, come with clean, moisturized skin.
Zangardi recommends having your hair color services done the week before the wedding. Brides also should book a blowout on the day of the rehearsal so the hair is already polished and prepped for the next morning, she said, as she typically requests all brides and bridesmaids show up the day of the wedding with clean, dry hair.
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Proof that I did my own makeup and hair for my wedding! Thanks to the listeners who DM’d me support—and to Ep. 152 guest @patrickta, who approved my DIY plan. (📷 @xtravaluemeal) And in case you’re wondering, here’s what I used: @diormakeup Nude Air Serum Foundation @milkmakeup Lip + Cheek Color in Werk @ctilburymakeup Hollywood Contour Wand @chanel.beauty Baume Essentiel in Sculpting @bobbibrown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Caviar Ink @anastasiabeverlyhills Brow Whiz in Medium Brown @beautypie Wondergel Lip Liner in Racy @chanel.beauty Rouge Allure Ink in Expérimenté *hair color is not DIY, it’s by the amazing @merikateoconnor *and I don’t cut my own hair! @jonreymanhair does that! *no concealer (thanks to @drheidiwaldorf’s skillful injections of @botoxcosmetic, @juvederm and #Voluma & @shereeneidriss’s @Fraxel_us and #IPL!) *no mascara (because @sugarlashpro #LashLift) @oribepro Dry Texturizing Spray @bumbleandbumble Brilliantine
Who knows your face better than you? Some women choose to do their own makeup and hair for their weddings.
Jennifer Goldstein Sullivan, host of beauty podcast “Fat Mascara” and former Marie Claire beauty editor, was a one-woman show for her June 2019 wedding. She gathered tips from listeners who had done their own wedding makeup as well as some of the celebrity and editorial makeup artists who were guests on the podcast.
If doing your own makeup, Kisel suggests skipping white finishing powder and SPF or formulas with sunscreen. While the latter is great for skin, it’s not great for wedding photos. Ingredients found in certain sunscreen formulas can put a white cast on the face in flash photography. Stick with foundations such as Makeup For Ever Ultra HD, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Nars Sheer Glow or Natural Radiant for a natural finish.
Use a waterproof mascara to stay put through any stray tears and heat and to avoid raccoon eyes. Not to prime is a crime. After moisturizing, apply a thin layer of face primer ideal for your skin type. Choose a lip liner and a satin finish lipstick. A light layer of gloss will make for a multi-dimensional look. Carry your lip product with you for midday touch-ups. Use a setting spray to prevent makeup transfer, sweat or wearing down. Kisel recommends Skindinavia The Bridal Makeup Finishing Spray, Milani Make It Last Prime + Correct + Set Makeup Setting Spray or Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.
Zangardi said weddings styles are pretty versatile and simple for brides to create themselves. However, your beauty pros are there to help take that burden off of you in your big day.
“Sometimes it helps to not have the stress and nerves the morning of (and to not only) depend on yourself to make your vision happen,” she said.
Meet the pros
At work: Owner of KeieraLanay, Makeup Artist, based out of Scranton
Online: Follow @keieralanay on Instagram.
At work: Hairstylist at AMS Loft Salon & Bridal and The Bridal Above, Moosic
Online: Visit amsloft.com or AMS Loft Salon & Bridal on Facebook. Follow Zangardi at @maurazangardi.hair or the salon at @amsloftsalon and @thebridalabove on Instagram.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT