Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 158: Revisiting My "Bridal Beauty: Countdown To Gorgeous" Challenge

It's been almost a full month since I've bothered to do any bridal beautifying.  Frankly, it's been great!  I didn't plan to take such a break from beauty, but life got busy and my priorities were elsewhere. (WOW, it feels SO GOOD to say that!)  I even started a "No Makeup Mondays" tradition; yesterday was my 3rd N.M.M. and it keeps getting easier!  But way back in June, I challenged myself to complete all 37 tasks of The Knot's "Bridal Beauty: Countdown To Gorgeous" list without mirrors (see Day 68 for the emotions and logic behind this decision).  My last completed task on the B.B.C.T.G. list was a haphazard attempt at self-tanner application, on Day 131.  I smelled funny for a few days but my arms didn't look much different.  Considering all the effort involved in streak-free self-tanner application, I quickly reverted to pale and haven't looked back. 

So tonight I looked over the remaining tasks of my B.B.C.T.G. challenge, and found 3 stragglers in the "1-2 Months Before" category.  With 5 weeks to go, I realized that it's time to get creative.  Here are the 3 tasks, and my thoughts on (hopefully) getting them done:
Meet with your makeup artist for a trial run.  If you're not hiring a pro, get a makeover at a department store counter and purchase anything you need now (so you have time to practice).
Love. This. Film.
THOUGHTS: Okay, first there's no makeup artist in my current budget, and department store makeovers give me the creeps.  Does anyone else remember that heart-wrenching scene from The Other Sister, when Juliet Lewis's character get's a Macy's makeover on one side of her face, and is told that the un-makeuped side is "bad"?  I've been angry at those makeup sales-people (sorry, "artists") ever since!  RESOLVED: I'm going to do some youtube research on wedding-day makeup application tips, and - once educated - I'll shop from my own (extensive!) makeup collection to add a little pizazz to my look that day.  A lot of people have been questioning my plan to do my own makeup... well, as I mentioned a while back on Day 108: my mom thinks I can do it, and that counts for a lot in my book! Besides, my plan at the moment is to just wear my usual everyday makeup, plus eyeliner and maybe (gasp!) false eyelashes.  Oh, and some sort of lip stain.  I'll apply all of the usual suspects myself, and my bridesmaids can help with the extras. 
Bring your veil to your hairstylist for a trial run of potential big day 'dos.  (If you're not happy, now's the time to speak up.)
THOUGHTS: Veil?  What veil?  Oh, shit.  I still have to get one.  Operation FIND A VEIL will commence this week.  Does anybody out there have suggestions on where/how to find a one (or 2!) for under $100?  Etsy?  UsedWeddingDresses.com?  FrugalMidwesternBrides.com? (that last one isn't real, but I would totally shop there!) I'm feeling chapel length for the ceremony, but would like to switch it up to a modern birdcage for the after-party.  Oh, and I did make an appointment with my hairstylist to have a "trial run" 6 days before the wedding.  I know it doesn't give me much time to change my mind, but.... hey, that's the point!  Besides, a good friend of mine is getting married that day (Hooray for Jenica and Hayes!!), so I'll be able to try out my "do" on the dance floor!
Strategery, my friends. Strategery!
Want a sparkling big-day smile?  Cut down on tea and coffee now and try a whitening toothpaste.  You may also want to consider a professional bleaching by a dentist, or using an over-the-counter whitening system.
My morning motto.  Image here.
THOUGHTS: "Cut down on tea and coffee now"?!?  Are these people crazy? Heck. No.  I'll skip the coffee on my wedding day (jitters are bad for publicly stated/stuttered I DOs!), but on most days a few caffeinated beverages keep me sane and functional.  I know this isn't the best long-term approach, but - with research, teaching, blogging, and wedding-planning - I'm burning the candle at both ends.  I love all of these projects too much to cut anything out.  So.... coffee/tea/CokeZero it is. I'll give this task more attention once I'm done teaching classes next week.  In the meantime, I am using a whitening toothpaste (do they even sell non-whitening toothpaste anymore!??!), and I have a dentist appointment next week.  I won't be shelling out for professional whitening, but a professional cleaning can't hurt, right?  (Speaking of professionals... maybe our talented wedding photographers, Lisa and Geoff, could just photoshop my pearly-whites into pearlier-whites.  Now that's what I call delegating!)

How would/did YOU balance time while wedding planning?  What made you feel more beautiful and confident? What made you just feel more stressed??  

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  1. My daughter took her whole wedding party to a Merle Norman salon the morning of her wedding...free makeup, and then one of the bridesmaids applied false eyelashes...stress-free, and if anyone wanted a product, she was free to purchase...everyone looked beautiful!

  2. I certainly cannot see you going for very long without a caffeine infusion!

  3. Our wedding was such a relaxed yet beautiful thing, there really was no prep work! We got married in a friend's back yard with family the only guests. It was gorgeous. I would never go without caffeine! That's just silly!

  4. ask a few friends...if anyone sews you may be able to make a beautiful veil for a lot less than 20 and have something truly special from that person for your wedding...also had several friends use someone else in the family or friend circle and it was thier something borrowed 9if you are into that)

  5. April - I like the way that sounds, though it's a bit too late for a backyard wedding at this point! Thanks for the "no caffeine, no way!" agreement!

  6. Michael, my love, don't worry. I'll never put you through ME on a caffeine withdrawal! Besides... I heard that coffee is a good source of antioxidants. :)

  7. Personally I went veil less. But if you have someone crafty they aren't very hard to make.

  8. Hey I just found your blog through the Huffington Post.

    I just got married in July and am super into makeup. My advice? Start looking for products EARLY! I left a lot of stuff to buying the week before when I was in New York City when I should've been buying stuff earlier online.

    Also, you should check out Lisa Eldridge's channel on YouTube. She's a hugely successful makeup artist with a great knowledgable background. There's a lot of people you should stay away from, but she's one you should look up.


  9. 1.I got my veil at David's Bridal $99 dress sale (they have it a couple times a year). It wasn't that expensive, less than $20.

    2. Try drinking through a straw, instead of going caffeine-less. It puts the liquid behind your teeth, thus less staining. (A little trick a la my dentist.)

    3. I definitely recommend doing your own/using a trusted friend (of YOUR choice). I had a friend who got pressured into letting some else's step-mother assist with her hair (even though others warned her). She looked like a poodle with bald patches. We couldn't undo what was done, (and she had the hair do for 3 weeks until it came out.)

  10. I'm 100% for doing your own make-up. You know your face best and you know what will make you feel comfortable. You want your hubby-to-be to see you, not your make-up. For my prom several years ago, I had my make-up done at a department store, and everytime I look at the pictures I regret that decision. It wasn't right for my pale complexion and I was very uncomfortable wearing all the bells and whistles. I'm more of a foundation/powder combo, mascara, lipstick kind of girl. I did my own make-up for my wedding and couldn't have been happier!

  11. Making veils is also REALLY easy, unless you're doing a more complicated look. I made my chapel length veil for about $11 in <2 hours. Buy tulle, buy some pretty edging (ribbon, lace, beaded trim), cut into oval of desired length, roll hem while sewing on trip, done. You can find tutorials for both birdcage and longer veils online, if you don't want to totally guess, as well.

    Note: make sure you have a dress fabric swatch, because there are seriously about 20 colors of white/cream/off-white tulle.

  12. I'll do your make-up of you want. I did ashley's for her wedding and she really liked it! no hard feelings if you don't want me to!

  13. Your Blog - Brazil


    Adorei seu blog querida !

    Alessandra - Campinas - SP - Brasil

  14. Here's a pattern for an easy-peasy birdcage veil: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/goodthings/bird-cage-veil-how-to

    All the best with your wedding and your happily ever after. :)

  15. I read your entire blog when I found the link on Yahoo. I am getting married in November and I think what you're doing is SO brave...I love Kandee Johnson on youtube for all sorts of makeup ideas and also if you're looking for a veil on etsy, try the seller terihuang. I know several girls who used her and they are in love with the veils!

  16. Mandy! I might take you up on your offer, especially for help with eye-makeup. You always do a great job with your own... ;)

  17. Thanks EVERYONE who shared advice for the veil search! I'm doing my research and contemplating either (1) etsy, or (2) self-made. Woohoo!

  18. Not to be a creeper, but I have a birdcage veil from my wedding in March that I would totally give you. I don't need it again and am not especially sentimental towards it. It's from David's Bridal, kind of an off-white color, the longer version of the two they offer (or were offering when I bought it). Feel free to comment back if you're interested and we can swap emails or something. Either way, good luck and have fun!

  19. Larissa - Woah! how generous! I am definitely interested. Could you email me at kjerstingruys@gmail.com to see if this could work?

  20. I honest don't know how I managed part time school with full time work and wedding planning. It didn't help that my husband and I were moving two weeks after the wedding to another state and having not ever lived together. It was insane.

    Also, I am all for doing your own make up. I did mine and I don't think you can tell the difference. And like you said photographers can always edit :)

  21. 1) I got my veil for a reasonable price (and great service) from BellaBridalVeils on Etsy. I tried on the more pricey ones at the bridal stores so I knew what I liked, then chose a comparable one from the online shop.

    2) Ditto on using straws for your teeth goal. :)

    3) Sephora has a great deal where they will do a make up trial for a decent price, then you get a gift card to buy supplies as a part of your trial.

    Great blog!

  22. veiledbeauty on etsy makes amazing veils!

  23. I don't remember wedding planning that much, really. I didn't want a big wedding but we had one ... looking back, I wish we hadn't. (But your wedding is going to be great! I swear, I'm not trying to say something bad... err.... SORRY to be downer) But Really -- my hair is/was short, and i don't wear makeup (no, not even at my wedding - I did have tinted lip stuff of some sort, I think.) Didn't wear a veil either. So I am no help at all to you.
    Why am I posting again?

  24. I just love this BLOG! So, have you decided to look in a mirror just before you walk down the aisle? I vote YES! Sorry my comment is off-topic but just wondering . . . Your so beautiful I would hate to have you miss the chance to see yourself on the big day. anyone agree with me?

  25. I was married last month and did my own makeup. The key is you want it to last all day. I used Revlon colorstay foundation (drugstore), and this powder called hi def make up forever (that is the brand- sephora). It is a white powder and sets whatever makeup you put on to stay there all day. I just used a revlon color stay lipstick- bare mamximum. I got so many compliments on my makeup and it was on for 12 hours!!!!

  26. Hey! I found your blo through today's article in the Star. Congrats on your endeavour - it's incredibly admirable.

    A couple comments - first, one of my best friends did her makeup at her weddind she looked beautiful. She's not a pro, but she's been doing her own make up for over a decade and she had figured out what works best. I'm sure the same will be for you! She just got a little help with the eyelashes from her sister.

    And in terms of the coffee... there is this: http://juicerdetoxrecipes.com/green-juice-detox-recipe/ I know it probably doesn't seem like it would even be equivalent to coffee but I know a woman who's been drinking it for a few weeks and said she feels great. Might be worth a shot?

    Good luck with everything!

  27. I remembered the veil at the last minute, too. Got mine in weeks from this site and I was very happy with it. http://www.veilshop.com/

    I considered not wearing a veil. I thought at 37 maybe I was too old. Then a friend gave me some wise advice passed along from her mother. She said "Honey, wear the veil. Otherwise, you're just a girl in a white dress." I rocked that veil!

    Best of luck to you in your marriage and your blog. Kudos for getting picked up by Huffington Post.


  28. I did my own wedding makeup. Don't take any chances with what a stranger might do--no one knows you like you do!

  29. For our special day I scoured all the bridal shops in las vegas. Not all the items were expensive; then again I had all the help I could get. In the end, I just gave everything up and enjoyed my day.

  30. Nice to see your experience on makeup. First of all I want to know how you chose best makeup items from your beauty.

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