Wedding Hair and Makeup Ideas From Allure Editors—With Photos

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If you live by your to-do lists the way I do, you might see wedding planning as your Super Bowl. You booked a venue (check), picked out flowers (check), and sent out invitations (touchdown!). Your calendar might be so full that your wedding beauty details—like your hair, makeup, skin care, and nail look—are the last thing you want to deal with. Here’s the thing: Despite what the internet may say about the beauty treatments you should be getting 3, 6, or 12 months before the big day, you really don’t have to do any of it. As I ticked off boxes and pulled pages out of my notebook, I reminded myself that I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to. After all, weddings are meant to celebrate love.

But if you want to indulge, many of us at Allure have been there and want to help. In putting together this story, I asked my coworkers to join me in reminiscing about our wedding preparation, including what we loved, learned, and would have done differently. Some of us had meticulous regimens (involving facials, veneers, and multiple hair and makeup trials) while others went with the flow (booking a hair appointment the day of). Read on for what we thought was the fun part of wedding planning. Don’t ask us about table settings.

A note: As editors who work for a beauty publication, we have the unique privilege of receiving many products and services free of cost, including some of those mentioned in this story. Those gratis moments are indicated by an asterisk.

Jesa Marie Calaor, senior editor

Madison Aycoth

Pre-wedding treatments*

I mostly focused on my skin leading up to the big day. A few months before my wedding ceremony, I visited David Shafer, MD, to get a sprinkle of Botox on my forehead to smooth, lift, and add radiance. Seven days before, I got a thorough facial with my dermatologist, Dhaval Bhanusali, MD that involved Laser Genesis, a deep cleanse, and LED light treatments. The result was my glowiest complexion ever.

Hair

Don’t skip your hair trial no matter how simple your hairstyle seems to be. I didn’t think I needed one—all I wanted was full-bodied waves with a gold Jennifer Behr headband* at the crown of my head. I’m glad my hairstylist, Devin Toth, talked me into seeing him before the big day. He showed me how we’d fasten my veil beneath the headband (which took more effort to figure out than expected) and talked through scenarios, like rain, that might keep my hair from looking picture-perfect. It ended up pouring on my wedding day and we were prepared. After waving my hair with a 1-inch curling wand, Toth sprayed my strands (from the top, aiming downward) with the Shu Uemura Moya Hold Finishing Hair Spray to keep them smooth.

Jennifer Behr

Jennifer Behr Rowena Headband

Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura Moya Hold Finishing Hair Spray

Makeup*

I sent artist Romero Jennings a mood board and said that I wanted a terra-cotta lip (with the Sunnies Face Lipstick in Baked) paired with the dramatic winged liner I typically wear. On the big day, Jennings painted my complexion before handing me my eyeliner saying, “This is your signature look.” He explained that he wanted me to look like me, so I should be the one to draw on my cat eye. Once I did, he double-checked to see if it was perfect (it was). He then proceeded to coat my lips with MAC Powder Kiss Liquid Lip Color in Sorry Not Sorry, which he said would last the entire night, to create a base for the Sunnies Face formula I also wore. “Layer your cream lipstick on top of a long-wearing liquid lipstick so that when you sip champagne and eat cake, you’ll still have color on your lips,” he said. Brilliant!

Sunnies Face

Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Lipstick in Baked

MAC

MAC Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in Sorry Not Sorry

Nails*

I wanted my nails to be as fun as the dance floor on the big day. My nail artist, Sonya Belakhlef, understood the vision: the funkier the splashes, squiggles, and globs of gold, the better. Belakhlef added pearl appliqués and tiny silver orbs to make the nail art stand out even more.

Scent

I often regret not picking a wedding perfume. I wore my everyday fragrance—DS and Durga I Don’t Know What—and now I feel like I have to reserve it for special occasions. When I spray it, I’m filled with memories of my last dance of the evening with my husband (we cleared the room so that we could have a moment alone with one another). It brings me back to the warm ambiance of my venue, the adrenaline and joy we felt, and the love that just seemed to gush out of us nonstop. Those memories are too special—so much so that I have to find a new signature scent.

D.S. & Durga

D.S. & Durga I Don’t Know What Eau de Parfum

Jenny Bailly, executive beauty director

Pre-wedding treatments*

About three months before my wedding, I had my teeth professionally whitened for the first time (and the last…my teeth ached for two days afterward). I visited Sania’s Brow Bar regularly in the months leading up to the wedding and Sania coaxed my still-recovering-from-the-’90s brows back into fighting form. I got two or three facials with Christine Chin, known by some at the time as “Mean Christine” for her incredibly thorough extractions. I brought my husband along for my final pre-wedding visit to her Lower East Side spa for his first facial (and his last…the average male’s pain tolerance cannot handle Christine).

Back then, I only occasionally dabbled in coloring my natural brown hair, but I wanted to brighten it up a bit for the wedding. Rita Hazan gave me beautiful highlights a couple of weeks before the wedding and reception, which would be outdoors and hopefully feature plenty of sun to bounce off those ribbons of gold. The concept of spray tanning was really starting to take hold in 2006, and I seriously considered tinkering with my skin tone before slipping into my white dress. Then decided that was a terrible idea. The risk of splotches, streaks, and orange-tinged Monique Lhuillier lace was simply too high.

Makeup and hair*

I got married at my parents’ house in a small town in Vermont and did hair trials at a couple of local salons in the months before the wedding. They were not a success. I wanted a simple half-up style—and I got a lot of crunchy ringlets. The wedding budget did not allow for flying a hairstylist up from New York, so I figured: How hard could this be? I decided my friend Andrea (a gallerist, not a hairstylist) could handle my hair. She is a very capable person and we’d keep it simple. Our test run took place a month before my wedding in my hotel room before another friend’s wedding. The test ended when the smell of burning hair set off the smoke alarm. We resolved to just try again on the big day and hope for a better outcome. We were very optimistic youths.

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