Though I’ve been a total beauty junkie my entire life (much to my tomboy mother’s dismay), for the past few years I’ve avoided beauty blogs and the rabbit hole that is YouTube beauty videos…so that I could more easily avoid the financial death trap that is Sephora. (Adulthood! So fun!) I love the samples I get in my monthly Birchbox (the best way to curb beauty-store binges if you ask me) but, for the most part, I’ve been doing less experimenting and more sticking with what I know works and costs as little as possible. The biggest change of late? Earlier this year, I decided to let my eyebrows grow in completely. Not to save money, but because after fifteen years of regular eyebrow grooming appointments, I really wanted to learn what they actually looked like, preferably before my own wedding. (The saving money and throwing-vanity-to-the-wind thing was just a nice bonus!) Not long after this, I started working from home and, well…before long, I found myself feeling really hairy and also totally fine with it.
But since I was in two weddings this summer, I had two good excuses to do a little experimenting and indulging. Suddenly, I was reminded of how much fun I used to have with my products. And so, in the spirit of my new year’s verb, I started getting crafty with powder and face paint. I learned to give myself a beehive. I tried the most amazing nail wraps. In preparation for wedding showers and rehearsals, I scheduled blowouts for the first time in my life. (Well, after Googling “What is a blowout?” Turns out, it’s just what white girls call a shampoo.) After three months of letting my brows go totally untouched, I had a super minimal brow planing in July because I figured if I was going to be in a wedding at the Trump, I should probably do something about my totally uneven, making-me-avoid-natural-light arches. He used his magic potions to give me the most glamorous Liz Taylor eyebrows (that also happened to make it even more difficult for people to tell what race I am).
Since I wasn’t having my hair or makeup professionally done for the second wedding, I went to Target and bought one of those fancy curling wands that looks like a sex toy, spent a delightful weekend watching YouTube videos and Pinning hairstyles and makeup looks, and attempted to give myself big sexy curls every morning before work for the next ten days. I went to see a man about my eyebrows again; this time he sold me the kit I needed to give myself full and fabulous brows for my friend’s wedding. I practiced giving myself full and luscious eyebrows diligently for about twenty minutes each morning; the first several days I looked more “Angry Birds” than Hollywood royalty, but I got a little better at it each day. Anyone with whom I Skyped that week saw my big sexy curls and big full brows, somewhat out of place with my standard Lululemon jacket + leggings – bra look. Again, I was totally fine with it.
As planned, on the Saturday of the second wedding, I did my own hair and makeup…only to have the completely undetectable Northern Michigan humidity cause the curls to fall out during our pre-ceremony outdoor photos. (This was supremely disappointing, because short of a typhoon coming, my hair does not move.) I redid it in a rush right before the ceremony…only to have the curls fall out again during our post-wedding trolley ride, at which point I just threw my sex-toy-curling-wand across the room and gave my toast with kinda ratty hair. But! It only took me three tries to apply fake eyelashes to myself that day and my eyebrows looked positively bangin’, so I’m still considering it a success overall.
I don’t know about you all, but when I think about how I’ll look on my wedding day, my thoughts are mainly focused on my neck up. I’m kinda not that concerned about how my dress will look, but I am concerned with having thick Bambi lashes, glowing skin, and having one of the best hair days of my life. (Not having the best hair day of my life is fine, but I’d really like to break the top ten.) So last week, I started figuring out how to get my stylist from Houston to Austin to do my hair for my morning wedding and began looking for a wedding day makeup artist. (Sample email: “Dear highly-Yelp-rated makeup artist, Here is my wedding date. Also, I noticed all the women in your portfolio are white so I just wanted to confirm you have enough shades of foundation for us to work together. Thanks! Rachel”)
While I’m excited to work the pros on my wedding day, I can’t close the Pandora’s box of DIY beauty I opened this summer. And the whole experience made me want to experiment more and talk hair and makeup with you all. (Those of you who are into hair and makeup, that is! I know some of you feel about makeup like I do about bras, Spanx, and leg shaving, which is to say, filed under “n” for “Noise, fuck that.“) What beauty and hair blogs/YouTube channels do you like? Are you doing anything fancy with your hair and makeup for your wedding? Do you have any dilemmas that need solving? IS ANYONE ELSE LETTING HER EYEBROWS TAKE OVER HER FACE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A DECADE???
The beauty shop is open; let’s chat!
Photo: Lisa Wiseman Weddings