Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hair and makeup?

For those of you who just want to spoon your eyes out at another wedding post. . .I'm really, really sorry. There will be, at most, two more months of this. And I promise to try to keep it to a minimum.

For those of you with input, I thank you in advance.

So here's the thing. A couple of friends have said of course I should get my hair and makeup done for my wedding. Even my non-girlygirl friends.

Marta said she didn't have either done for her wedding, but her younger sister did, and she looked amazing. She said it made all the difference in the pictures - and those are what you have forever.

Other friends, because of expense, chose to have one or the other done. Mostly hair. Tejal had her hair done but did her own makeup - and she looked gorgeous. She said you just need to practice a lot beforehand.

Since I really never do anything fancy (or, really, anything) to my hair, my thought was to just pull it back myself (it's going to be just long enough!) and get my makeup done, since that does seem like a fun indulgence. A friend of a friend went to the Erwin Gomez Salon.

The woman who recommended it said, "Totally expensive, totally worth it."

And then I went to get my hair re-blonded last week, and my guy at Bang, who doesn't do wedding hair, said I have to have it done. He recommended one of his colleagues. I'd been flipping through an InStyle magazine while waiting, and had liked this one page with Kate Bosworth.

Apparentlythese finger-waves are in lately, and the style works on short hair. His colleague said she could totally do that. I have never had glam hair, and it's so tempting.

This is what I've learned. You should do a practice session, for both hair and makeup. You don't want a wedding-day a surprise. And the practice sessions are typically only marginally less than the actual day-of doing.

This is a wad of cash. For one day.

It's money that could be spent on other things - things that don't wash off the end of the night. Like buying house stuff. Or spending on our honeymoon. Or, um, shoes?

Do I want to be as pretty as possible? Absolutely. Do I actually have to have either of these done? Absolutely not.

People say you should do it, that you will absolutely not regret it. Just spend it and enjoy the pampering.

And I love the idea of all this stuff. But it feels like an awful lot of money for vanity.


  1. As you know, I have some experience with weddings, though not as the One in White.

    It is a wad of cash for something that washes off at the end of the night... and which you will see in every photo/snapshot that's taken the day of.

    I did my own hair/makeup for a friend's wedding that was on a Sunday (thus, nothing was open, and the person who did her hair didn't have time to fit the rest of us in). And it shows, in the photos. Photos that will last longer than shoes, even.

    Do it! Be pampered! :o)

  2. Some would say that money itself is vanity. So, essentially you are putting vanity back into itself. And most people consider reinvestment to be a good thing. So you could really make a case that this is the best possible alternative for you.

    My sister had both done. My best friend did not. She wished she had.

    Go be beautiful.

  3. Dagny - Ah, thank you! You have a lot more than I do. I've only been in a couple and for neither had professional hair or makeup. I know Maude got her hair done but did her own makeup. I am glad to hear that it shows - that you have tangible evidence. And yes, true, photos last longer than shoes :).

    Simple Scholar - Ha - that is fantastic justification! Thanks! I really really don't want to look back and wish I had.

  4. As a guy, I don't have much to contribute here other than:

    You're already beautiful. I feel confident saying that having seen you in person and, you know, daylight.

    If forced to choose, I'd vote for makeup over hair, because I happen to think that your hair as it is frames your face well, and as such wouldn't require a whole lot to make it Fancy Photo Ready.

    (Disclaimer: and for the record, that doesn't mean I think you need makeup to be Fancy Photo Ready, either. I would just imagine that you could do more interesting/varied things with makeup for the same investment than you could with hair.)

  5. My love for all things hair and make-up is well known, but please consider this. It isn't just that I am biased.

    Seriously, Dagney is on point. Those pictures will be shown to your grandkids. You should be you, at your most freaking fabulous.

    I was in a wedding about a year ago. I did my own make up (FYI--I know we don't know each other well, but if you need make-up pointers, I can help...thats sincere) but paid to get my hair done. If you have to choose, do or have a good friend do make up as it is somewhat easy to get right if you know how. But hair? You will never regret paying. I was not even the bride in this wedding party, and I splurged. ANd honestly, you can tell the ones who did it themselves. It looks sloppy. She has those photos all over her house and I am glad no one looks at them and thinks "Lem is a hot mess".

    It is ok to be vain sometimes.

  6. i'm with the "DO IT!" crowd
    though i have not had my own wedding (yet) i totally believe it's worth the money. no matter how much makeup i put on myself it never seems to stay. but whenever i've had makeup done for OPW it looks fantastic the entire day! and it definitely makes a difference in the photos. being the photography whore i am my priority is always what the photos are going to look like. because that's all time will show, it's what your kids and grandkids will see.
    personally if you're a hair or makeup wiz you can probably get the same result yourself, but i know i can't. so i think it's worth all the money ... every ungodly cent.

  7. Do it. You will still look like yourself, only better. Think of it as a really cool, sequin-free Glamourshot.

  8. Is it possible to do both? Someone do hair and make-up but not spend more than you'd like?

    My Maid-of-Honor did my hair and make-up, graciously at no cost. She knows everything about make-up, I know nothing. I felt pampered and beautiful and it's a nice memory. There were no surprises and it was completely conveinant, no appointment.

    Regarding photos, the down-side of a salon, even a nice one, is the risk of being made-up too much, hair "too perfect". You want to look like you and natural.

    I think brides look so beautiful on their wedding day because they are happy, in love and smiling and in a gorgeous gown surrounded by loved ones.

  9. do it. do it, do it, do it!

    it makes all the difference in the photos. you don't want to stress abotu doing either one yourself on the wedding day.

    and do trials beforehand. it's always good to try out something ahead of time to make sure you like it and that the person doing it knows what you want and does it the way you want it.

    so, do the trials (either separately or together) and get both hair and makeup done the day of the wedding. you won't regret it :-)

  10. Here's a compromise. Get your hair done, because professionals can always do it better than you can. Before the big day, get a makeover. Tell them you're doing a wedding dry run, and have them show you exactly what they're doing. I went to MAC, and they gave me one of those pieces of paper with a face on it and showed me which shades to use and where to put them. I bought the right makeup, held on to my little diagram, and did my makeup on my wedding day(s). I got tons of compliments on my hair and my makeup, one of which I did myself, the other I didn't.

    I love the Kate Bosworth hair, by the way.

  11. one of my good friends is a makeup usually..when my friends get married as part of a shower gift or something..i arrange for a few makeup sessions..if they have someone they want to use..they can just use my girlfriend for their bridesmaids, mothers etc helps with the expense...
    DEF...worth it...honey..its YOUR day!!

  12. yeah. just suck it up and be beautfiul. I am sure it won't be unpleasant. :) Money is no object to beautiful wedding photos.

    Although, if you don't NORMALLY wear your hair that way, you may want to consider something more everyday you, just spiffed up, so that you still feel like yourself, just the best version. Depends on the look you want.

  13. Bee-tee-dubs,

    I will shed a few tears on the day you stopped writing about wedding stuff.

    Because you know:

    a) you will be married. Yay! Happy Happy Joy Joy!

    b) no more wedding posts. Boo-fudging-hoo.

  14. Who was the wit that once said "I only regret the things I have not done"

    Add my voice to the "just do it" pile.

  15. Oh completely - do it. Like you said, it's only ONE day. It's YOUR day, and you should absolutely be pampered on that day. It's not as if you are Liz Taylor, and get married over and over and over. You'll actually be displaying these pictures and looking at them year after year, so do what makes you happy and forget the guilt of spending on yourself. Heck, throw in a massage appointment that day too. You deserve it.

  16. WiB - I do appreciate the compliments and the input, I really do. The hair people said it was much better to have your hair up, because leaving it down is too unpredictable. Plus, quite honestly, if it's a really humid day, my hair will do stupid things. It's been documented. I have to do something other than down, even though that's the look I like.

    Lemmonex - I do appreciate your offer and I might take you up on it. I am really not sure what route I will take, except that after reading all of these, will definitely get my hair done. Also, I can't imagine you ever being a hot mess.

    notsojenny - Haha - "every ungodly cent" - thank you! I am kind of a photograph whore, and that's a very good reminder.

    FreckledK - That's a good point. And that's best case scenario - a better version of myself.

    HKW - I had not considered that. Not from my salon, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't find someone at another salon who could do both. Or get the hair done somewhere and have a friend who knows what she's doing do my makeup for me.

    mrsmac - I will definitely definitely do trials! This whole thing stresses me out, as I've never had hair or makeup done for an event. So trials will make me feel better.

    Wendy - Thank you! I love that hair! This could definitely be a good compromise. I would need someone to do that for me, though. I just have no makeup skill. I look ridiculous every time I try to wear even subtle eyeshadow.

    Suicide Blond - Wow! That is a very cool resource and a very nice gift for your friends!

    Slightly Disorganized - No, I'm sure it won't be unpleasant. :) I know - it's true that anything "done" is far from my normal hair. I will have to figure out how I'll feel comf.

    And thanks for all your support with the wedding posts. :)

    Restaurant Refugee - Ah! I hate having regrets! I will! I will!

    Susan - No, god willing, I won't get on the Liz Taylor train :) and it will be once and that will be it. And you are right that the guilt will dissipate.

  17. Definitely, definitely get your hair done. The pic you posted would be a lovely style. My only recommendation is to go with something in the classic vein so that in 40 years, you don't look back and wonder "WTF was I thinking!?!?!?!?"

    As for make-up, if you can do your own and be happy with it, go for it. I had mine done by a cousin who isn't a pro, but wears her own make-up like a pro, so she did my eyes. If you know someone, ask if they'll help. Or just be girly for a day and get it done. But definitely go the route of make-up, with foundation and everything--it'll make you look even more superb in all the pics than you do now!

    A fun "pre-wedding girl thing" is to take the girls in your wedding party and have everyone get their hair done at once. Good fun. I still kinda wish I'd had the photographer there for that!

  18. I did both, and I am so, so happy I did. It really looked fabulous, and it felt so good knowing that it was going to look great and knowing that I didn't have to do anything to look great. When I do my own hair (I have long hair), it is pretty hit or miss, and up-dos are hard to do well. With your shorter hair, you may well be better off with doing it yourself, and hey, did you decide about a headpiece? If you're doing something, even something super simple, the hair and the headpiece have to work together, otherwise you risk looking like a crazy british wedding hat. The makeup was also key for me, because I was pretty much a less-is-more girl, and the more finished look was definitely better for the pictures. It was, however, good to do a dry run, because I definitely still wanted a subtler look than the makeup artist would have gone for and I think its easy to make us blue-eyed blonds look like comic-book characters. It was totally and completely worth the money.

    And hey, maybe it is something your new sisters-in-law would like to do FOR you for the wedding. A nice way to get them involved. Heh.

  19. do it, do it, do it, do it! i know it seems like a lot of money, but i think it's fun! especially if you don't do it that often. and it's true, you don't want there to be any surprises the day of the wedding...nor should you have to stress about doing your hair/makeup yourself the day of. just indulge and enjoy!

  20. Oh woman, I can't believe you're even debating this!!! ABSOLUTELY do it, 100%. I agree with Lem, have an extremely talented friend do your makeup if you MUST, but you HAVE to get your hair done and you really, really should do both. Those pictures are everything! Do it not for vanity, but for the memories. I think every girl has a picture of her grandmother on her wedding day...

  21. I say go for it. Or use Wendy's idea. That's a good compromise!

  22. I think it's a good splurge - and I think that'd be a great look for you.

    My mom is a hairstylist, so when I find Mr. Right and finally walk down the aisle, she'll have that covered, but I'll definitely find someone to do my make-up.

    It's one of the most important days of your life...why not treat yourself to something special?

  23. I am of the "I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a budget-ey wedding" persuasion. But even still, I know I will get my hair and makeup done. It's *your* day- looking the best you possibly can will be worth it.

  24. I'm right there with ya. I'm trying to plan my own ultra-low-budget wedding (without having it look like it's ultra-low-budget), and am torn on the hair/makeup thing. On one hand, I know it will look gorgeous if I have it done professionally. On the other, if I pay to have it done professionally (including trials, etc.), I might very well not have enough money left to pay the wedding photographer. (Seriously. ULTRA-low budget.) So....yeah. In that context, suddenly it doesn't seem like too difficult of a decision. Professionally-done hair and makeup aren't nearly as important to me as having professional wedding pictures. Except.....I desperately want to get my hair/makeup done. *sigh*

    I just need a fairy godmother, I've decided. A loaded fairy godmother.

    If you decide to do your makeup yourself, however, I've recently been turned on to an amazing, magical product that you paint on your eyelids before applying eyeshadow, and it makes your eyeshadow remain PERFECTLY in place for the entire day/night. Seriously. No smudging, no creasing, no rubbing off until the next time you choose to wash your face. If you went to bed without washing it off, you'd wake up the next morning with still-perfect eyeshadow. I was a skeptic at first, but I bought some and have now decided that it really is magic. I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but it has helped me so much that I just like to spread the joy. (Maybe I'm the last girl on the planet to hear about this stuff, but I was amazed.) It's called Eye Primer Potion by Urban Decay. For whatever it's worth.

  25. Second Urban Decay's Eye Primer Potion. The stuff isn't kidding around.

  26. I did a few practice runs for hair style. I didn't do a perm or anything dramatic but I tried different styles of updos with different stylists. Then I had the preferred stylist do my hair the (early) morning of the wedding and pin and spray the heck out of it. It lasted all day.

    With makeup, I went to an Estee Lauder counter at Nordstrom's and showed them the dress (a cream) and talked about the time of day and the venue (inside/outside) and got a look that worked for my wedding and for other times, too. I bought the makeup and did my own makeup on the day of the wedding and it worked great. They say you need to put on a *little* stronger makeup for the pictures. I did this and it looks very natural and balanced in both the indoor and outdoor shots. It still costs hundreds of dollars but at least I continued to use the makeup, versus a one time deal.

  27. I love this look for you! And, just like that use your silver silverware every day/any day you like, I feel like you should treat yourself to glam hair and pampering, too...even when it's not your wedding!


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