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Finding Your Style

By: Mailey Gonzales

This is a fashion show I worked at Kleinfeld Bridal in NYC, home of Say Yes to the Dress.

Your overall hair and makeup style has a huge impact on how much you love or hate the way you look on your wedding day. If you want a quick and easy guide on where to start with your hair and makeup, here it is! There are three major hair styles you should consider: The updo, the half up half down, and the all down.

The updo is foolproof. This is a classic hairstyle for brides who prefer having their hair up and out of the way. It provides neat and low fuss looks that will last the entire day. Other elements can be incorporated into the updo to add dimension. For example, curls make a nice accent. If practical is what you want, consider an updo. But don’t forget you can spice the look up a bit and still have 90% of an updo’s durability.

The half up half down is flexible. There’s twisted and pinned up, pulled to the side and pinned, braided and pulled back, and much more. For all of these variations, one portion of the hair remains intact and worry free--the pinned, twisted or braided part. The other part of the hairdo might not hold up throughout the day. Any part let down or curled will most likely lose some of its form by the end of the night.

My all down hairstyle at my wedding. Yes, I did my own hair and makeup.

Finally there’s the all down hairstyle. You can definitely wear your hair down but you need to accept that it will be a bit unruly. I chose this style for my own wedding. It comes down to what you are okay with and what type of hair you have. If your hair holds a great curl and you prefer your hair all down, this look may be for you. If you like your hair down but you know your hair can’t hold a curl for long, you need to accept that your curls will fall out. When your hair is down it’s free to move around and do what it wants.

Still not sure? If you want everything to be perfect the whole day, do the updo. If you seek perfection but hate having your hair up, go with the half up half down. If you picture yourself with your hair down for your wedding and you accept this style’s fickle nature, by all means let your hair down. If you want a fragile hair style to look perfect all day, you should plan on periodic touch ups. It’s not a big deal to dress up some curls throughout the day. If you can trust someone in your bridal party to work an iron, that’s an easy solution. If you want professional help throughout the day, let your artist know.

Now let’s talk makeup. Many brides struggle here. Makeup can enhance or even drastically change a face. Simply put, good makeup makes you feel beautiful, while bad makeup makes you feel clownish. You need to know what you like on your own face. You may love someone else’s look but hate how it looks on you. Apart from the skill of the artist, your satisfaction depends on asking for the right things. I break makeup styles into these three groups: natural, full glam, and the popping feature.

Here's a nice natural look I did for a photoshoot.

If you use light makeup on a daily basis, or you rarely wear makeup at all, you will probably be most comfortable with the natural look. This look will make you look like yourself in person and in photos. One of the down sides to natural makeup is if you go too light it won’t show up in photos. You want to play it up just a bit so you still look polished in pictures. Also, if you go really light on makeup, it will fade quickly. When you see photos of really good natural looks, remember the model is still wearing a good amount of makeup. It’s just buffed and blended out to make it look really natural.

If you like makeup and you aren’t afraid to play it up, the full glam look is for you. You’ll look like a star in photos. This style makes me think of the Kardashians with the crazy contouring, dramatic eyes and bold lips. One thing they do is keep the colors neutral. That helps it look bold and glamorous without looking clownish. For example, If you want a cut crease eye look with long lashes, avoid bright colors. Also, heavier makeup applications, while not prone to quickly fading, can start to cake, crease, and crack after several hours. The solution to this is to keep a clean brush handy to buff and blend the makeup when needed.

This look really emphasizes the lips.

If your style is somewhere between the previously described natural and full glam, chances are you will want the popping feature. A great look can be achieved by emphasizing one feature such as eyes, lips, or cheekbones, and leaving the rest of the makeup relatively subdued. This is a versatile style for brides who aren’t afraid of makeup but still want to look like themselves. If you want your eyes to really stand out try a dramatic fake lash or a cut crease eyeshadow application. One thing to guard against is creating a lopsided look. Super dramatic eyes with hardly any makeup on the rest of your face will not look right.

A lot of brides I work with seem a bit overwhelmed when we first meet. They don’t know where to start with their hair and makeup and they’re afraid of looking stupid on their wedding day. This especially applies to women who aren’t really into hair and makeup. If you were feeling a bit lost with your hair and makeup, I hope I’ve helped you get your bearings and start planning your look. Have a plan, experiment, and have fun!

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