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In front of all her loved ones, a bride wants to feel like herself but look her very prettiest. To help three aisle-bound women find their big-day beauty blueprints, we asked top experts to create a pair of makeup and hair looks for each—one she envisioned and one that took her just outside of her comfort zone. See which option they chose.
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Engaged to: Jamie, CEO and cofounder of a company that runs workspaces for startups
How they met: At a friend’s New York City rooftop party in 2008. Five years later, he proposed in Rwanda’s Nyungwe rainforest.
The plan: The business-school student and NYC resident hasn’t confirmed her location, but she knows her day-long Hindu and Jewish wedding will take place outdoors in her hometown of Atlanta. Anjali plans to wear a traditional bridal lehenga for the Hindu ceremony and change into a jeweled V-neck gown for the Jewish service.
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“We want our wedding to be simple but elegant, so my makeup should be natural, with just a little more color than usual on my eyes and lips,” Anjali told us. As for her hair? She knew exactly what she wanted: “I envision long, loose waves.”
For a natural glow, New York City makeup artist Kim Bower sponged on sheer foundation, followed by coral blush on the apples of her cheeks. Then, she patted a pinky-beige waterproof cream shadow on the lids, accentuating Anjali’s eyes with a dark plum shadow in the crease and along the lower lash line. She lined her eyes with a rich black pencil and applied false lashes. To finish, she used her finger to tap on a nude lip gloss.
The Details: Giorgio Armani Foundation, $62; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com. Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in Fira, $37; barneys.com. Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #16, $23; sephora.com. Diorshow Mono Eyeshadow in Velvet, $29; dior.com. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved, $16, and #34 Lash; $16; maccosmetics.com. Jouer Lip Gloss in Nude, $20; nordstrom.com.
NYC hairstylist Mitch Barry created large, loose pin curls with a 1 1⁄4-inch curling iron. Then, he took out the bobby pins and ran his fingers through her hair, sweeping it all to one side and exposing her neck to help her stay cool during the festivities.
The Details: Jilbere Porcelain Series Curling Iron, $33; sallybeauty.com.
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We played up Anjali’s amazing eyes, berry-stained her lips, and put her hair in a loose fishtail braid to beat Atlanta’s heat. Her verdict: “I’ll pair the natural makeup and braid for the rehearsal dinner and go with bolder makeup and waves for the big day.”
Bower used the same moisturizing foundation on Anjali’s dry skin, but applied a brighter pink cream blush that will last in the humidity. For a more dramatic eye, she swept a plum shadow all over Anjali’s lids, added purple-black liner, and coated lashes (both real and false) with waterproof mascara. For Anjali’s lips, Bower picked a deep-berry pencil that’s a cross between a stain and a gloss and is “sure to stay put.”
The Details: Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow in Tresbelle, $26; barneys.com. Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner #7, $19, and Aqua Smoky Lash Mascara, $23; sephora.com. Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Moody, $24; sephora.com.
After refreshing Anjali’s waves with the curling iron, Barry separated her hair into two sections and made a fishtail braid beginning at the nape of her neck. He secured it with a dark elastic and pulled it off her neck and back, placing the braid in front of her shoulder. Then, he used the curling iron to create pretty tendrils around Anjali’s face.
The Details: DCNL Gummi Elastic, $3; sallybeauty.com.
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Meet Julia Howles
Engaged to: Henry Johnson, an investment-product consultant
How they met: As freshmen at New York’s Hamilton College in 2007. After many “accidental” run-ins, the two started dating a year later.
The plan: They will tie the knot at The Inn at Round Barn Farm, in Waitsfield, Vermont. “We’re big skiers and spend a lot of time in Vermont together; it’s a very special place for us,” says Julia, a NYC brand manager. She’ll wear a shoulder-baring dress.
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“I don’t want anything too fussy or overdone,” Julia told us. “I picture my hair swept back in a low knot and makeup that appears clean and effortless.” Julia’s reaction to our interpretation of her idea? “It’s beautiful—and very ‘me.’”
For a dewy effect, Bower applied a tinted light-reflecting moisturizer, setting it with translucent powder. Rosy cream blush lent warmth. To brighten lids—and cancel out any purple tones—Bower brushed foundation on Julia’s eyelids, then used black cream liner along the upper lash line, finishing with mascara. Bright pink lipstick added a shot of color.
The Details: Jouer Tinted Moisturizer, $38; nordstrom.com. Laura Mercier Powder in Star Dust, $34; lauramercier.com. Make Up For Ever HD Blush #330, $26; sephora.com. MAC Full Coverage Foundation, $31; maccosmetics.com. Becca Eyeliner in Romanesque, $20; sephora.com. Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color in Eternal, $33; barneys.com.
To boost Julia’s fine hair, Barry spritzed on volumizer before blow-drying. He created waves with a 1 1⁄4-inch curling iron and combed his fingers through the strands, twisting them into a loose chignon, securing with bobby pins, and leaving a few pieces around the face.
The Details: John Frieda Luxurious Fine-to-Full Volume Spray, $10, at drugstores.
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With Julia’s rustic-chic barn ceremony in mind, we chose brown- and peach-toned makeup and worked a freesia bloom into her hair, which spilled over her exposed shoulders. She called this style “pretty, but too glamorous for my taste.”
Bower smoothed the same tinted moisturizer over Julia’s skin, then gave her a sun-kissed glow by dusting matte bronzer over her forehead and temples. “To help the color last longer,” she brushed apricot-colored powder blush onto cheeks, blended it with a sponge, and added another layer. Then, she dabbed a greige cream eye shadow on Julia’s lids and topped it with chocolate-brown liner. To balance the darker eyes, Bower chose sheer peach gloss for Julia’s lips.
The Details: Diorskin Nude Tan Matte Powder, $52; dior.com. Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in Dolline, $37; barneys.com. Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #2, $23; sephora.com. MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy, $16; maccosmetics.com. Lancôme Gloss in Love in Peach Show, $27; lancome-usa.com.
Working with curled hair, Barry sprayed Julia’s roots, then gently teased the front half of her hair, set it with bobby pins, and placed flowers into the style.
The Details: L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray, $15; lorealparisusa.com.
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Meet Gabrielle Gainen
Engaged to: Michael Felman, CFO of a theater website
How they met: On a blind date (if you don’t count checking him out on Facebook first). “By our second date, we were inseparable,” says Gabby, a NYC special-education teacher.
The plan: They will wed at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, a waterfront event space on the Hudson River in New York City. Gabby will walk down the aisle in a strapless lace gown.
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“For the big day, I want a glammed-up version of the everyday me,” said Gabby. That meant loose, shiny waves, more eye makeup than normal, and, of course, false lashes. Gabby found this combo “beautiful, but not special enough for the wedding.”
Bower smoothed on a luminizing tinted moisturizer, then used a brush to blend peachy-pink cream blush onto Gabby’s cheeks, topping it with peach powder for long-lasting, custom color. Next, she swept sheer brown shadow over her lids and along the lower lash line. On the top lid, she applied brown liner and a few individual lashes, then curled the lashes and added mascara. She chose a berry cheek stain for Gabby’s lips for staying power.
The Details: Make Up For Ever HD Blush #225, $26; sephora.com. NARS Deep Throat, $30; narscosmetics.com. MAC Cream Color Base in Root, $20; maccosmetics.com. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes #25L, $19; sephora.com. Ardell Duralash Individual Lashes, $5; sallybeauty.com. Chanel Le Volume Noir Mascara, $30; chanel.com. Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush, $30; sephora.com.
Barry added extensions in back before separating Gabby’s hair into four sections. With a 1 1⁄4-inch iron, he curled sections away from her face, then used his fingers to separate the waves.
The Details: Hair2Wear Christie Brinkley Extensions, $49; hair2wear.com.
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Gabby’s chic New York venue calls for a sophisticated, formal approach that still feels comfortable. We went for smokier colors, matte makeup, and a side-swept ponytail. Gabby loved it, calling the look “more ‘wow’—and I definitely want ‘wow.’”
To give Gabby a dressed-up evening look, Bower prepped her skin with foundation and a light dusting of powder for “a sheer, matte texture that doesn’t look too flat,” then used a sponge to blot pink cream blush on her cheeks for a natural-looking flush. With a shadow brush, Bower smudged charcoal eye shadow along the lash line and up onto the lid, adding dimension with tan shadow in the crease. Then, she filled in Gabby’s lips with a chubby pencil for a light raspberry tint.
The Details: Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk Foundation, $62; giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com. Tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, $29; sephora.com. Make Up For Ever HD Blush #420, $26; sephora.com. MAC Eye Shadows in Soot, $10, and Omega, $15; maccosmetics.com. Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Envy, $24; sephora.com.
Barry pulled Gabby’s hair (with extensions) into a ponytail using an elastic that wouldn’t destroy the wave. To finish the style and give it more polish, he wrapped a piece of hair around the elastic and pinned it underneath the ponytail.
The Details: Hair Bungee, $10; hairbungee.com.