The actress also revealed the best makeup tip she's learned on set.

By Sarah Schreiber
September 13, 2019

When Grey's Anatomy actress Kelly McCreary married director Pete Chatmon in Mexico this past May, she walked down the aisle looking (and feeling) exactly like herself—a bridal beauty priority that actually stemmed from her time on set. "We wear very little makeup on Grey's and it's taught me to appreciate a less-is-more approach," the star explains. McCreary opened up exclusively to Martha Stewart Weddings about the skin-prep that went into her minimal look (wearing less makeup meant prioritizing skin health) and also divulged details about her wedding hairstyle, pre-nuptial exercise routine, and her day-of wellness ritual. A collective approach to big-day beauty is her best tip for brides: "You want your natural beauty to shine through on your wedding day, so care for yourself—inside and out—in advance." Ahead, McCreary's bridal beauty regimen. 

Related: The 12ish Style's Katie Sturino Shares Her Bridal Beauty Regimen

A natural look and hydrated skin.

"I asked my makeup artist, Mylah Morales, to create a very natural look, and use a very light touch," says McCreary, adding that the final result was partly inspired by the beachy setting of her venue, Fairmont Mayakoba. "But [it was also] a precautionary measure—I knew I was going to cry it all off anyway! By the end of the night, I didn't want to look like a different woman than the one who had walked down the aisle. The copper, bronze, and pink tones Mylah used also set my tan off nicely."

To prepare her skin for the "no-makeup makeup look," the actress doubled down on moisture a month before the celebration: "Pete and I got married in early May, and after a dry L.A. winter, my skin needed extra hydration so that I could successfully pull it off. I saw Kelly at Kate Somerville Spa twice during the month before the wedding for some deep hydration treatments."

A morning meditation.

McCreary chose to spend the morning of her big day on her own, "being as still and quiet as I could to take in the enormity of the day," she explains. "I meditated on the deck of our beachfront suite and let the waves of emotion and wonder and gratitude wash over me. I reviewed my vows, and then went to the resort's spa for more quiet time (and hydration) in the steam room."

A curly hairstyle.

The actress and Felicia Leatherwood worked together to conceptualize the bride's hairstyle. McCreary's main requirement? Lots of curls "to balance the fitted silhouette of [my wedding] dress with something flowy on top," she notes. They used clip-ins by Kinkistry to achieve the look; Leatherwood added twists to the front, which helped pull the hair back from McCreary's face. Sparkly combs completed the style.

A preemptive exercise routine.

"I'm going to be honest—although I like to make healthy choices at every meal, sometimes I just can't resist the craft services on set," she says. "As a preemptive strike against the potato chips and tater tots that always call my name—and might have cost me additional dress alterations—I supplemented my usual yoga practice with more cardio and weight training about nine months before the wedding."

A "something new" scent.

McCreary didn't prioritize finding a big-day fragrance, but when she stumbled upon Capri by 19-69 just a few weeks before the celebration, she knew she had to wear it down the aisle: "I wasn't even looking for anything, but I loved the pepper-citrus-cardamom combination and decided to make it my 'something new.'"

A long-lasting, cohesive manicure.

The actress' finishing touch? A gel manicure that could endure a full week of swim and sun. "I went with a pale coral tone that mimicked the blossoms in my bouquet," she says.

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