Yesterday my brother married a dear friend of mine. You may remember my posts about the fairy tale shower and the wedding was the happy ending we were all waiting for! I felt honored to be a bridesmaid for the big day. I was, however, a little nervous about the beauty preparation. Getting dolled up used to be one of my favorite things to do. A girlfriend and I would put on some tunes, sip some cocktails, ravage our closets, and experiment with our hair and makeup for a few hours before going out. It was easy, uninterrupted, and never rushed. Needless to say, these days getting ready for anything has to be quick, efficient, and revolve around the whims of The Bear and Baybay. “Put together” is something I do with Legos, not with my looks. I tried to focus on a few things that I could work on easily or outsource: teeth, tanning, hair, nails and makeup. Here are the strategies and tips I used to get myself ready quickly, efficiently, and without too many interruptions.
1. Teeth: DIY
I’ve become quite the coffee drinker since having kids. (Sleep deprivation, I suspect, has been the cause of this.) I wanted to give my teeth a little whitening, but I didn’t want to spend the money of having it done professionally. My mom found a teeth whitening kit on Groupon similar to this one:
You get a tube of whitener, a tube of desensitizing gel, a malleable mouth piece, and an LED light. After a one-time molding of the mouth piece you spread the whitening gel into the mouth piece, place the LED light against your mouth, and hold it there for 30-45 minutes. After completion you have 5 minutes of the desensitizing gel and you’re done. I saw results after the first time! Is it awkward? Yes. Does your husband roll his eyes when you snuggle next to him to watch Downton Abbey with a blue light protruding from your mouth? Absolutely. Will your three-year old ask you a barrage of questions for days to come if he sees you while stalling at bedtime? You bet. Will your teeth look whiter and you smile brighter? Totally.
2. Tanning: DIY
I bet some of you are thinking, “Really, Mandy? Tanning?” I know, I know. I don’t want to look like a California girl, but I do like a little color to my skin. When I was in college I went to a tanning bed often, but when I realized that it could have such a negative effect on my skin I switched to spray tanning. These days I really don’t have the time or money to run out and spray tan. I don’t have the reference, but I remember reading in a magazine that Kate Hudson used Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer to get a summer glow without the tanning bed. Usually if a celebrity endorses a beauty product I can afford I have to try it.
I bought it in a facial moisturizer and firming moisturizer. (Read helpful hints on the Jergens webpage about selecting the correct shade and product for your skin.) I used it every other day for 10 days prior to the wedding. I’d used it occasionally in the past, but this was the first time I used it as directed. I preferred this product over other self-tanners for four reasons:
1) It gave me the results I wanted.
2) It worked gradually so I didn’t end up with streaky or patchy skin if I missed a spot one day.
3) It wears off after a couple of days if you don’t like the result.
4.) It never stained my clothes.
3. Hair: Outsource
I really wanted to do something special with my hair. I considered trying to do it myself, but I tend to get performance anxiety when it comes to hair. I’ll have styled my hair a certain way a hundred times, but the day I try to do it for a purpose it never turns out right.
I really love my hair stylist and we’ve been discussing my bridesmaid hairstyle for almost a year. When I got married, I made the mistake of only using words to tell a previous stylist what I wanted. I said “1940s soft curls.” That did not communicate the same image to her that I had in my head. This time I came armed with a photo (thank you Pinterest!) of the hair style I wanted. Because I really like my stylist I knew I could tell her that I wanted something in this style and she would come through. I think she did!
4. Nails: Outsource
I love pretty nails. But I’m a nail biter with poor fine motor skills so manicuring my own is not fun. I decided to outsource this task to a professional at the salon where I had my hair styled. As an avid Allure reader, I learned that my standard french manicure is no longer in vogue. However, in a subsequent issue I saw a photo of a french manicure with chrome tips. This would compliment our ivory and silver bridesmaid attire perfectly. I loved the result! This photo doesn’t quite do it justice, but you get the idea.
5. Makeup: DIY
To go along with my vintage hairstyle I wanted a retro look for my makeup. Intimidated by the black liquid eyeliner needed to achieve this, I did some research. A few video tutorials got me started (thanks Andrea!). My friend, Becky, was incredibly helpful as well. Her makeup is always impeccable so I knew she would steer me in the right direction. We sat in front of a big mirror and she talked me through the technique and corrected me as needed. That was the first weekend in February. I practiced as often as possible (looking a little over dramatic at work a few times!) and I got it down. I had planned to apply some faux eyelashes, but it never went smoothly so I scratched it. I was nervous yesterday and had to do some reapplying to get the eyeliner right. The overall look was just what I wanted.
It was a terrific day and I really appreciate the opportunity to feel glamorous for a day. Like so many other moms I know, it’s rare to have an entire day that you feel “put together” with no Legos involved. 🙂 I will cherish my memories for days to come.
Congratulations to my my awesome brother and sister-in-law!