A High School Reunion With My Gorgeous Bride Mindy!

Okay, okay- I’m back!  It’s been a crazy month of too much stress at work, too much good food, too little vacation, too many special occasions, not enough blogging, and a lot more working out than usual.  I barely know who I am these days!  But anyhow, what better way to bring things back than with my first wedding of the season?

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I’ve known my friend Mindy since high school, and I truly can’t tell you what joy and honor it brought to my heart when she contacted me to do her wedding makeup.  I’d considered Mindy one of my favorite buddies during our senior year; I couldn’t have done AP art history or government without her!  I hadn’t seen her much since our high school glory days (which looked something like fusing together Phantom of the Opera with the North American Free Trade Alliance to create a mini-musical to perform for our classmates … super glorious).  There’s honestly no occasion I’d rather reconnect with an old friend over than her beautiful wedding.  And it was also great to be back at the fantastic Red Horse Barn!

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My day with Mindy started out in the hotel room she’d been sharing with her bridesmaids at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach.  All the chaos of a bunch of girls getting ready together is one of my favorite things.  The twenty different curling irons out, the makeup kits spread across literally ever surface, and the music … you never know what you’ll get with a group of girls on a wedding day.  It could be Backstreet Boys, the Grease soundtrack, or Jason Derulo.  You really never know, but it’s always a good time.

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For Mindy, I’d chosen what could basically be identified as a smokey eye, but I wanted to keep it within shades of bronze and brown to bring out her gorgeous blue eyes.  The Stila Eye Shadow trio in Gold Glow (pictured in the first image) worked its magic for me.  Mindy wanted to keep her look very natural, but it wasn’t hard to make her features stand out.  NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna and a little NARS blush in Orgasm on her cheeks basically sealed the deal, along with a light dab of Dior’s Addict Lipstick in Tulle.  She really is beautiful, isn’t she?!

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I so wish I could’ve been around for the bridal portraits; I admit that I love being the stalker makeup artist that lurks around insisting on touch-ups in between every shot!  It’s probably quite the nuisance for the photographers though, and Mindy clearly doesn’t need any help looking amazing.

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I loved this next shot because her eyes just pop so much, and her beautiful cheekbones too.  Major props to Tyler Branch Photo!

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I also had the opportunity to do makeup for one of Mindy’s awesome bridesmaids named Crystal.  She, too, had an incredible face and personality to match.  I only managed to get a close-up shot of Crystal on my own, and I’m sure glad I did because I was so pleased with how her look turned out!  I used one of my trusted Dior palettes – Earth Reflection – to create a classic look that focused on highlighting and a somewhat silvery finish.  For Crystal’s lips I used NARS’ Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien, a vibrant rosy pink.

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Like I’ve said in times before- with gorgeous faces like these, it’s hard to make ’em look bad.  The day just went so swimmingly between myself, the two girls, and the incredible team surrounding Mindy on her day.  I left Mindy as she was waiting patiently for guests to be seated so she could go out and meet her groom, and I felt a rush of energy as I left the room for the last time from all the thick anticipation in the air.  With a feeling like that, you know it’s been a good day.  xo, MR

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Holy Blake Lively Batman! Or, my gorgeous friend Katie!

Katie is a friend that I seriously admire.  She works with my husband as a high school ministry director, and I have to say that if there’s one word to describe her it’s energy.  Katie’s got an unparelled talent for being able to speak in public on a moment’s notice, get a crowd going under any circumstances, and put a positive spin on nearly anything.  Katie is a classic extrovert, and she’s the first to organize game nights, community dinners, New Year’s Eve champagne parties, and she’s always the first one to raise a glass for a toast.  She loves to have a good time.

So when Katie let me know that she’d be going to a fancy Christmas soiree (that may or may not have been hosted by a vocal trainer on a certain little show called Glee), and that she wanted me to do her makeup for said soiree, I admittedly got a bit nervous.  I mean, what kind of makeup do you go with to reflect such a great personality?  And seeings that it was a pretty swank party Katie was headed to, how do I take things up a notch without going overboard?  And on top of that, Katie sticks to a consistent routine of bronzer and mascara (and she doesn’t need more, anyhow).  What’s a little more without being a bit too much?

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Let me tell you this: If you have good teeth (which Katie has in spades), and if you’re not typically seen with bright makeup on, the absolute easiest and most high-impact answer to the above questions is a red lip.  Or pink or orange or plum, quite honestly.  A statement lip– we’ll just call it that.  Katie was a tad worried about going with this at first because her teeth and lips are such stand-out features of hers; she didn’t want to feel like she was all lip!  The best solution for this is not found in adding heavy eyeshadow or eyeliner (which can look overdone on top of a bright lip), but rather by adding some great false eyelashes.  Don’t overspend on these; Ardell’s from the drugstore are amazing! I used the Glamour Demi Wispies in Black on Katie, as this is my go-to pair for myself and for brides.  I dusted a champagne shadow on Katie’s lids (I believe I used Dior’s 5-Couleurs palette in Earth Reflection, or it could’ve been MAC’s eyeshadow in All That Glitters) and then lined just the outer corners of her eyes in deep brown shade for extra definition.  Lining the lids in powder shadow helps soften any harsh false lash lines, too.  I used the shimmery ivory shade in my Dior palette to highlight the inner corners of Katie’s eyes as a tribute to Blake Lively (whom I think Katie looks like!).  I dotted the same shadow on a blush brush and tapped a bit onto Katie’s cheeks, and used her MAC bronzer for some light contouring.  With a red lip, I don’t typically add blush because it competes too much with the lipcolor, so we left it at just highlighting and contouring.

I had Katie moisturize her lips while I worked on her face and eyes.  A good way to prep your lips for lipstick is by exfoliating them is gently with a toothbrush, but we skipped that and just had her saturate them in balm.  I used MakeUpForEver’s lipliner in Red 8C, and filled in her lips first with MAC’s Russian Red by using a lip brush (from SkinMarket … DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THAT PLACE?!).  I then had Katie blot, and filled her lips in again by using NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (a real fire engine red).  I then placed just a touch of Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer on the cupid’s bow and on the inner corners of the lips.  Creating the perfectly-shaped statement lip is still something I’m working on; it’s harder for me than the most complicated eyeshadow.  Many professional makeup artists like to use a primer under lipstick (yes, an eyeshadow primer) and additionally like to dust translucent powder on top for extra staying powder.  However, in Katie’s case, I didn’t want things to get unbearably dry.  It was her first time doing a red lip, and matte lipstick can feel like cement if you aren’t used to it.  I’ll save the primer and powder for when I do Lupita Nyong’O’s makeup for the Academy Awards.  Right.

So, the final product: How amazeballs does Katie look?!  I was so, so pleased with the whole package.  With just a few curls in her hair (at her own hand), Katie was pure holiday magic.  I know I’ve been slow to crank out a post yet this year, but I sort of like that this first post of 2014 is a throwback to party season.  Everyone likes a fresh start with a new year, but at the same time I’m convinced that we still wish party season could continue well past January (minus the party planning).  And, I mean, party season sort of does continue past January with AWAAAAAAAAAAAAARDS SEASON.  Consider this makeup I’ve done for Katie my own teeny tiny contribution to the 2014 Awards Season, and just a little something to hold you over while I work on my Golden Globes post!  Thanks, Katie!  You look phenomenal!  xo, MR