Now! With more prominent wrinkles!
May 5, 2013 2:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting married next month and would like to figure out some make up for it. How do a I find someone to help me?

I paid for a consult at the local MAC store today (not to be confused with the Apple store) and though it looked okay (not stunning but whatevs) at the store, once I got outside, all my fine lines were even more visible than before. Also, after 45 minutes I wanted it OFF OF MY FACE!

It wasn't very heavy make up- I've worn heavier going to clubs, except I don't wear any foundation/primer stuff and this time I did. In general I don't wear make up except some bright red lipstick if I'm feeling festive, or a copper gloss if I'm feeling beach-y.

The wedding's outside during the day and I have no idea about make up for that situation.

The woman doing my make up was the senior person in the store and seemed to know what she was doing, so maybe it's the MAC line?

The deal was that they'd do it for $50 or a $50 purchase, so now I have some primer & concealer that I'm not sure I want to ever use. Well, the concealer's fine- I'll probably keep that.

Questions: How do I find someone who doesn't make me look even older without breaking the bank? I can't afford to keep trying folks out at $50 a pop. And what do I do with this stuff I just bought? Am I stuck with it?

All the wedding magazines assume you're 20 years old, and skinny, not to mention Scandinavian or Asian. I am 41 and not skinny. At least I'm white. Every other race is positively screwed when it comes to wedding stuff, it seems like.

Ideally, they'd be able to do it the day of the wedding, too, but doing it myself is okay with me.

As a bonus, the person who was going to help me with hair will be out of the state next month.

I thought this would be easy but obviously it's not. Please help!
posted by small_ruminant to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Isn't MAC considered to be pretty intense heavy drag-style makeup, in general?

You might want to try something like Bobbi Brown, Lorac, or another mid range makeup line for Grownup Ladies. Their MO is a more subtle, professional look.

Re wanting it Off Your Face Now, could you do the heavy full-face makeup for the ceremony and formal posed photos, then wash your face and reapply something you're more comfortable with for the reception?
posted by Sara C. at 2:29 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Which do you care about more, looking natural in person or looking awesome in photos? The makeup that will "pop" in photos might seem a little thick in person (like the fine lines you were seeing after the MAC trial). The makeup that will look natural in person might seem a little pale in photos. I think it's important to know what you want in this regard before you pursue wedding makeup; if you want a more natural look, going to the MAC counter (any makeup counter, really) and saying "wedding" will probably never give you the result you desire.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:32 PM on May 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, MAC has bolder colors in their advertising/"looks" but it doesn't mean their actual product is like full blast neon clown no matter what you do. I agree that if you're specific that you want something more natural for your wedding that will still show up in pictures you'll get closer to what you want.

Also re: races being "screwed", MAC has a pretty good range of shades, which is helpful for everyone regardless of skin tone.

Also, is it possible that since you aren't used to wearing makeup, you might have found the MAC work jarring because you're not quite used to wearing so much?
posted by sweetkid at 2:41 PM on May 5, 2013

Watch these videos. You may be able to do practice at home and do it yourself.




Save the primer for special occasions (like your wedding) and use it sparingly. You don't have to use it over the entire face. Avoid the area around the eyes and only use where your pores are larger (usually the cheeks and nose). If you're not going to go with MAC for your wedding, why not try to return the unwanted primer. I think they have a pretty good return policy.
posted by Fairchild at 2:47 PM on May 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: ThePinkSuperhero: You're right, she did seem concerned about photos. I'd like to look okay in photos, certainly, but I'm more concerned about in person.

I went to MAC because I use them for my more garish make up (night clubs or whatever), because they're conveniently close, and because the other two nearby make up stores hire people who are pretty bad at doing other people's make up and mostly don't like doing it.

The MAC store has a GREAT palate for other races- in fact I'm not sure there was an Anglo even working there today, though it was a very white neighborhood. I was talking about the wedding magazines, which manage to offend me in a new way every time I pick one up.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:53 PM on May 5, 2013

If your key issue is that you're self-conscious about your fine lines then your priority is your face as your 'canvas', less the colour, which should follow once you have a solid base. Regardless of brand, you'll probably need a hydrating kind of base (though that can mean shininess as the day goes on). Your primer and concealer should probably silicone-based, to achieve that hydrating effect without being oily. In terms of texture of the two, you may need to shop around, but you shouldn't have to spend $50 a pop to do so. My personal recommendation is Laura Mercier and (especially) Make Up For Ever. I find MUFE's concealers to have a texture that blends with the skin without exarcebating the fine lines.

Next is your foundation. The above brands and Bobbi Brown have some really good products, though I think BB's staff provides better advice as they are better trained. It's the same issue, you want something that can provide a dewy or illuminating effect, especially if it's liquid. A silicone base would at least be 'floating' above your skin without sinking into the lines. This you will need to try, for the day or so. Oh! I think Dior has a good spray-on liquid foundation line as well. I tried them once and I wish I could afford it.

If you want to try powders such as mineral makeup (which I would ask you to consider), the key is to find brands that are as finely milled as possible. This is again, for the reasons stated above. I personally have used Lumiere Mineral Makeup and Everyday Minerals and they're both good. These are online-based though but they do provide samples and advice.

But importantly, even within the month, what you can do is work towards refining the texture of your skin. Unless you're absolutely sure you probably shouldn't go for a new untested facial spa regime/treatment. But a basic one to start should be okay. but the key for you now is exfoliation and moisturisation. Paula's Choice has a good selection of chemical exfoliants. Drugstore brands have good moisturisers in their midst, like Olay and Garnier. Whatever the brand, if you have good exfoliants and moisturisers it should go a long way towards improving your skin texture for your big day.

And congratulations!

(I realise this is getting rather long, but on the subject of makeup, I would recommend, especially if you don't have too big of an issue with shine, to go for cream eyeshadows and blushers - as you go through the day it would look very natural and not caked on and sink into your pores. Stila and Benefit are some of the brands that do these well. MAC as well has excellent cream shadows.)
posted by cendawanita at 3:03 PM on May 5, 2013

Have you tried doing a similar look yourself? I also had a MAC consult before my wedding and had to head from there straight to the library to get some things for my dissertation. I just about fainted when I caught a look at myself in the car mirror in daylight. I was horrified and spent the afternoon hiding my face behind journals until I could get home and wash off my face some. I ended up using the same products for my wedding with a lighter hand and was happy with how I looked in person and in pictures. I helped that it was a mostly outdoor daytime wedding on a sunny day, so heavier make-up wasn't as needed for good pictures. Just wanted to let you know that you don't have to give up totally yet!
posted by goggie at 3:07 PM on May 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Maybe this is obvious or daft, but: if you never wear foundation, why do you feel you have to wear it on your wedding day?

If you never wear it, I assume it's because you don't feel you need it.

I never wear foundation, and find that it generally tends to fall along a spectrum from unnecessary to unflattering... I don't really see a point in wearing it if you don't ever wear it.

If you feel you have to for the purposes of the photos or something, maybe you could try tinted moisturizer, finished of with a light powder. I tend to find that far more flattering than foundation.

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is hailed as the best (or something), and the Bobbi Brown one seems i be popular, as well. I used to have some Clinique stuff; it was okay, but I used it rarely, so YMMV.
posted by vivid postcard at 3:37 PM on May 5, 2013

When I got married, I had my regular salon stylist do my hair, and she happened to also know of a makeup person. So on my wedding day, she brought the makeup person in, and I was able to get both done in the same place. It worked out well, and was super simple for me, which is what I wanted. I am not a big makeup person, but I knew I'd want something for the wedding. And it turned out that my wedding (outdoors) was on one of the hottest days of the year. While everyone else was complaining about their makeup running, mine stayed on perfectly.

So my point is that it was well worth it to have my makeup professionally done. If you're getting your hair done somewhere, see if they have a cosmetologist or someone that works with them.
posted by hydra77 at 3:48 PM on May 5, 2013

Sephora also does makeup trials. I think they're free. The benefit is that you get to try products from a number of different lines. I think that you should stress to your next makeup artists that you do not care as much about photos. Makeup for photos vs. makeup for looking fresh and not overly done-up are two different things and "wedding" makeup tends toward the former.

You'd probably be happier with a tinted moisturizer, concealer (if you need it), and a finishing powder. Also, when it comes to wrinkles, I find primer helps to prevent makeup from settling into lines and it can help to prevent your makeup from melting off if it's hot or humid. Avoid sparkle as that tends to highlight wrinkles.
posted by quince at 3:51 PM on May 5, 2013

IANAMA, but my sister is one. I like to wear makeup, but it's taken me quite some time to get good at applying it and making it look how I want it to. If you're not used to wearing makeup (specifically foundation, since it sounds like you've worn eye makeup for going out looks in the past), you either need to practice, practice, practice and experiment, experiment, experiment, OR pay someone to do your makeup for you professionally on your wedding day. If you're thinking about going the route of paying a makeup artist, I highly recommend doing a consultation prior to your wedding to try out the look that you would be wearing on the big day. That way you can get it exactly right without any messy trial and error the day of the wedding. Professional makeup artists tend to be more mindful of how makeup will look in different lighting or in photographs, and less concerned with how "light" a makeup application is. A "natural" makeup look may involve many products and steps, so if you're more concerned with feeling like your not wearing a lot of makeup versus looking like your not wearing a lot of makeup, you might be better off doing it yourself, because makeup artists are paid to put makeup on your face.
posted by gumtree at 4:03 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

2nding Lisa Eldridge's videos. In fact, don't just look at the bridal make-up videos on her site. Look at everything that has the words simple, flattering, occasion, in the name. Just listening to her will give you a much better understanding of what different products do and you can have a much more meaningful conversation with the people you deal with at a make up counter or any make up artist.
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:18 PM on May 5, 2013

You could try returning the makeup you think you won't wear, and exchanging it for products you will use? I don't know about MAC specifically, but a lot of high-end cosmetics retail stores will take returns even if you've used the product.
posted by chickenmagazine at 6:04 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I got lots of great AskMeFi advice on makeup for an outdoor wedding, and I ended up going with a simple BB cream from Sephora. (I'm not really 100% sure what a BB cream is, but it seemed nice and light and gave coverage without being annoying.) The person I worked with at Sephora paid a lot of attention to what I wanted, ie not that made up but still good for photos, and worked with me for a very natural look.

That said, it requires another trip to a beauty store, shelling out $50 or more for a consultation and additional makeup. I wonder if, when it's all said and done, just working with a make-up artist might be better? They might have a price that would cover personal consultation and make-up the day of, and still be about the same as another trip to a make-up store and more purchases.
posted by lillygog at 6:16 PM on May 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

I agree on the tinted moisturizer front. It's a great product. I do wear foundation from time to time and I feel like I have found the next version of "sliced bread" since I started applying it with a brush, thusly:

Put a nickel-size pool of it on the back of your hand and then dip the brush into and swirl to pick up a good deal of it.

Touch each cheek, the forehead and chin, with the brush, applying some of the foundation on each.

Going from area to the next, swirl and brush to blend the makeup into your skin.

Swirl over any laugh lines with what is left on the brush.

I find this blends the makeup and marries it to my skin for a much more natural look and it feels like I'm using less of it.

posted by michellenoel at 7:31 PM on May 5, 2013

I went to a MAC counter and asked for help coming up with a simple daytime look that did not look "made up," just polished. I got pretty much exactly what I asked for. So it may be that they hear wedding and think photos, as suggested above.

If you want to try another consult, you might try telling them "I want this kind of look" without mentioning the wedding at all.
posted by bunderful at 8:04 PM on May 5, 2013

Every time I've had makeup done or tested in a store, they've applied the foundation extremely heavy. I'm not sure if I've just had bad luck with the sales people (not even gonna start on everyone's random desire to give me barbie-pink lipstick) or if my skin just doesn't like that many layers on top of it, but I've never used more than one layer on my face in real life, ever; whether going out or for special occasions or anything, I just seriously can't be bothered doing the full layer cake, plus it tends to crackle and make me look like a clay doll. Not sexy.

So I say try some different foundations, and look for something that stands well on it's own. You can get samples from Sephora if you have one, or go back to Mac (I've never used them personally so idk what to recommend specifically there) and tell them you want something that gives you decent coverage without caking. I use Lorac Natural Performance. It evens out my skin tone and covers my reddish tendencies, while feeling like nothing and looking like nothing. If I don't want to do my whole face, I even can spot-touch any redder areas and it just blends in with my skin inconspicuously without making me look multicolored or multitextural.

So... to sum, If you have pretty good skin in the first place, and don't usually wear foundation, definitely go with something very light and natural-looking. You don't necessarily need the full primer/base/bronzer/powder ordeal in order to look polished.
posted by celtalitha at 11:24 PM on May 5, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! I will look at the videos when I'm at a computer with sound. I really appreciate the specifics.

It wasn't just the foundation. My eyes watered the whole day and I couldn't get the damn stuff off, because I can't find my make up remover.

The foundation was super light, but it, or the powder?, felt like it was desicating my skin, which is already slightly dry.

Wouldn't hiring a make up artist still be trial, error and more money?
posted by small_ruminant at 7:57 AM on May 6, 2013

When I got married a couple years ago, I just went to a Clinique counter and got a consultation for free. I was happy with her advice, recommended products, and application lessons. I also had an outdoor ceremony, and I was happy with my photos, and I think I looked pretty natural in real life (I was 38, so I have a few lines, but I am ok with that). I probably spent about $100 on makeup total. She even gave me some sample sizes of stuff like foundation and mascara that I don't typically use.
posted by Kriesa at 8:32 AM on May 6, 2013

You could try a make up counter/shop of a more "natural" cosmetics line. Natural in the sense that the marketing emphasizes its natural ingredients (but in reality, a lot of them are the same ingredients as MAC + some trace amount of herbs or something). They do tend to have more natural palettes, though, and it might be closer to your aesthetic. They also tend to emphasize skin care more, so the makeup shouldn't be so dry. I'm a brown skinned Indian, but I've had good luck at Aveda and Origins.

I think Estee Lauder and Lancome are pitched at slightly older women, so they may have more experience dealing with imperfect skin. I've never used their make up consultations, though my mom has, and they do a nice job with her (she's in her late 50s).
posted by bluefly at 8:33 AM on May 6, 2013

I can tell you that you probably notice it way more than anyone else does. I got my wedding makeup done (at the age of 42), including false eyelashes, and I felt like a clown. When I got the test application done (the same day we took our engagement photos, as it was cheaper than paying for the third application!), I dropped by a salon for a manicure afterwards, apologetically explained that I had so much makeup on because I was getting photos taken later on, and the technician working on me was either genuinely surprised that I felt I was wearing too much, or a very good liar!

When Mom (in her late 60s) got her makeup done by the same woman on my wedding day, she felt like it was caked on and obvious, but when I looked at her, all I could tell was that she was wearing more than usual. It didn't look freakish.

Anyway, I recommend false eyelashes for the simple reason that you'll be worrying about them because they feel weird and it'll distract you from the rest of the makeup! (the lashes did help my eyes show up behind my glasses, though, since I wasn't about to remove those for the wedding.)
posted by telophase at 10:21 AM on May 6, 2013

Adding, as this may be important: I and Mom got airbrush makeup done, and it's said to be better at not showing the fine lines and cracks. I can't say for sure as I don't usually wear makeup so had nothing to compare it to.

Next time you get a test application done, take a photo in the sort of light you'll have at your wedding and see what it looks like: that may reassure you a bit.
posted by telophase at 10:25 AM on May 6, 2013

Best answer: Foundation will make you look older, its only for film/photography. I use a tinted daycream from Bobbi Brown and just yesterday, my daughter told me it is almost weird how young I look (yeah Bobbi!) at 50. I'd go for minimal and kissable makeup at the actual wedding, and then apply some concealer and powder for pictures
posted by mumimor at 1:39 PM on May 7, 2013

Response by poster: Follow up: Today I went to the Nordstrom make up department and someone there did me up really well, using a little of the stuff I had (Covergirl lipstain, actually) and the rest Bobbi Brown & Laura Mercier. I am NOT looking into their animal rights things because I don't want to know Lalalalala I can't hear you!

She was very patient and sensitive to my lack of experience. I look a LITTLE too heavily made up for my taste but I think it's about right for an event, actually. I've been wearing it for 7 hours and although I'm aware of it on my face, it doesn't bug me.

She also convinced me to trade in the primer from MAC because she said it was bad for my kind of skin.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:36 PM on June 5, 2013

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