Planning a wedding can be super stressful, and pulling off the wedding of your dreams can be insanely expensive. From the catering to the flowers to the dress to the invitations, thank you cards, and favors — there are so many little details to remember, and so many bills to pay. Especially with the economy the way it’s been, every penny counts. I could more than identify with this e mail from a bella on a budget.
Let me start by sayin “I TRULY ENJOY THIS WEBSITE” it’s been a blessing…I am not sure if my question will get a response; but I’m going to put it out there regardless. I’m a DARK SKINNED SISTA; planning a wedding on a budget. I would really love to get my makeup done by a professional, but can’t afford it at this time… so I’m going to do it myself. Can anyone direct me in the right direction and provide me the name of the best makeup line for my complexion. I went to Sephora inside JC Penney and was so embarrassed after being told that they did carry colors for my complexion.. it discouraged me from going into another store. Please help !!!
Hey New Beginnings, let me just start out by saying CONGRATULATIONS!!! Weddings are so wonderful, and I know exactly how excited and nervous you are — that was me six years ago. I needed a wedding on the affordable tip, and in a city like Miami, it ain’t easy. Because I had to do it all myself (ten days after we graduated from college, no less!), I picked up a LOT of tips for planning an affordable wedding.
Here’s a tip for ya — a brunch wedding is cheaper than a dinner wedding, and just as beautiful. Also, that way your ceremony’s over by like 4:30 in the afternoon and you have allll night to enjoy your honeymoon suite!
Let’s talk makeup and I’m gonna be frank — I think the Sephoras inside JC Penney suck. The selection is teeny, and the last time I went there (because the Sephora at Dadeland Mall was closed for construction), they told me they don’t even sell Sephora gift cards. They can only sell JC Penney gift cards. In fact, I’ve left the Sephora at JC Penney disappointed myself, more than once. So while I find it shocking that you went to a cosmetics store that informed you that they don’t carry colors for your complexion (in 2008?? Really??), the fact that it was one of those lame mini-Sephoras makes sense.
New Beginnings, you need to go to a better department store (or a REAL Sephora) for your bridal makeup experience. Normally I am all about drugstore makeup shopping, but for a wedding, I’d advise you invest in a few makeup staples (namely a great concealer, a powder, and perhaps a bronzer or blush), that will last you long after the wedding bells have rung. Don’t worry — you can still hit the drugstore for special-day items like eyeliner and mascara, to save money. Budget is the watchword, but you want to look your best on your special day.
For advice, I turned to my friend and coworker Raina McLeod. Say hello to Raina!
Together, we’re the calendar editors of the Miami New Times. Also, we’ve got our own blogs. You already know about my Pretty in the City — well, Raina writes the sassy sex advice column Magic City Kitty. Check her out for frank answers to your freakiest questions. Meow!
As a glowing, beautiful dark skinned sista herself, I knew Raina would have some really helpful advice for New Beginnings. I didn’t expect that she’d hit so close to a recent product review I did!
“I actually don’t use concealer at all, but when I’m feeling like smoothing it out a lil extra, I use Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturizer. It’s nice n’ light, but gives plenty of coverage and moisture without leaving my skin oily. Then I like Bobbi’s bronzer and blush to finish it off.
I guess I’m a Bobbi girl and didn’t really know it! But I like her stuff, because it enhances my skin tone’s natural glow and NEVER leaves me lookin ashy like MAC and Cover Girl have in the past. I haven’t experimented with a ton of brands, but I would definitely recommend Bobbi Brown to the DARK SKINNED SISTA.”
Co-sign with Raina 110%. I was just raving over Bobbi Brown’s bronze shimmer brick, and seriously, I don’t regret dropping that $40 at all. This bronzer will take you from wedding day fab to everyday office chic to beach goddess gorgeous with minimal effort.
In terms of finding your shade, the moisturizing cream compact foundation comes in shades from alabaster to espresso, and the creamy concealer kit is a smart buy for a bella on a budget — $32 gets you the concealer and an attached sheer finish loose powder to set the concealer. Make a trip to your local Saks or Bloomies or high end department store of choice (ie: not Penney’s) and befriend the makeup artist at Bobbi Brown. They will be more than happy to help you and offer you makeup tips, and — if you wind up wanting to go with a professional perchance, you might even be able to make an appointment for a makeover the morning of your wedding. I always score business cards from makeup artists at department store counters. Many of them would be more than happy for a little portfolio-building side work, I imagine.
While you’re wandering around your fancy department store of choice, don’t bypass the Prescriptives counter. I have loved everything I’ve tried from this line. I promise you, you won’t go wrong with the multi purpose makeup stick SPF 15. It comes in a truly vast range of shades, and at $35, will last you forever.
A concealer stick like this is best used to simply conceal spots and problem areas, then blend, and set your face with powder.
I have not tried this myself, but I hear amazing things about the virtual matte oil control pressed powder, and you should definitely ask your Prescriptives rep to tell you all about the *magic illuminating cream potion for darker skins, which promises to “instantly imparts an image of perfection” via “three-dimensional holographic pigments” Ooh la la. Sounds like something you deserve for your big day, right? Ask your makeup artist if it’s really worth $35. Maybe they’ll even have a sample.
I have tried the blush more or less, and it’s a nice-but-subtle cream blush that will last all wedding long. Try these on when at the store, I think the shade I have is Pink Sand, and it barely stands out on my skin. Which I love for a toned down nude look, but for wedding, you want to glow.
Oooh, New Beginnings, I got some GREAT TIPS for you from a company that’s new to me. Check out deadSEXY cosmetics!
Created by makeup junkie and artist to the stars Thea Mitchell, deadSEXY offers a deliberately concise array of products for a spectrum of beauty, from light to dark. Thea’s most famous clients include Gloria Gaynor, Jill Scott, Amerie and Macy Gray, so that gives you an idea of her skills. She’s got em! deadSEXY offers products by shade, and I think it’s really cool that the products come in trios and duos. The dark concealer trio could be perfect for you, or you could get the foundation samples for $1.98 to choose your ideal shade. Best of all, deadSEXY has a bridal bliss page with all sorts of professional makeup tips for bellas all shades of beautiful. And, videos!! Thea’s deadSEXY YouTube channel hosts a variety of looks. My favorite for a wedding would be Exotic, which involved a bold eye and subdued berrylicious lip.
Of course, Thea’s videos and tips feature her cosmetics line, so you can either purchase her products or just find inspiration in her tutorials and hit the drugstore for your eyeliner and mascara. Even if you use fake lashes, you can buy them at the drugstore — if Halloween store lashes are good enough for makeup artist to the stars Billy B, they’ll be good enough for you.
If you’re seeking additional inspiration, you can see a beautiful range of photos at
African American Brides.com. Temptalia also offers bridal makeup tutorials. I got the photo at the top of the page from The Production Complex, on that very site makeup artist Brooke Young offers wedding makeup tips.
For D-day, I’d advise you to get your eyebrows whipped into shape by a professional, and make sure you’ve got your favorite lipstick/lipgloss, a powder compact, and some good oil blotting sheets in your little wedding day purse. We wouldn’t want you to look anything less than gorgeous on your special day, right?
Congratulations, New Beginnings! I wish you love on your wedding day.
If I had it to do over again, the advice I would give myself would be — Drink in the moment, enjoy the company of your family and friends as much as you can (especially the ones who traveled from far off distances to be with you!), and have a waiter or someone put away a plate of food for you for later! I got so nervous I forgot to eat, and later on I was kicking myself that I didn’t get to enjoy the delicious menu we’d put together. D’oh!
Got any makeup or wedding day advice for New Beginnings, bellas? Let her know, or just wish her luck!