Wedding Makeup: Go Natural | Pittsburgh Magazine


Wedding Makeup: Go Natural | Pittsburgh Magazine

Like most everything in the world these days, the coronavirus pandemic has turned the wedding industry upside down. Couples have had to deal with rapidly changing restrictions, guest lists and even dates. But one thing will never change — on your wedding day, you want to look your best.

Many couples are opting for smaller, DIY weddings, and the easygoing trend is carrying over to the look of the bridal party, too. There’s a phrase makeup artists have used for years to describe finding your perfect shade of lipstick: “your lips, but better.” That’s the vibe of bridal makeup in general these days, says John Vella, owner of The John Vella Salon.

“[It’s] accenting the person’s best features without bold colors or lines,” says Vella. “I always say if you can see the makeup, then it’s too heavy.”

Makeup artist Marqeula Crosby, who works out of Laced Beauty Bar in Garfield or on location for weddings, says she is getting many more requests for the natural look these days.

“It seems to me the colorful cut crease, glam is going out of season,” says Crosby. “And the soft glam, glowy, dewy bronze skin is coming in.”

Skincare is crucial, agree Vella and Crosby. If possible, Vella recommends clients get a series of facials in the weeks leading up to the wedding to best prepare the skin for makeup on the day itself. And moisturizer is just as important as makeup — one that is oil-based works better during the dryer winter months.

Though the trend may be to look as though you’re not wearing any makeup, Crosby and Vella advised against going truly makeup free for the wedding day.

“I would say do a little more than their everyday look for photo purposes,” says Crosby. “You don’t want to look washed out from the flash or bright lights. You still want to look like yourself, just a little bit more.”

Brides aiming for a more minimalistic look may want to do their own makeup for the wedding. Crosby says she would only recommend that to folks who are comfortable and well-practiced with doing their own makeup, and even then she suggests doing at least one trial with a professional makeup artist beforehand.

“You want to make sure you get it right,” she says. “You don’t want to be frustrated and overwhelmed on your wedding day.”

Start with a YouTube video and give yourself plenty of time to perfect the techniques, says Vella. Saving posts from Instagram such as #NaturalWeddingMakeup or #WeddingMakeupIdeas. Pinterest — a classic for DIY wedding planning — even lets you filter by eye color and other factors when you search. The BurghBrides Hair & Makeup vendor guide is a handy resource for finding a well-reviewed local makeup artist if you’ve never hired one before.

Like makeup looks, hairstyle trends for brides and bridal parties this fall are all about a loose and relaxed feel. Hairstyles that are overstyled, stiff, structured or teased can make the most beautiful bride look dated, says Vella, who also offers hairstyling services at his salons. It all starts with the dress, he says, and you figure out the best hairstyle to go with it from there.

No matter what, though, it’s about looking back on the photos from the day and feeling great about how you looked on your wedding day.

“At the end of it all, the photographs are what document that special day better than anything, and the makeup must be right for the camera,” says Vella.

Marqeula Crosby’s Favorite Makeup Brands
Charlotte Tilbury  •  Pat McGrath  •  Nars

John Vella’s Favorite Makeup Brand
Tom Ford



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