Zounds! You're back for more?
Allow me to spoil you with an essay-sized dissertation on my wedding hair and makeup.
Oh come now, don't be coy, you've earned it.
Now. I realise this is probably the only genuinely relevant wedding post for fruity, which is precisely why I am closing with it, because if Masterchef has taught me anything, it's hold the best until last, especially if it concerns baked salmon and tears.
Hame had only one small request of his bride, aside of me showing up, that my hair was out. Which seems like a small, easily-doable thing for the man you love, except that I knew I was having a intricate, lace neckline, and a high back, and those two factors almost certainly dictate hair should be up. In fact, it is my opinion that a dame's hair always looks best up, back, away on her wedding gown. Oooh, controversial. But! Read me out! This is the one day you get to wear this magnificent dress - why not let it sing, uninterrupted and in full glorious volume? Is it not better to let your breathtaking face, and all that decolletage, and that lovely neck dazzle everyone? To leave some skin between the dress and the veil? To accentuate the jawline and make the eyes and lips the focal point? Perhaps. In any case, some ("me") believe so.
Nevertheless, I went with hair out. Or at least some hair around the face. Maybe I could even half up, half down, I thought, before realising it was completely wrongo for the dress and I haven't worn that style successfully since about Year 10. These thought processes, while dizzyingly superficial and insignificant in the grand scheme of life, were key: I firmly believe the wedding day is NOT the day you suddenly try new hairstyles, necklines, or makeup that you never wear in Real Life. Stick to things you love and that flatter you. (And it must be said that if that is hair out, good for you! Let those luscious strands run free.)
I decided the hair would be up. I knew Hame wouldn't mind or even notice on the day because he'd be too busy admiring the French corded lace on my gown, obviously. Updos, though, they're triiiicky. Can very easily look old, stuffy, unflattering, stiff, or, well, '80s. Far too many women fall into the syrupy vat of Predictable Stiff Bridal Updos, which is a real shame. And precisely why I avoid updos generally - for me it's hair blow-dried, hair styled and out (fingerwaves, round to one side etc) or a high bun/topknot. I've had some great vintage style updo work, but generally I avoid updos like I do gravy: with great vigilance and passion.
I collected some confusing, rushed references and set off to my excellent hairdresser Barney Martin for my trial. (He and my other hairdresser James Pearce - yes, I love them both and am greedy - were my first pick for wedding hair. And I was so lucky to have had them there. Lovely lads, great energy and very experienced in 'editorial' hair - my favourite kind.) As I showed him images with neither of these things I was sure to make conflicting demands: 'Want texture', I said. 'Need it to look modern', I said, 'otherwise I risk looking too... themey. Too contrived-lacey-fancy-lady'. And then he nodded sagely and sipped on his aged brandy and it was understood that I should understand that he understood.
Barney proceeded to do the hair precisely as I asked him to, and I took some reference selfies because it looked very pretty, but a few hours later the hair had softened, and pillowed. More selfies taken for comparison. It was no good. I had messed up with the wrong references - partly because I had only just concluded hair would be up and hadn't really thought much about updos - and I had no time for another trial. That said, I knew I was safe in Barney's hands on the day, so it was no biggie. (However: if you're unhappy with your trial, for whatever reason, I recommend scheduling in another. You do not have time to play changies on the day.)
Once home, I pulled out all the pins and pushed it up as I would if I were doing my own hair, and realised that it needed to be HIGHER! More taut! That's what was missing.
Ysee, low or even mid-head hairstyles do my face - many faces in fact - no favours. Higher placed hair, on the other hand, brings out the cheekbones and creates a kind of... face lift, I suppose you'd say. Play with your own hair in the mirror, try low/mid-head and then try higher, and see the difference.
On the day, after prepping with a blow dry (we were all advised to wash our hair the day before and use very little conditioner so the hair was less likely to drop) and 'rollers' for body, Barney boy did just this, pulling the sides of the hair tight and in line with my cheekbones so that the side view of it all was clean, and modern and lovely. The soft, tousled bun was perfectly placed in the back of my head, ready for the veil to be lovingly jammed in, and the crown had a little bit of height and texture (pinned in and then gently finger tugged at the last minute to look a bit imperfect) for general excitement. It was a triumph. I felt clean, fresh, classic. (I know I will laugh at my wedding photos in 20 years, 'tis inevitable, but I was trying to give my current-day self a fighting chance with no gel/perm/bows/glitter or tendrils.) The 'do wouldn't move even with jumping and dancing, there was no drop or frizz and it was very much all about the dress, neck, face and veil. Ssssplendid.
As for the wild dames all dressed in peach, I wanted them to all have centre-parted hair with loose waves, all sexy and modern and as if they styled it the day before, perhaps after a swim in the ocean, and now it's just all natural and casual and sexy and stuff. Would balance the prettiness of the frocks perfectly. All this waffle leaves you looking like a chief dingus when you explain it to hairdressers, but Barney and James bloody nailed it.
The best part of all this was convincing Bron to have a middle part - something she'd never done before - and which looked outstanding and now must obviously be her go-to hair style. She coyly conceded that she'd had lots of compliments when people saw the photos, which is exactly the kind of feedback this bully likes. All hail the centre part. HAIL IT I SAID ARE YOU HAILING IT YET HAIL IT IMMEDIATELY.
My makeup artist was the beautiful, mad and hilarious Natalia Sprem, an editorial makeup and hair artist who has become a friend over the years, and is the genius I always call on for shoots and events. She is brilliant at perfectly understated but impactful hair and makeup, which should be easy to do, but really is not. I adore her. The fact that she was living overseas all year made me sweat in small, adorable (unscented, of course) amounts until she came home early, and I rejoiced like the blind regaining sight. (Too much?)
So she was booked, as was a fantastic and wonderfully jubilant chap called Gino, and I popped over to her joint for a trial, which was more just a fun afternoon being rascals, but also resulted in Very Amazing Makeup, as is Natalia's way.
Here's the trial photo: My request was for luminous skin, fresh cheeks, a subtle winged eye (enough to elongate the eye, but not an obvious flick) that is softly smoked out, nothing on the lower lashline, lots of false lashes and a soft pink lip. Which is basically my brief for her every, single, time. Poor lamb, she must get so bored with me.
Yes, I wore 'white lace' to mimic the dress. Shut up.
In a confession I am not proud of, I didn't cleanse my eye area that night, because I wanted Natalia's Pretty Eyes the day after, too. The lashes, liner, shadow, everything stayed put. OH DON'T JUDGE. A lot of (gross) people do this!
On the day, we went a little lighter on the eyes than the above photo. Bit more, I said. No, said Nat, gently but firmly. She was right. The final look, elegant, simple, fresh, was perfection. Which, interestingly, when I was starting to lose it a bit in the final hour, was the word she kept whispering over and over to me to calm me down. What a diamond.
My makeup took many hours, but I'd break to let a B-maid in, or get my hair done, or nervously eat chicken salad and nuts, nuts, so many fucking nuts! Nat insists the perfect wedding makeup is all about time. She'd spend 12 hours doing her own, she says. Each layer of base that is added, each painstaking lap of blending and contouring - it all counts, it all works, and it all means you, de la bride, get an impossibly perfect, flawless, second-skin face with cry-proof eyes that still look pretty at midnight. I reckon wedding makeup should make you look like you, only better, not like you're wearing a lot of makeup, and in my second reckon of this sentence, I reckon (third) Nat smashed it. Look, I know it's nothing revolutionary, but authentically 'pretty, natural' makeup always gets me excited.
My brideslaves were a bit more eye-heavy, lower-lashlined, and bronzed than me. I guess you could say it was almost like they were sexy chiffon guardians, and I was their delicate, chaste princess who needed protecting until she was delivered to her prince, who she had never laid eyes on before, in fact, she had she never so much as kissed a man let alo- Alright. That's enough. Their makeup was gorgeous. They looked hot. You get the picture.
Other fun beauty notes:
- I wore CND Shellac in Romantique (expertly, swiftly, perfectly applied by Jocelyn Petroni) on fingers and toes and enforced a strict nude/pale pink nails policy on the B-maids. (I also asked them all to drop 15 kilos, have laser resurfacing on their face, and get collagen injected into their lips.)
- I didn't have a spray tan, but I did use gradual tanner the two nights leading up to the day. Didn't want to look 'tanned,' it wasn't appropriate, and nor would it have done the dress justice. Just wanted a healthy glow.
- I went through almost a whole bottle of Rescue Remedy on the day. Cute! Also, because I was due to be a PMS monster, (exactly the opposite of what you want at this time) for the two months before, I took one Flordis Premular each day, and one Flordis Remotiv too, which is essentially St John's Wort. I felt strangely (for me) calm in the lead up, and aside of the obvious excitement and giga-heightened emotion on the day, was on top of things and happy. If you know that you can get overhwhelmed (and weddings are a sure fire trigger for a nuclear wig out, because something WILL go wrong, it always does, and something definitely did for mine but I am not going to bore you with it) so I urge you to get on top of it a few months out. (Side note: Premular is the BEST, best PMS eradicator I have ever tried, and look into my eyes as I tell you I have tried everything and it's now a daily habit. Buy it at health food stores.)
- I desperately needed some champagne to calm my firecracker nerves, and it was everywhere while we were getting ready, but I bloat the nanosecond I have fizzy drinks, and in that frock there was no room for bloat, so I had to roll sober. I KNOW. Can you believe it! Sober. (I usually have some Sambucca or Jagermeister around for a wee sip before red carpet event - a nutritionist recommended it, it's a digestive so you won't bloat... but you will feel a little warm and smiley.)
Was there anything else.... Oh yeah, presents. I made a password-protected Bridal Registery Tumblr because even though we categorically said NO GIFTS, we know What People Are Like. Gifts on the registery included a tropical island, an infinity pool, Black Caviar, and a gold-plated helicopter. Incredibly, despite being quite a nice couple I think, we received none of these.
Okay! All done. Back to regular scheduling now.
Thank you ever so much for your time and interest and truly delightful comments.