Why I’m Going Au Naturel On My Wedding Day (Kind Of)

No, my minimalist bridal makeup isn’t about making a statement. It’s about being practical.

May 8, 2014 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

 ABC and Slate recently ran articles examining the makeup-free trend that has apparently infiltrated the bridal world. There were statistics, quotes from industry experts and insiders, fashion runway references and testimonials from brides attesting the movement. While I found the articles interesting to a degree, as someone who has edited countless bridal stories over the years, a "natural" or makeup-free look isn’t a phenomenon. As an editor, the makeup of choice for the models was a collaborative decision that was based on the gown and overall mood of the shoot. We weren’t saying no-makeup makeup was the "thing."

And judging from the hundreds of couples that submitted their wedding photos for editorial consideration over the years, one can say that "cosmetic normcore" isn’t on the rise in 2014. It was around when I covered the bridal market as early as 2005 and I’m sure it was in full effect beforehand. There were always pockets of brides that ditched the theatrical crimson lip and smoky eye for one reason or another. 

As a soon-to-be bride, I based my "natural" makeup decision on one thing: WEATHER. My nuptials are in early August -- also known as prime swamp ass season -- and since I sweat like a 300-pound offensive tackle, a pound of face paint is not an option. Plus, I know the water works will start flowing as soon as I walk down the aisle with my father, so I need to avoid unsightly streaks at all costs.

My first makeup trial was with artist Kimara Ahnert at her studio on the upper eastside. My directions were simple, “Keep it clean, but play up my eyes with earth tone shadows.” Ahnert started with a thin layer of primer on my face, with concentrated layers on my lids. She played up my almond shaped eyes using a bit of concealer (Foundation Stick in Fawn), Baked Split shadow in Night Sky and razor thin liner. “I don’t think you need foundation,” she said. “I don’t want any anyway. I don’t hold up well in the summer. It’s like I suffer from menopausal hot flashes when it’s over 80 degrees.” With that said, she brushed her Baked Blush in Sugar Daddy on the apples of my cheeks, swiped on some Nourishing lip tint in Acai and called it a day. My look was complete in about 45 minutes.

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My inaugural selfie featuring my foundation-free wedding face.

Sweat-free, fuss-free, natural yet polished is my ultimate bridal look and since I won’t be sitting in a makeup chair for two hours on my wedding day, I have more time to throw back some scotch with my bridesmaids.