Tag Archives: beauty

Wedding makeup for a hot, humid, outside wedding

I am writing this on the day that is ONE MONTH away from my wedding. I freaked out a little when I went to google calendar the other day and noticed that my wedding day is now visible in the little calendar grid on the left. And then I wrote a list of everything wedding related I still have to do, and there were thirty things. One a day. Except that’s still not going to be enough, because really I want to be finished like at least week before. Anyway, I have now managed to cross off the line that said “figure out makeup”, so that helps.

Turns out it wasn’t as straightforward as one might think. To begin with, I’m doing it myself. Because money. Also because the physical experience of someone else putting eyeliner and eyeshadow on me makes me really on edge, and because the two or three times professional makeup artists have done my makeup, they turned me into a clown each time. Not everyone is best flattered by a solid ring of black liner, you know? Personally I look like my eyes have been punched back into my skull. A clown with their eyes punched in, that’s me.

So anyway, I have a few variables to contend with for wedding makeup.
1.Equator levels of sunshine.
2. Extremely high humidity.
3. Flash photography.

Because of 1, I normally go around with sunscreen on, which because of 2, triggers an immediate melting of  my face, which does not bode well for 3. Also not boding well for 3, is titanium oxide based sunscreen, which I choose because I also am dealing with 4, sensitive, rosasea*-ry skin.

There is a bit of a conundrum here. If you’re getting married out in the sunshine, especially if you have sensitive skin, you have to choose between protecting your face with sunscreen, or having photos where your face looks white. I think as long as there are no flashes, you won’t get the white ghost effect, so it really depends on what time of day the wedding happens, and whether or not flash photography is going to need to happen. Ours will be starting late afternoon, and definitely proceeding through many a dark hour, so I’ve decided to just go without sunscreen.

Then there’s the oiliness issue. Left to its own devices, my skin will go out of control, so I’m taking every step possible to minimise oiliness. This boils down to using a shine stopper underneath my makeup, and using a matte foundation in the form of a powder. If my nose gets too shiny, I can just pile some more of that stuff on.

It’s also recommended to go sheer with makeup if you’re getting photographed in the sunshine. Plus it just feels better in the skin. So ultimately, what is needed is a sheer, matte foundation that’s good on oily skin, has good staying power, and isn’t mineral based. Thanks to beautypedia, I compiled a shortlist:

Frugallywed’s recommended foundation options for a hot, humid summer wedding:
Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation
Nars Sheer Matte Foundation
Sephora Mattifying Compact Foundation
Body Shop All in one Face Base
Clinique Perfectly Real Compact Makeup
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
Make Up For Ever Due Mat Powder Foundation

Oh and by the way, you don’t need a primer. Primer does nothing. Here is Paula Begoun, she of evidence based skin care, which you may recall is a vision of Utopia, on the subject. Some choice excerpts: “Most primers are a blend of water and silicones and essentially function as lightweight moisturizers that make skin feel silky” and “As long as your skin-care routine is leaving your face smooth and free from the buildup of dead skin cells and excess oil, you’re not going to see much (if any) benefit from using a primer.” —> so just use your normal moisturiser, if you need it. 

BONUS: There is no sponsored content in this post, yay!

For lips, I used beautypedia again to search for sheer lipstick with good ratings, made a shortlist of options, and checked out colour swatches online, because I have very specific ideas about what kind of colour I want. Then I went to MAC and Chanel and tried a few, and ended up with Chanel Boy. Iz pretty. I’m gonna use that puppy for my cheek colour too.

Ok now eyes. Obviously a waterproof mascara is needed, and I already owned Maybelline Define-a-lash, so, done. There are heaps of good waterproof mascaras around. For eyeliner that stands up to a long, teary day, Paula Begoun says gel eyeliners are the way to go. I didn’t want black or sparkles, which are apparently the only options where I live if you look in a pharmacy, so I went with Bobbi Brown in Granite Ink.

And finally, concealer, the makeup product I am more intimate with than any other. Oh concealer, how I adore you. Thank you for stopping people from telling me I look tired. I’m not tired ok, this is how my face is! I have the kind of under eye dark circles that are caused by the physiological structure of my face. I won the lottery on that one! Basically, the lack of volume under my eyes means the muscle, along with its inherent vascular system, is visible through my skin. Actually when I am super tired and things get puffy, the dark circles improve. I think a lot about some day getting restylane injections under my eyes, but until then, nothing but heavy camouflage is going to cut it. I use a corrector followed by a concealer, both from Bobbi Brown. All the other ones I’ve tried are wimps.

Oh yeah and eyeshadow. I haven’t got my eyeshadow yet. It is now item number 31 in my to do list.

*Speaking of rosacea, an interesting paper was recently published about it. Turns out, rosacea may be caused by mite feaces in your poresWhaat? And hell yeah, I’ll link to the original paper, by Jarmuda et al (2012). If you don’t have rosacea, don’t get too smug, because those mites are in your skin too. It’s good times, being a human. This has been a public service science announcement.


Six month panic: Health and beauty care

Because I like to turn everything in life into numbers and/or systems*, not long after I got engaged I signed up to The Knot so that I could get access to their planning timeline checklist. I read through it all, figured out that most of it was irrelevant to me, and decided to go ahead with using common sense instead. Also, in the early months of engagement, there’s really not much to do besides tell people, make a list of guests, book a venue, make a wedding website, and send out links to it. Which ok, is 5 whole things, but if you’re engaged for a year, that’s a really breezy task-to-month ratio. You’re advised to start thinking about the dress (hahaha. I’ve been thinking about the dress for a couple decades already), and looking into invitations, and a few other non-task type things, but really, not much is going on until you hit the W minus 6 months point.  Then shit gets real. No more arsing around, you have to actually get stuff done.

My wedding is in October, which means during April I hit my 6 months to go point. Apart from needing to organise actual logistics, it felt like a kind of ominous milestone. Have you ever noticed how many things in life take 6 months? For instance, if I want to have good posture by the time of my wedding, I need to start working on that right now. Like many, I’ve been targeting the wedding day as a kind of deadline for getting the rest of life together. Body-fat-percentage wise. Flexibility-of-hamstrings-wise. Earrings-wise. And so many other types of wises.

So this is how I found myself, instead of rushing to book a photographer (I’ve got a shortlist, but it’s such a slog to compare the galleries of 13 different ones and try to pick the best. I just have not been able to find the motivation yet), fiance and I got ourselves a health check and found out we both have high cholesterol. We have 6 months to sort all this stuff out! Time to start doing attempting pull-ups! Time to start stretching, and doing squats!

The upshot is, I now eat several servings of fruit and veg a day, we got ourselves a pair of rollerblades each, we went blading and got sunburnt and my nose peeled, and then I panicked about my absent skin care routine and bought a bunch of beauty products. I also crashed on my blades and gave my knee a fairly nasty scraping, earning myself something that has good odds of becoming a pretty large patch of scar tissue, and also rendering me unable to do squats because I can’t bend my knee when the patch is this tender.

But let me tell you about the skin care.

Paula Begoun has been writing about the skin care world, and what in it is evidence based and what is not, since the 80s. Turns out the world of beauty products is almost as prone to myth and the strident neglect of reality as the world of complementary medicine is (*coughhomeopathycough*). I shudder to think of the adolescent days when my dermatologist prescribed me alcohol swabs for my angry red zits. About as wrong a thing you can do to acne, short of, you know, putting food on your face or something. Eventually, Paula opened her own line of products, and, aww yeaaah, it’s all evidenced based. Get this, the product descriptions online each come with citations of peer-reviewed research explaining the use of each ingredient. It’s a vision of Utopia, truly.

I already had a good cleanser, so I got myself some toner, an exfoliant, a serum, and a sunscreen. Between all this and my recent introduction to the phenomenon that is tooth mousse, my bed time and morning routines have gotten a lot longer lately. On the hand, my skin is noticably softer, and I am optimistic that these two visible-only-to-me-yet-present sun spots, that horrifically appeared on my cheek in the last few months, will fade by the time of the wedding. Because with careful daily sun protection, the time that is estimated to take is six months.

But don’t worry, I have been panicking on more directly related to wedding stuff too. Like what I’m going to wear to my wedding. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on that! For a day, this blog is going to abandon its thoughts only ethos, and join the Pretty Pretty party of frivolity. There’s going to be pictures.

*I can’t not systematise everything, apparently. When I was an undergrad I worked out very precisely how many hours to spend on each assignment based on the proportion of my final grade they counted for. I was like, “I need to spend 10 hours writing this essay”. It’s a compulsion.