Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What's On Your Vanity?

The Wedding Edition
Photo by Melissa Koren
Sukey Murphy is a wedding guru. She is sharing her story of her own wedding day beauty woes today along with some tips for how to make your day a glamorous one. Sukey is a wonderful bloggie friend, and I am dying to try out some of her recommendations!

Sukey writes:
I write the wedding styling blog Dress For The Wedding, and I was introduced to Meredith by our mutual blog friend Jen, at The Elizabeth Letter. Meredith and I soon found we had a ton in common. We're both originally from New England, we are both now adjusting to life in other states, we embrace any show on Bravo, and we love chevrons! I love how the blogging world brings new friendships!

One reason I think of my wedding so frequently when I'm doing my makeup is because I have one of my wedding photos on my vanity counter. It may sound hokey, but looking at it each day reminds me to try to carry out each day in the same spirit of love that was so present on my wedding day. On the more superficial side, I still think of wedding-related things while I'm at my vanity because I turned to many of the products I use now after my own wedding beauty experimentation and resulting disasters.

It's Those Darn Wedding Checklists!

I'm usually a kind of low-to-medium-maintenance lady, but when I got engaged I was goaded by those pre-wedding checklists into participating in what I consider moderate-to-high maintenance activities: bi-weekly manicures, highlights, and an official dermatologist-prescribed skin care routine. Sadly, through this process, I learned I'm actually lowish-maintenance for a reason. I'm highly sensitive to the chemicals and smells that sometimes accompany these routines.

Here were my pretty dismal results: The acrylic nails made my nailbeds turn red and itch. The trip to the dermatologist and her fancy salicylic acid peel, resulted in an allergic reaction that made my eyes swell shut.  I stopped plucking eyebrows so the makeup artist could reshape them, so I went through my engagement photos and shower with stray hairs everywhere. Somehow one of my otherwise subtle highlights ended up looking like a skunk-like streak that revealed itself in certain angles when exposed to camera flashes. It also rained on my wedding day, so my makeup and hair drooped after about 15 minutes never to return to its intended glory.  I've probably looked better on some trips to the grocery store than I did on my wedding day.

I took all of this as a lesson that I should not attempt a high maintenance beauty lifestyle. I also later realized how silly it was that I felt justified in shelling out a lot money to attempt to look perfect for a few hours at my wedding, but on an average day I would feel guilty spending that kind of money on products for myself.

I now remind myself it’s good to take care of my skin and general health everyday, even if it means spending a little more, and I’ve realized that it’s okay to surround myself with things like flowers, nice stationery, and good food even when 150 people won’t be there to witness it all coming together. Through all my wedding beauty disasters, I also realized that the allergic reactions I encountered were really my body's way of saying "Hey - there's something unnatural in here - stay away!” Since then, I've really tried to buy natural, organic, or holistic products as much as possible. It has taken a little trial and error, but here are my favorite "can't imagine life without them" products that currently on or in my vanity.

Want the low-down on Sukey's vanity?  Continue reading after the break.

The Products

Makeup Bag:  Here’s something I wouldn't change about my wedding! I bought all of my bridesmaids a small makeup bag from Sweet Sugar Beet on Etsy and filled it with all kinds of stuff. The shop owner was great about allowing me to customize bags, and my bridesmaids loved them. I liked them so much I got a set for myself in various sizes.

Eyelash Curler:  I have a very squinty smile, and I am always dismayed by pictures where my eyes are almost invisible. While I'll never be called doe-eyed, the eyelash curler is my number one go-to to make my eyes at least 20% bigger (unscientific figure, total visual guesstimate).

Dr.Hauschka Cleansing Milk:  This cleansing milk really removes makeup thoroughly and leaves my skin soft. Per the Dr. Hauschka cleansing regimen, you shouldn't use any moisturizer after the cleansing milk at night, which actually encourages your skin to even itself out and regenerate.

Dr.Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream:  This is the face cream that I use in the morning after I wash my face. It absorbs into your skin almost instantly and I see my skin actually perk up immediately.

Jane Iredale Lid Primer:  Jane Iredale is my other natural skin care go-to. I bought this because a makeup artist once told me I had oily eyelids (Gee, thanks!) But it was true – anything I put on my lids used to just slide off. It actually moisturizes and helps a makeup grip bit.

Jane Iredale Circle /Delete:  This is supposed to be mainly an under-eye concealer, but I love the texture so much that I use it more for concealer/highligher all over my face.

Dr.Hauschka Revitalizing Eye Cream:  This gets my gold star award for one of my best beauty product purchases ever. It can be over $50 for a teeny .38 oz tube, but I have had that very tube for 7 months, and I’ve used maybe 1/5th of it. I use it every day, sometimes twice a day, and I’ve barely made a dent in the thing.

Dr.Hauschka Foundation:  At first the color seemed a little ruddy on my super-pale skin, and it has a little scent to it that makes it earthy smelling. Now I’m completely used to it and realized the ruddiness was just high pigmentation, and the color actually works perfectly for me especially when used in conjunction with the Jane Iredale concealer and when blended with a brush.

Aura Cacia “Panic Button" Spray Mist:  I bought this as a little novelty joke gift for myself. I soon found out this Aura Cacia stuff really does soothe me. Because it is a natural blend of essential oils, I can use it as an non-irritating air freshener and I also spray a little on my pillow to give it a nice calming lavender smell.

Dr.Hauschka Pressed Powder:  I like this because, unlike other powder, it doesn’t clog or irritate my skin, it is very translucent, and doesn’t look overly white in pictures.

Dr.Hauschka Eyeshadow:  This palette contains 4 colors of white, light brown, and dark brown neutrals.

Dr.Hauschka Rouge Powder:  I have a hard time finding the right blush color, but I’m really happy with this set. It has two hues of pink in there.

Retractable Foundation Brush / Dual Sided Makeup Brushes:  I don’t always watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, but when I do, I spend a good amount of the time wondering how Kim Kardashian gets her makeup to be so perfect. This drove me to YouTube one day where I watched a video of how she applies her makeup. After seeing the number of brushes she uses, I realized that maybe my own finger blending method wasn’t going to cut it. I purchased this inexpensive little set of brushes from CVS, and it actually does make a huge difference.

Liquid Pen Eyeliner:  Not a natural product, but I can’t do the true liquid eyeliner without dripping – this pen makes it much easier.

Dr.Hauschka Liner in Espressivo:  A nice dark brown kohl pencil that has lasted forever. I use it daily and I love how it blends!

Dr.Hauschka Mascara:  Great for daily use because there is no irritation, but I confess, I sometimes go for the Maybelline Falsies kind when I want my eyes to be a lot bigger.

Well, that certainly is quite a long list of products from someone claiming to be so low-maintenance, but that's what's on/in my vanity and would be my recommendation for keeping a consistent, healthy skin care regimen both for wedding days, and just be your natural, beautiful self on your wedding day!

Thanks so much, Sukey, for all the wonderful advice you've put together! 

1 comment:

  1. I spy some Tom's of Maine toothpaste, too! Love that!