Bridal Beauty Tips

A big part of what I do is wedding makeup. I love working with brides, and my favorite thing to hear at a wedding makeup trial is “It’s exactly what I pictured!” Bridal makeup needs to be a look that the bride feels like herself in, something that will photograph well, and of course, something that will last.

If you’re getting married in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, hopefully you’ll contact me for your wedding makeup services! But if not, or even if you will be working with me and haven’t had your trial yet, here are some factors to consider before having your trial or day-of makeup done.

1) To show up in photography, bridal makeup needs to be more intense than everyday makeup. This doesn’t mean foundation has to be caked on, or you have to wear red lipstick or dark eyeshadow colors. It means that eyeliner may be heavier than usual or blush may be a brighter or deeper shade than you normally go for. It shouldn’t be so intense that you feel uncomfortable, but keep in mind that a slightly heavier application will make for much better pictures (which are, after all, your visual memories from the day!) A good makeup artist knows how to strike the balance between what will photograph well and what a bride is comfortable wearing.

2) There may be 12 or more hours between when you get your makeup done and the last dance, so product longevity is important. For this reason, skin primers, eye primers, powders and setting sprays are key. If you book with Allison Barbera Beauty, we will provide you with a touchup lipstick and oil blotting sheets to keep your makeup looking fresh on your wedding day. If not, ask your maid of honor to hold onto some touchup products for you.

3) When it comes to mascara, waterproof is the only way to go. Even if you’re not a crier, the long day and factors like humidity and rain can cause mascara smudging. Why risk it?

4) Your makeup color palette should reflect your tastes, but beware of choosing colors that are too trendy. That’s the quickest way to look dated in your pictures. I recommend that brides stick to more neutral colors for eye makeup. If you want the focus on your eyes, it’s better to choose colors that will compliment your eye color rather than compete with it (if you use an experienced makeup artist, they will know which colors will do this).

5) A red lip can be gorgeous, and if that’s your signature thing, rock on. But if you don’t normally wear a red (or any strong shade), remember that these colors are high maintenance. That means more touchups throughout the day. If that’s not your style, maybe try a strong lip for your bachelorette party or bridal shower, which will be shorter events with more chances for you to re-apply.

6) If you are going with a makeup artist and don’t have pictures of looks you like, and he or she doesn’t either, make sure you know what beauty terms and references actually mean. If you say you want a 1960s look, be clear about what it is you like about the look. Each decade had at least a few big looks, so knowing which one you like is important. (Don’t believe me? Check out pictures of Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot. Same decade, very different eye makeup.) A good makeup artist will ask you lots of questions anyway, but it’s still smart to be able to articulate what you want, or have pictures that you can pinpoint what you like in them.

7) Many brides say that they want a “natural” look, and that’s great. Just know that a true natural look is going to be colors close to your skin tone, with a focus on perfected skin and contouring and highlighting. If you’re the type of girl who could blow a week’s paycheck at Sephora, the natural look may not be your thing. I find that some people say “natural” because they are afraid of caked on makeup, but a good makeup artist won’t do that to you anyway!

8) False lashes do make a difference. I use flare lashes (little bunches of lashes) as opposed to strip lashes because they allow me to add more to build the level of “drama,” where with strip lashes, you either have them on or you don’t. I also find that the flare lashes stay on much better, and because of their design, they don’t lift off the lash base, like strip lashes can.

9) If you’re wearing a veil that comes down over your face, skip the lipgloss. The stickiness of a gloss is like a magnet for veils, which can leave you with lip color stains on your veil.

10) One of the best things you can do to make your wedding makeup look gorgeous is to take care of your skin. In the months leading up to your wedding, make sure that you are diligent about cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. If you get facials or want to start doing that, that is beneficial as well. And please, bride-to-be, no pimple popping! This can cause scarring on the skin, and if you pick pick pick too close to your wedding, you may end up with a scabbed over blemish that is hard to conceal.

If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve already got a lot on your plate, so hopefully this has been helpful. Enjoy your big day 🙂

Lip Service: Rodan + Fields Dermatologists ANTI-AGE Lip Renewing Serum Review

My name is Allison, and I’m a lip balm addict. I can’t concentrate on anything if my lips feel dry or chapped. And no matter how great my lipstick or gloss is, I know it will look horrible if my lips are peeling. I try to keep my lips conditioned at all times, and over the years, I’ve managed to get them to a good place, but I had the feeling I needed one more product to push me into lip nirvana.

I think I’ve found that product in the ANTI-AGE Lip Renewing Serum from Rodan + Fields Dermatologists. It’s not a lip balm, it’s a lip treatment. It comes in little silver capsules, and I was able to get up to six uses out of each capsule. The directions say to apply a whole capsule each time, but I didn’t feel that I needed that much product. Maybe it’s because I have tiny lips, I don’t know. But I found that the small amounts I was using did the job, and I don’t believe in using more product than you need.

I applied the lip serum every night, and after day two, my lips felt considerably softer and fuller. Two days! My lips are thin, especially the top one, and I found that this product plumped them up considerably. There was no stinging or tingling with this serum (and if you’ve tried other lip plumpers before, you are probably familiar with that particular unpleasantness.) And unlike some serums, this one is not sticky. It absorbs fairly quickly, and there is no gross taste or scent.

The Lip Renewing Serum claims to smooth lip wrinkles and lines, but since I don’t have those, I can’t comment on that. I will, however, tell you that an esthetician friend of mine who has for years been on a quest for a product to combat lip wrinkles and lines loves this lip serum. She actually said it changed her life!

The container of capsules sells for $53, and that includes 60 capsules. I could get several months’ use out of one container, but even if you do find you need to use a whole capsule each time, I don’t think $53 for two months worth of lip serum is expensive. Serums are made to target certain issues, so they contain concentrated amounts of active ingredients that are able to penetrate the skin in a way that more topical products can not. Think of them as the shot of espresso of the beauty world. For that reason, I’d doubt the effectiveness of a very inexpensiveness serum. I’ve yet to find any in that category that actually work.

If your goal is softer, fuller, smoother lips, this is truly a good product to try. Check out the website below to order.

Lashing Out: Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Primer & Natural Lash Enhancing Mascara Review

I do a lot of mascara reviews, because, hey, I love mascara. I am serious about lashes. So a decent mascara just doesn’t cut it for me. I need length, lots of volume, and staying power.

My wonderful cousin, Maria, gave me a Christmas gift that included a sample bag of Tarte products. The MultiplEYE Lash Primer and MultiplEYE Natural Lash Enhancing Mascara were part of this bag, so of course, I tried them first. Some primer and mascara combos share one double-ended tube, but the Tarte pair are independent. That’s a trait I admire.

The primer is white, like every other lash primer I’ve ever encountered. The wand is a standard, narrow wand, but it has a tapered tip. This allows the product to get to the lash roots, which is where the volume building starts. The mascara looks the same, but it’s black. (Disclaimer: I used the trial sized primer and mascara, but I’m guessing the full size is just a magnified version. The wands are usually the same.)

I’ve been using these two products for a few weeks, and I prefer to do the primer then mascara on my top lashes. I did one try with just the mascara on the top lashes and it was good, but they definitely work better together. On my bottom lashes, I usually only the mascara. There is definitely a difference with the primer, but unless I’m going for a certain look, I usually want less volume and length on my bottom lashes anyway.

The mascara alone is on the dry side, but when it’s applied over the primer, it doesn’t seem dry. The two together make a huge difference in length and volume. With only two or three coats, I’m able to get a ton of drama. Several times, people have asked me if I was wearing false lashes when I’ve had this combo on. I’ve experienced zero flaking or smudging issues with this mascara (even on my bottom lashes, where I use the mascara sans primer), nor is it especially difficult to remove.

My only complaint is that it’s not quite as pigmented as I like. But that’s an easy fix–a coat or two of a super black mascara does the trick.

I like the primer and the mascara so much that I’m going to actually buy them! They will be allowed into my Elite Lash Club, which only includes Dior Diorshow, Make Up Forever Smoky Lash, and Clinique High Lengths. If we’re talking a 1-10 scale here, this primer and mascara combo gets a 9.

You can buy Tarte products at Sephora.