Lately, I’ve been spending some time figuring out beauty stuff for the wedding. I’ve been trying to suss out how to handle my hair, since I’ve started wearing it naturally instead of straightening it. So I’ve been experimenting with lots of new products. I’ve been scouting out salons for manicures, brows, etc, and making appointments. And I’ve been trying to nail down the makeup situation.
I am someone who wears makeup every day, but it’s very minimal and takes me all of five minutes. The only time I’ve ever worn foundation was when I had my makeup done for another wedding. But what I hear from everyone is that I really should wear foundation on the wedding day, because, you know, the pictures—they last forever and don’t I want to look good in them? So I spent the day yesterday makeup shopping at expensive department store counters with some (more experienced) friends. I walked away, thankfully, with a ton of samples, and the decision made that I would, indeed wear foundation to the wedding. And that entails blush/bronzer and powder—a whole host of things that I wasn’t planning on using. But, you know, I do want to look nice at the wedding, and I do want to look good in the pictures. So there you go.
The pressure to look absolutely perfect at your wedding is incredible. A bride is supposed to be the thinnest she’s ever been, with a perfectly made up face and coiffed hair, sprayed to within an inch of its life. It doesn’t matter what you usually look like; rules for a bride are completely different. For example, I’ve been told that it doesn’t matter if I hate wearing my hair up; this is my wedding and wearing it down just would not be good enough. Now granted, this advice came from strangers and/or acquaintances (why are they giving me wedding advice anyway?), but I think it reflects the general expectation for brides.
I’ve had a hard time balancing bridal expectations with my own comfort level and values. I do think that a wedding is a special day, with a special dress (at least for me). So, there’s nothing wrong with dressing up my face and hair as well. And buying and shopping for makeup has been super fun; I’ve always liked makeup, so I’ve enjoyed indulging myself with nicer products than what I would usually buy. I will wear more makeup and more hair spray at the wedding then I normally would. But at the end of the day (both literally and figuratively), I want to look like myself. Just a dressier version of myself.
I would never want to look at the pictures later on and feel like I was unrecognizable. How I look should reflect the fact that I am entering into this marriage as my whole self, flaws and all. It should also reflect that this is a special occasion, not just an ordinary day. That’s what I want to think about as I plan my look; I want to leave behind the expectations of the bride as pretty, pretty princess.