Cakes courtesy of Sylvia Weinstock, Bridal photo copyright Brandwood.co.uk
I love weddings. From the moment I tear open the invitation, I’m filled with excitement. It makes no difference if it’s a backyard BBQ or a black tie fete, I love the love and am always thrilled to share the moment. But let’s cut to the chase here, while you’re promising your everlasting love and devotion to Mr. Right, you’d better look amazing. All eyes upon you Miss soon-to-be Mrs. Right! With camera flashes popping away all day and night, your makeup style not only has to work with your gown, it’s gotta work the room too. So, I’m down on one knee proposing that you say “I do” to having perfect wedding makeup. Read on for some engaging tips on how to create the looks as well as suggestions for outstanding places to tie the knot.
For the Black Tie Affair…
The Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue is “it” for me. Both elegant and formal but not stuffy with a “Don’t worry, you’re in good hands” aura. The Bride and her bridal party will be pampered, and guests will feel honored to be here. I recently chatted with Carolyn Altieri, the catering manager in the hotel’s elegant library bar/lounge. Okay…disclosure time, I got married at the Regency seventeen years ago and loved every moment of my wedding and so a chance to revisit that memory delighted the romantic in me. The Regency holds a maximum of 120 guests, and the elegant, intimate ballroom and adjacent smaller room allow for a seamless flow between ceremony, cocktails and dinner.
At the Regency, the happy couple is graciously offered a complimentary suite for the night. It was pouring buckets on the day of my wedding and I was thrilled to dress, take formal portraits, and have the ceremony and reception all in one place. Some champagne, some tea sandwiches on hand (you know you won’t eat at the party!) and you can get ready for your upcoming nuptials and relax (yeah, right!)
For a wedding this formal, the makeup is Chanel. The Bleu Celestes Eyeshadow Quad, a heavenly combination of a bridal white surrounded by three perfect shades of blue that will make your eyes appear both dreamy and dramatic. Applying your shadow dry will create a more subtle look, while slightly moistened shadow creates a more intense shade. Tony LoSavio, Director of Makeup Artistry for Chanel advises “When applying cheek color it should appear as if you are naturally blushing, or that the natural shape of the cheekbones are enhanced.” Finish it off with your favorite Chanel lipstick. I’m quite partial to their Rouge Allure collection.
Loews Regency Hotel – 540 Park Ave and 61st Street, Contact: Carolyn Altieri at 212-759-4100.
Chanel Cosmetics – fine department stores, www.saks.com
Clarins Lipstick and Redpoint
For the chic, but offbeat Bride with elegant kitsch…
If your friends describe you as fun loving and hip, with an offbeat style, and you posses a “my wedding isn’t going to be like everyone else’s” attitude, you want to hold your affair at Chez Josephine. A tribute to the famous (and infamous) entertainer Josephine Baker, this French restaurant is an ode to her style and flair. In other words, for 1930’s kitsch and glamour with a French accent, zis is zee place, mon cherie!
Chez Josephine is owned by one of Josephine’s adopted children, Jean-Claude Baker, who has an irresistible and flamboyant charm of his own. He says he loves to “create the magic” and will do whatever it takes to make you happy. The unflappable raconteur has even given the bride away when a faraway Dad couldn’t travel to NYC. Jean-Claude swears that no couple who’s ever been married at Chez Josephine has ever divorced.
You can have the Salon Marrakech upstairs if your wedding is no more than thirty people, or you can take over the entire restaurant, complete with grand piano, for a larger soiree of up to one hundred guests. Oh and if you’re having a large wedding somewhere else, consider Chez Josephine for your pre-nuptial dinner the night before.
A vintage dress sets the tone for a face that makes us nostalgic for 1930’s glamour. For a look that’s reminiscent of that era, yet still stylishly au courant, Fatima Olive, Redpoint’s Artistic Director & Spokesperson says that “1930’s movie star perfect looks were based on the classical Greek ideals of beauty. That is, brows arched into a semi circle, but not as thin as the roaring 20’s and the general focus was on the eyes which should appear large and open. That era saw the introduction of pancake makeup and it was used to highlight and shade different parts of the face.” Today, a beautifully sculpted yet still creamy complexion can be had by using Redpoint’s Dual Foundation – two shades in one compact which allows for highlighting, shading and concealing. A subtle wash of gold on the lid from Stila’s Summer Eyeshadow Palette will make eyes wide open and dazzling. Get long, luscious lashes using a classic favorite, Lancôme’s L’Extreme Waterproof Mascara, which will lengthen without clumping and won’t smudge as you party into the wee hours. The lips are really where you can get playful with a look that harkens vintage glam, and Fatima reveals that the beautiful curvy pout was created by drawing the upper lip slightly fuller than the lower. Use your favorite lip liner for this effect and color your mouth gorgeous with Joli Rouge Lipstick by Clarins which feels silky and has long lasting, stay-true color.
Chez Josephine – 414 W. 42nd St, 212-594-1925 or www.chezjosephine.com.
Redpoint – www.redpoint.com, Stila – www.sephora.com, Lancome – fine department stores & www.saks.com, Clarins – Bergdorf Goodman and www.clarinsusa.com
An elegant luncheon at a top tier place…
says you’ve arrived. For the bride who wants less hoopla, yet wants to impress her guests with an invitation to the newest, swankiest place in town, it’s Adour by France’s acclaimed chef, Alain Ducasse. Located in the St. Regis hotel and just opened this winter, Adour is getting rave reviews for its excellent cuisine and impressive wine library. An elegant gathering for up to sixty in this gorgeous room done in burgundy and chardonnay hues will certainly impress guests and give you bragging rights.
What Alain Ducasse is to food, Yves St. Laurent is to beauty and YSL Beaute creates a look that is elegant, sophisticated and confident. Get a flawless glow with Radiant Touch Brush Foundation, the first ever brush and foundation in one. Of course, underneath it, the iconic Touch Eclat pen brush concealer will banish under eye circles and cover small flaws. Polish off your wedding day glow with Sheer Lipstick in a sparkling transparent color. The elegant gold cap also doubles as a mirror for touch ups. Clever!
Adour – [email protected], contact Angela Almonte 212-710-2279.
YSL Beaute – www.yslbeautyus.com
For the hippest bride…
Have a rooftop party at one of the coolest places in town! Dubbed “an urban haven” by Wallpaper, the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District is not the place for a traditional girl. Take over their indoor/outdoor rooftop space and party til the wee hours with a fabulous downtown skyline as your backdrop. Rain? No problem. The outdoor bar area has a retractable glass rooftop in case of a downpour. Hire a hot DJ and invite over 200 of your nearest and dearest A-Listers to party the night away. Though the Gansevoort doesn’t offer a complimentary suite for your wedding night, they will send you some bubbly to pop open and celebrate after the guests have gone.
A party like this starts while it’s still light outdoors and goes on to the wee hours, and the Smashbox Double Take Color Kit will make sure both your day and night looks are equally…well…. smashing! Containing products that do double duty in a plum/espresso palette that goes from daylight pretty to nightlife dramatic, you’ll be able to take your makeup up a notch midparty with just a few quick touches. The kit even includes a “how to” sheet! Make your look go through the roof with Trish McEvoy’s Beauty Booster Lip Gloss with SPF for a brilliant shine as well as sun protection for that air-kissing kisser of yours! Of course, the best makeup applications require the best tools and for cosmetic brushes, Trish has some of the best.
Gansevoort Hotel – 18 Ninth Ave, Contact: Ciro Viscardi 212-660-6727 or www.hotelgansevoort.com.
Smashbox – Available Sephora stores and www.sephora.com, Trish McEvoy – Saks Fifth Avenue stores, www.saks.com
For the bride who channels her inner hippie…
there’s no better place than Woodstock, NY. The beautiful Emerson Resort and Spa will make your wedding a transcendental experience, but fear not, this is no Yasgars Farm! Nestled in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains, just two hours outside NYC, you’ll feel like you’re million miles away in the lush upstate New York countryside. With sophisticated style, the inn boasts a 4-Star spa for pre-wedding pampering and 26 beautiful hotel suites with features like fireplaces and private decks as well as a family-friendly Adirondack style lodge for guests with kids. Your reception can be held outdoors in the Wedding Pavilion or Wedding Garden, or indoors in their banquet hall. The in-house wedding planner will help you make all the arrangements even while you’re busy back in the city still searching for the perfect shoes.
Laura Mercier says that “On your wedding day, the key is to look like you, only more glamorous. You should wear slightly more makeup than you do everyday” And these words couldn’t be truer than for our country bride. Laura’s new line of luxury mineral cosmetics will help you achieve a natural glow. Start with cream foundation primer which will help keep makeup on throughout the day, followed by tinted moisturizer and then set that with the Laura Mercier mineral primer. Laura says, “Avoid heavily pearlized blush or bronzers which will leave you looking oily in photographs”. Line lips and fill in completely and then set with a little translucent powder before applying lipstick. This will insure color that lasts from sunshine to moon glow.
Our experts vow to help your day go more beautifully with these helpful tips:
Trish McEvoy says “Look like yourself, only better” and recommends learning your makeup application three to six months in advance, so it’s second nature by the big day. When buying your wedding day makeup, bring a fabric swatch with you to the makeup counter (or makeup artist) so you choose the right shades for both your complexion and your dress. Keep a small pressed powder with you at all times for quick fixes. Looking good in photos is all about light and dark when it comes to makeup.
Tony LoSavio, Chanel Artistic Director, suggests entrusting your Maid of Honor with a small makeup bag to include pressed powder, lip pencil and lipstick to keep your look fresh all day and night. Tony also warns “not to use anything iridescent on the brow bone as it will catch the flash of the camera and appear overdone in photos.”
And so my beautiful bride, Best Wishes and please save me a piece of that Sylvia Weinstock cake!