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How (and Why) to Chill Out for Your Wedding


See Natalie Nunn. See Natalie Nunn throw things – hissey fits in particular – at her wedding. See what a bad idea that is.

I had – blessedly – never heard of Natalie Nunn before she showed up on Bridezillas. For two weeks now she’s been screaming on my television about how she shouldn’t have to pay for her wedding because she’s rich and famous and has people pay her to show up at parties… and there’s another week with the actual wedding to go.

She also, apparently, doesn’t have a clue what a wedding reception is.

She’s actually not the worst person on the show this season. It’s true. There was the woman on the Bridezillas staff who threw her dog (and real soulmate!) into the wedding cake because she was honked off that her groom had bought a birthday cake from a grocery store bakery section, scraped off the Happy Birthday, and written an apology on it.

Yeah, tell me that wasn’t scripted… which only makes it worse.

But this article really isn’t about Bridezillas or trying to figure out who was the worst of the worst of the season. It’s about the thing that makes so many of these women entirely lose their minds (well, in the actual spontaneous moments of the show) and make other brides and grooms all over the world lose their collective marbles whilst planning their weddings: stress.
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Short Locks, But Long on Drama


All too often brides to be assume they have to grow out their tresses to look dramatic and beautiful on their wedding days. This, however, is not the case.

In point of fact, it’s all about the right cut combined with the right accessories.

For instance, that look up top? A combination of relatively short curls with a multi-layer bandeau is a look that has roots in the Napoelonic era, but it’s just as fabulous today.

And there are other great options, too.
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LOVE/HATE: Pre-Wedding Fake Tan

I don’t get it. I never got it. Years ago, I did try tanning before fear of UV rays and their potentially cancerous effect became widely discussed. It didn’t work on me. I come of the Transparent Peoples. We come in two shades: lily white and lobster red. There ain’t nothing in between the two, no way, no how. Our burns do not fade to tans. They just peel a lot. In the words of the late, great Warren Zevon, it ain’t that pretty at all.

I knew that I couldn’t tan, so I stopped trying. I live in sunscreen and dress in colors that bring out the best in my pale skin and dark eyes and hair.

It never once occurred to me to get a fake tan for my wedding, but I know there are a lot of women would no more consider walking the aisle to their beloved pale and interesting, as the Victorians put it, than they would consider doing so in a fright wig and galoshes three sizes too big. Those women, if they don’t tan easily and naturally or if they live in areas not conducive to tanning at the time of year they intend to marry, often get some sort of applied tan.

Maybe it’s the number of horror stories I’d heard of spray tan gone wrong. Maybe it was the shock of my first sight of George Hamilton.
Maybe it’s all those years I did theater and had to make up in bizarre and sometimes torturous ways, but I couldn’t imagine spraying on a tan on my wedding day. I did basic, subtle street make up with a slightly more lavish hand to avoid looking washed out in the photos… and then I expected my photographer to know how not to overexpose the shots or take a lot of photos that made me look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. I chose to wear a shade of white that made the most of my natural skin tone. I looked fabulous, if I do say so myself.

So yeah, I do kind of HATE the idea of fake tans on brides.

What about you?

Inked Beauty


(Illustration via F@#k Yeah Tattooed Brides)
When I was a small child, nobody but sailors, convicts, and Very Naughty People had tattoos. Even my father who spent some seventeen years at sea between the Navy and the Merchant Marines never got one.

But that was a very long time and a different world ago. Tattoos stopped being so very controversial some time ago. But there’s one place where people tend to avoid talking about them, or treat them like a bad smell to be gotten rid of, and that’s the world of weddings.

After all, brides and their maids are all innocent, pure, genteel, or else they wouldn’t be getting married, would they? Yeah, right, and I’m Marie of Romania.
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The Thing About Bridal Sizing


There’s one aspect of shopping for a wedding gown and bridesmaid’s dresses that horrifies an awful lot of women: the size tags in the dresses.

So let’s talk about that.

I’m guessing every woman reading this blog has at some time or another taken a piece of clothing in her usual size into a dressing room only to discover that it doesn’t fit correctly. Depending on the general cut and the vagaries of non-standardized size charts, you may find yourself unable to pull those pants over your thighs, let alone any higher! Or you may slip on that dress only to discover you could slip two of you into it.

Well, for some reason unexplained to the world, the sizing in bridal runs smaller than average… a lot smaller. As in two to three sizes smaller than the same size in an average line of clothing.
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Wear What You Want


(Illustration via Wedding Dress Online)

The other day on the Huffington Post wedding page, in the Ask Amsale column, a bride asked what to do if she doesn’t look good in white.

Amsale tells the bride to look into a gown in ivory, blush, caffe, or champagne.

Those are all good suggestions… as far as they go. But there’s an important thing to keep in mind: what color you wear makes no difference to the legality or spiritual significance of your wedding, or the commitment you feel in your marriage. White or a neutral color is not required to be a bride.

So pick a color you like, look and feel good in. You are still a bride whether you wear white, pink, bright orange, ice blue, kelly green, or purple like the woman in the photo at top of this article. My own beloved mother wore scarlet from head to toe – including her stockings! – at her 1959 wedding to my father. When she died more than thirty years later, they were still in love.

That’s the part that matters. Not what color the dress is.

Make a Spectacle of Yourself!


(Illustration via Cap Classique)

It’s been quite a while since I talked about brides in glasses here, so I thought I’d discuss it a bit today.

Most of us know Dorothy Parker’s quip:

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses

But you know what? Men do. And women do. And some of those men and women who do make passes at girls in glasses wind up marrying them.

If you’re one of those brides who wears glasses, there’s good news! In decades past, nearly everyone would have advised you to leave off your specs and simply crash adorably into walls when you aren’t specifically on someone’s arm. This, though, is bad advice and the world is beginning to get the heck over it.
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