how to, interviews, makeup

How To: Wedding Makeup That Doesn't Suck


A while back I went to a makeup event at the the W Hotel in Westwood. Remember? They were filming The Hills with Heidi’s sister and mom? That totally made it into the second to last episode! Anyway. At the event, I met Bare Escentuals makeup artist, Amber Blasco. She did my makeup and introduced me to some amazing Bare Escentuals products that I cannot live without, like all their mascara, lip glosses and eyeshadows. (By the way, do you recognize who Amber is makeup in the top pic? That’s my looove Jennifer Carpenter from Dexter!) When Amber did my makeup, she made my eyes look better than I have ever seen them look–she is a true artist! We talked a bit about wedding makeup and I knew I had to do a full-scale HOTB interview with her! So check it out: Amber answered all of my annoying wedding makeup questions, but seriously, this advice is great for everyone! Not just those about to head down the aisle, like I am about to do in exactly 8 1/2 hours. 😉

Hair On The Brain: For cry-prone brides, do you have any tips for keeping your eye makeup from running and smudging?

Amber Blasco: Definitely test out waterproof mascara prior to your wedding day to ensure it doesn’t run. I’d recommend putting it on at 7am and wearing it until at least 10pm that evening to see how it performs. Lash Builders help to extend mascara wear and give the appearance of full, feathery lashes. They are worth the investment.  It’s also important to wear a waterproof or water-resistant lash liner. Again, testing it out prior to your wedding day is key. If you don’t want to spend the money testing products, or don’t have the time, just let your makeup artist know that this is important when discussing your look for the wedding day. She or he should know exactly what you use during the trial run and then you can test it out to see how it works for you.


HOTB: Lots of brides are stressed out and tired right up until their wedding day. What can you do to help diminish or hide under eye circles and puffiness?

Amber: There are a few tricks. Avoiding alcohol the night before is a big one. It can lead to fluid retention and puffiness around the eyes. Also, if an eye cream has a rich texture, the delicate eye area can absorb too much product. As a result, you can potentially end up with an overly hydrated and puffy eye. Using an extremely lightweight eye cream the night before will help. I love the RareMinerals Active Triple Treatment Eye Cream. It was engineered not only to gently hydrate, but also to de-puff the eye area.  I swear by it.

As far as makeup goes, it’s important to select a peach based concealer to correct the appearance of a dark under eye. That way you can apply a lot less product, and, in turn, achieve a more natural finish. Just don’t go outside the darker under-eye area with a peach based concealer, or else you will see a demarcation! If you still feel like you look tired, try dusting a luminizer around the outer portion of the orbital bone, such as bareMinerals Flawless Radiance, to add an instant boost and lift to the eye.  One last big one that will “wake up” the eye area is filling in the brows. It will lift the focal point of the eye makeup up about an inch or so, giving the eye area a youthful, open and fresh look.

HOTB: Summer is prime wedding time, but it’s also the time of the year when greasy skin is most prevalent. How do you keep skin flawless, glowy and non-greasy?

Amber: I think a lot of women accidentally use the same skincare year round. If your makeup tends to melt off in the summer, it’s a good time to update to a more lightweight moisturizer and eye cream. I find foundation and eyelid primers are a huge help as well. It seems like an extra step in the morning, but it takes a lot longer to touch up mid-day when makeup is starting to look worn. For a glowy, yet non-greasy effect, it’s all about proper placement on the face with your favorite luminizer. Avoid applying it on your T-zone, but definitely use a luminous blush and lip gloss. This will make your overall look radiant, but not greasy looking.

HOTB: What are your favorite blotting papers?

Amber: I feel like they all pretty much perform the same. It’s better to use an oil control primer before applying makeup to help prevent oil break through. It’s less work, and it keeps makeup in place rather than smearing it around or disturbing its appearance like oil blotting sheets tend to do.

HOTB: Stress often leads to breakouts. How should you deal with a last minute zit?

Amber: If you have times when you know you’re going to be stressed and you’re also very busy, place a good acne preventative exfoliator in your shower to use in the morning. It will help slough off dead skin cells and prevent break outs. If you wake up with a zit or constellation of zits (ugh, don’t you hate it when that happens?), use a gentle, healing concealer, such as bareMinerals multi-tasking concealers. They won’t contribute to further breakouts or irritation. Applying the concealer with a taklon brush will give a smooth, natural finish, but also a lot of coverage if you so desire. If you want to heal the blemish during the day, Blemish Therapy works great when used in conjunction with foundation; or it can be used before bed to heal you while you sleep. That way you can have 24 hours of treatment on your skin and get rid of the zits more quickly.

HOTB: What’s the best way to make sure your makeup stays put all night?

Amber: Primers will change your life forever! Foundation and eyelid primer help more than you think. It’s essential to use both products for flawless extended wear.

HOTB: In your opinion, spray tan or no spray tan? It would be nice to have an all-over glow of  color… But not so nice to be orange or have the tan rub off on your dress!

Amber: I say do whatever makes you feel confident and beautiful! If that means getting a professional spray tan, go for it. If you feel great about rocking out your fair skin, go for it! Celebrities themselves go either way on this sort of thing. It really depends on what you’re wearing and what look you would like to achieve.

HOTB: What makeup tricks would you recommend to really make your eyes standout in photographs?

Amber: There are a lot of ways to accomplish a stunning eye for photos and it starts with filling in your brows to frame your eye makeup. Proceed by brightening your eye lid with your under eye concealer. Using a blending brush, place a medium toned matte crease color (preferably close to the color that you use to fill in your brows) slightly above your natural crease line for a natural doe-eyed look. If you don’t feel like dealing with the application of false lashes, lining the lash line with a gel liner that matches your mascara (brown, black, or navy; Buxom Lashliner is great for this) will lend a false lash effect. Finish with a volumizing mascara and you’re set. This is a more user friendly and less time consuming way to make your eyes pop without a lot of effort on your part. If you have extra time, line the lower waterline with the same gel liner used on the upper lash line.  Finish with highlighting the outer 3rd of your brows and the inner corner of your eyes with a matte eye shadow that is three shades lighter than your foundation shade. It’s all about appearing natural and fresh with wide doe eyes. You don’t want to look like you’ve tried too hard.

HOTB: Any recommendations for brides when looking for a makeup artist for the big day?

Amber: Makeup artists adore making brides feel amazing for one of the biggest days of their lives! If you’re happy, then we’re happy. With that being said, it’s a good idea to shop around and ask your friends for recommendations, or check online for someone who specializes in bridal makeup. Just like with hair, if you dig his or her own personal makeup style, you will probably like how he or she applies makeup. Don’t be afraid to show the artist magazine clippings of what you are looking for. This helps to specifically clarify how you want to look, and any makeup artist can modify this idea to what fits your features best.

HOTB: And do you have a favorite makeup trick you would like to share?

Amber: Sure! I love giving out tips. Are you tired of buying the same lip gloss and lipstick over and over? The best way to update your lip color and get out of a rut is to shop for your lip products without any blush on your cheeks. People tend to purchase the same lip products over and over because they are typically trying it on with the blush they normally wear. Blush and lip products should be in the same color family; so if you want to change your look, you’ve got to change both products. For example, applying a plum-based blush and wearing it with a peachy gloss looks off. There are no real rules with what you can or can’t pull off as far as colors go; it just comes down to coordinating it properly. Have fun with it, and experiment! If you aren’t sure if certain colors coordinate, don’t be afraid to ask the makeup artist for suggestions. If there isn’t a makeup artist around, striping the color on your wrist will be sufficient. You’ll know right away if the colors work together or not.

Are you looking for an amazing mascara and never can find the perfect formula that does it all? If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to layer different formulas together after curling your lashes. I like it when a thickening mascara is used for the first coat, and then a volumizing mascara is applied for the second coat. The overall finish is total dynamite! If you feel tired, apply a navy mascara on the tips of your upper lashes for the third coat. This will instantly make you look more crisp and awake.  Want even more drama? Line the upper waterline with a gel liner to further add to the effect. This is an unassuming way to accent your lashes in a dramatic way.

There are so many great makeup tips here, Amber! Thank you so much! Amber is a National Makeup Artist for Bare Escentuals and she works in Los Angeles. If you would like to contact her for wedding makeup or any professional makeup application, her email is