#322. Why I’ll Probably Never Do Airbrushed Makeup Again

It takes a lot of goop to look this good-ish.
It takes a lot of goop to look this good-ish.

Until 2014, I’d never been in a wedding.

As the saying goes, Always a personal attendant, never a bridesmaid.

In fact, the first wedding I stood up in was my own. How weird is that?! I loved it.

Even weirder, in the six months after my wedding, I’ve been a bridesmaid twice. Most recently at my brother’s wedding in California.

Shari (the stunning bride and my new sister-in-law!) and the rest of us ladies got gussied up at the St Regis hotel. As you can see from the pictures, it’s a total dump.

Since my hair is three inches long, I opted out of getting it professionally done. So when the makeup artist asked if I wanted to upgrade my makeup from the standard stuff to airbrush, I was like,


She said it would last longer than regular makeup, be sweat/tears proof and look flawless in photos. That all sounded great to me. Plus, I’d never tried airbrushed makeup before and celebs are all into that stuff, right?

I did have just a twinge of anxiety.

I didn’t want to look ridiculous in person. I mean, a mega makeup look isn’t may jam. But whatever, I’ll give it a try!

The makeup lady did my eyes first, then began the loooong process of airbrushing my foundation. She told me to stay still and expressionless so the spray wouldn’t congregate in my smile/forehead lines. Then, she started spraying. It went a little something like this:

The airbrushing felt like it took 10 full minutes, but I’m sure it was quicker than that. When she was done, I opened my eyes and immediately saw Shari’s wide-eyed, panicked face.


Now, please keep in mind, I did not have a mirror handy. So this made me panic, too. I reminded myself that I’d chosen this airbrush thing and it was too late to turn back.

Next, false eyelashes were added and lipstick applied. Makeup lady then handed me a mirror.

Applying me false eyelashes, matey! Also, seeing my skin up close = incentive to keep getting facials. 
Applying me false eyelashes, matey! Also, seeing my skin up close = incentive to keep getting facials.


The look was aggressive, to say the least. But hey, it’d wear off a bit in the 90 minutes between now and the wedding, right? And once I’m in my dress and jewelry, it would look great…. right?

I hoped so.

As I sipped champagne in my yoga clothes/red carpet makeup, I got a call from my husband. He was delivering a gift for Shari from my brother and asked if I could meet him the hotel lobby. I said sure.

And then I panicked some more.

Josh doesn’t really like when I wear a lot of makeup, so I knew he probably wouldn’t dig this look. However, when I approached him in the lobby, I was pleasantly surprised.

“You look so beautiful!”

Aw, thanks, honey! I smiled and went in for a hug. He then gave me a quizzical look.

“…from a distance.”

Ah, crap! I didn’t even take offense because I totally, 100 percent agreed! Between laughs, I assured him that by the time the wedding rolled around, all this would be toned down… which I knew was probably a lie.


The wedding was beautiful. Sunny, 70 degrees, and lots of tears from everyone. As promised, my makeup stayed put! And yes, it looked nice in photos:

Ready for my close up, Mr. Seville. 
Ready for my close up, Mr. Seville.
Bridesmaids with the mother of the bride. Cheers!
Bridesmaids with the mother of the bride. Cheers!

The airbrushed makeup delivered on all promises. But (and as I write this, I am saying it in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice), I couldn’t help but wonder:

Should we really be making ourselves look strange in real-life just to look appear ‘flawless’ in the photos?

If this was my wedding, I’d say yeah, probably. But I was just a bridesmaid. The sister of the groom. I wish I’d felt that I looked more like myself that day, regardless of how the photos turn out.

I loved getting my makeup done. Fake eyelashes? The best! But next time, I’ll keep it more natural.

Because real life should always be better than the pictures.

My hubby carrying me on the beach. I love this guy. 
My hubby carrying me on the beach. I love this guy.

* * *

PS On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, here’s what I learned when I skipped on makeup for a full week. Beauty maven Elizabeth Dehn shares how she turned her passion project into a budding empire. And remember that time I waxed my armpits? It was pretty hilarious.

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Comments (6)

  • Diana 6 years ago Reply

    I thought the pictures looked great! I had (non-airbrushed) make up done for my wedding, and thought it looked excessive…but when I look at pics, I think it looks awesome. Makes me wonder what I actually look like once I leave the house on a regular day.

    molly mogren katt 6 years ago Reply

    First of all, your skin is PERFECT to begin with. Would not think twice about leaving the house without it!

    I think the airbrushed makeup looks awesome in the photos, but in real life it’s just too much. I had non-airbrushed makeup at my wedding and loved it. It was great in photos while I still managed to look like myself.

  • Jina 6 years ago Reply

    "Should we really be making ourselves look strange in real-life just to look appear ‘flawless’ in the photos?" (which, btw, you do look flawless in those pics!) >> I have the SAME thoughts! I had airbrush done once for a photo shoot and felt like I was all dolled up for my own wake. I mean… so much make up!

    molly mogren katt 6 years ago Reply

    JINA! I said the exact same thing to Josh: I feel like I’m dressed up for my own funeral! So funny.

    But really, I don’t think I’d recommend this to anyone who is going to an EVENT. Photo shoot, sure. Event, especially one like a wedding where you’re interacting with people you know and love, I’d still opt for professional makeup (fun!), just not airbrush.

  • Jenny 6 years ago Reply

    I felt the same way about my wedding makeup (which was the regular, non-airbrushed stuff, but professionally applied)! It looked flawless in photos but in person I looked like a bit of a clown. I kept waiting for one of the older guests (read: less inclined to bite their tongues) to say something!

    molly mogren katt 6 years ago Reply

    I totally relate, though I think if you get it done early enough in the day, it does tone down a considerable amount. Still though. EEK!

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