October 2020 - Pretty In Bronze

Friday, October 23, 2020

My DIY Wedding Hair
October 23, 20200 Comments


Welcome to the second-last post in my mini wedding series! All that's left is my roundup of the wedding itself (and likely some mention of things that didn't warrant their own post).

My wedding hair was something, like almost everything else, I'd planned for years. I had pins amongst pins of inspiration pictures and watched way too many videos on how to do your own wedding hair. It would be simple: Curl my hair like I always do for special events, and have one of my bridesmaids help me do a twist with a small section from the front of hair so my face could be better seen. Other than that, I'd just need help making sure my celestial hair pins from an Amazon shop named CINRA weren't lopsided.

My hair during the ceremony and the beautiful celestial pins!
The front looks a bit messy, but not too bad!
A twist would've made putting the pins in much easier.

In my previous post all about my wedding makeup I mentioned that I had less than an hour and a half to do my hair and makeup for the wedding. This made me forget a few steps and while the makeup turned out great, I have regrets with the hair. Below is the type of effortless smooth wave I wanted.

Instead, I completely forgot to brush through the curls once they were set to separate them and my hair ended up being very piecy. I didn't realize this until two days after the wedding when we got a sneak peak at the wedding pictures. Thankfully my bridesmaids helped me re-curl a few pieces right before the ceremony started (we'd done photos before the actual wedding) so I found that the hair looked a lot better for the actual ceremony. 

My hair on the way to the park for photos. Clearly rushed.

Re-Curling my hair 15 minutes before the Ceremony.
Gabi pinning everything in place.

Other than doing the Moroccan Keratin Most Effective Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment  at home a week before the wedding, and washing and straightening my the night before, the only other product I used was the Pantene Pro-V Anti-Humidity hair spray (strongest hold), which doesn't appear to exist anymore. It would've worked way better had I brushed through my curls. No wonder why they kept falling out quickly—they were being weighed down by giant ringlets.

The good news is that my hair didn't look bad. I'm also very grateful that my hair is my biggest regret for the wedding. Considering we got married during a global pandemic (that suddenly got worse in Ontario once school started up a few days after our wedding) my hair not looking exactly how I'd imagined it to is a very small first-world problem. 

After getting all of the pictures back, I'm actually ok with how the hair turned out! Obviously I still wish I'd done a better job with it and spent more time making sure I did every step, but in the end it looks decent and I didn't have any extensions in. Plus, everyone at the wedding knows I'm capable and the pictures are for us to enjoy. Even in this series, most pictures are extremely cropped and a lot of them are cellphone photos.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this series and look forward to the final instalment, an overview of the wedding day and how we managed to make our covid wedding happen!

See you soon!

Friday, October 16, 2020

My Wedding Makeup
October 16, 20200 Comments


I'm back with another wedding-day related blog post. This one is all about the makeup I wore and my process in applying it. I'll also be talking about regrets, products I forgot at home, and products I ended up not using last minute. 

Disclaimer: I attempted to link everything in this post, however, most of the links are affiliate (mainly because Magiclinks lets me paste a bunch of products in one go and it creates them for me in bulk). While I can make money if you buy clicking my link, I will say that in my history (years) of using this tool, I've made a whopping 20 cents total! A lot of the links are not affiliate links, but are from random websites because some of these products are old, or aren't available outside of their brand websites.

I messed up by not leaving more time for me to get ready prior to the wedding. I had an hour and fifteen minutes to do my hair AND makeup. That's insane for me considering it takes me two hours to do those on any normal day that I decide I want to look nice. This is my wedding day I'm talking about here and I had much less than that.

Upon jumping out of the shower and being freshly moisturized and with my nighttime skincare routine done (yes I did my nighttime one to look extra moisturized) I sat in my chair and got to work. I had planned on starting with my eyes to ensure my base looked flawless, but in my haste to get ready in time, I jumped right in with my base.

Base Products:

The base probably took me under five minutes to complete due to me practicing my makeup several times leading up to the wedding. The only thing that was annoying was that my cystic acne on my chin was acting up and nothing would stick to it. I powdered and attempted adding more concealer, but that only did a bit. One little circle refused to comply. At least there's photoshop for that!

For the second step I moved onto the face shaping products:

Too Faced Sweetheart Bronzer - Sweet Tea (baked bronzer)

Milani blush in Luminoso 

The Balm highlighter in Mary-Lou Manizer 

This was one of my smallest categories, mainly because I forgot to use two products. These three have been my staples for years and I have yet to find makeup I like better than these products so it should come as no surprise that I used them. As for what I forgot, they're both from the KVD Vegan Beauty Shade + Light palette.  I'd planned on using the light yellow "Lyric" powder for under my eyes, and the contouring colour in "Sombre". Thanks to the Becca under eye corrector, my under eyes looked pretty good and the Too Faced bronzer did the trick, but I do wish I had a bit more of shape going on for photography purposes.

Brows—my smallest category yet! I plucked my eyebrows well the night before the wedding (along with my half moustache and unibrow) so I didn't need to worry about this one too much. The only two products (technically three) I used were from the same brand and long time favourites of mine. The third product, Duraline, deserves a spot in the post since without it, my dipbrow pomade wouldn't have worked. This stuff seriously works on dried out products like this, or pot eyeliners. It's also apparently great for using eyeshadows as eyeliners (though I've never tried.) The one product I forgot to use was my Essence Make me Brow Mascara, but I didn't need it since I had freshly plucked eyebrows. I mainly use that when my brows are wild and free to tame them, or when I'm using on its own.

Makeup Geek (MG) custom palette single shadows & Too Faced Chocolate Gold palette (TF)

  • MG Banana split all over the lid
  • MG So Pale on the brow bone and inner area of the eye (not inner corner)
  • MG Had me at Yellow as the transition shade and for blending out the darker colour
  • TF So Boujee with previous shade to blend outwards and have more dimension
  • MG Mocha outer third of the lid and blended out well
  • TF Gold Dipped as the shimmer shade - Neutral gold
  • The same Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter for inner corner and under the brow bone (just a little bit)

Eyes—Definitely my biggest category, simply because I used a bunch of different eyeshadows from each palette. In reality I only used two palettes so I guess that's not really a lot. I did forget to bring one loose shimmer eyeshadow, which didn't make a big difference for the final look thankfully. Like everything else I forgot, it'll be later in the post.

Lashes. So important for wedding photos and especially important for me since I forgot to put on bottom mascara for the engagement photoshoot. You'd think because of that I'd remember to pack the mascara I bought specifically for the wedding. So much regret there because my other mascara would've done a much nicer job making my bottom lashes look long and black. My eyes are also super watery so it was so hard to get the glue to stick, but thankfully the false lashes cooperated with the lash glue for the most part so they didn't pop off during the ceremony.

These lipsticks actually mean a lot to me. I bought Cosmo on the day that Steven and I officially became boyfriend and girlfriend (though we already knew we were together for a few weeks). Angel was part of my one-year anniversary gift that Steven got me. I love these colours together and Steven always knows when I wear Angel (he seriously loves it) so I figured it'd be perfect to wear on our wedding day. Once the ceremony was over, I did only bring Cosmo with me because my lips were dry at that point, and while Angel isn't your typical frost lipstick, it isn't quite as flattering on dry lips the same way Cosmo is.

For nails I had them done at a salon and picked a light pink shellac polish with some silvery gold sparkle on my ring fingers. As for my toes, I painted those myself with the Zoya nail polish in the colour "Briar" from their Sensual 2019 collection. I'm not a huge fan of my feet due to having the typical "Greek" toes (second toe longer than the big toe), but here they are anyway!

This is a bit of a miscellaneous category for me. They're things I don't typically remember to mention in reviews or looks, but are so important. The perfume is never mentioned since smell-o-vision doesn't exist, but it's important to me since I maybe wear it twice a year on special occasions. My allergies forbid me from using it, so I sprayed it on the inside of my dress a bit before putting it on so it wouldn't linger in the air and make me sneeze or make my eyes water even more.

Zoeva brush set I used the brushes from.

  • BH Cosmetiscs: no names but: large powder brush (translucent powder) and small fan brush for highlight. Small flat but tapered brush - eyeliner tight-lining and in lashes
  • Royal Landnickle Moda Pro pointed blush brush: Bronzer all over my face
  • Zoeva 127 luxe sheer cheek: Blush
  • ABH brush - Linked in the brow section
  • Elizabeth Mott all over shadow brush - Shimmer + to blend out after using finger
  • Zoeva 228 Luxe crease - Blending brush. 
  • Sonya Kashuk pencil brush - Lower lashline
  • Revlon tweezers - (Not pictured) for applying lashes

Most of my brushes are super old so I don't have any links for them. The Zoeva brush set is the only one I can still find online and they've seriously expanded their collection since then so I highly recommend checking them out. I brought a lot more brushes with me. Like A LOT. Of course because I was in such a rush, I didn't fuss around and only used one blending brush. In the end it didn't make a huge difference and it definitely made cleanup easier. The blue Zoeva brush is from a 70's look I did the next weekend for one of my bridesmaid's outdoor rollerskating birthday party. It's the same brush I used, but obviously I wasn't wearing blue eyeshadow for my wedding day.

Eyeshadow swatch, but also a sneaky ring pic.

 These are all of the products I forgot at home and wouldn't have been able to use.

The mascara was definitely my biggest regret. My lower lashes would've looked amazing if I'd brought it with me. They didn't look bad, but this mascara is on another level. The eyeshadow would've been nice, but that Too Faced palette is amazing for the shimmers so I just used my finger and it was just as beautiful. You also can't really notice my eyeshadow in the pictures, or even in the swatch photo above so it wasn't a big loss.

 I was very careful to remove every bit of makeup from my hands before putting on my dress though. As for the primer base, it probably would've made the eyeshadow pop even more, but it didn't make a huge difference since I brought a bit of concealer all over my eye area so at least the veins were cancelled out.

Here are some more photos where you can kind of see my makeup. If you're worried about your makeup for your wedding day, just note that you can't see the makeup in detail since that isn't the focus so me forgetting that eyeshadow didn't make a big difference at all! Most of these are super zoomed in so the quality isn't great, but that's the beauty of photos vs reality! My imperfections were definitely more visible in person.

Mary-Lou Manizer coming through in the super zoomed in pic.

You can see my falsies attempting to pop off, but the brows look good.
Makeup in progress. Check out that contoured cheekbone!

That's it for this post! This may just be the longest blog post I've ever made, so if your'e reading this THANK YOU! It makes me happy that my blog readership has grown, despite my inconsistent posting. I still have a few wedding related blog posts coming, but after that I'll return to my infrequent lifestyle and beauty related posts.

See you soon!

Friday, October 09, 2020

Wedding Skincare Routine ~ Lead up to the wedding
October 09, 20200 Comments

 Hello again!

Welcome to the second post in my wedding series! I recently—finally—got married and I wanted to document everything I did beauty wise (and also planning wise if people are interested) on the day of, and also leading up to it. This post is all about what I've been doing as skincare for the lead up to my wedding. Since it's pretty much the most important time in my life to be serious about skincare and care about how it looks, I thought I'd share my routine.

I have fairly normal to combination skin (sometimes a slightly oily t-zone and a few notorious dry patches around my face). I do have cystic hormonal acne that is on my face for three weeks out of every period cycle and unfortunately this included the week of my wedding. I actually had one huge cystic zit on my forehead and three on my chin. 

We all know there's no possible way to get rid of cystic acne overnight and it requires a lot of hard work (sometimes antibiotics). Unfortunately, I never got onto medication in time so I've been trying to manage it as best as possible without any prescriptions. I didn't care much about it existing as long as it mind if it wasn't super enflamed or noticeable under makeup so the pictures will still look nice, but of course I'd much rather not having it at all.

Nighttime Skincare routine:

Every single night in the few weeks leading up to the wedding I was using the first four products. The order in which I used those four is actually the same way they're laid out. 

The Ordinary's "Buffet" serum has lots of great ingredients and while most of the reviews I saw about this mentioned anti-aging (I even bought it for my mother-in-law a few years back), I did find a few claiming it helped with acne. I'm pretty much 25 now, so while that's young, my skin definitely doesn't look like it did on my past Seventeen-year-old self so the anti-aging benefits are a plus for me. 

The Dermalogica "Barrier Defense Booster" and "Calm Water gel" are a pair made in heaven. The oil isn't too light or too heavy and definitely makes my skin feel more plump and the moisturizer is pretty light on its own, but paired with the oil it's perfect. They are very expensive to me and I probably wouldn't have purchased them for the wedding if I didn't already own them since I have tried more affordable skincare since that's similar enough (not quite as good), but the price tag makes those products more worth it. If I didn't own skincare that had similar results I would've for sure bought these for the wedding.

The Ordinary "Salicylic Acid 2% Solution" was my spot treatment of choice, and it was used pretty much every single night since I started this routine.

The last product in my nighttime skincare routine started being incorporated about a week before the wedding. Because of my skin changing based on what part of my cycle I'm at, my skin became very dry next to my nose, closer to the cheeks. It was to the point where the oil and moisturizer weren't enough and it'd feel dry to the touch. This is a sample of the Skinfix Barrier+ Lipid-Peptide Creme that I got as a free sample from Sephora. I've tried a peptide creme before and LOVED it so when I found this in my sample area I instantly knew that it would solve my problems and boy did it ever! I started applying this on the dry patches next to my nose and all around my eyes, focusing underneath them and the crevice near the inner corner. Within two days the dry patches disappeared, so I kept it up because makeup applies way better when my skin is moisturized.

Cleansing Products:

These are my very basic washing/cleansing products! If you've read my past skincare posts, you'll know I love the Cetaphil Cleanser for Oily Skin and the Foreo Luna Mini has been amazing for my skin. This may seem random to post after my actually skincare routine, but I put this between because I was actually using this every night and every morning leading up to the wedding.

Daytime Routine:

My daytime skincare routine is going to seem boring and that's because it is. I didn't use any unique products from my nighttime skincare routine at all. The only difference is that I was only using The Ordinary's "Buffet" followed by the Dermalogica "Calm Water Gel." Yup, that's it. I told you it'd be boring.

I've actually reviewed several of these products before on this blog so I'll leave a link here for you to look through my skincare reviews. 

This was my face before doing my makeup on the wedding day! You can see all the fun cystic friends that joined me in my nuptials.

Tips and Tricks for better looking skin:

While I never stopped using the skincare routine for even a day, I did sometimes do something different to help out. When my four giant cystic acne spots decided to invade my face, I quickly ripped off a piece of aloe from my plant and started applying it to my skin at night. This worked especially well for the huge eczema flare up I experienced on my right hand (yay allergies).

On the morning of the wedding the acne was still very visible, so I packed a sandwich bag with three ice-cubes and held them on all of my spots the entire way to the wedding venue (a bit over an hour). Ice helps a lot with the swelling of the acne, so while it won't get rid of it, it makes it look much smaller. This helped significantly and it now looks like I just had small little breakouts instead of the massive ones they truly were.

I have allergies all year round and they get really bad between August and November. Right when my wedding was happening. It's to the point where i have a prescription for what's essentially Reactin (same drug, just not brand name) that I can take every single day. I made sure to take it every day leading up to the wedding, as well as on the wedding day to make my eczema less itchy, my nose less runny and my eyes less watery. I also took an ibuprofen the morning of the wedding because that can also help with inflammation, which was great for my eczema and acne.

Here's a picture of me on my wedding day from my Instagram page (go follow me!).

That's all I have for you regarding what I did skincare wise leading up to and on my wedding day! I hope some of it was helpful or at least interesting to read. I'll be posting more wedding-related posts when I have all of the pictures back so you can actually see my makeup, dress, hair tools etc. For now I'll leave you here.

See you soon!

Disclaimer: Affiliate links were used in this post. I barely make any money from them and primarily use Magic Links to make linking easier. Seriously. I've made 20 cents in the last 4+ years of blogging and doing YouTube.

Friday, October 02, 2020

My Wedding Dress: Pictures and my Journey to Finding my Dream Dress
October 02, 20200 Comments


I've you've read previous blog posts about my wedding, you'll know it was a rough ride getting to it with the 2020 pandemic. We rescheduled once, cancelled in order to reschedule the ceremony only, the hotel cancelled on us so we had to reschedule AGAIN (on the same day and similar time at least) to actually make it happen.

Our full wedding & reception of eighty-five turned into a small wedding ceremony of twenty-one. A lot had changed and gone to waste (especially all of the stationary items from save the dates to a wedding sign). In the end, if you're reading this, it all worked out and I'm finally a married woman! One very important thing  about my wedding day that didn't go to waste is my wedding dress, and that's what this post is going to be focused on. Welcome to the first post in my wedding series!

The see-through mesh and lash blended in so well with my skin.

The subtle mesh on the side and button detailing made it even more beautiful.

Here's me in my beautiful wedding dress! This is the Madison Collection (By Richman Group) dress in style #3050. It's available in white or ivory (I think I got Ivory? I never checked) and is described as having an illusion bodice. I love this dress because the fabric on the bottom is heavy, so I feel secure in it, but the top 'illusion bodice' lace looks so beautiful and shows just the right amount of skin. I also love that it has the tank-top styled sleeves and mainly covers my back (an area of my body I'm a bit self conscious about because of bacne scars and I'm a very hairy lady).

Unlike my original dress (yes, I'll explain more soon), this one has a train. I originally didn't want a train because it's annoying to walk in, but I'm an idiot and didn't realize you could pin up the train to make dancing and walking around easier. It also looks so pretty and elongating and the lace detailing on it is absolutely stunning.

I got lucky because the day I went to the boutique with my mother was the same day this dress arrived. We'd gotten there a few hours before closing and they had just received the shipment an hour prior. There wasn't even a price tag on it yet! They knew the MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) and obviously knew how much they'd have to sell it for, but after hearing my story about not liking my original dress I picked, and our strict budget (thanks to Steven thinking the original price of this dress was absurd) they brought the price down and my mom bought it.

It was quite the journey to get to this dress considering I started out with a different one (in a completely different style) that was less than half the price. My original dress was this Galina wedding dress from David's Bridal. I bought it on sale for just over $500 including taxes. 

Steven and I are extreme budgeters and I wanted to find a dress under $500 because it's one I'll only actually wear once. Of course there aren't many brand new in-person wedding dresses that are good quality and go for this price so I found the one I liked best for the price and thought I loved it. In reality, I was ok with it, but wasn't in love, but it's what I could get for that budget. After a few months of owning it, I realized how much regret I had and started to hate the dress.

Fast forward a few more months of me desperately trying to find ways to make it better (I was literally using apps to draw on alterations) and my mother convinced me to go to a bridal store with her. She was outraged that I wouldn't spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress and pretty much forced me to pick out a new one that she would pay for. Steven and I would've rather had her give us money to use towards a down payment, but she compromised and said she's get one at around the $1000 mark and give us the rest as a gift. My wedding dress was the first one I tried on at Best for Bride Etobicoke and I was instantly in love. I actually cried upon trying it on before realizing it would be mine.

When I was trying to work with my old dress I looked at detachable trains. The one I came really close to buying is the Jaspe Detachable Overskirt from  Ivory and Stone's website in New Zealand (Yes, they ship to Canada). The lace on it (and colour) looked very close to my original dress and would've made it a thousand times prettier. I emailed them and they were LOVELY and so helpful, sending me all the reference photos I wanted and talking me through all my options. The same weekend I was going to order this, I got my new dress, so I let them know and apologized profusely. Instead of ignoring me or being upset, they were so happy for me getting the dress of my dreams and understood completely. Their customer service is honestly amazing so if you're looking for an overskirt, a cape, or even a dress, please go check them out!

In the end I was able to sell my original dress on Poshmark (highly recommend) and while I lost a few hundred dollars, it went to a great home and I used that money towards alterations on the new dress. If anything, I've learned a serious lesson about rushing into purchases!

As for my shoes, I wore these Nina New York shoes. I'm pretty sure my exact pair have been discontinued, but here are some very similar styles from the brand. This one pair is the closest, despite being taupe instead of gold. If you have wide feet like me, this brand is for you!

Very simple and a fairly neutral gold.
A nice low block heel for maximum comfort!

Here are some unflattering pictures of me trying on other wedding dresses! Some of these dresses are actually from the same collection as mine.

That's it for my wedding dress journey! I hope this was somewhat entertaining and lighthearted. I'm very grateful that my mother bought my dream dress for me. because of Covid, we weren't able to have a reception, which means when we eventually can I'll be wearing the dress again! I'm sure I'll still fit in it considering I didn't diet for the wedding and it wasn't altered to be a tight fit so unless I'm pregnant by the time we can finally celebrate things should be fine.

See you soon!