Wedding Beauty Must Haves

The beauty products I can't live without

The wedding bug has bitten me big time and we are less than a month away. But with wedding planning comes an unbelievable amount of events that require the bride to look her best. I have a few go-to beauty products that I can't live without for all of those being wedding moments.

My list of pre-wedding beauty products

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil- Blue eyeliner has been my favorite eyewear accessory for years, but since discovering the MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Prussian, I don't even go to the gym without it. It's great for blue or hazel eyes, without looking overly exotic. I buy it in bulk.

2" Barrel Curling Iron - Wedding planning means running around like a crazy person, and sometimes not having enough time to schedule a blow out. That's where a large barrel curling iron comes in. Even if you don't have time to wash your hair, just use this baby to create loose waves and body in just a few minutes.

Living Proof Shampoo - When it comes to hair, I am the snob of all snobs. I've tried a lot of different products, but have never found shampoo as amazing as Living Proof Restore Shampoo. It makes my hair soft and feel super clean, but it is lightweight enough that I still get tons of body. It's a winner.

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living-proof-restore-shampoo-conditioner-repair-cream

Nalgene Bottle - I chug water during the day faster than my morning coffee. Filling up a Nalgene with water throughout the day is a phenomenal way to stay hydrated, which is a famously effective beauty tip. And because I am trying to take this water cleanse a step further, I fill it up with my new favorite drink, a lemon-based elixir courtesy of Joey Devick Fitness.

Hair Oil - After my loyal, and apparently distracted, hairdresser lobbed a few too many inches off my wedding locks, I started dousing my ends with Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Serum (not to mention popping prenatal vitamins and biotin like they are candy). My hair is looking gooood.

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NBH-11135-1

Archipelago Lotion - I can't go a day without slathering on the Archipelago Oat Lotion #12. It's the best and smells incredible, without being overbearing. What is better than soft skin that smells good? Nuttin.

Hairspray - Showers, engagement parties and wedding events tend to be hours-long affairs, so your hairdo has got to last. But hair's gotta move too! That's why I am obsessed with the Sebastian Professional Shaper Medium Hold hairspray is the best. And trust me, I've tested my fair share.

Burts Bees Eye Cream - After spending bookoo bucks on eye cream, my crazy old neighbor (literally, this lady was a loon, but she had incredible skin), clued me in on a little secret. One of the best eye creams to relieve puffy eyes and unsightly lines is from your local CVS. The Burts Bees Eye Cream is outstanding, and available at a fraction of the price of luxury brands.

Deep Conditioner - I keep deep conditioners on rotation—told you I had a hair obsession. But one that stands out among the rest is Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum Reconstruct Repair Masque. Use it at least once a week to maximize the results.

Colorstay Lipstick - Okay, this one is the killer. Lipstick is not good unless it lasts. I have one favorite that has worked for me for years. It's the Revlon Colorstay Overtime Lipcolor in Always Sienna. It's a great color for every occasion and it really lasts. Like when I was in Vegas for my Bachelorette Party 1.0, even though I was hungover as could be, I woke up with a perfect shade of lipstick. Evidence below.

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Enjoy!

The Engagement Photo

My love hate relationship with engagement photos

One of the requisite tasks of planning a wedding is taking engagement photos. Sometimes they are perfectly Pinterest-y, and other times they are so posed and cheesy that you just want to put the groom out of his misery. And then there are the ones that make you want to cry because they so warmly capture the love between a couple. Those are the kind every newly engaged duo strives for.

Until I started planning a wedding, I thought that engagement pics were a couple's way of showing off to the world that they had crossed the threshold of wedded bliss, like a big peace-out to the single life. So I hesitated pretty greatly when it came time to have some taken of my own. Turns out, they are more valuable than you think.

The first benefit of snapping  engagement pics is they are a great way to vet the wedding photographer if you haven't worked together before. Most of the time the same photog will shoot the engagement photos and the wedding, so it's a simple way for everyone to get to know each other. And it helps figure out of the style of the photos you want to get for your wedding. It's a pretty big win win.

Beyond the experience itself, engagement photos are also a fantastic accessory to accompany all of the other wedding-related events. They work wonders for shower and rehearsal dinner decor, not to mention all of the slideshows. And if you're desperate for a gift, they are perfect framed up for family distribution.

Anyway, when it was my turn to cross into this new universe, I asked my photographer to do a teeny tiny engagement shoot for me and my fiancé. What is more fitting than outdoor engagement pictures in the fall? The trouble was convincing my love that this was a good idea—and dropping the little bomb that my dog was going to be joining us. It was one of the first moments where I truly realized this guy would do anything for me—even if it meant cuddling with a white fluffy dog, on camera, in the middle of Lincoln Park.

During the shoot, I remember our photographer, the darling Maggie Rife Ponce, asking us to walk toward her down the promenade and Dan's eyes telling me that he wanted to kill me while sweet Barclay trotted beside us. We were holding back laughter and razzing each other back and forth, and the humor of it all was very eloquently captured in the pictures. It's a memory that we share and it's a morning I will never forget.

I'm now a reformed lover of the engagement photo. So, even though I was sworn to secrecy, I will share just a few of my favorites from our engagement shoot, and how I titled each photo. All photos credit to Rife Ponce Photography.

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