Real Bride Makeover: Hair And Makeup For A Vintage-Inspired Wedding

Wendy Rodewald
The vintage-inspired bride: before and after

Photos: Angela Pham

This wedding season, we’re transforming real-life brides-to-be as part of our Real Girl Makeover series. Our latest subject is Alison, whose Atlanta wedding incorporates 1920s-themed details that call for for a modern vintage-inspired beauty look.

For a wedding as carefully curated as Alison’s, the right hair and makeup look is everything. “I took inspiration from The Great Gatsby and Sleep No More,” the 30-year-old marketing consultant told us the week before her nuptials. “Lots of vintage books, typewriters, apothecary jars, pearls.”

But the most important detail of all was Alison’s custom headpiece, sourced by NYC bridal showroom Stone Fox Bride and made using pieces from her mother’s jewelry. “I was looking for a way to incorporate my late mother’s spirit and presence into the ceremony. She passed away from ovarian cancer about three years ago and I wanted to find a way to feel like she was there with me on my big day,” Alison explained.

Hair stylists Ryan Mitchell and Daniela Schult of Cutler Salons used Alison’s headpiece as the focal point of her modern vintage look. “The side part is very 1920s,” Schult explained. “Doing a set is very vintage.” At the same time, “Loose texture on the ends makes it modern. There’s a softness to it,” Mitchell added.

Alison's hairstyle in progress

Photos: Angela Pham

After prepping the hair with Redken Full Frame 07 Mousse and making a deep side part, Schult and Mitchell curled Alison’s hair with a ¾-inch curling iron and set each curl in pins to cool. Setting the hair would help her waves survive the hot Atlanta weather, they explained. “Before you set [the hair], spray the sections with hairspray — that blocks the humidity,” Schult said. “Set the hair first, then do your makeup, then take it out,” Mitchell advised. Once Alison’s hair had time to set, they brushed through the waves to create a softer, slightly roughed up texture.

For Alison’s makeup, Director of Global Artistry for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Kimberly Soane also incorporated vintage elements — matte foundation and lip color, winged liner — but kept the overall effect contemporary and flattering. A key detail: blush. “Always put a soft pink or a nude pink on your cheek, no matter what era you’re going for,” Soane advised. “If you look back at actual flapper makeup, there’s no color on the cheek. But if you do that for real life, you look gaunt and tired and your under eye pops out more.”

Alison's makeup in progress

Photo: Angela Pham

On Alison’s lips, Soane mimicked a ’20s era lip stain using Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Plum Berry (a discontinued shade; try Plum Rose for a similar effect), which she blotted with a tissue to create a matte finish. Another trick: “Take a powder blush and tap it on top of the lip,” she explained.

On the eyes, Soane blended a soft brown shadow into the crease for definition and used Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink to create a “flipped” line. She finished the look by adding “tons” of mascara and filling in Alison’s brows. The final look was the perfect mix of something old with something new.

Alison's custom bridal headpiece

Photo: Angela Pham

Alison's final look

Photo: Angela Pham

Photographer: Angela Pham
Hair: Ryan Mitchell and Daniela Schult for Cutler Salons
Makeup: Kimberly Soane for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
Stylist: Ann Brady
Alison wears: Galina Signature Satin Gown ($750, David’s Bridal)

Read more: Real Bride Makeover: Hair And Makeup For A City Wedding