Hair salons, spas and beauty retailers are continuing to help couples prepare for their weddings, even though most have been forced to temporarily close because of the coronavirus. Some are offering services like online tutorials and Instagram Live chats that feature tips from experts.
Couples are finding all this support a godsend. “Getting beauty advice from professionals helps keep your sanity,” said Shaunie Warner, 29, who lives in Los Angeles and works as an e-commerce manager for Beautycounter. She and her fiancé, Joe Apeah, 31, an information technology risk and compliance manager at TikTok, were one of three engaged couples featured on Beautycounter’s first wedding-focused Instagram livestream on April 29.
The couple, who pushed back their wedding date to Sept. 24 from May 22, were able to ask questions and talk about their concerns with the company’s lead makeup artist. “The session reinspired me about my wedding,” Ms. Warner said. “It reminded me I’m still having a celebration.”
If you’re looking for some advice, and can’t get it in-person, here are a few new virtual offerings from beauty brands and experts.
Engaged couples can tune into “I Do with Beautycounter,” a 30-minute bimonthly Instagram Live series hosted by the skin care and makeup brand. Three couples are invited to join the virtual chat with Christy Coleman, a makeup artist and the company’s chief artistic officer, about skin care and makeup tips. Other couples are able to view the live chat and ask their questions in the comments.
“These were big wedding months,” Ms. Coleman said. “We wanted to find ways to help couples prepare at home. This is something fun and engaging they can experience together while getting hands-on help with preparing their skin.”
Couples eager to have their questions and concerns addressed by Ms. Coleman live can send a one- to two-minute video stating their skin care and makeup wedding goals. Three couples will be chosen per episode to be featured in the live chat. Email Ido@beautycounter.com for more information. The next episodes will be live on June 19 and 26 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Preparation: Whether you’re a featured couple on the show or watching it live, you’ll want to “have a clean face, a mirror and forward-facing lighting from a desk lamp,” Ms. Coleman said. “Don’t go for overhead or backlighting as these create shadows. You want to be able to see your skin up close in the best light possible.” Also, have some of your favorite products in front of you so you can follow along.
Advice: Ms. Coleman suggested taking a self-care moment together the night before with a hydrating or detoxing mask so your skin is clean and fresh the following day.
Katelyn McCullough, who describes herself as a wedding-beauty matchmaker, owns Elwynn + Cass, a beauty concierge service that focuses on connecting brides, grooms and wedding party members with the right hair and makeup artist, at no extra fee.
“Most clients email me what they’re looking for or we do a 15- to 20-minute consultation on the phone,” said Ms. McCullough, whose company is based in San Diego. Last year she matched 500 clients with beauty pros. “Once I understand what you want, I recommend three or four options, which includes prices, years of experience, the artist’s bio and examples of their work.”
Ms. McCullough said about half of her business clients, who she charges a referral fee, are livestreaming their sessions or doing their consultations virtually.
“The artist is with you every step of the way, explaining how to achieve the look you want and helping you through any issues you might run into in real time,” she said.
An added bonus: No travel expenses are needed if the makeup artist you love lives in Seattle but your wedding is in Maine. For virtual or in-person hair or makeup services, the prices, which varies depending on the stylist or makeup artist you choose, range from $85-$200 per hour. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparation: “Before your trial, send me a list of products you use and what your skin type and hair texture is,” Ms. McCullough said. “That way the artist can be prepared for you. If you don’t know, the artist should be available to give you 10 minutes to talk it through and make suggestions.”
Advice: When choosing your stylists or makeup artist, Ms. McCullough advises selecting someone who you think you would get along with. “It’s just as important as their skill,” she said. “You’re supposed to have fun and feel comfortable.”
In April, Huda Beauty, a global beauty band, started a complementary, one-on-one virtual consultation program. Three different types of pro-artist sessions are offered: a 15-minute product consult, for example lash application or lip color advice; 30-minute technique (think contouring or smoky eye training); and a 60-minute ”get ready with me” session, which allows you to be supervised through your wedding-day look.
“This opportunity gives us a chance to provide our in-house pro-artists with new responsibilities while serving our social community,” said Huda Kattan, the founder and chief executive of Huda Beauty. The goal of the program, she said, was to support both the consumer and the company’s employees. “Sessions are tailored around your needs so you get the most out of it.”
To reserve a spot go to hudabeauty.com, click the “book your virtual consultation” link, and choose the type of appointment you want to make and with which artist. Once you’ve picked an available time and date you’ll receive an email confirmation and a link to a web conference, which will connect you with your artist.
Preparation: To have time to practice your look, Ms. Kattan suggests scheduling one or two appointments for sessions at least a month before your actual wedding day.
Advice: “Show your artist photos of your dress, your bridal party dresses, and the environment,” Ms. Kattan said. “And discuss your lighting. Lighting is everything and the artists will make sure your makeup is on-point no matter where you’re captured.”
Brittany Lo, the founder and chief executive of Beautini, a bridal beauty company based in New York, has created six, 10-minute beauty video tutorials. Among the skills being taught: how to create skin that glows, perfectly blend your eye shadow, apply lashes, and achieve a natural look.
“Once I learned people were homebound, I wanted to teach techniques to engaged couples so they’d have the confidence to do their own makeup for events leading up to their wedding,” Ms. Lo said. “It’s important people feel empowered rather than overwhelmed. Looking and feeling beautiful can mean everything to someone.”
Go to brittanylo.com/subscribe-free-class to enroll for her weekly video and newsletter series.
Preparation: “Bring photos of yourself that you love and hate — this is all about visual communication,” Ms. Lo said. “What’s a natural or glam look to you may not be to someone else, so it’s important that everyone is visually on the same page.”
Advice: When you’re practicing the tips you’ve learned, wear a T-shirt in the same color and neckline of what you will be wearing at your event or wedding, Ms. Lo said. “This helps visualize how your hair and makeup will truly look on you,” she said.
Bridal and Groom Parties
Recently, Blushington, a makeup service and retailer with multiple locations in New York, Los Angeles and a store in Dallas, started virtual makeup classes and parties where brides, grooms, and their wedding parties can do group interactive lessons with a stylist.
“Couples still want a getting ready party experience,” said Jessica Hamilton, the director of operations and customer experience at Blushington. “They want to feel special and do the same events they would have had before the pandemic started. We wanted to recreate the tradition of getting ready together.”
Up to 10 people can take a makeup class simultaneously. A 75-minute class is $150 for brides; $75 for grooms. “A natural washout happens when we appear on a computer or phone,” Ms. Hamilton said. “Men’s grooming sessions focus on corrective makeup to counteract lighting issues, and brow and facial hair grooming help.”
Visit www.blushington.com/virtual-wedding-services, click on the virtual wedding link, fill out an inquiry form and a bridal service coordinator will contact you within 24 hours.
Preparation: “A list of 10 or so items — makeup brushes, foundation, eyelash curler, mascara, beauty blender sponge, setting spray — are sent to guests before their session,” Ms. Hamilton said, “so they will have everything they need in front of them.”
Advice: “Skin care is just as important for men,” she said. “They should exfoliate the evening before and use a nonirritating after-shave, and face balm, which keeps away redness, bumps and calms skin.”