Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Makeup by Tara Young: she'll make you really, really, ridiculously good-looking

Finding someone to do my makeup for the wedding was one of the easiest parts of my planning process, and one of the best investments I made as well. One of my best friends' older sisters got married about a year before I did, and I remembered thinking that my friend (the maid of honor) and the rest of the wedding party looked AMAZING (without seeming overly made-up). Her secret? Airbrushing! I asked my friend for a link to some wedding photos to confirm that I remembered correctly, then emailed her sister to ask who did their magical makeup. Turns out it was Tara Young, who by day runs the makeup department at CNN in downtown Atlanta. Nothing like a seasoned pro!

(Note to all brides: Don't be sheepish! Ask your acquaintances, friends, and friends' sisters and mothers if you have seen something you like! Referrals are a great way to find sweet wedding vendors.)

The day of the wedding, Tara and her younger sister (who comes along when there are more than five or six people to be made up) turned up at my folks' house around noon to set up and get started. They placed two chairs facing out in front of the large dining-room window that overlooks the front lawn and arrayed their supplies on a table between them. I have never seen so much makeup in one place! They came armed with a wide range of foundation colors, a bajillion brushes and dozens of palettes of blushes and eyeshadows. (The first picture below is Tara's foot (I think), standing on the cord of the airbrush machine... such a cool shot.)

Now, I didn't demand that my bridesmaids have their hair and makeup done -- lord knows they'd already be spending enough with the dress/shoe/travel/lodging combo -- but I did offer to make appointments for any who were interested and let them know the pricing on the makeup. In the end, all but one of us had our hair done (ranging from $33 to $100) and all the girls and my mama got full airbrushed makeup ($75 including a lip gloss to keep), though some opted not to get fake eyelashes.

We had about three hours in which to get everyone's makeup done, and Tara and her sister did a great job of moving folks through the chairs. While they were making us all pretty, they were chatting and laughing with all of us. They clearly have a lot of fun working together!

Bridesmaid after bridesmaid came back into the den looking perfectly radiant as I awaited my turn. (Even my practically translucent redheaded bridesmaid, who had been worried that any foundation would be too dark on her skin, was thrilled.) I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by how light the airbrush makeup felt and how well it stayed put. My mom, my sister and I were the last to go since we were waiting for the photographers to arrive and also wanted to have the freshest faces for the afternoon and evening.



me & my sweet kitty, Little Man

Bridesmaids all suited up and getting ready to head to the church

As you can see from the photos, we all look really. damn. good. I mean, let's give credit where credit's due! I won't rehash any of the portraits or anything, but here are a couple of pre-wedding shots from the church that show off Tara and her sister's brilliant handiwork:

Last but not least, evidence that airbrush makeup and well-applied fake eyelashes will hold up through an emotional day and a night of hard partying:

Still lookin' good! (Note: my brother had no makeup on. He's just naturally that pretty.) I can't recommend Tara and/or her sister's work enough. They were absolutely a joy to work with, and the price was more than reasonable for the service. If I ever need to look flawless for any occasion again, I know exactly who I'm calling.

* all photos by Our Labor of Love


  1. That's awesome! Seems like a totally reasonable price for great results.

  2. I wish I lived in GA so I could use all your fantastic vendors!

  3. aww! lovely! she did an EXCELLENT job on your makeup and all of the lovely ladies!

  4. So this is a totally small world but I somehow stumbled across your blog the other day and actually know one of your bridesmaids...Jo! Anyway, was wondering if you happened to have Tara Young's contact information. I would love to use her but haven't yet found a way to contact her. Just let me know!



  5. Hi Kim! How awesome that you know Jo! She's one of my best buddies, as you can tell. Sorry, this is like wellll over a month after the fact -- sometimes blogger doesn't alert me to comments and I miss them since I've been away from this blog. Drop me an email at kathleenvpoe[at]gmail and I'll pass along her information!