Behind the scenes at The Violet Files’ Editorial Director Christine Whitney’s bridal hair-and-makeup moment.
Photography By BRAEDON FLYNN
Written By JACK SUNNUCKS
For her daytime wedding to Daniel Horowitz at the elegant Adamson House in Malibu, Christine Whitney, VIOLET GREY’s Editorial Director, knew she wanted to eschew the theatrics often associated with bridal makeup. “A better version of myself,” she says of her decision—reached with the help of VIOLET GREY makeup artist Merrady Wickes—to go for a relaxed look. “Merrady and I did a trial a month before. We work together, so she knows I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup, but also how to make a fresh-faced look pop in photos.” Whitney also chose an old friend, Lost Hills founder and R+Co. educator Sera Sloane, to care for her hair.
Wickes and Sloane prepared the bride and her party at a private residence near the venue, and they were invaluable not only for their artistry but also, admits Whitney, for their “calming influence.” Sloane even had time to do an “elaborate braid situation” on Whitney’s flower girl, her niece, Hannah.
When Whitney walked down the aisle in her Balenciaga dress, with her hair down and just the barest hint of false eyelashes and a berry lip, she admits there were a few tears. “So it was great that Merrady nailed the waterproof eyeliner situation,” she says.
Below, Wickes and Sloane share how they created Whitney’s perfect wedding look.
BY MERRADY WICKES, MAKEUP ARTIST
I love to start bridal makeup with a mask and a mini-massage to prep the skin and set a relaxing tone. I massaged Sisley’s Flower Gel mask into Christine’s skin for instant hydration without a greasy feel. I also applied Sisley’s eye mask using firm strokes around the eyes to promote lymphatic drainage and depuff, and hydrated her lips with the Dior Lip Maximizer.
While the masks went to work, I started on the eyes. Everything had to be long-wearing and, of course, waterproof, so I began with a sheer layer of the NARS Eyeshadow Primer to ensure the look would last. Then I swept Kjaer Weis’ Cloud Nine, a soft vanilla shade, all over; applied Charm, a buttery neutral, in the socket; and concentrated Grace, a cool taupe, on the upper and lower lashlines.
Using Charlotte Tilbury’s liner in Veruschka Mink, I added definition to the upper and lower lashlines, smudging it out with Utowa’s pointed shadow brush to soften. Next, I tightlined the upper lashline with Hourglass gel liner in Obsidian to add depth at the root of the lash. I finished by curling the lashes and brushing on two coats of Chanel Inimitable waterproof mascara (which is hurricane-proof). Christine already has enviably long lashes, but I added three individual lashes on each corner for a little oomph.
I blended a dime-size dollop of Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonderglow on the skin with my fingertips; it imparts a golden glow that makes skin look flawless on camera. Christine needed only a few drops of CHANEL Vitalumiere in B30 pressed into the skin with a damp beautyblender, and a bit of By Terry Touch Expert #4 under the eyes and over any redness. I subtly defined cheekbones with Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate, then popped a combination of Kjaer Weis blushes in Embrace and Lovely to the apples of the cheeks.
BY SERA SLOANE, HAIR STYLIST
I encourage brides to think of the hairstyle that makes them feel most comfortable, or to consider the look their man loves. For Christine, that meant keeping her hair down. At our first consultation (about a month prior to the wedding), the condition of Christine’s hair was perfect for the style I imagined for her wedding, and I gave her strict instructions to continue washing exactly as she had been—which meant using Oribe’s Gold Lust shampoo and conditioner.
I applied R+Co’s Grid spray to Christine’s freshly washed hair and combed it through, roots to ends. The spray laid the groundwork for long-lasting style and created ample texture. As I dried her hair, I used my hands to push the product in deeper and create shape.
Once dry, I used a ¾-inch curling iron to give Christine Old Hollywood–style relaxed waves. I pinned the curls with Y.S. Park’s pro pins. I like giving curls time to cool, so I sent her off to get her makeup done—but not before putting her bangs in a grandma-esque velcro roller. Doing this keeps the fringe out of the makeup artist’s way, but also creates the nicest bend so the bangs are lifted off the forehead just so.
As the finishing touch, I applied R+Co’s Continental Glossing Wax, which adds a beautiful polish to the hair. Plus, with the threat of rain looming, I knew the combination of the Foil spray and Continental wax would be irreplaceable for holding power—and they delivered.