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Be your own glamour squad for Zoom wedding

by ALIX STRAUSS THE NEW YORK TIMES | June 21, 2020 at 2:14 a.m.
In response to the pandemic, some skin care and beauty brands have shifted their in-person experiences to online tutorials and Instagram live chats that offer tips from experts.
(The New York Times/Velicia Gourdin)

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 covid-19 pandemic. 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 fiance, 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 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," 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 in to "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 questions in the comments.

"These were big wedding months," 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 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 for more information. The next episode will be live at 3:30 p.m. CDT Friday.


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 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."

McCullough said about half her business clients, whom 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.

@@nepA 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 depend on the stylist or makeup artist you choose, range from $85 to $200 per hour. For information, email: info@


In April, Huda Beauty, a global beauty brand, started a one-on-one virtual consultation program. Three types of pro-artist sessions are offered: a 15-minute product consultation (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, founder and chief executive of Huda Beauty. "Sessions are tailored around your needs."

To reserve a spot, go to, 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.


Brittany Lo, 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 taught: 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," Lo said. "It's important people feel empowered rather than overwhelmed. Looking and feeling beautiful can mean everything to someone."

@@nepGo to

subscribe-free-class to enroll for her weekly video and newsletter series./@@nep


Recently, Blushington, a makeup service and retailer with multiple locations in New York and 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, 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 re-create the tradition of getting ready together."

Up to 10 people can take a makeup class simultaneously. A 75-minute class is $150 for brides and $75 for grooms.

"A natural washout happens when we appear on a computer or phone," Hamilton said. "Men's grooming sessions focus on corrective makeup to counteract lighting issues, and brow and facial hair grooming help."

Visit, click on the virtual wedding link and fill out an inquiry form, and a bridal service coordinator will contact you within 24 hours.


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