Vivrant Beauty’s Desiree Verdejo Shares Her Instant Beauty Fixes for Your Wedding Day

african american brides makeup
Vivrant Beauty founder Desiree Verdejo

New York City’s Vivrant Beauty might have just opened in 2015, but it’s already amassed a cult following. Dedicated to bringing a curated selection of skincare, haircare and cosmetic products to “all skin tones, nationalities and hair textures,” the store also has ahhhmazing makeup services for your big day and beyond (not to mention an awesome online shop for brides that live out-of-state). We spoke with the store’s gorgeous founder―attorney-turned-entrepreneur Desiree Verdejo―about how to get glowing skin on your wedding day, and her must-have makeup and hair secrets for brides of color.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for styling naturally curly hair, especially for a big event like a wedding?

If a bride wears her hair down on most days then I’d encourage her to wear her hair down on her big day. One of the biggest challenges of curly hair is that you never know what kind of hair day you’re going to get- will it grow bigger and bigger throughout the course of the day? Will it get frizzy? I’m a huge fan of twist-out styles and perm rods with a touch of a light styling gel like Earth’s Nectars Honey Curls for special occasions because they allow you to define your hair and avoid the surprise factor.

It’s often said the best wedding makeup plan starts with skin prep to make sure you look flawless. What skincare products are you loving for African-American skin types right now, and what routine would you suggest bride-to-bes follow?

Yes, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Healthy, glowing skin is what every bride should start with on her wedding day. At the very least she should have a simple regimen of a gentle cleanser, hydrating toner and rich moisturizer. We love that Juara’s gentle products suit so many skin types. For more dramatic results, I’d add a brightening serum like Mun No. 1 Aknari Brightening Serum at nighttime which maximizes plumpness and noticeably evens skin tones. Lastly in the weeks leading up to the wedding, it’s a great idea to use a facial mask once a week to treat your skins needs. If you have breakout-prone skin, for example, then it’s a good idea to use a deep pore treatment like Ren’s ClearCalm mask at this time as well.

african american brides hairstyle
Vivrant Beauty

In terms of makeup, what advice would you give to African-American brides looking for the perfect colors and shades?

We frequently help brides choose makeup for their big day. Brides should only buy makeup that they’ve tried on for their wedding day- you don’t want your foundation to be slightly off on a day that will be heavily photographed. I believe in brides looking like themselves but I also encourage them to be a bit more open-minded to different colors and makeup techniques on their big day. Many brides are often shocked by how amazing they look with a fuschia blush or a smoky eye, for example. I say try it before you deny it.

Are there any definite DON’TS when it comes to makeup colors for African-American brides of varying skin tones?

No, Black women come in so many gorgeous shades and I am fascinated by the versatility of brown skin. Brides often wear more makeup on their wedding day and incorporate more techniques like priming and sculpting then they would normally. My only limitation would be to give a new look a test run before your big day.

Do you have a go-to makeup accessory or trick that can instantly take a bride’s look from good to GREAT?

I can’t give away all of my tricks but a couple of my favorites for an instant fix are:

1) Becca Shimmering Perfector– Adding a highlighter is a gorgeous way to complete a makeup look and subtly draw light and attention to your gorgeous bone structure. For brown skin I love a touch of the Topaz or Rosegold shades along the brow bone.

2) Karuna Age-Defying Sheet Mask – Sheet masks are easy to travel with and are not as messy as traditional treatment masks. We often shy away from products that say age-defying when we’re a certain age but anti-aging products tend to work towards plumping skin and smoothing texture. This mask will leave you with gorgeous, dewy skin before a special occasion.

3) Davines Oi Absolute Beautifying Potion-This hair oil is light enough for straight hair but rich enough for dry, curly hair. The smell is one that you would want to associate with your big day…its heavenly, but this potion also adds shine without residue. Glossy, touchable, delicious-smelling hair is what we all want on our wedding day!

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