Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Cameron & Elizabeth Photography |
Esthetician Lavonne Wood offers advice on wedding day prep based on decades of experience—and her own recent nuptials
In her 24 years of experience as a makeup artist and esthetician, Lavonne Wood has helped hundreds of women prepare for their wedding day. So when she met the man of her dreams, Curtis, and the two started planning for their own big day, she was up to the task. It wasn’t until after the last of the cake was enjoyed and guests had gone home that she realized they had overlooked capturing some of the most intimate moments of the day. “When we got photos back, I was like, Where are my beauty shots? Where are my portraits?” she says. As a beauty professional, the irony of the oversight was not lost on Lavonne. But instead of regret, she saw an opportunity. “I told Curtis, I kind of want to put my dress back on and do bridals.”
So, several months after they wed, she and her groom recreated their elegant wedding day looks for the camera. For Lavonne, this meant Old Hollywood-inspired hair and makeup that would never go out of style. “I’m a big advocate of classic, timeless makeup where you don’t look back like, Oh my gosh, what was I thinking,” she laughs. “I knew I wanted to incorporate this beautiful, iridescent emerald green shadow with a smokey eye and nude lip.”
However, the foundation for Lavonne’s wedding look began long before the day of, and she suggests all her clients view beauty as more than booking hair and makeup appointments. “It’s all about getting people on a consistent skin-care regimen,” she says, noting that achieving healthy skin is a monthslong process. Want to know her secrets? Read on for a timeline of Lavonne’s tips for getting that wedding day glow.
When looking for a venue for their styled shoot, photographers Cameron & Elizabeth suggested the Edgemont House, a Spanish Colonial Revival style home in North Little Rock. “It just fit me to a T,” Lavonne says.
For everyday upkeep, Lavonne uses what she calls the Simple Seven. It’s “what every person should have in their skin-care arsenal no matter what: cleanser, daily moisturizer, sunscreen, toner, serums (such as Vitamin C and retinol), eye cream, and night cream,” she says. Skinscript is one of her preferred brands because it’s plant-based, paraben-free, and good for all skin types and skin tones.
Lavonne’s recommendations for luminous skin leading up to the wedding day
6 months before
“If you have hyperpigmentation, start with a chemical peel, then regular facials once a month,” she says, noting that protecting your skin from the sun is imperative after a chemical peel. “Also, if you’re not already on a skin care regimen, now is the time to start.”
3 months before
Skin rejuvenation treatments such as microneedling or microchanneling (Lavonne’s favorite) are recommended to treat dry skin, fine lines, and visible pores. “It’s great to get one of these therapies once a month even for anti-aging effects.”
1 week before
The week before or early in the week of your wedding is a good time for an oxygen facial, which boosts collagen production. “This really helps hydrate the skin and help all your products penetrate more,” Lavonne says. “You end up having this amazing glow after you get it done.
2-5 Days before
Lavonne recommends dermaplaning to remove dry skin and vellus hair (also known as “peach fuzz”) for better makeup application. This is also the time to get your eyebrows shaped.
2 days before
“If you’re going to do lash extensions or a lash lift and tint, get those done two days before,” she says. “I recommend getting something semi-permanent so you don’t have to worry about makeup on your honeymoon.”
1 day before
Last but not least, don’t forget to get that mani-pedi! “I always say wait until the day before, even if you’re doing gel or dip, just because things can happen,” she says.
Follow Lavonne on Instagram (@lavonnebeauty) and see more from her styled shoot at weddingsinarkansas.com.
Bridal gown Low’s Bridal Hair & makeup Lavonne Wood, Lavonne Beauty Photography Cameron & Elizabeth Photography Venue The Edgemont House