Want longer, thicker eyelashes – forget false lashes, glue and gunk? Think KISS!

I love the KISS principle: KEEP IT SIMPLE SWEETY!  And nowhere is KISS needed more than when you are applying your OWN makeup. 

Do you want longer, thicker eyelashes?  You DO NOT NEED false eyelashes, glue, applicators and hours of practice.  You do not need to worry that those " little, plastic spiders" (aka false eyelashes) will pop up or fall off of your eyelid just when you are standing under the chuppah or as you are about to be photographed or as you are about to eat your soup. 
All you need is two inexpensive mascaras and three minutes!  I promise!
Both mascaras must be black – any other color will diminish from the overall look of thicker, longer lashes.
A Hint Before You Begin:  Whenever you apply makeup – to your eyes, you cheeks, brows and even lips - always remember to work in a parallel manner.  This means that you should work on each eye (or whatever facial part) in tandem.  DO NOT WORK on one eye exclusively and then once that eye is completely finished, work on the other eye.  Apply a coat of mascara to one eye and then to the other; always repeating the same step on each eye before going to the next step.  This helps to ensure that whatever the look you want – there is symmetry between the two halves of your face.
Mascara no. 1: What type of mascara and why?
Mascara no. 1 has a flat, plastic, narrow, extra short bristle applicator.  This kind of mascara applicator helps you apply light coats of mascara to your lashes and helps separate the individual lashes without fuss or muss or big clumps of mascara goo.  When applying this mascara for the first time you may even feel that no mascara is being applied, but once you apply the second coat you WILL see a difference.
Apply the first coat to the lashes – beginning from the root of the lashes to the tip.  Use a slight zig-zag movement while you apply the mascara, this movement helps to separate the lashes while you brush.  Wait a second or two and then apply another coat of mascara.  You can then apply a third coat or just go for mascara no. 2.

Mascara no. 2: What type of mascara and why?
Mascara no.2 has a wide bristle brush.  This kind of mascara brush helps you apply thicker coats of mascara to your lashes.

Before you begin: You can carefully and slowly bend the brush applicator.  How?  By removing the applicator from the bottle and reinserting the applicator only half way.  Now gently put pressure on the part of the applicator in the bottle to force the brush to bend slightly. This curve in the applicator will help give your lashes a bit more 'lift' when you apply the mascara. 
Apply a coat of this mascara on top of the other coats of mascara.  Once again you need to work from the root of the lashes to the tip.  You should once again use a slight zig-zag and upward movement, while you apply the mascara to begin the process of thickening and lengthening your lashes.  Wait a second or two before applying subsequent coats of mascara.  You should apply at least three coats of this mascara. 

Each time you apply this mascara make sure to brush through your lashes until the very tip and then brush a little bit past the tip.  You can also apply a light coat or two to just the tips of your lashes to thicken them and complete the look.
That's it.  You can try this at home.

If you want to create a more defined or dramatic look.  Follow this method BEFORE applying mascara.

·     Want to create an even more defined or dramatic look to your eye makeup? Take a black eye pencil.  Sharpen it (not too pointy) and rub the point on the back of your hand – this will warm and soften the point. Draw a delicate line as close as possible to your lash line from one corner of your eye to the other.  You can gently smudge or blur the line, with your finger, to create a smoky effect.
·     To create an even more dramatic look, you can also draw a line around your eyes on the inside rim of the lash line (close to your eyeball).  Carefully lift your lid and draw a line around your whole eye, making sure that this line stays on the rim of your eye and does not go on the eyelid.
Whiter whites

Want to make the whites of your eyes even whiter?  Take a teal colored eye pencil and draw a line on the rim of your bottom lashes.
Should I apply mascara to my top and bottom lashes or only top lashes? 

EVERY WOMAN should wear mascara on her top lashes – even if it is only a coat or two of mascara. This gives definition to your eye area.
I do not recommend applying mascara on the lower lid if you have small and/or close-set eyes or if your under-eye area is very wrinkled.
Mascara is not a family heirloom to be treasured!

Remember to THROW AWAY any mascara that is more than three months old.  Why?  Simple biology: Where do germs like to grow?  In dark warm places.  Now where does your mascara brush live?  Inside the mascara tube which is – yes, you got it! – a dark, warm place.  This is universally true, unless you are storing your mascara in the fridge (which you know you are not).  Therefore a) do not invest great sums of money on mascara and b) do not save old tubes hoping to get out the 'last drop'. 
Now go to your makeup bag and throw away all your old tubes of mascara.  Good girl.

The Bridal Bouquet: It ain't all pansies and daisies!

Unless you are picking a bunch of daisies on the way to the Hall, you are going to order a bridal bouquet and no matter what flowers you choose, there are certain guidelines you should follow to ensure your flowers get to the chuppah in one piece!  While this article is not about selecting the perfect flowers, keep in mind that if either the kallah or the chatan or someone in the bridal party is allergic to flowers or certain types of flowers, this should be taken into consideration when selecting a bouquet.

It should be obvious that the flowers in the bouquet should be at their freshest during the photo sessions for both the pre-chuppah pictures and under the chuppah.
The bouquet and timing

First of all when are the flowers needed for photos?  There are two options: (1) the kallah will be photographed with the bouquet during the outdoor-pre-wedding shots or (2) if there are no pre-wedding shots or the flowers are not needed for these pre-wedding shots (discuss this in advance with the photographer), then the kallah will need the bouquet only when she is sitting in the kallah chair, through the Bedeken and as she walks down the aisle and under the chuppah (but more on this later).
In general, the bouquet is received the morning/day of the wedding, either brought to the kallah's home or to the Bridal Salon. 

Examining the bouquet
The kallah should appoint someone to be responsible for receiving and then examining the bouquet, as well as for the safety of said bouquet until after the chuppah. 

What to look for: 
  • Check that the flower petals are not brown, wilted or dry and that flowers, such as roses, are not completely opened (they should open completely before the photo shoot/chuppah).  Roses can be blown gently open.  A good wedding bouquet resource website is : http://weddings.theknot.com/gallery/gallery_results.aspx?gallery=20   What I like about this site is the fact that the bouquets are photographed as they are held by a 'bride', and so you get a good idea of their size in relation to a wedding gown.
  • Check that the stalks are standing straight and look fresh, not wilted, bent or crushed. 
  • Check that the leaves or other greens in the bouquet look fresh and green, not wilted, bent or crushed. 
  • If the stalks of the flowers are tied with ribbon, string and/or florist wire, make sure the bouquet is tied securely.  If the bouquet has been inserted inside a mesh holder, make sure the flowers are securely fastened to this holder.
  • Make sure that the mesh holder or the florist wire has no jagged or sharp edges that can snag the kallah's dress, cuts fingers or in general endanger the health of anyone at the wedding.
  • If flowers or leaves are wilting or do not seem fresh or the bouquet is not tied together as it should - call the florist immediately!
  • If the bouquet contains strings of pearls, crystals or any other glittery additions not created by Mother Nature, make sure these glued-on shiny bits are securely attached. If too many of them look like they are about to fall off - call the florist immediately!
If the bouquet arrives several hours before it is needed, I warmly recommend that you take a plastic bottle – that is wide and deep enough to hold the circumference of the bouquet stalks – fill the bottle with cold water and carefully insert the bouquet.  You only need to insert the bouquet about halfway up the stalks, unless it is a short bouquet.  You can cut the bottle to the height you need.  Be careful not to wet or dirty the ribbon, as this will inevitably dirty the kallah's dress.

You can place the bottle and the bouquet into a fridge, but first make sure to (1) make room for the flowers in the fridge, so you do not bend or break any and (2) assign someone to be responsible to remember to take the bouquet out of the fridge before you leave for the Hall.

Think about this: There is no reason for the kallah to hold the bouquet for hours on end.  It is enough that she hold it for (1) outdoor, pre-wedding shots and only when necessary, (2) when she is sitting in the kallah chair (if there is one) and (3) while she is walking down to the chuppah.  Under the chuppah, the kallah does not and really cannot hold the flowers throughout the ceremony, as she has to have her hands free to accept the ring, accept the ketubah and so on.  Assign someone to hold the flowers for all the in-between times.
For a look at the humorous side of bridal bouquets, read my article "A tale of one bride and two bouquets or How could 20 flowers and some ribbon weigh two hundred pounds? " http://yochieisner.blogspot.co.il/2011/03/tale-of-one-bride-and-two-bouquets-or.html
For more information on weddings, bridal beauty tips and more check out Hot Topics on this blog and my site.