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Beauty: Polish

Thanks to talented local New Orleans hair and makeup artists, putting your best face forward has never been so easy. Use the resources below to find and fine-tune your dream look.

Ashley Merritt and her partner Kisha Williams own The Makeup Lab Artistry (By appointment, 843 Carondelet St., Studio 4, 666-3795, TheMakeupLabArtistry.com), a hub for people passionate about beauty. The co-owners host seminars with makeup artists from all over the world, such as New Zealand and Canada, so that they can share and compare styles trending across the globe. Merritt and Williams worked at MAC Makeup Studio for five and 10 years, respectively, absorbing secrets and honing their craft. Two years into running their own business, they offer extensive pro-artist makeup services.

Their salon is open by appointment only and they are more than happy to travel with the bride. Merritt stresses that she and Williams “want the bride to feel special and different from her everyday, but complimentary to her default style.” Their bridal package features “eyebrow and makeup trial runs in-studio and wedding day on-location services, which include lashes and touch-up products for the lips.” During the consultation and trial run, Merritt coaxes her clients “to speak up and share your opinions. You need to be as honest as possible about what you like, don’t like and what you want. We’ll redo the look and continue trying until we’ve accomplished one that you are comfortable and happy with. We have to work as a team because the most important thing is that the bride’s personality is represented and that she feels beautiful on her day.” Although the artists don’t do hair, they have a collection of stylists they trust and are prepared to recommend.

With over a decade of experience, certified makeup artist Kristy Bergeron of Makeup NOLA (701-8052, MakeupNola.com) is your personal go-to beauty consultant – only she comes to you. The flexible organization of her practice allows her to travel to clients with all her supplies. Since Bergeron used to model she is passionate about the art of makeup and keeps up on all the latest trends for weddings, runways and television. “Winter and spring work the clean-and-fresh look with warm, full tones,” she says. “Rich reds, eggplants, greens with peach or blue jewel tones, smoky eyes with lighter lips – all of it looks great. Long lashes are in, too. I always go for lashes, especially with waterproof liner and mascara since you want your eyes to last and pop.” She adds that a stain for your lips is sweet and timeless.

Bergeron takes your wedding’s theme, style and location into consideration when crafting a look. “(Brides) want to feel special and beautiful. I help them achieve it.” Her technique is professional and results are glamorous. Bergeron can apply traditional makeup, but prefers airbrushing her brides since the latter is waterproof, well blended, stays in contact for hours and has much better coverage. It is also available for all skin types and ethnicities.

Where it’s always fun to play with new looks, Bergeron’s ultimate goal is to compliment and accentuate your features so that your natural beauty shines through and you still look like you.

Maria Barreda (274-7061, MariaBarreda.com) is also a freelance makeup artist who travels wherever her clients need her to be. Her specialties include makeup and light hairstyles since “extravagant up-do’s can take away from the softness of a look.” She offers 10 percent off to new clients.

Mariposa Salon & Spa (3700 Orleans Ave, Suite 1D, 484-0440, MariposaSalonandSpa.com) caters to bridal parties so everyone can enjoy personal services and take advantage of outstanding packages. Surrounded by a complimentary champagne brunch of pastries and fruit, you and your bridesmaids can choose from hair, waxing, nails, lashes and airbrush makeup. Brenda McField says that “paraffin facials” are one of her most popular winter treatments. “It’s like a mini face-lift, only instead it’s a blend of essential oils in the form of a brushable wax that cools on the skin and peels right off. Women with dryer skin appreciate this because it’s very moisturizing.” Although the effects are temporary, McField recommends having the facial about four days before your big day so that the results have time to settle. Her clients are always surprised and pleased to see the tiny lines on their faces filled in and healthy plumpness restored in areas that tend to fall, like the eyes and chin.

Relax, renew and reconnect at My Spa by the Park (6312 Argonne Blvd, 482-2219, MySpabythePark.com). The spa offers yoga, massage, nail care, hair services and facials at its beautiful Mid-City location. Couple services, like pedicures and massages, are encouraged so the bride and groom can steal an intimate moment together in the midst of pre-wedding chaos. For those with more specific needs, owner Katie Callia has tips to calm down blotchy, red or irritated skin. “An algo mask soothes rough patches and reduces redness by cooling and restoring the skin for a healthy, radiant finish.” She continues, “This treatment is perfect for sensitive, sun-exposed or acneic skin. It also offers a concentrated dose of vitamins, which can help the skin of brides planning honeymoons to the islands or Caribbean.”

No matter which you choose, the polished look you achieve for your wedding is one you’ll take with you on your honeymoon and into a future with your new husband.

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