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Ask an Expert: Makeup

NELSON D'LEON 50 W. 34th St., Ste. 21C9; 212-563-9879

Nelson D'Leon

How did you get started?
My mother owned a bridal boutique in Ecuador. I grew up surrounded by the accessories, the flowers, the invitations. I started doing hair and makeup when I was 10; by 16, I was well known in my city.

Why do you work exclusively with brides?
All brides become perfectionists—even the ones who are normally very laid-back. I have the patience to deal with people like that because I am obsessed with details, and I work best under stress. At the critical time when brides are getting ready, they need someone who’s even more anal than themselves. And that’s me.

You’re known for being obsessed with brows and lashes. Why?
Less is more, so perfecting the eyebrows and eyelashes is the most important step.You can create any look you want much more naturally by focusing on the brows, lashes, and angle of the hair.

What about accessories?
Headpieces and jewelry should be chosen according to the hairstyle and the bride’s features, not the dress. And it’s important not to overdo it. We’re dressing a bride, not a Christmas tree. An elaborate headpiece should be paired with studs; fancy earrings with a small headpiece, and so on.

Any general styling tips to keep in mind?
Make sure your colorist dyes or highlights your part, and have it done just six to eight days before; roots will show in pictures. No massages or facials within two weeks of the wedding; under stress, your skin can react differently. And no French manicures: There will be shots of you kissing the groom, touching his face, and you don’t want fake-looking nails. No pearls—they photograph too strong, and eyes will go directly to the necklace or earrings. The face should be the jewel.



From the Fall 2005 New York Wedding Guide


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