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Oceanside, CA

(760) 716-5425

essica Varela is a San Diego based makeup artist with more than 11 years experience creating looks for weddings, special occasions, print, the runway, and television. 


​Jessica Varela's blog is a lot about makeup and a little about more!

Filtering by Category: Bridal Makeup

Wedding Day Beauty Prep - Eyebrows

Jessica Varela

We can't all have Poppy and Cara Delevingne's perfect brows, but we can sure try.  Photo - Telegraph UK

We can't all have Poppy and Cara Delevingne's perfect brows, but we can sure try.

Photo - Telegraph UK

One of my colleagues used to say, “If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the eyebrows are the frame.” She was right. Brows frame your face and “support” the structure of your face. If shaped correctly and groomed regularly, you can literally change the structure of your face…and look put together (with or without makeup)!

As you can see, eyebrows are an important component of your makeup routine and if they are this important every day, they should definitely not be neglected for THE most important day of your life – your wedding day! As you’re putting together your bridal beauty to-do-list, don’t forget to pencil in a brow appointment. And, don’t put it too far down on the list. You may need a few months (or more) to get your eyebrows picture perfect.

 To help you get your brows in tip-top shape, here are a few key eyebrow shaping tips I talk about in my Brow Counseling class: 


 If you need hair growth, no touchy, touchy! I know how hard it is to fight the urge to tweeze, but do whatever you have to do to resist grabbing those tweezers! Have your maid of honor hide your tweezers, throw them away or cover them in peanut butter… just don’t pluck!

Your eyebrows are hair and should be treated like your hair. Massage a little conditioner in them when you’re in the shower and comb them regularly with a brow brush. I like MAC’s 204 Lash Brush.

Sometimes you need help, so when the going gets tough, try a brow growth serum like nueBROW or Rapidlash. 


 WHO is shaping them? Listen carefully…just because someone waxes/threads/tweezes brows does not mean they know how to shape them! Shaping is an art and in my opinion, only a few are true artists. Best bet: Find someone who has a shape you like and ask them for a referral.

WHAT are they using? Are they using wax, threads or tweezers to remove hair? A good eyebrow guru will do what’s best for your brows at the time of your appointment (hint, it may not always be a waxing).

WHERE are they removing hair? You and your eyebrow guru should come to an agreement of what shape is best suited to your face and where hair may or may not need to be removed before any hair is removed.


What’s your brow goal? Lusting after the bigger, bushier brows of the moment or are you crazy about Jean Harlow’s razor sharp arch? Let your goal determine what and how much eyebrow maintenance you need.

With the right help and minimal effort, you and your brows will be more than ready for your wedding day! 

If you'd like to have some brow counseling yourself, shoot me an email or sign up for one of my Brow Counseling classes - it's free!

Bridal Makeup – Most Frequently Asked Questions

Jessica Varela



It’s the most important and most photographed day of your life. You want to make sure you and your bridal party are picture perfect. So do I. 

 I know you’ve got probably got a million questions about getting your makeup done and please, ask away! To get you started, I’ve compiled the questions I get asked most frequently about wedding makeup.

 Q. When should I schedule a trial?

 A. You can schedule a trial whenever it is most convenient for you! If you have an engagement photo session in the books or a bridal shower coming up, you can schedule your trial the same day and take advantage of the session. If you can, I always recommend scheduling a trial at least a month before your wedding. Keep in mind, the sooner you book a makeup trial the sooner you can secure your wedding date.  

Makeup: Jessica Varela

Makeup: Jessica Varela

Q. I’m interested in airbrushing. Do you airbrush?

 A. I don’t use airbrush for bridal makeup. Airbrushing is great for certain makeup applications, but in my experience, weddings aren’t one of them. Traditional foundation gives brides more options in texture, formula, and coverage. For example, some brides may prefer (or need) a full coverage foundation or a bride with a drier skin type may need a creamier formula than a bride with an oily skin type.

 Q. Do I need to bring my own product?

 A. No! I provide everything. I have it all, including moisturizers and false eyelashes. However, if you have a product you cannot live without and must use it on your wedding day, I will be more than happy to apply it.

 Q. On the day of, should I do hair or makeup first?

 A. It’s your day and you can do anything you want! I can do your makeup before or after your hair is done. It’s up to you!

Makeup: Jessica Varela

Makeup: Jessica Varela

Q. Will I need to touch up my makeup?

A. I use products that are designed to last, but you may need to touch up your makeup. The weather, skin type, how much you cry (ha, ha – but really), and time between makeup and ceremony are all factors that can have an effect on makeup longevity. Don’t worry, though. You shouldn’t have to apply any more color or blend your eye shadow. What you might need to do, however, is blot your skin and freshen up your lipstick. I will give you a list of products I recommend you purchase to touch up with and I will also provide you with a touch up kit. If you would rather not have to worry at all about touching yourself up, I do offer touch up rates!

Q. How long does each makeup application take?

 A. I usually allow 45 minutes for bridesmaids and other members of the bridal party. If a trial has been done beforehand, I allow an hour for the bride.

 Q. I’ve never worn false eyelashes. Should I wear them for my wedding?

 A. I recommend to all of my brides that false eyelashes be worn on their wedding day, but it is by no means a requirement. The reason I do recommend brides wear lashes is because the natural lash tends to get “washed out” in photographs. I carry a large variety of lashes – natural, wispy, chunky, etc. – for brides to choose from so any look can be achieved.

 Just remember, you must feel comfortable on your special day and if that means not wearing false eyelashes, then so be it! There are several techniques we can use to “thicken” the lash line and give the appearance of a fuller lash. 

If you have any other questions about bridal makeup, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or phone – 760.716.5425. Can’t wait to hear from you! 

Bridal Makeup Trends for 2013

Jessica Varela

 "Barely there" makeup. Makeup by me. 

 "Barely there" makeup. Makeup by me. 

Can’t believe it’s that time again – wedding season...and what better time to discuss bridal makeup then in the height of wedding season. Many brides opt for traditional bridal makeup (satiny champagne eye, and pink cheeks and lips), but the most popular bridal makeup trends for 2013 offer options to brides who are looking for something a little less traditional.

According to Elle magazine, the no makeup makeup look continues to be a favorite among brides. At Vera Wang Bride, models sported fuller brows and matte skin, with little to no color on any feature of the face. Flawless skin, contoured cheekbones, and lots of mascara are hallmarks of the “barely there” look. 

No makeup makeup look at Vera Wang Bride. 

No makeup makeup look at Vera Wang Bride. 

Colored eyeliner is another popular bridal makeup trend for 2013. Eyeliner applied to the upper lashes in a color (e.g. turquoise, purple) is a creative, yet wearable way to make a classic look unique. For brides who want to try this trend, but want (or need) definition along the lash line, apply colored eyeliner along the edge of black or brown eyeliner.

Turquoise eyeliner. Makeup by Emily Cheng.

Turquoise eyeliner. Makeup by Emily Cheng.

Neon red lips at Amsale. 

Neon red lips at Amsale. 

Red lips on brides is not a new trend, but many brides are opting for brighter or deeper, almost burgundy reds. At Amsale, models walked the runway with neon red lips and last year’s trend of opaque, deep berry colored lips is becoming more popular with brides this year.

However, no matter what trends exist, it’s important to remember that trends are just that – a general direction in which something is developing or changing. Let the current trends inspire you, but ultimately, choose a makeup look that makes you feel both comfortable and beautiful on your special day.

For bridal makeup inspiration and to see more photos of my work, please visit If you would like to contact me, please click here.