These days it’s nearly impossible to know what women are spending on the way they look—especially for their wedding. Someone with Instagram-flawless contouring might’ve booked a friend for the task, and the utterly makeup-free type might’ve spent thousands on laser treatments and serums. Enter our series What It Costs to Be Me, in which we’re asking interesting women for radical transparency.
Next up? Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist, 31, from Los Angeles. Her grand total? $21,159
Justine Marjan is no stranger to constructing elaborate, A-list updos—the kind we never tire of saving for our inspiration folders. Crystals, glittering barrettes, and ribbons decorate her work; her accessorized braids and high ponytails are easily recognizable from miles away. But when it came to her Santa Barbara courthouse wedding earlier this year, she pared things down for a beauty look that ended up being just as memorable. Her idea was to keep things timeless and classic. “I was heavily influenced by Bianca and Mick Jagger’s courthouse wedding,” she explains. To suit the mood, she asked Michael Costello to design matching, ’70s-inspired suits for her and her husband, Yoni Berk.
Planning the rest of the day didn’t take too much time—mostly because there wasn’t much time to spare. Marjan and Berk decided to elope to cut down on the cost and stress of planning a huge party far in advance. “I loved the romantic idea of eloping, just the two of us, and I really wanted our wedding day to be fun and stress free,” she says. The rest of the big pieces fell into place quickly: the couple rented a vintage Mustang and drove it up the coast to Santa Barbara, where they first met. Marjan consulted her astrologer for the optimal time, and they landed on 11:11 A.M. on June 11th. “We planned the whole thing in about six weeks, after realizing I was essentially free in June,” she says. “We had been engaged for three years at this point and just wanted to get married.” The afterparty was equally low-key: “We went to get burgers at one of my childhood favorite burger stands, The Spot.”
Marjan and Berk saved the bulk of their wedding costs for photos and videos, which were their main priorities for the day. “Cibelle Levi is one of my favorite photographers,” says Marjan. “She had never shot a wedding before but loved our concept and was super into the idea. I didn’t want our photos to look like typical wedding photos, and instead wanted it to feel elevated and editorial.” Levi nailed the ask, as did Blair Brown, who delivered on their request for something that felt more music video than wedding video.
That left the extensive task of bridal beauty prep. Since Marjan is a longtime pro at planning detailed looks at the last minute, she got it all done in time, and with budget to spare. The result was a twist on ’70s hair and makeup that swapped her usual accessories (leaving just an oversized floppy Michael Costello hat) for high-shine waves and her signature cat eye. Red carpet-worthy facials, massages, workout classes, and wellness treatments completed the routine. Below, the full cost breakdown of her six-week bridal beauty crash course.
My Bridal Makeup Look: $2,415
My good friend Carlene Kearns did my makeup for the day of, and she absolutely nailed my ’70s inspiration (wedding gift, but would have cost $1,500). She has the best energy and always does such an amazing job, so I knew she would be the person I could trust the day of, even without a makeup trial. I asked her last minute; I was already stressed getting the details together in the short amount of time we had to plan the wedding. I showed her a bunch of photos of Bianca Jagger, my wedding day muse, and just trusted her to make me look and feel amazing. She chose what she thought would be best—I wasn’t specific about what she used.
Carlene prepped my skin with Sonya Dakar Stem Cell Transformer ($195) and To Go eye masks ($13). For my base, she applied Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36), Laura Mercier Silk Créme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation ($48), and set it with RCMA No Color Powder ($12) using a damp BeautyBlender ($20). Because she usually works on celebrities, she knows how to do makeup that lasts all day and looks amazing on camera. I have oily skin, but didn’t have to reapply once even though we were out in the sun.
I always love a liner look because my eyes slope downwards; a cat eye gives my eyes that lift so I don’t look sleepy in photos. Carlene prepped my eyes with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($24) and Tarte Shape Tape Concealer ($27). We chose bronze and rose gold tones for my eyeshadow using the Tarte Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette ($49) and Marc Jacobs O!Mega Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Daddi-o ($29). For my signature cat eye, she used Mac Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19) and finished with Urban Decay Perversion Mascara ($24). Eyebrows were done with Kelly Baker Brows Brow Defining Pencil ($22). She highlighted and contoured my face with palettes from Smashbox ($35) and Charlotte Tilbury ($75), along with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($52), Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Rose Bronze ($45), and Dior Diorskin Nude Luminizer in 001 ($48).
On my lips I had the perfect nude, which she mixed from Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Fierce ($28), Victoria’s Secret Velvet Matte Cream Lip Stain in Adored ($16), and Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Nude Kate ($24) in the center. To finish, I used Beverly Beach Afterglow Body Bronze ($36) on my chest and applied Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray ($38), since we were in a convertible all day. I have never felt more beautiful and confident. The whole process only took about an hour and a half, and everything looked amazing!
My Bridal Hair: $1,026
I had my hair colored and blow-dried the night before by Cassandra Kaeding ($500) at 454 North Salon, so in the morning, I could style on dry hair. We always do demi-permanent in a rich chocolate brown close to my natural shade to blend gray hair. I did my own hair the morning of, so I had to wake up extra early to have it done before Carlene came. I wanted beautiful, bouncy, brushed-out ’70s waves, so I first created a deep side part over the center of one eye, then sprayed my hair with Tresemme Micro Mist Hairspray in Boost ($6) and brushed through with a Mason Pearson Hairbrush ($275). Spraying dry hair with hairspray before styling helps keep the shape throughout the day. It also helps to hold the iron on your hair longer than you think you need and let everything cool completely before touching to set the shape. I wrapped each section of hair around the ghd Curve Soft Curl Iron ($199), then let it cool before brushing through for amazing shine. The hairspray I chose gives flexible hold, so I could move my hair around all day and it wouldn’t feel stiff. The finishing touch for taming frizz was Leonor Greyl Éclat Natural ($46).
I wore an oversized hat Michael Costello made, so there was no need to add any other accessories. I really didn’t want to overdo the look; I wanted it to feel classic, timeless, and to have that beautiful Bianca Jagger influence. We were driving a convertible up the coast, so I wrapped my hair in a scarf to avoid it getting messy. I kept a smoothing brush in my bag, and brushed throughout the day.
My Bridal Skin Care Prep: $407
My biggest concerns are acne scars and texture, and I wanted my skin to have a healthy glow and plump finish the day of my wedding. The night before, I self-tanned using St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Water Gel ($44), then rinsed off in the morning and applied Nécessaire The Body Lotion ($25). On my face, I cleansed with Sonya Dakar Silver Clarifying Face Wash ($59), then used Cocokind Rosewater Facial Toner ($17) and Cocokind Glow Essence with Sea Grape Caviar ($18). I applied Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream ($54) and Sonya Dakar Detox Daily Moisturizer ($95), then used the Nurse Jamie NuVibe RX Amethyst Massaging Beauty Tool ($95) to help the products absorb and to lift and tighten my face.
My Bridal Beauty Treatments: free, but would have cost $15,069
I started my treatments about a month in advance; we planned our wedding in about six weeks, so we were rushed and eager to get everything done. A month before my wedding day, I saw Nurse Jamie for Botox and lasers (free, but would have cost $5,000). I usually only get Botox in my jaw for TMJ, but I trust Jamie’s opinion, so we also did my forehead for wedding photos. She also did tightening lasers. I honestly don’t know what they are, I just go in there and let her do her thing! She used her Uplift Massaging Beauty Roller ($69) tool on my face and also gave me one to use on my body, which I did every night leading up to the wedding. You use the roller on your legs and arms with moisturizer for about five minutes in the evenings, and it lifts and tightens your skin. It’s especially great for cellulite and increasing circulation. Then, I saw Sonya Dakar every two weeks for three months leading up to the wedding (free, but would have cost $10,000). Sonya is a legend, and has worked with the most iconic names in Hollywood. She had me on her Beauty Boot Camp treatment—we did her sculpting laser on my face to help my cheeks slim down and add natural contour, as well as her collagen laser. I also did microneedling and a peel with her to prep. I saw amazing results; I felt like I had cheekbones for the first time in my life. Overall, my face had a more lifted appearance and smoother, more even tone and texture.
My Wellness Routine: $1,847
I worked out with Train with Danny ($250 per session, about four sessions) once a week leading up to my wedding, and supplemented with my own gym workouts ($200 per month) in between. We did high intensity interval training together, and on my own I would do similar workouts on the FitOn app or cardio at the gym and Y7 yoga classes ($30 per class, about four classes). I also did two lymphatic massage sessions the week before my wedding with Camila and Lais Perez ($250 per session, two sessions) to get rid of bloat, water weight, and tone my body. I started these massages just for the wedding but am hooked, and have gone regularly since. They are so good for circulation, stiffness, bloating, cellulite, and digestion. I also took daily doses of Olly Undeniable Beauty ($13) and Olly Flawless Complexion gummy vitamins ($14). These really help my skin clear up and my hair grow in thick and shiny.
My Bridal Nails: $100
Since we were eloping, we rushed to make decisions and I left my nails to the last minute. I was hoping my usual nail girl would be available, but she was out of town. I went to a local nail salon in Sherman Oaks called Qtie Nails ($100 for my manicure and pedicure)—the owner there is amazing. I asked for blue marble nails to go with the blue vintage car we were driving. They ended up with more of a tie-dye watercolor vibe, and I was really happy with it. I went for dip powder because I didn’t want to risk anything chipping or getting messed up.
My Bridal Fragrance: $295
I use The Harmonist perfume ($295). It smells warm, musky, and romantic. I opened it especially for my wedding, but loved it so much I’ve been wearing it since.
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