Parties, Favored

Brides (and their worn-out maids) deserve more than the same old gift-and-snack snoozefest. Good hosts get behind these new twists on classic showers.

The Makeup Lesson

unique wedding showers

Mirror, Mirror: The Sarra studio’s smart layout lets brides see themselves from all angles; Photograph by Black Coffee

Regardless of whether she’s already hired a makeup artist, every bride could use a (very fun) dry run. Sarra, a full-service South Boston makeup studio, supplies a spacious, well-lit backdrop for an afternoon of makeup lessons. Groups settle into mod leather chairs as owner Lauren Genatossio gives one-on-one sessions under photo-studio lighting. She’ll do one side and let her pupil do the other, while offering up skin-specific tips and color schemes. Once the brushes are packed away, parties move to a lounge-y corner of the exposed-brick loft space, where a small kitchenette and bar can handle a catered lunch, afternoon tea, or self-serve refreshments. As a finishing touch, Genatossio sends everyone off with discounted products from her makeup line.


unique wedding showers

Photo courtesy of Istockphoto

Set up an at-home makeover station with a rainbow of eyeshadows, contoured brushes, and lipsticks from the Beauty Mark in Beacon Hill. Lay everything out along with mirrors, add backlighting, and let guests spend the first half hour experimenting with new looks. As the party winds down, pack each woman’s best colors and brushes into personalized kits.

Staring at $80 per person, Sarra, 840 Summer St., Boston, 617-269-8999,; The Beauty Mark, 33 Charles St., Boston, 617-720-1555,

Go on to the next page to read about the tea tasting…