Wedding-day beauty isn’t as complicated as its made out to be, and yet I’ve found lists of tips and tricks that are hundreds of items long! I had it easy — a family friend just happens to be an award-winning stylist. He attended my wedding and was there with a lip gloss wand every time I turned around. Not everyone has it so good, but that doesn’t mean bridal makeup has to be complicated and overwhelming.
Start with a clean canvas
You’ll see a lot of bridal checklists that advise setting up a regular months-long regimen of facials and detox sessions, but there’s no reason to go absolutely nucking futz if you have pretty good skin. If you’re skin ain’t all that, I’d suggest going to a proper dermatologist rather than your local aesthetician. Don’t have anything radical done in the month and a half before your nuptials, as skin needs time to heal after harsh treatments like chemical peels. Drink lots and lots of water, exfoliate gently, moisturize, and wear sunscreen…before and after your wedding. In fact, never stop!
Stay true to yourself
Those stylish chicks who never, ever leave the house without mascara probably already have a good idea of the type of makeup that suits them best. You may be perfectly happy going about barefaced 90% of the time, and thus not quite as familiar with the cosmetics that are out there today. Don’t assume that you must put yourself at the mercy of an overzealous makeup artist! If you really want to go without cosmetics, walk down the aisle without them. If you usually look like an extra from Wigstock, don’t feel compelled to tone it down. A good stylist will do all she or he can to make you look how you want to look…not how she thinks you should look. Mine asked me what sort of makeup I usually wore and what celebrity styles I particularly likes, and we went from there.
Should you decide to apply your own makeup, be practical about it. Tears of joy are incredibly common, so make sure your mascara is waterproof. You’ll probably be doing a lot of kissing — not to mention eating and drinking — so test run a few long-lasting lip colors before settling on the one that will be least likely to require eight zillion reapplications. Silicone-based rimers help makeup stick, ensuring that you’ll look as good when the DJ spins Last Dance as you did when the organist played the Bridal Chorus. Glittery, dewy powders and creams look great…below the neck. Too much facial “glow” comes out greasy in photographs. Do as many trial runs as you need to before the wedding so you feel comfortable applying your own cosmetics on the day of.
Your favorite makeup is no doubt your favorite for a reason. While your makeup artist probably has some wonderful things in that kit she lugs around, you can ask her to use your preferred cosmetics and your application tools. This is a good option for those with particularly sensitive skin and those who are allergic to certain ingredients commonly found in makeup. If you like this option (because it’s sanitary and you get to keep everything after watching an expert apply it) but don’t know where to start, check out these kits from Bare Escentuals:
Don’t forget that makeup shouldn’t be stressful, anxiety inducing, or a horrid chore. If you’re not having fun with it, something is obviously wrong. Choose a stylist you get along with, or play around with your own cosmetics until you’re satisfied with your look. There are plenty of cool video tutorial all over the Internet, so you can see exactly how the pros do it. The key word here is of course “play” — beauty is best when it’s amusing and engaging! And if your makeup isn’t utterly and entirely perfect, you’ll still look wonderful because, hey, it’s you’re wedding day!
I’d love to hear from gals who applied their own wedding day makeup. Why did you go that route? And how did it turn out in your photos?