Though we live in a world obsessed with beauty, many women (including me) don’t regularly wear make-up. There are as many reasons for not wearing make-up as there are for wearing it: A lack of time. A career that doesn’t lend itself to the wearing of cosmetics. Sensitive skin. Or (and this describes me very well) sheer laziness combined with a work-at-home job. My mom also never taught me how to apply the dang stuff.
This cosmetic innocence, however, can be a problem on one’s wedding day. Many a woman who might otherwise eschew make-up will readily slather it on when she is to be the center of attention. Unfortunately, this can lead to brides that are less blushing and more Tammy Faye. These brides can do one of two things: They can hire an expensive professional. Or they can read everything they can about make-up and do a few test runs before the wedding.
Guess which solution I prefer?
Now, when I think bridal beauty, I think simplicity. I think most brides look their best when they have used natural colors of cosmetics to highlight their innate prettiness. It’s a stereotype, but one I can appreciate: the dewy, rose-cheeked, pink-lipped blushing bride.
So, when considering wedding day make-up, whether in the morning or the evening, think deep colors (for a touch of drama) and natural shades. If you’ve never worn foundation, concealer, or powder, consider giving it a try – ask a department store make-up counter consultant to help you find the right hue and to teach you what to do with it.
Eyeliner: A light brown eyeliner, gently smoothed upward toward the temple looks striking but doesn’t scream, “Made up!” Practice makes perfect.
Eye shadow: Pastels will look pretty but stick to sheer mattes, because overly shimmery shadows can look shiny in photos. Two or more shades artfully blended can look just as subtly beautiful as a single color. Experiment. A lot. Before the wedding.
Blush: Glittery blushes can make you look shiny (i.e. oily) in photos. Cream blush set with translucent powder typically looks the most natural and tends to last throughout the day. Blush, however, can be tricky. And if you have naturally ruddy cheeks like I do, you might want to forgo it altogether.
Lipstick: I used to doubt the truth of those adverts for 8-hour lipsticks. Then I bought a tube of Revlon Colorstay Overtime. They are not kidding when they say it won’t kiss off. Try colors that are close to your normal lip color.
Mascara: Whether you go for black or brown, use a waterproof formula. You should be able to cry without worrying about raccoon eyes. If you have long, dark lashes, try clear.
There is no rule saying you must buy a make-up case worth of new products for your wedding day. I guess there is also no rule saying you have to wear make-up at all on your wedding day. But if you’re going to, play around with it in the weeks before the big day to find a look you like. See how your make-up looks when paired with your gown. If you need more help, books like Makeup Makeovers: Stunning Looks for the Entire Bridal Party offer cosmetic hints and tips. And DVDs like The Perfect Wedding Series: The Beautiful Bride will demonstrate wedding make-up application in easy-to-follow steps.