Your wedding day will undoubtedly be one of the biggest and most memorable days of your life, and as you walk down the aisle — with all eyes on you, of course — you’ll want to be absolutely flawless. But achieving that runway-inspired bridal look takes some preparation and planning (yes, the same amount of prep you put into the dress, the venue and the seating plan). To ensure your wedding day is picture perfect, and to help you achieve a gorgeous big-day look, we enlisted the help of top bridal beauty experts. Here they share insider makeup, hair and skincare secrets every bride needs to know before saying “I do.”
WEDDING DAY MAKEUP TIPS
“As a bride, you have to remember that photos last forever,” says celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, the pro behind Kaley Cuoco’s wedding look. “Your look should be timeless and you should really just try to look like a more enhanced, fresh, beautiful version of yourself. So if you don’t normally wear a dark smokey eye, your wedding isn’t the place to try it out! You don’t want your soon-to be-husband or partner to not recognize you! Stick to a natural, romantic color palette on the eyes, and don’t forget waterproof mascara, because most brides shed a few tears. Also, on your wedding day you want your lips to look kissable, so stay away from really strong colors (like bright pink) or too much gloss.”
“Always book a trial with your makeup artist, and don’t hesitate to bring images of your dream makeup and vision,” says celebrity makeup guru Kimberley Bosso. “Voice your feedback at the trial. If you don’t like a lip color, tell your makeup pro. We want you to feel confident and look beautiful on your wedding day. If you’ve booked an artist who doesn’t want to hear what you have to say, run out the door! A seasoned pro is all ears and wants you to feel happy. If we think your vision won’t be flattering on you, we’ll tell you and go from there.”
“Bridal makeup should be flawless and radiant,” adds Bosso. “With that said, I always use an airbrush application (with a gun and compressor) when working with brides. Airbrush foundation, blush and highlight gives makeup a staying power of 15 hours and beyond. In addition to being long lasting, the airbrush application creates a lightweight, photo-ready finish that every girl wants for her big day.” Pro tip: To give your skin a gorgeous glow, make sure your makeup artist uses a silicone formula foundation.
“Brides: Don’t forget that the T-zone area tends to get shiny, so a little bit of powder makes a huge difference,” says Katie Jane Hughes, celebrity makeup artist and Butter London Global Colour Ambassador. “Light powder touch-ups between photos and during the reception are key to staying shine free.” Hughes also recommends that brides don’t go complexion crazy (read: take it easy on the foundation and contouring). “Yes, you need a full complexion for photos, but the coverage should be focused on the areas that need it, not where you don’t.”
To keep your makeup looking fresh from day to night, apply a setting spray before walking out the door. “A setting spray is great because it will immediately seal and lock makeup in place, ensuring your look will last through all the tears and sweat of your special day,” says Jessica Scantlin, lead celebrity makeup artist at Blushington. “This is really a must-have for every bride, because no matter how prepared you are, the day can get hectic and the last thing you need to worry about is if your makeup is staying put. A setting spray can take care of that completely!”
It’s true: Makeup can look totally different in photos than it does in real life. To avoid having a total bridal beauty fail, be sure to take some photos at your trial of your makeup (both with and without the flash) to see how it will translate. “Red lips on brides can appear ‘goth black’ in black and white wedding photos, and if your face foundation doesn’t match the skin color of your body, it will look like you have a floating head in photos!” explains star makeup artist and bridal beauty pro David Maderich. Brides should also be mindful of HD powder and products with shimmer, as they can both reflect light when the camera flash goes off, creating unsightly white spots on your face (yikes!).
WEDDING DAY HAIR TIPS
“Don’t try to cut corners and go with the cheapest option when it comes to your wedding day hair,” says Megan Cary, owner and operator of Megan Cary Styling & Makeup Artistry in Denver. “You very much do get what you pay for. Many brides feel comfortable going with their regular hairstylist who cuts and colors their hair in the salon because they are comfortable with that person and used to their prices. But the truth is that many of these hair pros don’t have expertise in bridal styling. Always do your research, get referrals and book well in advance to look your absolute best on your big day!”
“You, as the bride, should try to choose a style that’s cohesive with your overall feel of the wedding (i.e. dress, location, time of day and formality),” explains Hannah Bush, owner and head stylist of Urbanista Weddings in Seattle, WA. “For example, if you are having a beach-front wedding, I wouldn’t recommend having a style that’s sleek and precise. Instead, I would go with a style that is comfortable, simple and, most of all, allows for movement. For an outdoor garden wedding, choose a soft and flowy hairstyle with pieces framing the face or neck. Adding a few flowers would be perfect. And for a ballroom wedding, you would benefit from having an elegant style — most likely an updo.”
“Most bridal styles in magazines or on Pinterest that catch the eyes of many brides are created on very thick, long hair — or the models have extensions,” advises Cary. “Don’t expect that your stylist will be able to recreate one of these looks on short, thin hair. Instead, try to grow your hair as much as you can before your wedding, or opt for extensions. The thicker or longer the hair is, the easier it is for the artist to recreate the gorgeous style you want.”
For a wedding hairstyle that looks incredible and stays put all night long, arrive to the salon with second-day hair. “Hair that is a bit dirty and gritty holds and styles much better than clean, silky hair,” adds Bush. “A great stylist will know how to get rid of extra oil and add texture, but the safest bet is to arrive to the salon on your wedding day with hair that’s one-day dirty.”
To ensure your tresses boast photo-ready shine, it’s necessary to get your strands as healthy as possible for the wedding. Leading up to the big day, make sure to trim split ends every 8-12 weeks, repair damaged ends with a weekly moisturizing hair mask and use a heat protectant spray daily before styling to prevent future breakage. “A week before the wedding, head to the salon for a deep conditioning treatment. You can even add in a clear gloss treatment for extra shine,” suggests Danny Jelaca, celebrity stylist and owner of Danny Jelaca Salon in Miami Beach. “Every bride wants that healthy, fresh hair glow — and it’s so easy to achieve if you treat your strands with care.”
WEDDING DAY SKINCARE TIPS
“The biggest skincare mistake brides make is forgetting about their complexion until just before the wedding,” says Alexandra Wagner, licensed esthetician, skincare specialist and owner of Alexandra Wagner Skincare in Venice, California. “Make sure to start caring for your skin six months before your wedding so you feel confident your skin will be glowing for the big day.”
“The plan six to 12 months out should revolve around your skin’s conditions. Two weeks before the wedding, the plan should focus on hydrating, lifting and tightening treatments,” says Joanna Czech, celebrated esthetician, global skincare advisor for La Mer and owner of Joanna Czech Spa in Dallas, TX. “Lastly, get a manicure and pedicure a day or two before the wedding so it’s fully dry and doesn’t smudge the day of.”
“Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and dairy will help you achieve a glowing complexion. And exercising regularly before the big day will not only get you in shape and relieve stress, but it will also bring blood flow and increased circulation to the skin — giving you a gorgeous glow from the inside out,” adds Wagner, who’s been helping brides perfect their complexion for the past 10 years. Wagner also recommends that brides try to “go with the flow” as much as possible, since stress wreaks havoc on our hormones and can cause breakouts. “Try to relax and enjoy the experience,” she adds.
“The month before your wedding should be completely experiment free,” advises Czech. “Say no to new invasive treatments, waxing, or brow shaping right before the big day. Do not try anything for the first time, as you don’t know how your skin will react and you might not have time to fix the reaction. Any experimentation should start 12 months before the wedding so that you have enough time to gauge your skin’s reaction.” If you need a little extra color on your skin, experiment with spray tans a month or two before, and if it works for you, get one two to four days before the wedding (definitely not the day before). And same goes for facials!
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