Wedding days are the stuff of dreams, full of perfectly dressed people, sun-kissed lighting and high-wattage smiles. For brides, keeping up the pretense of beauty with budge-proof makeup is a challenge on a highly choreographed day where’s she the star of the biggest show of her life.
To maintain that flawless face, here are some tricks of the trade from beauty experts.
Prep the Skin
Your pre-production is where it starts.
Begin with a pure face. Apply the holy skincare trinity of cleanser, toner and moisturizer before any makeup touches the skin to create the smoothest foundation. When you think of moisturizer, stick to one that’s free of sunscreen. A little less SPF on your special day ensures better photos. Photographers note that sunscreens can cast a ghostly glow upon subjects in a photo.
Wedding specialists advise sticking to products that you know. This isn’t the time to invest in fancy, triple digit-priced lotions and potions lest they make you break out or dry out your skin.
“People shouldn’t deviate from their typical skincare for their wedding day,” says Amie Decker, who owns a bridal makeup and hairstyling services firm in Savage, MD. “This isn’t the time to try something drastically new that a friend suggests or swears is amazing. It may not work so well on your face.”
Primer is Your Friend
Use a priming cream, gel or powder after your moisturizer to prepare your skin for your makeup, giving it something to hold onto throughout the day. If you’re getting married in a glamorous locale like Hawaii or Mexico where the weather can turn humid and hot, primer can help that makeup stay put.
Makeup artists also know that primer is a must for eyelids and even eyebrows. It creates a base so eye-shadow doesn’t sink into eyelids and appear true to color, Decker says.
“It helps create a blank canvas so your skin undertones, which could be reddish or bluish, don’t impact the eyeshadow color,” she says.
Follow the Pattern
Now that the canvas is set, apply your base makeup in this order: Start with liquid foundation, move on to concealer for undereye circles and blemishes and set it all with HD pressed powder. The lowdown on HD powder is that it helps blur, smooth and reduce your skin’s shine for extensive matte coverage.
“You never want to put on liquid after powder,” says Marisa Barcus, a bridal makeup stylist in Salt Lake City. “That’s how you get a cakey effect.”
Brides should ignore their inclination to apply powder throughout the big day, Decker says. Instead use blotting paper.
“Depending on the weather, if it gets warm or humid, your face will get oilier and adding powder will just make your complexion look cakey,” she advises.
Add setting spray to further maximize the longevity of your makeup, Rose says. Spritz it over your face to keep makeup looking fresh.
This is not the day to go au naturel with your cosmetics. A neutral palette may work for some, but skimping on color isn’t advisable. Camera flashes can wash out the colors in your face so don’t be afraid to dab on more here and there and at the very least, layer it on to make it through the reception.
“It’s going to be different from what you wear to work or what you wear in yoga pants,” Decker says.
Let your personality shine through with your blush and eye makeup. Experts always suggest wearing waterproof mascara, but only for the bottom lashes. Your top lashes may look too clumpy.
Last but not least
Rose says you shouldn’t be reapplying anything during your wedding day except for lipstick. Like your face, the lips can also be prepped with foundation and concealer.
And before that? Exfoliate the lips with warm water and a toothbrush, then follow with lip balm.
“If you don’t exfoliate, there may be crustiness or dry skin which will make your lipstick look worse,” Decker says.
Remember that before all that kissing begins!