Bridal Beauty Do’s and Don’ts

A bride sitting in a black vintage car.

Everyone wants to look like their best self on their wedding day. However, getting your makeup right for your wedding day isn’t as obvious as you think. Whether you hire a professional or decide to do it yourself, there are some key dos and don’ts that you should follow.

Do: Be Yourself

Make sure you use makeup to enhance your features and not change your appearance. It’s important to look like yourself on your wedding day, so save the overly contoured Instagram face for another occasion. You want your spouse to recognize you at the altar, right? Keep your makeup natural-looking and try to stick more or less to the same look that you’d normally wear, just a level up. If you’ve never been spotted with red lipstick before, your wedding is probably not the best time to try it.

Don’t: Be a Trendsetter

It’s tempting to try something new and stand out on your wedding day, but it’s best to shy away from any trendy looks or anything you’d normally not wear. What may be “in” at the moment will look dated in photos years from now.

Do: Take Care of Your Skin

A woman looking in the mirror and washing her face.

If you’re not blessed with perfect skin, you still have time to improve things. Start a skincare routine at least two months before your wedding and consult a dermatologist if necessary. Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is wash and moisturize your face in the morning and before bed (and any time after a sweaty workout). In addition, never sleep with makeup on. No matter how tired you are, take a few minutes to clean it all off; you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.

Don’t: Abuse Lip Liner

Lip liner, when used appropriately, prevents lipstick and gloss from bleeding onto your face. It also gives colored lip products lasting power. However, it probably shouldn’t be used on your wedding day to fake Angelina’s lips. Overdrawn lip liner will look very obvious both in person and in photos. Stick to a shade that matches your natural lips or one that’s close to the color you’ll be wearing.

Do: Look Fresh

Great skin is more than just exterior care. In the week leading up to your wedding, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. To avoid a bloated face, also cut salt out of your diet, or at least definitely avoid it the day before your wedding. Lastly, if you’re prone to blotchy skin, take it easy on the alcohol before the ceremony, as it can make you look flushed in an unattractive way.

Do: Focus on Foundation

A woman applying foundation with a sponge.

Applying foundation correctly is key to creating the perfect makeup canvas. When your skin looks neat, you’ll find that you’ll need less makeup to look good. In addition to the foundation, shop for a primer, and consider a setting spray. Both will assure your look lasts long into the night.

Foundation can be tricky, as it’s not always easy to find the right shade and coverage. When shopping for one, test it near your jawline and make sure it matches in both natural and artificial light. And if you’re tanning before your big day, you may want to put off foundation shopping until closer to the date.

Don’t: Be Overly Radiant

You want to glow on your wedding, not reflect the camera flash, so be careful when choosing any product that’s supposed to highlight or illuminate. Always test how the makeup looks on your skin with a few selfies (with the flash on and without). Some professionals recommend also avoiding SPF, as it can make your skin look dull in photos or reflect a white sheen. In addition, avoid glitter, as it usually doesn’t look good in photos, either.

Do: A Trial Run

This is especially important if you’re hiring a makeup artist. You need to make sure you’re both on the same page about your wedding day look. This might mean paying for two sessions, but it’s worth it to avoid regrets. Even if you’re doing the makeup yourself, it’s necessary to practice. (Even more so if you’re experimenting with something new like false eyelashes.) And, of course, take plenty of photos and ask your friends for input. They might help you spot a detail or two that you missed.

Do: Go for Waterproof

A bride wearing eyeshadow and fake lashes.

Even if you think you might not cry, chances are you will shed a tear or two. Nearly every wedding makeup artist recommends using waterproof mascara on your wedding day.

Don’t: Experiment

Doing anything drastic close to your wedding day is far too risky. However, if you insist on trying something new such as injections or self-tanner, experiment with it at least several months in advance first. Likewise, it’s a bad idea to make any huge changes to your appearance too close to the date, such as chopping off or dying your hair. If anything goes wrong, you’ll regret it, so always leave enough time to fix things.

Do: Whiten Your Teeth

Pearly whites can do wonders for your overall look and make you more youthful. At-home whitening kits can be just as good as an in-office procedure and are not as expensive. However, keep in mind that whitening can make teeth sensitive. If you’re prone to that, you might want to consult a professional first. If nothing else, at least go for a thorough cleaning and polish at a dentist a few days or weeks before your wedding. That alone can remove a lot of stains and refresh your appearance.

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