How to Keep Your Wedding Makeup Fresh All Day

A wedding is a long day, no matter how simple or extravagant. Typically, hair and makeup are scheduled first. By the time the reception comes around, your makeup can take a toll. Here are some tips from makeup expert Tiffany Irons, aesthetics lead at Spa on Penn in Kansas City, licensed esthetician, and a veteran makeup artist for eight years.

First Things First, Primer

Just like prepping a canvas or room for painting, a facial primer is an important first step for long-lasting makeup. A primer can smooth texture and reduce imperfections, which helps foundation look its best. Primer also helps control oil or add hydration, depending on the formula.

“Not all primers are the same,” explains Tiffany. “Different formulas have different benefits, and some are best for certain skin types. For instance, there are some color-correcting facial primers. If your skin has a red undertone, I’d recommend a primer with a green tint.”

To apply primer, always use a brush and never put it on with your fingers. “That’s because the oils from your hand will transfer to your face,” says Tiffany.

A makeup artist applies eyeshadow to a bride

The Bigger Picture

Eyelid primer is the same concept as a facial primer. It enables eyeshadow to hold and display more pigment. The color will stand out and make your eyes pop. Tiffany advises, “You don’t need a lot of lid primer, you want a thin layer, like a veil. It will adhere to the eyeshadow and smooth creasing.”

Though primer is essential, there are equally important factors in the process that all contribute to lasting makeup. “For wedding day makeup, it’s a lot of components working together to create the perfect look that can last the entire day. Yes, you’ll need a facial primer, but you will also, absolutely need a quality foundation. A waterproof foundation without SPF will stay in place and also reduce camera flashback.”

Power Up The Powder

After primer, concealer, and foundation, use a setting powder. Think of a setting product as ‘locking’ in your makeup. For normal skin, press and roll the powder with a big brush. This will set your makeup and foundation in place.

A traditional finishing powder is fine and translucent. It will smooth wrinkles and pores, which makes it great to use when taking pictures. Sweep across the face with gentle strokes using a fluffy, loose brush. Finishing powder creates a polished look and is usually used for special occasionslike a wedding, prom, or photo shoots.

Makeup tools and setting spray

Ready, Set, Spray

A setting spray should be applied last. This creates a waterproof, sweat-proof sealant and keeps everything in place for the long day ahead.

“Apply a few sprays in the motion of a letter T, cross (X) or plus sign (+), about 12 feet away from the face. Then for touch-ups throughout the day, use blotting papers or setting powder,” said Tiffany.

A Makeup Trial is Key

Tiffany recommends for a bride to schedule makeup trials with the same person, about 30 to 60 days out from the wedding.

Appointments and trials that spread over a six-month span can be difficult. It creates a time lapse for the bride and makeup professional leading up to the big day. “What you discussed isn’t as fresh, so it’s ideal to schedule trials one to two months out. If you think you’re going to be picky, I would recommend two trials in advance,” advises Tiffany.

“There’s a common misconception that if the first trial doesn’t go well, then they should try someone else. You should provide honest feedback so the [makeup] artist can make adjustments to meet your preferences. It’s truly artistry, so it can be changed to be better.”

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