Get gorgeous and avoid wedding-day disaster with these 15 amazing makeup and beauty tips for any bride, bridesmaid, or guest.
1. Tan at Least Two Days in Advance
If you're going to get a fake tan before the big day, spray-tan at least two days prior to your wedding, makeup artist Alexandra Andrade advises. "It'll darken on the second day, and by the third day, it'll have settled and be perfect."
2. Consider Climate Before Applying Makeup
Especially for brides getting married in warmer climates, consider using as many oil-free products as possible - primer, moisturizer, foundation, etc. - and keeping oil-free blotting sheets on hand.
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3. Play Up Your Makeup for Photos
"Another general rule for brides," Alex says: "The camera will blow you out in photos. Put on a little more makeup than you would apply normally, more than you think you need, since the camera and lights will tone down your makeup."
If you're doing your own makeup: Practice and take pictures before the big day. Start with less, because it's easier to add more if you need it than having to remove excess makeup, which can get messy.
4. Use a Primer
"Especially with brides," Alex says, "you want to make sure you cleanse and really moisturize the skin before you start applying your makeup. Then, after you moisturize and before you put on your foundation, there's a really important step - primer. It'll make your makeup go on smoother and last a lot longer. You're going to have a long day ahead of you, and you want your makeup to last you all day and all night." Alex recommends using Laura Mercier primer. "It's one of my favorites," she says. "It's really great because it comes in all different formulas for all different skin types."
Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer, $30; lauramercier.com
5. Always Apply Your Foundation with a Sponge or Brush
"Certain foundations work better with a sponge or brush," Alex says, "but definitely use either one or the other - never your fingers. The less you can touch your face, the better." (Bacteria, dirt, etc., can be left behind.) Your fingers can also leave behind fingerprints, "so the look isn't as smooth and finished-looking." If you use a sponge, apply foundation by stippling the sponge, not swiping it across the skin. This gives your foundation a more natural look, and blends it more evenly into the skin.
CoverGirl Make-Up Masters Sponge Puffs, $2.59; drugstore.com
6. Put on Concealer After Your Foundation
"Your moisturizer, primer, and foundation are already going to even out skin and cover imperfections," Alex says, "so doing it before your foundation could leave you looking cakey with too much product." She also notes that it's important to use a different kind of concealer for your eyes than for your face. "It should be something very creamy and emollient - not necessarily oil-free, like you'll use on your face - so it doesn't get dry and cakey throughout the day," she says. "You also want to use something peach-based so it contrasts the the blue and purple tones of your eyelid."
Laura Mercier Under Eye Perfecter, $22; lauramercier.com
7. Use Different Concealers
Your concealer choice depends on what you're covering. "If it's a blemish, red spot, or broken capillaries, use an oil-free, pigmented, thicker concealer with hints of yellow," Alex says. "For under your eyes, you want to use something with a little more peach in it to cover and contrast the blues and purples. It should be something emollient and creamy because there are no oil glands there. Sometimes you'll see women with dry, cakey concealer under eyes; their concealer is either oil-free or they have too much on." Make sure to use a brush to apply your concealer so you can really pinpoint the spot. Press gently and melt it into skin. Start thin − you can always add more.
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, $22; lauramercier.com
8. Primer for Eye Shadow
Using an eye shadow primer ensures smudge-free makeup, a must when you're wearing all white.
9. For a Natural Makeup Look, Try a Cream Blush
It goes on sheer and looks healthy and fresh. If you want more staying power, try layering a powder blush on top of it.
Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride, $30; sephora.com
10. You Can Learn Where to Place Your Blush Just by Smiling!
When you smile, the apple of your cheek pops out. Place your blush right there and blend into your temple − this will make it look like you're naturally flushing.
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour, $24; lauramercier.com
11. An Eyebrow Pencil Is a Must-Have
"A big step that some women forget when they do their makeup," Alex advises, "and something that you'll especially want to do on your wedding day, is to use a brow pencil to fill in your eyebrow. It really frames your eye and finishes the whole picture." A tip for finding the right color for your eyebrow pencil: Always go a shade or two lighter than your own natural eyebrow color.
Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil, $19; lauramercier.com
12. Replace Pencil Eye Liner with Cake Liner
"Cake liner is a great product," Alex says. "Once you apply it, it lasts all day line − seriously, it really won't budge! A pencil can sometimes disappear - it has an oily, wax-y texture that can migrate down your skin." Because cake liner is dry, you'll need a little bit of water to activate it − aim for a shoe- polish consistency. If you do decide to use a pencil, Alex suggests setting it with some powder so it'll stay longer.
Regardless of which type of eyeliner you use, you'll want to make your lashes look thicker by filling in the roots of the lashes. "This is a place where many women don't traditionally line," Alex says, "but you'll see that it makes the eye pop and the lash line look a lot more plush." Apply by pressing in between the lash roots.
Laura Mercier Cavier Eye Liner, $22; lauramercier.com
13. Use Eye-Enhancing Makeup TechniquesFocus darker eye shadow on the outside of eyes, moving lighter and brighter as you work in, "so you don't close off the eyes," Alex says. "You want them to look big, bright, and beautiful." And if you happen to mess up on your eye makeup? "Just take a little makeup remover or eye cream on a Q-tip to clean it up. If you use a wipe, you're risking ruining your foundation and concealer too."
Make Up Forever Eyeshadow Palette, $19; sephora.com
14. Get Wide-Awake Eyes in Seconds
"Always use a shimmer powder in the inner corners of your eyes before taking any photos," Alex says. "It makes a huge difference - it really will give you eyes that look bright and awake." Use a brush with a smaller head to get right into the inner corners of the eyes.
Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc, $38; lauramercier.com
Curl Your Lashes the Right Way
"The best way to curl your lashes," Alex says, "is to curl at the root of the lash, at the middle, and at the tip. You don't need to clamp down with the curler, just squeeze lightly."
Shu Uemuera Eyelash Curler, $19; sephora.com
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.