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take it with you

The key to successful troubleshooting on your big day is to come prepared. About a week before your wedding, stuff a makeup bag with as many of these items as you deem necessary, then entrust it to one of your bridesmaids.

  • Aspirin
  • Band-Aids
  • Bottled water
  • Blotting Papers
  • Breath Mints
  • Chalk or cornstarch (to cover up any smudges on your gown)
  • Clear nail polish (for stocking runs)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Eyedrops
  • Hair spray
  • Hairpins
  • Hand towelettes
  • Hem tape
  • Mirrored compact
  • Nail file
  • Quick-drying glue (for broken nails or busted shoe heels)
  • Safety pins
  • Straws (so you can sip a drink without messing up your lipstick)
  • Talcum powder
  • Tissues

professional wedding makeup

Bridal Beauty: 20 Great Makeup Tips

Look your best with our top wedding day hair and makeup advice.

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

Waterproof It

Choose a mascara that's waterproof; it lasts longer and withstands tears. If you really don't like the look or feel, use one coat of regular mascara, then follow up with a light coat of waterproof mascara.

tip

Bonus Tip: If your veil needs to be removed after the ceremony, make sure your hairdresser shows your mom or maid of honor how to do it without mussing your 'do.

On the Line

Charcoal, navy, or mahogany are your best options for eyeliner. Black or brown may look too severe, especially if your wedding will be held during the daytime and/or outdoors.

Lighten Up

Use a white shadow as a highlighter on your brow bone if you have light skin; a warmer light peach or vanilla shade will suit deeper complexions.

Give Them Shape

Do contour your eyes, but avoid using color that's too dense (it can detract from your eyes themselves).

Shade Your Brows

Define your brows with a pencil or shadow that matches your hair color.

Get the Red Out

Pop an eye drop if your eyes look red or tired, but stick with a brand you've used before to avoid unwelcome surprises (irritation or worse!).

Sweet Cheeks

Don't forget your blush! A pop of color on your cheeks is like an instant facelift. For fairer skin, a pink tone will work; those with deeper skin tones can choose a rosier hue.

Zap a Zit

If you have a blemish or breakout just before your wedding day, keep your hands away from your face -- the spot will heal more neatly if you leave it alone. In the case of a sudden monstrous pimple, see your dermatologist and ask for an cortisone injection that will shrink it instantly.

Blend, Blend, Blend

Blend well all over, especially at the corners of your eyes, since cameras pick up visible makeup lines.

Get a Good View

For your makeup application, natural light is best. If possible, set up an application table near a window. If there's no natural light available, use a superbright lamp -- halogens work best.

Sit Up

If you're getting ready at a hotel, ask for a high bar stool so you can be at eye level with your makeup artist. If you can't get a stool, simply prop yourself up on pillows.

Even It Out

Use bronzing powder on your chest and neck if you need to even out your skin tone -- it will make your skin more luminous and ensure that your face doesn't look too different from your body.

Watch That Gown

Don't, however, use foundation on your decolletage -- it can stain your dress.

Carry Protection

Use a moisturizer that includes SPF 30 or higher, especially if you are getting married outdoors! You may be getting more sun than you think you are, and you will definitely look pinker in pictures.

Brighten Up

Choose a lip color that's a bit bright. Pale nude or brown lip hues can make you appear washed out in photos, particularly since you'll be wearing white. If you normally wear a neutral hue, wear it as your base with a pink or rose color on top. If you normally wear dark lipstick, use that as your base and apply a lighter sheer pink on top to give you a lift.

Keep It With You

Even if you mix various lip colors when applying your makeup, be sure to have one great lipstick to carry with you for touchups.

Greet 'Em With a Grin

You can have the softest lips and the perfect lipstick, but if your teeth are yellow, you won't want to flash a smile. There are lots of safe, reliable over-the-counter teeth-whitening systems, which all whiten teeth by a few shades.

Prepare the Area

When you're getting your hair styled, a low counter with a mirror -- like a vanity table -- will work best. Check to see that your chair has a low back, so your wedding hair stylist will have easy access to your head. And make sure there are electrical outlets nearby for appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, and electric rollers. For extra insurance, bring a few extension cords.

Turn On the Heat

If your wedding is early, or if time is of the essence, plug in your rollers, curling iron, or straightening iron before your stylist arrives to save time.

Refresh Your Tresses

Head to a local spa and have a professional scalp massage (which not only feels good, but stimulates the hair follicles and adds body) and deep conditioning treatment the week before your wedding.

-- The Knot

See More: Bridal Beauty Secrets