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Bridal Beauty: Perfect Skin and Lip Tips

Even if you're headed for a makeup artist's chair, these pro tips will make your face look fab in person...and in your album.

Photo: Keith Lathrop

You're the best judge of what looks good on you, but camera-ready, long-lasting skin and lips are a little different from the everyday variety, and these secrets will help you keep your just-done-up look all day. And even though it may seem like a lot of makeup, especially if you usually go au naturel, these tricks will leave you looking like you, only better. Adding at least one step to each part of your makeup routine should give you the definition and finish you need to look amazing all day long and in pictures.

Your Skin

The key to gorgeous skin on your wedding day is to build a solid foundation (pun intended).

Skin Tip 1: Plan Ahead
If you've been caring for your skin, you won't have to work as hard on W-Day to get that natural glow. In the weeks prior, pay attention to your face (neck, chest, and shoulders, too): Moisturize, use sunscreen, and get a relaxing facial (schedule it to allow several days for any redness to fade). If you've got problem skin (a.k.a. pimples), treat it with tried-and-true over-the-counter zit-busting products or see a dermatologist to ask about remedies.

Skin Tip 2: Avoid Surprises
Now is not the time to try something new. Whether it's a blemish cream or a new foundation, you could have an unexpected reaction. So even if you're the impulsive Vegas-wedding type, try to pick up your products at least a week before the day. And don't just leave them in their pretty packages -- patch test them to check for allergic reactions.

Skin Tip 3: Start Fresh
After you've cleansed your face, apply a primer. (Skip moisturizer unless your skin is extremely dry.) Don't be alarmed -- the newest primers are light, not spacklelike, and they contain soothing ingredients such as aloe. Primer will create a base that allows foundation to go on smoothly and to last, avoiding rough, dry patches.

Skin Tip 4: Watch out
Be sure to be gentle around the eyes. Start with a light layer of moisturizing eye cream to smooth the way for cover-up. And skip any eye creams with depuffing or anti-aging ingredients. Just remember: You merely want to moisturize to allow concealer and foundation to go on smoothly and stay out of those fine lines.

Skin Tip 5: Hide the Evidence
After primer, apply concealer. Pick one that's not too dry (to avoid flaking) and apply it in the creases around your nose, on your "moustache" area, around lips, and on the center of your chin. If you have spots, discoloration, or blemishes, dab a thin layer there too. The more you spot-cover, the less foundation you'll need, giving you a more natural look. Dab or brush on concealer and then tap it into the skin with your fingertips. (Avoid concealers with blemish-fighting ingredients or use them only on spots -- they could irritate sensitive skin.)

Don't forget the inside bridge of your nose near the corner of your eye when applying concealer. Start there and tap under your eye, stopping at about the outer edge of your iris to avoid emphasizing outer-eye crinkles. Press concealer gently into the skin with your fingers to make it stick and avoid pulling or stretching skin.

Skin Tip 6: Cover Up
Next, apply foundation on your entire face, blending with your fingers or a sponge. As with concealer, press gently with your fingers to set the product into your skin. If using a sponge applicator, take the clean side of the sponge after application and buff your entire face to eliminate any stray lines, streaks, or blobs. Blend gently to your jawline and just below to avoid staining the neckline of your gown.

Skin Tip 7: Get Set
Apply a translucent powder to set makeup and absorb shine. Stash a compact in the bag you'll carry during the reception, but steer clear of messy loose powders. Find a pressed powder you love prewedding.

Skin Tip 8: Do Damage Control
Appoint one of your bridesmaids or close friends to be your makeup monitor. Ask her to tip you off if your glow is turning into a meltdown so you can dash off for a quick fix. In addition to a powder compact, blotting papers can pick up excess oil or perspiration without smudging makeup, so tuck those into your purse or—our fave trick—your bouquet wrap.

Your Lips

Your lips will get a workout (everyone wants to kiss the bride), so start with a lipstick that's meant to last, but carry gloss or a topcoat in your purse for touch-ups.

Lip Tip 1: Get in Line
First, line lips with a neutral pencil that matches your lip color to give definition and help hold color in place. Blend lightly with your fingertip. You should not be able to see the line.

Lip Tip 2: Cover with Care
Next, apply a layer of lipstick all over lips and blot with some tissue. Then go back for a second layer. When picking a lipstick, stick with your usual color preferences. But remember, you aren't often in a dress this fancy, so it's okay to dial up the drama with a deeper hue. If you're the natural type, try a neutral brown-pink; if you love glamour, go with a mulberry or true red.

Lip Tip 3: Shine On
Top lip color with a dab of clear gloss. Go easy on the shine as too much will look drippy in photos. And, when the guests start dinging on the crystal, you'll be ready.

-- The Knot

See More: Bridal Beauty Secrets