Whether you're the type who rarely dons gloss or you're a full-on beauty junkie, you're not about to mess around with your wedding day makeup. We compiled the most requested bridal beauty questions and asked industry pros for their insider tips and tricks. Here's your guide to looking gorgeous all the way to the altar.
Q. What's the best way to conceal dark circles?
A. Wedding planning been keeping you up at night? Help is on the way! The trick is to choose a concealer that is dark enough. "You're trying to counteract the blue tones around the eyes, so if you put something on that's too light it will cast a grayish tone," Damboise says. If you've got lots of discoloration or especially visible veins, prep with a color corrector like Benefit Cosmetics Eye Bright, $18, BenefitCosmetics.com. "It's a pale pink shade that works really well for neutralizing blue tones, which will allow your concealer to do its job much more easily," she adds. Follow with a concealer that's just a smidge lighter than your foundation, and don't forget the inner and outer corners of your eyes -- dark spots that lots of people tend to skip. If you're also suffering from puffy eyes, start with a product that firms the delicate eye area. Our miracle pick: Benefit Ooh La Lift, $20, BenefitCosmetics.com.
Start with a skin care system that's right for your needs.
Q. How can I keep my mascara from streaking and smudging?
A. We're sure you've heard it a thousand times -- use waterproof mascara. But here's something you might not have known: No mascara is completely smudgeproof. The trick is to cry the right way. "Always allow the tears to roll out from the inner corner of your eyes and onto your cheeks prior to blotting," says Maret Asaro, makeup artist for Alcone Beauty. "It sounds odd, but it will help your eyes look great throughout the day." In other words, if you mash the tissue against your mascara, you're asking for trouble. Her cosmetic pick for weddings is L'Oreal. Try L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, $6.99, Drugstore.com. Another tip: Apply a waterproof sealant like Alcone's Eyeliner Sealer to keep eye makeup under control, $3.50, (800) 466-7446.
Q. How can I make my skin look lustrous (but not greasy)?
A. Rule number one: Don't use a heavy hand. "Place shimmer in just a couple of places so that when the light hits it, you glow," says Arianne Damboise, national makeup artist for Benefit Cosmetics. Focus your highlighter on the higher planes of your face, like your cheekbones and the top of your nose, and set with a loose powder. "Don't over powder, though," Damboise cautions, "or your makeup will look more cakey and less luminous." If your arms and shoulders are exposed, you may also want to use a hint of highlighter along your collarbones and on your décolletage. Our pick: Nars The Multiple in Copacabana, $36, Sephora.com.
Q. How should I deal with a last-minute zit?
A. If you have time -- and really want that blemish gone -- celeb dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler M.D. (who also has her own line of facial care products) recommends heading to your derm for a cortisone injection. But if it's the eleventh hour, apply an over-the-counter product that contains either benzoyl peroxide or cortisone to help calm the redness. Once you've done everything you can to shrink the pimple, hide the evidence. "Use a concealer that gives good coverage," says Robyn Tamura, Director of Global Educational Strategy, Clinique. "Apply it directly on and around the blemish, then use a brush to gently blend around the pimple, not on it, so there are no streaky lines." Smoothing with a brush will also help to get rid of any crustiness (a total giveaway). A concealer that heals as it hides is perfect: Try Neutrogena SkinClearing Concealer, $7.29, Drugstore.com.
Q. How can I make my lips look fuller?
A. You don't need collagen, just a few makeup tricks. Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila Cosmetics, suggests adding a touch of gloss to the center of your bottom lip -- over your lip color -- to make it appear fuller and rounder. (You're basically creating the illusion of plumpness.) Want to look fuller on top too? Add a bit of shimmer to the top of the lip ridge (think Cupid's bow) to give it more definition. "Try a delicate gold if you're wearing a peach or red lip color, or a pinky shimmer if you're wearing a cool or nude hue," she adds. Try Revlon SuperLustrous Lipgloss, $6.19, Drugstore.com.
Q. Should I use self-tanner on my face?A.
You could, but it's not the best idea. Unless you're a self-tanning whiz, you don't want to chance streaks or weird orange coloring. Too dark foundation could lead to a mask-like effect, so you're better off using a tinted moisturizer. Cornell's Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Dr. Diane Berson, suggests using Jergens Natural Glow FACE -- the latest version of their hit body lotion -- for a few weeks leading up to the wedding to build a hint of color naturally ($5.99, Drugstore.com). Our splurge pick: Caudalie Fresh Complexion Tinted Moisturizer, $39, Sephora.com. If you have oily skin, you still need to moisturize your skin. Use a foundation primer to refine your pores. Try Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, $36, Smashbox.com. Finish off your look by applying bronzer in a few places -- around your cheekbones, right at the hairline, and at the tip of your nose and chin -- to create the illusion of natural color. Start off using less than you think you need, then build up. You can always add more.
Q. How do I choose a lip color to go with my gown?
A. Take note of the color of your gown (ivory vs. diamond white), but the perfect hue depends on your skin, eye, and hair color, and your personal makeup preferences, of course. That said, you can't go wrong with a timeless and natural shade like pale pink or a sheer berry. You don't want to look back at your pictures in 20 years and wonder why you chose bright red lipstick on your wedding day. Plus, very vibrant colors require too much touching up; natural shades will wear off less noticeably. Matte lip colors tend to last longer than creams or shimmers -- and luckily, many formulas now contain plenty of moisturizing ingredients so dried-out lips are a thing of the past. One we love: Sue Devitt Balanced Matte lipstick, $20, Sephora.com.
Q. How can I deflate under-eye bags on my wedding day?
A. This is definitely a case where the prevention is easier than the cure -- good thing you're reading this now! Philosophy Cosmetics & Skin Care founder Cristina Carlino recommends a few simple tricks to send your bags packing. Prewedding, make sure you stay hydrated -- drink plenty of water. If you can, sleep with your head elevated. And if you still wake up on the morning of with bags, place a cold tea bag (caffeinated works best) on each eye to really reduce puff. Another option: Dr. Wexler suggests using an under-eye cream that contains concentrated yeast or cucumber extract. Try Patricia Wexler M.D. De-Puff Eye Gel, $29.50, BathandBodyWorks.com.
Q. Does lip gloss require more reapplying than lipstick?
A. Well...maybe. But there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that your gloss will stick around as long as possible. "Start with a great lip liner," says Lucy Baldock-Sacchi, founder of hip Aussie beauty line Lucy B. Cosmetics. Fill in your entire lip, then apply your gloss over it -- giving the gloss something to stick to and helping it to stay on longer. We love her Lucy B. Tinted Lip Balm (see sidebar below) and Stila Lip Glaze -- the colors go on sheer with a romantic shine. Our favorite hue, Peach, is a pretty, natural color. $20, StilaCosmetics.com
Q. How do I make my blush stay put?
A. Maintain that truly romantic, blushing-from-within look by layering your makeup. "Sandwiching powder blush between a layer of foundation and a thin dusting of loose powder will help give it legs," says Lobell. "It also softens the face." We love Bourjois Pastel Blusher, $13.50, Sephora.com. Need to get the look with the least makeup possible? Minimalists should opt for a liquid cheek stain, which will give you a natural, rosy glow that lasts (and lasts). Try Tarte Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride, $28, Sephora.com.
Q: How can I make my eyes look bigger?
A: "Making your eyes a stand-out feature on your wedding day will make your photos and videos even more unforgettable," says Lucy Baldock-Sacchi. She recommends first lightly applying foundation and loose powder as a base, then using a matte or shimmer shadow in a neutral hue. "For darker skins bronzes are beautiful and for paler skin tones, silvers look good," she notes. Highlight the inner corners of your eyes to really get them to open up. For a little more definition, use a liner in a complimentary color (think brown liner with a brownish shadow), smudging upward to soften the line and give your eyes a subtle almond shape. The finishing touch: false eyelashes, the key to making your eyes really stand out. Try Maybelline Expert Eyes Faux Lashes, $5.99, Drugstore.com.
Q: How can I keep dry skin from flaking?
A: "Start with a skin care system that's right for your needs," says Robyn Tamura. If your skin's totally parched, skip the harsh cleansers and go with one that's ultra-gentle (Tamura recommends Clinique Extra Mild Facial Soap, $10.50, Clinique.com). "Then exfoliate to get rid of surface flakiness and also help your moisturizer penetrate more quickly," she says. Once you're all cleaned up, apply a moisturizer that's formulated specifically for dry skin to keep flakes and scales at bay.
Q: How do I keep my eye shadow from creasing?
A: According to Jeanine Lobell, "A great way to battle the crease is to apply an eye shadow base color -- it helps ground everything you apply on top of it and ensures your color won't start to move as you heat up (think dancing)." This trick will also help paler shadow colors to appear more true -- "exactly like they look in the packaging," Lobell explains. One to try: Aloette Heavenly Sheen, $10.50, AloetteCosmetics.com. If you don't want to lay it on too thick, try a shadow that's formulated for light, long lasting wear. She recommends Stila Shadow Pots, which pats on with a creamy, mousse-like texture and dries to a sheer shimmer, $20, StilaCosmetics.com.
Q: What's the best way to deal with redness?
A: You wanted to be a blushing bride...not a totally flushed and flustered one! To reduce redness, Dr. Berson, recommends filling a bowl with a mixture that's half milk and half ice water. Dip a washcloth in it and then use it as a compress to help your skin calm down. When you're actually getting made up, use a yellow-based powder to counteract and color correct. Also, if you know you're prone to redness, avoid salt, MSG, and alcohol for the week leading up to the wedding.
Q: How should I deal with dry lips?
A: Spare your fiance your chapped kisser! To really combat chapping and cracking, do a gentle exfoliation to remove the major flakes -- rub your lips gently using a dry toothbrush -- then follow up with some TLC. "Apply an occlusive ointment, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, to seal in moisture and reduce dryness and cracking," Dr. Berson suggests. Follow up with a good lip balm -- we're fans of Philosophy Kiss Me ($10, Philosophy.com), which also comes in two tinted formulas. "And don't forget SPF on your lips," she says. "Sun exposure can also contribute to dryness."
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Bridal Beauty Secrets