Wedding photos last a lifetime. To help you put your best face forward and strike a standout pose, a pair of New York pros (makeup artist Ildiko and photographer Shelly Kroeger) weigh in with model advice.
Makeup Artist Says…
The Cover-Up: Foundation is essential for polished photos—and that "flawless" finish you read about. It's also the base for the rest of your makeup. Depending on the amount of coverage you need, choose a tinted moisturizer (the sheerest option) or a liquid foundation (medium to heavy) suited to your skin type and coloring. "Look for formulations that have light-reflecting pigments," says Ildiko. "They soften imperfections while brightening your complexion."
Get Your Shine On: "Makeup with a hint of luminosity adds a youthful radiance to the skin that's very pretty in pictures," contends Ildiko. A shimmery champagne or gold pencil is a good starting point—use it on the inner corners of your eyes to help them pop. Opt for shadows in plum or bronze tones, which brighten your eyes. For blush, choose pink and peachy hues with a golden cast. "These colors really warm up the face." When it comes to your lips, gloss is a good thing. "Just a coat or two makes your mouth look supple," says Ildiko, who favors the new formulations with a subtle blue undertone, which makes teeth appear whiter. To keep your glow from looking greasy, dust mineralized powder on shine spots—forehead, nose, chin—as a final touch.
Apply Here: The right makeup application can create a slimmer countenance. "Well-placed bronzer makes the biggest difference," says Ildiko. Apply it on your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. "It contours and lifts those areas, giving the illusion of a thinner face."
Zen and the Art of Scheduling: Nothing shows on your face like stress, which translates into a tight, worried smile. Timing is the secret to achieving a relaxed state of mind. "Leave yourself enough time to be photographed so you're not rushed," says Kroeger. "You'll be calmer and enjoy the process more, which makes for a beautiful image."
Forget Photoshop: Posture and body position can make you look leaner. Keep your shoulders back but relaxed, lengthen your neck, and hold your chin up. Ask your photographer to shoot from above. "It has a slimming effect on the face," says Kroeger. Avoid standing squarely in front of the camera. "It expands you, showing your face and body at their widest," she explains. Instead, hold your head and shoulders angled away from the camera. Worried about a thick waist? Keep your elbows pointed slightly outward so they don't look like an extension of your middle. Position your bouquet just above the belly button to divert attention away from any tummy bulge.
Illuminating Facts: When planning group shots and portraits, keep in mind that natural light is more flattering than artificial light because it softens your image, says Kroeger. (Even if your wedding is indoors, go outside for photos.) But avoid the unforgiving rays of high noon: "They make subjects squint and highlight imperfections," she says. Your photographer should shoot in the shade, using a handheld reflector, which softly lights the parts of your face that would otherwise be shadowed.