Q & A

Q. I'm doing my own makeup for my wedding. How can I make sure it lasts all day?

A. First, apply a primer, since makeup doesn't adhere as well to an oil base on the skin. After that, it's all about choosing products with powder formulations, which are known for their terrific staying power. Start with translucent powder brushed on over your foundation. Next, choose a powder eye shadow and liner applied with a brush (instead of a greasy pencil). Long-wearing lipstick completes the look. Finish with a setting spray.

Q. I want my wedding pictures to look timeless. What brow shape won't look dated in ten years?

A. Whether your brows are bushy or fine, keep them as natural-looking as possible, but create a strong arch that peaks at the highest point of your brow, advises Ramy Gafni, creator of the Ramy Beauty Therapy cosmetics line. "Start by standing two feet from a regular wall mirror to see where the brow is too heavy," he says. "That way you'll get the big picture and avoid overplucking." If you're filling in your brows with a pencil, always brush the color through to blend.

Q. I want to look radiant in my wedding pictures. What can I do to brighten up my skin? It tends to be dull.

A. Go for a healthy glow with an exfoliating scrub or a glycolic acid cleanser. When used two to three times a week, these products remove the dead layer of skin that's causing your less-than-radiant look. "Pay attention to your eating habits, too," advises Leslie Baumann, M.D., chief of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami. "A strictly low-fat diet often results in dull, dry skin, so be sure your diet is well rounded, including foods that contain cholesterol or unsaturated fats."

Q. My skin gets blotchy when I'm stressed. I'm sure it'll happen on my wedding day. What can I do?

A. "You can create an even skin tone with a good foundation," says Bella Pilar, a New York makeup artist. "If you've got generally clear skin, start with a lightly textured liquid base, then dot on a matching cream concealer, using your finger to blend." Brides with more troubled complexions should choose a heavier cream foundation and stick concealer for more complete coverage. Be sure to pick a concealer with a yellow, not pink, undertone, and set your makeup with a loose translucent powder. "Gently roll it onto your skin with a powder puff," says Pilar. "Dusting it on with a brush will only move your makeup."

Q. I'm wearing a strapless bridal gown, so I want perfect-looking elbows. How do I get them?

A. Use a loofah mitt or glove to reach the entire area, massaging in the shower every day for three weeks, and every other day thereafter. Don't forget to exfoliate with a scrub, salts or body wash, says Jaime Trompeter, an aesthetician at the Oasis Day Spa in New York City. "Any cleanser will help break down the dead skin cells." Then treat skin with an allover body lotion. Wash the loofah weekly to prevent bacteria from building up.

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