5 Essential Bridal Beauty Tips for Your Wedding Day

From skincare to makeup, these tips will help you look and feel your best on the big day.

close up bridal portrait

Photo by love is my favorite color

Whether you're a skincare aficionado or you barely wear makeup on a day-to-day basis, special attention should be placed on your bridal beauty regimen when preparing for the big day. And though most brides tend to solely focus on finding styles for their hair and makeup, we would be remiss not to highlight the additional measures everyone should take from nail care to skincare and everything in between.

Thus, given the multitude of steps it generally takes to fully prep for a wedding, we thought it might be helpful to highlight the five essential beauty tips all brides should know when gearing up to say “I do.” No matter where you are in the planning process, be sure to follow these helpful and expert-approved suggestions to ensure you look and feel your best when walking down the aisle.

Skincare Tips

Think of your skin as a blank canvas. Before applying any makeup, it's important to ensure that your canvas (or face) is clean, prepped, and ready to hold the products you plan on wearing for the big day. What's more, hydration is key when it comes to wedding day skincare prep, so making sure your face is supple and heavily moisturized (and protected with SPF) should be the first step on your bridal beauty checklist. 

Generally, it's best to start your skincare routine at least a year before your nuptials, so that your skin has ample time to adjust to new products you might want to use. The one-year mark is also the best time to visit a dermatologist to treat any skin issues you may have, such as psoriasis, rosacea, or acne. And for brides interested in injectables or chemical peels, be sure to get those done no later than six months before the wedding, in case you happen to experience any unexpected allergic reactions.

Makeup Tips

Not all makeup products are created equally. Some feature ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides for dry skin, while other products are specifically made to combat oily complexions. No matter where you personally land, though, it's important to find makeup that matches your complexion and works with your skin type. 

For brides with dry skin, be sure to use a hydrating primer to avoid any flakiness (which can be seen in wedding photos) when applying makeup. Have oily skin? Use a mattifying serum or anti-shine primer under your foundation to ensure a radiant and oil-free complexion throughout the day.

Another makeup tip: When researching inspiration for the big day, Jeanine Lobell, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Neen makeup, shares, "Go for a classic, not a trendy look, as you will love your photos for years to come. I think timelessness is key. I also recommend doing a trial run before the big day, and if you have a foundation, concealer, and powder combination you know looks good, show your makeup artist if you have one for the day."

Hair Care Tips

When it comes to prepping your wedding day hair, there are a few things you should avoid before tying the knot. First and foremost, do not color or significantly cut your hair after you've had your trial with a professional stylist. A trial is meant to create a strategy for the day of, and if you completely alter the way your hair looks once a plan has been established, you may get a different wedding day result than what you originally wanted. If you have to change your hair after your trial, though, be sure to let your hairstylist know as soon as possible.

Additionally, brides should avoid using products that have harsh chemicals and dehydrating agents. Just like your skin, it’s important to keep your hair hydrated and clean, regularly using hair masks and deep conditioners to ensure your locks are healthy and shiny. Don't forget to also keep your hair detangled in order to avoid any breakage before the big day. 

Nail Care Tips

While most brides have their nail appointments locked in well before the wedding, many often forget one important initial step: a nail trial. Though not required, it's always a good idea to test out your desired nail design before you say "I do." You should also remember to oil your nails and cuticles every day (at least one year before the wedding), in order to eliminate the chances of getting cracked nails and dry cuticles. Aside from that, avoid cleaning and doing anything harsh with your hands too close to the wedding, so that you don't cause your nail polish to chip, or, worse, a nail to break.

Last-Minute Beauty Tips

On the actual wedding day, there are a few last-minute and easy makeup tricks all brides should know. For starters, "Keep your foundation radiant, but not too shiny for photos. Use highlighter very strategically on cheekbones, bridge, and tip of the nose,” advises Lobell. “I recommend a cream formula like Neen Pretty Shiny (shade Metta) as it's not glittery and won’t settle crease or budge. Avoid highlighter on the forehead or other areas that can look greasy in photos.” 

Regarding your eyebrows, "use two colors: one lighter shade for where you have more hair and one slightly darker one where you want to fill in. I also always use a translucent powder that’s significantly lighter than your skin tone, and with a fluffy brush, powder the edges of your brows so they don’t hop off your face and look more [natural],” Lobell says. Lastly, for lipstick application, Lobell recommends "using a lip liner all over your lips—close to your own natural color—to correct and extend the shape of your lips, filling in even the center. This way, since your lip color might fade, you won’t have a 'ring around the lip'."

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