In my spare time, I’m a one-woman hair and makeup SWAT team at my friends’ weddings. After serving in six bridal parties and a few “house parties” (I’m told it’s a Southern thing), I have my bridal beauty tips down to a science—and I’m ready to share.
1. Debloat the Bride
Rehearsal dinner drinks and hors d’oeuvres can make your face look puffier than a princess skirt the next morning. Flush out excess water by moving a jade roller in gentle motions that sweep from the center of your face outward along your cheekbones, jawline, and brow bones. (To maximize the sliding action, prep with Kát Rudu’s Dewy Botanical Flower Mist.) Then tap on Dr. Brandt’s No More Baggage Undereye Cream; as its polymers dry, it depuffs the area in seconds.
2. BYOB (of Nail Polish)
On your wedding day, your hands—and new ring-finger hardware—are suddenly more photoworthy than a barn decked out in Edison lights. For last-minute touch-ups, bring your own polish. My favorite neutrals are Essie Ballet Slippers, TenOverTen Love Elixir, and Dolce and Gabbana Pure Nude. Also, bring along a jewelry cleaner (like the one by Connoisseur) for the sparkliest sparkle.
3. Blush, Then Highlight Everything
Of course you’ll be a (naturally) blushing bride, but swiping on a little color is the easiest way to avoid looking washed out in photos, especially the flash-heavy reception pics. I love Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso for a flush that looks believable on all skin tones. Another secret weapon is RMS Living Luminizer cream highlighter, to tap on the inner corners of your eyes, your cheekbones, and your Cupid’s bow (that little spot over the center of your top lip). If your dress is strapless, use it on your shoulders and collarbones!
4. Blast the Volume All Night
If you want your hair’s body to last, work OGX Bodifying + Bamboo Fiber Full Root Boosting Spray Mousse through damp strands before blowdrying. For extra full hair, use clip-in extensions, like the ones from RPZL. A set may cost $250, but you’ll wear them again and again. (You’ll be a Sophia Loren look-alike during your Amalfi honeymoon!)
5. Pre-Photoshop Yourself
When photogs retouch close-up shots, they often use a “dodging” tool to make eyes look brighter and whiter. Happily, it’s easy to get this effect in every shot when you use whitening drops like Lumify or Visine Maximum Redness Relief. If you want to go the extra mile, colored contact lenses just a shade warmer than your natural hue can make irises look extra bright. Just test them beforehand—if people can’t quite put their finger on why you look different, you have a winner.
6. Don't Forget the Toupee Tape!
It may not be sexy, but it is indispensable for keeping your dress up (and the girls in). I also recommend a few little comforts and random supplies for the bridal suite to keep yourself, the moms, and the maids happy. Bring some scented candles (like the sampler of minis in Lafco’s Discovery Trio) to set the mood in the room, toothpaste and some extra toothbrushes, safety pins in various sizes (because you never know), and Dove Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant. I’m told fashion-industry peeps use it when they wear couture because it won’t leave marks.
(Your dress is an heirloom—preserve it!)