Your wedding is quite possibly the most photographed day of your life. And, of course, there are so many things you want to make sure are done perfectly on the big day—from seating arrangements and music to catering and decor. Naturally, some aspects of planning unexpectedly take a back seat, including your wedding day makeup. But, let’s bring your bridal beauty look back to the top of the list (even if it’s just for a little while).
As far as makeup goes, we’re almost positive you’d want to avoid as many blunders as possible (pictures last forever, right?), so we've tapped some of the beauty world’s most knowledgeable experts for all of their wedding day makeup dos.
1. Take Your Wedding Season Into Consideration
"A bride should absolutely tailor their foundation selection to the elements she’ll be in for her wedding," says celebrity makeup artist Amber Dreadon. "If it’s winter you will want a foundation that won’t look too dry or flat...if it’s summer you don’t want anything that gets too shiny too fast. If your wedding takes place from daytime to nighttime, opt for something long-wearing."
"For summer brides, I'd suggest prepping the skin with an anti-shine water-resistant primer like Becca's Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector," advises makeup artist Chauntal Lewis. "I'd use a fuller coverage foundation, like La Mer's Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation for fall or winter weddings."
2. Choose a Lipstick or Balm You Feel Comfortable In
"The lip is very important," says Smith & Cult Beauty Ambassador Elena Miglino. "I always tell my brides to spend some time at the makeup counter and try on all the possible shades, and 'when you know, you know!'"
She continues, "I personally love a natural lip. First, you want something that will stay all day, like Smith & Cult's The Tainted Lip Stained Flatte. I love the color "Kissing Tiny Flowers." It’s pretty much the natural lip color that we all want, not too brown and not too pink. If you want to amp it up a little, try adding Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in the color "Now Kith."
3. Drink Lots of Water Before the Big Day
This beauty tip is one to follow all year round, but it's even more important as your wedding day approaches. "Hydrated skin will allow for the best application of makeup," Miglino says. The National Academies for Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommends women drink 91 ounces of water per day, or 11 to 12 8 oz. glasses.
4. Have a Makeup Trial
"Most freelance makeup artists will offer a bridal trial separate to the actual wedding day," says makeup artist Tabby Casto. "The trial is so important. Both for the makeup artist and for you. Having the chance to try different looks means that on the day you are going to be feeling confident and happy in the knowledge that the look you are wearing is right for you and is going to last."
5. Use Waterproof Products
"Waterproof everything!" Miglino says. "And if you tear up, try to have a beauty blender on-hand to blot. That will press the product into the skin instead of leaving streaks or wiping the product away." It doesn't even have to cost much. L'Oréal's Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara is a budge-proof, drug-store formula (and former Brides Beauty Award winner) that wards off raccoon eyes in the weepiest—no, happiest—brides.
6. Find Balance in Your Look
"If you’re going for a smokey look, go light on skin makeup and opt for a natural color on the lips," says NYC-based makeup artist Min Min Ma. "For bold lips, go light on the skin makeup as well. I prefer using a matte lipstick, for it’s more long-lasting and requires less maintenance. Try Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk."
7. Keep a Few Products On-Hand Throughout the Day
"I always leave my bride with her lipstick and blotting papers," Lewis says. "Translucent powder or blotting papers for shine is key to keep on-hand."
"Blotting papers are a must, a pressed powder in a compact so you have a mirror on-hand, and a lipstick or lipgloss to touch up throughout the day," Dreadon says.
8. Make Sure Your Foundation Is a Perfect Match
"Your foundation should be as close to your skin tone as possible, or the tone of your neck," Miglino says. "You will be photographed nonstop that day and the last thing you want is for your face and neck to not match."
9. Apply Moisturizer Before You Self-Tan
"Your secret weapon when applying self-tanner is using moisturizer as a barrier," says St. Tropez celebrity tanner Sophie Evans. "Apply prior to application on problem areas so that they don’t go any darker (this is always elbows, knees, hands, feet, any severe dry areas).
Never moisturize the whole body, as it will dilute your self-tan color. We also use a moisturizer to blend afterward around the crease in the wrist, back of the heel, and around the hairline to make the tan look natural. Your tan is your paint and your moisturizer is your water so we are blending and fading for perfection."
10. Use a Teeth Whitening Product
"A smile is something you'll be wearing that day, and you'll want your pearly whites white," Miglino says. Depending on the product, you'll want to begin using teeth whitening at least a few months before the big day.