Your Ultimate Makeup Guide for Mastering Glowing Skin for Your Big Day
Perfect a luminous complexion that will last through your entire celebration with these tried-and-true techniques.
The anticipation, excitement, and love surrounding your wedding will have you glowing both inwardly and outwardly as you say "I do," but a little makeup assist never hurt! Try these how-to tips to create a luminous complexion that lasts—through all the day-of dances, camera flashes, and tears of joy.
You've planned your wedding festivities well in advance, so why not prep your skin in anticipation of the big day as well? Three months from the ceremony "I suggest brides begin a simple three-step skin-care routine: cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing," says New York-based makeup artist David Maderich. He recommends experimenting with facial masks and peels, like Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads ($40). "If you like the result, try the peel once a week until the wedding day," he says. A week prior to the event, stop use of any acne products; "they can dry the skin and interfere with the glowing process," Maderich says. Finally: Increase your water intake to eight to 10 glasses a day to instantly plump skin.
If your complexion is appearing discolored or patchy on your big day, "color correct it before applying foundation so that the amount of foundation you use is lighter," New York-based makeup artist Jamie Dorman advises. Use concealers with yellow tones to erase redness and ones with peach tones to correct dark circles, like Color FX Cream Concealer ($27). Got a zit? Maderich swears by this tried-and-true beauty hack: "Soak a cotton ball in Visine and tape it to the pimple as you're getting your hair done. Yes, it works!"
Building Up Your Foundation
To keep skin luminous throughout the ceremony and well into the night, pick a foundation that applies seamlessly and has lasting power, like CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation ($11.30). Use a damp sponge, like a BeautyBlender ($20), which "allows you to build sheer-to-full coverage without the foundation ever looking heavy or cake-y," says Maderich. Or, try a flat-top kabuki brush, like Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush ($24). "It enhances sheen while allowing you to work the foundation into the skin thoroughly," Dorman says. Start application in the middle of the face and work outward, building your coverage as needed.
Work Your Angles
Contouring and strobing: They're both big buzzwords in beauty these days, and they're both essential to glowing skin. Contouring creates dimension through subtle shadows, while strobing (also known as highlighting) acts like a spotlight, pulling luminescence to the high points of your face that you want to shine, such as the tops of your cheekbones, the Cupid's bow of your upper lip, and the bridge of your nose. When used together, "the neutral, flat contour color sets the stage for the highlighting powder to add radiance and shape to the face," Maderich says.
As you sculpt your glow with these techniques, resist the urge to go overboard! "Layer your products and blend well," Dorman says, adding, "Remember: It is easier to add a little more than to take some away." Powder tends to wear longer than cream, making it an optimal choice for brides. For highlighter, "look for natural tones that blend well and give a soft glow rather than a glittery effect, like Stila All Over Shimmer Duo ($22)," says Maderich. Dorman points to Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit ($40) as a great all-in-one palette for brides.
"Since most brides wear white or a pale color, it's important to use a true-color blush—think: coral, pink, rose, or plum—to avoid looking washed out," Maderich says. Steer clear of taupes or browns, but do choose a powder blush with a hint of shimmer, like NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30). Try this lit-from-within technique from Maderich: After applying foundation, but before setting your look with powder, use a soft round brush, like the MAC Artist Oval 6 Brush ($42), to lightly apply blush to the high points of the apples. Then, add a drop of foundation to a makeup sponge and "push" the foundation onto your apples to blend in the color.
No matter how dramatic or angelic your eye makeup, add a pop of champagne-hue shimmer to the eyelids and inner corners for "a candlelit glow," says Maderich. Desire an eye design that shines in front of the camera and in real life? Dorman suggests using sheen-packed cream shadow, like CoverGirl Bombshell ShineShadow by LashBlast ($7.99), on the lid and inner corner, and matte eye shadow in the crease to add dimension.
Set Your Glow
You've layered your makeup, and now you need to ensure it stays put without dialing down that gorgeous glow. Dorman recommends choosing finely milled powders, like Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder ($45), that are undetectable to the naked eye. To avoid what Maderich calls "pumpkin face," test the powder by adding a drop of moisturizer to it: "If the powder stays clear, it will work for you. If it turns orange, don't buy it as it will turn orange on your face as you perspire or get oily," he says. To maintain your luminous complexion, concentrate powder application to your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and pat gently outward. Finally, "to keep your makeup look from fading or separating, use Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray Bridal ($29)," Maderich says. Stash a bottle with you; "it's a must-have for all brides!" he adds.
To Have and to Hold … With You
Your wedding is an all-day affair, so be sure to keep a small makeup bag at the ready for touch-ups. In it, stash lipstick, cotton swabs (for cleaning up errant smudges that may pop up over the course of your fab festivities), a powder compact, and blotting papers. However, just because you have a powder compact stowed doesn't mean you need to be patting away shine at every big moment. "I leave behind a powder compact with my brides with stern instructions to only use the powder once or twice throughout the day; too much powder will create a 'cake face,' which is the opposite of glowing skin," Maderich warns. If the camera flash is picking up too much glare on your skin despite your best efforts, dig out those blotting papers. "Blotting papers reduce shine without adding powder; too much powder can mattify glowing skin, which you don't want," Dorman agrees. Try Shiseido Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers ($18.50).