5 Ways to Push Your Beauty Boundaries for Your Big-Day Look
Use these tips to up your beauty game before your wedding.
Your flowers are ordered, you have decided on the cake, and your dress fittings are nearly complete. But have you finalized your big-day beauty yet? We don’t mean booking the makeup artist. If you, like many of us, don’t walk around in a full face day-to-day, embracing a standout look for your celebration can be intimidating.
To help you home in on the best look for you while you say “I do,” we rounded up ways to ease some glamour into your life, without looking like you just left the makeup counter. Who says you can’t do laundry with red lips? No one, that’s who!
Falling for Foundation
To polish up your presence and help you look your most beautiful in wedding photos, your makeup artist will put their trust in tried-and-true foundation. If you don’t wear it normally and are worried about the transition, start experimenting with a tinted moisturizer.
Once you get the hang of wearing it, go up a coverage layer with foundation. Finding a formula that hydrates is important—especially if you’re wearing it all day or night long. “Finding the perfect color match should always be your first priority, but selecting a formula that provides all-day hydration and luminosity is key,” Sam Fine, CoverGirl Beauty Ambassador, tells us. “Try CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation ($11.30). It provides long wear that stays fresh and radiant.”
Once you’ve chosen your formula and color options, you’ll want to be sure your foundation stays put, doesn’t run, won’t rub off (especially on your dress!), and looks fabulous on film. Wear your makeup out. Take photos of you primed up in similar lighting as your venue so you can get an idea of how the foundation may look for the special reveal.
Here is one beauty hack that will turn your look up a notch: contouring, which will add dimension to your complexion (and instant cheekbones, too). Dabble in it by picking up Marc Jacobs #instamarc Light-Filtering Contour Powder ($49) and an angled brush—we like MAC’s 168 Large Angled Contour Brush ($35)—and hit YouTube. Just remember, a little of everything goes a long way. You want your lowlights and highlights to looks subtle, beautiful, and glowing.
At a Glance
For peepers that pop, you may be thinking about going for a smoky eye or false lashes. Shy about your eyes? It’s best to do a few practice runs to see if your lids crease the shadow, or falsies make you tear up. Talk to your makeup artist and decide if you’re doing a full set of lashes or individual ones, and then try some out via a lash bar like Benefit at Macy’s.
For the ultimate smoky eye, test out the colors you want—as well as the shadow formula—before nuptial time. If your lids are dry, you’ll want a gel liner and shadow. If they’re more oily, try a long-lasting cream color, like MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot ($22). Makeup artist Daniel Martin suggests forgoing dark black and gray colors in favor of a bronze. “This creates depth and the drama you want and will be wearable in a white gown. Grays and plums can look too goth (if not done correctly) up against a white dress,” he says. He recommends Dior's 5 Color Cosmopolite Palette in #766 Exuberante ($63) for achieving this look. To prepare, start with an eyeshadow base to lock down your shadows for long wear. Waterproof mascara is a must, as well.
If you’re dreaming about going for a va-va-voom red or an equally bold lip shade on your wedding date, but you normally wear a sheer moisturizer, we suggest working color into your everyday makeup routine to begin to get comfortable with the idea. “I would recommend a lighter and sheer texture that still gives you a great pop of color, but would not be as opaque or heavy-looking as a matte lipstick,” Martin says.
After a few weeks of wearing sheer color, work your way up to a matte lip—even if you’re staying home. In fact, chatting on the phone, eating (popcorn, anyone?), vacuuming, and running indoor and outdoor errands while lipped up will help you test in a fail-safe zone how this look—and products used to achieve it—will hold up through your vows, dinner course, dancing, and revelry. If you find a color that you love and that stays put, tell your makeup artist. Better yet, ask for suggestions weeks ahead.
“I often place lipstick and gloss in the hands of my celebrity clients before walking the red carpet,” says Fine. He suggests selecting a hue from CoverGirl’s Outlast Longwear Lipstick ($9.80). “The emollient-rich formula provides beautiful color that doesn’t fade or flake. Afterall, who has the time to think about reapplying on your wedding day?”
And we’re done! Almost. We haven’t even talked about your nails. If they’re short, filed, and often bare and you want something more dramatic for showcasing your ring and clasping your bouquet in photo ops, start brushing up on the countdown to your big day. Regularly polish tips with a formula such as Chanel La Base ($27), a subtly pink base coat packed with vitamin E and argan oil that coddles and strengthens nails. Or start budgeting for weekly or bimonthly pro paint jobs, which will help you try on new shades and resist the urge to pick at cuticles or bite at your investment. If you’re going to have tips and wraps added, test them out ahead of time so you get used to the length as something to have and to hold down the aisle and potentially through your honeymoon (when you’ll be wanting to put your fingers to use to share all those good times on Instagram!).