Bridal Chat: This time it’s my turn.
This month I’m putting myself in the hot seat, well sort of. I’m going to post a piece that I wrote for Contemporary Bride magazine a little while ago. It’s my take on bridal beauty, the ins and the outs as I see it. You can ask many other makeup artists and get so many different takes on bridal make up. Our styles of makeup vary depending on our exposure and that’s the beauty of what we do.
Your special day can be whatever you so desire it to be. It’s all about you. I do say this a lot…because if it’s not all about you (on this your wedding day, then when?)
Hits and Mrs.
My wedding-day “I dos” and don’ts
to ensure that the bride-to-be puts her best face forward
Your wedding day is not like picture day in grammar school or like taking a new face book picture. There are no second chances, no re-shoots. And unlike your fifth-grade portrait, your wedding album is going to be around forever, a cherished memento of a blessed event. So, naturally, the bride-to-be wants to take every precaution to ensure that on her big day, she not only hears the words “I do,” but also the words “I do… not think I’ve ever seen you look lovelier!”
And here’s the good news: Provided that you follow a few basic rules of the beauty trade, you- yes, you!-can get your wedding-day make-up down pat, leaving yourself a bride with no reason to blush but for sheer happiness. Trust me on this: I’ve sent hundreds of brides down the aisle, and if there is anything left that I haven’t seen, I can’t imagine what it is.
Put Your Face in Good Hands
In my experience, the biggest mistake that brides make is traveling the path of least resistance on their way to the altar. Translation: They have their maid of honor do their make-up, or, even trickier, they do it themselves.
But why? I ask you. You’ve gone to the trouble to check photographers’ portfolios, so hadn’t you ought to be equally concerned with what’s really important-what the shutterbug is going to be photographing-you! In a million years, you wouldn’t think of asking Uncle Johnny to take your wedding pictures, so why on earth would you invite Aunt Marge to do your make-up? If it is at all possible, go with a pro.
Seasons Change; Your Wedding Pictures Don’t
That said, choose carefully the pro with whom you go. Some brides visit the cosmetics counter to get their make-up done, and that would be fine, were it not for the fact that the salesperson’s objective is not to ensure that you come away with timeless wedding photos, but rather, to promote their particular line of products.
In addition, more often than not, the cosmetics-counter salesclerk’s goal is to keep seasonal colors flying off the shelves. Let’s face it: Objectively, who really looks good when they are photographed in seasonal colors?
Plus, even if you are able to find a cosmetics clerk who brings out the prettiness in your face, who is to say that he or she will be available to make a house call on the day of your nuptials? Also keep in mind, some stores don’t even allow their employees to engage this kind of outside work from their customers, and they can be fired for this practice. That’s right: Welcome back to square one.
Rules to Glow By
Now, don’t start wringing your hands before the big exchanging of rings. Your makeup should-and can-be the least of your wedding-day worries. Even if you haven’t factored into your budget a professional make-up artist’s fee, you still can achieve a look that takes the cake.
Let’s start with what to do so as to avoid having a guest respond to the question, “Does anyone know of a reason why this man and this woman should not be joined in holy matrimony?” with the reply: “Well… her make-up looks kind of bad.”
1. Take a powder. This always bothers me the most: Brides forget to powder, then wind up looking shiny-faced in all of their photos. Of course, the pictures can be touched up after the fact, but that’s costly (and it’s not like weddings don’t already come with high price tags). The solution is to make sure that you powder several times or at the very least use those fabulous blotting papers , and if you are afraid that you will forget to, ask someone to keep an eye on you and let you know when you’re ready for a touch up.
2. Remember that frosting belongs on the cake, not your face. Make-up with too much frost is a definite no-no. Satin shades can be very nice, but those shades with a silver hue look more like glitter than shadow.
3. Repeat after me: Less is more… more or less. Someone once said to a natural, no-make-up kind of girl that she needed to wear more make-up to show up in pictures, and the rest is history. But the fact is, today, with newer formulas of cosmetics and even better digital photography and good lighting, you don’t need to wear more make-up to get ready for your close-up. You are in the clear to do whatever makes you look your best. Assuming that you are wearing some make-up already, any photographer worth his zoom lens will adjust his lighting rather than have you adjust your make-up.
4. Pay not attention to the seasons. Avoid wearing seasonal colors! I’m sure you’re asking yourself, ‘Why does he keep bringing this up?” The truth is, it’s my pet peeve. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it thousands of times: Your wedding photos should be timeless. They are your treasures forever, not just for one season out of four.
5. Take your time. If you opt to do your own make-up, do not try to do so in two minutes, all the while juggling 50 other tasks ranging from directing the caterer to the microwave to changing place cards to keep Aunt Kathy out of Granny’s line of vision. Give yourself at least half an hour to do your make-up so that you can be alone and really relax (relatively speaking) while you figure out the best plan of attack.
6. Be yourself. Don’t try to look like a star. The reason that stars look like stars is because they look like themselves-and they just happen to be stars. What you should concentrate on is looking like yourself, only better-or rather, like you would look if you paid a little bit more attention to detail and shape. This mighty feat can be accomplished with make-up.
7. Avoid being red-faced. Please, don’t tan. And if you must, be careful. If you get too much color, the skin tone absorbs the make-up, and you have to add that much more just to see cheeks and lips. You only have to watch an episode of the Jersey Shore to understand what I mean. So, before it’s too late, think. Let that little light bulb go off in your head before you subject your face to the sun or to the tanning booth.
8. Take care of your skin. So many brides don’t mask before their wedding day, but doing so is most important. The photographer certainly is going to take some closeup shots of your face, and you have to be prepared. Remove all of those dead skin cells. (And don’t lie; we all have them!)
9. Make sure that you’re getting enough of a good thing. Take care to see that you use enough make-up. I know: It sounds like I’m contradicting myself. But some brides go for three tanning sessions and think that that is enough-it isn’t! You do need make-up. So, all of you natural ladies, remember that to go from looking pretty to looking pretty amazing, even you will have to tweak the edges.
10. Blend your make-up, but don’t blend into the crowd. Your wedding is not a cosmetics ad; the whole wedding party should not wear the same shades of make-up. When I do a wedding party, the bride gets her own lip shade, and no one else gets to use it. That way, in all of the photos, there is yet another element to set her apart.
So, now that you know my do’s and don’ts. Tread lightly, trust the professionals that you hired and create a magical day to last a lifetime, in your hearts and in the pictures that you and your family will cherish forever.