For a bride, creating a makeup look is a challenge. You want to look beautiful all day and you need to be photogenic for pictures that will last a lifetime, but you still require a look that is “touchably” soft so you don’t scare your groom!
Bridal makeup artist Sally Van Swearingen says it’s possible to achieve all that, even if you do your own makeup for your special day. Sally has put together Studio Essentials for the Bride, a kit that contains must-have makeup and an instruction booklet. However, you can use your own makeup if you prefer.
Here, she offers tips on achieving your own perfect wedding-day makeup:
* Before you begin, apply antishine liquid powder to chin, nose and forehead, and moisturizer to the rest of your face. Van Swearingen offers Matte Maker in her Studio Essentials line.
* Brides in their 20s and 30s should go for a natural, glowing look using sheer color.
* Brides over 40 need a more neutral look using monochromatic shades.
* The key to creating a flawless look that lasts all day is in the way you apply concealer, highlighter and foundation. “I recommend you get cream-based concealers in two shades (see color tips below for individual skin tones), and then use only the barest amount of foundation,” says Van Swearingen.
* Use concealer under the eyes and on reddened or darkened areas to even skin tone. Use the highlighter around the eye area, at the brow line and around lips, the sides of the nose and in the cleft of the chin. Gently stroke it on with a makeup brush specially designed for concealers and highlighters (an acrylic artist’s brush works great). Then blend with a sponge. You’ll notice how your face begins to brighten. Now you will need less foundation.
* Use a sheer foundation that matches your skin tone, but use a very small amount, as heavy foundation will accentuate imperfect skin. Use a cream or stick foundation for normal or dry skin and matte liquid for oily skin. A good makeup artist’s rule is to apply about five drops of foundation to your face — one on each cheek, the point of the nose, the middle of the forehead and the chin — then put the container away and blend what is on the face.
* Experiment with lashes to open the eye and add drama. A great way to get that “A-list” star look is to use a strip of faux lashes or individual lashes. This is something you want to spend time practicing before your wedding day. To get the most natural look, pick lashes with an invisible band and trim them to the length of your eye. “Many professional makeup artists prefer individual lashes,” says Van Swearingen, “as they look the most natural. However, lash strips are easier to apply when you are designing your own makeup.” When applying individual eyelashes, pull them in at the outer corners to “lift” the eye rather than applying directly to the lash line. Always use black glue.
* For a youthful glow (if you’re under 40), you may want to try the new creamy luminescent shadows, blushes and highlight sticks. I use two shades that work on any skin tone: mauve and golden bronze. The lighter mauve color is used to highlight the top of the cheekbone and brow bone, and as a light eye shadow base. The bronze color has many uses, from contouring the cheekbone and jaw line to bronzing the décolleté and adding depth to the eyelids. Don’t forget to apply a “gleaming” blush to the apples of the cheeks.
Choosing a Concealer and Highlighter for Your Skin Tone
If your skin tone is pink or olive based:
* Use an amber-yellow-based concealer and vanilla highlighter.
* Start with a creamy luminescent shadow in mauve, bronze-gold or beige-white.
* Experiment to find the color that flatters your skin and eye color. Choose shades that are “dense” in color, meaning they contain lots of pigment. This way a tiny bit of shadow covers easily.
If your skin tone is deeper, medium to dark brown:
* Use a concealer in red-gold-based shade and a highlighter in a warm neutral tone, including warm yellow or amber. (Stay away from blue-based or silvery products.)
* Dark skin tones may need two foundation shades: a deeper shade that matches the tone in the frame of the face and a lighter tone that matches the inner part of the face.
* Use cheek and eye colors in gold, bronze, berry and burgundy.
If your skin tone is yellow based:
Don’t use a pink- or white-based makeup. Use a concealer and highlighter with a warmer, amber base. “Asian brides glow when they use neutral and warm tones,” says Van Swearingen. “Latina brides look beautiful in rich, bold colors, but they must be applied sparingly and blended well.”
* A light dusting of a warm-based powder will set the look and balance the complexion. (It’s a good idea to assign powdering duty to one of your bridesmaids for reapplication throughout the day.)
* To keep lips kissable yet camera ready for hours, first start with a light application of lip sealant. Take the brush out of the bottle and dab a little on the back of the hand. From there, dip your finger into the sealant and stipple onto your lips. Apply sparingly to keep your lip color from cracking. Next, dab on a little bit of highlighter or concealer, blending well. Finally, apply lip liner pencil to the entire lip.
* As for lip color, don’t choose a bright color that will detract from your eyes. Use rich, deep shades, like mauve browns, burgundies or classic reds.
* Get brows professionally shaped about a week before your wedding, and check for strays two days before. “You don’t want to pluck brows the morning of your wedding,” says Van Swearingen. “You could create redness or irritation.”
* For an elegant look, further define your brows by shading in at the top of the brow, using a very narrow brush with a slanted cut and matching brow powder. If you have sparse brows, you may want to darken them a shade or two by having them tinted at a local salon a few days before your wedding.
* To apply eye shadow, use three colors — light, medium and deep. The light shade goes on the lid from lash to brow line. The medium shadow goes in the crease or just above the crease. And the deep shade goes on the outside corner of the eye and can be used as an eyeliner. Tip: Never line around the entire eye unless you have huge eyes. Lined eyes will look smaller.
* Apply two coats of waterproof mascara. For a beautiful, elegant look, use more mascara near the base of the lashes and less at the tips. Hint: Deep navy mascara brightens the whites of the eyes.
* To prevent shine, apply an antishine liquid powder to your nose, chin and forehead. (You may want to use a little on the groom too, for the pictures.)
* If you’re over 40, always use gloss layered on top of any lip color, which gives a youthful look. Avoid matte lipstick because it can be aging.
* Don’t forget your best beauty feature on your wedding day… SMILE!