Check out my previous posts on how to decide if you need a professional and what to look for when hiring one.
Don't make any big changes!
This is a huge one, probably the most important one in this post! If you're getting tanned, waxed, plucked, tattooed, having a skincare treatment or any beauty treatment, you need to make sure you're getting whatever it is done in enough time so that if something goes wrong, gets infected/causes a reaction you've got time to fix it.
For example, if you dye your hair at home, don't do it two days before the wedding in case you manage to dye your fingers/forehead/eyebrows (I've actually managed to do this!). Don't get your eyebrows waxed a few days before in case you have a reaction to the wax or it goes wrong (also, freshly waxed brows are a bugger to apply makeup over!).Don't get tanned the day before in case you end up Ooompa-Loompaed. You get the picture. Work out what you're having done, have a think about what might go wrong, and put your beauty treatments in your diary accordingly. Probably nothing will go wrong at all, and if you're used to the treatments, it's even less likely, but it's really worth having a think about, just in case.
Think about SPF
SPF in photography can be a bit of a bugger. If you've ever seen a photo where someone looks like they have 'ghost face,' this is because of the zinc oxide or the titanium dioxide that's in their foundation or skincare/sunscreen causing what's referred to as 'flashback' - literally the light bouncing back off your face. The best away to avoid this is to use a low-level SPF (maximum SPF 15) or just to avoid it completely. Now, most photographers probably aren't going to use a strong, direct flash on a bride, but that doesn't mean everyone else on the day won't use it - your family and friends will be taking snaps of you all day, and it's not just your professional pictures that get looked at for years to come! If you're very concerned about the sun, you've got two options, either wear sunscreen anyway and risk the flashback, or, just for that day, don't stress about it. It's only one day, so try and stick to the shade if you can, and if you're really concerned, I've seen some adorable brides with parasols!
White markings in photos from makeup (you've all seen the photos I'm talking about!) can also be cause from silica powders like the MUFE HD powder, which is a silica powder so I would just plain avoid those!
You don't need to pile it on
While bridal makeup is by nature different to regular makeup - it's an important day for us all so it's a lot more polished than most of us would usually go for, and has to compliment a white dress - you absolutely do not need to pile it on! As mentioned, most professional wedding photography isn't flash photography, so you don't need layers and layers of slap to look great. If your t-zone isn't shiny and everything is well blended and defined, you'll look great in photos with or without flash and you don't need to pile it on to achieve a gorgeous look. Going a little brighter with cheeks and lips than you usually might can look fresh and pretty in real life while showing up well in photos. This is more of a concern if you usually don't wear a lot of makeup - of course, if you normally pile it on, go for it! It's all about looking like 'you' on the day.
Lash it up!
If you're wearing lashes, make sure you pack your lash glue to take with you, and if you're wearing eyeliner, pack that as well as if you *do* need to reapply strip lashes, taking them off can pull of your liner. You can buy waterproof lash glue, and I'd really recommend that.
If false lashes aren't yout thing, a lash curler will really help to open up your eyes.
There'll be more tips on skincare later on in the series, but keeping hydrated can help prevent dry skin, cracked lips and puffy eyes. I see so many models with cracked lips and surprise surprise, you won't see them drink water all day!
Learn your lips
You'll be kissing, eating and drinking for a large part of the day, so your lips either need to be easy to touch up, or last all day. I'd personally plump for the 'last all day' option, as you don't want your lipstick to end up on your significant other - bear in mind while a glossy or balmy product is easy to reapply, you'll have to reapply often. Your usual lipstick can be made longer lasting with a classic old school trick - line your lips and apply a thin layer of your lipstick. Blot your lipstick by kissing a tissue (don't rub or 'clamp' the tissue as you can pull lint away from it), add a fine dusting of translucent powder, apply and blot again. A clear lipliner or a dusting of powder around the lipline can help prevent feathering.
Maybelline 'Red Passion,' my wedding day lipstick
I've found the longest lasting lipsticks are the ones you can get in the drugstore - the double ended ones that also come with a balm. I wore a Maybelline one on my wedding day and I didn't have to touch up one - and I ate a LOT. 'Velvet' style liquid lipsticks are also fabulous at lasting. The downside is that they're drying and can sometimes breakdown on the lip over a long time, especially if you pick one with a shimmer in, leaving a less than pretty effect. The upside is that they're easy to touch up should they move. You can also go for a stain option, which I think is a gorgeously romantic look which won't transfer onto someone else. It's super easy to do, either with a dedicated product like Benefit's Benetint, or simply taking a little of your favourite matte lipstick and really working a small amount into the lips with a brush, blotting and repeating until you have a stain. Take a small jar with a decant of the lipstick and a q-tip to touch up.
Whatever you choose, make sure you've given your lips a good scrub and let some balm sink in while you're getting ready to make sure they're looking their best!
Blend, blend, blend
Waterproof that shiz
Waterproof mascara and waterproof liner are a must. It just goes without saying! Minimal makeup on your lower lashline will also stop the Alice Cooper look should you start blubbing. If you do wear makeup on the lower lashline, layering will help prolong it's wear, i.e., eyeliner set with eyeshadow. Cream eyeshadows are also great for brides as they really set. Products like e.l.f Lock and Seal can help turn eyeshadows into liners than aren't going anywhere.
If you cry and your makeup does run - just dab wet areas with a tissue as this will lift the makeup and moisture straight up - don't rub or smudge as this will make things harder to clean up and fix.
Pick a feature
Pack yourself an Oh Shit! Kit! There's lot of advice out there for little kits to take with you for emergencies on the day - aspirin, sewing kits, stain remover pens, tampon, etc. But this is a makeup blog after all! My makeup Oh Shit! Kit would include:
-Blotting paper to control oil and shine - much easier and less messy and bulky than taking powder
-Your lip product, decanted if possible/needed
-Dry q-tips, and q-tips soaked in Bioderma or similar and double-sealed in a small ziplock bag
-Tissues/small packet of wipes
-False lash glue if using, and eyeliner if using
-Your concealer. If you don't want to lug your whole base around with you, a tube/pot of concealer should be plenty sufficient enough to touch anything up. If someone else is willing to carry your base, great.
Practice makes perfect
I can't stress this one enough! Please practice your wedding day makeup! It'll mean less stress on the day, less time on the day, and you'll know your happy with it. Practice it in daylight, but take photos in different lighting and with and without flash, and if you can, wear it on a night out or on a busy day to see how it wears. Wear a white tshirt or dress (or whatever the colour is that you're wearing on the day) as this can affect how the light hits your face and of course you'll be able to see how your makeup will work with your dress without actually having to wear it.
You Do You, BB
Any tips online are just that - tips. Take the tips as practical advice, not as a comment on your personal style. Any tips out there will work whether you want to paint rainbows on your face, whether you want a romantic boho look, or whether you want a touch of mascara and gloss or full on RuPaul glam.
This is *the* most important one. If you've practiced your makeup and given it a test run, you've left enough time to do it on the day - at least 45 minutes! - and you've got your touch-up kit with you, you will be absolutely fine! Oh, and don't drink too much champagne that you can't draw your eyeliner on straight ;)
I could go on and on - if I've missed something you're interested in, let me know and bear in mind a skin and foundation post will be coming up shortly.