Bridal Makeup 2008

This Season In Beauty: Get A Natural, Golden Glow
by Emily Goldstein
Your wedding day is your time to shine, and with the right cosmetics, your joy will translate all the more brilliantly. This season, it's all about the natural beauty of the blushing bride.

Skin is definitely in - a survey reported that 2004 brides planned on spending $179 on skin care purchases, a 38% increase from 2003. This emphasis on healthy-looking skin extends to the bride's make-up as well. Makeup expert Tony Surratt of Maybelline New York says, "The idea is to enhance your natural beauty by using sheer, ultra-lightweight products that don't hide your individual character." So, don't obsess by layering on makeup like an oil painting-after all, you're already beautiful, and have found a great guy who enthusiastically agrees! Make-up artist Timothy Alan adds, "Brides often think that they want a lot of make-up, but the truth is that they eventually realize that less is more." By using cosmetics with subtle, golden tones, you can enhance your complexion and highlight your features-while still looking fresh and natural.

Go Pro?
Most likely, you've already begun to think about the look you want to have on your special day, and exactly how you're going to get it. According to a survey of brides conducted by, approximately half of last year's brides chose to have their makeup done professionally, while half of the brides surveyed applied their own makeup or chose a friend or family member to do the job.

Natalie Fischer of Mary Kay Cosmetics recommends, "If a professional make-up artist is doing the make-up for the big day, it is essential that the bride have at least one trial run and take pictures of the look. Looking in the mirror and looking at a photograph can be quite different, and a bride should scrutinize her look from a picture prior to the big day."

If you're getting your makeup done professionally, it's also important that the person you choose is really a professional and not a faux-pro. Make-up artist Timothy Alan notes, "Any real make-up artist can offer you pictures of their previous work. If they don't have pictures, you may want to reconsider hiring that person." Do your research when hiring a professional makeup artist; talk to your family and friends, be sure to ask for pictures, and find out about his/her experience.

If you decide not to "go pro," you can still reap the benefits of professional advice and get a flawless, professional look at home. In addition to the many tips and tricks from professional makeup artists and brands included in this article, options include consulting a department store cosmetologist. The Everything Wedding Book points out, "A department store cosmetologist will gladly give you a consultation and a makeover, especially if it induces you to buy some of her products. Don't be afraid to ask questions."

All eyes will be on you, so a break from your everyday makeup routine may be just the thing you need to make you feel like a princess. According to's survey, a majority of brides are trying out new cosmetics before their wedding day, and over half of these brides are getting these beauty products at department stores and drugstores. Read on to discover the new products brides are trying, as well as the hottest tips and tricks for a flawless, natural look on the big day.

Nurturing your skin couldn't be more important to looking radiant on your wedding day. Start a skincare regimen months before the wedding in order to refine your complexion. The more smooth your skin, the more flawless your makeup application. Natalie Fischer of Mary Kay Cosmetics says, "A consistent skincare program is essential. Just as an artist needs a clean pallet to work on, so does the bride want for her face and make-up."

It is best to use a variety of products. Your skincare routine should include essentials such as a daily cleanser, an exfoliant, a moisturizer, and, if necessary, an acne cleanser to help with the occasional breakout. Fischer advises, "These products should be from one company, due to the PH balance in the chemicals."

Since, as Fischer advises, it's best to stick with one brand when it comes to skincare, you may want to take advantage of a professionally coordinated set of products. Agnes Bullock of Mary Kay Cosmetics recommends a microdermabrasion set, which combines an exfoliant and a moisturizer to revitalize your skin and improve overall tone. Bullock adds that microdermabrasion sets are especially ideal for brides with oily skin. However, since exfoliating treatments make your skin more sensitive, you'll want to wear a moisturizer with SPF 15. Alan recommends a Swiss brand called Physiodermy, which has a formula that applies like a gel and makes skin instantly softer.

Knowing your skin type (dry, oily, combination) will make it easier for you to select the right skincare products; top brands tend to cater to you through type-specific products. If your skin is typically dry, including an oil-free facial moisturizer in your everyday routine will keep your skin soft and healthy. For spa-like refreshment, you may want to try a facial mask.

If you have oily skin, you'll want to take advantage of the many new oil-controlling products that have recently hit the market. Mary Kay Beauty Blotters¨ Oil-Absorbing Tissues are a great on-the-spot way to get rid of shine. Oil absorbing sheets are ideal for a quick touch-up before walking down the aisle.

Always remember to wear sunscreen in order to protect your skin. The higher the SPF, the better. But what if you want to sport a luminous tan on the big day? If a sun-kissed look is what you desire, but you don't want to risk a sunburn, a quality sunless tanner is the best way to go. Salon Bronze is a unique product because of its airbrush applicator, which creates an even, natural-looking tan.

Fischer agrees that sunless tanners are a great option, but cautions, "Make sure they are used with a good moisturizer from the same company to avoid getting an allergic reaction." Another option for a great sunless tan is bronzing beads, which have a powder-like application and can go right over your foundation. Bullock recommends this method because it is "quick, clean, and safer than the tanning bed." However you choose, be sure to test out your sunless tanner long before the wedding in order to avoid problems like streaks on the big day.

Let your joy shine for all to see with the right face make-up. According to expert Troy Surratt of Maybelline New York, this season's trends capitalize on "gorgeous bronze tones and shimmering highlighting shades." Show off your features with a healthy, golden glow.

The first step is to apply touches of concealer, which will hide any pesky imperfections. Next, apply a foundation that matches your skin tone. Make-up expert Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics advises, "Flash photography emphasizes pink tones, so be sure to even out skin with a yellow-toned foundation." In order to ensure an even application, she adds, "Start around the nose and mouth where there's redness, then blend out to the rest of the face." After you have applied your foundation, be sure to set it with powder for a flawless, finished look.

Your choice of blush is essential to getting that healthy glow and highlighting your cheekbones. Using two shades of blush will add depth to your look; Brown suggests using a neutral color to start (the color your skin is when you are naturally flushed), and then applying a deeper color. The shades you choose should complement your skin tone. On its website, Mary Kay Cosmetics advises, "For a soft, natural glow, dust a light pink to the apples of cheeks if your skin is fair, and choose a rosy shade if your skin is beige to bronze." If you put on too much, don't panic-you can just dust over a small amount of powder to even it out. Always carry powder with you for quick touch-ups.

Also remember that your look may need to be more dramatic than usual in order to be camera-ready. Brown recommends that you use a little more blush than usual to avoid looking washed-out in your pictures.

The intensity of your make-up may vary depending on whether your wedding is to take place during the day or evening. Alan comments, "Lighting is everything. If your wedding is to take place outdoors, natural light magnifies the most. Use a minimal amount of makeup, and emphasize a single feature." For indoor weddings that are to take place during the day, Alan adds that makeup should still be soft, but slightly more defined. Fischer says, "Evening weddings have a more formal feel to them and also require artificial light, hence the make-up can be natural, but should be more pronounced."

Luminous and lovely, your eyes are a feature to flaunt. Before you apply your eyeshadow, be sure to maximize your eyelashes. Fischer says, "If you want to make your eyes 'pop,' luscious lashes are the secret! This can be done using two types of mascara-one that lengthens and one that plumps-and a manual eyelash curler." If mascara isn't for you, or you want to enhance the look even further, Fischer suggests, "Adding a few fake lashes is a useful trick."

A new trend is to define your eyes through smoky tones. Add a dark accent with products like Mary Kay Signature Eyeliner in Sable or Charcoal. To avoid an overly sharp contrast, it's best to smudge the eyeliner slightly and thus soften the look. Alan cautions that you shouldn't smudge make-up around the eyes to the extent that it would interfere with your natural look. Since you want your make-up to last all day, make sure that your eyeliner and mascara are waterproof.

When you choose your eyeshadow, remember that you want to accentuate, rather than overpower, your natural eye color. Commenting on the latest eyeshadow trends, Fischer says, "Eyeshadows [that brides choose] seem to be mostly in the brown family, to keep with the natural look."

Start with a neutral tone; make-up expert Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics advises that it is far better to use a neutral tone of eyeshadow as a base rather than concealer, which can cause creases in your eye makeup. After applying the neutral tone, apply a lighter, complementary color to the eyelid and a darker color at the crease. Blend these colors at the seam in order to soften the look. Thus, by combining tones that highlight and accent, you can add depth to your look.

A new trend among top makeup brands is to coordinate complementary shades that are ready-to-layer. Elizabeth Arden's Bronze Beauty Collection features a Color Intrigue Eyeshadow Quad that includes four perfectly matched, sparkling shades. Mary Kay recommends using eyeshadow that has a matte finish, since cameras tend to pick up its sparkle better. For a glamorous touch, Brown suggests, "Finish with a highlighter shade on the browbone to make eyes pop."

For your first kiss as a married woman, make your lips look full and beautiful. You'll want to start by moisturizing and softening your lips. This will make your lipstick apply more evenly and last longer. Lip-hydrating products with Vitamin E are best.

Before you apply your lipstick, start with a liner-this will prevent your lipstick from bleeding and will make your lips look more defined in your pictures. For a subtle look, Alan recommends that you use a neutral liner that won't stick out against your lipstick. Bullock observes that brides typically choose to emphasize their eyes rather than their lips, and as a result, their lipstick shades tend to be more neutral as well.

Choosing your lipstick shade can be a tricky decision. You may not want to emphasize your lips, but you also don't want to appear washed-out in your photographs. Make-up expert Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics advises that you turn up the intensity just enough by "choosing a lipstick that's one to two shades brighter than what you normally wear." If a bride wants to make her lips more sultry, Fischer recommends a quick fix: "to make the lips appear more full, she can add a little concealer and foundation at the lipline and then, with a good liner, redraw a fuller lip. This is a great beauty secret."

To finish, apply a gloss like Elizabeth Arden's High Shine Lip Gloss Duo, which will give you instant shine and add fullness to your lips. Glosses can also add a hint of color to enhance your lipstick. If you want to add a touch of glamour to your look, consider adding a shimmering gloss. Also, be sure that your liner, lipstick, and lipgloss can stand the test of time and won't require too many reapplications.

Finding Your Look
Make-up can contribute to your bridal look in any way you want. Fischer expresses, "It all depends on the bride. However, she should try on several looks, just as she tries on several gowns. We forget that the bridal pictures include our faces, and we want the look to match the formality of the dress."

As you experiment with your bridal look, getting feedback from the people closest to you will help you to find the right combination of tones. Fischer observes, "Many times, what we think looks bad initially is actually very complimentary and it takes close friends and family to tell us so."

Don't be afraid to stray from your normal make-up routine-you may surprise yourself! Fischer suggests a professional make-up party as a way to test out different shades. She explains, "Make-up parties are helpful because not only do we get a chance to enjoy quality time with our fiends and family, but they will give us their brutally honest opinion of our looks. And the best part of make-up is that it washes off and you can start over!"

With so many possibilities, you can look as soft and natural or as glamorous as you want. The sooner you start experimenting, the sooner you'll find the look that complements your huge grin as you walk down the aisle.