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Wedding Makeup Tips from the Experts

How to master your makeup for a walk down the aisle—either on your own or in the hands of a pro.

Written By:  Erin B. Murray

Photographers:  Amy Nicole Photography


Makeup artist Jennifer French, the founder behind One10 Makeup, says her team of 17 artists worked on 200 weddings in 2015—which, to us, means she’s got plenty of street cred when it comes to making brides look their best. Whether you have plans to hire a makeup artist or set off on your own, she offers up a few smart tips for creating a long-lasting look.

If doing your own makeup feels daunting, a makeup artist is worth every penny. And it doesn’t matter if they come with a referral or if you find them online, French recommends asking a few key questions before you commit.

Do they provide airbrush makeup, and if so, is that the way to go?
A quick consultation should provide the answer, says French. While some bride’s definitely benefit from the long-term application, those with dry or flaky skin might want to consider skipping it.

How much experience do they have with bridal?
Some makeup artists focus on editorial work, which is a whole different playing field, says French. Look for an individual or a team that does bridal work regularly—they’ll know how to make your look work for the camera and have a clear idea of how to work with your other vendors.

Should I do a trial run?
Practice makes perfect—unless you and the artist feel confident that they can handle your needs without too much effort.

Because you’ll likely be photographed more on this day than any other, it’s time to amp things up. “You’ll want to wear more blush or bronzer than you normally would, otherwise, you’ll tend to look washed out,” advises French. Stick with a color that is about two shades darker than your natural undertones. And don’t forget the lips. Even if you don’t wear lip color on a daily basis, French says “it makes you look healthier in pictures.” Lastly: Line those brows. “You want to see your eyebrows in the photos,” she adds—pick a shadow that’s a shade or two darker than your brow color and use it to lightly fill them in.

French says that when working with a makeup artist, it’s great to bring images of a celebrity you want to emulate—but even better is to bring a photo of yourself donning a look that you love.

top picks:

French has literally tried just about everything on the market.
Mascara: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara.
Foundation: Avoid products that have talc, which creates a flash-back glare in photos. Make Up For Ever ultra HD fluid foundation and translucent pressed powder will keep the look lasting all day. 
Eyeliner: Inglot Cosmetics AMC Eyeliner Gel, #77 is a black, cream liner that is both sweat- and cry-proof.

“Prepping the skin prior to your makeup application can make or break the look,” says French. Hydration is the most important factor, which is why her team recommends Glam Glo Thirsty Mud. Start using it twice weekly for six to eight weeks before the big day. “It’s magic in a jar,” she says.

French recommends falsies—so long as they’re properly measured and glued on. Terrified of a full set? Try individual lashes that go on a few at a time. “No matter what you use, be sure to measure and trim them before you peel off the strip or apply any glue,” she stresses.

No need to pull together a whole makeup bag for the ceremony and reception. Instead, carry a few key touch-up items, like your lip color, blotting papers, and a small bit of bronzer. “Reapply the lip color and bronzer right before the big photo opps, like before you head down the aisle and when you’re posing for portraits,” adds French. 

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