In the weeks and months leading up to the wedding…
Plan your procedures ahead- it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of tastings, fittings and appointments and forget to schedule facial treatments until the last minute. Don’t be tempted to get microdermabrasion or chemical peels within at least a month of the event, depending on the exact type of laser or peel. Laser resurfacing "heals within days and normal color returns within a few weeks- if that long" according to Dr. Edward Lack (Chicago Liposuction). Even a simple facial shouldn't be considered in the last few days leading up. Call well ahead of time and discuss this with the technician.
Practice good skin health- stay hydrated and eat healthfully leading up to the event. Don’t try new skincare products, or anything that may irritate your skin. Anticipate your skin’s history, and treat it accordingly depending on changes your skin may experience in the climate or weather that’s expected at the venue.
For the big day…
Start with a good base- be sure that your foundation is the right color and formulation for your skin. You may feel like you should use a heavy cream or stick foundation since you’re being photographed, but heavier formulas will look caked on and are more likely leave a line of demarcation around the neck and hairline that’s tougher to blend away. Just stick with the liquid or powder that works for you, and be sure it’s properly matched to your color. No one wants to look washed out, but it can also age you a bit if your base is too dark for you. Color correcting concealers, like green or yellow for redness, and peach or yellow for undereye circles are a much better choice than simply layering on more makeup. Remember that redness will be easily picked up in photographs so take care to balance that out, and stay away from more pink based foundations.
Avoid the shiny look- glitter will reflect too much on camera, and shouldn’t be worn to a nice event like a wedding anyway. Radiance-enhancing or shimmery foundations make faces look too slick and shiny for photos, so if you must, only keep the sheen on cheekbones and the cupid’s bow for highlighting purposes. Always finish the t-zone with powder, which is especially important to balance any highlighting applied. If you know you’re more oily, pop pressed powder in your bag so that you stay shine free.
The eyes have it- keep in mind that darker eyeshadows and heavy liner make eyes look smaller. A matte or pearl shadow formula will be universally flattering and especially in warm, earthy tones. To keep eyes looking big and bright, highlight the inner corners and brow bone with an off-white, light pink or pale gold shadow or crayon. The older you are, the more important it is to stay fast to the no shimmer rule, as it tends to bring attention to fine lines. Black eyeliner can also look too harsh for older women (same goes for liquid liner) and fair blondes are more suited for eyeliner and mascara in the brown tones. Don’t forget to make sure brows are properly framing the face- everyone looks better and younger with defined brows. Fill the arches with powder or if using a pencil, blend with a brush. Brow color and size are important considerations here, so don’t forget to use a light hand and blend.
Consider your venue and lighting- do take the time to stop and think about if the event/ photos will be taking place indoors or out, and at what time of day. Indoor photos will be taken with flash, so it’s important to use powder to combat shine and to also be sure foundation is matched well. If outdoors, soften makeup a bit as it can easily look too heavy or harsh. Also adjust your makeup look for more formal locations, and later times in the evening. When considering these factors, you will want to use more color and definition over simply adding more makeup. Keeping these ideas in mind, remember its always most important to look like yourself and feel comfortable on your wedding day. These techniques will help ensure you look flawless both in person and in photographs for years to come. Content provided by Sarah Logan on behalf of ASI (esthetics school, NY). It offers specialized coursework in cosmetic laser training, as well as microdermabrasion training.