Beauty And The Bride: Five Steps To A Flawless Face

Of all the things you really want to perfect for your wedding day makeup, complexion will also be number one in our books. Why? Because it’s the main thing people will notice, can make the biggest difference in your photos, and can need some extra help if you haven’t been getting eight hours a night or ended up eating way more fast food than you had wanted while you ran wedding errands.

In fact, we’d go so far as to say that if you put the time in to give yourself a glowing visage, you could do little more than swipe on some mascara and still look stunning. But how do you mimic the skin of someone who’s been on a health retreat for weeks when you’ve been doing anything but? Follow our five steps.

{CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT}

1. Hide The Evidence

We’re going to skip over skin prep (just wash your face and apply your favorite moisturizer or primer) and jump right in. The first thing you need to do is tackle any blemishes, redness and dark spots (including under the eyes). While some makeup artists advocate applying concealer last, when you do it the right way before hand it will stay put and be less noticeable (and what’s worse than cake-y concealer drawing the eye to every imperfection?).

There are countless concealers out there, and personal taste definitely comes into play here, but we like ones that have a peachy tint to counter purple tones—think under eye circles—and some of the redness of past and present blemishes. Try Benefit Cosmetics Erase Paste ($30) and make sure you don’t go too light (when it comes to blemishes erring on the too dark side is better since lighter patches will act like spotlights).

Using your fingers, lightly dab concealer on any discolored areas. It’s okay if it looks noticeable and isn’t blended, we’ll solve that in the next steps.

2. Brush Up

While fingers are a great application method for everyday makeup wear, your wedding day photos will benefit from the extra coverage and even finish of applying foundation with a brush. This Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush ($42) is a favorite for many, and is worth the investment since it will last so long.

Create a little pool of foundation on the bake of your non-dominant hand—more on that in the next step—and lightly moisten your brush with some water. Then, dab it into your foundation “pool” and, holding toward the end of the brush, sweep the foundation on in long, gentle strokes. Don’t ever do circles or vigorous back and forth movements (they’ll both push foundation into your pores and, in turn, make your pores look bigger). Try and move in the same direction for the majority of your face, usually from the inside to the outside of the face horizontally.

3. Do The Dew

Your makeup application can only do so much against a bad foundation, so it’s crucial to find on you really love that compliments your colouring and your skin type. That said, just about everyone looks best in dewy foundations and going too matte will also make you look like you’re wearing too much makeup.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua ($48) is the go-to for many makeup pros because it’s light and gives a serious glow, and you can build it to more coverage if you’re skin isn’t what you wish it was.

If your skin tends to be oily, you’ll want a mattefying primer before hand and some translucent powder to finish (as well as some blotting papers stashed in a bridesmaid’s purse), but the extra steps are worth it to stick with something that will make you look radiant and, most importantly, like you havenaturally flawless skin.

4. Think Pink

After you’ve brushed on your foundation (with gentle sweeping strokes, right?) you’ll likely notice that there are faint brush lines in the foundation. Since we’re going for skin that looks like it’s perfect without makeup, we can’t have anything tipping people off.

Pick yourself up the hot pink egg-shaped Beautyblender Sponge ($26) and you can finish off your foundation the right way by sponging around the larger areas of your face with the rounded end and the smaller spots (like the sides of the nose and around the eyes) with the pointier tip.

Sponge straight up and down and don’t be too firm. Your goal here is to blend everything together without smearing or removing the foundation you just worked so hard to apply perfectly.

5. A Few Highlights

By now your face should look even, soft and slightly luminous. You could stop here, but you’ll add extra impact (with minimal effort) if you apply highlight onto some key areas—and you’ll ensure that you really glow in every photo.

The easiest (and most natural looking) highlighter we’ve used is MAC Cosmetics Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel ($24), and one container will last you for a long time since you use it so sparingly.

All you have to do is squeeze a bit onto your fingertip and dab it onto these spots: The top of your cheekbones, right above the peak of your eyebrows, right under the peak of your eyebrow, and at the bow of your upper lip.

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