Bridal Fashion and Beauty Tips

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Bridal Fashion and Beauty Tips

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

Figuring out what to wear for your wedding or how you’ll do your makeup can get tricky. Should you pick a sophisticated dress or search for something romantic? And when it comes to makeup, how can you look young (but not too young!) and avoid seeming gaudy? Get started with these tips and tricks.

Makeup Lesson
Use these ideas for fresh, aisle-worthy makeup.

Face Time
Surprisingly, the biggest giveaway to your age isn’t wrinkles -- it’s actually a dull, discolored complexion. The good news: This is pretty easy to fix. Start about six months before your wedding and book monthly glycolic peels with your dermatologist. They take about 10 minutes a session and cost around $200 each. Or you can use a glycolic treatment at home, like Therapy Systems Glycolic Cleansing Gel (it’s a low-lather wash that will clear your pores, making them look smaller, accelerate cellular regeneration, and refine your skin). Just don’t try any new skincare routines immediately before your wedding to avoid irritations.

Base Work
Your skin may not be as supple as it was when you were in your 20s, but nobody needs to know. A good primer will even out your skin’s texture and add a layer of moisture to help your foundation stay on. A liquid foundation is the best way to create a healthy glow that isn’t overly dewy. Use your fingertips to apply the foundation; the heat from your fingers will help the liquid go on smooth, not streaky. Then blend with a damp sponge to help remove excess makeup. Stay away from powder foundations -- they can get cakey and settle into wrinkles, making fine lines appear deeper.

Lip Service
Stick with lip shades of pink or peach (for fair skin) or sheer berry or plum (for dark skin). Test out a few shades to find the right match. Anything too dark will automatically make you look older. Also, avoid metallic shades and anything shiny like lip gloss; they’ll make your lips look thinner.

Getting Cheeky
A little color is the key to a faux facelift. For your cheeks, use the same palette as for your lips -- pinks and apricots for fair skin and deeper shades for dark skin. Try a blush with subtle gold flecks; this tiny bit of shimmer will reflect light, giving your skin a healthy glow. Just be careful not to go overboard -- excessive sparkle will look flashy, not youthful.

View Points
Skip the glittery eye shadow since it always looks greasy in photos. Instead, make your eyes stand out with light, natural shades and a touch of champagne-colored shimmer shadow right under your brow and in the inner corners of your eyes. Precise eyeliner will help you look wide-awake, even as your eyes inevitably start to droop a little as the day wears on. Start from the inner corner of your eye and, moving outward, apply a thin line, extending a tiny bit beyond your eye. Use a wet cotton swab to pull up these ends and make your eyes appear wide-open. Curl your lashes and then apply mascara. Be sure to let each coat dry fully before adding the next.

Shop Talk
Find out what type of dress will suit your sophisticated style.

Short Stories
Short dresses are a huge trend in bridal fashion, but here are the real reasons we love these high hemlines: They’re chic and sophisticated and won’t feel as over-the-top bridal as a full A-line skirt or a big ball gown. Try a knee-length dress with a slimming pencil skirt, and look for details like puff sleeves to cover your arms or a scoop neckline to flatter your decollete.

Top Coats
Try a chic wedding suit for a polished look. Paired with crisp white dresses, couture coats have been making a statement on the bridal runways. And, unlike traditional wedding gowns, these cover-ups can definitely be worn again. Pair one with sleek black pants and an oversized brooch for the perfect cocktail party outfit.

Style Guide
Forget about big, poufy ball gowns. No matter how formal your affair is, you’ll look like you’re trying too hard if you wear an enormous dress. Choose a fabric that’s appropriate for your wedding’s degree of formality (satin for dressy affairs; organza for a more laid-back day), and look for a gown with a figure-hugging silhouette. Trumpet, mermaid, and dropped-waist gowns are all great options for a modern, floor-length look.

Jewel Rules
Keep it simple. Now isn’t the time to display all the jewelry you’ve acquired over the years. Stick to a few favorite pieces -- a delicate necklace or elegant dangly earrings will add sparkle without going over the top.

Special thanks to makeup artist Tanya Rae, Patrick Melville Salon (she’s Bette Midler’s makeup artist!)

-- Heather Levine

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