With her restrained elegance and approachable beauty, Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton) has brought a new sense of modern-ness to England’s royal family and is sure to inspire brides across the globe for years to come. Although beauty is unfortunately an area where many brides lose sight of their personal style due to the pressure of outside opinions (and in Middleton’s case, intense media scrutiny), this modern-thinking royal opted to do her own make-up and thus successfully maintained her true, individual style—classically elegant yet completely understated. Electing to do one’s own make-up is no small feat for any bride, however. And just as the dress, photographer and flowers are key elements of a dream wedding, every bride must also feel beautiful, self-assured and stress-free on her wedding day. Inspired by the recent royal wedding—which officially marked the beginning of the Spring wedding season—these essential wedding day beauty tips and product recommendations that will see any bride through her wonderful, but challenging day.
Wedding Day Preparation Tips:
A bride’s style is almost always determined prior to the wedding day, but an additional trial run is crucial to ensuring that it’s exactly right. Allow time to adjust to whatever style has been created before making any final decisions and try to see how the make-up and hair look in lighting that’s closest to the time and location of the actual wedding and wedding photo setting. Photos of the trial run will also help for reviewing and last minute adjustments.
Avoid going to any trials rushed or fatigued and try to have some element of the dress to get an idea of how it will ultimately look together. It is also prudent to conduct your trial in private or exclusively with the appropriate stylist in order to avoid conflicting opinions from too many sources. This is also advisable on the day of the wedding.
Before the big day, try to avoid excessive sun exposure to prevent burns, mismatched lines or unforeseen make-up challenges. Avoid intensive skincare treatments (chemical peels, Botox, Retylane) unless you are familiar with the results and willing to risk an unwanted reaction.
Essential Must-Have Products:
Smashbox Photo-Finish Primer
Wearing a primer helps make-up last longer, which ultimately minimizes touch-ups. Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer is by far the best and is now available in two formulations as well as color correcting shades that are ideal for rosacea and discoloration.
Chantecaille New Stick Foundation
Nothing is more potentially disastrous than liquid foundation, so play it safe with a stick alternative. Convenient to carry and simple to apply, stick foundation also makes for quick, easy touch-ups during the party. Chantecaille’s New Stick Foundation is an uber-rich, creamy formula that glides on effortlessly and never looks heavy despite providing optimal coverage. The realistic finish is also ideal for photographs.
Jane Iredale Amazing Base Mineral Foundation
Jane Iredale’s Amazing Base Mineral Foundation receives our highest marks as an alternative to regular foundation—plus it provides an extra layer of coverage and sun protection. The selection of shades is unbeatable and it’s also great for evening the skintone on the legs and décolletage. Once applied it’s extremely water resistant and won’t rub off on a dress the way liquid body makeup can.
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
Concealer is key for unexpected blemishes or dark under eye circles. Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer is highly pigmented and therefore will cover the most stubborn blemishes, freckles and even tattoos. This make-up master’s original formula is unbeatable when it comes to optimal coverage, but it’s also an incredibly blendable texture that doubles as a foundation and is available in fifteen shades.
Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum
Tarte’s Illuminating Serum is the perfect shade and formula for adding that touch of extra-added glow without the unwanted side effect of looking reflective in photos. Blend a bit just on top of the cheekbones and under the eyes to instantly look more refreshed and awake. And, like all Tarte products, the illuminating serum contains beneficial ingredients along with its effective results.
Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder
A thorough application of powder is absolutely necessary to set in foundation and keep excess shine at bay. The most common mistake made, however, is choosing a light ashy translucent powder that reflects light and can ultimately ruin a great photo. Tarte’s Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder is unique in that it appears to be pure white in color, but goes on absolutely colorless and is therefore suitable for every complexion. The formula has the added benefit of being hydrating and pore minimizing.
Diorshow Brow Styler
Even for make-up averse brides should ensure that brows are impeccably groomed and expertly defined on their special day. Diorshow’s Brow Styler in Universal Brown is the perfect shade for every complexion and aids in creating the most elegantly sculpted, picture-perfect eyebrows. An absolute must-have item.
Chanel Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow
Every bride speaks with her eyes, and Chanel offers the very best selection of eye-shadow quads in a range of shades that complement every eye color and desired style. From sultry and smoky to demure sheer tones, these are the best and longest wearing formulas available.
Like the lovely Middleton’s signature look, kohl rimmed eyes are certain to be the most duplicated style. But for that special day, it can’t just be any eyeliner. The look has to be done with products that are highly pigmented (for optimal photo results) as well as long-wearing and tear proof (for the inevitable emotions). MAC has always created high performance products and the brand’s liners are among the best and most durable out there. Eye kohl in Smolder is our top pick.
L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara
Regardless of whatever formula of mascara is preferred for everyday, a long-lasting and high-performance waterproof formula is absolutely essential for the wedding day. L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof is by far the most outstanding and reliable formula, and it’s also extremely affordable and widely available.
As the main source of color for skin complexion, blush requires a well-matched shade and texture. While Nars remains one of the best resources of innovative colors and formulations, the brand’s range of blush shades is also unbeatable and its textures are phenomenal. Amour, Mata Hari and the iconic Super Orgasm are our top choices for the perfect bridal blush shades.
Chanel Le Crayon Lévres and Rouge Coco Shine
Once again, Chanel provides the ultimate in selection of shades and the best formulations. Le Crayon Levres are the perfect texture and provide a long-wearing base for lip color. Tulip is the perfect neutral hue and the Rouge Coco Shine series is both the perfect shade of sheer and remains moist for kissable lips throughout the day.
Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Paper
Lastly, Tatcha Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers can be carried in the smallest bag, are readily available and eminently useful. These delicate, expertly crafted little slips of paper will ensure a perfect complexion throughout the day and also minimize major touch-ups. An absolute must have for everyday!