Creating a Soft Romantic Look

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2005

Creating a Soft, Romantic Look
This season, delicate makeup and hair echo the ultra feminine silhouettes showcased by fashion designers. Sheer berry-stained lips, pink eye shadow, and shimmery blush were used to achieve the look on this model. To recreate it for your wedding, read on.

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Beautiful Color
"Romantic makeup is all about petal-soft shades and light application," says Troy Surratt, a makeup artist for Beauty.com in New York City. "It's timeless, flattering, and classic." Think sheer textures, well-blended lines and edges, and a healthy glow.

Subdued Colors
For your wedding, choose pinks or muted versions of your favorite shades. This look is simple; it's not about using three different shades for eyes (just apply a single nude or pink shadow). Try pinkish-brown blush for cheeks, and a berry or rose color for lips. Beige or gold can be added on the brow bone to highlight the eyes.

Translucent Formulas
A thin wash of color will look softer than opaque makeup. For lips, New York City makeup artist Lea Siegel suggests a stain. You can make your own stain by applying lipstick, blotting it off with a tissue, reapplying, and blotting again; finish with a dab of tinted gloss for shine. On cheeks, use cream blush, which blends easily into skin and looks like a natural flush.

Seamless Application
Blend makeup well with your fingers or fluffy brushes. And instead of using black or brown eyeliner, dot grey or purple liner between lashes to define the lash line; these colors are more delicate.

Luminescent Skin
The lighter your makeup, the more your skin's radiance will show through. Use liquid foundation around nose and on chin. Put concealer just over dark areas, and reflecting powder on T-zone to minimize oil.

For Fair Skin:
1. To enhance eyes, line inner eyelid with Trish McEvoy Eye Brightener in Shell, a pink pencil that intensifies whites of the eyes, $20.
2. Dior So Cheek! cream blush in Pink So Sweet, $30.
3. DuWop Venom Flash lip gloss has gold flecks, $16.
4. Guerlain Divinora Ombre Eclat shadow in Day Fever, $24.
5. Jelly Pong Pong Chic Shine for lips and cheeks, in Ballerina, $24.

For Medium Skin:
6. Dianne Brill Lip Lingerie lip gloss in Pinoir, $20.
7. Paul & Joe Lipstick No. 6, $18.
8. Trish McEvoy Glaze Eyeshadow in Plush and
9. Trish McEvoy Shaper Eyeshadow in Cashmere, $15 each.
10. Apricot Spice Clinique High Impact Eye Shadow Soft Shimmer, $13.50.
11. Fresh Blush Cream in Age of Innocence, $28.

For Dark Skin:
12. Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow Duo in Moondance, $30, and Tarte All Over Eye Brush, $24.
13. Bourjois Rouge A Levres No. 7 lipstick, $14.
14. Stila Rouge Pots Cheek Mousse in Sweet Pea, $20.
15. Paul & Joe lip gloss in Caramel Rose, $18.

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Elegant Style
This loose updo, fashioned by New York City stylist Nathaniel Hawkins, is modern and sophisticated. He applied mousse to wet hair, blew it dry, and tied knots along one-inch sections. Strands were pulled back into a ponytail, which was wrapped around base, pinned, and sprayed.

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Pretty Polish
Sheer, pale shades are the favorite for brides; they look most natural and hide any chips, says manicurist Sunshine Outing of Haven, a spa in New York City. Before your wedding, try a few colors (bright shades are great for toes) to find one you like.

Simple At-Home Manicure
From the moment you're given a ring, everyone pays more attention to your hands. That's why it's a good idea to keep your nails looking their best. It's easy to do a basic manicure at home. Follow our easy steps below. File nails from each side (corner to center) into a squared oval shape, says Maria Salandra, owner of Finger Fitness in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Soak fingertips in soapy water for five minutes. Wrap one finger in a washcloth and gently push back cuticles.

Dry nails, and go over them with a soft buffer. Using a paper towel, swipe nails with nail-polish remover to clean off lotion or oils from skin. Put on base coat. Polish a stroke in center, and on each side, covering nail's tip. Apply top coat after two layers of color have dried.

Light Colors Create Classic Nails
1. Estee Lauder Pure Color nail lacquer in Naked Pink, $18.
2. Essie nail polish in Delicacy, $8. Creamy barely-there pinks that are more opaque can cover any imperfections on the nail.
3. Essie Nude Beach, $8.
4. Sally Hansen Beyond Perfect Protein Nail Color in Sheer Lotus Petal, $5.
5. Cotton Opaque Bobbi Brown Nail polish, $8.50.
6. Jessica Custom Nail Color in LaLaLand, $6. For a truly feminine look, use a brighter, but still soft, pink polish.
7. Essie nail polish in Castaway, $8.
8. Givenchy Vernis Please! In Flirting Pink, $14. For toes, try
9. Wet 'n' Wild Nail Color in Bar B, 99¢, or
10. Lippmann Collection nail polish in Angel Eyes, $15. Put a second coat of shimmery polish over top to soften color and add shine.
11. Pinkie Swear Pinkie Sheer Nail Blush in 'Sno Illusion, $8.
12. T. LeClerc nail polish in Or Nacre, $15.

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Subtle Shimmer
Makeup with light-reflecting particles can give skin a gorgeous glow. Apply a sheer cream or liquid shimmer to cheekbones (over makeup), and blend well. Dust a finely milled powder over your brow bone and the bridge of your nose. If your dress has thin straps or is strapless, you can even add sparkle to shoulders and decolletage.

With your fingers, dab Julie Hewett Shimmy All Over Face & Body Shimmer cream in:
1. Goldie or 2. Pinkie, each $21, to your collar bone and shoulders.
3. Benefit Flamingo Fancy, $20, is a tinted lotion that adds color and sparkle to shoulders.
4. Dust Estee Lauder So Ingenious Loose Powder in Light, $30, on face to set makeup. Use one of these three shimmers on cheekbones and blend.
5. Pout Illuminator in Love Glow, $30
6. Benefit High Beam, $20; and
7. Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer No. 1, $50.

Benefit Show Offs shimmer powders in:
8. Powder Puff and 9. Bambi, $14 each.
10. Benefit Classic Kitten puff, $24, is filled with champagne-colored body shimmer.
11. Tarte Glistening Powder in Tickled Pink, $55.
12. UpStage Professional Soft Bristle Powder Brush, $7.99.

Trade Secret
Avoid too much shimmer by first tapping a brush you've dipped in powder over the sink to shake off any extra. Then run it over your hand. That will remove excess so you'll apply the right amount; less sparkle is best.

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