16 Beauty Tips Every Bride Needs to Know
During the 21 years her eponymous beauty boutique stood on Manhattan's Upper East Side, makeup maven Laura Geller was the requisite stop for wedding-day prep. "It was 'wedding central'," says Geller. "Over the years I met with thousands upon thousands of brides." And for those outside the tri-state area, Laura's motherly advice and makeup-for-real-women approach was, and remains, as accessible as the closest TV remote. Millions tune to QVC for Geller's signature Spackle and Baked blushes (to date, the channel's longest selling beauty brand).
Geller agreed to divulge those wedding day prep secrets that that only a honed professional can dispense. We asked for seven tips—she gave us 16—and each one's a gem.
Once you've set the date and have an idea of the location, start scouting out your makeup and hair pros. If you're getting married during the height of wedding season, the best people book up quickly.
Do Your Homework
While it's tempting to use a makeup artist with experience in TV, film, or fashion runways, try to find a seasoned pro who does weddings on a regular basis. In addition to from knowing how to deliver a dewy glow that won't turn into an oil slick, they have a better grasp of the timing and the tactics necessary to ensure the final effect is on schedule and on point.
Come to Your Trial Equipped
Never assume your makeup artist "gets you." Inspiration—magazine pics, a swatch of a color you love, and if possible, a photo of you in your dress—all these things will help them get an idea of your end goal and what you're comfortable with.
Come Wearing White
Try and wear a top that's the same shade of white as your dress to your hair and makeup trial. Whites can be draining, which means the makeup tones will need to be amped up to compensate.
Bring a Veil to the Trial, Too
Having your makeup professionally done usually means wearing more color than we're used to. Seeing how it will play beneath a veil (any veil), helps you feel in the moment and ties the whole effect together.
A Hairdo Helps
For your makeup trial, consider having hair done as you plan to wear it at the wedding. You want to make sure the hair and makeup looks complement each other.
They're Your Favorites for a Reason
If you have a go-to foundation, liner, lipstick—whatever—don't be afraid to bring it along to your makeup trial. A makeup artist can most always incorporate it into the plan, especially if it gives you that extra dollop of confidence.
If your beauty plan includes false eyelashes, have them on hand during your trial (even if that means purchasing them yourself and bringing them with). It's important to see how they feel over a long five-hour haul—particularly if it's your first time wearing falsies.
Take Notes … and Pictures
When the makeup trial is done and the look agreed upon, make sure to write down the brands, colors, and brushes used and snap a photo. It's not unusual for a makeup artist to forget what was agreed upon during the trial; definitely not the time for that sort of surprise.
A Little Hand-Holding Never Hurts
Ask your makeup artist how long she can stay after the pictures or ceremony to do touch ups on your big day. Not only will she ensure you're (still) looking your best, she'll make sure your father-in-law's bald head doesn't resemble a homing beacon in the pictures.
You Need More Than a Handshake
What if your makeup artist wakes up sick or gets offered a last minute, all expenses paid trip to Bora Bora (wedding be damned)? Draw up a contract with your makeup artist stipulating the duration of services, the costs, what's included, and who will fill in should they be unavailable or incapacitated.
Don't panic if you snap a picture with your cell phone then don't love how your makeup looks. Chances are, the photo wasn't taken in the best possible light.
Your makeup artist is just that—your makeup artist. Feel free to have her primp your mother and mother-in-law, but limit it to no more than three people total. Hire a second pro to tend to your bridesmaids.
Designate a Beauty Assistant
Create your own makeup kit filled with all your makeup artist-selected tones, then give it to a friend to keep close at hand on the day-of. Make sure it's a person you trust to pull you aside to powder your nose, refresh your lipstick, or dab away the lipstick mark Aunt Marge planted on your cheek.
Be Selfish: Part Two
Resist the urge to share anything. Hoard makeup, makeup brushes, hair brushes, curling irons, and mascara wands for yourself. No reason to risk cross contamination, singed strands, or freak-of-nature beauty blunders.
Bring your own, fresh tube of waterproof mascara just in case your makeup artist forgets to pack theirs. Tears of joy should never result in horror movie-like streaks.