As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. So who better to scoop wedding hair and makeup tips from than beauty savvy women who’ve already walked down the aisle, survived the reception and whooped it up on the dance floor until dawn? Find out which beauty moves made these past brides the belle of the ball and what they would have changed if they could go back in time.
Stash baby wipes in the bathroom to freshen up. “I was literally dripping sweat down my back I was dancing so much! I was having fun, but it’s not so elegant when someone goes to give you a hug. I used baby wipes to freshen up. They’re also great for getting out stains in a pinch without leaving a big ring like water can.”
-Vanessa O’Malley, full-time mom, Summit, NJ.
Dirty hair is the secret to a long-wearing updo. “I have super fine hair that doesn’t like to stay in an updo. I didn’t wash my hair for four days before the wedding so it was slightly greasy. This gave my hair some grip and it stayed in place all night!”
-Alyssa Dineen, fashion stylist, New York, NY.
Do a trial run, even if you don’t hire a pro. “Prior to my wedding, I had a friend create a smoky-eye look on me. In my opinion it looked too dark, but after wearing it for a while, I got used to it and it really looked nice! If I hadn’t had a run-through, I would have been freaking out on my wedding day! After seeing my wedding day pictures, I was really glad to have gone with that look.”
-Tammy Gibson, author of A Mom in Red High Heels, Redlands, CA.
Don’t stray too far from the real you. “Experiment with different hairstyles, but then choose the one you are most comfortable with, the one that is most you. You don’t want to look back at photos of the special day and wonder “who is that?”
-Kim Van Dang, branding consultant and founder of KVD NYC, New York, NY.
Reduce pre-wedding jitters with a personal spa ritual. “Make sure to pick one beauty regimen that is personal to you, like taking a nice and relaxing bath,”
-Marta Walsh, editor, TalkingMakeup.com, Scottsdale, AZ.
Splurge on a makeup pro. “I kept my hair very simple and did a simple chignon myself since it was going to be hidden by the veil anyway. I invested more time and energy into my makeup look. I did a trial run with a professional makeup artist keeping in mind how it would look in wedding pictures. To this day, I’ve never looked better in photos makeup wise, and I still use the tricks the makeup artist taught me.”
-Stephanie Smirnov, President, DeVries Public Relations, New York, NY.
Make sure your touch-up kit has all the right colors. “I didn’t own the makeup shades my makeup artist used, so she gave me the lipstick, lip gloss and eyeshadow. Not all makeup artists do this, so make sure to ask yours. You don’t want to realize later on during your wedding that you don’t have the right stuff for touch ups.”
-Karen Bierman Hirsh, full time mom, Greenwich, CT.
Don’t O.D. on blush. “My makeup artist didn’t use a lot of blush for my wedding look because she said my cheeks would be flushed all night and then I’d be too red in person and pictures. And she was totally right! My make up looked gorgeous all night!”
-Alix Campbell, Photography Director, Marie Claire Magazine, New York, NY.
Go for waterproof mascara. “I made a huge mistake at my own wedding. I wept like a baby and had black track marks in some of my pictures
(before my sisters pulled me into the bathroom for some damage control). I love Lancome Hypnose Waterproof Custom Volume Mascara because it makes lashes look
super-lush, and comes off easily with eye makeup remover.”
-Tia Williams, author and beauty blogger, Shake Your Beauty, Brooklyn, NY.
Not a fan of waterproof mascara? “I used a lengthening and curling mascara first to help build my lashes, and then added an additional coating of waterproof mascara at the very ends, which also helps hold the curl in lashes.”
-Bailey Clark, writer, Makeover Momma, Staunton, VA
Don’t rush to remove your veil. “If you decide to wear a veil on your wedding day, wear it for the entire day – from your walk down the aisle until the end of the
reception. A veil is that one element that transforms you from a woman in a white dress into a bride. Looking back at my wedding photos, I wish I hadn’t been in such a rush to take off my veil and show off my hair. I much prefer the photos of me wearing the veil; they have a much more romantic quality.”
-Daneen Baird, writer & editor of Spoiled Pretty, Philadelphia, PA.
Get your brows groomed by a professional. “I did my own make up and had my hair styled in a simple french twist, but what really made me look polished was a professional eye brow shaping. I had my brows done a few days before the wedding so they wouldn’t look red or bumpy on the big day. It made such a difference in photos to have perfect brows!”
-Jennifer Cattier, corporate lawyer, New York, NY.
Avoid bold nail polish. “Your hands will be on stage for the entire day—signing the certificate, showing off your rings, shaking hands—you’ll want them looking pretty and feminine. I made a huge mistake on my wedding day by painting my nails BURGUNDY and now I cringe every time I look at my wedding pictures. My hands jump out and scream “bad trend!” in every photo. Do yourself a favor and choose a pretty pale pink or nude for your wedding day manicure.”
-Erika Valente, editor of Makeup Bag, Reno, NV.
Reduce your sodium intake. “A few weeks before my wedding, I cut out salt from my diet. In just a few days, the eye puffiness was gone and I could see a big difference in the contours of my face.”
-Mina Pontarelli, DailyMakeover.com Team, New York, NY.
Layer your makeup for ultimate wearing power. “Alternate lipstick with pressed powder, keep face makeup in place with makeup primers, line fillers, and setting powder — these all help to ensure your makeup lasts for as long as you want it to!”
-Christine Mielke, editor, Temptalia, San Jose, CA