The Best Advice for a Memorable Wedding-Day Look
Our experts offer a list of Do's and Don'ts.
When it comes to makeup on your wedding day, Pittsburgh’s bridal makeup experts say you still want to look like you — the best version of yourself.
“Never stray too far from what you like already, but have fun with it,” says Samantha Harris, owner of Samantha Harris Makeup. “If you stick with looking like yourself, just a polished version, that’s going to make you feel good.”
Raquel Mancini, who co-owns Wexford-based Glam to Go Studio (as well as the mobile Glam to Go boutique) with her sister, Annika Tenace, agrees, adding that makeup should enhance your best features.
That doesn’t necessarily mean looking like a carbon copy of a bridal look you saw online. “Things are going to look different on you than an image you see on Pinterest that’s been edited,” she says.
As for what else will make you feel — and look — good on your wedding day, Harris and Mancini share some of their biggest bridal makeup Do’s and Don’ts.
Do Schedule a hair and makeup trial. “Trials are so important because we often like photos of makeup that’s very different from what we wear in normal life,” says Harris. “If I do something very dramatic and very glittery, honestly, about nine out of 10 times, the brides say, ‘Yeah, I just want to look more like me.’” Mancini says a trial also is a good way to get comfortable with your makeup artist. She typically spends about two hours with her clients talking about how the couple met and what their wedding will be like, in addition to their makeup goals. “When it’s personal, it goes smoother [and] nicer for your big day,” she says.
Don’t Be afraid to be honest with your makeup artist. If you don’t like your trial look, say so. Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, and that includes wearing makeup you love. “Call the makeup artist and let them know,” Mancini says. “It doesn’t hurt their feelings.”
Do Schedule your makeup trial for the morning. That way, Harris says, you’ll learn how your makeup wears for a full day — plenty of time to figure out what does, and doesn’t, work for your taste. If possible, Mancini recommends scheduling your hair and makeup trial together to give you the best idea of what you’ll look like on your wedding day.
Don’t Go for an abrasive skin treatment, such as a chemical peel, in the days before your wedding. You don’t want red or flaking skin as you walk down the aisle. Also, stick to products you know in the days and weeks leading up to the big day. Experimenting with an unknown product could lead to breakouts or rashes. “For brow waxing or facial waxing, give yourself a minimum of 72 hours before the wedding,” Harris says. “That way, your skin has time to recover and the makeup will stick well.”
Do Amp up that blush! Harris and Mancini agree that makeup trends are moving in a more natural direction, such as fluffy brows (versus the big drawn-on brows often seen on social media) and freckles that show through foundation. When it comes to blush, though, Harris says the more the merrier. “I always tell brides more is more when it comes to blush — because it fades the fastest.” She adds that some of the most flattering blush shades are peachy-pink hues as well as slightly brighter colors that can look a little intimidating in the palette but tend to “wake up” the face. Mancini also recommends applying blush from the cheekbones up to the eyebrows, which gives an instant face lift. A glowy, bronzing look is on trend for fall brides and beyond, she adds.
Don’t Transfer your makeup onto your groom, or your guests. A makeup setting spray (Mancini likes the version from Morphe) and non-transferable makeup (such as a lip stain instead of a gloss) will help prevent staining your dress, as well as the clothes of your partner, family and friends when you lean in for a hug or kiss.
Do Say yes to fake eyelashes. Whether it’s a strip lash or individual clusters, Mancini says they give eyes a dramatic look in person and in photos. She and Harris agree budget-friendly Ardell Lashes, available at most drugstores, are perfect for the big day. “A demi wispie from Ardell is a staple for most people who do makeup,” Harris says.
Don’t Forget to bring your lipstick with you for touch-ups throughout the event. If you’re oily (or just sweaty), have some extra powder on hand, too. “You want to make sure you have little things in your purse for touch ups,” Harris says.