Lose Weight, Feel Great? If you’re desperate to drop weight because your big day looms in the distance, do your best to start your weightloss plan as early as you can. I am not a nutritionist or dietician, but I recommend you see one or both so that you can choose a system that will work for you that won’t kill you later. Make sure you set realistic weightloss goals, and remember that the person you’re marrying already loves you at the size you are–they’re not expecting you to suddenly become half the size you are.
Getting the Glow! Highlight shoulders, collarbone, and decolletage with a subtle dusting of shimmer. You can try a loose shimmer like MAC’s loose beauty powders, or you can mix loose shimmer into your favorite moisturizer. I also like shimmer moisturizers for shoulders, too – even something like Jergen’s Shimmer Glow works.
To Tan or Not to Tan? Do not tan the night before your wedding. If you intend to self-tan, be sure you take the time to practice well in advance of the event. There are also spray-tans that are just as safe as self-tanning at home or at a salon available, which may make more sense for you, depending on your level of comfort, budget, etc. You should spot-test tanners, especially if you’re fair, so that you can see whether it’ll turn you the dreaded orange color. Not all self-tanners will, but it can be a trial and error thing (so save your receipts so you can return what doesn’t work!). If you’re planning to self-tan, make sure you read our guide to self-tanners:
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Get healthy, glowing skin merely by treating it well! This means regular body exfoliation/scrubs 2-3 times a week as well as daily (or twice daily for scalier legs) with a good moisturizer. Just like your face, if your legs are naturally dry, opt for a thicker, creamier moisturizer (look for shea butter, butter creams, or whipped products) whereas those with more normalized skin can go for lighter weight moisturizers.
Who & Where? For your big day, I think it’s a great idea to pamper yourself the day before by getting a manicure and pedicure done by your local salon. You can check for reviews for local salons at www.yelp.com. It really is well worth the cost (and you can usually find a place that isn’t too expensive), because you’ll have picture perfect nails. It’ll also give you a reason to sit down, relax, and take a few breaths amongst all of the pre-wedding jitters and stress.
Color? I think nails is the one area where you can get away with more color than others, regardless of the type of wedding. There is the more traditional French manicure (which I like, at least, in moderation), as well as lovely pastel-tipped nails in pinks, corals, or peaches. If your accent color to your dress or wedding decor is emerald green, I could see emerald green working as a nail color, too.
The Lips | Finding the right shade of lipstick that coordinates with your makeup, dress, and wedding feel/theme/mood is hard enough, but keeping it on is even harder! It is important to consider the variety of lip products out there and how they can help you achieve the longest wearing lip you can get. But first a reality check: there is no real way to make your lipstick last forever or even look pristine 24/7. You will likely have to touch-up throughout the event, and any eating/drinking will do some damage to your pout. These tips and tricks are designed to help minimize touch-ups, damage, and the overall maintenance of your lips during the big day. Don’t forget to read our generalized tips for wedding makeup!
Prep and Prime! In the weeks leading up to your wedding, you should ensure that you treat that pucker with care, especially if you have dry, chapped, or cracked lips. Start exfoliating with a gritty sugar scrub (you can do a DIY scrub of sugar + extra virgin olive oil) and regularly moisturizing your lips with chapstick, lip balm, vaseline, etc. I really love Peter Thoams Roth Lips to Die For Set. It’s pricey, but it’s such a great kit. The clay step really does smooth and soften lips like a dream.
To Line or Not to Line? (Pt. II) | If you’re not choosing an all-day, long-wearing formula, you should maximize your application by lining your lips. Lining your lips helps give your lipstick something to further adhere to, and it has a less dramatic effect as your lipstick starts to wear off.
Plump Up Your Pout! There is a wide range of lip plumpers on the beauty market these days, and if you feel like you need a little more oomph in your pout, go for it. I am not a fan of DuWop’s Lip Venom because I just can’t handle the tingling (oww!), but I really loved LipFusion Micro-Injected Collagen Lip Plump XL because I could hardly feel it working but it did work! Remember that a lot of lip plumpers are not going to last all day, so you may find that your pucker deflates as the ceremony goes on.
Choose Your Color! As with shadow choices, it has a lot to do with what kind of theme/type of wedding you’re having, and of course, it should coordinate with the rest of your makeup, too. I love to see pink-corals, soft pink-beiges, light pinks, and sometimes the classic red. For evening weddings, a good berry or plum can work wonders, too.
Glossy or Matte? Depending on your application and wedding type/setting/place, high gloss may not be appropriate. While some feel that gloss photographs oddly, I do feel you can still wear high gloss or high sheen without sabotaging your photos. As we’ve always recommened, take test shots with your photographer (especially candid test shots) to see how your makeup will turn out. You can always go for tinted gloss, sheer gloss, or clear gloss to acheive a glossy lip.
All-Day Color? If you choose a long-wearing or all-day lipstick, remember that most formulations are drying, which is why it is essential that your lips are well moisturized and taken care of prior to the big day. One trick is to apply a heavy lip balm/moisturizer to lips about an hour before you apply the lipstick. Blot it off about 15 minutes before you apply. When applying all-day color, make sure to give the color plenty of time to dry. You have to work fast, though, because once it dries, it’s a pain to remove (aka practice before hand and be precise).
Lip Seals? There are a few sealing products on the market, particularly Make Up For Ever Lip Seal and Benefit Cosmetics She Laq, but to be up front and honest–none of them work perfectly. I find that with Make Up Forever’s Lip Seal that it does a great job of turning any lipstick into a more long-wearing formula, but the lipstick peels off rather than fades, which can be troublesome. It does break down a bit while eating anything oily, too. She Laq works similarly, though I have less personal experience with it. I have heard mixed reviews overall however.
Application For Long Lasting Lip Color
Step 1: Prep and prime lips as we spoke of. I like using either an actual lip primer like MAC Prep + Prime Lip or foundation as my base primer. Be sure to let it dry.
Step 2: Apply lip liner around the perimeter of lips, then fill in the lips. Obviously, one should choose a lip liner lighter or the same as the actual lipstick color.
Step 3: Apply lipstick using a lip brush.
Step 4: Take a tissue (like Kleenex), and place it over your lips. This isn’t for blotting! Let it rest there (and yes, you’ll look a little silly), and dust loose powder over your lips (try using the finishing/setting powder that you’d use for your face).
Step 5: Apply another layer of lipstick using your lip brush.
Step 6: (Optional) Apply lip sealer if you choose to use one.
Step 7: (Optional) Apply lipgloss using a disposable lip wand to your lips. For a plumping effect, concentrate the gloss on the center of your bottom lip.
** Lip Plumper: depending on your type of lip plumper, it will either be a step you’d do before everything, or towards the end (if it’s a gloss).
Most products are available at Nordstrom.com and Sephora.com.