Brides continue to favour a classic beauty look, but it pays to use the latest tricks of the trade to add staying power to your efforts, especially when you are after an outcome with timeless appeal. Not surprisingly, many brides call in the professionals for hair and makeup, but whether you are doing this or going it alone, ensure you trial your look and tap into expert advice in advance.
At Bobbi Brown staff say the overwhelming request is for the "natural but better" look, but don't be fooled into thinking this means taking an everyday approach.
We asked the national makeup artists for Elizabeth Arden and Smashbox for their tips on bridal beauty and both Lidean Erasmus and Neisha Henry advised making an extra effort, especially with face base and finishing touches.
Although strong cosmetic colour is a fashion trend, most brides avoid too bold a look. Fifties-inspired eyeliner, with an updo, is a popular choice for those looking for a little lift in their look, but be cautious about getting carried away with heavy smoky-eyed evening looks which can look out of place in the sun.
"Brides are still going for more the classic look," says Henry. "If anything some brides either choose to wear less makeup or go more on the natural side of things on their big day as they don't want the makeup to overshadow everything else."
Erasmus says: "Most brides favour a classic look that enhances their own natural beauty. More confident makeup wearers tend to take guidance from the latest fashion looks and often wish to add a twist to their bridal makeup such as a bright lip or smoky eye. Both approaches to makeup can look fabulous - the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and beautiful on the day."
What are your top three tips for brides?
Erasmus: The first step to stunning bridal makeup is to use a good quality primerto ensure a smooth application and lasting finish. A face primer will keep your foundation looking fresh and colour true, while eye and lip primers are specially formulated to ensure that your eyeshadow and lipstick look amazing and last all day. (Try Elizabeth Arden's Visible Difference Good Morning Retexturizing Primer, $60, and Advanced Eye-Fix Primer, $52, and Lip-Fix Cream, $55).
Secondly, ensure your bridal makeup is applied in full natural light as artificial light can give a false impression of makeup shades and finishes.
Finally, if you are doing your own makeup, buy the products a few weeks before the wedding and test how the products feel and last on your skin. If you are having your makeup professionally applied, it is a good idea to have a makeup trial to ensure you and your makeup artist are on the same page. I would also suggest you take photos of yourself wearing your bridal makeup to ensure you are happy with how it photographs.
What are your top three products?
Henry: The three must-haves are: foundation primer, to ensure your makeup is photo-ready all day (try Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Adjust $76); a gorgeous foundation that lets your natural glow shine through (try Smashbox High Definition Foundation $73); and perfect brows, so ensure you have a professional brow tidy and tint in advance and on the day groom your brows (try Smashbox Brow Tech To Go in Taupe $43).
What sort of foundation do you recommend for brides?
Henry: I would always have a professional makeup artist help you pick the best foundation. You want to look glowing and as natural as possible so investing in the right foundation for this event is vital.
Erasmus: It is important to note that sheer to medium coverage foundations may look fine in everyday life, but these will not adequately cover any imperfections nor provide a lasting finish for your special day. I would suggest choosing a matte finish foundation to control shine and make your skin look flawless in your photographs.
What should a bride (or her bridesmaid) carry for touch-ups on the day?
Erasmus: You don't want to be carrying around too much product on the day and if your makeup has been properly applied you should not need to. A small powder compact for shine control and a lip gloss in the same colour as your lipstick for touch-ups should be all you need.
Henry: Definitely a translucent powder (Smashbox Photo Set Powder, $55, is an all-in-one and as it suits all shades of skin can be shared among the bridal party). Also make sure you carry the same lipstick or lip gloss that has been applied.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Henry: Makeup artists spend lot of time preparing the skin. We love brides who have had regular treatments so their skin is in perfect condition.
Erasmus: Have fun, smile, take it all in and remember to walk slowly down the aisle so that everyone can see your beautiful face. On the makeup side of things, blend everything - especially under-eye concealer.
Bridal Beauty Recommendations
Indulge in items that hold a special appeal or purpose in preparing for the big day:
Elie Saab Le Parfum eau de toilette purse spray - $148
Crafted to fit the hand as seamlessly as the couturier's wedding gowns enhance the figure, this bevelled rose-gold canister recalls Elie Saab's original faceted glass fragrance bottle, but makes for a much lighter carry. The eau de toilette (like the perfume purse spray set at $178) is built around orange blossom and a honey accord, but has a lighter, less voluptuously woody touch. (From Smith & Caughey's and Farmers Albany and St Lukes.)
Lancome Accord of 3 Roses Body Milk - $99
This generous 330ml body lotion should just about see you through to your first wedding anniversary. The delicate rose fragrance is special, but subtle enough for everyday moisturising. (Selected pharmacies and department stores.)
Look your best walking down the aisle and in photographs
Face and handcare are a given pre-wedding, but don't forget the decolletage. This area is early to show signs of sun damage and ageing so ensure you have lavished it with sufficient care before it goes on display. For more mature skins, Dr Hauschka's specialist cream has been especially designed to fortify and firm. (Selected department and health stores and pharmacies)