1. Trying Something New
Your wedding day isn't the time to experiment with red lipstick or smoky eyes for the first time. "Choose tones that you feel comfortable with and most like yourself," said Jo Levy, makeup artist for Rouge Bunny Rouge. Makeup artist Elise Brill added, "I always tell my brides that my goal is for them to look like themselves, just defined and finished. I would hate for a bride to look at her pictures five years from now and not recognize the girl in them."
"I think brides get too caught up in that it’s their special day and end up doing more than they would normally do, and it ends up being too much," said beauty expert Sonia Kashuk. "It is your special day, and you want to look like you — only better. When you’re walking down the aisle, the person on the other end wants to see you!"
2. Getting Caught Up in Beauty Trends
Thanks to Kim Kardashian, contouring (using bronzer and highlighter to bring out your cheekbones) is a huge trend right now. But this kind of heavy manipulation can look too harsh during the daytime, according to makeup artist Sam Russell. "Natural lighting accentuates your natural beauty, so keep it light and fresh." Always remember that your photos are going to be on display for many, many years after the wedding; you don't want someone to be able pinpoint which decade your wedding took place in based on your face alone. "Think about the timelessness of your look; can it transcend the test of time?" said Kashuk. "When you look back on this day ten years from now, you want to still look modern and relevant."
3. Skipping the Makeup Trial
It's an extra cost but a worthy one. Schedule your trial at least three months before the wedding. "If you aren't happy with the first trial, this will buy you time to try out another option," said makeup specialist Amanda Gabbard of the Guerlain Spa.
One way to save money while experimenting: Seek out free makeover events. Nordstrom is hosting beauty trend events across the country right now, where you can meet one-on-one with an artist for a free makeover. Find one near you ►
4. Going in Unprepared for Your Trial
You probably already know that you should bring photos to your hair trial, but many brides don't think to bring photos to their makeup trial as well. Look through magazines or Pinterest for women with similar coloring to yours whose makeup you love. And if you have any photos of yourself where you particularly like (or dislike) your makeup, bring those along as well. "I've seen verbal descriptions of a hair or makeup look turn into a disaster. A picture is worth a thousand words," said Devin Giannoni, founder of prettypublicbeauty.com. "After you've shown the photos, discuss them. Make sure they see what you're seeing."
Also, wear white to your trial — it'll help you get an idea of what your makeup will really look like on the wedding day. And don't forget to take pictures! "Sometimes people like the look in person but not in photos, or vice versa," said Melisa Imberman, owner of The Event of a Lifetime, Inc.
5. Wearing Lipstick or Lip Gloss
Skip these products in favor of a lip stain, which is the most long-lasting option. "Lip gloss wears off super quickly and will get all over your groom when you kiss him at the end of the ceremony," said makeup artist Donna Kelly. "Also, when your lips are too shiny, you will lose definition in your pictures, and it can leave a glare."
Another reason to forego the gloss: "If you're going to have a veil that covers your face, the veil will stick to your lips," said Liz Fuller of Makeup Artistry, Inc. "The same goes for long hair — if a bride wants to wear her hair down on her wedding day, hair can get stuck to the lips."
6. Adding Shimmer in the Wrong Places
"A little shimmer or iridescence on the cheeks looks fresh and dewy, but worn on the nose or forehead, it can look like your skin is greasy," said Gina Ludwig, CEO of Hair Comes the Bride, Inc. Makeup artist Jane Cohen likes to apply a sheer gold shimmer along the tops of the cheekbones, on the cupid's bow of the lips, and just under the brows "It makes the bride look as if she is lit from within. It's an easy trick but one that really works."
Whatever you do, steer clear of anything with glitter. "Glitter and sparkles have the unfortunate effect of reflecting back light towards the camera. This often results in white spots across your skin in the images," said photographer Johanna Jacobson, owner of Ambientimage. These spots can then turn green, orange, or fuchsia in post-production, depending on the color balancing and effects your photographer uses. "The only way to get rid of these spots is by costly retouching and individually cloning out each spot or reflection."
"Shimmery is different from sparkle because a shimmer doesn't have particles — or flecks — that cause a flashback at the camera," said Fuller.
7. Applying Blush Incorrectly
Concentrate on the apples of your cheeks, where you blush naturally. “Many people wrongly think that blush should be applied in a diagonal line under the cheekbones and up towards the temples, like we did in the '70s,” said Cohen. Further emphasize your cheekbones by applying a little bronzer right underneath and blending it into the blush.
8. Going for Too-Dramatic Eyes
Except for mascara, ban the color black from your makeup bag. "Black liner or shadow is too harsh for the majority of people," said Giannoni. "You can create a much more beautiful effect with other colors that will create a soft, glamorous, even sultry look." She recommends using browns, grays, navy, and deep purples instead.
Smoldering eyes tend to look much better in person than they do in photos; "Eye makeup looks that are too smoky can cast a shadow around the eyes in photographs," said Levy. "Instead, opt for soft and subtle eyes." And be sure that you're choosing shades that will enhance your eye color. Makeup artist Chelsea Hernandez recommends bronze for green eyes, mocha for hazel eyes, navy and dark brown for blue eyes, and purples and grays for brown eyes.
Also, opt for a cream shadow rather than a powder as your base color. "Cream lasts longer, making it better for your lid color," said Hernandez. Use powders in your crease and to highlight underneath your brows.
9. Choosing the Wrong Kind of Lash Enhancements
A popular trend now is to get eyelash extensions, which are individually bonded with your natural lashes (much like hair extensions). But master lash guru Suzette Zuena, owner of Lash House Beauty Boutique, recommends that you have these applied at least two weeks before your wedding in case you have an allergic reaction to the adhesive and to ensure that they're comfortable for you.
If you choose the more traditional false eyelashes, opt for individual pieces rather than strips. "Tears can weaken the glue at the inner corners of the lash, causing them to lift and look crazy," said Rebecca Perkins, co-founder of makeup salon Rouge New York. “A gentle coat of waterproof and a generous application of individual lashes will withstand a torrent of joyful tears on an emotional day.“ Individual pieces will also give you a more natural look than strips: "You can build up the lashes to the desired thickness," added Cohen.
Also, consider using black eyelash glue rather than clear; Gabbard says it'll blend better with the rest of your eye makeup.
10. Forgetting Your Brows
Your brows frame your eyes and can truly change the entire look of your face. Aside from having them professionally waxed a week before the wedding, you're going to want to define them with a brow powder. Follow the natural shape of your brows with a powder that matches your hair color, said Hernandez.