Wedding Beauty Secrets From Around the World

International bridal makeup artist Amanda Shackleton has traveled the globe during her 16 years in the business, working with brides across many different cultures. Here, she reveals the best tips and tricks she's picked up along the way.

wedding beauty secrets
Photo Credit: Blue Martini Photography

Japanese brides have discovered the secret to flawless skin — brightening creams. These products help fade any age spots or acne scars while moisturizing and softening your skin. Start using the cream six months before the big day for maximum impact — try Cosme Decorte Future-Science Washing Crème & White-Science Premium Revolution Moisturizer. “These cleansers and moisturizers are gentle and work amazingly to prep skin for the big day,” said Shackleton.

West Africa
The miracle product from this region is Black African Soap, which uses indigenous palm oils not found anywhere else. It detoxifies the skin, yet it's gentle enough for daily use. Start using one at least three to six months before the wedding.

Lavender oil is this country's secret weapon. It's an antiseptic, which makes it a great natural treatment for getting breakouts under control. Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle, and apply it daily starting six to eight months before the big day. It can also be used to refresh dry skin (perfect for winter brides) and red skin (great for sunburned summer skin).

To deal with under eye circles, Korean brides depend on Etude House Surprise Concealer Kit. “It's super creamy and gentle, made for Asian skin, but works well on everyone,” said Shackleton. The kit contains two shades — peach to counteract bluish tones, and beige to layer on top. “Blended together, they are magical!” she said.

The Philippines
Need a pick-me-up? Grab a tube of Human Nature Balm. “It has eucalyptus and peppermint in it, so even just a sniff wakes you up and can help clear your head,” said Shackleton. “I use it under my brides' eyes when they're tired to perk them up!”

Too little sleep (or too many drinks) the night before your wedding can leave you with bloodshot eyes. English brides love Optrex Eyedew Dazzling Blue Eye Drops, which have a hint of blue to counteract the redness and make the whites of your eyes even brighter. “You'll have a great sparkle in your eye on the big day,” said Shackleton.

wedding beauty secrets

Photo Credit: Blue Martini Photography

Indian brides take great pride in their hair, and the secret to long, shiny hair is a special kind of oil: Hesh Mahabhringraj Maka Herbal Hair Oil. Three months before your wedding, start massaging it into your scalp to stimulate growth and onto the ends of your hair to keep them healthy. “It's better than most of the high-end hair products I've bought, and I keep a small container in my hair kit to refresh dull hair,” said Shackleton.

Want longer, fuller lashes? Mexican brides swear by Zan Zusi Black Waterproof Roll On Mascara. “This product is sometimes hard to find because it sells out so quickly,” said Shackleton. But a bride helped Shackleton track down a bottle during one trip; “I was amazed at how long and clump proof my lashes were.”

For a subtle, sweet fragrance that also refreshes your skin, try rose water. Turkish women traditionally make it at home by boiling water and rose petals together, then letting it cool, but a popular store-bought brand from the area is Rose Water Rosence from Otaci. You can also use it on your face as a toner.

Having an outdoor wedding? Sunscreen is a must — but many traditional formulas are reflective in photos, giving your skin an unsightly white glare. Aussie brides use Invisible Zinc ESP Sunscreen. “It's super light, so it doesn't sit on your skin, and it absorbs nicely,” said Shackleton.

“Ask any French woman what's her most important cosmetic, and it would be a red lipstick, of course,” said Shackleton. Their top pick: YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Rouge Rock. It's flattering on many skin tones, and its long-lasting formula means you won't be reapplying lipstick all day long.