Armed with a degree in photography and years of experience as a Beauty Stylist (currently at Nordstrom Topanga), Iris Brostowicz shares her expert advice for any bride to achieve the perfect skin, makeup and photos at her wedding.
#1. Perfect your palette. Start your wedding planning with skincare, ideally 6 to 12 months out. Work on dark spots, scarring, wrinkles, acne or anything that may have gotten away from you. It takes a while to undo damage, and there is no better time to start than now! This is the time to really pamper yourself. Make an appointment with a Beauty Stylist; run down your current regimen, and tell her what you really do.
I have women tell me they never clean their brushes, they don’t wash off their makeup, they have never moisturized or they didn’t even know there was a special cream for the eyes. Believe me, if you have a beauty concern that hasn’t been taken care of, there is a cream for that! But it takes time to work, and sometimes it’s just about your stylist sharing tips and tricks that fit it into your routine and budget.
#2 Find your fragrance. You know how our olfactory senses elicit vivid memories? Start to sniff around for a wedding fragrance early on, so you can sample a bunch before coming back for the perfect one. Consider the season of your wedding: lighter citrusy florals for spring and summer, and richer spice or woodsy scents for autumn and winter. Also, try fragrance-layering! I love layering multiple products to achieve a unique scent. If a spray fragrance is too much for you, try a scented body butter or hair perfume.
#3 Consider the big picture. Your wedding pictures last forever. If you’re hiring a makeup artist for your big day, consider offering to pay for him or her to style your bridal party as a gift to them. Also make sure to check the plans with Mom and your new mother-in-law. There are significant differences between everyday makeup and a photo-friendly application. It is distracting in your photos when one bridesmaid has a blow-out face and tan body, so have a plan… and a backup plan!
#4 Try different looks! Try them on a Tuesday while you’re running errands. Try them on a big Friday night out. Try a red lip, a smoky eye, a glossy nude lip. Try a lot of looks, and settle on one. One of my favorite brides wanted a bold red lip for her wedding, so we tried it on, and it didn’t take long for her to realize she just wanted to look like a more amazing version of herself, not Gwen Stefani.
#5 Use photo-friendly sunscreen. When choosing a look for photography, consider the SPF! Skip the flash burn by avoiding high percentages of titanium dioxide and physical sunscreen ingredients in your foundation, concealer and face powder. Stick to products that are photo-friendly or have an HD finish. A favorite of mine is Lasting Silk UV by Giorgio Armani, which contains SPF 20 and a matte but luminous flash-proof finish—all while boasting a 14-hour wear.
#6 Don’t get washed out. When it comes to makeup application and flash photography, a professional flash takes off up to 50% percent of your makeup! You should allow the look to have more blush and bronzer, more definition at the lash line with false eyelashes, extra eyeliner or techniques like tight lining for more timid brides. You’ll need a stronger—or at least more defined lip—than you might be comfortable wearing at first. Go big or go home, ladies. It’s the one day you can feel totally comfortable with a strong look.
#7 Last but not least, take care of your man! Buy him a new cologne, get him a facial and a professional shave or haircut. If he’s up for it, get him a mani/pedi! The more he feels part of the process, the more he’ll be positive about your big look and the effort involved.
Love these images? Find more—and the real wedding stories that go with them—over on our Wedding Suite Blog.