Marvelous Makeup: Choosing the Right Makeup for your Big Day Look

Jeannie Mai, Celebrity Fashion Expert

As much focus as we put on the dress and the wedding colors, in my opinion your wedding day make-up totally takes the cake. With every photograph centered around you, your face is always going to be the first thing in focus! When you’re going through the edits of which picture makes the cut, you’re going to look for that sexy gaze or brilliant smile, not the twinkle on your dress. That’s why your makeup is especially key to play up in a big way. Being a makeup artist for 12 years now, I have come to realize your face should represent the range of three emotions: falling on love, childlike joy, and a future full of sexy confidence.

With this being said, I am not advocating that every bride must get a professional make-up artist, but it is sensible to consider removing that stress from your plate. Either way you decide, you’re still responsible about communicating the right type of makeup that will make you feel comfortable all day. Whether you apply the makeup yourself or have it professionally done, here are the absolute “I do’s” and “I don’ts” to ensure you’re putting your best face forward!

  • Research the selection of artists in your area. Personal recommendations are always great and calling specific makeup counters with trained artists, like MAC or Laura Mercier, is ideal to receive an inexpensive makeup trial. (Try sites like to read the inside scoop on favorite artists and locations from past customers!) Don’t just walk in and go with any artist. Just like a dance partner, there are good ones and uh-oh ones!
  • Begin collecting pictures from magazines and websites to describe your desired look. Consider which of your favorite features to play up. Lips vs eyes, cheekbones enhanced or played soft- balance is key! The only way you’ll really deliver a clear message of what you like is to HAVE PICTURES. Don’t just use words to describe what you like, show it. Your definition of “natural” to another person’s “natural” are two entirely different things!
  • Schedule a trial application during the day to see how the makeup reads outside. Make sure to time your artist from start to finish to get a realistic idea of your schedule that day. Take pictures up close and from afar, as good makeup should read clear from both distances. Don’t forget to show your friends who’ll give you the straightforward truth about your makeup. A great idea is to schedule drinks or dinner afterwards so you can really see how long your look will last. Another fun thing I’ve done with clients is to have a vote! Whether on Facebook or Twitter, post your pretty lil face and get your friends to vote yay or nay on the makeup.

A few of Mai musts for bombshell bridal makeup:

  • Pearlescent shimmer like MAC ‘Opal’ for olive skin or ‘Pearl’ for ivory/ light skin to highlight planes of face
  • Too Faced Cosmetics Pink Leopard Golden bronzer – to contour all areas on body or face for definition
  • Scott Barnes Body Bling – a lil goes a long way on shoulder tops, shins and calves
  • A shimmery peach blush, like Nars ‘Deep Throat’ or Too Faced ‘Papa Don’t Peach’
  • MAC “Teddy” Kohl liner for smoldering without too dark, Benefit “Eye Bright” for whitening and brightening
  • Stila Lipstains as a base beneath color to lock in those lips
  • MAC’s “Prrr” Lipgloss is a straight winner for close-ups
  • And always, ALWAYS have false lashes. MAC “#7″ or Ardell “# 121″ can be used full strip or half for a perfect flirty look

Remember to load up your best bridesmaid with your essential touch-ups, including blot tissues! Muah!


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