Today’s Pinterest-Perfect, Inst-Wow, filtered photos make it hard to search for inspo these days… I think we are now at the point where we know that pretty much everything on social media and online is filtered and we just accept it.
Which is such a shame on so many levels.
But anyway, that is not what this blog post is about. This is about how to prepare your “real-world” face for “real-world” special event makeup that will look amazing all afternoon and into the night.
I’ve tried to keep it brief and simple so that its more of a starting point but if you want to get the best results on the big day, then preparing your face is vital.
DRINK WATER, LOTS OF IT If you desire flawless, glowing makeup for your wedding day, it all starts from within. I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t make any other changes to your lifestyle before your wedding or special event please just do this one.
YOUR SKIN IS THE CANVAS If you have never had a facial before, now is the time to treat yourself. Facials are divine and they serve more purpose than you imagine. Think massage, relaxation, self-care, skin cleansing, gentle resurfacing, hydrating and possibly a teeny-tiny little bit of extraction but its totally worth it in the end!
Every-day makeup and makeup for special events and weddings have very different requirements, the main one being that event makeup needs to last all day long and into the evening. So we choose products that do just this. When your skin is dry, crumbly, flaky or bumpy - the makeup will just sit on top of this and potentially make it more obvious. Aim for a smooth, hydrated face because we artists can work our magic on redness, but we can’t help you with the texture of your skin, sorry!
SKINCARE Where to start?…. Well that’s probably what you think too! It can be overwhelming. Without a recommendation or guidance - how on earth would we know where to start. Everyone has a different budget and priorities so I’m not here to tell you to buy up large on the most glamorous looking brands you can find…In fact, I would suggest you start at the other end of the spectrum and work your way up once you know what products really work for your skin type.
A great place to start is The Ordinary brand (can be found in-store at Farmers in NZ or via online shops) or La Roche Posay is an effective but affordable brand especially for oily skin types (can be found at Chemist Warehouse and online).
I also recommend to my clients Skin By Nature NZ products which are completely clean and perfect for starting a new skincare regime.
The price ranges are minimal so you won’t feel like you have wasted any money with a product that wasn’t right for you. Do some online research first to find the appropriate serums and products you would need for your skin-type before purchasing. Here are some key ingredients you want to be looking for hydrated, renewed, glowing skin: Hyaluronic Acid (don’t be put off by the word acid) this hydrates and plumps your skin. "The evidence suggests that hyaluronic acid helps with soft tissue growth, prompts your body to make more collagen and elastin, keeps your skin moisturised, prevents tightness, boots elasticity, and reduces scarring. - Web MD.
Retinol and forms of retinol Anti-ageing and skin renewal. La Roche-Posay Retinol Glycolic Acid for clearing decongested skin. Glycolic Acid Benefits Facial Oil Read here for the benefits as detailed by VIVA. These are some of the basics. When you have graduated by entering the world of skincare at this level you can then take on the more specific active ingredients in the products.
SUNSCREEN for the face This can be challenging to find but La Roche-Posay do some effective, lightweight, non-irritating sunscreens for the face you may also find some great brands at the other end of the price range from a local beauty therapist.
Sunscreen isn’t just a sunny-day routine, its imperative to wear every day rain or shine to protect the new skin cells that have been revealed with all your clever active products above so you must put the sun-umbrella up daily.
BROWS Start by booking them in for grooming. If you do this already, fantastic! Make sure you have one booked a week before your important date. If you haven’t had them shaped or tidied by a pro before then do a little research for a local brow artist and go and have a chat. Brows hold up the face and if they are overgrown, very wide, too thin, tadpole style, square or encroaching the middle of your face then it is 100 percent worth having them shaped.
You might think that because your brows are very light in colour, you can’t see them so they don’t need shaping but in fact there is always a fine furry-ness to the lower part of the eyebrow arch and tail area which makes applying makeup to the area a little hairy so-to-speak. If the hairs are removed, eye shadows can be blended to perfection!
LASHES The most popular options are 1) Book a Lash Lift before the big day. Lash Lifts last approx 6-8 weeks and work by softening and setting your own natural lashes into a curl to open the eyes.
If then you still want more volume you can add temporary individual or partial strip lashes on the event day. 2) If very full, obvious lashes are what you are seeking, visit a reputable lash extension artist who can add these temporary (6-8 weeks) individual lashes to your lash line for length and volume.
TANNING Self Tanners, Spray Tanners and Non-Tanners. Self Tanners should consider getting a spray tan for their special event unless they are really confident in the product they use and their blending technique. Last thing you want is to use old tanning product that has oxidised = turn out looking like an alien or you are streaky because you have shaved too close to tanning day or have rings under your arms where your deodorant has lived many days.
Tanning is a delicate process and the prep work for tanning is so important, so much so that it is crucial to how your tan will actually look. If you decide to get a professional spray tan they will advise you of all the prep you should be doing before arrive and also suggest that you have a trial or practice tan around a month before hand.
Then aim to have your event day tan applied a day or possible two beforehand. Non-Tanners, please do not feel pressured to get a spray tan or try doing it yourself.
You may also like: Finding your bridal hair and makeup inspiration
Hey I'm Amy 👋 I'm an Auckland based Wedding Hair & Makeup Stylist that has worked with hundreds of Brides in the Matakana and Auckland Regions.
Would you like to work with me? Click here to send me your details!
One day I hope to travel across Europe, Greece or even NYC to style a Bride for her wedding day ❤️
Amy Ryan - Ryan Beauty Co. Wedding Hair and Makeup Artist - Matakana, Auckland, Waiheke Island