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Planning Your Wedding

Marriage Makeup
When thinking about the makeup you'll wear on your wedding day, there are many factors to take into account.

Do-It-Yourself or Hire an Expert?
For some women, picking out and applying makeup comes naturally. For others it can be a challenge.

If you have a steady hand and a good eye for makeup trends and colors, hit the cosmetic counters yourself. There should be salespeople on hand who can give you tips on colors and application.

If the thought of visiting a makeup counter alone and then applying the makeup that will be seen by all your guests and in photographs makes you nervous, consider hiring a makeup artist. But first, do your research.

Ask your hairstylist or someone else at the salon that you frequent if they have any suggestions. Then schedule a consultation.

During the consultation, show your makeup artist a Polaroid of your dress, headpiece and veil. Discuss what you think you may be doing with your hair. Then see if he or she suggests suitable makeup.

Deciding What to Emphasize:
The feature you decide to emphasize depends upon the facial feature you think is most flattering and the style of your wedding. When you emphasize one feature, the rest of your makeup must be toned down.

For instance, don't combine strong cheeks, eyes and lips. You want to look like a better version of yourself, not someone that wears too much makeup.

- Emphasize your cheeks if you have high cheekbones and good "apples." A look with flushed cheeks could complement a flowing, airy gown and an outdoor wedding. Make sure you apply with a light hand, though. You don't want it to look like you have two red dots.

- Emphasize your eyes if you want a more modern look. Kohl-rimmed eyes are still fashionable but it can be a hard look to pull off on your own. Go to either a makeup consultant at a cosmetic counter or consult a makeup artist on how to layer pearly gray, charcoal and black shadow and liner to create dramatic eyes.

- Strong red lips are very fashionable if your look is traditional, like that of a 1950's bride. Try to find the right shade of red for you. There are many varieties - blue-based reds, pinkish reds, orange reds and brown reds - to pick from these days. Learn to layer lip products properly for maximum staying power and minimum feathering. Again, consult a makeup expert or makeup artist on how to pull off this look.

Pulling Off the Natural Look:
If you don't often wear makeup, the natural look may be best for you. That doesn't mean going without makeup.

It does mean that your makeup is applied with a soft touch and a subtle hand. A slight flush to your cheeks, some accentuation to draw attention to the eyes, lips that are just a shade darker than your natural color with lots of shine.

Keep in mind that for photographs and video footage, you will want slightly stronger makeup than you're used to for greater visibility.

Do a Test Run:
Whatever style you select, whether you apply it yourself or have the help of a professional makeup artist, schedule a test run with your makeup. Apply it exactly as you plan to wear it on your wedding day, then take some snapshots. Analyze whether the makeup is too subtle, too dramatic or just right.

A perfect time for a makeup practice session is when you do the test run for your wedding hair - including your headpiece and veil. That way, you'll have a better idea of your complete look.
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