As you walk down the aisle to your soon-to-be husband, all eyes will be on you-but don't let the dress steal the scene (completely). The right hair, makeup and skincare regimen will wow while bringing your inner beauty to the surface.

As you walk down the aisle to your soon-to-be husband, all eyes will be on you—but don’t let the dress steal the scene (completely). The right hair, makeup and skincare regimen will wow while bringing your inner beauty to the surface.

The key to great hair and makeup? Finding the styles and color palettes that really bring out your best features—not mask them. After all, you should look like the best version of yourself on your wedding day, not someone else entirely.

Searching wedding magazines and Pinterest for inspiration is a great place to start. Look for models with a similar face shape, skin tone and hair color, print out your ideas, grab some color swatches, and you’re ready for your first beauty appointment.

The Eyes Have It

And so do the lips, the cheeks and the skin. Your wedding makeup will be like the icing on the cake—it finishes your look and helps you put your best face forward. Experts agree that a professional makeup artist can drastically reduce the stress you feel on the morning of your wedding, giving you a gorgeous look while you sit back and relax.

“It’s so much easier to have an objective person do a flawless makeup application,” says Leigh Ann Ehmann, owner of Make You LLC. “Brides have pictures being taken, and now with social media, they’re posting their pictures everywhere. There’s a little more pressure.”

Professionals can also steer you in the right direction when it comes to trends. Julie Wintzer, makeup artist at Aveda’s Nurtur the Salon in Grandview, sees a very seasonal switch when it comes to color palettes.

“In the wintertime, a lot of brides do a deeper color on their lips,” she says. “More deep reds or even deeper pinks. As far as eye color, it’s a smoky eye.”

But “smoky” doesn’t always mean dark blacks and grays. Ehmann says soft browns, mauves, pinks and golds are always popular with brides.

Also popular are false eyelashes. If you’ve never worn them before, opt for the individual “filler” lashes instead of the full-eye strips. They’ll enhance your natural look without feeling heavy on your lids.

“You don’t want it to be too much, too drastic of a change from what you wear regularly,” Wintzer says. “I’m not saying don’t be daring, but you want to feel comfortable … you don’t want to feel too far out of your element.”

At the same time, you should trust the expertise of your stylist. When Emily Beuerlein went to a Charles Penzone salon before she married husband Jacob on July 28, 2012, she discovered this firsthand.

“I was a little concerned at first when I looked in the mirror,” she says. “I thought it was too much makeup. [Makeup artists] put more on than you would normally, because you’re taking pictures.” After reassurance from her mother and sister, Beuerlein stuck with the initial application and loved it.

If you’re worried about your makeup staying put, ask if your salon provides samples or consider buying the product used during your makeup session. Of course, another great long-lasting option is airbrushed makeup.

“It’s virtually waterproof, and it lasts up to 12 hours,” says Jaden Chui, an esthetician at Charles Penzone’s Grand Salon in Dublin. Ehmann adds that brides who are prone to acne or who have breakout scars will find extra benefits in airbrushed makeup. “It covers really, really well and looks so smooth,” she says.

Swept Away

Gone are the days of the prom-esque hair sculptures, says Genevieve Francia, hair director at the Grand Salon in Gahanna/New Albany. She sees brides opting for a look that’s a more polished version of their typical style.

Adds Lindsey Swartzlander, hairstylist at Nurtur the Salon, “I try to steer brides away from wearing their hair like the old-fashioned prom updo, where it’s all up on top of their head and it’s really curly.”

Though simplicity is trending, hair accessories are increasing in popularity, from headbands to embellished barrettes and flowers. And while veils are still popular, many brides are trying to find a way to work both hair accessories and the traditional veil into their look. Francia suggests draping the veil over part or all of your hairstyle; when you remove it after the ceremony, your hair and any accessories are revealed. If you do select this option, both Francia and Swartzlander suggest bringing your maid of honor or another attendant to learn how to properly remove the veil without ruining the style.

Some brides are opting to forgo the veil altogether, focusing instead on a pretty rhinestone-filled headband, a comb or a barrette slipped in at the base of their bun. The most important thing to remember with accessories is to not overdo it. Experts suggest bringing any possible hair accessories to your stylist before the big day to give him or her the opportunity to see how pieces may work with your desired style.

Prep Work

Of course, a little preparation is necessary for both your hair and your face. Experts suggest booking exfoliating facials every four to six weeks for three to six months before your wedding to ensure your skin is smooth.

As for honeymoon-ready waxing, Chui recommends brides come in one to two weeks before the big day. This applies to a standard brow and upper-lip cleanup as well as underarm, leg and bikini waxing.

Brides should also schedule trial runs for hair and makeup looks.

When Beuerlein had her hairstyle trial at Charles Penzone, she was able to point out several aspects of various photos she liked—while mentioning the parts she disliked. “[My stylist] really did an excellent job,” she says. “She listened to me, and my hair was beautiful.”

After a trial run, leave your hair and makeup styling in place all day. Wintzer even urges brides to take photos to see how those styles will translate, and Francia goes one step further and encourages brides to schedule trial runs before dress fittings to experience the completed look.


stocking yOUR

emergency Supplies

While you can’t avoid every potential mini-disaster on your wedding day, a well-stocked beauty-emergency kit can save you some serious stress.

Hair fixers. A travel-sized hairspray is key, and don’t forget extra bobby pins.

Makeup fixers. You don’t need your entire makeup bag, but a bit of translucent powder will reduce last-minute shine. Carry a lipstick or gloss to make sure your pout stays put.

Personal-hygiene products. A travel-size deodorant stick (clear, of course), a nail file and floss picks will ensure your look stays pristine. Band-Aids are great for injury and uncomfortable shoes alike.

Medicine. Acetaminophen wards off stress-related headaches, and an antacid or similar product will settle a nervous stomach.

Stain removers. A Tide To Go pen is great, but a little bit of white chalk will cover an unsightly stain in a pinch.

Miscellany. If you want to be extra-prepared, consider packing clear nail polish, extra earring backs, a sewing kit, a tiny bottle of contact solution or a small can of anti-static spray.