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Secrets for a Flawless Wedding

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When you envision yourself walking down the aisle, it’s highly unlikely that you see yourself glowing like a radioactive Cheeto. Or that your hair looks like you just had a dance with a downed power line. Or that your mascara is reminiscent of a tearful Tammy Faye. No, you expect to look simply stunning in your perfect dress, with dewy skin, romantic hair and just the right amount of natural-beauty-enhancing makeup.

Sadly, beauty blunders are easier to achieve on your wedding day than you might think. To help ensure that your wedding day is less nightmare and more dream-come-true, here’s some smart tips from the beauty experts, on everything from a beaming smile to a beautiful bouquet.

Skin

To avoid unsightly sunburns or terrible tan lines, make sure you’re using a good all-over sunscreen well before your wedding. The marks left by a bad burn in May could still be visible in June, July or even August. “Many moisturizers and foundations now contain SPF, which makes applying and reapplying easy,” says Denise O’Donoghue, beauty and jewelry director for Brides magazine. Look for products like Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense SPF 45 Daily Moisturizer or Revlon Age Defying Makeup with Botafirm & SPF 20. If you simply must look sun-kissed, try a self-tanner, but make sure you experiment with it well before your wedding to avoid that cheese-puff aesthetic.

As to makeup, foundation is very important – it evens skin tone and provides the canvas that the rest of your other makeup holds onto. “Scan the market,” advises O’Donoghue. “There are a lot of great long-lasting products out there, such as Revlon’s ColorStay, which offers everything from foundation to lip color in formulations that last for upwards of eight hours.” She also recommends doing your makeup last to avoid smudging, and step into your wedding dress instead of sliding it over your head.

Eyes

Pre-wedding jitters paired with an excess of activity equals poor sleep. To reduce puffiness around the eyes the night before, Heather Levine, fashion and beauty editor for TheKnot.com, has this simple solution: brew two black tea bags, squeeze out the excess water, refrigerate for 15 minutes and place over your eyes. Then, the next day, apply aloe vera gel under your eyebrows to for a little extra lift.

For lovely lashes that won’t leave black streaks down your cheeks when your father’s speech makes you cry, Levine suggests applying your regular mascara and then one coat of waterproof on top. This will prevent running, but avoids the tacky feeling that many women dislike about waterproof products. If you want fuller but still natural looking lashes, apply individual false eyelashes to only the outside of the eye. “They really define your eyes and add a little extra oomph,” says O’Donoghue.

Mouth

There’s nothing worse than a glaring Pamela Anderson-esque lip line. To avoid looking like a coloring book, O’Donoghue recommends using your lip liner to fill in your entire lip. This way it works as a stain if and when your lipstick wears off.

The ceremony may end with a “You may now kiss the bride,” but on a day almost entirely devoted to pictures, the rest of your smile is also important. “A lot of people like to get their teeth whitened before their wedding,” says O’Donoghue. “If you have this done professionally, make sure you go well ahead of time because sometimes there can be a lot of sensitivity and you don’t want your smile to be pained on your wedding day.” After your whitening session, use straws if you drink coffee, soda or red wine, to prevent re-staining your clean teeth.

Hair

Mousse dulls the hair, so stick to creams, gels and sprays, says Levine. For styles that are pulled back on the side but the rest is down, invest in a hairspray that will keep your hair in place but still leave it touchable. O’Donoghue recommends John Frieda Luxurious Volume. If your hair is too slippery or silky, she advises skipping the shampoo for up to two days before the big day to give your stylist more texture to work with. And for taming last minute flyaways, keep a dryer sheet in your emergency kit, says Levine. A pass or two over your hairdo should do the trick.

Nails

Do your best to protect your manicure from water as it can cause the polish to lift off the nail, warns Levine. Apply a top coat to make it extra strong, but also consider purchasing a bottle of the same color in case you get a last minute chip. For extra protection and great shine, add an extra coat of clear polish the morning of your wedding. “There are many great quick drying polishes,” says O’Donoghue, who recommends OPI and Revlon.

And don’t forget that those pretty fingers will be holding onto a bunch of eye-catching flowers. “Many bouquets are wrapped in ribbon all the way to the bottom,” says Levine. “To avoid water stains, soak a few cotton balls in water and put them in a vase. This way just the base of the bouquet gets water but the whole thing remains fresh all night long.”

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