Last month I helped out at the wedding of the daughter of my longtime client Kathy. Normally I do make-up for the bride and bridal party, but this time my role was to support the mother-of-the-bride on the big day. Being a beauty fairy godmother helping out the jittery and emotional family members was an experience that filled me with pleasure. I loved being helpful; fluffing overly set hair, powdering noses, even basting an errant black bra strap to the lining of a dress.
I applied Kathy’s make-up before she stepped into her beautiful outfit. Special occasion make-up needs to be different from our daily routine. Looking great in photographs that will be around for decades is important. It doesn’t mean the application is difficult or complex, but you need to be prepared for what happens when the brilliant light of a flash goes off repeatedly in your face. If you try to look “natural” you will end up washed out and shiny. Here are the basics for photography or television make-up, as well as a few tips for the staying calm during a joyous but emotional occasion:
· Your face needs to be matte. We all love the glow, but in photographs that translates as shiny. Custom blend foundation that matches your skintone and tinted loose powder are the key to the matte finish. Apply much more powder than you think you need as it will dissipate.
· More isn’t better. A heavy hand or too much color looks harsh. Blend and soften eye and lip liner.
· A foundation primer gives the foundation “slip” and will keep the foundation and concealer from sinking into lines and creases.
· Fill in the entire lip with pencil before you apply lipstick. You’ll have color left after eating or kissing.
· Check your make-up in different light, especially if your occasion is outdoors. I did Kathy’s make-up in the cool shade, then had her step into the sun and noticed an area that wasn’t completely blended.
· Keep your tissue or hanky at the ready and dab carefully under the eyes. (Do you remember how perfect Demi Moore looked when she was crying in the movie Ghost, make-up unscathed, eyes not reddened? Trust me, it won’t work that way for you!)
· Sip a glass of water with a few drops of rescue remedy in it, it calms anxiety and nerves. I always carry it in my bridal kit. Don’t forget to give some to the groom.
· Carry powder blotting papers for touch ups during the reception. Hand one to a girlfriend that looks like she could use it!
As Kathy helped her daughter step into her gown and walked with her to the church, I’m sure all thoughts of smudgy mascara were forgotten. The joy she shared with her beautiful girl is what puts the “special” in special occasion.
The “Art For the Face” chapter in Growing More Beautiful has all my favorite tips and recommendations. For a big event it is a good idea to schedule a practice session (for details visit clotheyourspirit.com/services). If you have a specific question, ask it here. Someone else is probably wondering the same thing.