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makeup matters

Three looks and tips to ensure you look your best.

Before a bride can say “I do,” she has plenty to do: choose a venue, pick out a dress, register for gifts, order a cake.

Beauty experts remind brides to add one more must-do to the list: Schedule skin and beauty treatments.

Waiting until the last minute can spell disaster. No bride wants to find out the night before her wedding that the lipstick that looked so beautiful in the tube makes her resemble a member of the Addams Family. Some skin treatments can leave skin red and irritated, and in worst-case scenarios brides can have allergic reactions to products that can send them to the doctor’s office.

Rachel Colonna, makeup artist and store manager for About Face in Mandeville, advises brides to begin a skin care regime at least six months before their weddings. Products take a while to begin working, she says, and if you try something new, you want to make sure the ingredients don’t cause your skin to break out. Facials, in particular, should be scheduled no closer than one week to the wedding, so the skin will have time to lose any redness.

It is never too soon to choose your makeup artist, Colonna says. Brides should start combing magazines and clipping pictures so they can demonstrate exactly what they mean when they say they want “a smoky eye” or “a classic look.”

Next, book a practice run a month or more before the big day. You and your makeup artist can try a variety of colors and looks, then chart what works best. And allow enough time to have your makeup done on the actual day of the wedding, she adds. For an evening wedding, she likes to begin around 2 p.m., in time for photos at 5 p.m. For morning weddings she begins about three hours before the ceremony.

other tips:
•Model in a Bottle is a great product to set makeup.
•If you use false eyelashes, bring extras.
•Dramatic eye treatments call for softer lip treatments, and vice versa.

Brides with their acts together sometimes book her services a year in advance, says Erica Young, makeup artist at Paris Parker’s Prytania Street Aveda salon. She advises clients to begin any brow shaping about six months in advance, since it can take some time for brows to grow. Do not tweeze right before the wedding, she says – and that goes for waxing, too.

Those who want a sun-kissed look on their wedding day should do a few trial runs with any bronzers or self-tanners, Young says. Exfoliating should also be started well in advance, so dead skin can have time to slough off.

It helps if brides choose their headpieces, jewelry and hairstyles before they do a makeup trial run, she adds. The idea is to create a total look, so the more information a bride has as she chooses her makeup, the better.

Makeup artist Kelly LeBlanc (www.neworleansbridalmakeup.com)  says most brides opt for a natural look. No bride wants her groom to flinch when he lifts the veil and sees a face made up beyond recognition. LeBlanc likes to use a spray-on foundation called ERA Face, made by Classified Cosmetics. ERA Face contains soothing ingredients like cahamomile and aloe, so it heals the skin as it covers.

The most difficult decision most of her clients face is choosing a lip color, LeBlanc says. Begin experimenting with makeup colors early enough so you can find the exact shade of lipstick, gloss or stain that looks good with your complexion and gives you a bit of oomph for pictures.

LeBlanc does bridal party members and mothers of the bride (and groom) as well as brides, and says mothers in particular can benefit from some professional advice. They want to look their best, but they don’t want to steal the limelight from the bride, and they don’t want to look like they are trying too hard to look young.

Just a few professional tips and some new products can help these women break out of their makeup ruts and look soft, polished and pretty, says LeBlanc. Women used to putting on just a little powder and lipstick might not realize that for pictures they need to have a bit more color on their faces.

beyond makeup
Sometimes brides and bridal party members might want to rid themselves of wrinkles before they walk down the aisle. Dr. Sharon Mayer, a dermatologist at Uptown Dermatology and Aesthetics, says fillers such as Restylane should be injected one or two months before the wedding. Botox injections should be booked at least one month before the wedding; that leaves time for any adjustments that might be necessary. Microdermabrasion treatments should take place no closer than a week before the wedding, Mayer says. She notes that aspirin and Advil thin the blood and shouldn’t be taken before these treatments.

Any surgical procedure, such as a tummy tuck, a breast enhancement or reduction or an eyelift, should be performed at least six months before the wedding, says Dr. Cynthia Mizgala, a cosmetic plastic surgeon who practices in Metairie. These operations require hospitalization and adequate recuperation time and should be planned the sooner rather than later.

A procedure called Smart Lipo can be done closer to the wedding, says Mizgala. Patients will notice they look skinnier in about two weeks, she says. It takes up to three months, though, for the treated area to look its best when bared.

Smart Lipo is done in the office under local anesthesia. A small laser breaks down fat cells, and then the oily substance that results is removed through a tiny incision. The laser also seals blood vessels, reducing the swelling, bleeding and bruising. It is recommended for the face, neck, arm, knees, back, bra strap area, breasts or areas of floppy skin. Generally, one treatment does the trick.

A new product called Dysport is also becoming popular, Mizgala says. Dysport, which received FDA approval this April, is similar to Botox but works more quickly and may last longer (four months, compared to Botox’s three).

She recommends brides book Botox or Dysport injections about three or four weeks before their weddings.

If they want to look great for those all-important pre-wedding parties, they should make the appointment
even earlier.

With all that brides-to-be have on their plates, they might neglect one of the most important beauty treatments: sleep!

Without adequate rest, even the most expensive and elaborate makeup treatments won’t work their magic.

Finally, once your eye shadow is in place, your lipstick is applied and your hair gets one last shot of hairspray, relax.

Brides who feel comfortable will look naturally beautiful and radiant,
says LeBlanc. And isn’t that the look all brides are going for?

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