After months of planning and preparing, the big day arrives. The final touches for your perfect wedding look are some of the most important: hair and makeup. You will want to look flawless, but you’ll also want to look like you. Here are some tips to find your perfect bridal look.

For a glowing face, the experts have a few insider tips. Celeste Louapre of Make Me Up (891-9688) recommends a good primer. “Primer helps the makeup not settle into the pores and fine lines … It makes the foundation last all day and into the night, without touch ups.” Louapre also suggests airbrush makeup for a bride under heavy lights or outside in the heat. “It forms a water-resistant finish on the face, which gives a flawless look … However, it gives a matte look, rather than dewy, and isn’t for everyone, especially women with dry or overly oily skin.”

Maria Barreda of MBArtistry (274-7061) has another tip for face makeup: “I like to use liquid foundations because it’s buildable coverage, yet looks very natural,” she says. “Keep in mind that we’re in New Orleans and sometimes it can be humid; using a translucent powder sets the liquid foundation and reduces shine.”

Barreda suggests a bold eye for winter: “Smoky doesn’t mean dark all the time – you can achieve this look with any color.” Aimee Carr of Aimeezing Faces ((225) 272-2345) says that the sky’s the limit: “When applying eye makeup there’s no certain color that should or shouldn’t be used. Start with a base color that you’re comfortable wearing. Next, lightly splash a little blue or another daring color that you’ve always wanted to wear. By ‘splash,’ I mean shake the excess off and lightly brush over the lid to add a hint of color.”

To add a dramatic touch, Emily Sullivan of Get Polished (301-0316) recommends false eyelashes. “We do, however, recommend choosing a natural set and trimming them to fit your lash line for the most flattering look. Black mascara is also a must.”

One of the most important aspects of bridal makeup is a perfectly kissable set of lips. “Bold lips are in,” says Barreda, “from plums to deep reds. If you’re going for a bold lip, I like to apply a nude (or) natural lip liner all over the lip – this helps the color adhere better to the lip, helping your color to stay on longer.” Carr recommends exfoliating lips with brown sugar before applying color.

A perfect hairstyle is crucial, but equally important is making sure to choose a look that you’re comfortable with, and one that will last through the reception. “Hair should frame the features of the face and should accentuate the style of the dress and jewelry,” says Carr.

Trish Popovich of Style 2 ((866) 477-1931) suggests that brides get a haircut about two weeks before the wedding. “All too often brides don’t cut their hair for months leading up to their wedding because they don’t want to lose any length, but if the ends aren’t fresh and healthy the curl won’t take – and you may have ugly fly-aways in a beautiful up-do.”

For winter weddings, romance and drama are big. “I’m seeing a lot of wavy half up-half down styles for winter weddings as well as romantic side-swept up-dos,” Popovich says. “Brides are loving feathery flowers in their hair, as well, and it adds a different look instead of the traditional bridal veil.”

Sullivan has noticed another big trend in bridal hair accessories: rhinestone, crystal and feather headbands. “You can wear these with your hair both up and down, and it’s really easy to choose a style that complements your personality as well as your gown.”

Melissa Maia of Salon Maia (432-6998) suggests bringing in photos of sample hairstyles to give the stylist an idea of what you want. “Ask your stylist to demonstrate a few options so that you can see what works for you,” she says. “Most importantly, bring your veil to your trial run.”

Maia also says that deep conditioning should being about six weeks before the wedding. “Then be sure to get one more treatment the week before your wedding day,” she says.

As far as style, Maia has also seen a trend toward the classic and romantic. “The most commonly requested style in the last couple of months has been a loose and romantic chignon. It looks effortless – almost as if you may have thrown it up on your own.”

Most importantly, when it comes to hair and makeup, the bride must feel comfortable to feel beautiful. “You want to look like yourself on your wedding day,” says Maia. “Okay, maybe the ‘best version’ of yourself, but yourself nonetheless.”


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