Walking into a Sephora store is a little slice of heaven for me. However, for someone who isn't a beauty junkie, cosmetic lines screaming "you need me!" may seem a little frightening. And if you're a bride getting married who is looking to do your own makeup, finding the right products to make you photo ready and flawless may be daunting at times. As a makeup artist who has transformed many brides, I have a list of must-have products that will get you looking gorgeous on your big day!
Primer/Mattifier: Priming your skin and good skin care is essential for flawless makeup on your wedding day. Say bye to shine with Cargo's blu_ray High Definition Mattifier. I've tried other primers that claim to take shine away but this is the first makeup primer and mattifier that keeps your face looking shine-free for hours. You can also use it throughout the day for touch-ups over top of your makeup. It blends into the skin clear so you're not adding extra makeup and avoid looking like a caked mess.
If you have drier skin, I recommend Smashbox's Photo Finish primer. The texture is a little heavier and thicker.
Under-Eye Brightner: Night before bachelorette parties can wreck havoc on your skin. To fake that bright-eyed I-got-a-full-eight-hour-sleep look, I like to use an eye brightner like Smashbox's Photo Op Undereye Brightner. To use, just swipe the highlighter directly onto your dark circles, and inner and outer corners of the eyes. Then using your ring finger (ring finger has the lightest touch), pat and blend into skin gently. Try not to rub into skin because the product and effect will disappear. The illuminated area will help diffuse fine lines and lighten those dark circles. If your circles aren't that dark (lucky you!) you can get away with using this as an under eye concealer. And if you're not so lucky, I like to apply a concealer over top for ultimate coverage.
Concealer can be your best friend or your worst enemy if not properly applied or the wrong texture is used. Depending on your skin, I sometimes go without concealer and use the foundation to conceal under eye circles and blemishes. However, for problem skin (acne, discolouration, scarring) I do go in and use something heavier. Here a few products that I like to work with:
YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch: My first experience with this was while I was doing a bride's makeup (in fact it's the glamourous bride in my page banner). This was one of the products she carried in her purse at all times so I just had to use it. It is perfect for the eye area because of the light texture and luminous quality and great for evening out the skin tone (around the nose, contour of the mouth, and hollow of chin). It conceals dark circles really well and brightens up the whole area. Beware if you have a lot of fine lines and wrinkles though. Because of the liquid/creamy texture it can settle into fine lines.
Face Atelier Cosmetics Camouflage Duet: This concealer is one of my faves because it has the same silicone-base as the popular Ultra Foundation. The only difference is that it's heavier and much creamier. The silicone-base allows the product to float on top of the skin so it doesn't settle or crease into fine lines. It has two sides: a cool and warm colour that you can blend together to perfectly match your skin tone. The creamy texture is just right for concealing those pesky pimples yet not too heavy for the under eye area. I like to also use this in place of a foundation for those that have close-to-flawless skin. Good for all skin types.
Benefit Erase Paste: This has been my latest obsession. I bought this on recommendation from another makeup artist who absolutely loves this stuff. I'm obsessed with any product that covers and brightens the under eye area at the same time. Lately, my dark circles have been drier than usual and my YSL Touche Eclat was leaving a flaky, dry mess. Erase Paste is a concentrated, creamy concealer that brightens and camouflages those dark circles and blemishes. A little goes a long way so build until you are satisfied with the coverage. The good thing is that it never looks cakey or heavy. This comes in 3 shades: Fair, Medium and Deep but beware - I have med-dark skin and I had to buy the Deep. Hopefully Benefit will come out with a wider range of tones. Also, if you have oilier skin it may not last long on your skin.
Lise Watier Professional Correctors: I try to avoid using correctors if I can but sometimes it's the only way to solve a skin issue. I have both correctors for fair and dark skin and I highly recommend both if you have discolouration especially under the eyes, acne, scarring, or tattoos. It comes with a guideline on the back so you know exactly what each colour is for. Both palettes suit every skin tone because you can mix and blend together. I'm especially impressed with the dark palette because it works on even the deepest of skin tones. Just keep remember, if you're correcting a discoloured area to apply first then apply your natural foundation on top to blend in with the rest of your skin.
Foundation: On your wedding day, the idea is for your skin to look immaculate while letting your natural beauty shine through. Heavy foundation or a heavy hand can make this difficult so choose your foundation wisely. Always go and test it before committing to one because they can get pricey.
Face Atelier Ultra Foundation: Hands down my all-time favourite foundation! Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn't crease or flake, and lasts all day. Hydrating yet oil-free, it fills in tiny lines and pores for a flawless finish. I have the whole collection and it has never disappointed. Whether you are very fair to deep dark there is a shade for you and if you really want to customize your foundation you can mix Zero Plus to go a shade darker or Zero Minus to lighten. The foundation is medium to full coverage but you can sheer it out with a bit of moisturizer. The skin just looks amazing and clients are always asking me about it. It never looks or feels heavy.
Setting Powder: Brides should look glowing, luminous but not shiny or sweaty. Sometimes in the most humid weather looking like an oil slick is unavoidable. One powder that I always go back to is M.A.C.'s Blot Powder/Loose. The pressed version is great but I find the loose powder is a lot finer and has a more natural finish. If you pat and press into the skin with a sponge, the powder will absorb oil and shine and keep your skin looking matte yet velvety. I also like to do a last dusting of powder with a big brush after all the makeup has been applied especially on the eyes to ensure the makeup stays flawless and in tact all day.
Sculpting: If you really want to transform and give your face more dimension, sculpting by highlighting and shading parts of the face will do just that. You'll really notice this is in your photos when your best features are highlighted and your not-so-favourite ones are hidden. To slim the face I like to contour the hollows of the cheeks, temples, jawline and under the chin. I use Benefit's Hoola matte bronzer which is perfectly fine and I highlight with luminous powder or a pressed powder one shade lighter than the natural skin tone. But if you're a novice, I recommend Make Up For Ever's Compact Modellers which is a duo sculpting set in a matte medium tan and matte neutral beige.
Stay tuned for Part 2 featuring my must-haves in shadows, mascaras, liners, lid primers, blush and lip products!