Nobody wants a bad hair day or a mirror nightmare but if there's one time in your life when you need to look your beautiful best, it's your wedding day.
With your closest family and friends to hand — and an over-eager photographer snapping at your heels — being a bride should be the happiest day of your life. So the last thing you want to worry about is make-up blunders.
Many will want to emulate Kate Middleton’s classically beautiful look at her wedding in April.
But those who want to look a little more glam will be keeping a close eye on the forthcoming nuptials of model Kate Moss, who will wed guitarist Jamie Hince, and Lily Allen who is tying the knot with builder Sam Cooper.
“The best wedding make-up is subtle and unobtrusive, yet reveals and enhances everything that's most beautiful about a bride's face,” says make-up artist Jemma Kidd.
Whether you're being made up by your best pal or a team of professionals, ensure you've got your look prepared by way of a few trial runs.
Our beauty experts offer their big day advice to ensure you're glowing inside and out.
You may be a master of make-up for everyday looks, but bridal is a very different marriage of techniques and tricks.
“Bridal make-up needs to have enough colour to compensate for the whiteness of the dress,” explains make-up artist Bobbi Brown.
“Apply your make-up as if you were going to a formal event — everything should be a bit stronger than the make-up you normally wear.”
To ensure your lip colour lasts throughout the ‘kiss the bride' peck and beyond, Brown advises lining and filling the lips with a matching lip pencil before applying your lipstick.
Beaming with love, you may have a natural glow on the day but you'll still need a touch of colour.
“When choosing a blush, go for pink if you are fair and rose if you are dark. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks for a healthy glow.For a pop of colour, use a brighter shade just on the apples of your cheeks,” Brown recommends.
Avoid embarrassing make-up blunders during the speeches with tear-proof products.
Look for waterproof and long-wearing formulas in both mascara and eyeliner to avoid smudges and streaks.
Face powder is a must, according to Brown: “Set concealer and foundation with a powder puff. And don't forget to bring pressed powder in your evening bag for touch-ups throughout the day.”
Forget the debate about a summer or winter wedding, one of the biggest decisions for brides is whether to wear hair up or down.
If the top of your dress is fussy, an up-do is a good option to keep the focus on your face and gown. At New York Bridal Fashion Week, hair was ‘high and refined' for spring/summer.
“This season balanced the hair with the big gowns,” says Redken session stylist Giovanni Giuntoli.
“The avant garde twist has even more height and drama this year and the sleek chignon from years past presents a new view with the croissant shape placed higher atop the head.”
An up-do adds instant sophistication and elongates the neck, according to Giuntoli.
He advises asking a bridesmaid to hold on to a mini-finishing spray for touch-ups to ensure that your style stays in place all night long.
If you have a simple dress and want a more relaxed, modern look, try Giuntoli's ‘end-of-day waves'.
“The look is down and the waves are not tight, they're fresh,” he explains. “We're trying to get away from the corkscrew for a youthful, casual after-wedding look that's flattering and flirty.”
As you take your husband-to-be's hand at the altar, the last thing you want to offer him is chewed nails or a garish set of false talons.
Ensure your ring finger and its nine family members are preened to perfection.
“Start thinking about the condition of your nails four to six months before the big day,” advises Joanna Hansford, director of manicurists at Jo Hansford salon.
“It takes six months for a new nail to grow completely, so if they are damaged in any way they have a good chance of recovering in time.”
Condition and hydrate your hands and nails using a hand cream and cuticle oil last thing every night for at least a month before the wedding to see happier hands.
If you're addicted to nail decor, hold off excessive use of coloured nail varnishes in the run-up to your wedding.
“Nail polish removal can cause nails to dry out, so try not to use it more than once a week and opt for acetone-free ones,” advises Hansford.
“Darker colours can also stain the nail bed if used over a long period. However, if this occurs lemon juice can be used to cleanse them.”
As for the big day itself? Ask your manicurist to assess your nails and see whether long, short, square, oval or rounded most suits your hands and plan in advance.
Hansford recommends: “Natural nails always look best if you are going for a traditional wedding but if you are going for a more modern, contemporary look you could have a brighter colour but make sure it doesn't clash with your dress.”
I DO, AND DON'T...
“On your wedding day you should look like yourself at your most beautiful,” says Bobbi Brown, whose tips are:
Complete a make-up trial to avoid any surprises.
Make life that little more beautiful ...