makeup on counter
Photo: Manu Camargo

Don't try anything for the first time on your wedding day.

From skin care to cosmetics, it's a bad idea to try anything for the first time on your wedding day. You want to use products that you know work for you, complement your look, and will stay put throughout the emotions of the day.

Wear each product several times.

There are plenty of reasons to wear your products beforehand. First, it's always smart to make sure you don't have an allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients (because hives rarely go well with a wedding dress). Second, you want to check to make sure the colors are not only what you expect when you apply the makeup, but also as it wears. We all have a favorite liquid lipstick that looks much different two hours in, and requires a reapplication. Third, be careful to watch how the products adjust to your skin. Does that foundation turn into an oil slick? Does that highlighter make your pores look ginormous? Because of different skin types, you need to test these things on your own, rather than just relying on recommendations from friends and bloggers.

Have a friend take photos of you in your makeup in different lighting.

Once you have your desired makeup look on and ready, it's time for a mini photo shoot. Have a friend (you're going to want shots both close-up and farther away than an arm-length selfie) take your pictures in different lighting such as in the sun versus the shade, and in the mid-afternoon versus in the evening. You may find out that the dramatic eye look you had hoped for doesn't have the right effect due to your super-bright wedding venue.

If you want to try a new technique, find the right tutorial.

Thank goodness for beauty bloggers! Some of our favorite tips and tricks have been grabbed off of YouTube's best and brightest. If you have your heart set on an unfamiliar technique, learn how to achieve it by watching a variety of tutorials. Once you find one that makes sense to you, study it (if you prefer, even take notes). Looking for a new makeup artist to follow? We love Lisa Eldridge for her achievable glam, product recommendations, and thoughtful advice (while she does have many high-fashion editorial looks, her general focus is on soft, modern makeup).

Practice, practice, practice.

Once you have your products and your techniques mapped out, it's time to practice. The greatest thing about playing with makeup is that your skills improve each time you do it. Experiment until you find the right look that makes you feel your most beautiful and confident.

Get used to false eyelashes.

Please know that we speak from plenty of collective experience when we advise you to get used to falsies ahead of time. The first few times you wear them, they can border on the annoying. And no one wants to be a blinking mess on their wedding day. False eyelashes also take a lot of practice to perfect the application. We recommend wearing them daily for a month to be a pro by game time.

Give yourself plenty of time on the day of.

Do not rush the beautification process. Be methodical, relaxed, and go slowly. Enjoy this fun time with your bridal party as you all get ready together.

Bring "emergency" supplies.

Don't forget to pack supplies like makeup remover (olive oil will also work in a pinch), Q-Tips, eye drops, tweezers, and extra applicators or brushes.