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Face Forward

Face Forward
Full-out drama on cheeks, eyes and lips can be striking if you keep your color silhouettes round and pair the look with a clean sophisticated hairstyle. (Photo courtesy of BHLDN)

Bridesmaids' dresses and flowers aren't the only ways to infuse color into a wedding. Hued makeup can also make a colorful statement. Wisps of color on the face can convey extra glamour, drama and glow while highlighting the bride's uniqueness. And by riffing on wedding themes or color schemes, your face-painting palette can complement the event's overall look and feel.

"Makeup is absolutely one of the most important ingredients for the bride's look," said makeup artist Riku Campo, who recently partnered with bridal company BHLDN for a series of makeup tutorials called "Fancy Face." Campo emphasized that the bride's makeup, hairstyle, dress, flowers and even manicure should be fluid and "support each other." Otherwise, "there are no limits, really," he said. "You can go from the supernatural English rose look all the way to the Nina Hagen punk look if that is your personal style."

Deep shades of reds for lips can create a vintage Veronica Lake vibe that matches a '40s-style dress, Campo suggested. A vivid eye shadow that plays off bouquet colors can instantly brighten up the visage. The more demure bride who shies away from color can glam up her maquillage by applying extra layers of mascara or dramatic eyelash extensions — a popular beauty trend on the runway that lends extra pizazz to peepers. Emma Willis, makeup whiz and director of artistry at Blushington, a makeup and beauty lounge on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, suggests using Stila Lash Visor Waterproof Mascara for extra protection against tears.

What's 'Pop'ular?
Bridal makeup artist Vincent Ford of Faces by Vincent Ford in Los Angeles took a cue from another runway trend: color blocking — contrasting a combination of solid colors. "I think 2012 Bridal is all about a fresh natural face with a pop of color," he said. "Looking at the fashion colors for this year, tangerine and rich magentas are all the rage. A bold tangerine shimmer eye shadow can be lightly washed over the eye without looking like a throwback to the '80s."

Ford loves to sweep a sheer brush of lime contoured with a neutral brown on lids to yield immediate lift and brightness. To match eye shadow with purple wedding florals he proposes picking a shade in the purple family that isn't an exact match but is most flattering to the skin color. And Ford favors the use of complementary tints, such as a red for lips, to harmonize with lush green décor. 

Speaking of red lips, over at Blushington, more and more bridal clients are requesting "vintage glam." The unique look entails light shadow and blush, a winged black eye achieved with dramatic liner and a rich red pout. Willis fancies Julie Hewett's Noir Collection because it has "all the reds you can imagine!" She advises brides with olive skin to opt for reds with orange undertones. For the fair-skinned, she recommends pink and blue undertones. 

But it's important, Willis said, that brides pick just a single area to highlight. "Choose one pop of color — the lips or the color of your blush – not both. You don't want to overkill," she asserted. Even if your wedding has a colorful Rainbow Brite or Alice and Wonderland theme, your makeup shouldn't look like the Queen of Hearts'. As any bridal makeup artist will attest, the mission is to enhance your natural look.

Tips for Long-lasting Looks
Though the wedding day seems to pass by in a flash, a bride's makeup must hold up for many hours for the camera (despite scores of kisses from all those relatives). Ford dispenses this valuable tip to his clients: Rub lipstick on eyes or cheeks, powder on foundation and then set with powder blush and shadow as usual. That will provide a solid base in case top layers of makeup wear off.

Willis prefers to use Becca's Creme Blush in hyacinth, which she says is "to die for." She also likes to lock in lip color for the big day by priming the entire lip area with concealer, filling it in with a light beige liner (try Aveda's Nourish-Mint Lip Definer or a Kevyn Aucoin liner), then coating the pout with a light dusting of powder before applying lipstick.

It's your big day, so put your best face forward. Consult with makeup artists beforehand on your vision and make sure they have a clear idea of your overall ensemble, including what you are considering for hairstyle. The good news is that you'll be a blushing bride no matter what.

Allison Kornberg Walch
Custom Publishing Writer