Skeptical about wearing makeup? Beauty expert Victor Henao at Top 5 Management says your wedding day should be an exception. “It’s a special day,” he stresses, “and looking your best for yourself and your guests will add to all the effort and work you have put into your wedding day. Try the good old trick of taking a before-and-after picture as you test out some makeup, and I can assure you that most of you will pick the makeup-wearing version of yourselves.” All it takes to looking your best is a little education, starting before you even step foot in your local department store or beauty shop.


Victor Henao applying makeup on a male client


Beauty expert Victor Henao suggests:


For a perfect glow before foundation: Peter Thomas Roth Illuminating High Definition Moisturizer, $48


For natural foundation: M.A.C. Face and Body Foundation,, $32


For extra coverage: Victoria’s Secret PRO Camouflage FX Concealer Palette,, $14


Finishing touch: Laura Mercier Translucent Powder, available in loose and pressed settings,, $34

1. Seek outside help

The first place to go for makeup advice is your friends and family, Henao says. Ask them to refer you to a makeup artist they trust. If they don’t know anyone, consult your local department store and prep for the visit, so browsing the makeup counter will feel less intimidating and overwhelming. Check out Equally Wed’s photos or any fashion magazine and find someone who looks like you (NOT someone you wish you looked like). “Take that image to your consultant and be specific on what you want and, most importantly, what you don’t want. If you don’t achieve it on the first time, try again, but make sure you leave with enough knowledge to try it yourself.”

2. Decide what works for you

Keep your budget in mind when choosing a makeup brand. Drugstore brands like L’Oreal and Neutrogena work best for smaller budgets. For more moderate budgets, try M.A.C. Cosmetics or Victoria’s Secret, and try Chanel or YSL if you have no budget. Then do product research on texture and finishes. Look for products that benefit your skin: oil-free products for more oily skin, or moisturizing products for dry skin. Finally, make sure the products and colors fit your personality. “The last thing you want is to look like a different person on your wedding day,” Henao says.

3. Prep before application

First, gently exfoliate your skin. Then use a toner to remove any additional makeup and excess oil. Allow that to dry and then follow with your favorite moisturizer (just a lima bean-size amount will do). Wait at least five minutes before applying anything else. Then use a makeup primer to smooth out your skin and help minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Henao recommends the Victoria’s Secret Airbrush FX Face Primer SPF 20. Use this sparingly; a little goes a long way.

4. Apply it, top it, test it

Next, apply a coat of sheer foundation or a tinted moisturizer, dab a bit on the apples of your cheeks, nose, chin and forehead and use a makeup brush or beauty blender sponge to blend and diffuse the foundation to the rest of your skin. After you’ve fully blended, use a concealer to cover any additional blemishes and under the eyes. Then top it off with a translucent powder on your forehead and nose, or all over if your face tends to be more oily. Henao says men can stop here, but women can also apply a generous coat of mascara, a natural blush to the apples of the cheek, and lip gloss or tinted lip conditioner, like Burt’s Bees, for a more natural look. Lastly, test your purchases out to make sure they match your skin tone by examining them in the sunlight before the big day.


Henao photo courtesy of Top 5 Management