Beauty Fix: How to do your own wedding hair and makeup, the best nail polish for brides and a clever way to add “something blue” to your beauty routine on the big day!

While tales of six figure wedding costs can make any bride-to-be nervous, a little resourcefulness can go a long way to keep a budget under control. For instance: doing your own makeup on your wedding day! (And, as a way of getting in extra practice, for all the related events leading up to your big day!) Consider that even Kate Middleton DIY’d her bridal look—and who can argue that they’ll be more scrutinized than a Queen-to-be? After all, while we all dream of looking like a princess, there’s nothing better than looking like a super-pretty version of yourself. From bridal hair tips to wedding-ready looks that can go from day to night, this week’s Beauty Fix has all the answers.

Read on for all the answers! »

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I’m doing my own makeup for our engagement photo shoot, and want to keep the look natural. Any tricks I should consider?
An engagement shoot is less formal than your actual wedding day, so focus on your skin rather than a dramatic eye or lip. The night before, apply a nice night cream so you wake up with a hydrated, dewy complexion that looks refreshed and won’t demand much makeup. When it’s time to apply your foundation, do so in a circular motion all over your face and neck using a stippling brush, a tool made of both synthetic and natural bristles (often with white tips) that works really well at giving an airbrushed-like finish. I’m a fan of the Pro Stippling Brush by Sephora Collection ($35, and Tarte‘s Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush ($32, Keep everything else simple—try a double coating of mascara and a lip stain slightly darker than your natural lips with clear gloss over top. And don’t be too heavy-handed on the blush: lots of kisses for the camera are certain to give your cheeks a natural flush.

Should I wear false lashes on my wedding day?
One of two reasons why I’m wary of falsies on a wedding day is the amount of wear you can get out of a set—what if the adhesive weakens with (happy!) tears or summer humidity? The other is the amount of time they take to apply: I’ve found even the most organized brides feel pressed for time the day of their wedding, and there needs to be sufficient time (between 25-45 minutes!) for falsies to set in place properly. If your wedding is late afternoon or evening and you have excess time (or have hired a professional makeup artist), go forth with the false lashes. You could also try semi-permanent lash extensions and have them applied the day before: they’re fused to your natural lashes and won’t fall off at inopportune times. But, if your wedding is in the morning or mid-day, opt out of the hassle of false lashes and try three coats of fabulously black-and-big mascara instead, like Guerlain Noir G de Guerlain Exceptional Complete Mascara ($49,

My ceremony is in the evening followed by a cocktail reception. What sort of eye makeup should I try?
One of my favourite trends for spring is perfectly suitable for your special evening: a simple statement eye, featuring a single shade of metallic shadow applied high above the crease. I loved it first on the runway at Emilio Pucci because the makeup artist used gold all over and smoked a little charcoal into the inner and outer corners for minimal contouring. Look for a shadow that is luminous, but not sparkly—wedding makeup doesn’t need to look playful. Help find an ideal shade by spreading a shadow along the back of your hand=–if you see sparkles with sequin-like reflection, the shadow is too shimmery. If the finish looks wet, it’ll work for this look. Two of my favourite gold shades are Nars Cream Eyeshadow in “El Dorado” ($28, and Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadow in “’Riches” ($19, You could apply either of those all over your lid, and then if you want to do what they did at Emilio Pucci’s show, smudge a small amount of black liner at the outer edge of your eye. (Blend well!) Either method will create a simple statement eye for your sophisticated wedding.

What should my bridesmaids and I be doing for the big day, nail polish-wise?
I’ve been browsing on Pinterest and have formed a strong opinion on bridal manicures: plain paint jobs and light colours are really good, and nail art and heavy embellishments are really, really bad. Little bows and lace, though cute and trendy right now, will seem less so in the future. You love how your grandmother was a classic beauty, right? So should you be for your eventual kin! I love short, oval-shaped nails painted in pretty pastel-tinted whites, like Essie‘s “Ballet Slippers” ($10, at Shoppers Drug Mart) and Ciaté polish in “Strawberry Milkshake ($14, because they’re both milky white with a pink tint. I can, however, fully appreciate a bride who wants to wear her “something blue” on her nails, especially if they’re perfectly painted with Dior nail enamel in “St Tropez” ($23, But please, I beg you: steer clear of French tips, airbrushed flowers and tiny crystals.

I’m a budget bride and doing my own hair. Do you have any tips for how I can make my style look its best?
A friend of mine was completely devastated with how her bridal stylist had done her hair—and was about to unhappily walk down the aisle when another friend stepped in at the last minute to save the day. She removed the dozens of bobby pins that were holding a dishevelled bun at the nap of the bride’s neck and let it fall. Then, she simply braided her hair from the nape and wrapped it into a textured bun, using the same bobby pins to keep it in place. It looked amazing! Yours will look even better because you won’t be fixing a mistake at the 11th hour and will have plenty of time to practice. Besides, I totally back a bride’s hairstyle that looks simply pretty and not totally complicated—I like that you’re doing it yourself. Good tools to have on hand are a bunch of bobby pins, Goody Ouchless Mini Elastics in “Clear” ($5, at drugstores) and a flexible hairspray. Oh, and don’t attempt to perfect your style with freshly cleaned hair: day two or three hair stays in place much better. One last tip: spray your bobby pins with Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo ($5, at drugstores) to prevent them from slipping out, a super helpful trick from stylist Mark Townsend who styles celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and Lea Michele.

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