So here's my personal experience with what I consider the best wedding makeup...from the top:
You know me, let's start from the beginning. Personally, I've practically grown up on Bobbi Brown, and I've really loved MAC for a long time, but I wanted to see what my other options were available for my wedding make-up, so I went to Sephora for a consultation. I actually went with a girlfriend to try out Bare Escentuals because I wanted to get something for both every day (to even out my skin tone) and for my wedding day (to make me look fabulous) and I'd been hearing such great things about BE that when the make-up artist, Z, asked what we were there for, we said, "A BE consultation."
Why you should not use BE on your wedding day (or any day involving lots of photos):
After a quick face wash and yada yada, Z started applying the BE make-up. I must admit, it was quite relaxing (if you've ever had a BE make-over, you know what I'm talking about - all that brush-swirling), and the make-up was going on really well. I was starting to fall in love...at least I was until Z asked if I was getting the make-up for anything special. I explained I was looking for wedding make up for my destination beach wedding in May and she told me quite seriously that BE was not the way to go for wedding make up. In fact, she said BE was great make-up, but not good for photos. Apparently, there's something in the minerals that causes a reflection with the flash from cameras making you look washed out in your photos...or like there's a strange halo/glow around your face. Are there any make-up experts out there who can confirm this? Just curious. Either way, her explanation was enough for me to decide to put BE on the back burner...possibly for a future purchase.
Why you should use LORAC on your wedding day (or any day involving lots of photos):
Anywho, Z went on to explain that the best make-up for a special occasion is a brand, LORAC, which was designed especially for red carpet use. According to Z, the make-up was created to give you a gorgeous red-carpet worthy glow making you look radiant in photos. She recommended (and I ended up buying and using on my wedding day) for my combination skin (yea, not ALL the products were by LORAC) the following:
Stila - Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 - $32
This was the base coat. I just got a sample of this to take to the wedding. I'm picky on moisturizers and prefer to test drive them for a bit to make sure they don't break me out. Not to mention, as you will see, this make-up isn't cheap! I couldn't get it all at one time anyways. I'll go back for this if the test drive goes well.
LORAC - Breakthrough Performance Foundation - $38
Great foundation with anti-aging formula and SPF 14 - how clever?!
LORAC - Oil-Free Wet/Dry Powder Makeup - $35
A little extra coverage - comes with its own sponge, too!
LORAC - Blush/Bronzer Duo - $28.50 (I used "Hot Flash")
Apply bronzer in a '3' pattern - dust a big brush through the bronzer side of the duo, tap off the excess, and draw a '3' over one side of your face by running the brush from just outside the middle of your forehead (slightly closer to your hairline) down the outside of your eye, onto your cheek, and back across your cheek, towards the top of your jaw and following down the top of your jawline. If you look in the mirror while you do this, it looks like you're drawing a '3' on one side of your face...get it? Run the brush gently back and forth repeating the same '3' lines to highlight your face. Repeat with other side of face. A makeup consultant could probably give you a better description, but at least you have mine as a baseline.
Once I had my face on, Z did my eyes up with some really great, semi-natural looking make-up that was really simple, but really chic, too!
Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - $16
Apply a dab of this to your lid and spread all over lid with your finger tip. This primer acts as a base for your eye makeup. I highly recommend this for anyone who wears eye makeup ever. This stuff is great...genius, even! Go get some...now...seriously. It's strong enough to help your eye makeup stay smudge-free all day...all wedding-day even!
LORAC - Croc Palette - $35
I highly recommend this palette, too. The 4 eyeshadows in here are beautiful and really make your eyes P-O-P without looking too done-up. The chic metallics in this set look really cool for the beach (or a beach wedding) or even for every day. At least, I wore this on my wedding day...and I wear it almost every day to work now...I love it! The palette has all the colors you need: a base, a highlight, and a darker color for those who like a darker color in their crease.
MAKE UP FOR EVER - Aqua Eyes - $16
Great & simple eye liner here. Goes on smoothly - easy to sharpen (tip doesn't break easily).
Shu Uemura - Eyelash Curler - $19
The Smokey Eye Kit ($71 Value) - $42
All the brushes you need to get your eyes looking perfect for your special day. A wide brush for your base color, a medium brush for your lid and highlighting, and a round brush for getting your crease looking beautifully-blended.
Anastasia - Brow Wiz - $18
Simple-little brow filler. It's the little things sometimes...
Anastasia - Brow Fix - $19
A great wax you can draw on your brows to help keep their in order
Clinique - Colour Surge Lipstick - $14
I normally don't like lipstick, but it does tend to stick longer than a gloss would, so I put this in "Extreme Pink" under some almost-clear gloss.
Wow - as someone who typically doesn't wear a lot of make-up on an every day basis, I kinda can't believe I wore all these products on my wedding day, but they were all perfect and helped make my special day all the more special.
NOTE: all images by sephora.com