Get ready for the wedding season. Kicking off the spring-summer bridal wave is first daughter and former party-girl-turned-author Jenna Bush. The first twin is getting married this weekend in Crawford, Texas, at the Bush family ranch.
Miss Bush will wear an Oscar De La Renta gown, a favorite designer of her mother, first lady Laura. It's rumored that her dress is made of organza, with some embroidery and beading.
For her "house party" of 14 as they say in Texas, designer Lela Rose has made silk crinkle chiffon cocktail-length dresses in a rainbow of colors to match the colors of Texas wildflowers. Each dress is unique in design — some halter, others strapless, all adorned with silk flowers and a sash. Rose, a Texas native, says it's common to see more color in southern weddings than what you would conventionally see on the East Coast.
However, not all brides have the luxury of getting hitched while their dad is president. But most brides would agree that planning a wedding is time-consuming and overwhelming. What bride doesn't need at least some help when it comes to looking her very best on her big day?
Even celebrities who are used to being in the spotlight need help with their hair and makeup when it's their turn to walk down the aisle. Celebrity makeup artist Nicole Williams has worked with performers Mary J. Blige and L'il Kim, who need to look their very best at every hour on stage.
Williams has never made up Jenna Bush's face but is familiar with the challenging climate of Texas. She says she wouldn't be surprised if Jenna replaced traditional liquid foundation with an airbrush formula. The technique is seen flawless by most cosmetic artists.
"It will keep [on] all day long and doesn't have to be touched up."
Airbrushing virtually guarantees your makeup will stay in place and won't streak. And you won't need to worry about foundation for your wedding day if your skin is in tip-top shape.
According to Cherie Buziak, a licensed esthetician, brides should start preparing for their wedding by taking a very close look at their skin.
"As you order your gown, look at your skin and consider things you want to improve," says Buziak, who runs her own beauty consulting company called Beauty Edge Inc.
She also suggests setting up a skin care regimen around the time to place the dress order.
Try buying a package of facials at a spa (they're often cheaper as a package), or visiting a dermatologist if you have specific skin issues, like acne or broken capillaries. If you can't afford to visit a spa, you can easily keep your skin looking fresh and healthy at home.
Buziak likes the over-the-counter peeling kits, including one from MD Skincare that can be found at skinstore.com. She also recommends steaming your face with water and lemon oil, which is available at most health food stores.
Planning ahead and being consistent with your routine are key — whether you do at-home facials or head to a spa.
"You don't want to do anything at the last minute," says Buziak.
And don't forget about the back and chest area, especially if you are wearing a low-cut dress. Buziak also recommends pre-booking a dermatologist appointment for two days before your wedding. This way, if you discover a nasty zit, you won't have to treat it with Windex, like in the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Dermatologists can reduce redness and inflammation by injecting medicine directly into the pimple.
Once your skin is under control, it's time to think about your makeup.
Trae Bodge is a New York City-based makeup artist and founder of 3 Custom Color Specialists. One of the biggest mistakes brides make, according to Bodge, is trying to look like someone they're not by wearing too much makeup. Brides shouldn't go for the all out glamour look unless that's how they want to be presented.
On the contrary, many brides who don't wear a lot of makeup want to look makeup-free on their wedding day.
"It really is important to even out the skin tone, even if it's subtle, so you don't look washed out or blotchy in your photographs," stresses Bodge.
Airbrush foundation is a very popular trend for brides who don't like the feel of makeup.
Clarissa Cruz, style editor with People magazine, suggests going the airbrush route because it can leave a smooth finish and the makeup does not look overdone.
And if you're worried about crying leaving dark streak marks on your face, Cruz suggests ditching your regular mascara for semi-permanent lash extensions. Extensions are very natural-looking because they are applied individually and should be applied by a professional artist. These are different from fake lashes you buy in the store.
This season, many brides are opting for a fresh, simple look which is easy to achieve, according to Bodge. One quick tip for the eyes is to keep it neutral with soft smokiness at the outer corners and the lashes defined. Pinks and corals on the lips and cheeks are the chosen fresh colors for a clean look.
Similarly, the resurgence of the classic '40s glamour is a recent trend for evening weddings. Think Katherine Heigl at the Oscars with minimal shadow on the eyes, a precise black liner, tons of mascara, defined brows, red lips and soft red cheeks.
But if this is the look you're after, be forewarned — red lips are risky because red tends to bleed. And no one wants to look sloppy on their wedding day. To avoid makeup mishaps, beauty experts suggest scheduling a trial with a professional artist. Many brides hire professional makeup artists for their wedding, and a trial round is always a good idea.
Artists will work with you to get just the right look. They may try different types of foundation to figure out what works best with your skin tone and skin type. Find a local artist on www.theknot.com or www.brideboard.com.
Trials can be especially important for weddings taking place in harsh climates, like Texas or Florida. If you're having an outdoor wedding like Jenna Bush, it's a good idea to wear your hair up, according to Juan Carlos, a stylist with Rita Hazan, one of New York's top-rated salons.
"It's a great way of keeping hair off your face."
Soft, swept-up hair is a big trend for spring and fall weddings. You can always add to the look by slipping in a feminine barrette or flower to embellish the hair.
If your hair is short, Carlos suggests slicking it to one side. This works especially well if you have strong features, like actress Natalie Portman.
Now that you've mastered the makeup and hair, slip into your dress and have fun. It's your big day, so don't forget to take a moment or two to soak it all up instead of worrying about how you look.
And, remember to smile! There will be lots of pictures.
Beaming brides should have a few of these products on-hand for their wedding.
* Sally Hansen Anti-Aging Airbrush Makeup SPF 8, $7.99 at any drugstore
* Blotting papers — to remove any shine before taking photos (also found at any drugstore)
* Boscia Fresh Blotting Linens, $10 (www.Sephora.com)
* Mineral water spray to set makeup; Evian Facial Spray, $10
* Powder compact for quick touch-ups (also found at any drugstore)
* Clinique Soft Finish pressed powder, $19; department stores
* Clear mascara does the trick to tame unruly eyebrows — yours and your groom's. Max Factor has a good one at $4.56 found in any drugstore or mass cosmetic retailer
Also, don't forget to toss these items in a tote bag for emergencies or last-minute touchups: Tissues, a small sewing kit and scissors, Band-aids, bobby pins, Ibuprofen, and a toothbrush (not only for your smile, but to take care of any small stains).