6 Foolproof Wedding Beauty Tips

Get prettified for your wedding with these expert tips.

By: Kim Forrest

Adrian Avila of Nectar Skin Bar. Photograph by Mark Silva

If your idea of the perfect makeup look involves the same bottle of foundation you've had since high school and some cherry-flavored Chapstick, you're probably dreading the thought of wedding-day makeup. But if you play it right, you can still look like yourself (and not a Lady Gaga impersonator) as you walk down the aisle--you do want your groom to recognize you, after all.

We asked makeup artist and esthetician Adrian Avila of Nectar Skin Bar in Georgetown to share his tips on how to prep for your wedding-day look.

Start researching

Adrian suggests creating a Pinterest board with your favorite hair and makeup ideas. That way, you'll be able to provide your hair stylist and makeup artist with lots of inspiration.

"You should have at least three different photos of looks you like to choose from," says Avila. "And make sure your makeup will fit your venue--don't pick out dramatic looks if you're getting married on the beach."

Meet early

As soon as you have your wedding gown and venue chosen, schedule a makeup consultation--as early as nine months before your wedding. Print out your inspiration photos (showing your makeup artist tiny shots on your iPhone isn't helpful), and be clear with your makeup artist about what you're looking for--especially if you feel uncomfortable wearing a ton of product.

Begin a skin-care regimen

“If you don’t have a great skin-care regimen, start getting monthly facials—very basic, no fluff,” recommends Avila.

At home, he suggests using a cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream, and sunscreen every day. A Clarisonic electric face brush can be a good addition to your routine, as well, for some real deep cleaning.

And be sure to get your groom in on the act, too! Make sure he’s washing his face every day and bring him (hopefully not kicking and screaming) in for a facial once in a while.

Exquisite eyebrows

Six months before your wedding, meet with a professional about shaping and maintaining your eyebrows for your wedding day.

Don’t forget your hair!

Make sure you meet with your hair stylist at least four months in advance to plan out your wedding-day style, and also discuss scheduling hair color and highlights.

And for extra-shiny and lustrous hair, Avila recommends using a Malin + Goetz (available at Nectar) hair mask.

Try it out

“Always do a test run of any procedure before your wedding,” says Avila. “I’ve seen it before, where a bride gets a sunless tan three days before her wedding and it’s terrible. If you’ve never waxed before, and that’s something you want to do for your wedding, try that out, too, to see how your skin reacts and how long it takes to heal.”