Bridal: You Ask
Q: My hair frizzes in humidity. Any tips to help it last through my summer wedding?
A: Visit a hairstylist to have your hair set in rollers; he’ll prep and tame your locks with a setting spray first. Then, relax under the hooded dryer. Your best bet after the rollers come out is an updo (we love the idea of a chic and casual chignon or french roll); your hair is less likely to frizz up later on, compared to if you wear your hair down. Use a light-hold hairspray, then a shine spray to finish. Remember to book a practice round 1–2 months in advance to ensure you’re loving your do.
FLARE’s pick: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Shape and Shine Flexible-Hold Hair Spray, 295 mL, $10.
Q: What’s the perfect photo-friendly foundation for my wedding day?
A: As far as foundation finishes go, dewiness is the buzzword of the moment. Unfortunately, photoflashes cause your skin to reflect light, so the appearance of shine can escalate and “dewy” can look oily quickly during the sticky summer months. On the other hand, a totally matte face can appear dry and dull. Instead, try a base with subtle light-diffusing properties; it will produce a flawless effect thanks to special pigments that even out your skin tone. Foundation newbies will love Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation, 50 mL, $50, because it’s a do-it-yourself airbrush formula with transparent results. Full-coverage seekers will prefer long-wearing Dior Diorskin Icone Photo Perfect Creme to Powder Foundation, 30 mL, $46. Match your skin’s shade and finish with a powder bronzer for a camera-ready glow. When choosing your base, beware of foundations that contain high levels of sunscreen. They sometimes “white out” when the flash goes off—the same effect that happens when you’re wearing a foundation that’s way too pale. Combined with your white dress, you’ll wind up looking ghostly.
Q: I’d like some natural-looking highlights. Any suggestions?
A: The tone should complement your eye and skin colour. Choose highlights two shades lighter than your hair’s base for a supersubtle effect. Your colourist should remember to add thin ribbons over the top section only. These partial highlights mimic where the sun hits the top of your head. As a rule, shades that don’t contain any bleach, such as caramel, look softer and are gentler on your hair.
Q: It’s my wedding day and I’ve woken up with a zit bigger than my hairdo. Help!
A: If you’ve caught it the day before your wedding (or if it’s the day of and your pimple is beneath the surface), you may have luck using a topical antibiotic cream blended with cortisone (available by prescription) to reduce the inflammation and kill the bacteria. If it truly is the morning of and you have a whitehead, gently squeeze it and apply a mixture of antibiotic and cortisone cream. No time to get an Rx? Get your trusty makeup out. You’ll want to spread concealer on thicker than your aunt Ruth’s seven-layer bean dip, but resist—less is best. Use a clean, precise lip brush and apply the concealer exactly where needed. Finish with a light dusting of powder, tapping the excess off your sponge first. If you over-apply, the area will darken—so just don’t.
FLARE’s pick: L’Oréal True Match Super-blendable Concealer, $9.
Q: My makeup artist went overboard. It’s mascara city and rosy-cheeked chaos. What do I do?
A: Use a clean mascara wand (either a disposable one or wipe yours off with soap and an old facecloth—tissue will stick) and comb it through your eyelashes in a zigzag motion to lighten up the load of mascara. You don’t want to wipe all of the mascara off with makeup remover, since chances are you’ll ruin everything in sight. When your blush is too much, pad your cheeks with a clean makeup sponge to gently lift off the excess, or dust a transparent powder over top to tone down the intensity (though you might end up with too much makeup on your cheeks if you aren’t careful).
FLARE’s pick: Napoleon Perdis Loose Powder, 28 g, $33.
Q: How should my bridesmaids wear their makeup? Should their eyes or lips match their dresses?
A: The wedding’s theme—classic, fun and frivolous, romantic—is a more modern inspiration for makeup than the dresses themselves or the desire to make everybody match. At a classic wedding, for example, everyone might have liquid eyeliner and a rich lip colour, but the shades and application would suit each individual. Dresses do matter, though. While eyeshadow and lipstick colours don’t have to match the dress colour, they do have to be harmonious.
FLARE’s pick: Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor, $24. It comes in 38 shades, so every bridesmaid will find her perfect match.
Q: I’ve got rough, bumpy red patches on my upper arms that are exposed by my strapless wedding dress. What can I do?
A: Keratosis pilaris appears where there’s inflammation around your hair follicles. Severe cases may warrant a steroid cream to reduce swelling. Since the problem is exacerbated by dry skin, simple moisturizing helps (we love Lubriderm UV Protective Moisture, 300 mL, $8). You can even blend your moisturizer with your steroid cream, but hold up after two weeks because you risk damaging your skin. Gee Beauty in Toronto offers a Bumps B Gone program ($45 each or $240/6 sessions) to treat this common condition. They exfoliate your skin with high amounts of hydroxy and lactic acids to promote higher cell turnover, revealing a layer of fresh, smooth skin. Maintain the results at home with a grainy, fragrant body scrub and moisturizer.
FLARE’s pick: The Body Shop Grapeseed Body Scrub, 200 mL, $18.
Q: What’s the cheapest and quickest way to whiten my teeth?
A: FLARE loves Rembrandt 2-Hour White, $27. Just like a pro kit, it includes three syringes full of a minty whitening agent, plus a flexible rubber tooth tray that moulds to fit your mouth. Simply line the tray with the whitening gel and wear it while you’re going over your to-do list.
Illustration, Monica Hellström/agoodson.com
Carlene Higgins hunts down the answers to your top bridal beauty concerns