The big takeaway from the Bridal Expo in New York last summer is that Meghan Markle may have singlehandedly saved the “natural face” from the clutches of the smoldering, heavily contoured look favored by reality stars and runway models.
“Matte makeup has been replaced with glowing, luminous skin and shimmery shadows,” said Cynthia Morrison Eike, an Atlanta-based makeup artist ( email@example.com). “Bridal makeup will be softer, more natural, and monochromatic, using similar shades of eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick.”
But “statement” highlights are also trending, with brides often focusing on one attribute, whether it’s their eyes, lips or cheekbones.
Here are a few of the trends seen last summer at the year’s biggest bridal bash — and likely to be “the look” of the 2019 bride.
Natural looks, radiant skin
It’s the bride’s big day with every eye on her. This may not be the day to roll out the “new you,” and makeup artists agree that bridal beauty is going back to classics.
“Natural makeup is definitely a trend to follow for 2019, with just beautiful, luminous skin, defined eyebrows and maybe a soft wash of color on the eyes,” said Amy Parfett, co-founder of WedShed, an online blog for all things wedding (www.wedshed.com.au).
Lash extensions will continue to be universally popular, because they enhance the eyes naturally without adding more makeup.
To get your skin in its best pre-wedding condition, schedule a facial no sooner than four days before your wedding (even longer if you are doing a chemical peel).
“You want to make sure you have no reactions to the procedure, and that your skin is bright, beautiful and hydrated on your wedding day,” said Alisa Lakisic, owner of Mezz Spa in Alpharetta.
Flushed cheeks and freckles
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the Atlanta sun, chances are you’ll be sporting a few freckles. And because makeup is all about enhancing what you already have, it’s no surprise brides are starting to embrace their sun-kissed skin. Don’t have any? Ask your makeup artist to draw a few faux freckles. Add a flush of color to your cheeks and you’re wedding-aisle ready.
“After seeing Meghan Markle embrace her freckles, more brides are embracing theirs too. I often do natural drawn-on freckles for shoots. Now brides are wanting this look, especially if they naturally have freckles and just want to add more,” said Aleisha Johnson, a makeup artist who contributes to WedShed.
Another trend she sees is brides preferring "natural pink, fresh rosy cheeks" with just a touch of shimmering illuminator to naturally enhance their features.
Flush is fine – but not the burn, said Morrison Eike. Be aware of too much sun right before the wedding, since tan lines and redness may interfere with your makeup (and dress).
Statement lips have always been popular since the strong splash of color requires few other makeup enhancements to stand out. Today’s brides are now pairing the look of bold, bright lips with a minimal, natural face for their wedding look.
If you think it might be too much for the ceremony itself, ask your makeup artist to use a more muted tone for the ceremony, then go bold for the reception with the statement lips.
Make sure you test drive the color before the wedding and find one that fits your personality, your colors and the rest of your look. Remember, your wedding may last only one day, but the pictures (and Instagram) last forever.
Metallic eyes, brushed brows
Similar to bold lips, the shimmery, metallic eye is also trending for this year’s bride (think smoky eye on overdrive). Ask your makeup artist to incorporate and blend various shimmers — silver, gold, rose gold, bronze — for a dramatic look. Pair a shimmery lid with black liquid eyeliner and a touch of mascara to complete the look.
Remember, less is more, so it’s best to highlight one feature — eyes or lips — to avoid a clash of themes.
As far as eyebrows, ever look back on photos and wonder why in the world you plucked your brows till they cried out for help? Fortunately, pencil-thin, severe eyebrows are a distant memory, and full, brushed brows are the new trend.
Brows frame your face and illuminate your eyes, so taming them is important. Keep them in check with a bit of tinted brow gel to give them volume and definition.
Of all the little details to be managed for the wedding, don’t forget the bride’s hands will be on display all night — from flashing the diamonds to cutting the cake.
A basic French manicure on gel or acrylic nails remains the most popular option for its simplicity and ease. Morrison Eike suggests adding a stripe of metallic polish to nude nails to add an eye-catching upgrade.
Using rhinestones and other embellishments are becoming more popular for wedding manicures. This is not a DIY project in most cases, as it takes a steady hand and practice; but blinged-out nails will certainly be a showstopper.
Take advice from your manicurist and keep gloves on until the ceremony to avoid damaging the artwork, which can cost upward of $100 or more.
The big reveal
Morrison Eike recommends finding a makeup artist at least three months in advance of the wedding to do a trial run. Whether you choose to do your own makeup or hire a professional, a practice run will provide the bride with a starting point.
The biggest mistake brides make, she says, is using the same products for their wedding they use every day.
“Makeup women wear every day is usually not photo friendly and not applied heavily enough to yield the best pictures,” said Morrison Eike, who has been a makeup artist for 30 years.
Finally, she advised the bride to create an “emergency kit” with Kleenex, hairspray, breath mints, pain relievers, feminine protection needs, hairpins, bridal lip color and translucent powder to keep close at hand.