Be a beautiful bride: 10 tips to look perfect in photos

Krista Garcia

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Be a beautiful bride: 10 tips to look perfect in photos
In the age of selfies and HD photography, a bride needs to look her best at every angle. Here are some tips from a makeup artist

MANILA, Philippines – In a woman’s life, her wedding will be one of the occasions where she will be photographed the most. Aside from a video and photo team documenting every step, every guest will be sure to wield their phones to snap, post, and hashtag away. The pressure to look good – at any angle and filter – is definitely high. 

Of course, being stressed about appearances is the last thing you’d want to be on your big day. That’s why serious beauty prep is mandatory. If you’re the type who balks at the idea of piling on a lot of product, here’s some good news: half of the work is about following those age-old mantras that we all need reminding of every now and then.

We talked with Malou Hibaler, a makeup artist who frequently dolls up women for their trips down the aisle. She shared ten rules that all brides must remember in order to look photo-ready:

1. Maintenance is the biggest step

Heavy makeup can never, ever mask bad skin. A painter always needs a clean, blank canvas to create art, and the same goes for a makeup artist and a bride. “Cleanse, tone, moisturize. Do not use harsh soaps on the face as this dries the skin. Drink lots of liquid months before your wedding, and make sunblock your best friend,” Malou says. Start today. It’s never too early to get into a good skin regimen.

2. Take advantage of free demos

Brides (and grooms) should visit wedding fairs more often – these are where they can window-shop for the best services and suppliers. Makeup artists who attend these events are often more than willing to do a test session, on the spot. So go ahead, don’t be afraid to sit down and ask for suggestions. Take photos with and without flash so you’ll have a more precise reference.

3. Natural doesn’t mean bare.

Many brides ask for the “natural look,” saying that they don’t want to look like somebody else on their wedding day. But for Malou, brides should aim for a romantic, soft look that’s a notch above everyday makeup. “It’s classic and natural-looking, but still exuding a certain glow,” she explains. She recommends reserving dramatic makeup, like smoky eyes or bold red lips, for touch-ups right before the reception or grand entrance.

4. Overnight makeovers won’t cut it

Malou points out that many brides make the mistake of booking big procedures – facials, major hair color changes, and even surgery – too close to their big day. So if you’re planning a big overhaul, it should be scheduled properly. “Facial treatment should be done not less than a month before the wedding. Skin peeling shows in photos,” she says. On the other hand, depilatory treatments for the eyebrows or legs should only be done 3-5 days before the date. “Makeup cannot hide hair,” Malou says. 

5. Aim for Airbrush

If you think investing in airbrush makeup isn’t worth it for a daylong ceremony, imagine looking back at your pictures 20 years from now. Your wedding-day shots are meant to last for life, so your makeup should at least stay put until the final dance.

Weddings in the Philippines are usually warm-weather affairs. Thus, ordinary makeup bases have no fighting chance against the humidity. Airbrush makeup, on the other hand, lasts much longer, feels lighter on the skin, and looks more natural in photos. But that doesn’t mean traditional makeup won’t work. “A makeup artist can still achieve an HD-ready look using foundation by using the right products and techniques,” Malou says.

6. Put your hair up

Loose, flowy hair comes with the territory for breezy beach weddings, but if you’re tying the knot inside a chapel or a city garden, it’s best to opt for an updo. Malou says, “It just looks more neat. You don’t want hair all over your face once you start sweating.” There are many ways to prettify the bun: glittery accessories, ringlets, or even getting highlights. You can also have the option to let your hair down – literally – during the reception. And voila – you have ready-made waves!

7. Have a retouch kit

Malou recommends tucking the following items into your beaded bag: oil-blotting sheets, pressed powder, and a lipstick in the exact or similar shade your artist gave you. “When you retouch, pat only on the T-zone,” she advises as well.

8. Do a sunset session

For your official portraits, aim to do it during the magic hour – that golden moment just before the sun sets when the light is at its most beautiful and most flattering. Chances are, the most nerve-wracking parts are over, dinner is on its way, and you may have had a glass of champagne. Relax and revel in the knowledge that you’re the most beautiful person in the venue that day. Your photos will render you quite the knockout.

9. Yes, you need a “signature pose

Here are some simple posing tricks from models: angle your body slightly away from the camera, and put your weight on your back foot. Lift your chin up to elongate your neck. To make your arms look their slimmest, don’t press them against your torso. If you’re holding a bouquet, clutch it at the hip. Yes, it will take some practice at home to master these moves, but it’s OK – you don’t need to tell anyone. 

10. Smile!

A big, happy smile is your best and most valuable accessory. Just think of it this way: you’re marrying the love of your life, surrounded by friends and kin, in a gorgeous dress, and the rest of your life is about to unfold in a big way. Relax and focus on having fun. A laid-back, confident bride will look good in any shot.

Got your own wedding day tips to share? Post them in the comments section below. –

All bride photos courtesy of Malou Hibaler. For inquiries and trial sessions, you can visit her booth at the Weddings and Beyond Expo on August 2-3


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