On your wedding day, you’re already wearing the most gorgeous of your life, carrying the most beautiful flowers, and rocking the prettiest, glossiest hair your head’s ever seen. The final step? Making sure you’re not partaking in any common wedding makeup mistakes ahead of the big day. Even if you’ve had a skincare and beauty routine down pat since 2008, it’s time to step up your game before you say I Do. Because chances are, you’ve been making some major makeup faux pas without even realizing it.
Before you walk down the aisle, take an extra minute in front of the bathroom mirror and see if you’re guilty of any of these top eight wedding makeup mistakes. Reversing them is the easiest way to a flawless wedding look—even in the unretouched photos!
1. You forget to prep your lips.
A great long wear lipstick can stay put for hours, but it’s no match for champagne toasts and wedding cake—unless you give it a little help. Before you swipe on lip color, create a smooth surface with lip primer we love MAC’s version ($17.50, available at Nordstrom); it makes for easier application and keeps lipstick on way longer.
2. You’re using the wrong foundation shade.
If your base makeup makes you look chalky, it’s time to switch out your shade for summer. Even if you’re planning to go the drugstore, head to a department store first to find your shade. Swipe three options on your jawline, then go to a mirror near a window to see how it looks in natural light. The shade that blends most closely to your skin tone is the winner.
3. Your concealer’s doing double duty.
Wondering why your concealer is settling into the creases under your eyes? It could be because you’re using the same all-purpose pot you use to cover up breakouts. While blemishes usually call for thick, full-coverage concealers, under-eyes benefit more from smoother formulas with light-catching pigments. Try a liquid formula, like Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer ($6.44, available on Amazon).
4. You’re not applying primer.
For makeup coverage that lasts all day, from your first look photos all the way to the reception, primer needs to be a regular in your beauty bag. Primer can also come in handy if you have certain skin conditions, like a dry or oily complexion. Start your makeup regimen with this beauty must-have, and then apply foundation.
5. You’re using a dry makeup sponge.
The invention of the BeautyBlender has been a saving grace for makeup aficionados, but only when used properly. Using a dry makeup sponge to blend your makeup means the beauty tool will absorb more of the product, putting your beloved (and most likely expensive) foundation to waste. Splash a little water on your sponge for a streak-free, photo-ready result. Make sure you’re also storing the damp makeup sponge in an open environment after use to prevent mold (the last thing you want on your face).
6. You’re contouring too much.
While Kim K. can rock the contoured look like nobody’s business, this beauty trend seems to be a thing of the past. Plus, too much contour can create a noticeably heavy contrast between your face and the rest of your body, according to makeup expert Sonia Kashuk. For a more natural sculpted look, she recommends applying sheer products under the cheekbones for extra depth.
7. You’re depriving your lashes of maximum lift potential.
Goopy, clumpy eyelashes aren’t the best look on your wedding day. But chances are, you’re weighing your lashes down with every swipe of the mascara wand. If you usually swipe from underneath your lashes upward, try reversing it: Apply mascara from the top of your lashes, sweeping down and out, which makes for the most separation.
8. You’re not refreshing your makeup bag every few months.
Just uncovered your favorite lipstick from 2015 at the bottom of your makeup bag? Toss it before your wedding day. Left in a makeup bag at room temperature, makeup grows bacteria fast—most after six months to a year, but some after just a few months. Check the expiration date at the bottom of each tube (it looks like a jar of face cream with a number in it; that number shows how many months until it’s donezo) and stick to it.