Trust an Artist to Make You Gorgeous on Your Big Day!

The time is nearing for the most memorable moment of your life - your wedding. You've booked the caterer, taste-tested the cake, had your gown tailored and steamed and have even nailed down what you're going to say during your speech at the reception. Every tiny detail has been taken care of. But you might have overlooked one of the most important aspects of your wedding day: your bridal makeup.

Think about it - you spent months leafing through bridal magazines, searching for the perfect hairdo. You scoured accessory stores and vintage boutiques, looking for just the right clips and barrettes. You even did a "practice run" with your hairstylist to make sure everything would turn out exactly as you'd like. But your 'do means nothing if the face beneath it isn't perfect, as well.

It's the face "He" fell in love with, the face that everyone will be staring at, the face that will be photographed hundreds of times. Your wedding makeup needs to be nothing less than perfect. Who can you trust to make you look as great as you feel?

You might consider doing your own bridal makeup. While it's true that this can save you money, in the long run, you'll wish you had hired a professional to bring out your best features and downplay your imperfections. Makeup artists are professionals, trained to know things like which colors complement your skin and hair color, what type of foundation will best mesh with your skin type and which shades will bring out your eye color. Professional artists even know how to accent your wedding day jewelry!

Because their services are so important, you should take care in choosing a bridal makeup artist. First off, ask around. Friends who recently got married or your trusted hair stylist might have some recommendations of artists that really know their stuff - and when it comes to a woman's biggest day, a personal reference means a lot.

Secondly, don't be afraid to call makeup artists and ask them questions about how they work. Where would they apply your makeup - at their studio or at your home? How long would they take? Are they available to freshen up your look before the photos or throughout the evening? How much experience do they have with brides? Ask if you can see examples of their work, but be sure to ask for "before" pictures, as well as "after" pictures: anyone can make a supermodel look picture-perfect, but most of us need a little more work! You want to see what this beautician can do for someone who has a few flaws.

When you choose a makeup artist with whom you're comfortable, make sure you know what to expect on your big day. First off, tell him or her exactly what you want. Are you going for a sultry, smoky-eyed evening look or do you want a fresh-faced, natural glow? It's important that you're honest with the artist; you want to be as comfortable as possible on your wedding day, and the last thing you need to think about is your eye shadow! You can even request a "dry run" of your wedding makeup application a week or so before the big day, just to get a better idea of how you'll look when all eyes are upon you.

Your makeup artist might also make some pre-wedding suggestions, such as eyebrow shaping or a skincare regimen to make your face radiate during your wedding. Remember: a makeup artist is a skilled professional who knows ALL the tricks of the trade.

And be sure to ask if the artist is available for your bridesmaids, too. Some artists offer price discounts when you have multiple people in your wedding party. Either way, when a professional beautifies everyone in your bridal party, you can rest assured someone's hot pink lipstick or too-red rouge won't forever wreck your wedding photos!

On the day of your wedding, your artist will do his or her best to not only make you look beautiful, but feel beautiful, too. He or she should arrive early and take the time to properly set up their equipment. (Don't worry about making time for your makeup: a qualified professional will work around YOUR schedule!) Your artist will create the look that you discussed during your consultation and leave plenty of time for adjustments, if necessary. Once your face looks perfect, you can forget about how you look and focus on what's really important: enjoying your first day with your new husband.

When planning for the most exciting day of your life, you've no doubt taken care of every possible detail. As you're picking out the right earrings and rewording your champagne toast, don't forget one of the most important parts of your special day: your perfect wedding makeup, made easy with the help of a professional artist.