HOW TO: Look As Good As the Bride (or Brides) at The Next Wedding You Attend

Here’s my step-by-step guide to looking really glam and pretty at the next wedding or fancy event you have to attend -- because yes, you don’t want to upstage the bride, but no one said you can’t look as good as her.
Publish date:
September 21, 2012
makeup, weddings, glowing

After years of being the high school go-to girl for prom hair and makeup, I’m finally getting to use my special event ready-ing skills again as people I know are getting married now. Trippy, right? The chances of me getting married in the near future are similar to those that I’ll vote for Romney in November, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to look like wifey material!

This past weekend, my boyfriend’s sister got married (it was gorgeous and at her childhood home and very aww), so I got to perfect my look (in a Courtyard Marriott, no less). Here’s my step-by-step guide to looking really glam and pretty at the next wedding or fancy event you have to attend -- because yes, you don’t want to upstage the bride, but no one said you can’t look as good as her.


The day of a big event, I like to do my patented “glow workout.” It’s not made for fitness, per se, but it will do wonders to get your skin glowing and your energy up. I’ll do 20 minutes on the treadmill, slowly increasing speed from a slog (slow jog) to a fast-paced run. Then I like to work the abs by doing any 10-minute Pilates thing you can find on Hulu. To really work your “skinny arm” capabilities, try some pushups (I can do like three in a row now!) and tricep dips. PEACE OUT YOU’RE DONE.

After my “workout,” I’ll do the Glam Glow Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask. Supposedly, it’s a “secret of the stars,” which, you know, who knows, but it does what it’s supposed to do and smells really good.


High-concept, stuffy up-dos really grind my gears. Don’t do them unless you actually want to be mistaken for a prom attendee. My favorite wedding hairstyles are either loose with body or super sleek.

For the loose, JBF hair:

1.Let your hair air-dry about 50 percent, then run a serum through the ends and blow dry with a round brush.

2.HOT ROLLERS. Yep. The original. Heat up and leave in till they’re completely cool. Spray hair with high hold hair spray.

3.Amp up your look by curling random sections with a 1-inch barrel curling iron. Shake the whole thing out and spray with a Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray.


For the super sleek hair:

1.Towel dry hair and do the straightest blowout you can. Serum beforehand is crucial.

2.Run a flat iron through your dry hair, turning the ends under as you go.

3.Spritz with a de-frizz spray like Ouidad Climate Control Frizz and Flyaway Fighter.

4.Add some interest by doing a braid in the front or adding a jeweled headband. I did an inside-out braid here, which is just like a regular braid except you pull the pieces under instead of over:


The key here is finding products that last. Start with a tinted primer or sunscreen, as anything white in color has the capacity to wash you out in photos. Then add full coverage foundation like Tarte Amazonian Clay. Do pretty, shimmery bronzer like Benefit 10 and a flattering blush like NARS Orgasm. Fill in your eyebrows.

Then the special stuff: eyes and lips. Most people will tell you that you gotta pick one or the other to accentuate, but if you do a neutral, pink-y look on both, you don’t have to choose! Here’s a how-to video, in which I’ve inexplicably tucked my shirt into my bra strap. I don’t know.

For eyes:

Do a strip of false lashes or a few individual ones -- this will make your eyes “pop” in photos. It’s a beauty routine that just takes practice and patience so don’t try it for the first time the day of your event. Add a cat eye (I’m loving ELF’s black liquid liner right now) and some pale shimmery shadow like Lancome Color Design in Off the Rack, and boom. Pretty.

For lips:

This is just an opinion, but red lips are a little too much for a wedding. At any other fancy event, sure, go for it! But for an event that very well may take place in a house of worship, I like to stick to the just-as-flattering pink. My ultimate lip product combo is neutral lip liner plus NARS Carthage plus Lancome Color Design Confetti Pink.

FINISHING TOUCH: Makeup setting spray for extra hold. Try Urban Decay’s All Nighter.

Now go off and dance to Shout! or Hava Nagila or what have you. Just don’t catch the bouquet.

Have you guys been to any fun weddings this summer? Are you too freaked out by marriage? Have you ever been a bridesmaid? (I haven’t yet and I’m scared.)

Tweet me your thoughts and feelings @allierileyjones.