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Picks on Paper - Bridal Beauty Wednesday, November 16, 2011 ~ 10:08 a.m.

Ahhh, I can't believe it's already Wednesday! I feel like I have so much to do before Dale and I make our trip to Denver this weekend. Crazy. With that being said, I'm going to get right into my Picks for today, which are my top five favorite beauty tips that I've learned over the years, and continue to use on a daily basis. Then, I pulled together some bridal beauty looks, just because I wanted to :)

By the way, be sure to check back here later this afternoon! I have an adorable engagement shoot by Courtney Mason to share with you guys. Here's a sneak peak!

Preppy engagement shoot

Picks on Paper - My Favorite Beauty Tips

  1. Blow dry your hair in the opposite direction that you ultimately want it to lay. When my hair stylist told me this several years ago, it seriously changed my life. Suddenly, my bangs weren't too flat or too poofy, but just right :) If you want to add volume to your hair near the roots, try taking a large section of hair on one side of your part and brushing it flat over to the other side with your hair dryer aimed down at your roots. Then, flip your hair back over to restore your preferred hair part, and do the other side in the same way. You can also work the back section of your hair in the same way by brushing it forward. Once you're done styling, brow dry your entire head using the "Cool shot" button on your hair dryer - the cool breeze helps "set" your hair style - then finish with styling products.

  2. Don't forget about your neck! My facialist once asked me if I exfoliated and moisturized my neck the same way that I do my face. I said, "No," and her response was, "Well, do you want to end up having a beautiful face, but an old reptile-looking neck when you're 60?" Ick, of course not! I think of it to this day when I'm applying lotion. She also told me to wash my face last in the shower (because your hair conditioner is full of oil), and to use a new clean towel every time I wash and dry my face. It sounds ridiculous, but if you go and get a pack of little white washcloths (Bed, Bath & Beyond has a set of 12 for ten bucks), it's actually not as hard as it sounds.

  3. Rock the shower cap! I'll admit that this one is usually pretty difficult for me to stick to, simply because my hair tends to get pretty greasy within 24 hours of washing it (especially my bangs) and I work out (and sweat) nearly every day. However, washing my hair only every other day, and donning a shower cap for the off days has become much easier for me to do now that I work from home, and I have definitely noticed a difference in my hair!

  4. Unless you have especially dry hair, use a clarifying shampoo once or twice per month to really clean your hair (I use Neutrogena's Anti-Residue Formula), and deep condition once a week. I actually found a great "Hair Bootcamp" over on The Beauty Department, if you're looking for an intense prep routine according to your hair type to follow leading up to your big day. When you are finished washing your hair in the shower, turn your water to a cooler temperature and give your entire head one final rinse with cold water to close your hair follicles and maintain shine.

  5. For my last "Pick," I thought I'd share some of my favorite beauty products with you guys!
    • First, before you buy any cosmetics, get a good set of brushes. I just purchased a set recently, and it made such a huge difference! They can be pricey though, so it's a good idea to start slow, and purchase only what you really need (or find a great deal on a whole brush set, like I did on Hautelook). I found some great brush guides on The Beauty Department to help you figure out what is what, because it can get super confusing! Check out their guides for hair brushes, face makeup brushes, blush and bronzing makeup brushes and Eye makeup tools.
    • I thought this Beauty & The Bride makeup set was great.
    • My all-time favorite moisturizer that I've used pretty much my entire life, and watched my mom use ever since I was a little girl is the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion by Clinique. A great item for reducing eye puffiness is by Clinique, called All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage
    • The Multiple in Orgasm (a great color, too, by the way) by NARS is one of the most versatile cosmetic items that you can have. You can use it as a highlighter, blush, eyeshadow and lip color.
    • Every bride needs a great face primer to keep her makeup lasting all day long, and the Photo Finish Foundation Primer by Smashbox is the best I've ever used!
    • The Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder is still the best loose powder out there, hands down.
    • My husband hates kissing me whenever I'm wearing any sort of lipstick or gloss, so I love the lip stain by Tarte. It doesn't feel "wet," or rub off at all, and I can still have a little bit of color on my lips (and kiss my husband)!

You, of course, want to look your best on your wedding day, so hair and makeup is a pretty important thing to plan out and try ahead of time. One of the easiest way to approach your hair and makeup is to first decide what "kind" of bride that you'd like to be. Personally, I wanted to be more of a "Natural Bride." A better version of myself, but nothing too dramatic or showy, because that's just not who I am normally. I'm sure you have a vision of what you want to look like on your wedding day, whether that be glamorous with a dramatic cat eye, or sweet with a pretty pink lip and rosy cheeks, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play a little bit and put together some different bridal looks for you guys here today!

Bridal beauty
Bridal beauty
Bridal beauty
Bridal beauty

Picks on Paper - Bridal Beauty

Click on each individual look in order to access the product image sources on my Polyvore page!

Sweet bride photo by Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty
Sexy bride photo by Erich McVey Photography via Style Me Pretty
Natural bride photo by Justin Lee Photography via Green Wedding Shoes
Glam bride photo by Amalie Orrange Photography

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