Makeup artist Kalie Montz helped bride Kacy Maranto and her mother Kitty Maranto look picture-perfect for Kacie’s wedding to Blye Allen last November. Mollie Foster Cuccia, Mollie Suzanne Photography

Best face forward: Big-day to-dos and to-don’ts from a makeup pro

This story was originally published in the 2021-2022 Weddings issue of inRegister.

Looking your best on your wedding day means more than just adding an extra coat of mascara and trading your pale lipstick for something bolder. According to Baton Rouge-based makeup artist Kalie Montz of Little Black Brush, prepping to look pretty starts well before the wedding day itself. Here are some of her top tips for the bride, the mother-of-the-bride, and any other members of the wedding party:

At least a few weeks before the wedding:

• Brides should always do a trial run with a makeup artist. You might even want to try multiple artists, so allow yourself plenty of time to schedule test sessions.

• After the trial, wear the makeup for as long as you can that day. This will help the artist know what products stayed in place the best and the longest and which ones did not, and they can adjust accordingly. It will also let you become more comfortable with the look and will make it easier for you to express your thoughts on any changes for the wedding day

At least one week before the wedding:  

Although you want to look groomed and “glowy” before the big day, there are some things you will want to do or avoid at least one week before the wedding: 

Stop retinol products. They cause dryness and peeling, and even the best moisturizer and makeup products cannot cover up flaking skin. 

No chemical peels. These are fantastic at achieving a beautiful glow but only when done in perfect timing. Chemical peels take time to fully exfoliate, and dry skin can linger.

Get that last brow and lip waxing. Makeup will not hold onto freshly waxed skin.

Avoid dermaplaning. Skin that is overly exfoliated will be slick and appear shiny or oily. Makeup does not stay well on slick, smooth skin.

Use hydrating lip balms. Many longwearing lip products have drier formulas that do not look good or stay well on top of flaking or chapped lips.

The day of the wedding: 

No sunscreen! Sunscreens, moisturizers and makeup products with SPF should not be used. These tend to reflect light due to some mineral or sun-protecting ingredients, and that can cause your face to appear whiter than the rest of your body in some photos.

Avoid mineral foundations and mineral powders. Similar to sunscreens, some mineral ingredients will reflect light and cause your face to appear whiter in photos.

Do get false lashes. Even if you’ve never wore them before or if you are the mother and think it will be too much, adding the perfect pair of even the most natural lashes will open and lift up the eyes. 

See more of Montz’s work at