Melissa Ward, Bride-to-Be, Web Writer, and Editor for Maxim.com
Melissa's beauty stats: Early 20s; auburn hair; hazel eyes; fair, freckled, and often broken-out skin.
"I like to keep my makeup simple and natural-looking, and on the day of my wedding I want to look like my most pretty, normal self with a little extra glamour, not like an unrecognizable bride with pounds of makeup slathered on for the sake of attending the biggest event of my life. I have a very fair and freckled complexion with the unfortunate stress-related breakouts, so I'll be saying 'I do' with these products to achieve a flawless look topped off with a here-comes-the-bride pop of color."
Lush Ocean Salt
"Every fantastic skin-care routine comes with prep work, and on the eve of my big day I'll be exfoliating with Lush's Ocean Salt face and body scrub. I love it because my über-sensitive skin doesn't freak out and get irritated like it does with so many other exfoliators, especially after I put on Cetaphil's thick and quick-absorbing Daily Facial Moisturizer to lock in the softness. I put this on before bed and wake up soft and glowing for big days."
Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector Concealer
"I know my skin pretty well, and I fully expect to have a few wedding-planning-induced pimples the day of my wedding. To battle the red I'll dab on Maybelline's Cover Stick Corrector Concealer, which is absolutely amazing at canceling out any redness. I complete the cover-up tactic with Maybelline's Mineral Power Concealer in Ivory for the illusion of a breakout-free face."
Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector Concealer, $4.69, drugstore.com
Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer, $6.49, drugstore.com
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Foundation
"For overall coverage I'll mix the multipurpose Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Foundation in Classic Ivory. Mixing the two creates a texture of perfection that provides just enough coverage with a dewy sheerness that allows my freckles to shine through, because I don't want to cover up those bad boys!"
NARS Orgasm Blush
"I won't be a blushing bride without blush, and that's exactly my next step. I am obsessed with the natural rosiness I get from using just a touch of NARS Blush in Orgasm. I know everyone recommends this product, but it truly is fantastic and natural-looking. Next, I'll swipe illuminating powder over my cheek bones, forehead, nose, and chin. I love Maybelline's Mineral Power Illuminator in nude because it's cheap and it gives my skin a subtle sheen that creates a drastically different result."
NARS Blush, $26, narscosmetics.com
Maybelline Mineral Power Illuminator, $10.99, drugstore.com
MAC Lip Liner in Brick
"Though the goal is to achieve a natural wedding day look, I do want a hint of glamour that gets everyone's attention, so I plan on going with an always stunning red lip. It's impossible to get red lips looking crisp without lip liner, and MAC Lip Pencil in Brick is the way to go. I very slowly line the outer edges of my lips, then fill them in. I've found that slow and steady does win the race — otherwise a wonky-looking liner is the result. After I'm all lined up, I'll press on just a bit of Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm to feel refreshed (love that minty scent!) and to create a layer of moisture to prevent the dryness that often accompanies lipstick."
MAC Lip Liner, $13, maccosmetics.com
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, $2.99, drugstore.com
MAC Lipstick in Russian Red
"Now, for the finishing touch: the red lipstick! I found searching for the perfect red shade just as daunting as bikini shopping then I discovered MAC Russian Red. I'm fully devoted to this shade because the blue undertones make my teeth look whiter and the bright matte texture looks striking against my fair skin. Then, I re-line my lips to make sure the look is as crisp as can be. Here comes the bride!"
MAC Lipstick, $14, maccosmetics.com