Mineral Makeup vs Regular Makeup: For the wedding day and every day!

There is a lot of talk about mineral makeup vs "regular" liquid makeup.  I want to discuss each makeup type, talk about its benefits and disadvantages, who can wear it and who should stay away from it.

First of all when I use the term "makeup" – I am talking about the makeup foundation that should be applied on your entire face, under your chin and sparingly on the upper part of your neck.  The purpose of this makeup foundation is to create a clean, even-toned "canvass" of your entire face.  On top of this "canvass" we will apply eye makeup, blush and lip color.  Good foundation ensures that your eye/cheek/lip makeup glides on more smoothly, easily and adheres to your face more evenly and stays on much longer.

Let's begin by tackling the terms:

Mineral Makeup foundation

Mineral makeup: Mineral makeup can be used as a powder makeup foundation.  The powder contains metals such as zinc, mica and so on.  Mineral makeup is NOT a healthier alternative to liquid makeup.  The word 'mineral" does not make it a "health food". This powder makeup is found in a loose powder * version and a pressed powder ** version.  Mineral makeup comes in many shades from very light to quite dark. When applied, the face usually has a bit of healthy shine and has a bit of softness to the touch.

Usually pressed mineral powder cannot be mixed with water to create a paste that can be used as a cover-up cream/concealer, as opposed to non-mineral pressed face powders that can be used this way.  You can read more about this technique below.

*Loose powder means just that: The powder is loose and soft, will fly everywhere if the container is opened carelessly.  The loose powder container is usually somewhat deeper and larger than a pressed powder compact.  You usually apply loose powder with a large bristled makeup brush or a powder buff. 

** Pressed powder means just that: The powder is pressed into a compact.  It will not fly everywhere when the compact is open, but if you drop the compact – you will have powder everywhere.  This powder can be applied with a makeup brush or a powder buff.

Mineral shimmers: These shimmers are also mineral-based powders that are used as a blusher or highlighter on specific areas of the face.  As its name suggests, the powder is shiny.  You can apply this shimmer with a large bristled makeup brush.  Once all your makeup (foundation, eyes, cheeks and lips) is applied, you can lightly and sparingly apply this shimmer to areas that would normally shimmer in full lighting.

This shimmer is usually used as one of the final steps in the bride's makeup application to give her an over-all, healthy glow; it is usually applied to the tops of the apples of the cheeks, the chest area in a lower cut gown, a touch on the ridge of the nose.  Keep in mind: as the shimmer reflects light in pictures, it must be used sparingly, otherwise the facial shots of the bride may come out with white spots where too much shimmer reflected off the camera flashes.

Non-Mineral Powder Foundation

Non-Mineral Powder Foundation: There are also non-mineral pressed powder makeup foundations.  These powders usually have a drier ingredient such as talc or another alternative.  As with mineral choices, this powder also comes in loose and pressed powder versions. The same rules of caution apply to opening powder containers.   It is also available in several shades. 

However when non-mineral powder is applied to the skin, it tends to impart a dry look and feel to the face.  It can used to take unwanted shine away from skin, but should be used very sparingly with older, more wrinkled skin, as it dries the skin even more and tends to settle into the wrinkles and makes them even more visible.

Non-mineral powders CAN be mixed with a drop or two of water to create a paste that can be used as a cover-up cream/concealer to conceal unwanted dark areas under eyes, redness anywhere on the face or uneven skin tone. 

Liquid foundation choices

I've talked about these in the past.  There are completely liquid (cream) foundations and ones that come in a more solid cream consistency.  These foundations are found in a variety of shades. They can be applied with your fingers, a makeup bush or a sponge.

You can use liquid foundation as a cover-up cream/concealer to conceal unwanted dark areas under eyes, redness anywhere on the face or uneven skin tone.  There are also specific concealer products that you can buy. 

Mineral vs Non-Mineral Powder Options

Mineral makeup imparts a soft glow to the skin, but is for young ladies ONLY.  Facial skin must be PERFECT in order to use mineral powder makeup; skin without a whisper of a wrinkle and without skin problems such as acne.

Mineral makeup is perfect for young - under 23-25 year old - brides on their wedding day.  Having said this, I would not use mineral powder makeup on a bride for a summer wedding.  The mineral makeup will not hold up to the heat and demands of an outside photo shoot, as well as the sweating, crying, kissing and dancing involved in the eight to ten hours of the pre-wedding and wedding experience.  Liquid cream foundation is a much more reliable choice.

I would not use non-mineral powder foundation options on ANYONE.  These powders are drying and do not impart a soft look to the skin.

Liquid cream foundation is perfect for any skin.  The amount used depends on the preferences of the bride, her facial skin needs and the time of year of the event.

How to apply makeup foundation:

·        Clean the skin completely.

·        Apply a thin layer of a very good facial cream to the skin and let it absorb into the skin for a few seconds.

·        Next, apply a very thin layer of foundation primer.  I love smashbox's  (http://www.smashbox.com/products/6038/Face/Primer/index.tmpl) primer.  This product makes the skin feel like silk!

·       Now apply a concealer to all the "problem" areas on the face: these can include pimples, red areas usually around the nostrils, and the chin, dark areas under the eyes and/or on the eye lids.  This concealer shade should be the same shade or a bit lighter than the natural skin tone. Cover the area plus a bit more on every side. You can use a non-mineral powder and water mixture, a liquid foundation or a concealer for this purpose.  Gently pat (never rub) to apply this with a sponge, makeup brush or your fingers.

·        Finally you can apply the makeup foundation.  I apply foundation on the complete face, up to the hairline (blending to make sure there is no demarcation line between the face and the hairline – this is NOT a mask), on the eyelids and under the bottom lash line and under the chin and a bit down the neck.

·        Now apply eye makeup, blusher and lip treatment.

One last note: as with all makeup, make sure you test the makeup products on your skin before the wedding to ensure that you have no allergic reaction to any of the makeup product choices.

Veils: They are not an "after-thought"!

A veil seems to be an "after-thought" for many brides; it's "just" a piece of lace or net that is placed on the head at the bedeken and then removed as soon as the Chuppah is over.  I believe the veil is part of the bridal ensemble and should be given some attention: attention to the length of the veil, placement on the head and the comb attachment. 

All the following veil suggestions are applicable whether you have your veil created specially for you or you borrow a veil.

       · Begin to pay attention to veils in wedding pictures – both real-wedding photos and staged fashion shoots. 
 ·      If you are having a veil made for you, discuss your wishes with or ask the advice of your seamstress or gown designer when you order your wedding gown.

·       Like tiaras, veils must match/suit/complement the wedding gown and the overall look.  You do not have to choose your veil and tiara at the same time, but you should have both in mind as you choose your overall look.

·       Once the veil is ready, you must try it on – in the salon - before you take it home. Too many brides bring the veil home from the bridal salon without trying it on and then they find themselves having to "make do" with this veil on the day of the wedding. 

What to look for in a veil:

o   The veil is made up of one or more layers of net or lace.  Make sure the net/lace is not torn, bunched up or stained. Some veils have a finished (sewn) edge and some have an unfinished (cut and not sewn) edge.  The difference is really a money issue - the more work put into the veil, the more it costs.

o   A comb or clip must be sewn (or otherwise attached) into the top, middle of the inside of the veil - in order to attach it to the bride's hair.  Sometimes a line of flowers, beads or pearls is sewn onto the outside section of the veil where the comb is attached.

o   Make sure the comb or clip is sewn in correctly.  This means that the comb/clip should be sewn facing the hair, so it can be inserted into the hair and the lace or netting of the veil lays on your head and face smoothly and without any wrinkles.

o   Make sure the veil is not too heavy on your head and can be worn easily and comfortably.

o   Make sure the length of your veil suits your needs*.

* A veil can be made of several lengths of lace or netting, usually the bottom layers (the ones closest to your skin) are the longest. 

o   Make sure the length of the longest layer of your veil is suited to your needs.  If it is too long and trails the floor, you may need someone to hold or carry it as you walk towards the chuppah and away from it.

How to wear a veil:

·        You can wear your veil at the front part of the crown of your head (Photo 1), at the back part of the crown of your head (Photo 2) or in the back of your head (Photo 3).  Any of these positions are "correct"; it all depends on your hairstyle.  Some hairstyles "allow" the veil to be worn in any position, while some hairstyles allow for only one position.

Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3

·        What you must keep in mind is that if you wear a veil at the back of your head (Photo 3), the top layers of the veil must be long enough so that it can be draped over your head and face for the bedeken and until the end of the chuppah.

·      I have my own personal veil preference in connection with the veil and the bedeken.  I recommend a veil with at least four layers of lace or net:

The top two layers will be used to cover the bride's face at the bedeken.  These layers should be long enough to cover the Kallah's face – at least to her chin or at the most halfway down her neck.  When these two layers are longer than halfway down her neck, it is a lot more awkward to raise it in order for the kallah to drink the wine, etc. 

The bottom two layers will cover the back of her head, neck and shoulder area.  I dislike the look of a veil just covering the face and leaving the back of the head – uncovered.  This has nothing to do with a minhag, it is just my own personal preference.

Another solution to the bedeken "issue" is to have a separate lace or net veil (called a Bedek Teichel), with which the Chatan can cover the Kallah during the bedeken. This separate veil is placed on top of the head of the Kallah and attached with a pin. It can cover just the Kallah's face or can cover both the face and the head. Once the chuppah is over, this veil can be removed without disturbing the hairstyle or bridal veil.

My final words of advice: Don’t leave your choice of veil until the last minute.  Choose your veil today!   

Bridal Jewelry: The Ultimate Contest Between The Bling and The Dress

When we think about bridal jewelry, we tend to think about soft delicate jewelry, perhaps a strand of pearls or a delicate line of diamonds or crystals.  What I want every Kallah to keep in mind is that even if you always dreamed of wearing a simple pearl necklace and earrings or just diamond studs or no jewelry at all; don't "lock" yourself into a style just because "you always dreamed of it".  Try on any and every kind of jewelry you can lay your hands on! 
It would be best to try on jewelry options at the same time as you try on your gown.  If you can’t wear your gown then at least wear a white (or off-white) shirt, this way you can see how the pieces look against your skin. Colorful clothing will have a different effect on the jewelry and how it is reflected on your skin.  You should also keep a picture of your gown close at hand as you try on jewelry choices.
Your gown, its cut, style and appearance should have the greatest influence on your choice of jewelry, hairstyle and makeup.  Everything should work well together and nothing should over shine the OVERALL effect of the complete package.  YOU should shine in the complete look! 
Having said this, sometimes you may want the gown to "take the lead" – a simple, informal, country gown usually calls for simple, nearly-there jewelry and simple tasteful makeup and hairstyling.  A formal, elegant gown may call for a slightly more dramatic makeup and hair "statement", but jewelry can go from nearly-there to a few 'solid' pieces. 
More dramatic gowns of sequins, layers, glitz and bling, deserve special attention.  On one hand, these gowns require more dramatic makeup and hairstyling, but on the other hand, you do not want to have an "all-out-war" between the different elements all screaming for attention!  Let me explain: your gown is all glitz, so you need your hair to match the glitz in volume, height, length and accessories, this then creates the need for glitzier makeup, which leads to the need for obvious bling jewelry and then somehow your gown seems to have lost some of its shine.   Let your gown lead: your hairstyle must have volume and height and your makeup should be more dramatic and glossy, but they should balance the overall effect of the gown.  Now depending on the dress, jewelry can still be understated or in some cases, left out completely, if the dress is heavily sequined or embroidered.
If you tend to suffer from contact allergies from wearing jewelry is that not 100% solid gold or silver; you must ensure, in advance, the metal content of your jewelry.
I warmly recommend you NOT wear very expensive rare pieces of jewelry or jewelry that is fragile and does not have working, secure clasps. If this jewelry is important to you, then wear these pieces for formal photos and then remove them and place them safely away during the wedding and dancing.
When looking at each jewelry choice keep the following points in mind:

Pearls come in many different colors and shades, but when talking about white/off-white pearls, you should make sure that you wear the same shade of white for all your jewelry choices. The issue of matching white or off-white pearls to the same color wedding gown is a personal choice; most folks around you will not see a difference or care. So go for what YOU want, as you should with all your wedding choices!

  • Long, hanging chandelier-type earrings are appropriate if you have a long/longish neck.  If you have a wide and/or short neck, think about short hanging or button-type earrings.
  • Always consider the neckline of your gown when considering the length of an earring – you do not want your earring continuously catching or even tearing the material of your gown or scratching your neck or shoulder.
  • If your earrings are made for pierced ears, take an extra set of backs for your earrings.  This is applicable whether your earrings are posts or hanging.  In order to find this extra set in a hurry – tape them to a piece of colored paper and place it in your take-to-the-hall bag or makeup bag.


  • Consider the neckline of your gown when choosing the necklace: a chocker style is usually appropriate for nearly any neckline, but a longer necklace may not be visible with a higher neckline. 
  • As with earrings, here too you need to consider the length of the necklace and style in order to prevent it from catching and tearing the material of the gown or continuously scratching your neck.

  • As with earrings and necklaces, here too you need to consider the possibility of the bracelet catching and tearing the material of your gown or continuously scratching your wrists/arms.
  • If the bracelet is set with precious, semi-precious or crystal stones, make sure the settings are completely closed and all edges are smooth and not jagged.  
  • Make sure the clasps of the bracelets are secure and will hold up to dancing and moving around.


  • I believe you should only wear your engagement ring and your wedding ring, once you receive it.  I don’t believe this is the time or place to show off other rings.

  • Like every other piece of jewelry, tiaras must complement the wedding gown and the overall look.  You do not have to choose your veil and tiara at the same time, but you should have both in mind as you choose your look.
  • Tiaras come in different styles: a metal headband with combs at either end; a headband with ribbon or wire at either end or a headband with holes on either end that is attached to the hair with bobby pins.
  • The tiara – its height and how it should be worn - must be taken into consideration when choosing a hairstyle or conversely, if you have your heart set on a specific tiara, you must take it into consideration when choosing your hairstyle.
  • There are no set rules regarding the maximum height of the tiara and the height of the hairstyle.  Please keep in mind that your overall height, as seen in the wedding pictures, is a combination of the height of your heels plus the length of your dress and styling (a tailored, very form-fitting dress will make you seem taller; a to-the-floor gown will make you seem taller than a shorter cut-at-the calf or knee gown) plus  the height of your hair and tiara.  I do believe that you should take the height of the groom into consideration when thinking about your overall look.

As veils are an important part of the wedding dress, they will be discussed in a separate, upcoming article.
There is a minhag that under the chuppah, the Kallah removes all her jewelry, except perhaps her engagement ring.  The thought behind this minhag is that the wedding ring is the most significant piece of jewelry for the Kallah, especially on this night and in order that no other jewelry outshine it, all other jewelry is removed.   If the Kallah wants to keep this minhag, you need to appoint someone to remove her jewelry before the badeken and keep her jewelry throughout the chuppah and yichud and then return and place the jewelry back on the Kallah.  You should have a draw-string bag or small box to easily hold the jewelry and keep it safe.