Wedding Day Beauty Secrets

Sure, after years of applying a coat of makeup as part of the daily morning regimen, most women are adept at concealing flaws and enhancing assets, but the wedding day brings a host of added variables that call for a professional’s touch— or advice.

Lili Shahabi, owner of Lili S. Salon in Sausalito, has over 20 years’ experience working on photo shoots, fashion and hair shows and over-the-top weddings. Shahabi’s biggest tip for future brides? “Don’t skimp on the pampering and beauty. The memory and photos of this special day will last forever.” The beauty industry veteran says brides should set aside a minimum of two hours in their packed wedding day schedule for hair and makeup, book an appointment at least a month in advance and test out the final look.

“We always suggest a run-through appointment before the big day so the bride is able to try out the hair and makeup to make sure it is everything she always dreamed of,” says Shahabi, who adds that this also lets the bride address any changes she’d like to make.

In Mill Valley, Flying Beauticians owner Nona Daron says the key to wedding day beauty success is to “exfoliate really well with a nice scrub if your skin isn’t sensitive or use a glycolic treatment if it is. Then put a moisturizer on the skin to make it as smooth as possible.”

Daron, who estimates she does makeup for over 35 brides a year, also says facial waxing on the day of the wedding should be avoided and if planning on having black and white photography, “don’t put any make up on that’s sparkly or shimmers”—it won’t come across well in the pictures.

Professional tips aside, Marin’s Milvali salon makeup artist Liana Belli puts it simply. “Enjoy the day; it’s yours.”

Try these local spots for beautiful bridal makeup:

Art of the Eye
This company is solely dedicated to brow and lash design—so who better to paint your lids with eye-catching appeal for the big day ($100). 141 Bon Air Center (Greenbrae). 415.461.7500,

Founder Marla Malcolm Beck’s East Coast celebrity haunt has made its way to Corte Madera.The upscale specialty retailer offers bridal makeup consultations with trained artists using lines such as Laura Mercier and Trish McEvoy ($100). 1624 Redwood Hwy. (Corte Madera). 415.924.5400,

Flying Beauticians
A one-stop shop for brides looking to get waxed, plucked and painted; trained artists use Colorescience and Pretty Girl brand makeup for applications that can be done in their Marin location or at the wedding destination ($90). 18 E Blithedale Ave., Number 11 (Mill Valley). 415.381.8134,

Lili S Salon
Industry veteran Lili Shahabi creates customized palettes to flatter any bride’s skin tone and eye and hair color ($100). 219 Caledonia St. (Sausalito). 415.332.8700

Enter this relaxed salon geared toward the about-town woman. Its signature cruelty-free and all-natural line of makeup has a loyal following—book early ($95 to $150).  3 E. Blithedale (Mill Valley). 415.388.0988,

Wallett Cosmetics
On a tight schedule? Veteran artist Wallett will travel to your location and use her own signature line of lip glosses plus products by Bobbi Brown, NARS and Dior to enhance your beauty in just one hour flat ($200). San Rafael. 415.218.8786,