If ever there were a day you’d want to look like your most gorgeous self, it’s the day you get married. That said, most people would love to look that way—their all-time prettiest, most natural, glowing—every day (and night) of the week. Wedding makeup has the additional requirement that it optimize every photograph, which, in the Snapchat/selfie/always-on society we live in, also makes sense for just about every day. And finally, wedding makeup is (ideally) fairly smudge-proof—another way to put it might be emotion-proof—also ideal in real life, whether you tear up at the slightest provocation, adore hot yoga classes, suffer from allergies, etc.

“Classic pretty,” says makeup artist/Kjaer Weis founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis, of the look most brides ask for. “It’s about looking like yourself, not trying too hard, minimal.” The bolder-makeup outliers, she says, are also looking like themselves: “If you’re the kind of person who wears a lot of red lipstick, I think doing so on your wedding day is a great idea,” she says. “Either way, super-natural or more dramatic, think flawless skin and a rosy cheek.”

  1. Do your makeup by a window. Barring that, take a hand mirror and walk out to wherever there’s natural light to check how you look. “You can trust natural light,” says Kjaer Weis. “It will always tell you the truth.”

  2. Look at pictures. This is true whether you’re doing your makeup yourself, or working with a makeup artist, or even having a friend do it. “When you can see what you like, you know where you’re going,” says Kjaer Weis, who advises bringing pictures of yourself and pictures of models or celebrities whose makeup looks right to you.

  3. Get your brows done. “A polished brow doesn’t come off,” says Kjaer Weis. If you’ve never had them done before, do it a month or two in advance for the first time, to make sure you like the brow artist’s work. Then have them done again the day before the wedding. “The day before gives you time if the skin gets a little red,” says Kjaer Weis. The day of, fill in with your preferred (and previously experimented with) pencil/shadow/brow gel for subtle, face-framing definition.

  4. The night before, line your eyes heavily with brown or black pencil—then wipe it off. “Over-do it—use an exaggerated amount of liner, and really get it into the bases of the lashes,” says Kjaer Weis. “Then wipe it off. A little subtle definition with be left the next day—I do this trick all the time and it really works beautifully. It adds depth to eye, but it doesn’t look like you’ve got product there. It’s the ultimate no-makeup eye makeup. It’s great for women who normally wear no makeup, and it’s great for everyone else to do, too.”

  5. No matter how intense you like your eyes or lips, Kjaer Weis says to go as light as possible on foundation, using concealer to cover “what needs to be covered,” rather than thick foundation. “Your skin should shine through, look alive,” she says. “You don’t want to cover it up.”