A woman’s makeup can make or break her wedding day — one of the most important days of her life. Too little and you can look washed out; too much and you might as well be Bozo’s sidekick. Whether you’re a novice makeup artist or a bride who wants to save some money by doing her own makeup, there are some important things you need to know before doing bridal makeup.

Avoid SPF

Foundations that contain SPF can spell disaster when it comes to your wedding day. An ingredient called titanium dioxide, which helps protect you from the sun, can reflect the light from flash photography, washing you out and giving your face a white glow. Powder foundations with SPF generally have higher levels of titanium dioxide than liquid foundations; but it is best to avoid SPF completely for your big day. If you insist on choosing a foundation with sun protection, do a test run before your day. Apply the foundation and have a friend take some pictures using the flash to see how well the foundation photographs.

Tone Down the Shimmer

Like titanium dioxide in SPF foundation, shimmer can reflect the light from flash photography, giving you a glow in all the wrong places. Choose a completely matte foundation, blush and bronzer. A little shimmer in your eyeshadow is okay, but avoid shadows that have too much shimmer or large flecks of glitter.

Check It in Natural Light

Makeup looks a lot different in natural light than it does under spot lights or the fluorescent lights you may be applying it under. If your wedding is outside or in a venue that has a lot of windows, test your makeup in natural light before deciding on your look. You may be happy with how your makeup looks in the mirror inside, but unpleasantly surprised when you see yourself in pictures taken outside.

Go a Little Heavy

Sheer-to-medium makeup may give you the look you’re going for in person, but a little more coverage is usually necessary for photographs. On your wedding day, apply makeup a little heavier than you normally would. Use full-coverage foundation and a couple coats of mascara. Consider false eyelashes, which can add drama while opening up your eyes. It may take a little getting used to, but the result will be worth it.