We are sharing the tips, tricks and all the best there is to know about living your life beautifully. In this edition of the series, bride-to-be and Beauty Squad member, Jane Marie, looks to a few unlikely sources of inspiration for her big day.

I’m about a week away from my wedding and I think I’m on, oh, something like my fifth different hair and makeup scheme. Here’s the problem with choosing a wedding look. Wait, scratch that. Here are the problems with choosing a wedding look:

There will be SO. MANY. PHOTOS.

You want to look like you, but a special-occasion version of you. But you don’t want to wear too much makeup, or your natural beauty won’t shine through.

Your look has to last all day, but you never wear that much makeup nor your hair in an updo.

All the “wedding updos” on Pinterest are outdated or too curled or have too many flowers or are crispy with hair spray.

And! It is impossible to find interesting wedding makeup photos. Every photo is beginning to look just like the last: gorgeous teenage model with impossibly perfect skin after gorgeous teenage model with impossibly perfect skin…light brown smoky eye…peach lips.

It’s a real conundrum, especially if you don’t do a whole lot of making up in your normal, non-wedding-day life.

So, what’s a girl to do? Elope! Or accept the fact that you’re going to be the center of attention with a camera on you for at least eight hours.

If you want to go au naturel, you should be knighted and kissed by everyone in the kingdom for your bravery. If not, you’re going to have to get more made up than you probably ever have—minus that one prom. You remember.

If you can afford to, hire pros to help you with this part. Seriously. I am doing that, and I make makeup tutorials as part of my day job. I just cannot spend two or three hours of my wedding day worrying about whether I’m screwing up my face. Muster the courage to put your fate in someone else’s hands. If it doesn’t turn out right, hate them and not yourself. But that won’t happen because you will do a trial run!

If you can’t hire help, nose around in your guest list for folks who do hair and makeup and ask for the gift of some assistance on your big day. You know that cousin who went to cosmetology school?

For inspiration, for better or for worse, I ended up plucking elements from both fashion icons of the past and looks in popular culture that I find absolutely breathtaking. You, too, could use this as a guide for searching out your own unique look. I mean, the hairstyle I chose has elicited every type of gasp known to man from close friends and family. But I love it, so I’m not going to worry about what anyone else thinks. Go for what really strikes you, and not the boring thing you’re supposed to do according to the homogenized bridal magazine and message board scene.

Here are a bunch of ideas I may or may not be using, and some direction for how to copy them:

Okay, that hair on January Jones in Mad Men is called an “arch bun” and it is to die for, if it didn’t already kill you. Skip the tiny bow pin in the middle and ease up on the hair spray for a slightly softer look. For makeup, the eyes are where it’s at: a smoky eye using blue shadow, black liner on the outside corner of the lower lids and some winged false lashes. She has a heavily foundationed and powdered face coupled with a nude lip. Magnifico.

Josephine Baker! There is so much to like here. The eyebrows are unachievable unless you don’t have any to begin with. But those aside, the wash of neutral shadow on the whole lid and heavy liner that doesn’t smudge into a smoky eye is just fabulous, not to mention her lashes (you could do eyelash extensions). I imagine her to be wearing a light red lip, but who could know for sure? The hair is slicked-back elegance in front, curly party in the back. Add that tiara and ginormous earrings—minus the 50 glasses of champagne—and you’ll knock ‘em dead.

Start with a shiny ironed bob, neutral powdered face and go absolutely nuts with your eye makeup, like Peggy Moffitt here. How about matching your shadow to your flowers or bridesmaids’ dresses or cake?

Missy Elliott nails this season’s hottest look: burgundy lips. And you can see, thanks to her many wigs, how they’d look with all kinds of hairstyles!

Just be Grace Kelly, you know? The key here is simplicity: let the dress do the talking. Your hair should be dried with a paddle brush for smoothness and to let a little natural wave happen, and then curled under. A nicely groomed brow, red lips and light mascara are key here. Use powder rather than foundation and top it all off with light dusting of blush. ‘Atta girl.

Kristen McMenamy was perhaps my favorite bride of all time. She almost let her baby bump steal the show. I love that Kristen chose to forgo the typical smoky eye and instead did very little eye makeup. Peach blush and lipgloss really shine here, as do her soft, cherubic curls. This is the definition of ethereal.

So sit and think about the prettiest ladies you can imagine. What are they doing that the bridal models aren’t? (A: Everything.)

 Photos: YouTube.com (feature image); courtesy of  constancezahn.com (McMenamy)