It's true, I've been a natural babe for the last year or two. A multitude of reasons stopped my morning make-up ritual – mainly, an obsession with the “no-makeup” look, an eco-conscience mind and trauma from daily sexual harassment. It's been equal parts liberating and empowering, but now that I'm a bride I'm forced with the question: what should I do on my most glamorous occasion?

I love fashion and I adore beauty. Not to mention, I'm a wedding photographer, so I'm drawn to how dreamy flawless skin looks on film. But I can't knock this idea out of my mind: “Why on earth would I suddenly cover up who I am on this one special day?”

Photo by Claire Eliza

It started with anger – construction workers in the buildings in front of, aside and behind my apartment not only harassed me when I left my home, but even shouted at me through my windows while I was inside. At my workplace (the neighborhood wine shop), regular stalkers would come in to corner me into forced conversations as they salivated and made nauseating comments. All I wanted to do was chop off all of my hair and become invisible.

When I stopped wearing makeup, it felt like a rebellion. And the more I rebelled, the more powerful I felt. The more powerful I became the more beautiful I felt in my naturally flawed skin.

But still, with all the meticulous bridal fashion styling I've done thus far, I still wonder if I should “look like me” or “look my best”. I've debated endlessly between a few different options, and I'm curious to hear your opinions.

The “No-Makeup” Natural Spa Approach

One of my money saving hacks has been “Hey, if I don't hire a makeup artist, there's a few hundred dollars back in the wedding budget!” One part of me thinks that rather than paying for an expert makeup artist, I could splurge on facials and spa treatments in the months that lead up to the big day. Then, I could show off my naturally flawless skin that doesn't even need makeup (#bridegoals).

Beyond that, my makeup-less medicine cabinet is filled with organic skincare wonders. I could pair a monthly facial with a regular in-home spa. I'm obsessed with Osmia's artisanal clay facial bars that leave my oil-prone skin clean and clear, and travel swimmingly (no need to worry about TSA liquids!)

For my “no-makeup” look (example above), I'd swipe on some bright cherry cheeks and lips from my favorite Olio e Osso French Melon balm, add a little moisturizer shine from Weleda's Skin Food, comb and fill the brows and perhaps go in for eyelash extensions – no need for dripping mascara (I'm such a sap!)

The Makeup Tutorial DIY Approach

There's always a happy medium, right? I could amp up my makeup a bit but still be in control of “how me I look” by getting a little expert makeup tutorial prior to jetting off to Mexico.

Photo by Claire Eliza

My favorite neighborhood skincare spot Credo offers in-store makeup tutorials with all of their cruelty-free and natural beauty products. It'd be like a three in one – I learn some smashing new tips, fill my makeup kit for the wedding and future glamorous events with eco-friendly products, and I still get to be myself (and at a discount!)

The Once-In-Your-Life Glam Approach

Despite everything I've said, I recognize that this is an opportunity to throw caution into the wind and go glam. The photos will look fabulous, I will look gorgeous, my man may be surprised to see me in such fashion but I know he'll think I look beautiful. It may seem strange to invest all of this money on a dress, shoes and other goods to then just have an “everyday” makeup look.

I have a friend who recently married in Mexico – she's a badass surfer, effortlessly fashionable and doesn't wear makeup either (and basically my bridal icon). She hired the best makeup artist in the Baja and looked absolutely incredible.

I'm curious about what you think – real brides, past brides, your own experiences, choices, and expert advice. Let me know below and join in the conversation on Instagram and Facebook!

Follow our Mexican wedding fiesta plans in my Real Bride Diary.