Having been a professional make-up artist for more than 20 years, I’ve worked on countless editorials. Some of my favourites have been bridal campaigns for Vera Wang, one of the most iconic wedding dress designers, and I often get asked about bridal make-up. I have done the make-up for so many brides on their wedding day that I’ve developed something of a foolproof formula that always goes down well.
Make-up and hair for your wedding day should be timeless, elegant and – most importantly – reflect the real you. Your look should be planned in advance so that you can look and feel your best without any last-minute dramas; the last thing you want is something to throw you off right at the start of the day. If you decide to do your own make-up for your wedding then be sure to practice beforehand, even if you’re confident in your look. If you’re wearing a white dress on the big day then practice in a white t-shirt or dressing gown as the colours you’re wearing often influence the palette of make-up you choose. If using a professional make-up artist, do a test run with them to be sure you’re happy with everything and air any concerns or requests. It’s also a good way to test how you’ll appear in photos.
Whether you opt for braids, flowers, unexpected accessories or a clean chignon for a classic timeless look, it’s always preferable to have your hair set before doing make-up. Use your limited time wisely: your hair will be off your face while applying make-up, then you can go back to the styling once the make-up is done, leaving it to settle in and simply apply lipstick as the very last step. Be sure to mention during your make-up test what hairstyling you’re planning so that they can design accordingly.
Weddings are stressful at the best of times, so it’s best to try and have a calm environment to start the day as you do your make-up. I always recommend allowing at least two hours of uninterrupted time for hair and make-up to be safe.
The secret to long-lasting makeup is all down to the prepping of the skin and the products you use. Skin is probably the most important step – once you have your base set, everything else can fall into place. It’s a good idea to do a gentle facial with lymphatic drainage and blood circulation for a glowing complexion several days before the wedding. You want your skin to look soft and dewy. Make sure your skin is clean, exfoliated and hydrated so you can achieve a flawless application of makeup.
I always use a primer under foundation. This really is key to making your foundation last longer, and you can add to your gorgeous glow with radiant primers. The Sisley Instant Éclat primer leaves skin smooth, hydrated and with a beautiful sheen.
I’ve cherry-picked three of the best products from three of my favourite brands which I’ve tried and tested to create the perfect bridal make-up for 2020. These can all be mixed and matched to suit your preferences, depending on your complexion, style and budget.
Soft & Feminine - Dior
Dior Forever Skin Correct concealer to whisk away any under-eye circles and redness.
Dior Forever Skin Glow foundation for a beautifully natural finish.
Christian Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Colors and Effects Eye Shadow Palette No.647 contains effortlessly flattering shades.
Lipstick - Dior Addict Lipglow 001 Pink for a barely-there feel and pretty pink tint.
Gorgeous & Sexy - Charlotte Tilbury
Wonderglow Primer is something I use on everybody. I’m completely addicted to this product of the moment, it never fails me.
Golden Goddess Luxury Palette has four stunning gold and bronze shades which catch the light beautifully.
Lip Cheat Lip Pencil in Pillow Talk is the most natural tone to create the perfect pout.
Lipstick – The Pillow Talk lipstick is now available in three flattering nude-pink shades for all skin tones.
Vamp It Up - Tom Ford
Unbelievable Traceless Stick Foundation leaves a soft matte finish that lasts and lasts. So many of my friends have asked me to recommend a stick foundation and this is the perfect one.
The Eye Defining Pen is undoubtedly the best eyeliner for definition. It’s a liquid pen with a calligraphy tip on one end and a brush on the other for creating all sorts of wings, tips, fine lines and graphic contours.
Shade and Illuminate is a cult favourite, a duo of highlighting and shading creams to sculpt and contour the face.
lipstick – Paradiso is my absolute favourite sheer lip colour, which is saying something.
For those of you who have poured all of your budgets into the wedding, here’s a couple of ideas to suit your budget.
The Ordinary is a skincare brand I’ve been using recently and have been so happy with the results. They have two primers to choose from as well: the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer is lightweight with serum-like texture, great for dry skin, while the High-Adherence Silicone Primer is perfect for oily skin types. It’s still hydrating and gives your skin a natural, dewy appearance.
Rimmel Match Perfection and L’Oréal Paris True Match have a broad spectrum of tones to choose from and offer natural, flattering coverage.
I always recommend keeping some blotting papers on hand (or with your bridesmaids) to absorb any oil and control shine throughout the day. My favourite is from Mai Couture, which has encapsulated skincare ingredients that give your skin a boost even as they whisk away oil.