Wedding makeup tips

So this is the second instalment in my weekly Q&A post and today I’m going to talk about wedding makeup.

As I mentioned the other day, my friend Rachel got married in London over the weekend so this post is probably about a month late but I was asked a question by one of her bridesmaids on twitter recently so I thought I’d do a post around what I would have said if I had more than 160 characters.

I know a lot of people prefer to get a makeup artist for the day and that is what I would absolutely reccomend, but this post is for you ladies who want some tips and tricks to do it yourself.

           Gorgeous bridal makeup with a sultry smokey eye and nude lip..



Ten points to the first person to name all the brides pictured above. Aaaand I just noticed one bride is in there twice. Oh well!

Ok so I couldn’t start a tips post around wedding makeup without first voicing my opinion on one thing:

Do you need a makeup artist? In all likelihood, yes. As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones: find a good one. They know what they’re doing and they will make you look a million dollars. You really do get what you pay for and it’s worth doing a few makeup trials until you find one you’re happy with.


Get one you’re happy with. If you can, speak to other brides they’ve worked with, ask them every question you have, go through their makeup kit to find out what they’ve got in there, ask to see photos of other weddings they’ve done, pour over their website and balance the cost with the quality of the makeup that results from the trial.

If it’s not in your budget or if you’d rather go it alone, here are my tips for perfect do it yourself wedding day makeup.

1. Perfect skin and this needs to start well before your wedding day.

  • If you’ve ever thought about trying DMK Skin or Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum, then this is the time. See Kimmi’s review on DMK – expensive but you’ll get the perfect skin you’ve always wanted.
  • Go out, get IPL, get laser treatments, get regular facials – if you’re spending a bucketload on your wedding, surely you can find some more to make sure your skin looks exactly the way you want it to?
  • wedding-makeup

2. Look like you on your wedding day. Your fiance didn’t propose to Katie Price (at least, he’d better not have) so don’t look like someone you’re not. Looking vastly different than you do on a daily basis is pointless.

  • If you wear a tinted moisturiser and creme blush every day with some lip balm, then don’t pack on the strip lashes and neon lipstick on your wedding day – what you want is a heightened look of yourself.
  • If you usually wear no eyeshadow and just mascara, then add some light brown in your crease, an eyebrow highlight and something soft on your lids. Line your eyes, add mascara, do your eyebrows and viola!
  • In the same grain – if you’re like me and wear crazy colour combinations all the time and out there lipstick then that might be perfect for you.

3. Waterproof everything. You want your makeup to last the whole day with minimal touchups so it’s really important to invest in longwearing makeup.


  • Wear a primer – my picks are NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer or Make Up Forever HD Microperfecting Primer but whatever works. Primer helps your foundation to stay on longer.
  • Wear a longwearing foundation – my picks are MAC Pro Longwear or Face Atelier.
  • Use an eyeshadow primer to help your eyeshadow stay put. My everyday-crease-proof-never-fail combo is Urban Decay Primer Potion + a MAC Paint Pot.
  • Use a longwearing lipstick – My preference is either MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme or MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour – they have a lot of bride-friendly shades and will stay perfect all day.
  • Use a waterproof mascara.
  • Carry a makeup compact with you in your purse for any touch ups during the day. This should be a compact foundation, not just a powder. My favourite is Shiseido Powdery.


4. Do your nails. I hate seeing beautifully made up brides that either have icky acrylic nails or haven’t done their nails at all – people will be looking at your ring. Do your nails!

  • OPI have so many nude, bridal shades that are perfect – my favourites are No Bees Please, I’ll Take The Cake, Honeymoon Sweet, Pinkerbell and My Daddy’s The King.
  • For a bit of a twist, why not use a matte topcoat like the one by Essie for something different?
  • Something borrowed, something blue? If a nude polish isn’t for you, have you thought about going navy? My favourite navy polish is Chanel 461 Blue Satin or you can try OPI Glacier Bay Blues.

You’ll probably have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about contouring or using falses lashes. These things are incredibly important but if you haven’t had any practise doing it before I’d suggest staying away from it all on your wedding day.

Black and white photography especially responds really well to conturing, lashes, and precisely the right colour of lipstick for your skin tone, but you should do as little experimentation on your face as possible for your wedding day.

Finally, it’s really important to do a trial run of your makeup before your actual wedding day.Iron out any mistakes, replace any poorly performing products with better ones, and get someone to take some photos of you (especially in black and white) so you know how it translates.


 Finally – enjoy yourself. No matter what makeup you have on, the one thing that will make you look a million bucks is a big, big smile.

Best of luck and I hope this helped!

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