Of all the (many) decisions to make about the wedding doing my own bridal make-up by far the one I swung back and forth on. If we were getting married in the UK having a make-up artist would’ve been a no-brainer. But the logistics of flying one out to us in Italy along with our photographer and musician was becoming trickier than I anticipated. I was never the type of girl who liked having her make-up done professionally – whether it was prom night, graduation or being a bridesmaid – it made me anxious and uncomfortable. So, I always had it in the back of my mind that I would do my own make-up – after all, no one knows my face more than me!
After chatting with various make-up artists on photoshoot sets and via email I realised I could totally do this myself. With the right products and a cool head, it was the best decision I could have made. Sure, it involved a lot of research and some key products but there were a few things I didn’t count on…
YOU DON’T HAVE TO PRACTICE
Risky, I know and everything I read waxed lyrical about practising your bridal make-up. And I intended to. Really! But with everything else that was going on, time slipped away from me and I just didn’t get around to it. Sure, I was a little nervous on the day but in hindsight, it didn’t make any difference. I do my make-up every day, sometimes twice a day and, although there were a few additional stages to the regime and a couple of new products, it was generally the same. But if you do have time to do a little trial, your hen do is a great time to try out different looks and products before the big day.
DON’T FORGET SPF
While the jury’s still out about this one, it was non-negotiable for me as I was getting wed in Italy at the height of summer. Although some say SPF reflect the camera flash, formulas have not only come along way to ensure that doesn’t happen, most photographers shoot in natural daylight so it’s generally not a problem. I used this SPF on the day and every day since and I love it – it’s lightweight and oil free so it doesn’t leave any shine or residue, keeping my make-up put.
THE CHOICE IS OVERWHELMING
Am I a red lip bride? A smokey eye bride? Or perhaps a false eyelashes bride…Seriously, when it’s just little old you calling all the shots, suddenly the freedom of choice becomes a bit too much. As much as you feel the urge to go for something stand-out, this is not the time to try something new. The general brief for bridal make-up is typically to “look like me but a little bit more glam” and I couldn’t have said it better. Feeling confident and comfortable is where you want to be so try to keep it simple and don’t let yourself get bogged down with the options and stay true to what you know.
YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE WILL HOLD YOU IN GOOD STEAD
It might be tempting to spend a months salary on designer beauty buys but you won’t get the bang for your buck unless your skin underneath is up to scratch. Don’t get me wrong, a well placed concealer on a rogue spot is not to be sniffed at but any skincare woes need to be sorted out the months before the big day. I was in a state of panic 8 weeks before my wedding thanks to stress, unbalanced hormones and lack of sleep, but going to see this lovely lady was the best thing I could have done.
CHERISH THAT TIME ALONE
On the big day it’s generally calm and slow-starting until suddenly…it isn’t! Florists, caterers, bridesmaids and photographers all want a piece of you at some point. From where you want the roses to trying to make you eat breakfast (do!), it can quickly become a mad house! I completed underestimated how much I needed that hour to myself to collect my thoughts, calm my mind and boss my base! Make sure you take yourself away from the mayhem to do your make-up to avoid any stress and distractions which ultimately lead to mistakes.
GOOD TOOLS WILL BE YOUR BEST ALLIE
Ok, full disclaimer, beyond my fingers and a five-year-old powder brush, I didn’t use beauty tools a year ago. I had them, so many of them for every imaginable nook and cranny of my face but never got past the unwrapping stage. But after clocking up hours of YouTube tutorials (Warning: They become addictive!) and becoming familiar with my box fresh selection, I’m hooked! If in doubt I would highly recommend these five.
MY BRIDAL MAKE-UP
By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Lumi Serum
I cannot recommend this product enough, for everyday use and for occasions where you want your best skin to step forward. Half skincare, half make-up, it lifts skin instantly giving it a gorgeous hydrated and bronzed finish. Not only does it blur imperfections, it reflects the light under your bridal make-up to give a beautiful glow.
Iconic London Illuminator Drops
There’s a good reason why these are in the beauty kit of influencers and celebs to boot. Using a tiny amount mixed in with your foundation or along your brow and cheekbones, it makes features pop and gleam in all the right places.
Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
Unless I have a spot I’m not usually a concealer kinda girl but this is something else for under eye coverage. It’s creamy not chalky and won’t settle into creases or fine lines.
Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation
Choosing a good foundation for your bridal make-up is probably the most important step in your regime. It has to be long lasting, sweat/smudge proof and give amazing coverage as well the right amount of glow. That’s not too much to ask, right?! Not from Chantecaille! I’ve tried a lot of foundations over the years as part of my job and when it came to finding my wedding foundation I knew it had to be this. Although it’s a little more than I’d spend on base make-up, it’s worth every penny.
YSL Top Secrets Moisture Glow
I really wanted to create a dewy base for my make-upbut worried about the shine and excess oil from being in the sun and wearing my bridal make-up for such a long time. But this was perfect to create subtle glowy skin whilst keeping my base in place all day and night.
Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contouring Powder
I’d seen so much about this compact over the last year or so and knew this was the perfect opportunity to snap it up. I’m having a lot of fun with contouring lately and the right products (and technique) can make or break the final look. So many contouring shades are too orange or brown whereas this is more grey which gives a realistic shadow finish.
Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Matte
I couldn’t decide between a smokey eye, natural eye or bronzed eye (we’re back to the overwhelming choice again) but what I learned was that just like every other aspect of your wedding day it all comes back to the big picture. The location. The ‘theme’ The overall feel of the day. I was getting married in Italy in summer so it felt natural to opt for a subtle bronzed eye and this highly pigmented hue was just the right amount of shimmer for a day-to-night look.
Trish McEvoy Intense Gel Eye Liner
I didn’t want to go too full on with my liner. I wanted subtle and summery not deep and intense. Usually I’d opt for a brown shade as my hair is so light but I wanted my eyes to be the focal point of the look. I lined just my top lashes with this rich gel liner and it was just enough to define them.
SHOP THE POST