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Nottingham
United Kingdom

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A guide to achieving flawless bridal makeup

Josephine Way

So you’ve booked the venue, the dress is chosen and you may even have found your makeup artist (or decided to do it yourself) but what next?! I see so many brides that aren’t sure what makeup look they’d like, or if there’s any preparations they need to do beforehand, that I thought I’d devise a little guide to all things wedding makeup!

Before your trial with your makeup artist you’ll want to try and form an idea of the sorts of looks you like. Pinterest is a great tool for this and you’ll find tons of inspiration on there. When you’re looking for your wedding makeup try to look for examples with similar skin tones and features, as the colours and placement of the makeup will translate better on to you. It’s no good picking a Kimmy K contoured look if you’re rocking a Dita Von Teese skin tone!

I recommend you have your trial 3-6 weeks before your wedding date and booking it at a time when there’s natural light. You’ll get a far better idea of what your makeup actually looks like than if you’re under an artificial one (we’ve all been to a makeup counter and come out with a face the colour of David Dickinson at least once, haven’t we?!) It’s really important you get everything you want out of your trial so make sure you let your makeup artist know your thoughts and don’t be afraid to ask if you want something changing. If you want to try a few different looks, no problem! You can build up your look with something simple to start and move on to something heavier, stopping at the point you feel your best.

Which brings me on to my next point, so many times when I’m chatting to my clients about their bridal makeup I get the response “l want it to be really thick because it needs to last all day.” It’s a common misconception that thick makeup will last longer. It won’t, and more often than not it will just look cakey! The products you pick will have a far bigger impact on the staying power, than the amount you put on. As a makeup artist I choose the products I apply, based on your skin type, desired skin finish etc. but if you’ve chosen to do your makeup yourself on your big day it might be worthwhile booking a makeup lesson a few months beforehand so you can find out what’s going to work best for you – and then buy it!

If you haven’t got a skin care routine in place, I’d recommend getting one started around 4 months before your wedding. To me, wedding makeup is about creating beautiful, flawless skin and getting it in tip top condition will only enhance what you already have and help to give you that airbrushed look. A simple cleanse, tone, moisturise routine is a great place to start and use an exfoliator 1-2 times a week to get rid of dead skin cells.

The closer you get to your wedding date the more you’ll want to gear up your skin care routine and you may even chose to go for targeted treatments by a skincare specialist. I always recommend that my clients have facials before their wedding as it can make such a difference to skin condition and how makeup applies. I’d suggest no later than 3 weeks before the wedding though – there’d be nothing worse than having a reaction or coming out in spots just before your wedding day! Thinking of having something stronger like microdermabrasion? Then you’ll want to see your dermatologist about 6 months before the wedding to get a routine in place that’s suitable for your skin.

When the wedding day arrives many brides say they feel a bit bleary and puffy eyed (excitement insomnia anyone?!) Using an eye treatment such as Estee Lauder’s stress relief eye mask can easily solve this, although to save money I often put my regular eye cream in the fridge for 10 minutes and once applied, leave it to soak in to my under eye area. The result is less puffy and more hydrated! Winning all round!

And finally, what about those dreaded spots that seem to appear at the most unwelcome of times (read: anytime something nice is happening.) My number one rule is don’t pick!! Your makeup artist should easily be able to cover an untouched spot but if you break the skin, there’s not much that can be done and often they look far worse than they did before! Instead, apply witch hazel or aloe vera, which will help to bring down the swelling and reduce redness, making it easier to cover.

Above everything though, remember to still look like you, and enjoy the day! When you look back in 30 years I guarantee it won’t be a pimple you remember, it’ll be the amazing day you both shared. Hopefully I’ve offered some help to your wedding prep, but if you have anything specific you’d like me to help with, please feel free to drop me a message!