You are getting married and you have decided to create your own makeup look on your big day – you feel brave, you feel little anxious, you feel ready….but where do you start? With so many looks to choose from, so many products to try out, so many ideas running through your head, was this even a good idea? Well I hope I can help you to feel a little more at ease with my 10 Bridal Makeup Tips.
As a Makeup Artist who specialises in Bridal and Wedding Makeup, I aim to go much more in-depth with the below points over the coming weeks on my blog, which I hope will help as many Brides-to-be feel that little bit more prepared and relaxed for your special day.
It all starts with skincare – your face will probably never be as photographed as it will be the day of your wedding. From the photographer, to your family and friends with their smartphones you will be papped and snapped from getting ready to heading to bed. Looking photo-ready with makeup help is one thing but taking care of your skin is what will really shine through, and it all starts with skin-prepping days and weeks before the big day. Trying to ensure a good skincare routine is a huge helper to your skin, ensuring you thoroughly remove your makeup at night is a must (I know we have all done it after a night out when we fall into bed but now you are a Bride-to-Be give yourself those extra 5 minutes to remove the nights makeup and your skin will thank you for it). Ensure you are using the right skincare products for your skin type and weather conditions – e.g if you have much drier skin in the winter opt for a richer overnight moisturiser, or if you have redness on your face look for products with Chamomile or Aloe Vera to help combat that redness. If you are switching skincare ensure you do this weeks in advance of your Wedding to allow any potential skin-reactions to surface and the same with facials. If you have them regularly then you will know how to plan one before your Wedding, if you don’t but fancy having one, do so in advance of your Wedding first, again because of potential skin flare-ups.
And relax – planning a wedding can be stressful and nerve-racking, it can cause sleepless nights and involve quite alot of running around leaving you feeling pretty exhausted. Unfortunately all of this can start to show on the skin. Stress in-particular can often leave the skin looking tired, fatigued as well as it causing breakouts (I know if I’m stressed my skin goes into breakout overdrive). So how can you avoid all of this and still look radiant on your big day? Whilst you can’t really avoid stress, anxious days and sleepless nights completely (sorry!), in the weeks leading up to the Wedding you can find ways to help yourself de-stress and every little bit really does help. Whatever your budget, whatever your timescale, it is important to take that little bit of time-out as much as you can each week to allow your body to relax, to clear your mind, and well, for you to just ‘breathe’. It could be as simple as going to bed that hour earlier, turning off your phone, lighting a relaxing candle and getting lost in a good book – getting a better nights sleep leave you, your body and your skin grateful for it. It also goes without saying that getting plenty of fresh air, drinking lots of water and eating a healthy balanced diet will also show through on your skin. I know it can be difficult leading up to the big day but if you take care of yourself that extra bit, your inner-radiance will glow through on your big day that extra bit too.
Choosing the Bridal Look – my biggest advice is not to stray too far from your regular make up look. I always advise Brides (unless there is a specific wedding theme) to go with a slightly heavier/more defined version (so it photographs better) of your normal make up look, or atleast a makeup look you have worn before. This way you know it suits you and most importantly still looks like ‘you’. Your husband wants to see ‘you’, in 10 years time looking back at your wedding photos you will want to see ‘you’. If you are someone that normally wears quite neutral colours, your wedding day isn’t really the time to try out that deep smokey eye or a bright red lip. Whilst its tempting to go with what’s en-trend at the moment, the en-trend won’t necessarily be quite so en-trend in a few years (or even months) time. No-one is saying you have to be restricted, it is ‘your’ special day and the look is about what makes ‘you’ feel happy and comfortable. If you do want to try something a little bit out of the ordinary then I would suggest you start trying to gradually encompass elements of that look into your everyday or evening makeup look before your big day (e.g a red lip, false lashes). That way you can see how the look transcends, how it photographs, if it wears well on you, maybe even what your husband-to-be’s reaction might be. But most importantly its about how you feel wearing makeup outside your norm and whether you feel it is what you will be happy with for your special day. Another deciding factor when choosing a makeup look is your Wedding dress, you want to see how your makeup fits and works with the dress, aswell as the style and colour against your own skin tone.
What to look for in Bridal Makeup – buying those makeup products for your big day is quite different to buying products for your everyday makeup look. You need products that are going to be long lasting, products that photograph well, so be aware of any products with high SPF’s in them as the ingredients can sometimes cause that white flashback in flash photography. You will also need to take into the account the Season you are getting married in. For example if its Summer you might need some anti-blotting sheets, an oil control matte primer, a more matte or lightweight foundation. I would also avoid any makeup that is too shimmery or glittery for your Wedding look – adding shine and highlighting is one thing but anything that has alot of glitter in doesn’t always photograph well in certain lights. Makeup wears differently on different skin types so be sure to shop for your skin type and skin tone to help you find what suits you best.
Buying Wedding Makeup – set a budget and stick to it. Buying makeup can be expensive, all those little items add up, that’s why having samples is a great way to cut down on some of these costs. Decide where you want to splurge and where you want to save is also a plan – for me I would splurge on a good long-wearing foundation, a decent primer and a beautiful long wearing lipstick. That lipstick will forever be associated as your ‘Wedding Lipstick’ so why not make it a special one? Personally I would save on mascaras, eyeshadows and eye liners. There are some fantastic drug-store brands out there, especially in the UK whose quality is up there with the high-end brands. Look out for promotions through online beauty websites, instore gift-with-purchases, enter competitions or makeup giveaways. Another cost-saving plan is to look at palettes where the eyeshadows, blushers and sometimes highlighters are all together in one shiny, all-shade-complementing palette for you. If you live in the UK your local Boots or Superdrug is great place to start when you are thinking about your Bridal Makeup so pop down on your lunch-break and start testing those brands.
Ask, Ask, Ask – ask for samples, ask for advice, ask for help – Basically don’t be afraid to ask! Don’t be afraid to ask for samples at makeup counters (the worst they can say is no), and as intimidating as it sometimes may feel don’t be afraid of asking for advice at a makeup counter. Tell them you are getting married and that you are doing your own make up. Ask them what long-wearing foundation they recommend, what type of blusher they would advise for e.g a humid climate or a Winter wedding. Ask if they do any free makeovers and if so ask them to create the Bridal look ‘you’ are thinking of (not just what they perceive as a ‘classic Bridal look’). Look for free product samples in magazines (even if the shades are wrong it still gives you an idea of the coverage, texture, longevity of a product). Ask friends who recently got married which products or brands they used and likewise on social media, have a browse through Facebook or Instagram and ask questions. Create a Pinterest inspiration board, but above all else if you don’t ask you will never find out about that great foundation a friend of a friend looked flawless wearing, or what that perfect lip colour was that girl on Instagram wore that might just end up being the one for you on your Wedding day.
Practise makes Perfect – I cannot stress this enough, you might have the idea of the look you want in your head, have it in front of you in a magazine or on Pinterest, and you may have purchased the products accordingly to that idea. BUT until you have practised on yourself (alot!) you won’t really get to see how the final look can all come together and leaving it to your wedding day itself (or the night before) is way too late. Practising will not only allow you to gain more confidence in creating your own wedding makeup look which is important because the last thing you want to add on your wedding morning is more stress. But the more you practise the quicker and better you will get at perfecting your chosen look. It allows you time for any potential skin reactions to rear their ugly head and (hopefully) disappear before the Wedding approaches. It will allow you time to perfect that winged-eyeliner that looked so easy to do on a Youtube tutorial but now you realise it takes alot more practise that you initially thought. And above all it allows you to factor just how much time you should allow yourself to do your makeup on your big day (although always allow addition time as there will be many unplanned interruptions, tears, giggles and photos to factor in, always better to have too much time than too little). When I do Bridal makeup I always ensure I have finished my Brides makeup 1 whole hour before the Wedding Ceremony starts so she can take her time getting dressed and there is no rushing to the venue.
Say Cheese! – take lots of photos – we live in a ‘Selfie World’ but taking Selfies has never been more applicable than with makeup trials. Take lots of photos of your practise makeup runs and this shouldn’t be too difficult these days with the quality of smartphones but I would always advise to take as many photos as you can in as many different situations as you can. By this I mean take photos in daylight by a window, daylight in a darker room, photograph your look with a flash (very important to check with flashback that some makeup products can give), take photos outside in sunlight, outside on a dull day, outside when its raining. The weather is one thing that unfortunately you can’t guarantee on your big day, so its always best to be prepared, then even if it rains or if the sun is beaming, you know you, your skin and your makeup have got this covered.
List it – once you have practised your makeup look and you feel happy and confident then keep a list of every item you need to create your look, including all the additional items such as brushes, tissues, cotton buds, tweezers, etc. Then the day before your wedding pack everything from that list so you can be sure that when you come to sit down and create your Wedding Day look on that special morning you have everything to hand and nothing is forgotten. You will have so much to think about that the last thing you want is to be running around for forgotten eyelash glue or frantically trying to find a similar blusher to the one you are missing.
Smile – its said the prettiest thing a girl can wear is her smile and nothing is truer. With all the stress, planning, sleepless nights, anticipation, expectation, nerves, excitement its so easy to get caught up in all the emotions when really the biggest advice I can ever give anyone that is getting married is to enjoy it! Remember the reason you are at this point, the journey you have both made to get here. Try to take as much of the whole experience in as you can, to savour every moment that you can. And even though the day is incredibly special its not just about that one day its about celebrating the beginning of a whole new chapter with the person who makes you smile. Being married to the love of your life is an incredible feeling so let that amazing smile of yours shine through.