I’m in awe of women who do their own bridal hair and makeup. After years of working in the beauty industry and picking up tips from some of the most talented makeup artists, I still struggle to achieve an even yet natural coverage, so on my wedding day I was taking no risks and booked a professional. Whether you choose to say ‘I do’ in a low key civil ceremony at the town hall or a fully blown taffeta-draped extravaganza in a cathedral, feeling happy and confident about your appearance means you can focus on enjoying the day. Here are some beauty tips I picked up along the way.
1. Do some research
Unless you’re planning to elope within the next few days, chances are you will have at least a few months to plan your wedding, so there is no need to sign up to the first makeup artist you find online. Shop around a bit, have a look at online reviews and talk to your married friends to hear their recommendations. That being said…
2. Choose a makeup artist you trust
Don’t feel pressured into using your friend’s recommendation or your mum’s friend who used to be an air hostess and re-trained as a makeup artist post-divorce. You need to feel comfortable with your hair and makeup artist as you will be at their mercy and whatever they create on you will be forever recorded on camera – and probably every guests’ social feed.
3. Stay true to your colours
If you are never seen without kohl-rimmed eyes, your wedding day isn’t the time to stray away from your signature look. You’ll want to look back at your reflection in the mirror and recognise yourself, without feeling self-conscious. It’s no secret that I’m a little addicted to the colour fuchsia (my bathroom bears the scars), so I was adamant that a fuchsia lip was essential to complement the touches of hot pink featured in my outfit. I brought my trusty Bourjois lipstick on the day so that the makeup artist could use the exact shade I had in mind and I could touch up throughout the day with the same colour – well that was the intention but I was having so much fun I just forgot.
4. Get tips from the professionals
Unless you’re a celebrity or a model it’s not every day that you have a makeup artist’s undivided attention. Make the most of your time with them by asking how to use a certain product or their recommendation to tackle a particular beauty concern. When it came to filling in my sparse brows I used to be heavy handed and end up with the angry look, until my wedding makeup artist showed me how to use a lead tip eyebrow pencil. Since then I’ve been hooked on the result which you can read about in my post about groomed eyebrows.
5. Showcase your personality
The official bridal line tends to be ‘keep your makeup quite natural to avoid looking dated’. But that doesn’t sound much fun. Don’t be afraid to bring in some of you into the mix, be it a signature red lip, winged eyeliner or soft smokey eye. Burberry’s Plum Pink Eye Palette (reviewed here) can enhance your eyes whilst being wedding day appropriate.
6. Think outside the wedding box
At the time I didn’t think of looking outside the world of wedding makeup artists, and although the bridal pros will be well versed in how to make your makeup last all day and ready for the flash of the cameras, nothing’s stopping you from using a makeup artist who specialises in fashion shoots or portraits instead. They may well have a different take on things and bring something unique to your look.
7. No beauty experiments the week before
Whilst it’s great fun to experiment with new beauty treatments, there is a time and place for it and 48 hours before the big day is not it. No nos include trying a new skincare product or treatment which your skin could react to, testing a tanning salon you’ve not been to before (remember Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars?) or getting a new haircut which you realise afterwards doesn’t work with your wedding day chignon.
8. Discover your wedding fragrance
This one is very much down to personal taste. Either you prefer to stick to your signature scent or you’d rather find a new fragrance that will remind you of your special day every time you spritz. I went with the latter (the perfect excuse to add to my fragrance collection) and you’ll find plenty of brands that offer bridal fragrances, from Estée Lauder’s classic Beautiful to Jo Malone’s elegant Bridal Collection. Just go with your gut (or your nose) and pick a scent that makes you happy, or for some inspiration check out my fragrance review.
Hair and makeup may just play a small part in the full wedding picture but if you’re comfortable with your look you can put it out of your mind and focus on enjoying your day. Do you have any beauty tips for the wedding season? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Hair and makeup by Carla Crawford.
Photos by Amy Scaife at Love & Adventures.