Top Tips for Bridal Make Up

You have the dress, the venue, the flowers, catering and photographer all in place but have you thought about your own bridal hair and makeup? Each day the average woman will spend 55 minutes on hair and makeup (totalling 2 and a half years in our lifetime) so of course it will be one of the main considerations for your big day but it’s often left to the last minute. After sharing the top Spring and Summer makeup trends last month and as we are swiftly approaching the wedding season, we thought it was about time we shared our top tips for bridal make up ahead of your big day.

It’s your special day and one of the most memorable days of your life so of course you want to look amazing and for your makeup to stay in place for the full day. So… here are our do’s and don’t.


Prepare in Advance

If you are planning on tanning for your big day, make sure you have a trial in advance? If you’re happy with it and know you are going for that skin tone, have a trial with your makeup artist to give you a chance to see how it will look with your chosen shade of tan.

For your trial, wear a white top to see how the makeup looks against a lighter shade (similar to your wedding dress) and ensure you test it in natural daylight. Have your trial as early as possible in the morning to see how the makeup holds up over the course of the day and have someone take some images to see how well it photographs. Your wedding photos will last your lifetime so you want to ensure you get it right.

Your foundation will only be as good as the skin underneath it so consider having a facial around 5 days before and ensure you exfoliate in the days leading up to your wedding.

kaboompics.com_Makeup staffs

Your base

On your wedding day your base / foundation will be one of the biggest considerations.

Moisturise and prime: think of it as a canvas for your makeup to stick to. The primer you choose will depend on your skin type but think of primer as a smoother, pore filler and miracle worker to keep your makeup in place all day long.

Foundation: You should be looking for a foundation which matches both your face and decolletage perfectly, moisturising with great coverage (but not too heavy) and looks perfect in photographs (not asking for very much). If you’re getting married indoors or are worried about your night-time photos, HD foundations and those with very low SPFs will ensure you avoid the ghostly white face (it’s the camera flash bouncing off the SPF) however if you’re getting married outside with natural lighting, there is less to worry about.

Concealer: used for very different reasons to foundation, concealers are designed to cover blemishes, provide additional coverage in the areas you need it and brighten your under eye area. Be sure to apply after your foundation and only in the areas you need it.

Powder: nobody wants the cakey powder face so go very light with the powder, just enough to set your makeup in place for the day. Gone a little overboard? Apply a spritz of setting spray to add a little moisture back into your skin.


Eyeshadow: avoid eyeshadows which are dark and heavy and go for a minimalist nude eye. Also, it’s best to avoid trends which date very quickly. Your makeup may be on point now but you don’t want to look back on photographs and cringe years later.
Mascara: Embrace the waterproof formulas. Because there are bound to be happy tears and no one wants the dreaded ‘Panda eye’.
Lashes: you don’t want to go for a heavy lash that will detract from a soft, natural makeup look. Using wispy, fluttery or individual lashes nestled between your natural lashes will give a natural effect.


It’s essential you look around for the most complementary lip colour and a formula which works well for you. If you’re swaying towards a statement lip ensure this is paired with a softer, more natural eye. One essential for your big day is to use a lip liner to both outline your natural lip and colour in the full lip before applying your lipstick – this will allow for easy touch-ups throughout the day.

On the day essentials

Powder: if you get oily, a powder will be essential taking you from day to night.
Cotton buds: for the teary eyed brides, cotton buds will be required to tidy up your eye area.
Lipstick: no matter how long-lasting your lipstick, it will fade throughout the day. Don’t forget to take your lipstick and liner with you.

Whether you go pro or opt to do your makeup yourself, taking into consideration what we have said will start you off on track to the perfect bridal makeup. If you have any more questions, drop us a message over on Facebook and Twitter.

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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