Your Ultimate Wedding Make-Up Guide
Your Ultimate Wedding Make-Up Guide

Your Ultimate Wedding Make-Up Guide

8 minutes read

Wedding make-up can be a minefield – there are so many factors to consider and all eyes will be on you, so you want everything to look perfect. But planning a wedding is stressful as it is, and if you’ve just started thinking about your make-up, we can imagine you must have questions. So to help you out, here is Beauty Daily’s complete wedding make-up guide.

What makes bridal make-up special?

There’s the obvious fact that you want to look your best on your wedding day. But when it comes to wedding make-up, there are a few more things to consider.

You want the make-up to look good in real life and last long without creasing or smudging. In addition, it needs to translate well in photographs – finding the right balance between dewy but not shiny, flawless without being over the top. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it needs to make you feel terrific.

Here’s everything you need to know to plan your perfect wedding make-up.

Bridal make-up: things to consider

Should you do your own wedding make-up?

It depends on several factors. Doing your own wedding make-up has its advantages: you know better than anyone else the products that suit you. This is, of course, if you are a regular make-up wearer and know precisely what works for you. Plus, a more relaxed wedding day is almost guaranteed without a hair and make-up entourage involved.

On the other hand, if you have any doubts about being able to pull it off, or if the idea stresses you out, it’s best to hire an expert.

How much will wedding make-up cost?

It’s important to find a make-up artist whose style and aesthetic aligns with your own. So take your time to do your research and budget accordingly. You can find artists across price ranges – expect to spend anywhere between £200 and £500 on average, although this could vary depending on the artist you select.

What make-up products should you invest in?

If you’re planning to do your make-up, you first need to figure out the exact products to shop for. We recommend allotting most of your budget for base make-up: foundation, concealer, powder and any other skincare you may need to prep the skin.

The rest of the products (eyeshadow, lipstick, eyeliner, etc.) you need will depend on the look you’re going for.

The wedding make-up tips and tricks you need to know

Choose the right skincare

What you apply to your skin before your make-up is very important. “When it comes to skincare, don’t cut corners,” advises Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager. “The more hydrated your skin is, the better the make-up will look.” Choose formulas that suit and nourish your skin type. Also, make sure you’re following a good skincare routine in the months leading up to the wedding.

On the day of your wedding, stick to products you know and love. Treat your skin to a hydrating mask like the SOS Hydra Refreshing Hydration Mask, giving it a moisture boost in just 10 minutes.

McHale recommends the SOS Primer in Universal Light or Rose if you have dry skin and want an extra dose of radiance. Alternatively, the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch is ideal for smoothing fine lines and pores and will make your foundation glide on the skin with ease.

Bonus tip: Clarins is currently offering three free skincare minis, plus your choice of Lip Perfector if you spend £90 or over on the site. Just use the code WEDDING at checkout. Find more details here.

Give yourself a radiant glow

Whatever your skin tone – from alabaster to melanin-rich – a touch of fake tan can give your skin a gorgeous glow – and give you a long-lasting tan that won’t sweat off. 

This is best done the day before, after exfoliating and moisturising, and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after applying so you don’t have orange palms. If things go wrong, no need to panic. You can always remove smudges and erase your tan if you’ve gone too dark. 

Look like yourself

Whatever your regular make-up style is, stick to it on your wedding day. You want to look at the photographs in the future and recognise yourself. So whether that’s a red lip or winged eyeliner – if it’s an element you include in your daily make-up, go for it. Don’t feel pressured to go for choices typically associated with bridal beauty or a more-is-more approach.

Try: The Ombre 4-Colour Eyeshadow Palette in 04 Brown Sugar Gradation is perfect for brides. Use the shimmery medium brown shade across the eyelids and the matte brown in the crease. The darkest shade is great for some definition around the lashes, while the pale gold brightens the inner corners of the eyes.

neutral bridal makeup

Give your look a test run

If you’re hiring a professional make-up artist, make sure you also budget for a make-up trial before the big day. This will ease any uncertainty you may have about the artist you’re picking and the look you have both decided on.

The same rule applies even if you’re doing the make-up yourself. Test it a few weeks prior, and make sure to take photographs: in direct sunlight, artificial lighting, flashlights and any other light setting that may be present on the day. If you’re planning on wearing a tan make sure you apply it in days running up to be sure to avoid it running! Removing fake tan from your wedding dress is an emergency you want to avoid

Also, take into account the style of your wedding. Celebrity wedding images look seamless because they have a team behind them, making sure everything runs smoothly. While you might not have the budget – you can get into their way of thinking. Create mood boards for your wedding; include your dress, bridesmaid’s outfits and accessories, venue and any theme. And then make sure everything fits together perfectly.

It’s also helpful to use every opportunity leading up to the wedding to practice the final look. If you need some extra help, consult an expert at your nearest Clarins counter or book yourself a free virtual beauty consultation online.

Block enough time for your make-up

Good make-up (even if it’s a natural look) takes time to execute. And you don’t want to be rushing on your wedding day. So allot at least 60 to 90 minutes for your make-up.

Be careful with SPF

If your wedding is in the daytime, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun. However, sunscreens often contain physical blockers like titanium dioxide that protect your skin by reflecting sunlight and making it bounce back. This is not good news when you’re being photographed – it could leave you looking pale, ashy and/or super shiny.

The solution? McHale suggests choosing an SPF-free foundation, but layering your sunscreen under it. “All Clarins foundations are now free from SPF. And for sun protection, you could kill two birds with one stone and use the SOS Primer UV SPF 30. It primes the skin and also provides sun protection,” she explains.

Perfect your complexion

To ensure your skin looks great, avoid going overboard with foundation.

Remember that foundation doesn’t do the job of giving you perfect skin on its own. The best advice I can give is to use really thin layers of product.

- Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager

After primer, apply foundation in a really thin layer. You want an overall layer of sheer coverage and then, if you want to, you can apply more – only where you need it, almost like a patchwork effect. Then add concealer where required. Once you’ve used all the cream and liquid-based products you need, set everything with a loose powder like the Ever Matte Loose Powder.

Make-up that won’t meltdown

Your wedding make-up has to stick around (and look good) for long hours. And there’s also a chance it will encounter some sweat and tears. For this reason, choose waterproof and smudge-proof formulas – especially for products used around the eyes. If you want long-lasting volume and definition, the Wonder Perfect Mascara 4D Waterproof is a great pick.

Clarins waterproof mascara

Ensure it photographs well

Your skin isn’t naturally matte, so a little bit of radiance always looks beautiful. But glow doesn’t always translate well in photography.

“There are certain areas of the face where shine can be a little unflattering. For example, the centre of the forehead, middle of the nose and around the nose and mouth,” explains McHale. “Dust a finely milled powder in those areas. Avoid powdering the tops of the cheekbones – we love a bit of shine there.”

Another tip? Even if you want your make-up to look natural, amp up the colour slightly more than you usually would. Cameras tend to wash you out, as does wearing a light colour like white or cream, so add a touch more bronzer and blush.

Make sure you have a beauty bag ready at the venue for touch-ups throughout the day. Include all the make-up you need (usually a concealer, mascara, powder and lipstick or gloss are good choices) along with some cotton buds to fix eye-make-up and Hydra-Essentiel Hydrating Multi-Protection Facial Mist – it won’t ruin make-up, but will help cool you down if you overheat or start to flush and also give your make-up a fresh new feel.

Make sure everything looks seamless

After your make-up is complete, take a step back and assess it. Then, use a clean brush to give everything one last blend: use a bigger brush for the face (concealer creases, bronzer lines) and a smaller one for the eyes.

Finish with a spritz of Fix’ Make-Up — to set your make-up, add some glow and also to let the grapefruit and rosewater scent calm you down before your big day.

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