So you are flying off to get hitched at the latest and greatest resort in Bali? Bora Bora? Fiji? Niagara Falls (Canadian side of course)? A hair & makeup artist may not be in your budget to fly to Paradise Island and your options to hire locally may be limited. The cost of being a ladder wielding bride may mean that you are having to DIY your bridal beauty. Here is your makeup how-to from start to finish:
Step 1 - Skin prep: hopefully you are the glowing bride radiating from within with your love but if your skin is a stress mess - blotchy and broken out calm by exfoliating with raw sugar followed by a calming masque. SPF is your last step before your makeup. To keep your oils at bay on your big day I recommend using an oil-free moisturizer which minimizes shiny skin in photos too. Try Dermalogica's Oil Control Lotion or for normal to dry skin use Skin Smoothing Cream. You can boost your spf coverage by adding in the Solar Defense Booster spf50 to any moisturizer.
Step 2 - Primer: Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer with its active ingredients it’s the first of its kind to offer a blurred line between skincare and makeup - speaking of blurring... The pearl essence also helps to diffuse fine lines and pigmentation prepping the skin for foundation.
There are other primers on the market that I like such as Laura Mercier Foundation Primers which also come in a variety of choices from matte to radiant, and have travel sizes too to minimize packing space.
Step 3 - Flawless Base: FACEatelier Ultra Foundation is the ultimate second skin foundation. Hyper-pigmented yet breathable leaving your skin smooth and flawless. I have been using foundation virtually exclusively in my work since 2004.
Follow with your concealer as needed - most women I find overuse concealer. Make sure you are lit from the front and not from above when applying your makeup - GREAT lighting is needed for a proper makeup application. My latest concealer fave is Laura Mercier's Undercover Pot which is also great for traveling as it contains a concealer for under the eyes, a camouflage for breakouts and a little setting powder.
You won't see me recommending powders often in foundation nor for setting - powders age you. Who wants that? But for the sake of your wedding makeup after your base is complete powder minimally! I LOVE Alison Raffaele's setting powder - it's the best in the biz as far as I'm concerned - truly for all skin tones and skin types without accentuating fine lines. I've tried the Amazing Cosmetics Setting Powder - that one is ok too.
Eye brighteners are NOT to be mistaken as concealers but often are. Move over Touche Eclat! Tom Ford's Illuminating Highlight Pen is a must! Conceal as (and if) needed and then use an eye brightener to perk up tired eyes. Eye Brighteners are reflective to help diffuse fine lines and tired eyes so over-application can leave with you with white blotches under the eyes with flash photography - yes use this but sparingly.
Step 4 - Blush/Contour/Highlight
You can never go wrong with my blush faves that happen to be the cult faves of many makeup artists and celebs.
From top left: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze on it's own creates a beautiful dewy colour and contour with its prism quality, NARS Laguna or Soap & Glory Solar Powder make great contours, NARS Copacabana for that dewy highlight (replacing my soon to be bankrupt Jemma Kidd All Over Dewy Glow) and of course NARS Orgasm for that err...uh... flushed glow.
Step 5 - Eyes:
An eye primer is a must especially for brides who need eye makeup to stay put all day. NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base which is colourless or Benefit creaseless cream shadows available in select colours for a light champagne base (Birthday Suit) up to a smoky base - they are also slightly reflective which adds depth and a little forgiveness if they aren't applied with the accuracy of a pro's hand.
This is wear it gets tricky. Do you want a simple natural eye or a smoky eye? Whatever your choice, refrain from being too on trend with your big day beauty. The latest blue eye shadow is going to be an eye sore in 10 years - you want to display your pictures with pride not cringe at what was in style. Classic gowns, hair and makeup is the way to go.
A classic eye which is also influenced by the 40s:
*Using a shimmery neutral cream shadow applied from lash line to brow bone. Benefit's Birthday Suit is my #1.
*In the crease apply a medium shade for contour. Try MAC Wedge or Laura Mercier Coffee Ground
*Apply a gel liner at the lash line using a bent liner brush to help with precision
*Use a Red Carpet eye popping trick with MAC Shroom applied to the inner corners of the eyes.
*Curl lashes and apply your fave mascara
If you are keen to do a classic smoky eye with more of a matte texture try Tom Ford Titanium Smoke palette (pictured).
An easy Smoky Eye:
*Base your lid with a cream shadow - I like to use bronze for green or hazel eyes, earthy plum for brown eyes, amber for blue eyes.
*Smudge a dark brown shadow at your lash line top and bottom and into your crease
*Line at your lash line and into your waterline with a smudgeable liner - I prefer to use black and smudge it with your brown shadow but you could opt for dark brown. My go to eyeliners are Tom Ford Beauty or MAC Powerpoint
*Lots of mascara and fake lashes if you can master them. Only use Ardell Lashes.
Step 6 - Lips
My two favourite lips for weddings: Red lips or nude lips; leave the frosty pink at home for your 80s themed party.
The best reds are Julie Hewett's Noirs pair with Givenchy Rouge lip liner
Nudes lippies: NARS Chelsea Girls, FACEatelier in Cameo, black|Up in #1 pair with Givenchy #12 lip liner or FACEatelier Cameo lip liner
Check back soon as I will do a DIY Bridal hair post soon.