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Design Your Perfect Bridal Makeup

As a makeup artist, without doubt, the best part of my job is showing my bride her finished makeup look.  It’s such a gorgeous moment when everything finally comes together, the hair, the dress, the flowers and of course the makeup makes it complete.

But, as I’m sure most of us know, this magical moment doesn’t just happen by the stuff of fairy tales!  It usually takes thought, planning and a good collaboration with your makeup/hair artist, to create an effortless, relaxing last couple of hours prep on your wedding morning, before the big reveal.

My many years of experience, over 1000’s of weddings, has taught me how to naturally, and automatically, bring together a look that considers lots of elements of a unique day – venue, flowers, bridesmaids, but I also need to work with my bride and find out what SHE wants. She knows herself best, and knows what she will or won’t be happy, and most importantly, comfortable with.

So, I’ve put together a few pointers to start the ball rolling when it comes to designing the perfect bridal makeup.

What level of makeup?

Perhaps the best starting point should be around how much makeup you usually wear.

I often ask my brides how much makeup they would wear on their biggest night out.  Not because that’s what I’m going to do for them, but because it gives me an idea of their comfort level with makeup.

One persons smokey eye, can definitely not be anothers! I’ve had a bride ask me for a heavy smokey eye and then been surprised that I’ve used an eyeliner – I’ve had other brides ask for a natural look and then been disappointed when there is no red lipstick or black eyeliner in sight!  That’s because we all have a different perception of what is natural, glam, smokey or fresh. No one is right or wrong, it’s a personal interpretation, but in order to find the perfect personalised wedding look, it’s a basic starting point to consider.

One of the most common misconceptions at the moment is what a ‘natural’ look entails.

There is a big difference between a fresh skin with a natural glow, freckles peeping through, a stain on the cheek and lip to represent a sweet natural flush and demurely bitten lip, and a full makeup that involves layers of nearly every product available, but in muted and natural tones, creating a beautiful flawless look that many consider to still look natural.  However, if the chosen look  is the full make-up in muted tones, will the bride be comfy in eyelashes, feeling the foundation or product on her skin, and having to keep up with her lip liner all day or, if the chosen look is the fresh look, will she feel naked and underdone?

These are extreme examples and there is definitely a middle ground, especially with the introduction of airbrushed foundation that suits most, but it’s something to consider and is the basis for everything.

I’m going to move on and cover more elements, every one of which can be introduced into the perfect bridal makeup, but how much or how little is the question?

Wedding Colour Palette

In most cases, the overall wedding colour palette or theme, will probably be a very important factor when thinking about makeup.

A wedding colour theme may be chosen to compliment the bride, the venue or the season, and will almost always cover the bridesmaids dresses, flowers, table decorations, seat coverings, the mens suits and maybe the even brides dress, hair accessories, jewellery and so on.

Whatever the reason for choosing the wedding colour theme, and whether it be warm toned, neutral or cool toned, there will always be colours in these tones that work well for the eyes, skin and hair colour which can be incorporated to create the dream look.

Rose pink of the flowers for a gentle blush or lip, or warm autumnal bridesmaids dresses, deserving of a deep rich lip, the wedding colour palette will possibly do most of the work and point a very definite finger at the way to go with makeup colours.


Wedding Dress and Venue

Once the dream wedding gown has been chosen, some consideration should be given to the style of the dress and the fabric of the dress. This could have a bearing on how heavy a make-up application can be in order to create balance with the dress.  A big, heavy fabric with a lot of texture would be balanced with a strong makeup whereas a very simple shift of silk, may require a more delicate touch.  Similarly the texture of the makeup can be complimentary to the dress – matte, satin, glossy, metallic, shimmer or glitter?

The venue also comes into play.  Will it be dark, meaning possibly a heavier makeup or strong daylight, meaning it could be kept as light as possible whilst still achieving the look. Hot or cold? Is it a destination wedding, will the appropriate products be used for the temperate of the day?


Hair Colour, Eye Colour and Natural Features

It may sound obvious, but with so many other elements to consider, sometimes the closest to home gets forgotten about.  Hair colour plays a huge role in the whole bridal makeup look. Harmonising the makeup using complimentary colours to the brides hair, will create a timeless look and amazing photographs.  Eye colour is also extremely important. As mentioned earlier, even within each colour palette tone, there will be colours to suit every eye colour (some suit more than one), so it’s about understanding and honing in on that one, to really make the eyes pop.

Natural features are the third aspect to take into account.  For the most part, the job of bridal make-up is to enhance natural features to enable a bride look and feel at her absolute best whilst still feeling and looking like herself,  Sometimes though, we may want to employ a few little tricks to draw attention to or from a feature.

Very thin lips for instance often work best with a natural gloss, leaving all the attention to be taken to the beautiful smokey eyes. Small eyes may benefit from classy yet minimal makeup coupled with a beautiful red or striking lipstick making the lips the focal point.

I’ll be exploring in more detail, all of the topics, tips and tricks that I’ve touched on here in future blogs, so keep your eyes peeled!

In the meantime, here are a couple of bullet points to keep in mind.

1) Have a good look through Pinterest, magazines, google search or any platform where you can find inspiration and save anything that takes your fancy – you can always narrow it down later.

2) Focus on looks that showcase women with similar hair colour and features to your own.

3) You don’t have to find it all in the same image – compile a few, you can take the eyes from one image and the lips from another.  Your Makeup Artist is there to help you and guide you through the process.

4) This is a big one!  Don’t ask for too many opinions.  We all have different ideas and it really can get quite confusing, it’s easy to loose a sense of yourself and what you thought you wanted.  Maybe choose maybe one or two trusted views but always remember, YOURS is the only one that matters.


Love Laura x

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