Thursday, 14 August 2014

My wedding makeup!

Among all the tutorials, forums and posts on the internet wedding makeup has to be the most requested and hotly debated! I have done a few bridal themed looks in the past, but planning your own makeup can be quite the challenge. I opted for a defined, but classic look not too different from my every day (but a lot more neat and product heavy) as I wanted to look like myself, but the best version of myself... I personally don't think your wedding day is the right time to try anything new or risky and I despair a little when I see brides who never wear makeup suddenly decide to try that dark smokey eye they had always admired in magazines. Not to say they don't look beautiful, but you don't ever want to look back at photos and think that you don't look like yourself.
The most important things to consider are the weather (opt for long lasting, oil free products in the hotter months), your location and wedding style. If you are going for a boho Summer wedding a red lip and lashings of eyeshadow may not look quite right, but may be perfect for a Winter Wonderland theme!

Our wedding was quite a traditional, classic summer wedding with lots of flowers and a neutral palette of blush pinks, ivories and a hint of silver. I therefore went for a classic look with clean skin, defined eyes, rosy lips and cheeks. However, not taking my own advice with regards to preparation in the hurricane of wedding planning it was a week before the big day when I realised I hadn’t even planned my makeup! I had booked an MUA for my bridal party, but hadn’t planned what to do for myself… Luckily being a hoarder I managed to shop my stash and only had a few essentials to pick up. I did a quick (half face) trial the weekend before the wedding and just hoped that my nerves would be steady enough to execute liquid eyeliner on the day!

My top tip for any special occasion makeup where you will be photographed is to go for a base that has little or no SPF and a powder that doesn’t have too much titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, silica or mineral sunscreens. These are the culprits of the intense white glare that you get with flash photography! For longevity you may also want to consider oil free products that verge on the matte or velvet rather than dewy or glowy finishes.
(Quick selfie after I finished my makeup - with flash)

I primed my skin with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and used Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation which gave a lovely finish without being too heavy. Summer weddings are definitely the most difficult to prepare for in terms of skin as you want to have flawless makeup that will last through the heat well into the night without looking too heavily made up, especially in the day and in bright sunlight. I therefore chose an oil free foundation with buildable coverage and used layers of powder to ensure longevity rather than piling on too heavy a foundation.
For concealer I used various textures on different areas of my face. Under the eyes I used my favourite L’ancome Effacernes mixed with Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. I find that the L’ancome concealer is pigmented, but light enough in texture to be used under the eyes without too much creasing. It also has a peachy tint that helps to counteract dark circles (and having been woken at 5am on my wedding day mine were awful). The Sensual Skin Enhancer is a much heavier, waxier texture that I used sparingly on top (mainly because it is a much lighter shade) to add some highlight to the under eye area. On the rest of the face I used MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer (from the PRO Conceal and correct Palette) which has great coverage and staying power.
(No flash)
To set I used Clarins Mineral Loose Powder pressed into the skin with an old fashioned powder puff. Getting married in July with oily skin I would definitely recommend copious amounts of powder!
For a little contour I used MAC’s Sculpt and Shape duo. I would say this is an absolute must not only for photographs, but also because on your wedding day you are wearing one solid block of white or ivory so your face needs a little dimension to overcome some of the reflection. This duo is great as it contains minimal shimmer so the highlight will not create glare when using flash. I used MAC's Dame as my blush for a cool toned pink flush.
For my eyebrows I used MAC’s brow shader and set them with an old mascara wand sprayed with a little hair spray.
Contrary to the order of this post I actually did my eyes first (except for the mascara) to ensure there was no eyeshadow fallout. I primed with my longstanding favourite Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden and used Urban Decay Sin shadow all over the lid. I then used a MAC 219 pencil brush and MAC Quarry shadow to define the crease and a MAC 217 brush with Wedge to blend it out. I then dipped in and out various soft brown and muted grey tones to ensure the crease was well defined and blended. I used Urban Decay strange (from the NAKED 3 palette) as my highlight with a tiny bit of MAC Phloof! at the highest point of the Arch. I then finished off the eyes with MAC’s blacktrack fluidline and L’ancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof mascara (on the lower lashes).
 (Close up from my mini trial)
Given my natural eyelashes are absolutely tiny, and I definitely wanted a more dramatic lash look on my wedding day, instead of risking false lashes that could start curling off in the corners (like they did in our engagement shoot) I had eyelash extensions. These were done by the wonderful  and super talented Asma at her Boudoir Lashes Parlour in Shoreditch (my previous review of her eyelash extensions can be found here with detailed photos). Unfortunately as I was still working all the way up to my wedding day I had to have my lashes done a week before so they were not at their best, but they still looked so much better and more natural than falsies. I was also happy knowing that I didn’t have to worry about them in the heat and through any tears!

For the lips I used my trusty MAC cremesheen lipstick in Crème cup, which is a very natural blue toned pink.
To ensure longevity I touched up my t-zone just before leaving with MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and sprayed Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. The wedding was at 2pm and given I had to finish my makeup by about 11.30am (so I could do last minute prep and have enough time for hair) I was impressed that it lasted well over 12 hours of rain, sun, smiling, crying and dancing. I touched up with powder twice throughout the day to take away shine, but other than that it was pretty much worry free!
I hope this helps if you are planning your wedding day makeup. I would say a trial is the most important thing - get your makeup done in the morning and see how it lasts throughout the day and night and make sure to take some flash photos in the meantime! Please do let me know if you have any questions. 

Always happy to help! xxx


  1. You look great! I appreciate the explanations you give as to why you chose the product. It's helpful for people who want to do more than copy a color. Congrats!

  2. I'm currently planning my wedding and was going to use that Mac concealer as I love it but it has an spf of 35 - did you find this an issue at all? X

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Yeah, it's a weird one! I have never had a problem with it, but I usually use a very small amount and only on blemishes rather than on large areas... Perhaps try it for a night out a little heavier than normal and see if you get any flashback. Hope that helps! xx

  3. Great, will try it out, thanks! Your make up looked lovely x


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