To me, perfect bridal make-up must tick these boxes:
So here’s part 2 of my big day make-up guide, crammed with 25 top tips and tricks that I’ve gathered over the years to help you DIY your Big-Day make-up to perfection – I’m talking eyes, lashes, lips, cheeks & nails. Here goes:
1 Done well, eye make-up will enhance and make your eyes stand out. Creating classic eyes is easy. Just use a light, medium and deep tone of the same colour. Neutrals (greys, taupes and browns) work will all skin tones and eye colours and look beautiful on brides.
2 Eye shadow will last longer if you choose a powder or water-resistant cream formula and apply it to a dry base. A sprinkling of loose powder under your eyes will allow any stray flakes of colour to be swept away without wrecking your base.
3 DIY smoky eyes like this: Looking down into a mirror, blend the lightest matte shadow over your lids, taking it three-quarters of the way up towards your brows. Add your medium matte tone and work it like a mini windscreen wiper along your socket crease, blending it to the outer corners. A shade that’s too dark will make your eyes look smaller so don’t go for too contrasting a shade to the first one. Build up the colour in light layers until you get a look you love. Use the darkest shade as an eyeliner, blending a soft line all the way around your eyes.
4 If you love the look of eyeliner, try using damp shadow or, if you’re certain you won’t get the shakes, use a liquid formula. If black looks too harsh, try a softer tone like purple, grey, brown or navy instead.
5 Add a little sparkle for the evening courtesy of some sparkly shadow just over the lids or up the ante with another shot of eyeliner.
6 Curl your lashes to lift and fan out what mother nature has given you. It will instantly ‘open’ up your eyes. Looking down, place a curler at the roots of your upper lashes, squeeze gently then walk them down to the tips to create a curve.
7 To boost your lashes with just mascara, start by coating both your upper and lower lashes with a layer of lash primer.
8 For maximum impact, go for black mascara. In case you get a bit emotional, it’s worth going for a waterproof version of a lengthening mascara.
9 For lush lashes, look down as you zig-zag the wand through the upper lashes from roots to tips. Then, with your eyes wide open, stroke the wand through the upper lashes from underneath so that each lash in entirely coated. Hold the wand vertically as you sweep it from side the side along your lower lashes. Apply two layers, letting the first one dry.
10 If your outer lashes are on the stubby side, push a few individual lashes to the outer corners of your eyes. Beautiful!
11 Want to look healthier, younger and more radiant at the flick of a brush? Then blusher is your answer. But choosing the right shade is crucial. Thinking pink, the right one is the colour your cheeks natural turn when you’ve been exercising.
12 Pink is pretty for brides, but so is peach, especially if you’re naturally pale. Try more golden and plum shades if you’re darker.
13 For a soft, natural-looking finish, use a powder blusher and build it up in light layers for intensity. If you prefer a creamier texture, apply it sparingly too. Don’t be put off by how bright it looks in the pot as often it will blend to a sheerer pinched-cheek looking wash of colour.
14 Smile to find the apples of your cheeks and use a large, fluffy brush (or your fingers if you’re using a cream) to blend it from the apples up into the hairline.
15 The rule for bronzer is to only apply it where the sun would naturally hit your face – across your forehead, the bridge of your nose, chin and cheekbones. Don’t forget to add a little to your shoulders and décolleté too.
16 When you finally hear the words ‘you may now kiss the bride’ you want your groom to feel soft, smooth lips. Exfoliate them gently with a soft, clean toothbrush and keep them covered in balm leading up to W-day.
17 If you’ve never worn red lipstick before, don’t try it for the first time on your wedding day. It’ll give you a load more maintenance issues than you need. Instead, choose a neutral shade – like a rosy pink – that will enhance your natural lipcolour, complement the rest of your make-up and not be a cause of regret once the photos come back.
18 A layer of primer or foundation will lock your lip colour in for longer. As for texture, that’s down to personal choice, though I would add that pretty much every make-up artist I ever asked advised a satin-finish lipstick.
19 The perfect pout occurs when both lips are symmetrical. Use a lipliner to outline your ideal lip shape in short, feathery strokes. (Use a slightly darker liner on your bottom lip for some subtle lip-boosting.) Then fill in your whole lip with the liner/s before applying your first, thin coat of lipstick using a brush. Blot with a tissue before dusting on a tiny amount of translucent powder then add another coat of colour.
20 Lipstick on your teeth is the kiss of death. After every reapplication, pop your finger in your mouth, close your lips around it then pull it out. Any excess colour should come away – then resist all urges to wipe your lippy-d finger on your dress!
21 Flashing a new ring will mean that your hands are on show more than usual so keep them topped up with hand cream, especially at night and after washing.
22 A pre-bridal diet full of vitamins and minerals will nourish and help your nails to grow longer and stronger. Massage a nail oil into your cuticles every night too.
23 Natural-looking nails in shades of pale pink and barely-there beiges always look elegant on brides plus won’t draw attention away from the fabulous rock and wedding band you’ll want to show off. But if you prefer bold colours then go for it. I’m a total sucker for burgundy nails, especially for winter brides.
24 For a DIY mani, make sure your nails are clean of colour before shaping and buffing gently. FYI, squoval (that’s square with rounded edges) is always nice. Apply a base coat, let it dry then stroke on two thin coats of colour. Add a layer of top coat when it’s dry and massage in cuticle oil to nourish the skin around your nails.
25 If you’re struggling with your ‘something blue’ do what I did – pop it on your toe nails. So what if it’s covered up at the wedding? When those blue tootsies finally see the light of day on your honeymoon, they’ll look gorgeous.
So how are your DIY beauty plans going? Any extra tips to share? Please tell me in the comments below – and don’t forget to click onto Part 1. How to score a perfect DIY base (including concealer, highlighters and brows.)