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Beauty Ed’s Masterclass…. on lip shades to make your wedding make-up ‘pop’

New York Woman Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 Oscar De La Renta show

Because wedding lipsticks don’t have to come from a palette of boring beige or barely-there pink tones.… Personally i’m a big fan of a pout with clout – ruby red, punchy damson and juicy apricot – these are the kind of shades that’ll decorate my first kiss. But no lip colour will look good (or first kiss feel good for that matter) on less than super-smooth lips. So to pull off pout perfection….

Condition them

… by gently rubbing them with a dry flannel and coating in lip balm at any opportunity. You are a bride, not a ‘cereal’ killer – every imperfection will be magnified to the size of a Frostie in ‘the kiss’ wedding snaps! *shudders*

Colour them

… choosing shades which suit your personality and skin tone. I wear lipstick every day so to opt for a more muted mouth come the Big One won’t feel, or look right to me. Not sure which colours you can carry off? As a rule, English roses suit cool blue reds and blue pinks. Olive, Mediterranean or Asian tones look beyond beautiful wearing warmer shades like light brown, orange or berry. If you’ve black skin you’ll look ah-may-zing in pretty much any bright shade you can get your hands on. Against a white frock, the brighter the better! My texture of choice is definitely satin-finish – it won’t feel too dry nor too greasy. When out lipstick shopping, rather than the back of your hand, a make-up artist pal advised me to always check the shade on a fingertip where the colour and texture is closer to that of your lips.

Apply right

… over a layer of lip primer to stop it creeping past your lip line. I’m happily road testing MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip, £14.50. Using a matching liner to your lipstick, draw around your lip line to ensure that both lips look symmetrical (eh? more of that later…) then paint on your lip colour using a brush. A couple of thin coats, blotted on a tissue will last longer than one gloopy one – plus there’s less risk of it sticking to your teeth. Use the tip of the brush, starting in one corner and working inwards to ensure your lip line and cupid’s bow looks razor sharp, then use the flat of the brush to fill in the rest of your mouth. Add a dot of gloss in the centre of your lower lip before pressing your lips together for a fuller looking pout. Don’t forget to pop your lippy in your wedding kit bag for day-long touch-ups.

So about lip shaping… If you’re a little wonky in the lip department, (don’t stress: apparently 90% of us are) try to even things up with some crafty lipliner action before applying your lippy. Just don’t try drawing too far outside your natural lip line, you won’t fool anyone. Too thin? Draw on the outer edge from corner to corner and big-up the gloss. Uneven? Draw just outside your lip line to achieve perfect symmetry. Down-turned? Lift them care of concealer around the outer corners and bump up the colour in the centre. Too fat? Try a gloss-free stain instead.

About the rest of your face….

… groomed brows, perfect skin, a lick of black mascara, bronzed cheeks, ivory swept eyelids and you’re all ready to go…

The kiss of death….

is lipstick on your teeth. Hopefully if it does happen, your MOH will be onhand with a tissue to save an otherwise sky-high photo retouching bill.  After applying, subtly stick your index finger in your mouth, close your lips around it and pull it out, along with any excess colour. (Also, ‘discreetly’ lick the rim of your champagne flute before you sip to prevent lipstick marks.)

The holding picture shows MAC’s Follow Your Heart Lip Pencil applied all over – make-up artist Diane Kendal created this very wedding-friendly lip look for Oscar De La Renta’s S/S16 show. ‘Fresh, clean and beautiful,’ she called it. I love it….

Coming on strong – other lip colours i love…


The Matte Lip_Lipstick_TROPIC TONIC_300

MAC Lipstick in Tropic Tonic, £15.50

A super-saturated slick of satsuma. Ok, it’s high-maintenance, but who wants to look low-rent on their wedding day anyway? Plus you can get away with wearing little else but lashes… Beyond gorgeous if you’re getting married with a suntan.

RichLipColor OldHol

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Old Hollywood, £20

Let’s call it the ‘reddy for bed’ look (ahem). Apparently, every time you come face-to-face with your fiancé your lips naturally become fuller and redder. The science bit to explain why… your lips contain special sensors near the skin’s surface called Meissner’s corpuscles that respond to stimulation. A true Robert Palmer ‘Addicted To Love’ video red looks good on everyone.



Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Luster, £19.50

An in-your-face fuchsia that was made for modern brides craving a modern, yet relaxed look. Works at any time of year and any ceremony setting.

Max Factor MM Colour Elixir Lipstick CABERNET RED £7.99Max Factor MM Colour Elixir Lipstick CABERNET RED £7.99MaxFactorCABERNETRED

Max Factor Marilyn Monroe Lipstick in Marilyn Cabernet, £7.99

Get your gums around this plum….! Against a white, or ivory wedding dress, burgundy lips look stunning. Whether you’re planning an Autumnal or winter wedding, you’ll look groomed to perfection.

So, what way are you going? I’m torn between red, fuchsia and merlot. One thing I am sure of though, is that I won’t be getting married in the nude……

I hope you enjoyed this masterclass. There are more to come but for an instant fix, check out my masterclasses on mascara and blusher.

Sarah x

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  • Ummmm….. jammy black pink lipsticks against my pale skin and white (yes, I’m having a white) dress. D-I-V-I-N-E.

    I’m channelling Scarlet O’Hara for my wedding look, including the waves

    7 months ago : hannah
  • Oof! I love a statement lip. As long as you stay matte you shouldn’t have too many problems during the day. I’ll be rocking hot fuchsia courtesy of Mac!!!!

    4 years ago : Bettie
  • I honestly didn’t consider how a-mazing a hot pink pout looks with a white dress! Here’s a tear going in my scrapbook. Cheers! Lauren Chevalier-2-B x

    6 years ago : Lauren
    • Get your gums around some plums! Or in your case Lauren, fuchsia. I just wanted to say gums and plums. Immature? me?

      6 years ago : Sarah Green
  • I totally agree. I never wear neutral colours – I’m a hot pink pout every day kinda gal – but when i went for my trial the make-up artist talked me into going heavy on eyes/pale on mouth. she said it’d easier to maintain on the big day which i do kinda get. But I just felt drab. I thought i’d let her do it on the morning then ramp it up before the photos. Am I wrong?

    6 years ago : jenna
    • Jenna! Step away from the boring beige. You’ll feel drab and will hate the pictures too. This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Do not let that make-up artist to within an inch of your face until she’s ditched the dull colours x

      6 years ago : Sarah Green