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Rise and shine…

6 ways to ensure you’ll look picture perfect on your Wedding Day

Or… if the butterflies in your stomach just won’t settle the night before, it’s how to look good knackered!!!! I’m pretty sure that a cocktail of nerves and excitement will leave me staring at the ceiling rather than clocking up hours of (beauty) sleep – and I know that it won’t do my face any favours come the morning. Luckily, during my years as a bridal journo, I’ve been able to pick the brains of many a beauty expert so I’ve asked Super Facialist Debbie Thomas ( and bridal make-up artist Lina Cameron ( for their essential get-up-and-glow tricks. First things first though, it’s not called beauty sleep for nothing….

rise and shine

1. Optimise your sleep

Unfortunately a lack of sleep can be a real skin saboteur. I’m talking a less-than-perky complexion topped off with dark circles and puffy eyes. Can your photography retouching budget handle it During the day, skincare choices are all about hydration, luminosity and protection. But at night, as Debbie says, ’skin switches into repair mode,’ so skincare should focus on regeneration and brightness-boosting. ‘I always advise my brides-to-be to religiously double-cleanse and to use overnight products containing mild AHA acids that will brighten, plump and perk up their skin, no matter how much they slept.’ Nuff said.

2. Wake your face

‘Freeze your toner overnight in an ice cube tray then rub a cube in small circles over your face in the morning to help close pores and reduce puffiness,’ suggests Debbie. What a great idea! ’Another bonus is that if a pimple is threatening to erupt, the coldness from the cube will minimise swelling.’ Before applying your moisturiser, massage a hydrating serum in upwards, outwards moves to drain excess fluid and encourage plumped up, radiant skin. Apply a cooling eye mask tor a few minutes to decongest and de-puff your eyes too.

3 Ease up on foundation

Don’t hide under a heavy layer of foundation. ‘Opt for a lighter coverage with reflective pigments that will last the day and work for the photographer’s flash too.’ says Lina. Next up, concealer. An absolute essential for sleep-deprived wedding skin. ‘Find one with peach tones to counteract the dark circles under your eyes,’ says Lina, ‘but top it with a brightening highlighter to make the area look more natural.’ Lina adds a dab of highlighter under the brow bone, in the Cupid’s bow and in the inner corner of the eyes too.

4 Add cheeks!

For a healthy-looking, wide-awake glow, blend some cream blush in a peachy tone onto the apples of your cheeks (they’re fattest bits when you smile.) Remember that it’s easier to add more blusher than remove it, so start subtle and build up the intensity until you get a look you love. For more tips on how a couple of well-blended blobs of blusher can instantly lift your look (not to mention create killer cheekbones) take a look at my Masterclass on Blusher

5 Open your eyes

‘Curling your lashes instantly opens your eyes,’ says Lina. ‘Then, over a layer of black mascara, stroke on an eye-brightening coat of navy.’ Apparently, a subtle blue blink is less harsh and don’t-look-into-my-tired-eyes than black.

6 Refocus your face

‘Switch the emphasis away from sleepy eyes to bolder, brighter lips,’ suggests Lina. ‘It’s easier and quicker to play up your lips than to create a smokey eye.’ Apply a punchy slick of red or fuchsia over a layer of primer to lock in the colour and make your lips look fuller, smoother and more camera-perfect. Keep your eye make-up to a minimum, ensuring your eyebrows are gorgeously groomed.


Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, £34
Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate, £50
Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner, £9.99
Yves Saint Laurent Forever Light Creator Serum, £65
SkinCeuticals AOX+ Eye Gel, £70
Diorskin Nude Air Foundation, £33
MAC Select Moisturecover, £15.50
Benefit “Watts Up” Soft Focus Highlighter, £24.50
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral, £19.50
By Terry Terribly Growth Booster Mascara in Terrybleu, £33.50
Bourjois Rouge Edition 12hour Lipstick in Pamplemousse Farmss, £7.99

Thanks ladies, I’ll be road testing your advice in the coming weeks. Worrying about my entrance at the church, what my ‘Bridesman’ may reveal about me during his speech and whether the DJ will play the choons he’s promised I’m pretty sure will keep me awake the night before my own Big Day. So do you have any tricks that may make the-morning-face-after-the-no-sleep-night-before any more bearable? Share them with me!

x Sarah


  • I have BIG trouble sleeping before a big event. To help me on my way I take a herbal sleeping pill. They’ve never failed me. I never take them in succession and maybe because they’re herbal I never wake up drowsy. I’d really recommend herbal Nytol. 😴Nix x

    5 years ago : Nixter
  • Reckon the cost of this kit will keep me awake at night. Like the idea of the blue mascara though. Will try that. XO NPBIAC

    6 years ago : Nobodyputsbabyinacorner
  • How to look good knackered! Hah! I love that! Reckon I attempt this every Monday morning…!

    6 years ago : Rhiannon R
  • Definitely printing this page out – reckon I’ll need all the help I can get come the big day…… What a great tip about freezing toner. Genius!

    6 years ago : nicki