DIY bridal make-up

ELLE puts Bobbi Brown to the test




The final look

Four weeks. In four weeks, I will be someone’s wife. And while I’m not scared about that part, I am worried about my face – namely, what I will put on it, and how it will look in the photographs.

I’ve opted to do my make-up myself on the day (primarily for ease: we live in London but are getting married in Scotland, so doing trials beforehand proved tricky) and, while I know what I want, I want to make sure I use the best products and methods possible.


Enter Bobbi Brown. There’s a reason millions of brides choose Bobbi Brown on their wedding day: her beauty philosophy is all about looking like you at your most beautiful, a mantra that seems to mould seamlessly with what the majority of women want on their big day.

Sadly, the guru herself wasn’t available to do my trial, so instead I went to Bobbi Brown at Liberty for a bridal make-up lesson. Studio manager Michelle sat me down for a consultation, talking through my skin type (combination), what make-up I usually wore, when the wedding was and where, and how I wanted to look on the big day. A die-hard eyeliner fan, I told her I wanted a more polished version of my usual make-up: an eyeliner flick with rosy cheeks and lips, plus glowing skin and groomed brows. Here we go…


My bridal make-up kit

Step One: Skin prep

Bobbi believes that beauty begins with healthy, glowing skin, so Michelle cleansed mine with Soothing Cleansing Oil, £31, followed by Extra Treatment Lotion, £45, some serum to plump and even out the skin, and Hydrating Face Cream, £38.50. 

Step Two: Base

I have sensitive yet oily skin and rarely wear foundation, preferring instead a CC cream. But a wedding equals lots of photos and, without doubt, foundation gives a more photogenic finish. Michelle used a brush to apply Skin Foundation in Beige, £31, topped with a layer of Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Soft Sand, £26, and a dusting of Bronzing Powder, £28, applied in a ‘three’ shape (along the hairline, curving in and along the tops of the cheekbones, and back down and along the jaw) to lightly contour the face. This was topped off with Blush in Desert Pink, £19, for a face-lifting pop of colour. The piece de resistance? The Corrector, £19. Literally an eye-lift in a jar. It has to be tried to be believed.

My brush kit

Step Three: Eyes

On to the best bit: the liner. I’m obsessed with Sixties beauty, so, despite sometimes cheating on the flick with a red lip, it’s got to be black eyeliner on the big day. Bobbi’s Long-Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink, £18, is one of the best around: long-wearing and rich. Michelle expertly drew on a thick, dramatic flick, then added definition to the eye socket using Eyeshadow in Ivory (all over) and Grey (the socket), £17.50. Finally, she filled in my brows with the Dark Brow Kit, £35.

Step Four: Lips

While I love my trusty Mac red lipstick, I’ve never found the right shade of pink. Well, that’s changed. Kate Middleton famously wore Bobbi’s Lip Colour in Sandwash Pink, £19.50, on her wedding day, and if it’s good enough for Kate… It’s a great shade for blue-eyed brunettes, and a lovely, rosy, bridal pink. Sold.


My bridal beauty chart

The verdict: I feel like me, only better, which is exactly what Bobbi and her team set out to do. The best bit? Michelle guided me through what she was doing step by step, so I will feel comfortable recreating this look on my own (with a few practice runs first).

Bobbi Brown offers all brides-to-be a free 45-minute make-up consultation. For more information, and to find your nearest counter, go to

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