Mastering your wedding make-up

Top tips and tricks


By Amy Lawrenson

Two of my friends have done a 'Kate Middleton' and played make-up artist, doing their own make-up on their wedding days. Both looked beautiful. They didn’t find it stressful or difficult but that’s because it’s all in the preparation.

Most recently I took my friend to Selfridges for four make-up trials at Chanel, MAC, Giorgio Armani and Bobbi Brown.


Here are the top tips we gained from the day…


• Have trials at different types of make-up counters in one store, like Selfridges (make a day of it). You’ll get different takes on wedding make-up from an artist at Chanel as you will from MAC, for example.

• A good make-up artist will ask, but tell them regardless, the following…

Type of wedding

Colour and style of your dress

Colour theme of the day – bridesmaid dresses, flowers etc.

• Talk about skincare and whether you will need a primer. Bobbi Brown’s foundations contain a primer so you don’t need to invest in one. See ELLE's top 10 primers here...

• Go for a look that you feel comfortable doing yourself at home.

• Get the make-up artist to do one side of your face and then try to recreate the other side with them there so they can guide you.

• Ask them for advice on application techniques – how to apply foundation (fingers, brush, sponge); concealing a spot (hopefully you will not need to know this!) – Basically anything you’re unsure on.

• Make sure they advise you which products you will need to take in a clutch for the day.

• Try to wear a top similar in colour to your wedding dress so you can see how the make-up looks against a white or ivory.

• Take photos of each of the looks created – inside and outside - so you can compare them.

• Ensure the make-up artist writes down all the products used on you in the trial and any tips you may want to remember.

• Don’t feel like you have to buy make-up all from one counter. My friend got her foundation from Giorgio Armani, blusher from Bobbi Brown, eyeshadows from Chanel and lipsticks from MAC.

• Set aside time on the morning to do your make-up, you don’t want to feel rushed.

• Blotting papers are a must to prevent shine in pictures without caking on layer, after layer of powder.

• Conceal your eyelids with concealer before applying eyeshadow – this will work as a primer.

• Want to wear a red lip? Opt for a stain rather than a gloss as this will last longer. MAC red lipsticks are incredibly hardy – our beauty director Sophie swears by RiRi Woo.

• If you’re tempted by a red lip but it tends to be your ‘going out look’ why not wear a soft pink or nude lip in the day and for the reception switch to a red?

• Intensify your lashes by applying eyeliner into the lower and upper waterline.

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