Top Tips For Bridal Wedding Makeup

As many of you will know if you follow me on Instagram I recently got engaged – another reason for my little blogging break. Well I’m back in the swing of it now and really wanted to write a post about wedding makeup as it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently.

Wedding Makeup

I’ve always said that even as a trained makeup artist I would still want someone else to do my wedding makeup. And that is still true. I would always, always recommend getting a professional to do you up on your big day, for two reasons:

  1. You will be super excited/stressed/nervous. You’ll want to have photographs taken. You will want to have a glass of bubbly with your bridesmaids. You only get to do it once and you’ll want to savour every single minute of it. Do you really want to spend that time stressing over uneven eyeliner or a pimple that you just can’t cover? Get someone else to do it! Save yourself the hassle, sit back and indulge in a pamper.
  2. A makeup artist, or even a friend who is good at makeup, will do your makeup differently to how you do it yourself. Obviously you’ll let them know how you like it, how you want to look, and hopefully you’ll still look like you, but a different pair of hands (and set of eyes) will always do it ever so slightly differently. And that’s great! You want to look special. You don’t want to look as though instead of going to the office this morning you threw on a wedding dress and rocked up at church.


Having said all of this I know it isn’t possible for everyone. Weddings are freaking EXPENSIVE, as I am currently finding out! A makeup artist is probably (unfortunately) pretty low on your list of priorities and it’s very possible you’ll run out of budget before you get there.

It turns out that even though I wax lyrical about how strongly I feel on hiring someone else to do wedding makeup, it’s not going to be possible for me either. We’re still in the very early stages of planning our wedding but we know we don’t want a big white, traditional wedding. It’s going to be very small and in a remote location so it’s going to be pretty impractical for me to have someone there to do my makeup.

So I’m going to have to do it myself – and let me tell you, the thought terrifies me!


If you’re in the same boat – or even if you’re an aspiring makeup artist wanting to learn about bridal makeup – then you’re in the right place. I’ve decided to put together a blog series addressing all aspects of bridal and wedding makeup. I have waaaayyyyy too much to say in just one post so there will be several posts on the topic. If you’re interested then don’t forget to sign up to to be the first to know when the next installment is live!

Bridal Makeup

For this first post in the wedding makeup series I want to give you my top tips for achieving the perfect bridal look:

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice, practice and practice some more. You don’t want to be trying any new techniques on your big day only to have them go wrong. Pick a look you like (have a mooch on pinterest if you haven’t already!) and try recreating it. experiment with what suits you, different colours, different looks and then once you’ve decided just keep doing it. Again and again and again. Until you can do it with your eyes closed, upside down, in your sleep, walking backwards. You want to be so good at doing this particular look on yourself that on the day your wedding makeup is a doddle. Hopefully you won’t even have to think about it.

Avoid Trends

This is kind of obvious but it’s worth mentioning. You want to look beautiful and timeless so when you’re showing (or boring) your grandkids in 50 years time you’re still happy with how you look in the photos. By trends I mean things that we all think are awesome now but will look super dated in 10 years time. For example contouring – the trend that never dies! You’ll definitely want to give your face some soft definition but put down the sellotape/louboutin/knife or whatever other ridiculous implement is the new “must have” for contouring this week. I know a lot of people love it at the minute but I would also avoid contouring your nose as it can look freaky in real life and I’m certain it won’t still be a thing in 20 years. Highlight but don’t go for the tin foil look. I know it’s hard but try not to go too bold on the brows either. I’d recommend brow extensions for the big day if you’re feeling a little extra – you won’t need any makeup on them after applying them and they’ll look full but natural.

Having said that, if you love a bold brow and a killer contour and always wear them then definitely don’t stop just because I’m saying so!

Enhance Your Natural Beauty

On your big day you want to look the best possible version of yourself. Although I mentioned earlier that it’s nice to look slightly different from usual, you still want to look like you. Just a really, really awesome you! So pick your best feature and play that up. For example if you have beautiful eyes, bring the colour out with a contrasting shadow, softly define them and add fluttery lashes. If your smile is your thing focus on the lips.

Wedding Makeup

Test Your Products

I would advise trying out every product long before the wedding. Practice the look as I mentioned above and then leave it on all day. See how the products wear on your skin. Do they last all day? What did you like/not like as the day went on? Keep checking in a mirror and make a note of what you want to change. Also take some photos of yourself wearing the makeup. Does it flash back and give you a white face? Does the camera wash you out?

I’ve put together a list of my favourite, tried and true products that are perfect for weddings. I’ve got options for different skin tones and skin types. So if you’re struggling to find the perfect foundation/powder/lipstick then check out the list by clicking here. It’s also a great starting point if you’re wanting to build your professional kit for wedding makeup.

Do A Test At A Makeup Counter

This one isn’t essential but I think it’s a great idea if you really have no idea what you want on the day. Book a make over at a counter and see what the makeup artist creates for you. It’s a fantastic way to figure out what you like or don’t like and see what products they’re using. If you go to MAC the cost of the makeover is then redeemable against products so it’s a great way to stock up on your wedding makeup too.

You’ll Need To Wear More Than You Think

This one sounds scary right? Nobody wants to look like they’re caked in makeup on their wedding day. The reason you’ll need to wear a little more than usual is that a.) the makeup needs to last from early morning all the way through until late evening and b.) flash photography can often wash you out. So although you look fantastic in real life you may look a bit blah in the photos and NOBODY wants that. The secret here is layering. Thin layers at that. A thin layer of full coverage foundation set with a thin layer of powder. A cream blush set with a powder blush. A liquid eye base set with a powder shadow. Layer creams and powders and the makeup will last a lot longer without looking like you’re wearing a truck load of slap in real life.

Preparation is Key

So you’ve decided on the look, you’ve practiced it. The wedding day is just around the corner. You need to lay the foundations. And by foundations I mean your skin! Invest in a good skincare routine before the wedding – don’t try anything new or experimental in the lead up for fear of breaking out. Avoid facials or anything like that the week before for the same reason. On the day apply a good moisturiser about 20 minutes before starting the makeup and invest in a good primer. If the skin is good the makeup should be easy!

Individual Lashes

To me this is the most important piece of advice I can give you. Beautiful lashes will make the look and add that extra glamorous touch. Don’t be tempted to wear strip lashes though! Individuals will be much better for a wedding day for several reasons.

  1. There isn’t band to worry about like there is with strip lashes so there is no fear the lashes  being visibly “false”. You’re going for naturally fabulous remember?
  2. With strip lashes there is always a slight tension in the band as it is flexed to fit along your lash line. Over time this tension causes the ends of the band to ping off and lift. Usually you’re not wearing the lashes long enough for this to be a problem but for a wedding you’re going to want to avoid this. Go for individuals, they’ll move with your eye and stay on much, much longer.
  3. If one individual lash comes off half way through the day it’s not a problem, there are plenty more glued to your peepers and you’ll still look amazing. If a strip lash starts coming off you have a problem!
  4. Individual lashes are much more likely to withstand tears, so weep away! Just remember to apply waterproof mascara!

Wedding Makeup

There you have my top wedding makeup tips. Over the wedding makeup series I intend to go into more detail about each step of the makeup application and also to include other wedding makeup styles such as asian/indian/arabic bridal etc. So if you’d be interested in then stay tuned!

Also I’d love to know what aspects of bridal makeup you’d like to know more about. If you have any questions or post suggestions then please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll definitely get back to you.



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7 comments on “Top Tips For Bridal Wedding Makeup
  1. All really good ideas. I got married a long time ago and just used a bb cream, eyebrow pencil, mascara and lipstick. When I look back now at least I can see it was “the real me”! Best of luck with all your exciting preparations x

  2. stacey says:

    Loved all your tips! I’m not getting married any time soon but I will be doing my own makeup for my sisters wedding and even that worries me. I guess even as a bridesmaid the same rules can apply!

    Stacey x

  3. Giulia says:

    This article was really interesting, I agree with everything. A friend of mine is going to get married next June and she has called a Make-up artist:)

  4. Sian Catrin says:

    Love your post and congratulations on your engagement! I’m going to be a 2018 bride so these are great tips, can’t wait to do some posts about bridal makeup – I’m definitely doing my own because I’m too much of a control freak!

  5. Lubz says:

    Congratulations on Engagement!!! You’ve penned some great points Phillippa. You will make a stunning bride! Trying not to be stressed out is key during this whole process. I tried hard not to be a bridezilla during my wedding planning time, but I think I may have let it out every now and then. hehe

    Lubz || LUBZSAYS

    Lubz || LUBZSAYS

  6. Congratulations!<3

    Great tips – bridal makeup is really difficult! I'm sure you'll be able to give yourself the perfect makeup look 🙂

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