Tried-and-tested advice from the beauty pros to suit all styles and budgets
Wedding season is upon us and if you’ve ever found yourself wondering how make-up artists achieve the most flawless bridal looks, then look no further. Here, we quiz three professionals, who not only know all the tips of the trade, but put their skills to the test by doing their own make-up when they were the bride.
We get the details on how our three make-up artists created their own wedding looks, as well as the ultimate beauty shopping list for you to recreate them at home, no matter your budget.
So, whether you’re a bride-to-be doing your own make-up, you're looking for inspo to show your pre-booked make-up artist, or are part of the bridal party or a wedding guest, here are some super-handy beauty tips and tricks of the trade sure to get you wedding day ready.
In the lead up to the big day, take care of your skin and have a good regime in place." Lauren
Meet Lauren Murphy
For Lauren’s destination wedding in Provence, she created a soft glam look with a focus on the eyes and glowing skin. ‘Doing my own make-up was the calmest part of my morning,’ says Lauren. ‘I zoned out from what was going on around me and had some time to myself.’
For Lauren, skin prep is key. ‘In the lead up to the big day, take care of your skin and have a good regime in place with a hydrating serum and moisturiser,’ she advises.
How to recreate Lauren’s look:
1. Prep the skin by cleansing and moisturising. Then, apply a mattifying primer on the T-zone to help control shine and create a flawless-looking, long-wearing base.
Lauren loves: Benefit The POREfessional Smoothing Face Primer, £29
We also love: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, £7.99
2. For the eyes, contour the socket with a taupe matte eyeshadow, adding definition at the outer corner with a darker shade. Then, apply a shimmery shadow at the centre of the lid. This will make eyes pop.
Lauren loves: Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Rich, £27
We also love: Wet n Wild 10-pan Eyeshadow Palette in Nude Awakening, £6.29
3. Next, with a gel liner and angled brush, create a thin line along the lashes. Lauren used dark brown instead of black to give a softer look.
Lauren loves: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, £22
We also love: Revolution Gel Eyeliner Pot with Brush, £6
We also love: Max Factor Divine Lashes Waterproof Mascara, £11.99
5. Apply concealer only in areas that need brightening, such as under the eyes. Bringing light to the shadows of the face will give a plumped, rejuvenated appearance. Follow with a hydrating foundation, blending it outwards for a seamless finish that feels comfortable and still looks like skin.
Lauren loves: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Foundation, £30
We also love: Sleek Makeup Vitality Foundation, £8.99
6. Set your make-up using a translucent powder. Apply under the eyes to avoid creasing, across the T-zone to help prevent shine and lightly over the cheeks.
We love: 17. Perfecting Finish Translucent Powder, £3.50
7. When choosing a blush, a powder formula is the most long-wearing. Sweep it over the cheeks and finish with highlighter on the cheekbones for added glow.
Lauren loves: Huda Beauty GloWish Cheeky Vegan Blush Powder, £19, and Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Highlighting Powder, £37
We also love: L’Oréal Paris Life’s a Peach Blush Powder, £8.99, and Collection Gorgeous Glow Powder Highlighter in Opal, £2.99
8. For lips, always use a lip liner to enhance the shape and volume, and stop your lipstick bleeding. Lauren used Huda Beauty Lip Contour 2.0, £17, in Pinky Brown.
We also love: Revlon Colorstay Lipliner in Nude, £6.99
I always advise trying the products that you like before the wedding day so you know how they sit on the skin." Mira
Meet Mira Parmar
Mira opted to do her own make-up for her Indian and English ceremonies. ‘I chose to do my own wedding make-up on both days, because I knew I’d be a nightmare being a make-up artist myself,’ says Mira. ‘I wear quite minimal make-up and I know what products work for me, so it was definitely the right decision.’ Mira opted for dewy skin, defined eyes and a striking matte red lip.
‘I always advise trying the products that you like before the wedding day so you know how they sit on the skin and apply a coat of waterproof mascara over lashes in case of tears,’ she adds.
How to recreate Mira’s look:
1. Start by prepping the skin with a brightening primer to create a good base for make-up. Then, apply a light coverage, glowy foundation and blend for a seamless finish.
We also love: Maybelline Dream Radiant Liquid Hydrating Foundation, £8.99
2. Next, use concealer to brighten under the eyes and conceal any redness or blemishes. Mira loves blending with a small fluffy brush to get a flawless finish.
Mira loves: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer, £26
We also love: NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Concealer Wand, £6
3. Brows are so important to frame the face. Define them with soft strokes of an ultra-slim eyebrow pencil.
Mira loves: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, £23
We also love: No7 Eyebrow Precision Pencil, £9.95
4. It’s really important to define the eyes as it accentuates your features. Wash a neutral brown across the eyelids, then apply an eyeliner on the lash line and blend.
Mira loves: Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette, £46, and Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner, £8.99
We also love: W7 Nudification Wear it & Bare it Pressed Pigment Palette, £6.50, and Rimmel London Wonder’Ink Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, £6.99
5. Add mascara to lengthen the lashes, using a waterproof formula.
Mira loves: Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Mascara, £23
We also love: Revolution Big Lash Waterproof Volume Mascara, £6
6. For the cheeks, contour to give definition to the face and apply blush for a healthy glow. Then, add a highlighter for even more glow and to keep skin looking natural.
Mira loves: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Mini Duo Espresso, £13, and Soap & Glory Glow & Dew It Luminous Concentrate Elixir, £11.99
We also love: Wet n Wild MegaGlow Dual-Ended Contour Stick, £5.79, and NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, £8
7. A matte red is a perfect statement lip. Mira used Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, £22, which has amazing staying power and you don’t need a lip liner with it.
We also love: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Reds Collection Lipstick in Matte Rougenie, £9.99
8. Lastly, it’s so important to set your make-up. Mira applied a translucent powder with a fluffy brush under the eyes and over the T-zone. A setting spray is also great as it sets make-up and acts as a refresher on the skin.
Mira loves: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set Setting Spray, £27
We also love: 17. Dewy Prep Setting Spray, £5
I always say your bridal make-up should be you, but on a really good day!" Katrin
Meet Katrin Rees
After postponing her wedding due to Covid, Katrin tied the knot in 2021. ‘After five attempts, I was near skipping down the aisle,’ says Katrin, ‘I found [doing my own make-up] brought a bit of zen into my day.’ Her wedding look aesthetic was all about natural pops of colour, stealthy shine control and a nude lip.
‘I always say your bridal make-up should be you, but on a really good day! Also, even if you want to do your own make-up, book in a lesson or trial with a good make-up artist – you’ll be surprised what they can add you to your look and show you new techniques,’ she adds.
How to recreate Katrin’s look:
1. Start by applying a sheet mask to hydrate the skin and prepare it for make-up application. Leave it on for around 10-15 minutes, then rub in any excess serum to deeply moisturise.
Katrin loves: Lancôme Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask, £18.45
We also love: Simple Waterboost 5 Minute Reset Hydrogel Mask, £3
2. Next, apply a mattifying primer. Glow is great, but you want to make sure your T-zone isn’t shiny for the photos.
Katrin loves: YSL Touche Éclat Blur Primer, £32
We also love: Revolution Conceal & Fix Mattifying Primer, £8
3. Follow with a hydrating foundation. Don’t forget to take a small amount of foundation down to your décolletage for a seamless finish. Then, top with a pressed powder to prevent shine and make your base last all day.
Katrin loves: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup, £40
We also love: The Ordinary Serum Foundation, £5.70
4. A cream blush, such as Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, £23.50, will give a natural-looking flush of colour. Katrin applied it with a stippling brush and then used her fingers to gently press it into the skin.
We also love: XX Revolution Cloud Blush + Lip Tint, £8
5. For the eyes, start with an eyeshadow primer to lock in your shadow. Then blend a mink eyeshadow across the lids.
Katrin loves: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, £19.50, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Palette in Soft Glam, £46
6. Add liner to your upper lash line, creating a small wing at the outer corner. Finish by curling your lashes for added lift and follow with mascara.
We also love: L’Oréal Paris Superliner Superstar Eyeliner in Black, £6.99, and Collection Big Drama Volumising Mascara, £3.99
6. For Katrin’s bridal look, she wanted to create a simple, defined lip. Start by highlighting the cupid’s bow as this will give your pout a full, defined look. Then follow with a nude, matte lipstick.
Katrin loves: Dior Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Lipstick, £32
We also love: Morphe Nude Mega Matte Lipstick in Single AF, £10
7. Finish with a setting spray to hold everything in place all day.
Katrin loves: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, £27
We also love: Barry M Fresh Face Matte Setting Spray, £4.99
One final tip from our make-up artists for achieving the perfect bridal look: don’t forget your handbag essentials. ‘I packed Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Paper, £15, in my clutch for touch-ups throughout the day,’ says Mira. For Katrin and Lauren, powder and lipstick were a must. Top it all off with that wedding day glow and you’re sure to look flawless and feel fabulous.
Put your best face forward on your wedding day with our top tips.