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Wedding day makeup dos and don’ts, as told by the experts

Wedding day makeup dos and don’ts, as told by the experts
Holly James
Beauty Writer1 year ago
View Holly James's profile

With so much planning (and money) put in, your wedding day is a day you want to go perfectly, from the flowers to the first dance and of course, you want to look your very best. However, for many, the thought of hiring a professional makeup artist just may not be right for you.

If you are more comfortable applying your own makeup for your big day, these are the expert's dos and don'ts when it comes to creating that flawless, glowing bridal look...

(I) do

Create a pre-wedding skincare plan

"Creating a pre wedding skincare routine is crucial leading up to the big day" says Professional Makeup Artist, Jessica Mair. "You want to see the benefits of any products and treatments ready in time for the day without the possible negative side affects popping up at the wrong time so start 3-6 months before the big day for any facials,peels and aesthetics depending on how keen you are for amazing skin".


For that truly glowing look, hydration is key! Make sure to top up on hydrating products in the run up to the big day as well as in the morning of your wedding to create a radiant look: "Spring time is a time to rehydrate the complexion, and add as much luminosity in the skin as possible" says Frederic Letailleur, YSL Northern Europe Make Up Artist.

Rehearse your look

Just like practising your vows or first date, make sure to have at least a couple of run throughs applying your look advises Frederic. "Inspire yourself from looks created on models that have similar features to yourself such as hair colour, eye colour and skin undertone" and most importantly, play it safe: "a wedding make up kit should always be composed of colours that make you feel like you would use the products for the most easily enhancing occasions of the year and finish them. So go the safe route in terms of eye colours, lip colours and what works best for you". Frederic also suggests matching your makeup to your dress, "for a white dress, favour cool tones, for an off white, select warmer tones".

Do your makeup in natural lighting

For the best, seamless-looking results, Bobbi Brown PRO-Artist, Amy Conway advises to apply your makeup in natural lighting: "avoid doing your makeup in dim lighting". Her top tip, "find a window and face the natural light!  This will give you your best results".

Don't pass on primer

"Don't underestimate the power of a good primer" stresses Jessica. "I normally advise a matte primer for extra hold, I like to think primers are there to give makeup and extra hug!"

Use a waterproof mascara

"It speaks for itself" says Jessica. No bride wants mascara streaked down her face in her wedding photos so prepare with a strong waterproof mascara that will endure all the emotions of the day.

Use a setting powder and spray

An absolute must if you want your makeup to make it through the day, Frederic suggests using a light layer of a setting powder over oily areas and then applying two sprays of setting spray to the whole face. Jessica's top tip, "I spray the setting spray onto my beauty blender so its damp and press it onto the skin which works not only to set the makeup but will also smooth out any dry patches or creases".

Enjoy your day!



Buy your foundation too early

"If you're having a spray tan or a summer wedding, wait until closer to the time to get a foundation match" says Frederic, this will make sure that your foundation is as accurate as possible and seamlessly blends in to your natural skin tone.

Go for a facial the day before

All of our experts agree on this one, make sure to plan in any treatments at least a week before the wedding to allow the skin and any irritation to settle (that includes any waxing or threading too!). Jessica even advises "4 weeks before the wedding don't stat any new treatments or products as tempting as it may be now isn’t the time to change up". She suggests getting your final facial one week before the big day and then keeping your skin topped up with hydrating creams and serums.

Experiment with new looks on the day

Jessica advises against "experimenting with new products if you are unsure what they do or haven't had a trial run with them". "Don't do something that may be  too on trend  in the current time" she says. "Remember photographs are what you have to look back on so avoid any user trendy looks that years down the line you will look back on and regret. Keep it classic, simple and timeless".

Wear SPF

The one and only time you will ever hear that advice from the pro's, unless you're planning on a beach wedding in direct sunlight, skip the SPF. "SPF causes light to bounce back to protect the skin" explains Amy. "However, in flash photography, this can give that white, overly shiny finish which we don’t want in our wedding day photos".

Use oil based products

"Use water based products rather than anything oil based as the oil can break down the makeup and cause separation" explains Jessica. "Water based products don't suffocate your skin but can be layered up, keeping you hydrated and achieving a long wearing finish".

Cake on the foundation

"I would keep the base light" says Jessica Mair, Professional MUA. "Ditch the heavy full coverage and opt for a satin finish foundation that allows coverage but shows your skin glow from within, or even a tinted moisturiser if you want really lightweight but just make sure its set well for long lasting". She advises layering your makeup to make sure it's long-lasting and will still look good in person and on camera. "You lose about 15-20% of makeup detail in photography meaning it looks less on camera to how you look in real life so bare that in mind; it's always worth going that little bit extra with makeup but not caked".

Stop at the face

A top tip for any day, don't stop at your jawline when it comes to foundation. "Remember to blend to the ears and neck" says Jessica. This will make your makeup look more natural and avoid any unwanted harsh lines.

Go OTT with the highlighter

"Yes we all love a glow, but you don't want to look like a shirt disco ball" points out Jessica. "Anything too much will make you look too greasy and will also affect the professional photographs, you want it enough to reflect the light but without being detectable".


You can always rely on your Mum to remind you of this one; don't rub your eyes! "Blot, don't rub" agrees Amy. "If you do get a little teary at the ceremony, by blotting the tears away will ensure you won’t move the makeup underneath".

Forget your makeup bag

"Remember on the day, keep your lipstick colour handy to touch up the lips along as some powder to adjust the shine on the T- Zone" says Frederic. Amy also suggests "have your bridesmaid keep a concealer in her bag for you, it’s a quick touch up that can instantly make you look and feel fresh after the ceremony".

Holly James
Beauty Writer
View Holly James's profile
Working with brands at LOOKFANTASTIC for over two years I have developed my knowledge of all things beauty from key skincare concerns to niche makeup tricks and haircare hacks. I have a major passion for finding effective solutions that are easily accessible to everyone so that we can all achieve our best, glowing complexion.