Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Guest Blog | Wedding Beauty Game

How do you ensure your beauty game is on point for the biggest day of your life?

What formulations will photograph well and last the distance at your wedding?

Doing your own make-up for such a massive occasion can seem nerve-wracking, but it could be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. After all, who knows your preferences, what suits you, and your plans better than yourself? With the right tools, good products, and a little know-how you can create the look of your dreams to complement that dress, I promise.

Who am I? I’m Sarah, a writer, make-up addict and connoisseur of all pretty things over at I had my ‘happy ever after’ three years ago when I married my husband Sebastian – and I learned a thing or two about wedding beauty along the way.

As a big fan of Charlie’s beautifully written blog, I’m delighted to be doing this post to share what I learned.

The most important thing to remember is that you’re not trying to go for a radically different look. You don’t want to look at the pictures afterwards and wonder who the stranger in the white dress is. Beauty and elegance are dependent on you feeling comfortable - so you can focus on the more important stuff, like saying your vows and eating cake!

If you have a signature look that feels like ‘you’  - cat eyeliner, or a bold red lip – then make that a part of your wedding day make-up too. But if you want what most brides want – radiant, healthy, natural beauty, then your ideal look will be about enhancing what’s already there.


Effective beauty really does start with flawless, hydrated, glowing skin.

Rome wasn’t built in a day  - and all those stars you see on the red carpet haven’t just paid attention to their look on the night, they’ve done months of facials beforehand! Get the skin prep right and all the rest will follow. It doesn’t have to cost the earth.

The premium tip is to up your water intake significantly – most of us don’t drink nearly enough water, and it makes a dramatic difference. Get a portable filter bottle, like the Brita Fill N Go, and take it with you everywhere. Make sure you refill and drink it at least five times a day.

It also pays to get into a routine of really caring for your skin. Up your everyday skincare, and add on a once-a-week pampering booster session in the run-up to the wedding too.

Suggested Skin Care Routine

This might seem like a lot of steps but you’re in training for your big day. Once you get in the habit, its second nature.


Cleanse -  when you wake up, to remove any oil and dirt build up and any leftover products from last night. Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t try the skin.

Top Pick: Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean 3 in 1 Wash Off Cleanser, £8.00 – gentle but super effective at chasing grime away.

Tone -  a toner sometimes seems like a non-essential, but it really helps to balance the skin and close the pores, stopping nasties from getting in.

Top Pick: Boots Botanics Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz, £5.99 – this doesn’t strip the skin and smells beautiful

Treatment -  Then add a targeted serum that focuses on specific skin issues, like brightening, anti-aging or extra hydration.

Top Pick: Clinique Smart Custom Serum, £48.00. This clever cream adapts to your skins individual needs.

Eye cream -  The skin around your eyes is delicate and requires careful treatment.

Top Pick: Nip + Fab Viper Venom Eye Fix, £7.49. A soothing roller ball that brightening, tightens and de-ages eyes.

Moisturise/SPF – The final morning step is your day cream. Make sure it contains a high factor UVA and UVB sunscreen to stop environmental damage during the day.

Top Pick: Olay Total Effects SPF 15 Daily Moisturiser, £14.99. This tackles 7 different skin problems at once!


Make-up Remover - Wipes don’t cut it! Go for a cleanser that removes all traces of stubborn make-up without making you pull and tug at the skin.

Top pick: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £3.33 Cheap as chips and so effective.

Double Cleanser – Its always a great idea to ‘double cleanse’ by following up with a wash. You’d be surprised what gets left behind after even the most thorough first cleanse.

Top Pick: Biore Charcoal Deep Pore Cleanser, £4.99. Your pores will feel blasted clean with this.

Tone – Out comes the toner again to close those pores and balance the skin.

Treatment – Night is the time for another dose of your targeted treatment or serum.

Night Cream/Oil – Skin does most of its repair work at night, so nourish it while you sleep. Try a night cream or an oil for weightless hydration.

Top pick: The Body Shop Beautifying Moringa Oil, £9.00 This is so lightweight and balancing for the skin, and smells incredible.

Once a Week

Once a week, its time to play home spa! Take the time for a bubble bath and a bit of a skin pamper session by ‘cocktailing’ – using multiple face masks for optimum results.

Cleanser -  cleanse thoroughly first to take down any dirt

Exfoliate – A deep exfoliator will clear the pores and refine the skins appearance, making the treatment masks you apply after more effective.

Top pick: Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads, £6.49. These little discs of wonder are worth their weight in gold and will turn your skin around.

Deep Pore Mask – If you’re using different face masks, I always recommend one to deep cleanse and the second to pump extra moisture in.

Moisture Mask -  The second mask should leave your skin as smooth as silk. Try a luxurious cream, or a paper sheet mask infused with skin goodies.

Top Pick: Nuxe Masque Crème Fraiche de Beaute, £14.75. This smells like a dream and pampers skin – I’d bathe in it if I could!


The skincare is literally half the battle, especially with a natural look. But once you’ve perfected your canvas, what paint should go on it?


A primer will smooth out the little lines and ridges in your skin and help your makeup to last all day. You can get primers that address different skin issues as well  -illuminating ones, ones that balance out redness.

Most will want an all-rounder that makes them look flawless. Absolutely top of the charts is Benefit The Porefessional. Its pricey but a little goes a very long way and it works like magic on skin.

You want one without an SPF for the day – SPF doesn’t work well with flash photography as it whites out on camera and can make you look very pale in pictures.

Top pick: Benefit The Porefessional, £24.50. Flawless skin in a bottle.



Here, you are aiming for a look that’s ‘your skin but better’. Heavy, cakey formulations might work in the photos, but no one wants to be remembered as looking plastered in slap on their wedding day. Your guests should all be thinking how stunning you look, not how good your foundation is!

Depending on your skin type you may prefer a liquid or a powder formulation. Both my picks below have amazing lasting powder and give a very flawless look without being too heavy. The Urban Decay base is what Kim Kardashian wore when she married Kanye  -and whatever you think of her, she’s serious about her makeup! 

Top picks: Bare Minerals Original Formula Foundation,£25.00 or Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Fluid Makeup, £27.00 Both quite literally amazing bases..


Well, you wouldn’t be a blushing bride without it! Most formulations disappear quickly but this one gives a gorgeous, sheer flush of colour and will last from ceremony to carriages at dawn!

Top Pick: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush, £14.50. Looks natural but does not budge once on.


Photography can ‘flatten out’ the dimensions of a face and make it look rounder. To keep some dimension, pat on a little highlighter to your cheekbones, browbones and the bridge of your nose and watch it pop in the photos. Just keep a light touch! If you’re using a powder base, you want to use a powder highlighter – and the same with liquid. So I’ve picked one for each.

Top Picks: Mac Strobe Cream £24.50, Mac Mineralise Skin Finish in ‘Soft and Gentle’£23.0o. Both a short cut to that amazing, lit-from-within glow.


Heavy eye makeup – unless that’s your signature look – does not play well in wedding photos. You want to keep it nice and neutral. As a general rule, pick three shades  - a light, shimmering tone to use on the lids, browbones and inner corners, a matte, beige tone to define the socket and a slightly darker colour to place on the outer corners and under your lower lash line.

Top Pick: Urban Decay Naked palettes, £38.00 each (1 to suit all, 2 for cooler skintones, 3 for warmer skintones)


Subtle is best when it comes to liner. Whether you’re going for a feline flick or just a classic line, its essential for making lashes look fuller. Avoid black – it can look overly harsh. The best shade to use is a deep brown – a bit more natural, but still dark enough for impact.

I recommend tight lining too (lining the inside rim of your upper lid). It takes practice but it’s a great trick – you don’t see it, but it makes lashes look so much fuller. A gel liner applied with a small slanted brush will give the best, budgeproof results.

Top pick: Mac Fluidline in ‘Dipdown’, £15.50. Ultra smooth formulation with amazing staying power.


Full, fluttery lashes are perfect for a bride - everyone is looking at your eyes when you’re talking, so dress them up. My top tip for this one is actually to get professional eyelash extensions done. They are pricey, but they look amazing – very natural but gorgeous.

You don’t need to wear mascara with them, they’re totally waterproof if you cry, and you can keep them on during the honeymoon and have stunning lashes with no effort. Make sure they are individual ones (this is a process where the lashes are applied one lash to one lash and fall out naturally). If you are relying on mascara, I recommend something that gives definition, doesn’t clump at all and of course, is waterproof! 


If you’ve never filled your eyebrows in, you’d be surprised what a difference it makes to your look. You don’t have to go for Cara Delevigne style heavy arches – just a natural filling in of sparse areas will make all the difference.

The best method is to book in for a professional threading and tint service. They will analyse your face shape and bone structure, neaten up the shape (and threading is so much more effective than just plucking) and if you’re fair, a tint can be all you need.

If you want to fill in your brows afterwards with a little light make-up, the best product can often be a powder shadow in a shade that matches your brows. It gives a softer, more natural look than an eyebrow pencil.

Apply with a slanted brush for best results, using the edge to outline, following the brow shape, and the flat of the brush to blend through.  For those wanting a bolder brow, you can’t go wrong with Anastasia, which offers a waterproof cream product – best applied with a light hand!

Top picks: HD Brows treatment, £25.00 (nationwide), Mac Matte Shadow, £13.00 (ask an assistant to shade match you, but remember its better to go a shade lighter than darker) ‘Brun’ and ‘Charcoal Brown’ are good starting places. Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow Pomade, £15.00.


Its worth exfoliating your lips to ensure they are smooth, moisturised and not going to show any flaky bits on the big day. If a statement lip is your thing, this is your chance to shine, but most brides will want a natural colour that stays put.

Brushes and tools

There’s so much to think about and buy that you may be tempted to use sub-standard brushes. Do not! Brushes make the single biggest difference between professional looking application and something less than perfect.

If you have a birthday or Christmas coming up, use it to ask for some decent brushes  -they will be worth their weight in gold, and you have them for long after the wedding, so consider it an investment. The best brushes I have ever used though, by Real Techniques, are relatively inexpensive and give a stunning finish.

If you’re using a liquid foundation, also consider getting a BeautyBlender. They work miracles for getting an airbrushed finish, and you’ll realise they are worth every penny as soon as you try one. And no, sadly, none of the cheaper imitations are as good yet.

Top Picks: Real Techniques brushes, from £11.50 per set, Beauty Blender cosmetic sponge, £15.00.

Setting Spray

After all that work, you want to add some extra insurance that your look will last. It’s a very long and emotional day and night when you get married, so take one extra step to ensure it goes the distance. A setting spray will seal in your makeup, and banish shine and humidity. My pick actually creates a ‘microclimate’ to stop temperature changes fading your make-up. The future is here!

Other tips

Practice, practice, practice - Make sure you ‘put on’ your entire make up look at least twice before the day, so you know what you’re doing and feel confident with all the products. If something doesn’t come out perfect the first time, don’t stress – wipe it off and try again. Try taking a few pictures in both natural lighting and with a flash to see how everything comes out.

You Tube it – if you aren’t confident of a technique or application, there are literally thousands of informative, step by step videos on YouTube. Bookmark a few before the big day. Save them on your tablet and you can do it alongside the video, pausing it when you need to.

Don’t rush – allow at least half an hour more than you usually need to out your make-up on. Taking time is good – rushing will stress you out. Once you’ve finished though, walk away from the mirror and leave it -  you have much more important things to do on your wedding day!

Enjoy – makeup is supposed to be about fun and self-expression, so don’t take it too seriously. More than anything, the happiness you feel will make you beautiful, no matter what eyeliner you have on. I have never seen a bride look ugly. So enjoy every minute and shine!

Thank you for reading!


(Pictures on this blog post are not property of DaintyBride. All images on this post are sourced from the internet & are believed to be public domain & have no rights affiliated with DaintyBride)