Your Wedding Make Up by Amy

I have been invited by Braw Brides to give you the low down on creating the perfect make up look for you on your wedding day.  Wedding day budgets can be tight, and if a professional make up artist is not an option for you, perhaps you are having a destination wedding or you are just choosing to do you your own make up I hope to give you a few hints and tips to make the task a bit easier and enjoyable.  You can even inconcorporate some of your new skills into your everyday routine! I will be bringing you three looks in this series and the first is my most requested look which is 'Polished and Natural'. You want to you look like you on your big day but you would like to look like the most beautiful version of yourself that translates well in your wedding photos and that you can look back on and say "Wow I really loved the way I looked on my wedding day".

I will recommend products as I go along... this first step may surprise you but I recommend you do your eyes first. This means if you drop any make up on your face it can be easily cleaned off and your base will be nice and clean. It’s also a good idea to apply a lip balm now so your lips are prepped by the end.  Firstly you want to prep your eyelids to make sure the make up lasts you all day and well into the night. I used the MAC paint pot in Soft Ochre.  You can use a cream shadow or even your concealer lightly over your lids; this cancels out any colour and gives a good base.  I'm using the Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 but you could use any shades you have as long as one is light and one is darker.  Sweep your light shade right over the lid into the inner corner and over the brow bone.  I have chosen 'Bootycall' as it has a little bit of shimmer through it but this is also a lovely look with all matt shadows.

This eye make up look calls for a defined crease; if you’d like to learn more about the eye make up looks and the eye anatomy check out my blog post on it here. As an example of what you are trying to achieve think Audrey Hepburn and old Hollywood eyes. Now it’s time to find your crease; think about the brush size you are using. If you have small eyes you will need a small brush; go for a tapered brush if you can - this is the MAC 217.  Dip your brush directly into the darker shadow (I'm using Tease) so you just have the product right on the tip of the brush, lean your head back and look into the mirror, put your brush into the outer corner end of your crease (not right into the outer corner of your lashline) then do a little curved wind screen wiper motion with your brush. As well as back and forth do tiny little circles with the brush in the same wiper motion.  Go lightly to start out then you can add more shadow if you want a bit more depth.  Don't go too far in on each side, there should be a gap between the end of your crease and the start of your lash line as this is what keeps your eye looking wide awake and open.  You could also use a smaller brush with an even darker shadow if you want it more precise.  Then, as always, keep on blending in the same motion until you are happy with it.

For your wedding day you will really want some lashline definition to make your eyes stand out and play up your make up in your pictures. You can either do that with a matt black shadow on an angled brush to really push and smudge into the lashline or go for a full on gel liner (I'm using MAC Blacktrack).  For a really precise winged liner to finish this look off follow the steps detailed in my winged liner lesson here. I also like to add a kohl liner to the upper water line (this is underneath your lashline) as it keeps everything nice and dark and defined... this may take practice!  Add lashings of mascara to curled lashes and you are ready to perfect the rest of your face. Watch out for my next lesson on how to apply your own false lashes to further enhance your wedding makeup.

Next up skin… you must use a primer to make your make up last on your wedding day - not only will it even out your skin and provide a good basis for the foundation to glide on it is your key to staying power! My favourites are the MAC Skin Base Visage great for most skin types, if you are oily and tend to go shiny try Benefit Porefessional, if you have combination skin use the different primers on the different areas of your face to prep your skin. Once you have cleaned up your face and applied your primer you are set to go with your base. This year I have had lots of requests for contour so I thought I would include a how to in this tutorial.

Contouring is not new - make up artists have been doing it for years but the Kim K contouring technique has certainly made ‘contouring’ a buzz word. If you are going to try this practice prior to the big day and don’t go too dark and too light. You can do contouring with lots of different kinds of make up - I am using the Maybelline stick foundations as they provide a medium coverage and have an anti shine technology. I like a stick foundation as they make the task of contouring quite easy. You need a darker colour (one or two shades darker than your skin tone) this is your contour and a lighter colour (one or two shades lighter than your skin tone) this is your highlight. The darker colour is put in the areas of the face we’d like to ‘push back’ so under the cheekbones, under the jawline, down the sides and under tip of the nose, on the outer corners of the forehead. Conversely the lighter colour works by bringing forward the areas you are highlighting so above the cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, centre of forehead.

Now you are ready to blend blend blend! You are going to blend these two colours so you have no lines left starting by blending the darker colours first using a buffing brush (I like the Real Techniques brushes) in small circular motions this helps blend but is also great at making your pores disappear then start blending the highlighted areas (you may need a smaller brush for the nose) the aim is to blend not so that both colours are merged into one but so there are no harsh edges.

I go on to follow up this process with two powders to further enhance the contour and set the make up. I’m using a pressed powder over the highlighted areas and a matt bronzer over the contour; I particularly like to emphasis a brides cheekbones so pay special attention to this area. If you are wearing you hair up bring a sweep of your foundation over your ears and add some bronze behind your ears, under your jawline and subtly over your décolletage. I then add a sweep of pink blusher between the contour and highlight on the cheekbone (I like a pink with this look as its fresh and youthful; try MAC’s Fluer Power), add a touch up on the temples. I go on and conceal under the eyes and any areas that need a bit of extra coverage. You can then add further highlight with an illuminating highlighter such as MAC soft and gentle (which I am using here) or the old faithful touché éclat. Places I recommend doing this is top of cheekbones, inner corner of eyes, cupids bow, brow bone. This will really catch the light in your wedding photos.

Next big step for me is make sure your brows are preened and framing your beautiful make up as this will really set off the rest of your face. If you get your brows professionally shaped and tinted prior to the big day this will help your create the perfect shape.

Here’s my top tips: Use an angled brush and a powder shadow to match your hair colour this gives you the most natural look. Concentrate the first brush strokes into the arch of your brow; do little strokes angling out wards, then start bringing the strokes downwards at an angle to elongate the tail of the eyebrow. Now with minimal product use the brush in upward strokes at the beginning of the brow. Brush them through. You can set with a brow gel; I like the Benefit gimme brow. A final tip is apply an illuminating concealer such as Clinique airbrush pen just above the outer corners and blend well; this gives a brow lift effect.

Finally finish with a gorgeous pout. You could opt for any colour with this look but I love a fresh pink colour such as 'please me' by MAC, first prep your lips by blotting your foundation brush over them lightly this gives the lip product something to stick to. I line the lips first starting at the cupids bow them filling in the lips completely with the liner. Next step is to load your lipbrush full of lipstick and really work it into the lips, not missing the corners and ensuring you have a good coverage. For a professional finish clean up the edges with your concealer brush and if you like a bit of sheen add a gloss to the centre of your lips which makes your lips look fuller. Ta dah!

As you can see this look works for a multitude of wedding styles, perfect for a vintage style wedding make up just add a red lip, light and fresh enough for a beach wedding and perfect for a traditional wedding when you just want a polished and natural look.

Amy Hughes is a professional make up artist and beauty writer. Follow her blog at for all things make up related, wedding inspiration and some lifestyle observations too. She attempts to demystify make up with an easy to follow DIY make up series called #molmakeuplesson - whether you are doing your own make up for a special occasion such as your wedding or would like advice on your day to day face you will be sure to pick up some hints and tips.

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