Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: 10 top tips for the bride’s big day

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and over the coming weeks he'll tell you all you need to know about the latest make-up techniques

By Paddy McGurgan

My team and I have been inundated with bridal make-up requests and enquiries, and I often get asked what the secrets are to beautiful bridal make-up.

Here are my top tips when it comes to looking your best on your big day.

1. Prep is key

When it comes to your wedding day, it does not matter how good your make-up artist is: if your skin is not well looked after in the run-up to your wedding day, it will affect the overall outcome of your make-up.

I advise going to your make-up artist at least one month before so that you can be recommended any treatments or products that will aid and improve your skin, should you need it.

One prominent issue I find with brides in the run-up to their wedding is bags and discolouration under the eye from sleep deprivation, stress and dehydration.

My all-time hero eye cream is Mario Badescu’s Ceramide Eye Gel (£19), a green gel that works best when refrigerated. Used once a day, this miracle gel soothes puffiness, reduces discolouration and tightens the skin.

2. All bases covered

I love the skin to look like skin and for the foundation to give coverage but not to be heavy.

There is a range of medium-coverage foundations available at the moment, but my favourite would have to be Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation (£35).

This is such a buildable foundation that makes it so easy to achieve the perfect coverage for any bride, and the finish is quite dewy so it looks fresh and naturally radiant on the skin.

3. Powder power

Powder is one of my biggest secret weapons when I am doing bridal make-up. Powder not only helps keep the foundation in place, but also creates a flawless base, especially under the eye and T-zone areas.

When I am setting my foundation for longevity, I always use a translucent powder as it will not appear on the skin but will hold everything in place.

Try RCMA Powder — No Colour (£13, 85g, Beauty Bay). Then for added coverage use a pressed powder, NYX Professional Make-up No Filter finishing pressed powder (£11).

4. Eyes on the prize

My favourite technique is a light colour in the inner corner of the eye to brighten and lighten the eye, then a transition colour to soften the colour into the skin, and then my medium brown tone on the outer corner to achieve definition around the eye and shape.

I really love the NIP+FAB Make-Up Eyeshadow Palette 12g Sculpted 1 (£6.49). The colours are really muted but are varied enough to use on several clients as well as for bridal make-up.

5. Lips

This is where I find the most variation between brides. Some clients that I have love a strong vintage lip colour to create some drama in their bridal make-up. Typically, a strong lip colour on a bride’s lip means extroverted femininity. For a vintage lip colour, I love Revolution Renaissance Lipstick Fortify (£4).

The other lip colour I find popular with my brides is a blush pink. I think this is also beautiful, especially for a spring/summer wedding. For this, try L’Oreal Color Riche Gold Obsession Pink Gold CP37 (£6.99).

6. Drink water

I know this is so overplayed, but I really cannot overstate the importance that water has on your skin, energy and general wellbeing.

7. Get a facial tailored to your skin type in the run-up to the big day

Arrange this no closer than a month before your wedding so that, in case of any redness or irritation, you are giving your skin plenty of time to recover.

8. No fake tan on the face

This is a massive no-no for me.

Yes, I know that this means you are totally tanned but, I assure you, it really is not worth potentially drying your skin out before your wedding and risking your foundation becoming patchy and ashy.

Any professionally trained make-up artist will colour-match you perfectly to your body to ensure you are a glowing goddess without the patches.

9. Tell the truth

You want to look back at your wedding album for the rest of your life and love your wedding day style for ever.

I urge all brides to go home and analyse the trial application and, if there are aspects you don’t like, let your artist know. Make-up artists want your wedding day make-up to be perfect for you and won’t be offended, I promise.

10 . And finally, be you!

Do not go for a look you would not normally wear, or that is so outside your comfort zone that when you are walking down the aisle the guests don’t recognise you.

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