Secrets of a Wedding Makeup Artist


Lauren Oakey on the big day products she’d marry if she could.

I love a wedding. Lucky, since the season is upon us and I find myself on most weekends arriving at yet another beautiful venue, dragging my kit into a room full of bustling bridesmaids, seeing to last minute veil problems, chattering with mums who’ve been up and ready since 6am. Then there’s the bride in the middle of it all, cheshire-cat smiling in a bathrobe, glass of bubbles on the go, feet being massaged on the lap of a maid of honour. I spent last weekend doing just this at a wildlife park in the countryside and after a quick stop to visit some howler monkeys, I set up my kit on a table with a backdrop of lush green grounds, and momentarily took stock of what I’d brought and why I’d packed it. No two brides are the same and most will have very different ideas of how they want to look on their big day, and yet I realised there were some products that regardless of venue, dress, scheme or season, I’d simply never be without. Here they are:


Bobbi Brown BBU Palette, £200

bb_prod_E8N3_415x415_0This double sided palette is filled with mini compacts of Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in every original colour (new cooler tones are available only in the stick version) on one side, and the full range of Corrector and Creamy Concealer on the other. It’s invaluable when you arrive at a wedding and your only experience of the bridesmaids is a downloaded Facebook snap taken at a Full Moon beach party circa 2009. BBU is always within arm’s reach for eliminating under eye dark circles from a brutal hen weekend or nervous sleeplessness, and for last minute touch-ups as the bridal party are being ushered out the door. BBU caters for everyone, but if you’re buying for one person, then Skin Foundation Stick, Corrector and Creamy Concealer are all available to buy separately.


Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro Powder, £33

234658438Setting powder is an essential part of my wedding kit and no bride, however sceptical they are of it, regrets a quick dusting to lock everything down for the day. This powder is perfect – it has excellent coverage, but is so light and glow-giving that it’s impossible to look like a dusty doll in an attic. I would always recommend giving this to a bridesmaid to take along with her, especially if you’re having your photo taken in the midday sun. Make her promise to pull you aside for a touch up.


MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara, £19



I’ll always ask bride and bridesmaids whether they’re likely to cry and usually get a look of surprise and a “Oh god, yes!” because they’ve forgotten about the peril of streaming makeup. This mascara is my response. Only last weekend it saved the make up of a friend of the bride, who had started crying two hours before the ceremony. I wiped away the streaks with a cotton bud, chucked some on over the top of her existing mascara and she was good as new. It is always, always preferable to wasting all that lovely time getting ready, sipping champagne, shedding a happy tear with your girlfriends and then walking to the venue, only to get there and have your groom think he’s about to marry Kung Fu Panda. Just whack this on instead.


Illamasqua Powder Blusher, £22 (shown above)

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, £28.50

000037422Not wearing blusher and bronzer on your wedding day face is like ordering 60 bottles of champagne but forgetting the glasses (which I suppose is fine, if you don’t mind dealing with a drunken uncle doing the Timewarp whilst swigging from a bottle of Veuve). Cheek colour brings everything together and makes the rest of your make up feel right. Full on contouring is unnecessary unless that’s your thing, but a nice, gentle bronzer to give depth and glow, and a little blusher on the cheek apples, is perfect. Anything too metallic-y or shiny though, together with full on flash photography will be a bit too Barbarella, unless that’s your poison.


MAC 20 Lash, £10.50

mac_sku_M8H901_640x600_0Now you’ve given definition to your face, you’ll want something to make your eyes pop, even if you’re not planning on wearing anything more than a couple of coats of mascara. Corner falsies are great, even if you’re blessed with the full and luscious lashes of a jersey cow. They’ll add definition, elongate the eyes and aren’t a full-on spendy commitment like extensions. Practice these a few weeks before if you’ve never tried them, especially to ensure you’re not allergic to the glue (Duo Striplash Adhesive, £4.99, is the best), and to get used to the sensation. MAC 20 lashes are ideal, as you need them slightly longer than natural lashes but no so long that they stick out like a wing mirror.


(home page image from the Bobbi Brown bridal beauty tutorial)



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