My top tips for the perfect wedding day hair and makeup

My top tips for the perfect wedding day hair and makeup

Over the years, although things have generally gone super smoothly on wedding days, there have been a few minor problems that could have been easily avoided, much of the time because although a bride and I discuss everything at her trial, the finer details aren’t always relayed to the rest of the bridal party. So finally, I have compiled my top tips for the perfect wedding day hair and makeup for brides and the bridal party alike – after all, knowledge is power!

  1. At least 3 months before the wedding day get into a decent 3 step cleansing routine. And that means everybody! Although blemishes, pigmentation, rosacea etc. can be disguised with makeup, dehydrated, rough skin will never look perfectly smooth however much makeup you apply. Throw away the face wipes and start cleansing, toning and moisturising morning and evening. And if you use a hot cloth cleanser, which generally comes with a muslin cloth, this will gently exfoliate your face daily so you don’t need to worry about that extra step twice weekly! N.B. For those of you who are interested in why face wipes are so bad, they are billed as being cleansers and toners in one. Cleansers are oil based to remove dirt, makeup and other impurities in the skin, while toners are more astringent to get rid of the excess oil that cleansers can leave on the face. So if you think about it, these two products at opposite ends of the oil spectrum cannot possibly be effectively housed in one product. The end result is generally that your skin is either left with an oily film on it resulting in greasy skin in poor condition or the face wipe is more astringent, leaving your skin dry and dehydrated or producing excess oil to compensate for the natural oils it is being stripped of.
  2. If you insist on having fake tan, please, please, please trial it before your big day, and if possible before your trial so that your makeup artist can see what they will be working with on your wedding day. Fake tans can be beautifully done but I have seen a fair few disasters, from the bridesmaid who came out in the most horrendous hives from a reaction she had to it, to brides with patchy necks and worst, orange streaks around their fingers – no beautiful wedding ring shots for them. If in doubt, pale really is beautiful, and with your makeup beautifully applied I promise you won’t look at all washed out, ill or tired in your dress.
  3. TRUST your makeup artist/hair stylist. I realise that this may well be the first time you have got married and you are concerned about everything coming together and being on time, but just remember that your suppliers have done this hundreds, if not thousands, of times before. If we say we need to be with you at a certain time, please trust us on this. It may seem like the work of minutes to do a natural makeup look and a messy bun, but actually a lot of work goes into making a face look flawless, but still natural and hair artfully tousled. At the same time it won’t take hours and hours to make you look beautiful. As a general rule, I allow 45 minutes for hair and the same for makeup.
  4. Wear suncream religiously and avoid strappy tops if you are out in the sun if you have a strapless or off the shoulder dress. Enough said!
  5. If you have a break out in the week leading up to your wedding day, resist the urge to squeeze and pick. Although it is a massive temptation, believe me when I say a full on spot is far easier to cover than one that has been picked at and has formed a scab, as makeup will stick to this rather than glide smoothly over it.
  6. The night before the wedding, all members of the bridal party should exfoliate their faces and wash their hair in preparation for the morning. However, if anyone has very fine or super oily hair, they are probably better to wash it in the morning, and if anyone doesn’t feel clean unless their hair is freshly washed, please ask them to wash it in the morning too.
  7. Your makeup artist/hair stylist will have told you the time at which they will be arriving in the morning. There should be one person (two if there is more than one hair stylist/makeup artist coming) ready to begin immediately as when everyone wants a shower before getting started, it does take up valuable time and you don’t want to be rushed on your wedding morning. If people will be arriving throughout the morning, ask your makeup artist/hair stylist for a schedule so that you can tell everyone what time they need to be with you.
  8. It is always helpful when members of the bridal party have pictures of how they would like their hair and makeup. It takes the guesswork out of proceedings and makes things a lot easier. For ladies who are having blowdries, the best thing they can do is to have a picture taken when they have just had their hair done so that we can see how they like it. A lot of mums and nans have been going to the same hairdresser for years and know exactly how they like their hair to be blowdried – if we can see a picture of this it is much easier for us to replicate their preferred style.
  9. Have a touch up kit on hand for later in the day. When makeup is applied professionally, it should last all day and for the evening too, however a loose powder, a bright blusher and a lip product are essential to keep your look fresh.
  10. This last one isn’t really to do with hair and makeup as such, but it is a tip I have offered to many brides who are self confessed “criers” and I have had a lot of feedback post wedding to say that it really worked… I went to my friend Sarah’s wedding a few months before my own, and she walked down the aisle with the most radiant smile on her face – honestly she was just lit up from within. Now she most certainly isn’t a crier so remaining dry eyed was pretty easy for her, but when I saw her I knew that was how I wanted to look, not like the blubbering, red nosed mess I was very afraid of becoming. On my wedding day, I felt myself going just as the church doors opened, but I kept thinking, “Channel Sarah, channel Sarah” and grinned my way down the aisle. I didn’t look as serene and composed as she had, and you can see my lips wobbling on our video, but I held it together, and by the time I got to the end of the aisle and was worrying about which hand to give (the wrong one as it turned out) and what I needed to say, I was fine. So, smile your way down the aisle and you will, in all probability, avoid dissolving into tears. But do make sure your bridesmaids have back up tissues just in case!

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