I'm still on a bridal high from last week's FANTASTIC wedding in Scotland where my friends Will and Laura tied the knot. As resident beauty guru I was in charge of the bride's make-up and I have to admit, I felt a tiny bit of performance pressure, as it was crucial she looked absolutely stunning from aisle to dancefloor. Well, the good news is that everyone told her she looked beautiful, and she didn't burst into tears upon seeing my handiwork. Her skin looked flawless and glowing (but not shiny), her eye make-up stayed intact and her mascara remained 100% smudgeless and flakeless. I honestly couldn't have done a better job and Laura said she loved it - which was the most important thing.
We had practiced around six times, and with each trial got closer and closer to the final perfect look. At the beginning I thought it would all be a piece of cake (after all, I do my make-up every day; how hard could it be?) but working on someone else's skin with an entirely different colouring made me realised how technical and organised I had to be. Whereas I just rub in a little tinted moisturiser and slick on some mascara most mornings, here I had to learn someone else's face shape and skin texture. I needed a whole new set of brushes, new make-up colours tweaked to her preferences and secret weapon products like primers and bases to ensure it all stayed put throughout the day, come rain or shine, heat or frost (hey, we're talking Scotland here - anything could've happened!). I needed a helping hand, so I booked a bridal consultation for us both at the Giorgio Armani Beauty counter in Selfridges. Make-up artist Michaela began a classic, gorgeous bridal look on Laura, while I wrote down every stage in my notebook, including which product was used, which brush it was applied with, and how that brush was used.
In the end, I was armed with a step-by-step schedule and list of products tailored to Laura, such as foundation, redness concealer, blusher, primer, eye pencils and tools. And during our trials (which, despite the Prosecco, music and giggles, were brilliantly productive!) we added a few genius must-haves like Clinique's Lash Power mascara, Prescriptives Mineral Bronzer and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Finally, we had our perfect bridal make-up toolbox of long-lasting, bespoke hero goodies. We were set to go.
On the day itself, I arrived early to catch Laura in her hair rollers (it's the ideal time to do the make-up, while the hair is up and out of the face and the bride is still in her dressing gown). Lighting was crucial, so I positioned a comfortable armchair facing a big window for Laura while I set up beauty camp on the windowsill. It was a stunningly sunny day so the light was incredible - and the whole thing went without a hitch.
Yes, there was a little pang of stress that something would go wrong and that I'd forget a crucial stage like the primer or the eyeliner, but, sticking to my schedule and remembering all the tricks I learnt during the trials, confidence kicked in and I got through it smoothly and surely!
Doing your own wedding make-up? Share your tips in the comment box below or in the Chat Room beauty section!