Happy Tuesday everyone, such good news that Monday is over! In this post, I’m going to give you a (brief) explanation of the process for applying natural makeup.

Bridal makeup (and day-to-day makeup…in fact, all makeup) should enhance your natural beauty and should create certain illusions…as well as hide certain things. Your makeup on your wedding day should look natural yet last all day, and this is done by applying makeup in thin layers.

Ready, set, GO!

Primer ~ This is a product used to prepare the skin for makeup application. It smooths and gives the makeup something to “stick” to. Some primers prevent oil build-up and others are very effective at filling wrinkles. Primer can be applied with your fingers or a brush.

Foundation ~ I only recommend applying foundation before you do your eyes if you are using cream eye shadows. If you are using normal powder eye shadow, do your eyes first and then apply foundation…this is because the powder tends to drop onto your cheeks and can make a mess.
Foundation can be applied using your fingers, brushes or a wet cosmetic sponge…all techniques work but the key point is to remember to blend blend blend! Start with the centre of your face and work the foundation onto your neck and into your hairline.
Use foundation to even out your complexion…don’t try cover blemishes with it, just allow your natural skin to shine through.

Concealer ~ Sheer, buildable concealers are the best. Remember not to go too light with your concealer or you’ll have that weird “anti-raccoon” around your eyes. Basically, your concealer is a thicker version of your foundation colour, which is used sparingly to cover redness, blemishes, scars and dark circles. If you have dark, sunken circles under your eyes, try a light-reflecting concealer but remember that you can’t use this all over your face.
Make sure that where ever you apply concealer, you blend it out nicely into the foundation…you never want to see lines or the start/finish of different products on your face.

Powder ~ Please don’t apply powder ll over your face…firstly, it has an ageing effect…secondly, the matt look is so last season. A dewy complexion is youthful and adds a beautiful highlight to the skin.
If you must powder to set your makeup, use a small brush and gently pat powder onto your eyelids, under the eyes, around the base of your nose, down the side of your nose onto your cheeks and on your chin.  A light dusting on your forehead is fine but remember, if you have fine lines or wrinkles, the powder will settle into them and emphasize them.
Rather keep a little powder with you and touch up during the day if you need it.

Contour ~ Many people mistake contour for bronzer and it then ends up doing the exact opposite for them. You need to contour with a matte powder about 2 tones darker than your skin colour. The point of this is to make the area you contour recede (matte dark colours recede, lighter shiny colours draw attention) and therefore creating the illusion of definition and shape.
Most people will contour lightly (remember no line down your cheeks) from their temple to just under the cheekbone and a little above the eyebrow to the hairline. Contour is also used to make the nose look slimmer and the jawline more pronounced.

Highlight ~ This is the opposite of contouring…anything which is a lighter shade than your skin or has a shimmer will draw attention to that area. I use a cream highlighter on the top of the cheekbone towards the temple, down the nose, on the bow of the lip, in the inner corner of the eye and sometimes just under the eyebrow. Obviously, not everyone needs all of this, it just depends on what you want to highlight or how I need to change the shape of the face.

Blusher ~ Now that we’ve created the shape and definition of the face, we can add some dimension with colour. With brides, I usually add a cheek stain or cream blush before I apply foundation..this gives the illusion of a natural blush. Good makeup is about making it look like it all comes from within.
The only rule with blush….NEVER smile while applying it! This is an old theatre technique used to age people.  Apply blush gentle to the cheeks bones pulling the brush up towards the temple. Your contour, blush and highlight should blend seamlessly into one another. Once you’ve finished, shake off the brush a little a run it over your forehead, down your nose and chin and across your collar bones…this adds a hint of colour.

Eyebrows ~ Please always pay some attention to your brows…they need loving too! They frame your eyes and can make all the difference to the shape of your face if shaped properly. Unfortunately of all the people I’ve worked on, perhaps only 10% had their brows correctly shaped, so I’ve always had to correct them. I promise you, I could right a zillion page essay on eyebrows and their shape!

Eyeshadow ~ I’ll get into more detail later when we touch on specific looks but the basic natural eye is all about contouring (that magic word!) and creating shape. Using the same matte colour from contouring the rest of your face, use a small blending brush and contour just on your eye socket bone. Pull the colour up and out a little as you reach the outer corner of your eye…this gives that nice “cat-eye” shape that’s so popular. Using a smaller brush, run the same colour along your lower lash line. Always go a little thicker on the outside corner of your eye and make it thinner as you reach the inner corner.

Eyeliner ~ For a natural liner which makes the lashes appear fuller, use a small angled brush with a dark brown or black matte eye shadow and push the colour into your upper lash line and create a line starting from the outer corner. Use the same approach for the bottom lash line but make sure the line is a lot thinner (it can even taper off towards the middle of the eye…this creates the illusion of big, almond-shaped eyes).

Lashes ~ Always curl your lashes before applying mascara (unless you don’t like your eyelashes and you want bald eyelids!) I always say, if you’re only going to do one thing when you get ready…curl your lashes and apply mascara. It opens the eyes beautifully and makes you look more awake and refreshed. For weddings, I only use waterproof mascara and if the bride wants a natural look, I use black on the top and brown on the bottom. It still gives definition but is not quite as harsh.

Lips ~ I use a mixture of lips stains, lipstick, lip liners and highlight to create a full, glossy lip. I’m not a fan of lip gloss because it’s messy, catches stray hairs in the wind and can make you look like you’re drooling…not fabulous on a bride! So I use a highlight cream on the lip in between layers of lip stain and lipstick…this creates the illusion of gloss and it photographs beautifully! If you have a thin top or bottom lip, add a little highlight on the bow of your lip or in the centre of your bottom lip to give it fullness.

This would be the basis for most if not all bridal makeup looks, the only difference being the eye and lip makeup. I’m going to go into more detail in the next post about eye shadows and how to create a subtle and gentle smoky eye for brides (my most requested look), so just remember that this would still be the process I use before the eye makeup.

In the meantime, here is a fantastic video by the brilliant Lisa Eldridge.


Q & A with Candice

Hi Candice,
I am getting married this June and hoping to find some great make-up looks for the wedding. However, I have heard that there are certain make-up products one should avoid as they don’t photograph well. For example mineral foundations and SPF products.
Do you have any suggestions to which foundations or other products such as highlighters I can use that are “photogenic”? Thank you! ~ AnnaHi Anna,
Foundations with an SPF do contain products which reflect light and therefore show up lighter in flash photography. However, most foundations with a low SPF shouldn’t do this if applied correctly. This can also be caused by applying too much foundation/concealer or setting with too much powder or a powder which is too thick. (To be honest, I think that too much makeup is the biggest contributing factor)
Most mineral makeup and cosmetics contain a mineral called Mica. It is light reflecting and hence appears lighter in flash photography too.
The important thing to remember is to apply your makeup as lightly as possible and to blend your foundation so that you can’t see any lines. The key to beautiful makeup is knowing what to hide and what to enhance (where to place the makeup) and your MUA should be able to do this without any problems with flash photography (even if they use products with an SPF or mineral makeup).
This is exactly the reason why I take photographs after the trial (with and without the flash) to ensure that the finish is flawless and will continue to be in every type of light. ~ Cands{Every Tuesday for the next couple of weeks, I’ll post a little something on The Pretty Blog. If you want to get all the tips and tricks first, visit their beautiful website.}