13 best bridal makeup products
We all want to feel our best on the big day – treat yourself to these top products to help you create the perfect wedding look
Doing your own makeup on your wedding day is a great option: it’s cheaper as you only need buy products where there are gaps in your usual make-up bag, and you know your face better than anyone – how makeup sits and lasts on your skin, what shades and shapes suit you.
You can also do multiple trials until you get it just right without stacking up a huge bill; practice is key here. If you are starting from scratch with your kit, the things to spend money on are foundation, concealer, cream blusher and eyeshadow.
And, as always, make-up is only as good as the skin under it, so take time to build a proper skincare routine in the run-up to your big day. There are so many looks you could go for, but these are the products we use in a classic soft, natural look when we do bridal makeup.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter: £30, Charlotte Tilbury
Confusingly, this looks like a foundation in the bottle and comes in different shades, but it isn’t one.
Apply it under foundation, or mix in with it to minimise steps, for blurring, radiant glow without being glittery.
Wear it on your honeymoon on bare skin with just a little concealer for a barely there glow, too. It’s not great on oily skin; if you need something to help your foundation stay put, try REN’s Perfect Canvas primer, that gives the mattifying, smoothing effect of a silicone primer, only without silicone.
YSL All Hours Liquid Foundation: £35, YSL Beauty
We will be wearing this foundation until we die (or, at least, until something better lands on our desk). We have never had so many questions about what we're wearing as when wearing it.
It gives a satin, glowing but not shiny finish, good coverage on spots, scarring and redness around the nose, and doesn't budge. Oh, and it comes in 22 shades.
It does contain SPF, which some may worry about reflecting direct flash to give a ghostly white, powdery effect in photographers. However, this performs pretty well under direct flash and it is very rare for photographers to use it (rather than daylight or bounced flash) anyway.
Sisley Phyto-Teint Expert Foundation: £84, John Lewis
On your average day, we would be reluctant to recommend a foundation that costs this much, particularly as it comes in such a limited range of shades – but we’re willing to forgo these principles because, hey, your wedding is not your average day, and also because this is very, very good.
It lasts extraordinarily well, looking pretty fresh after 14 hours of wear, without drying out cheeks or melting in the greasier areas around the nose, and it doesn’t contain SPF, if you’re worried about that.
Whichever foundation you choose, apply with Clinique’s Foundation Buff Brush, which distributes foundation in thin, buildable layers and blends flawlessly.
Clarins Instant Concealer: £22.50, Clarins
This has been our favourite concealer for years: it is thin, very easy to blend (preferably with our favourite Bobbi Brown Concealer Blending Brush) and yet doesn’t settle into fine lines after a few hours of wear.
It only comes in four shades but they are surprisingly adaptable to different skin-tones.
Mac Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder Pressed: £21.50, Mac Cosmetics
We wouldn’t normally bother with a setting powder, but for your wedding we appreciate that you want to take every step possible to keep your foundation looking fresh and prevent shine.
It’s a no-frills transparent powder that doesn’t go on visibly chalky or cake your make-up and does exactly what you need it to.
Only apply where it’s needed (such as around the nose and mouth), leaving out areas that tend to be dry (such as the cheeks or forehead), and keep it on hand for quick touch-ups throughout the day.
Glossier Cloud Paint: £15, Glossier
For natural, glowy makeup, we prefer a cream blush to a powder as they don’t like quite so done and this liquid one is more easily blended than compact creams.
Don’t be put off by how bright Glossier’s Cloud Paints look straight out of the tube: they are very well pigmented so you only need a tiny bit and they blend to a beautiful, natural flush that lasts all day.
You can’t go wrong with any shade, but our favourites are Dawn, Puff and Dusk.
Nars Highlighting Powder in Capri: £28, narscosmetics.co.uk
Reflective without being visibly glittery or spangly, Nars’ Highlighting Powder in Capri is far less pink in person than it looks online.
It offers a natural, slightly softer alternative to the harsher strobe-y effect of a whiter highlighter, which can be swept across the whole face or just applied to high points.
Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Tool: £29, Space NK
This twist-up brow pencil has an angled nib on one end and a spoolie on the other end, in Hourglass’s luxe, metal, weighty packaging.
The nine shades are cool, rather than the common warm ones that often come out reddy. The formula is a mix of powder and wax, so it tames down unruly hairs, goes on soft, can be blended/rubbed off easily on first application, and then stays puts all day.
Beauty Pie The Ten Best Neutral Eyeshadow Shades: £35, Beauty Pie
Beauty Pie’s neutral palette is great for those less confident with eyeshadow: the colours are lightly pigmented, meaning you can build them easily, they’re on the cooler side of neutral, so no orange-y gold, and they have barely any fallout.
There’s also highlight and sculpt shades to contour the socket, should you wish; we mostly just love the highlight to cover up when we’ve gone a bit too high.
Combined with Tom Ford’s Eye Primer Duo, they stay crease-free all day, even on our tester’s usually greasy lids.
Sisley Paris Phyto-Khol Star Waterproof in Sparkling Brown: £36, Sisley Paris
Soft enough to draw with no dragging and with a rounded, twist-up pencil that gives a foolproof even line.
The brown shade has a light sparkle to it and is light enough to add definition without being OTT. Plus, it’s got that all-important waterproof factor.
For a neutral smoky look, blend the liner into your shadow by using a slightly wetted slanted eyeliner brush (we love Suqqu’s Eyeliner Brush D) and a dark eyeshadow shade.
Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara: £19, Eyeko
If you love the lifting power of Eyeko’s Lash Alert of Benefit’s Roller Lash, Sport is your waterproof wedding-appropriate alternative.
It curls lashes and adds length and definition with zero clumps, and it stays put – we even put it through a hot shower – with zero transfer all day.
Chuck it in your case for poolside wear on your honeymoon afterwards.
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner Pencil in Pillow Talk: £16, Charlotte Tilbury
Run Charlotte Tilbury’s cult suits-all nude liner around the outer edges of your natural lip line to give thicker, pillow-y lips without looking unnatural, in a sort of your-lips-but-better way.
Fill in the rest of your lips for a longer-lasting base for your lipstick (we like Charlotte Tilbury’s Stoned Rose for a dusky red-pink shade) and you're good to walk down the aisle.
Nars Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm: £22, Asos
The ever-popular Nars Orgasm blush now has its own line of products, including a loose powder, illuminator and this near-enough-perfect balm.
It’s lightly tinted and more visible than your average balm but still has all the moisturising power, light-reflecting but not in a shiny, sticky lipgloss-y way, and has that signature "Orgasm" right-side-of-glittery glow.
The Verdict: Best bridal makeup products
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