12 best wedding make-up products for the perfect natural bridal look
From failsafe mascara to glowy, long-lasting foundation – look your best self with these top buys
If you feel reasonably confident applying make-up, doing your own on your wedding day is a great option: it’s far cheaper, as you only need to buy products where there are gaps in your everyday make-up bag, and you know your face and your skin – what shades and shapes suit you and how products sit – better than anyone.
You can also keep practising and tweaking as many times as you like until you get it just right without incurring huge costs. If you are starting from scratch with your kit, the things to spend money on are foundation, concealer, cream blusher and eyeshadow.
We recommend wearing a look for a whole day and noticing how it settles (for instance, test your concealer to see if it sits in the fine lines around your eyes once it dries) and whether it needs reapplying, and adjusting your kit accordingly.
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 infinite options for bridal make-up, but these are the products we use for a classic, glowy, natural look.
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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood flawless filter complexion booster: £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 a 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.
Tom Ford eye quad in ‘nude dip’: £68, John Lewis & Partners
This is undoubtedly a splurge, but weddings tend to fall into the big-spend category, so we can just about justify it. Tom Ford’s palette is housed in beautiful, weighty packaging with a magnetic closure, and has four silky, shimmery shadows in gold, peach and light brown shades. It’s the perfect quad for a pretty, neutral bridal look. You really do get what you pay for here: the shades are highly pigmented, stay put without creasing and give minimal fallout – we suggest doing eye make-up before your base so you can clear up if any pigment does reach your cheeks.
Bobbi Brown no smudge mascara: £25, Look Fantastic
Bobbi Brown’s no smudge mascara is a product of understated brilliance in a market filled with novelty quirks, with its simple silver tube and straightforward wand. It does exactly what it says on the tin: lashes are lengthened and separated for a fuller but not heavy or clumpy look. It stays put in the shower, so it will have no problems in dealing with the odd tear.
Chanel soleil tan de Chanel: £40, John Lewis & Partners
Soleil tan de Chanel is one of those products that you might not have heard of, but when you start to read up you’ll find everyone swears by it. It’s a cream bronzer – still a fairly unusual formula – which gives a light wash of matte, sun-kissed colour (this is not one for contouring). Buff it into your forehead and cheekbones with a big, fluffy brush on your big day, and take it with you on honeymoon too. Sadly it only comes in one shade, which will suit most pale and olive skin-tones but not darker ones.
Becca shimmering skin perfector pressed highlighter in ‘champagne pop’: £30, Cult Beauty
The limited edition “champagne pop” version of Becca’s highlighting powder is housed in a spangly gold compact and imparts a highly reflective, light golden shimmer – no large glittery particles – to cheekbones, brow bones and anywhere else you want a little light. Its warm, golden tones mean it will suit most skin tones.
By Terry brightening CC powder in ‘apricot glow’: £52, By Terry
By Terry’s brightening CC powder is a solid take on the brand’s CC serum, and comes in the same four shades. Lightly swirled over any places you want to set your make-up – under the eyes and around the nose being classic key points – it gives a beautiful soft-focus, matte, lit-from-within finish. “Apricot glow” is a fairly universal yellow nude, those with darker skin tones will suit the “sunny flash” shade.
Bobbi Brown pot rouge in ‘calypso coral’: £22.50, Bobbi Brown
We always find ourselves reaching for this cream blush while doing bridal make-up (and doing our own everyday make-up too) for its glowy, long-lasting flush of colour. It may look alarmingly bright in the compact, but on skin “calypso coral” is a fairly universal, natural peachy pink. You can apply with a stipple brush, but we best like to simply pat it on with our fingertips.
Charlotte Tilbury hot lips 2 in ‘angel alessandra’: £28, Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury’s second lipstick collection features fun, luxe casings and bullets that can be replaced once the original has run out. They have a creamy, soft finish that is halfway between glossy and matte. Our shade pick is “angel alessandra”, which is a warm, peachy nude, but there are lots of gorgeous colours to choose from. You will have to reapply throughout the day, but lining with the brand’s endlessly reliable lip cheat in “pillow talk” will help.
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 can often cause flashback – the white cast that appears in photographs caused by light-reflecting ingredients. 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.
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.
Hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil: £31, Space NK
This twist-up brow pencil has an angled nib on one end and a spoolie on the other, in Hourglass’s luxe, weighty metal packaging. The available nine shades are cool-toned rather than the common warm offerings that often come out reddish. The formula is a mix of powder and wax, so it tames down unruly hairs, goes on soft, can be blended easily on first application, and then stays puts all day.
Nars orgasm afterglow lip balm: £22, John Lewis & Partners
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. It is light-reflecting but not in a shiny, sticky lipglossy way, and has that signature “orgasm” right-side-of-glittery glow.
The verdict: Bridal make-up products
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