Mastering wedding make-up: A how-to guide for the big day

Wedding make-up can be a hard thing to get right: you want to glow, but not shine; to feel your best, but also look like yourself; and of course, you want your look to last. To relieve a little of that stress, Illamasqua and Eyeko's head make-up artist, Melanie Barrese gives us her easy step-by-step guide on how to create a flawless and long-lasting look that any one can recreate.

beautiful bride against a flowerwall backdrop Melanie says, "The most important thing for most brides is ensuring they look like themselves, but the very best version. As a Make-up Artist, I encourage brides to go a tiny bit heavier with the make-up than what they would normally do, as this will ensure they look incredible in photographs."

Illamasqua Complexion product selection COMPLEXION

The complexion is everything in a bridal look as you want to ensure it lasts with minimal touch-ups throughout the day.

  1. On cleansed and moisturised skin, apply a pea-sized layer of Illamasqua Hydra Veil, concentrating on the T-Zone and blending out.
  2. Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation has buildable coverage with a real skin effect, making it perfect for brides. Start with a pea-sized amount and blend on to face, building up in layers until you get the desired coverage. You can even use Skin Base like a concealer by dabbing it onto areas that need more coverage.
  3. For under eyes, use Illamasqua Skin Base Concealer Pen, it has peach tones formulated to brighten dark circles. Apply to the inner corner of the eyes and then blend in a triangle across the eye, down the side of the nose and the front section of the face – this opens the face, gives dimension, as well as perfects the under eyes.
  4. Adding warmth to the skin will give it a healthy sun-kissed radiance. Using a big brush, apply Illamasqua Colour Correcting Bronzer to the high points of the face, along the hairline, temples, cheekbones and jawline. You can also take it down your neck and chest if your dress has a low neckline.
  5. Apply Illamasqua Colour Veil to the sides of the cheeks blending upwards along the cheekbones. Before dusting some Beyond Powder over the top with a large fluffy brush, take it along the brows and temples for a soft radiance.
  6. Set the skin with powder concentrating mostly on the T-Zone.
  7. Then finish with Illamasqua Hydra Setting Spray to lock the skin in for 10 hours.
Have a pressed powder with you and ensure you powder around the nostril area before photos, it’s important this area stays matte for flawless-looking skin.

Illamasqua and Eyeko bridal eyes selections EYES

The eyes are the feature that most brides want to focus on without looking too dramatic, once done they should stay in place all day with no need for touch-ups.

  1. Use a tiny amount of Skin Base Concealer and lightly apply to the eyelids, to conceal any redness or veins that may be there This will also act as an eyeshadow base.
  2. Take a dark brown or black pencil depending on the depth of your skin tone (Eyeko Black Magic Cocoa Edit Pencil Eyeliner) and follow the upper lash line, using the attached smudging tool blend this out so there are no harsh lines. Do the same technique on the bottom lash line, for a softer look, just do the outer edge and then join the upper and lower pencil liners together.
  3. Using either Eyeko Limitless 2 Eyeshadow Palette or Eyeko Limitless 3 Eyeshadow Palette, start by applying the softer skin tone shades with a fluffy eyeshadow brush just to the crease of the eye, these shades will add warmth without looking like you have a lot of makeup on. Use backwards and forward motions along the crease to blend flawlessly.
  4. Next, take a deeper brown or black shade (depending on your skin tone) and apply either on top of the liner and blend it out, or for a softer look, apply in circular motions to the upper outer corner. Make sure to blend it out for a seamless look.
  5. If you have applied liner to the lower lash line apply a small amount of the deeper shade on top to soften and connect to the upper eye makeup
  6. Curl lashes and then apply mascara generously, concentrating on the outer corner, again to create lift. If you prefer, you can also add it to the bottom lashes. Illamasqua Raven Waterproof Masquara will give you a full voluminous look without smudging or running.
Whatever concealer you have left on your brush from doing your eyes, lightly blending it under the eyes, again this cleans up and ensures the whole eye area is fresh.

eyeko brow selections


Brows can be transformative, so try not to stray away from what you normally do, below is a guide for a soft groomed brow.

  1. Using Eyeko Define It Brow Pencil, comb through brows, this will tidy them up, but it will also allow you to see if there are any gaps.
  2. Use the pencil to fill in any gaps using small hair strokes. Try and avoid applying too much product to the inner brow, as this can create a dramatic look. Focus mainly on the middle and the tail. If your brows are thin, apply more pencil to the area just slightly above the brow for definition and lift.
  3. Set brows in place with Eyeko Brow Gel, lightly brushing through the entire brow.

Illamasqua bridal lip recommendations


Lips are completely up to you, I tend to find a nude lip is a classic and easy-to-maintain bridal go-to and will allow your eyes and skin to be the main focus of the look. Choose a nude that is either brown or pink-based depending on your preference and skin tone. Such as Illamasqua Antimatter Lipstick in Bang (pink nude), Seren (brown nude) or Shaula (deep brown nude) for deeper skin tones.

  1. Before applying lipstick, ensure lips are exfoliated and have been moisturised – blot any excess balm off with a tissue
  2. Use a lip pencil that matches your lipstick, then line and fill your lips in, this ensures extra-long wear
  3. You can either keep lips matte or you can apply some clear or sheer gloss such as Illamasqua Loaded Lip Polish in Grind- this product is super balmy and provides high shine without stickiness.
Alongside powder for blotting, ensure you keep your lip product with you for top-ups.

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Celebrity interviews!

We have a great line up of experts to give you first hand advice and discussions about bridal fashion, hair, makeup, to name but a few!

Take a look at our Celebrity Interviews!