Wedding Belle – A Guide to Bridal Make-Up

Whether going it alone or enlisting the help of the professionals, there are certain things every woman should know about looking her best both on her actual wedding day and in the photos.


Here in a guide to wedding make- up top Irish make- up artist Donna Fitzpatrick gives brides a lesson in perfect wedding make- up, both for the flesh and film.


Beautiful, fresh, glowing and wonderfully pretty is how every bride wants to look on her wedding day. But often it’s a case of compromising in order to ensure the make- up looks good both in the flesh and in photos. ‘It is possible for a bride to look beautiful in the flesh and for this to transpire onto film’, says top Irish make- up artist Donna Fitzpatrick, ‘and this does not mean trawling on the make- up, but rather creating structure and definition with clever, strategic use of make- up’.




‘A bride’s base should be as sheer as possible’, says Donna, ‘and this can be helped by arranging a course of facials in the run up to the big day, which will not only pay dividends in the appearance of the skin, but can be wonderfully relaxing at such a stressful time.’ On the day, keep the foundation clean and natural. Foundation should only be used to even out skin tone and cover any minor blemishes or flaws. Always match foundation to the skin on the jaw line. A perfect foundation should melt seamlessly into the skin and have no colour tell tale signs. Donna finds the majority of Irish women are either Christian Breton Nude or Tender Beige. To apply foundation, put a dollop about the size of a 50-cent coin onto the back of a hand. Allow the product to rest for a few moments as many of the dormant ingredients become active at body temperature. Using a polyester brush, such as faux’s Foundation Brush, begin application at the centre of the face working outwards. The layer should be thin, with a build up of layers possible if extra coverage is needed. If a primer, such as Christian Breton’s Radiance Mask has been used, the product should glide effortlessly over the skin.




Use pearlised light reflective powder such as Christian Breton’s Moon Star to make the skin appear to be glowing. Loose powder is best applied with a puff in a ‘press and roll’ motion. Using the puff, mop up some product and press lightly onto the face and hold for a few seconds before gently removing the fingers in a rolling motion. Apply to all of the face paying particular attention the oilier T- zone of the forehead, nose and chin. Brush over the face with a large natural- bristled brush, such as faux’s Powder Brush to remove any excess product.




A successful make- up photograph will depend upon structure. Eyebrows are perhaps the most important element to giving a face structure and definition. Eyebrow shapes and sizes change with the times, but at the moment, natural but groomed is most fashionable. Think Catherine Zeta Jones and Liz Hurley. Donna recommends tweezing with a quality tweezers such as Regine Tweezers, rather than waxing to create a sharper finish. The first half of the brows should remain quite full with the second half tapering into a thin line. The highest point of the arch should be above the pupils and the eyebrow should begin at the point where the brow, the outer nose and the inner corner of the eye meet in a straight line and should go no further than the point at which the outer nose, the outer corner of the eye and the brow meet in a line. Support the skin well when tweezing and remove hair from above as well as below the brow. This will help shape the brow, but the groomed look is down to trimming the hair. Brush the brow hair upwards and cut any hair that goes above the brow line. This will ensure a completely professional finish. Once the brows have been well groomed, it is important to define them. Donna avoids pencilling in eyes, as the results are often harsh. Instead she uses natural brown eye shadows such as Christian Breton’s Bye Bye to fill brows in. Choose colour one or two shades darker than the hair’s natural colour. Using a fine, small, boar bristle, asymmetrical brush, such as faux’s Brow Brush, apply product in brows, defining, filling in gaps and teasing an arch.




Blusher works twofold for a bride; it will create a beautiful, fresh, pretty glow, which looks fantastic in the flesh, while simultaneously creating structure and definition for successful photographs. Blushing is essentially the recreation and intensification of a natural glow brought on by certain stimuli such as gentle exercise and pleasure. Everybody remembers how pretty Sarah Jessica Parker looks in the opening credits of Sex in the City when she is happily walking down the street in her Ballerina outfit when the bus splashes her. Next time look at her blusher. To achieve this look, use a large flat round- edged natural- fibred brush, such as faux’s Blush Brush. Coat one side of the brush with a powder blush such as Christian Breton Latino and gently tap off excess. Smile and place the centre of the brush at the roundest and fullest part of the cheek, known as the apple. With the rounded edges of the brush facing towards the nose, gently swirl the brush around until its facing the opposite direction and flick out towards the ear. Repeat if necessary.


Eye Shadow


‘Keep the eyes light and natural’, advises Donna, ‘as this will translate well in the flesh and make the eyes look bigger in the photos.’ The secret to perfect eye shadow lies in the brushes. Using a sable brush, such as faux’s Eye Shadow brush apply a wash of colour to thinly cover the eye from lashes to brows, using a light taupe such as Christian Breton’s Arrival Champagne. Next, take a light brown, such as Christian Breton’s Urban Light and using a small tapered deer hoof brush, such as faux’s Eye Contouring Brush, sweep it across the crease in the socket blending well. Finally using a medium brown, such as Christian Breton’s Help Taxi! run a fine brush, such as faux’s Eyeliner brush close to the lashes to add definition.




‘I usually love lip gloss’, says Donna, ‘but warn brides to steer clear as there is nothing worse than a veil getting stuck to tacky lips. Look instead to sheer lip stains or lipsticks.’ Donna starts with a sheer light- coloured lipstick such as Christian Breton’s Tchin Tchin. Using a very fine, small tapered brush, such as faux’s Lip Brush to carefully outline the lips and then fill them in. Lighter colours reflect more light and this makes the lips seem bigger and does not look overpowering in the photos.