your face, your canvas

Make up is such a personal thing. Depending on your mood it can be armour, a pep-up, a creative expression, an accentuation of your favourite features, a way to make your look more on trend or a way to experiment with something new. For your wedding day, it needs to be all these things combined. Its key job is to give you confidence and make you feel like yourself, at your best, and totally comfortable, day through to night. For this reason, many brides favour doing their own make up – after all, it’s the face you have been making up every morning and many evenings for years, so it seems slightly strange to put it in someone else’s hands for your wedding day. Getting a professional for the big day is ideal if you’re not that confident with your make up, and want to avoid it causing stress on the day. It’s also a lovely pampering, relaxing experience, that’s a lovely gesture to extend to your mother and your bridesmaids. But it can be costly. Although she really didn’t need to worry about budget, rumour has it that Kate Middleton opted for her own make up skills on her wedding day, which was rather brave considering three billion people were going to judge the results! She did so well and, although I’ve read a fair few criticisms from make up artists, a little to heavy on the eye liner and blusher perhaps, this choice to go it alone seemed an assertive expression from Kate, and she achieved a look that was glamorous and true to herself – after all, dark eyes are her signature look.

I’ve done the make up for two weddings in the past – one was for a close friend Claire, the other for my cousin Michelle. I jumped at the chance, although I have no real credentials apart from an enthusiasm for make up application and an extensive knowledge of beauty products (I wish this was of world history, but my brain seems much more absorbent of pretty stuff). Asking a trusted friend do your wedding make up seems like a great compromise when considering going it alone or getting a professional in. Together Claire and I trailed around the beauty stands, choosing colours, getting advice and slowly compiling a kit. Claire was very honest with me about what she wanted, and if she wasn’t happy with anything, we just changed it (as a make up pal, you can’t be precious; it’s their day after all!). We practised a couple of times before the big day, so I knew exactly what the drill was, which was a relief, as we were very pushed for time in reality and had to work fast, whilst staying calm! With Michelle, my cousin, there was no time for practising because she lived in the USA, so it was a little less calm, but we achieved the look she wanted without any hitches (no pun intended!).

If you are going it alone, and doing something different, make sure you’ve spent some time on the beauty stands and asked for other opinions, to make sure you’ve got the colours right for your skin tone.

One key recommendation of mine is to invest in good brushes if you decide against using a make up artist. They will help you apply make up with more precision. If you’re on a budget, The Body Shop do a great range at reasonable prices. We have a luxurious collection of make up brushes on And I also recommend adding some single false eyelashes – you will almost certainly need a steady-handed friend available for that, even if you choose to do your own make up. Eylure do a great range.

The images shown are some of the looks we favoured, from Becca make up; Bombora collection, Halycon Days collection and Ethereal Beauty collection.

Did you do your own make up, or opt for a professional? Let us know what the results were!

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