Inside a bridal beauty expert's make-up bag

21 Nov 2016

All the tips, tricks and tools of the trade - find out the key products used by a bridal beauty expert

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While every bride is different, there are certain beauty and make-up essentials that should be a part of every bride’s wedding day routine. Anna Sorbie, bridal hair and beauty specialist and founder of bridal consultancy,, reveals her eight must-have make-up items.

Primer: all about the base

Wedding days are very long and a bride will often have her make-up applied early in the morning and need it to last right through the night. With the right foundation and powder this can be achieved, but a primer, applied after moisturiser and under the base, will really help to keep make-up in place for longer.

There are so many primers available, so I would suggest investing in one that not only helps keep make-up in place, but also smoothes fine lines, reduces open pores and blurs imperfections. Don’t use a skin primer on the eyes, as the skin on the eyelids is different to the rest of your face, so you need a different primer for the eye area. A good eye primer will even out the skin tone on eyelids, which can be drastically different to the rest of the face, and will help eye-shadow to stay put. Youngblood’s Mineral Primer will help your make-up stay put all day long and features honeysuckle and malachite that will help to protect skin from environmental damage.

Foundation: sheer delight

Most brides want good coverage, but without feeling or looking like they are caked in foundation. A sheer coverage foundation is the best way to achieve this; it gives skin a healthy amount of coverage ensuring fine lines, spots and imperfections are covered, but the skin doesn’t feel or look too made up. I lean towards water-based foundations, as they are buildable, so I can increase the coverage if and where needed. Water-based foundations also help to retain moisture within the skin, so the face appears dewy and healthy throughout the day.

Powder: dust is a must

A light dusting of powder reduces any unwanted shine and helps to set make-up in place all day. Powder should be applied lightly and built up if and where necessary, as certain parts of the face will require more attention than others.


Eyebrow powder: better shape up

Never underestimate the power of the brows. A well-shaped, well-groomed eyebrow really does have the power to transform a face, so while I would encourage clients to concentrate on achieving the right shape for them, at least six months before the big day, a few key products on the big day are also essential. Eyebrow powder tends to be a lot lighter and easier to build up than a pencil, plus it gives brows a more natural, fuller look. Use the powder to fill in sparse areas and to subtly draw in the most flattering shape.

Mascara: water works

This is an absolute essential, as there are very few brides who don’t shed any tears on the big day. A waterproof mascara that effectively boosts volume can be quite hard to find, so if lashes are very thin or short, and I’m not applying any false lashes, I will layer a good waterproof mascara with a mascara that builds length and volume to the lashes. I begin by prepping the lashes with Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer which provides a great base for Diorshow Black Out Mascara.

Lipliner: something to pout about

A lipliner is great for achieving a fuller, more defined pout. Filling in the entire lip with lipliner helps to form a great base for lipstick, prolonging its wear and should be the same, or a very similar shade, to the lipstick.


Blusher: the power of powder

I favour powder blusher over a cream blush. While a cream blush can give a lovely dewy appearance, you have less control over where it is placed and it can often slide off during the day. Powder blusher tends to have more impact; I like to use two different shades of blusher – a dark, matte tan-toned one is perfect just under the cheekbones, applied in a semi circle, round to the temples. A brighter, peachier shade applied just to the apples of the cheeks then helps to brighten up the face, creating a lovely flattering youth-enhancing glow. I usually apply blusher after I’ve applied the rest of the make-up, to see how much colour the skin needs and to avoid overdoing it. Nars The Multiple in Orgasm is my go-to blusher for brides.

Setting spray: to have and to hold

A finishing spray does a similar job to that of hairspray on the hair. A good quality make-up setting spray will extend the life of your make-up, ensuring that ‘just applied’ look all day and night, but without leaving the face sticky or shiny. Look for one that prevents shine, fade and cracking, and that delivers its spritz of protection evenly and lightly. If it smells good too, it’s an added bonus.

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