BB wedding make up tips


Bobbi Brown is our go to brand for advice on wedding make-up. So, when Sarah was married five years ago she made a beeline for BB. And when her darling goddaughter Zélie Walker-Noble married last year, it was a Bobbi Brown make-up artist who used her expertise to make Zélie look more gorgeous than ever, as well as her mother and bridesmaids. ‘Amy and Santa were absolutely amazing on my wedding day, getting my entire gang of girls ready,’ said Zélie.  ‘Amy – you made me feel like a Hollywood star – I absolutely loved my makeup (and the mega lashes!), I really felt so special, thank you so, so much!’

There’s lots of advice online here – and of course you can book in for a lesson at a Bobbi Brown counter.

But firstly, we asked Hannah Martin, Bobbi Brown Senior Pro Artist, to give us her top tips and secrets. (Incidentally when our uber-glam YOU magazine colleague Bella Blissett whizzed off to America for her wedding last year, it was Hannah she turned to for advice before she went.) NB Hannah’s advice is great for everyone – brides and their ‘gang’, mothers and, indeed, guests.

1. Foundation/concealer  So much of how well your foundation (a.k.a. base) and concealer sit and last on the skin is down to how you prepare it. Your skin must be clean, recently exfoliated (gently, gently, an evening or two before) and well hydrated before you apply base so it adheres really well and blends in to look as natural as possible. Apply the best foundation to ill prepared skin and you won't get the finish you desire.

Also consider what finish you want then ‘reverse engineer’ to get the look. So - if you want a matte finish, avoid overly rich day creams and use a foundation formula that is oil free and longwearing - then set the foundation with powder. If you want a dewy finish, opt for day creams with a little oil or even light-reflective particles, e.g. Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm, and try foundations that are water-based and moisturising. Only set with powder through the t-zone to allow the rest of your face to glow.

It's best to apply both foundation and concealer in sheer layers and build until you have the coverage you want. I like to buff Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick into the skin with a Full Coverage Face Brush and really stipple in the makeup to create the most skin-like finish...a heavy handed application can result in too much makeup, which could look cakey. Take your time to perfect your base and practice several times: it can be the game changer when it comes to your wedding makeup look.

If you've prepped your skin according to your skin needs, have the right foundation for your desired look and set it with powder, you shouldn't need to touch up your base but it's a good idea to have a Foundation Stick in your shade for touch ups, just in case. Just a dab with a full coverage touch-up brush and you're done.

2. Blusher/bronzer  Blusher and bronzer are essential for adding warmth to a bride’s face. Wearing a pale colour from head to foot can be quite draining, so a little matte bronzer around the higher points of the face - cheekbones, temples, forehead and neck - can add warmth and shape. This is especially important if foundation has evened out the skin tone and taken some of those natural warmer tones away. This application doesn't need to be heavy, you don't necessarily want to look tanned but a little colour creates a natural-looking tone. Make sure you find a bronzer with an undertone that suits your skin - too red and you 'll look like you've been Tangoed - too brown and you'll look a little muddy. I like to use Bobbi Brown's Stonestreet Bronzer as it had the perfect mix of golden and cinnamon tones.

Blush is best applied lightly to the top of the apple of the cheek. I always ask my brides to smile to help me see where the placement needs to be - too low and it can drag the face a little. To ensure you look as healthy as possible I suggest brides choose a fresh, blue-based pink for that radiant, ‘blushing bride’ look; peaches can look orange and naturals can look a little brown.

3. Eyes  I advise avoiding complicated eye make-up. Often simple, classic eyes are all that’s needed to complete the look. Always choose long-wear formulas to ensure your eye make-up lasts all day and doesn't crease. If you have your heart set on using a powder shadow then use a long-wear base to lock it in place.

I love to use Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks applied with a touch-up brush in sheer layers of colour to the lid. I love the combination of Golden Bronze with Taupe in the crease - they're universally flattering colours on most skin tones and eye colours.

To make your eyes pop, I recommend using Long-Wear Gel Liners as they dry waterproof and won't smudge or crease throughout the day. While black will always define brilliantly, I often use Caviar, which is a soft dark brown. I push it between the lashes with an Ultra Fine Liner brush, then smudge along the top lash line with a Smokey Liner brush. Finish the eyes with No Smudge mascara and you have pretty, classic, long-wear bridal eyes.

4. Lips  To create a lip look that doesn't need constant touching up, choose a lip pencil that matches your lipstick shade and fill in the entire lip with that before you apply your lip colour. This will stain the lips and create a base for your lip colour to adhere to. Apply your lip colour on top and you're ready to go.

Just make sure your lips have also been well hydrated so lip colour doesn't exacerbate any dry or chapped skin. Apply Lip Balm at the start of your skincare and make-up routine to ensure that, by the time you apply your lip colour, your lips are soft and moist.

After a few hours and a few drinks, your lip colour will probably need topping up so make sure you have one easily accessible at your venue or in the charge of one of the members of your bridal party so you can touch up before photos.

Bobbi Brown products (all available at

Foundation Stick/£27.90

Full Coverage Face Brush/£28.80

Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm/£38.25 for 30 ml

Bronzing Powder (Stonestreet)/£27

Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks (Golden Bronze and Taupe)/£20.70

Long-Wear Gel Liners (Black or Caviar)

Ultra Fine Liner brush/£20.70

Smokey Liner brush/£22.50

No Smudge mascara/£19.80

Lip Balm/£14.85