Start thinking like a movie star or a model when planning your wedding make-up. Your wedding album will be one of your most treasured possessions so your photographs should be of the highest quality. Professional photographers know that the best natural lighting occurs in daylight just after dawn or in the late afternoon before dusk. Unless you are having a dawn wedding, schedule your photographs with the wedding party to be taken mid to late afternoon. Find a photographer you can relate to and discuss the types of photographs they are planning to take on the day. There should be no surprises! As the majority of the photographs will be taken in daylight, make-up colours must be chosen with care. Make-up will enhance your appearance in photographs but a balance needs to be achieved. It must be applied sufficiently to highlight your best features but not so heavily that you look overdone when mixing with your guests in daylight. Luckily there is a wide range of colours available in eyeshadows, blush and lipsticks so you can have fun experimenting with different looks. Check how the colours look in different lighting – outside in daylight at different times of the day; and indoors with and without overhead lighting. Above all, make your photographer your friend and ask their advice when you have decided on your wedding make-up colours. It may simply be a matter of choosing a slightly deeper or lighter colour tone for the best possible effect.
Even if you are planning to employ a make-up artist for your wedding, purchasing a set of professional make-up brushes will be a great investment. After all, you will still want to apply make-up on your honeymoon and for many wonderful events in years to come. Buy the best quality brushes you can afford or, better still, drop a hint to your friends that this would be your dream pre-wedding gift. The best make-up brushes are made from natural hair and natural bristle. The quality of the brushes will vary according to the type of hair and bristle used and the manufacturing process. Stay clear of synthetic brushes as they become stiff over time and do not absorb and distribute make-up well . Remember to read the care instructions for your professional brushes. Usually, the brushes are cleaned with a mild shampoo or detergent in lukewarm water. Never use hot water as the brushes are attached to the handle with glue, which will break down with heat. Rinse the brushes after cleaning and pat dry with a cloth such as microfibre, which is highly absorbent. Smooth the brushes into their original shape taking care to smooth any stray hairs that are out of position. Air dry with the handles facing down . It is important never to store these important tools with the handles facing up as this will distort the brushes. You will have great fun learning about all your new brushes and there are many resources on the internet about this. A photograph of my own professional make-up brush set is below to show you how many different brushes are available. The missing brush is similar to an artist’s paintbrush with a pointed tip and I tend to use it a lot for concealer.
Disposable cosmetic applicators help to keep your make-up clean and free from bacteria and are great tools for applying and blending make-up. We have all used the cotton buds but did you know that dual cosmetic applicators are now available? (See photograph below) These are similar to the cotton buds but have a broad tip on one end (useful for applying eyeshadow) and a fine or pointy tip on the other end (perfect for blending eyeshadow and eye pencil). These applicators are also great for correcting mistakes, such as spots of mascara. Simply add a tiny bit of water to wet the fine tip and apply a drop of eye make-up remover on the point. Gently dab the point on the mascara spots and watch them disappear. Touch up if necessary with foundation. Always take care when using any make-up applicator near your eyes. These disposable applicators are inexpensive and widely available but if you cannot find them try an orange stick wrapped in a fine layer of cotton wool. An orange stick is used for manicures and is another great item to have in your make-up kit.
Let’s spend a little time talking about make-up tools. Many people apply concealer and liquid foundation with their fingertips. This is not only messy but potentially unhygienic as bacteria can be introduced to their make-up products. It is impossible to apply foundation lightly and blend it evenly if we use our fingers. The secret is to use professional make-up sponges. These sponges are relatively inexpensive and widely available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The quality of sponges does vary so do not skimp too much on the price. Poor quality sponges will break down easily and you will find tiny bits of sponge sticking to your make-up. Many of these sponges are made of latex so take care which brand you buy if you have an allergy to latex. As with any product in contact with your skin, trial the sponge on a small inconspicuous area before using it on your entire face. So which shape sponges to buy? Our favourite is the wedge shaped sponge (see photograph below). The flat side near the narrow edge is used to apply and blend the foundation over the face. The narrow edge is useful for lightly feathering the foundation under the eyes and around the nose and lips. If you are really lucky, you might find wedge sponges with a sharper and feathered edge.