The make-up you wear day to day will not be what you wear for your wedding day. The simple act of spending more time, attention, and effort to every aspect of your wedding, make-up included, is what creates the perfect day that you will remember and treasure forever.

Whether you use a professional make-up artist or you choose to do it yourself, the process of being made-up is a wonderfully relaxing time to savour and enjoy. However, you don’t want to spend a lot of time on your bridal make-up only for it to disappear before you have cut the cake!

Bride and groom walking onto dance floor for first dance

Three Key Steps to Long-Lasting Make-Up

These three steps will ensure your wedding make-up is long-lasting, and you look as radiant on the dance floor as you did at the altar.


This step is often forgotten, but exfoliation is essential to making sure your skin allows products to work the way they should, and stay put! I always ask my brides to exfoliate every other day in the month leading up to the wedding day. It prepares the skin ready for make-up, and allows the make-up to last much longer.


Primer is crucial for making your make-up stay in place. I recommend NARS Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer as this perfects the skin and allows you to apply and blend products with ease. The NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is also a must to keep your eyes dazzling all day long.


Once applied your make-up must be set with a powder to lock everything in and keep your beautiful look just that — BEAUTIFUL! I really love to use Shu Uemura Face Powder in ‘Colourless’ as it is perfect for all skin types.

Other Tips and Techniques

For perfect wedding day make-up it is also important to use techniques that will ensure that it lasts all day. With this in mind, here are a few more tips and tricks to help.

Make-up artist applying bride's wedding day make-up

Choose the Right Foundation and Moisturiser Type

The simple rule is your foundation type (whether it is oil or water based) should match your moisturiser. I would also recommend that you don’t let your moisturiser dictate the foundation. Start with a foundation you love and then find a moisturiser that will complement it. As an example, I use the foundation Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Make-Up which is water based, which I like to use with the water based Oskia Nutri-Active Day Cream moisturiser.

Although it can be tempting to just go with your two favourite products, oil and water won’t mix. The make-up will deteriorate badly within a few hours.

Use Layers

Another secret to long-lasting wedding make-up is to use a layering technique. For example, to give your blusher staying power, apply a cream blusher first, followed by loose powder, and then add your powder blusher on top. It usually takes me around 1 hour 45 minutes to do professional wedding make-up. This allows each layer time to settle down on the skin and dry before I apply the next.


For eyes, I would recommend Eye Base Essentials from Trish McEvoy (available in a range of colours). It is a fantastic product which you should apply using a laydown brush to the entire eyelid, from lashes to brow, then set with matte eyeshadow like ‘Bone’ from Bobbi Brown. With this technique the make-up shouldn’t show any creases for up to 12 hours.

Don’t Brush

To ensure the makeover translates into wonderful wedding photos, instead of using a powder brush use a puff wrapped around your finger and roll it across your face whilst applying gentle pressure. Also, to give your favourite lipstick staying power, try using Lipcote which is available from Boots.

With these tips and techniques your make-up look will keep its radiance throughout your wedding day, up to and past your first dance.

Guest post by Lina Cameron

Images from…

Bride and Groom: Seth Baines Photovideo

Make-Up Application: Nikole Ramsay Photographer