Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Basic Bridal Make-up: Natural, Long-lasting and Super Easy!

Hey guys!

It's been waaay too long! I've been very busy during the past month, but I have a few days off now so I finally have time to update you guys on what I've been up to. To begin with, the most awesome thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was approached through facebook by a girl I went to primary school with, and she said that she and her friend had been looking through my facebook pictures and that they both loved my makeup looks. So much even, that she asked me if I'd like to do her friend's makeup. On. Her. Wedding day. So - never having done an actual bridal look before in my life - I was like whut?! for about three seconds before I wholeheartedly answered "Yes of course!" and "I'd love to!".

So last week I went to visit them for a trial session and luckily they liked what they saw and, if my school schedule allows it, you're looking at (or .. reading from) the official makeup artist on her actual wedding day! So to get to the point of this post; before I went to the trial session last week, I did a little trial session on myself. I went for a very basic bridal look, using only warm, neutral colors to create a flawless, glowy base and a soft, yet defined eye. Since this look is meant to last for hours, it requires a lot of layering of a lot of different products. This doesn't mean that this look is hard to achieve (not at all!), it'll just take you a bit longer than usual. Read on for a step by step guide on how I created this long-lasting look!

Before ..
Step 1. Base

As always, start off with a cleansed and moisturized face. One important thing to keep in mind with long-lasting makeup is this: If you want it to last all day, you should really take your time with the application as well. You can't just pile on powder over foundation over moisturizer if you want your makeup to stay put through hours of laughing, drinking and dancing. Moisturizer, foundation and concealer all need a few minutes to set before another layer should be added. The same goes for a primer, if you're using one. In this case, using a primer is crucial - especially when your skin is oily -, since it'll provide a layer of 'adhesive' for your foundation to hold on to. 
Another important point to keep in mind: There are going to be a lot of pictures taken on your wedding day. Not only during the day when there's enough daylight, but also in the evening, when flash photography is required. Some makeup products don't photograph well at all; you should stay away from products with high SPF (15+), mineralized skin products, some types of HD-powders, and concealers/brightening pens that claim to be 'brightening' or something similar. These last ones usually contain tiny light-reflecting particles, which can cause crazy overexposure when flash photography is used. You think that sounds like a lot of products to avoid just like that? Well, it's actually not as bad as it sounds. Just do your thing and take a picture of yourself afterwards - with flash of course. Then you'll see for yourself whether your moving in the right direction! Anyway, here's what I did to give myself a flawless complexion for this look:
  1. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer and eye cream, and give it some time to set.
  2. Apply a thin layer of your favorite primer in the area's where you need it (probably around the T-zone, or all over if you've got oily skin). Give it a few minutes to set.
  3. Apply a thin layer of foundation. I used a wet sponge to do this. Take at least two minutes to really work the foundation into the skin with dabbing motions, and then let it set for a while.
  4. Apply a high-coverage concealer in the area's where your foundation doesn't suffice. I used a small fluffy brush to lightly feather this over any blemishes and I blended any harsh lines using my ring finger. Then, also using my ring finger, I blended a tiny bit onto my under-eye area. I find that the warmth of my fingers really helps to achieve a natural finish. Give your concealer some time to set as well.
  5. Optional: If you want to make your full-face last even longer, this is the moment to apply a cream blush and/or cream/liquid higlighter. Apply the blush right on top of your cheekbones and a little bit onto the apples of your cheeks. Be very careful with the highlighter; its purpose is to reflect light, so you only want to apply it to a few very specific area's to prevent your face from looking like a disco ball in pictures (especially dangerous when there'll be a lot of flash photography). The area's where you do want to place your highlighter are right above your cheekbones, a tiny bit on the bridge of your nose and on your Cupid's bow (the middle part of your upper lip). Also make sure that you use a highlighter without actual glitter particles in it. Use one that has a satiny instead of a sparkly finish.
  6. After having done all this, it's time to start mattifying. Using a powder puff, apply a tiny amount of powder over your entire face by gently pushing it onto your skin. When you're done doing this, you should have a flawless looking complexion.
  7. By now you're probably thinking that your face looks kind of flat. Well, no worries, there's nothing a little contouring and highlighting can't fix. Using a neutral bronzer that is about two shades darker than your skintone, you want to start shaping your face very subtly. Blend the tiniest bit of product underneath your cheekbones and up into your hairline, towards your temples. I used a large angled brush to do this. Make sure there are no harsh lines left whatsoever.Now all that's left to do is to apply a matte blush to your cheeks in the same area where you applied the cream blush earlier (I also like to blend it up to my temples a little bit), and lastly to feather a subtle highlighter right above your cheekbones. To make sure everything is blended together, use a large, clean powder brush and gently swirl it over the entire area.

.. and after! This picture was taken in daylight, without flash. (Excuse the awkward baby hairs sticking out of my left ear.)
Step 2. Eyes

Wow, that was quite the recital considering we're only halfway there! :) I'll try to keep it short here, since the eyes aren't as complex as the base in this particular look. The only thing to remember here is to blend your ass off!
  1. Start by applying a primer to your entire lid; from lashes to brow. But a tiny bit through your brows as well, it will make them stay put all night long once you've filled them in!
  2. Using a fluffy brush, take a flesh toned eye shadow and blend it all over your lid. This will cover up any veins and/or redness so you have a clean canvas to work with. 
  3. Now take that same fluffy brush and blend a warm, medium brown shadow through the crease. Be patient and start with a minimal amount of product, building it up in several layers until you've reached the desired intensity. Use gentle swirling motions to create a perfect transition.
  4. Now take either a black gel liner or - if your lids aren't very oily - a black kohl pencil. When you're using a gel liner, make sure you use one that does not set too quickly; you want to have some time to blend it out. Draw a line along the outer two-thirds of the upper lash line and soften this using any kind of small smudger brush. If you want to, start creating a little wing in the outer corner by gently dragging the brush up and out. If you're going for more of a rounded, romantic shape, you might want to skip the winged liner this time and just end your line where your actual lash line ends.
  5. To soften this line even more, go over it using a small fluffy brush with some dark brown or black shadow on it, depending on the intensity you're looking for. Start at the base of your lashes and carefully blend the shadow up and out. Make sure not to go too high; you still want to be able to see your eyelid when your eyes are open.
  6. Next, you want to take a flat shader brush and a highlighting shade. Use one that isn't too loud; don't go more than two shades lighter than your own skin tone and try to avoid huge amounts of shimmer. Golds or pinks (depending if you have warm or cool undertones to your skin) are used most often in bridal looks. Choose one with a glowy, satin finish and apply it onto the inner two thirds if the lid and along the inner third of the lower lash line.
  7. Lastly for the eye shadow, use the other side of that same shader brush with some of the medium brown we used earlier and gently run this along the outer two thirds of the lower lash line, starting on the outside. Join it with the brown shadow you applied on the upper lid, creating a subtle haze of the soft brown shadow around the entire eye.
  8. To finish off the eyes, all that's left to do is to apply a white or flesh toned pencil to the water line to brighten up the eyes, and to apply a rich amount of a waterproof mascara to your upper and lower lashes. I like to give my lashes a nice curl beforehand, but that step is optional.
  9. If you usually fill in your brows, you can do so with this look as well. If you're not used to doing this, I'd say be very careful with this step. I love the look of a strong brow, but if nodoby's ever seen them on you and your brows are suddenly twice as obvious on your wedding day, people might not recognize you and that's not what we're going for! So I'd recommend playing it safe and not differing too much from your usual brow routine. Something I do recommend to everyone is using a brow gel (which I haven't done in these pictures, as you can see by my sad brow hairs in the last picture); this will instantly brighten up your entire face. Use a tinted brow gel to slightly darken the hairs if you wish.
And another after shot. This one is taken with flash. As you can see, the flash has washed me out a bit compared to the previous picture. However, do keep in mind that in this picture the distance between my face and the flash was about half a meter, whereas a photographer at a wedding would never come that close. What you need to pay attention to is whether your complexion looks even and doesn't show weird, overexposed spots on your face or under your eyes. If that's not the case, then you're good to go!
Step 3. Lips

Okay, so I promised to keep it short at step 2 and I ended up making it even longer than step 1. *sigh* Anyway, this time I'm telling the truth; the lips are by far the easiest to achieve! I'm not a big fan of long-lasting lipsticks, especially not on a special day like your wedding day. The only thing I'd be thinking about all the time would be if my lipstick had worn off yet, which would probably be the case eventually, even though the tube said it would last me 24 hours. No, I'd rather touch up on my lipgloss 20 times a day than worry about my lipstick everytime I kiss my husband (to be) or take a sip of my champagne. So here's what I'd do on my wedding day:
  1. Start by using a good, moisturizing lipbalm. Let it work its magic for a while before proceeding.
  2. Now take a lip pencil that is about one shade darker than your natural lip color. Outline your lips (overdraw them a little bit if your comfortable with it) and feather the edges of the liner towards the center of your lips.
  3. Take your favorite tinted lipbalm - I personally lóve the Sleek Pout Polishes - or lipgloss and apply, concentrating it in the center of your lips.
  4. A trick I do like to make your lip color stay on a little longer: Use a medium pink eyeshadow of your choice - preferably one with a satin/metallic/shimmery finish - and dab this in the center of your lips, right on top of your lipbalm/lipgloss. This will give your lips a lovely satin finish, without feeling dry or tight.

This one's also taken with flash. Here you really get to see the effect a highligher has when you put it in the right places!
So, I'd be surprised if anyone's actually going to read the entire article, since it came out a little longer than I intended to! But I've read it a couple of times now and I've decided that everything I mention, I mention for a reason, so I'm going to leave it like this. :) After all - I can't stress it enough - the key to long-lasting makeup is patience. Take the time to let the products work into the skin and work with thin layers to prevent a cakeface or a complete meltdown after two hours.

Anyway guys, that's it for today! I hope you enjoyed this post! What would you like to see next? Do you like my FOTD's, or would you like to see more reviews? Or something entirely different? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

I'll see you next time!


P.S. I've been having some problems with the saturation of my pictures lately .. Do these look kind of flat/dull to you, or does the coloring look okay? Let me know! X
P.P.S. I made a conscious decision not to list the products I used, just because this is such an easy, natural look and I don't want to make you think that the products I used are the best options. Just use whatever you have and experiment! However, if you're interested in a specific product I used to create this look, ask me and I'll tell you! :)


  1. Very beautiful look! I like it!

  2. You are so beautiful, Linde! and I LOVE this look you created--my sister is getting married next week so I am definitely going to use some of these tips to create my maid of honor look :)

    1. How sweet, thank you! I'm sure you and your sister will look gorgeous on her wedding day! Have a great time! :)

  3. Wooow this is really amazing <3!! Love it!