Wedding Makeup Series Part 3.2 - Purchasing The Perfect Base That Will Photograph Well!

I'm sure I overwhelmed afew of you in my last post especially with how much there is too think about (even though it's just foundation & concealer).

But really if you stick to spending one day for being colour matched and taking home lots of samples. Then a week or so of trying them out in natural daylight and even photographing yourself wearing the different samples then you can't go wrong!

I would actually suggest purchasing your choice of foundation right at the last minutes. Of course have a sample of it, purchase the rest of your makeup (which is the next post) so eye shadows, blush, mascara and then actually go to your dress fitting wearing the makeup you will be wearing on the day. Mainly to see how the foundation looks against the shade of your dress. Especially with white it can actually warm up your complexion even if you are fair skinned, so your foundation may actually look abit on the orange side or just a touch too dark.

liquid-foundation-makeup - Copy

Though if you want to get your makeup out of the way book a wedding makeup trail with a beauty counter that you think best suits you - most counters offer wedding trails for around £20-25  (or sometimes free) which is redeemable against the products you buy. Take along a material swatch of your bridesmaid dresses or a picture of the flowers that will be in your bouquet. But most importantly make sure to wear a top the same shade as your wedding dress.

Really don't just agree with what the sales assistant/ makeup artist picks out for you, really have an input into the shades they try out on you. If you aren't sure and want to see how it lasts and photographs take a camera with you and get the SA to take a picture of you with flash (inside and at least 6 feet away) and then take one yourself outside in natural lighting without flash. Do afew hours of shopping and if you are still happy with how it looks and has lasted go back and purchase the products you loved the most.

Back to the makeup I didn't really touch upon in the last post - blusher and primer! Both
equally as needed in my opinion.



Primer is one of those things that people skip over as it is a bit of a boring product and tends to be on the pricey side. However it will really help smooth over any imperfections in the skin and will make your makeup last so much better. The two I would suggest are the Smashbox Photo finish primer £26.10 (3) and the DHC Velvet Skin coat £14.50 (1) which are both silicone based primers so will really fill in any enlarged or stretched pores. If you are on a budget though I'd go for the 17 Photo Flawless primer £4.99 (4). I've also heard very good things about the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing primer £14.29 (2)

Tip: Apply the primer with the foundation brush you are using to apply your foundation with, as it will make for a smoother foundation application.


I'm not really a blusher person (though I do own over 20 and try to wear it daily so I don't look pasty!) but whenever I'm going to be having my photo taken or even if it's going to be sunny then I definitely wear it. Why? Because both photography and sunlight can wash out colour on the face and it can result in the face looking abit flat/lacking definition, so it's important to just add a touch of colour to the cheeks.
Of course it's hard to suggest shades as it's personal choice but if you are going for a natural
soft look then a neutral - nothing too coral, nothing to pink type of shade would be best.
If you do want the cheeks to have a hint of colour without looking powdery then a cream blusher after the primer and under the foundation would be perfect - just to define the cheeks. See blusher recommendations below.


Application for a flawless finish

The first thing I would suggest is buying a standard double-sided mirror (see my bargain £4 mirror here) , especially if you are getting ready at the location of your wedding venue. As alot of the time they will only have a fixed wall mirror in the hotel and a bathroom mirror (with artificial lighting) so having a stand alone mirror means that you can put it next to the window and apply your foundation in natural lighting.

As for how to apply your foundation I'd say a flat foundation brush is best (it doesn't need to be expensive). You want to get the foundation onto the face & neck with one side of the brush then really get to work blending it out so it looks even and almost invisible. You want to look flawless so only apply a small amount of foundation to the centre of the face and work it outwards this will stop the skin looking too matte and just nice and healthy! Stippling foundation brushes are good but they can actually exfoliate the skin while working the product in, especially around the sides of the nose so it you have dry or combination skin this is definitely a brush to avoid! Though I highly recommend the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge £5.50 for a light airbrushed finish.

Tip - Remember the tops of the ears as this can be the first thing to go red when nervous or in the sun!


As for concealer I would be tempted to opt for a concealer style pen for under the eyes that you can brush on and then blend well, lightly with the ring finger (Clinique
do a nice one) but again avoid anything that claims to highlight such as the iconic YSL Touche Eclat ( even though I personally love it for everyday use) as it will look oily in photographs and is also on the thin side. For blemishes and redness you will need a very small precise concealer brush (I'd even consider looking at lip liner or precision eyeliner brushes) just something with a small point that will only cover the blemish and not the area around it as well. There is more to talk about with concealing dark circles and even the out corners of the eyes but I will come back to it when talking about eye makeup in the next post.


Talking of application and getting a good overall finish, brushes are differently needed and if you are into makeup then my guess is you have a fair few already! So giving them all a good clean afew days before your wedding day and organizing them would be a good idea. However if you only have the odd few then purchasing a nice brush set of essential brushes would be a good thing to do right at the beginning of purchasing your wedding makeup so that you can get familiar with them and work out how best to use them. 

I find purchasing travel sets or normal sets alot cheaper with most brands (though I've been told the MAC travel brushes are a big no-no as they aren't as good as they core line) E.l.f  brushes have to be the cheapest out there and are very good. Eco Tools also offer quite a few good sets at around £15 from Tesco/Boots and Sigma also offer a very affordable travel set of 8 brushes for around £35 inc. p&p from the US.

Product/Brand Recommendations



High end foundation (no SPF) - Mac Face & Body Foundation 120ml £23.50 (4) in nothing below a NW shade if you have pink undertones and any Clinique foundation £20+ (2) - there's just so many to suit all different skin types.

High street - Bourjois range healthy mix/10hr sleep effect £9.50 (3) and Sleek New Skin Revive £7.30 35ml  (1) With 20 shades in total for fair to black skin (the biggest shade range on the high street in fact !). Sleek also offer foundation tester kits of the Skin Revive range in 4 different shade ranges so you get 5 x 2ml samples for your shade range at only £2.99! Really great!



High end - Clinique Airbrush Concealer £15.00 (3) Concealer pen and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer kit £23.50 (4).

High street - For blemishes No7 Stay Perfect Blemish Stick £8 (especially oily/combination skin). For more liquid concealers I'd go for either Bourjois Healthy Mix £7.00 (1) or Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer £4.19(2).

I would also suggest a really high coverage concealer to hide bruises, tattoos or even a dreaded red spot on the day with Vichy Dermablend Start Kit  for only £4.50 from



High end - The Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush £14.50 (3) are amazing just so natural, blend perfectly, last all day and you need the tiniest of amounts. My favourite shades have to be Life and Cherub. There is of course Mac and Nars again amazing and both with such a huge range!

High street - Cream blushers are definitely the most natural option my favourites being the Topshop Cream Blush in Nutmeg £6.00 (1) which actually are a cream to powder formulation so easy to blend but stay in place. Max Factor also do a perfect range of cream blushers called Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush £6.99 (4) in a  nice range of natural/pink tones. If you are wanting a matte powder blusher then opt for Revlon Matte Powder Blush £7.99 (2).



High end -I'm probably not the best person to recommend matte bronzers as I do like abit of shimmer and I also love my Bourjois bronzing powder. Though Soleil Tan De Chanel £28.60 (2) is very popular indeed as is Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder £23.50.

High street - Finding a good matte bronzer on the high street is difficult as really there are very few. However there is Bourjois Delice de Poudre £6.99 (1)


Though out the day you may need to blot the skin especially if you are warm - pick blotting papers that aren't coated in powder instead of pressed or
loose powder as it won't cause any build up of makeup on the skin and remember to blot and not wipe!!
Clean & Clear do some good blue almost stretchy sheets (from Boots) and Paul & Joe refills (can be found for £4 on Ebay) are great for pretty packaging and non-powdered and of course nice and slimline for the clutch bag you or one of your bridesmaids will be carrying.

Next up is talk of actual colour - so what shades suit different seasons, what shades to avoid, what shades to go for and how to incorporate the style of your wedding into your makeup! 

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