Last Friday, I pootled down to Harrods to attend a bridal beauty masterclass with one of Bobbi Brown’s hand picked global make-up artists Hannah Martin. I love Bobbi Brown make-up and I own a fair amount, so I was really excited to pick up some new tips and see how Hannah worked and then of course, share that information here on The Bygone Bride!
Hannah re-created a classic english rose look, apparently Bobbi’s favourite ever bridal look as it’s both timeless and classic and won’t date your wedding photographs in years to come. Bobbi Brown says that on your wedding day, you should look like yourself at your most beautiful and I entirely agree!
Hannah started by stressing how important it was to cleanse and prepare your skin before you apply any make-up. If your base isn’t correct, then your make-up won’t apply properly.
Moisturise and prep skin using a primer. Bobbi Brown has primers built into their moisturisers and this is what Hannah recommended (obviously) but I’ve tried them and I’m not mad about them. I prefer to use a stand-alone primer such as Benefit’s Porefessional which provides a really good and long wearing base to apply foundation.
For a wedding day avoid foundation with built in SPF as this doesn’t work with flash photography and your face could show up whiter. Make sure you test the foundation on your face, ideally along the jawline. The shade that looks almost invisible is the one for you! There are lots of formulations to choose from, but as it’s your wedding day, it’s best to find a long wearing formula. Using a good quality foundation brush (they don’t always have to be mega expensive and natural hair, Samantha Chapman’s Real Techniques brushes are amazing and well priced. See a fave beauty bloggers post about them here) use a small amount and blend from the centre of your face out. The brush helps the foundation go further and gives an even finish. If you feel after this you look a little too ‘make-uppy’ then use the warmth of your fingers to blend again. If you’re scared of foundation, like I was until a few years ago, and hate the idea of orange tide lines, celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge does an excellent foundation ‘how to’ video which you can watch here.
CORRECT & CONCEAL
Use a corrector underneath your concealer. A pinky based corrector cuts through the bluetones under your eyes and is good for light to medium caucasian skin. A peach based corrector cuts through brown and khaki tones under the eyes and is best suited to deeper skin tones. Bobbi Brown does a good one which I use in the shade Light Bisque.
Avoid light reflecting concealers under the eyes, again for the same reason as the SPF problem in foundation. It’s best to use a creamy concealer, using a brush first under the lash line and up into the corners of your eye and then blend by patting with your ring finger. Bobbi Brown says that concealer is the ‘Secret to the Universe!’ Not 100% sure I agree but I understand what she is getting at in that just looking brighter and fresher is a huge confidence boost for most people.
Make sure you set all your hard work with powder for a long lasting finish. Put more powder than usual on for your wedding day, it’s recommended because by the time you’re having your photos done you could have had your make-up on for most of the morning plus you’re likely to pespire more. A top tip I picked up was, using a powder brush,’ stipple’ or push the powder into the skin rather than sweeping and focus on the centre panel or t-zone of your face if you’re oily skinned.
CONTOUR & COLOUR
Now you’ve evened out your skin-tone, you’re going to have to add colour back into your skin. Hannah suggests bronzer, It adds warmth to the skin and can be worn by pale skins too. I was a little alarmed by this as I’m as pale as a sheet and never fake tan or bronze, especially after the incident of ’98 in which I was photographed with two orange streaks down my face, courtesy of Boots 17 Bronzing pearls. Hannah said that there was a bronzer at Bobbi Brown for everyone, and she was right. As soon as the class finished, I purchased their pinky bronzer in ‘Antigua’ and it warms up my skin a treat. I’m quite surprised I’d never known about it before. Hannah suggests that you to use it at the top of the cheeks and temples and across the forehead. Don’t put it all over the centre of your face as it can look ‘dirty’. If you’re wearing your hair up then brush your ears and behind the ears too. You then need to add colour back into your cheeks, try a blue based pink, like Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink (which I also bought as it’s really pretty and after having it for a few days I’ve found the staying power is brilliant) smile and apply to the apples of the cheeks. Always use a blush brush, not a large all-over powder brush as this will generally mean you’ll apply too much.
A top tip at this stage is to get a bridesmaid to take a photo of you to see how it looks on camera and to make sure you don’t look washed out.
Pop on a lip balm, Hannah said that it needed to be both waxy and creamy. Make sure you keep one with you throughout the day as if you get nervous, your lips will dry out. I’m obsessed with Lucas’ Paw Paw ointment, which, unfortunately for me is only available in Australia but if you can get your mitts on some do, it’s amazing! Otherwise, Bobbi Brown’s lip balm does look good although I haven’t tried it myself. Pop the lip colour of your choice on over the lip balm, preferably in layers with a lip brush. Bobbi Brown’s Sandwash pink was used on Hannah’s model and I tried it on myself too. It’s a gorgeous neutral suits all pink. Hannah was talking about ‘not making a statement’ on your wedding day with lipstick, but I really, really disagree.I think if you want to wear a bright colour of lipstick, do so, as long as it actually suits you. I almost wore red on my day as I wear it often anyway, but decided against due to the up-keep. In my opinion, lips are the one area you can ‘go mad’. However, if you do want a neutral lip, Sandwash Pink is a really nice shade. For a slightly cheaper version I have Maybelline’s Desert Rose Colorstay Lipstick which is almost exactly the same, just less matte. If your lip edge isn’t too strong, apply lip liner but one of the same colour as the lipstick you’re using. Be sure to apply after the lipstick, not before. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a rim of lip liner if your lipstick comes away which is a bit too Pamela Anderson if you ask me!
EYES AND BROWS
I’ve never been one to fill in my eyebrows, but after this masterclass, I feel like I really should now as they really frame the eyes.
- Use a brush like a masacara wand to brush up the eyebrow hairs so you can see your natural shape, use powder, not waxy pencils as they melt and cling to the hairs, not good for photos.
- Use a short and stiff eyebrow brush, start at the tail and fill in from the top using a sweeping motion.
For your eyes, use an eye-primer (Hannah didn’t suggest this as I don’t think Bobbi Brown do one, but I would suggest this, see my review of the MUA eye primer here– it’s only £2)
- Start with a base colour, a neutral shade. Hannah suggested Bobbi Brown’s ‘Bone’.
- With a pressing motion, push the shadow into the skin with a brush as this locks the shadow in.
- Take the shadow all over the eye and up to the brow bone as this will make eyes look bigger.
- Use a second shade, Hannah suggested Bobbi Brown’s ‘Slate’ a soft muted grey, push on the centre of the lid and work up until you ‘feel’ the crease, being careful not to put the shadow too far down the eye as this will make it look droopy. Tip: Avoid sparkle eyeshadows as this again, plays up with photography.
- If you want to wear eyeliner, but struggle, try looking into the mirror with open eyes, pop your chin back and look down.
- Use small strokes with the liner brush and make sure the liner is applied right to the base of the lashes and bring to the outside corner of the eye to make them look bigger and slightly almond shaped.
- Hannah then talked about ‘double lining’. If you want a less harsh line, smudge a powder shadow over the top of the liner with a brush. This can be a fairly dark shadow, Hannah suggested Bobbi Brown’s ‘Smoke’.
- Use a waterproof/smudge proof mascara. If you want to define your bottom lashes,(you don’t have to, it may be too much) turn the wand vertically and use feathery strokes as this will avoid smudging on the under eye skin.
There you go, some tips from the top. I’ve tried not to be too Bobbi Brown biased, but if I thought the product was good (and most of them are) I’ve mentioned it! Oh, and here are the two products that I bought in the end, Antigua bronzer and the Pale Pink blush, it looks bright in the pan but it looks very natural once on the skin.