Hair and Makeup Artist Tracy Pallari shares her expert bridal beauty secrets, so that you can look and feel your most stunning yet. Let’s get to it!
Keep your hair healthy by trimming and conditioning regularly during the run up to your wedding, and don’t be surprised if your stylist wants you to wash your hair the night before. Just washed hair is often too soft and silky – hair behaves better for styling when it is a day old and means pins, veils and hair accessories grip better.
The prettiest bridal makeup always features flawless skin as a base, so your foundation must be a perfect match for your skin. You can add colour afterwards with bronzer, soft blusher and lipstick. Choose a lipstick and lip liner that will give your smile definition… especially with neutral or barely there shades. Contour and highlight carefully but don’t over do it – you can take a black and white photograph to check whether your contouring is too dark, if need be it can easily be toned down.
Eye it up
Your eyes are the most expressive part of your face and you’ll be amazed at the difference well groomed eyebrows can make since they quite literally frame your eyes. Neutral colours will enhance your natural eye colour (Wedding Ideas love the Urban Decay Naked Palette), but don’t be afraid to use a little sparkle, which can look stunning on the most natural makeup. Individual eyelashes are great for lifting and accentuating the outer eye area, and don’t forget to add waterproof mascara!
Best of both
If you can’t decide whether to wear your hair up or down, why not have both? Ask your stylist to add some curl or volume first, then create a soft, natural up style that can be easily let down later on in the evening. If you’re struggling to choose a hair accessory and have decided against a veil, a delicate hair comb or small spiral hair pins can be added in to complement your hairstyle and add a subtle sparkle to your look.
Book your trial around six to eight weeks before your wedding. If you just can’t wait that long, ask your stylist for a consultation as early as you like so you can meet and discuss the look you’re aiming for. A Pinterest board reserved for bridal hair and makeup is a great way to show your stylist your ideas. Don’t wear black or bright coloured tops to your trial – a colour close to that of your wedding dress will mean you’ll get a much clearer idea of how your makeup colours will work on the day.
Eyelash extensions are becoming a really popular option and it’s something I often suggest to my brides. They can really open up the eyes and can look more natural than strip lashes, especially when applied so that they gradually increase in length towards the outer corners. The added bonus of these is that you get to keep them for your honeymoon!
A nude or beige lip colour can look lovely and natural but with an ivory, cream or white dress, there is a risk of looking washed out, so I always suggest using a tonal lip liner to define and accentuate the lip shape. A nude lipstick with a pink or peach tone might be a much softer and somewhat prettier option.
Primed to perfection
Primer is your best friend if you want your skin to look smooth and flawless and to photograph beautifully. For oily skin, primer can reduce shine and minimise large pores and for skin that has any imperfections or fine lines, primer will literally fill them in to create an even base onto which you can apply foundation.
Head for heights
Don’t be afraid to go for a little height with your wedding day hairstyle – this can be very flattering for most face shapes. It may feel strange at first but when you put on your dress and heels, you will find that it will balance out the proportions of your outfit and also make you look and feel poised, elegant and confident.
Black eyeliner can sometimes look harsh and stark against the pale palette of a wedding dress, so try a pencil that you can softly smudge out for extra definition, or consider a really dark brown or charcoal. Using black inside the water line can often make eyes appear smaller, whereas a nude liner will make eyes appear brighter… perfect if you have had a sleepless pre-wedding night with all the excitement!
Tips for texture
If you want a very natural, almost messy hair-up style, remember that it has to last all day and night and will need some help to do so. Wash your hair the night before and apply some styling mousse to the root area before drying, and don’t over straighten your hair because your stylist will be able to work better with texture. With clip in hair extensions and padding, anything is possible!
If you love flowers, ask your florist to wire tiny buds and sprigs that complement your bouquet so that your stylist can work these into your hairstyle. This creates a timelessly romantic look and can be a fresh and pretty alternative to more traditional headpieces or hair accessories.
Hint: find out how to DIY the perfect flower crown right here!
I always encourage brides to consider their hair colour and make sure it really is complementary to their skin tone. Adding fine highlights or lowlights makes coloured hair look more natural and looks great in photographs, especially in black and white shots where hair that’s all one colour can sometimes look a little dull or flat.