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Image / Beauty

The dos and don’ts of bridal make-up according to 6 of Ireland’s leading make-up artists


by Eva Hall
20th Feb 2020
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IMAGE asked the experts – who are nominated for the IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards 2020, powered by Dyson – for the ultimate make-up dos and don’ts for brides on their wedding day.


You’ve been planning it since you were a little girl, and now, the most important day of your life has arrived – wedding day.

You’ve got the perfect dress, hair style and husband-to-be, but wedding make-up can be a tricky affair. You want to look the best you’ve ever looked, but resemble yourself at the same time. You want to glow for the photos, but you don’t want to be shiny. You want your make-up to last all day, but with emotions running high this may prove difficult.

We’ve gathered Ireland’s leading make-up artists – all of whom are shortlisted in the Best Make-up Artist category at the IMAGE Business of Beauty Awards 2020, powered by Dyson, to get their top tips on what to do on your wedding day and what to avoid.

Vote in IMAGE BOB 2020 here

Do book a make-up trial

“Every bride should invest in an artist who allows them their freedom to be recognised for their unique selves,” says Judy Wong of Judy Wong Makeup. “This might mean doing one or two trials, but it’s not about money. It’s about the bond and flow you want created on the morning of your wedding so you feel happy and relaxed.”

“Make sure to have a make-up trial,” says Sarah Keary of Sarah Keary Make-up Studio. “Most make-up artists will offer a bridal trial separate to the actual wedding day. The trial is so important, both for the make-up artist and for you. Having the chance to try different looks means that on the day you are going to feel confident and happy in the knowledge that the look you are wearing is right for you and is going to last.”

“You and your make-up artist have to be on the same page, make sure you have lots of images of the make-up look you are looking for,” says Ken Boylan of Ken Boylan Makeup.

Do indulge in some skin prep

“Skin prep is the key to beautiful make-up,” says Bref Keogh of Bref Keogh Makeup. “Make sure to get professional advice from a skin specialist on how to get your skin looking amazing for the day.”

“The most important tip is for a bride to start a skincare regime that suits their lifestyle and to invest in monthly facials,” says Judy. “Wedding preparations have been known to be very stressful events, and stress is the number one cause of breakouts. It is hard to tell a bride not to stress, but what will help is serious rest and pampering your skin as much as possible.”

Read the IMAGE BOB 2020 shortlist here 

Do powder your nose (and everywhere else)

“Always opt for a finely milled powder, anything with too much talc will make the skin look drier than it might be and add unnecessary layers to the make-up,” says Zoe Gorman of Charlotte Tilbury in Brown Thomas, Dublin.

“For touch-ups, all you need is a compact powder and lipstick. I recommend giving these to one of your bridesmaids to carry for you on the day,” says Bref.

“Don’t be afraid of powder,” says Sue Brophy of Sue Brophy Makeup. “Everyone is so crazy for that glow, but you have to remember you are not on a photoshoot, skin will naturally glow once the make-up settles in. My advice is be patient and listen to your make-up artist.”

Don’t be afraid of colour

“Wear a waterproof lip liner as a base on your lip to help make your lipstick last all day,” says Zoe.

“Don’t be afraid to add a little bit more colour to your cheeks and lips for the day as this will look great in photos and will give your face a lift, especially against a white dress,” says Bref.

“Make-up needs a good 30 minutes to settle before you add on your glow, it’s a step I add at the very end. So I recommend going easy on the liquid highlighters and cream highlighters if you want your make-up to last. It can look amazing initially but after a while you can look very sweaty and can cause make-up to separate on the skin .

“Keep brow colour subtle, especially if you are a blonde – no HD black brows on light hair. If I’ve a bride with black hair I still lighten the brows a shade or two as I think it looks chicer and softer on the features.”

Buy tickets for IMAGE BOB 2020 here

Do be yourself

“The last tip is: don’t forget that the most important part of the day is that you are marrying the partner you love, and regardless of weather or things going belly up, remember the intentions for the day – you found that perfect one for you,” says Judy.

“Less is more and don’t follow trends, go with a timeless make-up look, so in 10 years’ time you look at your wedding album and think ‘How good I looked,” says Ken.

“Stay true to yourself as a bride. Wear the make-up you feel best in, whether it’s full glam or soft glam,” says Zoe.

“Keep your look classic, try to avoid trends which will be outlived by photographs,” says Sarah. “Be true to who you are on a daily basis. Don’t dramatically change your look on your wedding day. You just want to look like a beautifully radiant, polished version of yourself.

“Don’t overthink it and feel you need to change your style for the day,” says Bref. “You want to feel like the best version of yourself and find a make-up look that is timeless.”


Congratulations to all of our shortlisted candidates! Voting is now open here. Voting ends at midnight, Friday March 6. For voting terms and conditions, click here.

IMAGE BOB 2020 will kick off at 6.30pm with a cocktail reception on Sunday, March 15, at the Clayton Hotel on Burlington Road in Dublin 4. Early bird tickets are available here at €191 including VAT for a limited time. Tables of 10 and 12 guests are available.

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