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Image / Beauty

12 things we learned about bridal make-up from Paula Callan’s masterclass


by Edaein OConnell
28th May 2019

Paula Callan IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019

On Day Two of the IMAGE Beauty Festival, make-up maestro Paula Callan was on-hand to give some of her top tips when it comes to bridal make-up. Here is what we learned…


When it comes to the big day, brides have a lot to think about. From the venue to the dress; the bridal party; the weather; the band; the seating plan; who’s not talking to who, and finally, the make-up.

A bride must feel comfortable and like herself, but she must also feel like her most beautiful. So, getting the make-up right is vital.

Related: Overheard at #IMAGEBeautyFest:
Our favourite quotes from our big beauty weekend

On Sunday, attendees of the IMAGE Beauty Festival were treated to a masterclass in bridal make-up from artist extraordinaire Paula Callan. Paula most certainly knows a thing or two about make-up, having made the face of many a bride over the years.

The class was jam-packed with tips and tricks for the day of the wedding; here are 12 things we learned.

1. Prep

Paula believes the most important part of make-up is the skin and reiterated this throughout the class. Take your time and truly prep it and choose the right products for your skin.

When it comes to products, less is more (whether or not your skin is problematic). If your skin is in good condition, there isn’t a need for packing on products; and if it isn’t good, it’s all about choosing the right product rather than using a lot of them.

Prepping your skin correctly will also help your foundation to last all day.

2. Oils for the skin

The night before the wedding, Paula advises using natural oils to treat the skin. This will help rejuvenate and plump skin pre-make-up. But don’t forget to wash it off in the morning and give your skin a good cleanse.

3. Never use something you haven’t tried before

This goes without saying, but Paula stressed to stick to what you know to avoid any flare-ups or skin disasters.

4. Time

Wedding make-up isn’t the same as your usual everyday version. Paula believes brides should take their time to get it right and test it out. You want to look your best, so don’t rush it.

5. Pictures are important

According to Paula, taking pictures while on the journey to wedding make-up is vital. Bring them to trials and show the artist what you want. What’s more, take pictures of the complete look to see how it photographs.

6. A red lip is high maintenance

Though it looks fabulous, Paula says brides should avoid a red lip on their wedding day because it’s quite high maintenance. From kissing guests to kissing the groom, there is a constant need for reapplication. She advised the audience to go for a lip stain instead (or keep the red lip for the evening reception).

7. Setting powder is a must

Though many are afraid of it, Paula said no bride should go without powder. However, it’s all in the application. Don’t buff it; if you do, you will mix the wetness of the foundation with the dryness of the powder and a type of make-up ‘cement’ will form. Pressing the powder on with a brush is the correct way and will preserve that flawless finish.

8. Don’t use SPF

Though this may sound like it’s going against the grain of skincare, Paula believes it’s best to avoid SPF the day of a wedding. SPF causes ‘flashback’, which means in photos your face will appear white while the rest of your body will appear bronzed (if you wear fake tan). She told attendees if the foundation used has SPF in it, flashback wouldn’t happen as they are formalized to prevent this.

9. Stay away from trends

Bridal make-up should be classic and timeless, so staying away from a trend-led look is advisable.

10. Avoid a look you have never had before

Deciding to wear heavy make-up the day of your wedding when all you wear is tinted moisturizer isn’t something Paula would recommend. Go with what you know and like, and most importantly, what you feel comfortable with.

11. Always get a trial

Testing make-up pre-wedding is one of the most important aspects of getting it right. Do your research into your chosen make-up artist and take a look at all of their work so you get a feel of what they do.

12. There are only two things you need

Paula stressed that on the day of your wedding, the only extra make-up you need is powder and a lipstick. Other than that, if the prep is done right and the artist has done their job correctly, your make-up should last.

Photo: IMAGE Media


Read more: The best dressed from the IMAGE Beauty Festival

Read more: Social Pics: Were you at day one of the IMAGE Beauty Festival 2019?

Read more: Social Pics: All the action from day two of the IMAGE Beauty Festival

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