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A beauty writer’s guide to wedding day makeup

From long-lasting bases to mascara that won't budge, these are the wedding day makeup essentials you need for the big day

Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
May 21, 2024
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Whether it’s your big day, you’re a bridesmaid or simply a guest, one thing is for sure about wedding day makeup - you want it to last from dawn til the last dance. As beauty experts, we know a thing or two about long-lasting makeup, and these are the primers, bases and more that promise to stay put. 

The skin perfector: Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

collage of woman and clarins face cream

"I got married in 2002 when I was Beauty Editor on a glossy magazine and Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm was the must-have skin perfector. In the early noughties, amongst a sea or bog standard moisturisers, there was nothing quite like it on the market. 

"Fast forward 22 years and it is still hard to beat if you want your skin to look instantly smooth, snatched and glowing. It is the perfect skin primer for makeup, which makes it an essential wedding skincare staple and it still remains my go-to when I want my skin to look glossy magazine perfect. I wear it over serum and let it settle into skin for a few minutes before I apply makeup." - Donna Francis, HELLO! Beauty Expert

For a glowing base: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter 

collage of woman and charlotte tilbury hollywood flawless filter

"I spent five years of my career working as a beauty editor for wedding magazines, so I feel well-equipped to advise on must-have makeup for your big day - even if I am a long way off getting married myself. 

"The one thing I saw time and time again in wedding makeup artist’s kits? Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter. In fact, when I was a bridesmaid earlier this month, the MUA used this on me. 

"You can wear it alone for a fresh no makeup look if you don’t like wearing a full face, or you can mix with with your wedding foundation for a dewy look, or, use it as highlighter on the high points of your face for extra radiance. Whichever way you use it, no wedding makeup look is complete until you've dabbed this on." - Melanie Macleod, HELLO! Wellness Editor.

The tear-proof mascara: Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

collage of woman and mascara

"If there is one essential beauty buy for wedding season, it’s waterproof mascara. Whether I’m attending as a guest, bridesmaid or the bride (hint hint), keeping those lashes in check is high priority.

"Not wanting to compromise on volume and thickness, through fear of looking like a panda after the vows have been read, one that never lets me down is the Bobbi Brown No Smudge mascara. Not a flake or streak in sight, delivering full, sky-high lashes that don’t budge all day -  what more could you want from a plus one? You can even add a couple of falsies on top for a more dramatic look, without fuss." - Kate Lockett, HELLO! Deputy Health and Beauty Editor.

MORE FROM KATE: A beauty editor's honest review of the latest vitamin C serums 

The essential blush:​ Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush

Lydia Mormen, HELLO! Junior Beauty Writer collage with rare beauty blush

"You’ll quite literally be a blushing bride with these deliciously shimmery and pigmented blushes that add an airbrushed flush of colour to your cheeks. It’s the perfect option if you’re after a radiant glow - Selena describes it as liquid blush and powder highlight combined and it lasts the test of time too, so you won’t have to worry about reapplying on the big day. 

!I’ve tried all the colours and they melt into your cheeks and look striking. The best part? They have sweet names such as Joy, Happy, Love, Truth and Cheer, so you can pick one that best describes how you’re feeling on the day." - Lydia Mormen, HELLO! Junior Beauty Writer

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