The lead up to your Big Day…

Skincare is paramount in the run up to your wedding. It's a cliché – but drinks of water, make sure you take your makeup off before you go to bed and use a good moisturiser, toner and eye cream.

Creating the perfect canvas

Use a softening lotion to take any texture away from the skin and dissolve any dry areas on the face. Apply a bit of serum, which treats the skin, hydrates and evens out any fine lines. Then use a light textured moisturiser. Don't use anything too heavy on the skin before foundation. Heat up the moisturiser with your fingertips and really massage it into the skin to ensure a perfect canvas. If you’re getting married outdoors make sure to apply a low SPF so you don't burn – but nothing too high which can cause flashback in photos. (It's always best to do a trial and take photos with your flash on to make sure there is no flashback.)

All about that Base

Start with foundation – such as MAC Sculpt which is very water resistant – and apply with a nice fluffy foundation brush starting in the centre of the face, in the T-zone and on the chin, blending outwards. People like to look more tanned on their wedding day, but it's best to start with a foundation that matches your skintone and add tan with bronzer later, so you look fresh all day. If you apply a darker foundation on your face to work as a tan you will find the foundation will wear away and you will see your own skin coming through and it will start to look patchy.

What you are looking for with your base is a thin layer of product to get rid of any noticeable redness and even out the complexion – nothing too mask-y.

Next use a separate concealer to target areas of your skin that have challenges such as spots, pigmentation and redness around the nose. Using a smaller brush and a cool-toned concealer, target those areas with spot concealing. What you don't want to do is use the product in a large area as it will leave a heavy texture.

To set your foundation and concealer use a translucent powder that is not going to alter the colour of your base. Powder down the centre of the face but keep the outer part of the face unpowdered so skin looks really natural and photographs really well.

Under eye concealing

This is a whole different subject to concealing on the skin. With under eye concealers use yellow-toned products to counteract and lavender or purple tones, while peach counteracts green or blue.

Using a soft brush buff the concealer under the eyes, blending it out onto the top of the cheekbones. You can also apply a little bit on the eyelid to acts as a base. Then apply a slight dusting of translucent powder to set the concealer and stop it from moving.

The perfect flush

For the complexion, it's nice to use beige to give contour and shape to the face and colours such as peach and pink to highlight the cheeks.

With your matte beige contour shade, blend it downwards and almost wrap it around the cheekbone. You can also buff the product under the chin and along the jawline. Suck in your cheekbones to see where to apply the product.

Use a lighter colour such as peach or pink tones to buff onto the apples of the cheeks to give a rosy glow and inject health into the skin.

Buff a highlighting powder really lightly over the skin to give an ethereal, reflective feel. You can also bring the highlighter onto your temple, into the corner of the eye by the tear duct, and down the centre of the eyelid.

All about them brows

It's nice to have a natural looking brow on your wedding day. Start by brushing up brow hairs so you're seeing their natural shape.

The correct shape is for the brow to start directly over the nose, it should be at its highest peak if you put a pencil from your nose through your pupil and from your nose to the edge of your eye is where the brow should end.

Add a bit more shape using a brow pencil such as Lingering which has a tiny nib so you can add slight strokes that emulate hairs.  Keep it softly applied, don't put any pressure on the pencil.


When it comes to weddings it's more important to think about the colour rather than the amount of product you're putting on the eyes. Colours can accentuate eyetones, and when you're dealing with photography it's important your eyes look vibrant.

You can add shape and contour by using a kohl pencil such as Coffee eyeliner to the upper lashline and into the socket line, where the eyes naturally crease. Blend out the line with a fluffy brush to create an easy cut-crease look. Then go in with your chosen colour on your eyelid, working it in with a buffing motion.

Take a darker shadow along the upper and lower lashlines to create an effortlessly smoky look.

Expert tip: Don't dip your brush into your shadow and start on the outside of your eye, instead apply most of the product on your lid and blend outwards for a sheerer, smoked-out finish.

You can add more smokiness if you desire with a pencil such as Embark to darken the outside corners, buffing it out with a fluffy brush.

To finish and add a bit more dimension to the eye, apply a sparkly shadow pressed into the centre of the eyelid.

Use a mascara to fully coat the lashes – wiggling the wand right into the root of the lash, the turning the wand sideways and fanning over the ends of the lashes. Use the tip of the wand to coat the lower lashes also.

If there has been any fallout from the eye makeup, go back in with your under eye concealer and buff it under the eyes to give a fresher look.


Make sure to use a lip liner to define the lip shape. Apply the product in short, light strokes and get it as even as possible on both sides. This will help keep your lipstick in place and give extra definition. Apply lipstick over the liner with a lip brush for extra precision.

For more amazing wedding tips from Sarah McIntyre check out her articles at RTÉ Fashion.