The busiest bridal season is upon us and to make sure you look your absolute best, celebrity make-up artist Vicky Hanna walks you through her 5 steps to makeup perfection.

 

STEP 1 - GET THE GLOW

The key to bridal beauty is flawless makeup, and the key to flawless makeup starts with skincare, and the correct skincare will help you to achieve a look that is fresh, youthful and simply glowing. No matter whose makeup I am doing; whether it be a bride on her wedding day, a model at a show, or someone on-counter, I always begin my routine by ensuring their skin is thoroughly cleansed and properly moisturised. Hydrated skin will glow, and by using a good moisturiser you will achieve a "dewy" appearance that almost all brides crave. Personally, I like to opt for a thick moisturiser, and my pick for brides-to-be has to be Laura Mercier's Repair Day Crème SPF 15. This cream is a wonder product that will help you achieve a smoother and more radiant complexion while also providing environmental protection.

Pro tip: If your dress is low-cut take your moisturiser down the face and onto the neck and décolletage area. Doing this will ensure that your skin is flawlessly smooth from face to chest.

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STEP TWO: PERFECT MATCH

When choosing a foundation, I like to match its colour to the lower part of my clients faces. In doing this, I am ensuring a flawless, and seamless, finish from face to neck and down to décolletage. The perfect foundation, when you find it, will even out your skin tone for flawless perfection rather than act as a mask.

My absolute all-time favourite foundation has to be MAC's Studio Face and Body Foundation. Providing a smooth and flawless finish, Studio Face and Body has the lightest consistency of any foundation and allows the skin to shine through rather than be masked! This foundation is used religiously backstage at fashion shows and for red carpet events. It has buildable coverage which means that the more you blend it into the skin, the more coverage you will achieve and the more matte your finish will be. This foundation can also be used on the body. However, if you are going to try this, I would advise that you apply it an hour or two BEFORE you get dressed. Once properly dry this product is non-transferable but to achieve this you will need to rub it properly into the skin. Apply and blend until you feel it dry between your hands and whatever part of the body you are applying it.

Concealer: Do not be afraid of concealer. Concealer is the workhorse of your makeup and is the product that will not only provide cover for imperfections but will lift the under eye area and hide dark circles/tiredness. It's important to conceal only once your base is applied, if we were to conceal before applying foundation we would essentially be patting and rubbing it away. For a perfect match, I always recommend having to concealers on hand, one light and one an exact match to your foundation. The lighter colour should be used to concealer the under eye area while the concealer the same as your foundation should be used to hide imperfections, spots etc., on the face. If the concealer you choose to hide imperfections on the face is lighter or darker than your foundation, this will show under the harsh flash of a camera and may ruin your wedding photos.

Introduced to me by a fellow makeup artist, I simply adore Giorgio Armani's High Precision Retouch. Since discovering this wonder-tool, I have not looked back. With a beautiful texture, especially for the under eye area, it stays radiant when combatting dark shadows under the eye while blurring imperfections and brightening the complexion. If your under eye has a distinctive blue feel, opt for a pink undertone. The pink will counteract the blue and give you flawless skin. Make sure that you to tap down/blend this product in towards the cheekbone, this will help you to achieve a seamless finish between the eye area and face.

 

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STEP THREE: GORGEOUS EYES

For spring/summer brides, I like using feminine and innocent shades. The colour palette is very delicate with shades of nude pinks, plums and pearly iridescent. I always begin by using a cream base all over the eyelid. Cream-based shadows make amazing bases as they are long wearing and enhance the wearability of anything you are going to place on top. MAC has a great range of cream paint pots in a wide variety of suitable colours and would be my go-to product.

This season, I am going to be using either MAC's Painterly, a creamy pink/skin shade that is matte, or MAC's Bare Study, a pearly pink shade with a slight shine. The pink in both these shadows will help neutralise the violet hue we all have on the eye area when wearing no makeup; the overall result is one that looks completely natural and very delicate.

From here, I will use a pencil to fill in the lashes at the root and blend along the lash line. For this technique, I always opt for a soft pencil that is waterproof as it is easy to blend with the shadow and create a subtle, beautiful smokey look on the eyes.

For the socket, a soft brown with a sheen will work wonders to open up the eye and give subtle definition. For added drama and a smoky feel, run this shade along the lower lash line for added definition.

Flirtatious lashes are a must for the bride-to-be, and I would recommend curling lashes on your big day. Use a waterproof mascara in black, for the most dramatic effect, making sure to take off any excess product to avoid clumping, and then apply from root to tip. If you want to use false lashes on the day apply them only after you have applied mascara.

Pro tip: Avoid false lashes if you feel that you are going to be quite teary. False lashes tend to look messy and clump due to the emollient in our tears, and this is not a good look for your professional photos.

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Bold brows are having their day, but in my opinion, brows should be toned down for your wedding. Go for a softer look by using shadows that are close to your natural hair colour. You want subtle definition rather than going in full-force for a really heavy brow. Bobbi Brown's Taupe is a beautiful shade to use for blondes while MAC's Brunette is perfect if your hair is darker.

 

STEP FOUR: YOUTHFUL TOUCH

Inject colour into the face with blush. Choose warm pinks or peaches for a natural flush look. Keep the application to a minimum and apply only to apples of the cheeks, blending up.

To shape and sculpt the face, I like to use a good bronzer. NARS' Laguna is my favourite is perfect for adding warmth to the makeup on the day.

Start by placing your brush head at the corner of the eye and take the bronzer very gently up around the temples, sweeping over the forehead for real definition. If you have a small forehead, like Mischa Barton, avoid sculpting the forehead altogether. To highlight, use your preferred highlighter on the high planes of the cheeks to create a beautiful shine and perfect glow.

I tend not to powder the whole face, instead opting to powder only those areas where I feel shine should be reduced. The T-zone tends to shine on most, and so I place my focus on this area. Choose a powder that matches your foundation and powder forehead, bringing your brush down the nose, onto the chin and back up and in around the nose.

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STEP FIVE: KISS ME QUICK

Nudes are perfect for most brides-to-be and look much prettier than darker/bolder shades of lip colour. With this being said, if a bride is very confident about wearing a bold lip, that is, they wear these shades on a daily basis, then I would be more than happy opting for something more daring. The key is to be comfortable in what you are wearing; it should not be so different from your normal look that you no longer fit the skin you're in.

Find Vicky Hanna on Instagram @vickyhannamakeup and on www.vickyhanna.com

- Edited by Danielle Farrell