Sonara Parker shows us how to nail that perfect natural bridal makeup look.
Getting that natural bridal makeup look for your wedding is no easy feat, so we’ve asked expert makeup artist Sonara Parker to provide us with her top tips on how to be a beautiful, natural-looking bride.
“The most important thing for a winter wedding is to avoid light reflecting makeup, such as a mineral based foundation or blusher. You may have noticed if you've had your photo taken with a flash when wearing this type of makeup, it blocks out all of your features on the photo. Mineral makeup has light reflecting pigments in, which reflects the flash, causing you to look washed out.”
“For a natural bridal makeup look, you need to start with the basics. Prep and prime your skin and you won't need to trowel the foundation on! It's also important that you pick a good moisturiser for your skin, not only on the wedding day itself but for the run up to the day too.”
“With cold weather and central heating, you may find your skin getting dry or flaky. I have been using Dr PawPaw in my kit religiously for over a year now and also recommend to my brides who suffer from dry skin to use this on the run up to the wedding. Dry skin is harder to work with when applying makeup, so it's vital you look after and feed your skin up to your special day.”
“Natural bridal makeup is actually one of the hardest things to achieve but the best tip I can offer is – BLEND! The key to any makeup look is the tools you use and your blending skills and it is so important to blend the foundation, blusher and also the eye makeup to avoid it looking harsh in real life and photos.”
“Your moisturiser creates a barrier between your skin and makeup, so your skin doesn't absorb the products. Use a primer for your skin type, which will combat shine and provide a smooth base for foundation, while also giving the makeup something to hold onto during the day to make it last longer.
Then you need to apply your foundation, setting powder and eye primer. I always use an eyelid primer as it helps the pigments stick to the lid and makes the eye makeup last longer. I used a MAC Paint Pot in the colour Painterly.”
“Winter light can be dull, so you will need to make sure you apply a sweep of bronzer for warmth. I use a Kevyn Aucoin bronzer, and also some highlighter. The world has gone highlighter crazy and everyone seems to be ‘over highlighting'. Highlighter should be used where the light would naturally catch a face on a summer's day so cheekbones, brow bone and on the bow of your lip. I used the Illamasqua Highlighter in ‘OMG' and applied it with a soft small brush, so there isn't an obvious highlighter ring on her face. The highlighter just softly catches the light.”
“For the eyes I used two eyeshadow brushes, a flat brush to apply colour and a domed pencil brush to blend. To achieve a natural look, you want to avoid going too high above the eye socket. Blend around the natural shape of the eye so you are ‘framing' the eyes. I used three colours from the Kat Von D ‘Shade & Light' Palette to create a basic smoky eye look.”
“Section the eye into three; the lightest colour should be by the tear duct, blending into a medium colour in the middle and ending with a darker colour at the edge. I always start with the medium shade which I first use to frame the eyes and make sure my bride has her eyes open so I don't go too high onto the brow bone. I then add the darkest shade and blend both away from the eye and make sure they are blended. Once I'm happy I then build up the lighter colour by the tear duct and finish by blending all three colours together.”
“Before I go any further I always then fill in brows. For a natural eyebrow look, I used the HD Brow Palette as a powder is much softer on the brows than a gel. I then place the lighter colour I used underneath the brow and add a tiny bit of highlighter with a soft brush on the brow bone.”
“Strip eyelashes make such a difference by giving lift and volume to natural lashes without looking fake. On my bride pictured, I used Ardell Natural 109 Lashes and also added an eyeliner line to make her eyes ‘pop' more.”
“My top tip is to give the glue time to go tacky. I always wait at least 30-60 seconds after putting glue on the lash before applying it on a client. I used a gel eyeliner for a more defined line and went with the Illamasqua black gel eyeliner as it's smudge and waterproof.”
“To balance the eyes, I used the darker brown eyeshadow underneath and smudged it with a brush for a softer effect. To finish, I curled my client's lashes and then used Bobbi Brown Black Smudge Proof Mascara, as it's the best ‘emotion proof' mascara I have found to date.”
“A sweeping of blusher creates a natural glow, and I finished off the look with the beautiful lip colour ‘Just Married' from Love, Honour and Be True lipstick range who have some amazing colours. I adore how the names and packaging and colours are all aimed at natural brides!”
Need more advice when it comes to your wedding makeup? Have a read of our Dos and Don’ts Of Booking A Professional Makeup Artist so you can get the most out of your wedding day look.