Here comes the bride!

The dress is sorted, the venue is booked, so now it’s time to think about your bridal beauty. Bridal makeup can be a tricky business. You want to glow but not shine; you want to feel your best but also look like yourself; and you want your makeup look to last rather than melt down your face halfway through the speeches.

For this special day, I would advise you to get a professional, experienced makeup artist. This isn’t the time to try out a newbie or let your friend who likes watching YouTube makeup tutorials flex her skills.

First things first, the best makeup artists book out quickly, sometimes up to two years in advance, so start by doing your research. The internet is amazing for finding makeup artists’ websites and Instagram pages. Personally, I would also read reviews and even go on the local wedding forums to get past brides’ opinions.

Once you pay your deposit, I recommend meeting your makeup artist for a trial to avoid any surprises. I get asked a lot, “Is it really necessary to have a trial?” I tell my brides I see it as avoiding any potential hiccups on the wedding day, making your day run smoothly. Although not 100% necessary, I would advise it if you can, and your budget allows.

For your trial, it’s a good idea to bring along any inspirational bridal makeup looks you like and wear white or the same colour as your wedding dress. Let the artist know if you will have fake tan on for the wedding and the colour of the flowers, bridesmaids’ dresses, and show her a picture of your dress and hairstyle.

The most important thing, however, is just to be honest and direct. It’s best to say if you don’t like something. This is the time to speak up. I promise we won’t cry and stamp our feet! Stay true to yourself and the look you want. We are used to feedback. We love a bride who says it how it is, as it makes our life a lot easier.

For your wedding day, I would advise purchasing a lipstick and compact powder for touch-up throughout the day, as recommended by your artist.

My go-to products
Although I carry about five stones’ worth of makeup around the Algarve doing weddings (my poor back!), I seem to gravitate to these products that really work fantastically in the heat.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Well, hello full coverage! This foundation is the Holy Grail for anyone who loves full coverage. It literally doesn’t budge in the heat and stays in place from dusk till dawn. It’s waterproof, oil-free and transfer resistant and comes in 55 shades … yes 55!

It’s suited to normal-to-oily skin types. I wouldn’t recommend for someone who wants a more natural dewy look, however. This foundation is amazing for weddings in the Algarve in those hot sticky months. This is the foundation which is hardest to get off my makeup brushes and sponges, so that says a lot.

NARS Sunkissed Bronzing Cream
This is my go-to for literally every client who sits in my makeup chair and especially my beautiful brides. It’s a limited-edition cream-to-powder bronzer with a soft matt finish and sunkissed warmth. It comes in two shades, Laguna and Casino. It’s a dream to put on the skin and it’s just so darn silky and velvety I’m in makeup love! It’s out of stock on their website a lot as it’s really popular. An added bonus is it helps to minimise the look of pores and evens out complexion. A definite for my bride’s special day.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Another must-have for bridal makeup is this little gem. It’s better than any finishing spray on the market, lasting up to 16 hours. It has patented temperature control technology properties. This weightless vegan formula mist actually lowers the temperature of your makeup. Impressive stuff! I like to add and mix a little to foundation before applying and spray on the face before makeup application to get even better results. This is always in my kit and on every face I’m lucky enough to paint.

To all brides getting married this year, I wish you the most magical special day!

By Sharon Phillip
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Sharon Phillips is a well-known, fully qualified makeup artist from Ireland. She has been working in the makeup industry in Portugal for nearly a decade and specialises in bridal makeup, editorial photoshoots and film and television. Her passion is helping women feel and look fabulous through makeup.