Staying Power

February 5th, 2014

February 5th, 2014

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Your kit is probably full of thousands of products for editorial, fashion and everyday make-up, and if you are a bridal MUA then you need to upgrade to long lasting formulas to enhance your bride’s big day.  Warpaint picks the best products for your every need with tips and tricks from MUAs who specialise in bridal make-up.

Relative to a pro who works in fashion or editorial, a bridal MUA’s kit is more likely to contain long wearing products, setting sprays and water-resistant formulas.  A bride’s make-up needs to last from morning through to dancing the night away without smearing, creasing or fading.  As her MUA it is your job to ensure that you know the best product to make sure this happens.  At Warpaint we are committed to helping you have the most extensive knowledge possible, so we have picked out our favourite products and called upon our bridal MUA friends for some tips and tricks.


MUA Alyn Waterman first recommends that you ask your bride what they want to look like.  “I would definitely arrange a trial with your bride for the wedding day, discuss their colour choices and any themes they may have.  Ensure they are clear about what they want and always check for any sensitivity or allergies to products.  Make sure you get your bride to check your finished make-up in daylight to make sure they’re happy with the look.  I think a beautiful and natural make-up that enhances features is the best option.  If their look isn’t usually smoky eyes and red lips then don’t go there.  Classic and vintage looks work best and stand the test of time in photographs.  Everyone aspires to the fresh dewy look to the skin and remember a white dress can wash out your client’s skin tone.”

Bridal Bridal 2

We recommended that you choose products that are going to last all day.  The best way to ensure this right from the off is to use a primer.  This will ensure that make-up really adheres to the skin.  You can also do some pre-make-up correction at this stage with the right primer for your client’s skin tone.  “Lightly moisturise and after a minute or so apply a primer.  Try one that has a high water content, as this will evaporate to leave a silky veil of silicone across the face,” advises MUA Hayley De Beers.

Lightweight and hydrating New CID i-prime (£28) contains peptides to give skin a silk-like finish and disguise any imperfections.  If your client has dull skin, opt for an illuminating base like Le Blanc de Chanel (£31).  This oil-free fluid will add a sheer hit of radiance, highlighting cheekbones and giving that lit-from-within glow that so many brides crave.  Waterman reminds us to know your client’s skin type.  “If they’re prone to shine, then avoid an excess of light reflecting or illuminating products.  Go easy with glow-getting products too, as sometimes these can cause unwanted shine and can create a flare on black and white photos.”

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If your bride is more concerned about lines or is mature, Bellapiere HD Make-up Primer (£24) will provide that smooth finish that photographs well from afar and up close.  It is also great for sensitive skin types thanks to the Jojoba and mineral-infused formula.  Oily skin can be trickier, as you want radiance without that shiny look.  Hayley De Beers counsels to, “steer clear of things like cream highlighters and brightening make-up if skin is combination, as they tend to look oily after a short time.” Silicone spray Face Atelier Ultra Matte (£25) is perfect if your bride complains of oily skin or oil build up throughout the day, as it reduces shine whilst still preserving the skin’s natural finish.  The optical blurring pigments make it ideal for troubled skin too.

FA Ultra Mattebellapiere primer

“With foundation it is vital that you apply thin layers,” explains Waterman.  You don’t want to overload the skin with too many products.  A waterproof crème base is easily blended to suit individual skin tonesKett Fixx Creme Compact (£23.50) can be built up to full coverage without looking cakey.  It is important to ensure that the foundation doesn’t contain SPF either, as this can cause a ghostly white cast when flash photography is used.  On the high street, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£35.50) would be a good recommendation to your client if they plan to do their own make-up on the day following their trial with you.  It has a large shade range, coverage can be varied from sheer to full and it leaves a polished finish.  For concealer, we love the most recent offering from NARS, their Radiant Creamy Concealer (£21).  Perfect to camouflage darkness under eyes and cover up blemishes, it doesn’t crease, blends easily and a single stroke smoothes the skin’s texture.  For scars, birthmarks, tattoos and pigmentation, nothing beats MUFE Full Cover Extreme Concealer (£22.95).  Have a couple of shades in your kit, as the camouflage cream colour darkens slightly once applied so choose a shade or two lighter than required.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANARS Radiant Creamy Concealer - Vanilla - hi resMUFE full_cover_12301Giorgio Armani luminous silk

Cheeks have to contend with blusher, bronzer and contour and these have to work seamlessly together.  We agree with MUA Hayley De Beers with regard to “using high-quality powders, as they last much longer and when applied correctly look most natural.”  But for extra longevity, with blush particularly, a cream blush pops much better in photos.  “A pink or peach colour is lovely on the cheek apples,” comments Waterman.  Benefit Lolli-tint (£24.50) is a beautiful candy orchid-tinted cheek stain for that flirty flush of colour when powder fades slightly.  A cream grey based contour gives the most natural cheekbone illusion.  Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow (£15.50) is rated highly for its ability to carve out cheekbones for even the palest of skintones thanks to the toffee toned ashy hue.  De Beers’ tips is that, “an easier way to contour is to use a bronzer.  Avoid anything too shimmery or orange – these can make contouring look really un-natural, especially next to a white dress!”  Universally flattering Cargo Water Resistant Bronzer (£20) is a medium bronze shade that provides a non-shiny glow and doesn’t budge once applied.

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To set the look, powders are the way forward for that sophisticated finish.  “If your client has dry skin avoid too much powder, especially around the eyes,” states Waterman.  “Loose is better, as it will de-shine without adding any coverage or making the bride’s face look cakey from repeat usage throughout the day,” clarifies De Beers.  MUD Loose Powder (£24.50) is very finely milled and ultra-light, staying on the skin’s surface but not settling into fine lines.  For an added soft focus airbrushed finish, bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder (£22) diminishes the appearance of pores and absorbs excess oil.

mud_loosepowder-3439BM Mineral Veil SPF25

“For hot climates, try a setting spray when the make-up is finished.  One with antioxidants can help to brighten and refresh the make-up,” De Beers directs.  We couldn’t agree more; setting sprays should be a necessity in any bridal MUA kit.

Skindinavia Bridal Make-up Finish Spray (£13.99) gives picture perfect hold that is kiss-proof and sweat-proof for the entire bridal party you may have to oversee.  Skindinavia has also developed a range in an exclusive partnership with Urban Decay.  These high tech formulas are dispensed through a microfine mist to prevent make-up meltdown.  Urban Decay Setting Sprays (£20) differ in that they have three formulas: All Nighter (long lasting for 16 hours), De-Slick (controls oil and shine, leaving skin naturally matte and Chill (cooling and hydrating, perfect for drier to combination skin).  To fix any body make-up covering scars or blemishes as requested by some brides, Stageline Make-up Fixer (£14.20) prevents transfer through contact with clothing and perspiration.

UD group Stageline Makeup fixerBridal_4oz

Moving onto eyes, another fantastic MUA Helen Andrews guides “Always prep the skin, eyes and lips with primers to ensure a longer lasting finish.” Eyes are the main focus for most brides requested looks.  Whether the eye is simple, smokey or elaborate, Waterman is in agreement that waterpoof products should be used.  The eyes have to withstand tears, sweat and still look vibrant in photographs.  NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base (£19) is the insider trick of the trade to make this happen.  This lightweight, colourless cream smoothes the surface of the eyelid, extends wear time and maximises eye shadow colours applied on top.  Another primer that helps keeps eyes crease-proof is Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin (£15), however this one is a champagne shimmer.  This is perfect for a base under neutral eye looks and can also be used on browbones as a highlighter.

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For chic, modern looks that don’t date, opt for neutral and natural shades for eyeshadows.  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot (£15.00) delivers highly dimensional colour with a luxurious finish and gives a vibrant intensity that is comfortable and stays for 12 hours.  Let’s Skate is a beautiful pale with pearl shot through it that would be stunning on any bride.  On the high street, Maybelline 24 hour Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze and Permanent Taupe (£4.99) are great dupes for this.  These gel-based eyeshadows spread easily ensuring a non-tacky finish that resists water and creasing.  The pigments are intense and the high performance wax system delivers a creamy texture, in 12 long wearing shades.  If your client is a fan of glitter, Eye Kandy Liquid Sugar (£20) is a water-based adhesive safe for eyes and perfect used to hold glitter to the skin.  With no fall out or flaking and a natural finish, this is ideal for a client who wishes to go all out with glitter.

MAYB Permanent TaupeMAYB On and On BronzeMAC ProLongwear-ProLongwearPaintPot-Let'sSkate-300

When lining the eyes you want impact and definition that lasts, otherwise your client can look washed out.  For those opting for a vintage feline flick, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (£9.00) comes in nine shades including bright cobalt blue.  It glides on, won’t smudge or run and the thin marker-like tip makes it simple to create a delicate or dramatic line with precision.  For the more requested smoked out liner, Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal (£3.99) Taupe and Bronze provide great colour pay off and leave a beautifully metallic sheen.  Once applied, you can blend easily and then they set fast and last 10 hours.  By Terry Crayon Kohl Terrybly (£22) is another high precision waterproof eye pencil that applies a deeply intense matte and ultra iridescent colour.  With excellent hold it can be applied as kohl or eyeliner.

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For mascara, water-resistant and waterproof formulas are non-negotiable.  They hold the curl after using eyelash curlers and make eyes look more open.  If your bride isn’t use to using waterproof mascara, then something like Max Factor Clump Defy Water Resistant Volumising Mascara (£10.99) gives root-to-tip coverage whilst hugging the lash line thanks to the curved brush.  Max Factor Waterproof False Lash Effect Mascara (£10.99) is one of the best smudge and tear proof formulas on the market and gives great length for those ladies with short natural lashes.  Don’t neglect the brows: they frame your bride’s face and without this structure her features will not be balanced.  You want them to look as natural as possible.  Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink (£23) is a water-based, super long-wearing ink to enhance brows.  Available in three colours Blond, Sable and Taupe, the skinny tip pen applicator for hair-line strokes on the skin to add density or for tinting-up pale brows.

blue water splashCALC Brow Ink

Lips can take a hit on a bride’s wedding day; there is no way that it will look pristine 24/7 due to eating/drinking and greeting guests with kisses.  It is important to consider the variety of lip products out there and how they can help your bride achieve the longest wearing lip you can get.  There are ways to ensure that touch-ups are kept to a minimum.  Start with lip liner in a nude colour to re-shape, re-size and balance lips.  Waterproof Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat (£16) doesn’t feather or transfer and lasts up to six hours giving your lipstick something further to adhere to.


As with eyeshadow choices, finding the right shade of lipstick that coordinates with your bride’s dress and wedding theme can be tricky.  “Where possible I always use waterproof make-up,” recommends Helen Andrews.  For lips this is a great tip, but it can be hard to find hydrating yet waterproof formulas.  “Lip stains are long lasting but I would recommend a gloss on top to stop the lips feeling dry,” advocates Alyn Waterman.  MUFE Aqua Rouge (£19.95) combines both a highly pigmented matt finish stain, with a glossy top coat that provides a lacquer finish for extreme shine and comfort.  Pink-based nudes are a safe bet for that ‘my lips but better’ look.  Burberry Lip Mist in Field Rose (£22.50) gives a sheer illuminating finish with a subtle hint of colour.  The moisturising emollients hydrate and the lightweight texture glides on effortlessly.  For hints of colour, corals also work.  Guerlain Rouge Automatique (£24.50) in 140 Mitsouko, a rich rosy orange is non-sticky thanks to the complex of oil and resin to accentuate shine and hold, and it stays put too.

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Depending on the wedding setting, high gloss and shine may not be appropriate.  Some MUAs can also advise against gloss as at times it can photograph oddly, instead opting for high sheen sans gloss.  Waterman instructs, “On the lips I like to use lip crayons that give a soft colour.”  Revlon ColorBurst Laquer Crayons (£7.99) available in 10 shades, give shimmering lacquer and balm-like moisture that can be worn alone or layered over lipstick.  Warpaint loves the shades Demure and Ingenue.  For evening weddings, a good berry or plum can work wonders, too.  Sometimes the classic red is requested by brides for that vintage look, but you need a colour in your kit that suits practically all skin tones.  Lipstick Queen Medieval (£22) was inspired by historical accounts of Elizabethan make-up practices when women used lemon to stain their lips a see through blood red.  Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King tried this herself and then had a chemist match the exact shade, for the pigmented yet transparent cherry red that suits everyone. “Above all,” explains Waterman, “you want to create a look for your bride that is a more enhanced polished version of how they normally look.  After all you want their future husband to recognise her when she walks down the aisle.”

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