If the eyes are the window to the soul, you’d be wise to frame them right and adorn them with beautiful drapes on your wedding day! For the day you’ll be staring into your beloved’s eyes, there’s even more reason to pay attention to making your eyes a feature, and while beautiful bridal eye make-up is a large part of this, you can also begin well before the big day.
While you should keep a consistent beauty routine throughout your engagement, and especially in the last six months, pay special attention to your eyes, lashes and brows in the final three months, before choosing the best bridal eye make-up you can to showcase your peepers on the big day.
Sleep, hydration and nutrition are also crucial for bright eyes. You’ve heard it before, but 7-8 hours per night and plenty of water will do wonders for bright skin, and you can also enhance the whiteness of the eyes with food. Vitamin A and beta-carotene found in carrots are great for healthy, bright eyes (the jury’s out on whether they’ll help you see in the dark too), Vitamin C, Vitamin E (e.g. almonds), Antioxidant leafy greens and Zinc (avocados – my favourite!) are all excellent too.
My wedding day make-up: NZ Makeup Girl, Photography: The Official Photographers.
3 months out
The delicate skin around the eyes is the most fragile, prone to dryness, and the quickest to show age and fatigue. Combat these with an age appropriate eye cream or serum to ensure you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed despite long nights wedding planning.
I’ve talked at length before about both Estee Lauder’s New Dimension range and Murad’s Eye Lift firming treatment. I use Murad’s firming treatment daily as part of my mornine routine and Estee Lauder’s two step firm and fill eye serum at night (when I have the time to apply two products). Using really good quality eye serums has really improved the dryness of the skin around my eyes, and improved the appearance of ‘bags’. I was recently advised by a facialist not to use too thick eye creams on my eyes until my thirties, but these lighter serums are perfect. I’ve also recently added Estee Lauder’s Genuine Glow range to my routine (see video), and this eye-primer is perfect to use prior to eye make up. Genuine Glow is available exclusively from Farmers from today.
For my wedding, I had eyelash extensions, but I absolutely hated them, felt uncomfortable, and tore out almost all my eyelashes in the week after the wedding to get rid of them. Instead, I recommend lash serums. I’d used both fLash serum and Revitalash serum ($10 Revitalash discount with ‘shesaidyes’) in the past and can tell you with 100% certainty, these products work, but one MUCH more than the other – read my review.
As well as priming your lashes with lash serum, you may also wish to condition and boost your brows. Enter the first of Benefit’s new AbracadaBrow incredible range. Benefit Cosmetics has been the go-to in brows for decades, and the AbracadaBrow range is no exception. The cosmetics house launched 9 products altogether, and each is as fabulous as each other. I’ve had the pleasure of trying out each of the products in the range, and within a couple of weeks, the BrowVo Conditioning Primer has given me results. I’ve also used Billion Dollar Brows’ Brow Boost in the past, but I’ve kept it in this post as a comparison only – the results weren’t nearly as fast as BrowVo.
Of course, as well as boosting brows, you’ll want them perfectly shaped too. I’ve had my brows shaped at both Benefit Smith & Caugheys and Bobbi Brown Britomart, both of which were perfect and I frequently recommend to friends.
On the day
I prefer not to wear waterproof mascara, but if you’re anticipating the waterworks on the day, you should seek out the waterproof versions. These are my ultimate three Mascara picks, each of which has slightly different results.
The best all-rounder for me is Estee Lauder Sumptuous Knockout, it’s coats my lashes well with about a medium thickness after 1-2 coats, it’s a no-fail, brilliant all-rounder Mascara.
The best for coating every lash is MAC Cosmetics’ Pro Beyond Twisted Lash – it’s got a small, flexible mascara wand, so I can get all the little and baby lashes.
The best for curling lashes is MAC Cosmetics’ brand new Instacurl Mascara – which I didn’t even have for the products’ shoot but I absolutely couldn’t leave out, because it’s AWESOME. I’ve never seen ANYTHING like it, and I’ve tried a lot of Mascaras! The wand itself actually curls, to fit the brush to your eye shape, which has to be seen to be believed. MAC’s description ‘customizable curved brush that curls lashes upon application’ just doesn’t do justice to how cool this is. You can also use it as a straight brush – better defining individual lashes, so it’s a 2 in 1.
However… even the Instacurl can’t beat my old faithful… Haute & Naughty (another MAC) is my ultimate. Pictured at the bottom of the above pic, if you look closely you’ll see that it’s actually a 2 in 1 too (it splits into three pieces). The main wand creates the thickest, most lush lashes possible (better than my lash extensions… I swear!), while the mini wand which comes out of the inside of the main wand is brilliant for the baby lashes. However, I save Haute & Naughty for a night out, usually, because it’s actually so incredible that my lashes are sometimes too dark and thick for daytime, so it’s definitely one to try before you finalise your bridal eye make up. Oh, and if there’s even half a tear nearby, beware of black streams down your face!
And back to brows, where once again it’s Benefit’s AbracadaBrow range which I’m raving about. You only have to look at these brow products to fall in love, but then you try them out and they’re just SO user-friendly. Each product is really designed for user experience, they’re ergonomic to hold, and each is an ‘all in one’ so you don’t need any other tools for application.
Take this Brow Zings Taming & Shaping Brow Kit – it’s small enough to fit in your clutch purse or back pocket, yet it contains powder, wax, tweezers and a duo applicator. The applicator folds in half for storage, which is ideal because sometimes those tiny applicators are just too small to actually use.
Here’s two more products. The Ka-Brow build able brow colour (pictured top) is also a top choice. It’s similar to a MAC Brow product I’ve been using and loving (featured below) but what I adore about this super cute set is that the brush is built into the packaging. A buildable wax brow product, with a built-in hard angled brush making it easy to expertly define eyebrows. Below is the ‘goof proof’ brow pencil, which of course has a built in brow-comb too… because Benefit have thought of everything.
These are the products I’m taking in my handbag everywhere! They’re pretty revolutionary, and pretty too.
My absolute favourite brow product at the moment is a MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set – I’ve been using this since the launch of MAC Brows Are It, because it’s so quick and easy. If I have the time, I use Long-wear Brow Gel. Using the gel and the very thin brush, you can actually draw on individual brow-hairs, easily filling gaps in the brow (see the full post here). Both these two fave products are pictured below.
Prep & Conceal
As outlined above, my first step to eye make-up is using the genuine glow eye primer. Next up, of course it’s concealer, and for your wedding day it can only be something that’s going to last the day and the distance. Double-wear concealer (Estee Lauder) is the ultimate in just that, I’ve used double-wear for years and can’t fault it for long-wearing make-up.
For wedding make-up, you might just be thinking about very neutral and natural blush colours. See below, this 9 colour MAC Palette is my go-to for neutral eyes, incorporating darker shades in shaping and contouring the eye shape.
You might like to incorporate a little more drama to your eyes later in the day, so you could add a bit of light colour, or add a dark liner or smokey eye.
Pictured here: Arbonne ‘The Eyes Have It‘ – an example of a fairly neutral colour you could easily apply to your day make-up to bring out green, brown or hazel eyes. Also pictured: Pro Longer Eye Liner, MAC Pro Longer Waterproof Colour Sticks in Beached out Beige and Cinder Block.
I would recommend using a professional make-up artist if you can afford to do so. However, if that’s not in your budget, or you choose not to for whatever reason (e.g. a destination wedding) your second best bet is to use professional-quality products such as these featured, and get lots and lots of practice. Most of the products featured in this article can be demonstrated to you by the professional make-up artists instore at MAC, Benefit and Estee Lauder counters. Bobbi Brown (while not pictured, some of the most beautiful bridal make-up) also have complimentary make-up tutorials perfect for brides-to-be.