10 bridal makeup must-haves for makeup artists and brides

August 18, 2017

As a professional make-up artist and FAJO’s Beauty Editor, spring, summer and early fall signal two things for me: wedding season and lots of bridal makeup questions.

“Will this last?” or “How do I deal with my oily skin” are the main questions I get at every job. Fortunately, I also get positive post-wedding feedback from brides in awe over how long their makeup lasted (some rebellious ladies claimed to have slept with it on and rocked it the next day; your skin and I do not condone this, however). How did I do this? Well, I am going to let you in on a few trade secrets.

In this article, I’m going to share a few products and tips on how my team deals with skin prep to ensure the longest wearing makeup for any skin type, along with other essential beauty products for brides and/or makeup artists to keep in their kits. Here are my bridal makeup Top 10 selections!


Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Face Mask

One of the biggest misconceptions is that everyone can look like an Instagram photo. This is unequivocally wrong: 80% of the time, the flawless skin that we see on social media or in magazines is not natural. Instead, it’s a product of intensive digital editing labour in either Photoshop, Facetune or in-camera smoothing functions. In the remaining 20% of photos, the specific model won the genetic lottery and just has gorgeous skin.

Makeup artists are not wizards and sorceresses; however, there are many tricks that we can use to get your skin looking the best that it can, within its own limits (there are also things you can do to help us with a strict skincare routine).

My favourite quick fixes are masks. Cocktailing your own combination of masks to address your skincare needs is the next best, DIY alternative to a facial. My favourite general do-it-all mask is the Arbonne Detox Face Mask from the Rescue and Renew line. From the first moment you see it, Arbonne’s beautiful pale green packaging just radiates detox and natural ingredients. In addition, you will notice its wood-like lid, which is also incredibly hygienic. It twists open to squeeze out product rather than requiring dipping into with fingers. The terracotta-pink clay formula dries quickly and rinses off easily, drawing out impurities along the way.

Your skin immediately feels cleaner and brighter, while pores appear shrunk. This is all done while maintaining existing moisture. Arbonne’s Rescue and Renew Detox Face Mask is always my go-to product whenever I have an event to attend, and I recommend it to all my clients.


Swirl and Sparkle Brush Cleanser

The next, not-so-obvious step for clear skin is to use regularly cleaned makeup brushes. Many people don’t realize just how much bacteria builds up and grows in our makeup brushes over time. The worst part is, when we don’t clean them, we end up constantly rubbing that bacteria all over our faces. This can cause acne, blackheads or bumpy texture on the skin.

Makeup artists wash their brushes with a brush shampoo after each client for obvious hygienic reasons; however, most people aren’t as diligent with washing their own personal brushes. The reason is quite easy to understand… it’s a pain! Even to makeup artists, washing brushes can be the bane of their existence.

Enter Swirl and Sparkle Brush Cleaner. These brush soaps might be the cutest and most delicious smelling brush cleansers I have ever come across. Hand-poured with adorable little imprinted designs, embellished with acrylic diamonds and completely guilt-free formulas, these cleansers truly take the annoyance out of the brush-cleansing process. Completely cruelty-free, the base line contains goat milk available in dozens of playful styles and there is a vegan-shea alternative, also available in multiple styles.

You can also pick the exact design you’d like imprinted on the cleanser-soap and the yummy scent. The Peaches and Cream and Tropical Oasis aromas were my favourite! This cleanser cuts your washing and drying time in half, leaving your brushes, bright, clean and conditioned.


Benefit The Porefessional Face Primer

If I had a quarter for every time someone asked me, “Do primers work?” I’d be a very rich woman. I always answer with a frustrating “It depends” and nobody ever likes this answer. How you prep and prime the skin depends on your skin type, the finish you’re trying to achieve with your base, and the kind of foundation and powder you plan on using.

With incredibly dry skin, ample amounts of heavy-duty moisturizer layered with serums and lighter moisturizing formulas underneath do the trick without the need for primer. Normal skin types generally do not need primer either, if the skin is smooth. Oily skin types, however, benefit the most from a good primer. People with oily skin tend to have two issues: larger pores and a difficulty keeping foundation on their face.

The Benefit Porefessional Face Primer completely addresses both of those problems. This seemingly magical, silicon-based primer has blurring properties that not only visibly reduce the size of pores, but completely block oil from penetrating the primer barrier into the foundation. Without oil interacting with our foundation and breaking it down, we no longer have greasy slip ‘n slide T-zones at the end of the day. This primer not only visibly smooths skin, but allows your makeup to last longer and reduces shine throughout the day.

Inglot Beautifier Tinted Cream

This might be the greatest product since sliced bread (if you don’t have oily skin, that is). The Inglot Beautifier Cream is not quite a Beauty Balm (BB) cream and not quite a foundation—imagine your favourite lightest-weight foundation, but better.

This lightweight cream with light-medium coverage blurs pores, fine lines and imperfections unlike any primer, BB cream or foundation I’ve seen. It’s almost Facetune in a tube!

It events out skin tone without much coverage, but also moisturizes the skin, giving it a beautiful glow. It’s perfect for those with dry or mature skin in need of some added luminosity.

For those preferring a natural look, this cream is enough of a base on its own for your blush, contour, etc.

For those looking for a bit more coverage, I recommend either applying this with a dense brush and stippling on a second layer for added coverage, or using this as a priming base underneath a fuller coverage foundation to smooth out the skin to help ensure a flawless look.


Too Faced Bronzers

Nothing says a “blushing bride” quite like a bit of bronzed colour on the face. Too Faced Cosmetics has one of the most extensive collections of bronzers out there.

From lighter, cooler bronzers to blushing bronzers with pink leopard spots—this brand beautifully pairs adorable, playful product and package design with incredible quality.

My personal favourite Too Faced bronzers for brides are the Chocolate Soleil Bronzers. Not only do these bronzers look and sound delicious, they smell delicious too! They may also taste delicious—don’t ask me how I know this, but I promise that no bronzers were licked in the making of this review piece.

Packed with antioxidant-rich cocoa, these beauty must-haves leave a sun-kissed, matte glow suitable for every age.

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I have been known to sleep with my eye makeup on and wear it the next day (without touchups and with compliments, I might add). #Sorrynotsorry. The sole reason I can pull this off is because of my MAC Paint Pot in Painterly (a neutral pink shade). MAC Paint Pots apply with a thick, creamy consistency and dry down to a full-coverage, matte, chalky finish, completely locking down oil in your eyelids and decimating any opportunity for eye shadow creasing to occur.

Not only does this state-of-the-art formula make your makeup last longer, but it creates a blank canvas to work on allowing colours (especially eye shadow powders) to be applied more vividly. For those wondering, a MAC Paint Pot is considered a primer and no other clear/silicone-based primers are required with these.

MAC Paint Pots come in a variety of extravagant, glittery shades. However, it is the matte neutrals that dry down to this finish and block out all oil for hours on end.

For golden undertones, Soft Ochre is the way to go. For deeper skin tones, Layin’ Low or Quite Natural should be your paint pot of choice.

Laura Mercier Crème Eye Liner

It’s no secret that brides and/or bridesmaids shed a few tears during weddings—and high-grade waterproof products are, therefore, a must to prevent unattractive, runny black tears.

Laura Mercier Crème Eye Liner is one of the most incredible products that I have come across and I will never use anything else in my kit. Not only is this eye liner completely waterproof (I dare you to swatch this on your hand and see how many days it takes to wear off through showers, gym sessions and washing your hands), but it is fiercely black, divinely creamy and easy to apply. It leaves a crisp border on a textured lash line, never dries up in the pot and will last you a lifetime.

There’s bad news, however. I’ve only ever found this dream product in black at Holt Renfrew in Canada (perhaps our friends South of the border will have better luck)!

Waterproof Mascara

Certainly, with waterproof liner one needs waterproof mascara—and this may be even more important than a waterproof liner. I generally don’t even ask my clients in wedding parties if they are going to cry or not. I’d rather be safe than sorry and give them waterproof mascara just in case.

Fortunately for those on a budget, you can find wonderful waterproof mascaras from drugstore brands. L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Mascara used to be one of my favourite drugstore brands to include in my kit. My current favourite is MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara—it’s jet black, comes with a tiny applicator (which is great for defining the lower lashes and getting close to lash roots) and is incredibly water resistant despite not being officially marketed as waterproof.

I’ve found that most waterproof mascaras tend to rub off under my eyes leaving black dots and making me look tired. MAC Extended Play Lash has been the only mascara that does not do that. Before you purchase this mascara, remember that regular disposable mascara wands will not fit into the tube for this formula.


Velour Lash Adhesive

Many brides and makeup artists get concerned about strip false lashes popping off throughout the night or lifting at the edges due to teary eyes. I have cried and slept with my lashes on more times than I’d like to admit, and they still look fabulous thanks to Velour Lash Glue.

Velour Lash Glue is the perfect balance between high stickiness and forgivingness: if you mess up your application, you have a few seconds to readjust the lash placement. The is a very useful trait since other glues can get far too sticky once they have been applied. This glue comes with a convenient brush applicator so that it does not need to be squeezed onto a palette and then applied to lash bands. The Velour Lash Glue comes in a white/dries clear, latex-free formula and in a black latex formula.

Setting Sprays

Last but certainly not least, a good setting spray will help stretch out the wear time of your makeup. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-lasting Makeup Setting Spray is a favourite of professionals everywhere. This setting spray melts away excess powder to make makeup look more like skin, while simultaneously lowering the temperature of your makeup to keep it looking fresh, in place, and not settling into fine lines for up to 16 hours.

This finishing spray also comes in a “chill” formula for drier skin needing extra hydration, and a “de-slick” sku ideal for oilier skin types.

Another excellent option is Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Primer and Setting Spray. This setting spray has the dual benefit of being able to be used to prep the skin as a primer before makeup as well as used for a finishing spray, complete with a soft coconut scent.

So there is our Top 10.

Good luck and enjoy!

P.S. You may also enjoy our other bridal stories, such as bridal fashion trends 2018, tips on how to pick your wedding flowers, tips on how to pick your bridesmaids and all about wedding dress preparation.



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