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  • Writer's pictureAdelle Tracey

Bridal Looks: Smokey & Nude lip

This is probably one of the most popular looks I am asked to re-create by brides. It can be very flattering and although there is a slight nod to the sixties with the nude lip, this is a relatively timeless look - which perhaps is why it is so popular amongst brides. The photo's included are from my best friend Emily Osagie's Wedding, in which I was lucky enough to be bridesmaid and MUA for the day. Products I used and method for this look are listed below.


Skin prep is the key to beautiful long lasting bridal makeup. If the skin is prepped to its best condition the application process is made easier and less makeup is generally used.


STEP 1 - Make sure the skin is really hydrated and supple

This can be achieved with hydrating skin & eye Masks, Micellar solutions & cream cleansers and hydrating mists or toners. For Emily I used Green people Gentle Cleanser and makeup remover 150ml - £20 with SUSANNE KAUFMANN Harmonising Moisturising Spray 75ml - £37.00

STEP 2 - Moisturise and avoid SPF

If you have oily skin I'd recommend using a primer, especially in the T-zone area. A moisturiser without SPF (as this can bounce light back in Flash photo's) is a good option for normal to dry skin. Emily had normal to dry skin so I used SISLEY PARIS Mattifying Moisturizing Skin Care with Tropical Resins - £91.00

STEP 3 - Eyelid primer

This helps keep pigments strong and help eyeshadow last longer. It's also helpful for more mature skin, where you might use creams on the eye's as an alternative to powder. For Emily I applied Urban Decay's EYESHADOW PRIMER POTION - £11


Foundation should be light and breathable for bridal makeup and it really applied to even out the skins appearance rather than provide coverage. Concealer is applied after to provide that extra bit of coverage that might be needed under the eyes, around the nose and for any blemishes.


STEP 1- Apply foundation

I generally use my hand or a blending brush to apply foundation, building up the product in light layers. If skin is particularly oily or blemish prone I tend to use oil-free matt finish foundations like Laura Mercier Silk Crème Oil-Free Foundation 30ml -£36 or BECCA Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation 30 ml - £32. For Brides with less problematic skin I tend to use a sheer, build-able foundation like Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - £36.55 which I used on Emily.

STEP 2 - Apply concealer

Concealer should be applied after the foundation to areas that need more coverage. Hands are best for Concealer, the warmth helps the product melt on the skin and seamlessly build into the foundation below. My favourite long lasting concealer at the moment is the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer -£28, however I am also a big fan of Bobbi Browns concealer and used the INSTANT FULL COVER CONCEALER - £24 for this look on Emily.


To set the foundation and concealer so it doesn't move, I tend to use powder for bridal looks rather than a setting spray. My two favourites are HOURGLASS Veil Translucent Setting powder - £42 and LAURA MERCIER Translucent Loose Setting Powder - £32 which I used for this bridal look.


I like to use a blusher brush to press powder into the T zone and a smaller eye shadow brush to set under the eyes. I normally revisit this again at the end just to make everything more durable.


Even though I love cream blush, bronzers and highlighters, I tend to use powder for brides with younger skin. For more mature skin I would opt for creams to make the skin appear hydrated and youthful and would apply these after foundation, before the setting stage. As Emily has quite dark features, I used a warmer bronzer to contour her cheek bones, forehead and around the nose Natio Mineral Pressed Powder Bronzer in the shade Sunswept - £14.80 with a gorgeous peach toned blush from the Ben Nye Powder Rouge Palette -£56.10. To finish off the skin and tie everything together I used BECCA'S Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop - £30.00


STEP 1- Locate cheekbones and apply bronzer

I get the bride to suck in her cheeks and shade directly below the cheek bones, around the temples and hairline (depending on the face shape), either side and the tip of the nose and sometimes on the jaw line too.

STEP 2 - Locate apple of the cheek and apply Blush

For blusher a little smile helps to locate the apple of the cheek. I like to target this area and sweep any excess product into the bronzer to create a seamless blend.

STEP 3 - Highlight the high points of the face

Using a small eye shadow brush I like to lightly brush the highlighter onto the Brow bone, tip and middle of the nose, inner eye, cupids bow and a very small amount onto the cheeks.

STEP 4 - Sweep facial hairs downwards

I always finish by sweeping downwards with a clean brush to make sure all the tiny little hairs on the skins surface are brushed flat.


For a smokey eye generally I use three shades, to highlight, add colour, depth and shape. For this look I used LAURA MERCIER Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Cocoa -£24 to contour the eye, then added a copper eyeshadow by SUQQU Tone Touch Eyes in Touyou - £24 to bring out the green in Emily's eyes. To finish I used MAC Pigment in Melon - £16.50 to highlight the centre & inner eye.

STEP 1 - Apply Caviar stick to eye socket

The Caviar stick is a highly pigmented soft cream that sets once dry. I applied this above Emily's eye crease to add depth and definition to the socket and below the bottom lash line, blending with a small eyeshadow brush.

STEP 2 - Add colour to bring out eye colour

Using a contrasting colour to someones eye colour can help enhance their eyes. As emily has green eyes, I used the opposite colour (Copper) to add a soft haze around the Caviar stick.

STEP 3 - Finish with a touch of Shimmer to highlight

Adding a touch of iridescent pigment to the centre and inner eye to finish of the blend is really flattering.


Some of brides prefer to go without false eye lashes on their wedding day. However, I always use individual eyelashes if brides are open minded to them. They are so light weight, long lasting and can look very natural. For Emily I used long and medium ARDELL 3D INDIVIDUALS - £6.99.

STEP 1 - Check for Latex allergy

Always patch test for eyelash glue allergies if a bride hasn't worn eyelashes before or not for some years. Lash adhesive contains which is Latex is quite a common allergy so it's important to check this.

STEP 2 - Drip the individual lashes in Duo and apply when tacky

I like to apply the Duo Adhesive to the back of my hand, pick up the individual lash with tweezers and dip the base of the lash into the adhesive. Leave for 30 second to allow the glue to become tacky so that it sticks first time onto the lashes.


Waterproof is essential on wedding day. The light layering process on application will ensure durable long lasting skin makeup, however the best way to avoid panda eyes from potential tears is by going waterproof with all cream and liquid based products used around the eyes. For this look I used delilah Gel Brow and Eye Liner in Ebony - £20 for lining the eye's above the lash line & Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara in Black - £20. To brighten the eyes I used TARTE fake awake eye highlight - £19.

STEP 1 - Apply Gel liner using a tin tipped brush

Use gel liner to add depth to the lash tine, making lashes appear thicker. Make sure the liner is thin and wing upwards in the outer corner of the eye to lift the eye shape. I like to apply liner to the upper waterline to help define they eye.

STEP 2 - Apply eye highlight to bottom waterline

Applying a lighter shade to the bottom waterline brightens the eyes and makes them appear larger.

STEP 3 - Apply Waterproof mascara to top & bottom lashes

I always curl the lashes with eyelash curlers before applying mascara, this helps the individuals blend with real eyelashes and opens up the eye. Coat in Volumising mascara for impact.


I love eyebrows. They can completely change a look and can be styled in so many different ways. Emily's brows are amazingly thick so when grooming them it was more about shaping and defining them rather than adding volume. I used Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW POMADE in Dark brown - £19 with EYEKO Brow Gel -£14.40.


I always make sure my brides have their lip colour of choice in a bullet rather than out of a palette so that it's to hand throughout the day if needed. The lipstick I used on Emily is a beautiful peachy nude that suits a lot of different skin tones from Kate Nude Collection with Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in Shade 42 -£5.49 using the LIP CHEAT in Pillow talk original Lip liner from Charlotte Tilbury -£17 and LIP LUSTRE Ibiza Nights lip gloss - £19 to finish the look.


STEP 1- Prep the lips

Hydrate the skin using a mask and then plenty of hydrating lip balm, If necessary exfoliate with sugar to remove dead skin. I used Dermalogica Nightly Lip Treatment 10ml - £47.50 with Mario Badescu Lip Balm - £6.25.

STEP 2 - Stretch the skin to get a crisp edge and apply lip liner

I usually ask the bride to stretch her mouth so the skin is taught, then using lip liner to trace the outside of the lips to get a really crisp clean edge.

STEP 3 - Apply lipstick and blot

Using a lip brush I apply one layer of the lipstick on parted lips and stretched skin before blotting. Apply a second layer of lipstick after blotting.

STEP 4 - Finish off with some gloss

Apply a small amount of gloss just to make the lips look hydrated.

....And that's how I created this look on my beautiful friend for her wedding day! There is honestly nothing better than handing a bride the mirror to see her wedding day makeup. It is so satisfying seeing someone feel amazing and knowing you've played a small part in what might be one of the most important days of their lives.

All photo's by Andrew Brannan



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