When you’re a bridal makeup artist, it is so important that you are equipped with the skills to create gorgeous bridal makeup looks for all ages and skin types.
Many bridal makeup artists have only ever had the opportunity to practice on younger models but you must remember that not everyone getting married is in their 20s! A lot of women are getting married later in life these days, and as such, knowing how to apply bridal makeup for mature brides is essential for success.
As we age, our skin and hair texture starts to change, and applying bridal makeup to this sort of surface is very different to what you may already know.
We cover this subject in detail on our 2 day bridal makeup course (available in London, Manchester and Bristol), but to keep you going before you can join us there, here are some top tips on working with mature bridal makeup from award-winning Pam Wrigley:
When starting with your base on a mature bride, remember that her skin may have a tendency to be quite a bit more dry than what you’re used to.
To combat this and ensure a flawless finish, be sure to start with a lovely hydrating primer to prepare the skin. Do not skip this step, whatever you do!!
Using a hydrating primer on your mature bride will not only help to create a more even and supple base to work with, but it will also help to minimise pores and fine lines, which no-one wants to see when they get their wedding photos back!
Pam’s favourite primer for this instance is the Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer.
Go light on the foundation if you can – thick makeup will only lend to deeper creases and lines on a mature bride! To better your chances of getting good coverage with as little product as possible, make sure you’re using really high quality foundation or tinted moisturiser, with lots of pigment, for smooth, even coverage.
Pam’s favourite foundation when working with a mature bride is Cosmetics A La Carte – Skin Tint.
Under The Eyes
Be very careful when working on the eye area for a mature bride – the skin here, particularly under the eye, can be very delicate and sometimes very creased.
For coverage, choose something very light (even lighter than the skin tint mentioned above!). You want something that does the job and creates luminosity, without looking caked on.
Pam’s favourite under-eye coverage for mature brides is YSL Touche Eclat or By Terry Touch Expert
For lining under the eye, avoid using eye pencils as these do tend to get into the creases and smudge. Instead, opt for an angled brush and a dark eye-shadow to create the required ‘oomph’!
Pam’s favourite brush for this is the Screenface Angled Brow Brush
Begin by using a light primer on the eyes of a mature bride, to help reduce that ‘crepe’ look. Don’t use your regular eye primer (such as MAC paintpots, which Pam likes to use on her younger brides), as this can be too heavy and give the eyes a droopy look. Instead go for something nice and light.
Pam’s favourite light primer for a mature bride is Ingot Eyeshadow Keeper.
When working with a mature bride, always use powder eyeshadow rather than cream, as they last longer and won’t settle into the creases. Gentle shimmer shadows can work well for bridal makeup, but avoid too much glitter as this will just emphasise lines.
Pam says “Sometimes I start with a matte eyeshadow to get the shading and highlights just right and then I add a touch of colour with a slight shimmer on top (just in the inner and centre eye lid and a touch below the brow) – this gives a bit of freshness to the finished look!”
When applying eyeliner, avoid harsh clean lines – keep them looking soft and subtle instead. By all means, use a liquid or gel liner for precision, but not too thick! Once applied, soften it by applying a smudge of a dark eyeshadow on top and blend out with a soft angled brow brush.
Lips & Lashes
When it come to doing the lips, it’s always personal choice whatever your bride’s age! However, for mature brides try to avoid glosses or anything too matte – you may need to gently dissuade your client on this point, but they will thank you for it later. Don’t be afraid to offer your expert advice on bridal makeup – you are a professional after all!
Ideally, you want a soft moist look to the lip, but nothing too over the top.
To keep the lip colour precise, make sure you use a great liner.Cosmetics a la Carte do a lovely waterproof invisible lipliner.
Lashes get thinner as we age, however, using a thickening mascara to beat this will only end up looking clumpy. Use a fine mascara and build it up in layers for that gorgeous, fluttering volume.
Pam uses Clinique Lash Power on her mature brides, or Lance Hypnose Drama for a bit of extra oomph!
False lashes are always a winner when it comes to adding those finishing touches, however, avoid strip lashes as they look far too fake! When you’re going for fabulous, effortless looking glamour that looks like we haven’t tried too hard(!) try using individual lashes – You can use different lengths for a really natural look but do try this out on the trial day first!
Pam likes to use the Salon System Individual Lashes, as they come in a great variety of lengths to enable you to create the perfect look for each bride. Try combining Ultra medium, short and ultra short along the eye for full on gorgeousness or if your bride has shorter lashes, just try the short and ultra short for a natural look.
When creating beautiful brows you may find powders easier to control than pencils, to get just the right amount of colour without going too heavy.
With mature brides, brows should only be gently defined and not too dark – just enough to frame the face.
You might find that your client has thin brows and she loves them! Strong brows haven’t always been the fashion, so if she has plucked her brows away over the years, don’t pressure her into changing for her wedding day – this is about what is right for her after all, so let her keep them that way and just add a bit of definition.
Benefit Brow Zings Brow Shaping Kit comes in a couple of different shades with some great little brushes. It also comes with a set of mini tweezers – ideal for getting the perfectly framed face effect!
Blusher & Contouring
Cream blushers are lovely to use on mature skin – they look fresh, dewy and fabulous!
Pink tones on the cheekbones and apples looks stunning on most complexions. However, if your bride has a ruddy complexion, avoid pink tones and opt for nude tones on the outer edges of the cheek bones instead, avoiding the apple, as the natural redness might start peeping through after she’s had a glass of champagne!!
Bobby Brown do some lovely, textured, cream blushes in fabulousnatural looking shades.
If you’re after some definition and want to try your hand at a bit of contouring wit your mature bride, easy does it!
It is very easy to over-do this technique, so take it slow and build up gradually.
Illamasqua do some lovely contouring gels that are easy to use and work well on mature skin, but use with caution!