When Kate Middleton married Prince William on April 29, 2011, before an audience of hundreds of millions, few knew she had one very powerful beauty secret. It is rumoured that the Duchess of Cambridge had the confidential help of Bobbi Brown’s top makeup artist to help her look flawless for the ceremony. Kate may be famous for doing her own makeup, but she wasn’t above getting some pro-tips for her big day.
For more than two decades, celebrity and society brides have turned to New York makeup artist Bobbi Brown to create their wedding beauty look. Brown, famous for her practical morning show tv tutorials, has a knack for making a bride look her very best self. Dave recently caught up with her to get her wedding beauty secrets.
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Dave: Bobbi, what bridal makeup looks fresh and modern?
Bobbi Brown: I typically advise brides to stay away from anything trendy because trends come and go. I recommend sticking to classic shades and focusing on taking your normal evening makeup up a notch – go for a slightly brighter lip color, define your eyes and add shimmer to your cheeks.
DL: What are your favourite products and shades when you are creating bridal makeup looks?
BB: I have a few favorite products:
Creamy Concealer—I call this yellow-based concealer my secret of the universe. It neutralizes any under-eye discoloration so you look fresh and wide awake.
Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner—This glides on easily for a liquid liner look, and water-resistant so it won’t smudge or smear. Try Black Ink for a more distinctive eye, or a softer shade like Black Mauve Ink for a more subtle look.
Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks— For the most natural glow, choose a shade of blush that looks like the color of your cheeks when you are flushed. If your skin is darker, use a plum shaded blush with a pop of brighter color just on the apples of your cheeks. This creamy sheer formula is easy to blend and looks completely natural. I love the Pot Rouge because you can toss it in your wedding day essentials bag (put one of your bridesmaids in charge of this) and it works in a pinch for touch-ups on lips and cheeks.
Shimmer Brick Compact—For a soft and subtle glow, sweep this over the top of your cheekbones.
DL: How do you quickly update bridal makeup from the ceremony to the reception?
BB: I always advise brides not to do anything too dramatic or over-the-top. A quick way to change your look from the ceremony to the reception is to turn a classic eye into a smoky eye. Simply layer a charcoal eye shadow on top of your existing liner as a smudgy liner as close to the lash line as possible. Finish by adding two to three coats of really black water-proof mascara. The look is dramatic, but still clean enough to be timeless.
DL: What pitfalls do you need to avoid when planning out your bridal makeup?
BB: In terms of pitfalls, I typically advise brides to stay away from anything trendy because trends come and go. I recommend sticking to classic shades and focusing on taking your normal evening makeup up a notch – go for a slightly brighter lip color, define your eyes, add shimmer to your cheeks. However, if you like the idea of something different, try a soft smokey eye using a bronze eye shadow applied as smudgy liner as close to the lash line as possible. Finish with two to three coats of really black water-proof mascara.
DL: What Hollywood film brides most inspire you?
BB: I’m more inspired by real women’s bridal beauty looks than by Hollywood film looks where you know things were likely airbrushed or digitally altered. In terms of real women, Lauren Bush Lauren is one that comes to mind. When creating her look, I kept in mind the type of woman she is, and the type of wedding she had. It was beautiful and natural yet completely polished. I also loved Kate Middleton’s makeup because she did it herself, which is what most modern brides are doing. She looked like herself, yet more radiant.
DL: What is your best advice for brides when planning their bridal makeup?
BB: My best advice is that your bridal makeup should enhance your features so that you look like yourself — at your most radiant and beautiful. Stay away from anything complicated. My bridal makeup philosophy is an extension of my general makeup philosophy. I believe that on your wedding day, you should look like yourself at your most beautiful. It’s not a time to try a look that is trendy or radically different from your usual style. Wedding makeup must be long lasting, timeless and look amazing in photographs.