Bridal Makeup for 2018: The Create Beautiful Hair Favourites

Now that we’re well into the swing of 2018, it’s time to start really getting to grips with the bridal makeup trends that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of and the looks that you need to know if you want to be that bridal makeup artist that every woman wants to book for their big day!

A small number of your brides will request a ‘natural’ bridal makeup look, but as a bridal makeup artist you’ll have to keep up with current trends.

Smoky eyes are big, full lashes are gorgeous, and beautiful brows essential for all but your more mature brides. Fashion is always changing and although to the un-trained eye it may not appear all that different, it’s the subtle nuances and being on top of the hottest trends that will really set you apart from the rest.

Make sure that you have the very best bridal makeup looks up your sleeve for 2018, with this list of some of our favourite styles for the year ahead

bridal makeup

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Go for Grey 

For many brides out there, although they love a striking smoky eye on a night out they don’t really see it as a viable option for their big day. Until now, the answer to that has usually been a lighter version in neutral taupe and beige hues but for 2018, the browns are out and the greys are in.

A soft grey shadow is such a flattering tone on almost any eye colour and skin type and it is undeniably sexy, without being too obvious.

Keep it diffuse with lots of blending and pair it with a pale pink lip and glowing skin to keep it looking fresh.

bridal makeup

Super Dew 

We’re all familiar with glowing skin, but 2018 has just knocked it up a notch! It’s more than just a hint of highlighter now, with this dewy base trend looking less like a subtle shimmer and more like an out-of-the-gym health kick. We’re not talking that sweaty, frazzled style though – think goddess on a hot summer’s day.

Try adding a dab of gold powder or a particularly gold highlighting cream mixed into the foundation. We love the new highlighting powder by Illamasqua ‘Beyond Deity Powder’ for a lightweight, iridescent shine.

bridal makeup

A Bold Lip

Who doesn’t feel like a stronger woman for wearing a powerful red lip?! If your client happens to be one who never wears vibrant lip colours then her wedding day is probably not the time to start, but if she has that bold streak and loves to apply a vibrant lipstick for an important meeting or hot date night, then it’s time to introduce some of that confidence as she walks down the aisle.

As a bridal makeup artist, it’s part of your job to get to know your bride at her trial run and find out what she really wants, not what she thinks she should have. If she’s not averse to giving it a go, try a bright red lip in a hue that suits her skin tone (match the red, blue or neutral undertone of their skin to the lippie).

bridal makeup

Strategic Highlighter

Highlighting and contouring is nothing new, but adding a pop of quite obvious white highlighter to the inner corners of eyes and across the brow bone teamed with otherwise ‘barely there’ bridal makeup is a fresh take on it.

This is a step away from that natural glow that highlighting is often used to achieve and a step towards a deliberately ethereal edge that really makes the eyes stand out.


Metallic Eyeliner

Skip the black and brown liners and instead, opt for a metallic sweep along the lash line for a contemporary change.

Keep those lashes looking thick by building up a neutral tone (two shades darker than the skin tone) along the lashes and in the eye socket before finishing off with a gold or silver liner.

bridal makeup

Strong Brows

Noticeable brows have been a thing for a while now, and this is set to continue for 2018 bridal makeup trends.

There are a number of options to go for with this: strong and defined, natural and feathered, or precise and tapered. Whatever you and your bride choose, the key is to keep it deliberate. ‘Natural brows’ does NOT just mean leaving them to do their own thing, just like ‘no makeup makeup’ actually involves…well…a fair amount of makeup.

bridal makeup

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Being a bridal makeup artist is an amazing job, but quite a challenging one too! It’s up to you to create the best makeup look that your bride has ever had, so it’s important to get every single step right, from prep to finish.

For bridal makeup that is flawless and lasts throughout the day and night, the most important thing is thorough prep and skilful application – without the perfect base to work with and all the little tips that make all the difference, you won’t be able to create a perfect overall look.

Usually, discovering the small things that take your makeup skills a step above the rest can only come from experience, trial and error, but award-winning makeup artist Pam Wrigley is happy to share her pro knowledge with you that she has developed with her 20+ years in the industry.

To become an incredible bridal makeup artist, who wows your clients every time, join us on one of our bridal makeup courses for expert training with Pam Wrigley.


Until you can come along to our bridal makeup course, try using these expert makeup prep tips used by Create Beautiful Hair’s bridal makeup artist trainer, Pam Wrigley:

bridal makeup artist


Primer is a must for makeup artists – it minimises pore, smooths the surface and creates a barrier between the makeup and the skin to avoid oils and sweat allowing makeup to slide off.

Pam says

“I love Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer – it is a lovely moisturising start for dry skin which will leave your client’s face feeling plump, fresh and hydrated.

As we approach the menopause our skin can become dryer and more delicate, so using a primer is even more important on mature skin faces.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer is great for oily skin as it will help to keep the oil at bay and will help to disguise enlarged pores. Cosmetics a la Carte Matte Miracle is another great option for oily skin as it is a beautifully light oil absorbing gel that you can use on the t-zone to prevent getting shiny on camera.

If your bride has very open pores, Porefessional by Benefit really does what it says on the tin! Say goodbye to large pores, fine lines and wrinkles – it literally fills them in and makes them disappear!”

bridal makeup artist


Eyes are the window to the soul and so your clients are going to want these to look absolutely perfect on their wedding day. Smokey eyes, vintage eyeliner or soft and natural – all require an eye primer and amazing eyeshadows.

Pam says

“As we get older, the skin on our eyelids often becomes fine and – lets face it – a bit wrinkly! Eye primers are key to smoothing eyelids out and smoothing out creases, but pick your products carefully – there are lots to choose from!

Inglot Eyeshadow Keeper is, in my opinion, the best eye primer for mature skin. It is light, colourless and doesn’t look at all heavy or crepe-y on the delicate skin of the eyelid.

When it comes to colour, matte eyeshadows and eyeshadows with a gentle shimmer work best, but avoid eyeshadows with a lot of shimmer and glitter as these do not work well in photos.

Mac do a great range of paint pots. Painterly looks great on English Rose complexions, but be sure to build it up gradually as this product can be a bit heavy on the delicate skin around the eye.

Avoid liquid eyeliners and pencil eyeliners. Instead, try applying a dark eyeshadow using a sharp angle brush along the lash line for a soft, sultry yet defined look that stays put. Liquid eyeliners give a harsh line and can highlight wrinkles on the lid and eye pencils can drag the skin on the eye lid.

Clinique Lash Power Mascara is fabulous: clump proof, waterproof, cry proof, sleep proof and 100% smudge proof – it just doesn’t move and is totally perfect! All you need to do is add a couple of individual lashes to finish off the look.

As an added bonus, it also comes off easily with just little bit of warm water without even having to rub.”


Many a bridal makeup artist goes horribly wrong when it comes to foundation and blush – even being slightly off in your colour choices can ruin the whole look.

Pam says

Cosmetics à la carte skin tints are excellent. Super light weight but with good coverage and they come in a wide range of shades to suit all skin tones. Build them up on the skin bit by bit to give extra coverage as and when you need it.

Bobby Brown cream blushes are my favourites – you only need a touch on the apple or along the cheek bone for a lovely, natural hint of colour and dewiness.



The brows, lips and highlighting add the finishing touches to your bride’s makeup look!

Pam says

“Avoid going heavy or dark with brows – keep them

bridal makeup artist

understated but still there. Forever Makeup do a great brow palette containing three powders, a wax, a highlighter/concealer and a great double sided brush for prefect application. Remember less is more!

Go easy on the highlighter – just a very subtle touch of a la carte shine illuminator on the cheek bone can be beautiful and make all the difference.

Keep lips simple by simply choosing a colour that your client loves, but steer clear of gloss, go for moist instead.”

On the big day all eyes will be on the bride and it’s our job as wedding hair and makeup artists to stay calm and make sure she looks and feels totally fabulous! We all know that it’s not really about the groom and even the wedding dress is just an accessory…


The bride is the main feature of the day – not to put you under too much pressure!


With beautiful wedding hair and makeup either natural, glamorous or somewhere in between, you can help your bride to feel confident and gorgeous.

On the big day she’s going to be excited and a bit nervous, so applying make-up and styling hair is only part of your job. You need to make sure that she is ready on time, whilst helping her stay to relaxed and calm.

wedding hair

Your Wedding Hair & Makeup Kit

Make sure you allow plenty of time for your journey – factor in time for parking and make sure you have all your kit ready the night before.


Wedding Hair Kit: Always have plenty of hairspray, grips and hair pins, a selection of donuts, snag free elastic bands and a pair of scissors – not for cutting the hair, but to cut labels off dresses.


Bridal Makeup kit: Don’t run out of anything! Make sure you have the right colour lipstick and a good mattifying product such as Cosmetics a la carte Matte Miracle and some mattifying papers. I love the Kleenex shine off papers, so if she has oily skin give her a couple to pop in her bag.


I learned very early not to cut down my hair or makeup kit down on the day of the wedding; If you just take the items you need you might find you come unstuck when an aunty or even the MOB decides she would like her hair or makeup doing after all!

wedding hair
wedding hair

Record Keeping 

Whatever the size of your bridal party it’s your job to make sure everything runs smoothly on the wedding day. 


Once you’ve done the trial run you can make an action plan. Make things easy for yourself by using one of our wedding hair and makeup planners – essential for every wedding hair stylist!

Make sure you can re-create the hair style just the way she likes it with our detailed records sheets. Taking photos of the hair style only shows you the end result – in order to recreate the style to perfection you need to know how you got there…

  • Take step by step notes
  • Work out the timetable (so that everyone is ready on time!)
  • Keep it all on one handy sheet
  • Each plan has a carbon-less copy sheet below – one copy for you to keep & one for your client.


Buy our wedding planners here:

Wedding planner – Hair

Wedding Planner – Makeup 

wedding hair
wedding hair

First thing’s first – find out the time of the wedding

Once she’s chosen a style for her hair and a look for her makeup you can start the process of working out the timings for the day. Whatever you do, don’t let the bride decide what time she needs to be ready! It is your job to know best.


When you know the time of the wedding, find out how long it is going to take her to get there. Remember, if it’s a long drive and she’s going to be in a vintage car, they tend to take longer to get from A to B.

If she’s having a church wedding brides can usually get away with arriving a few minutes late, but if she is having a civil ceremony she will need to arrive 10-15 minutes before her ceremony for her interview with the registrar.

Next, you need to allow some time for the photographer to take a few photos. I usually allow approximately half and hour for this and then she’ll need an additional 10-15 minutes to get dressed. Factor in a bit of time to pop to the loo, have a glass of champagne and stop to take breather whilst she has a look at her flowers when the florist arrives.

Timings on the big day

For a 2 o’clock wedding with a 15 minute journey time you need to have her ready for 1pm, ready to step into her dress.

With this is as a guideline, your timings for the bride and 2 bridesmaids (with just hair for the bridesmaids) would look something like this:

7.30 arrive and set up

8.00 Curl Brides hair

8.30 Curl BM 2

9.00 Curl BM 1

9.30 style BM 2 hair

10.15 style BM 1 Hair

11.00 bride’s makeup

12.00 style bride’s hair

1.00 ready to get dressed

Once the bridal party has seen the timetable they will understand why we have to start so early and the bridesmaids are more likely to arrive on time!

wedding hair

Working with the Bridesmaids


It’s always a good idea to ask the bridesmaids to collect a few images of styles they like beforehand – so you can get a bit of an idea of what they are likely to want on the day and it’s worth finding out a little bit about the bridesmaids hair type in advance. For example, does anyone have an incredible amount of thick, heavy hair? If so, you can allow yourself more time to work with it.

If you are just starting out, it would be a good idea to ask them to send you a few images a week or so in advance, so you can practice the styles in advance and build your confidence before the big day.

You probably won’t have had the chance to do a trial for the bridesmaids, so this may be the first time you have been able to work on their hair.

Watch some of our quick style videos on Facebook to get some helpful hints and ideas for quick bridesmaid styles.

wedding hair

Dealing with Difficult bridesmaids

Stick to your timetable! Don’t allow yourself to be thrown of course by a difficult bridesmaid who doesn’t realise that this is not all about her.

If you feel you are running short of time and you haven’t quite finished her hair and makeup hold your nerve! Just let her know that you have to start the bride now but that you will come back to her when the bride is ready. Reassure her that you will make sure she is happy but let her know that you have to start the bride.

She’ll no doubt spend the next hour in front of the mirror and invariably will be almost sorted by the time you get her back in front of you anyway!