Tying the knot? Scrolling through Pinterest and countless Instagram accounts for wedding make-up inspo?
The whole process can be quite daunting, so we know just what to give you, Friday brides – the ultimate insight into viral-worthy make-up looks and everything you need to know about bridal beauty. Whether it’s trends, skincare or must-have make-up for your bridal party, we’ve got the lowdown straight from the globally renowned make-up artists that specialise in Indian brides.
An Indian wedding consists of several events – starting from the engagement party, to the mehendi, the ever-entertaining sangeet, the pheras as the main event and the final finish with celebratory and often grand reception. With all the meticulous planning it takes, often months in advance, one of most important focuses is on the bride and how she looks at each wedding function.
Brides these days are much attuned to what’s happening in the beauty-sphere thanks to social media, but while they may know what’s trending, it’s a whole other ball game when you’re picking the right look for yourself. Something you see online may not necessarily translate – which is why getting the right professional make-up artist is so important.
‘A make-up artist’s work is important for a bride, but equally important is the connection formed between the artist, the bride and her family. It always needs to be a good fit as the artist is going to be with the bride in some of her more stressful and important moments. Everyone should be comfortable and be able to laugh and have fun getting ready for each event as it’s one of the most memorable times of your life,’ says Angelique Turner, a Los Angeles-trained hair and make-up artist based in Dubai.
An Indian bride may want to keep things fresh and new with each look so for the brides that love to change it up, communication with their make-up artist is key. ‘From our first interaction, I make sure that the bride shows me all her outfits, references and pictures of herself where she’s loved her looks – this gives me a head-start on what she likes and simplifies the whole process. I tend to look at the elements in each outfit and find ways to make each look different by using colour tones to keep the looks varied,’ says Angelique.
With trends a-plenty, Indian brides often turn to their favourite celebrities and social media to get their big day look, ‘As soon as [Bollywood actress] Anushkha Sharma’s wedding look broke the internet, every single bride I met wanted the same exact floral bun she rocked,’ says Bianca Louzado, a make-up and hair artist who works with Miss World Manushi Chillar, Diya Mirza and Sania Mirza. With over 16,000 followers on Instagram, Bianca knows how easy social media makes it for the bride to pick and reference looks that are popular, and how important a tool it has become. ‘A lot of Indian brides take inspiration from the online look books of popular bridal designers such as Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi. I often replicate those looks.’
‘Of late, my brides have asked for glow-y, dewy skin and a lot of natural-looking make-up, whilst the hair is tied in a bohemian braid for events such as the mehendi. For the wedding day, they are doing away with the old traditional bun and opting for semi-tied hair with the dupatta on the head instead,’ says Bianca.
Amrit Kaur, a Times of India Award-winning make-up and hair artist with 75,000 Instagram followers is the go-to for many Indian brides from around the world. ‘When it comes to picking the right look for the bride, in most cases I follow the rule of thumb that the outfit determines the styling of hair and make-up, while the jewellery determines the flow of the hairstyle.’
When finalizing each look for the different events, Amrit finds that the brides gradually progress the intensity of each of their looks. ‘With smaller ceremonies, like haldi for example, brides tend to look casual yet chic, while at their mehendi there’s subtle glamour, often with pastels and florals as well as bohemian braids,’ she adds. When it comes to the more opulent events, the looks have a lot more drama with voluminous and full hair and bold yet glamorous make-up. ‘For the big day and the main event, the pheras, a popular style for the brides is a sophisticated classic look with gold shadows and evenly lined eyes,’ says Amrit.
‘I find it fun to help plan and put together different looks for the bride – the idea is to be the best version of yourself. I believe in enhancements to your features,’ says Natasha Moor, a global bridal hair and make-up artist who has worked with the likes of Lisa Ray. ‘When I work with a bride, I ask them which facet of their personality they want to shine at that event – whether they want to look ethereal, bold or sexy, for example. Generally though, I’ve found that my brides love a pretty and whimsical look for their mehendi, a natural and beautiful look for the pheras and a glamorous one for the reception,’ says Natasha.
Planning out styles that look different for each event can be a hard task but Natasha’s genius tip is one to note – ‘One of the easiest ways to change up the look is most definitely with lip colour – which is one of the many reasons I have a namesake lipstick line too,’ she says. ‘I don’t always have time to change up a bride’s look if sometimes the smaller events are back to back, so I slick on a different shade of moisturizing yet molten matte lipstick from my collection for an easy transformation.’
While the focus is usually on the bride, the bridal party’s looks have also been breaking social media grounds. Whether it’s Pippa Middleton that led the way or Sabyasachi’s look book and bridal campaigns, cohesion in bridal party’s looks has become a huge trend but does that hold true for the make-up, too? ‘Not really’ says Natasha. ‘The mum and sisters tend to go from one spectrum to the other. They either want a simple look or are extremely experimental and want to try looks that the bride may not always be comfortable with herself – it’s fun and challenging when they’re ready to play around with their looks.’
‘I’ve found that the mums I’ve worked with are now stepping away from a tight bun and opting for soft, looser updos with romantic elements. Extensions have also been popular with the mums, as it adds length and volume to their otherwise shorter hair, and gives me an opportunity to create a full blow-dry and wavy look,’ says Angelique.
‘One thing I’d say is that I do think that brides and the bridal party should listen to their skin and not try all sorts of different skin treatments just before the wedding period. Keep doing what always works for you to avoid breakouts and reactions on the day!’ says Bianca.
‘The most important thing for the bride and the bridal party is to relax and stay hydrated. There isn’t a need to worry about trying new looks because they’ll always end up looking fabulous!’ adds Natasha.
The bridal beauty trousseau: The products every bride should invest in!
1. Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation, Dh195, Shophudabeauty.com
A full coverage foundation is an absolute must – the faux filter finish makes it ideal for the bride’s picture-perfect moments.
2. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, Dh159, NARS boutique
A matte concealer that won’t budge and has a soft focus finish that blurs all imperfections.
3. Fenty Beauty Invismatte Blotting Powder, Dh158, Sephora
If you’ve worried about any sort of unnecessary shine or oiliness, then this universal blotting powder is one to get. It absorbs shine and diffuses pores for a filtered look.
4. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed, Dh174, Sephora
All brides need a little glow. The Shimmering Skin Perfector adds the right amount of sheen to give you shimmery dewy skin.
5. Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Lip Colour Ink liquid lipstick, Dh140, Paris Gallery
Highly pigmented lip colour with buildable intensity and no transfer. This weightless formula is perfect for brides who want a lipstick that will last through the night
6. Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette, Dh215, Sephora
The ultimate palette for every bride. It has three shades to sculpt the perfect contour and neutral matte shadows to create just about any eye look.
7. Starskin 7 Second Morning Mask and Overnight Mask, Dh150 & Dh180 respectively, Sephora
The ultimate duo for skincare – all you need it seven seconds for this 7-in-1 multi-tasking masks to take your daily routine to the next level.