A week after getting engaged I read through a checklist of “how to prepare for your wedding”. It gave me really valuable advice especially when it came to the hair and makeup trials. As someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup and never really makes too much of an effort with hair, I should’ve followed this advice like it was gospel. Statements like “give yourself plenty of time” “make sure you have a good idea of what look you want to go for” should’ve jumped out at me and made me get to work researching makeup artists and scouring Pinterest for bridal looks I wanted to emulate. 

scroll to the bottom of the article for links to all the products used.

Unfortunately, I rarely take anyone else’s advice (i’m working on this I promise!) I tend to live my life believing it will all work out in the end, which lead to me panicking 8 weeks before our wedding date about having very little of the major details organised. The 8 months since we got engaged seemed to go by in a complete whirlwind, and whilst we thought it would be totally doable planning a wedding in just 10 months, we seem to have spent most of the time making sure the big ticket items were booked in – venue, caterer, dj etc.. In turn making some of the smaller, more personal parts to organise go under the radar.

I decided the best thing to do was start at a makeup counter and speak to a professional. Lots of department store beauty counters usually offer free makeup trials. Estée Lauder being one of them. Hurrah! I sat down with Emma who did my full face of makeup and we discussed products I liked which I could then take to my wedding makeup artist who could recreate the look. [All products linked at the end of this post.]

I absolutely loved the look Emma created for me. It was natural yet glamourous. I’m so glad I did this as it gave me ideas of what I’d like for the big day, and also I took home products that worked well on my skin.

See the finished look in the my vlog of the makeup trail here.

Sourcing a MUA:

My friend Serena, who actually happens to be a guest at our wedding, is an incredibly talented makeup artist. When Freddie and I got engaged and my thoughts were running at a million miles per hour, I allowed myself to imagine Serena doing my makeup for the big day, yet quickly discounted it as a plausible option as she would in fact be doing her own makeup and getting ready for our wedding as well. 

Starting with the base, Serena layered up the foundation mixed with a luminous highlighter. She allowed it to dry whilst doing my eyes and brows before going back and buffing in more foundation for a longer wearing effect.

As time went by and I realised that I didn’t know any other makeup artists and also began panicking at the realisation I had to sit there and tell someone during a trial what makeup look I like without actually being able to describe makeup looks to begin with. It started stressing me out and I went back to Serena’s Instagram page and feeling completely out of my depth whinged to Freddie “i just want to look like that” pointing at one of Serena’s perfectly made up, yet natural dewy selfies. 

Fast forward a few messages back and forth and Serena enthusiastically agreed to do my makeup assuring me that there was also plenty of time for her to get ready for the wedding as well. We booked in a morning to do a makeup trial (conveniently also on a day we were going to a friend’s wedding) and she did my full face.

Adding a smokey eye, and then buffing out the shadow to give a more subtle end result.

Feeling a little more confident at this stage having already had my Estée Lauder session I just requested that natural dewy but full coverage look to last 12 hours with a smokey eye effect but not too heavy on the eyes. Simple enough right? Well to Serena that was absolutely simple enough, and without me really having to say any more for the next hour she absolutely transformed my face into what I can only describe as the most glamorous and sultry I’ve ever looked.

After a few discussions around “we’ll make the eyes a little more coppery and the lips a little bit more pink” the final look was decided. I’ve listed and linked below all the products we used on my face. 

Complexion coverage






You can also check out Serena’s other makeup looks on her Instagram page and if you’re in the London or West Sussex area she’s taking bookings! x 


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