West Midlands based make-up artist Nicky Foster gives us some of her top tips

Bride Credit: Dionne Spence West Midlands based make-up artist Nicky Foster gives us some of her top tips.

As restrictions have finally been lifted, smaller weddings are now on there way out, and larger weddings are back and in full effect! What does this mean for brides-to-be, and where do you start with your bridal make-up journey? As a black bride, here are my top tips for securing your bridal make-up artist along with key points and products you should consider for your wedding day:

The journey to your chosen make-up artist
When looking for a bridal make-up artist, it's crucial that you research the artists in your area or near your wedding venue. During your research, points to consider are not only cost but the quality of looks the artist has historically created and the products they use in their kit. Review the make-up artist's website or social media and pay attention to the quality of the content. Does your prospective make-up artist use filters, or are the photos or videos showcased true to life? Your pictures last a lifetime; therefore, you want your make-up to be naturally flawless without the need for filters. After all, you only want the best for your big day and to be photographed beautifully.

Facials and skincare treatment
Do you have a current skincare routine? If not, it's an ideal time to speak to a beautician who will be able to assess your skin and find solutions for any concerns and recommend a routine that will set you on the road to perfectly polished skin. For any make-up artist, prepped skin is the key to keeping you looking fresh and flawless, morning until night. 

I advise my brides to prepare their skin four-five months before the wedding day, which allows time to review areas of concern, such as acne, hyperpigmentation or scarring. Your beautician may recommend a series of facials or introduce you to wearing an SPF, which is key to protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays and will help to prevent future hyperpigmentation. A good sunscreen to use is the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen, which is a colourless gel formula that does not leave a white film on the skin or create any flashback in your photographs.

Bride on the morning of the wedding Credit: Dionne Spence Primers
When applying foundation, I like to start with a primer and one of my favourites to use is the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector which is a must-have for your bridal make-up base. The primer controls oil for up to 12 hours, blurs the appearance of the skin, keeps your make-up in place and is good for all skin types. 

There are many different foundations on the market, however, look for a foundation that suits your skin colour as well as your skin's undertone. If you are not sure of your undertone, here is a breakdown of how you can determine your undertone:

Cool undertones - you will see hints of pink or blue undertones.
Neutral undertones - you will a mixture of both warm and cool tones.
Warm undertones - you will see yellow, peach, or golden undertones.

For your wedding day, the longevity of your foundation selection will be key. I recommend selecting a long-wearing product to help keep you looking pristine all day.

In my make-up kit, the foundations I like to use on black brides are MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix fluid or NARS Natural Radiance Foundation, which are both long-wearing, buildable, provide beautiful coverage and photograph well. Along with your foundation should you have skin discolouration your make-up artist will be able to select a concealer and colour corrector to correct the area of concern to make a perfectly finished base.

Bride laughing Credit: Dionne Spence Eyes and Lips 
Be sure to discuss with your make-up artist the feature you would like to focus on. You can create a perfectly balanced look by focusing on subtle enhancements on each area of your face, or you may choose to focus on your eyes or lips. Either way be sure to research looks that will work with your skin tone and the theme of your wedding. 

Eyes tend to be the key feature that most brides like to focus on. A trend that some black brides opt for on the eyes is known as a “Cut Crease” and focuses on making the eyelids pop! This often includes using pigments or glitters, whilst this may not be for you, be honest with your make-up artist and share images of the look that you would like to replicate. Pinterest is a great starting point and can help you communicate your vision with your selected artist. 

To finish off your eye look, you do not have to opt for false lash extensions, a good mascara can also make your lashes look naturally full. If you want to wear lash extensions, ask your make-up artist to use corner lashes or a lash that naturally sits on your own lashes to create volume. 

Brides often find it tricky to choose a lipstick for the wedding day, however, some of my most used and requested lipsticks on black brides are MAC Cosmetics Velvet Teddy, Verve, Taupe, Whirl, Capricious and Kinda Sexy. Be sure to keep trying different lipstick shades and tones with your look until you are happy with your choice. The texture is important, I would recommend matte or satin as this helps with staying power and keeping lips looking hydrated. 

Highlight and Contour 
Depending on the type of finish you have chosen for your skin, you can opt for a cream or powder highlight and contour. 

Highlighting the skin
Morphe, Fluidity Full Coverage Concealer is great for highlighting the skin. I use a concealer colour that is two shades lighter than my bride’s natural colour, this is a great tip to brighten the complexion. Should you be personally applying your bridal make-up the Fluidity Full Coverage Concealer has a wand that is perfect for placement. A great setting powder to lock in your highlight is the Laura Mercier setting powder in the shade Honey, which provides a super smooth finish to your highlight and keeps your products in place.

Contouring and highlighter
To contour, I recommend MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Stick Foundation which is a cream formula and is great to shape the face. I often use a shade that is two shades darker than the bride’s natural skin colour. Place the foundation stick on the skin in the areas under the cheekbone, temples and jawline. Once applied, lightly buff the product using a soft angled brush to diffuse into the skin. Then set the foundation with a light powder. To finish off, place your highlighter as this provides radiance to your skin; my go-to product for highlighting is MAC Cosmetics “Cheeky Bronze” which glides on smoothly and provides a beautiful glow!

To find out more, visit www.nickyfostermua.com and www.instagram.com/nickyfostermuabrides 

Bride: Khedejah Fairin-Hall
Make-up artist: Nicky Foster MUA
Photo credit: Dionne Spence

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