The Royals’ Makeup Artist Reveals How She Creates Princess-Worthy Bridal Looks

Regal, refined, resplendent.
Image: Getty

Every bride wants to feel like a princess on their wedding day. So, you can only imagine the added pressure when you are the lead member of the glam squad for an actual princess who is getting married.

Makeup artist Hannah Martin knows that all too well. The famed beauty magician – known widely as the ‘Queen Of Radiant Skin’ – has glammed up all manner of women, from fashion magazine cover stars to Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice themselves.

So, what do you do when you’re in the presence of a royal makeup artist? You ask them about princess-worthy bridal looks, of course!

Hannah Martin’s Royal Wedding Makeup Tips, Revealed

Image: Getty

Consider this your step-by-step guide on how to harness the tips and tricks of some of the most distinguished makeup artists there are.

Glowy, Flawless Base

When it comes to royal wedding makeup, they always look flawless, but never cakey.

“Starting with a well-prepped canvas is essential to making your makeup look flawless and stay put. To ensure your foundation doesn’t look cakey you must prep your skin according to your skin type but also take into consideration the texture of the foundation and ultimately how you’d like it to look on your skin,” Martin advises.

She suggests a personal cleanse, moisturizing and priming routine.

“You need to invest in a good skincare regime prior to your wedding day – this includes a good cleanser, toner, serum and moisturizer. Some brides focus so much on the makeup that they neglect the canvas. It’s a great opportunity to help get your skin into condition so your makeup sits flawlessly on the big day,” she says.

Now… on to base formulas.

“I find that some people with dry skin assume that they can’t wear a long-lasting oil free foundation, but if you prep well with emollient rich skincare, you absolutely can and vice versa – those with oily skin may be wary of dewy finish foundations but with light, water-based skin prep and oil controlling primers in oily areas you can,” she explains.

You could try a glossy, glowy primer such as the Ciaté London Watermelon Burst Primer and then a radiant, buildable foundation such as the Ciaté London Extraordinary Foundation. Try to opt for a “second skin” lightweight finish that leaves the skin looking plump and hydrated.

Image: Getty

Makeup Brushes

They say a poor tradesman blames his tools, but in the case of makeup, your tools are integral to success (as well as how you use them).

“Make application easier for yourself with multiple brushes – I like to apply product with one brush before blending it in with a clean brush, this gives the smoothest blend. Brushes are so important as good brushes make application significantly easier,” she advises.

Application technique is also key.

“The best way to achieve a sheer finish is to buff the foundation into the skin whereas layering over is best for fuller coverage. Start by tapping into the skin and moving outward circles, building upon the coverage level you desire,” suggests Martin, who recently launched a Pro Brush Collection, with Ciaté London.

Don’t Forget Blush

When you’re using base and contour products, it’s easy to wash yourself out. Blush is a key element to add life and youthfulness back into the complexion.

“We love a pop of colour on the cheeks and [an] illuminating, smooth powder blush is one of my favourites. I’ll do an initial layer of cream blush, then stipple it into the apple of the cheek,” she says.

Mascara For The Waterworks

Weddings are emotional days. Whether you’ve just realised the best man forgot the rings, or your dad gives a heart-warming speech, there are multiple situations that could cause your mascara to run.

“Waterproof mascara is a must!” explains Martin. “Another idea can be to use translucent powder on your eyelids and under your eye to create a transfer-proof barrier when your mascara runs. The powder will not only set your makeup, but absorb excess moisture, oil and smooth texture.”


Image: Getty

Set It All In Place

We all love a radiant finish, but it can easily end up slipping and sliding over the skin throughout the day.

Her tip to finish the base? “I like to finish by using a light layer of powder to set before applying a finishing spray and generously misting over the face,” she says.

“On your wedding day, you must use powder! Loads of brides are really averse to it as they think it will create heavy, cakey-looking skin, not the radiant glow they’re after – but you can still do that while using setting powder.”

Consider Flash Photography

So, you’ve found your perfect base pairings and they look great in the light of day. Don’t move ahead with that combination until you’ve tested in flash photography.

“We all know the importance of wearing your SPF however check the formula you’re using. If any products contain SPF, check to see if they include zinc oxide or titanium oxide as these are thought to cause ‘flash back’ in your photos, a result we see when these bounce off the flash photography, making your face seem much paler than it really is,” Martin says.

“One tip I like to do, when your makeup is finished, ask your photographer to take a headshot of you so you can see how the makeup is translating to the camera.”

Be Inspired: Martin Shares The Key To Royal-Worthy Bridal Looks

Image: Getty

Define Your Features Naturally

“You need to look like yourself, but your best version!” she explains. “It’s important to make sure your brows are filled in and your eyes are lined so your features pop but just be sure not to overdo it. Less is always more. It’s also not the day to start experimenting – make sure you have practiced your look several times and you know the time you need to not rush this process.”

Don’t Be Afraid Of Colour

“It’s amazing how bleaching wearing all white can be, it literally sucks colour from you so make sure you wear enough bronzer and blush to help you look your healthiest,” she suggests.

Unlike Coco Chanel’s Dressing Habits, You Can Always Add More Makeup But It’s Hard To Take Away

Apply the lightest of layers and work to build up the strength over time. There’s nothing worse than packing brushes full of heavy pigments and then being unable to blend it all out,” she says.

Have Fun With It

“Finally, enjoy the process! It’s such a special day, this is truly a chance to focus on yourself and get excited about the day to come.”

Should You Do Your Own Wedding Makeup?

Image: Getty

We’ve all headed the rumours that the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, did her own makeup for her wedding day.

If you’ve got the skillset and the patience, Martin is all for it.

“If you feel comfortable doing your own makeup – then absolutely go for it. It can be a great way to save money and for some people, reduces anxiety for the day. If you’re doing it yourself, there is a wealth of bridal make-up information out there, from make-up artists on Instagram to YouTubers,” she says.

However, if you have a great bridal makeup artist you trust, make sure you’ve done a trial and know what is going on.

“Whether you have a makeup artist on the day or you are doing it yourself make sure you practice the look enough times so you’re totally happy,” she counsels. “Remember that practice makes perfect! The more you practice the more it will feel like second nature.”

A final tip?

“Once you’ve decided on your final look, put all the makeup you’re going to need in a separate bag, even the night before. That way, on the day you won’t then be tempted to use something you haven’t worn in ages or get overwhelmed by choice.”

And thus you’ve turned into… a Princess.

Related stories