Finding the best foundation for your skin is no mean feat. There's a lot to consider: Full coverage? Light coverage? Matte finish? Dewy look? You also have to find an exact shade match.
So, when it comes to finding the best foundation for your wedding day, that wish list gets even longer. Your foundation has to last all day (especially if you have a summer or destination wedding); look great in photos and in person (harder than it sounds); and, perhaps most importantly, make you feel confident and comfortable.
To add to the confusion, there are actually lots (read: hundreds) of foundations to choose from that cater to different skin tones, skin types, and finish preferences — and the final decision depends on your individual taste. "Just like a wedding day, the ideal foundation is never 'one size fits all,'" makeup artist Amanda Bell says.
With that said, the process of finding your wedding-day makeup can most definitely be a fun one. That's why we've called in some of the best makeup artists in the business to help guide you on your search for that perfect wedding-day foundation. Check out their tips and tricks below, and scroll on to get their favourite product picks.
Try Your Foundation in Various Lights
When choosing your wedding foundation, it's important to consider multiple lighting options. Whether your day will be spent inside, outside, or by candlelight, be sure to try it out ahead of the day so you can make any necessary adjustments.
During this time, you might also find that your foundation oxidises, which essentially means it gets darker after being applied to your skin. This might mean that what was once your exact shade match is no longer the one for you. Knowing how a foundation wears over time on your skin will help you avoid this and decide whether to choose a lighter shade.
Think About the Texture
Considering your skin type is essential when it comes to choosing a foundation texture. If your skin is on the oilier side, you will likely want to opt for a matte-finish foundation in a solid or stick formula. If you're on the drier side, you might choose a dewy finish in a liquid formula. Your makeup artist can definitely help with this; if you're doing your own foundation for the day, you can visit a makeup counter and ask the sales rep for help.
Consider Primer, Even If You Normally Skip It
Every makeup artist we spoke to couldn't recommend enough using a primer — even if it's something you don't use every day. Your primer and foundation need to marry to avoid any dreaded pilling. Testing multiple water-based formulas ahead of time can help with this. Makeup artist Rose Gallagher suggests spot treating two different primers (a hydrating one and a mattifying one) if you have combination skin or a particularly oily T-zone.
Choose Your Tools Wisely
You might want to consider the tools you're using as much as the actual foundation. The lightest and most natural coverage can be achieved by gently pressing a small amount of product into the skin where you most need coverage; the warmth of your fingers helps to sheer it out. A small buffing brush will also help you get light coverage on specific areas of the skin — despite what you might think, you don't have to wear a full-coverage formula on your wedding day if you don't want to.
For medium coverage, you can use a "rounded, densely packed brush to buff the foundation into the skin in light, circular movements," Bell says. "A Beautyblender (£17) or Nylon brush is particularly good at diffusing the swipes of a stick foundation."
Blotting Paper Is Your Best Friend
It's not uncommon to work up a sweat on your wedding day. The socialising, photo taking, nerve-induced perspiring (especially on a warm day), and dancing might cause your face to lean a little toward the shiny side. But that's where your trusty maid of honour or chosen friend comes in to touch up your base throughout the day. Makeup artists can be a little divided on this; some are team powder, while others are team blotting paper. It really depends on your skin type and preference.
Make sure your friend keeps a translucent powder and fluffy brush on hand to sweep away any excess shine; they should also have some blotting papers (we love the Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Paper (£15)) to soak up excess sebum. If you're not confident with makeup, blotting paper is the way to go. You literally can't mess it up: just dab in the bathroom, and you're good to go.
Don't Try Anything New on the Day
We hope this goes without saying, but don't try a new foundation on the morning of your wedding (or any new product, for that matter). The last thing you want to do is apply a new formula without having any idea of how your skin reacts to it — you want to avoid any makeup-induced rashes on your wedding day. Makeup artist Mira Parmar has a similar note on new skin care: "Don't start a new skin-care routine just before your wedding. Instead, use something you know your skin likes and works with."
Keep Dehydration at Bay
Dehydrated skin is almost inevitable on your wedding day (yes, even with oily-skin types). The stress and excitement leading up to the wedding, lack of sleep, and lack of fluids (plus plenty of well-earned glasses of Champagne) mean your skin will likely be a little dehydrated. The good news is, there are things you can do to combat this. Keeping the skin ultrahydrated with ingredients like hyaluronic acid can help your skin look plump and, more importantly, feel comfortable. You can also do a hydrating mask the night before your wedding, but remember to try it for the first time a few weeks before the day to make sure you don't have a bad reaction to it.
Speak Up During Your Trial
Avoid staying quiet during your trial — makeup artists are professionals and won't get offended if you tell them you aren't comfortable with a certain coverage or formula. They want you to feel confident, so while it's a great time to step outside your comfort zone, take their advice, and try new things, you should ultimately go with what makes you feel best.