So far, so good – white sandy beaches, afternoons spent sipping chilled glasses of Rosé, warm, romantic evenings al fresco – what’s not to love? There is, of course, the small matter of adjusting our hair and makeup to reflect the warmer climes, since no-one wants wilty hair and melty mascara in their wedding pictures.
Autumn is pretty much upon us, which means summer wedding season is over. Except of course, if you’re heading abroad. Destination weddings are on the up, with many Brits giving up on the UK’s unpredictable weather and heading south for some more reliable sunshine. In fact, a report from tourism company Kuoni found that 14% more of us are heading elsewhere for our big day, with Mauritius taking the top spot last year and the south of France, Italy and the Balearics all proving popular.
We called on bridal makeup expert, Rachelle Grimes (who is getting married next year), Bobbi Brown Senior PRO Artist, Amy Conway (who’s just got back from her honeymoon), hair pro, Hollie Rose Clarke (who’s travelled between the Scottish Highlands and Cyprus to tend to bridal hair in all weather conditions) and top colourist Gemma Smidmore, in order to tap up their advice on how to stay cool, calm and collected on your wedding.
1. Use your wedding planner and Instagram if you want to seek out a Glam Squad
“If your budget doesn’t allow you to fly in your hairstylist and makeup artist, then wedding planners usually have referrals for hair and makeup,” says Hollie. “But don’t be afraid to chat with the concierge at your venue for more recommendations. Instagram can be very helpful when trying to hunt down a hairstylist or makeup artist for your big day. Search hashtags such as #WeddingHairstylistSorrento, #WeddingMakeupArtistMauritius or wherever the location of your wedding is. Make sure you book a stylist that has a strong bridal portfolio and a style that mirrors your dream hair,” she adds.
2. Don’t overdo it on the tanning front
“Weddings are usually a few days into the holiday (as you often have to be in the country for a few days before) so most brides take the opportunity to hit the sun hard for a tan,” explains Rachelle. “Avoid too much sun if you can. Think about your foundation shade (getting a very deep tan may mean your foundation no longer matches) and remember that sunburn is tricky to cover. Most people don’t think of burnt lips either. If they’re burnt, they’ll go a deeper shade of red which can change the colour and appearance of your lipstick, so make sure you protect your lips with SPF,” she adds.
“When buying your wedding day foundation, think about how you tan – if you go very red you might need to consider a pink under-toned foundation. If you tan straight away and go golden brown, you need a yellow based foundation. If you get it wrong, you can end up looking like you’re wearing a mask,” says Rachelle.
“Bobbi Brown’s Skin Longwear Weightless Foundation, is my favourite longwearing Foundation for brides,” says Amy. “I wore it myself on my wedding day and I mixed it with a little Illuminating Moisture Balm so I got a sheerer finish in areas which is gorgeous for destination weddings. Or for those who love more coverage it builds so beautifully for an airbrushed look.”
“A great tip if you’re unsure what foundation colour you’re going to be on your wedding day is to buy a liquid bronzer,” says Rachelle, who loves Armani Fluid Sheer in shade 3. “Add drops into your foundation to darken it. You can add more as your tan gets darker and less as your tan fades away.”
3. Give your hair some TLC in the run-up
“Deep conditioning treatments should be used on the run-up to your wedding day to keep your hair looking shiny and healthy (I normally recommend Kevin Murphy’s Angel Masque strengthening and conditioning treatment for brides with finer hair or the Hydrate Me Masque which is a moisturising and smoothing treatment for frizzy or thick hair. Dry hair can be very absorbent and therefore prone to frizz,” explains Hollie.
“A lot of brides are opting for a keratin smoothing treatment before travelling for the wedding. I use the 72hair treatment (it’s vegan), which removes frizz from the hair and makes it a lot easier to manage humidity,” says Hollie. “It’s like a Brazilian Blow Dry but lets you keep your hair’s natural movement.”
“If you’re planning on being in the sun and sea, protect your hair,” Hollie says. “Philip Kingsley’s Swim Cap is the only product I recommend for the job (other than staying out of the pool/sea/sun – but where’s the fun in that?)”
4. Spend time on your skin
“Remember your skin is more dehydrated than normal on holiday, so on your wedding morning apply a hydrating mask before makeup to give your skin a boost,” says Rachelle.
“Skin care must be oil free to stop makeup from melting or becoming overly shiny and using a primer is essential under your foundation to hold it in place for longer,” Rachelle explains. “Think of your primer as the barrier between your skin and your makeup. If your skin is dehydrated it will drink your makeup, so a primer will keep your skin and makeup separated. If your skin is oily, the primer will help to stop the oil from getting through to your makeup.”
“I love to use primers that are built into moisturisers as they are more lightweight and look smoother on the skin, which then ensures your makeup will look smoother also,” explains Amy.
5. Multi tonal hair is the way forward
“It’s best not to have one colour all over in your hair. This will give hair no definition in photos. You lose the details of the styling,” explains Gemma. “Hair is naturally multi-tonal and that’s what colourists need to embrace, not cover. The camera loves sunkissed tones!”
6. Beware of highlighter and powder
“Be careful with highlighters. If you’re oily, your skin will create a natural highlight so you won’t need to apply one as well as it could end up looking sweaty instead of glowing,” says Rachelle.
“If you are going to wear highlighter, go for a golden tone if you’re tanned (rather than a silver/white shade), as it will look more natural,” says Rachelle. “Add highlighter to your shoulders and collarbone to let the sun reflect the light from you.”
“When applying powder to avoid shine, only apply it in the areas needed. Too much powder can dry the complexion which can age skin, make it look dull and draw attention to small imperfections such as fine lines, laughter lines and dry skin,” explains Rachelle. “Opt for a powder that doesn’t give coverage, this will ensure you have a lightweight formula to set the skin without it looking cakey,” agrees Amy.
7. Prepping and setting the hair is key to keeping it in place all day
“At outdoor weddings, hair can be tricky, thanks to heat, humidity and wind. To get your hair to play ball, it’s all about using the correct products to prep and set the hair,” says Hollie. “From wet, blow dry the hair using a mousse (Kevin Murphy Body Builder Mousse is fantastic as it gives lift without stickiness). This gives hair the memory to hold onto those soft, undone, effortless boho waves that ooze romance.”
“Once the hair is waved, set it in place using pins and wait for the heat to leave the hair – this is a must,” says Hollie. “Think back to the 50s & 60s when our grandmothers got a week out of their blow dries, it was all down to the set.”
“When you take it out, go through the root area and apply a dry shampoo to add extra texture and some grip for hair accessories to hold onto and top the hair from going limp in the heat,” Hollie advises.
“Once the hair is in the desired style, it’s time to add the hair spray. Sachajuan Hairspray Strong Control is the best for brides who want every hair to stay in place. Living Proof Control Hairspray gives a touchable hold without looking stiff,” says Hollie.
8. Avoid formulas that are too melty
“Waterproof mascara is a must-have on your wedding day, but like many waterproof mascaras, they don’t always give good fullness on their own. Opt for your favourite mascara first to give the fullness, length and curl that you like, then layer a waterproof mascara on top to lock it all in place,” says Amy.
“Waterproof eyeliner is also an essential,” says Rachelle. To really lock it in place, “after applying your waterproof liner, add some black eyeshadow on top to act as a matte finish, and to give some extra protection. Press the shadow onto the eyeliner with your eyeliner brush,” she adds. “And, if you’re hot/crying/sweating, tap your makeup, don’t rub as this won’t remove makeup.”
9. Choose a hairstyle that won’t wilt
“More relaxed styles suit a hotter climate,” explains Holly. “If you know you are prone to getting a little sweaty, then it’s best to keep your hair off your neck. Soft chignons, boho braids, undone beachy buns are all very pretty. If you can handle the heat (or you’re not in it for too long), then you can have those long cascading locks,” says Hollie. “Marcel waves and glam beach waves are my most requested looks.”