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Expert Wedding Makeup Advice for Black Brides: Joyce Connor's Top Tips

Expert wedding makeup artist Joyce Connor shares her best wedding makeup and skincare tips for Black brides

Black bride with elegant wedding makeup holding a berry toned bouquet looking out over a river

You’re so excited about your wedding and want to look your best. Your wedding beauty regime should start at least six months before your wedding day, so I’ve shared my expert advice when it comes to wedding makeup for Black brides to help you prepare.

To get your skin to its optimum level, I would recommend booking an appointment with a professional skin therapist if you’re unsure about what products to use or what your skin type is

Darker Skin & Hyperpigmentation

Darker skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation and may appear more oily. It’s usually more dehydrated and requires a lot more moisture. These skin issues can be resolved with regular skincare treatments and an at home beauty regime. 

Hyperpigmentation on melanated skin tones can appear in patches around the face. Look for products with ingredients such as kojic acid, retinol or vitamin c to help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The go to brands for treating hyperpigmentation on black skin are Urban Skin Rx or 456Skin

Wear an SPF daily to slow down hyperpigmentation. La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible fluid is lightweight and doesn’t show under makeup, it can also be worn alone and doesn’t oxidise. 

You should also scale up your skincare routine pre-wedding: twice daily is the minimum for cleansing and moisturising. The most important thing for bridal skin is hydration. When your skin is hydrated your makeup will appear flawless.

Avoid using harsh skincare products that strip natural oils from your skin. People of colour are more prone to scarring because skin can be more sensitive and dehydrated. 

What to Ask Your Wedding Makeup Artist Regarding Bridal Makeup for Black Skin

Darker skinned bride in an eye lash lace wedding dress with her hair in loose waves

I would always suggest looking to book your makeup artist as soon as you have your wedding date confirmed. I recommend asking the following questions to your makeup artist:

  •  Is the makeup artist able to do darker skin tones? 
  • Have they got a portfolio you can see? 
  • Does the makeup artist do the type of makeup look you like? 
  • Consider if  you have a multi ethnic bridal party, does your makeup artist cater to all skin tones? 

Ask about brands they use and do some research into the brands if you’re unsure of the names. 

Some professional makeup artists only use non-high street brands so you may not recognise the names. Schedule a trial session with the makeup artist and curate a Pinterest board of ideas you like so you can show them. A professional makeup artist will also give you advice on the best look for your face shape and take your ideas into consideration.

Some foundations can appear ashy on darker skins after an hour or so because the foundation has oxidised. Having a trial session will enable you to ensure the wedding foundation your artist is using doesn’t do this on your wedding day. 

Usually it’s the oils in the product and the oil in your skin reacting with the air around you. Oxidation occurs more in humid climates and will make the foundation appear darker or greyer on skin. 

Applying Strip Lashes to Super Curly Eyelashes

Super curly lashes are common among women of colour. It can be more tricky to apply strip lashes to really curly lashes. Applying Individual lashes or cut up strip lashes to the outer sections of your upper lashes will enhance the length and volume of your own lashes. 

Tatti Lashes Invisi-Lash Kit is the perfect kit to try having a go at lashes yourself if you’re doing your own wedding makeup.

How to Achieve Your Dream Wedding Makeup Look

Black bride with glowing wedding makeup and berry lipstick in a floral wedding dress

Think about the type of look you want to achieve: do you want all the drama and contour or are you going for a more natural wedding glow? Choose a makeup artist whose portfolio reflects the type of look your mood board is similar too. 

If you don’t normally wear foundation, tell your makeup artist at the consultation. There are multiple options of how your foundation base could look, from sheer to full coverage, matte to dewy. My recommendations of foundations for darker skin tones include Fenty, Nars, Bobbi Brown and Kevyn Aucoin.

The Best W-Day Beauty Products for Black Brides

The look for this season is minimal effort and maximum style: think a classy sophisticated makeup look achieved with light contour and a dewy finish on the skin. Eyes are glamourised with accents of bright colour and smoky outer corners. Lashes are big and voluminous. Lips are natural with a matte or demi-matte gloss and lip liner around the edges. My favourite nude lip combinations are Lisa Eldridge Decade lip liner and Meet Me In Berlin Lipstick, MAC Chestnut pencil and Fenty Stunna lip paint in Unbutton.

My Top Tips for Brides of Colour

  • Book your makeup artist as soon as you’ve booked your wedding. Top makeup artists can be booked up two years or more in advance!
  • Look after your skin and stay hydrated.
  • Use serums to reduce hyperpigmentation and wear an SPF daily.
  • Create a wedding makeup ideas mood board for your wedding day.

Joyce Connor is an award-winning makeup artist who specialises in weddings, as well as fashion photoshoots and commercial projects. She offers lessons, workshops and personal tutorials in a range of topics, such as skincare, beauty and makeup. 

Browse our wedding makeup artists to find the perfect pro for your big day!