Mother of the Bride Makeup: Tips and Advice from Ariane Poole

We asked makeup artist to the stars Ariane Poole for her top tips and advice when it comes to mastering mother of the bride makeup


The wedding day is obviously a big day for the bride and groom, but the mother of the bride will have all eyes on her too so you need to make sure you’re looking your best.

For those considering doing their own wedding makeup, we asked international makeup artist to the stars, Ariane Poole, for her top tips. Ariane has over 25 years’ experience in the fashion and beauty industry and has even worked on royal weddings!

Makeup artist Ariane Poole

“As the mother of the bride or the groom you too will be on show. Looking great may not be a matter of doing what you always have done especially if you are feel that your usual makeup isn’t enough. If we don’t adapt our makeup as we age then that makeup that made us look great in our 20s & 30s can make us look older now,” explains Ariane, “But there’s no need for despair. There are some fabulous products on the market formulated for more mature skin – and I’ll talk you through how to use them.”

Primed and Ready

One of my must have products is a primer. Primers can really help even and smooth out skin and help lighter weight makeup last longer. Primers are used under the foundation over moisturiser to smooth, firm and plump up the skin, like a mini face lift without the knife. Perfect for those long wedding days and nights.

One of my top tips: if you are getting hot flushes avoid moisturizer on the day. Only on that one day, just use a primer as it really helps. My Ariane Pool* Retexturizing Face Primer is my favourite.

Retexturizing Face Primer by Ariane Poole

Correct and Conceal

You may have noticed that your skin isn't looking as flawless as you might like. It may be slightly dryer, uneven in colour and the fine lines aren't quite so fine. Heavy foundations will only accent all of these issues.

After you have primed your skin you need to even out your complexion with a lightweight, pigment rich product. This can either be a lightweight foundation or a face tint. I recommend Ariane Poole* Ultimate Face Tint as this won’t settle into fine lines.

Ultimate Face Tint by Ariane Poole

As a matter of fact face tints can help minimize the appearance of fine lines. Go for a dewy look to give your skin a fresher appearance. Matte formulations will make your complexion look drier (and therefore older). Some powder mineral foundations can accentuate pores so avoid if this is an issue for you.

I like to hold off on powdering until I have only the lips to do. This is because most modern products have a settle down period and if you powder immediately after you apply you will end up with a double whammy of powder which can be ageing.

Next apply a lightweight concealer under the eyes. Thicker concealers are too heavy for our delicate under eye skin and will make us look older. I like my Ariane Poole* Mineral Illuminating Pen because the texture is light yet covering. If you have really dark circles check out peachy shades of concealer. They will knock out the dark circle yet still look natural.

Ariane Poole Mineral Illuminating Pens in various shades

All About the Eyes

To give your eyes a more youthful appearance try swapping your browns and beiges for greys (I like charcoal tones), deep navies, rich plums, lilacs or deep greens as accent shades and paler softer versions of the same hues to brighten the eyes. Consider Ariane Poole* Eye Shine in Cosmic if you’re unsure where to start.

Ariane Poole Eye Shine liquid eyeshadow in Cosmic

If this is a bit too bold for you try combining charcoal or navy with ivory or taupe shadows instead. When it comes to choosing between shimmers or mattes, don't think that if you are over a certain age that you can't wear shimmery shadows. A bit of a sheen can liven up the eyes while too much matte product can make the eye area look dry.

Whether you choose to wear eye shadow or not your eyes need definition especially in photographs. To give your eyes more definition try a gel liner. They are easy to apply, go on smoothly and are smudge and water resistant. I like Bobbi Brown Gel Liner.

Also opt for a black or blue/black toned waterproof mascara rather than brown no matter what your hair colour. I also recommend individual false lashes, just a few placed along the base of the lash line to create a natural looking fullness, such as Ardell Individual False Lashes and Duo Glue in White.

Don't forget your brows. As with hair, brows too can lose their colour. Brows really should be softly defined. Benefit Gimme Brow is one of my favourite products to use.

Gimme Brow by Benefit

Get a Glow

Give your cheeks a glow by opting for a coral or dusty rose coloured blush. These really flatter the face. There is also a wide variety of textures to choose from, such as creams if you want a dewy look, cream to powder if you want a more satiny look. Both these textures give a more youthful appearance to your complexion. Bobbi Brown Blush is one of my favourites – choose a shade that flatters your skin tone.

Stay away from ones which are too browny or taupey as they tend to drain the face. Also avoid really pale pastel shades as they can look chalky.

Accent and give your cheeks a lift by dabbing a shimmery highlighter along the tops of the cheekbones. Benefit Highbeam is great for this.

High beam by Benefit

Lip Service

As we get older it is a sad fact that our lips do get thinner and fine lines develop. To prevent lip colour from feathering and keep it on longer try a lip base. These go on bare lips before lip colour and they really work.

To get the illusion of fuller lips brush a light reflective concealer around the outside of lips and blend into the lips. Now line your lips with a lip coloured lip pencil and line along the outer edge of your own lip line. You should always use a lip coloured pencil no matter what your chosen lip colour is, that way as the colour fades (and even the long lasting ones eventually do) you won’t be left with that harsh outline.

Lipstick or lip gloss – which to choose? This really depends on personal choice. Lip glosses tend to make lips look fuller, but if you are a lipstick lover then choose one that is hydrating. There are also some great tinted lip balms that are a balance between a gloss and a lipstick. Avoid going too matte and too dark as it can look harsh, whilst too beige can make you look like you have no mouth in pictures.

Long lasting lip lacquer by Marks and Spencer

Image credit: Long Lasting Lip Lacquer by Marks and Spencer

Lastly, Legs

If it is a summer wedding or the wedding is taking place somewhere hot then you may want to go with bare legs.

If you feel your legs aren’t up to going bare then try Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. It’s what I use myself and on all my mothers of the bride or groom. It gives your legs an even flawless look, like you are wearing tights. It doesn’t run and is resistant to humidity too.

Find out more about Ariane Poole, her fabulous advice and her products by visiting her website.

Once you’ve mastered your mother of the bride makeup, why not browse our favourite stylish mother of the bride dresses for some fashion inspiration?


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