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Wedding hair & make-up inspiration: Choose your look

We asked celebrity hair and makeup artist Alyn Waterman to share his favourite bridal styles, to inspire you to find your own

Deciding on your wedding hair and makeup isn’t always easy. There are so many choices out there. Do you want a Meghan Markle-inspired messy updo or a half-up half-down style? Do you want a strong berry lip or a ‘you but better’ natural look? To help you navigate all the options, we spoke to celebrity hair and makeup artist Alyn Waterman  about some of the beautiful looks he’s created for real brides, from full-on glamour to classic elegance.

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Alyn has been making brides feel special for over 20 years. “I believe in treating every bride like a star,” he says. “I understand she wants to have her own unique and beautiful look on her special day.”

Read on to discover some beautiful bridal looks – and learn more about Alyn.

Look 1: Perfect glamour

“Jennifer wanted a glamorous makeup look for her special day at Stanbrook Abbey,” says Alyn. “She has beautiful skin and this just needed enhancing with a light base with gentle contours and highlights.” Jennifer chose a dramatic look for her eyes using greys, browns and golden highlights on the lids and under the brows. A feline flick of liquid liner and extra lashes added definition. Alyn chose a soft rose colour on the cheeks and a nude gloss to finish the look. 

“Alyn created the most perfect look for my wedding day,” says Jennifer. “His attention to detail and passion for makeup made me trust him completely, and I’m so glad he was able to be part of everything.”

Photography | Simon Pow Photography

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Bridal glamour

Look 2: Vintage beauty

“Helen’s wedding had a vintage feel and the hairstyle I created was inspired by the Edwardian era,” says Alyn. “I love costume dramas and the popularity of television shows like Downton Abbey and Victoria has influenced bridal hairstyling.” 

This elegant look demonstrates the importance of having a hair trial. “We created lots of different styles for the wedding hair trial, some with all the hair up and some with the hair half up and half down,” says Alyn. “I usually allow at least two hours for a bridal hair trial as it’s really important to look at lots of options.” Fresh flowers were the ideal finishing touch.

Helen was thrilled with the results. “Alyn put me at ease on the morning of our wedding and made me feel a million dollars,” she says. “Nothing was too much trouble and I was really happy with my hair and makeup.”

Photography | Helen Hill

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Vintage bridal beauty

Look 3: Bridal classic

“Kelly wanted a classic makeup look with well-defined eyes, with emphasis on the brows and lashes,” says Alyn. “I kept her skin tone natural and added subtle bronzer to create a healthy radiant glow.”

Kelly was delighted. “Alyn was amazing from start to finish,” she says. “My makeup was fabulous, and he was always there making sure I stayed looking that way through the day.”

Photography | Ross Holkham

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Bridal classic

Look 4: Timeless elegance

“It was important to create an elegant and timeless look for this lovely bride,” says Alyn. “Amanda has beautiful hair which we chose to style in an elegant chignon. To achieve this look I used wefts of curled hair pinned softly up to create a classic look.”

Amanda particularly appreciated the fact that Alyn stayed on for her wedding. “It was great to have him throughout my wedding, not just the arranging of my hair and makeup at the beginning of the day, but also being available to touch up hair and makeup throughout the day and evening,” she says. “It was a very special day made perfect because of Alyn’s attention to detail.”

Photography | Warren Derrington Evans

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Timeless elegance

Look 5: Country chic

“Claire’s ceremony at Dewsall Court was a classic English countryside wedding with a touch of Hollywood glamour,” says Alyn. “Claire is naturally beautiful and I used classic peaches and creams for her makeup. I like to make up brides in front of natural light where possible as this gives the best results.” Claire’s hair was styled in soft waves and pinned up at the side. “Alyn made me feel even more amazing than I thought I could!” says Claire. “The wedding morning ran like a dream and we all had so much fun with Alyn and his team.”

Photography | Richard Gardner

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Country chic

Makeup artist to the stars

At his award-winning studio in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, Alyn meets his brides-to-be for a one-to-one bespoke makeup and hair session prior to the wedding day.

As well as using an amazing range of cosmetics, Alyn supplies hair accessories which help to complete the look. “Brides say how convenient it is to find one person who does both makeup and hair,” says Alyn. “I also give one-to-one makeup lessons to wedding guests and family, who may be travelling abroad for weddings, who want to learn how to apply their own makeup and style their hair on the wedding day.”

Alyn’s long career in film and television and working with award-winning actresses has led him to become sought after for weddings and special occasions. “Brides love my connection to film stars and celebrities,” says Alyn, who counts Dame Joan Collins as a regular client.

Alyn regularly contributes to magazines as a beauty expert, and this year he was part of a Monsoon and You & Your Wedding event providing hair and makeup teams in both London and Manchester. His team included in London Millie Glenister and Jassi Auluck, and in Manchester Katie Wrigley, Faye Robertson and Holly West.

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