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The best long-lasting foundations for your wedding

We've found the aces of bases! These are the formulations with staying power for every skin type - and we asked our favourite beauty experts for their top tips to make your foundation stay in place from aisle to dance floor

We’ve all been there: you set your alarm extra early to perfect your make-up look only to find it’s slid off your face by lunchtime. Whether you’re oily skinned or suffer with dryness, you’re commuting in the rain or working through a heatwave, it seems no one is immune to the vanishing act. While this is no biggie during a regular day at the office, it’s more than a little concerning when it comes to the most photographed day of your life. To stop disappearing make-up in its tracks, we’ve put together an expert guide to a long-lasting w-day bridal beauty look.

Photo by Kim Carpenter on Unsplash

Prep and prime

The recipe for a flawless base starts with great skin. Before you even think of applying your make-up you need to prep your canvas, and the process is best started months before the big day. “A good skincare routine leading up to your wedding day can make an amazing difference to how you look and feel in your skin. Exfoliating once a week will make a big difference,” says Bobbi Brown senior pro artist, Amy Conway. “I do recommend a good facial, but also there are so many amazing face masks that instantly boost radiance in the skin. Skin Nourish Face Mask is a personal favourite of mine, you can leave it on for five minutes and either wash off or sleep with it on.”

Skin Nourish Mask, £34, Bobbi Brown

“My favourite moisturiser for brides is the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, packed with Vitamin C, it instantly lifts the face and preps the skin beautifully before make-up,” Amy continues. On the wedding morning, allow your face cream to sink in before applying a primer if you’re going DIY with your wedding make-up. If you’re having a make-up artist, make sure they’re including this step when you have your trial. “Always use a primer! It not only guarantees your make-up lasts longer throughout the day, but it ensures you look bright and radiant from the ceremony to the dance-off!” says Amy. Those with oilier skin need to pay close attention to the primer they choose, as it can mean the difference between midday shine and a photo-flawless finish. “If I work with a bride who has oilier skin, I always use the Mac Prep + Prime foundation primer in Natural Radiance. It’s amazing as it absorbs excess oil throughout the day but leaves the skin with a healthy glow so you look radiant and not greasy,” says Mac global senior artist, Dominic Skinner. As well as being great for keeping shine at bay and acting as a magnet for your make-up, primers can also address a range of other skin concerns including discolouration. We love Yves Saint Laurent Colour Correcting Blur Primer – a multi-tasking master that can even out skin tones and add radiance.

Touche Éclat Colour Correcting Blur Primer, £21, Yves Saint Laurent 

Staying power

Now you’re primed to perfection, it’s time to talk about that all-important base. To avoid patchy colour by your wedding breakfast, you need to invest in a long-wear foundation. “I love using Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation SPF15 on my brides for the most airbrushed look,” says Amy. Look for formulas designed to last for 10 hours or more as you’re likely to apply your make-up early in the morning and continue celebrating into the night. Long-lasting doesn’t have to mean heavy though, there are a range of lightweight foundations that will feel like a second skin. Oily skinned brides will adore Sisley Phyto-Teint Éclat, it keeps shine at bay without dulling the complexion. Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation is light, breathable, buildable and ideal for normal to dry skins. While clear skies are on most brides’ wedding-day wish lists, it’s always wise to prepare for showers by using a foundation designed to withstand the elements. Dominic recommends the Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation: “This medium-to-full coverage base leaves the skin looking natural and flawless for 24 hours and is waterproof, which is perfect against perspiration, sudden downpours and the occasional tear.”

Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, £35, Nars

For very oily skins, a long-wearing mineral foundation may work best. We love BareMinerals Matte Foundation, like the original mineral foundation it gives the skin weightless coverage but with all the benefits of a long-wear foundation.Dry skin types should steer clear of powder-based products and instead look to their more moisture-boosting counterparts, advises Dominic. “Aim for cream or hydrating products. The Mac Pro Face Palettes are a great range of creamy blush, contours and highlighters that you can mix and match to suit any colour scheme.”

On-trend accent nails

Seal the deal

To lock in your base and ensure it doesn’t budge, you need to apply a setting product. When it comes to nailing down your foundation you have plenty of options; celebrity make-up guru Charlotte Tilbury recommends a powder: “Once the bridal make-up look is complete, I apply Airbrush Flawless Finish with a soft sculpting brush on the T-zone, down the nose, on the chin and across the forehead. I always keep the cheekbones free of powder so that they remain dewy looking and catch the light.” For the final flourish, layer on a setting spray. The light mist will give you extra insurance without weighing you down. Originating from the forward-thinking Korean beauty market, setting sprays are designed to be breathable while enhancing your cosmetics’ staying power.

Fix’ Make-up, £24, Clarins

We love the refreshing rose scented Fix’ Make-Up spray from Clarins. The light mist smells divine and has a moisturising effect on dryer skins, giving you all the hold with none of the cakiness. Another team favourite is Urban Decay’s cult classic, All Nighter. This clever spray works by lowering the temperature of your base, giving you smooth and long-lasting make-up that doesn’t sink into those pesky pores and fine lines. Setting sprays don’t just work to lock in make-up. The multi-taskers can also be used later in the day to refresh your look. “It’s a great way to revive foundation if it’s looking a little too dry,” says Dominic. Follow this expert advice and you’ll be celebrating newlywed status on the dance floor looking as fresh as when you left the make-up chair. And don’t forget to get your hair look sorted, too – read our guide to the best bridal hairstyles that work with a veil.