Love and Lipstick: The Art Behind The ‘I Do’

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There is no make-up eventuality Rose Gallagher hasn’t experienced as make-up artist at all her friends’ weddings. So who better to ask about looking picture-perfect on your big day? Plus some very funny wedding stories …

There are pros and cons to being ‘the one that’s good at make-up’ in your friendship group. On one hand, you can’t just have a glass of wine before a night out without someone asking ‘can you just quickly do my eyes?’ But on the other hand, your skill means that you end up playing a huge part in the most special day of someone’s life – your friend’s wedding day.


The night before Hannah’s wedding, at 11pm to be exact, I had just finished a big beauty event at work when I got some dreadful news. Another make-up artist was helping me with the wedding make-up because the bridal party was so large, and was mortified to tell me that she had broken her arm and wouldn’t be able to come. This was where I practised one of the ultimate rules in wedding planning: do not tell the bride about any disasters. Turning up at the crack of dawn the next morning with a leather-jacket-clad, tattooed cheeky boy, I played it cool and assured them I had enlisted an even more fabulous make-up artist – which I had. My good friend Jack saved the day at the eleventh hour (quite literally), and after dazzling them with his full Chanel make-up kit they loved him so much that they even invited him to the wedding with me!


On the way to Kate’s wedding my eyes just wouldn’t stop streaming. I was doing my own make-up in the back of a minibus filled with all of my best friends, juggling a mascara wand in one hand and a paper cup of Prosecco in the other. Don’t you just hate that, when your make-up is perfect but then one eye streams? So we pulled up to the services and after Jay Begs and I had had a leather chair massage for £2 I tried taking a hayfever antihistamine. In 30 mins my eyes had completely stopped streaming. Now? A pack of Piriton is an essential in my make-up artist kit.


Then there was Bridget’s wedding. In my opinion, if your wedding coincides with New Year’s Eve you are simply asking for a raucous party. After popping to the pub to see in the new year, half of Bridget’s bridal party, including me, rolled into bed at 5am. For the record, I would argue that Bridget herself was the instigator in all of this. With two hours of sleep under our belts, we embarked upon the unsavoury task of completely resurrecting everyone’s complexion and colour correcting the biggest under-eye bags you have ever seen. Note to party people: in this scenario, all you need is a multi-pack of croissants, a can of Coke and a Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher concealer to perk up an entire bridal party.

The Brides Essentials

Brides, ensure that your bridesmaids are armed with the essentials for quick touch up. Give someone a great touch-up powder (the ultimate bridal powder is Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light) and your chosen lipstick – these are the two things you’ll need through the day.

Now this next rule is crucial and goes for everyone: be sure to select a foundation with no SPF in it. Sunscreen will bounce light from the flash photography on the day, leaving you with a white face and a darker body. Not a good look. For me Perfume is one of the single most important parts of any wedding. Choose your scent carefully – you can even create your own bespoke blend at Jo Malone – because whenever you smell it again you will be taken back to your special day.


Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, £25, SelfridgesHourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, £38, Harvey NicholsPiriton allergy tablets, £3.79, BootsJo Malone Peony & Blush Suede cologne, £42 for 30ml

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