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A match made in heaven: beauty editor Emily Algar talks us through her wedding day beauty

A match made in heaven: beauty editor Emily Algar talks us through her wedding day beauty

Weddings are surprising. Things go right, things go wrong, people have opinions (so many opinions), but for the vast majority, the entire experience is soaked with love.  

I planned my own wedding in about five months. Not because there was a sense of urgency, but because it all fell into place so perfectly. Easy and intuitive are the words I’d use to describe the process. We looked at one venue that had one summer weekend still available for booking. All our preferred vendors were free, so we locked it in. Invites were sent, a dress was secured (I happened to be traveling at the time, which expanded my options) and it was official. We were getting married.  

But perhaps the most surprising thing to me was how relaxed I was when it came to beauty prep. I live and breathe beauty, and have written my fair share of wedding prep pieces. But I was also hyper-aware of the crippling pressure on brides to look perfect, while also looking entirely ‘like themselves’. I wanted to find a middle ground; to feel radiant but not as if every inch of me needed an overhaul. Plus, five months didn’t really afford me the time. In hindsight, I’m happy it worked out that way.  


A match made in heaven: beauty editor Emily Algar talks us through her wedding day beauty

My skin and wedding makeup look were probably the greatest focus. I’m not someone that wears a lot of makeup day to day. I seldom experiment with my look, either (I don’t often wear bright colours, eyeliner or anything heavy). Hilariously, I think I’ve only had my makeup done professionally twice.  

The brief was fresh, youthful, natural but feminine: great skin, healthy-looking blush, fluffy lashes and a full brow. No shimmer, no powdery finishes and no heavy sculpting. Essentially, an elevated version of my go-to beauty look. On that note, my advice to other brides is to resist the urge to try something foreign on your wedding day. It’s so easy to pour over references and lose your personal style in the process. But everything, makeup included, should reflect you wholeheartedly. 

In the lead up, I of course kept a consistent skincare routine and indulged in a few treatments (I focused on LED light treatments, deep cleansing to prevent breakouts, and cold therapy to reduce inflammation). But, because the wedding fell at the end of the summer holidays, my skin was predictably pigmented from the heat and ocean swims. The timing had its perks — a reduced work schedule meant I rolled into wedding week with a vacation state of mind — but my skin wasn’t the brightest. I figured great makeup would fix things.  


A match made in heaven: beauty editor Emily Algar talks us through her wedding day beauty

Routine aside, I also spent ample time on my skin the night before: a double cleanse, five minutes under my LED light, exfoliation (I love Rationale Serum 5 for this) and then a face mask while soaking in the bath. I used the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair PowerFoil Mask. It’s incredibly hydrating and plumping, plus the foil backing ensures the serum really infuses into the skin. It’s one of those products that warrants an immediate difference. I actually kept it in the fridge prior, because my skin loves anything cold. I finished with a rich night cream (Bioderma Cicaplast B5+) and eight hours of rest. Bliss.  

Makeup-wise, I worked with Serena Wyllie on my wedding day. Not only is she talented, but also extremely lovely to be around (another tip — be discerning with your vendors; I wanted only good energy around me). I love Serena’s approach as well: she has a light touch, listens, doesn’t insist on more product because ‘it looks better in photos’ and knows how to cultivate real luminosity.  

She also asked me if I had any product preferences, namely foundation. Estée Lauder Double Wear is a formula I’ve used since I was at university. It’s been my ‘occasion’ foundation for upwards of 10 years, and the only one I trusted for the wedding. I also wanted the finished look to be very much skin-focused, so choosing the right base was critical. Not only does Double Wear have incredible staying power — as in, it outlasts tears, hugs, nervous sweating and the December humidity — but the coverage is perfect. It’s buildable and can be layered – or alternatively, diluted – to suit your preferences. Double Wear is probably the only product that conceals my patchy sun damage, as well.  


A match made in heaven: beauty editor Emily Algar talks us through her wedding day beauty

We applied it with a blender on top of a super-hydrated base (I love La Mer’s Renewal Oil), meaning my skin tone looked bright and even, but still like skin. Another draw card is that it doesn't really settle, crease or cling — there’s nothing worse than foundation that sits on top of skin. I ended up using my regular shade on the day (Tawny) but there’s over 60 in the range so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits, spray tan or otherwise. For the record, I opted against a spray tan. I felt fine in my skin the week of, and wanted to avoid unnecessary to-dos.  

The rest of my makeup was kept simple, but beautiful: plenty of cream blush, a softly defined eye using taupe and brown shadow, a few individual lashes on the top lid only, some highlighter and a fresh pink lip. I felt like me, but definitely better than I would on a normal day. And the best part was my skin stayed close to perfect until the very end. Proof that Double Wear really is the best.  


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