Bridal Beauty Countdown

A big part of planning your wedding day style is considering your beauty look. Preparation for wedding day glowing skin can start as much as 12 months in advance. We spoke to make up artist and natural beauty expert Nat van Zee to find out how you can look naturally beautiful on your big day.

Having made up celebrities and models at fashion shows and for magazines, Nat van Zee has a wealth of experience as an MUA. Over the years she met a lot of people with allergies to skincare and makeup products. So in 2012 she began researching and using natural and organic beauty in her work. She strongly believes that using non toxic products is not only better for our skin but better for our health. Today she is a renowned makeup artist, session hair stylist and natural, organic beauty consultant. Who better to guide us through the complexities of  preparing yourself for your wedding day.

Nat van Zee backtge at Paris Fashion Week

Preparation is Key

Begin preparing for your big day as soon as possible. Nat advises that if you wish to address any skin or body concerns then it’s best to do this holistically, starting around 6-12 months before the wedding. ‘Asses your skin, hair & lifestyle. Many skin conditions (acne, irritation, scars) can be addressed with a holistic approach. This includes switching to clean beauty products without irritants, good nutrition and stress management all of which can aid skin flare ups. Complementary treatments like cosmetic acupuncture and light therapy are also a good idea within this time frame.’ Theres a lot to think about so Nat also offers clean beauty consultations online to help you understand where to start.

Reducing Stress for Happy Skin

An important part of this process it to take into account your lifestyle. Many of us have stresses in our lives that can cause skin issues. And in the run up to your wedding, you may be more stressed than ever. Address your stress triggers and what helps you reduce these. It might be regular activity like going for a run or taking an exercise or dance class. Maybe meditation could help? Or simply taking an hour for yourself to have a bath (see our Bath Rituals post for ideas). In the immediate run up to the big day, Nat advises using essentials oils. It’s important to patch test first as some people can be sensitive to them. You can also try burning them at home or adding them to a bath. Choosing the right essential oils can have a dramatic mood altering effect. However if you are allergic to them then avoid them altogether. 

‘When you are stressed you consume more magnesium than normal. The easiest way to absorb magnesium is to add it to a bath by adding Epsom Salts.’ – Nat van Zee
Choosing your MUA

Now that your body and skin is on it’s way to glowing health, you can start to consider your hair and makeup look. Collect images of styles that you like to advise your Make Up Artist. Nat recommends booking your bridal trial 3-6 months beforehand. ‘Be aware if there is a difference in seasons from your trial date to your wedding date then your skin tone or hair length might be different.’ When it comes to choosing the perfect Make Up Artist, do your research. If clean beauty is very important to you then choose an artist who can accommodate this and make it clear at the outset of booking. ‘Firstly check their portfolio to see if their style suits your preference,’ Nat tells us. ‘Bear in mind pictures can be retouched so ask them for some examples that are un retouched.’ Also check their Instagram and make sure that their own personal style isn’t vastly different from what you want.

A discussion about scheduling, location and fees is crucial to avoid any confusion between you and your MUA. Make sure you advise them on all of this plus details on who else in the bridal party might need their services. Include head shots to ensure your MUA can prepare for you and your party ahead of time.

Chanel Iman opted for a barely there look when she married Sterling Shepard in 2019

Glowing Skin

When it comes to facials and treatments, Nat believes that these make good short term fixes. However she advises to not have any radical treatments in the week before your wedding in case your skin reacts badly. Nat herself offers a few amazing treatments that can help. Cosmetic Acupuncture and Light Therapy both offer great results without using harsh chemicals or techniques.

Meghan Markle looked radiant when she married Prince Harry in 2018

This said, Nat strongly believes that the best results come from long term, daily beauty regimes. For instance, switching to natural, organic products in advance of your wedding will reap benefits. Plus, daily facial massages can make a huge difference. Nat’s Natural Beauty Guide offers advise on products and daily massage techniques. Through massage, ‘you can train your face to be more toned, reduce wrinkles, lift eyelids and lose a double chin if you are willing to put in the time,’ she notes.

“A facial can be great for a short term effect, but any real impact is your daily routine with beauty products that truly benefit your skin.” – Nat van Zee

Priyank Chopra adopted traditional Indian wedding make up for one of her many ceremonies.

Your Makeup Look

The age old advice is to not deviate from your normal beauty look, but simply to wear a more refined and polished version of this for your big day. Remember that comfort is key. If you don’t feel comfortable in fake lashes and heavy matt look makeup it’s probably best to avoid these products. However Nat sees no harm in exploring themes and new looks, after all it’s your day. ‘Just ask yourself would I be happy to see this look in pictures in 10/20 years time.’ A good middle ground would be to keep your look low key during the day for your ceremony and amp it up for evening. Ask your MUA to stay for the whole day. Therefore when your makeup inevitably needs touching up after your ceremony, your MUA can build on the look to create something special for evening.

Achieving a Sunkissed Glow

If you want a beautiful healthy glow for your wedding day then Nat love’s the award winning tanning products from Eco by Sonya Driver. ‘My biggest tip is don’t try fake tans for the first time the night before the wedding,’ Nat advises. ‘This goes for any product or treatment. A patch test 48 hours before is recommended just to check it is compatible with your skin.’ Preparation is key so make sure you exfoliate your skin well. Concentrate on your feet, knees, elbows etc, then add extra moisture so that the tan doesn’t stick more to these areas. If you are wearing a backless dress then get someone to help you apply it evenly to your back too.

Portia de Rossi sports a subtle glow in her backless bridal gown. 

Makeup Trends for 2019

Very minimal makeup has been popular for the last few years. This look really enhances your own natural beauty. Nat regularly works backstage at Fashion Week and notes that Pantone’s Colour of the year Coral was a popular choice. Seen at shows like Chanel, she likes that it is a versatile and flattering shade that gives Brides a healthy glow.

Nat van Zee is based in London and available for one on one or online consultations as well as bookings.

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is for general advice only and should not be used as a substitute for professional healthcare or beauty advice. We make every effort to ensure we only recommend safe products however you should always do a patch test when trying new products. This post may contain affiliate links.