Best make up for wedding photographers

Hints and tips

The holy grail of make up for wedding photographers

I’ve spent the last three years trying to find the best make up solution for me that seems to survive a long day at a wedding and I think I’ve finally found my holy grail of make up for wedding photographers. It wouldn’t surprise me if other people are still on the hunt so I thought I’d throw it onto a blog post in the hope that I’ll save at least one other photographer (or indeed someone else who needs make up that still looks vaguely good at 10pm when it was applied at 7am and has to withstand the heat, the rain, dancing, crying, stress, blah blah) wasting a whole load of money on stuff, just in case any of these things to work for you.

I’m no make up artist, and I’m no expert. I don’t have the money for a stack of expensive make up. This is just how I do my face and what works well for me. My skin is combination pretty dry and really oily, I drink a lot of water and I never wear primer because that just makes everything slip off my face. What’s more it takes me all of about 7 minutes to do my make up and have been known to roll out of my hotel the following morning still looking vaguely human without having washed my face (we’ve all done it, don’t judge me.)

I’ve even snapped the contents of my make up bag as they are to prove to you just how much they’re used. I make no apology for my poor product photography, but have provided you with handy links to get hold of this stuff.


Under my eyes is really dull and grey and I have a lot of red pigment in my skin as well as some scarring. So to even it up, I use a yellow and a green correction stick; Maxfactor CC Colour correctors. 

These are quite waxy which I suspect is the key to their longevity and they make a nice smooth base for my foundation.

Buy it.


I feel about fifteen when I tell people I use Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse, but there, I said it. It works well and stays put on my skin and doesn’t break the bank. I wear 04 Light Porcelain. 

Buy it.

I then give my self a dusting of Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder in Transparent. 

Buy it.


Having done considerable research in to eyeshadow, the best results were: WEAR NONE. I haven’t found a single eyeshadow that doesn’t wipe off, stick in the creases of your eye kids or go craggy. LESS IS MORE.

Lovely Hannah Millard, the lady behind Camera Hannah recommended Seventeen’s Tattoo Me eye liner and I literally haven’t looked back. It would sooner stay on your eye lids for life and that’s key if like me your cry lots or get awful allergies while frolicking in corn fields. The brush takes some getting used to but it’s worth it.

UPDATE: I just heard this has been discontinued. Bare with me while I look for a new alternative and weep into my morning coffee.

The only mascara that offers longevity and passes the waterproof test for me without being really sticky and nasty is Maybelline’s Lash Sensational – Luscious – Waterproof. I’m not fussed about having the appearance for faux lashes, or volume, I just want a little something and this does the job.

Buy it.


My eyebrows absolutely define me and they have to look strong until I roll off the dancefloor. My winning combo is using the powder from Benefit’s Brow Zings (I wear 6 Deep) combined with Wunderbrow 2 gel (I wear black/brown) swept through afterwards for staying power. This gives me the best control of the shape as well as the longevity; I found the wax that comes with Brow Zings just rubbed off leaving a sluggy brown mess on my face.

Buy Brow Zings. 

Buy Wunderbrow 2.


I like a little shape and soft colour and I know nothing about contouring but I seem to be able to wing it with Sleek’s Face Form contour pallette. I wear medium.

Buy it.


Trust me when I say I’ve tried the lot. Everything promises hours of coverage, the only one that survives everything for me is is Rimmel’s Provocalips. I wear Skinny Dipping for weddings as it’s super subtle and neutral (and I’m all about my eyebrows!) but I also have Make Your Move for a darker but neutral colour. It also comes with a gloss if you feel like you need a bit of something. Bosh.

Buy it.


Let’s talk about my hair

I’ve spent years straightening it and at the ripe old age of 31 I’ve accepted I’m a curly girl and I’m embracing the curls. I only brush it before I wash it, I dry my fringe and leave the rest to do its thing, after rubbing in some Tigi Motor Mouth. And that’s literally it.

Buy it.

Here i am

This is typically what I look like on a wedding day – thanks to Andy Hudson for the photo. I’m going to remember to take an ‘after’ photo on the way home from Saturday’s wedding as a comparison; stand by for an update!

Meanwhile you can probably find out more about why long lasting make up is key for me here.


  1. Ro Bo Ho

    Best blog EVA. I’m just off to buy that mascara and eye liner.

    Personally having some success with the body shop foundation at the moment. I’m really pale with quite a bit of pink tone in my skin and i’ve struggled to find a foundation that is the right colour UNTIL NOW. And it generally lasts a wedding (unless I cry it off).

    • Hannah

      Ah, thanks Ro! It’s so hard trying to find the right colours that have the staying power too – I’ve tried so many options but once you find what works it’s one less thing to worry about eh? I always forget about the Body Shop, my aunt worked for them years ago and their shops always remind me of childhood 🙂

  2. Eva

    hell yeah! Can I add just one thing to the list? Eye shadow is perfectly fine and will survive anything if you use super amazing Urban Decay Primer Potion – pure genius!

    • Hannah

      Top recommendation by you Eva but sadly me and primer don’t mix – everything just slides off my face and makes eye shadow even more horrific for me! Just got one of those faces I suppose!


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