Bridal Hair & Makeup Inspiration: Find Your Bridal Icon

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When we’re planning our wedding look, we’re all drawn to celebrities for inspiration. We all want to feel like a movie star on our wedding day and so how better to make that a reality than to base our look on an actual movie star?!

You can choose a bridal icon to suit any wedding look, here are just a few examples of icons through the years…

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AUDREY HEPBURN

We had to start with possibly the ultimate bridal icon. If you want an effortlessly chic look then this is the look to go for. The classic ‘Audrey Up-do’ is sophisticated, it’s classic simplicity makes it a style that works with any wedding dress. This timeless back pleated style is perfect for keeping long, thick hair off your face but it’s the ideal style for short or mid length too! You would be amazed at how much can be done with short hair.

Let’s not forget the cute, pixie crop that Audrey rocked for her own wedding back in the 1950s. If you have short hair or are holding off on a bold haircut, why not be brave and copycat this gorgeous look? It’s a beautiful, feminine and perfect as contrast against a detailed dress or minimalistic with a vintage style gown.

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If you want to introduce a Hepburn vibe into you make up look, be sure to keep the brows bold – she’s known for those gorgeous face-framers! Subtle yet smoky eye-shadow can be used to give the appearance of large, doe eyes, paired of course with the obligatory eyeliner to create a beautiful winged tip. Fake lashes are a must for fluttery peepers too, but individual lashes are always better than strip for a natural look.

Unlike many vintage icons, for Audrey, you want to avoid a red lip and instead opt for a soft pink. Girlish and fresh, yet sexy.

BRIGITTE BARDOT

Once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world, who doesn’t want a little of that on their wedding day? Her classic style was the bouffant 60s hair, but with a sultry, casual edge and cat eye make-up. Back combing is a big part of this look to add volume and height.

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Part of the charm of Brigitte’s look was that it always felt effortless and was far from perfect, ideal for those of you with a natural wave. Keep it uncomplicated and relaxed.

Much like Audrey, much of the focus is on the cat eyeliner and this is essential to really nail this look. The rest of the face should be kept flawless but not overdone  and lips should be natural for a beautiful bridal style.

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NAOMI CAMPBELL

Think long, sleek and shiny. Naomi Campbell kept her 90s hair super simple, often with a centre parting – a look that is back in fashion and easy to achieve but has optimum impact. The right products are essential to keep this look perfect – you want that hair looking glossy all day long!

Consider your style of dress when thinking about this minimalist hair down style – if you have very long hair like Naomi and have lots of back detail on your dress, you don’t want to obscure it! But this also works on that very 90s bob style and that could show off a beautifully back really well.

When it comes to the make-up, it’s all about the shaped eyebrow and natural make up to suit your skin tone.

BIANCA JAGGER

This dark haired beauty was high fashion! Her long dark hair had a soft roll – feminine, sexy but so simple. For this look, we want to keep your hair shiny and voluminous with a side parting for serious feminine charm.

At her own wedding day in the 70s, Bianca perfected the no make-up, make-up look before it’s time and wore a hat, so don’t feel as though you have to stick to conventional wedding looks if you want to add some real personality. She was also known for a luscious lip and a heavy lashes. Think deep, sexy eyes and contour to give you cheekbones. Bad-ass elegance!

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THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE, KATE MIDDLETON

Kate is the ultimate bridal icon! You can create her wedding look regardless of your hair type. If you’re blessed with luxurious, long locks then blow-drying and soft curls will be all you need. If you have thinner hair, you may need to consider adding some extensions for some extra bounce.

Pinned back the sides create the ‘demi-chignon’ for the most royal of wedding looks. If you want to channel your inner Kate but want to avoid copying her bridal look, she has so many looks she has worn since her wedding day that you’ll be sure to love! Chignons, half-up/half-down, ponytails and natural waves…dignified and graceful.

To create her make up look, keep your foundation dewy or matte with blusher creating a pop on the apples of your cheeks, for a rosy glow. A neutral eye shadow is ideal for the lid with a darker shade closer to the lash line, finished with a slight flick of eyeliner and black lashes.

Kate tends to stick with a natural lip and the royal tradition of Essie Ballet Slipper nails, so avoid anything too bold.

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GRACE KELLY

Grace Kelly’s was one of the most famous brides of the 20th century and is one to be inspired by if you love vintage up-dos with soft, small curls and gentle volume. This is a style that can be created with any length of hair. If, however, you have shorter hair and don’t want an up-do, create a smooth, slicked back style with curls at the bottom for modern vintage.

Grace Kelly wasn’t known for her make-up, but this speaks volumes about the make-up she wore. Perfectly simple, there but almost not! Opt for a light coverage make up, keep it pale and fresh with a little blush. Go light on the eyeliner and avoid heavy eye shadow. One coat of mascara is all you’ll need and maybe a few individual lashes for definition in those wedding photos. Stick to a lip shade close to your natural colour and add lip liner to finish off the look.

SOPHIA LOREN

Who says brides can’t be sexy? If you want a sensual look for your wedding day, Sophia Loren is your bridal icon.

Her hair was voluptuous and sultry. Big barrel curls for a romantic, sexy bridal look. If you have short hair, add volume! Big and beautiful! Go for a big, bold cat-eye for ultimate sex appeal and long, long lashes. Draw all the attention to the eye and stick to a natural lip.

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RHIANNA

Rhianna may not have been your immediate thought when planning your wedding look but, there isn’t a signature look to emulate here, it’s an essence! Rihanna is bold when it comes to her style. She’s rocked long hair, short hair and every colour you can think of. If you want to keep your look modern, young and playful – consider her as your inspiration!

She’s definitely a believer in lip OR eye. Smokey eye versus a bold, bold lip! Don’t be afraid to experiment, you have time to trial your look before the big day.

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MEGHAN MARKLE

We couldn’t discuss your bridal icon and not mention Meghan! Meghan’s gorgeous, shiny hair and ‘messy’ buns are exactly what you need on your wedding day. Keep some hair around the face to keep the look delicate and ‘undone’

Meghan’s make up look has evolved over the years, since becoming a royal she’s kept her look natural and neutral. She defines her eyes with mascara and keeps her skin glowy. She doesn’t make the make-up the focus and so if you’re not a big make-up wearer, follow her lead and keep it soft and delicate.

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Want to Sparkle Like Markle?

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Remember, you don’t have to stick to one bridal icon. Feel free to play around – mix and match! Find something about each one that you like and experiment. Become your own style icon!

Whichever look you opt for, it has to compliment YOU. Colours that work with your skin tone, hairstyles that suit your natural hair. Whilst you want to feel like a superstar on your wedding day, you also want to feel like yourself.

Think carefully about the style of wedding dress and make sure your hair and make up flatter your choice. If you’ve yet to decide on your dress, why not be inspired by your style icon? A theme can work well to give your whole look coherency. Start with the icon and let the rest of the wedding come from there. Be inspired. Experiment. But always feel happy with the choices you’re making, for you.