Ken Boylan, one of Ireland’s leading make-up artists, recommends all brides go to Pinterest where they can create a mood board of make-up and hair styles which they can then bring along to their make-up and hair trials

Hair & Make up

Wedding belles - how to get your beauty look right on the big day

How to get your look right on the Big Day - and what you need to start doing now

Any bride-to-be will tell you in the months leading up to her wedding that she has a nuptials "to-do" list as long as her veil. As fantastic as wedding days are for everyone (especially the couple), you can't underestimate the amount of work and frantic behind-the-scenes preparations that can take place in the months leading up to the big day.

Beauty prep is an added job for the bride that bypasses the groom. Between hair, make-up, skin prep, waxing, nails and tanning, navigating the bride's beauty preparation countdown can be a minefield. To help lighten the workload, I've streamlined some of the loveliest bridal hair and make-up looks for you to consider, and highlighted some of the major beauty pitfalls to avoid in the lead up to your big day. Happy planning!



Bridal NOT to-do list

DO NOT forget to book a hair and make-up trial. This is something that cannot be left to chance.

DO NOT opt for make-up that only looks good in photos — your make-up and hair should look great in both pictures and real life.

DO NOT try any new skin or make-up products in the two months leading up to your wedding day — allergic reactions to new products can take months to heal.

DO NOT attempt to top up your own tan the night before your wedding.

DO NOT feel pressure to go for a look that is just isn’t you. If your overall look is simple and streamlined, don’t feel under pressure to suddenly go all out glamour on your wedding day. Stick to your overall aesthetic and just amp it up.

DO NOT feel that you have to make anyone else happy — well meaning advice from loved ones should be taken with a pinch of salt.

DO NOT forget to book a visit to the dentist. In case of emergency, check out these over-the-counter teeth bleaching strips for sensitive teeth, Spotlight Teeth Whitening Strips, €40, from pharmacies nationwide and

DO NOT adjust anything last minute yourself (hair, nails lashes etc) — leave well enough alone.

DO NOT choose bridal muse hair and make-up looks from people/models/celebs that have totally different hair, skin and eye colouring to you. It works best when you choose beauty looks from people with the same colouring as yourself — it will translate much easier.

DO NOT forget to enjoy all this pampering!


Celia O'Dea is manager of Roller Hair Salon,23 Forbes Street, Dublin 2

What is the best hair preparation a bride can do?

Evaluate your hair needs. How is the condition? Healthy-looking hair is so important for any look on your big day. At Roller, we stock in-salon treatments like Kevin Murphy's Treat Me, and these would be advisable every two to three weeks to keep your hair healthy. Home care is also essential to ensure your tresses are in tip-top condition. Your stylist can advise you what products will work best for your particular needs.

What is the best style advice you would give to a bride?

Research is key, and at Roller we would always advise a bride to pick some images online or from magazines to bring to her trial. For the trial it is advisable to have your make-up similar to the way you would like it on the big day. If you can try to wear a similar cut top, that way we know if an upstyle or down and flowing will suit you better.

What are the top 3 mistakes brides make?

1. Hair looking fried and not being in top condition. 2. Bride not getting a trial and then being unhappy or running out of time on the day. 3. Choosing a style that she would normally never choose so she doesn't feel herself on the day.

What's most popular?

'The Vixen' (pictured below) as it's oh-so polished to perfection. It has tamed waves with a silky sheen that screams pure glamour. Or 'She's a Lady', it's neat and chic with the allure of a classic French twist. Brides would also come to us with something off menu which our talented team will happily recreate.

Any celeb inspo?

Nicole Scherzinger and Amal Clooney are known to regularly rock 'The Vixen'. Cara Delevingne made the 'Braid Back and Cool' look extremely popular. Lots of bridesmaids would request this for a slightly edgy look.

Blushing bride skin saviours

● Lancôme Absolue L’Extract Ultimate Rose Serum Mask, €360, department stores nationwide (NOTE: this is pricey and a bit messy and finicky to mix and use — but so worth it)

● Perricone MD The Plasma Essence, €99.95, Avoca stores nationwide

● Aveda Wedding Overnight Eye Masque, €48, department stores nationwide

● Nuxellence 3 in 1 Eye Area Treatment, €41, pharmacies nationwide

Bag it up

Make-up maestro Ken Boylan recommends slipping these beauty essentials to your bridesmaids or into your bag to refresh wedding-day make-up. (, 01-679 6060)

If you're looking for a beauty spot that caters for large bridal- or hen parties, check out Burgundy Beauty in Blackrock, Co Dublin ( The salon is jam-packed with every potential bridal beauty treatment, including brow and lash bars, pedicure, manicure, tanning, waxing and make-up stations.

● Lancôme Absolue L'Extract Ultimate Rose Serum Mask, €360, department stores nationwide (NOTE: this is pricey and a bit messy and finicky to mix and use - but so worth it)


● Cailyn Super HD Foundation, €34, pharmacies nationwide

● Stella POP by Stella McCartney rollerball perfume, €55, department stores nationwide

● Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss, €19.50, Brown Thomas, department stores and Boots nationwide

● BUFF Make-Up eye pencil in brown, €16,