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Royal wedding: Princess Diana's makeup artist has tips for Kate Middleton -- and other brides

April 28, 2011 |  9:33 am

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Although Kate Middleton’s wedding day look is top secret, we can confidently say that the princess-to-be most likely will not walk down the aisle looking like Pamela Anderson or Snooki from “Jersey Shore.” Whether she does her own makeup (as has been rumored) or has help from a makeup artist, she will probably look like her most beautiful self.

And that’s what every bride should shoot for.  A radical departure from hair and makeup that you’re comfortable with can distract from what should be one of the happiest days of your life. But looking like your best self for hours on end, while also looking fantastic on camera, isn't simple. We turned to Princess Diana’s wedding day makeup artist, Barbara Daly, for bridal beauty tips that would be good for Kate – and other brides too.

All the Rage: When you did Princess Diana's makeup, what was most important about the finished look?

Barbara Daly: For me it was very important that she look like herself, but the most beautiful version of herself. One forgets that she was only 19, so you also had a very young girl -- apart from the fact that it was a girl who was going to be hugely in the spotlight -- and she really had to have the kind of look that was not only appropriate for her position in life but also very appropriate for her age. She wasn’t a model, and she wasn’t a movie star doing a red carpet event -- she was a future princess.

But then, on the other hand, it was going to be a look that was obviously going to be photographed and filmed for a very long time for a very long day, so it had to stand the test of time in unusual circumstances. So [her makeup] might have been a bit stronger than what I would have done under normal circumstances or for a photo session but I still wanted her to look like her. If I made her look like something that she wasn’t, she wouldn’t have felt comfortable.

All the Rage: Do you have any idea what Kate Middleton’s hair and makeup will look like?

Daly: I have absolutey no idea but I believe that she will absolutely hit the mark. I believe that she is doing her makeup herself. And I think she’ll actually epitomize exactly what we just talked about. She’ll look like the best version of herself. She is a girl with personal style -– just lovely looking.

All the Rage: How can a bride look like her most beautiful self on her wedding day?

Daly: I never feel that it’s a day to experiment with something that you might feel uncomfortable with -- that you might look at later and say, "Why did I do that?" I think you have to very, very much feel [comfortable] in your own skin and that brides should feel they’re absolutely at their best.

All the Rage: What kind of things do brides request that’s out of their usual norm?

Daly: It can be anything! I think hair, which I don’t do, is something that you leave to a good professional hairdresser.… But hair is a bit more difficult because you have to accommodate different things. Most people don’t walk around with veils on. And possibly in this particular instance [the royal wedding] … most people do not wear -- even on the grandest occasion like a ball, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be wearing -- a tiara. So there are certain specifications in a royal wedding which are very different than even a normal wedding.

All the Rage: What kind of makeup should you have on if you’re wearing a veil?

Daly: The biggest, biggest thing with a veil is that you absolutely have to stay clear of bright lipstick or anything sticky on the mouth. You only need one little gust of wind to blow the veil against your face and if you have a glossy lipstick or a glossy gloss on ... the veil will move and hit your face and you’ll have an imprint. That’s one of the messiest things.

All the Rage: So should you not wear bright lipstick or lip gloss at all?

Daly: If you can be absolutely sure that the veil will never touch your face then you’re OK ... or perhaps if [lip color] is well blotted. There’s always the opportunity to put some gloss on afterward … all brides in windy areas be wary!


All the Rage: What other tips will help the bride look like her (most beautiful) self?

Daly: Stick to the kinds of colors that suit you well. If you’re lucky enough to have professional advice and the professional is someone that you trust and they advise you to do something else, then certainly try it [beforehand] and see how you feel about it.

In England, we don’t have your sunshine and [brides] run out and get fake tans. Truly awful. That to me is kind of a big no-no.

I think really looking like yourself, but a slightly stronger version of the makeup you normally wear. Or if you’re a very no-makeup person, try and pick colors which will emphasize your bone structure and your eyes and lips so that you do look good in photographs but you still look quite natural.

I always stay away from bright colored eye shadows. They can look a little dated later so I’m all for sticking to the whole neutral range -- even if you apply them quite strongly.

I put powder so high on my agenda. You’ve got people with “flashlights” in your face –- everyone takes videos at weddings and the cameras are out. You don’t get a lot of opportunity to check your face because you’re with people all of the time. [Powder] is really important because it keeps the shine down. Modern face powders are so sheer and so fine that all they do is make the skin look sort of velvety soft. Blotting paper is also very useful to have on standby if you get warm. “Sweating it” is not a good look.

-- Alene Dawson

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Photo: Britain's Prince Charles kisses the hand of his bride, the former Diana Spencer, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London after their wedding on July 29, 1981. Credit: Associated Press.

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