Every bride should have an arsenal of must-have products at her disposal to get her through the big day primped, polished, and smiling — with a killer lip color, of course! But what makes up that makeup bag can be as different as every individual bride herself. Ashley Madekwe — the British actress and fashion blogger (@smashleybell), best known for Revenge and now starring in WGN's Salem — offered us a peek in the bridal bag that she toted on her London wedding day, where she took a less-is-more approach when it came to her beauty look.
"I got married in a townhouse in London, so I did a relaxed version of old-Hollywood waves with a comb on one side — classic but not overdone," the actress remembers. "An elaborate undo would've felt out of place, and I didn't want to worry about touchups... I loved my natural makeup look. I checked the mirror just once to apply lip balm. Four days before the wedding, though, I got lash extensions that were too long and thick. Everyone said they'd fall out in time, but they didn't. I don't recommend this, but I cut them myself the morning of!"
So just how did Madekwe accomplish her natural wedding day glow? With the help of her makeup artist, Wendy Rowe, and a few face-perfecting products. "We did a muted 'you but better' look that wore so well," explains Madekwe. Going for a similar look? Try Burberry Eye Color Cream in Nude Glow and Light Glow Blush in Tangerine Blush. "I initially wanted a bold red lip, but Wendy talked me out of it," adds Madekwe. "With the glam gown, it would've been too much of a look for me." The star instead opted for a softer, dusty rose shade. (Cream eyeshadow, $30, Burberry; Blush, $42, Burberry; "English Rose" lipstick, $33, Burberry available at Sephora)
To prep for the big day, Madekwe's makeup artist gave her some homework. "The best advice [she] gave me after I got engaged was 'Grow out your brows.' I'm still growing them!" Short on time? Fill any sparse spaces in with Burberry's Effortless Eyebrow Definer in Ebony. To get her skin glowing, the actress also moisturized like there was no tomorrow. "Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil nourishes my dry skin without looking greasy. And I drank lots of water, which I'm usually bad about," says Madekwe. And finally, Madekwe quickly fixed a beauty emergency with a fan-favorite go-to product. "When I got to London, the change in water gave me a dry scalp, so I massaged in some tea-tree oil, and that cleared it right up!" (Eyebrow pencil, $33, Burberry available at Nordstrom; Face oil, $90, Sunday Riley available at Sephora; Tea tree oil, $5, Edens Garden).
For her wedding day mani, Madekwe went with an oldie but a goodie. "I wore Essie nail polish in Ballet Slippers," she says. "One of my bridesmaids did my nails — and bikini wax! — at her mom's salon in north London." And the bride was smelling sweet with a special fragrance she bought just for the occasion — but she still regrets not going with her signature scent! "I bought a rose perfume just for that day, but it smelled too old ladyish. I wish I'd worn my usual, Le Labo Thé Noir 29." *(Nail polish, $9, Essie available at Ulta; Perfume, $175 for 1.7 oz., Le Labo) *
Natural? Check. Glow-y? Check. Totally timeless? Check. What more could a bride want in a wedding day look?
Subscribe to BRIDES now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.