Monday 22 July 2019

Ruth Griffin's wedding glam squad

Ruth Griffin gives her verdict on the essential products. Photo: Naomi Gaffey.
Ruth Griffin gives her verdict on the essential products. Photo: Naomi Gaffey.
Rosie Huntinging
Aoife Cogan with her groom Gordon D'Arcy on their wedding day in 2012
La pairie
Colour Gloss
Ruth Griffin

Ruth Griffin

From top tans to make-up trials, let our expert panel be your beauty guide.

I've never seen a bride that wasn't truly beautiful looking. The romantic side of me thinks this is because your wedding day is such a day of love and goodness and fun. The more practical side of me thinks it's probably to do with military-style bridal prepping and priming that happens in the months before… Maybe it's a little of both.

With this in mind I've assembled a Wedding Glam Squad, made up of some of the country's top beauty professionals, to bring you the ultimate guide to getting wedding-ready. Read on for bridal beauty tips and tricks that will have you looking picture perfect on your Big Day.


Top make-up artist Paula Callan is opening Callan & Co, a one-stop shop for brides in the next few weeks.

• The trial should be three-to-six months before the wedding date. That will give you time to retrial if you have any concerns.

• Stay true to your personal look. If you've never worn a red lip then don't think about wearing it on your wedding day.

• Bring in pictures of make-up looks you love, or create a Pinterest mood board.

• NARS All Day Luminous foundation has amazing coverage without looking cakey. Top up with Laura Mercier translucent powder, finish with Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow. I also love MAC's Peach Blossom lipstick.


Book a skin consultation three months before the wedding, advises plastic surgeon Dr Siun Murphy.

• Many brides focus too much on make-up and leave their skincare to the last minute. If a bride implements the skincare regime first, then she will automatically need less make-up.

• One of the signs of ageing on our skin is that the colour and tone changes. With the right skincare this can be restored. Any new skincare regime needs a minimum of six-to-eight weeks to start to see a difference in the skin.

• Peels are the most popular bridal treatment as they instantly freshen up the skin and restore that glow. They also target all the major skin concerns such as oil, blemishes, fine lines, open pores and pigmentation.

• I recommend a consultation followed by an exfoliation peel to prep the skin for an active home skincare regime using ZO products.

• I would not recommend having injectables like Botox done any closer than four-to-six months prior to the wedding.


Beautician Carol Lilburn is a tanning specialist who has worked with numerous brides.

• Book your make-up trial the day after you have done your tan trial. This way you can see if the two blend well together. Lots of bridal make-up has light reflectors in it but the tans do not and therefore can look different under camera lights.

• The most common bridal tan problem is not having prepped the skin well. Tan sticks to drier areas of the skin,so it's vital to moisturise well - especially the hands, which will be photographed.

• Book your final appointment two days before the wedding day - definitely not the night before! This gives you an option to have tan touch-ups if needed.

• If you're doing it yourself, if your skin is olive toned and has warm tones, use a warm tone tan like St Tropez Dark. If skin has a cooler pink under tone use a product like Rockstar Tan.

• When we get a natural tan, the underarms and elbows don't go extremely brown - therefore your therapist should fade as she sprays, otherwise the tan can show up around the underarm area.

• If your skin is extremely dry, you might consider a good cream tan treatment instead of a spray tan, as this can be a little more drying.


Michael Doyle of Peter Mark's has styled many bridal barnets - including my own!

• Decide the mood of your wedding hair six months before the day. Choose a classic or romantic look that is timeless. A huge mistake is to follow current trends.

• Pick a style that's true to yourself. If you are not comfortable wearing your hair up, why would you do this on your wedding day? Don't overload with accessories and veils. I would go by what I call the KISS rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

• Work out a hair-care plan with your stylist six months before the wedding. It will take commitment to ensure your hair is in peak condition. The plan should include home-care, trims, colour and treatments.

• Keep your hair glossy not flossy. The proper products professionally prescribed by your stylist will ensure your hair looks in peak condition. Over-backcombed styles make hair dull, but your hair must look beautifully healthy. Shine is essential.

• I recommend Colour Pops treatments to enhance shine and add tone. It's a 10-minute service that's cost effective, and adds instant glow and shine to your hair.


Your hands and nails are under a lot of scrutiny on your wedding day, says Lin from Chiffon Salon on Dublin's South Anne Street.

• Start preparing your hands three months before your wedding day. If you bite your nails or cuticles, stop immediately. If you plan on having false nails, remember that the better the condition of your own nails the better the false nails will look. Start taking recommended vitamin supplements to boost hair and nail strength.

• Your toenails and feet need attention, especially if you plan to wear open-toe shoes. A pedicure can be done up to week before the wedding day.

• A classic French manicure or nude palette is most popular for brides. Nail art is an absolute no if you want your wedding photos to look timeless.

Colour Gloss

• Request a Gel Polish to avoid any chips and cracks on your big day. A very popular bridal product is Colour Gloss. This varnish lasts for up to three weeks without chipping, dulling or cracking. It soaks off completely in minutes, without any damage to the natural nail.

Celeb inspiration

Aoife Cogan with her groom Gordon D'Arcy on their wedding day in 2012

Aoife Cogan and Gordon D'Arcy married in 2012, at a ceremony in Castle Leslie. The model bride - owner of Form School Pilates studio ( - stunned in a bohemian-inspired gown, complimented by a simple but absolutely gorgeous hair and make-up bridal beauty look. Here, she shares her top tips and beauty advice for brides-to-be….

What did you do to get wedding-ready?

Realistically, to have great skin on your day, lotions and potions will only get you so far. It's so important to start from the inside out. I started to eat really healthily, lots of fruit and veg, and drinking three litres of water a day to get rid of any dehydration lines. As a non-water drinker, this made an unbelievable difference to my skin. I also did reformer Pilates three-to-four times a week.

Who did your hair and make-up for the wedding?

I did my trial about a month before the wedding. My make-up was done by Paula Callan and my hair was done by Christian Shannon from Brown Sugar. I got my hair coloured about two weeks before the wedding so that it would have settled nicely for the day. I got a French manicure and pedi two days before the wedding in Mink salon.

How did you decide on your style?

Someone once said to me that on your wedding day you should look like the best version of yourself. I always feel more comfortable with my hair down, so I didn't deviate from that. For make-up I wanted a glamorous look, but done in a natural type of way. Pinterest is great for inspiration.

What was your skincare regime?

I carried on with my normal skin regime, using Cetaphil cleanser every night, and Neostrata bionic face cream. For my eyes I used la Prairie Caviar Eye Cream. I became more thorough with my routine, giving my face a deep cleanse every night and make-up wipes were banished!

What products would you recommend for brides to keep with them on the day?

A good blotting powder in case you get shiny. Purchase the exact lipstick and lip liner that your make-up artist uses. When you have your make-up professionally done there should be no need to re-do anything else.

Any tips and tricks?

My main piece of advice to a bride is to be super organised with all the wedding plans, leave the professionals to do what they are best at and don't micro-manage.


Shavata Singh's brow and nail salon is based at Harvey Nichols in Dundrum.

• To achieve perfect brows for your wedding day, see a professional at least six months in advance which allows time for a brow makeover if necessary.

• Grow out brows for at least three weeks before the initial appointment, so your brow therapist can really work with a full brow for shaping.

• The final appointment should be two-to-four days before the big day, so they look super groomed, settled and will last for the honeymoon.

Twitter: @rgriffinbeauty    Instagram: @ruthgriffinbeauty

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