Hannah Martin is one of the most in-demand bridal make-up specialists in the British beauty industry, known for her intensely pretty make-up style, warmth and good humour. Hannah is a classic make-up talent, working discreetly on royal clients, magazine covers, Vogue editors and supermodels. Her clientele is every artist’s dream, and her rise from retail make-up artist to the senior pro artist for Bobbi Brown is testament to her talents. Hannah became known to the press by her work on the Royal Wedding in 2011, and is now requested by many an unmentionable high-profile bride.
Bridal make-up is a job almost every make-up artist does. It’s not a specific area we focus on at Delamar, as the learnings from beauty and fashion make-up are highly transferable. However, the etiquette of dealing with a private client in the build – up to and morning of her wedding day, is something that requires good, solid advice. Weddings are a great source of income and experience for many make-up artists, so the moment we had the chance to get Hannah into Delamar Academy (after her IMATS Masterclass), we made it happen. With wedding-themed flowers to dress the room and Bobbi Brown gifts on each seat, the masterclass began!
We enjoyed a highly entertaining introduction about Hannah’s failed nursing degree due to an unrelenting obsession with make-up. Hannah skipped her exams to do make-up for the Drama Society at University. She then went on to explain how seeing Delamar Academy advertisements, found in the back of magazines, made her long to study here. We were touched to learn that Hannah considered it a great privilege to be here as a masterclass teacher.
In amongst the constant laughs, were Hannah’s pieces of golden advice:
- “Nobody re-books a diva. Be easy to get on with and flexible with your brides.” This simple advice has created so many recommendations for Hannah, and she believes that you are never booked on your make-up skills alone, but the warmth and consideration you give to each bride is paramount. This might mean you take part payments, deal with the worst bridezillas or do a Kardashian inspired make-up against your better expressed judgement. This is precisely why some make-up artists “don’t do” weddings. Making the bride happy is very important. Hannah then went on to say that bridal make-up is a business and relies more on personal recommendation than your portfolio. Make friends with the photographer, but equally, and maybe more importantly, treat the bridesmaids as if it’s their special day too. Bridesmaids often become your next bridal clients.
- “Have your bride ready an hour before she needs to leave – why? Because the make-up needs to settle into the skin, lash glue needs to dry and touch-ups are best done moments before she heads off.” Practical and tested advice from Hannah. Many brides think they have to be done last, but actually, the make-up is best when applied and given a little time to set, like a beautifully iced cake! Powder is almost always essential, but never looks powdery after a little time on warm skin. This timing tip prevents you from over-doing it too.
- “If you don’t already own one, invest in a Bobbi Brown BBU Palette.” This essential piece of kit has every single skin tone covered (pun intended) with corrector, concealer and foundation. Even if you love a different formula or brand, the likelihood of having a shade to suit every skin tone, is slim. Owning one of these palettes makes for better piece of mind on jobs.
- “Unless the bride wears a strong liner every day, her style is alternative or she is very influenced by the 1950’s… try to avoid obvious edges by keeping your liner soft. Soft romantic make-up is key with bridal.” This approach will create a timeless, pretty make-up look that is less detectable and harder to date. Hannah went on to explain how trend-focused make-up can really age your wedding photos. Something that is all the rage now, will look ‘dated fashion-victim’ very quickly. We teach period make-up here at Delamar with the artistic respect it deserves, but like Hannah, we avoid succumbing to make-up trends.
- “Be careful with the use of oil in your skincare.” Skincare layering is really really important. Longevity of make-up is determined by how well you prepare the skin, but having too much oil in your skincare can cause make-up to slide off.
One thing we did not anticipate was the brilliant assisting job done by Hannah’s assistant, Zara Marie. She had every tool, product and cotton bud ready for Hannah, possibly before Hannah knew she needed it. It looked like telepathy at work, but Zara explained that lots of assisting has led her to the point of assistance mastery.
A special mention to Grace Hatcher who provided excellent bridal hair styling on our model. Thank you to Gabriella Loggia for modelling and Luka from Models1 for consistently sending us beautiful models.
Everyone who attended this masterclass received some awesome gifts… including a Bobbi Brown pro-scheme membership, a Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Twilight, a travel-sized Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base and a Bobbi Brown tote bag. We were thoroughly spoilt, educated and inspired by this brilliant Masterclass. Thank you Hannah Martin and the team at Bobbi Brown.
Words by Emma Steventon, photography by Emily Hallaran.