Bridal Beauty Lessons from Namrata Soni’s Masterclass: Exclusively for TDB

Ask me to list out the best bridal makeup artists in India, and Namrata Soni is the first name that will come out of my mouth.

If you’re wondering “Namrata who?” then you, my dear friend, have been living under a rock. Namrata Soni is THE celebrity makeup artist, who is responsible for Sonam Kapoor looking fabulous at every major and minor event. She makes everyone from Nargis Fakhri to Twinkle Khanna look amazing and sophisticated, and it’s no wonder brides will kill to book her for their big day.

Naturally, when we had bridal makeup and beauty questions, we got Namrata Soni to answer them. Only the best for you, my brides!

THAT’S RIGHT. Step aside, Sonam. Namrata is ours this week.

*Security looks about ready to throw us out*

Ok ok, give us 30 freakin’ minutes with her, will you?

Vogue Wedding Show is a little over a week away, and Namrata Soni gave us a preview to the masterclass she will be holding at the show. We took scrupulous notes while she gave us a gazillion great pointers for brides. Here they are, all neatly packaged for you – Everything we learned from Namrata Soni.

Bridal Beauty tips from Namrata Soni Masterclass at Vogue Wedding Show

Skin Care

If you’ve taken care of your skin, you’ve won half the battle.

How To Prep Your Skin At Home

Step 1: Scrub Weekly

Once a week, using a simple homemade mixture of honey and sugar. Seriously, that’s it! Your makeup will go on so much smoother.

Step 2: Almond Oil Daily

Apply almond oil on your skin before sleeping every night – it really makes your skin look beautiful and evened out before your big day.

Facial Treatments: Chemical peels

Firstly, it IS safe to get a chemical peel done. But it comes with a word of caution. As with any skin treatment, you don’t want to overdo it. A chemical peel IS essentially peeling off layers of your skin. If you get too many done, the capillaries beneath your skin start to become more visible, and that’s never a good look. So limit the number of sessions you go in for.

How To Lighten the Under Eye Area

While nothing can lighten the skin (sorry for bursting your bubble!), there’s nothing a good concealor and corrector can’t fix. And what you can do on your part is make sure your undereye area is well-hydrated with a great eyecream, so that the makeup sits well on top of it. Use the eyecream twice a day, and get one that targets your problem area – whether it’s puffiness, dry skin, or fine lines and wrinkles.

PRO TIP: Never use your concealer without an eyecream.

Favourite Eyecreams: Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream and Shiseido Future LX eyecream


Everything from eyes, lips and face!

False eyelashes 101

I love false lashes on my brides! There are 3 types of lashes:

  • Full set – that feels slightly heavy on the eyes, but gives the most dramatic look
  • Individual lashes – they can be placed at just a few spots to make it look more dense, and end up looking quite pretty
  • Corner lashes – they’re meant to be placed at the end of your lash line, and they really open up the eyes

PRO TIP #1: Recommended only for your wedding day.

PRO TIP #2: If you’re already blessed with long eyelashes, ditch the falsies. Just curl your lashes and apply 3 coats of mascara, and you’re done!

3 Must-Have Eyeshadows in your Bridal Kit

1 Bronzy Gold, 1 Black and 1 Cranberry should take a bride through most events

Lipstick Shades for Dusky Brides

If you want to wear a red lipstick, find one that goes with your undertone. In pinks, I find English Rose is a dusty shade that lends the right amount of pink for dusky skin, and still looks nude. Pair this soft pink with dark eye makeup, and you’ll look amazing.

Editor’s Note: Check out Burberry Kisses lipstick called English Rose No. 17 or Max Factor English Rose

How To Fix Chapped Lips

Step 1: Drink Plenty of Water

Brides tend to forget drinking enough water with everything that’s going on around them, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why lips become dry and chapped during this time.

Step 2: Use A Lip Treatment

I recommend Elizabeth Arden Lip Fix Cream. It does not allow your lips to dehydrate. Apply it just before you sit on your makeup artist’s chair, and let it remain on while your makeup is getting done. When it’s time to apply the lipstick, take a tissue and remove the excess from your lips first. For the rest of the evening, take a little bit of the Lip Treatment and dab it on the centre of your lips. It will keep your lips hydrated and prevent cracking.

Airbrush Makeup 101

I only do airbrushing for my brides, and I highly recommend it.

What is it?

it’s basically a liquid foundation that is applied to the face using an air-brush gun. When I pull down the nozzle, the foundation is released onto the skin along with the oxygen in the air.

Why is it recommended?

  • It oxidises the foundation instantly before it even reaches the skin. Why is this helpful? What many people don’t realise is that a typical liquid or cream foundation needs about 15-20 minutes to set and turn into the true colour of the foundation. Since airbrush is already oxidised, there’s no need to wait for it to set.
  • It gives you a very beautiful, seamless, polished porcelain kind of effect on your skin. It does not make your foundation look cakey.
  • You have a lot of control over the air gun – just right right amount of foundation is sprayed, and you can control the level of foundation that is being released onto the skin due to which you can go in and out of the problematic areas of the skin.

Who is it recommended for?

Everyone! You can just load up foundation according to your skin type – oily, dry or combination – and so it’s great for everyone!

PRO TIP: Make sure your makeup artist is someone who has studied air-brushing technique properly.


Hair Care & Hairstyles!

Hair Treatments For Brides

Shine Treatments: Recommended for all brides. Get any treatment that gives your hair some extra love and care, so that it’s prepared for all the styling it will go through during your wedding week.

Straightening & Relaxing Treatments: Straightening is recommended only for brides with extremely frizzy hair. If you slightly frizzy hair and really want to do something – go in for a relaxing treatment, but I would honestly not do too much of that either.

Ideal Sangeet Hairstyle

Half-up, half-down style works best for Sangeets as it’s an easy hairstyle to manage.

What the lower half should look like:

Go for either waves, or straight hair (add extensions because this hairstyle looks best with longer hair)

What the upper half should look like:

  • Start with braids, twists or knots in front.
  • Flowers can be placed either on the side, at the back, or through your hair.
  • Which flowers to use? Choose between baby’s breath, daisies, and orchids.

Half up half down hairstyle
Half up half down hairstyle

Image courtesy: Bollywood Eye

Buns 101

  • Messy Side Buns: Avoid it if you’re the bride. It’s great for wedding guests and the bridal party, though. Just make sure it’s really messy, and loose.
  • Low Bun at the Back: With centre or side-parting, this bun looks really elegant. Leave some hair loose in front, and let them fall on the face. Add a jewelled broach or beautiful flowers in the hair.
  • Wedding Day Buns: These look fabulous if done right. The reason why brides end up looking too “mature” (Editor’s note: Aunty ji types!) is because of the volume given to the hair in front. Limit the volume, and get some twisties or braids done in front instead. And limit the amount of stuffing they pack into your bun!
A modern bun fit for a bride
A modern bun fit for a bride

Image courtesy: Namrata Soni

Wedding Day Hairstyle Options

#1 Bun? Yes, under certain conditions. As I mentioned above, buns look “mature” only when the volume is too much in the front, and the buns are packed with large amount of stuffing. Here’s what you can do about it: You have to keep the dupatta that will be draped over your head extremely light. If it’s heavy, the makeup artist will have no choice but to use the big sized stuffing to hold your dupatta in place.

#2 Fishtail Braid? YES! If you use a light dupatta, your makeup artist will be able to offer you a hairstyle that’s not a bun! You can go for a fishtail braid that comes down on one side of the shoulder. Add a parandi, and you’re all set with a North-Indian bride vibe!

#3 Half up half down style? NO! It’s very hard to manage this hairstyle on your wedding day, especially when you’re sitting for your pheras. The heat from the fire, and the wind typically make it hard to manage. Stick to either a bun or braid.

Fishtail braid on a bride
Fishtail braid on a bride

Image courtesy: Namrata Soni

Hairstyles for a Round Face

Make sure your hair is not being pulled away from your face. Instead, keep the front of it coming onto your forehead – make a twist or a curl, move it towards your face and your ears. This will cut your face beautifully and balances it out in the picture. Always keep wisps around your face – that’s what I always do for a bride who has a round face.

PRO TIP: For makeup, do some contouring on your face to give it a nice & chiseled shape. Go light on the rest of the makeup.

3 Bridal Looks

The Quintessential Red Bride: Evening Wedding

She’s dressed in red from head to toe. What makeup will look best with this red wedding lehenga?


  • Eyeshadow – A subtle gold that’s not very shiny. And a beautiful contouring of a chocolate brown along the contour of the eye.
  • Eyeliner – Either a thin delicate winged liner or a thick liner, and individual lashes or full lashes.

Lips: A red matte lipstick. Matte because you will not be able to maintain a glossy or creamy red lip on your wedding day. So a matte lip or a semi-matte lip, which doesn’t move through the evening, is ideal.

PRO TIP: Please avoid matching red eye-shadow completely. It’s a big no-no. You’re not in the 1970’s, please.

The Quintessential Red Bride: Morning Wedding

Sunlight is not forgiving on heavy makeup. Here’s how to keep it light, yet bridal.

Eyes: Delicate liner with kohl inside the eyes. And add either mascara or individual false lashes (for a more natural look)

Lips: Either a red stain, or a rose lipstick shade

Blush: Just a light stroke of subtle blush on your face. And go easy on your contouring in the day time because that can make your make up look really heavy in the day time.

The Modern Pastel Bride

If you’re wearing a pastel lehenga, you want to keep the makeup minimal. Namrata was a pastel bride herself, and this is the breakdown of the makeup she used on her wedding day.

Eyeshadow: A simple gold that’s pearly or iridescent

Eyeliner: A very delicate brown liner with two coats of mascara

Blush: Beautiful pink or coral cheek

Lip: You can use a pink lip liner and top it off with a pink lip balm. Keep re-applying the coloured lip-balm throughout the function.

Pastel Lehenga Bride - Eye Makeup - Bridal Makeup Pastel Lehenga Bride - Subtle Make up - Bridal Make-up

Image courtesy: Navdeep Soni

Bridal Kit Recommendations by Namrata Soni

For the Face

  • Colbert MD Purifying Cleanser is my favourite face wash
  • Tom Ford’s Illuminating Primer is my favourite base to use before applying foundation. My second favourite is Guerlain’s Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer
  • Guerlain’s Cooling & Mattifying Face Serum is great for brides who tend to get sweaty on their face. It closes the pores and helps retain the makeup without making it look heavy. MAC also has a Mattifying Serum that keeps the foundation and makeup from running

For the Lips

For the Eyes

DIY for Bridal Glow

  • Homemade scrub with Sugar & Honey sloughs off dead skin, making makeup application smooth and easy
  • Almond Oil – any normal one from a chemist or anything which is natural, it keeps the skin looking even and glowing

Were there any tips in here you found useful? Which ones were new to you?

This post is in partnership with Vogue Wedding Show, a luxury wedding exhibition in New Delhi where you can catch Namrata Soni’s makeup masterclass for brides at Taj Palace Hotel between 7-9 August, 2015. In the masterclass, Namrata will break down facts and myths, and teach you how to choose the right primers, foundations and powders. Her session will also include lessons on using a variety of eyeliners and colours, combining lipsticks and blush, and wearing make-up that’s ideal for all kinds of events—from a black-tie event to a glamorous wedding. To find out details about other masterclasses and learn what’s lined up for Vogue Wedding Show this year, go to our previous post.

Entry to Vogue Wedding Show is by invite-only. To receive your invite, register here.

4 thoughts

  1. Not everyone can afford the expensive cost of bridal make up from the professional artists. And this blog on tips related to self make up is simple and effective at the same time. I have kept all the tips in my mind and will regularly follow it.


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