Monday, 23 December 2013

Wedding Makeup Tips from Last Tango in Halifax Makeup Artist

Ladies, getting your makeup right any day of the week can be bad enough, but when it's your wedding day you certainly want to make sure you're looking your best.

We checked in with Last Tango in Halifax makeup artist Jessica Taylor (pictured with actress Anne Reid), to find out what it takes to get award-winning, on screen make up spot on. We were lucky enough to meet Jessica when she worked on the Last Tango in Halifax filming, which took place at Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant in September 2013.

Of course anyone familiar with Last Tango in Halifax will know that Alan and Celia tied the knot, not once but twice, in series two - that's some going! Holdsworth House was fortunate to be featured several times in the show since the creator, Sally Wainwright, selected the hotel on which to base many of the key scenes. So whilst the crew were around we managed to nab 10 minutes with Jessica to gleam some great tips on wedding day makeup and how she made up gorgeous bride Celia (played by Anne Reid).

HH: What makeup tips do you have for brides on their wedding day?

JT: Never go for anything too different to how you normally look, you need to feel comfortable. In the weeks before your wedding take extra special care of your skin, don't be tempted to try out new creams that promise eternal youth!! You could have a reaction to them, stick to what you know. Good quality products do have better ingredients but it's not necessary to spend a fortune.

Using a primer underneath your foundation helps to give it staying power, I like Smashbox makeup primer. Use a waterproof mascara and keep some powder and your favourite lipstick with you to touch up during the day.

HH: Any specific tips for mature brides?

JT: Maturer skin doesn't necessarily need more makeup, it's better to keep your make up lightweight because if the foundation is too heavy it can sit in fine lines and can look a bit cakey.

Matte eyeshadows always work best on older skin, shimmery/glittery eyeshadows are definitely a no no, they can make eyes look older. Bobbi Brown matte eyeshadows are great and they do a good range of colours, they are easy to apply and the pigment is good. Worth paying extra for.

A lip liner is always good to help accentuate the shape of your lips, MAC do a great pencil, spice, which suits all skin types and is soft and easy to apply.

If you are dark under your eyes use a good highlighter such as Christian Dior Skin Flash, use only on the dark areas don't be tempted to paint under the whole of your under eye area as this will accentuate any puffy areas. Don't be tempted to go for things like long false eyelashes. A good shaped eyebrow really helps frame the eyes; it's worth getting eyebrows professionally shaped ahead of the day.

HH: What are the makeup trends for 2014?

JT: Glamour is making a big comeback, gone are the 'natural' makeup looks. Strong eyeshadows with a good socket line are good on anyone.

Eyebrows, eyebrows, eyebrows are the big thing for 2014, but be careful not to go too over the top with them.

Manicured pointy nails are everywhere now, forget the old fashioned square shape of the last few years.

Big and bouncy hair is very on trend but of course, as always classic hair up styles are always perfect for weddings.

HH: How does the work you do for television differ from other makeup?

JT: Makeup for TV and film must be applied with precision and it's essential not to over powder, especially now with high definition TV which is very unforgiving, the slightest mistake will show up. In TV we are always creating a character and I like to make sure the characters look real, I don't like everyone to be too perfect. I have worked on many period dramas and in reality in 1890 your average girl wouldn't have worn makeup so mostly we are creating a 'no makeup' look, which involves covering any blemishes, accentuating good features without the viewer noticing there is any makeup on the actress. It's all about creating an illusion.

HH: What other shows have you worked on or are you planning to work on going forward?

JT: I have had a very varied career, I trained at Granada TV in Manchester and worked on programmes such as Coronation Street, Prime Suspect, Band of Gold, Moll Flanders. Since being freelance I have designed many shows including Cutting It (for which I won a Royal Television Award for best makeup design), Life On Mars, Cracker, The Village.

I am about to start filming a new series by Sally Wainwright called Happy Valley which will be filmed around Halifax and Hebden Bridge.

Many thanks to Jessica Taylor for these top makeup tips. Good luck for the Happy Valley series with Red Production and the newly commissioned Last Tango in Halifax series 3.


  1. This is really fantastic blog. You have shared useful information regarding makeup trends. I am professional makeup artist and I found this information very interesting. Thanks for sharing. It’s a worth reading it.

    1. That's great Jona, we're glad you found the blog useful and thanks for the feedback.