Timeless, chic and effortless. Daniel Martin tells us these were the anchor words used to inspire Meghan Markle’s make-up for the royal wedding. Yes, we are still obsessing! Aren’t you?

We were able to corner Martin long enough to get some juicy details on Markle’s make-up, the process and the overall experience.

Planning for the Big Day

The pressure to look your best on your wedding day is already pretty great, without the whole world watching your every move. Seems quite daunting, knowing that every decision you make will be under scrutiny by the media and, well who cares about the media … the Queen! But Markle pulled it off, and with an elegance and glow that has the make-up world abuzz.

So why did Markle choose Martin to do her make-up on her big day … on the big day? There has certainly got to be a fair amount of trust there. And there is. The pair are close friends. On why she picked him, Martin says, “On your wedding day, you want to be around people you trust and know how to make you feel and look like your best self. You want to look back at your wedding pictures and remember how awesome you felt. You don’t want to think about how trendy your hair and make-up was. Everything should be timeless.”

We think they hit the mark, spot on! We loved her decision to go for the natural look, because not only do we adore her freckles but the look exudes an elegance for the ages.

Daniel Martin | Photo MA archive

The Big Day

Martin describes the day as relaxed and exciting. Because of their busy schedules, Markle and Martin were not able to do a run-through of the make-up. The bulk of their communication was through text messages—most likely littered with smiling, excited emojis. “On her wedding day was the trial and wedding make-up all in one!” Martin explains jokingly.

But Martin says he knew exactly what she wanted. In fact, he was so confident they were on the same page that he only brought exactly what he would need. “Since I knew what I needed to do,” Martin adds, “I brought everything I wanted to use and then I gave it to her afterwards. Because I was traveling after her wedding, the less make-up lightened my load!”

The two had a relaxed breakfast the morning of the wedding before getting to her make-up. Martin says it was a very comfortable and easy process. “There was no real pressure just excitement!” says Martin. “Meghan is a very calm person, and you pick up on that energy whenever you’re around her. So, the morning was very chill.”

When doing her make-up it wasn’t like he was doing “royal make-up” because he has known Markle for many years, so the only difference in this make-up process and other make-ups is that the world was watching.

The Look

Martin says he was able to achieve this timeless, chic and natural look by focusing on what Markle loves to accentuate: her eyes, and they built around that. “We kept her skin glowing and radiant, a sheer flush of color on the cheeks and color on the lips,” he explains further.

“Markle wanted something sheer,” says Martin. So, they went with a lipstick that was very moisturizing yet left a nice stain after hours of wear. For her eyes, Martin made sure everything was waterproof—so it wouldn’t run when Harry looked at her with those eyes and did that lip bite (you know the one … swoon).

For the foundation Martin says he kept the foundation sheer and built up the concealer where more coverage was needed. That was his trick to working with those freckles we love. “Full coverage make-up can sometimes make freckles appear ‘muddy’ or dark in photos.”

To set the make-up and to keep Markle looking her best throughout the barrage of photographs, ceremony and carriage ride he says understanding compatible skincare products to your complexion base is key—it helps retain longevity of your make-up. “Moisturizer or primer acting as a magnet for your foundation, eye shadow primers, etc.,” Martin says. “This enables security of your make-up for hours without the need for touch ups.”

And it worked! Because Markle looked wonderful throughout the whole wedding—at least every second we could possibly see. Martin considered the amount she would be filmed and photographed, explaining further the decision behind the natural, simple look. “The output of her appearance changes due to the medium and natural light,” Martin shares. “So, she looks a bit different at different angles and situations. At the end of the day, she needed to feel like herself and not worry about her face.”

The Wedding and Beyond

After working his magic, Martin was able to watch his friend (and handy work) walk down the aisle to meet Prince Harry. Of the event, Martin shares that “it was a very emotional experience to share such an intimate moment of your friend’s wedding with the world.”

This isn’t the last time Martin will work with the duchess, ensuring us that he will return again to help Markle sparkle, saying: “I will definitely see her again. This is just the beginning.”


For more on Daniel Martin’s work, pick up Issue 119 and 121.

Daniel Martin | Photo MA archive