Bridal Beauty: Lauren Steel (née Powell)

A wedding is the perfect excuse to splurge on your skin, but we get that it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of treatments and not a lot of time. That’s why Gritty Pretty introduced Bridal Beauty, a section dedicated to word-of-mouth bridal beauty tips from those in the know.

In this edition, we’re taking you behind the pre-wedding beauty routine of noted travel & lifestyle writer and Gritty Pretty contributor, Lauren Powell, who was married to her partner Mitch Steel earlier this year in picturesque Narrandera, New South Wales.

From the natural, radiant makeup created by Gritty Pretty‘s very own founder and Editor-in-Chief Eleanor Pendleton (with a product-by-product breakdown, thank you very much), to the sophisticated boho gown by Greek designer Christos Costarellos, trust us—you’ll definitely want to bookmark this one for future reference.


Lauren Steel: “Believe it or not, I actually didn’t do any treatments or therapies in the lead up to the big day! I’m lucky in the fact that I don’t have any major skin problems or concerns so was able to reply solely on a strong skincare regime.”



LS: “For my morning routine, I started by cleansing with the Biologique Recherche Lait U Botanical Cleansing Milk. To hydrate my skin, I layered The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum under the La Prairie White Caviar Creme Extraordinaire, finishing with its complimenting eye cream (La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream).


My night routine was very similar — before starting my morning routine, I would remove any makeup with the Bioderma Sensibio H20 micellar water. Then, after my second cleanse with the Biologique Recherche milk, I would apply the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum in order to boost my skin’s natural turnover and improve texture.

Once a week, I would also take the time to cleanse really thoroughly with the Foreo Luna. I also used the PRIORI Xfoliant Peel & Scrub on a weekly basis, which combines mild lactic acid chemical exfoliation with gentle mechanical exfoliation, as well as the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Ultimate Perfecting Mask on an alternate night to hydrate and brighten. This mask, as well as the hyaluronic serum and La Prairie White Caviar Creme Extraordinaire were definitely my favourite products to use.”


LS: “Although I was happy with my skin on the day, I think if I had the chance to start all over again I would definitely have a few hydrating facials in the lead up to give it a chance to be even better! Plus, I should have used it as the perfect excuse to get a few facials — something I never do!”



LS: “I actually didn’t have a theme as such when I was planning, but if I could describe in a couple of words now post-wedding it would be country chic. I wanted it to have a relaxed feel as it was held in a country location and setting, however, I also wanted it to feel elegant and refined.

Our wedding venue was in my hometown of Narrandera, which is approximately six hours south-west of Sydney. We held our ceremony at Tall Trees Cottage which is a little property that Mitch and I purchased around 18-months ago, and renovated and transformed in short-term accomodation and a wedding ceremony venue. The reception was held at the Pioneer Hall which is an old tin sheet on the show ground — it was a blank canvas and was big enough to cater to our 190 guests.”



LS: “My makeup artist for the day was the one and only Eleanor Pendleton — Gritty Pretty’s founder and editor-in-chief, and my best friend. It was so special to have her do my makeup, and I was so grateful that she gave up her day and put in so much effort to do mine and the bridesmaids’ makeup. Plus, because she knows me so well, she knew exactly the look I was after—which was perfect!”

“I don’t wear a lot of make-up day-to-day, or even when I have a special occasion —I always like to look quite natural. So for the big day, I just wanted to be quite natural so I felt like myself, but a better, more glowy, more radiant and more defined version of myself!”


Eleanor Pendleton: “I know I’m biased, but Lauren is naturally beautiful and has always maintained a relaxed approach to beauty. For her wedding day, it was all about natural, glowing skin – starting from quality skin care first and long-wearing makeup second. I placed Lauren on a detailed skin regimen a few months out from her wedding day integrating brightening serums, AHAs and retinol into her routine.

On the day, we prepped Lauren’s skin with a cooling eye mask (MECCA Bright Eyed Eye Mask), which I had popped into the refrigerator prior to. I massaged Lauren’s skin with Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, which is hydrating and lightweight followed by Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentré.

For foundation, we wanted a base that was long-wearing (well into the night) but also looked natural and not at all cakey. I applied Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup followed by M.A.C Studio Conceal + Correct Palette. I applied warm, bronzy tones on eyes from Zoeva and used M.A.C Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle for a really luminous highlight.

To finish, I applied Dior DiorShow Waterproof Backstage Mascara and sealed the skin with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Loose Setting Powder, followed by a good spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.”



“Jodi Nicholson from The New Black Industries in Newcastle was my hairstylist. I was really indecisive with how I wanted to wear my hair — I wasn’t sure whether to go with a sleek, elegant pulled-back look or something a little more romantic and loose like a halo braid — which are two very different looks!

Jodi, my bridesmaids and pretty much everyone I asked suggested I opt for the sleek, elegant pulled-back style, and after my hair trial with Jodi I was convinced that was the best look for me and for my dress too. It’s a style I wear quite often so it felt like me and I loved having it back, off my face and not having to worry about it the entire day and night. I also loved Sara Crampton’s wedding hair and she suggested I do the same too and I’m so happy I did!”



EP: “Lauren wanted to look like her most beautiful, natural self so we applied Dior Lip Glow in 001 Pink, which is a beautiful hydrating balm that offers a natural, pink flush to lips.”



“I wore Gypsy Water by Byredo and Mitch wore English Oak & Redcurrant Cologne by Jo Malone. I know that it’s common to have a special wedding day fragrance, but Mitch and I decided to wear our all-time favourite and everyday fragrances. We actually ended up buying each other a brand new bottle as Christmas presents last year so that we each had a fresh new bottle for the big day.”




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