MSA completes an amazing Nigerian Bridal Makeup. See how she gets it done step by step.

Written by MSA -

Introducing look 2 of my 3 part series on bridal makeup: Nigerian Bridal Makeup. If there’s one word to describe traditional Nigerian weddings it would be COLOUR! Nigerians love colour and this is a reflection of the vibrancy of the people and of the culture as a whole. Traditional weddings are also known as the ‘engagement’ ceremony; they usually take place the night before the white wedding (i.e., a church service where the bride wears a white dress) and they are full of dancing, drama and lots of fun.

If the bride is from the Yoruba tribe she usually will wear an outfit made of Aso-Oke, a heavy, handwoven fabric. The outfit consists of a gele (head wrap/tie), a blouse and a wrapper (which is a longer piece of Aso-Oke wrapped around the lower half of her body), and a feathered fan to keep her cool, of course. There is no rule as to what colour of Aso-Oke to wear, but the grooms outfit will usually match that of the bride. Large statement jewellery is a must. The bride must also have a show stopping gele to crown her outfit. Being able to tie a gele is a great skill and people with this skill are highly sought after to perform this task. I’ve never tied a gele by myself so I was quite daunted as I stared at the meters of Aso-Oke on the floor of my room. Despite my pounding heart I psyched myself up with lots of positive statements like, I CAN do this and, This will NOT defeat me, and then I watched a few YouTube videos (LOL!). After 3 attempts over 2 hours, I emerged triumphant with a layer of sweat on my skin. Just a word of warning: tie your gele before you put on your makeup, because it’s like a workout session at the gym!! I’m very proud of this accomplishment – it was no simple feat for a novice.

Nigerian bridal makeup is usually quite dramatic and the colours are dictated by the colour of the Aso-Oke worn by the bride. Just think of an evening makeup look on steroids – glitter, smokey eyes, cut creases and bold winged eyeliner are all acceptable. Since my Aso-Oke was deep purple, I chose a pink and purple colour scheme for my makeup. I created a pink and purple smokey eye and used a lot of black gel eyeliner to define my eyes. I exaggerated the eyeliner around my tear ducts to make the look more intense and to elongate my eyes – this technique is reminiscent of Arabic eye makeup. I then applied false lashes, a very dramatic pair of course!  I used MAC’s blush in Raizin, which is a reddish brown colour; it’s my go-to blush when I’m wearing a lot of colour on my face and just need a bit of warmth on my skin. I topped off the look with a vibrant purple lipstick, MAC’s Violetta, which has a very shiny finish.

Once the look was complete I had to do a double take when I looked at myself in the mirror; I caught a glimpse of my mother staring back at me! It brought back childhood memories of seeing her get all dressed up in traditional Nigerian clothes. I recalled how regal she looked and how she held herself with such dignity.  To me, she was so beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. So, Mum I dedicate this makeup look to you and I believe you would be smiling down on me from heaven.

Sorry to get so sentimental…..emotions catch you off guard sometimes. I do hope that you are as fascinated as I am about the interpretation of bridal beauty across different cultures. I believe it’s something that should be honoured and celebrated. Stay tuned for look 3, my final look where I’ll be showcasing a traditional western bridal look. Enjoy the pictures below and as usual all the shopping links are at the end of this post.

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