Meghan Markle’s Longtime Makeup Artist, Daniel Martin, Remembers Getting ‘Dragged’ for Her Royal Wedding Makeup Look

Meghan Markle kept it simple when it came to her 2018 royal wedding makeup look. The man responsible, makeup artist Daniel Martin, knows this all too well. A longtime friend of the Duchess of Sussex’s—the two met during Suits—Martin remembers being criticized for sending Meghan down the aisle “wearing little to nothing” in a time of “Instagram makeup.”

Daniel Martin says he got ‘dragged’ for Meghan’s minimalist wedding makeup 

When Meghan arrived at St. George’s Chapel to marry Prince Harry on May 19, 2018, the now-42-year-old did so sporting a makeup look to match her minimalist Givenchy gown designed by Clare Waight Keller. 

The world’s reaction to Meghan’s bridal makeup is a memorable moment for Martin because it was so different from trends at the time. 

“That was an interesting point in my career because it totally just took,” he told UsWeekly. “I also think it was…at that time [when] Instagram makeup had just kind of started.” 

“Everybody was kind of doing that Instagram Live [and] was all about a full breakdown,” he explained. “And then the, like, big momentous moment of the year—the bride shows up, wearing little to nothing, and I did get dragged.”

“They came for me,” Martin continued, noting Meghan stayed true to herself and her beauty esthetic. “But at the same time, you got to really see who she was. And I think that was the takeaway. It was that you got to see someone for who they are rather than the pomp and circumstance of the actual wedding.”

Meghan wanted ‘timeless, effortless, and chic’ makeup for her wedding to Prince Harry

So, how did Martin do Meghan’s wedding makeup? In the years since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s nuptials, he’s opened up about what he did to achieve the final look. 

The pair “exchanged a few Pinterest pictures over text,” Martin revealed on a 2019 episode of the Gloss Angeles podcast (via Allure). When the day finally came, while Meghan listened to The Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” sipped on a mimosa, and ate a croissant, Martin—and hairstylist Serge Normant—got to work. 

Martin prepped Meghan’s skin with toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen, he told Glamour. “Then I just balanced and neutralized any discolorations where needed with concealer and foundation.” (Many of the products used were reportedly Dior.)

Asked about keeping Meghan’s freckles visible, something Harry told his wife he loved after their first date in 2016, Martin noted how Meghan’s “very much about keeping her skin as real and natural as possible.” 

“On your wedding day, you want to look back at your photos and think about how great you felt in your dress and not be distracted by how trendy your makeup was in 2018,” he continued. “I focused on bringing out her best self and elevating it to a level, that you’re not necessarily able to achieve yourself.” 

As for what or who inspired Meghan’s wedding makeup, Martin said although they “didn’t have a specific person” in mind, they focused on “timeless, effortless, and chic” as the now-mother of two “wanted to look like her best self.” 

Meghan did her own makeup and hair in Nigeria

Meghan Markle, whose royal wedding makeup Daniel Martin got 'dragged' for, looks on wearing a white strapless dress in Nigeria
Meghan Markle | Kola Sulaimon/AFP via Getty Images

Daniel also shared there was no glam team on hand during Harry and Meghan’s three days in Nigeria. As in, from May 10-12, 2024, Meghan did her own hair and makeup. (Just like she did when she and Harry were in Germany for the 2023 Invictus Games.)

“I feel like when I’m not with her, she has more room to play,” Martin said. “I think that’s the fun thing when you see her. Like, she’s in Nigeria right now. It’s just her. There’s no stylist, there’s no hairdresser. She’s doing everything herself, and she’s so good at it.”

However, Martin did give Meghan some tips and tricks. “She’s so good at doing her own face,” he said, adding she “loves some blush” and a “big brow.” Whereas, Harry, the makeup artist revealed, prefers it when Meghan wears “nothing” on her face. 

May 19, 2024, marks six years of marriage for Harry and Meghan. 

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