4 Tips For Flawless Wedding Makeup

Wendy Rodewald
Wedding makeup 101

A model at Marchesa’s 2014 bridal runway show.
Photo: Getty Images

If we could have anyone do our wedding makeup, it would be Gucci Westman. She’s been the go-to makeup artist for celebrities like Cameron Diaz and designers like Rag & Bone and Oscar de la Renta, and as Revlon’s global artistic director, she’s the artist behind all those gorgeous ads with Emma Stone and Olivia Wilde, too. We caught up with Westman to get her take on the do’s and don’ts of flawless wedding makeup.

1. Remember that less is more.
We’ve heard some makeup artists recommend brides wear more makeup than usual to make their features pop on camera, but Westman disagrees. Less foundation is always better, she says, since today’s hi-def cameras will pick up caked-on makeup.

The same idea goes for lips, eyes and cheeks. “Focus on the whole picture rather than a major statement,” Westman advises. “Don’t change yourself too much. Focus on [makeup] that you feel comfortable and confident in.” For example, if you don’t normally wear bold lipstick, stick with a neutral lip at your wedding. Of course, if red lips are your signature, then wear color for your walk down the aisle — just make sure it won’t kiss off (these tricks for long-lasting lipstick should help!).

2. Create a perfect canvas.
Luminous skin is essential to any bridal look. Light foundation and concealer are a given, of course, but don’t forget to add well-placed highlights, too, which can take your skin from merely good to positively glowing. Westman used a pearlescent highlight on fair-skinned models, but recommends a gold or warmer shade for darker skin tones. Use highlighter in the inner corners and along the lower waterlines of the eyes, on the cupid’s bow above the upper lip, down the bridge of the nose and on the cheekbones and chin to cast your features in the most flattering light.

Also: Makeup always looks better when applied to smooth, well-hydrated skin, so a pre-wedding skin care routine is a must. Whether it’s a series of dermatologist treatments, such as exfoliating peels or just a pre-event facial, treat your complexion to some pampering.

3. Choose long-wearing formulas.
From getting ready to saying “I do” to dancing all night, your wedding day is bound to be a long one, so choose products that minimize the need for touchups. Westman likes products from Revlon’s ColorStay line, including ColorStay 16H Eye Shadow Quads in Bombshell (gray) and Adventurous (dark brown; $7.49 each) and Crème Gel Liner in Black ($9.99). On lips, she recommends brides choose “a stain as opposed to a gloss or a lipstick, or a long-wearing lipstick that’s moisturizing.” And use a powder eye shadow on your skin instead of a cream highlighter, since powder will last longer.

4. Don’t stop at your neck.
Westman recommends brides continue the perfected, luminous finish on their décolletage, arms and legs (for girls in short dresses). “It looks so much more finished,” she explained. “I’m using a luminizer mixed with moisturizer and foundation if they have any redness, so [their skin] looks flawless.” She also recommends using a big brush to dust luminous powder on your collarbone and down the centers of your arms and legs. Powder won’t smear or stain your dress like cream formulas, and the subtle highlight will accentuate your bone structure and toned limbs while giving your skin an ethereal glow.

Try on wedding hair and makeup looks in the Try On! virtual makeover tool