The 15 Best Bridal Makeup Tips for Your Big Day

Alle Connell
The 15 Best Bridal Makeup Tips for Your Big Day
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You’ve got your dream partner, your dress, all your hair accessories and even your manicure picked out. Now what about your wedding day makeup? Whether you’ve been planning your unique bridal beauty look since you got engaged or you have no idea where to start, we’re here to help you look—and feel—totally gorgeous on your big day. Here are our 15 best bridal makeup tips to make your wedding day beautiful.

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Here are our 15 best bridal makeup tips to make your wedding day beautiful.

1. Look like yourself.

 

There's no rule that says you HAVE to look a specific way on your wedding day; you are not mandated to contour, bronze and wear fake lashes longer than a baby deer just because you're getting married. Your bridal makeup should be YOU at your very best, whatever that entails. If you don't feel like yourself without red lipstick, wear your favorite shade. If you live for a very minimalist look, work it. Don't feel pressured to bow to beauty trends just because you're getting married!

Photo: IMaxTree

2. Avoid huge makeup changes.

 

This advice is cliche for a reason. Your wedding day is not the time to decide to get really into bronzer for the first time in your life, or suddenly decide to work an editorial no-mascara look. You want to look like yourself, not a beautiful stranger—and if you're doing your makeup yourself, the risk of messing up a brand new, unfamiliar look goes up exponentially. This isn't to say that you absolutely cannot try anything new; just do it within the bounds of reason.

Photo: Simon Murrell / Getty

3. Get inspired!

 

When it comes to picking your bridal makeup, you're not limited to what appears in the pages of wedding magazines. Pull inspiration from everywhere—movies, tv, editorials, celebrities—and compile the heck out of it to see what you're gravitating towards. Are you obsessed with glossy pink lips? Cat eyes? Rosy cheeks? This is your time to really brainstorm and see what works with your style, personality and life.

Photo: IMaxTree

4. Think pink!

 

It's not just for Wednesdays: pink is totally perfect for wedding makeup looks. Softer and more romantic than browns or nudes, the right shades of pink will literally light up every complexion. Think natural pink blush, just-been-kissed berry stains for lips and shimmery-sheer peaches for eyes. And the best part: there are multiple pinks that work on EVERY skin tone.

Photo: Randy Brooke/Getty Images

5. Glowing skin is always in.

 

While nobody wants to look like a sweaty oil-slick on their wedding day, you also don't want to be so powdery and matte that you look like a powdered doughnut. Don't load up on tinted powder and hide your gorgeous skin; let your natural beauty shine through! Fight shine with an oil-busting primer, add a light BB to even out skin tone and set with a fine dusting of translucent powder. The final touch? Apply a powder or cream highlighter to add extra radiance to your skin. Highlighter should be applied down your nose, along the tops of your cheekbones, at the center of your forehead, on your chin and right above the Cupid's bow of your lips. You'll be glowing in no time!

Photo: IMaxTree

6. Vet your makeup artist thoroughly. 

 

If you're entrusting your bridal makeup to a professional, you'd better be getting what you want. There's nothing worse than hiring someone to do a romantic, minimalist makeup look and walking down the aisle as contoured as a Kardashian. So do your homework: does this person understand the look you're after? How does their portfolio look? Are they open to creative critique during trials? Most importantly, do they make you feel cared about and heard? Remember: even though they're the professionals, it's still your day. You should have the look that makes you happy, not the look that they think should make you happy.

Photo: IMaxTree

7. Test your makeup beforehand.

 

Whether you're working with a full glam squad or doing it yourself, it's essential to take your wedding day look for a test drive before the big day. It's essential to actually see what your makeup will look like while you still have time to make changes; maybe that lavender eyeshadow you had your heart set on in theory doesn't work as well as you'd hoped in practice. Plus, if you're going the DIY route, it's great to get a little practice in before pre-wedding nerves make application more difficult!

Photo: IMaxTree

8. Make sure your makeup works on camera...

 

Makeup can behave strangely in photos. You'll often need more of it than you'll think to look "normal," and what works under flash and in natural light can be very different. So while you're doing your bridal makeup road tests, take a few snaps to check how it works in pictures. Ideally you'll want to take some selfies, a snap in natural light, and—perhaps most importantly—a photo with flash. Some foundations that contain SPF and certain setting powders can create a ghostly "flashback" effect when a flash is involved; make sure that doesn't happen to you!

Photo: Selin Alemdar/Getty Images

9. ...And in real life.

 

There's no point in wearing makeup that looks stunning in photos if you look totally overdone in real life. After all, your guests are going to see you in person, not just through a camera lens! While you're testing your wedding beauty look, don't forget to make sure that you love your makeup IRL, too.

Photo: IMaxTree

10. Don't forget your body!

 

If there's one thing you don't want, it's your face and body ending up two different colors. Combat that by embracing your inner celebrity and applying some very light body makeup to your neck and chest (if exposed) with a makeup sponge or dense brush. Don't forget to set with the same powder you're using on your face to make sure you don't accidentally get it all over your dress!

Photo: IMaxTree

11. Set everything.

 

After all the preparation and practice, the last thing you want on your wedding day is all your makeup smudging, wearing or sweating off. That's where setting sprays come in handy: a single spritz ensures that your face will remain picture-perfect throughout even the craziest reception. We love Urban Decay
All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($30); nothing else works as well at ensuring our makeup stays in place.

Photo: Randy Brooke/Getty Images

12. Long wear lipstick is your best friend...

 

The highlight of the wedding ceremony itself is the kiss, right? Well, make sure your intended doesn't come away with a face full of lipstick by picking a product that ensures the longest wear possible. We love L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor ($12.99); not only will it stay on your lips through kissing, cake and champagne, it also comes in a mind-boggling array of shades—so no matter your bridal makeup style, you're sure to find a color that you love.

Photo: IMaxTree

13. ...And so is waterproof everything.

 

Emotions are running high at weddings, so even if you're not normally prone to tears, you need to cry-proof your eye makeup. That means waterproof mascara, eyeliner, brow product and concealer (for under your eyes, naturally).

14. Prepare for touch-ups.

 

So you've chosen waterproof, longwear makeup: well done. But it's still makeup, not a tattoo—and so you have to be ready to make cosmetic touch-ups on the go. Make sure that you (or your on-call makeup artist, or your maid/man of honor) has a well-stocked makeup bag with everything you need to keep your face totally perfect. We're talking the usual suspects like concealer, powder, eyeliner and lipstick—but also wedding day extras, like blush, mascara, makeup removal wipes and a few (clean) brushes to reapply and repair.

Photo: IMaxTree

15. Have fun!

 

Let's be real: makeup is meant to make you feel happy, and bridal makeup especially so. You shouldn't have to spend your wedding worrying about whether your lip gloss is coming off, or if your foundation is totally immaculate. Happiness makes everyone beautiful, so keep one eye on your lipstick, smile and enjoy your day!

Photo: Nerida McMurray Photography

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#WCW: Chrissy Teigen

#WCW: Chrissy Teigen

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