If your wedding is coming up, one of the most important things you need to do is figure out a makeup look that you’re comfortable with. For most brides, a simple, natural beauty look is the way to go. Not only is there less chance of regretting your look in pictures, but we think that the best thing you can do on your wedding day is look like yourself. Of course, you want to look like the most beautiful version of yourself, so here’s how to pull off a pretty but natural makeup look for your wedding.
Your primer, foundation, concealer, and setting powder should all look good in both real life and photos. That can be a tall order, since what looks good in person sometimes looks off in photos. The best thing you can do is a test run. Your makeup looks good in person? Great. Now take a bunch of pictures of it with the flash off and on to make sure it doesn’t look too shiny, lackluster, or white in photos.
Selecting the right products is also paramount when creating a flawless base. When choosing your foundation, the shade should blend in perfectly with your natural skin tone (be sure to check it natural lighting, not just in the store). If your skin is oily, choose a matte foundation like Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation ($8) and if your skin is dry, choose a foundation with a slightly dewy finish like Japonesque Color Luminous Foundation ($36).
The application process should go like this: Start with a primer to ensure your makeup goes on smoothly and lasts longer. Next is your foundation (be sure to blend past your jawline to your neck so it matches your face) Then dot your favorite concealer on gently only where needed with a clean finger.
Finally, set everything with either a powder or spray. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($14) has a cult following for a reason, and if you have oily skin or a summer wedding you’ll really appreciate it. You may also want to bring some blotting papers in your clutch in case your T-zone gets shiny; e.l.f.’s Shine Erasers ($1) blotting paper work like gangbusters.
For a natural beauty look, don’t overdo it with exaggerated brows—but don’t neglect them, either. If your brows are sparse or light-colored, choose a gel or powder in a shade close to your natural color and fill them in with an angled brush and gentle, small strokes. Then brush them slightly upwards with a brow spoolie. You can add some hairspray, a clear gel, or even Vaseline to the brush for hold if you want.
You can accomplish the above with some matte brown eye shadow and a clean mascara wand (life hack alert!) or you can invest in a multi-tasking brow product that makes it easy, like Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21).
To enhance your eyes, you’ll need brown eyeliner, brown or black waterproof mascara, eye primer, and a neutral eyeshadow palette.
Brown eyeliner is less harsh than black eyeliner, which makes it perfect for a natural look–especially if you’re having a daytime wedding. We would also suggest choosing a pencil or gel eyeliner over liquid; with a gel or pencil, you can smudge the line a little bit for a softer look. You also want it to be waterproof, of course (to guard against those wedding day tears). We suggest Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner ($20); it stays put forever and comes in tons of colors.
Next use a good eye primer to prevent smudging or creasing–we swear by Urban Decay Primer Potion ($20). Then take your eyeshadow palette (the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette ($29) is a great option) and apply the lightest shade in the inner corner of your eyes and a darker brown or taupe shade on the middle and outer areas of your lids. Be sure to blend really well with an eye shadow brush.
Finally, curl your eyelashes and add some waterproof mascara in either brown or black to really open up your eyes. We like Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof Mascara ($8) for natural but lengthened lashes that don’t clump together.
All you really need for your cheeks is a light-handed application of blush. Choose a soft pink or peach shade and swirl it gently on the upper apples of your cheeks towards your temples with a fluffy brush. Our blush pick is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush ($28) as they offer lots of gorgeous, flattering colors.
Now repeat after us: I do not need to contour my face on my wedding day. If you want to, that’s totally fine—but it is by no means a requirement. Instead, add some definition with highlighter and bronzer—but again, light-handed application is key. Dab a liquid highlighter a shade lighter than your natural skintone above your cheekbones and tap to blend it in with clean fingers.
Then take a big fluffy brush and use it to really buff in a bronzer that’s only one shade darker than your natural skin tone. Suck in your cheeks and apply the bronzer in the hollow of your cheeks towards your temples, layering slightly with your blush. We like Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer ($30) for a natural look.
When you’re finished blending this subtle highlighter and bronzer, you’ll have some natural and definition that will look great in person and in photos.
A natural beauty look doesn’t mean you have to skip lip color altogether. Inject your lips with some natural-looking color and shine to make them look fuller and even prettier on your special day.
We like to use a NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($26) first to give a long-lasting base of color and definition; try it in Dolce Vita for a gorgeous, natural shade that looks beautiful and isn’t drying under most other lipsticks.
Then you’ll want to add another coat of lipstick for extra color and some shine that will last the whole day. Rimmel Provocalips 16 Hour Kissproof Lip Colour ($7) does exactly what it says on the label, and comes in a variety of shades (including the fabulous neutrals Skinny Dipping, Make Your Move, and Dare To Be Pink). The clear top coat seals the lipstick for good, making it truly kiss-proof and therefore perfect for your wedding day.
Voila! Your makeup is done and you’re glowing bridal perfection. Get ready to say ‘I do’!
More from Daily Makeover: Real Bride Makeover: Glam Hair and Makeup for a City Wedding.