You’ve said yes to the dress and locked in the finest details, but to be officially ready to tie the knot, you’ll need the best wedding makeup look to perfect your special day. Whether you’re having a larger-than-life soiree or celebrating just you and your partner, it’s important to pick a makeup look you’ll feel good about for years to come.
“Bridal makeup should be timeless. Choose a look that accentuates all that makes you beautiful,” says celebrity makeup artist Meredith Baraf. “Generally speaking, this is not the time to try something new, avant-garde, or to stretch out of your comfort zone. Feeling and looking like the best you is super important.”
“A wedding look will live on in pictures and memories forever so it is important to keep that in mind when choosing a makeup look for your wedding day,” says pro makeup artist Cherish Brooke Hill. She recommends opting for a look that not only complements your dress, but that’s wearable and not overly painted.
Should you be on the hunt for products suitable for any bridal beauty look, pro makeup artists walk us through everything you’ll need for the celebration.
Prep & Set
As we all know, skin prep makes all the difference for optimal makeup application, but for your wedding day, experts say prep goes beyond skin care. “Doing things like cryotherapy, face gym, light therapy, and other facials (depending on your skin’s needs) are a good way to prepare for the [wedding day],” explains Baraf. She continues that you should drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. Hill says, “I always suggest not eating foods that cause inflammation. Focusing on eating anti-inflammatory foods before your wedding is so helpful in making sure you internally reduce inflammation in the skin. It also helps clear acne and redness.”
If you didn’t book a pre-wedding facial, our experts recommend using devices like ReFa or the NuFace system to depuff and contour the skin. According to pro makeup artist Mark Quirimit, “eye masks and sheet face masks are all great ways to prep your skin the day of the wedding. Don’t forget to do a lip exfoliation also!”
And to make sure your look lasts all night, Hill says to “take the time to really blend and press foundation into the skin using a damp sponge. I love to use precision-shaped brushes to lightly press the powder to set makeup into the skin to really create a flawless long-lasting finish. Use a setting spray directly onto the face and also spraying a sponge that was used to apply foundation and pressing makeup into the skin.” Additionally, opt for waterproof mascara in case of tears, and keep blotting papers close by to wipe away oiliness with ease.
For the Classic Bride
“For a classic bride, the look should be very effortless with a slight shimmer to the eye soft shadow eyeliner that defines and elongates the eye shape and a soft flushed cheek,” says Hill. Furthermore, Quirimit recommends looking towards “soft washes of color, a beautiful mauve lip, soft blush, and individual lashes applied.”
For the Sexy Bride
According to Quirimit, the bride eager to amp up the sex appeal on her wedding day should pick a look that features a bit of smolder: “Either a warm smokey eye with browns, or for the daring bride a darker rich black smokey eye.” Baraf agrees. “This bride should express and be herself but opt to do so with neutral colors if possible”—emphasizing the need to make sure the eye look is blended and diffused. Otherwise, keep skin glowy and bronzed, with a soft neutral lip. Hill would “use a slightly darker lip liner than your skin tone to create a beautiful bombshell lip.”
For the Minimalist Bride
Multitasking products will come in handy for the minimalist bride. Quirimit would achieve this through “tinted moisturizer with a little coverage, a beautiful flush of color on the cheeks and a soft natural lip color with minimal color payoff.” He recommends Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer for the base and creamy pigments by the brand or Rare Beauty. Hill, on the other hand, reaches for Rose Inc’s Blush Divine Radiant Lip & Cheek Color “applied to the lips, cheeks and lightly to the eyes to bring the look altogether.”
For the Glamorous Bride
“For a dramatic, glam bride, the focal point should be the eyes with a beautiful smokey eye blended and swept [for a lifted effect],” says Hill. “Build eyeshadow by starting with a primer then using a cream eyeshadow or eyeliner and lock it in with a powder shadow to create a long-lasting dramatic eye that is dimensional with the build of products.” This NARS formula is her primer of choice, while the smokey look can be achieved through Makeup By Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette. Quirimit recommends perfecting your complexion with facial oil, the NARS Light Reflecting foundation, Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Cream Cover, and setting powder.
For the Beach Bride
Baraf advises the beach bride to get a spray tan at least two days before your wedding day in case you need touch-ups or an extra rinse. Like the body, she says makeup should be bronzed and glowing. Think warm tones across the entire face, with subtle shimmers, bronzer, and hints of coral. Quirimit’s advice for the beach bride is to create a look that is long-lasting. “Do not use products that have a lot of oil; it tends to break down in environments closer to water.”
For the Vintage Bride
Those taking inspiration from elegant, retro beauty should incorporate three things to their bridal makeup, according to Quirimit: a classic wing, a full set of lashes, and a classic, long-wear red lip.