How to Apply Bridal Makeup

Crystal Schwanke
beautiful blushing bride

How to apply bridal makeup correctly is something every bride needs to know prior to making her grand entrance down the aisle. Following a few makeup application tips can help every bride look perfect on her special day wthout any added stress.

Easy Bridal Makeup Application

A bride's makeup should be natural looking, but also emphasize her features so they look beautiful in photographs. How to apply bridal makeup depends on both the theme and time of your wedding. Evening wedding looks can be slightly more dramatic with sultry eyes and bold shadows. Daytime bridal makeup should be minimal with neutral eye shadows and rosy lips. Every bride should emphasize blush and lips for the most foolproof and timeless bridal beauty.

No matter what a bride's wedding makeup style is, she should always apply makeup before putting on the wedding gown unless it must go over the head. In this case, use a bed sheet to cover the bride from the décolletage to the floor to protect her gown.

Best Bridal Eye Makeup

Apply an eye makeup primer to help your makeup last through your special day without smudging. Then apply eye makeup before your other cosmetics. If shadow falls below the eye or there's a mascara mishap, it's much easier to wipe it away from clean skin than to remove it and fix face makeup that's already been applied.

Follow these steps for beautiful bridal eyes.

  1. Apply full eye shadow; you'll need a highlighter, a mid-tone and a crease shade. Keep in mind it's best for a bridal look to stick with natural or neutral shades that mimic your skin tone in tone and depth. For example, a fair-skinned bride may like a pale pinkish-beige all over with taupe in the crease.
  2. Use a highlighter shade in a pearl or matte finish, but avoid metallic eye shadow on your special day. Metallic shadows look garish in photos and cast unwanted light.
  3. After applying eye shadow, apply black or brown eyeliner in a smooth line to the top lash line, extending it slightly at the edges. Use liquid or gel waterproof formulas to keep the eyeliner from smudging.
  4. For more emphasis, use eye shadow to softly line the eye under the lower lashes line. Pencil or heavy liner can be too harsh for a bridal look.
  5. Curl the eyelashes with a squeeze-action or heated eyelash curler, then apply several coats of mascara. Black waterproof mascara is the best choice for every bride.

Flawless Lasting Foundation

Foundation is the next step; the best look for brides is a flawless, natural looking finish that lasts. If you plan on tanning prior to your big day, make sure your foundation and concealer both match your deeper skin tone.

  1. Apply a makeup primer to help foundation last.
  2. Apply under eye concealer if needed.
  3. Choose a foundation formula that provides the right coverage for your skin needs, but that also provides a natural look. Cream-to-powder or mineral makeup are excellent choices for most brides. If dark circles are a problem for the bride then use a cream-to-powder makeup. Use mineral-powder foundation if the bride has a more moderate natural skin tone.
  4. Apply concealer to any red spots or blemishes

Bridal Glow

bride highlighter on cheeks

A natural, beautiful blush is essential for wedding photos. Get the perfect bridal glow by using the right blush and highlighter.

  • Blush: Brides look beautiful in peach and rosy hues; choose a blush color that gives you a natural-looking glow. A cream or stain blush is best for all-day coverage. If you must wear a powder blush, layer the color heavily and blend carefully. Focus on the apples of the cheeks but extend it back along the cheekbones.
  • Highlighter: Highlighting products reflect light and make the face glow. Apply highlighting powder or liquid with a light touch along the tops of the cheekbones. Some brides also use contouring and highlighting together to create a more sculpted look for photographs.
  • Set your face makeup with a light dusting of loose translucent powder.

Wedding Day Lip Color

From the first kiss with the groom to the champagne toast, brides need a lipstick that stays put. Use a lip primer product, or a light layer of foundation to cover your lips before applying lip color. Options for wedding day lips include:

  • Lip stains are a great option for all day wear. Purchase a long-wearing lip color and line and fill in lips with a neutral liner to extend wear.
  • Use traditional lip liner and lipstick. Line the lips with a neutral liner or one that matches the lipstick, then fill in the lips with liner. Go over the liner with lipstick, blot, reapply, and then blot again.
  • If you'd like a plumper-looking pout, apply a dab of shimmering pink shadow just in the center of the bottom lip and blend it out along the edges. Apply a clear gloss.

Polished Eyebrows

Because eyebrows frame the face, they should be well groomed and shaped one week prior to your wedding day to avoid the risk of red bumps or wax allergies. Brush the eyebrows upwards and outwards using an eyebrow brush. Fill them in with a taupe or brown shadow and set them with a clear mascara or wax.

A Beautiful Bride

Nothing is as beautiful as a joyful bride. To avoid any makeup stress on your special day, keep essentials like pressed powder and lip color in your emergency bridal kit for touch ups. Practice your makeup application before the wedding, so when the day comes you'll feel confident, beautiful, and ready for one of the most memorable days of your life.

How to Apply Bridal Makeup