5 African American Bridal Makeup Looks

Patricia Lantz C.Ht.
Portrait of newly wed couple

The most important day of your life is fast approaching. You're marrying that special someone. You've found the perfect dress, the ideal location, and arranged for a photographer. Your wedding day will be one of the most photographed days of your life, so it only stands to reason that your skin and makeup should be picture perfect.

Pure Ebony

This easy makeup look is beautiful bridal look for darker skin. It will show off your best features, as well as let your natural beauty shine. This bridal makeup is all about the highlighting and contouring.

Beautiful African American Bride
  • First, take some time to figure out where the light naturally falls on your cheekbones, nose, and forehead, then apply a highlighter to those areas that is slightly lighter than your natural skin tone.
  • Once you've added and blended the lighter shade, add a darker shade for contouring, and blend it in.
  • Instead of going heavy on the eyeshadow, use a light touch and the softest shades on the base of the eyes before going onto your liner.
  • Finally, add a bit of blush to your cheekbones and gloss to your lips. A light mauve or plum lip gloss can be very flattering for this look.

Pretty Natural Look

The natural look is all about a fresh-faced glow. The key to the natural look is to have a light hand.

Bride and her mother wedding prep
  • Apply a sheer foundation or a pigmented moisturizer, conceal any blemishes, and set with a light layer of translucent powder.
  • Create a natural flush on the cheeks by using a gel blush and gently blending on the apples of the cheeks.
  • You can apply a light neutral eyeshadow to define your eyelid crease and curl your lashes, but forget about eyeliner and only use a bit of mascara.
  • Finish with a "your lips but better" shade of moisturizing lip color.

Sophisticated and Simply Glowing

When it comes to a sophisticated but simple look, you'll want to accent the positive and create glowing skin. For this look, you'll be focusing on your face, but still accenting your eyes and lips.

portrait of bride's face
  • After applying your foundation and concealer, you'll want to highlight to bring out your best features.
  • Then add some blush. Gel and liquid blushes are best because they will give the impression of a healthy glowing complexion.
  • Finish the look with neutral eyeshadows in shades of brown or nude to highlight your eyes. Lightly apply dark brown or black eyeliner
  • Add a lengthening mascara to curled lashes, or add false lashes for more flair.
  • Using a lip brush, apply a light lip color to the middle portion of the lips. Finish by adding a warmer, slightly darker color around the edges.

Dramatic Winged Eyeliner

There's nothing like a winged liner to jazz up a bridal makeup look. Do you want to look sultry, exotic, delicate and simple, or fantastical on your wedding day? Winged eyeliner can be tweaked to fit all of these looks and more.

Bride in under veil
  • Apply your eyeshadow, then take a cream or gel liner and a brush and draw a thin line at the center of the lid.
  • Follow the natural shape of your lower lash and extend that line upward.
  • Connect the line you drew at the center of your lid and to the end of the lower line.
  • Then line the entire lid and fill in the space between the two lines at the end of your eye.
  • Thicken, perfect, and extend the wing if necessary. Line the waterline, if desired, for even more drama.
  • Apply mascara and false eyelashes.

The eyes are dark and dramatic here, so go more minimalist with your other makeup. Use foundation and concealer for a flawless complexion, and apply just a hint of bronzer or blush. Keep lips simple with a pink lipstick or sheer gloss.

Glam Bridal Look

For the bride that wants a more glamorous look, it's dramatic eyes that will make it happen.

African American bride with bouquet
  • Choosing shimmering vibrant darker and lighter eyeshadow colors that complement each other can create a dramatic look. Blending bold eye shadow colors, as the video below shows, can be done in several steps that will make your eyes the center of attention. Practice in advance to ensure you'll get the look you want.
  • Use deep shades of glittery eye shadows, or add eye glitter in similar colors, for a look that draws even more attention to your eyes.
  • Define your brows to add polish to this glam look.
  • Since your eyes are the focus, don't go heavy on the cheek and lip color. You'll still want to add a sweep of blush and lip gloss or lipstick in a nude, muted rose, or subtle plum shade that works with your skin tone to keep the look balanced.

DIY vs. Professional

While many brides can and do pull off their own flawless makeup for the big day, professionally applied makeup could be your best answer to completing the look you spent so many months pulling together. A makeup artist takes into consideration your unique features and can create some surprising and beautiful effects. It can also relieve stress because it's one less thing to worry about on your wedding day. Whether you do it yourself with a simple look, or hire a pro for an artistic makeup style, you'll be gorgeous when you choose a bridal makeup look that fits.

5 African American Bridal Makeup Looks