Outdoor Bridal Makeup

beautiful outdoor makeup

Every blushing bride should feel beautiful on her big day. For outdoor weddings, daytime lighting can make makeup much more noticeable, so there is no room for flaws or imperfections. A smooth finish of foundation is a must, along with eyes that sparkle and lips that seal the big day with a kiss.

Makeup Application Tips for an Outdoor Wedding

Assuming the wedding is taking place during the day, it's important to remember that sunlight will show everything in fine detail. In other words, there is no room for imperfection when it comes to your makeup. The foundation must match the skin perfectly; otherwise, there will be a line of demarcation. This is something a bride should avoid at all times.

It's also important to remember that powder-based cosmetics, such as blush and eye shadow, will be visible if not blended well and may settle into pores. To avoid this, it's best to choose high-quality cosmetics that are finely milled. The finer the cosmetics are milled, the less likely they will settle into pores or fine lines, which will be noticeable. MAC Cosmetics and NYX Cosmetics are a few examples of brands that offer fine-milled shadows and blushes which are very budget friendly. Remember that high quality doesn't necessarily mean high dollar. There are wonderful products in every price range that will meet any bride's budget.

Setting the Stage

  1. Before you begin applying your makeup, start with freshly cleansed skin and follow with a moisturizer that works with your particular skin type. Avoid a heavy moisturizer because this will promote makeup meltdown and prevent your makeup from lasting throughout the day and evening. The goal in mind is to apply beautiful makeup that will last all day long - through tears, laughter, and even sweat.
  2. After letting the moisturizer sink in for a few minutes, it's time to prep the skin for makeup application. A primer is very important for outdoor wedding makeup because it will help smooth the skin and diminish any imperfections. It can also help minimize the look of pores and fine lines. If you struggle with rosacea or tend to have pink undertones, look for a green-based primer, such as Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer. This will help counteract the red or pink undertones in your skin and create a more neutral tone.
  3. Apply a small amount with your fingers all over your skin, but take care to avoid the eye area.

Concealer and Foundation

  1. Apply a yellow or salmon-based concealer under the eyes using your ring finger and a gentle, tapping motion. This will brighten up the look of the under-eye area and create a stunning look when you apply your eye makeup later on. Gently blend in the concealer with your ring finger.
  2. Next, it's time for foundation. Select a foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly. To avoid any mismatches, stand in direct sunlight and check to ensure that the foundation is a perfect match.
  3. Test the foundation on your neck, not your jawline, as you may have been told in the past. The reason you should test foundation on your neck is because many women make the mistake of matching foundation on their faces, only to find out later on that their faces look darker than their necks. Avoid this makeup mishap because wedding photos will show it off in full detail, especially with the sunlight shining above. This will only highlight the variation of color from your face to your neck.

Eyes That Sparkle

Highlighting your eyes on your wedding day is quite possibly the most important step of your makeup application. Depending on your eye color, choose shades that will complement them. Applying the opposite color of your eye color will make your eyes "pop." For example, brown or neutral tones will bring out beautiful blues, while lilac will make green and hazel eyes stand out. Brown eyes can be complemented with rich gold tones. However, neutral tones will complement all eye colors, and you can't go wrong with them.

eyes that sparkle
  1. Start by priming the lids with an eye primer. This will help prevent the eyeshadow from creasing and keep it in place throughout your ceremony and reception. Eye primer can also make eyeshadow appear more vivid and beautiful.
  2. Next, apply a light wash of color with a vanilla or light-colored eyeshadow. Use a neutral tone in your crease to accentuate the contours of your eyes.
  3. Apply a darker-toned eyeshadow on the outer edge to accentuate the outer crease.
  4. Apply a shimmery, light-toned shade in the inner corner to highlight and brighten the inner corner of the eyes.
  5. Apply a dark gel eyeliner along the upper lash line. Gel eyeliner, such as Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, will stay in place all day without smudging or smearing. It can also withstand tears.
  6. Use a slightly damp pencil brush dipped in a dark eyeshadow to accentuate the lower lash line.
  7. Curl the lashes and apply two coats of black mascara.

You may also choose to apply false lashes for a more dramatic look. Keep in mind that while eyelash extensions can emphasize the windows to your soul, they can also feel heavy and may be uncomfortable for the entire day. If you wish to apply them, apply them after applying your eyeshadow and eyeliner, but before you apply your mascara. Next, apply two coats of mascara. This will help the extensions blend in with your natural lashes.


  1. Coral blush, such as NARS Orgasm, is universally flattering on every skin tone. Many blushes on the market now have light-reflecting properties which create an airbrushed finish. This will be beautiful in outdoor lighting and will help minimize pores and other imperfections.
  2. You may also wish to apply a subtle highlighting shade above your cheekbones to accentuate them and create a glowing appearance. Cream and powder highlighters are available. Select a pearl-toned shade if you have a fair complexion, or use a golden-toned highlighter, such as Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Highlighter, if you have a darker skin tone. Lightly apply the highlighter right above your cheekbones. This will draw light to the area, created a higher and more lifted effect.


A traditional lip for a bride leans toward a natural look, but the lips should be accentuated. After all, the wedding ceremony is sealed with a kiss.

  1. Start by lining the lips with a lip pencil that closely matches your lipstick shade of chose. Lip liner will prevent your lipstick from feathering or bleeding and give the lips a slightly larger appearance. Choose a rich moisturizing formula which won't leave your lips flaky looking or dry. Your lips should look soft and supple.
  2. Choose a mauve or rose-toned shade. Depending on your personal preference, a matte lipstick or a lipstick with shine may be more appropriate for you.

Finishing Touches

Be prepared for any mishaps that may happen on your wedding day by bringing a toiletry bag and stocking it with touch-up items like concealer, Q-tips, foundation, makeup sponges, eyeliner, lipstick, and blush. Include a small bottle of eye makeup remover (in case of smeared makeup that needs to be touched up). You may also wish to include blotting papers if you happen to have oily skin. These items can come in handy on warmer summer wedding days as well.

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Outdoor Bridal Makeup