DIY Guide to the Best Bridal Makeup

by Claire Rendulic

How to Do Bridal Makeup

With a few tips and tricks, you can create the best bridal makeup, even on a budget.  Understanding what you like, and knowing your face makes you the best makeup artist you can find.  Everything begins with a good canvas.  Healthy skin and hair is the key to looking good every day.  The first step is to hydrate your skin naturally by drinking lots of water.  Follow a good skincare routine.  Check out our article 21 Organic Skin Care Secrets to Look 10 Years Younger packed with great ideas that will help give your skin a natural healthy glow.

From the natural bridal look to the smoldering drama, there are many options.  It is tempting to splash on a dramatic eye or bold colors but is that what you want for your wedding day?  The first thing you must consider is what you like.  Today the watercolor look is everywhere but in five years do you want to see a reinvention of the 80s?  These photos will be with you for the rest of your life.

Even on your wedding day, your bridal makeup should reflect you.  What do you like best, your eyes, your lips, or the shape of your face?  This is the feature you want to enhance.  The next step is selecting what look you want.  Are you classical, bold, or sophisticated?  Your dress will help you choose the correct makeup for the day, they need to work in harmony with each other.

All makeup begins with cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and a thin layer of primer.  Apply concealer and foundation.  For a guide read our article: How to Do Makeup: A Step by Step Guide for Applying Makeup Like a Pro which will give you a comprehensive guide to prepare your skin for makeup.

You Have Something to Hide???

We all have something we wish we could change, while someone else is wishing for what we have.  Learn how to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative below. Note that this is not only true for bridal makeup – by using color and shading, you can change anything, any day of the week. 

To Hide Bulging Eyes

For bulging eyes, you need to bring the upper eye forward – this is a four-shade solution.  Use shimmer along your brow without blending too much.  Add a deeper color stretching across the lid and up to the shimmer.  This makes your eye flat, now you need to draw a crease line.  Using a darker color, draw a thin faded line around the top part of your eye. This will sink it again.  Add the darkest shadow in the corner, blending into the crease.

To Bring Forward Sunken Eyes

Select two types of the same color, one with shimmer and one without.  Add the shimmer color to your lid and the other to your brow, then blend both to the crease.  Add a darker shade to create either a Photographic C or a wing to draw attention to the outer corner.  Add a wing with your eyeliner to enhance the effect.  White eyeliner in the inner eye of the lower lid will draw more attention away from the upper lid.

Make a Large Nose Smaller

Run a thin line of light contouring cream along the length of your nose.  Add the darker contouring to the sides and tip.  Blend well and set with powder.

Enlarge a Small Nose

Draw a large line of light contouring cream down the length of your nose to the lip line and around the nostrils.  Blend into your foundation and powder.

Minimize a Prominent Forehead

Dot dark contouring cream along your forehead and blend well.

To Make a Big Chin Appear Smaller

Use light contouring cream along your jaw.  Tap a small amount of dark contouring cream on your chin and blend.

Acne/Uneven Skin/Dark Spots

Use a primer to smooth out the skin.  Then, use concealer in areas that need extra cover using a brush to feather the edges.  Add foundation, and check if you need any extra concealer.  Next, powder to reduce shine and give extra hold.  After this, use a fixer spray to set the makeup.

ALSO READ – Top 12 Home Remedies for Acne Scar Removal

Tips for Specialized Coverage

Ever wonder why a contouring kit comes with green, purple, and orange?  It is to neutralize hyperpigmentation, hiding it under foundation.  You can buy each color separately depending on your needs.  The technique is the same regardless.  Apply this product after primer but before concealer or foundation.  Smooth a thin layer of color over the area using a foundation sponge.  Feather the edge with a brush.  Most of us are lazy and wipe our foundation to blend it.  You must tap the foundation over the area using a clean sponge, and be careful not to mix the colors. 

The Color Guide

This simple guide will help you select the right color to hide any problem area, and give you the perfect bridal makeup!

  • To hide red, use green.
  • To hide purple, use yellow.
  • To hide blue use orange.
  • The same also works in reverse, e.g. orange to blue, yellow to purple, and green to red.

The Shape of Your Face

Contouring is the optical illusion of makeup artistry.  The contrasting light and dark tricks the human mind.  All makeup creates a visual change, but with contouring the effects are dramatic.  Everyone can use it, but it is the most effective wedding makeup for dark skin especially. 

The Purpose of Contouring

The purpose of contouring is to enhance features you like and diminish features you don’t.  This is accomplished for bridal makeup, or any makeup, by combining light and dark to change the shape of your face.  Darkening aspects will draw the eye away, thereby hiding the area.  Light attracts the eye, drawing attention to that area and away from the darker area.  That is the trick – both in combination to realize the full effect. 

How to Use Contouring

Look at your face in direct sunlight, taking note of where the sun touches your skin.  Use light contouring cream in these areas.  Then, use darker cream to accentuate the lighter areas while hiding the ones you don’t like.  Four brushes, two blending sponges, light and dark powder, and a contouring kit are all you need. Layering or building up color as you go?  Remember you can always add more. 

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It is common to highlight your jaw, with your cheekbone drawing attention to the center part of your face.  This is how you do it:

  1. With a round brush add the light color along your cheekbone towards your temple. 
  2. Add under the eye in a triangle in a dotted technique to limit the amount of product. 
  3. Next is the brow area above and below the eyebrows and down along the center of your nose. 
  4. Run the brush along your jaw.  Blend staying in the area to create a smooth finish with one of the blending sponges.

ALSO READ – 5 Gorgeous Eye Makeup Tips (Step by Step)

Now for the dark color, less is even more here.

  1. Look at the apple of your cheek, and create an invisible line up to your hairline.  Your dark C will start and end on this line. 
  2. With a thin brush draw a dotted line under your cheekbone to your forehead creating the C. 
  3. Repeat on the other side. 
  4. Add three lines of color under your chin area.  Blend using the clean blending sponge (don’t mix them up). 
  5. Blend down from your line making the line the darkest part and lighter as you reach down. 
  6. If you need to add more color, do so by dotting into the area and blend. 
  7. As you reach the areas of light don’t mix them! This is where the other brushes come to play.  Keep one for lighter and the other for darker.  Use both to blend the lines away.

This takes time as you layer both light and dark and blend until you have the shape you want.  Set the look with the light powder on the light areas and dark on the dark areas for top-notch bridal makeup. 

Giving Contouring Makeup an Extra Bang

Shimmer is the diamond of makeup.  All makeup that has a touch of sparkle is shimmer.  A touch of sparkle to any area on your face will further enhance it.  You can use pale, bronze, silver, or gold shimmer and even eyeshadow to any area you like.  Touch a medium round brush, tap the brush with a firm finger to get rid of the excess, and touch it to your face.  You can repeat the process if you want more sparkle, but this is fairy dust and you need a light hand. You can achieve the perfect sparkle for your bridal makeup, to ensure you shine on your special day!

Enhancing Different Features Gives You a Different Look

Using shimmer on different areas of the face will create a different type of illusion in people’s minds.  Here is a list of options to help you create the best bridal makeup that will suit you and your wedding.

  • If you decide on the natural bridal look, add shimmer to the apple of your cheek giving you a healthy glow.  This will make people think you are young and vibrant. 
  • Evening weddings need a touch of drama, add a little shimmer to the brow. 
  • If you want to look thinner, run the shimmer across the cheekbones making them stand out. 
  • Add shimmer to your lips and you will look sensual.

The Lips and Cheeks

Natural Harmony Look

Select a soft natural color lipstick and use if for your lips and as a cream blush.  This creates a color balance enhancing the makeup of your eyes by not detracting from them.  Use your ring finger to apply a light application of lipstick to your cheek and blend in well.  Line your lips with a matching lip liner and apply lipstick.

The Nude Lip

Select a lipstick and lip liner that enhances your natural lip color.  You can swap out the lipstick for a tinted lip gloss or stain (which lasts longer).  This will add a little color but keep you looking natural. 

Creating the Illusion of Larger Lips

Do not draw a line outside your lip line – it only looks like you can’t apply lipstick.  Select a lip liner that is one or two shades darker than your lipstick.  Line your lips with a thick line.  You must apply your lipstick with a thin brush and blend this line as you apply your lipstick.  Grab shimmer gold eyeshadow and touch a small amount right in the middle of your lips going into the mouth.  This trick gives your lips more dimension making them look larger.  Darker bolder shades of lipstick will make your lips stand out.  Select a medium color if you are enhancing your eyes for your bridal makeup (see the next section of our guide).

Diminishing Large Lips

This is a little tricky., but possible if you are aiming to reduce the prominence of your lips.  Select the color of your lipstick with care.  A nude lipstick will keep them from standing out while adding color to your face.  Using a lip liner that is a shade lighter than your lipstick will make them appear smaller but not by much.  A light color will only enhance their size and a darker color will make them more visible.  The best option is to add a bit of stain and enjoy them.

Daring Red: A Bold Choice

You have taken the less chosen path for your bridal makeup! The key to creating the perfect red lips is selecting the correct red for you.  Our article How to Do Makeup: A Step by Step Guide for Applying Makeup Like a Pro has an excellent table that will give you a guideline on how to select the perfect color for you.  Match your lip liner and lipstick to the exact shade.  Start using a light drawing line to draw your lips.  Once you are happy with the shape, redraw the line with a firmer line.  Lip liner defines your lips and prevents your lipstick from ‘bleeding’.  Fill in with the matching lipstick.  Use a tissue to blot off the excess.  Powder your lips well (you will lose a little color but it will keep the lipstick in place).  Don’t add lip gloss as it increases the risk of smudging and it will not wear as well.  The only problem is if you make a mistake you have no other option but to cleanse and start over.

Enhance Your Eyes

The eyes are the first thing you want people to notice.  Most people choose to enhance their eyes for their bridal makeup. It is the trickiest option, but once you master it, the most rewarding. 

Before we get into the tips and tricks to help you create the look you want, we have to have a quick biology lesson.  The brow is the top half of the bone surrounding your eyes under your eyebrows.  The crease is the area of skin above your eyeball.  Your upper lid is the area between your lashes and the crease of your eye.  The lower lid is the area from the edge of your eyeball to your lower lashes. 

The Natural Bridal Look

This look never goes out of style, it’s you – only better.  Apply a shimmer highlighter shadow to your brow, blending into the crease.  Add a light natural color to your lid.  Darken your crease with a color a shade or two darker, blending towards your brow.  The darker color should be visible when your eyes are open.  A dark brown pencil liner should be used along the top lid and halfway across the bottom.  Use a thin clean brush to smudge the line.  Using the same brush and a dark eyeshadow, draw over the line to soften the eyes.  Then, use a brown-black mascara to extend and darken your lashes.  Matched with the nude lip and highlighter on the apple of your cheek, this bridal makeup look is perfect!

Natural with a Flair for Drama

Enhance the natural look with a touch of eyeliner.  Switch the brown eyeliner for a liquid to create a wing.  This subtle change lets you create a dramatic look popular in the 1920s.  Using ‘Stamp’ Liner makes the wing a breeze.

The Photographic C

Well-framed eyes look gorgeous and the best part – it’s easy.  Follow the steps as stated in the Natural Bridal Look above.  You need a super-thin brush and a dark eyeshadow.  Draw a C across your upper lash line about a third away from the corner to the crease.  Draw a larger C from your lower lash line to join the first C.  Fill the space between with shadow.  With a clean brush, blend the line until smooth.

The Classic Beauty Look

This is a twist on the Photographic C.  Use a small brush and dark eyeshadow.  Draw a C from your upper lash line, from the corner of your eye about halfway across into the crease.  With a clean brush, blend well into the other colors.  Paired with the Natural Harmony Look, it will create a balanced, beautiful appearance.  If you pair it with the Nude Lip, your eyes will pop.

The Dramatic Wing

This adds the drama to your bridal makeup for an evening wedding.  Use either the Classic Beauty Look or the Photographic C and extend the shadow into a sharp wing.  Imagine an invisible line from the corner of your eye to your temple.  Fade the dark eyeshadow along this line just past your eyebrow line.

Smokey Brown Eyes

This is perhaps the easiest makeup of them all.  Use a highlighter eyeshadow along your brow and blend well.  Use a dark brown eyeshadow along the lid, up to the brow, fading it past your eyebrow line.  Draw a thick line of eyeliner along both lids.  Extend the lines a touch beyond the corner joining them.  Blend the eyeshadow well.  Sweep a line of darker eyeshadow across the liner to soften and keep it in place.  Using brown instead of black softens the effect of this makeup, but none of the drama.

Step by Step Guide to Take You Through Your First Bridal Makeup Trial Run

Don’t let the idea of trying all these techniques put you off from finding your best bridal makeup.  I have designed this article for you to work your way through the makeups in one sitting.  Select colors you like and are comfortable with and then begin.

ALSO READ – 24 Best Natural Hair Care Tips and Remedies

  1. Prepare your skin. 
  2. Try a simple version of your wedding hair style.  If you are planning to have half up half down wedding hair on the day, pull your hair up in a half pony.  Curl a few strands to soften your face. 
  3. Wear the same color as the bodice of your dress.  Color reflects on our skin making it appear different.
  4. If you need to, select what you need from the section “You Have Something to Hide???”. The camera flashes tend to pale your makeup.  So, you’ll want to select a foundation a shade darker than your natural color.  Or, try your hand at contouring – but don’t powder yet. 
  5. Move onto your lips and cheeks, and try the Natural Harmony Look. Now is the time to powder. 
  6. Begin your eyes with the Natural Bridal Look.  The first type of makeup is complete.  Snap a few pictures in sunlight to see the effect light has on the makeup. 
  7. Redraw your eyeliner with a black pencil or liquid liner as explained in Natural with a Flair for Drama. 
  8. Coat black mascara over the brown to color it.  You have created the second look.  Take a few pictures. 
  9. Draw the Photographic C over your makeup and you have the next look. 
  10. Blend the C along the crease and edge of the eyelid and you have the Classic Beauty Look.  Don’t forget to take another picture. 
  11. Lengthen the outer corner into a wing, and you have The Dramatic Wing. 
  12. Fill the lid with the corner color and add a little shadow and eyeliner under the eye. You’ve now achieved the Smokey Brown Eyes.

Switching between Natural Harmony and Nude Lips is easy.  Tap lip balm on your lips, wait a few seconds for the oils to sink into the makeup, and lick your lips.  Dry and apply the other.  You can use any of these makeups with the techniques for small or large lips.  If you want to test it you can and remove it the same way as stated above.  Only pair red lips with the Natural Bridal Look or the Natural with a Flair for Drama. 

Bridal Tips for Your Big Day

  • Facials are fantastic.  You need to go at least three times before the month leading up to the wedding.  Speak to your therapist in advance to make the correct selection for your skin type and age.
  • On the day wear a button-down shirt that you can remove without messing up your hair and makeup.
  • Mascara wands have too much product on them, causing smudges and clumps.  Wipe off the wand with a tissue to remove excess product before using it.  Run the brush from root to tip in a smooth brush stroke, building up as you go.
  • Do not change products within the month leading up to your wedding.  If you have an allergic reaction it can take weeks before it heals.
  • If you are pregnant, change to hypoallergenic products beforehand.  Hormones can cause changes to your skin making it sensitive. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to Shape the Perfect Brow?

You need an eyebrow brush, a black eyeliner pencil, ruler, hands-free mirror, tweezers, and natural light.  Brush to neaten your brows.  Hold the broad edge of your ruler straight up against the side edge of your nose.  Draw a vertical line on your brow on the nose side.  Hold the edge side of your ruler from the edge of your nose to the corner of your eye.  Dot the intersection of the ruler and your brow.  The next step varies according to trends.  For a natural look use what you have.  Hold the edge of your ruler at the highest tip of your brow and draw a dot on the first hairs both on top and at the bottom.  This is the largest point of the tapering edge.  The black lines and dots show you the edges of your brow.  Using the black pencil draw lines to color in the hair between these dots and lines.  Draw the shape you want tapering to the end.  Repeat on the other side.  Check that they match.  By using a black pencil, you will see any difference with ease.  Adjust to create the same shape.

Sit in natural light with a hands-free mirror, in one hand hold the brow brush and in the other the tweezers.  Remove all hairs that are not colored in.  Wash off the black eyeliner and fill gaps with a brush and matching eyeshadow. That will give you a natural look.

How Do You Create Long-Lasting Makeup?

This is my tried and tested technique for long-lasting makeup.  I had a bride jump into a swimming pool, wedding dress and all, and the makeup didn’t move! 

Cleanse to remove the oils from your skin.  Tone to restore the pH balance.  This step is Important as it creates a healthy environment for the microflora.  Moisturize and use an eye cream to reduce wrinkles and help hydrate the skin.  Use an alcohol-based sunscreen.  Wait for ten to fifteen minutes for these products to be absorb.

Blot excess product with a tissue and follow with primer.  Apply concealer, contouring creams, and foundation, then blend well.  Add cream blush, lip liner, lipstick, and eyeliner.  Pat a generous amount of powder into the makeup to set it.  You will feel dry and look like a ghost.  Wait another ten to fifteen minutes for the foundation to set.  Now apply eyeshadow and color brows.  Using a clean sponge, pat the eyeshadow into the foundation as well.  Dust excess powder with a large round powder brush.  Redraw your eyeliner to darken them again.  Spray fixer spay on to your face and you are good to go.

Should I Use Fake Tan?

Your wedding dress may expose blemishes and skin discolorations you want to hide.  The first thing most people want to try is fake tanning.  If you don’t use it already, your wedding day is not the time to start.  If you want to add color to your body, airbrush makeup is the way to go.  Use a professional who sprays the foundation on any skin you want to be covered.  Remember if you go darker, match your foundation to this color.  Make sure your neck, ears, chin, and face are the same color.  This covers blemishes like foundation and if you don’t like the color you can shower it off.  The only problem is it may stain your wedding dress.

Conclusion

Every bride deserves to feel special and glamorous on their special day – after all, it is the day we transform into a princess.  With these tips and tricks and a few practice sessions for your bridal makeup, you will be able to transform into the best version of yourself.  Once you have the look you want, you can experiment with color and other enhancements for your bridal makeup’s ideal look.  Just remember, makeup is about fun and enhancing your beauty. If you make a mistake, it is one of the few times in life you can wash it off and start again.

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Wedding Traditions and Where They Come From - LifeGuideBlog June 1, 2020 - 11:43 am

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