bridal makeup

Wedding Makeup Ideas, Advice and Checklist

Six Steps to Flawless Wedding Makeup

Brides – you need a classic, elegant and timeless look for your wedding. You can go a bit stronger with wedding makeup than your everyday routine, but now is not the time for bold smokey eyes and dramatic trends. You will regret it looking back at your photos.

Natural, but better is key. Keep in mind that makeup appears a bit less in flash photography, so, you can go a little heavier than normal. Also, photographers offer airbrush services for digital photography. Consider using this service but be prepared to pay for their extra time making these corrections. To avoid wedding day surprises, practice applying your wedding makeup a few times before the big day!

wedding makeup checklist

Here are six simple, but useful wedding makeup ideas from a professional wedding makeup artist:

1. Comfortable In Your Own Skin – After skincare (cleanse, tone, moisturize) allow a minute or two for your moisturizer to penetrate before applying makeup base. Very oily skin can benefit by using an oil blotting toner to keep shine free and matte. The bottle should look like it has floating powder at the bottom. This absorbs oil and helps the makeup to stay put. A primer makes a good canvas on which to apply foundation. It will allow the makeup to last longer too.

Recommended products: Lancome Premium Foam Cleanser from Sephora Loreal Pure Zone Astringent (drugstores) Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (normal to dry) or Smashbox Anti-Shine Lotion (oily skins) at

2. Always Build On a Solid Foundation – If you have not discovered powder foundation or oil free cream base foundations, now is the time to try these. They offer coverage with a more natural finish. Try to avoid liquid foundation. They tend to look masky and will not last as long on the skin – especially if you are getting married in a hot climate or the summer. They may streak and run with perspiration.

Recommended products: Sephora powder foundations, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation

3. The Eyes Have It! – Prep bare lids with a eye shadow base first, then apply shadow. No more than 3 colors. Follow the light, medium, dark application of colors in the same family. You can’t go wrong with neutrals of grays and browns. Start with the lightest shade first on brow bone, then medium on lid, the darkest for the crease and outer corners (like a sideways “V”). For more definition, you can apply a little of the darkest color to the crease ( not too close to the inner corners of eyes, stop at the pupil) and run a thin line at the lash line on top of your eye pencil, with a dampened skinny brush. Start at the outside of eyes first, and sweep back and forth like a semi circle. Try waterproof formulas for eye pencil and mascara to give your look staying power commended products:
Benefit Cosmetics Eye Shadow Primer Lemon-Aid, Waterproof eye pencil, Sephora Keep Kohl! Waterproof Liner 01 Keep Black, Revlon Colorstay eyeliner (drugstores), Sephora Waterproof Triple Action Mascara.

4. Get Set – Apply a loose powder to set makeup base, and soft finish.

Recommended product: Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder

5. Color My World – Cheek color: A soft touch is great for a glowing bride. Try a matte soft rose or peach. Pink for blue and brown eyes, peach for hazel and
green. Suitable for fair to medium skin tones. Darker complexions glow with bronze. Recommended products:
Try Sephora Blush Me! Mono Peche Tendre 4, Pink #5

6. Lip Service – Buff rough dry lips with a creamy, grainy exfoliant. Lip color will look better and last longer on healthy smooth lips. A quick and inexpensive option is to use a dry toothbrush with a little olive oil, mixed with a touch of sugar. Another makeup tip to get your lipstick to last and last is to line the lips with a neutral, flesh toned lip pencil, and to fill in the rest of the mouth, before applying lipcolor. Try topping it with a semi-gloss lipstick which will last longer than regular lip gloss, but look softer and fresher than regular lipstick. It also photographs well. Recommended products:
Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant
Stila Lip Glaze
Sephora Collection Lip Gloss Palette

bridal makeup checklist

Wedding Makeup Timeline and Checklist

Every bride is beautiful on her wedding day. Perhaps it’s the undying passion she feels for her new husband, or maybe it’s the nervous tingles she feels that keep her skin all aglow as her eyes dance with anticipation and excitement. Whatever the reason, she makes beauty look effortless and well, beautiful.

The secret to wedding day beauty is planning and preparing in advance. Follow our wedding makeup advice and plan on looking gorgeous from head to toe!


6 Months Before

  • If you’re thinking about getting artificial nails, make an appointment with a manicurist to try them out now. You have plenty of time to let your natural nails grow if you change your mind.
  • If you don’t already have a hair stylist and/or makeup artist begin your search now. Schedule consultations with several candidates to find someone you like and trust.
  • Now is the time to experiment with haircuts and color.
  • Begin a hair care routine that includes weekly deep conditioning treatments and other vital treatments to improve the overall health of your hair.
  • Consult a dermatologist if you have problems with acne, scars or other skin problems. It is also appropriate to discuss any facial or body hair you’d like to get rid of.
  • Invest in a skin care regimen suitable for your skin type.
  • If it’s within your budget, indulge in a monthly facial.
  • Begin a workout program if you don’t have one already. Regular exercise will improve your overall energy level, ease stress and boost your confidence. Another added benefit… it can enhance your skin’s glow.
  • If you have light or bleached hair, limit or avoid contact with heavily chlorinated water.
  • Eat healthy. If you want to lose weight for the wedding, do it in a healthful manner.


5 Months Before

  • Schedule trial runs with several makeup artists if you’d like professional help for your wedding. If you’re doing your own wedding day makeup, be sure to consult with a pro for lessons and advice.
  • If it’s within your budget, start monthly manicures and pedicures.


4 Months Before

  • Make any necessary changes to keep your workout program and weight loss regimen on track for the big day.
  • Start drinking plenty of water — eight glasses (64 ounces) a day! Water helps flush the system and will aid weight loss, water retention and give you glowing skin. It’s great for the hair too.


3 Months Before

  • Book your wedding day stylist and make an appointment to preview your wedding day hairstyle
  • Have your hair trimmed every four to six weeks.
  • Book your makeup artist for the big day
  • Make an appointment with your makeup artist to have a full cosmetics run-through.
  • Make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned the week before your wedding.


2 Months Before

  • Schedule a “Tress Rehearsal” with your hair stylist, complete with veil and headpiece to make sure they’ll work with your hairstyle.
  • Treat your skin to moisturizers, body wash and body polish. Consider using both over-the-counter and prescription treatments for problem skin. Talk to your dermatologist if necessary.


1 Month Before

  • Have your last professional facial. Never have a facial or microderm abrasion right before the wedding.


2 Weeks Before

  • Get your final trim, and touch up your hair color or highlights.
  • Keep drinking plenty of water.
  • Go to bed an hour earlier than usual every night.


1 Week Before

  • Have your eyebrows shaped for the last time.
  • Have your upper lip and bikini line waxed.
  • Take extra care to avoid the sun or apply sun block.
  • Do a complete hairstyle tryout (headpiece, veil and all) if you’re doing your own wedding-day hair.
  • Confirm your stylist for the big day.
  • Do a complete run-through if you’re doing your own wedding-day makeup.
  • Confirm your makeup artist for the big day.


1 Day Before

  • Get a manicure and pedicure, either from a professional or by yourself.
  • Pamper yourself with a massage.
  • Use a body wash to gently exfoliate or polish your skin, especially your décolletage and arms.
  • Apply lots of moisturizer — everywhere.
  • Take a nap.
  • Drink two extra glasses of water.
  • Make sure your emergency beauty kit is prepared. Stock it with essential cosmetic and other must-haves for your wedding day
makeup for wedding ideas


Your Wedding Day

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready.
  • Relax by taking plenty of deep, cleansing breaths.
  • Smile! Have Fun!

Have terrific wedding makeup ideas? Post them here and share your tips about wedding day beauty with other brides, bridesmaids and mothers.