Bridal makeup

Everything you need to know about wedding makeup

Started thinking about your wedding makeup look? We give you the low-down on everything you need to consider before the big day.

When it comes to wedding makeup, there are plenty of options and for some brides the range of looks, techniques and advice floating around online can be overwhelming. But don’t panic, we’re here to demystify wedding makeup and make it easy for you to choose the best course of action.


Of all the days to look your very best, your wedding day is surely up there with the most important. Once you’ve chosen your dream wedding dress and settled on a wedding hairstyle, it’s time to give your makeup look some serious thought.

The advice most often given to brides is to aim to ‘look like the best version of yourself’ and we couldn’t agree more. While many brides may opt for soft and natural makeup looks, that’s not going to work for you if your signature look is a bold eyeliner flick and a red lip. The most important thing is that you look like you!

It’s not only the wedding makeup look itself that you need to consider though, you also need to weigh up the pros and cons of hiring a professional or doing it yourself. Some brides know exactly what they want to do with their makeup themselves, while others would feel much more at ease with a professional on-hand to work their magic.

Once you’ve decided on your own look, it’s also important to consider whether or not you would like your ‘maids to have complementary makeup done too and even think about inviting your mum and mother-in-law to get in on the pampering with you.

Notebook and pen at the ready, you’re going to want to jot down these beauty notes.

Bride applying makeup, Getty

DIY wedding makeup

Whether it’s because we feel more in control or because we’re confident that we know exactly what we’re doing, some of us prefer to do our own makeup on special occasions. Doing your own wedding makeup is a great choice for makeup savvy brides or those looking for something super-simple and fuss-free on their big day.

If budget is a big part of the reason you’re choosing to do your own makeup, that doesn’t mean you can’t have professional-standard makeup. Beauty counters such as Bobbi Brown offer makeup tutorials, allowing you to pick up tips from the experts and try out new techniques with the help of a professional. YouTube is also a great place to find tips and tutorials that you can follow.

The most important thing to do when applying your own wedding makeup is to put in plenty of practise before the big day so you’re 100% confident.

Professional wedding makeup

Many brides choose to hire a makeup artist to help them look their best on their big day. Finding the right makeup artist for you is the trickiest bit and it’s worth investing time in research and makeup trials. Start with your venue’s recommended suppliers list to track down local artists and ask around for recommendations.

Check each makeup artist’s website and social media pages so that you can see as much of their work as possible and establish if their style is what you’re looking for. Facebook in particular is also a great place to find comments and reviews.

Once you’ve found an artist you like the look of, book in a wedding makeup trial and take plenty of visual references with you to give them the best idea of the look you’re going for. Be prepared to answer questions about your usual skincare and makeup routine and make sure you take the opportunity to ask for the makeup artist’s advice on skincare ahead of the big day.


Choosing a wedding makeup look

Pinterest is a great place to start looking for makeup looks and we also recommend searching the wedding makeup hashtag on Instagram. Save any pictures you love so that you can show them to your makeup artist or work from them when you’re practising.

Youtube is also packed with tutorials and looks, with even celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge offering a simple wedding makeup lesson.

Above all, the most important thing to consider is your own personal style. If you always wear an eyeliner flick and you don’t feel right without it, then make sure you incorporate it into your wedding makeup look. Your spouse-to-be will want to see you walking towards them, not a stranger!

Bride and bridesmaid makeup, Getty

Bridal party wedding makeup

Consider whether you would like your bridesmaids to have their makeup done professionally too. Having your ‘maids makeup done by the same person will ensure they all fit the same theme and are camera ready for those all-important group photographs.


Top wedding makeup tips  

  • If you’re planning on wearing fake tan on your big day make sure you wear it to your makeup trial to give the makeup artist a better idea of your skin tone on the day.
  • Wear a white top to your trial as makeup can often look different with darker colours.
  • If you’re buying a new foundation for your big day make sure you road test it first. Important factors to consider are staying power and how it looks on camera.
  • If you’re doing your makeup yourself make sure you photograph the full look from lots of different angles so you know exactly how it will look and if there are any areas you would like to adjust.
  • It may be tempting to have your makeup done last on the day so that it is the freshest it can be, but seeing everyone around you glammed up before you’ve even started your skincare can induce panic! Have your makeup artist do your makeup in the middle of your bridesmaids and then do final touch ups just before you leave for the ceremony.
  • If you don’t have room in the budget for a professional makeup artist but don’t feel able to do your own makeup enlist the help of a more makeup savvy friend or bridesmaid. Complete a trial with them so that you’re both feeling confident on the morning of the wedding.
  • Put your makeup artist in touch with your hairdresser so that they can plan the morning’s timings ahead of the day.
  • Check that there is a spot with plenty of natural light wherever you’re getting ready on the morning of the wedding, it will help to make sure you’re applying the right shade and amount of makeup and will also look much nicer on the pre-wedding photographs!
  • Pack a little bag with some concealer, lipstick or gloss and pressed powder for touch-ups during the day.