15 Best Wedding Makeup Looks And Ideas (According To A Professional Wedding MUA)

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Wedding makeup looks
Self

Your wedding day is the most memorable day of your life and it requires a lot of preparation. From the reception, to your dress, to your hair and makeup, every detail counts.

Every bride deserves to look her very best, and that's true whether you go to professionals or do your own makeup. But wedding makeup involves planning early and getting a strategy together.

From creating the look you want, to how it coordinates with your personal style, your hair, and your dress, you'll want to consider a few different wedding makeup looks before deciding on the one that is right for you. And here are a few tips and styles to get you started.

RELATED: 31 Best Natural Makeup Look Tutorials On YouTube

1. Emphasize the eyes

"Wedding day makeup is all about emphasizing the eyes. Any shape or color, a woman’s eyes are one of the main attractions while expressing emotions. From shimmer shadows to winged liners, lengthy voluminous lashes are a must.

This added feature is what will stand out the most while capturing that picture-perfect moment. Whether you’re going for sultry or simple, a false lash will most definitely complete your wedding day look,” suggests Maria Licari, hair and makeup artist at Warren Tricomi Salons.

What to buy:
  • Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow (Nordstrom)
  • Bobbie Brown: Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner (Nordstrom)
  • Ardell Lashes (Amazon)

2. Start with healthy skin

“The trends I have been seeing with brides is healthy skin that looks like it is glowing from within. Healthy-looking skin has been a primary focus... I like choosing a focal point and bringing the attention to that area. Bold lips are a great focal point. A precise ombre lip really creates added drama to the wedding day look. I like using a natural smokey eye to enhance the client's eye shape if we play up their lips, so the two features aren’t competing with each other,” says Alli Nicole, a makeup artist/hairstylist from Gordon Salon in Chicago. 

What to buy:

  • Aveda Feed My Lips Pure Nourish-mint Lipstick (Aveda)

3. Stick to waterproof

“As a photographer, I always recommend that my brides focus on the quality of makeup they are using. If they're a crier, choose waterproof mascara and eyeliner. And, of course, using a matte foundation with a sealer will ensure that those tears won't leave a streak on your face during those intimate moments,” recommends photographer, Angie Nelson.

What to buy:

  • NARS All Day Luminous Foundation (Nordstrom)
  • Dior Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara (Nordstrom)
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (Amazon)

4. Keep things clean

“I love a beautiful clean look for my bride,” says makeup artist, DeeDee Marcelli. “This look pops the eyes with a cream black liner on top and just a smudge of color underneath. I don’t think the makeup should steal the show."

What to buy:

  • Stila Cosmetics Smudge Pot (Amazon)

5. Try a bold signature red lip

“I love just drawing attention to one feature on the face when you're trying something more dramatic. Always make sure that the lipstick is matte (and smudge-proof) on the bride. You want to ensure her lipstick still looks perfect after the 'I do' kiss," suggests Marcelli.

What to buy:

6. Maintain the glow

“One thing I hear from my clients on wedding makeup is, 'I want to look like myself but better.' The goal is to get the ultimate special day glow. Longevity is a factor too since it's a pretty long day.

I apply RMS Living Luminizer on to the skin along the cheek bones, then set it with a powder highlighter like Becca's Shimmering Skin in Opal. You get a healthy radiance with extra staying power,” says celebrity makeup artist, Jami Svay.

What to buy:

  • RMS Living Luminizer (Amazon)
  • Becca Shimmering Skin in Opal (Sephora)

7. Highlight the cheeks 

“Go with a natural glow, highlighting the cheeks. We all want to glow, but not all over the face. So have your makeup artist get one with just the right amount of color that accentuates your skin without looking like you are sweaty,” advises makeup artist, Kate Johnson.

What to buy:

  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Amazon)

RELATED: The 25 Best Highlighters For Perfectly Illuminated Cheekbones

8. Have fun with full lashes

"It makes pictures pop. You may have amazing lashes, but in photos they don't really show up much. Now is the time. Whether it be something soft or full and lush, lashes are a must have for the wedding day,” says Johnson. 

What to buy:

  • Ardell Deluxe Pack of Lashes (Amazon)

9. Make your lips kiss-ready

“No matter if you choose a bold or natural lip, make sure it's a long wear you can smooch your way though. Brands such as Chanel, Lipsense and Farmasi have the longest wearing lip colors that don't transfer,” Johnson suggests.

What to buy:

  • Farmasi Matte Liquid Lipstick (Amazon)

10. Let your eyes sparkle

Focus on shades that aren't too glittery, though it's not to be confused with shimmer.

“A gentle 'pop' in the inner corner and in the center of the lid can brighten your eyes and make them sparkle, but don't forget the lashes, because sometimes you just need a little extra feathery flirt. It's elegant and can just amplify your look. It's one of the best days of your life, so let's elevate it,” says makeup artist, Jessica Sanner.

What to buy:

  • Inglot Cosmetics Freedom System Eye Shadow (Amazon)

11. Give love to your skin

“My favorite part of bridal makeup is that 'bridal glow'. I use products that help with keeping the places we want to glow, glowy, and the places we need to scale back a little bit more. Well-prepped skin can help your makeup adhere to your skin and set a lot better. Don't overload it — you don't need it. That's what spot concealer is for and setting powders. You should feel light and breezy, not caked down... that's for eating later,” says Sanner.

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What to buy:

  • Julie Hewett's Camellia Oil (Amazon)
  • Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream (Nordstrom)

12. Keep it timeless

Because wedding photos will be around for a lifetime, it's best to choose a makeup look or colors that are timeless, so pictures don't quickly look dated.

“You want to feel comfortable and look like yourself. Keep to your own style and just execute it perfectly. You can incorporate trends into a wedding day makeup, but stick with those that will age well.

For example, right now monochromatic and peach tones are really popular. Using a peach coloured blush on the cheeks instead of a traditional pink can be a nice way to have a makeup that's on-trend, looks fresh, and adds warmth to the face. That can be blended into the eye makeup as well,” says Emmy-nominated makeup artist, JoAnn Fowler.

What to buy:

  • Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting Highlighter (Amazon)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (Amazon)

13. Carry the essentials

“I always recommend that brides keep just a few things close so their makeup can remain looking fresh, but not add too much to the many things they have to think or stress about throughout the day.

A setting powder is one of them, so that as the skin tends to get oilier, they can easily just touch up those small areas that need it by applying a little powder and taking down the shine. Whatever they're wearing on the lips is also an obvious one — that always ends up needing a little reapplying, and it's such an important part of a wedding day makeup,” Fowler adds.

What to buy:

  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder (Amazon)

14. Try a sculpted brow

"I always make sure my brides have a strong sculpted brow. I want to make sure the brows don’t fade away midday, so I have turned to my MAC waterproof shape and shade brow tint. It makes the brows look natural but refined," says Marcelli.

What to buy:

  • MAC Cosmetics Shape & Shade Brow Tint (Nordstrom)

15. Most importantly, have fun

“The getting ready part of your day starts the energy for the rest of the day. Have fun with it! Enjoy your ladies and start the party early. Guys don't get to have this fun so enjoy it,” says Johnson.

We know wedding makeup can be one of the most stressful things for a bride on her special day, but it doesn't have to be. When choosing your look, focus on one that will still look like you, only your best self. You want your makeup to last through kisses, hugs, and dancing.

What to buy:

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Nordstrom)

RELATED: 13 Best Setting Powders To Keep Your Makeup In Place All Day

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.

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