Bridal Makeup Tips to Look Flawless on Your Wedding Day

For Brides

December 11, 2022

A variety of factors will affect the look of your makeup in photos – from your skin type to lighting. So to help our brides prepare for the big day, we created the ultimate list with makeup tips and the best bridal beauty advice for your big day to look flawless for your wedding photos. After 20 years in the wedding photography industry, we know a thing or two about what is great makeup that photographs amazingly. These tips are great for photo-ready makeup, whether you are a bride or simply want your makeup to photograph perfectly under any circumstance.

Tradition says you need something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue on your wedding day. To that, we would add something glam. It doesn’t have to be much: think of a swipe of rosy lipstick, false lashes to frame your eyes, or a touch of highlighter to enhance your day-of glow. You want to look at your wedding pictures in a frame and see your authentic self reflected back at you. The goal is not to look like a ‘classic bride’ but to look like classic you as a bride. This doesn’t mean you have to stay in neutral territory with your wedding makeup look — but now is not the time to try a trend. Sometimes brides make a departure from their usual look on their wedding day because they want to achieve something extra special and dramatic, but it’s worth remembering that your fiancé fell in love with you for who you are, so you don’t have to change a thing.

As you prepare for your wedding, say “I do” to these makeup tips:

Take Care of Your Skin

Makeup can do many magical things, but it all begins with skincare. Your wedding day is all about prepping the skin, focusing on making sure the skin is hydrated and glowing before applying makeup. If you haven’t been diligent about your skin-care routine, now’s the time to begin. Healthy, glowing skin makes the perfect canvas for luminous makeup. Regular facials help to prep skin but try to avoid having any invasive type of facial. Makeup creates texture on the skin, so starting with clear, nourished, hydrated skin means ending with an even, smooth look. A quick spritz of a hydrating spray before applying your makeup will help rehydrate and plump up the skin. A light mist following your makeup application will set your minerals in place, leaving you confident it will have all-day staying power.

Plan your Photography Destinations in Advance with Your Photographer

Are you and the groom shooting indoors under dim, artificial lighting, or will you take pictures outside in natural light (or both!)? Not only will lighting affect the look of your photos and the equipment your photographer needs, but it will also alter the way your makeup looks. Daylight has a way of exposing imperfections, anything from unblended brush strokes to a mismatched foundation. Have your bridesmaids bring a bridal makeup kit with blotting papers and a pressed powder to touch up on the big day. And remember, when the family and bridal party photoshoot wraps, there will still be plenty of photo-worthy moments during the reception.

Primer is Key

Your wedding day is a marathon — not a sprint — and you’ll want your makeup to hold up through every last photo, dance, and toast. That makes primer essential. Primer is what fills in fine lines and imperfections in the skin texture. Using a primer will help to smooth out your skin to get that extra flawless look!

Foundation Color

Understand your skin type to choose the best complexion products to use for long wear. This simple task will make your makeup last so much longer to eliminate constant touch-ups on your big day. You’ll want to make sure that your foundation shade matches your skin and that you are blending it into your skin well! A great way to achieve a perfect match is not to go super full coverage. Using a foundation that is a bit sheerer will ensure a great match and help you not look so cakey!

Take test pictures at your makeup trial. 

If you plan to partner with a professional makeup artist, it’s important to find someone who understands your style. Consult a few different makeup artists early on and book at least six months in advance. Spend plenty of time exploring and perfecting your process, as well as working out which products work for you will save you a lot of stress on your wedding morning. It’s always best to have a trial (or two) ahead of time and check that all your products don’t have a flashback. Take photos prior so you get an idea of what it’s going to look like in photos and person as well. Book a bridal makeup trial 3 to 4 weeks before your wedding to allow both you and your makeup artist to decide what colors and formulas will work best for your skin type and complexion. A picture is worth a thousand words, so have your artist take photos of you with and without a flash. Be sure to get some shots in the daylight if you and your photographer are planning outdoor photos. If you look shiny, sallow, or washed out, you may need to adjust a few key elements.

Add Some Color to Your Cheeks and Lips

A wedding dress is a whole bunch of white, so it’s important to balance it out with soft color on the cheeks and lips, especially for brides with fair skin. Blush almost completely disappears in photos and is the first thing to fade on your face! A glimmering blush is what keeps you looking fresh with a natural glow. We don’t need you looking like a blank canvas! You’ll always want to have a bit more blush than normal for camera-ready makeup. Also, using a bronzer will frame your face and create the definition which is sometimes lost in photos. Be careful to choose a non-shimmery bronzer, light is reflected off of the shimmer! You want to create a natural shadow, not a highlight. Keep in mind that matte lipsticks can tend to look dry and crackly, especially in photography. Choosing shiny lipstick or lipgloss will make your lips look plump and moisturized! A big plus to this one is you won’t have to fuss with uncomfortable lipstick all night!

Define your Brows

Adding color to your brows might seem like an unimportant thing, but eyebrows frame the face, giving it structure. We know that we’ve already gotten most of the world on the brow train, but please take a seat if you are not already here for the ride. Filling in your brows is imperative to frame your eyes, it forces people to see your beautiful eyes before anything else! The best makeup for wedding pictures should enhance your and your bridal party’s natural beauty. Respect your natural brow shape, only extending the tail if needed, and select a color slightly darker than your natural hair color. It’s a small step that makes all the difference!

Apply 10 Percent More Product than You Would Usually Wear

Using a little extra foundation creates that perfect finish and coverage needed for flawless wedding photographs. The best foundation for wedding photos is the one that looks like your skin is perfected. And be strategic when layering products and formulas with different textures. Build with small amounts so the makeup lasts longer. For example, apply cream blush first, followed by a layer of powder blush for a flush that has double the wear.

Important things to keep in mind:

Create a mood board to establish a clear vision

If you haven’t become well acquainted with Pinterest, now is the time to get familiar. The platform features countless images of makeup inspiration you can compile together digitally. Visuals help inspire and hone in on the details of what and how you want to look on your big day. And if you’re working with a professional makeup artist, it’s also helpful for them. Having a reference can better articulate what you have in mind.

Turn your natural beauty up to “medium”

One look that never fails: radiant skin, rosy cheeks, flushed lips, and some definition on the eyes. This is the ‘medium makeup’ because it’s not too light, strong, or hard on one feature and soft on another, avoiding dark colors on the eyes. Use brown eyeliner instead of black and add false lashes for the perfect amount of definition. For an all-over ethereal look, stick to a soft peachy palette. Play up the eyelashes with polished glowing skin using soft hues such as peach, pink, and taupe. Ultimately, you want to look like yourself. If that means you are called to a bold choice — like a swipe of crimson lipstick — go for it. 

Pack a touch-up kit

There will be smiles, kisses, and champagne toasts… and even the most well-applied makeup is bound to fade. Ask a bridesmaid or your nearest and dearest to keep a few essentials for you to make sure your makeup looks fresh from the day into the night. We suggest including your chosen lipstick, a small powder compact and powder brush (or blotting papers), a brow brush, and a concealer.

Cushion time is mandatory

Today is your day! Save yourself from any last-minute rushing or breaking a sweat and tack on a few extra minutes to your prep time. However long you think your makeup will take, add 30 minutes. The fear is that you’ll be sitting ready, but that rarely happens – trust us, we know.

Last tip?

Don’t forget to smile. Everything will go on perfectly!

Looking for a wedding photographer in Europe to capture your perfect wedding day? That sounds like us! Contact us!


You may also be interested in...


at les anagnou

yiota & paul anagnou


As partners in business and life, we specialize in creating heart-stirring photographs. For us, there’s nothing quite as enticing as a destination wedding overflowing with style, elegance and luxury details. And we cannot wait to embark on the journey to capture yours.

we turn one day into lifelong memories

work with us

Pin It on Pinterest