Makeup is often an afterthought during wedding planning.  Brides forget this important step and frequently end up at the last minute applying makeup themselves or with the help of a family member or friend.  Most family and friends are not familiar with the proper way to apply makeup for photography.  All eyes will be on you for the big day, and you need to look your very best on camera and off!

I have compiled a list of tips on how to “shine” in a good way on your wedding day:

  • Start with a cleansed and fresh face.  Do not layer over last night’s makeup.  You are not doing yourself any favors and your makeup will not look appealing.
  • SPF is great, just not for photography.  Moisturizers and foundations with SPF cause you to look washed out. Use makeup that is HD product.
  • Mineral makeup should be avoided on the wedding day. Minerals in this type of makeup contain reflective properties, thus producing a pearly finish. The light from the camera will reflect off those minerals and will create a bright floating ghost head in pictures.
  • Prevent a shiny face by applying a loose, matte powder to set your makeup.  You can also keep oil absorbing papers nearby to soak up oil during the day.
  • Use matte colors, without any sparkle or glitter.  Sparkle and glitter reflect light on your face.  A camera flash will make you look like you are crying or super oily.  Tears of joy are fine, but unintentional tears are not good.
  • Apply makeup in natural light.  Indoor lighting alters your makeup. Some lights may wash you out and you may end up applying makeup too heavily.
  • Blend concealer well.  A little bit is fine for everyday wear, but on your big day, you will want to cover up dark circles or fine lines.
  • Some brides may not get a good night’s sleep on the eve of the wedding, and eyes end up looking red and tired.  To make eyes appear larger and combat the redness, line your waterline (the fleshy skin on you lower lash line) with a nude pencil. Using a nude pencil instead of white appears more natural.
  • Fill in your eyebrows.  They will make you look complete.  Without brow color, blonde eyebrows will disappear in photos.
    Apply blush, but don’t overdo it.  Your face will look washed out under a heavy flash.  Apply blush lightly and add more if needed.
  • Do not forget to apply lipstick.  Without lipstick your mouth will blend in with the rest of your face.  Contrast this feature with a bold or nude lip color.
  • Contour (two shades darker than skin color) or highlight (two shades lighter than skin color) your face.  Apply contour color on sides of the nose, under cheekbones and under the jawline.  Apply highlight color to top of cheeks, along the bridge of the nose and on the forehead.  Again, avoid shimmery or glittery products.
  • Apply false lashes even if you have long lashes.  Applying some lashes along the outside corners will highlight your eyes and make them look beautiful.
  • Practice applying makeup a week before the wedding day.  Take pictures with flash and without.  Perfect your look and you will “shine” on your wedding day.

If all else fails, hire a professional makeup artist and he or she will help you look gorgeous.  Your makeup will be one less thing to worry about and you are left to enjoy your special day.

Vanita Sloan