Makeup For Weddings...

Fool Proof Gorgeous In Ten Steps

Okay, when it comes to makeup for weddings, and other big fancy events, I am admittedly a little narrow minded...BUT, I defend this single minded vision with fool-proof chic, elegant results whether you are a guest, in the wedding party or the bride!

Truly, wedding style beauty and fashion choices are ultimately a matter of personal taste and guided by the venue itself (like... perhaps, if you were attending William and Kate's quiet affair at an ancient English abbey, followed by a lunch hosted by the Queen, and a dinner dance hosted by the Prince at Buckingham Palace.)

HOWEVER, when it comes to makeup for weddings, too many people make this mistake.   In an effort to 'dress up' their makeup, they 'load up' on their makeup.

The results? Typically more on the garish side than gorgeous.

Makeup for weddings  should focus on these objectives:

photo bridesmaid The Ring Bearer asleep on the job.

  1. TASTEFUL- style choices and palette,  should not be overdone, heavy or displaying extreme trends (they will look dated very fast in photographs, definitely important if you care about the test of time )
  2. POLISHED- good application technique, finished, balanced
  3. PRETTY- still visibly you, with a radiant complexion, defined but not overly dramatic eyes, and lips that are fresh in medium to nude tones (unless it is in line with your usual style of bold and bright)

note graphicNote- Prior to this day you have had your hair color touched up and a trial run on your hair viewed with your dress on, a manicure, a pedicure (whether you have open toe shoes, or not...just cause you should feel great from your head to your toes).

Makeup For Weddings "PREP' Phase

1. Pre Makeup- Freshly washed, moisturized or well hydrated skin.
2. Pre Foundation/ Concealer- consider primer for a long wearing, smooth texture base to apply makeup to.
3. Base- Even out your complexion with, as sheer as possible, skin type appropriate foundation (this is not the day to open something new or try something new...this day is the day for 'tried and true' beauty products including makeup for weddings).
Take concealer and address dark circles, broken capillaries, and blemishes using a concealer brush.
Finish with a light dusting of translucent loose powder.  This will create an excellent base for subsequent makeup steps.

10 Steps To 'Fool Proof Gorgeous' Makeup For Weddings
The overall look will be classic, modern, and pretty but the drama will be dialed up a notch (or two).  Also, the tones are universally flattering to all skin tones.

eye makeup for weddings

For the EYE MAKEUP , gather together these items before you start:

  • photo of brushes and toolsblack eye liner pencil
  • black, or very dark matte eye shadow
  • Three Neutral or Earthy (and coordinating) Eye Shadow shades; 1. gold beige(warm toned) or sand beige (cool toned), 2. Dark neutral taupe/cool brown, and 3. Light neutral
  • Black, black mascara (two types-one 'lengthening', one 'volumizing')
  • Eye Lash Curler
  • Lash brush (or spoolie)
  • Eye makeup brushes- medium shadow brush, blender brush, angled eye liner brush, smudge brush

makeup for weddings steps

graphic 1Lid area above lash line.

eye shadow zones diagrami. Take your medium eye shadow brush, and sweep mid shade from lash line to brow bone (A. and B.).

ii. Using same brush top edge, or a specialty crease brush if you have it, take your deepest shade and sweep along crease in an arc shape (B.). Take blender brush, or use flat side of medium shadow brush to blend in.

iii. Take medium shadow brush and deepest shade, and apply from directly above outer corner of eye, towards mid line of lid above lash line. Again take blender brush to soften and blend the shades together.

iv. Take lightest shade, apply with medium brush on outer third of brow (c.). Again blending in.

*All of the above,with a folded tissue under the lower lash line to catch shadow dust.

graphic Lower lash line.

i. Take medium tone and smudge brush, then sweep directly under lower lash line, starting at outer corner and working most of the way toward the inner corner (D.).

ii. Take angled eye liner brush and deepest tone, and work tightly under the lower lashes, from outer corner to 3/4 of the way toward the inner corner. Take smudge brush and soften dark shade line, blending it into medium.

iii. Take angled liner brush, and highlighter shade place at lower lash inner corner. Use smudge brush to soften and work toward, outer corner.

graphic 3Sharpened Black Eye Liner Pencil

i. Line the top lid TIGHTLY at lash line, using short angled strokes between the lash roots.

ii. Take angled eyeliner brush and blend into the lash line, to soften and smudge the line, but still keeping it tidy and tight to lashes.

iii. Take black matte shadow (or dark matte) and and press the powder into the lash line with the angled brush, to set it (keep it there and in place for a long duration).

graphic 4  Dialing Up The Eye Definition Drama

For a little added glamour and definition, further extend the black liner with black pencil past the top lash line on an upward sloping, more diagonal path (to create lift,  not droop).

Make sure line flows fairly straight and gap between lashes and line is filled in. Line will be thicker at outer corner but should taper back into thin along upper lash line as it moves toward inner corner.

OPTION: Black liquid or gel liner can be used for finer lining and styling.

REMINDER: Makeup for weddings should avoid extremes but this doesn't include current style techniques.

makeup for weddings steps  Eye Lash Curl

This step is an amazing eye opener, so don't skip it.  Carefully take you curler and gently squeeze close to lash base, loosen and slide toward tip, squeeze again.  This technique creates a more of a round curl than bend.

graphic 6Mascara

i. Take your LENGTHENING mascara from the tube, dab of any mess on the end of the spoolie and begin with the wand at base of lashes, then drag through to the tips, wiggling the wand along the way to grab and coat as many lashes as possible.

ii. Work the lashes with the wand to place and separate for an even 'fan' of lashes.

iii. Take your VOLUMIZING mascara and provide the second coat using the same technique. (Waterproof is a pretty good idea).

graphic 7Brows

Don't under estimate the importance of well groomed, shaped, defined (if necessary) brows in any style let alone makeup for weddings. However, this is NOT the day to re-work them. Take care of strays only. There are stencils that you can experiment with to find the most suitable shape and proportion. Do this days ahead of time. If in doubt, get a pro's advice (or read my page on eye brow shaping).

graphic 8Radiant Face/ Blush Makeup For Weddings...

The objective in this makeup for weddings is a fresh, natural, feature enhancing look using dimensional color. This can't be done with only one shade of blush. Slightly sun kissed, with a natural flush shade that suits your unique coloring, plus a little punch of bright tone, will create a very pretty vibrant tone to the over all look of your makeup. Here's how to do it:

note on wedding styleRemember, the key to the success of this application (the flawless element), is great placement, and even better blending. Blend each step well.

i)  Bronzer or Deep Skin Tone - Start with a matte finish powder bronzer or a blush tone 2 shades deeper than your natural skin tone, and a large fluffy dome shaped powder brush.

For a sculpted look- place at the side of your forehead and with an arc shape, sweep to you temple. Then place slightly under and along your cheek bone, toward your ear and along your jaw (making a backward 'C').

For a sun kissed fresh face look-Placement is wear the sun hits your face and naturally brings a little color. Start with a sweep on the top of forehead, a touch on your nose, more along the top of cheek bone, but also over cheek area, and a slight touch on your chin.

ii)  Natural Blush Tone- Next take your natural blush tone and place on apples of cheeks, and then blend out along cheek bone (the color should diminish as you move outward.

iii)  Vibrant Blush Tone -Last, take that vibrant blush tone, and in small increments, work into apple of cheek, blending well in a circular motion. Repeat until you see that little b of vibrance.

There are many great brands of blush, and your skin type will likely determine the format.  If you have normal to oil skin you probably should go powder, especially with the potential in the spring and summer , for heat.  If you are normal to dry, and could benefit from a little added moisture, cream blush is great with a slightly dewy finish.  As mentioned, unless you are really great with placement and blending,  powder bronzer is a little easier to use.

My favorite blushes are made by NARS, MAC, Bobbi Brown and Stila (they all have both great powder and cream blush).  I love Tarte Cheek Stain too, but for makeup for weddings and a dressy affair, it might not have the needed staying power (you could touch it up if you love the look of it).

graphic 9 Lips

Last but definitely NOT LEAST.  This is a time to consider lip primer as it will create a good base for long wearing lip makeup for weddings and prevent chapped lips (which can happen over the coarse of a day...for that matter lip balm makes a great lip base).

Lip Pencil  A natural earthy rose brown, spice or the perfect match to your planned lip shade. Fill in lips. The pencil is a great even tone to build on. Don't worry if it appears to dark. You can balance with your added lip shade.

Lipstick  Apply your lipstick of choice ( I highly recommend avoiding a "wow that's bold" kind of color, unless that is your signature look and you are completely comfortable with it).
Blot your lips on a tissue, and dust lightly with loose translucent powder. Add another layer of lipstick using a lip brush, and blend into the lip surface well.

Lip Gloss  Add a touch of lip gloss for some added volume (nothing with sparkle).

apple tip graphicMakeup For Weddings Tip: Hair, lip gloss, and wind don't mix.

graphic 10  The Finishing Touches To Makeup For Weddings

Don't forget the finishing touches...Take a close look at your face, and with a large powder brush, sweep away any residual powder. For more clingy specs, carefully remove with a Q Tip (mascara or eye shadow dust, lip area).

apple tip graphicLast word on makeup for weddings.  I think it is important to be at your dressed up best, but still have the beauty style allow you to be yourself .  Sometimes, women become entirely different looking creatures (and I don't mean that in a positive way) and worst of all, it is sometimes the bride.  Word of makeup for weddings advice? Stay clear of professional makeup makeovers, the day of.


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