When it comes to wedding makeup, standard beauty norms fly out the window. For example, that whole bare-faced, “I woke up like this” look that’s trending right now? Probably not how you want to remember yourself when you’re old and wizened and flipping through your wedding album with your doting grandchildren. No, wedding makeup lies in a realm all its own, straddling the line between soft and natural, and “I shed blood, sweat, and tears to make this ceremony happen, so, yes, my makeup is meticulous and flawless, dammit!”
To help you avoid any possible makeup-induced meltdowns, we asked Blushington’s head makeup artist, Jessica Scantlin, to share the seven makeup rules every bride should know and follow. Consider this your ultimate cheat sheet for wedding makeup.
Keep scrolling to see the makeup rules every bride should know.
Yes, this may sound like a quote from a stock-image-illustrated motivational poster, but when it comes to your wedding makeup, hold this mantra true to your heart. “The biggest mistake brides make is going out of their comfort zone,” Scantlin tells us. “Your makeup artist can do the most beautiful job—however, if you’re not comfortable, it comes across in the photos, and you will end up hating it.” If you’re unsure about what look to try—perhaps your makeup artist is swaying you with photos of a retro-inspired cat-eye—always go with what you want and what makes you feel your best. As Scantlin says, it’s your day and you deserve to call the shots on what makes you feel your best self.
No bride wants to look through her wedding photos and zero in on her oil slick of a forehead, but make sure not to go the opposite route with a too-matte look, either. “You want to look like your best self on your day, which means having flawless, glowing skin,” Scantlin says. “It will make you look like you are glowing from within and radiating happiness.” Hopefully, that’s already the case because it’s your wedding and all, but a little extra glow never hurt. She recommends using an illuminating primer, like Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector ($41), before your face makeup for a luminous, healthy flush.
Picking a lip color for your big day can in some ways feel as monumental as picking your dress. Should you go bold and opt for a classic red? Will your go-to pink not be “special” enough? We asked Scantlin all these questions and she said that, in the end, you can never go wrong with rose. “It’s universal because, essentially, it’s the color of a just-bitten or kissed lip,” she says. “However, I’m not opposed to a red lip on your wedding day, if that’s the color your normally wear. My only advice is that if you have never worn red, today is not the day to start!” Noted. If you do consider yourself a red lip pro, Scantlin says to opt for a smudge-proof stain, like Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick($22) in Fiery.
If you’re choosing to add some subtle sculpting to your wedding day look, opt for matte over any product with shimmer. “Contour is a more defined version of your face, so opt for a matte shade, and keep it soft,” Scantlin says. “There is nothing worse than a heavy, shimmery contour on a day where you are supposed to be flawlessly beautiful.”
Click here for some of our favorite contour sticks!
Pictured: Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo ($28)
Though a hint of glitter on the eyelid might be trendy right now, Scantlin says to avoid it if you don’t want to look back on your photos with regret. Instead, try a soft shimmer shadow, instead. “I think it can add light to your eyes, and it picks up beautifully in photos,” she says. “The light will catch the shimmer, whether in gold or champagne, and highlight the colors in your eyes and make them sparkle.”
Hair done? Check. Makeup flawless? Check. But before you fly out of your seat and down the aisle, remember to equip yourself with some essentials you’ll absolutely need during the course of the evening. First, Scantlin says translucent powder is a must for minimizing shine, while concealer will be crucial after shedding all those happy tears. Blush also tends to fade, so pack a mini-pot in your clutch, if you can. And of course you’ll need your trusty lipstick for touch-ups after a day of eating, drinking and smooching. “If you don’t want to lug all this around on that day, you can put them in little containers,” Scantlin says. “That way, they will all fit in your clutch!”
Pictured: Kotur Epsey Elaphe Box Clutch ($595)
Scantlin left us with two other tips, one being to always take photos of the final look during your makeup trial so you have it on your phone to jog the makeup artist’s memory on your big day, and the other to use a setting spray, like Model in a Bottle Original Setting Spray ($18) to seal everything in. But in the end, her last word of advice isn’t about makeup—it’s to relax and try to enjoy yourself. “This is your day, and you are marrying your soul mate, so just remember the previous rules, allow for extra time, and know that if something goes wrong, it’s all going to be okay!”
What’s your ideal wedding makeup look? Click here for 12 dreamy wedding makeup looks for every type of bride!