Wedding Makeup Dos and Don'ts

You’ve got the guy, the dress and the flowers -- all perfect, of course -- but don’t overlook the one detail that will make yours a picture-perfect wedding: your face. The makeup you wear every day is probably not the best choice for your walk down the aisle. So before taking your vows, take a look at our list of makeup dos and don’ts to keep you the fairest of them all on your special day.

For your face:

DO keep your skin looking dewy and fresh by using a tinted moisturizer or moisture-balanced makeup. Foundations with yellow undertones work best with flash photography.

Don't get carried away with shimmer highlighters or light-refractive makeup. In photos your shimmer can easily turn into an unflattering and highly reflective shine.

DO use a bronzing powder to warm your skin tone. Using a natural bristle brush, lightly apply color to the areas of the face where the sun would naturally hit: forehead, cheeks and the bridge of the nose. If needed, apply a light dusting on your neck and chest for even all-over color, but do this before you put on your dress.

Don't get too much sun before your wedding. Sunburns, peeling skin and tan lines can sabotage your special day.

DO give your foundation staying powder by using a gel foundation primer before you apply your makeup. Add a light dusting of loose powder to prevent any unwanted shine.

Don't use a heavy pressed powder to set your foundation. Too much powder can leave your skin looking chalky and lifeless in your wedding photos.

For your eyes:

DO use a brow powder or gel in a color one shade deeper than your natural hair color to keep your brows looking their best. If your brows are scant, lightly fill them in with a brow pencil in a light neutral shade and then, using a brow powder and brush, go over this shape using a stippling technique to create a natural effect.

Don't use heavy pencils or dark shadows to define your brows. This can leave you looking stern rather than stunning.

DO use flattering neutrals to contour and highlight your eyes. For eyeliners, stick to the classics: black, navy or brown.

Don't get too trendy with your eye makeup. You may think that sparkly eyeliner is a good idea today, but chances are you’ll look back on it years from now and cringe.

DO get lush lashes by first using an eyelash curler and then applying two coats of lengthening mascara. (Make sure you allow the first coat to dry before applying the second.) Waterproof is always a good choice; it’s longer lasting and won’t run even if you shed a few tears of joy.

Don't overwhelm your lashes with too many coats of mascara. Clumpy lashes are a no-no when your groom looks deep into your eyes.

For your lips and cheeks:

DO become a blushing bride by choosing a warm flattering cheek color in a pinky peach or rose. When applying the color, focus the blush on the apples of the cheek and blend the excess back and up toward the hairline. For oily skin, a powder blush is the perfect choice, but if your skin tends to be a bit dry, try a cream blush to achieve a dewy natural glow.

Don't forget to wear blush. Flash photography can leave you looking washed out.

DO create a pretty pout by first applying your lip color using a lip brush, then using a lip pencil in a complementary color. Be sure to follow the natural line of your lips. Not only is it easier to define your lips after your lip color is already applied, it also creates a softer, more natural look.

Don't use a lip liner much darker than your lipstick to define your lips. This technique looks harsh and very unnatural in pictures.

DO choose a lip color in a warm, fairly bright shade. Roses, pinks and reds look great in photos and keep wedding whites looking fresh.

Don't wear a lipstick that is too neutral or frosted. These colors can leave you looking pale or tired.


Still looking to perfect your wedding day look? Bridal makeup artist Sally Van Swearingen gives some more do-it-yourself wedding makeup tips in this guide for the special day.

In case you haven't found the perfect wedding gown yet, visit the iVillage Wedding Gown Finder! From formal ballgowns to sleek sheaths, from bridesmaids' dresses to flower girl ideas, click through hundreds of the most popular designs available! Happy browsing!

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