Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, but that also means it’s one of the most photographed! Friends, family and your trusty wedding photographer will be taking photos left, right and centre, and so it’s normal for everyone in the wedding party to want to look their absolute best for the big day.
For brides, your wedding makeup is likely to be part and parcel of this and might be given just as much thought as your hair style or dress. Whether you’re going for a soft natural glow or a more dramatic sculpted look, you want perfect bridal makeup to complement and define your features, and of course look flawless on camera.
This can be more challenging than it seems; your wedding makeup will have to stand up to the test of time and last the day, so it still looks just as good during the reception as it did in the ceremony. Will your makeup look the same under a disco ball and afternoon sunshine? With cameras thrown into the mix, this becomes even more complex as flashes can transform makeup in unexpected (and often unwanted) ways. A knowledgeable wedding photographer will account for this, but the right choice of beauty products and skilled application can make the job far easier and give you peace of mind.
To help you out, we’ve got in touch with talented professional makeup artists and beauty gurus and asked them to share their best wedding makeup tips and secrets to help you achieve a beautiful finish that will look flawless in person and in photos. We asked each makeup artist the following question:
What is your top tip for wedding makeup that photographs well?
Whether you need help with eyes, lips or your skin and complexion, there’s advice for every bride in this article. There are also some fantastic product suggestions included, helping you to select everything from the right foundation, concealer and lipstick colour to the perfect matte finishing powder.
I think the key to getting wedding make-up right so that it'll not only look good in person, but in photos too, is to pay particular attention to detail and go overboard with getting everything exactly right. When I know I'm going to be photographed (especially by specialist cameras and pro photographers!) I do my make-up in the strongest, brightest possible light and I use a magnifying mirror to continually check on my progress, particularly when it comes to my eye make-up which can show flaws in photos that you might not notice in normal light.
I'm also very careful with my skin, as I like it to look dewy without any OTT shine which is a tricky balance to strike that relies heavily on a good base of skincare and primer. Finally, powder products can look very dry in photos, so use sparingly and invest in quality products that won't cake on the skin.
owner & stylist AT flossy & leigH
Specifically with regards to photos, when selecting a foundation try to ensure you stay away from anything with SPF in it, as this will reflect and make the face appear a ghostly white when using a flash.
If ever you see a photo of anyone on a night out when a flash has been used on someone wearing an SPF foundation, you’ll see the face appears a totally different colour to the body, which most certainly wasn’t the case in real life. This wouldn’t be hugely noticeable in professional wedding photos, but for any selfies or photos by friends during your evening reception, just keep this in mind.
OWNER & MAKEUP ARTIST AT KKMAKEUPARTIST.CO.uK
My top tip for wedding makeup that photographs well is to avoid anything too shimmery, glittery or dewy with makeup as this will catch the light in a photograph and look shiny. So I like to use matt makeup with highlighter that’s not iridescent There are some great brands of makeup that are really suited for the bridal look and my favourites are NARS and Chantecaille. It’s a fine line with looking natural in front of friends and family but also looking amazing in your wedding photographs and that’s why using a professional makeup artist who has experience is well worth having for your Big Day.
owner & MAKE UP ARTIST AT kristinagasperas.com
My top tip for wedding makeup is not to be afraid to go for a little bit more than usual. Makeup looks less intense when in a beautiful wedding dress than in casual clothes. And, of course, beautiful dresses require beautiful makeup!
One of the most important things to get right is an even and radiant complexion. Too much glow will not photograph well and can look oily instead of softly radiant.
I advise brides to go easy on super-shiny skin products and opt for blushers and bronzers that give off subtle light creating a healthy and dewy finish on the skin.
Again, don't be scared to apply a little bit more blusher than usual, just blend well otherwise the look will be too pale in photographs. A pressed powder or matting papers are recommended for those who have oilier skin as it's so easy to use them during the day to keep the excess oil at bay.
OWNER & MAKEUP ARTIST AT LIZA SMITH MAKEUP
It is a must to stay away from foundations with SPF in them as it does not work with the flash of the camera and gives a very white face (only in pics). Instead use a HD foundation.
It's also not good to add too much highlighter as it can also look too shiny in pictures.
Always set makeup with with a translucent powder.... This ensures that the flash lights the face in the correct area and enhances best features on the face. It’s important for bridal work that makeup looks good both in natural night and photographic light.
owner & MAKE UP ARTIST AT LAURA DAWSON MAKEUP
The correct definition in the right places definitely makes for amazing bridal photos. Definition around the eyes especially.
The foundation has to be natural and not too heavy, otherwise it can look a bit plastic in a photograph. The skin can look absolutely flawless with less base and fine point concealing only. For lips, brides often opt for a nude tone, but anything too brown can look very flat. Instead opt for a beige/pink tone which looks ultra nude but healthy in photo’s; Patisserie or Brave by MAC are winners for me. -
OWNER & MAKEUP ARTIST AT KELLY HOLLANDS MAKEUP
My top tip for wedding makeup that photographs well is to refrain from using cosmetics containing an SPF if you know you’re going to be photographed using a flash as it will make your face appear whiter than your body. Also be sure to check the main ingredients for Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as these too will cause ‘flashback’ when they are highly concentrated.
Take care when using HD setting powders that are 100% silica as these too are a big ‘No-No’ when using a flash.
HAIR & MAKE UP ARTIST AT ANNIE SHAH HAIR & MAKEUP INSTITUTE
Wedding makeup should not be too shiny or too matte. Too shiny doesn't translate well in photographs and can appear to look greasy whereas too matte can start to look a bit dull and one dimensional. The right balance is getting the makeup to look fresh and bright with the right amount of glow sculpted carefully to enhance the features.
OWNER & MAKE UP ARTIST AT MAKEUp by sam
My top tip for wedding makeup that photographs well? I'd always recommend to wear more makeup then you would normally wear, the camera can wash out your makeup so try to bear this in mind. Also check your foundation or moisturiser hasn't got too much SPF in it as this can cause flash back if flash photography is being used.
It's trying to find that fine balance between enough makeup for the camera and not too much makeup in person. If you are doing your own wedding makeup then practice and take photographs at different distances. Remember that lighting can also change how your makeup can look on camera; don't practice your makeup in the evening and take photographs if you've got an early ceremony in the height of the summer.
OWNER & MAKE UP ARTIST AT clare pearson mua
I have a few top tips and products I like to use for brides that photograph well. I like to use Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector under foundation as it really shows through and makes the skin in photos look beautiful and dewy. I then use Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Foundation is meant to look like skin and even out the skin tone and not look cakey which is why I like this. Its a luxurious oil-free hydrating lightweight foundation which can can be built to fuller coverage and lasts all day. My brides and Mother of the Brides love it.
I like to use Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder to set the foundation together with Laura's Secret Brightening Powder to set concealer under the eyes as it doesn't sit in fine lines and creates the look of naturally perfect skin. I then use Mario Badescu Facial Spray as it has Aloe and Rosewater which boosts hydration and sets the foundation so the skin doesn't dry out during the day.
OWNER AT BRIDAL MAKEUP & HAIR BY SUSIE
Photo friendly wedding makeup is about showing off the very best version of you!
Keep your skin quite matte, avoid anything excessively shiny or shimmery and keep away from foundations with SPF built-in. Zinc molecules in SPF reflect the light and can sometimes be a nightmare with camera flashes causing skin to look white and ghostly.
Eye makeup needs to be a couple of shades darker than usual; eyeliner and mascara will help define your eyes and make them stand out in pictures.
OWNER AT MAKEUP BY LEIGH BLANEY
Attention to detail is really important!! You have to check symmetry, both eyes match, blending and colour matching. The camera will pick up even one shade of a difference in face and neck and our new favourite product - highlighter! Sometimes if highlighters are not applied properly, the camera picks them up even more. So I take a few pics myself with my own phone camera to see everything’s capturing well and looks good up close and further away.
Highlight and contour in the correct areas to compliment the shape of the face, hide the areas needing hidden and highlight the areas to show them off more.
Always try for neat work! The finish is paramount to the look.
OWNER AT CHLOE MCCALL | MAKEUP ARTIST
Always use a powder to keep shine at bay on the big day. I advise my brides that it’s best to get a powder so you can top up throughout the day to combat any shine. I use Mac Mineralise Skin Finish, best applied by patting onto the Skin lightly with a fluffy brush.
Make sure the eyes are well defined as they can lack definition in photographs. This can be done by using liner, well placed eyeshadow and adding individual lashes. These steps will help make the eyes stand out.
OWNER AT CLAIRE BOWRING MAKEUP ARTIST
I'm a big believer in getting the skin absolutely perfect for brides and I create a' skin finish' - a balance between still seeing skin through the makeup but ensuring any blemishes or dark circles are covered. Its a must for a seamless finish to the skin that blends and perfectly matches with neck, decolletage and arms. Steer clear of any foundations that contain an SPF any higher than 15 and go easy on the highlighter!
OWNER & MAKE UP ARTIST AT ORCHARD MAKEUP
Most wedding photographers will not use flash, but natural lighting, so this can be difficult to know how much makeup to apply.
Bright sunlight can bleach out the skin, but on a shady day the makeup can look stronger. The best makeup look is a fresh but glamorous. Have a mix of dark shades and light shades with some shimmer.
A light contour of the features rather than a heavy look. powder to set the makeup, but not too matt.