Natural Beauty: Planning Your Bridal Makeup

September 2, 2014

Natural Beauty: Planning Your Bridal Makeup

Many bridal magazine and wedding planning books emphasize that these days, there are no more hard and fast wedding rules. The same applies to your hair and makeup. More than anything, your wedding day beauty should reflect your style while helping you feel like your best you.

Traditional bridal makeup features soft, natural tones evoking innocence and youthful prettiness. But this style doesn’t accurately represent every bride. Perhaps you’re looking for something more dramatic and glamorous or something more eclectic. The following tips focus on how to find that style and execute it beautifully, with or without a professional makeup artist.

Finding your bridal makeup style:

Get inspired. Look through fashion magazines—both bridal and non-bridal. Log onto Pinterest and browse fashion and beauty boards (again, both bridal and non-bridal). Clip or pin makeup jobs that makes your heart skip a beat. It doesn’t matter if it feels “bridal” or not. You can modify elements from the look to suit your idea of what “bridal” means.

Consider your dress (and veil, if you’re wearing one). You probably want your makeup to complement your dress. In fact, the “spirit” of your dress can even inspire your beauty theme. Start by making a list to describe the physical elements of your dress, then a list describing its spirit. Brainstorm how these may translate to a makeup palette. You may also be inspired to think of hair and accessory ideas at the same time!

Natural Beauty: Planning Your Bridal MakeupConsider, also, your wedding theme.  As with your dress, your wedding theme and location may help you determine the level of formality you’d like reflected in your makeup.

When do you feel most beautiful?  Look at photos of when you’ve felt most beautiful and happy—how might your style in those photos translate to bridal makeup?

Perfecting your look:

Remember you will be photographed.  When I do makeup tutorial shoots for Peaceful Dumpling, I apply about twice the amount of makeup I would for a normal, every day look—and often I’m disappointed by how little the makeup shows in the photographs, so I have to run and put a little more on. Photos washout makeup, especially when there’s a flash involved. That being said, you still want to feel comfortable in your own skin, and most of us aren’t crazy about wearing a “pancake” on our faces. Work with a makeup artist or trusted friend to find the right balance between coverage and comfort.

Veganize it. If you’re planning to work with a makeup artist, discuss with potential artists that you’d like to use cruelty-free products. The right makeup artist for you will be amenable to a personal request like this. Ideally, she will already use cruelty-free products exclusively, but it’s an important conversation to have just to be on the safe side. If you’re doing your makeup yourself or having a friend help, see our Get Glowing section for product reviews and application tips 🙂

Practice your makeup. Whether or not you’re having your makeup done professionally, you should have a makeup trial (preferably at the same time as your hair trial.) This is the chance to make sure the look is right for you and tweak any areas that need improvement. (Is that foundation a little too shimmery?)  Have a friend take photos from several angles and in different lighting.

Natural Beauty: Planning Your Bridal Makeup

Prep your skin. Weeks before the wedding, stay hydrated, apply nourishing natural oils to your skin before bed, and consume water-dense foods and healthy fats. Your skin will thank you! And don’t forget your neck and chest. Any anti-aging, get-glowy goodies you apply to your face, apply to your neck and chest, as well. I’ve also added this deep clarifying and nourishing Maca Cacao Clay Mask to my routine.

Till end of day do we part: Make your makeup stay. Between climate, sweat, tears, and hugging loved ones, you makeup will likely be holding on for dear life. Help it out by using generous amount of primer and don’t forget a setting spray. You may also find that layering makeup, like eyeshadow and eyeliner, helps with staying power. Be prepared to make touch-ups between photos, after eating the cake, etc. In your clutch, keep your lipstick, translucent powder, and color for your cheeks (either blush or bronzer). Q-tips dipped in cold cream and stored in a zip-lock are handy for dabbing away any serious mascara runs.


Anyone else also have bridal makeup tips? Please share!

Also see: Beauty Secrets – Applying Mascara Like a Pro

Should You Use a Retinol Cream?

The Best Oil for Your Skin Type



Photos: Mary Hood

Peaceful Dumpling Beauty Editor and creator of Bisou du Jour, Mary Hood Luttrell lives with her husband in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mary is a freelance writer and writing and blogging consultant. A lover of whole foods, Mary delights in learning new ways to prepare vegan dishes. Mary also enjoys reading and writing poetry, art journaling, running, and practicing yoga and ballet. Follow Mary on her blog Bisou du Jour, Instagram and Pinterest.


always stay inspired!