How to Get Natural Wedding Makeup
Nearly every bride we speak to about bridal beauty says that she wants natural wedding makeup for the big day, but, in the era of Kardashian-level contouring, this is not as easy as it seems! Getting a fresh, minimal makeup look requires a little bit of planning; you’ll have to pin down exactly what you want, and find a way to communicate it to your makeup artist, who, by the way, really needs to know their stuff! After reading today’s feature, and following our five steps, you should be well on your way to getting effortlessly gorgeous, natural wedding makeup!
What is Natural Wedding Makeup?
Natural wedding makeup means different things to different people! For some brides, it means false lashes and lots of rosy blush, for others, it means the faintest hint of neutral shadow and a clear lip balm. Most brides want to look polished on the big day, so makeup artists might assume that you want a full-coverage base, a stunning eye look, a pretty lip colour, and perhaps some contouring, highlighting and bronzing, too. And actually, you might genuinely want these things, just a subtle version of them! There’s no one formula for natural wedding makeup, which is why, in this feature, we’re aiming to help you figure out exactly what kind of makeup you want, and, crucially, how best to communicate this with your makeup artist!
How to Get Natural Wedding Makeup in Five Steps
1. Find a Great Makeup Artist
The first step to getting natural wedding makeup is to track down a skilled, experienced makeup artist, who will really take the time to listen to your wishes. Spend time researching prospective makeup artists, paying particular attention to their online portfolios. Ideally, you’ll find a handful of examples of the kind of makeup look you’re hoping to achive, and evidence that they’ve previously worked with brides with a similar skin type to yours. If you’re in Ireland, our list of the best wedding makeup artists is the perfect place to start! Note: it’s true that some brides feel confident enough to do their own makeup on the big day, but, as they’re in the minority, we’ll leave that topic for another feature!
2. Gather Some Photographic Inspiration
As far as we’re concerned, photographs are the single best way to identify your likes and dislikes, and communicate these to your makeup artist. Makeup is, after all, a visual art form! So start collecting images of makeup looks you like now, be they on real brides, models or celebrities. Keep your eyes peeled on magazines and on social media, and use the phrases mentioned in the next point to do a Google search. You only need a handful of photographs to get your idea across, but it’s no harm to have a bunch of extras saved on your phone, just in case! We’ve included lots of inspiring photographs in the gallery at the end of this feature, which should get you started, and our makeup features are always full of natural looks to suit all ages and skin types.
3. Know the Lingo
As well as having photographs prepared, it’s a good idea to nail down some words and phrases that sum up your ideal wedding makeup look. Use terms like natural, barely-there, subtle, minimal, understated and fresh. “Makeup that looks like you’re not wearing any makeup” is another way to phrase it. If you can mention specific details, all the better, for example, “I’d like my freckles to be visible,” or “I’m happy to try an eyeliner, but nothing too statement or retro.” Reading interviews with makeup artists whose work you admire can be really helpful. For example, you might love Meghan Markle’s wedding makeup look, but until you read this interview with Daniel Martin, you may not realise that it featured “shades of warm chestnut, cocoa, and rust” on the eyes, false eyelashes applied to just the outer corners, and a cream coral blush!
4. Book a Makeup Trial
A makeup trial allows you to see exactly how your makeup artist has interpreted your brief, and work with them to edit the look until you’re 100% happy with it. If you’ve picked your makeup artist wisely, there’s a good chance that you’ll adore the look they create for you at your trial, but, if not, a small tweak or two is usually all that’s needed. Natural wedding makeup is all about subtlety, so an ever-so-slightly thinner eyeliner, or a lip colour that’s one shade closer to your natural lip colour, can make a big difference! Don’t fret about asking for changes – a good makeup artist wants you to feel amazing on the big day and will be more than happy to make adjustments.
5. Develop a Solid Skincare Routine
It’s easier for your makeup artist to keep your base looking fresh and natural if your skin is in peak condition, AKA healthy, hydrated, not sun damaged, and treated for any skin issues. The only way to do this is to develop a foolproof skincare routine and be consistent with it! This means drinking lots of water, using SPF, cleansing your skin thoroughly, and using products that suit your skin. There are tonnes more in-depth tips in the bridal makeup and bridal skincare prep episodes of the One Fab Day Wedding Podcast, and it’s also a good idea to ask your makeup artist, or a good facialist, for advice on how to prepare your skin for the big day.
Ready to find your makeup artist? You’ll find our favourites in our wedding directory!