A Step-By-Step Guide to Natural Wedding Makeup

There are countless ways to do makeup for a wedding, from glamourous and sexy to bold and dramatic, but one of the most popular makeup trends recently is all-natural wedding makeup.

This is makeup that accentuates your natural features, with less emphasis on the makeup and more on you. But it can be tricky. Unless you’re a professional makeup artist, there’s a good chance you could over or under-do things, leaving you looking rather unnatural or a bit unfinished. That’s why we’ve created this step-by-step guide to natural bridal makeup for your special day. Let’s get started!

Beautiful bride with natural wedding makeup holding flowers
There are all kinds of makeups for wedding beauty, but this bride chose the all-natural style for a soft, classic look.

Step One in Natural Wedding Makeup: Moisturizer

The key to the perfect natural makeup look is the skin, which means your beauty routine actually starts several weeks before your actual wedding day with a consistent moisturizing routine. If your skin is dry and flaky on the big day, it will be impossible to apply a sheer layer of foundation. To hide the flaking, you’ll need to apply quite a lot of foundation, which can ruin the all-natural look.

To create the best makeup for wedding perfection, you’ll want to start at least a month in advance. If you don’t already use a daily moisturizer, that’s when you’ll want to start applying one. We recommend looking for one that contains SPF as well to protect you from sun damage (yes, even in the winter). Apply a thin layer once every morning and evening, and you’ll have a beautiful, dewy canvas on which you can apply your natural wedding makeup.

Step Two: Foundation

Once you get to the actual day of the wedding and it’s time to start applying your makeup, you’ll want to begin with foundation. In order to achieve natural wedding makeup, it’s vital to find the right shade for your skin tone. Too light, and you’ll look ghostly, but too dark and your makeup will no longer look natural. Once you’ve found the right shade, it’s important to choose the right type of foundation. It typically comes in liquid, cream, and powder forms, but if you’re going for the all-natural look, we recommend going with cream. It’s lighter than liquid and less prone to caking than powder. When you apply, be careful to blend it into your hairline and down your neck slightly to avoid any hard lines that make it too obvious.

Afrircan-american bride with natural wedding makeup
This bride has applied her foundation flawlessly to make her makeup wedding-ready.

Step Three: Highlighter and Blush

To finish out the face, you’ll want to apply highlighter and blush (and maybe some bronzer, but more on that later). First, it’s important to choose the right color blush. If you have fair skin with pink undertones, go for a soft pink blush. If you have fair skin with golden undertones, go for a peachy color instead. For any bride with medium skin tones and pink undertones, go for mauve blush, and if you have medium skin with golden undertones, a rich peach often looks most flattering while still looking natural. Finally, a bride with dark skin and pink undertones will want to use fuschia blush, and a bride with dark skin and golden undertones will find a tangerine to be very lovely.

Once you’ve chosen the best color, use a medium-sized brush and gently pat the blush on your cheeks, and gradually work the blush back toward your ears, using less color as you move away from the cheeks.

After your blush has been applied, it’s time to move on to highlighter. Be sure to avoid iridescent highlighter or any highlighters full of sparkle. Instead, go for a simple, light style. Apply a small amount over your brow ridge, on the tip of your nose, on your cheeks (just above your blush), and on your chin.

Smiling woman with light natural makeup
This bride has used a subtle highlighter to make her skin truly glow.

Generally, we don’t recommend bronzer when doing a natural look, but because it’s your wedding day, you may want to create a little more definition in those cheekbones, for the photos. If you’re happy with your cheekbones without bronzer, then move on to step four, but if you’d like a little extra help, apply a very small amount of bronzer just below your blush, pulling the color from your earlobe in toward your lips.

Step Four: Eyeshadow and Eyeliner

Once you’ve completed the face, it’s time to move on to the eyes with eyeshadow and eyeliner. If you’re used to doing a smokey eye, you’ll have to reign yourself in because that is far too dramatic for a natural wedding makeup look. Instead, we recommend creating a nude eye with neutral colors. Start with a base that is just slightly darker than your skin tone and apply it all over the eyelid. Then, choose an eyeshadow that is one shade darker, and add a small amount along the crease and at the outside edge of each eye. Finally, choose a color that is one shade lighter than your base, and apply it at the inside corners of each eye and just above your crease.

This gorgeous but subtle look will absolutely make your eyes pop, but for a little extra help, add some eyeliner as well. We recommend using brown instead of black for the natural bridal look, and we suggest you apply a very small amount close to the lash line.

For some, this nude eye look is still far too much makeup to feel natural to them. If you are a bride who feels that eyeshadow and eyeliner could ruin the all-natural look for their eyes, feel free to skip this step and move straight to the lashes.

Step Five: Mascara

Although eyeshadow and eyeliner are one way to make your eyes stand out, another helpful tool is mascara. By volumizing and lengthening your lashes, you’ll make your eyes the star of the show. However, to maintain the natural wedding look, you won’t want to go overboard. We recommend using brown or black-brown mascara on your lashes instead of plain black, and only apply one or two layers.

Woman applying a light, natural makeup
This bride has made her eyes pop through the subtle use of mascara only.

Step Six: Brow Filler

A recent trend in makeup is full, natural brows, and it’s easy to see why. They frame the face and make your eyes stand out, and that’s why we highly recommend adding a little brow filler to your wedding makeup look. Simply choose the color closest to your natural hair color, and apply a very small amount along your brows to make them look bold, but still natural.

Step Seven: Lipstick

When it comes to choosing the right lipstick to complete your natural bridal makeup, a nude lip is almost always the best option. A nude lip involves lipstick that is very close to your skin color, and if you’re feeling like you need just a bit more shine, a little clear lip gloss as well. However, bear in mind that your lips will be kissed many, many times on your wedding day, so if your partner is averse to lip gloss or if you hate reapplying, you may want to avoid it.

Instead, one way to add a little pizazz to your lips is by using your lipstick to go outside the natural line of your lips and create a cupid’s bow. This is the cute little double hump some people naturally have on their upper lip, for others of us have to create our own. Simply add extra lipstick beyond where your upper lip naturally extends to create two cute little humps.

African american woman with light, all-natural makeup
This bride chose a nude lip to enhance her natural beauty on her wedding day.

So there you have it, a simple, comprehensive guide to all-natural wedding makeup, from flawless skin to stunning eyes. You don’t need to be a makeup artist to create the ideal bridal beauty look for your big day.

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