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How to Do Bridal Makeup: Tutorial and Inspiration

Look your best for the big day.
  • Clare Holden
April 05, 2024

Your wedding day makeup look is likely the most important makeup look you will ever sport. Every little speck of shimmer and swipe of lipstick needs to be in perfect placement, your face needs to photograph beautifully, and your makeup needs to last through crying, celebrating, and a long night of dancing. Needless to say, the stakes are high and you want your makeup to look its best so you can feel your best.

The truth is, when you want your makeup to go the distance, you have to start with your primer and base because those determine the rest of your makeup look. In an effort to help you perfect your makeup look for your big day, we’re sharing a bridal makeup tutorial that covers every step of your routine. Plus, we’ve gathered lots of wedding makeup inspiration, which you’ll find below.

Long-Lasting Bridal Makeup Tutorial

Check out our step-by-step tutorial, which includes every product you’ll need to achieve a long-lasting, gorgeous wedding beauty look.

1. Prime for your skin type

It’s important to start with a solid base to ensure that your makeup look will last through a full day of wedding activities, and the best way to achieve that is with makeup primer. Even if you forgo primer on the other 364 days of the year, your wedding day is not the time to skip it. Taking an extra moment to smooth on primer before breaking out the rest of your face makeup could make all the difference in how long your look lasts and how easily your makeup applies.

Choose a primer that targets your unique skin concerns. For a long-lasting, matte makeup look, we love the L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Matte Setter because it reduces shine and boosts your makeup wear time to 24 hours. If you’re not aiming for a matte face, the product line also includes options for reducing pores, redness, and brightening.

2. Apply a long-wearing foundation

To look just as free of imperfections when your wedding ends as you did at the very beginning, be sure to wear a foundation that offers long-lasting coverage. Try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 32 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, which has a natural finish and lasts all day long without transferring. Another great option is the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder—it’s long-lasting, mattifying, sweatproof, smudgeproof, and heatproof.

Pair your long-wearing foundation with a full-coverage concealer, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer up to 24H Full Coverage to brighten your under-eyes and conceal blemishes.

3. Set with powder

Long-wear liquid foundations will have more staying power if you set them with a face powder. To avoid looking like you’ve caked on tons of makeup, opt for a lightweight powder. Dip a fluffy makeup brush into translucent powder and sweep it onto your face, focusing on your T-zone—where you’re most likely to get oily as the day goes on.

4. Add dimension and color with powder blush and contour

Use contour and blush to bring color to your face and keep your makeup from looking flat.

For your contour, try a neutral or cool-toned powder that’s two to three shades darker than your skin tone. We like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer because it melts into the skin and it never looks gray.

For your blush, look for a blendable powder formula, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Blush. It gives cheeks a natural flush of color and brightens your overall complexion.

5. Prime your eyes before eyeshadow

Primer isn’t just for your face, so if you’re planning to wear eye makeup, you’ll want to prime your eyes, too. A great hack is to take a waterproof eye pencil in a flesh-toned hue and use it to fill your lid with color. Use a finger to smudge the liner all over your lid and you’ll have a long-wearing, waterproof base for your eyeshadow.

For your lids, you can’t go wrong with a smokey eye moment. Look for a palette with a mix of light and dark shades to create the iconic sultry blending. For a shimmery finish, layer on the L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Eyes Shimmer Liquid Eye Shadow Makeup to make your eyes pop.

6. Wear waterproof eye makeup

Let’s be real, your wedding is bound to get emotional. As such, you’ll want to prepare for inevitable waterworks by wearing waterproof eye makeup. We have all your bases covered below:

For waterproof mascara, try the L'Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Waterproof Mascara. The formula is great for lifting and separating your lashes sans clumps.

For waterproof liquid eyeliner, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner. The precise felt tip is perfect for crafting a sharp cat eye, and the formula is long-wearing, waterproof, and transfer-proof. If you want to wear winged eyeliner for your wedding, we suggest finding the right type of wing for your eye shape.

For waterproof pencil eyeliner, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner. It lasts up to 36 hours, and the built-in smudger is excellent for creating smokey eye looks.

7. Opt for a matte lipstick

Chances are you’ll have to reapply your lipstick a few times on your wedding day. When you’re kissing your new spouse and sipping on champagne, touch-ups are a must. Whether or not you’ll have to reapply isn’t up for debate, but how often you’ll have to is. For a comfortable velvety matte finish, we love the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick. The slim bullet doubles as a lip liner so application is quick and easy. Plus, it comes in a variety of shades, meaning you can rock a pink, nude, or red lip for your big day—it’s up to you.

8. Finish with makeup setting spray

Wearing a face full of long-wear makeup products is a great way to extend the life of your makeup look. However, it isn’t all you can do. The final step when applying your makeup can make all the difference in how your look holds up. For the perfect finishing touch, lock in your makeup with a few spritzes of the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 3-Second Setting Mist.

20 Bridal Makeup Ideas to Inspire You

The tutorial above is full of great tips for creating a long-lasting look. But there are so many different ways to do wedding makeup. Below, find 20 different options (complete with inspiration photos!).

Natural Glam Wedding Makeup

This natural glam wedding makeup look features smooth, even skin, shimmery neutral-toned shadow, soft liner, and a satin lip.

First, you’ll need to determine whether you want a glowy or skin-like finish. For the former, apply L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer to your face, neck, and décolletage. This illuminating formula provides a sheer wash of color and gives skin a radiant finish. As for the latter, try the L'Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation, which adapts to your skin so you can't tell where your foundation ends and your real skin texture begins. After laying your base makeup, subtly contour and highlight your face, and then add a few sweeps of a rosy blush. We’re partial to L’Oréal Paris True Match Blush for a natural flush of complexion-brightening color. Complete your glam with a pink or peach lipstick like our Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Mauved or Peach Fuzz.

And you can skip the falsies for this timeless look—they’re not necessary. Instead, define your lashes with the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Panorama Waterproof Mascara, which creates corner-to-corner panoramic volume and wears for up to 24 hours without flaking, clumping, or smudging (even if you shed a tear or two).

Shimmery Lids

For those who want their eyes to be the main focus of their bridal makeup, this is the look to go for. The soft, feminine look stars shimmery taupe lids, a lightly defined crease, and a soft wing created with eyeshadow rather than a liner. Add individual lashes to the outer corner of your eyes to get natural-looking definition, and finish your wedding makeup look with a few swipes of your favorite matte lipstick—mauve tones play especially well with the cool tones of the shadow.

Timeless Neutrals

Anyone who has ever thumbed through a wedding album from the 1980s will understand the appeal of a classic bridal makeup look. Today’s hottest makeup trends will eventually become as dated as the blue eyeshadow and frosted pink lips mom sported in ‘85, so opting for a neutral color palette—think nudes, neutrals, and rosy hues—will give your wedding makeup look a timeless feel.

Full Glam Bridal Makeup

Your wedding day is the perfect opportunity to go all out with your hair and makeup, which is exactly why we love a full glam bridal look. To get this head-turning wedding makeup look, full-coverage foundation is a must. Try the aforementioned L’Oréal Paris Infallible 32 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, and, for extra staying power, lock in your look with setting spray.

Classic Winged Liner

Winged eyeliner is a wedding makeup staple for a reason: it’s flattering, attention-grabbing, and easily customizable for any eye shape. For this look, we suggest allowing your eyes to be the focal point. Pair your classic wing with rosy lips and flushed cheeks for a well-balanced look that’ll photograph beautifully.

Dewy Wedding Makeup

This dewy, skin-focused wedding makeup look is incredibly easy to achieve, making it a great option for anyone who wants to do their own makeup for their big day. For a your-skin-but-better finish, we love the L’Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum. The formula with hyaluronic acid and luminous pigments provides skin with sheer, lightweight coverage, a brightened finish, and a hydrated feel. Then, add peachy blush, rose gold eyeshadow, and a bit of eyeliner to complete your lit-from-within look.

Understated Wedding Makeup

If you favor a no-makeup makeup look in your everyday life, don’t feel pressured into changing your style just because it's your wedding day. A few tweaks to your usual makeup routine will yield gorgeous results perfect for your walk down the aisle. We suggest swapping your skin tint for a medium-coverage foundation, filling in your brows, and replacing your tinted balm with a nude lip liner and lipstick combo.

Soft Pink Monochrome

Pink practically screams romance—and rosy monochrome makeup makes for a stunning (and timeless) bridal makeup look. Blush and matte pink lipstick are the key elements of this look, but you can add dimension with details like shimmery shadow, champagne highlighter, and soft brown eyeliner.

Vintage-Inspired Wedding Makeup

Old Hollywood-inspired makeup can sometimes feel like too much for daily wear—but the ultra-glam, retro aesthetic is perfect for a special day. While there are a few key elements to this look (such as winged eyeliner and soft matte foundation), a classic red lip is the star of the show. Get a long-lasting lip look by filling in your lips with L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Always Red, then adding a coat of your favorite satin-finish red lipstick (we’re big fans of L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Red Passion).

Soft Glam

Soft glam has been all over social media for a few years now, but unlike some other viral makeup trends, it works beautifully as a timeless bridal makeup look. It’s glam enough to be worthy of your big day but understated enough that you’ll still feel like you. Best of all, this elegant look pairs beautifully with any style of dress (and is fitting for any venue, indoors or out).

Glowy Peach Wedding Makeup

Replicate a flattering golden hour glow—even if your ceremony is held after dark—by opting for makeup in sunset-inspired hues like gold, peach, and coral. You’ll want your skin to be the star of this alluring look, so skip the matte foundation and opt for one with a dewy, radiant finish. Pair it with lots of blush, a touch of bronzer, and a luminous highlighter for a glowy, natural look.

Boho Bridal Makeup

Healthy-looking skin with a sunkissed, bronzy glow is a key element of this free-spirited bridal makeup idea. Swap pink blush for a richer, warmer bronzer, then brush up your brows to add fullness and definition. Complete the carefree look with slightly smudged brown eyeliner—we love L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Bronze.

Softly Sculpted

Sculpted Instagram makeup looks great in photos, but can feel a bit heavy when paired with a pristine white dress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t emphasize your cheekbones—you’ll just want to take a slightly different approach. Skip the opaque matte bronzer and instead, lightly define your cheekbones with a luminous cool-toned contour. Then, apply plenty of blush to the apples of your cheeks and along the top of your cheekbones to make them pop while still maintaining a natural-looking, elegant feel.

Beachy Wedding Makeup

Brides getting married by the sea should consider this natural, minimalist makeup look—it’s special-occasion ready but still fitting for a beachside ceremony. If you’ll be exchanging vows during the day, remember to protect your skin with plenty of sunscreen. For a hydrated-looking finish (and no photo-sabotaging white cast), try L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Lotion. The lightweight formula boasts a non-greasy finish and layers beautifully under makeup.

Shimmery Winter Wedding Makeup

The best thing about getting married in the winter is that you don’t have to worry about soaring temperatures melting off your look, which means you can go a little heavier with your bridal eye makeup (if desired). Try pairing snowy pearlescent eyeshadow with bold winged liner and a glossy nude lip. The eye-catching and subtly shimmery combo makes for a dreamy bridal makeup look perfect for cold-weather weddings.

Latte Makeup

If you want to create your wedding day makeup using products you already have on hand, consider latte makeup (one of the few viral trends we’d argue is perfect for your wedding day). The alluring look forgoes the pinks and shimmers often seen in wedding makeup in favor of matte makeup in a softer neutral palette—think caramels, toffees, and chocolates.

Grungy Glam Bridal Makeup

On your wedding day, you should feel like the best version of yourself—not like you’re playing dress-up. If you normally favor an edgier aesthetic, there’s no reason you can’t make that work on your wedding day. Pair your signature smudged black eyeliner with fresh-looking skin and a satin nude lip for a balanced look that’s perfect for your walk down the aisle (and the after party).

Statement Lipstick

A statement lip is ideal for your wedding makeup look because it’s attention-grabbing, customizable, and super easy to touch up after a glass or two of champagne. Classic crimson looks gorgeous on everyone—just be sure to pick the right red for your undertones. If you have cooler-toned skin, try a blue-red like L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Rouge Determination. Warmer merlot and burgundy shades, meanwhile, are a perfect match for warmer-toned skin.

Colorful Smoky Eye

If you want your bridal eye makeup to make a lasting impression, consider opting for a colorful take on the classic smoky eye. We love the flattering burgundy and purple tones pictured here, but emeralds, sapphires, and even deep ruby hues would work well, too. Just be sure to keep the rest of your makeup on the softer side for a well-balanced wedding makeup look.

Glittery Eyeshadow

There’s a time and place for glitter—and your wedding day is definitely it. Pair sparkly eyeshadow with full, voluminous lashes and glossy nude lips for a look that’ll have you feeling like a princess on your special day.

Next Up: 5 Things To Avoid With Your Wedding Skincare

Photo Credit: IG@/botiashairandmakeup

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