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Bridal Makeup 101: A Complete Tutorial

Why Bridal Makeup is Essential for Your Big Day

Every bride dreams of looking stunning on her wedding day. To achieve this, a perfect bridal makeup tutorial can make all the difference. Whether you're planning a traditional ceremony or an intimate gathering, your makeup can enhance your natural beauty and boost your confidence.

For a quick overview, here are the essentials you'll learn in this tutorial:

  • Pre-Wedding Skincare: Prepping your skin for makeup

  • Step-by-Step Makeup Application: From primer to the perfect lipstick

  • Professional Tips: Techniques to ensure a flawless finish that lasts all day

With the rise of DIY trends, many brides are opting to do their own makeup. This can be a cost-effective solution without sacrificing the polished look you deserve. As Yasmin Salmon, an expert bridal makeup artist, notes: “With a bit of practice and the right products, any bride can achieve a stunning look.”

I'm Rachel Voss, and I began my journey as a hairstylist. Over time, I discovered my passion for mentoring and grew into roles focused on comprehensive training. My experience has shown that with the right guidance, anyone can master the perfect bridal makeup look.

Let's dive into the steps to make you shine on your special day.

Pre-Wedding Skincare Routine

A great bridal makeup look starts with healthy, glowing skin. Here’s how to prep your skin for the big day:


Cleansing is the foundation of any good skincare routine. Use a gentle cleanser like La Roche-Posay Toleriane to remove dirt, oil, and makeup. Clean skin ensures that your makeup goes on smoothly and stays put.

Pro Tip: Cleanse your face twice a day—once in the morning and once before bed.


Moisturizing is a must to keep your skin hydrated. Yasmin Salmon recommends using Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Moisturizer for a dewy look. This helps your makeup blend better and last longer.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget an eye cream like Eborian Ginseng Eye Cream to prevent dryness under the eyes.


Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, making your skin smoother. However, avoid exfoliating too close to the wedding day to prevent irritation. Stick to gentle exfoliants like an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) product, and use it no more than twice a week.

Pro Tip: Exfoliate at least a week before the wedding to avoid any last-minute skin issues.

Avoiding New Products

Stick to products you know and trust. Trying new skincare products can cause unexpected reactions like breakouts or irritation. If you want to introduce something new, do it at least a month in advance.

Pro Tip: Consult with a dermatologist for personalized advice. Dr. Shari Marchbein notes that any significant changes in your skincare routine should be made well in advance.

Sun Exposure

Protect your skin from sun damage by wearing SPF daily. The Nars Radiance Primer, recommended by Yasmin Salmon, contains SPF and adds a lovely glow to your skin.

Pro Tip: Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible, especially in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Sunburn or tan lines can be difficult to cover with makeup.

By following these steps, you’ll create a perfect canvas for your bridal makeup. Next, we’ll dive into the makeup steps themselves, starting with the primer.

Step-by-Step Bridal Makeup Tutorial

Step 1: Primer

Start with a primer to create a smooth base for your makeup. Yasmin Salmon recommends using Charlotte Tilbury Wander Glow Primer. Apply this all over your face for a dewy, glowing look. Next, use Nars Radiance Primer on the high points of your face like your cheekbones, brow bones, and nose. This primer not only adds extra radiance but also contains SPF to protect your skin.

Application Tip: Use your fingers to apply primer. This helps the product melt into your skin for a streak-free finish.

Step 2: Foundation

For foundation, you have two excellent options. If you prefer a glowing look that mimics natural skin, go for Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. For more full coverage with a radiant finish, try Glow Wish by Huda Beauty.

Application Technique: Start with a thin layer and build up gradually. Use a compact foundation brush to avoid a cakey look.

Step 3: Concealer & Eye Primer

Use Nars Creamy Radiance concealer to cover dark circles, spots, and redness. Apply it to the inner and outer corners of your eyes first, then blend inward. Also, apply a small amount on your eyelids to act as an eye primer.

Application Tip: Gently pat the concealer with your index finger and blend upwards toward your hairline for a lifted look.

Step 4: Contouring

Define your face with the Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand. Apply the product to the back of your hand first, then use a large blending brush to pick up the product. Apply it to the hollows of your cheeks, temples, and jawline.

Blending Tip: Less is more. Gradually build up the product for a natural look.

Step 5: Setting Powder

Lock in your makeup with Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish setting powder. Concentrate on areas prone to shine, like under your eyes and the T-zone.

Longevity Tip: This powder helps prevent the "shiny forehead" effect in photos, making it a must-have for brides.

Step 6: Eye Shadow

Use the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in 'Nude Dip'. Start with the 'mushroom brown' shade in the crease, then blend the darkest brown into the outer corners. Brighten the inner corners with the lightest cream shade.

Blending Tip: Use small circular motions to blend the colors seamlessly.

Step 7: Eyeliner & Mascara

For eyeliner, use Sweed Beauty Brown Pencil or Charlotte Tilbury Shimmering Brown. Apply it from the outer corner to about ¾ of the way in, then smudge it for a cat-eye effect. Finish with Sweed Beauty Mascara for long, fluttery lashes.

Application Tip: Use a smudger brush to soften the eyeliner for a smoky look.

Step 8: Blush

Choose a Laura Mercier Blush shade that suits your skin tone. Use 'Strawberry' for paler skin and 'Sangria' for darker tones. Apply blush from the apples of your cheeks up toward your hairline.

Application Technique: Tap off excess product before applying to avoid overdoing it.

Step 9: Bronzer

For a sun-kissed look, use Tom Ford Terra 02 or La Bouche Rouge Bronzer. Apply bronzer where the sun naturally hits your face: cheeks, forehead, and chin.

Application Tip: Use a light hand and build up gradually for a natural finish.

Step 10: Highlighter

Highlight your high points with Hourglass Highlighter Stick in 'Champagne'. Apply it to your cheekbones, brow bones, cupid's bow, and inner corners of your eyes.

Blending Tip: Use your fingers to blend the product evenly for a seamless glow.

Step 11: Lipstick

Finish your look with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick, a universally flattering shade. For a custom shade, try La Bouche Rouge Nude Pink. If you prefer a glossy finish, top it off with Iconic London Lip Oil.

Application Tip: Keep your lipstick handy for touch-ups throughout the day.

Now that you have the steps for a flawless bridal makeup look, we'll move on to some essential tips and tricks to ensure your makeup lasts all day.

Bridal Makeup Tips and Tricks

Blending Techniques

Blending is key to a natural look. Use a large blending brush for contouring and a small blending brush for eyeshadow. Always start with a small amount of product and gradually build up. Swirl the brush in circles to blend seamlessly. Yasmin Salmon suggests applying product on the back of your hand first to control the amount.

Product Layering

Layering products correctly can make a big difference. For instance, apply primer before foundation to create a smooth base. Follow with concealer to cover any spots or redness. Then, layer setting powder to lock everything in place. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish is excellent for setting your makeup and preventing shine.

Makeup Longevity

To ensure your makeup lasts all day, use a combination of setting powder and a setting spray. Apply setting powder under the eyes and T-Zone to prevent shine and flashback in photos. A setting spray can add an extra layer of security, keeping everything in place through tears, sweat, and dancing.

Touch-Up Tips

Even the best makeup might need a little touch-up. Keep a small touch-up kit with you, including your lipstick, setting powder, and a blending brush. Assign your maid of honor to remind you to reapply lipstick and check for any shine throughout the day.

These tips will help you maintain your stunning bridal look from the ceremony to the last dance. Now, let's answer some common questions about bridal makeup to clear up any doubts you might have.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bridal Makeup

What not to do before wedding makeup?

Avoid exfoliation right before your wedding day. Exfoliating can cause redness and irritation, which are not ideal for a smooth makeup application. Instead, exfoliate a few days prior to ensure your skin has time to settle.

Stay away from heat treatments like hot facials or steam rooms the day before. These can open up your pores, making your skin too sensitive for makeup.

Limit sun exposure in the days leading up to your wedding. Sunburn or tanning can lead to peeling or uneven skin tone, which is difficult to cover with makeup.

Do not introduce new products into your skincare routine right before the wedding. New products can cause unexpected reactions like breakouts or allergies.

Avoid overdoing skincare treatments. Too many masks, serums, or peels can irritate your skin. Stick to your regular routine to keep your skin calm and balanced.

Should bride get hair or makeup done first?

Makeup first is usually the best approach. This allows for better blending into the hairline without messing up your hairstyle.

When your makeup is done first, your stylist can avoid getting hair products on your face, which can interfere with your makeup.

How to practice bridal makeup?

Trial runs are essential. Schedule at least one or two trial sessions to practice your bridal makeup look. This helps you get comfortable with the process and make any necessary adjustments.

Wear your makeup to events before the big day. This will help you see how it holds up over several hours and under different conditions.

Photo testing is crucial. Take pictures in various lighting conditions to see how your makeup looks on camera. This will help you tweak your look to be photo-ready.

Practicing these steps will ensure you feel confident and look stunning on your wedding day.


In summary, creating your own bridal makeup look can be both exciting and rewarding. Practice is key. The more you work on your technique, the more comfortable and confident you will feel on your big day.

Trial runs are essential. They allow you to fine-tune your look and make sure everything is perfect. Wear your makeup to events and take photos in different lighting conditions to see how it holds up. This way, you'll know exactly what to expect and can make any necessary adjustments.

At VOSS SALON, we are committed to providing a premium beauty experience. Whether you're looking for a wedding hair stylist in Dallas or other beauty services, our team of professionals is here to help you look and feel your best.

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for a $25 discount on your first service. We look forward to being a part of your special day and helping you create the perfect bridal look.

Practice makes perfect, and with the right guidance and products, you can achieve a stunning bridal makeup look that will make you feel beautiful and confident.

For more information about our services, visit our services page.

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