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10 Essential Wedding Makeup Tips

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

Wedding planning is stressful enough as it is, we've totally been there! Even for the smallest of weddings it's so much work just getting all the details buttoned up especially leading up to the final two weeks or so. To help give some insight and peace of mind, here are some of our tried-and-true, essential wedding makeup tips we share with every bride that sits in our makeup chair.

First of all, this one might seem obvious but you'd be surprised. A reaction to a new product or break-outs post-facial can really put a damper on your wedding day, it's basically the day you want your best skin. Don't change skincare or get a facial days before leading up to the wedding. We say it's best to try anything new, weeks if not months prior and get a facial no sooner than at least 10 days out or ask your esthetician who knows your skin best, what they think before going for it. A lot of times facials involve extractions and can bring blemishes to the surface. Give your skin the time to clear up and look flawless post-facial before your event.

We recommend deciding on your makeup once your dress and wedding theme has been picked out. If you decide to change the color scheme, or at first wanted a pin-up style dress then change to boho, it would likely change the look of your makeup too. If you and your MUA decided on a particular look, modifying this the day of could likely take more time to work out in an already stressful time leading up to the aisle walk. Best to have that all ironed out ahead of time, and that leads us to the next tip!

Do a trial! It might seem like an extra step (and extra cost) but trust us, it is such an epic relief to have everything already decided on and out of the way to prevent any issues the day of. If you don't like something, correcting it can eat away at the precious time you need to get ready. Don't get us wrong, we've definitely had to do weddings with zero trials or ideas of what the bride wanted before going into it, especially when called in at the last minute. The only type of bride this would be recommended for is one who literally does not care what the makeup turns out like. This is rare and is usually for super low key weddings (which is fine too!). We just always say, better safe than sorry. So book a trial.

Book ahead with plenty of time. If you have your heart set on a specific wedding MUA you might need to book them as far as a year in advance, especially as wedding season picks up now that the pandemic is starting to ease venue regulations. It's typically a short window between June-Sept (in the PNW) so spaces fill up quickly, especially weekends. Just be sure it's at least enough time beforehand in case you want to make changes. The artist will likely ask for a small deposit to hold the appointments and to deter cancellations since their schedule is so limited.

Give the artist examples of looks you love ahead of time, i.e. Pinterest, bridal magazines, or any inspiration photos off of Instagram. It's great for the artist to have a point of reference, after all, we likely just met and don't really know what your personal taste truly is. The good news is, most bridal makeup is similar where it's just an enhanced version of you naturally but just glammed up a bit but what if you wanted more glitter than you realized? What if you actually do like the look of contour? Show your MUA your likes and dislikes, after all, you hired them to give you exactly what you want and they appreciate the examples, promise.

Say yes to lashes if you can stand them. Not everyone is used to wearing lashes on a normal day-to-day so the thought of them might make you feel a bit unsure. Lashes enhance your final look and photograph much better than natural lashes. If you are worried about crying your mascara down your face, or Aunt Gertie splashing champagne on you during the bouquet toss, opt for lash extensions and get them at least a month beforehand to try them out and check for allergies to glue, etc. You can always get a fill if you want to try them for longer than a month or so. There are also DIY lash extensions that are far more affordable (under $10), last about a week, and can be applied the morning of. They are water-resistant, sweat & cry-proof, and would be a great alternative to the cost of professional lash extensions. I'd recommend getting a few pairs and wearing them a couple of weeks prior to check for allergies and comfortable wear. P.S. I have a code! Lilac St. 5 Day Lash Extensions Use code FIRSTORDER10 to get 10% off.

Choose your lipstick color/formula at the trial with your artist and purchase it before the wedding day or be sure your artist is picking it up for you. You will 100% need to retouch your lipstick throughout the event, no matter what magic formula or setting application the artist does so you will want it in your purse or near you for touch-ups. Having something easy to apply after eating, before pics, etc. is imperative to having lasting fresh makeup throughout the day and into the evening. The type of formula you choose will be between you and your artist. For example, would you prefer a liquid lipstick that doesn't kiss off but wouldn't be ideal for eating and drinking a lot? Or a satin softer finish that would naturally fade into your lip but needs touched up more often? Perhaps you just want a low maintenance peachy-pink gloss? These are the things you will want to talk over with your MUA.

Choose your makeup based on what you want to see in a pic forever. It's important to think this through before choosing your go-to wing since wedding pics end up on nearly every family member's wall in a frame. For example, liquid eyeliner can look harsher than say a smokey wing, so if you want to look like a soft, glam version of yourself ask your artist for an eye pencil or eyeshadow based smokier wing. Considering red lipstick? Make sure it's 100% what you want, if you are doubting it for even a second, take plenty of photos after your trial makeup and look back over them after a few days. You might just change your mind.

This isn't a deal-breaker but, find a makeup artist and glam squad that matches your vibe. If you're someone who needs calm energy during a stressful time, you might not want someone whose all bubbly and loud in your face for 60-90mns. On the other side of that, maybe you need someone to distract you and be that high-energy personality to keep you pumped before having to face your entire family and friends. Most pro artists should be able to adapt to any situation but, when looking for an artist, do a little digging. Check their Instagram and website and see if they seem like someone you'd love to have around for such an important moment. It's a memory you will have forever!

This rarely ever happens but is a huge help, plus we've seen this benefit the Bride more than anyone else- Tell family it would be best if minimal people were around during hair and makeup. You want to be still and less distracted plus, 9 times out of 10 whatever they have to say can wait. It's also common for family members to invoke happy tears, so let them know ahead of time you just need that moment to get ready and have some zen-out time with your glam squad!


Most of all, just know that 100% of the brides we've ever done makeup for on their big day, have always been the calmest most radiant person in the entire room. There is really something to be said about that wedding glow, it's a real thing and we absolutely love to be a part of enhancing that. Happy planning and if you want to book our Pro MUA, Seanna just click here for more info. She will travel to you!


Seanna would like to thank this blog post for giving her an opportunity to get out her wedding dress and prance around her house in it after three years in hibernation.

*Note: some links are affiliated and fuel this blog, thanks for your support!

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