12 Wedding Makeup Do’s and Don’ts – A Comprehensive Guide to Looking Flawless on Your Big Day

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wedding makeup do's and don'ts

Whether you’re hiring a full glam squad to help get you ready, or plan on doing your own makeup, here are some expert wedding makeup do’s and don’ts to help guide you in the process, so your look stays flawless all day long.


Let’s be real- your wedding day is arguably one of the most prominent events in your life, a time when nearly every moment is captured on film and camera. So, it makes sense that you would want everything to go off without a hitch – including your makeup look. And even though you might have very particular preferences on how you want to be presented on your big day, there are certain things to keep in mind to avoid any beauty blunders.

We tapped pro makeup artist @elkathemakeupartist for the inside scoop on what to do (and not to do) on your big day. Not only does Elka have countless years of experience under her belt, but she’s also a glam master when it comes to wedding day looks. See what she had to say below.

Wedding Makeup Do’s and Don’ts 

Do’s 

1. Prep Skin with A Dose of Moisture  

Avoid dry patches by keeping skin well moisturized before you apply any makeup- this will also help boost your foundation’s longevity. Elka’s favorites include Embryolisse Cream and Tizo Sunscreen SPF +50 (for daytime looks).

Tip: If you want to up the moisture levels, apply hydrating eye patches or a face mask before you kickstart your full makeup process.

2. Mattify the T-Zone 

Use a combination of foundations to achieve the perfect canvas. Elka informs us that she uses a mattifying foundation around the t-zone, as this area tends to produce more oil, which can invariably show up in photos. Towards the face’s outer region, she likes to use a more hydrating foundation to keep dryness at bay. 

Pro Recommended Tool: Airbrush makeup device, Temptu, is a staple in Elka’s kit that help her achieve a flawless, radiant finish.  

3. Select the Right Bronzer

Stick to a bronzer that’s 3-4 shades darker than your skin tone for the most natural outcome. Cream-based products work best as they blend so effortlessly across the skin.

4. Use Blush as Contour 

Yes, you heard that right. Applying blush as contour creates a beautiful lifted look with a subtle glow – a technique often used by the most renowned makeup artists and one Elka is obsessed with. Start by applying a light layer of blush and move upwards towards your temple.

Pro Tip: To make the blush pop, apply a darker color to the center of the cheek, and use a lighter one along your upper cheekbone. Elka informs us that this is the same method used in Charlotte Tilbury blushes (one of her coveted products).

5. Enhance the Eye Color and Shape 

Simple is always better when it comes to the eyes. A classic eyeliner, falsies, and a contoured eye crease go a long way to make the eyes pop.

Pro Tip: If you want to up the glam, add a touch of shimmer onto the lid. Elka recommends hues like warm champagne or frosty pink – both of which photograph beautifully. As for her go-to palettes? She gravitates towards Charlotte Tilbury Golden Goddess and Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance.

6. Create a Feathered Brow 

To create a natural look:

1. Apply a lighter brow shade at the beginning of the brow and a darker shade towards the tail.

2. Always use a soft hand to avoid harsh lines.

3. Brush hairs upward and outward for added fullness.

7. Highlight the High Points of the Face 

What’s a makeup look without highlight? But here’s the thing: not all highlighters photograph well, with some making you look like a disco ball. Elka recommends Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powder. It’s a finishing powder yet provides this gorgeous illumination to the skin, she says. Apply it to the tip of the nose, inner corner, and underneath the eye.

8. Add Some Dew 

A glistening face gloss can create a subtle glow to the skin and help boost luminosity. Just ensure the product is long-lasting, says Elka. One of her personal favorites is Patrick Ta’s Major Glow, which provides the perfect amount of dew and lasting power.   

9. Stick to Neutral Lip Colors 

Opt for lip colors that are sure to complement any look. Think nude or rosy-taupe shades, as they look incredibly flattering, particularly if you’ve chosen a bold eye look.

Don’ts 

1. Avoid Eyelash Extensions 

Eyelash extensions sound great in theory. However, as Elka points out, most of them don’t carry a bold finish, which means they won’t be as eye-catching in photos as a pair of falsies. What’s more, the length can prove to be an obstacle for blending shadows – making it all the more challenging for your makeup artist to nail your envisioned look.

2. Skip the Heavy-Duty Sparkle 

Large glitter particles can result in a flashback in photos, which can potentially lead to time-consuming retouching. Skip the sparkle and focus on shimmer – which adds a soft glisten to the skin.

3. Resist Facial Treatments A Few Days Prior 

While there’s nothing quite like a post-facial glow, it’s best to avoid these treatments a few days before the big day to prevent the risk of inflammation and redness from occurring.