A Guide for disaster-free natural wedding makeup: Industry tips to get the glow you want


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Get Flawless Wedding Day Makeup

In this guest post by Dawn Gosney of Dawn Marie Makeup, Certified Makeup Artist, Dawn shares how to get a natural wedding makeup with tried-and-true tips that you might be surprised to learn. These tips will make all the difference in your wedding makeup!

What perfect wedding makeup does

Congratulations! You’re getting married, and planning your special day is underway! Choosing the right make-up artist is so important in helping you look and feel your best for your big day. As a freelance makeup artist, it is my joy and passion to be a part of a bride’s planning journey and wedding day. I want you to look and feel the best that you possibly can! And it makes all the difference in your wedding photography, too! Below, read about my top tips for gorgeous wedding makeup.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Makeup Artist for you

Like any form of art, each makeup artist has a unique style. Look at social media profiles, websites, and ask for recommendations from friends to find the artist that you feel most connected to. You are going to be photographed all day, so you want a professional artist to take your look to an exceptional level! Arrange a makeup trial in advance and coordinate it when you have your engagement photo session or a date night!

Tip 2: Choose your Look: Neutral vs. Natural wedding makeup

I always ask my clients to tell me what key words come to mind when they think about their wedding makeup – fresh, bright, soft, bold, smokey, polished, glam, natural. There is such an array of bridal makeup looks to choose from that keywords like these help to initially narrow down what you are looking for! Makeup trials are the best way to truly decide on your wedding day look.

Finding inspiration photos to show your artist what you are thinking is a great way to help further define what kind of makeup application you would like. By showing me photos I can talk to you about what you like about each image and get a sense of whether you are drawn to the tones used, or the foundation coverage, bronzing, etc. 

Neutral vs. Natural?

Neutral vs. Natural – these words are not always synonymous and are often used incorrectly when discussing makeup. A look with neutral tones does not always equate to a “natural” look. “Natural” wedding makeup means something different to every client and to every artist. Many brides actually like a full glam look using neutral tones, though they think they are asking for a “natural” look.

Natural Wedding Makeup

When you search “Natural Wedding Makeup” on Pinterest you will get every kind of look imaginable!  Here are two popular images from Pinterest to help you better understand Neutral vs. Natural makeup. Both are absolutely stunning, and you can combine elements from any kind of style for your own look! A more natural wedding makeup look will have a softer overall effect.

Photo (right): Amber Rae Makeup | Photo (left): Carly Pribick Makeup Artist / Photo credit Kristin Lavoie Photography

Tip 3: Don’t skip False Eyelashes

False eyelashes bring a cohesiveness to a makeup application. Most makeup artists will strongly suggest brides use them (if you don’t already have lash extension). False lashes simply photograph better than your natural lashes. Adding false lashes on top of your natural ones give a uniformity and volume that natural lashes just don’t tend to have. And because photography softens and dilutes the makeup on your face, you will look more polished by having them. There are all kinds of false lashes out there (even the little individual ones, or very light/soft strip lashes) and they will take your look to the final level in a way that natural lashes won’t. If you’re really unsure, talk to your artist, but truly, false lashes aren’t a step to skip!

Tip 4: Establish a glowing Skin-Care Routine

The healthier your skin is, the better your make up will look!

If you have a regular skin-care routine, keep it up! Now is a great time to add a luxury product like a serum into your routine. A serum will give your skin some extra love and you’ll gain an extra glow before your wedding. For those who don’t follow much of a skin care routine, look at establishing one right away. You want to get your skin as healthy as it can be for your wedding day makeup application! Consider talking to a professional about your skin needs. Making your skin look flawless is typically where makeup artists spend the most time during the makeup application. The healthier your skin is, the better your make up will look!

Dawn Marie’s Favourite Cleansers & Moisturizers

Do this before your Wedding

Tip 6: Drink More Water

Add more water into your daily routine in the weeks ahead of your wedding to ensure your skin is glowing and hydrated! Hydrated skin is half the battle to a glowing, perfect face!

Tip 7: Plan Your Wedding Morning Timeline 

Ensure you give your artist(s) enough time to get all of the makeup applications done on your wedding day. Ask your artist how much time they need per person for each application. It’s a good idea to add a bit of a time buffer so there is no stress about getting behind schedule. Don’t add any extra applications to your timeline without asking your artist first!

Tip 8: Try New Things NOW, Not the Week of your Wedding!

Reactions can happen

Do not try something new during the week of your wedding. If you will be trying any kind of new beauty procedure, do it weeks or months before the wedding for the first time to ensure you like it and don’t have an adverse reaction to it.

This tip refers to things like:

  • Getting Eyelash Extensions
  • Brow or Lash Tinting
  • Getting a Spray Tan
  • Eyebrow Waxing
  • Microblading 
  • Skin Treatments
  • New Skincare Products

The Night Before/Day of your Wedding

Tip 9: Drink Water & Get Your Beauty Rest

Stay hydrated!! Hydrated skin is your best bet for that glorious wedding day glow; dry skin adds unwanted texture and makes your makeup artist work harder to put that moisture back into your skin before applying makeup. In addition, it is best not to binge drink or get a real tan (sun or tanning bed) the day before your wedding as that will dry out your skin. Moisturize your lips. Do your best to get a good night’s sleep before your big day. Being tired leads to dull skin, dark undereye circles and bags, and puffiness. Being as well rested and hydrated as possible help you look incredible on your big day. 

Tip 10: Skin Care and Exfoliation

Follow your regular skin care routine, and exfoliate the night before you wedding to help prep your skin for the next morning (see tip 7 – don’t try anything new). Exfoliating removes dead skin cells to improve your skin’s radiance and texture. If you have one, it’s also a great idea to use a serum right after exfoliating, and follow the serum with your moisturizer!

Dawn Marie’s Favourite Exfoliators

Tip 11: Have some Touch-Up Products

Wedding days are long – you are out in the elements, you are being photographed all day, you are laughing, crying, dancing, and sweating. Your artist is going to give you everything the industry provides us to make you as bulletproof as possible and make that makeup last all day long. But there are a few truths we just can’t avoid, like the fact that sweat and oil will eventually break down the foundation, and lipstick will fade after a few hours. If you can, make yourself a little emergency beauty kit. Here are some must-haves and some nice-to-haves (Double check with your artist because they might provide you with a touch-up kit!)

Dawn Marie’s Must-have touch-up items

Nice-to-have touch-up items

  • Mascara and/or eyeliner
  • A small amount of Foundation or Concealer
  • Eyelash Glue

Also, make sure your wedding makeup artist includes a touch-up kit! My Bridal Clients receive a touch-up kit for their wedding day containing the following:

  • Small sample of the lipstick Dawn used for your application, typically a nude or pink tone, along with a disposable lip applicator
  • A small sample jar of the foundation Dawn used for your application, and a triangular makeup sponge
  • Small sample jar of RCMA No-Colour Setting Powder
  • Blotting Papers
  • Cotton Pads
  • Q-Tips 

Tip 12: Communicate With Your Makeup Artist

Don’t be afraid to speak up

I speak on behalf of all artists here – if your application doesn’t meet your needs or expectations, please talk to us! I would much rather work with you and change the look so that you feel beautiful and happy than have you stay quiet and later say you didn’t like your wedding day makeup. Be open and honest, during or after your trial and especially on the day of your wedding, so that we can give you the PERFECT makeup application!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of my simplified guide to perfect wedding day makeup! You can learn more about me and my services at Dawn Marie Makeup.

About Dawn Marie Makeup

Dawn has been a freelance makeup artist in Kitchener and London for over 5 years, and has been a lifelong makeup enthusiast. She received a certificate in Professional Makeup Design from Gina’s College of Advanced Aesthetics in 2016. Dawn specializes in bridal makeup but also has studio and stage makeup experience. Her application style is soft and natural, with a focus on making her clients feel beautiful in their own skin! You can learn more about her and her services at https://dawnmariemakeup.com

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