Take Your Wedding Look from Low-Key to Glam in Just a Few Steps

Whether you want a natural look, classic makeup, or something bold, these bridal makeup styles are just a few products apart.

I don’t consider myself to be a professional makeup artist (props to those of you who are), but being the resident makeup junkie in my circle of friends has afforded me many an opportunity to gain some freelance experience. In the last few years, I’ve had the honor on many occasions to help my friends get ready for their wedding day.

Here are three looks for I've done for three different-style brides.

The Low-Key Bride

It’s fun to get gussied up to the max on the big day, but some brides prefer something softer and more low-key.

I always start with eyelids primed with shadow primer (I prefer the Urban Decay Primer Potion), a well-moisturized face, and a facial primer that I know will really hold on to makeup (I use a different primer depending upon the person’s skin type).

For the eyes, I use a light, shimmery, pinky-champagne color all over the mobile lid with a little traditional champagne shadow in the center, shade in the crease with a cool taupe shade, and blend the crease shade out with a shade that’s pretty close to flesh-toned. I add soft definition by mixing a dark brown and black eyeshadow together and tracing along the upper lash line extended only very slightly out and up into a baby wing.

I finish the eyes off by filling in the brows with brow powder and coating the upper lash line with mascara.

For the rest of the face, I apply a long-wearing foundation and concealer, add a nice soft flush to the cheeks with a dusty-pink blush, and bring out the lips subtly with a “your lips but better” lip color (I really like the Revlon Balm Stain in Honey because it lasts well and keeps the lips feeling smooth).

I also add a little bit of rose gold highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones for a nice glowing effect (if you’re fairer skinned you may want to try a lighter highlighting shade).

The Classic Bride

Now, there are various interpretations of classical bridal beauty, but this is the look I get asked for the most.

The same steps apply as far as prep (eye primer, face primer, etc.). For this look I use the LORAC Pro Palette (my favorite neutral palette), starting by applying the shade Nude to the brow bone and the inner corner of the eye. Using a small eyeshadow brush, I apply Gold all over the mobile lid. Using a stiff blending brush, I take Espresso and pack it into the outer v of the eye, bringing it about a quarter of the way into the crease. I blend everything out with a very slight touch of Sable.

The next step is liner; I use a small angled brush and Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner to line all the way across the upper lash line. Next, I take a slightly bigger angled brush, dip it into black shadow, and gently and slightly smudge the liner I just laid down, extending it out into a full wing.

I finished the look the same way I did the first one: mascara, brows, soft blush, and a neutral lip—I opted for the Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Rapture in this case because it looked stunning on my friend at her wedding this past weekend.

This look is just a modification to the classic bride that ups the wow factor a bit. I repeat all the same steps as above for the eye look and add a bit more definition by bring a soft black shadow down onto the outer third of the lower lash line with a pencil brush.

Instead of keeping the lip neutral this time, I opted for a classic red shade (I mixed NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo with NYX Creamy Round Lipstick in Electra). To make sure the lip color was locked in place, I applied Monte Carlo first, added Electra, blotted, added Electra, and then blotted again.

I set all of these looks with the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray.

What are your favorite bridal beauty looks? I’d love to hear from full-fledged makeup artist’s as well, what are your most request looks for the big day?