Wedding Day Makeup Tips – For Brides Who Don’t Wear Makeup

If you don’t wear a lot of makeup (or any at all), the thought of getting dolled up, putting on a ton of foundation and hiring a makeup artist for your wedding can be daunting.  

You might want to wear a little bit of makeup (after all, you’re paying enough for photos and the dress, you might as well look your best). But perhaps you’re terrified that you’ll look so unlike yourself that your hubby-to-be won’t shed tears of joy when you walk down the aisle, he’ll just have a look of confusion!

So for someone who rarely wears makeup, what would a makeup artist recommend for the wedding day?

I turned to Sophie from Harmony Skin and Beauty for some tips, hints and secrets to wearing makeup when you are usually makeup-free.

bride having small amount of makeup applied by makeup artist.

If you rarely wear makeup, what does a makeup artist recommend for the wedding day?

As with most things wedding, there’s no hard and fast rule that you have to wear makeup. So if you’re really concerned about wearing makeup, and just don’t want to – don’t!

But if you do want to wear some makeup… but you’re feeling anxious about how you’ll look, or a bit embarrassed about your lack of makeup knowledge, or perhaps you’ve had reactions to makeup products in the past, so you’re worried about your skin – then Sophie’s advice should put your mind at ease.

“First of all, makeup should be fun and not stressful”, Sophie says, “It’s about emphasising your natural beauty – but most of all, it’s about helping you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin!”

Comfortable and confident were two words that came up again and again.  That is the feeling you’re looking for. You want your makeup artist to give you confidence so you feel comfortable – whatever the makeup style you opt for.

Is there a difference between how you would approach a makeup fan vs a makeup newbie?

I asked Sophie if you should let the makeup artist know whether you’re not usually a makeup wearer, and her answer was yes.  The makeup artist will approach a makeup fan and someone newer to makeup differently.

“Any makeup artist will look after a makeup fan and makeup ‘newbie’ in different ways. For someone who doesn’t wear makeup everyday, the key is ensuring they feel comfortable with how the makeup feels on their skin, the tones and colours used and the makeup styles applied (such as, if you aren’t used to eyeshadow, you may not be confident rocking a winged liner look and red lippy!)

There is absolutely no problem with wearing minimal makeup on your wedding day, Sophie assured me.  Sophie and her team are trained in doing minimal makeup that looks good for your photos – things like a little contouring, natural lips and eyes, and a bit of mascara. “When a bride doesn’t usually wear makeup for their everyday look, they’ll opt for more matt colours, dewy soft foundations and natural lipsticks instead.”

Sophie emphasized that a good makeup artist wouldn’t leave a bride unhappy. Part of knowing if the bride is happy or not, is communicating with the makeup artist.  This can mean being assertive, possibly sharing insecurities, and feeling vulnerable. You don’t want to be making these calls on your wedding day… so it’s vitally important to have a makeup trial. Don’t be afraid to express any worries!

no makeup bride with makeup artist adding minimal makeup.

Getting a makeup trial is extra important if you don’t usually wear makeup

A common misconception about makeup trials can be that it is practice for the makeup artist… the suggestion you have a trial is met with a bit of skepticism.  But a trial is for your peace of mind than practice.

There’s a few different reasons for your makeup trial:

Will the makeup react with my sensitive skin?

First of all, “if part of the reason you don’t wear makeup is due to sensitive skin, the makeup trial is a great opportunity to check that there’s no irritations or reactions”, Sophie explains. She also mentioned it is extremely rare to have a reaction if the makeup used is of good quality, professional and applied hygienically – like the Quoi and Priori mineral makeup ranges Harmony Skin & Beauty uses.

Finding the right fit: making decisions before the wedding day

Secondly, Sophie points out “the very last time you want to be making decisions, is on your wedding day”! You want to be able to sit back and relax, right?

Your makeup trial is your opportunity to make all those decisions with the help and guidance of your makeup artist: “Perhaps you may opt for a powder foundation over a liquid, or decide you could wear a darker lippy than you thought. Maybe you might even want to try the false lashes too!” It’s an opportunity to play and plan.

As she applies your makeup, your makeup artist will be explaining what she’s doing, why, and you might even pick up some tips for your own use (that’s how I started using a foundation brush instead of my fingers!).

Makeup artist and assistant applying makeup on bride while sitting..

Getting comfortable with your makeup artist

Another good point from Sophie was “you’re going to be spending the morning of your wedding with this person, literally working on your face, on a really emotionally-charged day”.

So you probably want to know them, right?!  Finding the right fit for you is important. You’ll start building rapport and a relationship with them from the first point of contact, so if you are feeling nervous or uncomfortable from the start follow your instincts.  For more information on how to pick the perfect makeup artist, follow my tips on finding wedding vendors here.

You may need to be vulnerable, and always be open and honest with your makeup artist. They are caring people – that’s why they do this – so don’t be afraid to share how you’re feeling. A major part of your trial is giving feedback.  If you’re worried that your eyeshadow is too dark, or cheeks are too pink – you need to say. She won’t be offended.

Giving feedback on your makeup after wearing it for a while

As I mentioned above, a big reason for your makeup trial is giving feedback on how you feel about your makeup. But you’re not limited to sharing your feelings only while you are having your trial appointment. Once you’re used to the feel of the makeup, and see how it wears, you can email or ring your makeup artist with any thoughts or concerns that come up.

If you wanted to, Sophie recommends visiting your Mum and/or a trusted friend, to hear their thoughts on your makeup. If you are happy with an aspect but your Mum or friend isn’t, go with your gut feeling on it. You’re the one wearing it, you need to feel confident.

You can bring a trusted friend to the trial – but don’t go overboard and bring everyone along.  You need space to decide how you feel about your makeup! Do let your makeup artist know if you’re going to bring a friend (or your Mum) – just so they have enough room for them.

Makeup artist and assistant applying makeup on bride.

When should I get my makeup trial?

This question comes up all the time. It’s simple: whenever works for you.

Sophie has some brides book in over 6 months before their wedding day – because that may be the only weekend the bride-to-be can get to Alexandra to see her. Other brides may book in for the week before their day.

It seems like a lot of brides book it for the day of their hen’s night – that way they have their makeup done nicely already.

Skin care: Making the most of your natural assets

If you’re going minimal with your makeup, you might want to focus on your skin. If your skin is healthy, radiant and glowing, then you may feel as though you need less coverage with your makeup (I know if my skin was perfect I wouldn’t bother with makeup at all).

What I like about the makeup artists at Harmony Skin and Beauty are that they are also beauty therapists. This means they are educated in skin care and treatments.  I was surprised when Sophie told me it’s mostly what you do at home that can affect your skin. Skin health is 70% internal (such as what we put into our bodies) and 30% external (the treatments and products we use on our skin)….so what does that really mean for us?

  • Your Lifestyle – water intake, food, stress, essential fatty acids and zinc – play a huge part in how your skin looks.  So up your water, eat well, and relax a heap more!
  • Routine and Consistency – Using the right cleanser and moisturiser for your skin type – and doing it daily – is SO important, Sophie emphasised.  A beauty therapist can give you the information, tools and treatments – but it’s up to you to stick at them long term
  • Treatments –  As well as your day to day care of your skin, the beauty therapists at Harmony can recommend more specialised treatments to treat individual skin concerns, including Facials, Prodermal Peels, IPL Skin Rejuvenation and Collagen Induction. The real results of these treatments are seen when you are maintaining your skin afterwards too, and can be the answer to solving any skin issues you want addressed before the day.

Remember, your skin is your largest organ, so what you put in your body and on your skin affects it.

Bride with bouquet and makeup on.

Will you wear makeup on your wedding day?

Whether you go dramatic or minimal, you need to feel comfortable and confident. I hope Sophie’s tips and advice will help when you’re deciding what to do about makeup on your wedding day.

Related reading – 6 Months To Plan A Wedding – Complete Guide

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