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Mastering Wedding Guest Makeup A Step by Step Guide

Hi Bellas,


It's officially wedding season!  And if you're a guest of an upcoming wedding, you may need some assistance in getting your look together.  I'm here to help!  As a guest, you want to look your best while still feeling comfortable. Achieving a flawless makeup look that lasts all day can be a challenge, but with these tips, you can create a beautiful, elegant appearance that’s perfect for celebrating the happy couple.





1. Prep Your Skin

A great makeup look starts with a well-prepped base.  I would try to to get your skincare routine together at least two months prior to the big day so that your skin has time to acclimate.

  • Cleanse: Start with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt or oil.  Lately, I've been using the Neutrogena Foaming Face Cleanser - I love that it's got a sustainable bottle that you can buy refills for.

  • Exfoliate: Use a mild exfoliator to smooth your skin and remove dead cells.  Do this 2 to 3 times a week and the night before the big day.  My go to is a BHA toner from Paula's Choice.

  • Moisturize: Hydrate your skin with a lightweight moisturizer to ensure even makeup application.  Don't forget to drink lots of water too, as hydration starts from the inside out.  And don't forget eye cream!



2. Special Occasion Complexion

You’ll want your complexion products to last through the ceremony and reception.  Here's how to do it:

  • Primer:  Apply a primer to help your makeup last all day and to create a smooth surface for foundation.  Make sure to buy a primer that matches your skin type - mattifying for oily skin, hydrating for dry skin, pore minimizing for textured skin.

  • Foundation: Go for a foundation that matches your skin type and tone. Apply with a damp beauty sponge or foundation brush for a natural finish.  I recommend using tapping motions to apply and blend at the same time because it will give you maximum payoff with less product.  

  • Concealer: Use a concealer to cover dark circles and any blemishes, blending well to avoid harsh lines.  You can use your ring finger to gently blend in the product - the warmth from your finger helps melt the product into the skin.  This really makes you look fresh on camera and in person.

  • Setting Powder: Use a powder puff to push translucent setting powder over your T-zone to control shine without making your face look cakey.   My go to is Ultra Blur Laura Mercier Translucent Powder - I love that it comes in multiple tints.



3. Enhance Your Brows

Well-defined brows frame your face and create a polished look:

  • Shape: Fill in sparse areas with a brow pencil or powder, following your natural brow shape.  I prefer a brow pencil for sparse brows and a brow powder for fuller brows.  My go to is the NYX Micro brow pencilNYX Micro brow pencil, comes in a ton of shades and it's just as good as it's expense counterparts.

  • Set: Use a clear or tinted brow gel to keep your brows in place throughout the day.  I'll even use clear mascara in a pinch.



4. Soft Glam Eyeshadow

Here is my go to formula for gorgeous eyeshadow:

  • Lid Shade: Apply a shimmer shadow on the lid that matches your skin tone - I like metallic neutrals like rose golds, golds or bronzes.  

  • Crease Shade: Add a slightly darker shade in the crease to add depth and blend well.  I like to use a matte bronzer in the crease.

  • Highlight: Apply a nude color to your browbone to keep the eye lifted.  You can even use your concealer.

  • Smoke:  Apply a darker, matte shadow to the outer 1/2 of your eyes, in a sideways v shape and apply the same shade to your lower lashline.  This darkens the eye and gives the perfect amount of drama.



5. Eyeliner and Lashes

Liner and lashes really dresses up the eyes to make it perfect for a special occasion.

  • Eyeliner: Use a black or brown eyeliner to line your upper lash line. If you struggle with a straight line, take a small brush and tap it into a matching eyeshadow, and smudge it slightly for a softer look.

  • Mascara: Apply a few coats of waterproof mascara to your top and bottom lashes to prevent smudging and it's also great for those tearful moments.  If you're able, I say apply a pair of falsies, they look great on camera.  My go to are Demi WispiesDemi Wispies.


6. Natural Flush

A touch of blush adds a healthy glow to your complexion:

  • Blush: Choose a blush that complements your skin tone.  If you're not sure, I find a mauve tone works well on most skin tones. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks to add a youthful flush or at a diagonal on your cheekbones to give lift.  

  • Bronzer: Lightly dust a bronzer or contour along your hairline, jawline, and the hollows of your cheeks for subtle definition.

  • For extra staying power, apply a cream or liquid blush or bronzer first, then set it with a matching powder version.



8. Perfect Your Pout

Finish off your look with the perfect pout.

  • Lip Liner: Outline your lips with a neutral lip liner that matches your natural lip color or even slightly darker.  I like to fill in the center of my lips with a lip pencil too, because it creates a stain to the lip and helps your lip product last longer.

  • Lipstick/Gloss: Fill in your lips with lipstick and I love to add a touch of gloss to the center of the lips for hydration and shine.  Throw that gloss in your purse for touch ups. 


9. Set Your Makeup

Make sure your makeup stays fresh all day:

  • Setting Spray: Mist your face with a setting spray to lock your makeup in place and give your skin a dewy finish.  Think of it like hair spray for your face.  Your makeup will last through the ceremony into the reception.  I always recommend Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray.  




Final Thoughts

With these tips, you’ll be able to create a beautiful, long-lasting makeup look that’s perfect for attending a wedding. My rule of thumb is to have fun dressing up don't go too crazy because we still want to let the bride shine!   Enjoy the celebrations and feel confident in your stunning appearance!

If you need more help getting your wedding guest look together I offer makeup lessons as well as special occasion makeovers, I am an Atlanta Makeup Artist that offers makeup services in Atlanta.  Visit www.RenelynThomas.com to book me today!

FTC Disclosure:  Post not sponsored.  Amazon affiliate links included which offer a small percentage of compensation to help support this blog.


Photography by Ctabphotography

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