17 Bridal Makeup Essentials for Your Wedding Day

what should be included in bridal makeup essential products

Not every bride wants to be in the hands of a professional makeup artist on her wedding day. Whether you’re on a tight budget or you’re simply confident in your own abilities, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing your own makeup.

That being said, your wedding day will likely be the most photographed day of your life, so it’s important to choose cosmetics that will have you looking drop dead gorgeous. But, what should be included in bridal makeup? What do you need to truly look your best?

If you’re on the hunt for makeup for your wedding day, our guide not only lists the essential products every bride should have, but some of the best brands to try based on your individual needs.

what should be included in bridal makeup cosmetics for your big day

Wedding Makeup Essentials

Just like every other aspect of your wedding, you should plan your makeup in advance. Even if you’re an old pro at doing your face, you should take things up a notch for your wedding day. And that means planning out which products you’ll use and practicing with them beforehand.

The key to any successful look is emphasizing your God-given beauty so that you look like the best version of yourself. Whether you go glam or opt for a more natural look, choose your favorite feature to highlight and go more natural with the rest of your face. If, for instance, you want to do a smokey eye, you should opt for a more neutral lipstick.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the products you should have on-hand for your wedding day.

1. Daytime Moisturizer

Using the right moisturizer for your skin type is an essential first step to having a flawless face. It not only levels the surface of your skin for a smoother application of your foundation, this important base layer can help the longevity of your makeup and brighten your complexion overall.

Here are some of the best daytime facial moisturizers you can buy for less than $20 plus our fave high-end product.

what should be included in bridal makeup daytime moisturizer
the ordinary natural moisturizing factors ha
dermalogica skin smoothing cream moisturizer
neutrogena oil free acne pink grapefruit facial moisturizer
cetaphil daily hydrating lotion for face with hyaluronic acid
embryolisse lait creme concentre face cream and makeup primer shea moisturizers
dr barbara sturm face cream
aveeno daily moisturizing fragrance free prebiotic oat face cream for dry skin

2. Sunscreen

While some say sunscreen is a huge no-no for brides because it can cause a problem for the photographer when he or she tries to use a flash, this is not advice you should listen to. If your wedding ceremony or reception is outdoors, sunscreen is a must, especially for the warm weather. 

While you will need to choose your sunscreen carefully, it’s not a step you should skip. 

Your best bet is to test a few sunscreens before your big day to see how they look on your skin in pictures. To help you find some good options, here are some of our favorite face sunscreens for brides.

dermalogy by neogenlab uva uvb spf50 day light protection airy sunscreen
cotz sensitive non tinted zinc oxide mineral sunscreen for body and face broad spectrum spf40
eltamd uv clear spf46 face sunscreen broad spectrum sunscreen for sensitive skin and acne prone skin
eleven by venus williams ace the day face lotion spf30
australian gold botanical spf 50 tinted sunscreen for face
fenty skin hydra vizor invisible moisturizer broad spectrum spf 30 sunscreen wirh niacinamide
supergoob unseen sunscreen spf 40 invisible broad spectrum face sunscreen weightless scentless and oil free
neutrogena ultra sheer dry touch sunscreen lotion broad spectrum spf 55 uva uvb protection

3. Makeup primer 

Primer is a cream product that can be applied to your skin after your moisturizer and sunscreen to even out skin tone, hide imperfections and improve the effectiveness of your foundation or tinted moisturizer and concealer. Because it holds to the makeup you apply on top, it will increase the overall longevity of your cosmetics.

Here are some of our favorite primers based on both price and skin type.

nyx frofessional makeup marshmellow smoothing primer
elizabeth mott thank me later face primer mattifying makeup base primer for shine and oil control
too face hangover replenishing face primer
fenty beauty mini pro filtr instant retouch primer
the ordinary high adherence silicone primer
elf cosmetics poreless putty primer
covergirl trublend base business face primer
honest beauty everything primer glow 2ha primer with hyaluronic acid
milk makeup hydro grip primer hydrating gel formula
maybelline master prime face primer makeup base

4. Foundation 

Not only does foundation serve as the base for your bridal makeup, it evens out your skin tone, makes pores appear smaller and blemishes less visible. We recommend a liquid foundation simply because it blends easily and offers a more natural-looking complexion.

Here are some of the best foundations to have in your cosmetic case:

estee lauder wear stay in place foundation 1c0 shell shade
maybelline fit me matte poreless foundation
colourpop pretty fresh hyaluronic hydrating foundation
giorgio armani luminous silk foudation
almay skin perfecting comfort matte foundation
uoma beauty say what foundation
100 pure fruit pigmented full coverage water foundation
givenchy prisme libre skin caring matte foundation
wet n wild photo focus dewy liquid foudation

5. Concealer 

While concealer has a similar purpose and texture, it’s slightly different. More dense than foundation, concealer is used on top of it to hide things your foundation can’t such as dark circles under your eyes, sun spots and blemishes. Essentially, it is used as a spot corrector for any areas that require a bit of extra coverage.

If you’ve yet to find the perfect concealer, here are some good options to choose from.

ulta tarte shape tape full coverage concealer tan
ulta loreal infaliible full wear waterproof concealer
catrice true skin high cover concealer waterproof and lightweight
huda beauty faux filter luminous matte buildable coverage crease proof concealer
amicole skin enhancing concealer
almay perfecting comfort concealer
pat mcgrath labs sublime perfection concealer
ulta beauty hd concealer wand medium coverage under eye concealer

6. Setting powder 

Setting powder should be applied after foundation and concealer but prior to bronzer, blush or a highlighter. A setting powder not only keeps these moist products in place, but minimizes shine and oiliness while also keeping your face looking fresh for as long as possible. 

Here are some of our favorite setting powders for brides.

veil translucent setting powder ultra refined loose powder
beautyblender bounce soft focus gemstone setting powder
smashbox halo fresh setting and perfecting powder
rare beauty always an optimist soft radiance setting powder
fenty beauty invisimatte instant setting blotting powder
honest beauty invisible blurring loose powder
filtered affects soft focus hd setting powder
laura mercier translucent loose setting powder
nyx cant stop wont stop setting powder

7. Bronzer

If you choose to use bronzer, it goes on after your setting powder, but before blush and highlighter. Bronzer should be used just below your cheekbone, but you can also dust a shimmery bronzer on your collarbone if you want to achieve a sun-kissed glow.

While there are a lot of great bronzer products, here are some of the best for your wedding day.

bobbi brown bronzer golden light light tan
loreal true match lumi bronze it bronzer
milani silky matte bronzing powder
nars laguna talc free bronzer powder
physicians formula murumuru butter bronzer
huda beauty glowish soft radiance vegan bronzing powder
estee lauder bronze goddess powder bronzer
rimmel natural bronzer

8. Blush 

Unless your cheeks are naturally rosy, using blush is an essential part of a perfect wedding day face. Not only does it add warmth to your complexion, it will make you appear more youthful and will give your skin a healthy, happy-looking glow. 

Blush, which is used on the apples of your cheeks, should be chosen based on your skin tone for a natural look. To help you put your best face forward, here are our favorite blushers.

milani baked blush luminoso matte finish
nars blush color orgasm x shimmer finish
honest beauty 2in1 creme cheek blush lip color
sair dew blush liquid cheek blush
mac powder blush mac cosmetics color coppertone
glo skin beauty blush
physicians formula powder palette multi colored blush powder blushing peach
estee lauder pure color envy sculpting blush
covergirl instant cheekbones blush redefined rose

9. Highlighter 

A highlighter, while not an absolute must, will enhance the beauty of your complexion and accentuate your bone structure, making it a worthwhile addition to your wedding day beauty routine. A highlighter should be used on the top of the upper cheekbone as well as the other high points of your face such as the temples, brow bone and, possibly, on the cupid’s bow on the bridge of your nose.

Here are some of the best products for achieving a healthy glow.

smashbox x becca shimmering skin perfector pressed highlighter shimmer finish
chanel baume essentiel multi usa glow stick rosee
maybelline master chrome metallic highlighter powder molten gold
rmsbeauty luminizer cult favorite highlighter for a soft dewy finish peach luminizer
physicians formula murumuru butter highlighter face powder make up rose gold
saie glowy gel lightweight dewy highlighter
fenty beauty by rihanna killawatt freestyle highlighter
wetnwild megaglo highlighting powder highlighter

10. Eyebrow pencil 

Using an eyebrow pencil is the perfect way to fill in sparse brows, add definition and shape or even make them darker. Having a well balanced brow not only draws attention to your eyes, but acts as a frame for your face. Need some product suggestions? Here are some of our faves.

too faced super fine brow detailer eyebrow pencil sephora natural finish
charlotte tilbury brow cheat refillable hair like eyebrow pencil
tame and frame brow pomade natural brow pots nyx
kosas brow pop clean dual action defining eyebrown pencil
infinity waterproof eyebrow liner thrive causemetics
chanel crayon sourcils sculpting eyebrow pencil
elfcosmetics instant lift brow pencil

11. Smudge-proof eyeliner 

Eyeliner is a multi-purpose product that every bride should have in her makeup bag. Not only does eyeliner make your lashes look more lush and full, but it draws attention to your eyes and pairs well with eyeshadow. 

Eyeliner is used on your upper eyelid at the base of your lashes and can also be used along the waterline of each eye. If you choose to line your lower lashes, do so sparingly. Heavy eyeliner all around the eye will make your eyes appear smaller.

Need a new eyeliner for your special day? These are some of your best choices.

huda beauty creamy kohl longwear eye pencil matte finish
drama liqui pencil eyeliner lancome
long wear gel eyeliner bobbi brown
liquid eyeliner pen by revlon
stila stay all day waterproof liquid eye liner
satin kajal liner victoria beckham beauty
clean liquid eyeliner black nakedpoppy
milk makeup infinity long lasting waterproof eyeliner pencil sephora
rimmel london scandals eyes waterproof kohl kajal eyeliner black

12. Eyeshadow

Eye shadow is used to draw attention to the eyes. You can do this by using shadow to compliment your eye color. Brown and bronze eyeshadows make blue eyes pop while shades of purple accentuate green eyes. Brides with brown eyes should gravitate to the blue family while hazel-eyed gals can experiment with greens, pinks or coppers.

Whether you want to add depth and dimension to your eyes, do a smokey eye or something natural, an eyeshadow palette is often your best bet because it will not only give you a range of shades to flatter your eye color, but it will include colors that can be used for your lid, crease and brow bone.

Here are some amazing eyeshadow palettes to consider for gorgeous, ceremony-ready eyes.

la girl beauty brick eyeshadow nudes
nyx professional makeup ultimate shadow palette
anastasia beverly hills soft glam eyeshadow palette
urban decay naked reloaded eyeshadow palette
fenty beauty snap shadows mix and match eyeshadow palette
pacifica beauty mineral eyeshadow palette
dior backstage eyeshadow palette
covergirl eye enhancers eyeshadow kit

13. Waterproof mascara 

If there is one makeup item no bride should be without on her wedding day, it’s waterproof mascara. Unless you have eyelash extensions, this is an absolute must for your makeup bag.

Waterproof is more durable and long-lasting than traditional or even water-resistant mascara and will hold up even if you shed a few tears during your vows. Waterproof formulas can also help your eyelashes to hold a curl longer and tend to be more resistant to smudging and sweat.

If you’ve been searching for the perfect wedding mascara, here are some of the best out there.

chanel le volume de chanel mascara
lash princess false lash effect waterproof mascara
rimmel scandaleyes volume on demand waterproof mascara
loreal paris voluminous butterfly waterproof mascara
pacifica aquarian gaze water resistant long lash mineral mascara
em cosmetics pick me up volume plus length mascara
covergirl clump crusher by lash blast water resistant mascara
byredo waterproof mascara
maybelline volum express the colossal waterproof mascara 1

14. Lip balm

You probably already know that lip balm is used to protect and hydrate the lips. But why do you need it on your wedding day if you’re already wearing lipstick? Lip balm will not only keep your lips soft and kissable, but it can help your lip liner and lipstick to apply smoothly and evenly.

For a perfect wedding day pucker, we suggest adding one of these lip balms to your makeup routine.

burts  bees lip balm moisturizing lip care
malin and goetz mojito lip balm
eos 100 natural and organic lip balm sticks
palmers coconut oil formula lip balm
sun bum lip  balm spf 30
vaseline lip therapy
jones road the lippie stick
nivea smoothness lip care

15. Lip liner 

Lip liner may seem like an unnecessary step, especially if you’re not accustomed to wearing it. It is, however, a good way to ensure your lipstick will last a long time without bleeding or smudging.

Your lip liner should be in the same color family as your lipstick, but one shade darker and should always be applied before your lipstick.

For luscious lips, here are some of our favorite lip liners.

mac lip pencil
revlon colorstay lip liner
about face matte fix lip pencil
tarte maracuja juicy lip liner
victoria beckham beauty lip definer
makeup by mario suede sculpting lip pencil
nyx professional makeup slim lip pencil long lasting creamy lip liner

16. Lipstick 

Whether you wear lipstick on a daily basis or not, it is an essential for your wedding day because it gives your face a more polished look. Even if you opt for natural makeup, lipstick can still be used in a shade that is just slightly deeper than your natural lip color.

If you have cool undertones in your skin, opt for cool rosy and mauve shades as well as purplish shades of wine or red. You can also do nude lipstick as long as it has cool pink undertones. Ladies with warm undertones should stick to warm shades of lipstick such as peach, coral, rust, orangey-reds, terracotta and nudes with warm hues.

Brides with neutral undertones can wear a variety of colors. Those with fair skin tend to look gorgeous in shades of pink or peach while medium-skinned brides can wear mauve or coral. Brides with deeper skin look phenomenal in berry or wine shades.

To help you find a wedding-worthy lipstick, here are some of the best to consider.

even better pop lip colour foundation
beauty bakerie lip whips
fruit pigmented cocoa butter matte lipstick
sephora collection satin hydrating lipstick
revlon colorstay matte lipstick
revlon super lustrous glass shine lipstick
loreal paris colour riche satin lipstick
maybelline new york superstay liquid lipstick
dior addict shine lipstick
covergirl continuous color lipstick

17. Setting spray 

Setting spray is typically used once you’ve finished applying your makeup to keep it in place and looking fresh. You can choose from a matte or a dewy finish depending on your preference. To apply, simply hold the bottle about six inches from your skin and mist it evenly onto your entire face until your skin is slightly damp.

If you don’t already have a setting spray you love, here are some great choices.

benefit cosmetics the porefessional setting spray 
urban decay all nighter long lasting makeup setting spray with vitamin c
elf matte magic mist and set spray
mario badescu facial spray duo
tarte shape tape stay spray vegan setting spray
tower 28 beauty sos save our skin daily rescue facial spray
milk makeup hydro grip setting plus refreshing spray
charlotte tilbury airbrush flawless setting spray
milani make it last setting spray prime plus correct set
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