Wedding season calls for planning ahead even for guests, from cracking the dress code to finding a meaningful gift. And while wearing the right outfit is important, finding the right wedding guest makeup look can be similarly impactful, since it serves as a key part of your overall look.
Whether you take upcoming nuptials as an opportunity to try out a smokey eye, an invitation to do a bold lip, or give skin a lit-from-within glow that puts even the best social-media filters to shame, choosing your makeup style for a wedding is often part of the fun. And, better yet, simple wedding makeup is easy to DIY, especially with makeup artist-approved tips in hand.
With that in mind, choose from soft glam wedding makeup or natural wedding makeup looks — or draw on the best parts of both for a result that’s completely your own. They’ll take you from the vows to the last dance in style.Table of Contents
- Choosing the Right Wedding Guest Makeup Look
- Wedding Guest Makeup Tutorial
- Wedding Guest Makeup Looks
Choosing the Right Wedding Guest Makeup Look
First, know that there’s no hard and fast rule for what constitutes simple wedding makeup for a guest. Instead, consider it a riff on your usual go-to. “We teach our artists to customize individual beauty,” says Tayaba Jafri, global beauty director at Laura Mercier.
As a result, she says, “when doing wedding guest makeup, my shade decisions are based on skin tone, the look desired, and the outfit all together.” Jafri also takes into consideration the style of the occasion: For instance, if you’re attending a wedding at a museum with a black-tie dress code, your makeup may lean more elegant and classic — think winged eyeliner or a bold lip color, but an otherwise neutral look. Meanwhile, if a guest “was going to a south Asian wedding wearing a bright pink outfit, the look would probably not be very neutral,” she says.
The Best Wedding Guest Makeup Tutorial to Try
The ideal wedding guest makeup look should be able to last through the day (and night), look good in photos, and make you feel polished and on-point. Consider these pointers to check all the boxes, whatever the look you’re going for.
Prep Skin with Makeup Primer
Make the most of your look with a makeup primer, which extends the wear of your makeup, keeps it looking fresh, and can even offer other perks, like hydrating and blurring skin. When you’re heading to a wedding — and whether you’re going for soft glam wedding makeup or a natural wedding makeup look — consider a multitasking formula like Pure Canvas Primer Illuminating, which leaves skin looking radiant and bright. Pro tip: You can also dab it over makeup, onto the cheekbones and bridge of the nose, to highlight and add dimension to the face, according to Jafri.
Layer Your Lip Colors
Consider this the perfect time to try a bold lip color. If you’re sticking with a soft natural wedding makeup look, however, “wear the Longwear Lip Liner, High Vibe Lip Color, and Lip Glacé together in your favorite natural or pink and berry shades,” Jafri says. “The layers create presence and bring lips forward.” Keep the Lip Glacé on hand throughout the night so you can touch up your lip look as needed.
Set Makeup with Translucent Powder
The counterpart to makeup primer? A dedicated step to set your makeup. “Setting your makeup well is key to ensuring you will look great in all pictures even the ones at the end of the night,” says Jafri. “Applied with the Velour Puff, Translucent Loose Setting Powder is one of our most favorite techniques.” Pat it over your makeup. Then, if it fits, stash the powder in your bag for touch-ups throughout the night.
Wedding Guest Makeup FAQs
Doing your own makeup for a big event, like a wedding, isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Here, what you need to know.
What eye makeup color should wedding guests wear?
Your eye makeup color can vary, depending on the vibe you’re trying to create. For instance, stick with muted tones like taupe and gray if you’re going with a more classic look, or opt for color if you’re attending a more relaxed, summertime wedding. Ultimately, however, you can’t go wrong with a neutral shade, such as Caviar Stick Eye Shadow in Strapless.
What makeup do I need as a wedding guest?
In addition to the staples — that is, makeup primer, lip color, and setting powder — you should also have the basics covered. These include a long-lasting foundation, such as Real Flawless Weightless Perfecting Foundation, as well as mascara. Try Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara, which offers smudge-proof volume.
Should a wedding guest do hair or makeup first?
Simple: “Hair always goes first,” Jafri says. “Usually, washing or application of product is involved, both of which could disturb makeup.”
What lip color is best for wedding guest?
While a bright, colorful lip is especially fun for a photo op, it’s hard to go wrong with soft pink and berry shades, which look romantic and add color without stealing the spotlight from the rest of your makeup. For a polished look, top your lipstick with a gloss; Jafri is a fan of Lip Glacé in Macaron, which is a soft, baby-pink shade.
Wedding Guest Makeup Looks to Consider
While your wedding guest makeup can (and should) reflect your personal style as well as the occasion in question, certain looks may offer guidance when you’re trying to decide between options. Here, how to get both soft glam and natural wedding guest makeup.
Soft Natural Wedding Guest Makeup Look
If you’re keeping it more natural — for, say, daytime or outdoor weddings — consider turning up your usual look by “keeping the palette slightly brighter on the cheeks and lips,” says Jafri. “Shades that are too neutral may look dull.” It’s the difference between no makeup and the no-makeup makeup look.
Soft Glam Wedding Guest Makeup Look
Soft glam wedding makeup has some stronger definition but doesn’t feel over the top. To strike the right balance between the two, “try a statement lipstick,” Jafri says. “It instantly says ‘Let's celebrate!’” She's a fan of the High Vibe Lip Color formula for this, since it delivers rich color and six hours of wear in a single swipe.