Wedding day beauty: Whether you’re the bride or a guest, 10 tips for romantic makeup and hair

Wedding Beauty

Wedding Beauty

Summer wedding season is here, and whether you’re walking down the aisle, standing up for your best friend or just showing up and dancing the night away, it’s important to consider how you’ll look. In terms of outfits, we certainly have you covered. But what about your hair and makeup on the big day?

More and more brides are taking the DIY approach to their wedding makeup (even Kate Middleton was rumoured to have done it herself!) and it goes without saying that most wedding guests aren’t spending a day at the salon before a friend’s nuptials. But with photographers everywhere and some weddings starting at the crack of dawn and going into the wee hours of the night, it’s advisable to put some extra effort into your hair and makeup.

To get the best advice on wedding day makeup and hair, we turned to the Beauty Panel. With a number of professional makeup artists on the panel, these experts have many weddings under their beauty belts—and plenty of tips for you, regardless of your bride, bridesmaid or guest status.

Challenge 12: How would you do your hair and makeup for a wedding? See the answers now! »

For Fiona Man from Product Wars, wedding day makeup is all about thin layers. By apply products slowly, you can control the pigmentation (no smoky cat eye mistakes for brides!) and ensure that it lasts all day and night long. Janella Panchamsingh from Bold n Beautiful Makeup agrees with the layering technique, but her her, the best bridal makeup is all about coming in under budget. No fancy brushes or expensive palettes are required to get the romantic look she shares with the Beauty Panel.

As for wedding day hair, Toronto Beauty Reviews’s Elaine Atkins shows you how to do an easy, curled bun that’s sure to standout amongst the sea of wedding guests. And if you’re feeling a little more dramatic, take a tip from Secrets From Your Girlfriends’s JJ Cowan: she enlisted the help of some hair extensions to get her show-stopping updo that any bride is sure to covet.

Have a beauty question you want to see the panel answer? Send it our way at Read on for the answers to this week’s challenge and for more goodness, get to know all contributors on our Beauty Panel hub page.


Wedding Beauty - fiona

Fiona Man
Toronto | Product Wars

When this Beauty Challenge came up, I felt like it was my duty as a makeup artist to participate. Most of the time, my brides want to play up their eyes and will ask for smoky eye that isn’t too dark. So what’s different about everyday makeup and wedding makeup? Thin layers.

You want to put on each product in thin layers until you reach the intensity and pigmentation that you want. This way, it won’t fade all at once and will adhere to the skin better. Also, you want to use waterproof products, especially when it comes to mascara and eyeliner.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Apply primer all over your lids. This will allow your eyeshadow to be longer lasting and appear more pigmented.
2. Apply “Foxy”, a neutral shadow, all over your lids. This will allow your eyeshadow to blend easier. Then apply “Suspect” all over your lids.
3. Using a flat shader brush, apply “Busted” to the outer corner of the eye.
4. Using a blending brush, blend “Busted” into “Suspect”.
5. Create a transition colour by applying “Tease” with a blending brush to the crease. To create more dimension to your eyes, apply “YDK” with your fingers to the centre of your lids. Then apply “Bootycall” to the brow bone and inner tear ducts.
6. Apply gel liner with a slight cat flick.
7. Curl lashes and apply a waterproof mascara to your top and bottom lashes.

Products used: Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Custard,” Chanel Eyelash Curler, L’Oreal Voluminous Power Volume 24H Waterproof Mascara, Real Techniques Detailer Brush, Sephora Classic Smudge Brush in “#14,” L’Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner in “Rose,” L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in “Rose Taffeta,” NYC Big Bold Plumping & Shine Lip Gloss in “Pleasantly Plump Pink”

Wedding Beauty - janella

Janella Panchamsingh
Toronto | Bold n Beautiful Makeup

Bridal makeup is one to reckon with, and there’s a reason for the rule “Less is More.” When doing a bridal look, I like to choose products that are affordable. It’s also important to use products that give the skin the natural dewy summer glow—it’s a look every bride wants all season long. For this look I used my hands and the sponge applicators that the eyeshadow sets came with—just to show that a look can be accomplished without needed to buy professional brushes too.

Here’s how to get bridal-worthy dewy skin:

1. Moisturize skin and prime skin with primer of choice.
2. Apply foundation by dabbing a pea size on the forehead, each cheek, chin and nose then blend out using sanitized fingers.
3. Set with setting powder. (Optional.)
4. Apply the highlight colour on the high points of the face, where the sun will hit, and then apply the blush colour on the apples of the cheek sweeping upwards towards the ear.
5. Apply contour just under the blush colour, overlapping the blush where it ends.

Products used: Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in “#260 Caramel,” M.A.C In Extra Dimension Skin Finish in “Double Definition,” M.A.C. Select Cover Up in “NC44,” M.A.C Blusher in “Blunt,” NYX Blusher in “Copper,” Revlon Photo Ready Primer+Shadow in “Metropolitan,” Revlon Lash Potion By Grow Luscious Mascara, Lorac Cover Up Corrector in “C4,” Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow in “#17,” Tarte Emphaseyes Liner Inner Eye Brightener, Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in “Wallflower,” OCC Liptar in “Hush,” “Authentic” and “Zhora,” Lancôme Juicy Tube in “Fruity Pop”

Wedding Beauty - JJ

JJ Cowan
Toronto | Secrets From Your Girlfriends

Whether it’s updos, hairpieces or a bold and smoky eye, I have pretty much done it all in celebration of my girlfriends special bridal moments and it only seems fitting that I share my bridal beauty secrets with you. If you are the bride, bridesmaid or even the flower girl, the theme that should rein supreme on your special day is effortless and comfortable beauty that is easy to touch up throughout the day. That being said, the great thing about your big day is that it is just that, your big day, so have fun and try new things.

For bridal beauty I feel the best looks happen when one aspect of your beauty is the main focus, which could be either hair or makeup. For this particular look I decided to make my hair the focal point in hopes of capturing the romance of the event with a simple but dramatic updo. First, I employed the help of Toronto’s very own hair extension guru Jessica Xpressions for some much needed length and must admit the added volume is a bit addictive. Once my hair was extended, we moved to the up do which was so simple it literally took ten minutes to complete with the help of some hair spray and one delicate, jeweled hair clip from Jealous Bridesmaids. Along the way photographer Denise McMullin was snapping shots creating a wedding day atmosphere and managed to capture how easy it is to do this particular look.

For my makeup, I personally think less is more on your wedding day, so I kept it clean and simple by upping my application of base using M.A.C Studio Fix and adding some extra pop to the cheek and eye area with Nars Orgasm. I lightly highlighted my eyebrows for some added depth but not too much to take away from my hair.

Products used: JLXpressions HAIR, Jealous Bridesmaids hair piece, M.A.C Studio Fix, Nars Orgasm Cheek Blush, M.A.C Brow Shadow in “Espresso,” The Body Shop Neutral Lip Gloss

Wedding Beauty - emily

Emily Chan

Of course every bride wants to look her best for her special day. But to me, the key is to do this without looking too overly done up. A bride wants to remember this day for the rest of her life. Thus, the bride should be wearing the makeup instead of the other way around. This bridal look that I have created enhances a bride’s natural beauty without covering it up. This look is meant to complement any gown or dress because of its neutral colours. It’s very simple, very beautiful and very long lasting. So whether you’re a bride-to-be or just planning on attending a wedding this season, this look is ideal for you to create in six easy steps.

Step 1: Priming your face is so vital in allowing your makeup to last throughout the day. A bride will most likely be running around for 12+ hours during her big day, therefore, she cannot skip any primers. (Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion for the eyes & Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer for the face are my favourites)

Step 2: Lips! It’s so important that the lips remain hydrated and long lasting throughout the big day! Plus, the bride will probably be placing a lot of smooches on the groom. The Bite Beauty Fruit Scrub Exfoliant is perfect to scrub away any dead skins that are on the lips so it’ll make the lipstick go on very smoothly. It helps to brighten lips over time while fighting free radicals and conditioning around the lip line. Then use the Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer to instantly preps, plumps, and primes the lips. I choose to use Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Lychee because it’s a lip tint formula that delivers luscious color with an ultra-glossy finish.

Step 3: For the face I am using the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation that is so refreshingly light, which can easily create an even look. It blends seamlessly and has build-able coverage. To allow your foundation to last even longer, I would recommend using a buffing brush along with a powder to help everything set into place. The blush that I have used is a mineral one from Physician Formula, which really does give your cheeks a rosy glow.

Step 4: For the eyes I keep it simple by using four shades from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: Bootycall (highlight), Snakebite (all over), Busted (outer corner), Blackout (outer V shape). The top of my lid is lined with the Maybelline Master Duo By Eyestudio Liquid Liner, which comes with a dual tip to create thin precise lines with one side, bold thick lines with the other. If you have naturally long lashes, you can just stick with your favourite mascara like the L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. But if you are like me and need a little boost in the eyelash department, you can apply your favourite natural falsies.

Step 5: Set everything with your favourite setting spray to ensure that the makeup lasts throughout the night.

Step 6: Finally, a bridal makeup look is not complete without the nails because everyone is going to be looking at the ring. I think this colour by Essie called “Ballet Slippers” is just the perfect pale pink for any bride on her wedding day.

Products used: Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in “150 Nude,” Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes in “Blackest Black,” Maybelline Master Duo By Eyestudio Liquid Liner in “Black Lacquer,” Red Cherry Lash in “#213,” Physician Formula Mineral Blush in “Rosy Glow,” Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in “Lychee,” Bite Beauty Fruit Scrub Exfoliant in “Whipped Cherry,” Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer, Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, Essie Nail Polish in “Ballet Slippers”

Wedding Beauty - dee

Dee Thomson
Toronto | Liner and Glitter and Gloss, Oh My!

I love wedding season. It’s a chance to dress up a little, dance all night and have some fun. In terms of wedding beauty, I like to keep things light and flirty with bright eyes and a fun lip colour. For the eyes, I started with a rosy pink cream shadow to add a little colour to my lids, then added some shimmery white shadow at the inner corners to brighten my eyes up. I added liquid liner with a little bit of a cat-eye for a little definition, and lined the inner rim of my upper lid to really make it pop. I then used Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes Mascara to finish off the eye look—I really like this mascara as it comes with two brushes, a full one for the upper lashes and a thinner one to apply the perfect amount of mascara to the lower lashes. For the lips I like to go with a pretty light pink lipstick or gloss — like a little bit of shine and a dash of colour to finish off my look. Throw on a little blush to brighten up the complexion and you’re ready to go!

Products used: Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color in “PK 302,” The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes in “Palette 23,” Maybelline Master Duo in “Black Lacquer,” Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes Mascara, Dior Addict Lipstick in “751 Exotique”

Wedding Beauty - Tess

Tess Lopez
Toronto | Makeup By Tess

Makeup application for weddings is slightly different compared to your everyday makeup. The wedding day, whether it’s your special day or someone else’s close to you, is a busy and long-filled day. Whether you are getting your makeup done by an artist or DIYing it yourself, here are some tips to ensure you get the best wearing power from your look:

– Take care of your skin leading up to the wedding day: drink lots of water, exfoliate, tone and moisturize.

– For hot spring/summer wedding days, to ensure your foundation doesn’t melt off your face, apply a face primer, like Cover FX Skin Prep Nourishing Foundation Primer. Not only does this act as a great base for a smoother foundation application, it keeps the oils in for a long lasting finish.

– To avoid eye shadow from creasing due to the oils and heat, apply an eyelid primer to your eyes, Urban Decay Primer Potion. This increases the staying power of your eye shadow as well as makes the colours more vibrant.

– Stay away from too much shimmer on the eyes, face, and lips. It’s not flattering in photos.

– If you know you will get teary-eyed throughout the event, waterproof products are the way to go. Try using Make Up For Ever Waterfproof Cream Eyeshadow in “Aqua Black” as your eyeliner and L’Oréal Waterproof Volumunious mascara to pump up your lashes.

– To avoid applying your lipstick too many times throughout the day, fill your lips in with lip liner to use as the lipstick base, L’Oreal Colour Riche Anti-Feathering Lip Liner. Apply a matte lipstick over it to increase the wear, Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate. Remember to moisturize your lips before applying the lip products; this will help prevent your lips from drying out.

– To keep your makeup looking fresh all day, set it with a setting spray, Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Spray.

– If you have an excellent makeup application, all you need to pop in your clutch is a lipstick and blotting sheets, Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets for minimal touch-ups throughout the day!

Remember, your makeup should only be an enhanced version of yourself. You want to look and feel beautiful and still look like YOU!

Products used: Cover FX Skin Prep Nourishing Foundation Primer & Anti-Aging Serum, Make Up For Ever HD Foundation “#155,” Lise Watier Portfolio Correctors in “Light,”Make Up For Ever HD Powder, Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Spray, Urban Decay Primer Potion in “Eden,” Shiseido Silky Eyeshadow Quad in “Q10 Desert Winds,” Stila Smoky Eye Palette in “Black Shadow,” Make Up For Ever Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow in “Aqua Black,” L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner in “Black,” Smashbox Eyebeam Double-ended Brightener, Ardel False Lashes in “#128,” DUO Lash Adhesive Waterproof, L’Oreal Waterproof Voluminous Mascara, Benefit Bronzer in “Hoola,” M.A.C Blush in “Dainty,” Estée Lauder Shimmering Jewel Powder, EOS Lip Balm, L’Oreal Colour Riche Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in “All About Pink,” Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate in “102”

Wedding Beauty - jen

Jennifer Francis
Durham | Spiced Beauty

When I think of makeup for spring/summer weddings I want products that are lightweight and require low maintenance. A good primer is a must have! Primers provide a clean canvas for your makeup look to stick to. My recommendation would be to get a matte formula for the face. For the eyes my must have is Marcelle Cosmetics Velvety Eye Shadow + Primer! It has a 12+ hold and it’s waterproof. It can be worn alone or you can add a shadow like the Annabelle Roll-on Eyeshadows + Liner for longer staying power. This product is also long lasting, creaseless and transfer resistant. To finish off the look add a waterproof mascara and a glossy lip stain like my favourite from Hard Candy!

Products used: Marcelle Cosmetics Velvety Eye Shadow + Primer

Wedding Beauty - elaine

Elaine Atkins
Toronto | Toronto Beauty Reviews

It’s been almost 8 years since I’ve been a bride, so I will leave the bridal tips to the experts! But throughout the years I have attended many weddings—this season alone I have three and for each I will be doing my own hair and makeup.

Often weddings can take up an entire day so you want to make sure that your makeup will last. Primers and powders are your friends for making makeup last and keeping shine away.

For my wedding guest look I wanted to keep it elegant and simple. Remember, you’ll be in a lot of pictures too so it’s best to keep the look classic. A soft neutral smoky eye, neat brows, bronzed cheeks and soft pink lip colour work for me.

As for the hair, I’ll take a bit more time to try and style my curls by applying a curling lotion throughout my hair and winding the curls around my fingers to help give them more definition. I then blow dried a little bit with a diffuser and let air dry while I finished my makeup. For a simple up do I twisted my hair to the side and nape of my neck and created a loose bun which I secured with a hair elastic. I then pinned the bun in place and hid the elastic with stray curls. With curly hair you can get away with the hair being a little bit messy.

Products used: Pixi Flawless & Poreless primer, Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage BB Cream in “BB5” and “BB7,” Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Based in “Warm Sienna,” Jurlique Lavender Silk Finishing Powder, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Tweezerman Eyenhance Pencil and Highlighter, Tweezerman Browmousse, Urban Decay Naked Palette, L’Oreal Infalliable Lacquer Liner 24H, Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in “Aruba,” Benefit They’re Real mascara, Avon Totally Kissable lipstick in “Alluring Mauve,” Redken Curvaceous Ringlet Lotion

Wedding Beauty - ellie

Ellie Somfelean
Montreal | My Beauty Box

Doing your makeup for a wedding can be tricky. You want to look soft and pretty for the day during the ceremony and bridal pictures and still manage to look hot during the reception and stand out in all those crazy party photos.

I went with a soft pastel smoky eye. In daylight it looks vibrant and lovely but not too dramatic, while in a party setting it can look sultry and sexy. Pastels are really your best friend for summer weddings. Pair them up with more vibrant colours to tone down the look and make it softer and more romantic.

For my base I used a multitasking moisturizer that I know will keep me matte all day. I made sure I took extra time to apply my face makeup, building coverage gradually and only where needed. Take your time and buff products well and avoid make-up with any sort of SPF in it as it can photograph badly. I used a tiny bit of bronzer to contour and a soft rosy blush on the apples of my cheeks. I chose a lip butter for my lips as it’s easy to wear and it would keep my lips hydrated the whole day; a soft pink lip compliments a smoky pastel eye perfectly.

Don’t forget to bring a powder and a setting spray with you. This will allow you to stay shine free and make your makeup last through the day and make sure you look perfect in each photo.

Products used: La Roche Possay Effaclar Duo, Vichy Dermablend and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye , M.A.C Pro Longwear Concealer, Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in “92,” Revlon LipButter in “Strawberry Shortcake,” Real Techniques Buffing and Contour Brush, theBalm MaryLou Manizer, M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Blush, Rimmel Scandal Eyes LycraFlex Mascara

Wedding Beauty - gen

Genevieve Peeke
Montreal | Gen In The City

My go-to look for a wedding right now is definitely very feminine and natural! I love the look of pretty rosy cheeks and a pink pout. I also like to keep my hair down while giving it some volume with some nice bouncy curls. Here’s how you can create the look:

First, make sure your skin is protected from the sun; especially if you are headed to a daytime summer wedding! I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 Liquid since it is so light. Next apply your favorite foundation or BB Cream for a flawless yet natural skin tone. Cover any imperfections and dark circles with your favorite creamy concealer and a liquid highlighter right above your cheekbones. Set it all with a light finishing powder. The powder will also help control the oils in your face and keep you from looking shiny at your event! Next apply a bright rosy or pink blush to really wake your face up and give you a bit of color. For the eyes, apply a light brown color all over the lid and a darker cocoa color to the crease. I used Benefit’s Eye Bright pencil for a highlighter on the brow bone and in the inner corner of my eyes. Apply your favorite volumizing-yet-natural-looking mascara after you’ve curled your lashes. You want your lashes to look nice and long but not too crazy for an occasion like a wedding. For your lips, apply a subtle pink lipstick that will tie everything together. You can also apply lip gloss over it if you want a nice glossy finish! I also like to finish up with a makeup setting spray to keep everything in place. My current favorite is the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.

For the hair, choose a curling iron depending on the size of curl you want. A smaller barrel will give you more tight, ringlet curls while a larger one like the one I used will give you big bouncier waves. Make sure to use some heat protectant in your hair before you begin to use heat styling tools on it. Curl your hair away from your face to get beautiful Victoria’s Secret waves while sectioning it off so you make sure to get each and every stand. Spray some hairspray after to keep the style lasting all day long!

Products used: Revlon Diamonds Collection lash curler, Bourjois Volumizer Mascara, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 Liquid, Too Faced Natural Eye Palette, Benefit Eye Bright Pencil, Make Up For Ever Pro Finish powder, Maybelline Fit Me Concealor in #10, Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in #130 Shell, Benefit High Beam, ELF “Pink Passion” blush, Urban Decay primer potion, MAC “Viva Glam Gaga” lipstick, Basic curling iron