In the last 15 years, it’s safe to say I’ve earned my bridesmaids trophy. You know if they gave those out instead of throwing flowers which I’ve never actually tried to catch but I’m sure would make for lovely decor. I digress. September earned me number 7 of my 27 dresses. I still don’t know how Katherine Heigl’s character paid rent in NYC and for all those weddings but we won’t talk about that.
Needless to say, I feel like I’ve learned a lot in my time as an almost professional bridesmaid. I’ve seen how the best and worst weddings happen. I’ve also learned how to get long lasting bridesmaid makeup in ALL kinds of weather. Except snow. We don’t really do that in the South. Sorry not sorry kids. Today, I’m rounding up all my tips for you in one place. These are great for both bridesmaids and bride a like so you can make sure you look amazing all day. Let’s get started!
1. Skin prep is everything
Every time I do a shoot for the blog or have an event, I make time for a hydration mask the morning of. This means that I can avoid any dry patches or spots that product might want cling to on my skin. If your regular skincare routine is meh, this can make all the difference in bringing your skin to life for your lasting bridesmaid makeup. For sheet masks, I’d recommend Pacifica* or Farmacy*. And if you’re a pot mask girl, you can never go wrong with Josh Rosebrook’s Advanced Hydration Mask*.
2. Eye gels will save your life
As much as everyone is going to tell you to sleep, you’re probably going to be having too much fun with your friends. And your eyes will show it the next day. While you’re rocking your hydration mask, it’s the perfect time to get your eyes to de-puff. You can do under eye gels. Pop them in the fridge the night before to make sure they are extra cooling. Or you can opt for the reusable option to get your moneys worth.
3. You still need spf. Just not in your makeup.
If you aren’t already wearing an spf daily, this is the time to start. Because I can promise you now that the one in your foundation isn’t cutting it. I’ve been obsessed with the Farmacy SPF* for ages and it blends beautifully under makeup. My casper like skin will stay as youthful for as long as I can convince it. But for events, I don’t want foundation that also has an spf because then you get that not so cute flash back that makes your face not match your beautifully fake tanned body. I know you did not work that hard to not look hot as hell in a photo. Use the spf. Just not in your foundation for your lasting bridesmaid makeup.
4. Yes, you need a primer.
There is a time and a place for makeup without a primer. This is not it. Chances are you’re going to have very little time to look at your face again once it goes on. If you’re the best bridesmaid ever, you’ll keep an eye on the bride’s makeup. But once yours goes on and it’s perfected, it’s time to do all the things. So the last thing you need is to have patchy makeup or for it to slip off. My favorite choices for all day looks: Coola Dawn Patrol Primer* (clean beauty) & Smashbox Photo Finish (non-clean).
5. DON’T TEST NEW SH*T THE WEEK OF THE WEDDING OR ON THE DAY.
Do you remember that Sex And The City episode where Samantha tested a new facial the week of Carrie’s book launch and looked like she had a chemical burn? Don’t be Samantha. If you need a facial, don’t let them do a peel. Extractions? You can cover any red spots with good foundation & concealer. But the flaking you get from a peel will NOT be your friend.
This is also not the time to try new products. If you have something you think you want to use for the wedding, give yourself 1-2 weeks before to test it. This way if anything doesn’t agree with your skin, you’ll be in the clear by the time you need to be photo ready.
6. FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION IS NON-NEGOTIABLE
I’ve been in weddings where most of the girls don’t own foundation and had no idea what to wear day of. It happens more often than not. There is no shame in this. But for a wedding, you’re going to need the heavier stuff. It photographs better and means that you won’t look so out of place next to the bride.
Unfortunately, a lot of makeup artists pack it on to make it long lasting and it creases when you smile. And I mean you have a FULL ON CRACK on your face. It’s not cute and is a cheap tactic on their end. If you get it done by someone else, be sure to check after they do it and ask for a sponge + a foundation sample to blend out any spots or issues that arise.
7. WATERPROOF MASCARA + FALSE LASHES ARE A MUST.
Even if you think you aren’t going to cry, someone else will cry and it will make you cry by default. Like the groom. ALWAYS gets me. Flash lashes can be a bit tricky so if you’re new to using them, I’d recommend going for ones that are 3/4 size or cutting them. Then you can place them exactly where you want them to be for that extra BAM.
8. KEEP THE INNER CORNER OF YOUR EYE MAKE UP LIGHT.
Most make up artists will follow this rule but if you’re doing your own, it makes all the difference. Don’t go too dark with your eye look. If you’re got smaller eyes, it means that no matter what it will look like your eyes are shut in photos. Keep it lighter in the middle and towards the inner corner. Trust me.
9. CHECK YOUR MAKE UP IN MULTIPLE LIGHTS BEFORE ADDING MORE.
As much as we’d love to pretend that venue’s have amazing lighting for lasting bridesmaid makeup, it’s a RARE occasion. I’ve done makeup with barely any lighting and makeup that was far too yellow to be a real representation. So if you think you need more, check it in 2 other lights. One of them needs to be outside. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking like a clown but you have no idea. We don’t want that.
10. TAKE IT DOWN THE NECK.
By default, your neck is going to be lighter than everything else. So make sure you take the either your foundation or your bronzer down your neck. It will help smooth out any lines plus it means you’ll have a consistent color going on. Everyone’s neck is lighter but you don’t want to be 3 shades lighter in photos, ya know?
11. FLUFF OUT THE FRONT OF YOUR BROW.
Why oh why do people give brides angry brows? Honestly, I do not understand. Yes, you still want to fill in the front of your brow. But if it’s super harsh, it just makes you look pissed off and that’s not what you want as a bride or bridesmaid. A clean, fluffy eyeshadow brush can help lighten up the front of your brow. You still get the filled in look without the intense RBF.
12. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT LIP COLOR YOUR MAKEUP ARTIST OR THE BRIDES USED AND BUY IT AHEAD OF TIME.
Lipstick is the first thing to go and the one thing most people forget to ask about. If you or the bride are getting your makeup done, make sure you have your own version of the lip color being used. Otherwise you’ll be half way through photos without a lip color. If you’re into it, a matte lipstick is awesome for lasting bridesmaid makeup. But it’s the one thing you’re going to want to make sure gets touched up often for photos!
13. ALWAYS SANDWICH YOUR MAKEUP AKA USE A SETTING SPRAY
Now after you’ve put in effort to create this amazing, lasting bridesmaid makeup, you’re going to need to set it in place. This will make sure everything plays nicely exactly where you left it. I don’t have a current clean favorite for the occasion but Urban Decay’s All Nighter spray* is a classic. TBD on the clean options but I’ll keep you posted.
What about you? Do you have any tips for that lasting bridesmaid makeup life? I’d love to hear from you and know what you’ve learned along the way. Be sure to let me know in the comments below. And feel free to share this post with someone you think would find it helpful! Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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