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I’m at that age where everyone gets married, has kids or quits their job to Eat Pray Love their way around the world. While it’s fun to watch everyone enter a new phase of life, it also equates to a lot weddings and festive occasions. And after two years of postponed ceremonies and a slew of quarantine engagements…phew! I needed to be fully equipped for every consecutive wedding on my social calendar this year, starting with what was in my makeup bag. (If I’m going to spend all my savings to attend all these events, I’m going to look good doing it!)
While many makeup products work perfectly for everyday use, weddings require more specific features – think mascara that won’t smudge when you “cry with joy” and setting powder that can absorb sweat during those summer ceremonies. suffocating. It’s also worth considering travel-sized beauty products that you can take with you to weddings and bachelorette parties. Look for versatile options, like neutral eyeshadow palettes and simple lipsticks that complement a range of different wedding guest dresses.
To help you prepare for all the upcoming weddings, I’m sharing some of the must-have makeup items I couldn’t have made it through the wedding season without. If you want your cheekbones to sparkle under the room lights, I swear by the Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder. Need something to make your look last all day? I like Benefit Cosmetics 24 Hour Eyebrow Fixer and the NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray.
Read on for the best makeup products for wedding guests.
Weddings were busy this spring and summer, so I turned to this tinted moisturizer for every outdoor ceremony. I love that it’s infused with SPF 50 so I can be sure my skin is protected from the sun. I use it as a face foundation and as the first step in my makeup routine. Its moisturizing and illuminating formula is the perfect base for the rest of my glamorous look. The best part is that a little goes a long way with this CC cream. All you need is a thin layer of product for full coverage.
Never underestimate the power of good eyebrows! This sheer gel easily shapes brows and keeps them in place for up to 24 hours, making it a must-have for all-day, all-night weddings. I recommend it especially for bridesmaids, as you’ll want your makeup to stay put for every photoshoot on the big day. I usually apply this after filling in my brows with a pencil applicator to polish the final look, but it’s also a great option for those who want to achieve a rolled brow effect.
Between crying tears of happiness and sweating it out on the dance floor, it’s essential to finish your makeup with a setting spray before the wedding festivities begin. I particularly like this option from NYX for its long-lasting effects and compact size (a must for destination weddings!). The breathable formula controls shine and keeps makeup in place for up to 16 hours, so you can let loose at the reception without worrying about touch-ups.
For me, a great highlighter is the icing on the cake of my makeup routine. I just like a little more sheen and shine! This Bobbi Brown highlighting powder has been my favorite for years because it adds an eye-catching touch without distracting from the rest of my look. I apply it to my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose for an extra glow and a radiant finish. I also love that this powder comes in a wide range of shades and is free from parabens and phthalates.
This unique firm hold tube mascara formula is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Instead of smearing or running when wet, the mascara comes off in fiber-like pieces that glide right onto your lashes – you don’t even need soap or eye makeup remover to do it. remove at the end of the night! So when those tears of joy flow as the couple exchange vows, you can be sure your look will stay intact (just bring the mascara in your handbag for touch-ups).
This is my favorite palette, especially when I travel, because it offers several products in one. It includes matte eyeshadows and multitasking contour powders as universal eye and face shades. I love that I can use it to achieve both a simple neutral look and a bold smokey eye to match my wedding guest outfit, while bronzing my cheekbones and other facial features for a clean finish.
I think a good lipstick is the best way to instantly elevate any makeup look, but I also lean towards more subtle, more natural colors. That’s why I love this simple light pink shade from Kylie Cosmetics, as well as its vegan formula and long-lasting matte finish. The best part? Since it’s designed to be smudge-proof and last up to 24 hours, I usually don’t even need a touch-up after reception dinner and drinks.
If you want extra bold eye makeup, then false eyelashes are the way to go. Ardell’s Demi Wispies are my go-to option for every black tie event because they add a ton of volume and length without being too on top. Tip: If you’re wearing black eyeliner, use black eyelash glue for a clean, even finish.
What to look for in makeup products for weddings
When it comes to makeup for weddings, the first thing to consider is the wear time of the product. From the ceremony to the after-party, the event can last for hours. You’ll want to use products that will last through all the festivities. That’s why I always end up with make-up fixing products, like the NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray and the Benefit Cosmetics 24 Hour Eyebrow Fixer.
Depending on the location, venue, season, and dress code of an event, your makeup will change from wedding to wedding. Therefore, it is a good idea to look for products that can be used for different styles and aesthetics. Neutral lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes can’t hurt, as they’ll pair effortlessly with any dress or formal jumpsuit. Two-in-one products, like an eyeshadow and bronzer combo or a lipstick that doubles as a blush, are also practical and useful for destination weddings – I particularly like the Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette.
Preparation and follow-up are very important when it comes to long-lasting makeup. Start by cleansing and hydrating your skin, then apply a toner and primer before putting on foundation and the rest of your makeup (the Urban Decay All Nighter Face Primer is still a solid choice). I also recommend using a setting powder after contouring or applying concealer and bronzer to ensure a shine-free finish. Once your glamorous look is complete, finish with a high-quality setting spray to hold everything in place.
Of course, it’s also worth opting for smudge- and water-resistant formulas to ensure your look can withstand happy tears or any makeup mishaps that may arise throughout the day.
You can wear as little or as much makeup as you want to any wedding – do what makes you feel your most beautiful and like yourself! That being said, there are a few key products that I always include in my special event makeup routine.
For my face makeup, I apply foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush and eyebrow pencil or gel-plus highlighter for an extra glow. As for my eyes, I’ll adjust my eyeshadow to suit my outfit, then apply liquid eyeliner along the upper lash line and finish with mascara. If I want an ultra glamorous look for formal weddings, I’ll replace mascara with Ardell Demi Wispies False Eyelashes. I always use a setting powder or setting spray on my final look to make sure my makeup lasts all day and night. Finally, I finish it off with a beautiful lipstick!
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Chloe Caldwell is a bridal business writer who specializes in shopping and lifestyle topics. She has over five years of journalism experience, writing about everything fashion, beauty, travel and wellness.