Bridal Beauty: What Makeup I’m Wearing to Get Married

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I’m not one of those girls who’s dreamed of getting married since she was old enough to understand the words “bride” and “groom.” I never fantasized wedding dresses or centerpieces. I didn’t wish for a Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet (sorry, fiancé, if you’re reading this).

But what I did dream about was a legit excuse to buy as many beauty products as I wanted. A reason to try 13 different eye shadows. An excuse to spend three hours searching the Internet for the perfect shade of lip gloss. A reason to splurge a little.

My pending nuptials seem like the perfect excuse. I gave myself a little longer of a leash than usual, and went all out. Here’s a few tips that I learned along the way, plus the products that I think will give me the natural-me-but-better look for my big day.


One thing I don’t want to have to worry about on my wedding day is my makeup melting. In order to stay off the sweaty train, two things are key: a good primer and a layering of different types of makeup.

I start with ARCONA’s Desert Mist, a daily primer and skin protectant. It seals in moisture and helps create a smooth base for all your subsequent blending. I’ve also heard Amala’s Purifying Mattifier is a good one.

  1. Liquid foundation: I already gave this puppy its due on the blog last week, but I can’t say enough how excited I am to have found 100% Pure Healthy Skin Foundation. It has silky coverage without making me look like I’m in a theatre production of “Cats,” it doesn’t melt off and it doesn’t give me too much of a “glow” (I’m not really a dewy-skin lover). I stipple it on with a Beauty Blender because it’s awesome and works better than a sponge or a brush or my fingers (I’ve tried them all, people) to get even, not-cakey coverage.
  2. Sticky-ish liquid concealer: I do this concealer from Mineral Fusion* (which comes with two colors so you can mix a custom for your skintone) OVER my foundation. Otherwise the stippling takes it all off.
  3. Mineral foundation: Something to remember, which will come up later when we talk about eyeshadow—you want to avoid shimmer and glitter and sparkly-ness on your wedding day. They create bounce-back when your photog snaps glamour shots of you and your S.O., which can wreck the images and make you look older than you actually are. And NO ONE wants that. So, the mineral foundation I use is a totally matte one that we’ve recommended on the blog before: Alima Pure. So many colors. So much lovely, soft coverage. It’s the The only thing I’ve ever loved as much as it was Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Foundation, which is a bit pricier.
  4. Blush: I am NOT a rosy girl. I much prefer a little color in the form of a bronzer (no shimmer) but for the wedding-day, I want to look more polished than usual. So, I went back a tried-and-true matte blush (remember how I said to avoid shimmer? Blush is included here.): Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Pink, a literally universally flattering shade.
  5. Luminizer: Now, I said before shimmer is baaaad. And I stand by that statement… until photos are through. Then I’m going to dab a little of (the best beauty product in the world) RMS’ Living Luminizer in the inner corners of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and on my cupid’s bow. Glow-ing.


This was where most of my searching, researching and testing happened. I just had a tricky time finding a matte (are you sick of that word yet?) eyeshadow palette that was flattering and contouring enough. So, I mixed my own.

  1. Eyeshadow: I bought a load of samples from W3LL PEOPLE (thank you to any and all clean lines that offer this service—it is the best thing ever) and ended up finding my perfect shade in a slightly unlikely place—the mineral brow pigment. I use a medium shade on my lid (Matte Taupe) and a darker shade in my crease (Matte Espresso).
  2. Eyeliner: For all-day wear, liquid liner is your best bet. I haven’t found a clean one that I lurve, so I improvise by creating my own. I do a thin line on my top lid only (don’t want any bleeding under my eyes on my big day) of Jane Iredale’s Eye Pencil in Black Brown. Then, I dip a stiff eyeliner brush in water before dabbing it in Modern Minerals’ loose mineral eyeliner in Cocoa. I gently enhance the Jane Iredale line with this deep chocolate shade, thickening the line a bit.
  3. Mascara: I looove me some mascara. I already have long, curled lashes (my hair stylist asked me last week if I’d gotten eyelash extensions after I swiped on one coat of black-brown mascara) but I need some additional thickening. To get the look I want, I use two mascaras in sequence: a) 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara in Dark Chocolate (it actually smells like I’m swiping melted dark chocolate on my lashes, which is just an added bonus to its lengthening power). b) Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara in Pitch Black. This baby thickens and darkens, giving me almost-falsies.


My lips are SENSITIVE, so I’ve tried many a balm, stick, gloss and stain in order to find the perfect one that doesn’t make my lips swell and flake. I also didn’t want one with too much color, as I’m doing a heavier eye than I normally would. In order to get that my-lips-but-better look, I’m using two products:

  1. Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Liner in Soft, Muted Rose. It’s almost exactly the shade of my natural lips, so I’m only using it to help my real color stay on longer. Creating a base of a stickier substance, like the liner, helps hold color in place (since I’m not jumping on the 14-hour dirty lip color train).
  2. My holy grail of lip color and gloss: RMS Beauty’s Lip Shine in Bloom. Confession: I own ALL the colors of the Lip Shine. I love them so much – they go on sheer but can be layered for more color. They leave a light stain so even once the gloss wears off, I still have a little color. And Bloom is the perfect shade to make me look super put together on a no-makeup day or enhance my lips for a  special occasion (aka, my wedding).

That’s it peeps. Seems like a lot, but I think it’ll all help me feel confident about looking my best on wedding day (t minus three days…). What products did you use for your wedding? What did I miss?

25 Responses to “Bridal Beauty: What Makeup I’m Wearing to Get Married”
  1. Anna says:

    Heads up: that 100% Pure foundation has grapefruit seed extract in it!! Yikes!!!

  2. Jill says:

    Pictures, please! I want to see everything put together.

  3. Sadie says:

    I’m lucky enough to live in Austin, where we have a W3LL People store. One of the lovely ladies there (Christine) did my wedding day makeup using all W3LL People products and it looked fantastic! She even took the time to mix some custom shades for me because I was being super picky. All of my bridesmaids, my mother and mother-in-law, and even my future wife (who hates makeup) got the W3LL People treatment and were super happy with the results. They are by far my favorite makeup line!

  4. Kasey says:

    I love this post, great suggestions! And I totally identify with dreaming about buying all the makeup I want as an excuse for my wedding day! haha :)

  5. Naomi says:

    This is an awesome piece, Nicolle – thanks! Lots of great suggestions I am going to try, first being your primers because the NYC summer humidity leaves me wilted and melty by 8am, so I think this could really help. I’m also quite keen to check out the blush. I’ve got a few that are *fine* but would like something that is better than just fine, this sounds promising.

    Hope you have a wonderful wedding day!!!

  6. Anna says:

    Sounds like a great list! Enjoy your wedding!

    This has nothing to do with the post, but can I request that you do a post on Rosacea soon? I would be curious to see what clean products have worked for other people.

  7. Nicolle says:

    You guys are all so sweet!

    I totally wish I lived in a state with a W3LL PEOPLE store! That’d be amazing, @Sadie.
    @Naomi – totally check out the blush. I really don’t like blush as an everyday thing but the Alima one in Pink is really nice and not too punchy. Plus, no shimmer, which I love.

  8. Erin says:

    @Anna. What does the grapefruit seed extract do?

  9. Cecille says:

    Grapefruit seed extract is known for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties. I would take an educated guess and say that grapefruit seed extract in this instance is being used as an alternative to other chemical preservatives. But, it has been known to be used as a fragrance additive.

  10. Helen says:

    I read from many people that 100% Pure’s Foundation darkens, oxidizes and changes color after about 3~5 hours depending on people. Is this something you experienced?

  11. Nicolle says:

    @Helen: I haven’t experience that, no. And I’ve worn it all day, even in high heat and humidity. I don’t wear it every day (I’m a daily mineral powder wear-er), so maybe I’d notice something if I wore it more often? But the times I’ve worn it, it lasted longer and better than any clean liquid brand I’ve tried.

  12. Annette says:

    @Nicolle Enjoy your day!

  13. Ariel says:

    Would love to see a photo of the finished look!

    I wore Ilia’s Blossom Lady lipstick at my wedding, and loved the color.

  14. tranquil says:

    Congratulations Nicolle! I just got hitched this summer too, and my one awesome addition to my routine that made an enormous difference in my photos was RMS unpowder. I am naturally a very shiny faced, “reflective” girl. People have actually described me to others as “the girl with the shiny face” :(. No matter what I have put on my face in terms of moisturizer, makeup or powder, I usually end up looking like I smeared vaseline on my face within a matter of minutes, especially in the heat of the summer. After reading Rebecca’s post on the unpowder I realized this was a splurge I needed to make. I have to say I was not disappointed at all. This is the first product I’ve used that gave me lasting shine control all day, even on a sweltering summer day at an outdoor wedding. I can’t recommend it highly enough to those of you with the same problem. I have to say though, a little goes a long way, and use a light hand. In some of my first photos right after I’d applied it I had a ghostly cast of white, but after a short time it went to work on my oils and sank/blended nicely into my skin giving me a perfect matte finish. Hallelujah! Thanks RMS! No shine in photos IS a great thing.

  15. Julia says:

    @tranquil The RMS Beauty “un” powder is 100% silica, which means that in photos (especially flash photography), it creates a cocaine face. I’d only recommend 100% silica powder (sometimes called HD powder) to people with super oily skin (like you) and even then, very light application. Everyone else, from combination to dry should stay away from this powder if they will be photographed.

    @Nicolle When you wear RMS Beauty lip shines (or lip2cheek), do they bleed or feather?

  16. I love the Healthy Skin foundation and even my boyfriend mentioned that he liked it. It looks very much like my own skin. I’ve been seeing more and more about W3LL People but haven’t tried the brand yet, I need to!

  17. Ruth says:

    It has been challenging for me to find a lipstick that is moisturizing and doesn’t make my lips peel. I love Dr. Hauschka’s lip balm and lipstick. I no longer need lip gloss, now that I am using Dr. Hauschka.

    Finding an eyeliner, clean or not, has been difficult. I live in Houston, and had limited success with eyeliner staying on. I found Yougblood gel liner from the comments here a while back and it is great! I also use a W3LL People pencil when I’m in a hurry and know that it will blend a little on it’s own and still work.

    I just started using Tarte Amazonian Clay Mascara – it is great and seems to be better for my dry eyes.

    Best wishes to you!

  18. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for the awesome post! How was the staying power of the eyeshadow? That’s the only thing I’m still having trouble with (it falls to my under-eye by the end of the day). I had planned on using Alima, but now I’m at the point where I’m considering going dirty on my eyelids just this once. Do you think your preference for shimmer in eyeshadow blush is a personal one, or is this a concern you’d have with Alima blush and eyeshadow for photos in general?

  19. Retrolet says:

    This is the post I’ve been looking for! The best of the best products someone would use on their wedding day. Thanks for sharing!

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