As a wedding photographer in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, it is essential you love your makeup on your wedding day. Your makeup will impact both your appearance and how you feel, so let’s dive into some beach bridal makeup tips.
Looking amazing is vital, but feeling amazing is even more important if you want natural and authentic expressions in your photographs. It’s important that your makeup aligns with your vision and style so that everything comes together perfectly.
I am no makeup artist, so I have enlisted the help of a friend and makeup guru, Kim, who will share her expert advice on how to look and feel absolutely stunning on your wedding day!
1. I don’t like to think there are many hard and fast rules with wedding makeup, but if I had to pick one, it would be to think ‘naturally glowing and gorgeous’. It’s your big day, so of course you want to look like your prettiest self. But big, obvious makeup ‘looks’ quickly date (ditto that for overdone hair) and advances in digital photography mean that lighter, fresher makeup looks to fare better than the heavier ‘pancake’ makeup of the past.
2. With hot weather, the key is to think of light layers of makeup that will still let your skin breathe. Yes, you’ll have to do a few more touch-ups than you would have with the thicker, chalkier makeup formulas of yesteryear, but the result will be prettier and much more natural. The best news? Modern makeup formulas have come on so fast in the last couple of years, there’s a plethora of whisper-light makeup textures, from foundations to eyeshadows and lipsticks that will still give great coverage but feel and look truly natural.
3. I like to start with freshly moisturised skin – a smooth canvas means anything you apply on top will look super fresh. Olay and SKII make wonderful serum-soaked cloth masks that are literally like a skin drink. Clarins and Eve Lom also make great moisture masks, and I love Sisley’s Radiant Glow Express mask for a fresh glow in mere minutes.
4. Once the skin is clean and prepped, smooth on one of the new skin primers. They’re a world away from the old cloying silicone-filled primers of a few years ago. The newest ones are light, infuse skin with skincare benefits and can help your makeup really go the distance. I love Australian brand Becca, and their Radiance Primer is a total must (in fact, I love all their glow-giving makeup). Revlon’s Photoready Primer is excellent, YSL Top Secret Primer smells incredible and Nars contains a proper SPF of 30, which is useful for hot weather weddings.
5. My foundation rule is: use as light a texture as you can get away with. Tinted moisturisers, the new super-light foundation formulas, and even a BB cream with just concealer where you need it, they’re more wearable than ever. My new favourites are YSL le Teint Touche Eclat, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (liquid or cream), Estee Lauder Invisible fluid makeup or Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation. Apply with a clean brush and blend in with fingers, just where the skin needs it (usually down the central panel of the face where skin can be ruddy or dull). Conceal blemishes and shadows (don’t forget the inner corners of your eyes, which can be very dark – doing this will brighten your eyes immediately) and powder only if you need it. (oops, forgot to say with foundations that getting the skin shade to match is really important. Don’t match the shade to the back of the bride’s hand, match it to her jawline and neck, to make sure it’s a perfect fit.)
6. For the day, pack blotting papers or powdered blotting sheets to whisk away shine without smudging makeup or leaving skin looking ‘dusty’. The best I’ve found is by MAC, Paul & Joe (in the prettiest packaging) or Serge Lutens.
7. Don’t underestimate the power of a touch of blush. It instantly perks up your skin and can make you look like you’ve had 8 hours of sleep (even if you haven’t!). Powder blushes will last in the heat but I like a touch of cream or gel blush blended into skin with fingers – it really makes the glow look like your own. Check out Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, Becca Beach Tints, Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush and Stila Convertible Colour.
8. A light dusting of bronzer on top of blush can be great to contour and warm skin if needed.
9. Highlighter is really useful for adding instant freshness and it looks beautiful patted onto browbones, tops of cheekbones, the very inner corner of the eyes and on top of the cupid’s bow. Try something like MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl. I would add that if you’re using shimmer, stick it placing it on one or two features only. Say, using it on eyes and lips and keeping skin velvety. Going overboard with shimmer and shine can leave you looking like a glitterball or, worse, really sweaty. It’s more modern to have a mix of textures.
10. With eyes, why not try something fresh and pretty for a day time ceremony and then smoking things up for the nighttime partying. Loads of eye makeup during the day can end up melting and looking messy (strangely though, a little smudged smokey eye at night can look really amazing). For daytime, I like using neutral eyeshadow shades from Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay and Stila. Take inspiration from the bride’s skin tones (or your own, if you’re the bride!). Pale golds, rose-golds and even bronzes are great new neutrals too. If you like, add a fine flick of liquid liner on the upper lid(try MAC Penultimate liquid pen liner or MAX Factor Masterpiece Glide & Define). Finish with waterproof mascara (in case of tears, or ending up in the sea…). I like Max Factor False Lash Effect waterproof, YSL Faux Cils waterproof, Lancome Hypnose waterproof and MAC Zoomfast waterproof.
11. Lips should be the last thing you do before you head out to the ceremony. It gives the bride (or you!) a chance to eat, drink, kiss, practice lines, etc. without fear of smudging or wearing away. Take inspiration from lips natural shade (or you can go for a pop of red or pink if this is truer to your signature look! After all, you need to look like yourself!). I like the new creamy, balm-like textures that have appeared lately. They have great pigment and feel super light, never tacky. Some of the best are Clinique Butter Shine, Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colour, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain (a long lasting balm-stain with an amazing texture), Poppy King Lipstick Queen, Laura Mercier Sheer lip colour and Becca Beach Tint. If you must use gloss, use a tiny touch in the centre of your bottom lip for shine and don’t overdo it – the groom (or, your groom) wants to kiss your lips, not a lot of gloss!
12. Lastly, have an amazing wedding day! Of course, you’ll look wonderful but don’t forget, it’s about much more than that – it’s about taking the next step in life together.
I hope you enjoyed these beach bridal makeup tips and they help you look (and feel) amazing on your wedding day!
Cancun and Riviera Maya Wedding Photographer