6 Expert-Approved Tips For Wedding Guest Makeup

Make your look happy tears-proof.

Here are wedding guest makeup looks, straight from professional makeup artists.
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Wedding bells are most definitely ringing — because it’s officially the heart of wedding season. And while it’s imperative that brides have long-wear, waterproof glam to last through the long day (and night), guests need just as much attention to detail to get through those emotional dinnertime speeches, sentimental first dances, and high-energy, sweat-inducing moments on the dance floor.

More than ever before, brides are straying from traditional beauty norms for the big day, instead opting for bolder, glamorously statement-making looks that truly wow. And similarly, guests are focusing their efforts on the eyes — with Google search data listing the top ten wedding-related searches that include: winged eyeliner, smoky eyes, cut creases, graphic eyeliner, and gold eyes. (In other words — it seems this year, there aren’t too many that prefer the TikTok-viral #CleanGirlAesthetic for major events).

No matter the look you’re going for, however, one major goal remains — that the glam will last for hours, and without minimal touchups — because who wants to miss those magical moments while checking on your makeup in the bathroom?

Fear not, wedding hoppers — Bustle gathered some tips from the experts, tapping makeup artists for their tried and true hacks when applying makeup for wedding guests and beyond.

Take Time To Prep

Melissa Collazo, a pro makeup artist and Omnia Brush artist, gives her perspective: “Prepping skin for makeup is so essential prior to application because it ensures the skin has everything that it needs in order to hold onto the makeup for longer periods of time — plus, it facilitates that glow that makes you look like you are lit from within. I like to apply a rich moisturizer mixed with a few drops of liquid highlighter or glow primer (like the Danessa Myricks' Illuminating Veil), [which] helps to nourish the skin.”

Eddie Duyos, MAKE UP FOR EVER’s senior manager of pro education & artistry, chimes in with this pro-tip: “Choosing a long-wearing complexion product that requires the least amount of touchups is key, and your foundation can make or break your entire makeup look. MAKE UP FOR EVER’s HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation is a complexion’s best friend when it comes to wedding makeup, because not only is it 24-hour wear with a true-to-skin finish, but it’s also waterproof. Wedding tears of joy won’t break up this makeup!”

Bring On The Blush

If (like me) you’re simply obsessed with blush, Collazo explains why wedding goers have the green light to be a bit more heavy-handed than usual ...

“Blush is such an underrated step in the makeup process that makes a world of difference to the finished product. Adding blush keeps the skin looking healthy, youthful, and well hydrated. Also, blush is often the first thing to look washed out in photos — so in the case of attending a wedding, it is the perfect opportunity to turn it up a notch.”

Waterproof Eyes

No matter the eye makeup look you’re leaning towards for upcoming wedding events, making sure it’s long-lasting and waterproof is crucial.

Duyos shares some ideas for creating a long-lasting eye: “[Opt for a waterproof] liquid liner that will party with you all night long, like MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Aqua Resist Color Ink Liners. These liners come in a multitude of shades and textures that can dress up the eye and create fun looks to go with not only your outfit, but also your personality. Try using two tones to really make a statement. You can also try a colored or shimmer texture on the inner eye and a darker more matte texture on the outer eye to create a [show-stopping] dimension that will get noticed on the dance floor.”

Going for something with a bit more glitz? Duyos adds: “Using [smudge-proof eyeshadow sticks, like] MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Aqua Resist Smoky Shadow Sticks are a perfect way to create a long-lasting, waterproof eye look. These can be used alone or even as a base under any pressed shadow, loose pigment, or glitter to create endless looks.”

Long-Wear Lips

Collazo recommends making your lips pop. “Skipping on lips leaves a makeup look incomplete, and having lip product at the ready is essential for a long evening of celebrating the bride and groom. Long-wearing lip colors have come such a long way from the overly dry liquid lips of the mid-2010s. Long-wears today come in a variety of finishes from matte to glossy and they are also more hydrating and comfortable than ever. Some of my favorites include the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Inks and the Yves Saint Laurent Water Stain for their brilliant shades, high coverage, and ultra-long wear time.”

When In Doubt, Keep It Simple

Though weddings are the perfect time to experiment with your look, sometimes, it’s okay to go minimal and remember that less is more.

Collazo explains: “When it comes to creating an eye look that is timeless, I find that less is more — particularly if you find that doing your eyes isn't your forte. In cases such as this, I suggest focusing on brows and lashes. Brows frame the face, [so] beefing up the brows subtly pushes a makeup look from good to great. In addition to brows, lashes have a way of stealing the show when it comes to creating an eye look. In the case of attending a wedding, don't be afraid to go big.”

In the mood to try an easy eye trick that’s currently trending on TikTok? Transparent eyeliner may be the look for you.

Touchups Coming In Clutch

Dominique Lerma, an executive artist for MODA, shares another wedding day tip: “I always recommend having a pack of blotting sheets in your clutch or bag for any events. They will help absorb the oil on your face from a night on the dance floor and/or an outdoor wedding, and assist in your makeup application looking flawless. When you reapply makeup without properly blotting the excess oil, you are more prone to breakouts and the makeup [can appear] heavy or cakey.”