Even for gals who tend to go makeup free or embrace the no-makeup makeup look, your wedding is usually a time when you’ll want to step up your cosmetics game — while still feeling like yourself, of course. Forgoing classic bridal wedding makeup and instead embracing the minimalist makeup trend can elevate your everyday look to special occasion-worthy levels while still letting your natural beauty shine through. Even though the minimal makeup trend is all about what’s not on your face, this type of application actually tends to be more challenging for most artists, because they’re used to styling more elaborate looks. Be sure to find an artist with a light hand if you’re going this route, or keep these tips and tricks in mind if you decide to take a DIY less-is-more approach to beauty on your big day.
Prep: Minimal Base Makeup
The trick to getting flawless-looking skin with minimalist makeup is to apply foundation only to the parts of your skin that really need it. From there, blend into your face with a flat foundation brush to keep the product light and natural. Keep your bronzer natural, matte and only a slightly deeper shade than your skin tone.
Minimalist Bride Makeup: Pretty Pink Glow + Barely Bitten Pout
Step 1: Matte Highlight
The pigment of your highlighter will depend on your skin tone. For Elise, who has fair skin, we went with Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Shy Beam Matte Liquid Highlighter ($26). This is Benefit’s latest highlighter, and it’s a gem! The matte finish is flawless, leaving your skin with a natural, brightening glow. Apply to the bridge of your nose, the center of your lower forehead, your cheekbones and above your cupid’s bow.
Blend in with a flat brush by tapping over the product. This will help deposit the highlighter without wiping away any foundation you may have on.
Step 2: Blushing Pink Cheeks
To achieve blushing bride status, we went with Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Brightening Baby-Pink Blush ($29) on Elise. Smile, and apply the powder with the brush that comes with the palette. If your skin tone is deeper, you’ll want to go with a more pigmented pink, like Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush ($44) for a similar effect.
Step 3: Natural Eyes
Sweep Pink: For Elise, we used the same blush that we put on her cheeks to lightly sweep across her eyelids. This is a great way to tie in the eyes without leaving them nude.
Cream Highlight: Apply a light shimmer cream highlighter to the brow bones and inside the corners of your eyes to capture the light in your photos.
Step 4: Mascara + Brows
Skip the eyeliner and keep your mascara light with one coat of a deep brown formula, and lightly fill in your eyebrows with a pigment similar to your natural hair color. Resist the temptation to skip your brows — this is a great way to take a minimal makeup look to the next level.
Finishing Touches: Berry Bitten Pout
For your minimal lip color, use your finger to apply a berry-toned lip stain to your pout for a natural look.
You can see her luminous glow under studio lighting: soft, subtle and barely there.
Here in the contrasting light on a very rainy day — which can be challenging lighting to shoot under — her skin still looks flawless, and even though in these images the colors are more vivid, they’re still soft and pretty.
Another vivid lit shot.
With a little diffused light, her skin is soft and glowing. It’s about her, not her makeup — a truly minimalist look.
Phew! You can relax, natural beauties! Your flawless minimal go-to look is definitely doable for your big day. Per usual, be sure to run through your look a few times if you’re going to DIY your makeup for your wedding, or schedule a trial with an artist whose work tends to reflect your desired look. If an artist says you need to wear a lot of makeup on your wedding day for photos, work with someone else. My theory? If you like how you look and feel in your signature look, then go for it on your wedding day for sure!
Hair/Makeup/Art Direction: Misty Spinney
Photography: Brittany Griffin
Model: Elise Cofield