When chirpy reader Annie wrote to me asking for some advice on her makeup for her upcoming wedding, I was beyond thrilled to share what I knew with her. Now, I am not married yet, but many of my friends have been and I have learnt a lot from their wedding makeup woes. This is what I wrote to Annie...I hope it helps other brides to be.

When you read it you will notice that I talk about humidity a lot, that because I have tried to aim this for brides getting married in summer / rainy season in India. Again, all this is just my opinion, something that I think I would do if I were to get married. Please feel free to share your tips and tricks to help other brides look their best on one of the most important days of their lives.

Before you start applying makeup run an ice cube all over your exfoliated face and neck. It helps with the pores, makes you feel fresh.

Invest in a great concealer and an under eye brightener. I personally think a great concealer is much more important than foundation.
Rec: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, MAC Moisture cover / Studio Fix, Stila Perfecting / Illuminating concealer, Bobbi brown Corrector , Cream Concealer, Conceal FX by Cover FX.

You never know when you might end up getting the dreaded pimple on your face. So keep a concealer, spot acne treatment handy to combat that acne. Don't let that tiny spot ruin your perfect face. Slather some acne treatment, concealer and hide it .

Use mattifying full coverage foundation.
Rec: Cargo / Cargo Blue Ray / Make up forever High Def Makeup/ Cinema Secrets Foundation / MAC Studio Fix / Cover FX

Use MAC Strobe Cream / Clinique Uplighting Liquid Illuminator under your foundation. Alternatively you could also mix it with your foundation and apply all your face and neck. An alternate to it would be the
It gives a glowing effect without looking shiny / shimmery apart from moisturizing your face.

Use a primer before applying makeup. This provides a great base for even application of makeup.
Rec : SKINN Orchid Mattefying Gel, Prescriptives Primer

Keep some oil absorbing sheets and translucent powder, brush handy...just in case the oil glands act up.
Rec: Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, Boscia Oil Absorbing Sheets

If you are going to be changing into multiple sarees/ lehengas through the ceremony, go for a look that compliments most outfits. Use golds, copper,bronze,browns with a lil bit of reds, pinks,greens coz most wedding outfits revolve around these colors.I have some looks on my blog with coppers, bronze n golds.I will make more over time :)

Do not forget to use a primer on your eyes.
Rec: Makeupforever Eye Primer / Urban Decay Primer Potion

Glow is the key word here - not shimmery, not shiny and definitely not plain matte. So, get a highlighter to highlight your cheeks, bridge of your nose, forehead and chin. This should give you the glow you yearn for :)

Rec: NARS Albatross, Prescriptives Warm Dark Highlighter, Stila all over shimmer powder, LORAC perfectly lit powder in Spotlight

If you want to contour your face, use a matte blush in a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone to do the job for you. Remember the "3" step? If not, check it out here

Invest in good skin care. Try brightening, rejuvenating serums and creams. Use good under eye treatments.Get some facial masks which condition your skin and try using them weekly once or twice(as advised). That being said, do not make any drastic changes in your skin care routine days before the wedding. If your skin has been behaving good, just stick to those products.
Rec: Shiseido UV Whitening Massage Cream, Clinique Total Turnaround Visible Skin Renewer, Clinique Brightening cream.

Good hair products to keep your hair in place. Tame those fly aways, so they don't take the attention away form any jewellery you use on your hair.
Rec: Ellen Lavar Instant Shine Mist

Use a gentle lip plumping cream/gloss/lipstick.
They fill in the lines on your lips giving a more full appearance. Apart from this your lips will look great in pictures because any shimmery/shiny gloss reflects better on a smooth surface.
Rec: Sally Hansen Gentle Lip Plumping gloss, Lip Fusion Lip Plumping Gloss

Use a Lip primer underneath your lipstick prolonged wear. You can also layer your lipstick so it doesn't fade away easily.
Rec: Sally Hansen Prep and Perfect Lip Care

Complete the look by spraying on a Finishing spray. You can alternatively also spray on some cold water using a spraying bottle. This adds additional hydration - the key to great skin.
Rec: MAC Fix plus, Amore Pacific Face Mist

Use a waterproof mascara. There will a lot of humidity and there will be tears...so don't take chances with a normal mascara.
Rec: Clinique Lash Power Mascara.

Use false lashes only if you are comfortable with them. If not stick with good ol mascara to open up your eyes.

Brows!! Do not use black color to fill in the brows. Use a matte brown shade or a taupe shade to fill in your brows. Use a powder instead of a pencil for a more natural finish. You can also tame them with a brow gel. Remember to highlight your brow bone. It makes your arch look better and more defined.
Rec: Anastasia brow kit.

Depending on your dress you can choose if you want to apply body makeup. I would advice against it...keeping in mind the humidity, the fire (if a Hindu wedding). Dont forget to use a moisturizer, you want want ashy elbows and feet. Alternatively you could go for a shimmery moisturizer so it adds a healthy glow to your body.
Rec: MAC Strobe Liquid / Clinique Uplighting Liquid Illuminator

Try on your look for the day plenty of times before the actual day. This will give you opportunities to correct any mistakes/ find better ways of applying a certain product and just experiment in general to achieve the perfect look. Take pictures under various light, with flash, without flash etc so you know the make up looks good under any kinda lights. Some makeup products look great in day light but leave a white caste in pictures, beware of those.

Make a list of the products and the order in which you used them in your trials. You can never miss anything with a list in hand. I am sure you will have a lotta things on your mind that day. That is why you need a list telling you what goes where n when. Besides, if you are using a makeup artist this list will help him/her give you the look you want.

Lastly, you will get lots of advice from lots of people on how they think you should look...but in the end, its your wedding and you are the one to decide what you want to look like on your day. So, listen to everything that everyone has to say...but do what you think is best for you. Because, no one understands your skin or you hair more than you !
Brides, do let me know if this helped you. I sincerely hope it did!!
You can always leave a comment below if you have any other questions.

Indian Girl


Kulsoom said... @ September 6, 2008 at 5:11 PM

Great job. I wish I knew all this before my big day. you are so informative. Awesome post...keep up the good work.

An Indian's makeup musings said... @ September 8, 2008 at 10:43 PM

Hey Kulsoom! Welcome to my blog :)
Thank you for being so kind...I am glad you think this helps!!

Divya said... @ December 13, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Hello! I've been reading posts on your blog for last two days. I must say I am very impressed!! I am getting married in two months and unfortunately I can go to the place where I am getting married only two days before my marriage. I have absolutely no idea about good make up artists etc in that location. I am planning to buy my own make up. I am really confused about the eye shadows. Can you tell me what eye shadow kit I should purchase so that would suit most of the colors I would be wearing. I would be wearing colours like maroon, green, blue, pink and of course all the sarees will have gold trimmings...Thanks a lot!! Looking forward to hearing from you!!

An Indian's Makup Blog ! said... @ December 14, 2008 at 6:25 AM

Hi Divya ,

Congrats !

You could try the eyeshadow palettes from coastal scents, or the 40 eye shadow FLIRT palette from Kohls or order a 120 color palette form ebay. I hear they are very good.

Ponie said... @ December 27, 2008 at 9:02 PM

I'm new here and wow this is a very nice plce to hang out. Great tips. Like the way you show how step by step. From my experience Indian bridal make up is always too strong. I don't know why. Even in another contry too. May be it make you look good in camera. Maybe you should try to tone it down a little bit. Not to thick and color heavily. Somehow you should make yourself outstanding beautiful but stil look like yourself.


Shelbyb28 said... @ June 14, 2009 at 4:18 AM

Wow! great info! thanks!! I especially like the tip about using the ice cube to shrink pores. I have been a makeup artist for 7 years and never knew that trick. Tomorrow is my first Indian wedding and I'm so excited. I have been looking at pictures online and the beauty of all the fabric, make-up, jewels and people are making me cry! keep up the good work..and thanks again for posting! hugs :) shelby

Fizza said... @ June 16, 2009 at 12:04 AM

I've been doing Bridal makeup for 7yrs and you are pretty spot on! Great job and great blog!

Quick question, where do you get your shiseido whitening cream?


Fizza Qadri
Picture Perfect Makeovers

Teena said... @ June 21, 2009 at 11:49 AM


some good information there...I also am a make up artist mainly in NY area. I use pancakes a lot...Do you use pancakes? If yes then how do you apply?

Anonymous said... @ December 11, 2009 at 7:00 AM

Good Morning!!! anindiansmakeupmusings.blogspot.com is one of the most outstanding resourceful websites of its kind. I enjoy reading it every day. All the best.

Duskygal said... @ June 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Hi, I stumbled over this blog while looking for makeup tips for indian gals. I found it wonderful especially for me with zero makeup knowledge whatsoever.

I am getting married in august..and it would be impossible to get a good make up artists since the venue is not a city.

Could you suggest some products that don't look white on darker skin tones.

Khush Singh-Celebrity & Indian Bridal Makeup Artist said... @ August 16, 2011 at 3:57 AM

Great tips and really enjoy your blog. I would add that the brides should make sure the plan to have 2 hours for hair and makeup and always do a trial.

Khush Singh Celebrity & Indian Bridal Makeup Artist

Payal said... @ September 25, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Hi It was a Really useful sight. But Unfortunately Many of the products u r talking about are unknown to me
Im in Mumbai. Can U please suggest a place where I can get thses stuffs from???

bigindianwedding said... @ April 27, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Awesome post!!Great job and great blog!

logan gray said... @ August 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM

nice post & thanx for share
Destination wedding India

harman said... @ January 24, 2013 at 7:42 PM

hey thanks a lot for all these useful tips, i'm going to get married in october and this was really useful. Honestly i didnt even knew about the existance of certain products before reading your post ! Now i definitely know what to ask for to my make up artist, really useful, thanks a ton :) Keep it up !

dee said... @ August 7, 2013 at 9:37 PM


I am totally new to this make up world and your blog is too good and useful for a starter like me who never even knew the existence of these products.

I am getting married in mid october and preferring self make up as i don't like over do of parlour people.

I am slightly on the dusky side and will be wearing shades of mustard, green and white sarees for the wedding and my wedding is in the night

Kindly suggest me the items that i need to use and the order in which they should be used.

Charu Artist said... @ August 22, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Thanks for sharing some useful beauty tips.

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