Natural wedding makeup

Here comes the bridal beauty look you’ve been searching for. Read on for our step-by-step wedding makeup how-to.

Natural wedding makeup

Here comes the bridal beauty look you’ve been searching for. Read on for our step-by-step wedding makeup how-to.

As any bride-to-be would agree, the wedding to-do list is never ending. In fact, you may even have a separate list dedicated solely to pre-wedding beauty – book in for highlights, get a mani pedi, perfect your wedding skincare routine etc. But for most, wedding day makeup is top of the beauty agenda.


It’s only natural that every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. Of course, that means something a little different for everyone, however if you usually prefer a minimal, natural makeup look, the world of bridal makeup can feel a little daunting. As a wedding is a long day, with lots of photo ops from start to finish, many makeup artists specialise in photo-ready, glam looks that’ll last all day. However, if that’s not really your vibe, it can be tricky to find someone that truly gets it. The answer? Simply do it yourself. You know what you like, you know what suits you and ultimately, you want to look and feel like you on the day.


So, whether you’re planning an intimate city ceremony or a lavish destination wedding, say ‘I do’ to glowing skin, subtle definition and soft glam touches. 


Natural wedding makeup looks

Step 1: Hydrate. 

On the morning of your wedding, it’s best to keep your skincare routine simple to avoid any irritation. The most important step? Moisturiser. You’ll want to avoid anything heavy, rich or oily, as this can alter the way makeup sits on the skin. Instead, choose a lightweight moisturiser like Moisture Surge™ 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator which is built with hyaluronic acid to help plump and hydrate for smooth, dewy skin. If your wedding is in spring or summer, or you are having an outdoor ceremony, choose a moisturiser with SPF – our Moisture Surge™ SPF 25 Sheer Hydrator has a cloud-like cream texture and combines weightless, dewy hydration with sheer UVA protection (and no white cast).


Step 2: Prime.

If you want a makeup look that lasts all day (and night), don’t skip the primer. A good primer not only helps hold makeup in place, but it can also improve the look and feel of your foundation. We have two great primers to choose from, depending on your desired finish. Even Better™ Pore Defying Primer instantly blurs pores for a filtered, velvety finish and Even Better™ Light Reflecting Primer illuminates skin for a radiant, lit-from-within finish and locks in makeup for 16 hours of fresh, flawless wear. Both are silicone-free and powered by skincare ingredients to help improve the look of skin with every wear.


Step 3: Perfect.

You’re marrying ‘the one’, but have you found your foundation match? There is a lot to consider when looking for a wedding foundation – finish, longevity, coverage, texture – so it’s important to find a formula that’s tailored to your specific skin type (find out how to match your foundation to your skin type here). For a natural, photo-ready finish, Even Better™ Makeup SPF 15 is hard to beat. The dermatologist-developed formula delivers flawless medium coverage in 39 shades with 24-hour colour-true wear. It hydrates, smooths and leaves skin with a natural finish, letting your skin shine through. Remember, less is more: for best results, apply sparingly using a Foundation Buff Brush, then build coverage as needed.


Step 4: Correct and conceal. 

Concealer is your (beauty) best friend on your big day. If you have an early start, or all the excitement has kept you up the night before, just dot a slightly lighter shade of Even Better™ All-Over Concealer + Eraser under the eyes and blend gently with the built-in blurring sponge to camouflage dark circles. This skincare-infused formula with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid delivers flawless, weightless full-coverage that lasts up to 12 hours without settling or creasing. Should any pesky blemishes pop up, use a shade that matches your foundation exactly, to avoid brightening the area, and pat the concealer gently into the skin to blend. It’s also great to have on standby for touch-ups later in the day.


Step 5: Define the brows.

Eyebrows help to frame the face, so a little definition goes a long way. At Clinique, we are all about low-maintenance brows – less is more here, particularly for natural bridal makeup. Start by applying Quickliner™ for Brows in the direction of hair growth using light, feathery strokes, then using short strokes and a light hand, brush Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse over the brow hairs following the natural arch of the brow.


Step 6: Subtle shimmer. 

For natural wedding makeup looks, soft, subtle eyeshadows work best. A wash of a pearlescent colour with a touch of definition around the lash line is enough to accentuate the eyes, without feeling too glam or ‘done’. Prime your eyelids with a little concealer, before applying Chubby Stick™ Shadow Tint for Eyes all over the lid and blending with fingertips – we love shades Bountiful Beige and Lots o’ Latte. Then, using an eyeliner brush, apply All About Shadow™ Singles in shade French Roast along the upper lash line for depth and definition.


Step 7: Level up lashes. 

From the vows to the speeches, happy tears are inevitable on the big day, so you’ll need a mascara that won’t budge when the emotion hits. High Impact Zero Gravity™ Mascara is up to the challenge. Its smudge-proof tubing formula provides a next-level lash lift with 24-hour rain, sweat, humidity and tear-resistant wear. Its designed with a curved brush and weightless gel formula to instantly lift, curl and lengthen for a natural, fluttering effect. It’s also ophthalmologist-tested, ensuring it’s safe for sensitive eyes.


Step 8: Sculpt and highlight.

When it comes to contour and highlighter, the trick is to choose lightweight, creamy formulas that’ll give you a little sculpt and shimmer, without veering into stripy territory. Our Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Contour doubles up as a creamy bronzer, creating the illusion of depth and definition while warming up your complexion. To accentuate your bone structure, sweep Sculpting Contour under the cheekbones, down either side of the nose and along the jawline, blending well with fingertips. Next, add a touch of highlighter to boost your bridal glow and get a gorgeous photo-ready finish. Too much highlighter can look shiny in photos, so instead opt for a creamy highlighting stick with light-reflecting pigments for a softer effect. Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Highlight is a silky balm that melts into the skin for instant luminosity. Apply it directly to the high points of the face – cheekbones, bridge of the nose, under brows – and blend with fingertips.


Step 9: Add a healthy flush. 

A cream blush is the perfect way to add a hint of tint to natural bridal makeup. You don’t want to go too bright or intense with your blusher, so instead opt for a pop of soft peach or pink on the apples of the cheeks. Chubby Stick™ Cheek Colour Balm imparts a subtle flush of sheer, natural-looking colour in an instant. Apply your chosen shade (we love Amp'd Up Apple) sparingly to the apples of your cheeks, then blend out towards the temples.


Step 10: Set it in place.

You need your makeup to last from first look to last dance, so it’s a good call to set your makeup in place with a dusting of translucent loose powder. Our Blended Face Powder is a superfine, lightweight powder that locks in makeup with a silky-smooth, light-reflecting finish. To apply, dip a fluffy powder brush in the powder, then tap off any excess before dusting over the face to set everything in place.


Step 11: First kiss ready. 

Complete your natural wedding makeup look with the original ‘your lips but better’ shade: Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Not quite a lipstick, not quite a gloss, this iconic Clinique classic goes on a slip of sheer, lightweight colour that adapts to the natural tone of your lips to create something yours alone. It’s the ultimate low-maintenance makeup essential and is so easy to reapply throughout the day – no mirror required. Make sure one of your bridesmaids keeps one in her bag for touch-ups or, even better, gift all your bridesmaids their own Black Honey as a morning-of gift.


Step 12: Scents of romance. 

Though not makeup-related, finding your wedding scent is nearly as important as it’ll always remind you of that special day – it’s the perfect 'something new', too. Our resident fragrance expert, Clinique Consultant Anna-Marie Clarke, recommends Aromatics In White as a wedding fragrance, calling it, ‘the epitome of elegance – a graceful, glamorous and serene scent with soft petal notes and the powdery sweetness of grey amber.’ Read more of her expert tips in the Clinique Perfume Guide.


Tips for doing your own wedding makeup.


1. Practice makes perfect. 

Just as you’d book a wedding makeup trial with a makeup artist, make sure you try out your planned look before the big day. That way you can see how it lasts, how it looks in different lighting and what touch-ups are necessary throughout the day. We’d also recommend taking a few photos from different angles to see how it looks on camera.


2. Don't forget to shade match.  

If you’re planning to get a spray tan for the big day, or have a pre-wedding holiday or hen weekend booked, make sure your foundation matches your sun-kissed skin tone. For the most accurate shade match, we’d suggest heading to your nearest Clinique counter, use our Virtual Try On tool or read our shade matching guide here.


3. Get your pre-wedding skincare locked down.

While makeup can work magic, it’s a good idea to stick to a consistent skincare routine before your wedding – particularly if you’re going for a lighter coverage foundation. Avoid any new or harsh formulas in the run-up to your date, and try to get into a good flow with cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising and, last but never least, protecting with SPF. Not sure where to start? Read our guide to the ultimate pre-wedding skincare timeline.


Need more help creating your skincare routine? Book in for a complimentary Skin School consultation, led by one of our own specially trained skin experts. Following your initial consultation, we'll offer you 15% off* your next order with Clinique.

* Terms and conditions apply.


Updated by Shona Wallace, September 2023.

Shop natural wedding makeup:

Even Better™ Makeup SPF15, Medium Coverage - Natural Finish

CN 08 Linen

Almost Lipstick - Black Honey, Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is a Clinique classic. Not quite lipstick, not quite gloss – its texture is more like a balm you can easily layer. Now available in Pink Honey – a subtle soft pink shade.

Pink Honey