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Indian Bridal Makeup: My Work and some Tips & Tricks

A wedding is a very important event in one's life. It brings about mixed emotions of joy and sadness alike. Apart from various aspects that go into a wedding preparation, one stands out as a tad bit more important for the bride and that is, the way she wants herself to look on her wedding day. From deciding the color scheme of the makeup to go with the outfit, booking parlours and beauticians and even going for extreme makeovers, we girls are known to have tried it all for our weddings :)
On such an important occasion of their lives my two best friends decided to trust me with their make-up :) They believed in my skills and let me take over the reins of how they would look on their respective weddings... This gave me confidence for doing my own wedding makeup as well. So today I shall be covering three Indian wedding looks that I did for three women who have totally different features, skintones, skin types and wedding outfits. Was it a challenge? Yes it was... Was I nervous? You bet I was... But apart from all this there was this warm feeling of knowing how much not only my best friends but also their mothers trusted me and that was enough for me to fight my apprehensions and get down to work :)
The three brides in their various avatars... 
A Daytime Function
Maharashtrian Bride

Punjabi Bride
A late night early morning function
 ME :)
Manipuri Bride
Bengali Bride
I had a Maharashtrian wedding (Prajakta's), Manipuri Wedding (my own) and a Punjabi wedding (Manu's) to cover. Although all three weddings expected me to do very different looks, the underlying principles and rules remained the same and in this post I will list down some pointers that brides-to-be need to keep in mind if they are planning to do their own wedding makeup. So let's get started :)
Primer -> Foundation -> Finishing Powder
1. First and foremost, make sure your foundation does not contain SPF. SPF contains titanium-di-oxide that reflect due to a camera's flash and makes your face look much more "white" than it actually is.
I have used Revlon Colorstay Mineral Loose Powder Foundation for Prajakta as she has oily skin, Maxfactor Second Skin Foundation on me and Maxfactor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation for Manu.
2. A face primer is extremely important! It not only helps in keeping your foundation stay on longer, but it also helps in controlling shine, prevents oxidation of the foundation and makes applying a foundation a much smoother process. I used MAC Prep+Prime Primer for all.
3. Your foundation should exactly match you. Please don't aim to miraculously look fairer or duskier than you really are! If you are using a mineral foundation, then get yourself a shade lighter as mineral foundations darken a bit on becoming warm. For exactly I am an NC 36 but I use MAC Mineralize foundation in NC30.
4. We all know that when we apply foundation to our faces, the neck should not be skipped. But it is also important to keep in mind that foundation should be applied to ones ears as well.
5. If you are using a liquid foundation, you must top it off with a compact or loose powder to set the foundation. As I used a liquid foundation on me, I set my makeup with Oriflame's Air Soft Loose Powder. However, as Manu and Prajakta both used powder finish foundations, we avoided using a setting powder on it.
1. First off, never ever attempt to do a heavy smoky eyes look for your wedding. It doesn't photograph well under those glaring yellow lights, plus it'll give you panda eyes by the end of the ceremony, due to havan induced watery eyes and the emotional vidaai ceremony...
2. When using eye shadow, never ever opt for matte and glittery. Go for satin or pearl finishes eye shadows only for your wedding. They give a subtle sheen but do not look overly glittery and hence weird in heavy flash photography. I opted for eye shadows in the form of loose powders only. They give the perfect sheen and when applied wet stay on for like ever! I used Sparkle Dust stack in various colors by Faces Cosmetics.
3. Always use an eye primer. Come what may! Primers help your shadow stay on longer and also "pop-out" the color of the shadow. Yes! An eye primer is required even if you have applied a face primer earlier. I used MAC Paint Pots in Painterly and GroundWork and NYX Eye shadow base in Skintone.
4. Avoid using kajal and rather opt for gel liners to line your waterline. Kajals tend to run out and smudge resulting in Panda Eyes. I used Maybelline Lasting Drama Eye Studio Gel Liner for Manu and me and used Chambor Eye Pencil for Prajakta.
5. Line your upper lids with gel or liquid liners only. And make sure they are waterproof. I used Colorbar Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.
6. You may choose to wear false eyelashes but make sure that you use transparent drying glue and do not go for embellished falsies. Let the falsies give you a natural looking luxuriant eye lashes rather than OTT decorated lashes that make you look ridiculous in your wedding photos. Manu and Prajakta both have beautiful long lashes so we didn't use any falsies on them. But I have non-existent lashes and hence I used MAC lashes with DUO adhesive.
7. Make it a point to use mascara and loads of it. And of course it goes without saying that the mascara should be waterproof :) For example, for a daily basis I use Maxfactor's False Lash Effect Mascara but I used Maybelline's Colossal Volume Waterproof mascara for all the weddings.
1. If your lips are inherently dry or has lots of fine lines, then I suggest using a lip primer. But it is optional.
2. Always use a matte lipstick as they have longer staying power but you may top it off with some gloss. I prefer using Colorbar Velvet Matte lippies for such occasions.
3. Using a lip pencil is a must. I recommend Maxfactor and NYX.
4. Never wear light shade of lipstick. Always go for a darker shade. They look better in pics.
5. Remember that it is not important to match the shade of your lipstick to your outfit. That looks amateur! Go for a shade that compliments the color of the outfit and is a bit darker. I am uncomfortable wearing maroon and purple lippies, but my Sagan/Engagement Saree was a Purple and Maroon Kanjeevaram, so I used a combination of Red and Hot pink lippy that gave a pinkish reddish look which looked perfect with the saree.
6. For your lippy to stay on for long, do this trick. First line your lips with a liner and then fill the complete lip with the liner. Then apply your lipstick over it. Let it set then kiss into a tissue a couple of times. Then again apply the lippy and Voila your lipstick will last you the entire evening!
1. Unless it is a day even, stay away from light pinks, peaches and corals. Nightime functions should see warmer toned blushes. It gives a gorgeous tint in yellow light. I used Colorbar Blush in Plum Brown and Maybelline Blush in Apricot Flush.
2. If you want a dewy look then go for a cream blush and top it off with a powder blush. This gives you a dewy look rather than an oily one :) I use NYX cream blush in Golden.
3. Unless your jewelery and outfit have silver, white gold or platinum, stay away from silver glitter in any of your makeup products.
This is one product that I use on a bride without fail. It gives a warm finish to the whole make-up. Remember to use it with a light hand though. I would suggest you to apply it on you cheekbones, center of the forehead and centrally vertical on the chin.
Random Pointers
1. Your make-up should be waterproof.
2. Don't overdo the make-up!
3. Avoid using pink lippies as they make ones teeth look yellow!
Hope this post helps you guys :)


  1. hey ! very very nice tips and tricks..i liked yur makeup the best or may be i am biased towards u :D

    i have noticed few things with bridal makeup and have noted down yur tips also :)

    using a different colour eyeliner preferabbly a fluidline in green, blue or anything matching the bridal outfit brings up the look nicely..also a gold highlighter or a silver highlighter on brow bone looks fab too :)

  2. great tips Suma. n u look lovely as a bride ;)

  3. hey that was helpful. can you suggest a nice highlighter?

  4. nice tips suma..ur highlighting has come up fab..

  5. lovely tips Suma...

    esp remembering the Ears as well when applying foundation part

    And I am also with Ana here...your makeup is what I loved the most..

  6. Bookmarked :) I like your look the best :)

  7. awesome awesome !! super informative post Suma Sharma .. I wish I also had you for my wedding ..loved Manus makeup and yours too :) .. next time when I visit Pune .. will take full on classes from you ..

  8. thank you girls for liking my work here :) many of u said u liked my makeup best maybe cause my pics are from the professional photographer while my friends ka pics are from my own camera.. lol! photography makes a diff too ;)

    and Vanity regarding a good highlighter, you could use MAC ricepaper or Nylon according to your skintone. also sometimes i use the pale beige color in my Coastal Scents palette as a highlighter...

  9. Hey Samyukta..just subbed in

    these are some really really good points for all brides to be,, also very nicely detailed.

    I loved all the three looks as they did not hide the actual features a person have,,being natural looks beautiful.

    Thanks :)

  10. Thanks for sharing such a nice information here. Keep up the good work. All the best.

  11. Almost you cover all those areas which is more concern for wedding..Thanks for share your great experience..


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