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Do I have to wear Heavy Makeup for my Wedding?

Updated: May 26

Hi Everyone, I hope you are all doing ok and that you are having a safe lockdown! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Mazz, I’m a Sheffield based Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist, and before I get started I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read this Blog post! I hope you find it useful, but if you do have any questions for me, please let me know in the comments section and I will get back to you as soon as I can.


Today I wanted to talk about why you don’t necessarily have to wear heavy makeup for your wedding day. It’s one of those really common misconceptions, and I think with the rise of social media makeup particularly, people have become more used to seeing this type of heavier makeup, and for some people, it makes them really nervous. If you want to wear heavier makeup for your wedding day, if that’s something you’re used to when you go out or in your every day life, that’s absolutely fine, I’m not trying to tell anyone that they have to have their makeup a certain way, but my clients tend to prefer a really light, natural finish to their makeup, which feels comfortable and will still last all day.

So why do people think makeup has to be heavier for their wedding pictures? Sometimes lighting situations can be very unforgiving for makeup which means the photography will capture everything in much higher detail, in particular texture. The colour balance can also vary hugely between what you see in real life, in raw camera images, and in the finished edited images and videos. I often like to ask my clients who their photographer is so I can have a look at their work and see if there is anything I need to be aware of in their editing style that might mean I need to change something in your makeup. This can become really apparent on styled shoots where you are working with 2 or even 3 photographers. Each photographer will be shooting the same image from the same position, in the same lighting situation, but you can end up with 3 completely different sets of images at the end. Some photographers have a really light airy style, some have a dark and moody style, but what you want to watch out for is that the makeup doesn’t come back looking washed out, which I think might be where the misconception of having to wear heavy makeup comes from.


The two images below were taken on the same shoot, at the same time, but if you look carefully, in the image on the left (taken by Jenna Kathleen Photography), the lipstick I've used looks much pinkier with a more berry tone, which looks more neutral in the image on the right (taken by Rosanna Lily Photography), which has a much warmer over all feel. Both images are gorgeous, but I hope this highlights how different photography styles can alter how makeup looks in finished images.


Every makeup artist works in different ways, which is great! I personally prefer to work with mostly cream products from foundation, blush and eyeshadows, set with a really light powder. For me I find this gives me the most control of building up light, natural layers of pigment, and still being able to offer the coverage you want, without having to use heavy products that feel uncomfortable on your skin.

Something else I think people also need to keep in mind when it comes to how heavy makeup does or doesn’t have to be for your wedding is commercial makeup images. Remember that these big makeup brands will be having to shoot their very lightweight foundations and tinted moisturisers in really harsh studio lighting environments, and some brands even like to emphasise how little editing the images have gone through if any.

Some people also feel like they have to wear heavier makeup because they have acne or lots of redness, but for me, adding lots of heavy products can actually emphasise the skins texture and completely wash you out. I prefer to colour correct in light layers to balance out the skin tone without draining any of the natural colour. This is also where airbrush makeup really comes in as the products are so lightweight and highly pigmented, meaning you can build up lots of fine layers whilst still keeping a lovely natural finish. Airbrush makeup is also much more durable than traditionally applied makeup, and it really does photograph beautifully.

Airbrushed wedding makeup

When I see the images from a wedding or a styled shoot, I want to notice how beautiful everyone looks, I don’t want to look at the images and see a face full of makeup, I think it can be really distracting, and it can actually make you visibly uncomfortable if it’s not something you’re used to.

I hope this has been useful for anyone who has been worried thinking you have to wear more makeup than you want to for your wedding. There are so many confusing and misleading articles on the internet and I hope I have managed to clear a few things up for you! If you do have any questions for me or that you would like me to write a blog post on, please let me know down in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I can!


Mazz x


Mazz Loxton is a professional Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist, helping brides capture their wild and romantic soul in their hair and makeup for their wedding day. Based in Sheffield, and carrying out services across South Yorkshire, The Peak District and Beyond

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Sheffield based Wedding Hair and Makeup artist, covering mostly South Yorkshire including Sheffield,The Peak District, Doncaster, Chesterfield, parts of north Derbyshire and up to Leeds.