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    18 Natural Makeup Looks for Your Engagement Photos

    You want to look like you, after all.

    Couple embracing in front of ocean

    Photo by Adriana Rivera

    OMG, you're engaged! Amid the ever-growing checklist of things you now have to accomplish to plan your wedding, preparing to take stellar engagement photos is likely on your to-do list. For many brides-to-be, that means mastering a flawless natural makeup look. That's not to say this is an all-encompassing prescription—some brides want to bring it well before the wedding bells, and, hey, there’s no shame in that game, glamazons.

    But for all the minimalist brides out there, a barely there makeup look is key to nailing the engagement shoot. (Think pretty, flushed cheeks and a major flutter!) The best part is that no matter what your style, you can’t go wrong with natural makeup. If you’re not sure where to start but want to keep your look fairly clean and simple, we recommend sticking to everyday essentials and adding your personal touch to make the look uniquely you.

    "Your engagement photos are really meant to first introduce yourselves as a newly engaged couple—looking like yourself is highly important!" says makeup artist Mar R., who believes confidence is the purest form of beauty. "Go the most natural you can go and get used to being in front of the camera. Adding things like a liquid highlighter to your foundation as well as lashes and hair extensions will give you a more polished look yet keep you looking like yourself."

    Meet the Expert

    • Mar R. is a professional makeup artist with over 30 years of experience in the industry and over 17 years in the bridal space. She is the founder and director of TEAM Hair and Makeup Inc.

    Scroll through these inspo-worthy engagement photos to see how real brides pulled off their own versions of a natural makeup look.

    01 of 18

    Less Is More

    Engaged couple with long hair in black and white outfits

    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    "I opted to go more for a natural makeup look that still made me feel confident and beautiful in my own skin," says now-bride Uche of her engagement look. "Find a makeup look that makes you feel your best but also still you." Keep this in mind when choosing inspo photos to share with your makeup artist, too. "As much as we love inspiration photos, we also like to see how you look on the every day," says Mar. "We ask to see your social media to get an idea of what your version of natural means so we can best translate your beauty needs."

    02 of 18

    Pump Up the Radiance

    Newly engaged couple kissing on the beach

    Photo by Alex Tome

    Skin is definitely in when it comes to engagement photos. Show off that beautiful complexion by amplifying your skin's natural radiance. "When applying your foundation, add a liquid highlighter and mix it in before applying for an overall natural glow," suggests Mar. "Using a flesh-tone lip stain will enhance your natural color and bring a very youthful and fresh feel to your look."

    03 of 18

    Practice Restraint

    Engaged couple in pastel tones under bridge

    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    We've all heard that event and photoshoot makeup isn't like everyday makeup, it's more. Well, you may be surprised that the well-meaning advice is outrageously dated. "Nowadays with the quality of digital and film, makeup looks just as it does in person," says Mar. "In fact, wearing your makeup how you wear it going out to dinner would be a sufficient amount. Your fiancé should look at you and not be distracted by the makeup."

    04 of 18

    Focus on Skincare

    Groom-to-be hugging smiling fiancee from behind

    Photo by Branco Prata

    Someone give us this beauty's skincare routine, please! Healthy, radiant skin is the only foundation needed when you've already got that to-be-wed glow. If you haven't already, now is the time to get your routine down before all the pre-nuptial, wedding-day, and post-nuptial photo ops begin. A good cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing regimen will have you looking your very best, and please don't ever skimp on the SPF.

    05 of 18

    Achieve a Flawless Finish

    Engaged couple

    Photo by Don Hwang Photography & Haseok Chung Studio

    "The quickest way to achieve a natural makeup look is having your skin look hydrated and healthy—makeup is always the best when it’s on healthy skin," notes Mar. "Airbrush is great too, especially one with a silicone-based foundation. This type of foundation will sit on top of the skin versus settling in."

    06 of 18

    Try a Fresh-Faced Approach

    Bride-to-be hugging fiancee and kissing her temple in a desert landscape

    Photo by Kristin Sweeting

    No-makeup makeup, a.k.a. a barely there application, will have you feeling like yourself and still putting your most photogenic face forward. Concentrate on sheer formulas and blend, blend, blend. Sure, you want to cover up blemishes and imperfections, but you want your base makeup to look like a second skin. "Always make sure your foundation matches your forehead to the tip of your nose to your chin and chest," adds Mar. "There should be no break of consistency in your foundation."

    07 of 18

    Bring Out the Blonde

    Engaged couple in denim kissing

    Photo by Laura Gordon

    Your hair color can make a difference when choosing complementary makeup shades. "For blondes, we love using apricots and blush pinks to bring out the highlights in their skin tone as well as their lighter eye color," says Mar. We especially love how those fresh spring shades pop against these denim blues.

    08 of 18

    Dig Into Earth Tones

    Engaged couple in burgundy brocade in front of purple flowers

    PHOTO BY POOJA DHAR

    "Using earth tones works on just about any skin tone," notes Mar. "But when you have darker hair, using bronze and terra-cotta colors can really accentuate the highlights in your hair." This bride-to-be's allover wash of sepia on the eyes looks absolutely exquisite with her crimson lip and matching velvet brocade.

    09 of 18

    Wing Your Liner

    Golden hour portrait

    Photo by Sara Knobel Photo

    This beauty chose a matte base, a nude lip, and Adele-inspired winged liner for her engagement photos. While she may have opted for a touch of drama on the eyes, the entire look blends together beautifully without any single feature overpowering her face. A well-harmonized approach still reads natural while incorporating a bit of oomph.

    10 of 18

    Add a Touch of Glam

    Close up portrait of couple

    Photo by Jessi Nichols Photo

    Playing up one feature is a simple way to add a touch of glam. For this stunner, it’s all about her peepers. A gradient wash of rose gold and bronze shimmers creates a captivating daytime smoke show that not only complements her coloring but also mimics the gilded aura surrounding the two lovebirds.

    11 of 18

    Get Glowing

    Couple in Utah

    Photo by Laurken Kendall 

    We can’t get over how radiant this beauty looks. The sunset-hued makeup palette even rivals the glow of that desert golden-hour magic. We love that the apricot-nude hues were kept in a satiny-matte finish, letting that gleaming golden highlighter really shine through. "Adding a liquid highlighter to the upper cheekbones and the nose creates a more glam look without adding more color or pigment to the skin," notes Mar.

    12 of 18

    Go for Bold (Brows)

    Groom-to-be kissing fiancee with glasses on temple

    Photo by India Earl

    BRB...currently swooning over these perfectly groomed brows. A strong, defined brow can do so much for framing standout features and a sweet face. Be sure to keep the rest of the makeup subdued, as this stunner did, so as not to come on too strong. Also, how much do we love that this babe rocked her signature specs in the photo?

    13 of 18

    Throw in a Pop of Pink

    To-be-weds smiling and embracing in front of verdant landscape

    Photo by Lisa Poggi

    Natural makeup doesn’t have to be monochrome. A bright lip totally pops in pictures. Plus, it will frame that dazzling megawatt smile. The key is to find a lip shade that matches your skin's undertones for a picture-perfect pout.

    14 of 18

    Create Some Depth

    Couple's portrait in tree

    Photo by A Play of Light

    A thin swipe of bold, black liner and bronze shadow add depth to this natural look. We love how well-harmonized the color palette is from the makeup to the golden tan to the sun-kissed highlights. Summer brides-to-be, you might want to take note of this one.

    15 of 18

    Keep Things Delicately Dewy

    Couple embracing in front of ocean

    Photo by Adriana Rivera

    Somewhere between the shine control of an ultra-matte finish and the high-gloss look of the beaming highlight, lies the ethereal visage of delicate dewiness. Products with satin finishes or a touch of radiance added into the formula will provide a well-rested and youthful complexion without making any sacrifices to the glow gods. This lovely lady went for a dewy uniform look in neutral, barely there shades that perfected her sun-kissed skin.

    While absolutely heavenly, dewy makeup formulas tend to not be the longest wearing. Test the look in advance to see how it wears throughout the day and use a setting spray to lock it in if need be.

    16 of 18

    Wear a Nude Lip

    Cozy couple portrait amongst trees

    Photo by Kevyn Bruce Photo

    If you don’t consider yourself a regular lipstick wearer, swiping on a light pigment (like a nude or pink) can make a big difference in your engagement photos. Even if the tone is just a smidge different from your bare lips, it will keep them from getting washed out from the brightness of the flash. Any post-production edits your photographer may do will usually only focus on color-correcting the skin or enhancing the eyes, so the lips can always use a little extra TLC.

    17 of 18

    Pop on Some Blush

    Engaged couple smiling and goofing around

    Photo by Meg Smith Photography

    Don't forget the blush—you are a blushing bride-to-be after all! For a natural flush, use a tone that either mimics your natural coloring or pairs well with the overall look. If dewy and fresh-faced is the theme, a pinky pop will give a youthful, windswept look. In contrast, burnished apricots or shades that err on the mauve side will create a faux bronzing or sun-kissed effect.

    18 of 18

    Add Finishing-Touch Falsies

    Couple's portrait in plaid flannel

    Photo by Em & Co Photography

    Adding a few falsies instantly elevates an otherwise natural makeup look. Just be sure to opt for a set that's still relatively close to your natural lash to keep the outcome true to the real you, or forgoing the strip altogether and opting for singles. "When you’re looking down in your engagement photos or looking at your significant other, heavy strip eyelashes can be very distracting," says Mar. "Go for the most natural-looking eyelashes! The biggest mistake is DTM (Doing Too Much)."

    FAQ
    • Where can I get my makeup done for engagement photos?

      Most professional makeup artists or beauty salons that do special event or bridal makeup can also deliver engagement photoshoot looks. If you're unsure of how to find the services in your area, ask your photographer for a recommendation.

    • Do I need a hair and makeup trial for engagement photos?

      Yes. Unless you're planning on wearing your hair and makeup exactly the same way for both your engagement photo shoot and wedding, you should separate each trial.

    • Can I do my own makeup for my engagement photos?

      Of course! If going the DIY route, we suggest opting for your favorite date-night makeup look and using products that you're already familiar with. If needed, do a test run a few days before to perfect the application instead of experimenting the day of the engagement photo shoot.

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