24 Makeup Ideas for Wedding Guests

wedding guests

PHOTO BY RYAN RAY

If you're in your 20s or 30s, it may feel like you're a professional wedding guest—rarely a whole year can pass without being invited to at least one nuptial. And as a wedding guest, it’s important to start planning the minute those invitations start rolling in. From what to wear to where you’ll be staying, there's a whole slew of factors to account for. But the most important of all might be how you show up—and we're not talking about your preferred mode of transportation.

As you start planning your wedding season schedule and accompanying attire, you can’t forget about makeup. While the bride may be the star of the show, it doesn't mean that you can't stun a little, too. Showing up looking your best is a form of good manners, after all. If you're all about putting the "ten" in attendance, we've got you covered.

Below, we’ve curated a few of the best ideas and inspiration for wedding guests no matter the dress code, venue, or style.

01 of 24

Color Matched

Bride hugging mom in red dress

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Match your lipstick to the color of your dress for a cohesive aesthetic that feels modern and chic. Add a touch of fine black liner on the eyes, and you’re ready to dance the night away in style. This cherry color combo is red hot!

02 of 24

Winged Liner

Woman in black dress dancing

Photo by Second Shots Photography

Weddings call for a winged liner. Take a black felt eyeliner pen and apply a thin line across the lash line with your eyes open, looking down into a mirror. This helps you see what you’re doing and nail the shape in no time. 

03 of 24

A Statement Lip

Woman dancing

Photo by Hugo Coelho

If going all in on the drama isn't quite your style, you can microdose with just a single bold pop. This beauty kept the rest of her makeup subtle and streamlined but swiped on a statement orange lip that took pride of place. The color pairs exquisitely with the caramel-hued dress and shoulder-grazing earrings.

04 of 24

Fresh Faced

woman with sun umbrella at a wedding

Photo by Rebecca Yale

While some people enjoy putting on makeup, especially for special events like a wedding, it isn't a requirement to look and feel your best. If you feel happy and confident in a touch of concealer and a tinted lip balm, go for it! Let your natural beauty shine through. 

05 of 24

Megawatt Metallics

woman at a wedding

Photo by Branco Prata

This wedding guest look is all about the metallic finish. The golden highlight at the highest points of the face gives a divine luminance while lightly defined eyes refuse to go unnoticed. A glossy lip provides the perfect finishing touch to the radiant composition.

06 of 24

Classic Red Lip

wedding guest clapping

Photo by Richard Skins Photography

You can never go wrong with a classic red lip. Opt for a red shade with blue undertones to create the classic cherry red pout while deeper reds will reflect a more vixen-esque vibe. A long-lasting formula will ensure you don't have to worry about smearing or reapplying every hour.

07 of 24

Sunkissed Smiles

woman at a wedding

Photo by Mark Spooner

Sunkissed skin needs little makeup to make an entrance. Complementary neutral tones, like warm browns and taupes, add dimension while blending beautifully with a bronzed complexion. Or, have a bronzer work double duty as an eyeshadow for a seamless finish. Pair with a nude lip gloss for a youthful, effortless feel.

08 of 24

Silver Sequence

two women posing for a photo at a wedding

Photo by Stepan Vrzala

No need to go for gold when silver is such an undeniable hit. Dust the eyes in a silver, shimmery eyeshadow and pair with a deep color on the lips for a retro glam vibe. The contrast of the cool metallic eyes and bold lips is drop-dead gorgeous.

09 of 24

A Plum Pout

mom at a wedding

Photo by Mark Spooner

A plum lip adds an unexpected flair without diverging too far from those tried-and-true neutrals. Coupled with a darkened lash line and a glowing complexion, the look is absolutely lovely at any age. We're obsessed with this gorgeous pairing of plum tones with the pastel blue of the dress.

10 of 24

Bronze Heat

Wedding guests laughing

Photo by Kelly Giarrocco

Sultry bronze hues were made for scintillating looks like this. Paired with a sexy cutout dress, this metallic bronze eye and matching satin lip is oh so Bond girl. We love how beautifully those glossy curls complement the tropical goddess aesthetic.

11 of 24

Matte Mastery

Mother of the bride and mother of the groom hugging

Photo by Du Soleil Photographie

Matte finishes are gorgeous on mature skin. Without the sparkly distraction of shimmer accentuating fine lines, skin takes on a plumper tone. These lovely ladies used matte bronzer to chisel the cheekbones while elevated nude lips draw attention to their emotional smiles.

Skip the highlighter and have a pressed powder compact handy to keep the shine at bay, especially in the T-zone.

12 of 24

Pretty Pastels

three women at a wedding

Photo by Ryan Ray

This trio of gorgeous wedding guests came to the celebration in a stunningly similar fashion. Smoked-out eyes stand out amongst flawless skin and a muted pink lip color. Add a gloss on top for extra shine.

13 of 24

Fun Liner

woman at a bar

Photo by Chi-Chi Ari

Bring the fun to a festive wedding celebration with graphic liner. Winged liner makes a big impact on its own, but adding a playful eyeshadow makes the look really standout. This wedding guest went with a saturated pink eyeshadow underneath her sharp winged liner, and we’re completely obsessed with how it turned out. 

14 of 24

Barely There

woman at a wedding

Photo by Justin Lee

Everyone wants that effortless “no-makeup makeup" look, and this gal got it just right. Avoid heavy foundations that can create a cakey appearance, or even consider airbrush makeup instead. Lightly contour to enhance your cheekbones and pair with subtle, seamlessly blended eye makeup.

15 of 24

Healthy Radiance

woman at a wedding clapping

Photo by Christopher Skins

This composition is all about luminous, radiant, and healthy-looking skin. Rosy cheeks and lips mimic a natural flush, while fluffy brows expertly frame the face. Apply a glowy primer or liquid highlighter underneath foundation for extra radiance.

16 of 24

Smoke Out

close up of eye look

Photo by JFK Imagen

An evening wedding absolutely calls for a smokey eye. Pop a pale hue all over the lid, trace a darker brown shadow along the outer corner, and blend away. Coat lashes with loads of mascara and add a set of false lashes if you really want to take it to the next level.

If a full strip of lashes is too much for your eye shape, try trimming the strip to tailor the size or use individual lashes instead.

17 of 24

Glow Goddess

Wedding guests

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Who said an allover glow is saved solely for the bride? This gorgeous guest proves that dewy radiance is an all-around winner. With luminous skin, a glossy highlight, and shiny pout, this look is a certified hit in our books.

18 of 24

Elevated Nudes

Wedding guest in red dress

Photo by Kelly Giarrocco

Skin is in and nothing shows it off quite like monochromatic nude makeup. When adequately matched to your skintone, nude hues will enhance all that natural beauty while still giving you the power to conceal and define as you please. This stunner opted for cool-tone nudes just shy of a taupe hue to really elevate her features.

19 of 24

Earth Tones

Wedding guests in hats

Photo by SoCal Standard

Here's the great thing about earth tones: They're so universally flattering that you can never go wrong. These natural hues bring out all the warmth in this beauty's skin tone. Pair with a matching lip for a cohesive look with a touch of '90s grunge.

20 of 24

Sweet and Simple

three women at a wedding

Photo by Samm Blake

These wedding guests had the right idea. If you’re wearing a bright-colored or patterned dress, keep makeup simple with a polished complexion and subtle eye definition. Go nude on the lips to maintain the harmony.

21 of 24

Lips and Lashes

Bride and sister

Photo by Du Soleil Photographie

When in doubt, lips and lashes will never let you down. This glamorous sister of the bride certainly understood the assignment with a plush pink lip and ultra-luxe lashes. The results are a fitting choice for a formal wedding in the great outdoors.

22 of 24

Pink Monochrome

guests at a wedding

Photo by Rebecca Yale

We're loving the simplicity of this stunning makeup featuring an allover wash of pink. Unlike stronger shades or statement pops, this pretty blush across the cheeks, eyes, and lips is soft and refreshing. The pretty flushed look is picture perfect for a spring or summer wedding.

23 of 24

Polished Definition

woman sitting on a bed putting on her shoes

Photo by Lindsey Shorter Photography

This glam approach is anything but overdone. Expertly defined features create a chic and sophisticated composition while maintaining a romantic balance. We love that the hair was swept back to let that gorgeous face truly shine.

24 of 24

Focal Point

Woman in green dress officiating

Photo by Kelly Giarrocco

What's more beautiful than the gift of vision? We absolutely adore a well-spectacled look, and this wedding guest and officiant totally nailed it. Distinguished brows and contoured features add dimension to the face while thick cat-eye glasses frame the eyes exquisitely.

FAQ
  • Where can I get my makeup done as a wedding guest?

    While the bride and bridesmaids will have professionals booked to apply their day-of makeup, there's no rule against wedding guests doing the same. Search local makeup artists or beauty salons that offer makeup services and vet their portfolios to see if their styles and technique is a match for what you're looking for.

  • How much does it cost to have your wedding makeup done?

    This will depend entirely on your location, your makeup look, and whether you go to a salon or hire a pro to come to you. Going to local salon will be the most affordable, although you may be able to get an up-and-coming artist to come to you for a reasonable rate.

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