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. Elevate your natural beauty with soft contouring and a fresh highlight that looks anything but overdone. Subtle definition in the brows or simple nudes and earth tones on the eyes will frame your features sans scene-stealing ramifications. For lips, go for a youthful gloss or a bold statement lip in a long-wearing formula that won't require reapplication. If glam, fluttery lashes bring out your flirty side, consider a waterproof mascara that won't have you second-guessing an emotional moment.
Below, we’ve curated a few of the best ideas and inspiration for wedding guest makeup looks no matter the dress code, venue, or style.
Simple Matching Lipstick
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!
Glam Winged Liner
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. (If your eyes are hooded, apply looking straight into a mirror.) This helps you see what you’re doing and nail the shape in no time.
A Bold Statement Lip
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.
Natural and Fresh-Faced
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.
This wedding guest makeup look is all about the glam 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.
Classic Red Lip
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 and keep your pout positively kiss-proof.
Simple Sun-Kissed Smiles
Sun-kissed skin needs little makeup to make an entrance. Complementary neutral tones, like warm browns and taupes, add natural dimension while blending beautifully with a bronzed complexion. Or, have a bronzer work double duty as an eyeshadow for a simple, seamless finish. Pair with a nude lip gloss for a youthful, effortless feel.
Glam Silver Eyes and Retro Red Lips
No need to go for gold when silver is such an undeniable hit. Dust the eyes with 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.
A Natural Plum Pout
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.
Sultry bronze hues were made for glam, scintillating looks like this. Paired with a sexy cutout dress, this metallic bronze eye and matching satin lip are oh so Bond girl. We love how beautifully those glossy curls complement the tropical goddess aesthetic.
Matte Skin With Nude Lips
Matte finishes are gorgeous on mature skin. Without the sparkly distraction of shimmer accentuating fine lines, skin takes on a naturally 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.
Simple Smoky Eye With Muted Pink Lips
This trio of gorgeous wedding guests came to the celebration in a stunningly similar fashion. Simple, smoked-out eyes stand out amongst naturally flawless skin and a muted pink lip color. Add a gloss on top for extra shine.
Graphic Liner and Pink Eyeshadow
Bring the fun to a festive wedding celebration with glam graphic liner. Winged liner makes a big impact on its own, but adding a playful eyeshadow makes the look really stand out. This wedding guest went with a saturated pink eyeshadow underneath her sharp winged liner, and we’re completely obsessed with how it turned out.
Barely There Beauty
Everyone wants that effortlessly natural, “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.
Healthy Natural Radiance and Flushed Cheeks
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.
Glam Smoky Eye With Thick Lashes
An evening wedding absolutely calls for a glam smoky eye. Simply 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.
Glam Glow With Glossy Lips
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.
Naturally Elevated Nudes
Skin is in and nothing shows it off quite like monochromatic nude makeup. When adequately matched to your skin tone, 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.
Simple Earth Tones
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 simple, cohesive look with a touch of '90s grunge.
Glam Lips and Lashes
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.
Simple Eyes and Natural Lips
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 natural and nude on the lips to maintain the harmony.
Defined Brows With Bold Lips
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 simply to let that gorgeous face truly shine.
Simple Pink Monochrome
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 natural, soft, and refreshing. The pretty flushed look is picture perfect for a spring or summer wedding.
Natural Contour With Fluffy Brows
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 natural, contoured features add dimension to the face while thick cat-eye glasses frame the eyes exquisitely.
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 a 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.