Wedding Tips

NZ Wedding Makeup Tips and Tricks

If you’re full glamour, then it’s time to go all out on your makeup… but if you only have a passing relationship with mascara, a full face with contours and highlights and red lips and fake eyelashes isn’t going to look like ‘you’.

4 minutes to read

Like everything else in the wedding industry, there are a bunch of ‘rules’ which you should feel free to ignore. This is about you, and if you want 1920’s glam or a smoky eye or rainbow eyelashes or only a slick of lip gloss… that’s exactly what you should do.

Your guests and partner are expecting you to show up (albeit a very nice-looking, sparkly ‘you’). If you’re quirky and fun, or pin-up, or you’d rather be going fishing or riding a horse, that full-face traditional makeup look probably isn’t for you.

Wedding Makeup Norms

The ‘normal’ wedding makeup look will differ across cultures, but generally it’s dewy, flawless skin, blush pink lips, a slight golden/ natural shimmer on the eyes, and some big eyelashes. You’ll find articles online with titles like ’67 wedding makeup ideas for every kind of bride’ and the makeup is almost identical in every ‘different’ idea. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this look, it’s a classic, and won’t age.

But, think about Meghan Markle or Princess Catherine, who both did their own makeup, and kept it super simple. Or, Priyanka Chopra’s bold lipstick. Priscilla Presley’s 1967 wedding with dramatic winged eyeliner. You don’t have to follow anyone’s rules, and you will still be absolutely stunning. And despite all the traditional wedding expectations, the most pinned wedding lipstick colour inspo in 2021 on Pinterest is a deep berry.

A barely-there makeup look can be stunning

Should You Use a Makeup Artist?

If you want to use a makeup artist (MUA), and you have the budget for it, totally go for it. Not only will they ensure your vision is executed perfectly (they can do winged eyeliner perfectly on BOTH eyes), but they use amazing products that’ll stay on your face all day. They’ll also use products that won’t give you ‘makeup flashback’. This is when a makeup product has ingredients, such as silica, that reflect light. When a camera flash goes off, the light reflects off the product, giving a white, glowing, odd look. This also occurs with some SPF sunscreens, as they reflect UV rays.

The perfectly executed smokey eye

How Much Does a Makeup Artist Cost in NZ?

It varies depending on the experience of the MUA, if there are travel costs, and the products they use. False eyelashes or other ‘extras’ may be added to the bill too.

As of 2022EconomicalLush
Bride makeup120185
Bridesmaid makeup100125
Wedding trial180120
Tattoo cover25100


You may also want a wedding makeup trial (or not). It puts your mind at ease that you will look exactly how you want, and the MUA can make changes if it’s not quite what you imagined.

How To Choose Your Wedding Makeup Style

Have a think about the following factors:

  • Where is your wedding? If it’s on a beach, the look (and type) of makeup will be different to an indoor space.
  • What’s the style of the wedding? Casual or formal, fun or glam, makeup makes a big difference to your overall appearance.
  • What do you want your hair to look like? Are you wearing a veil? Jewellery or hair accessories? For instance, a black birdcage veil will need a different makeup approach than a traditional white veil.
  • Your personality and how much makeup you normally wear.
  • Your skin tone, what colour you’re wearing (champagne and white are different colours) and your eye colour.

Makeup glam for the extraordinarily lush look

Top Ten Tips for Wedding Makeup

  1. Start skincare months before the wedding. While microdermabrasion, facials, and acid peels are great, if you can’t afford them, at home care is a must. Buy some fab treatments (The Ordinary is cost effective and awesome) and give your skin some love.
  2. If you’re planning on a makeup trial, wear white to the trial (or whatever colour your dress is). Take a photo of the finished makeup, so you can refer it to your hairdresser or anyone else who needs to see your makeup style.
  3. Match your bridesmaid’s dress colour. While you might not want to do this (and some colours do not lend themselves to this easily), it could be a nice subtle way to tie everything together.
  4. Make sure all beauty treatments are finished a week before the wedding; you don’t want to have to try and conceal waxing rashes or risk an allergic reaction to a product.
  5. On the day, while you want to blend, blend, blend from your face to your neck and beyond, don’t get foundation on your decolletage, as it may stain your dress.
  6. Keep your lipstick nearby, and if you use a MUA, consider buying that same shade of lipstick. Also pack oil blotters, some translucent powder, eyelash glue if you’re wearing false eyelashes, and tissues.
  7. Use waterproof mascara. It’ll stay put in the heat of the sun, if there’s any tears, and any champagne splashes.
  8. Makeup will always take longer than you think. Leave plenty of time for it.
  9. Consider having a daytime makeup look, and a night-time one. It doesn’t have to be a huge change, maybe you switch out that soft pink lip for a vibrant deep berry.
  10. Your bridesmaids will need some direction. If they are DIY’ing, then let them know the style you’d like to see them in. There needs to be some cohesion (although matchy-matchy is unlikely unless you’re using a MUA).

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