Beautiful Bride: Makeup Inspiration from the Red Carpet

by Mary Avant ; Updated September 28, 2017


When your big day rolls around, all eyes are on you. That's why it's crucial for your makeup to look perfect and just the way you've always imagined it. And because they're always in the spotlight, who better to turn to for inspiration than celebrities? Pin down a look and then “bring magazine clips to the makeup pro to help you achieve the look,” says Kimara Ahnert, owner of The Kimara Ahnert Makeup & Skincare Studio in New York City.

Eyes That Pop

For eyes that sparkle and make a statement, Ahnert suggests lining the top lash line with a strong color like black, brown, navy or plum. Then, add a contrasting color, like bronze, shimmery purple or silvery blue -- like the shade actress Camilla Belle wears here at a charity event in Santa Monica, California -- along the bottom lash line for an eye-catching effect.

A Little Smoky

Ahnert says smoky eyes are one of the most-requested bridal looks of the moment, and whether they’re subtle or dramatic -- like actress Mila Kunis’, seen here at a movie premiere in Hollywood -- they lend a bit of sexiness to your wedding-day style. Get the sultry look by applying a base color across the entire lid; then work a darker shade into the crease of each eye, blending for a smoky effect.

Lashes for Days

Long, lush lashes -- like the ones TV personality Kim Kardashian shows off here at an event in New York City -- are integral to any wedding-day makeup look, says Gretta Monahan, beauty expert for “The Rachel Ray Show.” She suggests going for eyelash extensions rather than fake lashes for a more dramatic look. “They’ll be less maintenance the day of and should last through your honeymoon, too,” she adds.

Classic Cat Eye

Go for a sophisticated look that’s both timeless and sexy with a classic cat eye, like the one seen here on singer Adele at the 2013 Oscars. Anhert says gel or felt-tip liquid liners are the best option for this look, as they’re typically water-resistant and easier to use. After sweeping a neutral shadow across the entire lid, apply liner to the top lash line, extending upward toward the brow bone.

Sun-Kissed Skin

Even if your wedding is in the dead of the winter, a bronzed, sun-kissed look -- like the one seen here on actress Jessica Biel at a movie premiere in Beverly Hills -- will leave you glowing on your big day. Start with a sheer tinted moisturizer, then add a powder bronzer on top for contour and color, Anhert advises. Next, apply cream blush to cheekbones and lips, finishing the look with a clear lip gloss.

Big, Bold Brows

Many stars are saying goodbye to thin and hello to thick, bold brows, and brides are taking note, Monahan says. “The brows really help to define and frame the face and are an important part of that oh-so-timeless look,” she says. For a polished look -- like the one actress Lily Collins shows off here at an event in West Hollywood -- tame your brows with a clear mascara or tinted gel on the big day.

Bright, Luscious Lips

A toned-down look may be the choice for your wedding day, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Monahan suggests perking up your makeup style with a bold pout, like the one actress Angelina Jolie shows off at the 2012 Oscars. “Red is classic, but lately hot pink is giving it a run for its money,” Monahan says. Exfoliate lips for a smooth application, and opt for a cream lipstick, which she says works well in photos and is long-lasting.

Flawless Face

Every bride wants perfect skin on her wedding day, and that starts with matte makeup, like actress Jennifer Lawrence shows off here at the 2013 Met Ball in New York City. Start with a foundation primer for a last-all-day look and to keep shine at bay, Monahan suggests. “Look for foundation or powder with a velvety finish for a soft, diffused effect,” she says.

Practice Makes Perfect

Pinning down your wedding-day makeup style is only the beginning -- you have to practice achieving the look, too. “Do a practice run, whether trying an artist for hire, having a friend do it, or doing it yourself,” Ahnert suggests. Monahan says scheduling regular facials in the months leading up to the wedding also helps ensure beautiful skin, like actress Keira Knightley shows off here at a movie premiere in Toronto.

Photo Credits

  • Marit Karp Photography/Flickr/Getty Images

About the Author

Mary Avant has worked for several international, national and regional magazines and received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written on everything from fashion and health to business and food, and she specializes in women's style, fashion and beauty.