SHARE THIS
Experts unveil beauty looks for your best friend’s wedding—no matter the destination.
Written By Jess Basser Sanders
Wedding Guest Beauty Looks | VIOLET GREY | @violetgrey

— PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID BURTON / TRUNK ARCHIVE

It might not be your wedding, but it’s still customary to agonize (at least a little) about your beauty look at a dear friend’s nuptials. After all, it’s one of your big red carpet moments this season, and you want to be camera-ready. (Those photos will probably be around for as long as the marriage.) To that end, VIOLET GREY consulted hair and makeup experts on products that will rise to the occasion, whether it’s at the beach, on a farm, or in the city.
Mary Phillips, the makeup artist behind Jennifer Lopez’s legendary complexion, and Laini Reeves, who tends to the tresses of Emily Blunt, Kate Bosworth, and Amy Adams, know their way around wedding beauty. Below, their tips and picks for site-specific looks that will withstand even extreme close-ups and long, Champagne-drenched receptions.

The beach
wedding


 

 

1

/

6

“The ocean air can be extra dehydrating,” says Phillips, so prepare the most delicate areas of your face with this luxurious cream. Dab around the eyes and lips to smooth skin and combat puffiness and dark circles.

2

/

6

Tom Ford’s two-step eye primer prevents creasing and keeps eyeshadow on all day. Use a concealer brush to dab the cream over the lid crease and follow up with an eyeshadow brush to apply the powder. Layer your normal eyeshadow over the top—it won’t smudge, even if the temperature soars.

3

/

6

Get a dewy effect without the shiny forehead by dusting Hourglass’ finishing powder over the top of a completed face. Highlight cheekbones and nose, or brush all over for a radiant complexion.

4

/

6

Keep lipstick where it belongs—and not on the champagne flute—by lining lips in a matching shade. Phillips suggests Laura Mercier’s pencils, which are the ticket to fewer touch-ups. Not advisable, per Phillips? “I would recommend avoiding a glossy lip,” she says. “It can reflect brightness from the sun and look distracting in photos.”

5

/

6

Use these gold-flecked sheets to blot away shine without disturbing makeup. “Make sure to pack blotting papers,” for any wedding, says Phillips, “especially for a beach event,” where the elements can be uninvited guests.

6

/

6

Channel the seaside setting and get mermaid waves without drying out your hair. “For a wedding you want your hair to be a little bit more done and still have beachiness to it,” says Reeves. She suggests spraying into the hair before blow-drying to thicken and plump strands, and to add texture and wave. Sweep hair into a half up, half down style for a polished-casual look.

the country
wedding

1

/

6

Tom Ford’s double-duty concealer is perfect for stashing in a clutch for touch-ups. The peach-pink shade tackles dark areas, while the yellow helps to disguise redness.

2

/

6

Eye makeup is foolproof with this palette and application guide. Create a subtle smoky brown eye and keep the rest of the look low-key—a full face of makeup will look out of place in a hay-filled barnyard.

4

/

6

Cream blush won’t move even through an afternoon of sun (or an evening of dancing), and Kjaer Weis’ natural formula is ideal for both. Use a finger to dab the cream onto the apples of the cheeks, then blend into the skin for a natural-looking flush.

4

/

6

Set blush with this highlighting powder to ensure it stays on all evening. Brush over cheekbones, forehead, and nose for an illuminating glow that never crosses over into shine.

5

/

6

Stay in tune with the country vibes and nix the lipstick in favor of an easy tint. YSL’s mousse-like lip and cheek color goes on sheer, but you can build it up to a deeper shade if you desire.

6

/

6

Reeves enthusiastically recommends this volumizing spray: “The hair does not move—it’s great for humidity.” For a farm wedding, she suggests spraying into damp hair, blow-drying, braiding hair, and using a yarn needle to sew fabric into the braid. “You’ve got to have a lot of texture in the hair,” she says, “you don’t want it to look perfect. Once you’ve got the braid in, you can pull pieces out so it looks a bit softer around the face.”

The urban
wedding

1

/

6

Phillips sees a city wedding as the opportunity to “go much bigger,” although this doesn’t mean upstaging the bride. “You can build more with your look, and it makes sense with the setting,” she says. Just like any good marriage, start with a solid base—in this case, a primer that will keep makeup on the face and make the skin glow.

2

/

6

This foundation builds to the desired level of coverage and is portable for touch-ups. Phillips recommends applying with a beautyblender for a radiant, even finish.

3

/

6

Channel your inner femme fatale with alluring winged eyeliner—a liquid formula is ideal for this. “You can’t really go wrong with old Hollywood glam references,” says Phillips.

4

/

6

Practically speaking, Phillips suggests going with individual lashes at a wedding, given that you’re likely to shed a few tears. “When you cry, a straight strip is more likely to become unhinged—a dreaded makeup circumstance that you don’t want to be in.” Combine Velour’s small clustered lashes with individual ones for a natural glamour.

5

/

6

Now’s the time to break out a “really striking colored lip,” says Phillips. “It’s about keeping it modern, and this is a perfect way to push your makeup to the next level while making sure you’re keeping it chic.” Use a lip brush for precise application and an extra-deep tone.

6

/

6

For the more polished setting, Reeves suggests using this spray to volumize hair. “It’s got really great hold and doesn’t show,” she says. Whether you’re looking to create a soft chignon or sleek Veronica Lake waves, dry hair and spray through afterward. “It’s good for any type of hair because it will stop the humidity from changing the texture,” she says.

IN POLITE
SOCIETY

In polite society, “Always a bridesmaid” SHOULD be viewed as an opportunity.
- violet grey
Tweet This

DISCOVER YOUR
IDEAL BRONZER

How to get a natural glow on your own terms.