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Liz Washer

Goin’ to the Chapel: Camera-Ready Makeup for Redhead Brides

By: Professional Makeup Artist, Liz Washer

Q: Hi! I was wondering if you have any makeup advice for wedding photos? I’m getting married in June and have seen lots of wedding makeup tips, but none for redheads.

First of all, thanks to the precision and sensitivity of modern photographic technology, everyday makeup products and application techniques don’t always translate well on screen. High-definition cameras, both for still photography and film, are capable of picking up the tiniest flaws – and cakey, mask-like makeup or powdery, ashy skin will only make matters worse.

These days, makeup has to look good in all conditions: in person, on screen, indoors, outdoors, and in every imaginable lighting condition. Professional, camera-ready makeup is a must for anyone who will be in the spotlight – especially brides! In addition to using professional products and application, redheads should consider the following:


Bridal beauty – ALL beauty – begins with the skin. The better the condition of your skin, the better your makeup will look and the less of it you will need. However, skincare is not something to undertake impulsively in the last few weeks before your wedding. In fact, dramatically changing your regimen can cause MORE breakouts in the short term. Instead, find products that work for your skin type early on, and if you want to get a facial or other skin treatment, make sure your skin has time to recover (a week or more before the wedding day is best). During your engagement, be sure to protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen so you don’t have a burn or sun damage to cover up on your big day. To bring on the bridal glow: exfoliate, moisturize, eat well, sleep, and drink lots of water!


Be sure to opt for a lightweight, long-lasting, flexible finish (such as silicone-based HD formulas and airbrush makeup), Your wedding-day foundation should provide coverage where you need it but still look like real skin. Avoid using foundations that are sparkly or reflective (I’m looking at you, Bare Minerals!), as this can make your face look shiny or ashy in photos. Only powder where needed so you don’t look overly dry or chalky.


Since your gorgeous red hair already makes a strong color statement, beware of using too many additional colors on your face. I always suggest to brides that they choose one facial feature to emphasize – usually eyes or lips – and make that pop while the other features are kept a bit softer.


Always think in terms of complementary, or “redhead friendly,” colors to emphasize your best assets! Gorgeous green eyes pair amazingly well with plums, golds and reddish-brown eyeshadows; blue eyes look smashing in earth tones and amber hues; and brown eyes are the most versatile – anything from soft creamy neutrals to bright jewel tones will set them off beautifully! And what about your complexion? If you’re freckled or deeper toned, chances are you have some warmth in your skin, so touches of bronzer and warm colors will look most natural on you. Whereas if you’re porcelain, you may be able to rock the classic bridal pink lips & cheeks!


No, not in a Bridezilla way! Most of us benefit from a little extra eyelash emphasis for photos. Make sure they’re curled, and then choose whatever lash option you’re most comfortable with. Beware a heavy strip that will feel uncomfortable, weigh down your eye or come loose – individual lash clusters, corner lashes and natural, wispy strip lashes are all excellent choices for brides.


Stay away from smeary eyeliner and drippy mascara. You’ll want everything around the eyes to be as water-resistant as possible, even if you think you won’t cry! If you have oily skin, be sure to carry blot sheets to absorb shine throughout the day (without having to pack on additional, cakey layers of powder!) If you like bright lip colors, choose a stain or a long-lasting formula that won’t transfer during a smooch (and stash a lip gloss in your purse in case your lips start feeling or looking dry). And remember: don’t wipe at your face when you cry/sweat/etc., blot gently – that will keep you looking fresh and flawless!

Rock it like a Redhead!