How to touch up your wedding makeup and the essential products for brides.

When you have your wedding makeup applied professionally, you should expect a decent wear time. I can assure you that your makeup artist will try their best to select suitable products for your skin type and use every trick in the book in the hopes of giving you all day perfection – BUT there are no guarantees. (Sorry about that.)

Skin is a fickle thing. Environment, health (physical and mental), diet, hormones and trying new products can all play a part in disrupting the balance. Stress is a huge factor! Even when skin is behaving, your makeup may require some TLC. You see, makeup doesn’t appreciate tears of joy or dancing wildly to Love Shack. 

So, what can you do if you start seeing signs of wear on your wedding day? Here are my suggestions for makeup dilemmas and the products you can rely on.

Wedding makeup touch up kit.

The essentials:

  • Blotting Sheets – NYX sheets are cheap and do the job.
  • Cotton Buds – In case you need to do a clean up job around your lips or eyes.
  • Pressed Powder – I like MAC Blot Powder for touch ups but anything you already have will be fine.
  • Powder Brush – Obviously to apply powder, but also to buff and refresh later in the day.
  • Setting Spray – This is your magic potion. Often comes in a travel size version. I like MAC Fix+ and Urban Decay All Nighter.
  • Concealer – This must be easy to blend with fingers.
  • Lipstick/gloss – Because it will definitely come off with all the kissing and toasting.

Nice to have:

  • Eyeliner Pencil – Only necessary if you’ve opted for liner in your water-line. Some brides decide to add it in the evening to vamp things up.
  • Blusher – Colour can fade throughout the day so it’s lovely to have a similar shade to freshen up.
  • Highlighter – For glow addicts who refuse to be outshone by the disco ball (I am one of those people).
  • A second lipstick – Again, some brides go with a bolder shade for evening.
  • A multi-use balm like Paw Paw. For dry lips and flaky skin.

Book in a bridal makeup trial.

A trial run helps to ensure you’re wearing the best combination of products for you. Every so often I have a client who loves their look, but they need to come back to try a different foundation because it hasn’t performed quite as well as expected (this goes back to my point about skin being unpredictable). I offer this service for free because I want the absolute best for my brides, but I would advise checking individual policies on this.

An experienced, reputable makeup artist will be able to deliver a gorgeous bridal look, that has a good chance at longevity, without a trial. Do your research. HOWEVER, there is a chance that the products just won’t get on with your skin (through no fault of the makeup artist). Decide if this is a risk you are willing to take.

See my Guide to bridal makeup trials.

How to fix your wedding makeup after crying.

Tears cutting through fresh powder. Oh my!

Once your natural oils have kicked in later in the day, this shouldn’t be a problem. Just dab with a soft tissue and add a touch of concealer/powder if required. If the powder is still fresh (and your makeup artist has left) mist with setting spray and gently pat with fingers. Dampening the powder will allow you to reapply a small amount of concealer without creating a cakey mess. Follow with powder (and blush if needed). 

If you’re prone to getting emotional (or you have oily eyelids, for that matter), seriously consider having a lash treatment prior to the day to eradicate the chance of panda eye or flapping false lashes.

How to fix creased or faded concealer.

Unless you’re baked to the hilt with powder (which doesn’t look marvellous on anyone over the age of 21, in my opinion) under eye creasing may occur. Simply pat with your ring finger to blend. If you feel like you need to the brighten the under eye area, now would be a good time to top up your concealer. Finish with a touch of pressed powder and a spritz of setting spray.

How to fix shine and/or sweat.

Brides with oily skin and dancing queens, I feel you! Blotting sheets are excellent because they soak up oil and moisture without leaving any residue. This avoids a powdery build up from too much pressed powder. If you feel like a major touch up is due – blot first, spritz with setting spray, buff or pat gently with a powder brush (avoiding your eyes), apply pressed powder and spritz again.

How to fix a patchy or dull base.

This can affect dry and dehydrated skin types. Choose a hydrating setting spray (MAC Fix + for example) and give your face a decent spritz. Pat any patchy areas gently and allow to dry. This should redistribute the makeup and give your skin a glow.

How to fix red and flaky noses.

I’m referring to the classic ‘I’ve been blowing my nose for a week’ look. If you have a cold or it’s been streaming alongside your happy tears, you’re likely to rub off the makeup with tissues. If it’s dry or sore you can mix a tiny amount of multi-purpose balm with your concealer, then pat gently to the affected area. Finish with a touch of powder.

How to cover blemishes.

If you have spots along your jawline, they may become visible throughout the day. This is because concealer has a habit of rubbing off on your guest’s shoulders with every hug. If your top layer of powder has settled and blended with your natural oils, you can go ahead and re-apply concealer and powder. If not, dampen the area first with a light mist of setting spray.


There you have it, my top tips for brides who would like to do makeup maintenance throughout the day. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you MUST keep a close eye on your face (lots of brides tell me they let loose after the photographs), but if it’s an important factor for you I hope this advice is useful. 

Have you booked you makeup artist yet? Why not take a look at my portfolio to see if you’d like my style of makeup on your special day? I provide wedding makeup in Yorkshire and Cumbria.

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