Wedding Makeup Advice by Wendy Ballance of Blush

This is an article that Wendy wrote for us last year, but it’s been so popular, that I thought that I would re-post it. Enjoy!

Charlotte Wedding Photographers | Asheville Wedding PhotographersWendy Ballance of Blush is one of the best Makeup Artists that is around. I’ve had a lot of brides ask me for advice on how much or what kind of makeup to wear when it comes to the wedding day and for photos. I have photographed a lot of weddings, but I’m not any kind of makeup expert like Wendy. She has graciously written an awesome article for anyone interested in makeup for the wedding day. Enjoy! -Nick

First, I would like to thank Nick Gillespie from Blue Bend Photography for asking me to write this post on wedding makeup. I absolutely love my job and every aspect and detail that goes into wedding makeup!

Wedding makeup is a detailed and exciting part of planning your special day. Over the years, many women have told me they wish they would have worn a little more makeup or hired a makeup artist to come to their wedding location. It’s important to look and feel your best…It’s your wedding day!

To hire or not to hire:

If you are doing the makeup yourself, make sure you are 110% comfortable. You’ll be nervous and time-crunched on your wedding day, so you don’t want to be stressed about your makeup. Before your wedding, get together with a friend and have a practice session. Apply your makeup just as you plan to on your wedding day. Then have your friend take some pictures inside and outside to see if anything pops out at you. If you looked washed out, add more. If you feel a little made up, it’s right!

But here some reasons why it might be best to hire a professional:

  • A professional makeup artist is trained in wedding makeup. They work with professional photographers and know what looks good and what doesn’t.  I have been in the industry for seven years and still learn new tricks and techniques all the time. Make sure you ask about a makeup artist’s background and training!
  • Your makeup artist will come to your requested location…you don’t have to go anywhere! I don’t recommend going to a makeup counter unless absolutely necessary. You could get stuck in traffic. Or if the artist needs to stop and help customers at their counter, it could put you in a time crunch.
  • Makeup artists know how to apply false eyelashes, setting products and primers that you might not have in your makeup kit.
  • You are paying for your hair to get done…why not your makeup? This is your wedding and you will look at these photographs forever!
  • It’s easy!! Why wouldn’t you want to feel like a princess for the day by bringing in your own personal beauty team?!

When to hire: IMMEDIATELY!

  • Some makeup artists are in as much demand as photographers. Make sure you book your beauty team as soon as you can.

When to start makeup: As close to your pictures as possible. A makeup artist can add in a few hours for touchups before the ceremony if you are having pictures taken early in the day. This is especially recommended if your wedding/pictures are outdoors.

If you decide to apply your own makeup for your wedding day, here are some tips:


  • Use a makeup primer before your foundation. This helps with wear-ability and provides a smooth surface for the foundation.
  • My favorites: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Makeup Forever HD Primer


  • Your foundation shouldn’t have a SPF higher than 15. The particles in sunscreen can flash against the camera and make your face look lighter.
  • I am not a big fan of mineral makeup; it usually has mica in it which isn’t camera friendly. But if you love it, wear it.
  • When you do your test run and take photos, make sure your face isn’t lighter than your neck and chest.
  • My favorites: Bobbi Brown (Skin foundation for normal to dry or Natural Long Lasting Makeup for Normal to Oily); Revlon (Colorstay or PhotoReady foundation); Makeup Forever (HD foundation)


  • When choosing a shade: choose one that is a little darker than you like when looking at yourself.
  • Use a lip liner that matches your lipstick perfectly!
  • If you love a nude lip, use a nude that has a little more pink than brown. Brown tends to look muddy in photos.
  • My favorite lip colors in the pinky nude category are: Brownie, Brown, Sandwash Pink, Brownie Pink and Tulle (all by Bobbi Brown)
  • If you don’t normally wear lipstick, I recommend you don’t wear it on your wedding day. You will feel like it’s too heavy! Instead, choose a lip liner color that you love, use it to fill in your entire lip area, and top it with a little gloss. Or just stick with a good lip gloss.
  • If you want to wear a stronger color on your lips, that’s great! But remember that the strong reds, plums, and bright colors will transfer on to your new husband’s lips, so be prepared with a few Kleenex in your purse to make sure he doesn’t wear your lipstick the rest of the day!

CHEEKS: You need to add a little more cheek color than usual. You want a pop of color on your apples!

EYES: All eye makeup should be as waterproof as possible! Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara!

  • My favorite eyeliners: Bobbi Brown (gel eyeliner); MAC (Powerpoint Pencils); Revlon (Colorstay Pencils)


  • Don’t add any glitter. If the glitter particle is too big in the powder, it will flash back at the camera and your face will look like it’s sweating.
  • If you want sheen on your cheeks, use a mineralize skin finish from MAC or Revlon. I like to highlight the cheekbones and nose, but not too much!
  • Purchase a sheer/translucent powder to touch up your face throughout the day/night. Your makeup won’t look caked-on by the end of the night.

If there are any questions I didn’t answer, you can email me via my website at If you are looking for a makeup artist for your wedding day, I would love to work with you!

Wendy Ballance
Blush by Wendy Ballance, LLC