Celebrities work with makeup artists at the height of their craft, which is why we turn to our favorite A-listers when in need of inspiration. Whether we're on the hunt for modern shag haircut ideas or the coolest ways to pull off blue eyeshadow, we can count on celebrities to show us how it's done. The same goes for wedding guest makeup. While we may not see pictures of celebs attending the ceremonies and receptions of their nearest and dearest, we do have access to endless red-carpet beauty looks that are perfect for the occasion.
Meet Our Expert
Gregory Arlt is a celebrity makeup artist to stars like Fran Drescher and Dita Von Teese.
To save you from scouring them out, though, we chatted with a few celebrity makeup artists to uncover the prettiest celebrity-inspired wedding guest makeup ideas. Check them out, below.
Monochromatic Minimalist Glam
Celebrity makeup artist Jo Baker says that day or night, a monochromatic minimalist glam (like Hailey Bieber’s, above) is a suitable beauty look for any wedding guest. “For a wedding, you don’t ever want to outshine the bride, so opting for flattering, monochromic soft and pretty makeup look is always the best bet so you are in harmony with other guests and will look classic and timeless in any photos,” she says.
Celebrity makeup artist Gregory Arlt loves the look of a clean, soft glam with a hint of purple—like Adwoa Aboah’s beauty look, above—for daytime weddings, as well as outdoor and spring/summer weddings in general. “A wash of lilac shadow over the lids—I love Dim Liquid Powder Eye Tint ($28) by Ilia—is an easy way to get a pop of color with lasting power,” he says. (If you want a brighter pastel purple lid, like Aboah, try the Anastasia Beverly Hills NORVINA® Pro Pigment Palette Vol. 5, $60). “Pair that with a feathery lash using mascara to see the lid color peer through, and a softly defined brow—Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze ($26) gives the perfect bushy brow.”
Baker is a big fan of dewy, natural-looking skin (like Yara Shahidi’s, above) for wedding guest makeup, especially during the daytime. “For skin prep, I like serums because they are light and any additional natural oil that the skin produces will balance better than adding a heavy-duty rich moisturizer,” she says. “I'm newly addicted to The Plumping Serum ($50) by Typology as it has a featherlight water weight but instantly gives radiance and glowing skin—perfect for under your makeup that needs to last for hours!
Arlt also loves rosy cheeks—like Jennifer Lopez’s, above—for daytime wedding guest makeup. “Keep the cheeks rosy with a cream blush applied on the apples of the cheeks—I’m loving Makeup By Mario Soft Pop Plumping Veil Blush in Perfect Pink ($30),” he says. To create a cohesive daytime wedding guest makeup look, he says to pair your rosy cheeks with a stained lip. “Use a stain of color on the lips to stay soft—one of my favorites is Violette FR Bisou Balm in Sucette ($28),” he shares. Meanwhile, if you want to really lean into the daytime, outdoor wedding vibe, he recommends finishing off your glam with a scent to match. “Spritz a little Florgasm perfume by Heretic Parfum to finish off the whole look,” he exclaims. Ellis Brooklyn Florist Eau de Parfum ($110) is another great pick.
Pink Petal Pout
A pop of pink lipstick can transform any everyday makeup look into a fresh, spring wedding-ready beauty beat. Just look at how stunning Jessica Biel looks, above. For a similar lip look, try the Makeup by Mario SuperSatin Lipstick ($28) in the shade Broadway or NARS Audacious Lipstick ($24) in the shade Marisa.
If you’re attending an indoor wedding and reception, Arlt says you can get away with going a bit heavier with your makeup. After all, there’s no risk of the sun melting it. “A little more foundation—Armani Luminous Silk ($69) is my go-to—with soft glam but paired with a cat eyeliner on the upper lids,” he recommends. Carrie Underwood nails the look, above.
Baker says that the products you choose to use make a major impact on how your wedding guest makeup will look throughout the evening. “A skin-care trick is to use a sebum-controlling product so you don’t have to worry about that shiny T-zone and needing to really powder,” she says. “Using Sebium Mat Control ($26) by Bioderma over the nose, between the eyebrows, and a dot on your chin will keep any pesky oil production at bay. It really works amazing, and I use this for red carpet events so my clients don’t have to worry about touch-ups when I’m not there.” In addition to proper prep steps, opting for a matte makeup finish, like Kendall Jenner's, above, can help ensure your wedding guest makeup looks fantastic all night long.
Kacey Musgraves looked like an absolute Barbie dream at the 2019 Met Gala—and her glam would work especially well as wedding guest makeup. When it comes to recreating her defined but not over-the-top wing tip, Arlt says to use dark brown eyeliner. “It’s softer for the day—I love Dipdown Fluidline by MAC,” he shares.
Then, to tie the look together, he says to pick a pop of pink for your pout. “Ramp up the lip a bit with a brighter, springtime color like a gladiola-colored pink,” he recommends, noting that he loves going a bit brighter and darker with a shade like Magnetique ($48) by Chanel. (Celebrity makeup artist Moani Lee used Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick ($39) in what looks to be the shade Polaroid Pink for Musgraves’s look but it’s sadly sold out.)
Pastel Pink Eyeshadow
Gabrielle Union shows us just how gorgeous a hint of pink eyeshadow can look with an otherwise neutral face palette. To recreate her look, try using the Tarte Tartelette™ Juicy Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Palette ($47), which comes with a dozen pink tones to play with.
ICYMI: Blue eyeshadow is back in style here in 2024, so taking a page out of Taylor Swift’s book is a surefire way to look like a fashion-forward wedding guest. Some of our favorite blue eyeshadows include the Ami Colé Lid Joy Matte Liquid Eyeshadow ($16) in the shade Los Angeles, the Silver Sky shade in the Gucci Gorgeous Flora Eyeshadow Palette ($152), and basically all of the shades in the ColourPop Blue Velvet Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Makeup Palette ($14).
We can’t get over this gorgeous pastel-neon aura eye on Madelaine Petsch. Baker, too, loves a colorful lid look and she says the trick to nailing it is to start with primer. “The last step of critical [makeup] prep that I use every day no matter what the occasion or skin tone is Triple Threat 360 Eye Primer ($25) by Bakeup Beauty," she reveals, noting that it can be used all around the eye to set makeup, not just on the lid. "I formulated this product because all other primers I had in my kit were cakey and heavy and not clean. This airy light veil instantly brightens the eye area, blurring like a filter and creating a perfect seamless base for applying makeup.”
Sheer Bronze Smokey Eye
For evening wedding guest makeup, particularly during fall, Arlt suggests a sheer bronze smokey eye, like Priyanka Chopra’s. “It’s all about the see-through smoky bronzed eye makeup,” he exclaims. “The Charlotte Tilbury Bella Sofia Luxury Palette ($55) is a perfect choice to go a little deeper and smokier without being too harsh.” After completing your eyeshadow look, he says to add two coats of your favorite mascara and define your brows. “I love Senna Cosmetics for brows,” he says. “Fill [them] in with pencil and set with powder to hold the color in place; [then] swipe on a little MAC Brow Set ($23) to set the brows for a fun night of dancing.” To complete the look, he says to reach for a soft nude lipstick like MAC M·A·Cximal Silky Matte Lipstick in the shade Velvet Teddy ($25).
Baker is a fan of fresh, radiant skin paired with low-maintenance color choices when it comes to wedding guest makeup. Gemma Chan nails the look, above. “Going for a soft [neutral] wash all over the eye suits any outfit and saves you when you last-minute decide to change your outfit,” she says, noting that she prerfers the foolproof neutral tones in her Bakeup Beauty Desert Road Trip Palette ($24). Other neutral eyeshadow palettes we love include the ColourPop Nude Mood Pressed Powder Palette ($14), Laura Geller Ultimate Baked Eyeshadow Palette ($30), and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette ($30) in True Neutrals.
Baker is a big fan of lip crayons. To recreate Kerry Washington’s creamy poppy lip, above, try using the Monika Blunder Kissen Lush Lipstick Crayon ($32) in the shade Matilda. Baker recently tried these crayons out and instantly fell in love with the formula and color payoff.
The Vegas-Ready Lid Look
If the wedding you’re attending is in Vegas, Arlt says it’s perfectly acceptable to go full glam, complete with glitter. “I’m pretty sure the Vegas all-out rager wedding is why setting spray was invented,” he exclaims. “Some couples want to have the full-on party wedding and encourage guests to go all out. Clearly, there are many directions you can go with your look, so I’d start with doing your ‘prime look’, which is the makeup that you’d normally do for every day. That way you can add pops of drama easily, like glittery eyes which is easier than you think.” You could copy Lady Gaga’s silvery-white lid look or, if you prefer gold tones, Arlt recommends MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid ($25) in the shade Flash and Dash.
Winnie Harlow’s lashes do all the talking in her otherwise soft, neutral glam beauty look. And, according to Arlt, false lashes are wedding guest makeup’s BFF. “The Ardell Naked False Lashes ($13) are very lightweight and feel undetectable which is nice for first time users,” he shares. To make them look natural, he says to trace black liner along the water line of the eyes. “The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil ($25) won’t move,” he assures us.
A Bold Red Lip
Not sure which lip color to wear for an evening wedding? Arlt says you can’t go wrong with red. It will tie together any look—glam or not—while also making more minimalist makeup looks appear really put together. Case in point: Beyoncé’s makeup, above. A few fabulous red shades include Too Faced Lady Bold Cream Lipstick ($29) in the shade Lady Bold, NARS Lipstick ($26) in the shade Inappropriate Red, and Rosso Valentino High Pigment Refillable Lipstick ($45) in the shade A Red in Love.
Love a matte-nude complexion but looking to make it glam for your upcoming wedding? False lashes and an elongated shadow cat eye—like Keke Palmer’s, above—will make your dream a reality.
Springtime Green Eye Makeup
Both Arlt and Baker love the idea of a pop of color on the lids for wedding guest makeup. Green might be an unexpected lid look but Lana Condor proves that it can look springtime fresh. You can DIY her look at home with the ColourPop Just My Luck Green Eyeshadow Palette ($14).
Gorgeous, glowing skin always looks wedding-ready. For a radiant visage like Shay Mitchell’s, accentuate neutral face makeup with a hint of highlighter on your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, and along your inner eyes. We’re currently loving the KJH Hyper Shine High Lite Kit ($75), which is sold in four shades.
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