By Michelle Walters with Island Glow

When it comes to wedding makeup, tips are as free-flowing as water. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of advice out there. Fake tan! Don’t fake tan! Keep it natural! Go big or go home! It’s enough to make your head spin, whether you’re the bride, bridesmaid or a guest looking for ceremony-appropriate cosmetic advice.

If you’ve been looking for guidance, here are some easy tips to follow:

The magic words: “Longwear” and “Waterproof.”
We all know that summer has a way of seriously messing with our beauty game, and if you’re going to be around as many cameras as there are at the average wedding, sweating your makeup off is not an option. Make sure that the products used for your wedding day look are long-lasting. Water resistant or waterproof products are key.

Staple items for brides include finishing spray, oil mattifier, primer, and translucent powder.

Hayes and Fisk Photography

Be prepared!
Keeping a touch-up bag at hand is essential! If you’re the bride and a handbag doesn’t really go with your gown, pass this responsibility on to one of your bridesmaids or a good friend.

What should you carry in your touch-up bag? Although the exact products will vary depending on your style and role in the wedding, here are a few beauty essentials that everyone should have to stave off disasters: lip liner, lipstick, mineral pressed powder, beauty blotters, and tissues to dab those tears!

Trust the professionals.
Hiring a professional makeup artist is one of the best ways to ensure that you get a flawless wedding day look. You have to work with your artist – don’t just rely on Pinterest! Decide on a certain look or theme before searching. You can search for broad categories like smoky eye, classic, vintage, etc, but you should narrow it down as best you can.

The good news is that makeup artists are pros for a reason and can totally help you figure out your vision. Ideally, your makeup look should be a collaboration between the two of you.

Nicole Vance Photography

Put your makeup on trial.
A makeup trial is super important for your wedding day. You don’t want to discover on the day you’re getting married that your dream smoky eye is way too intense! With that being said, we have some added advice for brides-to-be at their makeup trials: take selfies.

Seriously! Oftentimes, brides who don’t normally wear a lot of makeup can be overwhelmed at a trial because they aren’t used to seeing themselves in full makeup. Taking pictures and understanding how the makeup will appear on camera is the best way to see yourself from all angles and get comfortable with the look.

Test it well!
Make plans with friends to go out dancing after your hair and makeup trial!  Go dance and sweat, or just take a walk through your neighborhood.  When you get home, inspect your look carefully and make notes on what held up and what didn’t. That way, you can tell your makeup artist exactly what needs to be tweaked before the wedding day!

Julie Adams Portrait

Michelle’s tip for making any lipstick last longer! 
Put the lipstick on and blot, then take a tissue and separate the two sheets. Taking just one of these extra-thin sheets, place it over your mouth and apply a translucent powder. This makes any lipstick last for hours and totally gives staying power without it getting all over your sweetheart!

Michelle Walters, owner of Island Glow, has been spray tanning Richmond for over six years and providing makeup lessons and application services for over fifteen years. To learn more about Island Glow, please visit