Top 10 Tips For Perfect Wedding Makeup!

Chicago’s Top Bridal Makeup Artist and Esthetician, Sonia Roselli, has helped over 6,000 brides achieve that perfect look for their special day. Here she shares common wedding day beauty mistakes and how to avoid them.

When it comes to having beautiful makeup—in person and on camera—for your wedding day, here are some things you need to know from me and my wedding makeup pro pals!

Now, listen, we’re not complaining...that’s what you hired us for, right? However, it must be said that you need to help us help YOU look your best!

How A Makeup Artist Thinks

Before we begin, let me tell you how a makeup artist’re wearing their name and reputation on your face. Any makeup artist worth their salt takes a TON of pride in their work, and it’s highly motivating for them to make sure you look good for your wedding photos. 

If we fail as makeup artists, those embarrassing photos are on the internet for the entire world to see (and future brides who may or may not want to book them), so we have a real reason to help you look your best! So when your makeup artist gives you advice, we have no reason to BS you! This is truly a team effort!

So with that out of the way, here are our tips to helping you have perfect wedding makeup for your wedding day!


1. Ungroomed Eyebrows

Natural brows can be stunning on the right face shape, but brows that are over-tweezed or over-waxed pose a real challenge to artists because they have to “re-create” your shape. Not only does it look unnatural in photos, it can be quite shocking in person.

Solution: Start on a brow routine as soon as you’re engaged. This will give you time to find a perfect brow artist for your big event!

2. Waxing Too Close to the Wedding Day

This is a very common mistake. We know, you want to be ready for that special night. One thing I saw a lot as Chicago’s top wedding makeup artist, was brides waiting until the last minute to do brow waxing before the wedding day. 

There are a few reasons this causes problems:
One is breakouts on the areas that are waxed. Also, makeup doesn’t like to “stick” to the skin once it’s been waxed. 

Pro Tip: If you’re thinking of waxing anything (brows, lip, face) that will have makeup applied to it, do so about 7 to 10 days before your event and let us tweeze any stray hairs that show up to the party!

Pro Tip: If you’re thinking of waxing the face and the peach fuzz on your chin, choose dermaplaning instead.

3. Poor Skin Care Routine

As an esthetician for the last 15 years, when it comes to skin care, I have seen clients either overdo it or they don’t do it at all. For skin care routines, you need a more Goldilocks approach—just right, baby bear!

Over-exfoliation can sometimes be more harmful than never exfoliating at all, so keep it simple, sexy. Most skin can tolerate exfoliation once a week, then work up from there. Exfoliation is a delicate dance.

Pro Tip: Start a simple skin care routine well before your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be complicated! We need to keep our skin care routine simple—your skin barrier will thank you!

SRB Solution: Our entire line of skin prep is not only gentle, but effective in keeping skin hydrated, supple, and smooth. And it's the perfect partner to use before you do makeup ON your wedding day! Check out this quick video: 

4. Being Hungover

Sometimes the rehearsal dinner is so much fun, you forget yourself and indulge in way too many cocktails! Oops!

Being hungover can dry out your skin like a mo-fo. When skin is dehydrated, makeup can look patchy and flaky. Drink water between cocktails to minimize the effect booze has on your skin before your wedding day. Did you forget? We have a quick solution for you.

SRB Solution: Water Balm to the rescue! Generously apply Water Elixir and then apply Water Balm like a mask and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Then massage into the skin, and apply makeup as usual. Your skin will glow, and your guests will be none the wiser! 

5. Wearing Last Night’s Makeup on The Morning of Your Wedding

When it comes to applying makeup to the skin, if you don’t effectively take off your makeup from the night before, you’re not going to get good results, and your skin can look “dirty” in photos.

When you use a good cleanser before makeup, your skin looks glowing and fresh! Bar soaps and other cleansers that give you that “squeaky clean” feeling can leave your skin dehydrated and parched, and your foundation will look patchy and uneven.

Pro Tip: Cleanse your face with a cleansing oil like Japanese Cleansing Oil, which works great on dry skin and removes all the makeup effortlessly so you can get in bed from your rehearsal dinner faster! 

SRB Solution: Check out our Japanese Cleansing Oil. Yes, it was actually developed in Japan. Check out this video to see how to use it. 

6. Spray Tanning

Listen, as an esthetician, and before you get it all twisted, I’d rather see you spray tan than real tan. But spray tanning can really dry out our skin before makeup and make our jobs more difficult, and the results are not as good as we’d like.

SRB Solution: Use Water Oil, Water Elixir, and Water Balm to hydrate your skin right after a spray tan. Use generously morning and night.  

7. Bad Lash Extensions

I love a good set of lash extensions! When done well, they make ALL the difference in the world. When done poorly, they can ruin your entire look. 

The main culprits of bad lash extensions? 1. Going to a cheap, unskilled lash technician. 2. Having lashes applied too far out from the wedding day.

Pro Tip: If your wedding is on a Saturday, it’s best to get your lash extensions on Thursday night or Friday morning before your rehearsal dinner. Then they’re fresh and ready for the camera. Also, be sure your lash extension tech is properly trained, licensed, and stays up to date with their training (especially in this time of Covid!).

8. Smoking

Listen, I’m not going to lecture you on the dangers of smoking. I think we all know what that’s all about.What you may not know is how it affects how well your makeup lays on the skin. Smoking causes all kinds of dehydration in the skin, and when your skin is dehydrated, the more dry and flat your makeup will look. Not to mention, sunburn and smoking are the leading causes of premature aging.

Pro Tip: Other than the obvious, use Water Elixir, Water Oil, and Water Balm religiously twice a day leading up to your wedding day. Adding hydration and oils to the skin injects intense hydration and lipids to give your skin a healthy-looking glow.

SRB Solution: Exfoliate twice a week with Sexapeel so that products can penetrate more deeply and smooth out any surface texture issues that come from smoking. Use morning and night. Then, try and kick the habit. Your skin will thank you. 

9. Chemical Peels/Laser Treatments

As an esthetician, I love a good chemical peel or laser treatment. Done with a medical esthetician or doctor, this is a good way to get great skin before your wedding day if deep texture issues and/or acne is a challenge.

Pro Tip: However, if you’ve never done anything like this, it's not a good idea to start too close to your special day. I suggest starting an advanced treatment at least 9 to 12 months in advance  so you know what your skin can handle.

Pro Tip: Find a medical esthetician/doctor and get on a treatment plan. I have seen severe acne and other skin conditions cleared up with advanced treatments like lasers. But get recommendations from friends or trusted colleagues and leave it to the experts.

10. Sunburn

The biggest challenge makeup artists face when helping you look gorgeous for your wedding day is “covering” your sunburn.

Sunburn is not only challenging to cover, the skin is also “injured” and applying makeup will never look its best on skin that’s sunburned. While makeup artists can cover it with makeup, there will be more makeup than usual, and this can  result in a look that’s too heavy on makeup, especially if natural makeup is more your speed.

Pro Tip:  Wear your damn sunscreen! My faves are Elta MD for the face, La Roche-Posay for the body, and Shiseido for the body and face.


Watch Our Free 40-Minute Master Class: How to Get Glowing Skin for Your Wedding Day


  • Tony&Guy

    I greatly appreciate the thorough advice and recommendations you’ve shared. Your emphasis on natural, radiant beauty is so refreshing. It’s reassuring to know that with the right approach, makeup can enhance our features without looking overdone.

  • Susan Stauch

    I’m 53 and very dry. What makeup do you personally use? Thank you! Going to order your skincare line.

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