How to Touch-up Your Wedding Makeup

A bride looking at herself in the mirror.

No matter how long-lasting your makeup is on your wedding day, it’s going to need a touch-up at some point. This is especially true if you’re getting married in hot or humid conditions (in which case, you might need more than one touch-up!).

There are a couple ways to go about this. If you’re hiring a makeup artist, know that many offer a touch up service midday for an extra fee. Depending on your look and/or your own makeup skills, you may not need this, but it is an option to consider if you have the budget. As an alternative, some professionals will sell you a touch-up kit so you can do it yourself. If you go down that route, ask your makeup artist to go through the process with you so you know how she did your makeup and what steps to follow. And, of course, if you’re doing it all by your handsome self, you can build a kit on your own and learn the skills of how to use one properly. Either way, here’s how to touch up your wedding day makeup look!

The Basics of a DIY Makeup Touch-Up Kit

Concentrating on makeup alone, here are some things you should definitely have in your touch-up kit:

  • Tissues (wet and dry)
  • Q-tips
  • Foundation sponges (e.g., a Beauty Blender)
  • Oil blotting sheets
  • Cream concealer
  • Powder
  • Brushes
  • Makeup remover (or pre-dampened pads and swabs)
  • Setting spray

Obviously, you should also include most or all the makeup that you used previously. Or, at the very least, have some lip color, blush, and liquid liner on hand.

Tips for Professional Touch-Ups

Now that your touch-up kit is prepped to perfection, it’s a good idea to do a run-down of the rules. It’s important to be careful how you go about the actual process, as layering makeup is not as obvious as it may seem. A touch-up done wrong can ruin the look underneath. And if that happens, you’ll have to start over. But before you start, it’s a good idea to cover up your dress with a shawl, towel, or some other clothing. That way, you won’t accidentally stain anything in the process.


A woman applying false eyelashes.

First things first: you want to clean up anything that’s gone wrong, be that smeared mascara or bleeding lipstick. Don’t forget to check your eyelids. It’s quite likely your shadow has creased, in which case you might want to blend it out with a small brush.

Should your false eyelashes start coming off, avoid tearing them off completely, which can ruin the rest of your eye makeup look. Instead, keep some eyelash glue on hand and enlist a friend to help you set things in place.

Concentrate on the Complexion

Next, you’ll want to tap the oil blotting sheets all over your face. Or, if you don’t have oily skin, just go over the t-zone, even if you don’t think you look shiny. A glow in real life will look like a reflector on camera! Just be careful how you use them—you don’t want to ruin your foundation base.

Then, use concealer, if necessary. Ideally, it’s best to stick to a creamy concealer for touch-ups even if you used a different type before that. Cream formulas are easier to layer and they do not disturb the makeup underneath as much as other textures.

Finally, use a powder all over to perfect your look. Some recommend using a pressed powder as there’s less risk of a mess. Alternatively, a loose colorless powder would likely be OK as well, and it’s less likely to mess up all the makeup already present.

Re-do Eyeliner and Other Details

After all that, you’ll want to go over the rest of your makeup, but only if necessary. For example, if your eyeliner has cracked or faded, gently go over it with a liquid liner or a precision pen to make it look even.

With or without the complexion touch-up, your blush and bronzer has likely faded by now. Luckily, there’s no need to do a complete contouring all over again—a simple swipe or two of your favorite shade will freshen things up fine. Do a once-over on the rest of your face, including your eyebrows, before moving on to the next step.

Last, but not Least: The Lips

A bride applying lipstick.

When refreshing your lips, you don’t necessarily have to remove the makeup already there. In fact, if it’s a bright color, you might accidentally smear it all over your face and then it’ll be a real disaster. However, if you feel like too much has been caked on already, carefully use a cotton pad and makeup remover to soak up what’s there. If you messed up a bit, gently blend a concealer around the lip area and finish off with a powder.

Before you apply lip liner, make sure to moisturize. It’ll assure that the color goes on smoothly. This is a good idea to do even if you didn’t remove any makeup.

Once that’s done, start with the outline of your lips, being careful not to go outside the lines. Use the liner to stain the rest of your lips as well, as it’ll add extra staying power to your lipstick. When applying lip color, don’t forget the age-old layering routine: apply, blot, repeat. Then, if you want, top it all off with a gloss.

Finishing Touches

Don’t forget to use the setting spray! It will seal in all your hard work and keep your makeup look strong for the rest of your day.

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