Mother of the Bride Makeup: 10 Tips to Look Beautiful and Be Yourself!

Looking picture perfect when you are the Mother of the Bride or groom isn’t just about the dress and the hair. Your makeup is crucial too. What do you need to look your best, and how do you look fabulous, but still look like you?

Celebrity makeup artist Sana Young has all these answers for you. Here’s her expert advice Mother of the Bride makeup to shine on the big day!

1. Sana, What’s the best kind of makeup look for Mother of the Bride?

The most important thing is to be yourself. If you are not big on glamour, don’t talk yourself into wearing lashes, and a smoky eye. You have to be comfortable with the level of makeup being applied, or you will be distracted by your own face. You’ll wonder if people are staring at your lashes or heavy makeup, and this is too special a day for you to be worried about what people might think.

A natural look to one person might come across as a glam look to another, so always be clear with your desired look when speaking to your makeup artist. I always suggest bringing pictures of your dress, how you look every day, and how you look when you go to a special event.

Once you have defined your preferred comfort level, we turn to your outfit for inspiration. Colour choice, as well as style, will be inspired by your outfit. If the MOB is wearing a long, flowy gown, then the makeup look should match the mood the gown. If the MOB is wearing a tailored suit, again, the inspiration comes from the outfit.

2.  If a MOB/MOG doesn’t usually wear makeup, what’s the minimum she needs to look fabulous and feel comfortable?

If the MOB does not typically wear makeup, I always like to suggest, evening out the skin tone, with some light foundation, and possibly concealer. Also, adding some blush, to give a light glow, to mimic either a light jog or the glow you get from having a glass of Champagne! Top it off with some mascara on the top lid only. If the MOB feels comfortable, with these three corrective applications, I would also like to suggest a light application of eyeliner on top. Comfort is key. It’s not worth it if the MOB doesn’t feel like herself.3. Eyes are such an essential part of looking good in photos- Can you describe the best eye makeup application for Mob/mog- shadows, liners, brows?

Eyes- Corrective, is more the key to creating a look for the MOB. Look to correct, dark circles, age spots, wrinkles, or deep-set eyes. Concealer under the eye, as well as on the lid, helps bring the eyes out, reducing the look of depth. Depending on the eye shape, you want to typically create the look of an upward eye; we use makeup to lift the outer corners of the eyes. This look can be achieved by applying a generous amount of mascara on top only, liner on the top only, and perhaps a little in the corner on the bottom, as well as some shadow on the top outer corner.

Filling in the brows, whether lightly or to match your hair color, is essential to complete the look.

4. What is your recommendation for the best mascara? – I’m sure lots of moms have tears 

I still love Voluminous from L’oreal!! Since you are applying on the top only you will avoid some of the mess, any tears could cause.

5. If the MOB is using a makeup artist, is it necessary to do a dry run ahead of time?

It’s not necessary to have a dry run for the MOB or MOG before the wedding unless they are genuinely concerned or have never had it done before, and you feel it could take attention away from the Bride that morning. It’s important to ensure the right energy surrounds the Bride while she gets ready for the big day. I typically suggest the MOB comes with the Bride for her trial that way; we can discuss any of their questions or concerns. Lets get it all out before the wedding day!

6. What’s the best foundation to wear for photos?

I prefer using a light liquid foundation on the MOB. Something that offers a light coverage, and still evens out any discoloration, while skin allowing the skin to look like skin. Products- Armani Liquid foundation, Charlotte Tillbury, MAC water weight foundation. All great products!

7.  What is the biggest concern MOB’s have about their makeup, and what do you do tell them to do to remedy this?

The biggest concern is creasing of the foundation under eyes. If that happens, I ask they use a sponge and gently rub the makeup off, a bit, or use a blending brush and blend it in gently.

8. What are the best lip colors for MOB’s, and how can they get lipstick to last all day? 

I always like using something with some color. Not a nude, it’s too dull. A rosy tint or a warm pink is still an excellent way to brighten up the face. To prevent lip bleed, use a lip primer. MAC has one that I know works well.

9. What are the biggest makeup mistakes that make MOBs look awful or old?

Using a dark lip, and not maintaining it, Allowing the lipstick to bleed and not correcting it is a problem that leaves mature women looking much older. Too much frost, on their eyes or cheeks.

Also, all the ‘Luminating” products don’t work well when someone wears too much of it. Dark eyes, heavy black liner is not ideal; it darkens the eyes and deepens them.

10. Evening bags are tiny. What essential makeup items should the MOB always carry?

Essential items to keep in your bag for the night- your lipstick and lip liner, mascara, and if you are wearing false lashes, BRING LASH GLUE!!

Thanks, Sana, for those great tips!

Here are some fabulous Mother of the Bride makeup looks from various makeup artists around the country.


This Mother of the Bride looks elegant on her big day. Look at those lashes and how they open her eyes. She is all smiles, as well she should be. She looks fantastic!


The Mother of the Bride is goddess-like for her daughter’s wedding day. She glows with her highlighter and metallic eye shadow, which for many Mother of the brides would be a little too much, but this one, it looks gorgeous.



Wedding preparations can be tiring, but you never want to look like you’ve been sleep deprived on the big day. This Mother of the Bride’s makeup brightens her eyes and freshens her appearance to conceal dark under-eye circles and enhance your eyebrows.



A little concealer, foundation, and eye shadow even out this Mother of the Bride’s skin tone and play up those beautiful blue eyes.



Now that’s a glowing transformation! A color corrector and concealer cover and tone down the Mother of the Bride’s redness. And a neutral eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara shape her eyes so that they pop so that they are the first thing you see on her pretty face.



Dark circles be gone! On your son or daughter’s special day, you want to look well-rested and lively. Concealing dark eye circles will refresh your appearance and take years off. A soft pink eye shadow perfectly complements her berry-stained lips.



This blue-eyed beauty looks picture perfect for the big day. What a difference a little eye makeup and brow filler can make! Fuller brows help to frame the Mother of the Bride’s face and her eyes are much more defined with the help of some false eyelashes.



This Mother of the Bride looks stunning thanks to the use of a primer that blurs to hide rosacea and other blemishes and redness. The primer is followed up with a foundation that has been expertly blended on her neck and décolletage for a flawless look.



Mom’s deserving pampering on the big day too. This Mother of the Bride looks absolutely glowing after her MOB makeover. Even skin tone, glammed up eyebrows and eyes that will get her noticed on the big day.



Dark circles are a common problem for women over 40. But there’s no need to let it ruin your son’s or daughter’s big day. For this Mother of the Bride, the makeup artist used a liquid color corrector in both yellow and peach to neutralize the dark circles before applying the foundation. Filling in the eyebrows and adding a light liner and a few coats of mascara keeps the eyes looking bright and perky.



This aunt of the Bride’s makeup is proof that less is more. She has great skin, so there’s no need for a lot of foundation or concealer. Just a little goes a long way here, especially with the brows. Just enough to fill them in and frame the face makes a significant impact.



On your son’s or daughter’s wedding day, the last thing you want is to look unrecognizable. This Mother of the Bride has stayed true to herself by keeping her wedding day look natural and similar to what she may wear every day, just a bit more on the glam side.



This Mother of the Bride’s number one request was to make her sunspots disappear. Her makeup artist did just that and more. What sunspots? Her skin looks flawless. The makeup artist didn’t overdo it, but instead gave her a look that enhances her natural features and makes her glow.



This Mother of the Bride looks beautiful after a little contouring on the cheeks and nose. Can we talk about the transformation in her eyes? Wow! She started with beautiful, full brows. But the addition of my a little liner, shadow, and lengthening mascara makes her eyes much more prominent and striking.


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