Finding the perfect foundation for your wedding day can seem like an impossible task - especially if you normally go bare-faced. With so many foundations out there promising to create a flawless canvas for your wedding makeup, the variety of offerings might seem overwhelming.
We spoke to pro wedding makeup artist Mira Parmar, used to painting faces for wedding days, and YSL Beauty’s national makeup artist Fred Letailleur about the foundations they use for wedding makeup, plus we tapped them for their tips for finding the best wedding foundation. Take notes and get ready to find the perfect wedding foundation for your big day.
The Best Wedding Foundations For Your Big Day
1. Best Vegan Wedding Foundation: Exa High Fidelity, £35
This is a fairly new player in the makeup game, but well worth trying if you’re looking for a long-lasting, luminous finish vegan foundation for your wedding.
Exa’s High Fidelity Foundation comes in 43 shades, making it both inclusive and clean.
It’s infused with hyaluronic acid, maqui berry and brightening peach extract to hydrate and brighten the skin and feels more like a serum when you apply it, rather than a heavy base. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not doing its job. It masks redness from the minute you apply and lasts long into the evening, which is just what you need if you’re looking for makeup to last you from wedding morning until the last dance.
READ MORE: The Best Vegan Beauty Brands
2. Best Foundation Wedding For a Wedding Abroad: Rare Beauty Positive Light Tinted Moisturiser, £26
Selena Gomez’s beauty line Rare Beauty landed in the UK earlier this year to much excitement and this ultra-light weight tinted moisturiser makes for the perfect base choice for sun-soaked destination weddings.
It’s much lighter and more sheer than traditional foundations, making it an ideal choice for hot weather. Your skin won’t feel smothered in this, but it will look even-toned and healthy. It lends a heavenly glow yet feels comfortable - almost as if your skin is bare. It stays put all day long with zero patchiness and a long-lasting glow.
3. Best Long-Lasting Wedding Foundation: YSL All Hours Foundation, £36
For big day makeup that stays put from first look to the last dance, this is the formula to try. It has a medium matte long wear finish perfect for combination skin. Fred says it has 24 hour hold and a weightless feel - a rare, highly covetable combination! Pro tip: “For a full matte look, simply set the foundation of your choice with a light layer of powder over,” says Fred.
4. Best Full Coverage Wedding Foundation: KVD Good Apple, £32
If full coverage foundation for your wedding is what you’re after, they don’t come much better than this foundation balm from KVD. It offers totally opaque coverage with one layer, yet the dewy balm texture means your skin can still breath, plus it feels hydrating. It’s a great choice for dry skin, covering redness and blemishes with zero flakiness.
It’s so powerful it can even hide tattoos, if you’re wondering how full the coverage is. Texture wise it feels similar to stick foundations, but it glides on without any dragging. We’d suggest wearing this a fair few times ahead of your wedding to get used to the extreme coverage and to ensure the shade is right for you and looks good photographed.
5. Best Nars Wedding Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow, £35
If you want a light-weight foundation that is guaranteed to make your skin look dewy, luminous and glowing, then Nars Sheer Glow should be on your radar.
Perfect for the dry skin thanks to its ability to fake a fresh face, this product goes on slightly sheer but covers all imperfections without clinging to dry patches. It is buildable, blendable, and a cult product for a reason.
Another Nars foundation to consider is the brand’s Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, £27.20, which is one of Mira’s bases of choice for weddings. “It blends like a dream and is buildable and super dewy,” she says.
6. Best MAC Wedding Foundation: MAC Studio Fix Fluid, £29
Among the beauty blogging community, this foundation has long been a cult favourite, taking pride of place on the makeup shelves of many.
It is a full coverage product with a matte finish that does not budge. The consistency is quite thick, so you really have to work it into the skin with a flat foundation brush or buffing brush – our biggest tip is to leave it for 20 minutes or so before you apply concealer or powder. It’s one of those products which looks better with time, so hang on for a few minutes before you decide where you need the extra help.
It comes in a huge range of shades and a little goes a really long way.
7. Best Drugstore Foundation For Your Wedding: L’Oreal True Match Foundation, £9.99
The high street has some great foundation options out there, for a fraction of the price of higher-end alternatives. If you’re looking to create your bridal makeup look on a budget, then this £9.99 L’Oreal foundation could be your perfect match.
It has a lightweight consistency which is great for oil-prone skin, but doesn’t cling to drier areas if you’re on that end of the spectrum. It doesn’t last quite as long as the other foundations in our edit, but at the affordable price point it’s a good buy.
8. Best Charlotte Tilbury Wedding Foundation: Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation, £36
The latest foundation drop from Charlotte Tilbury has the Kate Moss seal of approval, so you know it’s going to be good. It helps light bounce off the face in all the right places for an otherworldly, angelic glow.
It has a medium coverage that is the perfect blend of matte and dewy for a natural skin finish that looks like your skin but better. The formula is more natural than Charlotte Tilbury’s other foundation offerings, but it taps into that natural wedding makeup trend that’s ruling the roost right now.
9. Best Matte Wedding Foundation: Dior Forever Matte Foundation, £40
Mira sings the praises of this matte wedding foundation, saying it’s “so beautiful on the skin - matte and buildable and non transferable too,” - exactly what you want to hear if you’re wearing white.
Reviewers say this is the best wedding foundation for oily skin, praising it for its staying power.
10. Best Wedding Foundation On Camera: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, £44.50
Another of Mira’s picks - and she’s not the only fan. Euphoria stars Sydney Sweeney and Maude Apatow both wore this to the Met Gala in 2022. Given they’re two of the most photographed women in the world right now, it’s a given this looks good on camera.
Mira says this foundation feels like silk on the skin and is lightweight and buildable. It’s a makeup artist staple that gives medium coverage, but a heavy dose of glow. It’s natural but has a gorgeous glow to it. Yes, it had an A-list price tag, but if you can’t treat yourself for your wedding day, when can you?
How To Choose Your Wedding Foundation
1. Decide On Your Finish
Foundation tends to come in matte and luminous finishes. Neither is better than the other, it comes down to personal preference. Hit up the makeup counters in Boots or a high end department store and ask the makeup brands to try a matte and luminous formula to help you decide your preference.
Luminous lends itself to that glowy, no makeup look everyone’s loving right now, while matte makes for a gorgeous, classic blushing newlywed look.
2. Try Your Foundation Multiple Times
When you think you’ve found the one, road test it several times to check how it wears and that it lasts all day. “Never try a new foundation on your wedding day,” cautions pro makeup artist Mira Parmar. “You don’t know how it will hold up for the day!”
“Test foundation samples over normal areas, dry areas and oily areas over a full day,” advises YSL Beauty’s national makeup artist Fred Letailleur. “This will indicate if you need to complement the foundation with an extra hydrating primer.”
Fred also recommends testing your chosen formula’s longevity over flexible facial areas such as the naso labial fold (between cheeks and nose). Foundation is prone to wearing off in this area and nobody wants to look patchy in their wedding pictures.
3. Take Photos In Your Wedding Foundation
Fred advises taking photos of yourself wearing the foundation with your phone and a flash camera to ensure the tone looks perfect in all situations. Finding the foundation that looks best on camera is worth taking the time to seek out.
4. Stick To What You Know
Mira suggests choosing a foundation similar to your every day one, if there’s one you normally love. “Opt for a style that you wear day to day and that you are comfortable with,” she says. This way you know it works well on your skin and looks radiant.
5. Avoid Wedding Foundation With SPF
It’s very rare you’ll see a beauty editor suggesting you don’t use SPF, but your wedding day is one of those rare occasions. SPF can cause a white flashback in photos, which can make the wearer look ghostly.
For one day, you have special beauty permission to skip SPF.
6. Use A Primer
Many foundations claim to last all day long, but it can’t hurt to give them a little helping hand in the longevity department with a primer. As the name suggests, this beauty hero primes the skin for foundation, helping it last longer and in some cases, adding a little extra radiance to your skin.
We recommend YSL Beauty’s latest drop, the Yves Saint Laurent NU Glow in Balm, £27. It’s ultra-hydrating for a lit from within glow before you even apply foundation. We’d wear it on honeymoon too, for sun-kissed-looking, bare skin without the UVA damage.
Now you've found your ideal wedding foundation, have you thought about your wedding lipstick?