Creating a South Asian Bridal Makeup Look - QC Makeup Academy

Every woman wants to look her best on her wedding day. While we know that every bride is absolutely #flawless, makeup artists are still hired to enhance the lucky lady’s natural features for the photos that she’ll keep close to her heart for many years to come. Bridal makeup takes some training and practice to master—we can’t afford to make any mistakes on the big day! But what if your bride also has a cultural element that she needs to consider?

Incorporating cultural and religious elements into a South Asian bride’s makeup look is a necessary aspect of staying authentic to the traditions of your client. And a with every other bridal consultation, you always have to make sure that you take into consideration how the makeup will wear throughout the day.

Traditionally, these bridal looks are heavy and caked on, but with western influences, current South Asian bridal trends tend to be more natural—although it is by no means a light application of makeup! Think thick black lashes and dramatic lips—show stopping and bold!

Read on for our guide to creating the perfect South Asian bridal makeup look!

Applying makeup to South Asian brides


Let’s start with the basics: cleansing, moisturizing, and priming the face is the first and arguably most important step! It may not be readily noticeable, but it will make all the difference when it comes to the longevity and wearability of your makeup. South Asian weddings are often multi-day affairs. You’ll have to make sure that your client’s face makeup is tough and provides full coverage from dawn till dusk….and even after that!

Next, you’ll want to apply foundation. This will likely be medium or full coverage depending on your client’s preferences. Choose a foundation that’s a shade lighter than their natural skin tone as the color will oxidize on their face throughout the day, leaving them with a bright but natural look.

Proceed accordingly with blush, contour, and highlight but keep in mind the way those colors will interact on her skin and how theywill show up in professional photography.


Eye looks are usually dark, smoky, and sultry. The bride’s outfit is heavily embellished and decadent, so instead of having the bride’s face fade into the background, you must make her features also stand out to compliment the dressings. What’s the best way to make sure the eye makeup doesn’t crease and that the colors you’re using stay intense? Your primer of course! Make sure you adequately prime the eyes before you start.

Traditionally, darkly rimmed eyes were lined with kohl pencils, but the effect tends to fade throughout the day. Make sure that you choose waterproof mascara and water-resistant liners in the darkest shade you have in your kit. Natural-looking brown liners are non-existent when it comes to South Asian bridal looks.

Experiment with different densities of false lashes—make sure they aren’t too heavy and test the glue on the bride’s skin before the big day to make note of any allergies!

Learning to apply south asian bridal makeup for eyes


Bold red lips are a staple, especially during the actual wedding ceremony. To make sure the lip color doesn’t fade or rub off, you’ll want to make sure the lips are smooth and prepped for application. By now, you’ve likely noticed that this post is basically an ode to makeup primer—and you’re not wrong! Using a good lip primer is the key to making sure the color stays vibrant and doesn’t fall into those pesky lip lines.

You’ll also want to use a similarly colored lip liner to aid with the longevity of the pigment. Make sure you fill in the lips with the liner, too! After that, if you are using a liquid lipstick, touch-ups won’t be too necessary throughout the night. If you are using lipstick, you should be applying the lipstick on top of the liner, blotting it, and then reapplying it for an everlasting lip look!


For South Asian weddings, bindis are usually a bright vermillion red that’s painted on the forehead right between the two eyebrows. The red color comes from mixing sindoor powder with water to create a paste. It symbolizes the third eye and subsequently higher consciousness. If your client wants to modernize the bindi, she may opt to stick or glue on a rhinestone bindi to up the glamour factor. If this is the case, make sure that the spot between the brows is cleaned of any makeup so that the glue sticks and the jewel doesn’t fall off!


We can’t stress how important it is to make sure that you communicate with the bride-to-be. Especially if she comes in with a reference photo, you have to make sure that you use your expertise to let them know what will and will not work to flatter their facial features.

Want to learn more about beauty traditions from cultures around the world? Check out our newest makeup workshop: Global Beauty!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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