The countdowns have begun and as a bride-to-be, you will soon attend several lunches, dinners, Daawats and what not. You definitely can’t hire a makeup artist for all of them. Therefore, it's time to become your own MUA! Trust us - it's the best part of the wedding. It's time to prepare a personalised bridal makeup kit that will help you slay like a million bucks! What all should your makeup kit have, you might ask? This is why we got onboard with the experts to get you an exhaustive list. Celebrated makeup artist, Pooja Sethi recommends you purchase and pack this complete beauty checklist so that you don’t end up skipping any of your essentials. You can thank us later. Wink wink!

Working on your face

Pooja Sethi
Pooja Sethi

The magic begins with the products you should stock for your face. Remember, these items are some of the most important items in your bridal makeup kit.

1. Primer

A primer keeps your makeup fresh for photos, from the minute you walk into the event, all the way through to the after-party. It also forms a base for your foundation and makeup, hiding the pores from view and reducing fine lines. The right primer will also regulate dry and oily skin. So don’t skip this primary and essential step. "The POREfessional Face Primer by Benefit and Hangover by Too Faced are my favourite products. Also, for very dry skin, I love to include Indulge oil as a part of priming the face" shares Pooja.

Here are some more recommendations for primers:

  • Clinique Super primer Face Primer
  • Mac Prep+Prime Face Protect
  • NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer

2. Foundation

Applied next, the foundation is used to give your skin an even tone and coverage. Choose the right foundation as it will impart a natural look. You could always test a matching shade by applying a streak to the side of your jawline, down to the neck.

Here are some of the recommendation for foundations:

  • NARS Foundation (Pooja Sethi Recommends)
  • Makeup Forever HD Foundation (Pooja Sethi Recommends)
  • MAC Studio Sculpt foundation
  • Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
  • Mac MatchMaster Foundation
  • L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lasting Perfecting Foundation
  • Kryolan TV Paint Stick

3. Contour

A contoured look provides definition to your facial features, enhancing your nose and cheekbones. It leaves you with a sculpted look for your day ahead. For newbies to the technique and style, we recommend buying a small contour palette and ample practice beforehand. Pooja reveals that she uses Hoola by Benefit on brides to achieve the best effect.

Here are some more recommendations for contour:

  • Makeup Revolution Pro Highlighter - Illuminate
  • LA Girl Pro Contour Cream - Deep
  • Maybelline New York V-Face Duo Stick
  • Odbo Bronzing Powder
  • Nicka K Duo Contour
  • NYX Professional Makeup Cream Highlight & Contour Palette

4. Concealer

Not all of us are graced with absolute, blemish-free skin. And then, pollution, pimples, outbreaks and stress also leave their mark on our faces. In such a case, what do you need? The right concealers to turn into a saviour for your look.

In fact, with the right makeup application technique, you can brighten your undereye area and look fresh all day long. You could also opt for the appropriate colour correctors to hide your dark circles and other blemishes. NARS concealers are quite popular among millennial brides and Pooja Sethi backs that opinion. 

Here are some recommendations for concealers:

  • Mac Pro Long-wear Concealer
  • Mac Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer
  • LA Girl Pro Conceal HD (Pooja Sethi Recommends)

5. Highlighter

You know you'd be wearing such heavy suits or lehengas, fancy ghararas and elegant shararas one day after the other. Keep your pace with the beauty of this attire by acing your makeup game. And this happens by adding a shimmery highlight to your naturally glowing features. Enter highlighters.

Highlighter pigments attract light, leading to a brighter, lit-from-within look for your features. You apply it over your foundation and before using the concealer to enhance the features which are naturally lit up by the sun - above your eyebrows, brow bone, cheekbones and the bow of the lip.

Here are some recommendations for highlighters:

  • Amrezy by Anastasia (Pooja Sethi Recommends)
  • MAC Mineralize Skin Finish
  • The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter
  • Lakme Absolute Illuminating Blush, Shimmer Brick
  • Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder
  • MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter
  • Lakme Absolute Highlighter

6. Bronzer

A Bronzer is used to emulate a sun-kissed glow and adds a subtle warmth to your face. Keep this for night-time parties and the umpteen dinners you would attend after marriage. 

The best way to quickly apply a bronzer is by making a fish face. This way you would be able to apply it perfectly to your cheekbones.

Here are some recommendations for bronzers:

  • Lakme Absolute Sunkissed Bronzer
  • Oriflame Giordani Gold Bronzing Face Pearls
  • Mac Refined Golden Bronzing Powder (Pooja Sethi Recommends)

7. Blush

You may or may not be born with a chiselled face. However, the right makeup magic will ensure that you can carry this look with ease. This happens with the upward sweeps of the blush alongside your cheekbones and your temple.

Remember the duck-faced pout as you apply it alongside your cheekbones (suck in your cheeks to locate them). Dab a little to your temples and a little colour to them. Pooja recommends MAC as it has a great range to offer. 

Here are some recommendations for blush:

  • NYX Mocha
  • Mac Earth to Earth
  • Mac Gleeful

8. Compact

After you're done with all that hard work, your makeup needs to be set in place. A compact (preferably a powder formation) is the handy product which helps you ace your makeup game. 

So, how do you work this piece in? You find a shade that matches your skin tone and apply it all over the face with a brush or sponge applicator. Dab it lightly and don't overdo it. Though, our expert Pooja personally prefers using loose powder over compact. So once you master the game, you can go for loose powder as well.

Here are some recommendations for compact:

  • The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Compact
  • MUA Pro-Base Matte Satin Pressed Powder
  • Mac Prep+Prime
  • BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30

Lips

Pooja Sethi
Pooja Sethi

Curiously, this is one of your face's core focal areas, right alongside your eyes. Keep these essentials in your bridal makeup kit to make your lips stand out.

9. Lip balm

Ever wondered why this small piece remains a part of all lip care routines? It's because a lip balm allows you to moisturise the delicate skin of your lips and safeguard it from chapping, cracking or drying under the onslaught of different makeup products. So, any work on the lips begins with a rich layer of the humble lip balm. You can even use drugstore lip balms; Nivea her Pooja's go-to, she reveals. 

Here are some balm recommendations:

  • L’Occtaine Ultra Rich Shea Butter Lip Balm
  • Forest Essentials Luscious Lip Balm Kokum Butter and Honey
  • The Body Shop Born Lippy Pot Lip Balm

10. Lip liner

Have the right shade for your lips? Hold it there. A good lipstick is incomplete without a matching lip liner, which would prevent it from bleeding out. Using a lip liner prolongs the wear for any lip colour. It also prevents the lip colour from feathering, giving a fuller look to the lips. And when an expert like Pooja Sethi says that Kiko has a great range of both lip liners and lipsticks for Indian brides to wear, we gotta hoard some!  

Here are some lip liner recommendations:

  • Colorbar Definer Lip Liners
  • Maybelline Colorsensational Lip Liners
  • Chambor Velvette Touch Lip Liner Pencils

11. Lipsticks

Of course! Add colour to your lips using your favourite lipsticks in matte, glitter or creme. However, do give a thought to matching (or contrasting) the lipstick with your outfit or even the embroidery on it. In fact, if you're able to work with the last suggestion, you will ensure a subtle, yet gorgeous look.

When choosing your lipsticks, go wild with your choices in lip shades. However, try and close down a lipstick brand that works best with your skin. Here are some brand suggestions:

  • Mac Retro Matte Lipstick Rooby Woo
  • Mac Satin Lipstick Retro
  • Chambor powder matte lipstick Rubis Rouge

Light up your Eyes

Pooja Sethi
Pooja Sethi

Your eyes speak volumes. So, give them character by using the following products right out of your makeup kit. In Pooja's experience, MAC and Inglot have quite an expansive range of quality eye makeup that she loves using on real brides to give them some of their best looks.

12. Eye Primer

Using a primer should be your first step to set that bridal eye makeup in place. This nifty cream can prevent your concealer and eyeshadow from creasing and make it last longer.

Here are our recommendations for eye primers:

  • Revlon Photo ready eye primer+ brightener
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
  • Faces Metaliglow Eye Primer

13. Eyeliners

Eye makeup is just incomplete without eyeliners. Keep different shades handy to create a dramatic effect. And for application, you could choose the style which best reflects your look - be it the dramatic cat eye, the subtle inner eye line or the winged eyeliner effect.

Here are our recommendations for eyeliners:

  • Essence eyebrow stylist set
  • Sleek eyebrow stylist
  • Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel 
  • Rimmel London Professional eyebrow pencil
  • Lakme eyebrow pencil
  • Maybelline Define a brow eyebrow pencil 
  • MAC brow set clear
  • L'oreal Brow Stylist Sculptor

14. Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow makes your eyes stand out. Create drama with a darker shade at the outer corner of the eye and a light colour in the middle. This can enhance even your simplest attire and outfits.

For eyeshadow, invest in a basic makeup kit and ample practice ahead of different eyeshadow shades to get that bold look and make your eyes stand out.

Here are our recommendations for eyeshadows:

  • Clinique All About Shadow Quad
  • LA Girl Inspiring Eyeshadow Tin
  • Freedom Pro 12 - Audacious Mattes

15. Eyebrow pencil

Often, many Indian girls wonder why they would need an eyebrow pencil, considering that they are often blessed with a strong set of twin arches. Still, invest in one. Eyebrow pencils define your brows in a precise and controlled manner, adding colour only to the desired areas.

Here are our recommendations for eyebrow pencils

  • Essence eyebrow stylist set
  • Sleek eyebrow stylist
  • Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel
  • Rimmel London Professional eyebrow pencil
  • Lakme eyebrow pencil
  • Maybelline Define a brow eyebrow pencil
  • MAC brow set clear
  • L'oreal Brow Stylist Sculptor

16. Kajal

Add a refined charm to your eyes with the swipe of this organic outline, the humble Kajal or Kohl stick. Made of charcoal residue, these are also soothing to the eyes, protecting them from infections. 

You can add your swipe either on or directly below the waterline, to give your eyes the look you're hoping for. Here are our recommendations for Kajal:

  • L'Oreal Paris Kajal Magique
  • M.A.C Modern Twist Kajal Liner
  • Plum Natur Studio All-Day-Wear Kohl Kajal
  • Lakme Eyeconic Kajal
  • Maybelline New York Colossal Kajal Super Black
  • Lotus Herbals Ecostay Creme Kohl Intense Kajal
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil
  • Inglot Kohl Pencil

17. Eyelash Curler

An eyelash curler, add to the drama element for your eyes, by adding the right frame to bigger and brighter eyes. Regular use of the product can also help in lengthening the lashes.

Use your curler ahead of the mascara, so that you can cover the entire length of your lashes with it.

Here are our recommendations for eyelash curlers:

  • Konad Eyelash Curler
  • Faces Canada Eyelash Curler
  • Colorbar Showstopper Eyelash Curler
  • Inglot BP Eyelash Curler
  • The Body Shop Eye Lash Curler
  • Elf Eyelash Curler
  • Shiseido Eyelash Curler
  • Oriflame Eyelash Curler

18. Mascara

Mascara makes your eyelashes noticeable. It gives an appearance of bigger and brighter eyes, by darkening and thickening the appearance of the lashes.

Here are our recommendations for mascara:

  • Revlon Water Tight Mascara
  • Lakme Eyeconic Curling Mascara
  • L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara
  • L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Papillon Waterproof Mascara
  • MAC In Extra Dimension Lash Mascara
  • Colorbar Zoom And Whoosh Mascara
  • Benefit They're Real Mascara

Hands

Rahul De Cunha Photography
Rahul De Cunha Photography

19. Hand cream

No, we are not talking about the all-purpose moisturiser which you apply on a daily basis. Opt for a second moisturiser or hand cream, specifically for your appendages. This will keep the moist and conditioned and serve as a base for any other makeup you may plan to put on them.

Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
  • Kama Ayurveda Hand Cream
  • Khadi Herbals Milk & Saffron Hand Cream
  • Oriflame Milk & Honey Gold Moisturizing Hand Cream
  • Plum Choco-Latte Smudge-Free Hand Cream
  • The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

20. Nail Paint or Nail Enamel

Why the paint? Even the most well-kept and manicured hands fall short on occasions if they are bereft of any colour. Try a pop in a shade (or two) that strikes your fancy and see the difference.

Here are few nail paint brands that you can invest in:

  • Lakme
  • Revlon
  • Faces
  • Elle 18
  • OPI
  • China Glaze
  • Inglot

Tools, Application aids and removers

The Equinoxe
The Equinoxe

21. Makeup brushes and sponges

Without them, the makeup products are useless. Don't even think of applying makeup with your fingers.

22. Makeup remover

The saviour in case of mistakes and the essential before going to bed - makeup remover.

Here are some of our recommendations for makeup remover:

  • Maybelline Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
  • Lakme Absolute Bi-Phased Makeup Remover
  • Colorbar Ultimate Makeup Remover
  • L'Oreal Paris Derma Expertise Gentle Lip & Eye Makeup Remover
  • Chambor Eye and Lip Makeup Remover

23. Nail paint remover

Of course, to remove any errors you need nail paint remover and cotton balls handy.

Here are some of our recommendations for nail paint remover:

  • Inglot
  • Colorbar Ultimate Nail Enamel Remover
  • Revlon Nail Enamel Remover Extra Gentle
  • Sally Hansen Strengthening Formula Polish Remover
  • Faces Nail Enamel Remover
  • Revlon's Extra Fast Nail Enamel Remover

24. Cotton balls

Need we mention why these should be in your makeup kit?

25. Small mirror

You want to see how great you look, right? We know that a selfie will do but the software mess up the natural colours. So, keep one handy. It will also help with a quickie touch up.

Other feminine essentials

Yaadein Clicks Photography
Yaadein Clicks Photography

26. Extensions, hair nets and hairpins

So that your hair doesn’t mess up at any time.

27. Safety pins

You never know when you might need one of those. It is always wise to keep them in the makeup kit.

28. Comb

The basic you need that for a perfect hairdo is a comb.

  • Wide tooth combs 
  • Fine tooth tail comb 
  • Teasing combs 
  • Styling combs with metal pins 
  • Picks 
  • Fine and wide tooth combs or cutting comb 

Complete the Kit:

31. Sindoor and Bindi

You will need them after you get married so include them in your makeup kit. Opt for different styles, sizes and shades, so that you can mix and match to your delight.

For Sindoor, most brides opt for liquid applicators over vermillion powder, because it's an easy-to-do task. 

32. Sanitary napkins

Keep some in a case of an emergency, right where you can easily grab them.

33. Rosewater

Rosewater is a great solution for sporadic outbreaks, as a natural toner or even a makeup remover. Keep some with you to help you look fresh all day.

Bookmark this checklist if you don't want to miss anything. Do tell us in the comments below if there are any other items that a bride-to-be should have in her bridal makeup kit.