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7 Stellar Dulhan Makeup Essentials for the Bride and Her D-day

What better way to show beauty than with traditional makeup elements. Take a cue from these traditional Dulhan makeup pictures and slay.


Traditional makeup is known to complete the look of an Indian bride. These elements are not the modern makeup tips that make you look completely different, but rather they are tips that simply enhance your natural beauty. These tips will help you nurture your true beauty and make you look radiant on your big day. 

The traditional way of getting brides ready has started to become an old ritual for a number of people. Though the contemporary makeup is excellent too, some of the traditional elements that we are going to talk about, should not be forgotten as these elements make a bride look truly Indian. From the kohl in her eyes to the lipstick and even the bindi she chooses to wear, Dulhan makeup is an art that makes the bride-to-be look astounding.

Since a lot of things depend on the Dulhan makeup, let us show you step by step so we don't mess it up.

1. Bindi

Dreamweavers Photography

The bindi is an important part of the Dulhan makeup drill. It was earlier known to be a sign of the marital status, signifying that the woman was married. Now, it can be adorned by all women, whether married or not. The traditional bindi for the bride is usually in the colour red or hues of the shade like maroon and so on, as it is known to be auspicious in our country.

Keep it dewy and simple and flaunt a small bindi, or keep it regal and loud with an elegant bindi, both ways the look gets another different enhancement, because the bindi can never go wrong on any face or any look.

Samsara Photography

Then we have the Maharashtrian brides who traditionally wear a crescent bindi, that is placed with the moon facing up. The white crescent of sandalwood is followed by a crimson red tika under it with vermillion and then a yellow one with turmeric, putting all the three elements of their holy beliefs together. It is a symbol of traditions in the culture and at the same time, it completes the bridal look with serenity and composure all at once.

Wedding Knot Photography

The Bengali’s wear a round-shaped bindi, but they have intricate designs all around it. This bindi is known as the Chandan bindi as these designs were made from Chandan (sandalwood) paste. The bindi heightens the beauty of the bride as it makes the face look more symmetrical, making it look appealing. The intricate designing almost appears like a tribal white ink one on her face and it accentuates her overall look of the "bou".

These designs are hand-drawn on the forehead that continues around the browline and ends near the outer corners of the eyes. They are precisely made and are one of the most evident things that make the Bengali bride stand out as the lady of the hour.

2. Red Coloured Lips

Infinite Memories

Earlier the traditional Indian bride used natural ways to redden her lips months before the wedding day. Though in recent times the red lipstick is every bride’s favourite to achieve this effect. Whereas the older generation even used methods like chewing betel leaves to achieve this colour. The long-established red colour for lips is still a strong contender for the colour used on a bride’s lips as it brightens your face and makes your lips look plumper.

The only colour of the lips that suit the elegance while speaking of your grandeur rightly is red, which has maybe transformed to subtle or louder metallic shades even, but red has a special place in all our hearts. You can opt for nude shades for the ceremonies that are held before or after the wedding and especially in the day time, but red will always be a colour of choice for the wedding Dulhan makeup look.

3. Kajal 

Dhanika Choksi Photography

Traditionally, kajal is known to be the makeup on the eye for a Dulhan. It was made from all natural ingredients in the older times. This is why it was healthy to apply to the eye as well as to make you look beautiful. Kajal is still something that is an important aspect of bridal makeup as the kohl makes your eyes look bigger and gives it a doe-like appearance.

Earlier kajal was used both to the upper and the lower lash line, as it worked as an eyeliner too. This extremely essential bridal makeup element is also known by various names all over India, like, Surma, kajal, and more. The darker the eyes the better, because Kohl can never go wrong.

4. Mehndi

Through the Barrel

Mehndi or Henna is applied to a Dulhan’s hand a day or two before she gets married. The design on the Dulhan’s Mehndi also hides the name of her husband as a ritual and the fun part is when the groom has to find his name amidst the intricate designs. The Mehndi leaves a reddish-brownish colour once the paste dries and is removed. It was earlier said that the darker the colour of your Mehndi is, the happier the bride will be in her married life. The beautiful designs drawn by Mehndi are still appreciated by women and girls all around India. This Dulhan makeup element goes very well with the heavy Indian wedding attire that you wear. It also one of the basic essentials of the Dulhan makeup that the Indian brides of any culture and religion look forward to.

5. Alta

Wedding Knot Photography

Alta is an alternative to Mehndi at some places in India. Alta is a red dye, which is used to adorn the hands and feet of the brides, though some states use it to just adorn the feet. However, the designs made by Alta are not as delicate as mehndi designs, they are just as beautiful. The red colour which adorns the bride's hand and feet symbolizes fertility and prosperity. The bridal look seems incomplete with your hands and feet not dyed red or even dark pink. With your traditional attire, the red dye of the Alta just makes the colour seem vivid. Check some more Mehndi designs for your Mehndi ceremony and give a glam doll finish to the ultimate Dulhan makeup.

6. Flower Accessories for the Hair 

Samsara Photography

Another very popular element of Dulhan makeup is putting flowers in your hair. White flowers, especially jasmine, were a very popular option for it earlier. Putting flowers in your hair has a couple of advantages for the bride. It looks beautiful; it smells very good and also makes you smell good with the refreshing fragrance. It is also said that the smell of jasmine helps calm the bride down, so for a Dulhan who was jittery, it is known to be an advantageous accessory. The flowers are made into Gajras or maybe put over the braids. It was earlier famous in the southern regions of the country but now floral hair accessories have found their way into the mainstream.

Though nowadays, not a lot of Dulhans like the traditional jasmine for the hair, still they adopt the old tradition with a newer version, by wearing floral jewellery in their hair which they find more modern and up their alley. Take some inspo from our blog that features some of the looks traditional South Indian brides are slaying in and choose the best Dulhan makeup for yourself. 

7. Floral Tiaras

Through the Barrel

Floral tiaras are also a version of the traditional makeup element. Adorn one at your functions and slay girl!

These Dulhan makeup elements might be old but are sure to bring the wow-factor to the bridal look by making them appear naturally beautiful. We hope you got the inspiration to go old school that you were looking for. Trust your toots and slay as a traditional Indian bride and your ultimate Dulhan makeup. Have a look at some of our makeup artists and have them weave their magic. 

The Dulhan makeup is not only about the face and how you end up carrying the lehenga down the aisle, but even accessories like bangles and anklets or even maang tikkas make it a gorgeous ensemble for your big day.

Do you agree with us? Tell us your favourite traditional Dulhan makeup element and why you love it, in the comments below!