The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

11 Tips for Non-Toxic Wedding Makeup (Even With a Conventional Makeup Artist)

What if you’re a clean beauty devotee, an adherent to the gospel of non-toxic makeup, but you want a professional to do your makeup on your wedding day? There aren’t many non-toxic makeup wedding artists out there, so chances are you might not be able to secure one for yourself, especially if you don’t live in NYC or LA.

Don’t worry, you won’t be forced to suddenly slather your face with foundation that has parabens and phthalates. Neither do you have to resort to scouring the internet for makeup tutorials so you can attempt to do your own makeup. A good makeup artist will listen to your needs and work with you so that you’re happy. They just need a help choosing the right products!

To help you out, I interviewed Rebecca Casciano, a vegan and non-toxic makeup artist in New York City who is doing my makeup for my wedding, and got her tips for clean-beauty brides who are working with a conventional wedding makeup artists.

Don’t assume non-toxic makeup means subdued makeup.

You can really customize it to whatever you want it to be,” Rebecca says. “That’s what I love about natural makeup – there’s a real range to it. It’s all about choosing the right products, how much you apply, and how you blend it. You can absolutely still do your highlight, contour, and make it really dramatic.” If you want a bold look, choose eye and lip products from brands like Vapour Organic Beauty, Ilia Beauty, Jane Iredale, W3ll People, and RMS.

Collect pictures of the look you want.

Make a Pinterest board of lipstick colors, eye looks, and overall looks that you would really love for your big day. Because explaining what you want with words might lead to some misunderstandings! “Having photos of the look you’re going for is really important. My version of ‘natural’ and yours can be very different,” Rebecca says. “Pictures can be deceiving because we don’t know how much has been retouched or what the person’s skin actually looks like. But at least it’ll give us an idea, especially when it come to color, like how much blush or what shade of red.” Also show your makeup artist what color flowers will be in your bouquet, and what color dresses your bridesmaids are wearing. Those will help her build a good color palette for you.

Go a little heavier than normal.

“The whole idea is for you to feel like the best version of yourself. You never want to do anything that’s too out of the ordinary on your wedding day,” Rebecca says. However, there’s a couple reasons why slightly heavier makeup is good for your wedding day. For one, you want it to last from your First Look through some dancing. Plus, there’s the aspect of pictures and video. “The interesting thing about bridal is that often there’s every medium: there’s video, there’s photographs being taken, and then there’s personal interactions,” Rebecca says. ” You want to make sure it looks good in all mediums. So typically I may go a little bit heavier with certain aspects of the makeup artistry, but ultimately my goal is always to make sure that you feel comfortable as a bride wearing it.”

Find a foundation you love.

Foundation is the product that will be covering the largest area of your skin, so it’s important to find it in the clean version. Plus, the right kind will also help you get the look you’re going for. You can look around these clean beauty stores and order a few different brands to test out until you find your favorite. If you want a more dramatic, night time look, you can choose a creamy foundation. For a backyard, boho vibe, “You can choose more sheer products and have really dewy skin,” Rebecca says. “For that, I recommend a foundation that has a little bit of a luminescence to it, a little bit of a glow, like a tinted moisturizer: Vapour liquid foundation, Ilia, W3ll People can be used in a small amount for very sheer coverage or build up for more coverage if you have any redness or anything you want to conceal.”

Have a makeup trial before the big day.

“Trials are so great, because you can wear the foundation and tell me how it feels and we can make adjustments either on the moisturizer that we use or the foundation,” Rebecca says. I got a trial with her and took pictures, and it was really helpful. I love my look, but I have a couple small things I want to change. (I want to try a little bit of brown eyeshadow, and do less blush.) Plus, we’re going to test some other lipstick brands for longer wear.

Make sure to moisturize!

Moisturizing the skin is really important too, because you want to make sure if looks really nourished and healthy,” Rebecca says. This is especially true if you want a more natural look. So pick out some non-toxic moisturising face lotion or oil to slather on before you get started.

Go slow.

If you’re not totally sure the makeup artist truly understands your vibe, stop after every layer to check how it’s going. “Take it in steps,” Rebecca says. “Make sure that they go slowly as they’re applying the makeup and allow you to check it as you go.”

Consider conventional mascara.

“There are things I’ll make exceptions for, one of which being mascara or liquid liner,” Rebecca says. “Mascara is a tough one, because a lot of the natural brands tend to be a little lighter and more natural looking, so they don’t always give you the va va voom that you’re looking for.” Plus, if you cry (which you probably will) the natural brands aren’t usually waterproof.

Get the right eyelash extensions.

Rebecca does strip lashes and individual lashes, and she says the ones she uses look really natural. But if you’re not used to wearing false lashes, they can still feel a little bit heavy. She recommends trying them out beforehand in the trial or a night out. Alternatively, you can opt for individual lashes, since they tend to be lighter and more natural looking.

Start prepping your skin a month before.

Rebecca recommends a facial the month before, and taking care of your lips. “If you’re doing a darker lip, that can tend to pick up on dry lips. Put on lip balm before bed and before lipstick in the morning and throughout the day. And you could always do a little exfoliation with like warm wet washcloth or a toothbrush so the lips are smooth when you show up for your actual wedding day.” In the month leading up to the wedding, drink a lot of water and vegetable juice, especially cucumber juice, which is great for the skin.

Avoid skin triggers.

Also in the month before the wedding, avoid sugar, dairy, and too much caffeine. “Try to avoid known triggers,” Rebecca says. “Even though you might be stressed out, find a good replacement for the cravings, like treating yourself to a massage, meditating, or having a coconut milk version if you know it’s the dairy.”



  • Alden Wicker

    Ruth Alden Wicker is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EcoCult. Along with growing EcoCult to be the leading international information hub for sustainable fashion, she also writes for publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Wired, The Cut, Vox, InStyle, Popular Science, Harper's Bazaar, Quartz, Inc. Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Craftsmanship Quarterly, Refinery29, Narratively, and many more.

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