The Ultimate Beach Wedding Makeup Guide for 2024

Beach wedding makeup headerPhoto: Bella Raleigh / Morton Photography

Choosing THE DRESS is one of the biggest (and most exciting!) moments of wedding planning … but it doesn’t end there. 

Once you know what you’ll be wearing on the big day, you can start making other fun decisions, such as what shoes to wear, what hairstyle you should try, and how you want your bridal makeup to look.

Every bride has a vision of what they want their overall wedding look to be. But where you’re getting married can have a big impact on what it takes to achieve that look, especially if you’re getting married on the beach.

Whether you’re throwing a destination wedding on a tropical island or getting married in your coastal hometown, you have to be prepared for any water, wind, and sweat thrown your way. If you’re planning to say “I do” on the sand, this beach wedding makeup guide will ensure you’re ready for anything!!

Natural Makeup Looks for Your Beach Wedding

The sand and surf make for a stunning, natural backdrop for a wedding day. So why not embrace that natural beauty with makeup that also has a natural look?

We love it when a beach bride rocks a beachy look, aka a dewy, glowy face that shows off your skin and lets the natural you shine through!

To pull off a perfectly natural, beachy look, start with clean, primed, and moisturized skin. Build your foundation and concealer in layers as needed and contour with a light bronzer to give yourself a subtle glow.

For your eye makeup, stick to neutral tones and pale, pretty eyeshadow hues as opposed to dark, smoky eyes and intense liners. A pale shadow, a thin sweep of eyeliner at the lash line, and some waterproof mascara are all you need. 

For your lips and cheeks, choose a shade of pink or peach that works with your skin tone. Save the deep reds and intense berry lip colors for a night at the club! 

Prefer a matte face to a dewy look?

Depending on the temperature and climate, achieving the perfect matte face can be tricky at a beach wedding. The ocean adds moisture to the air, which increases humidity, so it’s much easier to go for a dewy look than trying to fight the elements with a dry, matte look.

Glamorous Makeup Looks for Your Beach Wedding

Bride and groom kissing surrounded by a large bridal party on the beachPhoto: Bella Indy / Lex Hatch

If it’s a glamorous look you love, then go glam!

After all, it’s your wedding day, and you should wear whatever look makes you feel gorgeous. 

To pull off a high glam look on the beach, we suggest keeping the face more natural and playing up the eyes. Choose shimmery eyeshadows or light metallic shadows that glisten in the sunlight. Go a bit heavier with your eyeliner, and add some false lashes for a more dramatic look.

You can also glam it up by adding some shimmer and shine to the polish on your fingers and toes.

See also: The 9 Best Wedding Makeup Ideas

Choose the Right Beauty Products

The products you wear on a daily basis might not be the right products for your big day on the beach. Consult your professional makeup artist about beach-appropriate alternatives to the products you usually use. 

Buildable foundations and lightweight concealers are key. Applying them in sheer, thin layers as needed will prevent your skin from looking dry and cakey in the sun. If possible, skip the foundation altogether and just apply concealer where needed.

The sun dries everything out, including the skin, so it’s important to use hydrating products that deliver color and coverage. On your lips, opt for a creamy lipstick instead of a matte one. Creamy lipsticks won’t dry out as fast, so your lips will look softer, feel smoother, and be much more kissable!

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!

From the flower girl to the best man, every member of the wedding party needs a wedding day skincare plan.

It doesn’t matter whether you have fair skin, dark skin, or medium-toned skin that doesn’t quickly burn … every guy and every girl in your wedding party should protect their skin with moisturizer and sunscreen. Dry, flaky skin is not a good look in wedding photos, so make sure everyone is equipped with products that hydrate.

Every member of your wedding party should apply moisturizer and wear a traditional sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. They can also use a super hydrating moisturizer with an SPF built-in.

Lips are skin too, so an SPF 30 lip protectant should also be on your must-have makeup list!

Bonus Tips for Achieving the Best Beach Wedding Makeup

Bridesmaids helping bride prepare for weddingPhoto: Bella Shreveport / Maggie May Bundy

No matter what type of makeup look you choose for your beach wedding, these bonus makeup tips will keep you looking absolutely gorgeous throughout your special day.

Invest in Blotting Papers 

The hotter and more tropical the climate, the more likely it is that you’re going to sweat. When you’re lounging on the sand in your bikini, it’s easy enough to wipe your sweat away with a beach towel, but that won’t work when you’re in a dress or suit.

Do yourself a favor and keep a few packets of blotting papers on hand. They’re super inexpensive, and they’re the perfect way to absorb sweat from your brow without having to worry about wiping your makeup off.

The guys can tuck a few into their shirt or pants pocket, and the girls can conceal them in the pockets of their dresses or bra cups. 

Plan for Touch-Ups 

When your ceremony and/or wedding reception take place on a sunny beach, makeup touch-ups are an unavoidable part of the equation.

If your professional glam squad or makeup artist can’t stick around for the duration of the wedding, put a backup plan in place. Designate a trusted friend or a bridesmaid who’s great with makeup to be your go-to beauty assistant in between big moments.

That way, you’ll look your best and be ready for every big photo op that comes your way.

Use a Setting Powder 

Even if a setting powder isn’t part of your daily makeup routine, you’ll want to wear one for your beach wedding.

Wind can kick sand in your face or dampen you with ocean mist. Moisture and humidity can cause your makeup to smudge or run down your face.

With a lightweight setting powder, you can lock your bridal makeup look in place and prevent those unavoidable elements from ruining it.

See also: What to Wear to a Beach Wedding (as a Guest)


Whether you choose a super natural look or prefer to go a bit glam, your wedding day makeup will be gorgeous (and stay gorgeous, as long as you use the right products).

If there’s one major makeup tip we can give you for your beach wedding, it’s this:

No matter what cosmetics you put on your eyes, lips, or face, make sure that a hydrating moisturizer and a sunscreen are in the mix!  

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