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Various makeup looks ranging from natural to neutral

Bridal Makeup: Do you know the difference between Natural vs. Neutral?

As a mobile beauty team here at Black Tie and Blush, it’s common to have brides requesting a “natural” bridal makeup look and we are here for it! But what exactly does “natural” mean? As it turns out, people have a million different ideas. Many times, we find that a bride is seeking only a slight enhancement of what their everyday approach to makeup would be. Other times, we find that what they really want is something entirely different. And when the inspiration photos come out, we see that the bride is really looking for a fairly dramatic look, using neutral tones. So let’s talk about natural vs. neutral to get a better understanding of each type of look.

Bridal Makeup Inspiration Photos Speak 1000 Words

When verbal descriptions fail us, photos come to the rescue. 

So why does it really matter that a bride understands the difference between a natural or a neutral look when we can just refer to a photo? Well, because it would be helpful for the bride in the search phase to understand what type of bridal makeup inspiration visuals  get presented so that the results they get are accurate.

For example, searching “Natural Bridal Makeup” will return different results than “Neutral Bridal Makeup”. When the search is on point, the results will be closer to the desired type of content the bride can choose from. Plus, they can better communicate their vision to their artist during their trial run.
If you are on the fence about a trial run or want to know how to prepare for one, go here.

Let’s look at the differences

Bridal Makeup: Natural 

Here is a “natural” makeup look. 

Is this what you were expecting? Is it too little? Or is it just right?

When we talk about a natural makeup look, think of a skincare commercial. Imagine the model or actor splashing their clean-looking, healthy, glow-ey skin with face wash or massaging in a moisturizer. It would appear that the model has no makeup on at all. But in reality, this type of effect takes a lot of prep, some key pro tricks and special skills. When you think of  natural makeup, think about a  “no makeup-makeup look”

This image shows a natural makeup look

 Bridal Makeup: Neutral 

This is a makeup look using neutral tones

Now let’s take a look at a neutral makeup look.

See the difference?

The colors here are neutrals, yet the look here is actually dramatic. The tones are in what many people consider to be the “natural” category, but the application and the effect can be quite dramatic. The neutral makeup look ranges in the degree of enhancement or dramatic effect.

Whatever your desired bridal makeup style, one fact stays true. 

Skin care and prep are the foundations of any makeup look

The healthier and clearer the skin, the better the outcome. So if you haven’t already, you will want to start with a good skincare regimen in the months leading up to the wedding. 

Pro tip: Be sure to start your new routine as far n advance of your wedding as possible, just in case any products you try cause irritation or break outs. No one wants to deal with skin issues on their wedding day!

Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated. 

You can do it in 3 basic steps.

If you want to get fancy later, there are a ton of options, but if you are starting at ground zero, Simply remember what I call my 3 foundational pillars: Cleanse, Treat, Protect


A clean face is key to healthy skin. Cleansing the skin without stripping away the natural oils is important but you don’t need to overthink it. Start simple. Here are 3 of our favorite key choices for daily cleansers. 

Take a look at some of our favorite, essential, high-quality skin care products. Many of which are just as affordable as they are effective.

Full disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive a small commission compensation on qualifying purchases if you purchase through the links below.

Murad Essenial Cleanser: 

What it does: 

  • Gently cleanses the skin by removing environmental impurities, rehydrating, and awakening the senses with a burst of citrus. 
  • It is rich in antioxidants and contains a combination of Vitamin A, C and E to fight free radical damage.

What I love:

  • Does not contain  parabens
  • Cruelty free
  • Dermatologist developed
  • I personally LOVE and use the 16.9 size with a the handy pump. It’s my favorite daily go-to.

Cerave Daily Face Wash Foaming Cleanser For Normal To Oily Skin

What is does:

  • This is a foaming gel that gently cleanses, refreshes and effectively removes excess oil, dirt, and makeup

What I love

  • Can be a face, body or hand wash
  • Cerave products contain the 3 essential ceramides naturally found in the skin that act as a natural barrier.
  • Contains hyaluronic acid. 

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

What it does 

Cleanses normal to dry, sensitive skin, helping it retain moisture while gently removing face and eye makeup 

What I love

  • It maintains the skin’s natural protective barrier and PH
  • Great in the colder months and won’t strip the skin.
  • Contains ceramides and is free of irritants such as dyes, fragrances and sulfates.


Treating the skin can mean a variety of things but fundamentally, a moisturizer would be a part of this category. To keep the skin care routine simple, Let’s talk about some of our favorite moisturizers:

Honest Beauty Facial Oil

I personally love a serum.

As I age, I am all about that hydration and dewey glow and this one is definitely one of my go-to’s

What it does:

  • Nourishes and Replenishes the skin with a blend of 8 organic fruit plus seed oils all in a serum formula.

What I love:

  • Dermatologist Tested plus Hypoallergenic
  • Vegan plus Cruelty free
  • 100% tree-free paper carton
  • MADE WITH: Avocado Oil plus Apricot Oil plus Jojoba Oil
  • MADE WITHOUT: Parabens, Dyes, Silicones, Paraffins, Synthetic fragrance

La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

Daily Moisturizer Face Cream with Ceramide and Niacinamide for All Skin Types, Oil Free, Fragrance Free

Yes, La Roche Posay makes it onto the list again, but I switch off to this daily moisturizer whenever I need to take a break from more expensive options. I love that I can run to the drug store and pick up a quick travel size on vacation. This is a good, solid staple product.

What it does:

  • Provides up to 48-hr hydration & helps restore the skin’s barrier after 1 hr. 

What I love:

  • Oil free formula 
  • Contains a high concentration of Prebiotic Thermal Water, Ceramide-3, Niacinamide & Glycerin. 
  • Great for  sensitive skin.
  • Won’t clog pores

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Face Cream

Talk about a glow-up moment, this moisturizer is one I just recently discovered and it’s a yes for me. 

What it does:

  • A vegan product that that hydrates, plumps and balances the skin with hyaluronic acid in a non-greasy formula.

What I love

  • The plumping and the youthful appearance I get
  • It is free of – Parabens, Mineral Oil, Silicones, Phthalates, Drying Alcohols, Synthetic Dyes, Essential Oils, & Synthetic Fragrance. 
  • Cruelty-free. 


In the protect category, we have your sunscreens and primers. 

These products will make all the difference, both in the short run AND in the long run when it comes to the quality of your skin’s look, whether you wear a dramatic makeup look or you go completely natural.

EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer

My favorite sunscreen is also a primer. You could actually think of it as a bb cream.

So this one will moisturize, correct and protect all in one. It’s a splurge item, but well worth the investment. Linked here, I have the 2 oz size in case you’d like to try it before investing more. 


What it does:

  • Helps moisturize and protect sensitive and dry skin.
  • Contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide to help provide effective UVA/UVB sun protection.
  • Compliments many skin tones.

What I love:

  • Great for sensitive or post-procedure skin. 
  • Is an spf 44 sunscreen 
  • Water resistant and can withstand up to 40 minutes sweat and humidity. 
  • Highly recommended by Dermatologists and sold in many professional aesthetic beauty practices and Dermatologist’s offices. 
  • (My Derm sells this one and I am obsessed)

CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30 | Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen

Back again is Cera Ve. 

This one is my go to when I am not into springing for the expensive stuff and it does the job very well.

What it does:

  • It is a tinted mineral sunscreen that calms skin and helps retain the natural moisture. 

What I Love:

  • Lightweight, non-greasy feel.
  • No weird white cast typically associated with mineral sunscreens
  • Paraben free, fragrance free, and noncomedogenic.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream 8-In-1 Skin Perfector

This one is the ultimate drugstore deal.

I honestly avoided sharing this at first because it’s so cheap. And while quality products are indeed sometimes inflated price-wise, I just felt a type of way recommending this as a professional. 

But I could not ignore it.

What it does:

  • It perfects, hydrates and  protects with SPF 30 while  brightening, blurring imperfections, smoothing and enhancing the appearance of the skin in an oil-free formula. 
  • Plus it is  available in 5 skin-tone perfecting shades.

What I love:

  • The dewey finish
  • The way it reduces redness, minimizes pores while smoothing the finish.
  • Hydrates and brightens the skin. 

In Summary: Your best bridal makeup result will be better with proper skin care.

Skin and makeup professionals these days are favoring simplified skin care routines. 

My rule of 3 is Cleanse, treat, protect 

  • Cleansers and toners are the first step. 
  • Then moisturizing and treating any skin concerns or challenges comes next.
  • Finally, a sunscreen and primer. 

Many times these steps can be combined in one product depending on your needs. For instance, a sunscreen and primer could go together in one BB or CC cream such as a tinted sunscreen, corrector, makeup primer, etc. 

In order to establish a foundational healthy skin care routine it is important to know 2 things:

  • Start simple: Remember cleanse, treat and protect
  • Know your skin type: Knowing your skin type is key to selecting the right products to start your journey to a healthy skin care practice.

Unsure of your skin type? 

Download my free guide to determining your skin type:

Thank you for reading my friend.

Chat soon,



Bridal Makeup: Natural Vs. Neutral


September 17, 2023


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