Hair & Makeup Ideas for Your Virtual Wedding

If you’re planning to tie the knot virtually, you’ll want to make sure you are glam on the webcam. Discover hair and makeup ideas for your virtual wedding.

By Shameika Rhymes

Hair & Makeup Ideas for Your Virtual Wedding
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

  • For a virtual wedding, hair and makeup can be extra and over-the-top or simple and low key. Prepping the skin and hair ahead of time is key.
  • Makeup styles for virtual weddings include using glitter, blush, and darker lipstick than you normally wear. And don’t forget the concealer.
  • Hairstyles that look great on screen for virtual weddings include low buns and waves, complete with hair accessories.
  • Find inspiration for makeup and hair from social media, magazines, or your own photo album.

In light of the pandemic, many couples have opted to postpone their nuptials. Others have decided to take the plunge by celebrating their original wedding date by planning virtual celebrations and commitment ceremonies. If you’re planning to tie the knot virtually, you’ll want to make sure you’re just as glam over a webcam as you would be in person for the big day. You don’t have to go it alone, because Zola is here to help you and your partner with some DIY wedding hair and makeup tips for virtual weddings.

Table of Contents:

You Can Still Support Your Favorite Beauty Wedding Vendors With a Virtual Wedding

While social distancing mandates are still in effect, many wedding hair and makeup artists are offering virtual consultations that include shade matching services and tutorials, so you can do your own wedding glam for your virtual wedding. “During my virtual sessions, I am always customizing each lesson to the needs of my client. I have clients who enjoy full glam makeup and others who are more into effortless 10-minute glam,” explains makeup artist Tandy Colada, owner of Colada Beauty.

Part 1: Things to Consider to Make Your Hair and Makeup Pop for a Virtual

Wedding: Everything You Need to Know

For many brides, the morning of their wedding is spent getting their hair and makeup done by professionals with the maid of honor on standby holding backup lipstick, extra lip balm, and tissues. But now that ceremonies have shifted online, it’s easy to panic about what you’re going to do to get the look you want for your celebration.

The first thing is to lock down the basics of how to make your hair and makeup pop on a grainy webcam as it’s broadcast out across Zoom or whatever platform you choose to use. Here are a few things to consider.

Have Adequate Lighting

Having a virtual wedding means dealing with camera angles and lighting to make sure everyone can feel like they are right there in the room with you. Having great lighting can enhance your look. “You want to be seen on camera as clearly as possible,” says Colada. If you have trouble setting things up, you can hire a professional videographer who can record and livestream the entire event. That means you’ll get closeups of your hair and makeup.

Head and Hair Outline

Megan Garmers, founder and director of MG Hair and Makeup, says the outline or silhouette is important to think about when planning your bridal hairstyle. “The most important thing to remember is that the outline or silhouette of your head/hair is most easily seen.” So consider your head shape and your desired style. Make sure it looks proportional and natural. Stay away from anything that looks weird when you do a 360 view of yourself.

Keep It Simple

Web cameras can add a blurry effect depending upon the pixels and if you’re using your computer, an added web camera, or your phone to stream the festivities. Dawn Clemens, founder and CEO at Larwe Hair, suggests keeping your wedding hairstyle fairly simple. “To avoid the blurry effect on your wedding day, I would suggest that you keep it simple and easy to do.”

It’s Okay to Be Extra

Accessories are key to make your look stand out on your virtual wedding day. You’ll want to find accessories and jewels that are big enough to see via webcam. Ghanima Abdullah, cosmetologist and hair expert at says being a little extra will make your look pop. “For men and women, give your hair a good gloss or shine for the big day. Ladies can use rhinestones where you probably would have chosen flowers or pearls.”

Don’t Do Anything Drastic

Garmers says you want to avoid wedding day disasters by not doing anything drastic to your hair or face a month before. That includes new products and new haircuts. You don’t want your hair, scalp, or even your face to rebel and reject the new product you’ve introduced on the day of the wedding. It’s best to test out any products well in advance, so you know how your body will react.

Prime Your Skin

You have to start with a great base to get your DIY wedding makeup to really pop, so it’s important to get your skincare routine together. “Radiant skin and looking awake are key,” says Douglas Otero, celebrity makeup artist and owner of Intermission Beauty. Start taking care of your skin at least two weeks prior to the big day. If you aren’t comfortable getting a facial, let the steam in the shower do its magic or give yourself a facial massage with moisturizer. Look for products that are oil-free, so they won’t crease or cause a makeup meltdown.

Prep Your Hair

“Be sure to wash (or not) your hair appropriately. Some people have hair that gets oily after one day and needs to wash their hair every day. Others can go a whole week without washing it. You know your hair,” explains Garmers. For grooms, Abdullah suggests washing their hair the day of, since gel works best in wet hair. “For the ladies, it’s best to wash your hair the day before, so that it’s completely dry and ready to style the next day. If you have textured hair, the day before is a good time to put in the twists and let them dry.”

Test Things Out and Make Sure It Matches

Sébastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Veil Cosmetics suggests giving yourself a few weeks to master your makeup look. “Give yourself a couple of weeks to master your chosen look, and ask your best friend or a family member to help you take some pictures to test it all to make sure it works. Lastly, remember that your face makeup color must match your neck or any other parts of your exposed skin.”

Stay True to Who You Are

You’ll feel most comfortable and glamorous by staying true to yourself. It may be tempting to take it up several notches and try something completely different from the norm for your virtual wedding when it comes to your hair and makeup, but experts agree that sticking with what you know will make you feel most beautiful on your wedding day.

Part 2: Makeup Looks That Stand Out on Screen

Now that you know some of the key factors to consider when planning to do your hair and makeup for your virtual wedding, let’s get into some of the best makeup tips and looks that will pop onscreen and how to achieve them.

What Makeup Colors Work Best on Camera?

It’s always best to start with your everyday look and build from there, but some colors tend to pop more on camera than others. “Use bright and warm shades, cool tones appear darker on camera; think coral or a nice deep pink,” says Clemens. It’s always a good idea to test your makeup in the lighting that you’ll be shooting in to see what it looks like on camera.

Shine Bright

Weddings are all about the details and that includes your hair and makeup. Tandy Colada suggests adding glitter or shimmer eyeshadows so your eyes pop on camera. “Using body makeup can help the skin glisten under lights as well.” But if makeup isn’t your thing, details can be emphasized in accessories and clothing, she adds.

Go Bold With the Eyes

Some virtual weddings may still include in-person guests, so if you’re considering wearing a mask, you’ll have to keep part of your face neutral. “A bold eye or winged eyeliner has always been a classic and is my personal favorite,” says Otero. If you aren’t a fan of colorful eyeshadows, try a neutral bronze color. Use false eyelashes to make your eyes pop even more, and a natural yet strong eyebrow.

Go Big With Blush and Lipstick

The camera can wash you out, so it’s important to add extra color to your complexion. Make sure you have enough color on your face to really pop. That includes adding extra blush and wearing a darker lipstick than you may normally wear. Use a highlighter to make your complexion shine, too. And if you’re wearing a mask, Otero says using a liquid matte lipstick is best because it dries quickly and won’t transfer.

Is Concealer Necessary?

Absolutely! Experts say using high-definition concealers are a must for both the bride and the groom. It’s best to use buildable coverage concealers since they look more natural on camera. Apply it under the eyes, around the nose, and wherever else you need extra coverage.

Part 3: Hairstyles That Stand Out for Virtual Weddings

The right hairstyle is something that suits you and is easy for you to manage if you have to do it yourself. Here are some styles that will really stand out and wow your virtual guests.

Keep Hairstyles Natural and Simple

If you’re looking to keep the styling to a minimum, Garmers suggests going for natural, softer styles. She says they look just as great as sleek chignons. If you prefer a low bun, use your natural hair texture or use a curling iron to add curls. Gather the hair into a messy low bun, and secure it with elastic.

Go Wavy

If your hair is normally straight, add some soft waves for a beachy boho look that’s also romantic and timeless. “This hairstyle also looks perfect on screen, so it's a win-win situation for a virtual wedding,” says Clemens. For this style, use your curling iron to add waves to your hair and then brush them out once they’ve cooled down to loosen them up for the wavy look.

Go Big With Volume

Abdullah says southern belle curls stand out perfectly. “Southern belle curls are done with a lot of teasing and hairspray. Think Dolly Parton, but not big hair. Each curl stands out clearly and is molded into the overall style. This type of styling makes the hair much more voluminous—especially on thin, flat hair,” she explains. Ask a hairstylist to walk you through creating these types of curls, she suggests.

Use Hair Accessories

Floral pieces like baby’s breath give hair a boho classic look, and you can go even further by making them into a halo crown to wear in your hair. Add some rhinestones to your hairstyle. “A hairstylist can show a bride how to nest the rhinestones into a particular area of her style, even if she’s wearing a twist or braid updo. She can place them intermittently without them making dents in an updo or afro,” says Abdullah. Rhinestone bobby pin can work for any style. Other hair pieces you can try include tiaras, beaded combs, fabric bows, real or silk flowers.

Wedding Hair for Men

Wedding hair isn’t all about the women, the fellas need to make sure they look just as good on their wedding day. Abdullah says for guys, a buzz cut with a side part or a low pompadour stands out. “For men with textured hair, try coils with extra sheen. These should be styled a few days ahead of time, so shrinkage won’t make your style unpredictable. On the day of the wedding, just add some shine serum to make the coils pop.”

Part 4: Bridal Hair and Makeup Inspiration for Virtual Weddings

In order to narrow down exactly what look will work best for your hair and face for your wedding day, it’s vital to find some inspiration.

  • Social Media: Try looking on social media sites like Instagram, but beware of edited images. “Keep in mind that many of the images that we see are filtered and digitally altered,” says Colada.
  • Online: Pinterest is a popular site to look for inspiration. “The site even has a skin tone selector to help you find a good match,” says Abdullah.
  • YouTube: The video site isn’t just for watching funny videos, you can also find inspiration for your hair and bridal makeup. “Watch a few tutorials on YouTube and find the styles that best suit you,” advises Tardif.
  • Magazines: “Magazines or online magazines are the way to go and offer endless inspiration for almost anything,” says Otero.
  • Any and Everywhere: “Makeup inspiration can come from literally anywhere,” says Colada, who once found inspiration from a peacock.
  • Your Own Photos: Garmers says the best place to start is looking at your own photos. She suggests looking at photos where you really loved your hair and makeup and felt beautiful.

When Should You Decide If You’re Going to DIY or Hire a Pro?

Clemens says it’s best to book your hairstylist two months ahead of the wedding, but if you are planning to do it yourself, then it’s a good idea to start practicing about a month ahead of your wedding date. “Whether you use a professional or not, a makeup trial run is a staple in the wedding world. I cannot stress this enough,” says Otero.

Zola: The Destination for All Your Hair and Makeup Wedding Needs

Remember: Virtual weddings don’t mean you can’t still have your dream wedding look. It’s the perfect time to discover inspiration and try new things (ahead of time of course). Go big and bold, natural, or add some shimmer to your look. Get your Amy Winehouse on with winged eyeliner or go for neutral subtle tones. It’s your day. Ultimately you decide what makes you feel beautiful and glamorous. Zola is here to help.

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