The Makeup That Won Our 2021 Beauty Awards

Our picks for the best makeup for your wedding day stand up to happy tears, first kisses and marathon celebrations—all while helping you to look amazing in high-definition photos.
best makeup
Ohlamour Studio / Stocksy United
shelley brown - the knot
by Shelley Brown
shelley brown - the knot
Shelley Brown
Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor
  • Shelley writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in fashion, beauty, jewelry and accessories
  • Shelley writes and edits articles for The Knot magazine, as well as styles the magazine’s fashion and cover shoots
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Shelley was a freelance Digital Editor at Conde Nast’s Lucky Magazine and freelanced for FLAUNT Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Backstage.com and Paste.com
Updated Sep 01, 2021
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To find the best makeup for your wedding beauty arsenal, we tested hundreds of products and polled our readers. Why is amping up your beauty game before your day so important? Your wedding is a celebration unlike any other, meaning it requires some pretty specific products that both photograph flawlessly and can last all day without creasing, melting or wearing off. And whether you're a dedicated beauty buff who keeps up with every new product launch and is always dropping serious cash at Sephora, or you're a total newbie who prefers to go au naturel, the best makeup for your wedding day may look slightly different (or a lot different) than your everyday routine.

Planning a wedding while also trying to suss out the best mascara to stand up to emotional vows, the best lipstick for first kisses and the best setting spray that will survive even the craziest after-party can seem overwhelming—but we've got you covered. The Knot's editorial team spent months trying out the most buzzed-about makeup so you don't have to. Below, everything you need to get gorgeous and camera-ready for your wedding day.

best foundation

Best Full-Coverage Foundation

There are no shortage of good foundations on the market, but any good foundation won't cut it where high-definition photographs are concerned. This cult favorite is the absolute best foundation for HD photos and marathon celebrations for good reason: its tried-and-true formula offers just enough coverage, has a matte, photogenic finish and major lasting power (like a whole 24 hours of wear). Another plus? We love how it comes in a wide range of colors, so you can find the best foundation match for your skin tone.

best light coverage foundation

Best Light-Coverage Foundation

Heavy base makeup isn't for everyone—nor is it necessary on your day. This tinted serum combines active skincare ingredients and mineral SPF with weightless coverage that nails the "no makeup makeup" look.

best color corrector

Best Color Corrector

This green-tinted treatment instantly erases redness (think: inflamed blemishes, rosacea and other irritation) and protects skin from UV damage and environmental aggressors.

best setting powder

Best Setting Powder

When it comes to finding the best setting powder, look for one that both mattifies your complexion and keeps your foundation in place. Not only does this powder give you a complexion worthy of an Instagram filter, it also staves off dreaded T-zone shine without washing you out.

best makeup primer

Best Primer

A cooling combo of CBD extract, blue agave extract, aloe, hyaluronic acid and B vitamins hydrates, blurs pores and grips onto makeup for up to 12 hours.

best concealer

Best Concealer

Experiencing wedding-planning induced dark circles or stress breakouts? Not just any concealer will do. Our pick for best concealer covers up blemishes without settling into fine lines.

best blush

Best Blush

This lightweight blush has a buildable color for a natural-looking flush. Plus, the highly pigmented shades won't fade even after hours of wear.

Best Lipstick

Best Lipstick

The best lipstick should be a multitasker that goes on strong, stays put and hydrates your lips. These crayon-like lip colors look fun to play with, but they're worth taking seriously. This highly saturated lip color goes on easily in one coat without drying or dreaded clumping. Best of all, it stays put through first kisses and after-party eats.

Best Lipgloss

Best Lipgloss

If you thought lip gloss was a thing of the past, think again. To find the best lip gloss for you, look for one that leaves behind a lustrous shine but doesn't make your lips feel sticky. Just a swipe of this clean one made of natural oils gave us fuller-looking pouts—but no unwanted residue.


best mascara

Best Mascara

Our pick for best mascara is all about the good kind of wedding drama. It lengthens, thickens and curls all at once, without any clumps or flakes. The viscous formula builds upward and outward, for full, fluffy real lashes that can compete with falsies.

best eyeshadow

Best Eyeshadow

The best eyeshadow for our purposes usually comes in palette form—that way, you have lots of shades and textures to choose from. Whether you're going for a dramatic smoky eye or a more natural wash of color, you'll use this versatile mix of 18 talc-free shades in smooth mattes, pretty pearls and high-drama metallics well beyond your wedding day.

best eyeliner


Best Eyeliner

You might think the best eyeliner for a long day of potentially tear-inducing moments is a liquid liner, but this amazing gel pencil changes all of that. Whether you're opting for the purr-fect cat eye or something more low-key, this indestructible formula gives you the added control of a pencil, glides on effortlessly and doesn't budge.

best false lashes

Best False Lashes

These falsies come in sections versus a strip, so you can choose the level of lash drama that works for you. Apply a few to the outer corners of the eyes for a subtle look or go all in for a glam vibe.

best brow pencil

Best Brow Pencil

Conquer your brow goals once and for all with the best brow pencil our editors have ever used—and trust, we've used a lot. This triple threat offers a retractable pencil, brow pen and a spoolie brush for blending—all in one.

best highlighter

Best Highlighter

Given that most shimmery makeup products tend to look too sparkly on camera, the best highlighter for high-definition photos will amp up your wedding day glow without making you look shiny. Play up your cheekbones with this Vitamin E and hydrating jojoba-infused powder that leaves a sheer wash of iridescent color. The end result? A subtle, dewy finish that won't look greasy or glittery in photos.

best bronzer

Best Bronzer

Not all bronzers are created equal. The best bronzer will subtly contour your features without creating harsh lines. Sweep the cream-based, darker contour shade where the light naturally hits your face (forehead, cheekbones and jawline) to sculpt your features. Finish with the pressed powder to set your sunkissed glow.

best setting spray

Best Setting Spray

Avoid a makeup meltdown with our pick for best setting spray. This hydrating creates a smooth canvas for makeup application, blurs pores and locks in your look for 16 hours—no matter how out of control the dance floor gets.

best makeup remover

Best Makeup Remover

The best makeup remover should effortlessly remove longwear products and leave your skin feeling refreshed—not dried out or irritated. These plush, supersized wipes cuts through stubborn mascara, eyeliner and lipstick, but won't leave your face feeling stripped of its natural oils. We call that a skin win.


ONE/SIZE Go Off Makeup Removing Wipes H2O, $8, Kohls.com

best makeup brushes

Best Makeup Brushes

The best makeup brushes aren't your typical brushes—and that's precisely why we love them. Their unique shape means the supersoft bristles give even results no matter what makeup you use (cream, powder or liquid).

best makeup sponge

Best Makeup Sponge

Disposable makeup tools aren't the most eco-friendly option, but this biodegradable one means you can bounce and blend to your heart's desire—without the added waste. It seamlessly blends liquid and cream makeup into the skin for an airbrushed finish. Wet thoroughly before using for optimal results.


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