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There has been a slow but steady shift in the world of South Asian bridal makeup, and natural glam seems to be making a come back. The last couple of years saw brides gradually moving away from Kardashian style contour, in-your-face highlighter, drawn-in brows, solid matte lips and super glittery eyeshadows. It appears that brides in 2021 will continue to enhance their natural beauty rather than concealing it. However, we all agree that one feature that an Asian bride ought to flaunt is her eyes. South Asian girls are naturally blessed with big and beautiful eyes — making perfect sense to enhance this sultry feature through either going for a smokey or a classic flicked eyeliner look. False eyelashes that complement the eye shape are also a must-have arsenal in an Asian bridal makeup arena.
Bollywood queens have been a significant inspiration for Indian and Pakistani brides over the years. Whether it's their outfits or makeup - there is something magical about a Bollywood diva's wedding look. We all remember Anushka Sharma's blush pink Sabyasachi ensemble adorned with floral embroidery and her wow entrance in fresh makeup and flowers around the bridal bun. This look found a place of pride on bridal mood boards everywhere for the next few years, and to be honest; it still is very popular. I cannot begin to count how many times I must have recreated that look on my brides.
Bollywood divas who got married in the last couple of years embraced a bit more natural but striking makeup look. Stars such as Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Neha Dhupia, Diya Mirza are glaring examples of this 'less is more' trend.
While there was no major Bollywood wedding to inspire us in either 2019 or 2020, we are crossing our fingers for a few A-listers tying the knot this year and on top of the list are, of course, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Given Aliya's understated style, one can easily predict the bridal makeup look she will go for - our money is on soft and sophisticated!
On the other hand, in the last couple of years, countless Pakistani superstars walked down the aisle one after the other and set many trends. Pakistani bridal makeup has long been associated with a focus on heavy eyes, face altering sharp contour, deep lips, and not to mention the few shades of lighter foundation! But surprise, surprise... recently we saw almost none of this - well, at least not in the celebrity world! It was pretty refreshing to see celebrities opting for a more natural glam bridal look, and the trend is likely to continue in 2021.
Let's take a look at some of the current popular trends in the Asian Bridal makeup arena...
While heavy contouring will take a back seat this year, the trend in brides opting for dewy makeup for their wedding day will see a definite rise. Liquid highlighters mixed with foundations are the best ways to achieve a more subtle and natural glow. The most crucial thing to achieve this smooth and dewy skin is to have a healthy, rejuvenated, flawless and luminous complexion to begin with. Therefore, brides, you're going to need to put in some extra work in the run-up to the big day to make sure your skin is looking its very best. Alia Bhatt and Ayeza Khan both seem to be carrying this dewy look with effortless ease thanks to their gorgeous skin!
When your overall makeup is toned down, it's essential to define specific features that subtly enhance your beauty. Brows are one such feature that can make or break the entire makeup look. While crazy Instagram brows are becoming less popular, a well-defined eyebrow does not seem to go out of vogue anytime soon. Actress Iqra Aziz looked effortlessly radiant on her wedding day in bronzy gold eyes with a thin flicked eyeliner, beautifully defined brows and a nude pink pout.
Hamza Ali Abbasi's wife Naimal Khawar stole the show by wearing her mother's altered bridal outfit - another prevalent trend with the brides these days. She made an appearance on her Nikah in one of the softest bridal makeup looks ever! Underneath barely-there foundation, one can see a natural flushed rosy glow on her cheeks, complemented by a delicate rose stained lip, which is an excellent option for brides not wanting a solid lip colour. But again, brides need to remember that they need to work on their skin beforehand and make sure it's in a top-notch state for such a minimalist look to work. Also, to pull off a minimal stained lip, it is important to have soft, moist lips as a simple stain on dry and chapped lips would only enhance the dryness and would be counter-productive. So please, girls, listen to the advice of drinking plenty of water, however cliche it may sound- and regularly use lip scrubs (to get rid of any dead skin) and use a good lip balm morning and eve.
One thing that never seems to go out of style for desi brides is the old Bollywood style vintage winged eyeliner. Beauty icons from Meena Kumari and Sharmila Tagore through to Aishwarya Rai and Deepika Padukone - all have proudly sported this look over the years. Supermodel Iman Ali went for her trademark classic Ather Shehzad makeup look on her big day with a heavier base, on-point contour, thick vintage style liner and a matte berry pink lip! It is important to note that the model Iman Ali doesn't have the clearest of skins, and it made perfect sense for her to go for a heavier base to hide the acne and scarring and look flawless on her big day!
A sultry and smokey eye is another timeless classic look that looks flattering on South Asian skin tones any day and anytime. If you like the smoke but don't want too much drama on your wedding day, then steer away from iridescent shades and go for deeper and earthy tones. Ayeza Khan looks ravishing flaunting this sultry bridal look.
Despite the trends, natural makeup look is not for everyone! Many girls like the more glamorous look on their big day, and that is perfectly fine. There are no rights and wrongs in makeup. While trends are there to inspire you, the final decision should be based on your heart's desires and what you can pull off easily.
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