How to: Mendhi makeup for the glowing bride!

Years before she was even engaged, my friend Sarah Khan would always tell me that she wants me to do her makeup for her wedding. It started out as just a small thing where I would do her makeup just for a night out in New York City, while on vacation to Italy or Miami, or to attend another friend’s nuptials. I thought by the time her wedding came around — seven years later — she would forget all about it. Negative. She had asked me well in advance if I’d be game to do her makeup for at least one of her wedding events and I obliged…for her bridal shower, and her mendhi day (a Indian custom the day before her actual wedding).

The beautiful Sarah

The makeup is traditionally a lot lighter on this day than on the wedding day. We had planned to do a trial run before her big day which never happened since I was not in the city for even one weekend for the month preceding her move back to Boston. When the day finally came, I asked her how she envisioned her makeup to look and my only instructions were “make me look hot.” Clearly that wasn’t hard to do. She always trusts me with her makeup and that made me feel a bit more comfortable with diving right in. Given free reign though, I decided to keep her looking fresh and dewy with light, shimmery eyes. Her outfit was elaborate enough, and I thought it would balance everything to keep it mostly neutral so her own natural beauty would shine through. Here’s how I got her look:

Me doing makeup for my friend Sarah on her mendhi day

: I began by massaging in Olay Regenerist cream on her face. Then I used Lise Watier’s Portfolio and blended some of the purple under her eyes and across her nose to brighten that area. Then I used a mix of Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer and Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer around her eyes and nose just to even out some darker/red areas. Next I wet a BeautyBlender sponge with water and dabbed on Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfecting Makeup.
Tricks of the trade. Makeup I used on the bride, minus the foundation and concealers

: Sarah has really fair skin and she didn’t want to be washed out in photos, so I used a few things to sculpt her face. First, I used Make Up For Ever’s Sculpting Kit in the neutral brown to swipe on the outer corners of her forehead, under her cheekbones and jawline (in a ‘3’ motion) using their double ended sculpting brush. Then I went over it with Laura Geller’s Air Whipped Bronzer just under her cheekbones and jawline and blended it in. Next I used Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Bronze Powder in Soft Radiance to give her a little more color on her cheeks. I added just a touch of L’Oreal’s Magic Smooth Souffle blush in Cherubic on the apples of her cheeks and blended it in. To give her a little bit of a dewy sheen, I finished off using Nars Illuminator in Orgasm on her cheekbones. I LOVE this product — a little goes a long way and it doesn’t show up streaky or messy.

Eye shadow
: I started with Make Up For Forever Aqua Cream in Gold to cover her lids. Then I defined them more by adding Taupe from the same collection and a brown IT Cosmetics shadow from their Luxe Eyeshadow palette to the crease of her eyes and blended it in. The Aqua Creams are waterproof and you don’t need a primer for them. They’ll stay put all night. Then I highlighted her brow bones with Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in Snow. I went over the lid again with a shimmery pink from the same IT Cosmetics palette to give it a little more dimension, and finished off by dabbing just a little more of the gold to the center of her lid.
A closer look at the Aqua Cream shadows applied

Eye liner
: I used Laura Geller’s InkWell Waterproof Gel liner in Black to rim her upper lashline, and inside her waterline. Then I used InkWell in Burgundy to line right outside her lower lashline. I thought the burgundy would just mix it up a little and play off the colors in her dress, without making her eyes overly intense (wanted her to save that for her wedding the next night). These liners, by the way, did not budge at all all night! I just wrote about them HERE.
Using the Lash Cards with Lancome Hypnose Star mascara

: I used Lancome’s Hypnose Star (my current go-to mascara) on her upper lashes, and Benefit’s They’re Real! on her lower lashes (I used a small travel size of this mascara which made it easier to use sparingly on her lower lashes). I used these awesome Lash Cards to make sure none of the mascara got onto her lids as I was applying. I didn’t even have to curl her lashes, or add falsies — the mascara was intense enough and I didn’t want to overkill.

: I used Joey Healy’s brow shadow in Raven and his Duo Brow Brush to just fill in her already amazing brows a little more.

: I just used a rose-color lip liner to liner her lips, and NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair.
MAC Fix+

Lastly, I spritzed her face with a few pumps of MAC Fix+ to set her makeup.
Her finished look (that's her adorable nephew Amaan who she made her entrance with on Power Wheels...kid you not)

Glowing bride and her nephew!

All mendhi photos by Bharat Parmar/

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Recent Comments


  1. YOu did a GREAT job!

    Posted 4.2.13
  2. shyema wrote:

    Whew, Meshi I was actually nervous posting because the real deals like you would be seeing it! I’m so happy I got your approval 😀

    Posted 4.2.13
  3. Reem wrote:

    Both of you are so beautiful! Congrats!!

    Posted 4.2.13
  4. noony wrote:

    Shy! The bride looks stunning mA. Great job!

    Posted 4.2.13
  5. shyema wrote:

    Thank you! Truth be told, she looked stunning without even a stitch of makeup to begin with. Just added a little shimmer 🙂

    Posted 4.2.13
  6. Archana wrote:

    You’re so talented. What an amazing job!

    Posted 4.2.13
  7. shyema wrote:

    aww thank you! I was lucky, had a nice canvas to work with 😉

    Posted 4.2.13
  8. Aisha wrote:

    Shyema, you and Sarah both look gorgeous and you did such a great job with her makeup. She is flawless! I think I may need some makeup lessons from you 🙂

    Posted 4.4.13
  9. eemusings wrote:

    Thanks for the insight! I attended a beautiful Indian wedding for one of my dear friends just over a year ago and it was AMAZING – from all the colours on the mehndi night to the elegance of the reception two days later.

    Posted 4.7.13
  10. Miral wrote:

    Loved it! And I love the step-by-step guide.

    Posted 4.17.13
  11. Sana wrote:

    Shyema, you did such a beautiful job! True talent 🙂 Give the fairer coast some love!

    Posted 4.20.13
  12. There is very nice post and lovely images on the post. It’s shows that how much important and how looks fashionable at this time when it’s wants. By read you post on this topic it’s really very great and useful information share in this blog post. It’s really very very helpful for bride because that she is very varied about her makeup for these time which she want’s to look very gorgeous compair to all or and look like a princess and your post which show all this think which very helpful for her. Thanks For sharing such nice information.

    Posted 6.14.13
  13. Poonpo wrote:

    You always share best information among the readers and that is why i am a regular reader of your blog . I love to read everything that you share on your blog .

    Posted 12.1.14

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