Full Glam, Soft Glam, or No-Makeup Makeup? Bridal MUAs Decode the Differences

Every bride wants to look their most radiant on their wedding day, but the spectrum of makeup looks can be vast and confusing. Do you want to go all out? Do you want to keep it natural? Or maybe you want something in between?

To help you discover your perfect match, we spoke to three sought-after bridal makeup artists to decode the key differences between full glam, soft glam, and the ever-popular “no-makeup makeup” look. Hear it from the masterful thoughts of Ellen Drilon, Joan Quizon, and Iya Gueco.

Full Glam, Soft Glam, or No-Makeup Makeup? Bridal MUAs Decode the Differences

<strong>Full Glam</strong>

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and the same could hold true for certain makeup looks. More specifically, it’s one of the defining characteristics of a fully glamorous, show-stopping transformation. Renowned makeup artist, Ellen Drilon, explains this further.

“Sa full glam, ‘yung pinaka-focus mo dito are ‘yung eyes,” she shares. “Not necessarily na kailangan i-exagg [exaggerate] ‘yung features, pero what you will do is ilalabas mo talaga ‘yung mas iga-ganda pa na features nung eyes ni client.”

Unlike the subtle enhancements of no-makeup makeup look, full glam uses bolder elements to make the eyes the center of attention. Think nude color eyeshadows as a base, followed by a dramatic winged eyeliner and carefully chosen lashes to create a dramatic effect.

Photo: Ellen Drilon via IG

It’s important to note, though, that achieving full glam doesn’t mean overwhelming the face with makeup. Ellen says, “‘Yung ibang nakikita kong mistake sa full glam makeup is ‘yung sumusobra. Like pag sinabi nilang full glam, ang naiisip nila kailangan dark yung eyeshadow, kailangan mas makulay ‘yung blush.”

“Kailangan pag gumamit ka ng bold eyes, mag-neutralize siya sa lahat. Kailangan iisipin mo mag co-complement lahat ng ilalagay mo para mukhang sophisticated ‘yung pagka-glam niya,” she adds.

<strong>Pull Quote: “It doesn’t mean na kapag sinabing full glam, kailangan makapal yung base mo, makapal ang foundation mo…makapal lahat. You can apply the right amount nung product, and kung tama ‘yung application mo, magiging subtle siya tingnan, pero glam pa rin siya.” - Ellen Drilon</strong>

Now, we all know that skin prep is key in achieving a smooth makeup finish, but Ellen states that it’s especially important for full glam, which can be more demanding on the skin. Alongside this, knowing the client’s skin type is just as crucial. She says, “I always ask the client kung ano ‘yung skin type nila, and ‘yung ilalagay ko na primers will depend on that. Basta tama ‘yung skin prep, hindi basta basta mahuhugasan ‘yung makeup and for sure magla-last siya all day.”

Photo: Ellen Drilon via IG

The main takeaway? Full glam isn’t just about applying more makeup. It’s really all about creating a balanced overall look that enhances features, rather than covering them up.

<strong>Soft Glam</strong>

Let’s talk about soft glam, the sweet spot between going full glam and a more natural look. We reached out to bridal makeup artist, Joan Quizon, who specializes in such, to walk us through what exactly this popular bridal style entails.

Just like Ellen, Joan also emphasizes the importance of balance. “Soft glam is all about enhancing your natural beauty with a touch of glam,” she says. “You have to make everything diffused and well-blended, from the eyes to the contour to the blush, and sa lips. Prioritize nude colors and neutrals.”

Photo: Joan Quizon via IG

She also highlights specific techniques for achieving a flawless soft glam look. “Avoid harsh lines and dark eyeliners,” she advises. “Try using dark browns instead and dapat wala siyang harsh line. It has to be perfectly diffused.”

<strong>Pull Quote: “Stay away from dramatic lashes, choose ‘yung tamang flirty lang to make the eyes pop, then bawi ka sa neutral na eyeshadow colors.” - Joan Quizon</strong>

Now, it’s a common misconception that using less makeup translates to an easier application process. However, Joan warns against this thinking. “There are a lot of people who go overboard doing this makeup look,” she says. “It’s easier kasi to add makeup than control yourself not to put a lot.” Soft glam hinges on the mastery of subtlety, where a well-placed touch of color and skillful blending create a more nuanced and natural-looking enhancement compared to full glam’s dramatic impact.

Photo: Joan Quizon via IG

Not surprisingly, Joan’s personal makeup style reflects her expertise – soft glam all the way. “Soft glam is really my style and that’s my favorite makeup look for brides,” she shares. “It’s achieving that effortless look where they appear polished, elegant, beautiful, and pretty.”

<strong>No-Makeup Makeup</strong>

Lastly, let’s go into the no-makeup makeup look, a style that has significantly grown in popularity over the years. It’s not really difficult to see why; it’s a style that enhances one’s natural beauty without the overt appearance of makeup–perfect for brides who want to look and feel like themselves on their special day.

We spoke with Iya Gueco, a makeup artist celebrated for her subtle and natural approaches, to tell us more about this bridal style.

Iya offers a clear definition: “The no makeup makeup look is like giving your face a refresh, a subtle enhancement. You know you have makeup on, but it creates the illusion of a naturally radiant appearance.”

<strong>Pull Quote: “When people look at you, they're gonna see that your makeup looks nice. They might say, ‘Wow! You look extra pretty today!’ or ‘You look extra fresh today.’ That's what a no-makeup makeup look is for me." - Iya Gueco</strong>

When asked why this look is so beloved, particularly among brides, Iya explains, “I think kasi the no-makeup makeup look is also a very timeless look. It brings out your best features and highlights them.”

Photo: Iya Gueco via IG

“Although some do prefer a transformation, with the no-makeup makeup look kasi, when you look back at your wedding photos 10, 20 years from now, you’re going to see photos of what you looked like during that time, with or without all of that makeup on,” she adds.

With this look, choosing the right products is crucial for achieving this understated style. Iya emphasizes the importance of foundation, “It’s essential to check your skin’s undertone and have a range of shades to mix and match for a perfect match. Remember, specific products cater to different skin types – oily or matte. It’s a matter of trial and error to find what works best for you and delivers the desired natural finish.”

Much like other makeup looks, the no-makeup makeup style comes with a set of misconceptions. The most common one being that it’s easy to achieve because it generally uses less product. But Iya clarifies, “It doesn’t mean skipping makeup altogether. You still follow a basic routine – skin prep, foundation, and so on. The key lies in flawless technique. The makeup needs to be blended so seamlessly that it appears like your natural skin.”

Photo: Iya Gueco via IG

She advises using less powder, especially for long days. Start with cream and liquid products, as they’re easier to retouch throughout the day. Use a puff or brush to target specific areas that need touch-ups, like creasing around the eyes. You can even use your fingers for a light touch-up and bring a small brush or beauty blender along for on-the-go convenience.

Iya also sets the record straight on baking, a popular technique that most people use to set their foundation or concealer. “That doesn’t really work here in the Philippines, probably because of the humidity. A lot of people tend to get really oily, so throughout the day, the makeup tends to crack. It looks like you have a lot of foundation caked on your face,” she explains. “So I think one of my top tips is to use less powder. And if you do get oily throughout the day, I would recommend blotting first before resorting to powdering over your makeup.”

When it comes to making sure that the makeup lasts, Iya shares a technique she does. “Setting spray is essential,” she says. “After applying foundation, I spray and blend it with a beauty blender. I repeat this process throughout the makeup application – eyes, blush – to ensure everything stays put for a fresh look that lasts through the after-party.”

<strong>Confidence in Your Choice</strong>

We know, we know. With all that’s been said, it’s still quite overwhelming to figure out exactly what you want. But if there’s anything to learn from these makeup artists (and there’s a LOT), it’s that makeup is supposed to make you feel confident, beautiful, and true to YOU.

Take it from the pros: Your makeup will be a direct reflection of how you prepare and take care of yourself prior to the big day. Start with a great skincare routine, and if you don’t know how, it’s always best to consult a professional.

It’s also worth noting that open communication is key! Discuss your desired look with your makeup artist, share inspiration photos, and voice any concerns. A skilled artist will work with you to create a look that enhances your natural beauty. This isn’t the time to be shy about your vision.

And if you’re still not sure, don’t be afraid to experiment during your trial run. Your makeup artist is there to help you find your best look. Believe us when we say that they’re willing to help you figure it out. Explore different variations of full glam, soft glam, or no-makeup makeup to find the perfect balance between your desired level of glam and your natural features.

Finally, and most importantly, remember: Confidence is your most dazzling accessory. As cliche as it may sound, it’s really all about feeling the most authentic version of yourself.

So whether you gravitate towards a natural, barely-there look or a touch of glam, the best makeup is the one that enhances your natural beauty. Trust your instincts and collaborate with your makeup artist. It’s a day to celebrate the love story you’ve built, and the most beautiful part of that story will always be you.

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