No Makeup Look for Weddings: Yay or Nay?

With everything that it stands for, it is easy to see why nude or soft-glam makeup is reigning supreme on the list of looks for brides.

Munira Fidai

Munira Fidai

The Daily Star


File photo of a bride dawning a no-makeup look. PHOTO: THE DAILY STAR

November 28, 2023

DHAKA – Historically, and especially in the context of the Indian Subcontinent, brides have almost always chosen to bring their most glamorous selves to wedding functions. From garish, white makeup to a matte face that involves a lot of powders, to a more even, airbrushed look of recent times, a Bengali bride has looked different every few years. As more and more women now favour the authentic over mindless glam, the no-makeup look has seen a soar in popularity.

With shades that are more skin-tone inspired, nude makeup is a natural look that switches strobing and contouring for more subtle light and shadow techniques. A great choice for daily use and superbly professional, the no-makeup trend is gradually making its presence felt in bridal looks.

Recently married, Samina Tarannum was heavily inspired by Munzereen Shahid’s no-makeup looks for her wedding functions. “For those who do not like a lot of makeup in real life, she basically showed us how it’s done. Her look will be a reference picture for us low-key brides for a while!”

For people who had practically given a collective group hug to chalky and loud makeup, this drastic shift in Bengali preference is a case study for those still possessing a “white is beautiful” mindset. Over just a few decades, brides have gone from wanting to look “fair” and “gorgeous” to subtle and simple, and the change is both uplifting and thought-provoking.

For some, it is all about personal choice. “I was never into a lot of makeup,” confided Afrin Chowdhury, a soon-to-be-engaged third-year university student. “A nude, no makeup look is subtle enough for me to feel like myself on my big day.”

Then, there are those brides who do not enjoy the feel of a lot of gunk on their faces.

“I break out! My skin just cannot take it,” shares Sharmin Roya, a bride from the yesteryears. “My choice for going subtle on my wedding was frowned upon by my family as well as by the guests.”

Roya, however, went ahead with it (much to the horror of her mother-in-law) and has never regretted it. “I was simply ahead of the times, won’t you say?” she laughed.

For others, however, the choice holds a deeper meaning, and very obviously, has roots in colonialism.

“I think more of us are now aware of the colonial mindset and are trying to shift that narrative,” feels Roshni Ahsan, a twenty-seven-year-old, soon-to-be bride. “I’m going for a nude look because I’m scared of looking three shades lighter than my natural skin tone. I’m not a white-skinned person. I’m dusky and I’m equally beautiful!”

With everything that it stands for, it is easy to see why nude or soft-glam makeup is reigning supreme on the list of looks for brides. Truth be told, it is refreshing, and empowering to see more and more women lean towards and embrace their most authentic selves. Out of all the makeup trends a Bengali bride has seen, this one has to be the most empowering one yet and we are all for it!

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