Bridal Makeup Tips For South Asians and Arabs

June 18, 2008

Unlike East Asians, South Asian and Arabic brides do their makeup very differently. The look is dramatic and bold with lots of brights colors. I had a brief chat with the super awesome London-based makeup artist Angela Holthuis and scored a few pointers for you ladies.

It is definitely all about the eyes when it comes to South Asian and Arabic bridal makeup. Eyeshadows in super bright, even contrasting colors, are used to match with the bride’s outfit. The key to wearing a lot of colors is to make sure they are smoked out and blended seamlessly.

According to Angela, the use of eyeliner is very important. “It sort of defines the culture, their beauty, in my opinion.” She prefers gel liners as they are easier to apply and are waterproof. “They are great for lining the inner rim of the eye and they stay put for hours, unlike pencils.”

With this much eye makeup, remember to use products that are fully waterproof and to make sure you keep your eyebrows in check.

Like the eyes, lips can come in bright reds, oranges and pinks. Steer clear from anything too pale to avoid looking washed out and make sure the color you choose goes well with the rest of your look.

Mehndi, needless to say, is a very important part of a bride’s makeup. It is traditionally done fully on the arms and legs but nowadays, brides usually go for a more subtle look and they try to keep the patterns modern.

Looking for more bridal beauty tips? Check out these Bridal Makeup Tips and Bridal Makeup Tips For East Asians.

Images: Henna Spirit.


  • Reply Anonymous June 18, 2008 at 11:12 am

    the first bride looks beautiful!
    can you please do a tutorial on how to do the eye make-up?
    it would be amazing if you could also then put up a pic of you with it!

  • Reply Karen June 18, 2008 at 11:23 am

    I lurrrrve these makeup looks! The bright colors complement their skintones so well. Such strong eyes and lips would probably look garish on me. It’s nice to see some trend that stays away from the nude or pale lips…

  • Reply Sheryl June 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Phyllis,

    Can you please do a FOTD or a makeup breakdown?
    I haven’t done one in a long time 🙂

  • Reply Michelle June 18, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    I like the first and last pictures.

    Are they all the same bride? The 2nd and 3rd pictures look like it’s the same person but the others…. I don’t know…

  • Reply Ilianna June 18, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Gorgeous! Even though I’ll probably go for a traditional wedding, I really want to try one of these looks when I get married. And wear something other than white!

  • Reply tokyostargirl June 19, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Love the first look! Her eyes look gorgeous!

  • Reply [a} June 21, 2008 at 3:37 am

    I’m South Asian & living in an Arab country. It’s true, eyeliner is a staple here…even to the gym lol..

    Thanks for featuring this other style on your blog 🙂

  • Reply Toma June 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    This is beautiful! I love it!

  • Reply beautyaddict1one1 June 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Oh i love Arabic make up not because i’m Arabic girl lol
    it’s all about the eye and hot lips with a bronzer

  • Reply egi February 22, 2009 at 11:59 am

    i love arabik make up

  • Reply Karina March 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

    This isn’t Arabic. They’re South Asian. Arabic brides dress and do their makeup like Western brides. Although the heavy eyemakeup and face powder seems to be done in both regions when women dress up.

  • Reply a May 20, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Oh thanks for covering this!

    Yes, they are all Pakistani or Bangladeshi or Indian brides in those pics. But Karina’s wrong about one thing: “Arabic brides dress and do their makeup like Western brides.”
    That’s not true. They have a very distinct style, and it’s more like South Asian brides than Western ones. There are many TYPES of Arabs; Lebanese tend to go for Western white dress/soft makeup. The rest of them are more traditional.

  • Reply anonymous May 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Wow, none of those girls is wearing a nosering. Usually they make every possible part of you shiny.

  • Reply Shali Begum January 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I really like the bridal make up pic it’s so nice

  • Reply Veronica January 28, 2013 at 1:19 am

    The first one doesn’t seems bride but her eye make up looks better than the others..third one still looks better..there are so many bridal tutorials on Youtube just type the name and you will get it there..

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