How to do your own wedding-day makeup
With millions of tutorials (literally) from beauty gurus on YouTube, it’s never been easier to learn to do your makeup like a professional. But does mean you should go the DIY route for your wedding day?
It’s certainly the most budget-friendly option. On average, brides spend between $150 and $600 on their hair and makeup for the big day. Plus, when you’re your own makeup artist, you’re in complete control.
“You are in control of your timeframe. When you have an entire bridal party getting ready, it can take many hours. However, if you are doing your own makeup, you are only responsible for yourself,” says Liz Fuller, a Boston-based makeup artist. “Also, you are in charge of how much makeup you apply.”
Of course, there are some drawbacks to doing your own makeup on such a momentous occasion.
“The wedding prep time is usually somewhat chaotic, especially if you have a bridal party of any size. As a result, it's not easy to get the ‘me’ time necessary to relax and apply your own makeup without interruption. Second, it may not last as long or look as polished as a professional application,” says Beke Beau, award-winning makeup artist and founder of the Paint School of Makeup in Philadelphia.
Luckily, there is no right or wrong answer to this choice – just do whatever will make you feel most confident as you walk down the aisle. If you want to brush up on your makeup skills before the big day, here are some expert do’s and don’ts.
DO plenty of trial runs
No matter how makeup-savvy you are, don’t wait until the actual wedding day to do your wedding day look, says Fuller
“Practice, practice, practice until you have the look you want. Then, document that look so that on your wedding day, you can refer to those notes to remind you of what products you used and how you used them,” she adds.
DON’T go overboard
Like many things in life, when it comes to applying makeup, a less is more approach is best.
“A lot of times when women apply makeup for a special event, they believe they have to load on the makeup. My advice, to avoid looking like a clown, is to apply makeup sparingly,” says Fuller. “You can always add more; you can't take it away! “
DO prep your skin
Ensure you have a great canvas by practicing a consistent skincare regime three months before the wedding. According to Fuller, that means at least using a gentle cleanser (morning and night), applying eye cream (morning and night), applying a moisturizer with SPF (morning), using a nighttime moisturizer (night), and exfoliating (three times a week).
Most importantly: don’t pick your pimples.
“The best makeup artist in the world cannot make a person look their best when they have scabs all over their face, so imagine a bride doing her own makeup with this problem!” says Fuller. “It is so much easier to cover a red mark or bump than a scab.”
DON’T go for a trendy look
Leave Instagram makeup where it belongs – on Instagram.
“Don't try to achieve a trendy ‘look that you saw on social media,” says Beau. “The makeup will end up wearing you instead of the other way around. Forget heavy contouring and highlighting, as it doesn't really apply in wedding photography.”
DO invest in the right products
Wedding days are long, so you need products that are up to the task. First, find a primer for your face and your eyelids. These will create a smooth base for the rest of your makeup and prevent creasing.
When it comes to foundation, Beau recommends a lightweight silicone-based product since it’s the most water-resistant. Be sure to avoid any foundation with SPF since it can cause a white cast on your face in photos, adds Fuller.
For mascara, go with a waterproof formula – even if you’re sure you won’t cry. The same goes for eyeliner (Beau recommends Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On liner.)
And don’t skip the lipstick or at least a tinted balm, says Fuller. “To have your entire face made up and then nothing on the lips causes the look to be uneven.”
Finally, finish off your look with a setting spray and translucent powder to ensure it won’t budge – no matter how much dancing you do!
DO pack a touchup kit
Keep a small bag with travel sizes of your products so you can handle any beauty emergencies and reapply as needed (especially lipstick). And don’t forget to include some blotting sheets to absorb excess oil instead of extra powder, which can end up looking cakey and dry.