Be Your Own Pro: How To Do Your Own Wedding Makeup


It’s one of the questions I’m asked most frequently: “I want to do my own makeup on my wedding day, but where do I start?!”. I’ve also started mulling this one over more intensively of late, and not because a certain Royal wedding is imminent, but on account of the fact that I’m getting married next year, and unsurprisingly for a beauty editor, I love doing my own makeup on a daily basis. Some mornings are rushed ‘mascara only’ affairs, while other days offer up more potential for a Geisha-esque makeup ritual, but on the whole I find applying makeup meditative, and most importantly, I know what I like. I love to to feel out my skin when applying foundation, have a second-sense for where eye shadow might crease and therefore require a good prime and extra blend and I’m well aware that I wear more blusher than the average person and get nervy about strong brows. I want to be fully in control of not only my eyebrows when I walk down the aisle, but my mood and sense of self. If I find a makeup artist I click with and who gets my blusher thing, I definitely wouldn’t rule out professional intervention on the day, but the thought of going DIY doesn’t scare me, and it shouldn’t scare you either. Here’s what to prioritise, what to avoid and the fail safe products that a bridal makeup artist would never be without Planning a wedding takes a lot of work (not to mention, money). It's basically a universal truth. From booking the venue, catering food, to sending out all those RSVPs, the time leading up to the big day can be a bit of a blur. But, to save some extra cash (and cut out excess stress), you've decided to your own wedding day makeup. It could be a little nerve-wracking to create your own wedding day beauty look, because this isn't just any day, it's YOUR big day! In addition to making sure your makeup holds up, you want it to look damn good in photos. Have no fear: We've rounded up all the tips you'll need to apply your makeup like a pro, from the pros.

1. Practice, practice, practice

No matter how makeup-savvy you may be, you don't want to wait to apply your wedding-day look for the first time on your wedding day. "Practice, practice, practice until you have the look that you want," says Liz Fuller, owner of Boston-area Makeup Artistry Inc.. "Then document what you used so that on the wedding day you can refer to your notes to remind you what products you used and how you used them."

2. Splurge on facials

Perfect skin is the best possible canvas for your makeup. And great skin for your wedding day is all in the preparation, says makeup artist Hillary Kline. "If the budget allows, start getting monthly facials — aim for at least three or four — before the big day," she says. "Those will help firm and illuminate your complexion."

3. Set up a serene space

Not only do you need time to apply your makeup, but you'll need a calm environment in which to do it, says makeup artist Béke Beau. "Getting ready rooms can be quite hectic sometimes and well-meaning bridal party members may distract you, so it's important to have some privacy to relax and put on your makeup," she says.

4. Use a primer

After you've moisturized your skin, you'll want to apply a thin layer of primer, says Jo Levy, makeup expert and artist for Jo Levy Makeup. "A primer will serve as a temporary corrector, filling in enlarged pores as well as smoothing fine lines and some deeper set lines," she says. "The different textures of primer will also help to prepare skin. For example, a mattifying primer will help to immediately diminish excess shine while an illuminating primer will give the skin an instant, radiant base for makeup."

5. Use an eye primer, too

You need a separate primer for your eyelids than what you've used on the rest of your face. "For eyes, I recommend using an eye primer or cream eye shadow that is neutral in tone," says Levy. "A bone or nude shade works well to help even out discoloration on lids and allows for a smoother eye shadow application if you plan to layer additional powder of cream shadows right over it."

6. Pick the perfect foundation

Get matched with expert help with a foundation that is right for your skin type and creates a natural look, says Kline. "Powder foundation helps in setting your makeup and also helps prevent your face from looking greasy in photos," she says. "But, if you add too much powder, you run the risk of making your skin look dry and old. The phrase 'less is more' applies to this."

7. Avoid makeup with SPF

While sunscreen is very good for your skin, it can be very bad for your wedding photos. "The zinc and titanium oxides that are found in SPF formulas can cause a white cast on the face in flash photography," warns Fuller. If you must slather on sunscreen for your outdoor wedding, make sure it's in your moisturiser and not your foundation.
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