You’ve been planning for months, and finally, the big day is here. You’re going to look your best at your wedding, but you don’t have time to make it happen. Who can help? Doing your own wedding make-up doesn’t have to be intimidating!
This article will show you a few tips so that you can do your own make-up on the big day without breaking a sweat.
Planning a wedding is such an exciting process. Still, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of making specific decisions about what’s going on with each individual aspect of the event, many things might seem daunting or challenging.
Doing your own wedding day make-up can be a daunting task. There are many different types of foundation, concealers, eye shadows, liners, and lipsticks. So how do you know what will work best for you? What colours should you use? It seems like the perfect solution is to find someone who has experience in this area!
Luckily for all those brides-to-be out there, we’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of some amazing tips that will walk you through every step of creating your own professional looking (yet still natural) wedding day look.
If you had to pick one moment for your make-up to well and truly play ball, your wedding day would likely be up there. Dewy, but not shiny, natural but not naked – and it has to be sweat-proof, camera-proof and waterproof for obvious reasons. So it’s not surprising that many brides call upon an expert make-up artist for the job – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself.
Every bride wants to feel their most beautiful on their wedding day. So if you’re looking for a new way of doing your own Wedding Day Make-up, then this blog post is just what you need!
1. Do I Need to Prep My Skin?
Your DIY make-up prep starts long before the wedding. ‘A well-hydrated and smooth complexion is essential for flawless, beautiful make-up,’ says Alicia Jackman, founder of skincare brand Holy Grail. ‘Make sure you’re taking care of your skin and using products to target your specific concerns well before your big day.’
If you really want glowing, long-lasting make-up on your wedding day, start preparing well before. “Make sure you are religious with your day and night skincare routine long before your wedding day,” says Zara.
“Regular facials really help to prep skin,” adds Rachelle, ensuring that your skin is balanced, clear and hydrated. “Especially for winter weddings. There’s nothing worse than dry, patchy skin,” she says.
This doesn’t have to involve a complicated, multi-product routine – it could be as simple as investing in skincare with more active ingredients or adding an extra step, such as a chemical exfoliator. ‘Light exfoliation is key to a flake-free and even skin tone,’ says Alicia. ‘We recommend our Naturally Radiant AHA Skin Tonic to lighten discolouration, clear pores and combat flakiness.
On the day, prep your skin with a hydrating mask (try the A-list-approved 111Skin sheet mask), “this will help your foundation to glow,” explains Rachelle, Then follow with a moisturiser-primer hybrid to create a flawless canvas. Finally, Zara recommends Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base. “The right base for your skin type is very important to ensure longevity throughout the day,” advises Zara.
‘On the big day, prep and hydrate your skin for a silky smooth base, ready for flawless make-up application.’
Want to splash out for the special day? ‘If your budget allows, HydraFacials are an amazing way of illuminating and improving overall skin texture,’ says leading professional bridal make-up artist Amy Rose Macdonald.
If (God forbid) you find a spot brewing on your face in the lead up to your big day, leave it alone. “Don’t pick it,” warns Rachelle. “A wet spot is harder to cover than a dry one,” so step away.
2. How Much Should I Practice?
It’s certainly worth checking out bridal beauty tutorials on social and YouTube but don’t feel you have to master a whole new range of techniques to create your wedding make-up look. This is particularly true of any high-impact elements that will be immediately noticeable if you don’t nail them.
Avoid any stressful stuff-ups by practising your look plenty of times beforehand. “The best time to practice techniques is just before you take your make-up off in the evening as you have no pressure to make it look perfect,” says Zara.
If a bride-to-be does not know how to apply lashes, I strongly recommend not using them at all,’ says leading beauty professional Mahina Makeup. ‘If done incorrectly, it can ruin the quality of the make-up.’
You could always head to a counter or book yourself a virtual appointment with your favourite brand to help you to give you extra confidence. Many are now offering online consultations. “Let the make-up artist teach you on one side of your face, and have a go yourself on the other so that the make-up artist can advise you on any techniques you’re unsure of,” says Zara.
Amy Rose recommends trialling your chosen make-up look before the big day, so you know it works for you. ‘Get dressed up and go out in the look you have created and see how comfortable you feel,’ she says.
‘Check how it wears throughout the day and ask a friend or family member to take some candid photos of you (not just selfies at the best angles) as you want to see how it looks from different directions just as your guests and photographer will.’
3. What Should My Make-up Schedule Look Like On the Day?
Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, so make sure you have everything in place to make even stressful tasks fun!
‘Getting ready can sometimes be a little hectic,’ says Amy Rose. ‘Be sure to create a calming little station solely for you. Then, lay out all of your products, make sure your brushes are clean and dry the night before, sip some bubbly and put on your favourite tunes!’
As you’re planning out your schedule, including plenty of time for your DIY make-up. ‘When it comes to wedding make-up, time and patience are key,’ says Mahina. ‘I would advise allowing two hours so that if any mistakes are made, they can be corrected.’
There’s some controversy over whether to do wedding hair or make-up first – but to be honest, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you can, we say get your hair sorted first, so there’s no chance of heated styling tools making your make-up smudge.
4. How Much Make-up Should I Be Applying?
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to bridal make-up looks as long as you feel comfortable. ‘Your wedding day is the time to enhance your natural beauty and feel like the most beautiful, confident version of yourself, says Amy Rose.
If you’re happy with your usual make-up look, you don’t have to opt for something wildly different at your wedding. ‘You feel more you when you wear your everyday make-up,’ says Hollie Ellis, Bobbi Brown Pro Artist.
One of the main things to consider when it comes to your bridal make-up is that you’ll be spending the entire day getting photographed. So Amy Rose always advises brides to ‘add a little more blush, bronzer or colour to the lips than usual to avoid you looking washed out in photos, especially if you are wearing a white or ivory dress.’
‘I would recommend maybe just going a little more defined on the eyes, cheeks and lips to really make the make-up pop in photos and cover any redness on the skin for a photo-finish look,’ says Hollie.
5. How Can I Make Sure My Make-up Lasts All Day?
When it comes to bridal make-up, long-wearing formulations are the gold standard. After all, weddings can be long, and the last thing you want is migrating mascara or sliding eyeshadow, which is true even if you’re a make-up minimalist.
This means a beauty shopping trip is to put together a kit that’ll go the distance.
That being said, if you are keen to use some of your current make-up bag favourites on the day, introduce a primer to keep them in place. ‘Applying a thin layer of primer after your moisturiser will help to create a smooth, even base for your foundation to sit on,’ says Amy Rose.
Depending on your skin type and how you want your make-up to look, there are different primers you should go for. For example, if you have oilier skin, she recommends NARS Pore & Shine Control Primer for helping to control excess shine.
Want a gorgeous glow? ‘Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer will create a glowing, radiant base for make-up.’
While primer will help keep your wedding make-up in place, setting spray offers extra protection for your look. Mahina swears by Morphe Continuous Setting Mist and Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Mist.
6. Which Foundation Is Best for Me?
When selecting a foundation, it’s important to work with your skin type instead of against it.
Unless you already have your ideal base, we suggest investing in the best foundation your budget allows, specifically tailored to your skin type, whether oily, dry or combination.
If you have oily skin – Avoid foundations boasting a dewy finish.
If you have dry skin – Avoid an overly matte formula. A silky matte finish will hold up all day and photograph beautifully.
Try to use a foundation without an SPF as any camera flashes will reflect off the SPF creating a chalky look in photos.
If you plan to spray tanning for your big day, go a few days ahead of time and get your foundation matched a day later.
‘For oily skin, you are best to use an oil-free liquid foundation or mineral foundation. If your skin is naturally quite dry, try to stay away from powder products as they can accentuate dry skin and texture,’ recommends Amy Rose.
Revolution Conceal & Hydrate Foundation is also a great option, plus it comes in a whopping 50 shades!
7. How Can I Avoid Flashback?
Stay away from face powders with silica if your wedding photographer will be taking pictures of you in the evening – these products can cause an eerie white ‘flashback’ in photos taken with a flash.
And while you should *definitely* be wearing SPF every single day, the only exception is your wedding day. “Foundation that contains SPF will reflect the light off the camera, so it may appear that your skin is a lighter shade in photos,” explains Rachelle.
What’s more, “putting a high SPF factor under make-up can oxidise foundation, so will change the colour of your foundation as the day goes on,” she adds. “Wearing a foundation without an SPF or no more than SPF 15 will help to prevent this”, agrees Zara. And “make sure your moisturiser [or anything else you put on your skin] doesn’t have too much SPF too,” she adds.
Another pitfall? “Glossy lips on a windy day are a bad combo,” warns Rachelle. First, it’ll get in your hair and on the groom, “then he’ll be wearing the gloss in your photos,” says Rachelle. “Plus, it wears off quickly.”
8. Should I Be Wearing Blusher and Bronzer?
You get the most natural finish with a cream and can always layer with a powder for deeper pigment and the longest wear, but the right blusher also depends on your skin type.
Even if you don’t normally wear blusher, think about adding some to your bridal look. Forget the whole ‘blushing bride’ cliché – the reason is that a delicate wash of colour on your cheeks looks good in photos! You could also look at adding warmth through the bronzer – but take some time for practice.
If you have dry skin – You definitely want a cream.
If you have oily skin – Opt for powder.
‘Contouring or bronzing the skin is one of the many techniques brides try to do, and without practice, it can be placed in the wrong areas of the face,’ says Hollie.
‘At Bobbi Brown, we love to warm and bronze the face but in a more sun-kissed approach, which gives the skin that healthy glow with still a little structure.
‘It’s very simple; you place the bronzer where you naturally catch the sun, which is normally around the top of the forehead, across the cheeks and a little on the nose. Then, use a super fluffy brush so that the product isn’t too strong on those areas, but more of a flush of colour.’
Blusher should always be placed on the high apple of the cheek (the fullest part when you smile), never too close to the nose and never past the eyebrow.
9. How Do I Pick the Right Lipstick?
Lipsticks are the finishing touch to a beautiful face of make-up, and you want to make sure you’re making the right decision. It’s really trial and error until you find ‘the one,’ so pucker up and get testing!
Nude, rose, and pink-toned lips look great on brides. A long-wear lip liner will keep everything in place during the big kiss.
‘There are so many factors to consider – natural lip colour, complexion and lip shape. I personally love a natural lip on a bride. It’s low maintenance, easy to apply and flattering for all,’ says Amy Rose.
‘Teaming your lipstick with a matching lip liner is a great little tip to improve its longevity. Using your lip liner colour over your entire lip before applying lipstick.
10. Should I Wear False Lashes?
False lashes are great for brides! We prefer falsies with a more natural look that help define the lash line but still allow you to look like yourself. Use a gel eyeliner and tubular mascara so that your eye make-up is totally tear-proof.
Applying false lashes can seem a little daunting, but if you want to elevate your eye make-up to the next level, they can create a beautiful fluttery look.
Try opting for individual or corner lashes – ‘not only are they easier to apply and less maintenance on the day, but they also give a far more natural result,’ Amy Rose advises.
‘Just adding a couple of strategically placed individual lashes on the outer corners of your eyes can make a huge difference!’
And, if you plan on wearing fake lashes for an extra flutter, try them on beforehand to check they’re not too much. “If they’re too heavy, they can close and droop eyes,” says Rachelle.
11. What Tools Should I Be Using?
If your current make-up brushes are well-used, it’s worth adding some new versions to your kit; the right make-up brush can make all the difference when it comes to application. On the other hand, if you need to replace a couple of individual brushes, Bobbi Brown is a great option, particularly for the eyes.
However, for a full make-up brush overhaul, you can get some excellent sets. Zoeva’s Luxe Set has a perfect brush for every part of the face and technique you can imagine. Brides on a budget should check out Real Techniques – their Everyday Eye Essentials kit has professional-grade brushes.
But it’s not just about the brushes. ‘For the make-up to last all day, I would advise using a Laura Mercier make-up puff – it will ensure a smooth and crease-free base throughout your big day,’ says Mahina. And if you don’t already use one, consider an eyelash curler to open up your eyes.
12. What Common Mistakes Should I Avoid?
As your wedding day is one of the most photographed days of your life, you’ll want to avoid any common make-up mishaps or beauty regrets which is why Amy Rose recommends not trying to follow trends.
‘One of the key things for a bride is to stay true to yourself; you don’t want to necessarily look back in a few years and have your wedding photos scream the make-up trends of 2021’.
She also advises always keeping longevity in the forefront of your mind when deciding on what make-up look to go for. ‘It’s good to remember this is a day full of kisses and happy tears, so if you’re not the sort of bride that is going to stop and think about re-touching your make-up, then a darker eye or lip may not be right for you.’
Now you’ve got the technique nailed, look no further than this round-up of the prettiest wedding make-up ideas for every kind of bride.
13. Should I Have an Evening Make-up Look?
Not to pile any more pressure on you, but it might be nice to switch up your make-up between day and night. We don’t mean going for a full transformation, but a change or two to give you a different look.
Adding a lip colour is one of the easiest glow-up ideas – check out Mahina’s high-shine glosses for a glamorous addition.
14. What Products Should I Keep on Hand All Day?
Whether you’re changing your look or keeping it the same, have a touch-up kit on hand throughout the day.
Amy Rose recommends it includes ‘blotting sheets so you can remove shine without building up the product on your face, you can then follow with a light application of powder and your chosen lipstick to keep your pout on point’.
15. Timeless, fool-proof shades
Want to cover your face in glitter before heading down the aisle? You do you. Feeling a bright fuchsia lip? We’re here for it.
There’s nothing we like more than fierce bridal looks, but if you want to keep it a bit more classic and timeless, Zara recommends bronze, champagne, rose gold and soft grey tones. “All are perfect timeless shades that complement many skin tones,” she says.
And, if you’re worried about looking washed out (wearing white can do this), Rachelle advises sticking to warm colours, which means antique golds, pretty peaches, coppers and burgundies.
16. Make sure your mascara is waterproof!
Even if you don’t think you’re going to cry, it’s best to play it safe with waterproof. However, if you have a favourite non-waterproof mascara you can bear to part with, Zara has a trick you can use:
“What we love doing at Bobbi Brown is using our best-selling mascara, Smokey Eye Mascara, to create perfect lashes and then apply a generous coating of our No Smudge Mascara as a ‘rain coat’ to stop mascara smudging.”
17. Take care with your eyeliner
Eyeliner can be the Achilles heel of wedding day make-up, especially if you’re dealing with a nervous, shaky hand. Zara says to keep it classy and safe by smudging. “I love doing a classic thin wedge liner on my brides and softly smudging the liner out with a similarly toned eyeshadow to create a soft, smokey liner.”
To enhance eyes, Rachelle swears by Estee Lauder’s Double Wear eyeliner in 02 Brown. “It’s warmer than black but still very dark brown,” she says, “and it won’t budge!” Ideal for when things get emotional.
18. Nail the bridal ‘glow’
If you’re really after that ‘lit from within’ glow, start your look with an illuminating primer. “This will give you a subtle glow that makes the skin look healthy, awake and hydrated”, says Zara, who recommends Bobbi Brown’s Illuminating Moisture Balm.
When applying blusher, “smile your biggest smile and sweep the blusher on the apples of the cheek, blending the excess towards the ears,” she adds.
And for an extra healthy boost, “add a pop of highlighter on all the high points of your face; cheekbone, tip and bridge of the nose and cupid’s bow.” Just be careful if it’s hot.
“Too much highlighter on warmer days can look sweaty,” says Rachelle. “When it’s hot, you’ll gain a glow anyway, so if you’re naturally quite oily, chill on the highlighter.”