As a makeup artist I'm obviously not looking to do myself out of a job, but if your budget doesn't stretch to my services or if you are having a wedding abroad and don't want to risk using a makeup artist you haven't met or trialled with then you may well be doing your own makeup on the big day. Please don't panic about this I've put together a game plan and come up with my very best tips for doing your own wedding makeup.
Be Prepared and Plan
Don't leave your makeup until the last minute, I would suggest planning this about 3 months before your wedding day. This will give you plenty of time to get your skin in perfect condition, as this is the canvas for your makeup. You will also have time to come up with the look you wish to achieve, purchase all the products you are going to be using and have a few practice runs. You will want to see how long the makeup will last throughout the day - its a long day with pictures being snapped throughout, so the makeup you use will need to be different from a regular day.
When choosing your makeup I suggest that your shopping list should be as follows: a foundation primer, sheer foundation formula, translucent powder, eyeshadow, liner, waterproof mascara, blush, lipstick, and concealer.
Choose a concealer in a warm tone, just a little lighter than your foundation, but not too light. If you choose a concealer that is too light for you, your eye area will take on a grey hue! As with putting on any makeup, blending is your best friend here. You never want to see a distinct change in colour,
Choose a soft lip colour.
Unfortunately most lip colours will not last through all the talking, kissing, and toasting, but you will probably have little time to reapply. You want the whole look to work with a soft lip color, so that when it fades away, you won't appear completely different.
Unless your theme happens to be rainbow unicorn princess I would urge you to stick to a neutral colour scheme with hints of rose, peach, and bronze. I strongly believe that you should look like yourself on your wedding day. You are looking to enhance your natural beauty not change the way your look. I would suggest choosing a cream colours on the base of your eyelid, and use either a taupe, soft rose, or light bronze color in the crease. Darker skin tones are flattered by bronze, coral, or berry blushes, while fair skin should go for a soft pink, peach, or rose. Lip colour should follow suit with sheer berry, pink, or apricot.
It's All In The Blending
Wearing neutral shades that still show up in your wedding photos is absolutely possible, but it is essential to blend out all the harsh lines of your makeup. You may have the perfect blusher, but if placed in a hard streak on the side of your face, the camera will exaggerate that, so make sure that you use soft, plush brushes, sponges, and puffs to blend the colour in fully.
Practice the Eye Makeup Method
All the drama should be saved for your lash line and lashes - I really wouldn't recommend choosing editorial style dramatic makeup for your wedding day. Once your have chosen your shadow colours, start to practice lining your upper lash line, with either a waterproof pencil or gel (I personally love gel - but if you aren't used to lining your upper lash line I would suggest using the pencil as its easier to master and more forgiving), as close to the base of the lashes as possible. Don't be afraid to touch the lashes themselves. I would suggest drawing in short dashes rather than doing one quick, smooth line, then take a small brush with some dark shadow and smudge it on top of the pencil line, this will softens the line and increases the lasting potential. On the bottom lash line bare, blend on a taupe or light brown with a small brush. Then apply waterproof mascara generously. Determine whether or not you plan to work with false lashes, then practice as much as you can. I'm a fan of the small clusters as I think that they are easiest to manage when doing your own makeup. Dip each cluster in a small amount of Glue, wait a few seconds for it to get tacky, then lay it on top of your natural lash line. The best method is to start from the outside, then work your way toward the middle of your eye.
Make Sure Everything Is Waterproofed
Even if you are absolutely 100% convinced that you are not going to shed a tear, you will probably find that you well up a just a little bit, so waterproofing everything—particularly your eye area—is essential. Start with a little eye primer on your lids prior to blending the shadows, and make sure you are using waterproof or water resistant mascara and liner exclusively. You can set the line using a matte shadow in a corresponding colour over the top. The primer you used on your face will prevent your complexion from wearing away, but make sure not to go overboard with the face powder, as it's the main culprit for those white tear streaks that often show up after crying. Stay light handed when putting on your makeup, and touch up with blotting papers so you don't end up looking cakes.
Have A Well Stocked Clutch
Now that your application technique has been perfected and the morning of your big day is almost here. Your entire routine should take no more than 35 to 40 minutes, but don't rush, you are probably nervous enough as it is. I would suggest allowing an hour to do your makeup so that you can relax and hopefully enjoy doing it. After you've applied your makeup you should pack your clutch bag. Make sure that you are taking either blotting papers or translucent powder in, along with your lipstick, and potentially a small blush compact. Some people find that their blusher fades throughout the day. If you haven't got room for the blusher then I would suggest getting a travel brush, dip it in your colour and wrap it in a tissue or put in a small plastic bag. I would also recommend packing some extra tissues, just in case there are some tears so that you can blot them rather than wiping and smearing your gorgeous makeup.
Good luck with your makeup, feel free to ask any questions and do let me know how you got on.
Welcome to your guide to beautiful skin. I'm a cruelty free hair and makeup artist, skin expert, and advocate for gorgeous glowing skin !