Getting ready for your wedding is all about pampering yourself and looking your best—hair, makeup, a stunning gown and beautiful jewelry. All this pampering adds up, however, and more and more women are making the decision to do their own makeup on their wedding day.
Your wedding is truly a special occasion, and doing your own wedding makeup shouldn’t add any unnecessary stress, but if you’re not a makeup pro then you’ve probably got some hesitations.
As a makeup artist who has done makeup for more than a few weddings, I’ve had to learn what’s different to doing makeup for any other occasion. Here’s what you need to do to make your DIY wedding makeup last on one of the most important days of your life.
Prepare Your Skin in Advance
Like with any other aspect of the big day, you need to start preparing well in advance of the wedding itself. You can achieve a beautiful look with a heavy face of makeup, but it won’t be comfortable or look perfect up close if your skin isn’t looking its best underneath.
Preparing your skin with an intensive skincare regime in the months leading up to the wedding will mean you need to wear less makeup on the day. You want to banish any spots, dryness, rough texture or pigmentation so you’ve got the perfect blank canvas to work with.
If you don’t bother with your skincare at the moment, you should start a routine at least six months before the wedding. It sounds like overkill, but you need to find products that you know work with your skin, and give them time to work.
Visit a trusted beauty counter and find a routine suited to your skin type. I could write general pre-wedding skincare advice here, but the reality is that everyone’s skin is different, and a consultant really needs to see your skin to advise on what will get it looking its best.
Do a Trial Before the Day
I say do one trial, but if you’re your own makeup artist, you can do two or three, until you get the look perfect. Don’t do it by halves, either — set aside the exact amount of time you know you’ll have on the day, and practice getting your look done from start to finish in that time.
If you don’t wear a lot of makeup regularly, it will take some time to get the techniques down, especially if you’re planning on wearing sharp eyeliner. Practice regularly, until you know you can complete the look without any stress.
Wear More Makeup than You Think You’ll Need
This sounds illogical, but on your wedding day you want to be looking beautiful from the back of the venue, and in photographs, too. Makeup has a mysterious ability to vanish in photographs, and even when you think you’ve put a full face on, in photos it can sometimes look like a minimal application.
If your wedding photographer is someone you know, see if you can coordinate a time for them to take test photos of your planned wedding makeup look. You might be surprised to see how the makeup shows up on camera. Doing a test before the big day avoids any disappointment.
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You want to use makeup to create contrast and draw attention to your best features—usually your eyes and lips. Define your eyes with black eyeliner, or brown if eyeliner is entirely new to you. This will make sure your eyes don’t disappear into your face.
Likewise, pick a lip color that’s a little deeper than your natural lip color and use a lip pencil to define the shape of your lips.
You’ve seen those photos of celebrities on the red carpet where their face looks ten shades lighter than the rest of their body, right? This is usually because of flash photography not playing nicely with sunscreen ingredients in their makeup.
Many foundations contain a low level of SPF, to protect your skin from sun damage in daily use. The ingredients used to give this sun protection, however, reflect all types of light. When a flash is used, they’ll be visible clear as day.
If your favorite daily foundation contains SPF, you’ll need to find an alternative to use on your wedding day.
Learn to Master False Eyelashes
This goes back to creating that contrast that I talked about before. False lashes make all the difference in taking a makeup look from ordinary to special, and they’ll make you feel feminine and flirty—if applied properly, that is.
Most of us don’t wear false eyelashes everyday, and applying them can be a real mystery if you’ve never done it before.
Practice, practice, practice in the time leading up to your wedding so you can apply them no problem on the big day. As a bonus, you’ll now be an expert in applying false lashes!
Prepare for Touch-ups
The reality is, no matter how long-wearing your makeup is, you’ll probably need to make touch-ups throughout the wedding, even if it’s just a quick lipstick reapplication after the ceremony (you have to make that kiss count, after all!)
Get a bridesmaid to be subtly prepared with your chosen lip color, a powder compact, and even a tube of lash glue on hand just in case. It’s better to be over-prepared than to be wishing you had something ready!
Doing your own makeup on your wedding day, and doing it without stress? Prepare. Prepare your skin and hone your skills. Keep touch-up items handy on the day, and you’ll be sure to look beautiful without a hitch.