My tips for doing your own wedding makeup

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


I get asked by friends and friends of friends all the time about what products they should use to do their own wedding makeup.  I am currently planning my own wedding and am now very aware of how the budget can creep up and before you know it you are spending way over what you should be!  Its so difficult to reign it in, because of course, you want the day to be perfect but there are ways you can reduce the costs if you play to your skills and put in a bit of elbow grease.  You can do the flower arranging your self, pick wild flowers, make the bunting and decorations and look in the ASOS sale for bridesmaids dresses etc.  I'm lucky that hair and makeup is one thing I don't need to worry about and if you are confident with doing your hair and makeup on a daily basis, there is no reason that with a few tips and suggestions and a bit of practise, you can't do your own wedding makeup too!

First of all, don't panic, keep it simple and remember your partner and everyone else will expect you to look like you!  Forget the crazy contouring and massive false lashes, its all about enhancing what you have and making it camera friendly and long lasting.  The best place to start is perfecting your skincare routine a few months before or as soon as you can really!  Addressing any problems, finding the right products to either combat spots, sooth sensitive skin or buff away those dry patches for good and then being as religious as you can with your skincare routine will ensure you have the best canvas to work with on the day, and for the rest of your life for that matter!  Generally I would say a good but gentle cleanser, a good scrub, eye cream and moisturiser will do you fine and is the bare minimum to create a flawless canvas but a mask targeting your specific concerns two or three times a week will also be a good investment as well as a serum and over night treatment but lets not get too compliated.  I always point people in the direction of Caroline Hirons if they have any real skin concerns and want to know about what products are right for them, if you haven't read her blog before, get over there now, she is an actual fountain of knowledge.

So with your freshly scrubbed and perfectly hydrated face, you can start to think about what you will need to make your makeup last all day and stay looking perfect.  If you are oily or even just slightly shiny after a few hours, I highly recommend going for a primer like Benefit Porefessional or Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner, pop a good layer on and let it settle in for a minute or so.  Another place thats good to use a primer is the eyelids, it will make the eyeshadow more pigmented and help it last all day with out creasing and wearing off, I like to use the MAC paint pots but there are lots of good ones out there, either with colour or without.  Another product that is good for making makeup last is the Skindinavia setting sprays, or even one of the hardcore theatrical setting sprays like Kryolan Ultra setting spray.

If you have a particular 'thing' you wear on a daily basis like winged liner, strong brows or bright lips then don't be afraid to stick with it, just because its a wedding, doesn't mean you suddenly need to tame it down or go for a generic polished look.  Be yourself and stick with what you know, just work on perfecting it, making it last and making sure any colours don't clash with your dress or flowers.

Foundation is really important to get right, it won't, however, look as good, or stay put as well, without the previous steps, so don't be lazy and miss them out!  The biggest thing to look for is what the SPF content is if its a medium to full coverage with a high SPF its going to flash back and make your face look white when anyone uses a flash on their camera, which isn't desirable, especially if you went for a spray tan the day before.  Either go for one without SPF or if its a sheer coverage, you can sometimes get away with it, just take a picture of yourself on your phone with the flash on, making sure to include your neck or hand so you can compare and check if its flashing back or not.  It will depend on your skin type what foundation you use but in my opinion, Chanel and Estee Lauder are my favourite for long lasting, natural looking foundations that look great both in person and on camera.  If you can, go for the least coverage possible, concentrating more on getting a lovely glowing finish and perfect any red patches or blemishes with a good concealer.  A full face of caked makeup isn't necessary and although that can look good on camera, it doesn't in person.  You can still achieve a flawless looking base with cleverly placed concealer.

Contouring is necessary but with a light hand and naturally, temples up to the corners of the forehead, just under your cheek bones blended up, not down and then under your chin, along your jaw line and down the sides of the neck.  Remember to go over your ears slightly so they blend in and get your chest if needed but be careful of the dress!!  If you don't have sensitive skin, then a light spray of hair spray will make it less transferable, but maybe test that out before the big day incase your skin doesn't like it!

Brows are an important part of the face and most need a  bit of filling in here and there, if you don't usually bother with them, I recommend getting them threaded as this will perfect the shape as much as possible whilst tidying away any stray hairs and then you can locate any gaps that might need a bit of filling in, go lighter than you think you need, as colour always shows up darker on the brows, I have dark brown hair but always use light brown or even blonde brow products and they match up perfectly.  Just make sure you get them threaded a few days before the wedding incase of any redness!

If you don't usually wear much eye makeup, go for a bit of light socket shading in a colour that compliments your eye colour and line the top lash line with a brown or black liner, if you want it to be soft then use a dark eye shadow and blend it up, apply a few light layers of this for it to really last and define the eyes enough for the photos.  Its really important to line the tightline aswell, if you havent done this before, there are lots of tutorials on youtube.  I would always go for individual lashes, even for those completely scared of makeup, if you are careful to apply the right length, they look completely natural and add so much to the eyes.  You can build them up to look really dramatic but more tailored to your eye shape plus you cant feel them and the wont lift at the corners like a strip of lashes might so they are perfect for a wedding day.  If you already like to wear a certain eye look then stick with it and maybe work on perfecting it, making it extra special with the individual lashes and perfect blending.  Its all those subtle details which really make the difference!

Cheeks and lips should be in complimentary shades, so if you are going for a peachy nude or even a bright coral lips, stick with peachy blusher.  If you are wearing more of a pinky nude, bright pink or even red lip then go for pink toned blushers. Simple!

I have blabbed on for long enough and could keep going for a very boring amount of time but I wanted to put the pure basics down here for anyone who might need them, I hope it helps and feel free to email or tweet me with questions.

Happy wedding planning to all!  

Model: My sis
Hair and makeup: Me
Photography: Ben Adams at Bristol Art Collective

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