If you’ve decided to forego a makeup artist for your upcoming wedding, you are not alone. More future brides than ever are taking matters into their own hands and doing their own bridal makeup. But, it can seem difficult, as you might not know where to begin. It’s not the same as everyday makeup, after all!
Things to consider when doing your own bridal makeup are:
- Use long lasting waterproof makeup.
- Practice the look multiple times before day-of.
- Stay away from white powder and SPF products.
- Prime and blend more than you think.
- Have extra makeup ready for touchups at the wedding and reception.
But with the right tools and techniques, you are fully capable of doing your own bridal makeup. Here are some things to consider if you have chosen to take this route.
(Also, make sure to check out this amazing article on bridal hair and makeup!)
Can I Do My Own Bridal Makeup?
As previously mentioned, you are fully capable of doing your own bridal makeup, as long as you know what you’re doing. (Make sure you know the steps of bridal makeup!)
But bridal makeup isn’t necessarily like an everyday look you might wear to a meeting or an errand run. It’s going to be a special occasion for everyone involved, so why not take some extra steps while doing your own bridal makeup?
Not everyone can be a professional at makeup artistry, but if you follow these tips, you are sure to be looking your best for your upcoming big day:
5 Tips to Consider When Doing Your Own Bridal Makeup
1. Invest in Long Lasting and Waterproof Makeup!
You’re most likely going to be wearing the same makeup all day long, from the ceremony to the reception. As a result, long lasting makeup is the key to looking flawless for your big day.
The most important products to get long lasting/waterproof versions of (along with some recommendations) are as follows:
- Foundation, such as Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup-2N1 or Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation.
- Concealer, such as NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP HD Photogenic Concealer Wand or Dermablend Quick-Fix Full Coverage Concealer
- Eyeliner, such as Wet n Wild Mega Last Breakup-Proof Retractable Eyeliner or stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
- Mascara, such as The Best Little Mascara, or Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Remember, though, that you don’t need expensive, upper market products for your wedding day makeup. Whether your cosmetics are from Sephora or CVS, as long as the products you use are long lasting and waterproof, you will be all set!
2. Practice the Look You Are Going For!
The worst mistake you can make with your bridal makeup is to not practice the look you’re going for ahead of time. Just like rehearsing a wedding to make sure it goes without a hitch, practicing your bridal makeup will help you make it perfect.
When you practice your bridal makeup, be sure to:
- Use lighting similar to the wedding venue. Lighting can vary heavily from place to place, especially if your wedding is outside. Try and find out what type of lighting is used in the bridal suite/prep room, and make your practice space have a similar kind.
- Apply your makeup the same way every time you practice. You’re not going to get the same results if you put your concealer on before your foundation one day, then vice-versa the next. Consistency will help you find any problems in your bridal makeup routine.
- Keep track of the products you use. No two makeup products are exactly alike. Even replacing one product with a cheaper dupe can give you much different results. Remember, consistency is key!
- Take pictures of the finished look. You should keep track of every practice session you do in order to know what your intended wedding-day makeup should look like. A picture’s worth a thousand words, after all!
You should start practicing your wedding day makeup look at least two weeks prior to the ceremony in order to perfect it, just in case you have any problems with the products you use or your makeup techniques.
3. Use Any White Powder and/or Sunscreen/SPF Products Sparingly!
One of the most important parts of any wedding ceremony is the pictures that will be taken of you and your party. However, photography can make a face with sunscreen and/or white powder look sickly or even ghostly! Here are some ways to avoid this:
- Use a finishing powder that matches your skin tone! These are easy to find, such as Colourpop No Filter Sheer Matte Pressed Powder and Milk Makeup Blur + Set Matte Loose Setting Powder.
- If you must use sunscreen, go no higher than 15 SPF! The zinc oxide contents in sunscreen can contribute to your face looking ghastly in photos. Sun Bum Original SPF 15 Sunscreen Lotion and Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 are good quality ones.
- Be mindful of SPF content in your makeup! Some foundations, concealers, and setting sprays will have SPF content in them. Always check the description of any products before you buy them to make sure you don’t accidentally buy them.
- If you are not comfortable using tinted powder, use setting spray! Setting spray is almost always clear and will help your makeup stay on for hours on end. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray and Milani Make It Last 3-in-1 Setting Spray – Prime + Correct + Set are two good-quality ones.
4. Make Primer and Blender Sponges Your Best Friends!
Much like how photography emphasizes sunscreen and white powder, pictures can expose a lack of priming or blending of your bridal makeup. Primer can minimize the appearance of pores and blemishes on your face, and blending will make imperfections less obvious!
When choosing a primer or a blender:
- Consider your main skin goal, as different primers have different specialties. Want to reduce redness on your skin? Covergirl TruBlend Base Business Skin Primer in Color Neutralizing is for you! Want to minimize your pores? NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Pore Filler Primer is where it’s at.
- Know your skin type, as different primers can be beneficial for you. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is considered hydrating and better for dry skin, while Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer is seen as better for oily skin.
- Learn what type of blender works best for you. The traditional egg shaped sponges, such as Aesthetica Cosmetics Beauty Sponge Blender, work their best while applying your foundation, for example.
5. Bring Some Products With You During the Wedding For Any Touch Ups!
Sadly, despite your best efforts to preserve your bridal makeup all day and night, something will inevitably smudge, and you most likely won’t be able to fix it during the ceremony. This doesn’t mean your makeup can’t look flawless during the reception, though.
Regardless of what happens, you should have a small bag filled with your bridal cosmetic essentials just in case you need a touch up, including (but not limited to):
- Your lipstick. Lipstick is one of the, if not the most, volatile bridal makeup products. It can smudge or fade away without you even noticing, so be sure to bring your lipstick with you during the reception.
- Your eyeliner. Even waterproof eyeliner can smudge a little after wearing it for hours, but luckily, it’s easy to fix! You may want to bring your mascara with you as well if you’re worried that reapplying your eyeliner will mess your eyelashes up.
- Your concealer. It probably won’t happen, but a blemish can appear out of nowhere during your big day, and nobody wants that to happen! Be sure to have concealer in order to cover up any sudden blemishes on your face.
- Blotting papers, especially if your wedding is outside. Sweat can seep through even the best applied makeup, but this can be remediated by having blotting papers on hand, such as Clean & Clear Blotting Paper Oil-absorbing Sheets.
- Q tips. They might be under your bathroom sink for years on end, but Q tips can do wonders with fixing your makeup. From wiping away smudges to correcting smeared lipstick, have a couple of them on hand during the reception. Just be sure to dip any in cold water first to prevent skin irritation.
- Your setting powder or spray. To prevent any of your makeup corrections from smearing or smudging immediately, be sure to have your setting powder and/or spray on hand to set any fixes you make. You don’t have to bring both; one or the other will do!
Should I Let My Friends Do My Makeup?
Whether or not you should let a friend do your bridal makeup is a tricky question. It’s always good to have something done by someone you trust, but just like considering a friend as a potential roommate, there are things to consider before asking them to do your makeup.
Before you ask (or say “yes” to) a friend to do your wedding makeup, ask yourself these questions:
- Is my friend experienced enough with makeup to handle the job? If your friend happens to be a professional makeup artist and/or has done your makeup before, chances are the answer is yes. However, if their only makeup experience is with themself, you should reconsider letting them do your bridal makeup.
- Am I capable of being totally honest with my friend? You should be able to let your friend know what you truly think of their makeup job, whether it be good or bad. If you can’t bring yourself to criticize your friend’s choices for your makeup, don’t let them do your bridal look.
- Will my friend take my bridal makeup seriously? Since it’s your big day, your friend should be willing to go to hell and back to make sure you look perfect, from waking up early to do your makeup, to looking up bridal makeup to make sure they know what they’re doing, to trying the bridal look on you multiple times.
- Does my friend work well under stress? Unlike casually doing your friend’s makeup at home, doing wedding makeup is time sensitive and intense. If your friend doesn’t work well under pressure, do not let them do your wedding makeup.
And there you have it, 5 tips to consider when doing your own bridal makeup, with some helpful pointers along the way. Whether your wedding’s in two months or two weeks, I hope that you’re more confident in doing your own bridal makeup.
The best advice that can be given for doing your own bridal makeup, though, is that no matter what you look you decide to do, make sure it’s something that expresses who you are. There’s no need to follow trends for your big day!
Best of luck!
(If you loved doing your own bridal makeup and are thinking about doing it as a career, check out these awesome bridal makeup courses!)