I love doing wedding make up. It’s really satisfying making someone look their best on what is likely to be the most photographed day of their life.
But recently I’ve noticed a trend of more and more of you wanting to do your own bridal make up.
Whether it’s to save some pennies for the honeymoon or because you’re after a DIY aesthetic for your wedding, I know how daunting a task it can be.
And whether you use a professional like me, or go it alone, I want you to look your best.
So I’ve put together these proven tips from years of experience as a professional makeup artist to help you look (and photograph) like a star.
1) PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
If you want to do your own makeup, you should start planning around three months in advance.
This gives you time to do all the things I cover below, including getting your skin in the best condition, deciding on products, practicing and getting a makeup consultation (if you want it).
But first – it’s time for the big question: “How do I want to look on my BIG day?”
For most brides I encounter, the answer is “like myself, but a little more glamourous”. This means creating a natural look.
If you have plans to take your look to the next level with more advanced techniques like contouring, but don’t have much experience, this is also the perfect time to start practicing.
2) Back to Basics
To look your best on your wedding day, your skin needs to look great too. Makeup can cover imperfections, but the better your skin looks the better your makeup will.
And perfect skin takes time. So around three months before your wedding is also the best time to start preparing your skin for the big day.
If you’ve been patchy with your skincare routine of late, especially moisturising, now is the time to start getting back into the habit.
If the wedding budget allows, start getting monthly facials. Three before the big day will go a long way to giving you naturally glowing skin as you walk down the aisle.
3) Trial the look
This is the single most important piece of advice I can give. Make sure you do at least one trial run, but ideally several, before your wedding.
And remember, your look needs to work in pictures and in person. So bring along a friend and a camera to take pictures.
You can even use your phone – if you look great on its camera, you know you’ll look amazing with a professional’s camera.
Ideally you should try to take pictures under different types of lighting – natural, fluorescent, anything that you might encounter on your wedding day.
Trial runs can also give you a chance to see how long lasting the makeup will be. If you can, put it on in the morning and see how many times you have to touch it up throughout the day.
With all the emotion on your big day, you’ll likely need to retouch it even more.
And make sure you do a final trial run no more than a week before your wedding. That way you’ll be confident in your makeup skills on the big day.
Just because you’re going it alone on the big day doesn’t mean you can’t get some advice from a professional hair and makeup artist beforehand.
If you’re thinking of trying something new or want a little extra confidence for the big day, a consultation can be perfect.
A bridal makeup artist will listen to what you want, show you the perfect products for your skin and walk you through how to apply them.
If you do decide you want some expert help, make sure you bring some images of make-up that you like along too.
There’s lots of advice online about the best wedding makeup products, but the truth is, it’s going to vary from person to person.
And without seeing the individual and their skin tone, and hearing what look they’re going for, it’s impossible for any makeup artist to give perfect advice on products.
That being said, there are some general guidelines to help you choose what makeup will work best for you.
Firstly, if you’ve already found products that work great with your skin tone and give you the perfect finish, you really don’t need to buy new products for your wedding.
It’s OK to stick with what you already know works.
If you are planning on experimenting, make sure you start early so you can be confident in your choices by your wedding day.
Anything you choose should be long lasting, as you don’t want to be touching up every few minutes.
And make sure you have a lot. Wedding makeup needs to go down your neck and onto your shoulders to create the most even and natural look. This also stops your face looking a different colour or texture from your body in pictures.
Waterproof mascara is an obvious must.
And use primer, even if you wouldn’t normally. It will help keep your foundation in place and make your make up longer lasting.
6) Camera-Friendly Tips
Normally makeup products with SPF are great as they protect your skin from sun damage. But on your wedding day, you’ll want to avoid them.
Or if you’re lucky enough to be having a sun-filled beach wedding and it’s an absolute must, don’t go above SPF15.
This is because the particles in these products that protect your skin from the sun also reflect the cameras flash and can leave you looking whitecast in pictures.
Anti-aging concealers and high-definition powders can also do the same, so they’re best avoided.
Some people think avoiding moisturising on their wedding day will stop their skin from looking shiny in photos. Not only is this wrong – but dehydrated skin is likely to absorb the products on your face, making lines and wrinkles more obvious as powder settles into them.
So make sure you moisturise. If you’re worried about shine in photos, an oil free moisturiser is the better choice.
7) Build an Oasis
On your wedding day, make sure you have a calm place to apply your wedding make up and leave plenty of time. The last thing you want is to be stressed or rushed – that’s a recipe for disaster.
From your trial runs you should know how long it takes you to do your wedding makeup. Now add half an hour. It always takes longer on the big day.
And it’s better to give yourself too much time than too little.
8) Be prepared
If you want to be camera ready from the morning until late into the night on your big day, it doesn’t matter how long-lasting your products claim to be – at some point you’ll have to do a quick touch up.
Make sure there’s a clutch nearby with all your products ready to go.
Deciding to do your own wedding make up is a big undertaking. But if you follow these tips you’ll be fine. So take a deep breath. Relax.
And get ready for your big day! IT’S GOING TO BE AMAZING!
If you want a professional makeup artist in the Bristol area for your wedding, you can contact me here.