What It’s Like to Do Your Own Makeup for Your Wedding

Updated 10/05/17

There are many reasons someone might do their own makeup for their wedding. For some, it could be a preference for looking and feeling truly like yourself on your big day by applying your makeup the same way you always have. For others, it might be a cost-saving issue or based on location and logistics. Whatever the reason, brides who make the choice to do their own makeup are often happy they did. 

When we were interviewing people for our recent story on picking a makeup artist for your wedding, we encountered a few women who told us they had done their own. Naturally, we wanted to hear more about what that process was like for them, so we picked their brain and are bringing you their stories. Keep scrolling to see what they said!

do your own makeup for a wedding

Tammy Preston, 32, blogger behind A Loyal Love

Why did you decide to do your own makeup for your wedding? 

Preston: Originally, I planned on hiring someone to come do my makeup, but after my consultation with the artist, I wasn't in love with what she did. I didn't look like myself, and I didn't like that I wouldn't have any touch-up makeup to use during the wedding. I looked into other makeup artist but most charge a fee just for the consultation. The challenging part for me was that my wedding was in Florida (I live in Washington, D.C.), so scheduling more consultations wasn't simple. My sister-in-law told me about a friend of hers that worked with someone at a MAC counter to create a look, did her makeup herself, and was really happy with the results.

I was due to buy more makeup anyways and figured it wouldn't hurt to stop by MAC to see what they could do.

What was the process like? Were you nervous to be responsible for what you'd see that day, and in pictures? 

Preston: I told the make-up artist at MAC about my previous consultation experience, and we both agreed that I wanted to look like myself but just a more glamorous version. I felt like we "clicked" instantly. She understood that I needed the makeup to last and look good not only in person but in pictures. She talked me through everything, and wrote down EVERYTHING—a diagram with step by step instructions, complete with product names, and which brush to use when. She showed me where to add highlighter to make my pictures most flattering.

I also asked a lot of questions. When she finished, we took pictures with my phone so I knew what I would look like on camera. I loved it and ended up buying every product that we used that day. 

What was it like on the day-of? Was it special to apply it yourself or were you stressed?

Preston: There were moments of stress—especially applying the fake eye lashes myself, but I had my bridesmaids there to reassure and assist me. When I look back at my pictures now, I'm really happy that I decided to do my makeup myself. There are a lot pieces of my wedding that my husband and I "DIY'd"—invitations, programs, table details, we wrote our own vows, I designed my own dress and had it made in Vietnam—all things that made the day more unique to us, and special. A close friend officiated our wedding, my cousin shot our wedding video, and my mom did my hair.

Doing my own makeup too just made sense.

Is there anything you would do differently? What would you tell other people considering doing the same?

Taking pictures of my made-up face with my phone really helped. If it looks good on your camera phone, you should look even better in your a professional images. 

Hitha Palepu, 30, founder of Hitha on the Go

Why did you decide to do your own makeup for your wedding? 

Palepu: The moment I knew the wedding would be in India, I made the decision to do my own makeup. I had this fear of looking at my pictures and not recognizing myself at all. Planning a wedding three continents away was tough enough, and taking the time for makeup trials during my short trips to Hyderabad were out of the question.

What was the process like? Were you nervous to be responsible for what you'd see that day, and in pictures? 

Palepu: A beauty expert, I am not. But I know what works for me and exactly how I wanted to look during my wedding celebrations. The first thing I did was go to Sephora to find the basics (face, eyeliner, mascara). With the help of a makeup artist, I found products with the ideal coverage, wear, and ease of application (again, beauty novice). Then came finding the outfits. The wedding would take place over three days, with five events and seven looks total. Once the looks were finalized, I went back to Sephora and picked specific products to accompany each look.

We found everything we needed in a single eyeshadow palette and two lip colors. Sephora, you saved me. Thank you.

What was it like on the day-of? Was it special to apply it yourself or were you stressed?

Palepu: The great thing about an Indian wedding is that it does take three days, with smaller ceremonies leading up to the main event. I also had two family weddings to attend before my own, so I got in a lot of practice re-creating my wedding looks. By the time the actual wedding day arrived, putting on my makeup felt totally normal. It was the least stressful part of the day!

Is there anything you would do differently? What would you tell other people considering doing the same?

Palepu: I would have learned to put on false lashes, learned how to contour, and embraced a bolder lip color. But that’s what big anniversary parties are for, right?

Would you ever do your own makeup for your wedding? Tell us what you think below! And click here to shop the best primers for picture-perfect wedding makeup!

 

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