So, you’ve made the big commitment. No, not the one to your betrothed or whatever, but to doing your own makeup for the big day. Bold move, my friend. Maybe you’re doing it because you’re having a destination wedding; maybe you just don’t have the budget to hire a pro. Whatever the reason, you’re taking your face into your own hands for your wedding, and you want to make sure you look stunning. Well, so do we. To help make sure your DIY wedding makeup goes to plan, we consulted two experts: celebrity makeup artist Brittany Spyksma and bridal makeup artist Vanessa Ungaro. Keep scrolling for their expert advice on how to prepare for doing your own bridal makeup!
This is a classic DIY bridal makeup mistake. “Sometimes women get a little too excited when doing their makeup for the big day, like doing a dramatic cat eye when they usually wear a thin liner or no eye makeup at all,” says Ungaro. It’s also important not to go too trendy with your makeup look. (Translation: Intense strobing and a brown matte lip might not look so “timeless” in 10 years.)
To avoid any major mishaps, think of it this way: “You want to look like the best version of you on your wedding day,” says Spyksma. “If you bust out a brand-new look on the big day, you’ll look back at the photos and wonder who that girl with all the contour is standing next to your husband.
Instead, try making minor changes to your signature look, like using Nars’s All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48) instead of tinted moisturizer, or applying a pair of natural-looking false lashes like Kiss’s Blooming Lash ($7).
“Always do a run-through of your wedding day makeup with all the products you plan to use before the day of,” says Spyksma. “Doing your own wedding makeup should feel fun and easy, so the best thing to do is practice at least once."
Ungaro recommends trying out the look at least a few days or a week in advance. “Then you’ll know how the products will wear on your skin for a few hours and you’ll know what you’ll need for touch-ups,” Spyksma adds. Worse comes to worst, if you hate how the look turns out, you still have time to scrap it and try something else.
“Another mistake is my natural girls not wanting to wear enough makeup,” says Spyksma. “The fresh-faced look is truly one of my favorites, but there is a way to do natural glam that looks great on camera and still feels comfortable.” Your best bet is to bump up the blush a little so you don’t get washed out in photos, and go a little heavier with eyeliner and mascara.
Even if you fancy yourself a pro at doing your own makeup, it can’t hurt to take a lesson with a makeup artist to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. “I have clients going on destination weddings that I do lessons with,” says Ungaro. “This has helped perfect their looks when doing their makeup themselves.”
You could even take a class at your local Sephora. Read about our associate editor Lindsey’s experience taking the retailer’s class on “no-makeup” makeup.
No matter how well you apply your makeup, you’re going to want to touch it up a bit as the night goes on. Still, there’s no need to lug a giant makeup case full of powder and palettes. “Just bring your lip color to touch up with—between champagne toasts and first kisses, that color will fade pretty quickly, and you will want it back,” says Spyksma. Also, if you tend to get shiny, bring blotting papers like Tatcha’s Aburatorigami Japanese Beauty Papers ($12). “Usually, your maid of honor or a good friend won’t mind hanging on to a couple products for you,” says Spyksma.
Your makeup needs to last for a long time on your wedding day. So even if you don’t tend to obsessively prime and set your makeup, don’t forget to do so on this day. Find a face primer, eye shadow primer, and setting spray you love. We recommend Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Enigma ($20), Lancôme’s La Base Pro Hydra Glow ($40), and Mac’s Prep and Prime Fix+ ($22). “It is such a long day, and this will really help your makeup last,” says Spyksma.
“Work with an esthetician prior to the big day,” Ungaro advises. “You’ll want the perfect canvas for your makeup, and getting facials prior to the big day will help your skin glow.” Adopting an effective at-home skincare routine is also essential. “You should focus on starting your regimen three months prior,” says Ungaro. For the whole picture, study your complete wedding beauty timeline.
Need some bridal makeup inspiration? Check out our seven favorite celeb-inspired wedding looks.