10 Tips for Doing Your Own Bridal Makeup

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The bride is the focal point of any wedding ceremony, from her gown and hair to the bouquet she carries. As she walks down the aisle, all eyes are fixed on her. Though her gown may catch everyone’s attention first, there’s another crucial aspect to the bride’s look that helps complete her wedding day attire, her makeup! 
A bride’s makeup is essential to the final look and should be unique for everyone. Your makeup ties everything together, and on your special day, you deserve the perfect look that defines you on every level. Some may opt for a bold, dramatic face, while others prefer to keep it as natural and simple as possible. Whatever the case may be, achieving the right look for your special day is important. Traditionally, the bride would be getting made up hours before her big day by a professional makeup artist. However, with the pandemic, hiring someone to do your makeup may not be the option for everyone. 
This predicament has sparked a new trend of brides having to do their own makeup for their wedding, but don’t fret! You can still achieve the flawless bridal look of your dreams even without the help of a professional. If you’re a bride choosing to do your makeup—or even just considering the idea for now—here are some tips to help you prepare for your day and execute your dream look. 

Research Your Look

This is the first step every bride should do when wanting to do their own bridal makeup, regardless of expertise. Without a clear idea of what you want your wedding day makeup to look like, accomplishing it will be that much harder. Try searching on Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration and ideas, and follow bridal pages on social media. Even looking up bridal makeup artists’ pages is an excellent option to see different styles. Seeing various looks on brides in their gowns can also help decide which look would work best with the dress style you picked.

Practice Makes Perfect!

This is arguably the most important part of the process to achieve the look you want, and the earlier you start practicing, the better! Brook Lyons, a former cosmetologist of 10 years turned professional wedding photographer from Affinity Photo Studios, says that once your dress is picked out, begin practicing your look. Since most brides have their dresses picked out fairly early in the wedding process, this will ensure that you have enough time to practice the look multiple times before the big day.
This is a great way to see if the concept you chose (through research and/or personal preference) can be replicated on yourself, especially since some looks are better on specific facial shapes, hair, and eye colors. It’s also one of the best ways to decide what brands work best for your skin and decide if you need to switch out certain products.

Tutorials Are Your Lifeline

Whether you are an expert at applying makeup or new to self-application, tutorials will be vital in aiding with the execution. For new makeup appliers, watching tutorials will show the basic steps you’ll need to follow (from skin prep and primer to setting your makeup), the correct order to follow for each step, and offer helpful techniques for application.
Most beauty brands, like bareMinerals, MAC, and Fenty Beauty, to name a few, offer tutorial videos that show how to use their products. How-to videos on YouTube from skilled makeup artists can also help you get the basics down before applying it to your bridal look. Another option for tutorials is to schedule a virtual makeup lesson with a professional makeup artist; Christina Choi from Christina Choi Cosmetics is just one artist offering these services. In her 2-hour recorded lessons, Christina has one-on-one sessions with her clients, offering customized DIY wedding makeup looks and sharing her personal tips to help them have confidence in being their own makeup artist!

The Makeup Test

Testing your makeup before the big day is necessary for understanding how it will look (and last) throughout the ceremony and reception. Brook recommends dancing in your makeup and wearing it for long periods after practicing your look. In doing this, you’ll be able to test how quickly your makeup will begin to melt, smear, or runoff.

While you can use blotting papers and powders to slow down this process with your foundation, this is especially important to try for mascara, lip color, and eyeliner, which have more of an inclination to smudge as the festivities carry on. Getting waterproof or sweatproof products will help alleviate them from coming off.

Invest In A Face Powder

Setting your foundation is the surefire way to increase your makeup’s longevity, especially if you choose to wear a liquid foundation. Without a quality face powder, you can expect the liquid foundation to begin to run off as your wedding day carries on. It works to hold your foundation in place to keep it from rubbing or melting off through the day. It also helps with absorbing excess oils, so your makeup remains fresh for longer. Additionally, a good face powder helps reduce tackiness and excess shine that sometimes occurs after foundation application. Setting powders are beneficial for those with oily-prone skin!

Start With The Eyes

If you’re going to be wearing eye makeup, you will need to start with this area of your look first. Beginning with your eyes will allow you to take time to apply your eyeshadow without having it fall onto your foundation, which can be difficult to remove if you’re not a seasoned artist. It also allows you some extra leeway to make mistakes and easily clean them up without messing up your base. 

Less (In This Case) Is More

Unless you’re absolutely set on a more full-bodied makeup, I would lend towards a lighter, more natural bridal look. This will make the application much easier, but it will also look better in pictures! Brook states that a common mistake with brides is that they’ll wear too much due to two common misconceptions. Brides wear more, thinking their makeup should be applied like stage makeup for the ceremony—since they’ll be under lights and in front of a crowd)—believing heavier makeup is needed to show up better on camera. However, today’s cameras easily catch the makeup’s heaviness due to quality improvements. If the look you want is more soft and natural, less will absolutely be more!

Maintain A Good Skincare Routine

Your makeup will only look as good as the skin underneath it. When I worked as a makeup artist for bareMinerals, I would always tell my clients this whenever they asked how my makeup was flawless. If you aren’t taking care of your skin, the makeup will not sit on your face properly. Not to mention, the stress from planning a wedding can cause breakouts, so it’s vital to take steps to counteract that.
The healthier your skin is before the wedding, the fewer products you’ll need to do your makeup. Valentine Ring, owner and creative producer for The Stars Inside, recommends refining your skincare routine a few months in advance before the wedding. Brook emphasizes that within the two-week window that it’s imperative to diligently stick to your regimen: washing the face twice a day, moisturizing, and remembering to take off make-up before going to bed. Also, make sure to keep yourself hydrated, too.

Keep Your Stress To A MINIMUM

This can be extremely hard to maintain, especially as the date gets closer, but you’ll be grateful in the long run on the day of your ceremony. Low stress will keep your skin looking vibrant, healthy, and without blemishes before your big day. It’ll also be helpful on your wedding day when doing your makeup! Remaining stress-free will keep you calm and will alleviate sweat that may occur, and keep you focused as you’re applying makeup.

If Necessary, Ask A Friend For Help!

If you have a friend or someone with your bridal party with expertise in makeup, call upon them for help! They can help make the process of choosing the correct products—which will vary depending on your skin type, color, and your overall makeup look—much easier! Their aid can help make sure the colors and shades you pick compliment you, and it’s always good to have a second eye, especially when choosing a foundation. They can also walk you through the steps in-person for the product application and maybe give you a helping hand (if needed) on your wedding day!
Shakilya Lawrence
About The Author
Writer, editor and curator.
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