Whether you’ve been plotting out your big day since you were 13 or, on the contrary, have never really thought about it, there’s a lot that goes into the wedding process. Forget the location, the dress, the ceremony, the party, the future spouse—hair and makeup is one of the things women worry about the most. While many opt for a professional makeup artist, the truth is that you know your face better than anyone, so if you want to be the only one responsible for your wedding face, then by all means, we encourage it. Here’s everything you need to know about perfecting your own wedding day makeup all by yourself.
Keep it simple, and do what you’re most comfortable with.
It should go without saying, but your wedding is not the right occasion to start experimenting with a new look. The key is to keep it simple and true to you, and to use your best skills to your advantage. A subtle cat eye, a well-defined brow—whatever you’re good at and like to wear, go for it. Don’t feel the need to on the base layers, either. You don’t need a ton of foundation to perfect your skin, and a more natural look with as little foundation and concealer as you can get away with actually photographs better than layers on layers of product. Just be sure to lightly powder your T-zone to nix shine without mattifying your entire face.
All waterproof everything.
You will cry, so opt for waterproof versions of your favorite products when you can. Waterproof mascara and other eye makeup will be an absolute must, but tears can take a toll on the rest of your makeup, too. To keep everything exactly where it’s meant to be.
Focus on one feature to emphasize.
We won’t argue against the fact that there are situations during which working a bold lip and eye look can totally be pulled off, but even if your wedding look isn’t all about low-key natural beauty, it’s still wise to steer clear of the drama. For example, you usually wear a smokey eye to draw attention to your eyes, try using a tightlining technique and a few individual false lashes to define and draw attention to your eyes. You’ll look bright-eyed and natural, and the understated look will translate perfectly to photos, of which there will be plenty of.
Make sure you’ve got enough color.
Blush, eye shading, light contouring, and a lip color—regardless of what you wear on a day-to-day basis, these are all musts, solely for the reason that going too neutral can look washed out when photographed. Use a large, fluffy brush to blend a blush that really pops into the apples of your cheeks, and use a light matte bronzer to create a slight shadow under your cheekbones. Do the same just above the creases of your eyes, around your eye sockets, to give the eyes dimension. Even if you’re not really a lipstick person, putting something on your lips means the difference between looking polished and… not. Wear a lip color that’s close to your own but a bit more pigmented, or even try a tinted lip balm.
Give yourself enough time.
You can clamor to get your makeup on during a time crunch every other day of your life—just don’t do it before your wedding. Give yourself double the amount of time you anticipate you’ll need, because trust us when we say that a rush job is the last thing you need. Let your makeup application be a relaxing kind of pre-wedding ritual, rather than hurrying through it. Take your time, drink a little champagne (just a little!), and enjoy it.