How to Do Your Own Wedding Makeup
Your wedding day is hopefully going to be one of the greatest and happiest days of your life, but there is also an unfortunate truth that weddings can take a lot of work and cost a lot of moolah.
If the thought of one more appointment crammed into the morning of your special day is causing you to stress out, it might be time to think about doing your own makeup. It probably sounds a little nerve-wracking to rely on yourself to create your perfect wedding look, but it’s not as hard, or as stressful, as it might seem.
From finding the perfect foundation to equipping your day-of makeup bag with the right goodies, there are a handful of things that you can do ahead of time to ensure your makeup is picture perfect.
Kinder Beauty is sharing our top tips to nail your look, as well as providing our top recommended products every bride needs.
14 tips for doing your own wedding makeup
1. Practice, practice, and practice some more
Even if you are makeup savvy, applying your wedding-day look for the first time on the day of is a big no-no. First of all, you’ll probably want to test out a couple of different looks until you get the look you love. If you are like me and wear little to no makeup on a daily basis, it’s impossible to know what look you want to opt for without giving it a test run.
I tried a handful of different eye looks, multiple lip shades, and those terrifying fake lashes. Take pictures of yourself with the different combinations and note the ones in which you feel the best. Once you have settled on a look, give it a couple more tries until you get it just right.
Also, be sure to take notes of exactly what you used so you have it at the ready for the big day. From there, I also recommend seeing how the look stands the test of time. Get all dolled for a night out (your bachelorette party is the perfect opportunity) to see how the products look at the end of the night.
Another thing to note as you build your ideal look is that you’ll actually want to wear more makeup than usual. Doing your makeup so that it looks good in photos is much different than doing a casual look. While you might be hesitant to lay it on thick, you’ll thank us when you get the photos back.
2. Take care of your skin
What’s the most important thing for perfect wedding makeup? Good skin.
In the months and weeks leading up to the day, take extra care of your skin. If you don’t already have a set skincare routine, now is the perfect time to start. First, assess any “problems” that are common occurrences for you.
If you are starting to see dark circles, invest in an under-eye brightening cream and start using it 2-3 months (at least) before the big day. If you have some lingering dark spots start using retinol to help even out your skin tone.
3. Consider the weather
Before you can begin to build the perfect makeup routine, there is another big thing to consider: the weather. While the day-to-day changes of the season are not something you can control, you can factor in the time of year and plan for any unexpected nuisances, like rain. Just like you planned your dress around the time of year, it is equally as important to take the same care with your makeup products.
Getting married in the heat of summer? You’ll want to opt for lighter products and fewer layers to avoid the risk of it “melting” off. If getting married in the fall, you’ll want to layer on the moisturizer if your skin tends to be dry.
4. Plan it out
Another thing that you’ll want to make sure to do is to plan out where and when you’ll be doing your makeup. It might not sound like a big deal, but having a plan ahead of time will save you from worrying and stressing the day of. Whether using the bridal suite at your venue where you’ll be getting dressed or doing it at your hotel beforehand, think of a place where you’ll have the calm environment you need to tackle this important task.
As for timing, do your makeup as late in the morning as possible, ideally right before you put on your dress. No matter how much primer and setting spray you use, it’ll still be a long day in that makeup so holding off as long as possible is definitely best.
5. Speaking of primer
Now that all the details are in place, let’s walk through the key steps in your perfect look.
For all-day perfection, you definitely want to start with a primer. After moisturizing your skin, apply a thin layer of primer to set the stage. Primers are amazing at smoothing fine lines and filling in enlarged pores.
There are a handful of different primer textures to consider. If shine is a worry of yours, opt for a mattifying primer to help keep the shine a bay or, if your skin tends to be on the dull side, reach for an illuminating primer for a radiant boost.
We love this Priming Moisturizer Balance from Glossier. It is great for oily or combination skin and moisturizes while also controlling shine and refining the look of pores.
On the note of primers, you definitely want an eye primer, too. Unfortunately, you do need a different primer for your eyelids, as the skin there is much different—but you will not regret it. Using a primer on your lids will help even out any discoloration while also helping your eye makeup stay all night long.
This Eye Lift Waterproof Primer from Thrive Causemetics is great to create a crease-proof and smudge-proof canvas for your makeup.
6. Grab the concealer
As much as we try to take care of our skin, stay hydrated, and be stress-free, it is almost impossible in the weeks leading up to the big day. If on the morning of your big day your makeup-free face is looking a little less than perfect, grab the concealer.
If you are looking to hide a blemish or need to brighten those undereyes a bit more, opt for a matte concealer like this 16 Hour Full Coverage Concealer from Bare Minerals.
7. Pick the perfect foundation
This step is crucial. Winding up with the wrong shade of foundation could leave you looking washed out in pictures or might have you seeing orange. To avoid errors, be sure to consult an expert at your local beauty store. They'll not only be able to help you pick the right shade but also the right brand. If you are prone to oily skin, ask them for a recommendation on a matte foundation—or if uneven skin tone is a concern, make sure to get a full-coverage product.
8. Be careful with the sunscreen
Rarely do we recommend being stingy when applying sunscreen, but unfortunately the zinc and titanium oxides in sunscreen can leave a white cast on your face in flash photography. To keep this from happening use a light sunscreen with no more than 15 SPF. This will help to limit any ghostly looks while still offering some protection.
This Even and Bright SPF 15 from Alba Botanicals is lightweight and breathable so you’ll barely notice it's there.
9. Sculpt those brows
If you’ve flipped through the likes of fashion magazines or Instagram over the last year or two, you’ll know that thick brows are all the rage, and for good reason.
Perfectly sculpted, bushy brows looked polished on faces of all shapes and are sure to make your eyes pop in pictures. Even if you aren’t born with Lily Collins-esque brows, you can easily fake them. Get out a long-lasting brow product to delicately define what you have, working off of your natural shape to create runway-worthy brows.
This Brow Pencil + Gel is the perfect duo to create the brows of your dreams.
10. Go easy on the blush
While I know I said you should lay your makeup on a little thicker than you are used to, blush is the exception. Additionally, if you don’t usually wear blush, you might want to skip it altogether.
It can be great to add a bit of color to your cheeks, but if the weather is on the warmer side you’ll likely be just fine. If you are attached to your blush, just be sure to layer it on lightly and make sure to blend.
11. Leave out the white finishing powder
Sunscreen isn’t the only thing you should be wary of: white finishing powders can also cast a ghostly hue on your face in photos.
When the flash hits your skin, it could give the appearance of washed-out skin, so opt for a cream-colored one instead.
12. Create lashes that pop
Nothing looks better in photos than gorgeous eyes. Before you reach for the mascara, make sure to use an eyelash curler to set the foundation; never use it after.
To achieve beautiful lashes, you might actually want to use two different mascaras, one for volumizing and one for lengthening. This is your best bet if you want to avoid fake lashes.
This probably goes without saying, but make sure that any mascara that you use is waterproof. Not only will it keep you streak-free if you happen to get teary-eyed, but it will also hold up in the heat or if you are sweating from dancing the night away. We love the Long Lash Vegan Mascara by INIKA Organic because it actually helps with volume and length, while also serving up all-day, waterproof coverage.
If you are thinking of fake lashes, absolutely be sure to test them out during one of your trial runs before the big day. Make sure that you aren’t too bothered by the look and feel before you commit to them on your wedding day. Additionally, you can try watching a sad movie to see how they hold up with tears.
If you decide faux is for you, we recommend the mink-free and vegan lashes from Gimme Lash. They come in multiple lengths and thicknesses so you can find the perfect lash for you.
13. Creating lip color that lasts
Oh, the dreaded lip color. It never seems to stay on or stay in place, but it really can help to create a perfectly polished look, especially on your wedding day.
Layering your lip products will help to create a long-lasting finish. Start by conditioning your lips with a lip balm to help prep and soften them. Follow that by applying a light layer of your lipstick for the day, opt for a satin or cream formula. Once the first layer has dried, swipe on another layer to build on the color.
If you like the appearance of volume and definition, draw a lip liner along the outside of your natural lip and then be sure to feather it into the lip color. Press your lips together to set and finish with a layer of gloss for a glamorous multidimensional look.
We love this long-lasting Lip Crayon from Axiology that comes in five great shades to match all skin tones. For the perfect lip liner, look no further than the lip queen herself, Kylie Jenner. Her Forever and Always Lip Liner is available in a range of shades and is waterproof!
14. Gather an emergency bag
No matter how perfect your look is at 11am, you’ll likely need some freshening up throughout the night. Be sure to pack a little emergency bag and stash it in an easy-to-grab spot. Setting it on your chair at the head table might do the trick.
In the bag, make sure to stick your lip gloss for easy reapply as well as your setting spray to spritz on when needed. Blotting sheets can also be a lifesaver, especially if you tend to have shiny or oily skin.
While it may be tempting to reach for the pressed powder, you actually shouldn’t reapply powder. Instead, use a blotting sheet to absorb any excess oil without disturbing your makeup.
Please note: A product appearing in our blog is not an official Kinder Beauty endorsement. While every product we feature in an article is cruelty-free and vegan, these products do not necessarily meet all of our strict brand standards for curation in a Kinder Beauty box.
Jackie Lutze has been writing about cruelty-free beauty for years and loves finding the best vegan products to help readers build their ultimate beauty routine.