DIY Bridal Makeup

Many brides-to-be choose to do their own makeup, I should know I was one of them. The reasons for doing this vary: perhaps the budget is being spent on another things, you’ve never liked the finished look of a professional makeover, or you just enjoy doing your own makeup. I fell into the latter two, excited at the prospect to do some product research and pick and choose exactly what I wanted, rather than have to use everything from one brand, or the brands of a professional makeup artist. So if you are going it alone, here are my recommendations for getting it right.

1.If it first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Hopefully you have a lot of time to practice, so use it to trial as much as you can. For a good base, this may mean trying different foundations all day to test their lasting power. Smoky eye or au naturel, see how they look during the day vs at night. Bear in mind the time of year that you’re testing vs. your wedding. I was doing this in late Winter/early Spring, so I knew my skin would have more colour to it for a late June wedding.

2. Counter service

Most makeup brands and shops offer wedding makeup services either complimentary or at a price redeemable on product. After reading countless websites and blogs, I knew Bobbi Brown was going to be the one for me. The brand’s approach is definitely about enhancing your natural features so you feel your best. I think all of their counters or boutiques offer complimentary wedding makeup trials. On a trip to New York last year (3 months pre-wedding) I booked myself in for a 1-hour consultation. We talked skincare as well as what my usual makeup look was. The session was a great way to figure out my colours and find a look that was me on my best day and I bought a lot of the products. It’s important to note that many of them I’m still using, demonstrating how wearable they are but also that you’re getting your money’s worth. I went by myself because I was confident I could do it, but if you need support from family, bridesmaids, or friends, make an afternoon out of it- they can also watch, provide feedback, take photos/videos and also remember for the big day in case you need help.

3. Staying power

A lot of weddings are all day affairs so choosing products that will stand the test are important. Face and eyelid primer were essential for me as I’m pretty oily as well as choosing powder versions of blush, bronzer and loose setting powder. For lips I used liner and then waterproof mascara for lashes. I packed a little makeup bag for the day (although I hardly reached for it) which had my lipstick in it, pressed powder and a little concealer for any touch ups.

4. Stick to what works for you

It’s tempting to use products based on hype and promotion, but if you love your concealer/blusher/mascara/whatever don’t feel you have to change it. Buying products means you get to use them post-wedding, so it’s important to invest in things that really work for you. In my opinion, bridal makeup isn’t the time to try doing something different. For example, if you never wear a red lip, your wedding is probably not the time to give this a go. You wouldn’t wear something you don’t feel comfortable in and I think it’s the same approach for makeup.

5. Ace the base

I don’t mean foundation here, but the skin itself. A great base will allow products to go on smoothly and evenly and also means you don’t have to use as much. If you have specific skin concerns that are troubling you before the big day, seek out a facialist or dermatologist at least 6 months before. Don’t have that kind of time? Restrict the urge to throw every skincare product on your face, and maintain a simple routine, don’t touch your face and follow a food routine that minimises inflammation.

6. Write it all down

Once the morning of the big day arrives, there are often a lot of emotions and nerves that everything will go how you’ve planned. So to make life easier, when you’re doing your trials and when you feel 100% that you’ve nailed it, write out all the steps. It’s easy to forget things when you have a million other details in your head, so following a step-by-step routine will ensure you don’t miss mascara (I have done this numerous times, luckily not on my wedding day!).

7. Enjoy it

I loved doing my makeup on the morning of my wedding because it was a moment I had to myself. I gave myself enough time that I wasn’t rushing, and I had written out the steps to make sure I didn’t miss anything. If you’re a bit nervous- have a cup of tea, put on some music or have a close friend or family member to keep you calm and chat to. Finally it goes without saying but don’t put your dress (or jumpsuit in my case) on before your makeup- the potential catastrophes are endless.


I’d love to hear from you if you did your own wedding makeup- what you used and any recommendations!


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