9 things you need to know if you want to DIY your wedding makeup

Guest post by Marjolijn

Of course we don't think anyone NEEDS to wear makeup on their wedding day (or any other day), but if you're the type who loves getting fancy-faced, this post is for you…

By: lilivaniliCC BY 2.0

I'll be doing my own rainbow makeup on my wedding day and thought that it might be nice to share a few of my handy DIY makeup tips…

1. White (shimmery) eyeshadow is your friend!

This is controversial with makeup artists, but I think a touch of white eyeshadow in the inner corner of your eye gives you a more awake and alert look. If you don't have smokey eyes or other more “heavy” makeup, you can do the same for the outer corner. Add a touch of white eyeshadow under your eyebrow, following its curve. I like to start in the highest part of the arch and work from there. It will make your eyes pop more and, again, can make you look more awake.

You can also use white shimmery eyeshadow as a highlighter by sweeping it over your cheekbone, above the line of your blusher. It will give you a beautiful glow and will make your blush look better. Add a tiny touch of white eyeshadow to the centre of your cupid's bow, just under your nose, to make your lips look more full and plump (and kissable!).

2. Don't skimp on the essentials

I love makeup, a lot, so I also have a lot of it. Since I'm not really rich I can't afford the awesome, expensive, cruelty free, totally vegan brands like Urban Decay and Lime Crime. However, there are some things that you should spend a bit more money on, because they will take your look to the next level and make sure it stays on all day.

  • Make sure you have a good (eyeshadow) primer/base. This will really make sure that your awesome makeup look stays in its spot throughout the entire day. I love Urban Decay's Primer Potion and have splurged on that one.
They're Real! mascara.
  • The next one to splurge on is mascara. This might sound silly but the right mascara will really complete your look, the icing on the cake and all that. A lot of times I have on my eyeshadow and think “meh,” but when I add my mascara it really rocks! Try and find one that works best for your type of lashes and your look and be prepared to spend a bit more. The best one I've had so far were the “Smokey Lash” mascara by Makeup Forever and “They're Real” mascara by Benefit.
  • The final splurge is on brushes. I'm serious, I've struggled with my blusher for longer than I should have. When I finally found a good, fluffy, soft blush brush it took me half the time to apply my blusher and it looks better than ever. Make sure you feel the brushes before you buy them, don't buy them online. You never know what you'll get.

3. When is your wedding? In what part of the year?

This will affect your makeup. Generally, in the summer you're more tanned, while in the winter you're more pale. Keep this in mind when shopping for the basics like foundation and blusher. What might look great in summer could make you a bit orangey in winter. You can either take a shade lighter and take the chance that it will be alright, or wait until fall to purchase your foundation/blusher.

4. Having trouble with that picture perfect line of eyeliner?

A rainbow of glittery cream eyeshadow!
Try a cream eyeliner with an angled brush. Add a bit of the cream liner on your brush and sweep along the lashline. Tada! You don't want black/brown/blue/the eyeliner colours and instead want something a little more funky (with sparkles!)? Try searching for cream eyeshadow in your awesome colour, it will usually work just as well. Otherwise, add one more layer.

5. Adding eyeliner on your waterline under your eye will make your eyes look smaller

It's better to add eyeliner (or eyeshadow) to the tiny edge under your waterline, between your lower lashes. Don't go all round, just from the outer corner about a third or a half towards the inner corner. Don't forget to smudge! This will give you a more open and approachable look

6. On nail polish…

I know a lot of bottles say that the polish will dry within a minute but if you need to add more than one layer for coverage, wait. For the perfect, (mostly) chip-proof, vibrant colour, wait about 20 minutes between layers. This is how long it takes for the layers of polish to really set. Just watch a movie and add a layer of polish every now and then.

Don't forget your topcoat, this is your best friend. There are many different types of topcoat, find one you like (I'm in love with the sparkly ones and the matte finish, love it!) it will make your polish last twice as long.

Use your topcoat as glue for your rhinestones and other nail-art shineys. Put on a layer of topcoat, press in the rhinestone/shiny/Hello Kitty face and wait until the layer is dry. Add a last layer of topcoat and tada! It stays put without using the pesky glue.

When using a glittery nailpolish, add a layer of clear polish underneath.
You can use your topcoat for this or buy a clear basecoat which will usually also feed your nails. It will make sure the glitters don't get stuck too much on your nails and will make it easier to remove them. Also add a layer of basecoat or clear polish under your reds and blues, these will stain your nails. You know what, just add a basecoat underneath everything, just to be safe.

Still not getting your glittery nailpolish off easily? Soak cotton pads in nailpolish remover and cut them into fours. Press one of these quarters onto your nail and wrap aluminum foil around it to keep it in place. Wait for a few minutes, it should come off easily now.

7. A makeup artist will use different makeup when working on a photoshoot, than for a private party

Your makeup will look different in photos, you may need to add a bit more makeup to make sure the effects will be seen on film. Keep this in mind and take a few test runs. Ask your friend who has a semi-professional camera to do a mini photoshoot and look at the results. What needs to be added? More mascara? More blusher? Try to find the middle ground between “looks good in pictures” and “simple natural look.” Of course, make sure you're comfortable with the results: you don't want to feel like a painting on your wedding day!

Also, make sure you see your makeup in daylight and artificial light before the big day
If your pictures will be in daylight, you'll probably still have artificial light on you a big portion of the day. Take that test run and check your makeup under different lighting conditions. Take your mirror and take a walk, how does it look with the light in the hallway? What about the kitchen? The garden underneath the trees or the harsh light in the elevator?

8. Think about fake lashes

Click here to see our tutorial on false eyelashes!
Normally, I'm not a big fan (unless they have ridiculous colours and feathers and sparklies!) but I'm seriously considering this. When you have a makeup look that is kind of heavy — like nice dark smokey eyes or a vibrant rainbow look — your look could be enhanced by false lashes. Don't go overboard with length and fullness (unless you love that, of course!) but there are a lot of falsies that just add a tiny bit more volume and still look natural. It will look great in pictures and might just be the finishing touch to your look.

9. Practice, practice, practice!

Seriously, the more you practice the more fluid and natural your look will be. Take the time to practice every single bit of your look and search the internet for more tips and tricks to make your makeup experience easier.

How sparkly are you going on YOUR wedding day? And are you DIYing it all?

Comments on 9 things you need to know if you want to DIY your wedding makeup

  1. Body glitter tends to leave random white specks all over one in photos. And not in a pretty way. Perhaps tuck a tube in the Survival Kit and smear some on later during the reception?

  2. FOR REAL on the primer. I love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion so much. And yes, if you want to do your makeup yourself, practice the look you’re going for, even if you’re a Makeup Champion who does epic stuff every time you go out on the town.

    • YES! this stuff rocks!
      also, another good primer-type splure is “pore-fessional” by benefit. use it to smooth & soften your complexion and it will help your makeup stay on longer. i swear by this stuff.

      • The best part is it’s super effective with anything. I use a lot of drug store makeup (guys for real, Wet ‘n Wild is pretty awesome) and it ends up looking like gorgeous high-end stuff.

        • I freakin’ LOVE Wet ‘n Wild! And a bit of skill/practice can make cheaper stuff look even better than the expensive makeup. I get a lot of comments on my liquid eyeliner and praise of my skill — I’ve been wearing it pretty much the same way for 10 years, and stick with the cheapest solid/sponge-tip brush I can find…

  3. If I may, I have a great recommendation re: number 4. Smashbox Gel Eyeliner is AMAZEBALLS. Yes, Smashbox is a somewhat higher-end brand, but it’s not quite as pricey as, say, Clinique or something, and I also find the eyeliner lasts a really long time, so you’ll get more use out of it than other eyeliners so you might actually save some money in the long run. It just glides on so smoothly, and with a good angled brush, you can really fine-tune your point to whatever look you want. I say this as someone who is really not very good at makeuping. Their products are generally good for you, too. Paraben-free and cruelty-free and all that jazz.

    I swear I don’t work for Smashbox. Just, seriously, it’s an amazing eyeliner – trust me.

  4. Except that shimmery makeup is a definite no-no for photos — it tends to look like “dropped pixels” that most photographers won’t photoshop out for you. And the shimmer also reflects the light, which tends to make your face look a little strange.

    Making shimmery makeup look good usually requires a studio set up, which is obviously not the case during most weddings!

    As a wedding photographer, I tend to recommend that brides avoid the temptation to wear any kind of shimmery makeup at all. In fact, it’s my #1 piece of advice!

    • Not sure I’d agree with this. I totally rocked some crazy shimmery makeup on my wedding day and didn’t end up with any “dropped pixels” in any of my photos:
      Bridal Eclipse

      To be fair, it wasn’t GLITTER… but it was definitely shimmery.

      • It’s all about the size of the shimmer. There is a huge difference between shimmer and glitter when it comes to makeup and photography. Matte is awesome but, whenever I’m doing a bride’s makeup, she almost always uses the word “glow.” It’s next to impossible to make someone glow without a little shimmer. I always use some (moderation is key) and I’ve never had an unsatisfied customer (offbeat or otherwise).

    • I disagree with this. My eyeshadow was shimmery as was my blush…there was no issue in my photos…and I saw the photos on my photographers camera as he was taking them throughout the day…so no photoshop.

      I think you might mean glitter. Glitter is much heavier than shimmer. Glitter=no, Shimmer=yes.

    • I agree, matte is where it’s at. Shimmer can not only be overpowering to the point of discoball in photos, but fallout is more of an issue with shimmery shadows and shimmer also has the unfortunate effect of enhancing pores.

    • I’ve heard both sides, and to be honest I think it depends on the amount of shimmer. Yes, if you’re using something that’s practically micr0-fine glitter and nothing else, then it’s gonna look weird. But there are some “glowy” ones on the market that do have a little bit of shimmer but won’t make your eyes look like a fluorescent tube under flash.

      As always, it’s about balance.

  5. My two must haves are Lights, Camera, Lashes” mascara by Tarte. (Really, it’s the most amazing crap)

    As far as eyeliner, I love Sephora’s own brand of retractable waterproof eyeliner. It’s creamy, so easier to go on, AND there’s a smudgy thing at the other end that makes me not so scared to use it. Now’s a good time to get things at Sephora, too, because they have all those fabulous gift sets where you can play/experiment.

  6. White can often be too harsh on anyone who isn’t pale, a champagne color is a good alternative if shimmery white is too stark for your skin tone. I also prefer a matte skintone highlight for the browbone – just a personal preference.

    There is a big emphasis on eyes in makeup, and I love eyeshadow and sparkles as much as the next gal, but the most important, and sometimes most difficult, is skin. Foundation does not have to be thick to be effective, I prefer cream foundation, set with a translucent powder. AND MATCH YOUR NECK. That way it blends and you don’t look like you’re wearing a mask.

    One place I definitely skimp on is lips. There are plenty of cheap, good lip products and no matter how much you spend, you end up eating it.

    • If you can find it, invest in some Lipcote. I wear it over liner and lipstick/stain (I HATE gloss!), and it lasts really well until I eat and drink at the same time – I’m wearing red for my own wedding next May because I make such a mess…

      I will warn you, it can “tingle” a bit upon application – and if you’ve any cuts or coldsores in/on your lips it will sting for a minute. But your lip colour will last significantly longer than it would without it.

  7. Practicing really is a great idea. I probably did my makeup 50 times before the wedding and I took photos every time to make sure it looked ok. And Urban Decay’s primers are pretty much magical.

    One thing I would add is it’s a good idea to do your eye makeup first so you can wipe away any eye shadow fall out. My order usually is eyes (except mascara), foundation, blush, eyebrows, mascara. That way you don’t get dust in the mascara.

    And shimmer/glitter can look great in photos. I used copper glitter over my eye shadow and it looked amazing. (Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue FTW)

  8. Yes to the eyeliner not-all-the-way-around-your-eye! I took a theatrical makeup class in college and my teacher told us never to do eyeliner from corner to corner – “it makes your eyes look like piss-holes in snow,” she said.

    • It can work! My eyes look awesome with eyeliner all the way around, so long as I extend the far line out a bit. My eye shape works really well with a cat-eye look like that. I don’t do it every time, and for a wider-eyed look I definitely don’t, but there’s nothing in makeup that NEVER looks good.

      • I live in black cat-eye/winged liner, and try as I may with ten years of practice I just can’t get the hang of using pencil successfully anywhere but the waterline!
        I personally don’t like to go into the inner corner with either kohl or liquid, but it can look amazing on other people. 🙂

        TBH, if I didn’t wear it for the wedding, smudges and all, it just wouldn’t be “Me”.

    • Here, proof:

  9. If you’re looking for new products I highly recommend sifting through http://www.makeupalley.com – full of thousands of reviews and you can search by skin tone/type etc. My two latest favourite finds:
    1. Anti-chaffing gel as primer. According to many folks on MUA it’s basically the same formula as Smashbox for a quarter of the price. In the US the biggest brand is Monistat, in the UK it’s Lanacane. I’ve only been using it for the last week or so but it seems pretty magical so far.
    2. Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. Expensive, but this stuff is like permanent marker – once it’s on it will not budge an inch until you decide to remove it. I have very oily, acne prone skin that’s also mostly red and white and blotchy. My last foundation (MAC no less) would go patchy and gross within a few hours and I thought that was just my lot in life. Not so! Combination of Lanacane and Double Wear and I honestly feel happy having my photo taken, even at the end of the day.
    Bonus: MAC Viva Glam 1 is my perfect red lipstick, if anyone’s still looking for theirs, and the proceeds help people living with and affected by AIDS. Win-win!

    • will the Viva Glam come off on my hubby to be during “the kiss”? or any other kissing moments? i’m DYING to find a FAB red lipstick but do not want one what will come off on him because he hates it.

      • Most normal lipsticks will rub off. You probably want a lip stain or a longwear liquid lipstick like revlon colorstay.

      • It’s very matte, so as lipsticks go it’s pretty long lasting but also quite drying. But yeah, everything will rub off given enough kissing!

      • Try a stain! I’m going with Stila’s cherry stain. Because it is a little pink and can dry up, I’m covering it with Urban Decay’s Lip Love in Stung. The darkness of the gloss balances the pink in the stain and gives an amazing deep red. Best yet, the gloss isn’t sticky and is honey-based so it tastes and feels awesome.

      • Quick note – have your maid of honor / officiant / bff / whoever is going to be standing closest during your Kiss have a mini baby wipe or wet nap with them. That way just as you are getting ready for photo time, there can be a quick touch up. 🙂

  10. +1 for the false lashes. They really do make a difference. My tips:

    1. Practice applying them a few times when you have zero pressure and time constraints. You’ll want to work out your method before the big day, when you’ll probably have a bit more of a time crunch. They never seem to work out if you’re stressed or in a big hurry. They smell fear, I think.

    2. If you want just a little boost, you can get demi lashes that are only about a third of the length. They’ll just amp up the outer part of the eye without going full diva.

    3. Super spikey will look more natural than really dense ones. During your warm-up application session, try a few kinds to see what you like.

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