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. Lush have just brought out an amazing range of makeup, and most of it can be used as either eyeliner/eyeshadow or lipstick. Having tried some of their blue eyeliners, it lasts easily as long as Urban Decay (my previous favourite!) though it is cream eyeshadows, so on my skin it’s not as good as powder.

    Other things I’d recommend makeup wise is definitely what Alana says – eyes first, then foundation. So much easier when I inevitably get bright blue shimmery powder all over my cheeks!

  2. Survival kit essential (even if ur not wearing make up), Mac blotting paper, removes excess oil from skin(without removing make up) great for quick fixes during photos!

  3. A few things that I’ve discovered recently whilst doing photo-shoot makeup that I wish were more frequently disclosed to the general public:

    1 – Avoid any makeup with mineral spf. These natural chemicals will reflect A LOT of light and leave you with ghosty face.

    2 – Setting spray is your friend. Don’t be afraid to spend 10 bucks on a bottle. You can find them at Sephora or at stage and costume supply stores. My favorite is a bit minty smelling!

    3 – Primer is also your friend. This is especially true if you don’t have a flawless base skin to start with. I have large pores in some places, the occasional blemish and combination skin. But if I prep my canvas with a primer I get a nice even smooth finish that STAYS that way.

    4 – Start with light coats for all skin products, you can usually build your coverage up if you need

    and lastly:
    5 – Makeup brushes are an investment but they are SO worth it. If you don’t want to buy your own, see if you have a friend that will help you out. Your products were designed to be used with these tools… a hammer always works better than a screwdriver when you need to pound a nail…

    Good Luck DIY DIVAS!

    • Re. Setting spray…

      One of my mam’s clients in her salon is a makeup artist. She agrees with using common-or-garden hairspray if setting spray isn’t in the budget or on the store shelf.
      A lot of other clients come in to get their hair done for special occasions after getting their makeup done, so it kills two birds with one stone. As long as it’s not Semi di Lino — too much shimmer!

      (I also use hairspray to set chalk/charcoal drawings… What can it not do??)

  4. I’m a makeup lover, but I have discovered that I can skip splurging on mascara! Since mascara needs to be replaced so often, I’d rather splurge on a high quality foundation or eye shadow palette – one with a longer shelf life. I swear by L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black (it also has a waterproof formula) – it lengthens and thickens without too much clumping. Another awesome one is Cover Girl Lash Blast – my sister loves this one, and they are both under $8 at Target in the US.

    • Seriously. I work at Ulta so I get to play with high-end makeup products all the time, and while I’ve found that pricer eyeshadows or quality primers are worth the investment, I have never been tempted away from my favorite six dollar mascara. It’s waterproof and makes my lashes look amazing! I’ll probably never switch.

      Over many years of trying this and that, I’ve discovered which products I can skimp on and which ones I need to spend a bit more cash. I suggest going with highly pigmented shadows like Urban Decay and pairing them with a good eyeshadow primer like Too Faced. The initial price tag may be a little steep but whatever’s in the formula is ingenious- my eyeshadow doesn’t budge until I take it off at the end of the night- and because the colors are so high quality, you end up using less product. My tube of primer has lasted me two years! I would also suggest finding a good foundation primer. I recently switched back to my cheap foundation, but I will always use my nice primer, it truly makes a difference in staying power and the smoothness of the makeup. Plus, primer is your barrier between your skin and the rest of your makeup. Make sure you play around with different brands till you find the right one for you- everyone has different needs! Most makeup stores will be happy to help you find the best product.

    • A good mascara is amazing. I use Chanel’s and while pricey it last me AGES and it never clumps. I can wake up after a night out and it will still be on! <3

  5. Personally I only ever use crayon eyeshadow. This has several advantages:
    1) no powder fallout
    2) no primer needed
    3) no brushes needed
    4) super easy to blend because it’s creamy

    I also found that fingers are better for applying foundation than any brush I ever found. Brush just makes it too thin and streaky. Those little foam rounds don’t make it streaky but they still make it very thin.

    For someone like me with super heavy lidded eyes fake lashes just poke my eyelids and make my eyes looks smaller because my puffy lids push them down. I also have no reason to bother with eyeliner on my upper lids – no one ever sees it.

    As a goth I can totally skip blush or bronzer!

    In my case I highlighted with a very light blue instead of a white since my eye look was all blues (I blended 3 total). Appropriate coordinated light colors work instead of white in a lot of cases.

    Sephora Lip Stain is your friend. I tested 3 or 4 different long-wear lip colors and that has the best combination of staying power and rich color. Even so a leetle bit of it got on my boy when I kissed him.

    Oh and my favorite trick – use mascara on eyebrows. It’s so much easier to make look neat than eyebrow pencil.

    Here’s what it all looked like:

    • Oh and I almost forgot… the rhinestones! It took a couple of tries but I eventually figured out:
      1) Apply foundation first, nice and even
      2) Use Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove foundation in spots
      3) Apply rhinestones with Spirit Gum over spots
      Stayed on all night!

  6. I feel like no matter what I use, I end up looking like a clown. I’m ghost white and enjoy being that pale, but I’d love some beautiful pigment on my eyelids without it looking so…harsh. I see such gorgeous makeup on faerie models and wonder to myself how I could ever achieve that, since they’re usually just as pale. Do I really need studio lighting for that kind of prettiness?

    • Sometimes it can be what colours you’re using – I’m really pale (buying foundation is a nightmare!) and I just try to make sure the colours aren’t as overwhelming. I mean, they don’t need to be to show up on me. For instance, Barry M’s glitter dust comes out really strong on me, so I try to avoid it. For instance, this is the sort of colours I went for whilst blonde: http://imgur.com/vyhtA,tmJzY

      I find putting the bolder colours, like the blues, closest to the eye, and then building out into softer colours (like a gold, silver or lilac) helps it look bright without being overwhelming. Equally, using shimmer dust-style eyeshadow, rather than creams, because the colour in cream tends to come out sharper on my skin.

      Oh, and I very, very rarely would do eyes + lipstick. That definately makes me look like a clown. One or the other is enough.

      I guess it sort of comes down to – play around with colours, which might not sound that helpful, but I hope it’s given you a couple of ideas.

      • I definitely agree with eyes or mouth. I either do bold lips and light shimmery eyes, or bold eyes and nudish lips.

        I used to wear bright colors all the time, but lately I’m too lazy. I found that if I’m going bright warmer colors like pinks, golds, yellows, and bronzes worked the best with my whiter-than-white skin.

        Some of my favorite eye shadows to use are light shimmery urban decay colors. I usually do light colors in the inner corner of my lid, faded out to dark in the outer corner. Then I do white/light colors under my brow and use that to fade out the dark colors so there aren’t any harsh lines (unless I’m going for that).

    • Sometimes the clown feeling is due to not being comfortable wearing makeup. Which is totally fine, but if you want to get comfortable with it, I’d start with just playing around with some colors (start subtle, pale pinks, lighter browns) and wearing them around the house, making sure to look at yourself in the mirror a lot to get used to your face with makeup.

      I wish I could play with makeup with everyone here so I could help with ideas in person! I love makeup so much. 🙂

  7. Even when using primers, foundations and eyeshadows melt off my face or dry out patches on my cheeks (and I’ve used that Smashbox primer and the Urban Decay eyeshadow one!). I think I’ll just be going for mascara and maybe eyeliner on the top lash-line if I can get it right.

    Surely there are other people out there who simply cannot wear eyeshadow without it creasing/melting off? I feel like everyone must have model-like smooth skin apart from me.

    • That is odd! I definitely don’t have model skin (I actually had Nightmare Acne in my youth, and still have occasional spots) and primer potion has worked perfectly for me.

      What kind of skin do you have? I feel like this is a solvable problem if we can figure out what’s causing it to come off you!

    • Thank you! I’m reading all of these comments about Primer, and I am a clueless (and cheap) when it comes to makeup. I splurged and bought a pump of primer one day, and the associate showed me how to put it on. Well, she applied it to the back of her hand, using gentle circular motions, and then had me touch-compare to feel the difference with and without. So I know how to apply it to the back of my hands. LOL But that did me absolutely no good when it came time to get dolled up for a night out, and applied it to my face. It’s clear, so i have no idea where I’ve applied it already, and it really didn’t do anything to “smooth out” my skin. My skin gets ridiculously dry and peeley under foundation, so I was hoping primer would help, but it didn’t. I paid $40 for a tiny bottle that I’ve only used once, because it didn’t do what I was expecting.
      I think for my wedding makeup, I might just go to the counter in a high-end department store, and get one of those “free makeovers” that I always see signs for.

      And yeah, I have a huge problem with my eye shadow creasing, and eye liner creasing under my eyes. UGH.

  8. I’ve always heard and was trained that for photos, shimmery white and light colors above the brow bone were a no no. A LITTLE bit in the corners of the eyes is okay, but it’s the brow bone that ends up being the only thing you can see in shots from far away. It washes out your eyes and all you see is a highlighted brow. This happened in my good friends photos for her wedding, all you could see was white shimmer for her eyes in pictures that weren’t up close. Using a light but matte color on your brow bone is better, and you can still use a bit of shimmer as long as it’s a darker color. but no matter what, you’re going to look AMAZING because you are happy! And a smile is the best thing to wear!

  9. For my wedding, I bought a whole bunch of new makeup from sephora, which I generally still use everyday.

    Hourglass foundation – this was my biggest splurge, but it’s awesome! Blends so well, and you don’t need much to get good coverage. Plus, supposedly Madonna uses it. Win.

    Tarte blush – lasts all day long.

    Benefit High Beam – a great highlighter. Definitely didn’t create any weird problems with my photos, just a bit of shimmer where the light naturally hits you.

    Stila waterproof liquid eyeliner – Really easy to apply.

    Urban Decay All Nighter – a makeup setting spray. Can’t recommend this enough, this makes sure your makeup lasts until your wedding is over and you’re in bed with your new spouse.

    I’d also recommend getting individual eyelashes, if you’re doing the fake thing. It still looks very natural but with some oomph.

    • I also recommend All Nighter! I got a sample size version last year for Halloween and I use it all the time still!

      I always make sure I use this before I put on mascara though, sometimes it makes it wet again and I’ll get little black lash dots on my eyelids.

    • I’ve never been brave enough to try the Urban Decay All Nighter or the Benefit High Beam. I’ve always wanted to, but my skin is pretty sensitive so I try to avoid using any extras like blush or highlighters. Did you have any problems with breakouts? And did the makeup setting spray smear anything/ruin the makeup? I’ve heard some people say that it made their foundation run.

      • I have had terrible skin on and off forever, and I love this stuff. Wasn’t a problem for me at all.

  10. “Of course we don’t think anyone needs to wear makeup on their wedding day (or any other day)”

    As someone who wore no makeup at all on her wedding day, thank you for that comment! So many people told me I would look terrible in photos without it, but all of the photos turned out great because we hired a good photographer.

    • “Makeup should serve to enhance what is already there, and add what is lacking.”
      A quote from my aunt’s dressmaking textbook from Home Ec class in the 1970’s.

      Some people like you are lucky to not want or need it. You are awesome in that respect, and damnit am I jealous of you! 😀
      Unfortunately I have looked dead and noseless in photos before, so need to do a little bit of structural work to look sufficiently human.

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