Why I ignored the magazines and turned to YouTube instead of a makeup artist for my wedding

Guest post by Cat Ekkelboom-White
Photo by Robyn Icks Photography
Photo by Robyn Icks Photography

I generally don't wear makeup and when I do it's very minimal. And my hair is usually down, platted, or pulled back in a messy bun. If you scroll through my entire history of Facebook photos, there are hardly any photos of me anywhere with lots of make-up on. I would't say I'm a tomboy, but I'm not a particularly girly-girl either. Mascara, eyeshadow, perhaps some eyeliner and BB cream if its a special occasion. That's pretty much as good as it gets. While many people feel uncomfortable without makeup, I felt uncomfortable with it.

When we were planning our wedding, one of the bits of advice that I read everywhere was that I should definitely hire a professional to do my hair and make-up. I also read in many places that I should not be afraid to wear heavier makeup than usual as although it may look heavy in person, it would look more natural in my photographs.

A few times during the planning I'd take a trip to one of the makeup counters in one of the local department stores. But every time I came away, I felt like my face was plastered thick with makeup, and I felt really self-conscious. When I showed my fiancé, his reaction was always the same: “It's too much make-up. It doesn't look like you.” And when I washed it all off and came out of the bathroom, looking my usual shade of pasty-white, he'd always come over and say “now that's beautiful, that's the woman I love”.

I desperately searched for the right look that would make me feel beautiful and like a bride, but I just couldn't find it, or that feeling.

Now I never considered going make-up free to my wedding, but these experiences made me seriously consider my options.

So I decided that I had time to learn to do it myself. I spent hours watching videos on youtube and practicing different looks. I took selfies of myself to see how the makeup “photographed” too. My favourite tutorials were from the fabulous celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, who wonderfully talks you through a different look in each episode of her vlog. I found a few very natural ones that I loved…

After a few tries on my own, I finally felt happy about doing my own makeup.

On the wedding day itself, I was a bit nervous, but I left myself more than enough time to do my hair and makeup. And when I look back at my photographs I know that I made the right choice.

I may not have looked like the flawless, airbrushed bride that you see in magazines, but I felt like me, a more beautiful version perhaps, but still me.

We ADORE the vendors who work their magic with hair and make-up (I'd be lost without ya!). But sometimes you gotta DIY. Anyone else do their wedding day makeup? Any recourses you want to suggest?

Comments on Why I ignored the magazines and turned to YouTube instead of a makeup artist for my wedding

  1. This post and the tip about the YouTube videos are great! I’m going going exactly the same route with my makeup, although I am turning to a professional for the hair part (my hair is a bit unruly and I’m way too clumsy to beat it into submission). While I do wear makeup everyday, I like to keep it quite natural and hate caking it on. So I think I’ll be a lot more comfortable doing it myself. Really grateful for some pro tips though! 🙂

  2. THANK YOU! I needed reassurance that I’m not being a total dope by doing my own makeup on my wedding day. A friend is doing my hair, but I’m getting married outside of Rome and can’t find anyone to do my makeup for less than $200 (and it just isn’t worth it to me). I’m a makeup minimalist but I’m not good at anything more than mascara and blush. I just didn’t want to be a jittery mess on my wedding day but I think if I practice and stick to what I feel comfortable with, I’ll be good!

  3. Heh- the insistence that you need to do it differently for the pictures has everything backwards, for me. The pictures are there to document the day, the day (and your outfit, makeup, hair, whateversauce) is not there for the pictures!

    I got this same kind of “this is backwards” feeling when, in response to being told I’m carrying a bible instead of flowers, the next question was “but what will you toss? Will you throw the bible at your guests?” I was like wha? Once I thought about it the best response is, like above, “You toss a bouquet because you have flowers and want to throw them, you don’t carry a bouquet because you have to throw something”. You have the bells and whistles to make the wedding fun, you don’t have the wedding for the bells and whistles!

    Thank yew. (Puts away soapbox)

  4. I too have decided that I will be doing the makeup by my own on my wedding instead of hiring any expert. I am going for a simple and natural look and will be using skincare products that I use daily, so any advice or suggestions are truly appreciated!

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