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A different kind of DIY: Wedding day makeup

September 27, 2011

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now considering I spent A LOT of time researching wedding day makeup/makeup for humidity/best photographic makeup before the wedding. See, I originally planned on having my makeup done professionally but after two separate trial runs I still wasn’t happy with it. I suppose this is the part where I should remind you that I’m fairly, how do you say, particular about things. I like what I like. OK, ok. I’m anal. There. I should also add that one of my top priorities was that I look like myself. That’s partly why I decided, at the last minute, to add straps to my wedding dress. I just don’t do strapless. Don’t really have the–ahem–figure for it.

Anyway, back to makeup. After the two disastrous makeup trials {I’m being a bit dramatic–they weren’t disastrous, just a little stressful}, I came to the decision that I would do my own makeup for the wedding. Besides, I like doing my makeup and, as a bonus, I would get to keep all the new stuff I would buy. I also–delusionally–thought I would save money. {I can hear my mom snickering in front of her computer.} I spent WAY more on makeup than I would have spent hiring someone. BUT I still use all that makeup. AND I still get excited using it. It makes me feel fancy. Cause I also got a new bag to put it all in.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

With the decision to do my own makeup came the pressure to find the right makeup. So I read article after article, searched all the Best Of awards, and made a few different trips to the Mac counter, Ulta, and Sephora.

The few tips that I gained from my research were:

  • During summer, powder blush is better than cream.
  • Primer is essential.
  • Layering a powder eye shadow over a cream one increases its staying power {this is why eye primers are usually in cream form}.

Good stuff–and I headed the advice. But BY FAR what helped me the most was asking the professionals themselves. So I sat in the Mac chair and had a makeup artist teach me how to apply the shadows I had chosen {she even had  me practice in front of her which was embarrassing but soooo helpful}. I also sat in the Sephora chair and tried out a couple of different foundations and lip glosses. While my mom took notes. I’m telling you–if you’re doing your own makeup spending time with the people who know it best will be your biggest tool. NOT a Shu Umera eyelash curler.

I did my research. I asked the artists. I took notes. {I didn’t do a practice run cause I ran out of time but I suggest you practice before The Big Day. It’s just good sense.} And you know what? I LOVED MY MAKEUP. I may have regretted my choice of DJ {another story for another time} but I did NOT regret my decision to DIY my makeup. When my photographer showed me a preview of some of her snapshots, including an up-close-and-personal one of my FACE, my response was, “Wow. Good job on the makeup, ME.” I looked like myself. I felt comfortable. And I didn’t even have to reapply {except for my lipstick but I didn’t like the feel of long-wear lip gloss–too sticky}.

Here are some of the products that turned me into a pro for the day:

My instinct was that I’d be happier doing my makeup myself. But I had to first let go of the notion that I needed to have it done professionally by someone else that day. Lesson learned: Trust your instincts. And also: With a little research, coaching, and the right kind of makeup, you, too, can become a makeup pro.

If you’re thinking of doing your own makeup but have questions, please ask me! I’d be happy to share more of my experience with you. Better yet, if you were a DIY makeup bride, pass along the wisdom and products that turned you into a pro for the day as well!


Smashbox ad campaign photo credit.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2011 2:37 pm

    I did my own makeup too! And was incredibly satisfied. It takes a bit more effort and planning, I agree, so for some brides having someone else do their makeup would take a lot of stress off. Of course, as an actress I’ve been doing my own “professional” makeup for a while, so maybe I had a leg up in the first place.


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