Makeup Artists Reveal: 25 Secrets to Make Your DIY Wedding Makeup Look Professional

You’ve pored through volumes and volumes of stunning makeup looks for your big day. You’ve practiced your hairdo nine times over to make sure every last tendril is #MeetTheJones perfection. And now that you’ve decided to rock your own hair and makeup, here are a few insider tips from the experts on how to make it more flawless than Bey at your local indoor arena.

By: Perri O. Blumberg

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  • See a Dermatologists a Few Months Out

    See a Dermatologists a Few Months Out

    “Six months prior to your big day, seek the advice of a spa professional or dermatologist to achieve the best skin of your life,” suggests Tim Maurer of Mukha Spa in Columbus, Ohio. “Being fanatic about your skincare regime will go a long way towards magnificent memories and fabulous photos.” Get a leg up with these tips to get glowing skin for your wedding day!

  • Embrace Yourself and Your Personal Style

    Embrace Yourself and Your Personal Style

    “Great makeup artists knows how to apply makeup to make you look like the best version of you,” says Kristin Adams, CEO of Afterglow, an organic and cruelty free cosmetics company. “You can do this, too, by choosing makeup shades that you feel truly resonate with you, your spirit and character. If you never wear red lipstick, your wedding day is not the day to start that habit.” Besides, if you go wild on your wedding day with an over-the-top look, you’ll wind up feeling self conscious throughout, which can translate in photos and even make a mark on your mood. Stick to palates and colors you know complement your skin tone, eye color and personality.  

    Photo Credit: Terry Doyle

  • Set Your Makeup With a Setting Spray

    Set Your Makeup With a Setting Spray

    You pulled off the perfect bridal look. Now what? “Set your makeup with a makeup setting spray. Do not forget to use a product like Model In a Bottle to set your makeup after its done. It will ensure that it lasts all night and looks fresh after many hours without getting too oily,” offers Matos. Your future pictures will thank you (as will that moment when your new hubs not-so-accidentally smushes cake all of your face).

    Photo Credit: Shannon Vandivier from Captivating Weddings / Makeup: Lasting Luxe Makeup Artistry

  • Curl Your Lashes

    Curl Your Lashes

    It may not be something you include in your everyday look, but doing so adds a really wow factor on your wedding day, making your eyes really pop and helping you achieve a truly striking look. “To open the eyes, make sure to curl the lashes using an eyelash curler before applying mascara,” says Chow. “If you are not sure how to use an eyelash curler, you can curl the lashes using a heated lash curler after applying mascara.”

  • Consider False Lashes

    Consider False Lashes

    “If you want a more natural and subtle look, individual lashes are a great choice. If you want a more glamorous look, you can use strip lashes,” offers Chow. “Make sure you curl your lashes and apply one coat of mascara before you apply the lashes. Once the glue is dried, you can apply another coat of mascara as a finishing touch.” Maurer chimes in: “For the most natural look, spend the extra dollars for human hair. Plastic lashes look plastic.” Task one of your bridesmaids with helping you get your lashes on if needed.

  • Don’t Experiment With New Products

    Don’t Experiment With New Products

    Now’s not your day for test driving. “Stick with products and brands you know and have used in the past,” recommends Adams. “The last thing you want to deal with are itchy eyes and allergic reactions from products you've never used before.” If you’re still months out and looking for some new beauty swag, check out the best bridal makeup products and perfect that pout, blush, and those eyes.

    Photo Credit: Xposed Photography / Makeup: Joanna B. Artistry

  • Give Your Brows Some Extra Love

    Give Your Brows Some Extra Love

    This oft-overlooked area of your face is worth giving some extra TLC: “Always fill in your eyebrows and gel them. Some women will do a whole face of makeup and forget to fill in their eyebrows,” warns Ungaro. “This is especially important when you’re taking pictures. The flash of the camera can be so bright and hide our eyebrows, making it look like we don't have any.” Fill in your brows with a pencil or powder (or both) followed by a clear gel to set them in place -- the gel will also add a nice lift to the arch of the eyebrow, so you won’t have to sweat over that.

    Photo Credit: Tamara Schlesinger

  • Don

    Don't Apply Your Makeup Under Fluorescent Lights

    “Fluorescent lighting distorts colors,” cautions Adams. “Try to apply your makeup in natural lighting so you can truly see the true colors and intensity of your look.” Also, talk to your photographer about lighting and flash usage to see if he or she has any special notes on how to best adjust your look to cater to your wedding day conditions.

    Photo Credit: Ruche

  • Exfoliate Lips to Prevent Chapped Lips

    Exfoliate Lips to Prevent Chapped Lips

    File this under DIY perfection: “Mix brown sugar and coconut oil for a quick lip scrub,” advises Chow. “Make sure you moisturize your lips immediately after the scrub. You can start this a couple weeks before the wedding (no more than 2 times a week) to ensure you have soft supple lips on the day of your wedding.”

  • Master the Art of Shadow and Light

    Master the Art of Shadow and Light

    Contouring and highlighting may sound fancy, but its guiding principles are simple. “Dark makes things recede, light makes thing come forward,” says Maurer. “Do not use shimmery products for this underpinning of your features. Shading under the cheekbone, under the jawline, at the temples, and along the side of the nose will provide a sculptured facade. Highlighting the top of the cheekbone, the center of the nose, and the tip of the chin creates elegance.” Bottom line: Blend and blend and blend until all the lines disappear.

  • Use Eye Primer

    Use Eye Primer

    “Not only will an eye primer hide any redness or discoloration on your lids, it will also ensure your shadows go on smoothly and vibrantly,” says Matos. They’ll stay on all day and help your makeup remain fresh and vibrant.
  • Wear White When You Do Practice Runs

    Wear White When You Do Practice Runs

    “Clothing colors influence how your makeup will be perceived. Make sure you're wearing a white T-shirt [or outfit] when you are practicing your makeup application,” advises Adams. It’s a common thing brides forget to take into account when testing out their looks but can make a huge difference!

  • Do a Few Trials to Test Out Your Makeup

    Do a Few Trials to Test Out Your Makeup

    Sure, you could spend another few hours pinning away perfect bridal nail art ideas, but why not forget your digits for a few and devote some of your downtime to your beautiful face, too? “Once you decide on your look, start practicing a few months before the big day,” suggests Adams. “Make a date with YouTube and watch some makeup application videos to learn more about the application technique. Have fun with it, and enjoy the process of learning something new!”

  • Try This Trick to Make Your Blush Look Even Better

    Try This Trick to Make Your Blush Look Even Better

    “To achieve a natural healthy flush on the cheeks, cream blush is a great choice. If you want more staying power, you can layer powder blush on top of the cream blush,” advises Chow. “This can add extra dimension and give the color more staying power. Remember to always use a translucent powder before applying powder blush – on naked skin, too. Otherwise, any dry or oily areas are going to grab the pigment of the colored powder, resulting in an uneven, blotchy application,” adds Scali.

  • Befriend Blush

    Befriend Blush

    “Nothing makes the face look more fresh and vibrant than a blushed cheek,” comments makeup artist Vanessa Scali. I prefer a natural-looking cheek with a touch of glow. The most natural (universal) shades are rosy pinks and berry colors. Blush should be applied to the apples of the cheeks and blended outward.”

    Photo Credit: Erich McVey

  • Conceal Dark Circles Properly

    Conceal Dark Circles Properly

    Ever try and conceal dark circles with concealer only to realize you’re making them worse? True story. “That’s because you have to use a corrector first,” says Vanessa Ungaro of Lauren+ Vanessa hair and makeup services based in New York City. “A corrector counteracts the darkness of the skin. To counteract blues and purples, you want to use a salmon to orange depending on your skin tone. First step, apply an eye cream. Then, apply your corrector with a clean finger. Next, with another clean finger, apply a concealer that is the same color as your skin tone. When choosing the right shade for an under eye concealer, it's better to go slightly darker than too light.” Almost done: Just set with a yellow or translucent powder, and you’ll be ready to go.

  • Don’t Overdo it With Shimmer

    Don’t Overdo it With Shimmer

    “Luminous skin is beautiful. We all want to have a little glow on the wedding day, but do not over apply shimmer or you will end up looking shiny or oily rather than glowy,” says Anny Chow of Anny Chow Makeup & Hair Artistry. “You can apply highlighter to the top of the cheekbones, the temples, and on top of the cupid's bow [the double curve on your top lip]. And to control shine, you can apply powder on your forehead, chin, and the sides of the nose.”

  • Select a Shade That Matches Your Natural Complexion

    Select a Shade That Matches Your Natural Complexion

    “More time should be spent on the application on foundation and concealer than the entire rest of your makeup combined. Picking the right shade is of the utmost importance. Never, never, never try to alter your skin tone with foundation,” stresses Maurer. Tip: “The heat of your hand provides a much more realistic finish than a sponge or brush. If your arm doesn't hurt, you haven't blended enough. Set with an HD Finishing powder coordinated to your foundation shade,” he adds.

  • Use the Correct Kind of Foundation for the Season of Your Wedding

    Use the Correct Kind of Foundation for the Season of Your Wedding

    “This might sound odd, but it is the most important tip. You want your skin to be flawless and work with the weather you will be in on your wedding day,” says Rocio Matos, Blushington Makeup and Beauty Lounge Director of Education. “If you're going to have a beach wedding, focus on something light with some coverage and a good SPF. For a winter wedding, get a moisturizing foundation since skin can get a little dry in cold air.”

  • Pack Touch-up Products for the Day

    Pack Touch-up Products for the Day

    “Make sure your bridal bag or purse contains essential touch up products such as a spot concealer, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss, powder, tissues and Q-Tips,” says Adams. Speaking of which, let’s get started on packing that wedding-day survival kit so we don’t forget anything now...

  • Don’t Forget Skincare Before Applying Your Makeup.

    Don’t Forget Skincare Before Applying Your Makeup.

    “Doing a small, non-irritating peel, like the Beauty Rx peel by Dr. Schultz, ensures that your skin is moisturized, clean, and ready for the makeup application. It will also give your skin that healthy glow on your big day,” recommends Matos.

    Photo Credit: Terry Doyle

  • Make Your Lipstick Last

    Make Your Lipstick Last

    Exfoliate, apply, set: a mantra your pretty pout should live by. “First step is to exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub to remove any dead skin; then fill your lips in with a lip pencil that is the same exact color as your lipstick; next, apply your lipstick; lastly, use a makeup brush to dust translucent powder onto a tissue. The powder will be distributed through the tissue and set the lipstick in place.”

    Photo Credit: Brian Khang Photography / Makeup: Delilah Beauty

  • Tan Twice.

    Tan Twice.

    “If you plan on tanning as part of your wedding prep, it could influence which makeup shades you choose,” offers Adams. “Schedule a tan five weeks before your big day and practice your ideal makeup look on that fresh tan.” Then, you can tweak your visage from there and adjust accordingly based on how swoon-worthily bronze you are. 

    Photo Credit: Tomas Skaringa from The Big Affair Photography / Makeup and Hair: Beauty Affair

  • Don’t Go Too Nude

    Don’t Go Too Nude

    Va-va-voom red lips don’t have to be your look by any means, but remember this when selecting your lip color: “A nude lip can look washed out in photos. Consider going with a slightly more bold lip in a shade you know works well with your skin tone,” advises Adams. Going with a slightly bolder lip color than normal will also make you really pop in photos with your merry ‘maids.

  • Find the Perfect Lipstick Shade

    Find the Perfect Lipstick Shade

    Here’s some lip service everyone can benefit from: “Grandma always said never leave the house without a little lipstick on. However, you do not want your mouth to walk down the aisle ten feet ahead of you,” warns Maurer. “To find the perfect shade, pull your lower lip down and look for a color close to the inside flesh of your mouth. Matte, glossy, or patent leather is a personal choice.” Whatever makes you feel most confident in your own skin is your best bet. 

    Photo Credit: Tomas Skaringa from The Big Affair Photography / Makeup and Hair: Beauty Affair

Makeup Artists Reveal: 25 Secrets to Make Your DIY Wedding Makeup Look Professional

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