One of the things our photographer asked was where I got my makeup done because it was flawless! As I’ve mentioned before, I did my own wedding makeup! This was really a budget choice. Would I have gone with a makeup artist if I had unlimited funds? Maybe, but I like playing with makeup! I’ll put it on even when I have nowhere to go because I think it’s a fun thing to do. I’m going to lay out exactly what products I used PLUS others that would make a great option.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
I debated putting this in because you’re not really putting on makeup the night before. I know women who skip makeup all together the day before (or even the week before), but I was meeting up with friends and going out to dinner, so I still wore a full face. However, that did not deter me from making sure my skin was in tiptop shape beforehand!
That night, I went through two rounds of cleaning my face. I used this micelle water to take all my initial makeup off. Then, I went in with a face cleansing brush (like this one) and this scrub to really be sure all the dirt and grime was out of my pores. After drying off my face, I went in with coconut oil (like this one). One thing to be sure of with your coconut oil is to be sure it’s not refined! Otherwise, you won’t reap any of the benefits. I waited about 30 minutes for the coconut oil to absorb. I ran a wash cloth under steaming hot water and lay it on my face for a couple minutes so my pores would reopen. After a few minutes, I used this moisturizer and this eye cream. Then, it was bed time!
THE BIG DAY
I’m going to lay this out step-by-step so we don’t miss a thing!
- Step 1 – Prep Your Skin: I took a cotton cloth with a bit of micelle water and just ran it over my face again. This was to get off any excess oil that may have collected over night. I washed my face with a mild face soap and my face cleansing brush with an exfoliating attachment. Then, I took a pea sized amount of coconut oil and really massaged it into my skin. I decided to forgo my moisturizer because it had SPF and that creates a flash back (read: white face). Instead, I skipped straight to dabbing in a generous layer of under eye cream. I waited about 30 minutes for my skin to absorb everything before beginning my makeup!
- Step 2 – Primer: Absolutely, 100% do not skip this step! I was never a firm believer in primer. I usually used Laura Mercier’s Radiance primer more to give me a pretty, dewy glow than to keep my makeup in place. I think primers feel weird on the skin, to be honest. However, I used this primer all over my face on my wedding day, paying special attention to my T-zone and where my pores were a little extra present. Worked like a charm! My makeup didn’t budge! The key is to use your finger tips and to warm up the primer a little between them before rubbing into your skin.
- Step 3 – Foundation: I’m not a full coverage girl. I prefer tinted moisturizer to full on foundation. One thing to remember is to put your makeup on for a camera and not for in-person. Your makeup might look gorgeous in-person and completely wash you out on film! That’s why I opted for full coverage for my wedding. I used this matte foundation combined a little with this one. Total proof that you can make drugstore work for you! If you’re looking for a great splurge, I highly, highly recommend this foundation. It is beautiful and has a flawless finish; I’ve used it for other events before and it stayed gorgeous all night. I used my fingers to blend in my foundation. I wanted to use the warmth to make sure it really melted in and became like second skin.
- Step 3 – Conceal + Powder: Again, not a huge fan of full coverage concealers. They can get cakey fast. However, I went for it on the Big Day! This full coverage concealer is the best one on the market. It is a little pricey, but you only need the tiniest amount to get the job done. I created a triangle under each eye (and filled it in), I put a little around my nostrils to cover any redness, a slight stripe down my nose, some dots to cover any blemishes, and a quick stripe under my bottom lip. I blended that all in with my fingers. To finish, I took a small fluffy brush (like this one) and ran it through water. I then dipped it in translucent powder (like this one) and packed it under my eyes, down my nose, a little on my chin, some on the center of my forehead and then a generous amount on each jaw. I didn’t “bake” for long, but just enough to prevent creases. You really want to prevent any shininess.
- Step 4 – Eyes: I’ve mentioned before that I’m in love with this palette! I’m going to link a video for you guys (right here!). It’s similar to the eye look I described in this post, but if you’re trying to follow this for your wedding day, I don’t want to leave any doubts! I think in this video, there’s less pinks than I used. For the main inner corner eye color, I used a baby sparkly pink. I then went in with a water proof eyeliner in brown and generally lined my eyes. I didn’t do a special cat-eye effect or anything to that nature. I did start in the middle of my eye (where my pupil would aline) and then go to the outer corner. There was virtually no eyeliner in the inner corner of my eye. This is a trick my mom taught to help my eyes look bigger and brighter! I then went in with this water proof mascara. I did two coats on my top lashes and one coat on bottom. I filled in my eyebrows with a shadow off of my palette that matched the root of my hair.
- Step 6 – Contour: Okay, guys, this is it. We’re down to the last steps! At this point, I brushed away the translucent powder. You’ll probably notice that your skin will look a shade lighter where the powder was, which means it worked! I then went in with a brush like this and a medium brown contour shade. I drew two thick lines under each cheek bone. I also carved out my nose a bit on the sides. Then, I drew several lines starting from just under my chin and down my neck. I blended it all out with a big, fluffy brush, like this one, being sure to draw any product to the out corners of my forehead as well to create depth there. Make sure there aren’t any harsh lines! I then went in with a dusty rose colored blush (like this one) and popped it onto the apples of my cheeks and swept it up my cheekbone. To finish, I took this more subdued highlighter and concentrated it on the apples of my cheeks, sweeping it up my cheek bones to blend it out. I put a smidge of it on the tip of my nose. I then took a more prominent highlighter (like this one) and dabbed a little on my cupids bow. I also put a generous amount on my collarbone, shoulder, and on the V of my neck.
- Step 7 – Lips: I used this liquid lipstick for the big day! I used a creamy nude tone lip liner (like this one) as my base. I then put on this chapstick to be sure my lips stayed moisturized under the liquid lipstick. After applying liquid lipstick, I then used this Clinique chubby stick in “Grandest Guava” for some extra moisture and shine! I was going for more of a reddish brown lip. However, if you’re looking for more of a classic bridal nude, L’Oreal lipsticks, MAC lipsticks, and Tom Ford lipsticks all have fantastic options with great staying power!
OTHER MAKEUP TIPS FOR YOUR BIG DAY
- Get your skin tone matched after you tan. I decided not to tan (obviously, ha!) for my wedding because I didn’t want to risk being sunburned, having tan lines, and/or getting fake tanner all over my (super white) dress! However, if you do decide to get some color, be sure to match your makeup shade to your neck/shoulder post-tanning.
- Dry climates: amp up the moisturizer. Humid climates: amp up the powder. I got married in the winter in a drier climate, so I definitely went heavy moisturizing! However, most people get married in the spring/summer during the more humid months. Be sure to slip some translucent powder and a clean brush into your bridal bag to touch up during the day!
- Be gentle with your foundation and concealer. Layer it on bit by bit, not all at once! Go heavy on the foundation/concealer for the first layer is a guaranteed way to look cakey. It’s better to build up your foundation/concealer by going one thin layer at a time. Yes, it takes more time, but your makeup will look infinitely better!
- Go heavy on the eyes. Okay, one thing that people usually hesitate is going heavy on makeup. Makeup for photos is different than makeup for every day. If you don’t pack on a little more than usual, your face (and eyes!) won’t hold any definition. It may seem heavy when looking the mirror, but that’s okay! Just be sure it all blends together and there aren’t any harsh lines.
- ALWAYS use a matte contour shade. Another common mistake I see happen all the time are people opting for the bronzer with a bit of shimmer. Avoid, avoid, avoid! It’ll just make your skin look muddy and texturized.
- Beware of dewy foundations that have SPF. I wanted to look glowing on the Big Day and I tend to have drier skin. So, naturally, I started browsing the foundations with a dewy finish. I started noticing that most of them had some sort of SPF in them. Frankly, it’s an easy cop-out for a foundation to get dewy by adding sunscreen. So, if you’re looking for a dewy finish, be sure your foundation doesn’t have SPF or you risk getting the white faced flash back in pictures!
- Wax in advance. This didn’t happen to me on my wedding day, but it did happen to me for a more formal event. The day before said event, I decided to get my upper lip waxed and my skin had a horrible reaction! Not only that, it was at the peak of its reaction during the event! So, if you’re going for a wax, be sure to do it about 5-7 days in advance. Even better: do a test run the month before.
- Tweeze the day of. I waited to tweeze my eyebrows till the day of my wedding. I usually keep up an every other week routine. By tweezing the day of, I made sure my brows looked fresh and groomed!
That’s it, you guys! I’ll let you know if I think of more, but for now, that’s a lot to play with! If you’re getting married, congrats! Know that you’ll look great no matter what!
*All photos taken by Jenn Wagner Studio.