I did it! I did my own wedding day makeup and I am incredibly happy with how it turned out. I made this decision for a few reasons. The first, was authenticity. I wanted to feel like myself in pictures. 87% of Pinterest search results for ‘bridal makeup looks’ are my worst nightmare. I didn’t want to look “bridal” and all the pale pink and nude shades that go with it, or worse, overdone smokey eye. I wanted a natural, yet glammed up, old-Hollywood look using the beautiful, natural products I love. Like if Beyonce and Elizabeth Taylor had a makeup baby.
I approached a couple of eco-makeup artists to see if they could help execute this look but both were going to be out of town on my wedding day, so that was a bummer. And when I began to research non-eco artists, many were crazy overpriced and felt like I’d look like an overdone cartoon of myself.
Two months out from the big day and no artist booked to paint my face (procrastination was a prevalent theme in our planning process), essentially without any options and a limited budget, I nervously committed to doing it myself. I already owned most of the colors/products I’d need, and it would also save some money. All I really needed was practice.#nopressure
If you’re on the fence about doing your own makeup, here are a few things to think about that really helped me along the way:
1. Find your inspirational look
I would say this is the determining factor. If you’re sure of what you want it will be so much easier to get the shades you need or ask for advice at the beauty store. Many of the looks that inspired me came from editorial spreads, bloggers, Instagram, and looking at the work of makeup artists I admire as opposed to other people’s wedding makeup.
I adore celebrity eco-makeup artist Katey Denno’s work and found a few looks of hers that inspired me. Her blog was also extremely useful in recommending products. If an artist has enough faith in a natural lipstick to look beautiful in photos on the red carpet, then I figured it would hold up for my wedding look. I settled on an old-Hollywood inspired feel and knew I wanted a true red lip and subtle cat-eye. Rrrowr.
Think about the look you want and experiment with it a few times before the big day. Try/buy new colors now. Remember to take a few indoor and outdoor pictures to see if you need to add more/less, depending on the look you want. For me, it all came down to perfecting the cat eye and adding a bit more color to my cheeks than I normally would.
3. No new shades
Okay, you can buy new colors, but give yourself enough time to try them out, as I mentioned. You’ll have practiced a few times and know what looks good. Stick to the plan the day of and you’ll be confident in your application skills.
4. Be multi-dimensional
While you may want to have a little extra coverage to achieve a soft “airbrushed” look, this means the face can look a little flat in photos, especially against a white dress. I used blush, contouring powder and a highlighter on my cheeks, all applied a little more heavily-handed than usual. But it gave my face more depth that came out just right in photos!
5. The week before: prep your skin
I was extremely stressed the month before, but I didn’t get any pimples! I attribute this to drinking apple cider vinegar every morning and using essential oil aromatherapy ( I used a few drops of lavender with peppermint- instant tension relief!). And also, the the goddess of weddings smiling upon me.
Take care of any detox/exfoliating masks no less than 3 days before the wedding. This will give your skin time to chill out in case there’s any irritation or detox-related blemishes. And two days before, exfoliate. I used my trusty Clean Dirt from May Linsdtrom. Again, use your routine products – don’t introduce anything new to your skin to avoid a freak out.
6. Don’t forget to clean your brushes!
This will ensure a fresh palette and no clumpy brushes that could result in streaks. It’s a common-sense step, but I was so busy, I almost forgot! Use this genius trick to dry them properly!
Now to the fun part: The products I used!
After washing my face, I applied African Botanics Marula oil. I went to my salon to get my hair done which allowed the oil to set for a couple of hours.
The bridal suite at my venue had gorgeous lighting so I chose to apply my makeup there. I applied Kjaer Weiss Foundation in Illusion with a Beauty Blender (yes. this tool lives up to the hype! more on this in another post). This foundation offers heavier coverage, but still feels lightweight. I first used a concentrated amount to conceal under my eyes and a few lingering brown spots, then blended everything out with the Beauty Blender, which gave me a nice, even complexion. Note: I did NOT want to cover my freckles. If my freckles start to look “masked” I know that I’ve applied too much foundation.
Freckled ladies: If anyone ever tells you to cover up your amazing freckles/angel kisses (which two MUA said to me when I wad younger), go bananas, tell them they’re crazy, and then immediately walk out of wherever you are.
I then applied a very light dusting of Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation in Beige 4, just to set everything and reduce shine in photos.
I used my trusty Ecobrow Wax in Penelope, just a more defined, thicker brow to get the old Hollywood feel. In general, always make your brows a bit darker when you’ll be taking photos. They make your eyes pop and defines features.
Applied first was Alima Pure’s Chai eyeshadow to the entire lid. What really made them pop was contouring the outer lid with W3ll People’s Sparkling Plum shadow for a bit of depth. This shade offered the perfect amount of smolder, without looking too dramatic.
I decided to use two dirty products for my mascara and eyeliner. As of now, I’m not aware of waterproof/smudeproof mascara or eyeliner in the green beauty world (that could change!). I just didn’t want to risk having black smudges in my wedding pictures in case I started bawling. I created a subtle cat-eye with Stila’s waterproof liner and used a sample tube of Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Waterproof mascara.
My favorite part of my look: Ilia Lipstick in Strike It Up was love at first try for me! The blue tones make my teeth look glow-in-the-dark white and just brightens up my complexion. I have found my perfect red! I knew the lips would offer drama so I tried to keep everything else subtle.
I applied a bit of RMS Living Luminizer on the apples of my cheeks and my brow bones. Then an ever-so-slight swipe of Alima Pure’s Contouring Powder in Sombra in the hallows of my cheeks (or where I wish I had them on my round face 🙂 I then finished with a generous dusting of Alima Pure Blush in Honey Rose.
There you have it! Thinking of doing your own makeup? Have any other suggestions that I missed? Leave a comment!
Photo credits: NorrisPhoto and my talented sister-in-law, Alice Helms
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