9 Tips for Doing Your Own Wedding Makeup Like a Pro

A bride with glam makeup holding her bouquet.

Here are some great tips for doing your own makeup on your wedding day; after all, you know your face better than anyone, and with a little prep work you can truly make your face look its best for all those wedding photographs.

1. Buy New, Long-Lasting Products

You don’t have to buy all new makeup, but we all know that some of our products aren’t the most durable. For the makeup that doesn’t last as long as you’d like, take some time to go find yourself a long-wear, long-lasting, waterproof replacement. You don’t have to get something you’ll never use again, but just make sure it’s going to stay put through what could be a pretty long party.

2. Treat Your Skin in the Months Beforehand

A woman getting a facial in the days before her wedding.

Your skin deserves the big treatment: the facial, the moisturizer, the mud mask, whatever it likes. Your skin will look its best and most natural on your wedding day when you’ve been taking great care of it throughout your engagement, and skin treatments can also be a good way to relax!

3. Practice a Few New Looks

Many women go with a very basic look on most workdays, so if you aren’t accustomed to a full face of makeup, try out a couple of different options well before the big day. Put on the look, then try a few photographs and see how you feel about the look from a few feet away. Wedding makeup shares a lot in common with stage makeup in that most people will be viewing you from a few feet away and you want to have striking features in the photos. Once you pick a look, try it at least one more time to make sure you can do it consistently again.

4. Moisturize the Morning Of

Moisturizer on the wedding day is a must! It helps your skin remain hydrated under your makeup; you’ll be glad you kept your skin hydrated so that makeup doesn’t settle into any fine lines.

5. Use Primer and Foundation Without SPF

SPF key ingredients tend to make your face come across kind of ghostly white in photographs, so if you aren’t likely to be outdoors for much time, you should skip the primer and foundation that have SPF in them. If you need the sunscreen, start with a base level of sunscreen and then use non-SPF primer and foundation; this will minimize the whiteness while still giving you the sun protection. (Primer, by the way, will help your foundation stay put all day.)

6. Use a Little More Blush, a Little More Mascara

A birde getting blush applied as part of her wedding makeup look.

If you aren’t used to a natural look, try to push just a little: one more brush-ful of blusher, another swipe of mascara. Remember that your guests want to be able to see your big beautiful eyes and your rosy cheeks even if they are sitting in the back. Don’t go overboard—but this isn’t just another day of makeup.

7. Avoid Sparkles and White Powder for the Camera’s Sake

Even if you like a lot of glitz in your makeup, be aware that sparkles tend to mess with your photographs; opt for an understated metallic shimmer in your eyeshadow, rather than full-on glitter anywhere in your makeup routine. The same standard goes for white powders; you can definitely use loose powder, but photograph ahead of time to see if the look comes across as white in photographs, which generally isn’t a great look even on a fairly pale person.

8. Use an Eyelash Curler or Some False Eyelashes

A woman doing her wedding makeup and using an eyelash curler.

One way to get your eyes to pop in your wedding look is to curl your eyelashes before applying your waterproof mascara. Waterproof tends to work better in heat, and it also keeps you from getting mascara runs on your face if you shed a tear. You can also go the false eyelash route to draw attention to your lovely eyes.

9. Use Setting Spray and Blotting Sheets When Touching Up

You can really make your makeup bulletproof by using a setting spray, which will often last 15-18 hours without wearing off. Blotting sheets are a nice option for combination or oil skin, since they lift the oil off without ruining the finished look. Finally, pack your lipstick, concealer, and mascara (and other items if needed) somewhere that you can easily grab them for a touch-up during the reception if you end up needing one.

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