Bridal Makeup

DIY Wedding Makeup!

Most of us ladies put some makeup on every day – so we are no strangers to bringing out our best features and concealing our flaws. Even the best of us, however, may feel a little hesitation about doing our own wedding makeup. You may be considering asking a friend, or hiring a professional makeup artist… there are all kinds of options available. If you do want to have a go at it yourself – read on! Pam Wrigley, our resident makeup expert, gives her best advice on how to do your own wedding makeup.

Bridal Makeup


Image courtesy of Pam Wrigley

If you decide to go it alone on your big day and do your makeup yourself – like the Duchess of Cambridge – remember that beautiful wedding makeup is not just about putting more on for the cameras. You don’t want to end up looking like a clown!

Your photographs are just one part of the day, everyone will be looking at you close up, and you don’t want their lasting memory of you to be “she wore too much makeup”! A beautiful makeup is all about balance – brows that are too dark, blusher too heavy and caked-on foundation will all draw attention, but not the favourable kind!

To begin with, ideally you should only tackle this one if you’re used to wearing makeup and are confident in putting it on. If you’re not, your wedding day is not a day to start experimenting! The first rule is – if you are not a makeup kind of gal and you still opt for the DIY route – keep your makeup to a minimum. You will be nervous and excited on your big day and a perfect straight line around the eyes first time round may escape even the most accomplished amongst us.

Primer, foundation, powder…

Images clockwise from left: bridal makeup by Pam Wrigley | Laura Mercier Foundation Primer | Cosmetics a la Carte Matte Miracle | Chanel Mat Lumiere | Mac Prep + Prime Finishing Powder

I love and highly recommend the Laura Mercier primers, followed by a tinted moisturiser or a mineral powder.  The ones by Cosmetics a la Carte may be a bit pricey but they are a dream to apply, they have a great range of colours, suit different skin types and what’s more they have great staying power. I also love the Cosmetics a la Carte Matte Miracle – this light gel can be applied under foundation or on top, and is a great way to keep unwanted shine at bay.

If you do opt for a liquid foundation I find Chanel almost unbeatable, they are light and easy to apply and yet have great coverage. Foundation can be applied using a sponge, a foundation brush or with your fingers, have a play around and discover what works best for you – there are no rights or wrongs, just different methods.

Finally, don’t forget to powder!  Mac Prep + Prime finishing powder is a great option if you’re not sure what shade of powder to buy. It is totally colourless when applied and will set your foundation beautifully so it lasts all day long.

Don’t be frightened to be liberal with your powder, your skin will look a bit powdery at first, but don’t worry – the powder will settle in around 30 minutes to an hour, leaving you with a flawless, natural looking makeup that will last – not a makeup that disappears before the first dance.

That rosy glow…

Images clockwise from top: bridal makeup by Pam Wrigley | No7 Vital Enlightening highlighter powder designed by Lisa Eldridge | Laura Mercier Pink Mosaic shimmer block

It’s a fact… overly dewy foundation just looks sweaty in photos! Add the dewy look to your makeup at a later stage, and strategically.

Once you’ve got the perfect matt base try adding the dewy look to your makeup using No7’s Vital Enlightening highlighter powder if you are going for golden warm tone with your makeup, or maybe a touch of Laura Mercier Pink Mosaic shimmer block if your finished look is more English Rose. Apply to the cheek bones along the top edge of the blusher, on the brow bone just below the eyebrow and maybe just a touch above the temple just above the arch of your brow, to lend a sun kissed dewy look to your makeup.

Benefit High Beam is fantastic, but not so great on your wedding day, in flash photography you can look like you’ve got white stripes across your face, and whilst your professional photographer may not use flash, you can bet that your guests will.

And finally…

It may be a good idea to have a makeup lesson at one of the cosmetic counters, go for MAC or Bobbi Brown, but be careful – it is very easy to spend a lot of money on products that you might never wear again, and you bet they will be recommending for you to buy the particular products they’ve used on you, especially if you like the result.  At the end of the day, if you’re not confident about doing it yourself, you could have put that money towards a makeup artist. She’ll have everything in her kit that you could possibly need to make you look totally gorgeous – plus something that money can’t buy at the cosmetics counter:  a calming influence on the sometimes hectic but always excitable hours building up to THE most important bit of the day… the ceremony.

Next month’s blog will cover eyes, eyes, and more eyes – the windows to your soul.

Winner of Best Wedding Hair Stylist at the Wedding Industry Awards 2012 London & South East, Pam Wrigley is an expert in the field of styling bridal hair. With over 20 years of experience, Pam travels to meet brides throughout London and the Home Counties,

Get more great advice in our Health & Beauty section!

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