As you know by now, I did not only my own but also pretty much all of my bridesmaids’ makeup (with assistance from Anna, of course) on my wedding day. With practice, good products, and a good amount of time on your wedding day, I believe that any bride can take matters into their own hands when it comes to bridal makeup. Hiring a make up artist might not always work out for the best, and like I said before, no one will know your face better than you.
Step 1: Prep your face
You absolutely need to have a good foundation before you apply any makeup at all. Make sure that you give your face a good exfoliation either the morning of or the night before. I did the night before with Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.
Step 2: Prime
Apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to your clean face before you begin. Then, I applied Benefit’s Porefessional to my nose, chin, forehead and cheeks to fill in any pores. Think of it as spackling your face to create a smooth surface (kinda gross, I know). Then apply a primer–I used Smashbox’s Photofinish Primer–for me this is ol’ reliable. I’ve used it multiple times, and it just works. Follow suit under the eyes with Smashbox’s Undereye Brightening Primer, and on the lids with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer.
This might seem like a ridiculous amount of products, but primers are essential. They will adhere the makeup to your face, making it last longer and prevent creasing in the eyelids and in any fine lines.
Since I have freckles, it was actually quite hard for me to find a great foundation that matched. Too light, and it enhanced my pale complexion in a bad way and I came out looking dead. Too tan, and I got severe foundation jawline. As I’ve mentioned before, I finally found Diorshow Airflash, and fell in love. No SPF, so no flashblack, and buildable coverage with an ever-so-slight pearlescent finish to hide any imperfections and give a nice glow. Spray the foundation on to a foundation brush and apply to your whole face, making downward strokes. Be sure to blend the jawline.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to cry or not at the ceremony, but I decided to play it safe with a waterproof undereye concealer, Lancome’s Effacernes. Great consistency and coverage. Apply this under the eyes and in the inner corners of the eyes.
For any facial imperfections, I applied Cle de Peau’s concealer with a brush to pimples and the sides of my nose to cover any redness.
Lock it in–Step 1
Generously powder your face with Vichy’s Dermablend Powder. This powder is a miracle worker–sweat-proof, shine-proof, rubbing-proof–your makeup won’t be going anywhere. Apply tons of this to your face, let it soak in for 2 minutes, then brush off the excess.
Apply Nars’ Laguna bronzer with a fluffy brush at the top of your face, tracing down the perimeter of your face, down your cheekbones, and then tracing down your jawline (it will look like you are drawing a big “3”). Also apply down the bridge of your nose and on your chin. Make sure you blend this in well. Nobody wants to see where you’ve actually applied this step. You just want to give a bit of definition and glow to your face. It will also make your face look smaller.
I don’t care who you are, eyebrows are crucial to the architecture of the face, so they need to be strong and well-defined so that they show up on camera. I filled mine in with Lancome’s Eyebrow Pencil. This pencil is foolproof–I just colour it on where I need it and brush it through with the handy spoolie attached to the end. Pick a pencil that is a shade lighter than your hair colour for a natural-looking brow.
For my engagement photo shoot, I applied both a cream and a powder blush for a long-lasting flush. However, I didn’t apply enough. I really wanted a rosy-pink glow to my face, so apply more than you think–you might feel silly, but if you want it to show up, put more on. I first applied MAC’s creme blush in So Sweet, So Easy for a good base, then I layered over Nars’ Orgasm blush. Orgasm is a shade I wear in everyday life, and gives a great bridal flush. It has little pieces of gold flecks, so it will give you a pretty glow as well.
For my eye makeup, I applied Urban Decay’s Virgin (in the Naked Palette) all over the lid, Toasted on my eyelids, and Buck in the crease and lightly following my lower lash line. Then, I traced along my tightline with Sephora’s Waterproof Eyeliner in brown, and ever-so-lightly along my lower lashline for added definition. I then curled my eyelashes, lined my upper lid (with a thicker line than normal) with Smashbox’s Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Brown and applied Lancome Definicils Mascara.
Lock it in–Step 2
Spray your face a few times with Urban Decay’s All Nighter to set your makeup.
Kirsten, my maid of honour, applied all of our fake eyelashes (I knew that I wasn’t going to have time, and she is a cheerleader, so she really is a pro at applying fakies). I chose a more dramatic set of Ardell’s lashes than usual to really make my eyes pop. Make sure you get a waterproof eyelash glue!
I was going for a pink, glowy, blushing bride look, so I opted for a slightly brighter lipstick than usual. It showed up on camera really well and perfectly matched my flowers.
You are going to be kissing people all day long, so you can’t afford to have a lip that fades. I applied Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage concealer to my lips (make sure that you wipe off any excess lip balm first), then I filled in my lips Chanel’s lipliner in Fuschia, and then followed up with one coat of Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Paradis (the Rouge Coco formula is my favourite for lipstick), straight from the tube. Blot, with one layer of Kleenex. Then I sprinkled and brushed some translucent powder (the Laura Mercier from the undercover pot). Apply one more coat of lipstick, and bring it with you for touch ups. I chose not to finish with a gloss because it can look like you ate some goop in photos.
Anything I would have done differently:
The only thing that I would have maybe done differently is take a moment during my reception to apply some blotting powder to my nose. I was having so much fun that it did not even occur to me that I might be shiny after about 5 hours wearing a 10-pound wedding dress in July. But, the day goes so quickly that there is no need to even worry yourself about that. Having fun is the priority.
All the products I used:
Smashbox Photofinish Primer
Smashbox Undereye Primer
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer
Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
Chanel Lipstick in Paradis
Chanel Lipliner in
Cle de Peau Concealer
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Undereye concealer
Vichy Dermablend Powder
Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray
Sephora Waterproof Eyeliner
DUO Eyelash Glue
Lancome Definicils Waterproof Mascara
Nars Blush in Orgasm
Nars Bronzer in Laguna
Dior Diorflash Airbrush Foundation
Lancome Eyebrow Pencil
P.S. My bridesmaids all still loved me even after I was bossy with them.