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How To Apply Your Own Wedding Makeup, According To Top Makeup Artists


Photo: Courtesy Atelier Zuhra

Wedding makeup can be tricky to get right, but if you had to pick one moment for your makeup to well and truly play ball, your wedding day would likely be up there. You want to look like your best self but not a stranger; dewy but not shiny; natural but not naked – and it has to be sweat-proof, camera-proof and waterproof to withstand the day. It’s not surprising that many brides call upon an expert makeup artist for the job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t decide to do it yourself.

Whether you’re pretty talented with an eyeshadow palette, prefer a non-traditional bridal look, are looking to scale back your budget, or just feel better keeping the fate of your face in your own hands, DIY wedding makeup can often be the best option.

It’s really just as well, because the next couple of years are booked and busy when it comes to Big Days. Makeup artists are already filling up their diaries, so if you’d rather skip the scrum, and look after your glam yourself, you can.

To help you nail it, we called on expert bridal makeup artist, Rachelle Shakespeare and Bobbi Brown Senior PRO Artist, Zara Findlay, to guide us through the dos and don’ts of how to do your own wedding make up. Having perfected the makeup of countless brides they’re both absolute veterans and know every makeup trick in the book to ensure you look stunning IRL and in photos.

1. Start with skincare

If you really want glowing, long-lasting makeup on your wedding day, start preparing well before. “Make sure you are religious with your day and night skincare routine long before your wedding day,” says Zara. “Regular facials really help to prep skin,” adds Rachelle, ensuring that your skin is balanced, clear and hydrated. “Especially for winter weddings. There’s nothing worse than dry, patchy skin,” she says

On the day, prep your skin with a hydrating mask (try the A-list approved 111Skin sheet mask), “this will help your foundation to glow,” explains Rachelle. Then follow with a moisturizer-primer hybrid to create a flawless canvas. Zara recommends Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base. “The right base for your skin type is very important to ensure longevity throughout the day,” advises Zara.

2. Practice, practice, practice

Avoid any stressful stuff-ups by practicing your look plenty of times beforehand. “The best time to practice techniques is just before you take your makeup off in the evening as you have no pressure to make it look perfect,” says Zara.

Here’s how makeup artist Jamie Genevieve practiced her makeup ready for her big day:

Bridal expert and Bobbi Brown Global Pro artist, Amy Conway, shared what she did for her own wedding day makeup (after years of practice getting other brides ready):


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A post shared by Amy Conway (@bbpro_amyconway)

3. Mistakes to avoid

If you find a spot brewing on your face in the lead up to your big day, leave it alone. “Don’t pick it,” warns Rachelle. “A wet spot is harder to cover than a dry one,” so back off.

And while you should definitely be wearing SPF every single day, the only exception, is your wedding day. “Foundation that contains SPF can sometimes reflect the light off the camera, so it may appear that your skin is a lighter shade in photos,” explains Rachelle. What’s more, “putting a high SPF factor under makeup can oxidize your foundation and change its color as the day goes on,” she adds. “Wearing a foundation without an SPF of no more than SPF 15 will help to prevent this”, agrees Zara. And “make sure your moisturizer [or anything else you put on your skin] doesn’t have too much SPF too,” she adds.

Another pitfall? “Glossy lips on a windy day are a bad combo,” warns Rachelle. It’ll get in your hair and on the groom, “then he’ll be wearing the gloss in your photos,” says Rachelle. “Plus it wears off quickly.”

And, if you plan on wearing fake lashes for an extra flutter, try them on beforehand to check they’re not too much. “If they’re too heavy, they can close and droop eyes,” says Rachelle.

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