How to Apply Wedding Makeup

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Doing your own makeup on your wedding day can be intimidating, especially if you are not used to wearing makeup every day. However, the proper preparation and testing can help you confidently achieve a great result that will have you looking great both down the aisle and in photos.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Makeup You Need:

Things You'll Need

  • Face primer
  • Foundation
  • Liquid under-eye concealer
  • Creamy face concealer
  • Setting powder
  • Blush
  • Bronzer (Optional)
  • Eyeshadow primer
  • Eyeshadows
  • Waterproof eyeliner
  • Waterproof mascara
  • Highlighter or luminizer
  • Eyebrow powder/pencil
  • Brow gel
  • Lip liner
  • Lipstick
  • Lip gloss (Optional)

Makeup Tools You Need:

Things You'll Need

  • Foundation brush (Optional)
  • Powder brush
  • Blush brush
  • Eyeshadow blending brush
  • Flat eyeshadow brush
  • Pencil brush
  • Brow brush
  • Highlighter brush (Optional)
  • Cotton buds
  • Blotting sheets

Step 1: Primer

Apply primer to the center of your face: Nose, chin, and forehead. It will help your T-Zone stay matte and your makeup will look better for longer.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 2: Foundation

Make sure to choose a foundation that suits your skin type (the product label usually specifies which skin type is best for). Unless the event will be held outdoors (for example, at the beach), choose a foundation with no SFP. SPF tends to show up white cast with flash photography.

Apply the foundation all over your face and blend it on your neck as well. Apply as little foundation as needed just to even out your skin tone: The goal is your skin, but better. If you have any blemishes, you will cover them with concealer.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 3: Face Concealing

Choose a creamy face concealer that matches your skin tone and your foundation perfectly. If you have any blemishes or scars, dab the pointed eyeliner brush in the creamy face concealer and apply a tiny amount only on the blemish to cover it. With your finger, tap over it until it blends with the rest of the skin.

Step 4: Under-Eye Concealing

Use a liquid concealer one or two shades lighter than your skin tone to conceal darkness under your eyes. Dab the product with your ring finger and make sure to blend it well.

Step 5: Powder

Set your foundation and concealer with a finely milled setting powder. Choose a powder with no silica as it may show up white cast in photos taken with flash.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 6: Blush

Choose a blush color that complements your skin tone and gives you a healthy flushed color:

  • Baby pink or peachy pink for very fair skin tones
  • Peachy pink or rose for light to medium skin tones
  • Deep rose color for deeper skin tones
(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 7: Bronzer

Bronzer may not be necessary, but if you think that warming up your skin would suit you, apply a very small amount of bronzer to the sides of your forehead, on the sides of your face and below your cheekbones. Have a very light hand.

The bronzer should be completely matte, and the color should look like your skin color when you get a little tan. Shimmery face products, if not expertly applied, can make the pores of your skin look larger and your face shiny, which does not look flattering in photos.

Step 8: Eyes

Dab a small amount of primer on both the entire upper eyelids up until under the eyebrows. This will make the eyeshadow stay on longer and look better.

  • Apply a flesh-toned eyeshadow on the entire lid
  • Apply a medium brown eyeshadow along the socket line
  • Apply a dark brown eyeshadow to the outer corner of the eye
  • Apply a highlight color (champagne, ivory, pale golden all work as long as they are not shimmery/glittery) under the brow bone and in the inner corner of your eyes

Blend the eyeshadows with gentle circular motion to soften up the edges.

Line your upper lid with a water-resistant eye pencil. The line should follow the eye shape and be as close as possible to the upper lashes. Make sure to fill in the space in between the lash roots, as that gives the appearance of fuller lashes.

With the pencil brush, apply the darkest eyeshadow over the line you just created and smudge it softly. Then, curl your lashes with an eyeshadow curler. Apply one or two coats of mascara.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 9: Brows

With a brow powder or a brow pencil, fill in the empty spots in your eyebrows to create fuller-looking brows. Choose a brow product that is one shade lighter than your brow hairs if you are a brunette; choose one shade darker than your hair color if you are blonde. Apply eyebrow gel to set the brows in place.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 10: Highlighter or Luminizer

Adding a subtle sheen to the skin in strategic areas of the face, can add a youthful glow. If you like, add a touch of highlighting powder or luminizer to the top of your cheekbones.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 11: Lips

Use a lip liner that matches your natural lip color to define the contour of your lips and fill them in. Apply the lipstick all over your lips, and then blot with a paper towel. Blotting your lips and then reapplying the lipstick will make the lipstick stay on longer.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

If you like the look of glossy lips, add a touch of gloss to the center of your lips.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

Step 12: Touch-Ups

Carry your makeup bag to the event location for touch-ups. While having all of the makeup products would be ideal, you could also carry just the essentials: Setting powder with a brush or puff, and lipstick or lipgloss.

(Image: Lilly Wallace)

A Few Additional Tips:

Choosing a Style

Your wedding makeup look should be as close as possible to the look you normally wear. Aim for a more polished, only slightly "heavier" version of it. If you don't typically wear any makeup, opt for a very natural, fresh-faced look (as in this tutorial).

Testing, Testing, Testing

Get together all the products you need for your wedding makeup and rehearse the look as many times as you need to achieve the result you want. The more you practice, the less nervous you will feel on the big day.

Making the Look Photoproof

Take photos of your face every time you do a makeup trial, and do it in natural light, preferably in front of a well lit window. Natural light is very unforgiving and will allow you to see mistakes and correct them, such as a foundation color mismatch. If your wedding is happening in the evening or indoors, take photos with flash as you will be photographed with flash.

Achieving Flawless Skin

Do not try any new skincare or makeup products during the two weeks before the wedding to prevent unexpected breakouts. Same goes with facials, as they may cause an unexpected skin reaction that your skin would not have enough time to heal from.

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