For some brides, some DIY makeup is the way to go. You may be more comfortable with your own style, or you may be limiting vendors due to Covid-19. We went straight to makeup artist Alice Shaw for a step-by-step guide on applying your own wedding makeup perfectly. We have everything you need to know, from understanding your skin type to tips and tricks used by makeup artists themselves.
Understanding your skin type...
Knowing your skin type is essential for achieving the perfect makeup application that looks flawless in person and in photos. So how do you know your skin type? Have a look at your skin throughout the day to see how your makeup looks at different times and especially after washing your face in the evening, grab a mirror, touch your face and look for any characteristics stated below. If you find you see no characteristics then you are classed as "Normal Skin" so you should follow the tips for dry skin to ensure you have that bridal glow!
- Shiny appearance and will feel greasy to touch
- Foundation will slide off throughout the day
- Enlarged pores and blackheads
- Feel tight to touch
- Skin will be flaky (usually around the nose, cheeks and forehead)
- Foundation will cling to the dry patches
- Sensitive skin has the same characteristics as dry but also will appear red and can sometimes be sore to touch
- Combination skin is usually the most common skin type as its a mixture of both dry and oily
- One area (usually the T Zone) is oily and the other is dry
Step by step guide...
Ask any makeup artist and they will tell you that skincare and primer is the most important step to achieving the perfect skin. It ensures your makeup application looks smooth and will help make it last all day.
1. Prep Power
Make sure your skin is clean and fresh prior to application by cleansing and toning.
For all skin types we love to use Mac Softening Lotion, which is a very fine liquid exfoliator that removes texture on the skin.
*Tip* Spray onto a cotton pad, wipe all over the skin and use circular motions on stubborn areas.
2. Moisturise Moisturise Moisturise!
All skin types cry out for hydration especially underneath makeup and primer. Our go to is the Hydrating Water Fresh Cream -Bobbi Brown.
For oil skin, moisturiser will reduce shine - crazy right?! (Oily skin is usually dehydrated. The skin produces excess sebum to try and rehydrate!)
For dry/sensitive skin this will help to minimalise dry areas and provide a glow.
*Tip* Use a pea size amount and apply by massaging upwards towards the forehead for that instant facelift.
Primer will be your best friend in helping your makeup stay in place throughout the day as well as provide an even application.
For oily skin, silicon based primers will blur the skin and will hold the foundation. We love Benefit POREfessional.
For dry/sensitive skin, primers that quench your skin's thirst and that are non-irritable is the go-to. Products like Mac Moisture Infusion for example.
For combination skin, if you're not up for purchasing two primers to treat each area, we recommend your focus to be on really working the moisturiser into the skin and use a primer to treat oily skin.
*Tip* Apply with your fingers and work from the centre of the face outwards.
1. Flawless Foundation
Try to not stray away from your comfort zone when it comes to foundation as you want to feel comfortable on your big day. If you would like more coverage, only go up one "level." For example, if your everyday foundation is lightweight, opt for medium coverage.
For dry skin (You've probably guessed it by now) use a hydrating dewy foundation such as Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation
For oily skin, a mattifying foundation is a big yes from us!! L'Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte Foundation is perfect for this.
For combination skin, you need one that is the best for both concerns... Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation works the best as it is semi mattifying. Best of both worlds!!
*Tip* Press your foundation into your skin either using a brush or sponge rather than wiping motions as this will create a more seamless skin-like base.
2. Concealer Queen
Apply your concealer in a triangle shape underneath the eye and down to the nostril, then blend with a brush or sponge. Applying in a triangle shape will brighten the centre of the face. If you're feeling confident, also apply your concealer to the centre of your forehead, chin and centre of the nose to really brighten up the whole face.
*Tip* Choose a colour that is a shade lighter than your foundation to really brighten the skin.
3. Stay Put Setting Powder
A number one rule for any photographic makeup is to avoid white-based powders as this can cause flashback in photos which are a big no-no! Use a powder that matches your skin tone and apply with a large powder brush pressing into the skin.
*Tip* Powder foundations are great to double up as setting powder. Keep it in your bag for on the go touch-ups.
Flawless base...check! Time to add colour back into the cheeks and create some definition.
Do not be scared of bronzer! It's not all about the crazy contour. With a medium-sized brush, sweep the bronzer in the shape of an 'E' and a '3' around the face. Start at the temple and sweep the brush down to the cheek bones and then down the jawline. (Enhance the cheekbones by adding more product)
*Tip* Do not add too much product straight away, slowly build up the colour until you're happy - it's easier to add than remove!!
You can't be a blushing bride without the blush! Makeup artists favourite way to apply blush at the moment is to apply a gentle amount to the apples of the cheeks (Round area of the cheek when you smile) and glide up the cheekbone above the contour.
*Tip* For more glow use a blusher that has a slight shimmer to it.
Highlight is certainly our favourite part as it looks beautiful in person as well as on the camera. Using your finger, press the highlight into the highest points of the cheeks (right above the blush), down the bridge of your nose and above the brow for that all over glow.
*Tip* Find a highlighter which is a shimmer rather than glitter based. This will look more natural and will have no nasty fall out onto the dress!!
The Piece de Resistance of the whole look! A very simple smokey eye works best for any bride.
1. Elegant Eyeshadow
If you are nervous with eyeshadow, we suggest using 1 brown shade and 1 champagne shimmer shadow. Apply the brown shade with a fluffy eyeshadow brush to the outside edge of the eyelid and blend into the crease with windscreen wiper like motion and then blend with small circular motions all over to remove any harsh edges. Build the colour up until you have your perfect shade depth. Next press the shimmer into the centre of your eyelid with your finger (Pressing the shadow will intensify the pigment). Finally with the same brush lightly blend the brown shade underneath your bottom lash line for that subtle smokey eye.
*Tip* use concealer over your eyelid as a base for your eyeshadow. This will help to keep it in place all day! Also.. just blend, blend and blend some more with the brown shadow.
2. Must Have Mascara
Whether you think you'll shed a tear or not, you need to have waterproof mascara! You never know if that certain speech will set off the waterworks. We love the Lancome Hypnose Mascara.
*Tip* Apply your mascara from the root of the lash and wiggle to the end for beautiful long clump-free lashes.
Lips are like the bouquet of the wedding outfit. The dress is stunning on its own but once the flowers are added, it's the whole package.
1. Lip locking Lipstick
Sometimes you really can't beat a natural nude lip. If you don't already have your go-to colour already, we suggest taking the time to visit a makeup counter and ask for advice on finding your perfect shade.
*Tip* Use a lipstick primer beforehand to really lock those lips in place. You really can't beat MAC Lip Primer.
2. Refined Line
For the perfect pout, lip liner is essential. Lightly outline the edge of the lip line either in a matching shade to the lipstick or a shade darker to really enhance your lip shape.
*Tip* Colour in the whole of your lips with the liner before applying the lipstick to really lock that lipstick in place.
Want to learn more about skincare prep before the big day? Take a read at our expert tips here