How To Do Your Own Wedding Makeup: 3 Top Makeup Artists Share Their Tips

Charlotte Tilbury MBE, Trish McEvoy and Wendy Rowe reveal their insider secrets to bridal beauty.

So, you’ve decided to buck the trend and do your own wedding makeup. Whether you’re looking to save money or don’t fancy a stranger fussing around your face with a blusher brush, the end goal is the same: looking the best version of yourself when you tie the knot.

But where to start? We sought expert advice from three top makeup artists –Charlotte Tilbury MBE, Trish McEvoy and Wendy Rowe – to learn about preparation, practise and products to perfect your bridal beauty look.

Practice Makes Perfect

To ensure everything goes to plan on the big day, make sure you practise – a lot. Makeup artist Trish McEvoy recommends practising a month prior to your wedding day as a minimum. “Be sure to take a selfie each time and practise replicating your look until you feel it is perfect,” McEvoy tells HuffPost. Her top tip is to time yourself, so you can become familiar with how long each step will take. This way you won’t end up a hot stressy mess on your wedding day.

On the day itself, amidst the chaos of getting ready with your bridal party, make sure you have enough time to do your makeup by setting aside at least an hour. “A wedding day can sometimes cause anxiety, so rid yourself of it by allotting enough time, as less pressure will equal fewer missteps and give you plenty of time to address any that might occur,” McEvoy says.

Skincare Prep

Great makeup starts with a great base, and decent skincare prep before the wedding and on the day itself will make you feel – as well as look – great.

If trying out new products or treatments, it’s best not to do this the week of the wedding, because an unexpected skin reaction will add unnecessary stress to your day. You don’t want to look like Samantha in Sex & The City after that unfortunate chemical peel.

The night before you walk down the aisle, McEvoy advises using a gentle exfoliator after cleansing for smooth, glowing and decongested skin. We love the Inkey List’s Glycolic Acid, £6.99, and if you’re having a destination wedding, Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads, £18, are a travel-friendly alternative as they come in pre-soaked pads.

Follow up with a hydrating serum such as The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid, £5.90. Hyaluronic acid claims to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water and is intensely hydrating as it retains moisture on the skin to keep your face plump and prepped after a good night’s rest.

In the morning, after cleansing, McEvoy recommends to hydrate again with your serum and then apply a moisturiser. “This will create the perfect canvas for your makeup application and help prolong its wear,” she tells HuffPost.

For normal to dry skin, CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream, £8.50, is fast-absorbing, won’t clog pores and will deliver all-day hydration. If you have combination or oilier skin, Clinique’s Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, £36, is an oil-free gel cream formula that will reduce any excess oil production on your t-zone.

Again, make sure you use the products way in advance to make sure they agree with you.

Picking Colours And Shades

When choosing your colour scheme, try not to veer too far from what you normally use. You want to look like yourself, after all. Charlotte Tilbury MBE recommends sticking to colours you know work for you, taking into account your skin tone and eye colour.

“Be careful of experimenting with new, bold colours on your wedding day. For example, specific eyeshadow colours such as purple can suit some brown or green eyes more than others, whereas neutral shades like chocolate, bronze and copper span all complexion and eye colour combinations,” Tilbury tells HuffPost.

For a timeless look, opt for neutral tones which never date and suit all complexions. The Tarte Tartelette II in Bloom at QVC, £35 is a versatile palette that’s a mix of shimmery and matte shades, which have a strong colour payoff and are easy to blend.

As for lipstick, if you want to keep it simple, go for with a nude colour. Check out our guide to find the best shade for you. Or if you want something multi-purpose, look for lip and cheek creams which double up. The Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Lip and Cheek Balm, £29, comes in a twist-up pencil for easy application and seamlessly blends with the dab of a finger.

For your foundation, consider what kind of coverage and finish you want. If you’re planning a more natural, glow enhancing coverage, try iT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, £31, which evens out skin tone, blurs blemishes and redness. For a fuller coverage and matte finish, try Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, £32, which is buildable, long-lasting, and controls oily t-zones to keep you looking flawless.

Keep in mind your wedding location when choosing your foundation shade. If it’s an outdoor celebration, match the colour to your décolletage and check it in natural daylight so there’s no unevenness in photos later on. For application, Tilbury recommends starting from the centre of the face and working from there. “Blend the foundation outwards, only applying where a little extra coverage is needed. Use your fingers because the warmth of your hands helps blend it in properly,” she says.

Making It Last

Once you’ve spent time putting your face on, what steps can you take to ensure it lasts throughout the ceremony and celebration?

Makeup artist and creative director for Max Factor, Wendy Rowe, recommends making your makeup tear-proof. “Always opt for a waterproof mascara, I love the Max Factor 2000 Calorie Volume Length Mascara, £7.99,” she tells HuffPost.

Matte textures on the lips will keep colours in place throughout the day (no matter how many secret snogs you have). Just be sure to apply a touch of lip balm before to keep chapped lips at bay. Our favourite is the Evolve Golden Shimmer Lip Balm, £12, a vegan formula that leaves lips soft and smooth with a touch of shimmer to shine through.

“You will have to retouch your makeup but nothing too extensive, so always pack a small bag with concealer, powder and lipstick,” Rowe explains. Your maid of honour can look after them while you’re busy giving toasts, and having your first dance.

Instagram: Wendy Rowe / Charlotte Tilbury MBE / Trish McEvoy
Instagram: Wendy Rowe / Charlotte Tilbury MBE / Trish McEvoy

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