Part 1 Applying Your Makeup
Prep your skin. Whether you’re doing your makeup yourself or not, the day of your wedding, wash your face and use a light moisturizer. Whatever your routine has been, now is not the time to change it. If you exfoliate, however, stay away from a harsh scrub and opt instead for a gentle exfoliating cleanser. If you have a blemish, dab some Visine on it but otherwise leave it alone. Your focus should be on having the clean and soft palette your makeup needs to achieve natural-looking, beautiful skin.
Let your skin tone and undertone guide your makeup color choices.
While there are specific skin types (identified from 1-6) for dermatological purposes, makeup companies use their own terminology to describe their makeup colors along the continuum of skin tone. And they aren’t particularly consistent at that. For example, one company might call its lightest foundation “ivory” while another calls the same color “fair.” Thus, in thinking about colors that match your skin tone, it’s best to first think broadly in terms of the range from "fair" to "medium" to "deep."
- Your skin’s undertones – cool or warm – are also a factor when choosing both matching and complementary colors.
- You can determine your undertone with a quick trick. Hold a piece of silver and a piece of gold jewelry to the back of your hand. If the gold seems to melt away, you have a warm undertone. If the silver does, you have a cool undertone.
Know that primer is required.
Between the time you begin applying your makeup and the time you say goodbye to your guests, a lot will have happened. Using a primer before you apply your makeup will help ensure it holds up through the dancing, crying and toasting. You’ll likely still need occasional touch-ups, but they’ll be much less frequent. Additionally, a primer will help smooth fine lines and wrinkles and disguise open pores.
- Use a small amount after you’ve moisturized, but before you put on foundation. Spread it evenly on your face and eyelids to create a smooth base for everything to come.
Apply foundation next.
Often people think concealer goes on before foundation, but the experts beg to differ. After you’ve put on the primer, allow it time to dry or set. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when applying makeup is not giving each step time to dry. If needed, turn your hair dryer on its coolest setting and wave it back and forth across your face before moving from one step to the next.
- If you have a cool undertone, look for foundation that has a rosier, redder or blue base.
- If you have a warm undertone, use a foundation with a yellow or golden base.
- To determine if the shade is right, dip a Q-tip in the foundation and apply it to the center of your lower jawline. If it vanishes, it’s the right one!
- Apply foundation in thin layers, starting from the middle of your face and blending outward using a foundation brush. You don’t want any visible lines, so pay close attention to blending beneath your jaw and on your neck.
- Don’t cake on foundation. It will look overdone and likely smear or streak.
Add concealer where needed.
Whereas foundation is designed to even skin tone, concealers are designed to hide things, like blemishes and dark circles under your eyes. If you were to apply it before your foundation, you’d rub much of it away while working the foundation into your skin. To cover red areas or dark circles, use a concealer brush to dot a liquid concealer the same shade or one shade lighter than your skin tone along trouble areas. Then pat the brush against your skin to spread the concealer. If it’s not blended enough, dip the tip of a makeup sponge in water and work the concealer outward.
- To hide a blemish, put foundation on it first, then apply concealer before setting it with powder. If you can still see it, add more concealer and powder. Make sure you pat the concealer on the blemish. Don’t rub.
Apply highlighter, but go easy on it.
Highlighter isn’t always in everyone’s makeup bag, but its purpose is to make certain facial features like eyes appear larger and to add both glow and a youthful dewy look. Using too much, or a formulation with sparkle or glitter, is a recipe for photo disaster, so tread lightly. They come in both liquid and powder forms.
- If you use a liquid, dab it on with a brush after your foundation in the shape of a check mark. Start near your inner eye, go down at a slight angle toward your nostril and then up your cheekbone, blending toward your temple. Do the same above your brows, down the center of your nose, the center of your forehead and your chin.
- If you’re using a powder highlighter, use it after you powder and brush it under your brows, lightly in the corner of your eyes and on the tops of your cheekbones. Don’t use powder highlighter under your eyes or over your mouth or you’ll look sweaty in photos.
Set your base and then contour.
Really, you have two choices next. You can use a cream blush rather than a powder blush or set your base with powder. If you opt to use a powder blush, first use a translucent powder to set your base and control shine. Powder is one of those times when less is absolutely more. You’re going for luminous, not laden down. Use a medium-sized brush to dust lightly over your forehead, the sides of your nose and on your chin.
- Then use a powder bronzer that’s just a shade or two darker than your foundation and brush it in the shape of a 3 on both sides of your face.
- To do so, start at your hairline, move down the side of your face and then under your cheekbone, back to the side of your face and then below your jaw.
- Have pressed powder on hand. There are always areas that shine and need a quick dab before a photo or while in the restroom.
Whether you’re using a cream blush prior to your powder or a powder blush after, go lightly with the blush. You can always add more. Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards and out toward your hairline. You don’t want a pink nose, so don’t brush it there. To finish, do a small check mark at your cheek bones.
- If you have fair skin with cool undertones, colors like soft rose or baby pink with hints of mocha or beige will look nice.
- If you have fair skin with warm undertones, go for golden apricot or a light peach with a bit of pink.
- If you have medium skin with cool undertones, try cranberry, light raspberry or rosy pink.
- If you have medium skin with warm undertones, look for soft coral with hints of brown or sunkissed apricot.
- If you have deep skin with cool undertones, blush on shades of plum, grape and raspberry.
- If you have deep skin with warm undertones, keep it rich with brown suede or a deep coral with a little bronze.
Bring color to your eyes with shadow and liner.
Wedding experts generally don't recommend a darkly dramatic eye, opting instead to use eye liners in colors other than black, paler or muted eye shadows complementary to your eye color, and highlighters to make eyes look large. Try brown, grey, and green eyeliners and apply it on both your top and bottom eyelids to draw attention to your eyes. Using a cream eye shadow will last longer and is best used on the lids of your eye while a powder is best in the crease of your eye. Use a powder highlighter in the corners of your eyes and under your brow.
- As for colors, try bronze shades if you have green eyes, mocha if your eyes are hazel, navy and dark brown for blue eyes, and purples and grays for brown eyes.
- Dampen an eyeliner brush in water and brush it into your eye shadow if you want to line your eyes with your eye shadow.
Add mascara and tidy up your brows.There likely will be tears more than once, so you must have waterproof mascara.
Also, if you don’t already regularly wear false eyelashes, your wedding day is not the day to start. Instead, make sure you have a good eyelash curler, a volumizing mascara and a lengthening mascara. Curl your lashes before applying both. With your mascara, start at the root of your eyelashes and wiggle up from side to side to the top. Go with black – it looks good on everyone.
- Finish by framing your face with a brow powder a little darker than your natural color. Brush it into the natural line of your eyebrows, working outward to the end of your eyes.
Create lips that look good and last.
Just as you need your facial skin to be well moisturized prior to applying makeup, your lips also need to be moisturized so they aren’t so dry or cracked that once color is applied all you see are lines. To avoid this, use a lip hydrator and let it absorb a couple of minutes before applying color. Choose a color that complements your blush while also following these tips. Also, while many newer lipsticks claim to last hours, going with a lip stain is a better bet on your wedding day.
- If you have fair skin with cool undertones, go with nude, light mocha and light mauve; if you have warm undertones, try sand, nude peach or shell. Avoid bright pinks, dark bronzes and dark mochas.
- If you have medium skin with cool undertones, choose a rosy pink, pomegranate or cranberry; if you have warm undertones, go for bronze, copper and cinnamon. Avoid nudes.
- If you have deep skin with cool undertones, check out raisin, wine or ruby red; if you have warm undertones, try honey, ginger or a coppery bronze. Avoid anything close to orange.
- If using lip liner, apply your lip stain or lipstick, if that’s what you choose, almost to the edge of the lip. Next use a lip liner to define the shape of your lips and to seal it all in. Add just a little more color and blend the two together.
- If you go for a bolder, or statement, lip color, keep your eyes soft and natural to avoid the bridal doll look.
- Avoid smacking your lips together because this can make your smile look lop-sided.
- Skip the lip gloss. First, it doesn’t last long. Secondly, it will end up on your groom’s lips. And, finally, it can create a glare in photos.
Part 2 Picking Your Wedding Look
Remember it’s your wedding, not girls’ night out.
One of the biggest mistakes brides make is caking on makeup – too many layers of overly dark foundation, far too smoky eyes, lipstick that is blindingly bright in photos and so forth. You don’t want to wince when you look back on your wedding photos like you do when looking at those from prom. Think timeless. Leave experimentation for another time and place – you want to look like the best version of you, not like someone else.
- Makeup artists highly recommend staying away from all makeup with any glitter or sparkle because it bounces off flash photography, leaving white spots on your skin. They can be removed from photos, but it’s expensive.
Make sure your makeup matches your hair and dress.
Because your gown most likely will be white, you’ll need some color to compensate for its lack of color. Yet just as you don’t want to wear too much makeup, you also don’t want to wear the wrong style of makeup. Your goal is a cohesive look in which each piece makes sense with every other. Even if you love a certain style of makeup, or are simply accustomed to wearing makeup one way, that doesn’t mean it’s going to look good with your hair and dress.
- If your gown is romantic, billowy and soft, for instance, smoky eyes and bright red lipstick will clash, not be complementary.
- If you’re wearing your hair in an updo with a lot of adornments, you should keep your makeup simple, yet still fresh and rosy.
- Look at bridal magazines and red carpet images, specifically, to see how stylists put together an entire look that’s stunning rather than shocking.
Collect images of looks you like.
Another mistake brides often make is waiting until the last minute to decide how they’re going to do their makeup. So definitely get started early. Pull out those bridal magazines and start looking at the makeup used. When you see something you like, tear out the whole page and put it in a file marked “makeup.” Also look in other fashion magazines, search for images online (and print them) and browse other publications.
- Identify what it is you like about the makeup in each image you find. Use a sharpie and write it down to the side.
- Look around and jot down notes at different times of the day and when you’re in different moods.
- After you’ve collected a nice sample, try to determine if you notice any themes. For example, have you repeatedly written that you like a particular lip color? Do you see you’ve written several notes on lightening undereye circles?
Think about looks you’ve personally seen and liked.
Remember back to weddings you’ve attended or been a part of in the past. When do you remember thinking to yourself about the bride, “Wow, she looks AMAZING!” You may not be able to remember exactly what it was about her makeup that you liked, or if it was even her makeup that made her stand out, but you know one thing – she didn’t mess it up and she looked fabulous. Give her a call. She will certainly take it as a compliment. Ask her if she did her makeup herself. If not, ask her who did. If she had a makeup artist, ask for the person’s name and contact information.
- If you’re really struggling in deciding on a look, remember that one rarely fails: radiant skin, rosy cheeks and pink lips.
Part 3 Getting Your Look Ready Before the Wedding
Don’t neglect your skin.
If you’ve not been particularly diligent about taking good care of your facial skin, now is the time to start. Get facials once per month to firm your complexion and illuminate your skin, which will create a good base for makeup. Make sure you wash your face well not only in the morning but also at night to get rid of the day’s makeup. Regularly exfoliate to remove dead skin and even out your skin tone. Moisturize your face and drink plenty of water, too. Applying makeup to dry, splotchy and flaky skin won’t produce your desired look, no matter how hard you try.
- If you have a breakout a day or two before your wedding, do not pick at it! It’s much easier to cover a blemish than a scab.
- Wax brows or other areas of your face at least one week before your wedding to avoid any marks. If you’ve never waxed before, don’t start doing so days before your wedding because you can get a rash if you’ve never before waxed.
- Consider whitening your teeth, too. There are many options, from having it done at the dentist’s office to doing it at home with over-the-counter products. You should start 3-4 months before the wedding.
Decide who will do your makeup.
You may choose to do your own makeup, as Kate Middleton did before she wed Prince William. Or you may decide to have a friend or a makeup artist do it. If the latter, you may already have a recommendation from a friend. If not, consider asking your wedding planner if he or she can recommend one. You could also ask the coordinator of events for your wedding venue, look online or talk with the salon owner where you have your hair done or where you’re planning to have your hair done if you’re going that route.
- No matter whom you select, ask to see a portfolio. If it’s heavy in everything but the look you want, find someone else.
Set up a trial run before the wedding.
If you choose to have your makeup done by another person, schedule a time at least one month before the wedding to have a trial run. By this time, you’ll be more settled in the overall planning of your wedding and have a better idea of what you want. Take your collected images, a photo of your dress, a photo or image of what your hair will look like and a photo of yourself when you think you look your best to your trial run. This will all help the person doing your makeup both create the look you want and one that will work with your other elements.
- If you plan to tan before your wedding, you need to achieve that color before your makeup trial, too, or the results will not be the same.
- Also remember that while you might find a makeup look that you love, it might not look good with your coloring. If you’re using a makeup artist, allow him or her to guide you on these matters.
- Always wear a white t-shirt to your trial run so you can see how your makeup will look against your dress. Take a photo with no flash before you leave.
Do a trial run by yourself. If you don’t know much about makeup application, keep reading. You can also research it online; watch YouTube videos; or go to a department store, look around at the women selling products at the makeup counters and find someone wearing a makeup style you like. Ask her for a makeover, which they’ll often do for free in hopes that you’ll buy some of their products. You might find that you do. Practice doing your makeup in natural light, using the products you plan to use. Also wear a white t-shirt and take a photo of yourself afterward.
Add New Question
How do I draw my eyebrows?
Set beneath and above your brows, trace the lines, and draw. Give the tip a darker shade and conceal.
Not Helpful 2 Helpful 20
How much do I get paid for working in makeup?
You would earn enough to make a living. If you work on big TV shows, blockbuster Hollywood movies, work on Broadway, or have your own brand, that's when the big money rolls in but is highly competitive.
Not Helpful 11 Helpful 33
What can I use for the makeup?
Use the best makeup you can afford.
Not Helpful 7 Helpful 16
How long does the process usually take?
It will take around 30 minutes if you're doing it yourself, less if you get help from family/friends. In the latter case, be aware of many disagreements, as this is a very special occasion so everyone will have different ideas. If a professional does your makeup, allow a half hour.
Not Helpful 17 Helpful 28
Is corrector used before primer or after primer?
You can get color correcting primer (Elf is a good brand for it). If you aren't using a color correcting primer, then use powder/cream corrector AFTER normal primer.
Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2
How much should one budget for make-up tools and materials?
Professionally done usually costs more than 0 (at least the good ones) but I'm sure there are many local parlors and salons around your area that offer their services less than that (a rough estimate of ). Of course, you have an option of doing it yourself or letting a friend do it for you.
Not Helpful 2 Helpful 5
How do I draw eyebrows when doing the makeup?
Set beneath and above your brows, trace the lines, and draw. Give the tip a darker shade and conceal.
Not Helpful 1 Helpful 3
What is the meaning of "blow" in wedding makeup?
You blow your face at the end with a blow dryer.
Not Helpful 4 Helpful 3
What perfect make up can I use?
That depends in your skin tone and your style. If your skin tone is pale, almost every thing will suit you.
Not Helpful 5 Helpful 2
What is the purpose of highligher?
It emphasizes and further defines your cheekbones in contrast to your contouring, if you so choose to do so.
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- Avoid having your makeup airbrushed. It leaves your face looking flat, not doughy, and is hard to touch-up.
- Don’t get a spray tan the day before your wedding. So much can go wrong with them. If you decide to get one, try it out first a month before your wedding.
- Keep tissues tucked away in a discreet place.
- One fun idea is to go makeup free for your wedding. The lack of makeup on your face will give you a natural and cute look!
- If you’ve applied your makeup correctly, you won’t need much touching up. Nonetheless, have a touch-up kit ready and make sure you include at least the following: pressed translucent powder; cotton balls to tidy up around your eyes; your lip stain or lipstick; blush; and eye makeup to make your eyes a little smokier for an evening reception or to add a bit more mascara.
- Don’t neglect other areas of your body like your back, arms and chest. Use a non-transferrable shimmer lotion so these areas don’t look flat or splotchy.
- Don’t become overly tan in general. The contrast between your skin and your wedding dress will simply be too much.
- Don’t forget about your bridesmaids’ hair and makeup so that when you’re all standing together you have a cohesive look.
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