15 Tips If You're Doing Your Own Wedding Day Makeup

bride looking in mirror while putting on lipstick

Photo by Michelle Scott Photography

Doing your own makeup on your wedding day can add a lot of pressure to an already packed agenda—especially if you’re unsure of where and how to start. There’s a lot to consider: Will your wedding be outdoors or indoors? What will the temperature be? What color scheme are you trying to go with? 

If you do choose to go the DIY route, you've found yourself in the right place. With the help of makeup experts Beck Wainner and Lynnette Cole, we have some easy-to-follow tips so you can slay your own wedding day makeup. 

Meet the Expert

Beck Wainner is a celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist based in Nashville.

Lynnette Cole is the global education director for PÜR Cosmetics and a licensed esthetician.

Keep reading for 15 essential wedding day makeup tips.

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Give Yourself Time

Weeks, if not months before your wedding day, you should start practicing your makeup to determine what you like and don’t like and adjust as needed. As Wainner explains, "One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to start practicing a few months or weeks before the big day so you can determine what works for you and what doesn’t. Did this makeup application last all day or not? What did I do differently this time that makes me like this look more? It will help you narrow down what look you want to go for and choose products that you know will last throughout the day."

02 of 15

Prep Your Skin

The best makeup application happens on skin that is prepped for the gods, says Wainner. "Not only will this ensure that your makeup stays all day, but it will also set the tone for how your makeup applies."

Cole adds, "The morning of, start pampering and prepping the skin early with a lightweight, hydrating moisturizer, like 4-in-1 Cloud Cream Gel-to-Water Hydrating Essence Moisturizer and Mellow Eyes to help depuff & hydrate the under-eye area."

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Test Out Tones and Styles

Two of the biggest questions you’ll be answering are what tones you want to use and what kind of makeup look you’re going for. Do you want something big dramatic like old-Hollywood glam? Or would you like a more natural, sun-kissed dewy vibe? Golden bronze shades or a cool-toned smokey eye? Wainner recommends trying out all styles long before the big day.

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Practice Your Falsie Application

False lashes are your wedding BFFs. "You’ll want to stand out in pictures and look like yourself but elevated. For this I suggest an amazing false lash," says Wainner. "Nothing too heavy or bulky and if you aren’t comfortable applying them start practicing before the wedding!"

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Definitely Use a Primer

If you want your makeup to last well through the night, you’ll definitely want to add a good primer to your wedding day makeup kit. As Cole says, "A primer is your BFF! Primer helps smooth the skin’s appearance and helps the makeup wear longer. My favorite primers include those with skincare benefits, like PÜR 4-in-1 Correcting Primer."

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Bring Blotting Sheets

If you have oily skin that gets super shiny throughout the day, add some blotting sheets to your wedding day touch-up kit. They absorb oil in a flash so you will always be photo-ready.

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Blend It Like Beckham

If you want your makeup to have that professional, airbrushed look, you’ll want to blend like there’s no tomorrow. Doing so will help give you a seamless finish that looks great both in photos and in person.

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Choose a Lightweight Foundation

Your makeup base is probably the most important piece of the puzzle—Cole advises that you want it to look natural on the skin both up close and from a distance. You’ll also want to make sure you use the correct color match and there isn’t any flashback in your photos. 

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Invest in Waterproof Eye Makeup

You’re bound to shed a few tears on your big day and the last thing you want is your mascara and eyeliner running down your face. Cole explains that even the most simple, natural looks can be enhanced with a waterproof liquid liner—so don’t be afraid to add one to your kit.

10 of 15

Set It With Powder

Powder is a crucial component (alongside primer) to ensuring your makeup stays crease-free and fresh all day and night long. "To help keep your makeup looking fresh and natural, apply a light dusting of loose setting powder," says Cole. Wainner adds, "Picking the right powder to use for your big day will also help determine how well the makeup stays or if it will crease. I love using the Givenchy Prism Libre Powder to set the face and continuously touch up throughout the night."

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Grab Some Minis

Even the best makeup application will need some touch-ups throughout the day, so Wainner recommends grabbing some mini products that are easy for you to carry around. "I love buying minis such as a mini lipstick or powder or gloss to have on hand through the night, making it easy to carry around or for one of your bridesmaids to carry around. I suggest having a go-to lip liner and gloss," she says.

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Watch YouTube Videos for Inspo

If you just aren’t even sure where to start with your makeup look, you can start by watching YouTube videos of popular MUA creators like Hindash or Makeup Shayla.

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Give Yourself a Spritz

A spritz of setting spray, that is. Not only will a good setting spray help your makeup last longer, but it’ll also prevent your look from transferring onto your partner’s or wedding party's clothing. One/Size On 'Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray is essentially a hairspray for your face (it really won’t budge for up to 16 hours), while Cole recommends PUR’s Miracle Mist to hydrate, set, and refresh your look.

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Book a Virtual Appointment

If you’ve tried some looks on your own and you just aren’t 100 percent satisfied with how they’re coming out, you can book an online consultation with one of your favorite makeup brands. As Cole says, "Practice makes perfect. You don’t have to go it alone. Schedule a virtual beauty consultation for makeup tips that will help build your confidence before your big day!"

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Avoid the SPF

Yes, we know that SPF is incredibly important, but unfortunately, high SPF sunscreens and foundations can cause some flashback in photos and can potentially oxidize throughout the day (aka turn orange). Stick to 15 SPF for the best results!

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