How to Do Your Wedding Makeup Yourself

You know your face better than anyone and you live for Youtube Videos! 

But is your wedding day a day you want to be doing your makeup yourself? 

If the answer is yes, here are some tips and tricks to have you looking foxy and flawless.


Timing is Everything

We teach wedding makeup classes in our Chicago makeup studio. One of the most important things I tell brides to be is to budget enough time to do the makeup but not too much time to over think it. 

Usually 1 hour is plenty of time for most people to do their wedding makeup. If you feel a little nervous, give yourself an hour and 20.



As  a professional makeup artist, one of the most important tools in my tool box is my Makeup Light. (You can find them here)

Lighting is the most crucial tool because you need to see what you're doing. This light is the perfect color temperature as well. 

Why is that important? 


If you get ready in the right light, your makeup will look good in any light. Choose your lighting wisely. The wrong light can lead to poor makeup choice selections for your face.

If you don’t have a budget for lighting, get the best bulbs you can find for your bathroom or vanity. They may not be the same, but try to find as white of light as possible.

Skin Prep
Skin prep starts months before the big day, so if you have some time, start thinking about getting your skin into shape. 

Skin prep is the canvas on which all other makeup lays. One of our best selling products used by pro artists worldwide is our Water Balm Skin Prep. Great for all skin types. 

Water Balm is not oily and helps your foundation last longer. It’s a moisturizer, a great form of hydration and makeup primer all in one, getting rid of many unneeded steps. If you’re super dry, consider getting a light facial oil for underneath Water Balm. (Remember, dry skin and dehydrated skin are not the same. Dry skin is a lack of lubrication and dehydrated skin is a lack of water.)

Be sure you do THIN layers of skin prep because you don’t want to create a “film” on the skin. Thick layers of film on the skin will lead to a lot of products slipping and sliding underneath. If you use products like primers and serums, use them "thinly" so that the skin can absorb it nicely before you apply any foundation or concealer.

Foundation and Complexion
One of the most important steps to great makeup for photos is getting the right color foundation for the job. Finding the right finish of foundation is also crucial. 

Stay away from products with high SPF as they sometimes can read ashy on the skin when the flash pops. 

IF you are getting married outside and chances are flash won’t be going off too often, chances are an SPF isn’t going to hurt you with the makeup. Only you will know the details of your day, so if you plan to be outside with a lot of natural light (say a beach wedding) a thin layer of SPF is a good idea. Just use it sparingly.

Getting a good foundation color is crucial. You want to be sure to find the perfect texture and color foundation for your skin tone. It’s best to get your foundation about a week before your big day.

Our skin tone changes daily (diet, stress, etc). So getting a foundation color matched as close to your wedding day is critical. Nothing is worse than having a washed out look or that dreaded jawline showing in photos.

In Chicago and need help with foundation? Come see us for our Custom Blend Foundation. We will color match you in the studio and teach you how to use it. 


Foundation textures vary by brand, so find a texture and color that feels nice to the skin. A medium coverage should be a great start. Heavier coverage can look nice, but in person it may look heavy.  Play with a few brands and take photos to see which one you like best.

Brushes & Tools
Having great brushes and tools not only make your job easier, it also gives you a more professional application. 


Beauty Blenders are fine for many people, but makeup brushes give you that polished look so loved in photos. The softer the hair the more blended your look will be. Buy the best brushes you can afford and take care of them. 

Lash Curling

One thing I tell brides is that lash curling is one of the best-kept beauty secrets. If you don’t think you can apply false lashes, a great curl can give you a great look. Here is our list of lash curlers pro makeup artist love!

Some tips are to always start at the base and curl in sections. Try to get in as many sections as possible.

Tip: If you plan on doing false lashes, don’t curl lashes before false lashes. Or you will hate life.


They don’t call it blushing bride for anything! Since most photographers like to delicately overexpose a close-up beauty shot, it’s always best to wear a little more blush than usual. 

Choose a blush that is a candy pink for a more romantic look. Where you place blush is also going to give you a different effect. 

Careful with the bronzer for those of you that love bronzer. Remember if you are wearing a white dress, everything can look over played. The best tip is to apply blush with a flat brush or fan brush and kiss the skin all over.  A little where the sun feels warm on your face is a good rule to live by.

Be sure to use an olive based bronzer and watch out for the orange bronzers. Nothing will ruin photos more than over bronzed skin. Choose your colors wisely.

Some of our favs from our makeup studio are olive based and our bronzer for fair skin, Fair Olive has a little warmth with a light blue undertone. 



Here is a newsflash…did you know eyeshadow doesn’t show up in photos as much as liner and lashes do? True story!

So many people pour over the Pinterest and Instagram photos online to showcase the eyelooks they dream of..only to discover once they get their photos back, you really can’t see the eyeshadow at all.


A camera is going to pick up the rich, black tones first, mostly because of the opacity of the skin. Also, lighting is different all the time for wedding photos, so you may see it in some photos and not others.

One of the most important steps in applying eyeshadow for your wedding day is to blend it out, girl!

This is my motto:

When in doubt, blend it out.

Nothing looks worse than poorly blended eyeshadows. I know, I know, it’s a thing now to have that “cut crease” eye look for your wedding, but as someone who got married in 1989, you will thank me for this small piece of advice. 

If you want to wear the colors of the rainbow on your eyes, go for it. Just be sure it’s blended nicely so it photographs perfectly.

Eyeshadow Color Selections
In 2017, the eyeshadow color game is endless. But what color eyeshadow palette should you wear on your wedding day?

I personally find that apricots, peaches, bronze, gold, and lilacs look the best. That fuschia color may not be the best choice, especially if you find yourself in an unflattering light. 

It’s usually best to stick to “neutrals” for your skin tone and pop your complexion with a great lip color. 

Besides, do you want to look back 30 years from now and see purple shadow to the brow? 

If you want to wear color, wearable colors of green, blue do exisit. Here are some examples of colorful shadows that photograph beautifully.


If you do decide to wear bold eye color, keep the lips underplayed. Let one accent piece be the star of the show.

If you don’t want to do that and want to wear all the colors at all the times, just be sure they go together in some sort of well thought out plan.

Mascara is one of the most important products for a bride to be. Nothing is worse than being overcome with emotion and black stuff starts dripping down your face. Talk about crying ugly.

Choose a mascara like this:

  • Fat brush=fat lashes
  • Skinny Brush=length
  • Curved Brush- Curl

Decide by figuring out what you want your lashes to look like. Then choose mascara that achieve that goal.

Our mascara, is a water resistant but performs like a water proof. With the curled brush, it makes your lashes ridiculously long. Woo!


Oh aren’t we always looking for the best concealer? Your wedding day is no exception. Even if you do your wedding makeup yourself, it’s gonna be a good idea to carry your concealer with you for touch ups.

Place concealer exactly where you need it and only where you need it. Learn to do color correction using the right tones.

Peach is going to help you with dark undertones while beige and yellow undertones will help neutralize any light redness. 

Use a great concealer brush to apply and pack on. Use a little more than you would for evening.....


Once your concealer is on, set it with some Invisible Touch Up Powder.....


Brows are such a hot thing right now. Too much and it can make you look harsh and mean, too little and it can look washed out in photos. 

Get your brows groomed according to your face shape, not what you see on Instagram. Brows are not one size fits all. Always remember that.

Fill in your brows so that they look even and full, but don’t overdo it or it will look crazy to your guests. The key to doing your own wedding makeup is to put enough on to photograph beautifully but still look great to your guests.

One of our favorites are the Brow Definer pens from our studio. Adore these!

Last but not least…..Lips

There is a lip product for everyone out there. From liquid lipsticks to water proof lip pencils and everything in between. 

Every bride is different. I am the type of person who hates things on my lips, so I usually opt for a simple gloss. My pal Andie loves a great, bold lip that last forever. Whatever the case is, choose the color and texture that keeps you feeling comfortable in your skin. Choose colors that complement your skin tone, not your bridesmaids dresses.

Best tip? Use a lip brush for all the things. Helps lipstick last longer and easy to touch up with. AND it won't get messy in your purse! :)


I hope you found some useful tips and tricks about how to do wedding makeup yourself.

Still feel nervous? Take a private makeup class with us. We would love to show you how!

Stay Smart!