DIY Wedding Makeup

If you are looking to save money or are after a natural makeup look for your big day then you may decide to do your own makeup. Brides who are getting married abroad or in a remote place may also need to do their own makeup. Perfecting the look you want quickly and easily on your wedding morning is achievable when you plan ahead.

Choosing Suitable Makeup

The first thing you will need to do is decide on the look you are wishing to achieve. Keeping it natural will make the application easier and is the ultimate blushing bride look. You may find inspiration in wedding magazines, online or from friends. Once you have found a look you like, take a photo with you to a beauty counter and ask a beauty adviser which colours and products they think have been used on the model and how you can replicate the look at home.

Alternatively, for a traditional bridal look, which will just make the most of and enhance your features, the following products are popular choices:

  • A natural radiant finish foundation suited to your skin type (i.e. either for oily, normal or dry skin)
  • Loose powder (needed only for oily and combination skins – this will prevent shine and help keep your foundation in place)
  • Concealer (to brighten under eyes and conceal spots and blemishes)
  • Brown powder eyeshadow
  • Soft brown eyeliner
  • Brown or black mascara. If you are expecting to shed a tear or two on your wedding day, you may opt for a waterproof mascara.
  • Bronzer or blusher
  • Lip gloss (usually a subtle beige, pink or rose shade) with a matching lipliner.  Although matt lipsticks can be longer wearing, glosses give a much more flattering finish and can be re-applied throughout the day. Applying a lipliner underneath the gloss will not only enhance the shape of your lips but help the glosses’ staying power.

Professional Makeup Techniques

Once you have identified the products you need to achieve the bridal look you want, the beauty adviser in store will be happy to give you a free lesson on makeup application providing you buy a couple of the products in return. The consultation will also enable you to pick up some professional techniques to apply the makeup correctly and so that it lasts all day.

Alternatively, freelance makeup artists often offer makeup lessons which, although much pricer than visiting a beauty adviser in store, will be far cheaper than paying to get your makeup professionally done on the day.

Both beauty advisers and makeup artists will know which makeup products are best for your skin type and which will be the most photogenic for you; they can also offer advice on a skincare regime that you can do leading up to the big day to make sure your skin looks healthy and clear.

Saving Money on Makeup

To save money, make sure you go to a beauty brand’s counter with products in your price budget, for example No7 and Max Factor will be cheaper than Christian Dior or Lancome. However, you can always mix and match products from different brands and buy some of the items from high street brands such as Rimmel, L’Oreal and Maybelline.

If unsure which brand to pick, go for one which has a bridal range, or ask around and choose the one with an offer on that day – perhaps a ‘buy one get one free’, ‘gift’, or ‘2 for 1’ offer.

If there is plenty of time before your wedding, why not buy a different product each month? Or as and when there are offers? Some products should not be purchased more than a few weeks before the big day anyway. In particular lip gloss and mascara can dry up or congeal and shouldn’t be kept for more than six months once opened.

Shopping online can also be cheaper than in store with many discontinued items being available from websites such as and

Before purchasing a whole new makeup range, check your makeup bag incase you already have one of the items you need such as a brown eyeshadow or eyeliner.

Practice Makes Perfect

After you have seen a beauty adviser and purchased the items you need, make sure you practice the look a few times so that you will know exactly what to do on your wedding morning. The more you practice, the quicker you’ll get at perfecting the look. If you are having difficulty applying any of the products you can always go back to the beauty adviser for a demonstration. Investing in some new brushes, such as foundation or eyeshadow brushes can also aid a perfect application.

Other Considerations

If you are not someone who regularly gets their eyebrows waxed or threaded, why not go for an eyebrow shaping before your wedding? This will open up your eye area and look great in the photos. To save money, you could also try shaping them yourself with our step by step guide.

If you would like a subtle tan, perhaps if you are getting married abroad, then you may want to consider building up a gradual tan at home with a subtle tanner rather than visiting a tanning salon. Here are some top tips on applying fake tan and recommended self-tanners.

If you are fair haired with light eyelashes, getting an eyelash tint will make all the difference and means you may not need to use much if any mascara, or could just use a clear one. If you have particularly straight eyelashes you could also consider getting them curled.

You may want to go for an exfoliating treatment at a beauty salon a few days before your wedding to ensure that your skin looks fresh and radiant and will be the best makeup base possible for your foundation.

Preparing your Skin

It is essential to look after your skin with a tailored skincare regime leading up to your wedding day so that your makeup has a good base and looks flawless. Foundation does not sit well on chapped or flaky skin. While if you are prone to acne and shine you will want to do everything you can to avoid a breakout on the day.

Use a good cleanser, toner and moisturiser for your skin type and be sure to gently exfoliate regularly leading up to the day; plus, on the morning itself is advisable. If you are not used to exfoliating, make sure you start doing it in the weeks before your wedding so that your skin gets used to it and doesn’t have any adverses effects such as redness or  breakouts. Avoid trying anything new or visiting beauty salons close to the wedding incase of any adverse effects.

You may also want to treat your skin to a radiance mask on your wedding morning or the evening before. Oily skin types may choose to use a matifying mask, while dry skins may benefit from a hydrating mask to give their skin a moisture boost.

On the Day


Make sure you do the appropriate skincare routine before applying your makeup. Whether you are choosing to use an exfoliator or mask on the day or not, one thing you should do is moisturise. No matter what skin type you are, the appropriate moisturiser will work as a good makeup base for your foundation helping it to glide on and look fresh. Eye creams can also work to reduce puffiness and brighten the eye area.

If you have dry skin, apply your foundation immediately after the moisturiser so that your skin looks radiant.

Applying the Makeup:

Allow enough time to do your makeup at your leisure, yet leave it as long as you can as it needs to look as fresh as possible for the photos. 

The first thing to apply will be your concealer, followed by your foundation and powder. Don’t panic if you have an unexpected spot or two – that’s what concealer is for! 

The next step will be your eye makeup. Start with the eyeshadow, followed by eyeliner and finish with the mascara. See our article on how to apply eyeshadow.

Blusher and lips can be done last. Your lipgloss or lipstick is the product which will need re-applying throughout the day so remember to take it with you. 

If you have oily skin, you may want to take some blotting pads and powder with you to absorb shine later in the day. 

If you are getting changed into a party dress in the evening, you may want to use a darker or brighter lip colour, add a little more eyeliner and an extra coat of mascara to your eyes. See our article on changing from day to night makeup.

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