DIY Wedding Makeup!

It’s that time of year! Wedding season! 

There are all types of weddings with all types of budgets, but when researching for this blog article we discovered that, depending on where you are tying the knot, the national average spent on a wedding is $28,427 excluding the honeymoon. That may seem like a little or a lot to you, but one thing is certain…you are spending thousands of dollars on a special occasion and services don’t come cheap!

You might be feeling the pressure to cut costs here and there and one of the ways you can do that is to DIY your wedding makeup. Now…you might be saying to yourself, “the Pro has totally lost her mind! Apply my own makeup on the most important day of my life?” Yes! Especially if you wear makeup everyday!

Please don’t get me wrong…I do think that if you have the means, then hiring a professional makeup and hairstylist for your wedding is a smart move! However, I wanted to reach out to the budget conscious bride (who might be getting a little heat from daddy in the spending department) and let her know that there is light at the end of the dark wedding tunnel!

Let’s face it…if you have experience putting makeup on your face and if you take care of your skin, then you can be your own makeup artist! It’s really just a matter of having a few makeup “trials” with yourself, being realistic, and choosing the right colors and product for your big day!

First, you want to analyze your skin. Hopefully you are very familiar with the type of skin texture and issues that you have, but you need to remember that the months leading up to the your wedding day can be filled with stress, which can take its toll and cause skin problems. Lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet can also wreak havoc on your face so really focus on yourself and arrange some pre-wedding pampering. If you can afford it, make sure you are visiting an esthetician long before to help control breakouts if you are prone and be extremely diligent in your cleansing routine at home.

Next, just like the Pros do…schedule several makeup “trials” with yourself. Comb through the Internet or magazines and collect looks that you love, but be realistic! Do you love the way Adele wears her makeup, but have had trouble with using a liner to create that signature cat eye “flick?” You can learn how to do it by practicing, but on your wedding day you may be nervous and the combination of a shaky hand, pointed eyeliner and the time constraints of the day could have you turning Bridezilla!

During these makeup sessions with yourself, this Pro encourages you to take the time to choose the right foundation and concealer and you should only use these products if your skin needs it for coverage. There are thousands of brands on the market that come in a variety of shades, textures and formulations. You may consider trying a “long-lasting” formula, a tinted moisturizer, BB Cream or airbrush that can be self-applied.

There are formulations for dry, oily and combination skin and if you get the wrong one for your skin type then you will be extremely disappointed in the results. Having beautiful skin will enhance the color makeup that comes next so invest a little more money and time in this area.

Now, let’s talk about the “windows into your soul!” Your groom is going to gaze lovingly into your eyes and utter the vows of matrimony so you don’t want him distracted by crazy color or harsh, heavy liner that is enhanced by gobs of clumpy mascara! Stick with neutral colors for your eye makeup and really experiment with those colors to bring out your best eye shape. 

As far as eyeliner and mascara are concerned, we advise on purchasing something that is water resistant or waterproof because we have seen way to many emotional disasters that have sent the bride immediately to the ladies room for a touch up! Again, eyeliner is an area that may require several practice days if you are attempting to achieve a look that you have not worn before and you may choose a product that is foreign to you (i.e., a liquid vs. pencil because of it’s staying power) so give yourself ample time to apply it. Remember, products that are water resistant have a blending and setting time…once they set, you cannot blend and will need to remove and reapply if you make a mistake so practice, practice, practice!

Let’s shift our focus to contour and highlight for the face and cheek areas. If you want sculpted cheekbones then practice with the right product. Applying a contour shadow can be scary and done wrong can look disastrous so really do your research first and blend, blend, blend that product into your skin!

A less intimidating alternative would be to use a bronzer, but make sure it is matte and only a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone. Bronzers are pretty colors used to alter the skin tone to give the appearance of a healthy, sun-kissed glow. They tend to have a “sparkle” to them so when you are shopping pay attention to the formulation you are purchasing.Traditional contours are “muddy” colors that mimic a dark shadow creating the illusion of a “hollow” area of the face. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to draw attention to the fact that you are “trying” to sculpt in your cheekbones! It may be better to skip the contour/highlight all together and opt for a bronzer that is applied lightly over the cheeks, at the temples and across the bridge of your nose and chin.

Pucker up! The #1 rule for creating perfect lips on your big day is to always remember this…you don’t want your lips arriving at the alter before the rest of you! What we mean by that specifically is choose colors that are flattering and leave loud, over glossed lips for the nightclub! If you do decide to wear a vibrant color you should keep the rest of your makeup very natural and make sure to use a longwearing formula because once you kiss to seal the deal, you and your new man could walk away smudged and both wearing your lipstick! That would make for an interesting(and hilarious)wedding photo though!

Also, lips that have loads of gloss on them tend to look unappealing and sticky. The last thing you want is for your groom to wipe off your kiss on the back of his sleeve like he did when he was 7 years old and grandma smothered him with love! A light gloss and the right color are crucial. Find a color and formulation you like and experiment with different shades in the range. You could purchase the coordinating lip liner in order to insure that your lipstick stays put and doesn’t “bleed” if you are opting for a darker tone.

A few other makeup products to consider are; setting powder, brow pencils or gels and false eye lashes. Setting powders should be transparent and you need only apply a little to achieve the perfect, fresh look. If you over apply you can look dry and very matte and sometimes not blending in a setting powder can lead to “flashback” if your photographer takes photos of you indoors (like at your reception).

Brows are very important and we recommend that you have them professionally groomed by a trained esthetician a few days before the wedding. You can use a brow pencil or gel to fill in any sparse areas lightly. Using a clear brow gel will help keep them in place and perfect throughout the day.

False lashes can be tricky and we recommend that if you have not worn a false lash before or find them uncomfortable in any way then this is not the time to try them out. The most common reason a false lash is bothersome is because of the thick band in which the lashes are adhered. Look for a brand that makes a natural looking lash and has a thin, clear band. Those will be more comfortable and look better than a heavier version. Be aware that the glue used to apply the lashes is usually made out of latex. If you have any type of allergy or if your eyes tend to be sensitive then find a non-latex version.

In the end remember that most photographers these days have a great tool at their disposal called Photoshop and it is magical. I know you all have seen what this amazing piece of technology can do and most professionals will spend a little time enhancing the photos taken at your wedding before you see the proofs and purchase.

Don’t worry, you can be your own makeup artist on your wedding day and so can your bridesmaids, your mother and anyone else in your bridal party. It just takes some preparation, practice and planning. We hope we have saved you a little bit of money toward that very important honeymoon!


The Pros at IMPO are beauty obsessed…actually, let’s get a little more ghetto and say that we are “junkies!” We need and crave and must have our daily fix!

We used to spend countless hours shuffling through the “boards” we follow on Pinterest, but that never truly satisfied our craving! Thank goodness there’s a new kid in town! It’s a site dedicated to all things beauty…and only beauty! It's a new way to share paints and potions!

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Nick Barose

Jason Bateman & Will Arnett
in "Mansome"

"Mansome" Official Trailer

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Talia Castellano

Talia's YouTube Channel

Christy Turlington Burns

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