What To Know Before Doing Your Own Wedding Makeup

If you're currently in the whirlwind process of planning your wedding (congratulations!), we know your mind probably hasn't shut off from the moment that one knee hit the ground. We understand — planning the perfect wedding takes a lot of work. Not only do you want your guests to have an enjoyable experience, but you want to feel and look your absolute best, too. And one aspect that may require careful consideration is whether you will hire a makeup artist.

According to The Knot, which surveyed over 15,000 American newlyweds in 2021 regarding beauty services for their big day, hiring a makeup artist to sculpt your face to perfection will typically run you upwards of $115. For some, that's an easy price to pay in exchange for a stress-free and pamper-filled morning. But others, whether on a tight budget or simply know their way around a contour kit, prefer to take their makeup look into their own hands.

Suppose you fit into the latter category and are planning on doing your own makeup on your big day. Kudos to you! A public forum on Wedding Wire reveals that many opt to hire a makeup artist as they are unable to fully trust themselves with such a significant task. But to make it easier on you, we collected a few things you should know before doing your own wedding makeup so you (and your big day) are picture-perfect.

Do a few trial runs and practice, practice, practice!

While it may be easy to focus most of your attention on other wedding day plans and save the makeup for the wedding day, you should reconsider. After all, most makeup artists schedule a trial run before the big day, so why shouldn't you? Celebrity makeup artist Beck Wainner told Brides that you shouldn't even give yourself a few weeks before your wedding to practice your look, but a few months. That way, you'll know precisely what to do once the wedding morning approaches.

"Did this makeup application last all day or not?" Wainner urges you to ask yourself during your trial runs. "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." Plus, it will help your big day run as smoothly as possible.

You can also schedule your makeup trial runs before smaller wedding events, like your bridal photos, engagement party, and rehearsal. Pristine Chapel notes that there are a handful of pre-wedding activities that you should consider leading up to the big day, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed with the entire process. And what better time to practice your wedding day makeup look? That way, you know what photographs well, what lasts all day, and what you may want to change.

Set aside more time than you think you'll need

Once the wedding day hits, you may be pulled into a tornado of stress. You'll want the venue, your bridal party, and most importantly, you to look perfect. And if you are rushing through your makeup because you didn't give yourself enough time, it's taking way longer than you expected, or you had other obligations to take care of, your stress will only worsen.

Plus, if you're rushing through your makeup, you may not do it as well as you'd like. Professional makeup artist Matin Maulawizada told Cosmopolitan that you should designate a good chunk of time to your beauty routine. And by a good chunk, we mean way more than you typically would need. Finishing early only allows you more time to relax and unwind before you walk down the aisle and are thrown right back into that tornado.

According to Martha Stewart, "an hour window" should be scheduled for the bride to get her makeup done — and that's if she's having a professional do it. If you're doing your own makeup, chances are, it may not be as quick of a job as it would for someone who does bridal makeup for a living. Therefore, assess the time it takes to apply your makeup during your trial runs and double it for the big day.

Take care of your skin and prep it well

You could master the art of bridal makeup and walk into your wedding day highly confident in your ability to achieve the perfect look. But if your skin isn't at its best, that makeup probably won't look its best either. The good news is there are steps you can take before you walk down the aisle to give your skin the best possible chance of looking as flawless as your makeup application.

You may think a few weeks before the wedding is plenty of time to prep your skin. But actually, you'll want to work on your skincare months before the big day (per Sunday Riley). Concentrate on your skincare regimen three months before, ensuring you thoroughly wash and moisturize daily. If you're into Botox or other dermal procedures, do so two months before the wedding. One month before is ideal for a facial and any other complexion treatments. And the day before? Get that "beauty sleep" and pamper yourself with a moisture-boosting face mask.

A few days before your wedding day, your face should look and feel hydrated, clean, and refreshed. But skin can have a mind of its own sometimes, and chances are, you may be met with a breakout. In this case, take a deep breath and don't pick at your skin. "Spot-treat [the night before], and then the day of, conceal the blemish with makeup," a board-certified dermatologist told Brides. "The good news is, your photographer can edit out any imperfections."

Ensure your complexion makeup is a perfect match

The upside to hiring a professional makeup artist is that their kit comes with various shades so that your makeup matches your skin tone perfectly. By doing your makeup yourself, you are limited to the foundation shades you have on hand. If it doesn't match perfectly, you may be left with that makeup-mask look, which isn't ideal for any day of the year, let alone your wedding day.

Bobbi Brown's editorial makeup artist Cassandra Garcia gave wedding day complexion advice to Byrdie. "Blend your bronzer really well, and make sure your face matches your neck and shoulders," she said. "If you're going to wear a spray tan on the day, be sure to have tried the spray tan before, and use a foundation that matches the color of your tanned skin."

Since everybody is different, and how one bride wishes to look on her day may not be the same as another, there is no right and wrong foundation choice. However, Best For Bride recommends keeping it "natural." And you can still wear a full-coverage foundation! You'll be good to go if your complexion makeup matches your tone and isn't too deep on the orange scale (unless you're into that).

Stay true to your go-to makeup routine

You only say "I do" once in a lifetime, so you may want to do your makeup a little differently than your typical Tuesday. However, you know what works best for you on the day-to-day, so implementing those same techniques will help ensure your makeup turns out the way you want. Makeup artist Jo Levy told Bridal Guide, "I always tell my brides that my goal is for them to look like themselves, just defined and finished. I would hate for a bride to look at her pictures five years from now and not recognize the girl in them."

Staying true to your typical routine also includes the products you already have in your makeup bag. Chances are, you have a holy grail foundation or setting powder that works well on your skin and that you trust to make it through a long day. Bridal makeup artist Hannah Martin told Elle, "'You don't have to buy all new makeup for your wedding. In fact, using what you already own or practicing a few times with new makeup can be a much better way to feel confident and familiar with the look you're achieving." So head into your wedding day with your tried-and-true products, and you'll feel at ease and beautiful walking down the aisle with all eyes on you.