Made Up in Boston

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction." -Oscar Wilde

Thursday, June 2, 2011

DIY Wedding Makeup

When I got married in July of 2008, I knew two things.

  • I wanted to look natural, classic, and timeless. There wasn't going to be any makeup regret twenty or thirty years down the road.
  • I was heavily inspired by Sophia Coppola's stunning film "Marie Antoinette"

I know my way around a brush or two, and I knew I could cut cost by applying my own wedding makeup. I didn't want to spend a lot of money to have someone else do my makeup when I know I could do it better and more accurately. For some this might seem like a risky move. After all, this isn't the kind of makeup you'd wear on any given day. But I felt confident and capable of giving myself a look that was true to me, in line with my inspiration, and perfect for a summer wedding in a garden.

The setting: this was two weeks before our garden wedding (and yes, I took care of my roots before saying "I do").

I knew that whatever makeup I used was going to have to stand two important tests: it needed to photograph well indoors and especially out, and it needed to last all day long through all kinds of weather conditions. Finding products that fit those requirements was tricky, so I recommended that if you do go the DIY route, you experiment with different products for some time before the wedding. I did, and I went through a slew of products before finally settling on ones that held up to wear and tear, flash photography, and the crazy Massachusetts summer weather.

So how do you choose what works for wedding makeup?
  • Avoid any foundation or concealer that contains SPF (gasp!). I say this only because a foundation with heavy levels of SPF with photograph terribly; you'll look greasy and unfinished, perhaps even blotchy.
  • Avoid foundations that have any sort of shimmer to them. Matte coverage is best. You're likely going to use other products that contain some shimmer, and unless you want to look washed out or oily in your photos, it's better to limit where you have shimmer on your face (hint: shimmer should only be above your cheekbone as a highlighter and no where else).
  • Blush is very important, and it doesn't hurt to build up the color as you apply your makeup. Blush (and a sweep of bronzer) help to contour and define your features, and it shows up beautifully in pictures to give you that "just married" glow! If you can, stick to a natural toned color, rather than a trend. The blush should flatter your coloring and more importantly, it should look classic in pictures years down the road.
  • Choose eyeshadows that are flattering and long-lasting. Always use a primer first, to guarantee your eye makeup doesn't wear off throughout the night. Again, limit shimmer. It's best to use a satin finish shadow because there is a slight sheen so a little oomph, but enough matte color that it will photograph beautifully. And please, for the love of God, never, ever use bright blue eye shadow on your wedding day. That will never look good.
  • Make sure you line above and below your lashes. You want your eyes to stand out and be defined in your wedding photos. Smudge for a more dramatic look, or leave as is for a more pristine look.
  • Always, always, always pick lipstick over gloss. Your groom doesn't want to have goopy, glittery lips, and you don't want to reapply it every five minutes. If you absolutely need a little shimmer on your lips, take the tip of your pinky finger and dab it into a shimmering, light-colored eyeshadow (white, vanilla, baby pink, or lilac work best), and pat it to the center of your lips, over the shadow. This will give the look of gloss without the sticky factor.
Personally, I used a mix of higher end and drugstore products on my wedding day. My eyes were a combination of Clinique and MAC products (The Pink Chocolates e/s quad and Graphblack Technakohl liner) . My foundation, lipstick, and blush were drugstore cheapie brands, namely Cover Girl (Baby's Got Lips l/s and Rose Cheekers) and Revlon (can't recall the exact foundation, actually). I achieved the natural, feminine, and classic "Marie Antoinette" look I was going for while adding just a touch of modern glamour to keep it appropriate for a nighttime summer wedding in a garden. It photographed very well, and lasted all day and night.

And I've recreated it, just for this blog (note: some products have been changed. The blush is Mary Kay's Shy, and I've used gel liner instead of crayon):
Natural, filtered lighting
Direct sunlight
Without flash and with flash
Inside with flash, and a closeup of the look
And a simple half up-do with some sparkle. Just for kicks ;)

And there you have it: simple DIY wedding day makeup!

How do you feel about DIY wedding makeup? Are you brave enough for it? Is it something you would consider doing, or would you keep it safe and have a professional do it?

1 comment:

  1. This is great! I am doing my friends makeup for her wedding in July (so nervous!) and have been looking at tons of tutorials and products for what would work best. Could you do a "how to" with how you did the eyeshadows here?