I know this article will be risky, but let me tell you: You can definitely do your own wedding makeup if you want to.
There are multiple posts lately of brides having makeup trials that have gone wrong. I believe that it needs to be said that you don’t have to have a makeup artist for your wedding if you are comfortable doing your own makeup.
Doing your own makeup actually allows you to practice your look over time and get that sense of how well it holds up for a whole day. And let’s be honest, who knows your face better than you? On the other side, it also reduces the number of vendors you need to deal with.
A very good friend of mine is a wedding photographer, and she tells me she overhears grooms saying all the time that their bride looks beautiful, but they don’t understand why she has so much makeup. Ladies, your groom wants to see YOU on your wedding day!
Our own Jan Freire, a Celebrity and Destination Wedding Photographer, said: As a luxury wedding photographer with over 300 weddings, trust me, I never saw a bride looking better after MUA did their job. I usually see them before the wedding day, and then I’m always so sad (sometimes in shock) seeing those overdone makeups. They typically look older, and … I don’t even have good words. As a bride and knowing what I know now, I would do my own makeup unless I could afford Scott Barnes, though!
Obviously, what we already said is even more accurate for destination weddings and elopement. Do you agree? So, we asked a few brides a fundamental question in a group. Would you do your own wedding makeup? And here are their replies.
Here is also one disclaimer! This topic is about makeup only; it definitely does not apply to hairstyles! But that’s an entirely different story. Here you can check our most popular blog post about wedding hairstyles.
Lynn: You don’t need to wear makeup for your wedding. I always see many comments from brides who hate wearing makeup and don’t feel like themselves, worrying that they’ll look washed out if they don’t wear it. That’s just not true at all anymore. It was when people were shooting with physical film and developing it in darkrooms, but that’s not how wedding photography and editing work anymore.
Katia: I got so much shit from people saying, “you need to get your makeup done,” when I said I’m doing my own. I did my own, and I 100% do not regret it. I loved how it turned out. I looked like ME, just a little more radiant vs. glammed out because that’s how I wanted to look. Plus, I hate wearing makeup in general.
Also, never feel like you need to justify your wedding choices to anyone. Do what you want, period. I’m uncomfortable with other people touching me, especially my face, during Covid.
I can do makeup the way I like. Am I a professional? Hell no. Do I love how my makeup looks when I wear it? Hell yes. I am an advocate for natural, light, effortless makeup looks. Even professional makeup artists pack on makeup for photos.
Ellen: I did my own makeup after a horrible trial. I looked nothing like myself; my face felt terrible, and the artist didn’t know how to put makeup on POC and ethnic facial features. I was nervous about this and practiced a lot for two months straight. This was one of the best decisions I made for my wedding!
I also bought a lot of new products I never would have. My makeup turned out perfect on the day, and I felt like myself! I received so many compliments on my makeup. My photographer kept saying my makeup was coming across so beautifully on camera.
All of that practice resulted in me gaining many makeup skills I wish I had in my early 20s. Even better, I feel so much more confident doing my own makeup! I’m so excited for my next big event, so I can do my bridal makeup routine again.
I bought a lot of high-end products from Sephora. In the end, I probably didn’t save much money by cutting the makeup artist. However, I have all of these fantastic products that I still use regularly.
Xenia: I’m a cosmetologist who does a ton of wedding work, and even I did my own! If you’re comfortable doing your makeup, it requires a little research and some extra products to DIY it, so it lasts all day and photographs well.
I highly suggest getting the book Makeup Makeovers: Weddings, by Robert Jones. It has many excellent pieces of advice and details to be aware of when it comes to wedding makeup that many folks might not have otherwise considered.
Bea: I had a makeup artist do my eyes because a cat eyeliner and false lashes were beyond my skill set, but I did everything else on my own because I felt they were too heavy-handed with foundation, concealer, etc. I was able to have the dramatic eye I wanted but was still able to have just tinted moisturizer in place of foundation. I’m sure there are makeup artists out there willing to do that, but this is what worked for me.
Cora: I did my own makeup for my engagement pictures because I didn’t like my trial. Then I found an artist who finally got the natural look I wanted.
I hardly wear makeup, so I wasn’t looking for a full glam face. But it’s my wedding, and I want to treat myself to something nice. The place I’m going to is inexpensive, they do an excellent job, and it’s professional.
But I sure did think about doing my own, that’s for sure. Even went out and repurchased some new makeup to practice. I encourage anyone to look into it as doing your own is perfectly fine, and you don’t need to have a professional. But it’s nice too to treat yourself if you find the right artist.
Melanie: I opted to do my makeup as I was getting married overseas, and I’m not a fan of having people’s hands on my face. I had a bad experience with an MUA who was a smoker.
My bridesmaids wore no makeup regularly, so they just did light makeup, allowing them to look like themselves.
Adriana: I’m doing mine and basically followed a guide that the Bridgerton MUA wrote about doing Daphne’s makeup. I bought similar products or good dupes and practiced over the year with my MOH, who is very into makeup. I did a timed trial of it and can do it in 30 minutes, which included messing up my eyeliner. I look like me and have a fresh, dewy look that I want.
My hair is driving me nuts. It’s curly and not very dense, so many updos don’t work for me or turn into frizz city because someone pulls all the curls out. I will likely wear it down and do some maintenance curling because my hair is unpredictable. I must remind myself that my goal is to look like me, so if my hair isn’t Instagram-perfect, that’s ok.
Cleo: I wear makeup sometimes but have never found a solution because my skin gets oily with it, and it creases in my dimples, even when professionals are doing it, and I’ve warned them about that problem. I’m not gonna want to keep touching this up at my wedding, so I’ll likely do waterproof mascara and a tinted lip gloss only. FW hadn’t worn makeup since she was fourteen except once as a bridesmaid, so she won’t wear makeup when the bride pays for it. But this is precisely what we did for our engagement photos, and they look great.
Amy: I think I’m most definitely going to do my own makeup to save on money. As a bridesmaid, I had a bad experience where the MUA used a too dark foundation for me. People kept asking me why I looked so tan for the rest of the wedding.
Mee: I’ve paid good money to stylists to have them half-deliver or deliver poorly. I feel like even if I somehow mess up my own look, I will be much cooler with it than if someone else I paid delivered poorly.
Also, I know how to look myself. I don’t have to make small talk with a stranger who has a totally different style than me and whose hands are all over my face.
My hair is also challenging, but I’ve been practicing that too. It’s super curly, so I’m going to wash it a few days before the wedding, let it get loose and set in its curls, and then use some products to make it glossy and reform any curls that have gone awry. Pair that with a small flower circle and a veil, it’ll look bridal, and it’ll be me.
Tonya: I’m doing my own makeup. My MOH is super into makeup, so she was going to do it, but I wanted to try out some different shades to settle on what we would use the day of, especially finding the proper foundation. I don’t wear makeup, so I started practically from scratch, learning how to apply it through many videos.
I ended up really enjoying the process and found a complete look I feel comfortable with that still let me feel like myself. And it’s allowed me to see how well things wear and for how long in different situations, so I’ll be more prepared to touch up along the way. So I’m taking over my own face, which will help in the timing since MOH only has to do her own face and my other MOH now, rather than all 3 of us.
Allison: I did my hair and makeup for my elopement, which was great. A word of advice, though — give yourself way more time than you think you need. Getting stressed and feeling rushed is awful. It takes me about 8 minutes to do a full face on an average day, maybe 20 if I’m going out. I gave myself two hours for my elopement.
Aby: I’m going to do my own makeup. Until last week, I hadn’t owned a single piece of makeup in 7+ years. And before that, I only ever bought mascara. I just prioritize my hair, I guess, haha. But I know I don’t want to spend the cash on a pro for my wedding when it’s not something I spend money on in my day-to-day life. So I went to Sephora and got fantastic help picking out a few essential products that would enhance my natural features for photos, which is all I really want. I’m doing foundation, filling in my brows a bit, false lashes, a teensy bit of eye shadow just to make my eyes pop more, and lipstick.
Lele: I did my own makeup and was happy with it.
I recommend taking a photo of your makeup beforehand to see how it looks on camera. I’m glad I did a trial run and saw how it looked in pictures before the big day. I had to make my makeup a little bolder in person to get the look I wanted.
Hannah: I did my own makeup, and so did my bridesmaid! I’m an MUA and don’t trust anyone else, and my bridesmaid is very proficient but doesn’t have much confidence in her abilities. We did practice together, and I guided her with what colors and placement she should use, and I’m glad we did it ourselves.
Another thing that I think people forget is that if you’re prone to nerves, sitting and doing nothing might not be for you! I knew I needed something to focus on, so doing my makeup made sense.
Paula: My freckles were one of the reasons I decided to do my own makeup. I have a lot of them, and at every wedding I’ve been in, someone else did makeup on me; they applied it super heavy to cover them up (one even used a tattoo concealer), and I looked… weird. Pale for sure, & definitely not me. I had asked every single one to leave my freckles visible, so now I just don’t trust MUA to not mask the features I actually like, despite them not being “traditionally” attractive features these days.
I’ve never been a big makeup girl, but I look sick without at least mascara, so that’s what I usually stick to, or for fancy stuff, I add a natural eyeshadow with gold liner. I think I’m going to stick with that plan.
WOW, what a run. I’m really curious what you think now. It changed a little bit my perspective on this topic. Would you do your own wedding makeup? Although it seems like all these responses were from only one side, it’s still an exciting read. I’m sure that there are brides that wouldn’t do bridal makeup themselves in any case. What do you think? Let us know in the comment below.
And as always, if you have any questions or more tips, let us know in the comments below.
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Oh the idea of a bride doing her own makeup gives me chills. After reading these, I can see where it may have a place and where there are many women who may have that confidence or even the time to “practice” before wedding day..
However, I believe that’s why it’s so very important to truly vet and choose your artists best to fit your overall vibe. And do so as advance as you can. Many great artists book a year+ in advance.
Look at their photos and social handles. Tagged photos too. before you meet them for a trial.
I myself am not a huge fan of the super glam or regular glam or miami glam for a bride. That is something many women and men think of when they think makeup. Heavy, photographs better than real life. Beautiful if you like that type of makeup.
Recognize the difference in techniques and styles and my brides always choose makeup artists that create a soft effortless and “natural” look.
But like anything that’s dependent on the artist. Their technique, their vibe, their products. Not all “professionals” are going to fit for your wedding look. After all considering. I’d still hope for none of my brides to be doing their own makeup. Absolute last resort please ?? I’m certain if your caterer wasn’t up to par you’re not firing up the grill or jumping in the kitchen. Just because you know how to cook? It’s your wedding day, it’s part of the experience, choose vendors accordingly.
This is all so true – and you state it perfectly in your article. Whenever I have had my makeup done by someone else I don’t feel like myself.
This is awesome. I will forward to my future daughter in law. I think she will enjoy it!
im going to have to pass this on to the wife, we could use the money for better experiences over the day instead of makeup thanks for sharing!
This will be interesting to my girlfriend because it will help us in the future. Thank you for sharing!
I love that more women are feeling empowered to do their own wedding makeup. I hired someone to do mine, but it was really expensive, so skipping that could have saved some money!
Hhhhmmm…I have never thought of it this way. I guess it’s possible and besides, an individual knows just how much makeup they really need on them, at that moment.
Honestly, you are giving excellent tips. However, when it comes to makeup on my wedding day, I would like a makeup artist to do mine. If I did mine by myself, lord have mercy.
I did mine and it came out great. I think it depends on your skill and comfort level of doing it.
Yeah, this sounds more practical! Make-up artists are also really expensive these days, especially the goods ones. Maybe a bit of practice will help as well.
I haven’t thought of this before. I just think that the bride will be so busy and tired in that day so they will need a support on make-up.
thank you for sharing this. I will forward this to a friend who’s planning a wedding next year