wedding make up list

How To Do Your Own Wedding Make-Up

That is correct, I did my own wedding make-up. I realised a few weeks ago that I hadn’t blogged about my wedding make-up. I was scrolling through social media and I spotted a bride-to-be asking about wedding make-up artists and costs and whether anyone had done their own. I jumped in with my own experience and remembered that this was something I had wanted to blog about back when I got married. 

You see, before I got married I couldn’t find very much on the internet about brides doing their own make-up. It seemed like most brides hired a make-up artist on their wedding day. However, in the run up to my own wedding I just couldn’t find a make-up artist that was affordable, or in the area local to my wedding, or what I wanted for the day.

My wedding make-up was one of the last things to be crossed off my wedding spreadsheet, it was getting right up until the last minute and I just couldn’t find a make-up artist to hire. 

Eventually I decided the most affordable and reliable option was to do my own wedding make-up. The cost of buying my own make-up for the day still came in less than hiring a make-up artist, and the products would last a lot longer.

I spent a week or so before the wedding researching the best make-up products for my big day, and visited several make-up counters to get samples and have mini trials. Once I had all my make-up products, I practiced my wedding day look several times until I had what I wanted.

How to do wedding make-up

On my wedding day I made sure that after my hair was done I had several hours to myself to quietly and calmly do my own make-up. Rushing my make-up would’ve been a disaster. I just played some great music, and slowly went about doing my make-up before putting on my wedding dress. 

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As luck would have it, my wedding make-up turned out great! I am so pleased with how I looked on my wedding day. In fact, even my husband mentioned that my make-up was ‘on point’. Something he never says! 

As you can see from the photos, I went for a natural, slightly glowy base with black liquid eyeliner and shimmery plum eyeshadow, matched with a pinky nude lip. My make-up stayed put for the entire day! I just topped up my lipstick a few times, and that was it. 

I am super pleased with the make-up products I picked and I recommend giving it a go if you feel confident in doing your own wedding make-up. 

do you own wedding make up

My Wedding Make-Up

Before I get started I must note the extra treatments I had. I had my eyebrows threaded and tinted 4-5 days beforehand. And I had eyelash extensions put in 3 days before the wedding. That’s it! I did a few steam and face mask sessions a couple of weeks before, but nothing the week before the wedding. And I made sure to cleanser properly twice a day and started moisturising with the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream 3 days before. 

The base

For my base, I made sure I cleansed with my usual gentle REN Rosa Centifolia hot cloth cleanser first thing in the morning. I allowed my face to air dry before dabbing on some Clinique All About Eyes Rich eye cream followed by the Clinique Moisture Surge moisturiser.

An hour or so later I was ready to do my make-up so I covered my face and neck with a nice thick layer of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream and let that sink in for a good 5-10 minutes or so. 

Next I started applying a good layer of primer. I used Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow. I was super generous with this layer as I wanted something to hold all my make-up in place. I applied the primer over my entire face then let it sink in for another 5 minutes before applying foundation. 

Once the primer was dry I applied the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation. This foundation is a bit goopy and can be hard to blend in, so I used my clean fingers to apply a good layer before working into the skin. I then used a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge to gently pat the foundation in. I spent a long time making sure my foundation was even and blended in. 

Under my eyes I dabbed on the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. I also added some to my chin, where I have pigmentation, a bit on my nose where I get redness, and to a blemish on my chin. I let the concealer sit for one minute before gently blending it in with the sponge. Again, I spent a lot of time on the concealer, adding a touch more where needed and making sure it was blended in. I used a tiny bit of the NYX Studio Finishing Powder on my cheeks and over the concealer just to help it set.

To contour and add warmth I used the Benefit Hoola Bronzer. I added it just under my cheekbones, along the hairline and forehead and a touch on my neck and chest. For colour on the cheeks I used the MAC blusher in ‘Melba’ and simply swirled it right on the apples of my cheeks and a few sweeps back along the cheekbones. 

For highlight I used my Anastasia Sundipped Highlighter Kit. I simply swept this along the top of my cheekbones, under my eyebrows, and a little bit on my cupids bow. 

wedding make up list

The eyes

I wanted my eyes to be relatively neutral with definition. To make my eye make-up last all day I used the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer. It’s excellent for keeping eyeshadow and eyeliner in place, and it makes the colours pop. I spread this all over the eyelid, underneath the lower last line, and then gentle dab it in with clean fingers, leaving it for 2 minutes until tacky before applying eyeshadow.

For my eyeshadow I used mainly ‘Toasted’ and ‘Hustle’ from the original Urban Decay Naked Palette. They are both purple toned eyeshadows. Toasted was the lighter copper, pink-y toned colour for my eyelids. Hustle was used for eyelid crease and under the eye. I spent a bit of time applying these colours carefully and blending until the colours were dramatic but soft. 

wedding make up winged eyeliner

I always wear liquid eyeliner in my day to day life so that was a must, and I wanted something that was waterproof in case I cried during our wedding vows. The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner was perfect. It’s a great applicator, the colour is strong, and it lasts all day. I create a slight wing effect and an even thick line. I sat down on the floor and made everyone in the room stand still and quietly whilst I applied my eyeliner. I needed no distractions to make sure I got the lines perfect. And it worked! I’m so happy with how my eyeliner turned out. 

I didn’t need much mascara as I had eyelash extensions, but I did add a little, particularly to my lower lashes. 

For my brows, I just added a top-up with the Benefit Gimme Brow, to give extra definition.

Do your own wedding make up

The lips

My wedding day lipstick look was all about the natural. I wanted a pinky nude as many nudes are too yellow-toned/beige for my pink skin undertone. After lots of research and testing in stores I found the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk range was perfect for me. I layered a full lip of lip liner, with a layer of lipstick and finally the lipgloss

Once my wedding make-up was completed, I finished off with a few spritzes of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray to keep it all as long lasting as possible.

The only thing I re-applied throughout my wedding day was my lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss. Everything else stayed put. 

And that’s it! I did my own wedding make-up and it turned out great. I already had a lot of the make-up in my own collection at home, and I bought a few extras before the day. It was a little pricy, but for about the same cost as hiring a make-up artist I got a full collection of make-up that has lasted years. 

wedding make up products

Wedding Make-Up

Base skincare

Base make-up



how to do your own wedding make up

Let me know if you have any questions about doing your own wedding make-up. 

Obviously it’s not for everyone, but this worked out great for me. So if you are unsure whether it’s possible, I’m here to say it is if that’s what you’d prefer.

Good luck! 

TOP TIP – Visit the make-up counters in department stores and ask for samples where possible for you to try at home, or even use on you big day if you need to be thrifty. Let the make-up assistant know that it’s for your wedding day and they might even pop up a few extra samples. 

how to wedding make up


Note: some of the links I share above are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and buy something that I recommended the retailer sends me a few pennies as a thank you. It makes no difference to you as a customer, but it does help me with the costs of running this blog. Thank you for supporting me. 

All photographs by Simon Brettell Photography.

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