I don’t think any of my friends were surprised when I told them I was going to do my own wedding makeup. I’ve had my makeup done possibly three times in my entire life–and it wasn’t good. I have textured skin that makes blending next to impossible, and on top of that my skin is oily, which means I need to constantly wear “summertime” makeup: waterproof, sweatproof, crease proof.
I struggle with foundation and powder, and most of all–eyeliner. With allergies this time of year, my eyes are constantly becoming irritated, making it hard to wear liquid liner. Ugh. But, I don’t throw in the towel. I sample as much as I can to find the perfect combination of products that fit my skin.
For my wedding last year, I knew that having a July wedding meant that my makeup game needed to be on-point and long-wear. I purchased at least 10 liquid foundations and three powder foundations. I even held a poll so that readers and friends could vote for their favorite wedding makeup look. The look that won the most votes featured a gold and black smokey eye with a pink/peach blush and a nude/peach long wear Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick by Stila with a soft pink/nude lip liner #15c from Make Up For Ever.
I really wanted a softer look around the eyes, so I went in a different direction and chose to do a brown smokey eye with liquid gold accents. I didn’t want my eyes to look like two black holes of death in my photographs.
The first thing that I did was having my eyebrows tattooed. I lost my brow hair due to Hashimoto’s disease, and my hair was also starting to fall out off of my head. I found a woman who performed brow tattoos using tattoo ink and a blade, not the traditional gun. The point of having it done is to create hair-like strokes in the brow. I found that it faded pretty quickly, and even after having another touch-up, it still faded fast. I needed to fill in my brows with Anastasia Brow Wiz (Auburn), a mechanical brow pencil with a tiny tip.
I started having lash extensions done one month in advance. I got used to them, and I decided that I really didn’t want to use false lashes and that this was a great alternative. I had to get the lashes touched up a few weeks later, just in time for the wedding.
THE LOOK: EYES
Unfortunately some of the products I will mention today are no longer available. I was a big fan of the Wet n Wild Fergie collection, and used the Take on the Day “For My Primas” Eyeshadow Primer religiously. For $5.50, this is the best you could get at the drugstore (Wet n Wild still makes a good one now, but it is not the same). I have never had any trouble with eyeshadow creasing with this. I applied with a flat brush the Anastasia Ultra Matte single eye shadow in Cream which is a perfect creamy peach base color. OH MY GWAD. I love the Anastasia eye shadow singles–you can make your own palette for $40 for 4 amazing shadows. In the crease, I used the light coppery shade from the Fergie Desert Festival palette. To deepen my crease on just the outer corners, I used the darker brown shade in the same palette. To add a pop of color, I used the reddish color, also from the same Fergie palette, in the inner corner of my top lid. To add some sparkle to the top lid, I applied the Sephora Collection Shadow and Liner Pencil in Beige Glitter on top of the Cream matte shadow base that I applied previously. Under my brow area, I applied the Benefit Cosmetics highlighting stick called High Brow and blended with my ring finger.
For the liquid eyeliner look, I used a great liquid liner from Kat von D — Trooper. This black liquid liner is the shizzle. The felt tip is like no other that I’ve tried before. It gives extremely precise lines — I couldn’t expect Kat von D to screw up something that makes precise lines!
On the area of my lower lash line I decided to get a little creative. I first applied my Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Cream Liner to my water line. I do not recommend this product for any place on the eyes other than the water line because it tends to ball up on me and flake off during application. It bums me out that they can’t just put this liner into a glass pot and let people choose their own brush to use. It also seems to have a mind of its own and come out of the tip overnight. The next day when I open the lid, there’s a bunch of cream liner popping out of the top!
With the MAC 219 Pencil Brush, my go-to for doing smokey eyes, I used the Anastasia Eye Shadow in Sienna across the entire bottom lash line. Again, I love the sparkle and drama of glitter, so I topped off my look with the glitzy NYX Glam Liner Aqua Luxe Collection in 24 Karat on the inner and outer corners of my eyes. To finish everything off, I added a light coat of Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara to the top and bottom.
THE LOOK: FACE
A good primer is also another must-have for daily wear, and especially for your wedding. The Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer has SPF 21 is a dream come true for those with large pores. It doesn’t have that slick silicone feeling to it, and it feels amazing and is thick enough to melt into pores and stay put. For foundation, since I wanted a very matte look with no SPF flash back in the photos, I chose the Marc Jacobs Re(Marc)able foundation, which is VERY underrated. Color matching this foundation is very hard as the colors are either very yellow or very orange. There are a few neutrals in the bunch. I advise trying this on or buying two shades to mix. I ended up buying Bisque Light and Beige Light and mixing them. Using a damp beautyblender, I blended the full-coverage foundation on flawlessly.
For extra coverage, I applied (stripes across the t-zone and blend) my Kryolan TV Paint Stick in OB1. Matching your color for this stick is difficult since the swatches online really do no good. I took a chance ordering this yellow/beige shade and it happens to be a perfect match. I got very lucky!
Under the eyes, I like a brighter shade of concealer. I do like the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser in “Brightening” for perking up my sometimes dreary under eye area. It has a really cool rounded velvet tip for application, so I apply a few dots with that and pat in with my ring finger.
I dusted the BareMinerals READY Foundation Pressed Powder on top of my face, avoiding eye area. This powder can turn from great to cake in two seconds if you’re not careful. I don’t like to touch up with this powder because it tends to go crazy. I don’t think I really touched up at all that day, which is a miracle! This powder has SPF 20, but I didn’t notice any weird flash back on it. Test it out on yourself first!
THE LOOK: CONTOUR AND BRONZER
I was extremely tan on my wedding day, at least my legs were, and my face needed a bit of bronzer to match the package. I bought the amazing Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Milk Chocolate and used it has a bit of a dusting powder on top of my face all over to get a tanner look. I also used a more concentrated application of this as a contour product. My highlighter is something I’m not too embarrassed to give a shout out to: The Khloe Kardashian makeup palette’s highlighter. It is this gorgeous white gold shade and doesn’t look too glittery at all. This palette is pretty OLD, but I hauled it out because I remembered that fleeky highlighter that was inside! K Beauty sells a lot of highlighters now–I wonder if they’re any good–but if they’re anything like the one in that palette, then please give it a try! I saw swatches of the Incandescence shade and it looks just like it. I lightly dusted this highlight on my cheekbones, forehead, and down my nose. VERY lightly because I didn’t want to look oily in my photos.
THE LOOK: LIPS
I do not look good with red lips. The classic Marilyn red lip that everybody looks good in–NOPE! I am more of a coral pink kinda gal. I had a million shades of coral, but none were long-lasting. I had to figure out which liquid lipstick to buy, but none were the exact shade I wanted. First using the lip liner #15c from Make Up For Ever, I started off with the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Jeffree. It is a bright coral pink, and too bright for my look. I softened the brightness of the color by applying the Anastasia Baby Pink liquid lipstick (discontinued?) on top. I applied a clear lip gloss on top, and my favorite is the Malin+Goetz Mojito lip balm. It’s not really a “gloss”, but it gives the look! As the Anastasia lipstick wore off, the Kat Von D color was still going strong underneath.
Through hours of dancing outdoors in July, my makeup didn’t fail me. I touched up maybe one time during the entire day. It was the best day of my life, and it should be the best makeup of your life, too! Just remember to practice your look at least three times before the big day. Congrats and good luck to you!