Wedding Makeup Tips: How to Do Your Own Wedding Makeup on a Budget

You want to look your absolute best on your wedding day, and that can also mean great makeup! Planning a wedding takes a lot of effort and money, so if you are on a tight budget, why not do your own makeup?

woman with calm, collected wedding makeup, wearing a wedding dress against an old building.

Not every bride needs a makeup artist on their big day. However, doing your own makeup on one of the biggest days of your life can be an incredibly intimidating and difficult task. Getting your makeup perfect on a regular day can be difficult enough! However, no one knows your own features better than you do and this way you can be fully in control of your own look.

So, whether you want to do your makeup for the entire wedding or just for the reception, we can help you effortlessly master your own wedding makeup.

The key is to prep your skin properly. This, in turn, will ensure that your makeup photographs well and lasts throughout the day. All you need is the right techniques, products and some confidence.

So, keep reading as we show you how to master your own makeup on your big day.

How to Decide on a Makeup Look

With lots of different styles and looks to choose from, it can be difficult to know what you want. But, there are a few things you should consider before deciding on a final makeup look.

Choose Your Own Personal Style

You still want to look like you on your wedding day. So, your personal style should dictate the way you choose to do your bridal makeup.

woman dressed for wedding with plaited hair and pink lips.

If you apply more subtle and natural makeup on a regular basis, then this is probably the best way to go on your wedding day. You don’t want to swerve too much away from your normal look as the makeup you apply regularly will be what you are best at. However, if you want to opt for a bolder style, play with darker colours to make it look more daring and intense.

Suggested Article: Makeup for Freckles: How to Enhance Them Instead of Hiding them.

Consider Your Wedding Dress

You want your wedding makeup to beautifully complement your overall wedding look, including your wedding dress, hair and the overall theme of the wedding. 

If you are having a modern, simple wedding, then you should go for a makeup look with more romantic, pastel colours. However, if your wedding dress and theme is more vibrant and bold, then maybe go for red lips and winged liner for a more intense look.

Suggested Article: 20 Best Drugstore Liquid Eyeliners That Will Give You the Perfect Wing.

Look for Inspiration

Find a look like you like and stick to it. To do this, look for inspiration on social media and wedding magazines that will have plenty of wedding makeup looks that you can replicate. Save the images that you like into a folder and then stick to one that you think will work well for you.

scrapbook on white textile, next to a flower. Scrapbooks are a good idea when it comes to planning events, like a wedding!
Make a scrapbook full of your ideas.

Furthermore, if you want to see how to replicate these looks too, why not watch YouTube videos? YouTube has plenty of bridal makeup looks and tutorials that will show you how to recreate the looks easily.

So, have a look at a few styles and looks to see which one suits your wedding vision best.

How to Save Money on Makeup

While doing your own makeup can help you save a big chunk of money from your budget, it’s important not to overspend.

So, here’s how to ensure that you save money on makeup products.

Use Your Makeup Products You Already Have

If you already have great makeup products that you know work well for your skin, there’s no need to switch things up and buy new products. However, if you are going to splurge on a makeup product, it should be on a good foundation. If your base makeup is perfect, then your overall makeup look will look great.

woman looking downwards, whilst wearing traditional bridal clothing.

Suggested Article: Find the Perfect Foundation for your Skin Undertone.

Don’t Overspend on New Products

While doing your own wedding makeup can be much more cost-effective to hire a professional makeup artist, it can be easy to overspend on new products. If you take a trip down to a beauty department store and splurge on lots of new items, it can all add up and end up costing a lot, especially if you are purchasing high-end makeup.

But, if you do need a lot of new products, there are plenty of drugstore options that work just as well. Don’t forget to make the most out of coupons and discounts at the store for extra savings.

Suggested Article: How to Shop for Drugstore Foundation for Darker Skin.

How to Prep Your Skin for Makeup

It is important to start off with a good base to ensure your makeup applies well. The right base is also important to ensure longevity throughout the day.

Follow these steps to ensure you create the perfect, smooth canvas for your makeup.

Perfect Your Skin Way Ahead

Your makeup can only be as good as your skin. So, in the months coming up to your wedding, it’s time to up your skincare regime. 

Perfect skin is the best possible canvas for your makeup. So, get your skin in shape first. Furthermore, if your budget allows it, it is also best to book in a facial or two a week before the big day. However, if you don’t want to splurge on expensive facials, there are plenty of DIY face masks you can make at home too.

woman wearing pink lipstick with flowers around her hair, like crown.

Don’t Skip the Basics

Don’t forget to follow your regular skincare routine before applying makeup on the day. 

Start by cleansing your skin to remove any dead skin cells and dirt that has built up. This ensures that you will have a smooth surface to work with. But go easy, as you don’t want to layer too many skincare products that can make your makeup slip off. So, choose a lightweight but hydrating moisturizer to keep your skin nourished and soft.

Suggested Article: Create an all-natural Skincare Routine with Home Ingredients.

Choose SPF Carefully

If you have an outdoor wedding or are getting married in the summer, then sunscreen is an absolute must. However, most SPF formulas can cause you to look ghostly white in flash photography. So, stick to sunscreen that is no higher than SPF 15 to prevent the zinc oxide from causing a white cast on your skin.

Suggested Article: How to Choose the Right Sun Protection for You.

Prime Your Skin

You want a good primer to create a nice base for your makeup to sit on without budging. It’s essential, therefore, to choose the right primer depending on the overall finish you want for your makeup. For example, if you want a radiant, bridal glow then opt for a dewy, luminescing primer. But, if you want a matte finish, then opt for a mattifying primer instead.

Don’t forget to use a separate eye primer for your lids. This is due to them being just as oily as your face. Doing so will ensure that you get smoother eyeshadow application and also that the colour appears much more pigmented on the skin.

Suggested Article: Choose the Best Tinted Moisturiser for Your Skin.

How to Apply the Makeup

When applying your wedding makeup, you want to ensure that it looks as good as possible and lasts throughout the day. Simply, following these techniques to find out how to choose and wear each type of makeup product.


On the incredibly busy last few days leading up to your wedding, you may have lots of things to do. In fact, you may not get much sleep from excitement or stress! So, developing dark circles or blemishes are a real possibility.

woman posing with little makeup in a wedding dress, upon rocks.

Invest in a formula that is easy to blend and apply it under your foundation. This will keep any imperfections well and truly covered. The concealer will cover any blemishes, pigmentation or redness of the skin so you won’t have to go overboard with foundation.

Interestingly, contrary to belief, you do not need to use a concealer that is lighter than your natural skin tone. In fact, doing so can cast obvious white spots and marks on the areas that you have applied the concealer in flash photography. Instead, use a concealer that matches your natural skin tone for a more natural finish.

Additionally, for a more dewy and glowing look, try and use a brightening concealer under your eyes to bring some light to this area. This can really open up your eyes to make you look fresher and radiant. Apply it on the areas where needed and blend it out well using a damp beauty sponge or a concealer brush so it really blends into the skin well.

Suggested Article: How to Banish Eye Bags and Dark Circles Naturally.


The perfect foundation will ensure that you are photo-ready while giving your face that second-skin look without looking cakey or flaky. 

Choose a foundation that suits your preference of coverage and texture depending on your skin type and undertone. For example, if you have oily skin then stick to a more matte foundation, but if you have dry skin then go for a more hydrating formula.

Importantly, if you plan on getting a spray tan before your wedding, then make sure you get a new foundation that matches your skin once you get your tan!

Once you have your chosen product, apply it in thin layers and blend it really well with a damp beauty sponge. This will ensure there aren’t any smears or streak marks left on your skin. The tool will also pick off any excess product so you won’t look cakey.

Tip: Make sure you use an SPF free foundation as the camera flash will reflect off it to create a chalky look in photographs.

woman posing towards camera whilst wearing perfect makeup and a wedding dress.


A good powder can work wonders to blur the fine lines and pores on your face. Along with setting your makeup in place, it can act to give it extra lasting power throughout the day. Be sure to opt for a translucent powder with a light finish that won’t add extra weight to your makeup. Simply and lightly dust the product all over your face, or any parts of the face that is particularly oily, with a powder brush to set everything in place.


Your eyebrows should look natural and full without looking too harsh. For this reason, make sure you get your eyebrows done a few days before the wedding day to keep it looking fresh. It’s essential that you don’t leave it until the day before as you want to avoid any redness or puffiness around the eye area! 

For prepping we recommend that you use a subtle eyebrow pencil to fill in the sparse areas of your brows. This will give them shape. You can, thankfully, avoid sharpie brows by staying clear of any brow products that are too harsh and by not overdrawing your eyebrows.

Be sure to use small strokes to keep it looking as natural as possible. Then, brush everything out with by running a spoolie through your brows to blend the hairs and the product together. This way, they should look naturally full and well-shaped.

Suggested Article: How to Groom Each Eyebrow Type.


Applying a highlighter to the highpoints of your face is the perfect way of achieving that radiant, bridal glow. 

To make the glow appear as natural as possible, choose a cream or liquid highlighter. These should effortlessly blend into the skin to give you a dewy look.

Usually, if you are using a creamy formula, you can just use your fingers to blend it out. But, if you want to take off any excess product whilst blending it into your skin, then a damp beauty sponge is the way to go.

A small glass pot with makeup highlighting cream and a brush dipped in it, laid on a glossy white background

Apply it to your cheekbones, the middle of your nose, under the brow bone and above your cupid’s bow. Doing so can make your skin look healthy, fresh and hydrated. 

Tip: Make sure you do not use any sparkly or shimmery formulas. More so, if you don’t want to look like a glitter ball! This can look incredibly harsh in photographs, so stick to a formula which enhances your features without adding too much glitter.


As far as contouring is concerned on your wedding day, its best to play it down to keep things soft and subtle. Wedding looks are all about soft, rosy cheeks so it should be kept down to a minimum or, better yet, avoided altogether.

However, if you do still want a bit of definition, apply a light contour powder. You can do so to the top of your forehead, to your cheekbones and your jawline. Suck in your cheekbones and follow the face’s hollows to see where the natural contours of your face are. Then, blend it out really well to create a bit of extra dimension to the face without any harsh lines or shadows.


You want a nice, rosy hue to the cheeks. This is so you can look like the lovely, blushing bride that you are!

So, for a natural-looking flush, opt for a cream formula that is easy to blend out. To apply it, you should smile so you can really see where the apples of your cheeks are and apply the blush to this area using a blush brush. Next, blend it well into the skin. If you worry about looking washed out in photos simply apply a little bit more than you usually would.

woman having blush applied to her cheeks with large powder brush.


Applying eyeshadow can be incredibly tricky if you don’t have much practice doing it. So, if you aren’t much of a makeup bro, try and opt for cream stick shadows that are easy to use and blend out effortlessly.

When it comes to shades, avoid going for anything that is too dark. This is because it can distract from your eyes itself. The key here is to keep your eyes open and bright.

So, if you aren’t strong with makeup, its best to stick to soft colours!

Tip: Don’t forget to apply an eye primer first to avoid any creasing. This will also ensure that your eyeshadow lasts as long as possible.


Even the most experienced of makeup wearers can find eyeliner hard to master. So, it is best to keep the eyeliner soft and classy.

To do this, apply a thin layer of gel liner to the upper lid. As well as close to the lash line as possible. Then, softly smudge it out to create a slightly smoky look. You can keep this as soft or bold as you like, but ensure that you blend the product out well so it doesn’t just appear as if you have smudged it by accident! Or, if you really want a sharp wing on the big day, use an eyeliner stencil or a business card and place it where you would like the wing to be. Then follow the outline of the line with your eyeliner before outlining the rest of your lash line for a quick and easy winged liner look.


You want your mascara to withstand any heat or tears on your wedding day. So, waterproof formula is the way to go. Waterproof mascara ensures that you can avoid panda eyes also be sure that your mascara isn’t going anywhere.

close up of woman having black mascara applied to her eyelashes.

Simply, start off by curling your lashes to ensure that each lash is lifted from its root. Using a lengthening mascara, wiggle the wand from the roots to the ends of your eyelashes to coat them properly. Continue with applying a few coats until you have the desired volume on your lashes. Be sure to avoid applying too many coats as you don’t want to end up with clumpy or spidery lashes.

False Lashes

False lashes are what you need if you want extra dramatic eyes on your wedding day. However, it is still important to keep it looking natural while accentuating your eyes. So, the best thing to use is individual lashes.

Apply the individual lashes to the outer corner of your lashes using a tweezer. You can also add some to any other areas that may be looking a little sparse. Furthermore, make sure you use black lash glue to apply the product so that it blends as naturally as possible with your lashes.

If it is your first time applying false lashes, it can be really tricky to master it. So, make sure you practice doing this before the big day to save time, and also to ensure they look as natural as possible.

Suggested Article: Mink Lashes: Everything You Need to Know About Mink Eyelash Extensions.


Nude, rose-toned and pink lips are great for brides who want a softer look. However, if you want a bit more brightness, a nice bold shade like red can add that extra pop of colour to your face.

woman in wedding dress, holding flowers and wearing dark lipstick.

Start off by using a lip balm to hydrate the lips so you have a smooth base to work with. Then, use a lip liner that closely matches the colour of your lipstick and line your lips with it. Complete the liner by filling in the rest of your lips with it. Doing so will add dimension and fullness to your lips, whilst also allowing your lipstick to last much longer. Last, but not least, apply the lipstick onto your lips and blend it out well.

Tip: Try and opt for liquid lipsticks as they have great staying power. They also should offer a matte finish so your lipstick won’t look too glossy or shiny.

woman having her lip liner applied.

Setting Spray

The key to making your makeup last all day is a good setting spray. 

Spritz your setting spray all over your face once you have completed your makeup. Doing so will ensure the makeup stays put. Furthermore, for extra staying power, spritz a layer of the setting spray onto your face before applying the makeup to make it stick better.

How to Ensure You Are Stress-Free When Applying Your Makeup on the Big Day

Do a Few Trial Runs

No matter how good you may be at makeup, you don’t want to wait until the big day to try out your look for the first time.

The best way to ensure that your makeup looks perfect on the big day is to practice it. This way, you can perfect your look and make any necessary changes early enough.

Practice, practice, practice until you perfect the look!

woman smiling, wearing defined makeup and tiara.

Set Aside One Hour for Makeup

The best way to avoid getting flustered is to take your time when applying your makeup on the big day. Make sure to leave plenty of time, so you don’t have to rush. Furthermore, you should try to have enough time to allow you to start over if need be. Additionally, if your makeup takes more time than planned, you won’t have to feel rushed or stressed.

Set Up a Relaxing Makeup Space

Preparing for your wedding day you’ll want a nice, calm environment to do your wedding makeup. Getting ready can be extremely hectic and can cause you to become flustered and stressed, so, set up a serene space so you can have some privacy. This will allow you to relax as you put on your wedding makeup.

Tip: Ideally, try and do your makeup near a window. This will allow you to see what the makeup will look like in natural lighting.

Do Your Makeup before Putting on Your Dress

Nothing will stress you out more than getting makeup stains on your clean, white wedding dress. So, to avoid this, do your makeup before putting on the dress. Then, put the dress on carefully to avoid getting any makeup transfer!

By using the right products, practising your look and having enough time to apply it on the big day, your makeup will look perfect.

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