Makeup Artist Not In Your Wedding Budget? 7 Tips For Doing It Yourself

April 21, 2011 by Adrienne Rayski
shefinds | Weddings

Los Angeles-based makeup artist and image consultant Christina Marrale has advised and worked with many a bride — and now she’s sharing some of her insider tips to help you get a perfectly polished look, even if you’re not using a makeup artist. Sound like a daunting prospect? Christina breaks down DIY-wedding day makeup to make it less so:

Tip 1: Stick to the brands you know and love.

Take a list of everything you think you need (foundation, mascara, etc) to your favorite cosmetics counter or makeup artist and allow them to recommend products and techniques to you. Before you purchase, research: Sephora, Ulta and many other sites have customer reviews.

2: Choose shades that compliment your skin tone.

And be sure that when you’re trying on lipsticks/blush/foundation to let the product oxidize for a few minutes to get a true reading of how it looks on your skin tone.

For olive or darker skin, stick to warm tones like plums, browns, corals and gold. This Lord & Berry Is It Love? Warm Tones Pallette ($19) is our favorite. For paler skin tones, stick to cool tones, such as softer purples, pinks, silvers and grey. This Estee Lauder Pure Color Professional Color Palette ($10, down from $25) does the trick.

3. Get the 4 wedding-day makeup must-haves.

The makeup essentials for every bride are: A natural-looking foundation; a great, long-wearing lip color; course blush to warm up any complexion; and false eyelashes to accentuate and open your eyes.

Laura Mercier’s faux lashes ($18) can be styled to accentuate various eye shapes. Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Duo ($24) is an inexpensive option for lip color that lasts.

4. Invest in skincare.

Great skincare products will help you achieve a glowing, smooth, and healthy complexion that is sure to stand out in your wedding photographs. My favorite brands in skincare are Philosophy, Olay, and Dermalogica.

The Philosophy On a Clear Day Skin System ($65) is the brand’s full anti-blemish skincare line. Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant ($50) is great for smoothing and brightening complexion.

5. Do a makeup test-run.

Try a few different looks in an area with good, natural lighting. When you’re done, photograph yourself in several lighting settings and study how the makeup looks … too natural? Too heavy? Note mistakes and correct.

6. Don’t irritate skin.

Cleanser, moisturizer and eye cream only: You don’t want to irritate your skin moments before you walk down the aisle. Steer clear of anything with zinc oxide which tends to photograph odd, leaving complexion ghostly.

7. Choose your tools wisely.


I love Sigma brushes — they’re affordable and great quality, very similar to MAC but at half the cost, perfect for a bride on a budget! The Beauty Blender is also a wonderful multi-functional tool for blending foundation, eye shadow, blush and highlighter.

Sigma brush travel kit ($49, down from $59), and the Beauty Blender ($19.95).

For more wedding day must-haves check our guides on unique wedding invitations, wedding veils, and inexpensive wedding dresses.

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