Now I know that this isn't sewing or crafting related, but it is essentially a DIY so I thought I'd add it to my DIY I Do series.
I don't wear a lot of make-up in day-to-day life so I was a bit nervous about getting my make-up done professionally for my wedding and ending up looking nothing like myself. A couple of years a go I was a bridesmaid for a friend and she brought in a make-up artist to do all of us. I ended up looking nothing like myself and feeling very uncomfortable, and in fact, my husband made me promise to not get my make-up done anything like that for our actual wedding as he said he hated it!
But I did get a couple of make-up trials done for my wedding when I was still deciding what to do about the whole make-up thing, and each time, even though I tried my best to explain that I wanted it very soft, I always ended up looking odd. So in the end I did my own make-up. Now, as I mentioned, I don't really wear much make-up so the whole make-up world was a bit foreign to me, but I did my homework and I thought I'd share a few suggestions for anyone else who may be going through the same though process as I did.
1. Watch You-Tube videos! This became a bit of an obsession for me once I discovered them! There are millions of videos out there that guide you through from the very basics of foundation application to blending eye shadows and how to get the perfect eyeliner. A few of my favourites are:
2. Invest in a few decent brushes - this is so important as the right brush can make applying your make-up so much easier. Through the you-tube videos I discovered Sigma and Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes, which are similar to, but cheaper than, the infamous MAC brushes. Blank Canvas also have some double ended brushes which save money and space.
3. Invest in a MAC make-up lesson. I was completely new to the world of MAC and assumed it would be like every other make-up counter where you get a free make-up application and then get pressurised into purchasing all their products. Nope - you have to PAY for that service…and in Belfast there is a massive waiting list too!! When I discovered this I was a bit put off and didn't know if it was a good idea or not. But actually, if you know you are likely to buy something from MAC it's not such a bad idea as the cost for the lesson actually gets deducted from a purchase afterwards (but you can't get a refund if you don't' buy anything). So I decided that, because I wasn't going to have a make-up artist on the day, I would spend that potentially saved money and take my Maid of Awesomeness (the new name I gave my Maid of Honour!) along and we would both get a make-up lesson and then purchase some of the products to use on the day. So sort of a win-win situation! Now make sure you explain that you don't want anything too strong. I don't think my MoA explained that well enough as she ended up looking a bit drag queen (MASSIVO black eyebrows!), but I went on and on about wanting a soft look, and ended up with really lovely make-up. Oh - and don't forget to go out for cocktails afterwards!
4. Practice! Yep, the old saying 'practice makes perfect' - I tried out so many different styles, specifically eyeshadow. The whole eyeshadow blending thing was very new to me so I had to just keep practicing until I found something I liked.
5. Each time you try a new look, try and write down which products you used and how, and then take a photo. Make-up always looks different in a photograph than in real life and you are going to get photographed a LOT on your wedding day, so it's important that it translates well. Having photos of each look you try is also great for deciding which look to go for too.
6. Try and get a foundation without any SPF in it as apparently this reflects back in flash photography and gives you a white face - not a good look!! I used a MAC face and body foundation.
7. Invest in a setting spray. This is like hairspray for your face - it keeps everything in place all day so you don't have to keep running to the bathroom to touch-up! I used an Urban Decay one and it worked really well.
8. The week before your wedding, run through the make-up look you have decided on a few times and make sure you know exactly what you are going to do. Put all of your products in a special bag or box (I used a retro tin lunch box…which I FILLED with my products…yes, I had a LOT!!) and don't take anything out (or at least make sure you put it back if you use it!!!). That way you will know that you definitely have everything you need in the one place.
9. OK, this one may seem a bit OCD, and my photographer laughed at me when she saw it - but I tell you I was so pleased that I did this. Write down a list of every step of your make-up look…even the basic steps, like washing your face and putting on primer. Each time I was running through my chosen make-up look I kept missing out a step, and it was always a different step that I would miss out! So I decided to write every single step down (yes, even washing my face). And it was honestly the best thing because on the day I was pretty nervous and my brain actually went blank and I couldn't remember the steps at all - but I just had to refer to my step-by-step guide and it came back to me!
10. If you are not getting ready at home (my family and I stayed in rented cottages near the wedding venue the night before) make sure you find a spot to apply your make-up that has really good natural light. It might be a good idea to bring a free standing mirror with you so that you can prop this up on a window sill for example. And make sure you have lots of room to lay out all your products so they are easy to see and you're not rooting through a bulging bag for each item, that will only lead to stress!
If you were thinking about doing your own make-up for your wedding I say DO! The money I would have spent hiring a make-up artist I invested in products which I'm still enjoying the benefit of now and I learnt a new skill too!