Whether you’re a makeup maven or a low-key bride just looking to keep it simple, doing your own wedding makeup can be challenging. While you might be familiar with basic makeup tools and products, makeup that’s camera-ready is very different than what you might put on as part of your everyday beauty routine. To make sure that your wedding makeup is flawless and you’re looking your best on the big day, check out our tips for DIY wedding makeup below.

1. Start with skincare.

The easiest way to have killer wedding day makeup is to start with a great canvas. Invest some time into caring for your skin by following this advice:

  1. Start early (as in months before the big day) to ensure that any new phases your skin might go through are over by the wedding.
  2. Begin by making an appointment with a dermatologist or aesthetician for an initial consult about your skin’s needs.
  3. Establish a skincare routine and stick to it.
  4. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t wake up with radiant skin overnight.

2. Invest in primer.

For foundation that won’t smudge throughout the happy tears, kisses, and hugs, it’s essential to prime your skin first. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Apply primer before your foundation.
  • Primer ensures that your makeup stays where you put it by setting into your skin, rather than sitting on top of it like a mask.
  • There are a tons of different primer types that provide different benefits, such as color balancing, oil control, and wrinkle-smoothing.
  • Experiment with different primers to find one that works best for your skin type.

3. Use a setting spray.

Another magic weapon to have in your makeup arsenal is setting spray. Simply spritz all over your face once your makeup is done to set your look for the entirety of the wedding day.

4. Don’t neglect your brows.

A very wise person once advised to “never estimate the power of an eyebrow.” It’s true. The shape of your brows really can transform your face for better or worse. Follow these steps for great brows:

  1. Team up with a professional at your local waxing salon or the brow counter at your favorite beauty retailer. They’ll be able to guide you on the shape, thickness, and color of brow that works best for your face shape and personal style.
  2. Think about your personal beauty look. Do you like big, bold brows? Or more natural looking arches?
  3. Choose which grooming option you like best. There are several options for getting your brows into shape, such as waxing, sugaring, plucking, tinting, and microblading.
  4. Start before the wedding day to avoid any problems, such as redness, allergic reactions, or not liking the way they look.

5. Embrace concealer.

Dark circles under your eyes after a night pre-wedding jitters? A surprise pimple the morning of the wedding day? Distressed bride, meet concealer. Here are some things to know about concealer:

  • This products is like foundation but is thicker, pigmented differently, and applied in strategic spots rather than all over.
  • Use concealer to cover up any blemishes or discoloration issues that regular foundation will have trouble hiding.
  • Concealer is applied after primer but before foundation.
  • For best results, your concealer should be no more than one to two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.
  • Choose a concealer that complements your skin type and is suited for your problem areas.

6. Skip foundation with SPF.

Speaking of foundation, let’s chat about the phenomenon known as “flashback.”

  • What is flashback? Flashback is white, chalky discoloration on someone’s skin that appears only in photographs (not in real life) due to light-reflecting makeup particles.
  • Who does it happen to? Skin of all shades is susceptible.
  • What causes it? Flashback is caused by light-reflecting ingredients in your makeup, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (the main ingredients in sunscreen) bouncing the light from flash photography.
  • How to avoid it? When choosing your wedding makeup, make sure that your foundation, concealer, and moisturizer are SPF-free.

7. Wear waterproof mascara.

Even if you’re not prone to tears, it’s always a good practice to opt for waterproof mascara for big events. As they say, better safe than raccoon eyes.

8. Avoid (too much) sparkle.

While some well-placed shimmer can be lovely, too much sparkle can make you look more like a disco ball than a blushing bride. We suggest using highlighting products in these key spots:

  • On the bridge of your nose
  • Along your cheekbones
  • On your Cupid’s bow (the dip at the top of your lips)
  • Below your bottom lip
  • Across your brow arches

9. Choose a long-lasting lip product.

The idea of reapplying lipstick or gloss all day long isn’t appealing to anyone, so make sure to choose a lip color that’s long-lasting and non-transferring, like a liquid lip or stain. This way, you can eat, drink, and kiss merrily without having to worry about what’s going on with your lipstick.

10. Give it a trial run (or two).

You know the mantra: practice makes perfect. The same goes for your DIY wedding makeup. Here’s how to make sure your makeup is perfect on the wedding day:

  • Give it one or two test runs.
  • Time how long it takes to your do your makeup.
  • Pay attention to how the products you’ve chosen stand up to 8+ hours on your face.
  • Make adjustments as needed based on how your trials go.
  • Don’t forget to snap a few pictures to see how it looks on camera.

11. Consider wearing more than you typically would.

Camera-ready makeup should be heavier and more dramatic than your everyday look. So while minimal or natural makeup may be more your style, makeup that’s too light-handed can lead to looking washed out and tired in your wedding photos. You don’t have to go crazy—just take it up a few notches from your normal regimen.

12. Be true to you.

There are tons of tips and tricks for marvelous wedding makeup, but the most important advice we can give is to be true to yourself. Makeup is there to enhance your natural beauty and make your feel your best. Rock the look that feels the most authentic to your personal style — it’s confidence in your own skin and the joy you exude on your wedding day that will make you look your most beautiful!