After much thorough research, you may have managed to book the best make-up artist your money can buy for your wedding day. However with all those important pre and post wedding dinners and parties to attend, it may prove to be quite costly in hiring a professional to make you look your best for every function. So if you are on a tight budget for your wedding, a cost-effective option would be to simply do your own makeup! It’s not impossible at all…and by following my simple tips and guidelines on Asian Bridal Makeup, this may just be the perfect solution for your beauty dilemmas.
Firstly, if you’re going to do your own make up for your wedding, you need to know exactly what you’re doing. One of the most important things you want to make sure on your wedding is that you still look like yourself – ideally you want to look your best without looking like you’re trying too hard. The best thing about doing your own bridal makeup is that you will always feel comfortable in the amount of makeup you are wearing. It is highly unlikely that you will ‘cake’ it on yourself, when you know it is something you don’t feel comfortable in.
To ensure that your wedding day makeup makes you feel like the beautiful bride that you are, you need to have done it plenty of times so you don’t make mistakes on the day. Do acknowledge that a lot of practice will be required to achieve your perfect look, particularly in experimenting with different colours and techniques. The more familiar you are with the routine of doing your wedding make up, the easier it will be on the day. In the next section, I will take you through some of my best tips for creating that perfect look for your special day.
Flawless skin is achieved by having a foundation that matches your skin perfectly in both colour tone and texture. By visiting various makeup counters in high-street stores, you should be able to find a foundation that easily blends into your skin, as well as providing a moderate level of coverage. I would advise to check your foundation closely in natural light, particularly as the artificial lights found in department stores are often deceiving. Do also ensure that the foundation is suited for your skin type – as this will help your skin to stay looking fresh throughout the day. For example, if you have oily skin, you will require an oil-free matte formula to help minimize shine. If you have dry skin, try to find a foundation that also acts as a moisturizer so your skin will look fresh all day.
A long-lasting concealer is a must for all brides, particularly as you are likely to have limited sleep on the week of your wedding events. I would advise to mix this with a bit of your foundation before applying as it will help you to blend it in perfectly without appearing cakey. Apply the concealer (using a brush or your fingers) under the eyes and in any other blemishes or dark areas in the face – common discoloured areas in Asian skins tend to be around the mouth and on the forehead.
The finishing touch is given by using loose powder to set your foundation and concealer; this will also take away any excess shine. Using even a hint of powder gives a clean and flawless finish to the skin. I advise all my brides to keep a compact power on hand throughout the day. This way you can reapply whenever required, keeping your makeup in place and reducing shine for when the photos are taken.
When choosing the eyeshadow, try to find neutral colours that compliment both your dress and the rest of the makeup, such as your lips and cheeks. Find a light, medium and dark shade of the colour you wish to wear –which is likely to be the colour of your outfit. Apply the medium colour throughout the eyelid with a soft brush. Then highlight the eyes by applying the darker shade on the outer crease and corner of the lid, concentrating on the outer edges. Then apply the lighter shade on the inner corner of the eye, sweeping it outwards to blend in with the other shades. Make sure you blend all the colours together with a soft brush to give a clean and professional looking finish.
Use a white/cream shimmer eyeshadow to highlight the eyes. Apply this using a slanted eyeshadow brush on the inside edges of your eyes to brighten and open them up. Use the highlighter colour on your brow line and a hint at the top of your cheekbones for added definition.
Apply black liquid eyeliner across the lid, keeping the line thin in the inner corner and gently thicker towards the outer corner of the eye. With a kajal pencil, draw a smooth line on the outer lower lid. For some of my brides, I sometimes apply a white kohl pencil on the inner lower lid to make the eyes appear larger. Make sure the eyeliner appears gentle and smooth, avoiding any harsh lines or too much kajal.
Mascara is the finishing touch for your eyes and I would suggest to use only waterproof mascara, particularly as many brides tend to shed tears on their big day. For a more glamourous look, you can use false lashes to add extra volume and length to your existing lashes. I advise most of my brides to opt for false lashes as I feel they really do glamourize any bridal look, whether it is a natural or extravagant. Do bear in mind that lashes come in various styles, both individual and strips (thickening, lengthening, natural, dramatic, etc). It is very important that you choose the right style to suit your eye shape, depending on the effect you want to create. It is also quite difficult to glue the lashes on yourself, so you may require somebody to help you on the day. Remember, this part requires a lot of practice beforehand so do read and practice the instructions on the packaging well in advance. If you don’t want to take the risk on the day, you can also curl your lashes with an eyelash curler (before applying mascara) to open up the eyes and create the illusion of fuller & longer lashes.
You will need to use slightly more blusher than you do on a daily basis otherwise you could appear looking washed out in the wedding photos. Try to find a shade that gives a natural glow to your skin; usually warm peach tones are a safe option for Asian skin tones. It is the cheek bone that needs to be accentuated, therefore it does help to suck in your cheeks when applying the blusher. After applying the blusher to the apple of the cheeks, blend around the colour with your compact powder to ease out any harsh lines.
For a bridal look, you should find a lipstick that is a little darker or brighter than your usual colour. This will help to glamorize the look as well as ensure that it shows up in your pictures. Find a shade that compliments your outfit colour, at the same time still look consistent with the rest of your makeup. You may feel uncomfortable at first with using a different shade of lipstick, but believe me once the rest of your look is complete (including your hair, your bridal outfit and jewellery), everything will start coming together nicely and the ‘heavy’ makeup will appear more natural.
If you have dry lips, exfoliate them beforehand with a soft toothbrush and Vaseline. Define the lips with a matching lipliner and then apply the lipstick throughout the lips. Then blot the lips with a tissue and reapply the lipstick again to ensure extra staying power. I sometimes also apply a lip liner all over the lips before putting on any lipstick as this ensures that the colour stays in place throughout the day. If you have small/thin lips, add some gloss to your lips to make them appear fuller. You may need to reapply your lipstick later on in the day, so make sure you keep it at hand alongside your compact powder.
- Wash your face beforehand using a face-wash or cleanser. It helps to use a good scrub like apricot scrub to remove any blackheads or whiteheads. This gives a clean and smooth skin surface for you to work on.
- Apply your moisturizer and let it set in for a few minutes before you start applying make-up.
- Remember to apply the foundation all the way down the neck and blend it in with a sponge. This will ensure a natural and even looking complexion.
- Apply lots of loose powder under the eyes before applying the eyeshadow and wipe this away when you have completed the eye makeup. This will help to wipe away any shadow colours that have dropped onto the cheeks, giving a much cleaner finish on the skin. It may help to apply concealer under the eyes again at this point.
- Do your trial and practice make-up sessions well before your wedding. Take some test shots from a digital camera to get a fair idea as to how you would look on the day. This is particularly good to see how the makeup reflects on camera light and allows enough time to change any of the shades of makeup you are currently using.
- Allow at least 2-3 hours to get ready on the day. You need to allow for extra time incase there are any delays due to makeup mishaps (fingers crossed)!
- Remove all your make-up properly the night before the wedding. To avoid dry lips on the day, use some vaseline on your lips overnight.
- Get a good night’s sleep before your wedding, even though you may be under a lot of stress. This can sometimes be difficult for most brides, but you really need to try and avoid dull looking skin for your wedding.
- Make sure your eye-brows and upper lip are threaded/plucked at least 2-3 days prior to the wedding. If you are doing this for the first time and have an allergic reaction, you would have enough time for it to cool down.