Makeup tips for the DIY bride


by Bethany Jane Davies

Finding the best makeup tips for the DIY bride is essential in helping your create your very own perfect look for your special day. Makeup is something few brides would want to be without but not everyone wants to hire someone to do it for them. I’ll go over the key aspects of doing your own wedding day makeup. I’ll touch on the preparation, base, lips and setting, with tips to give your look a professional edge, and most importantly to give it the staying-power to last from morning to the late-night dancefloor.


In the lead up the wedding, many brides will take time to look after their skin.  Adequate hydration, moisturiser and avoiding things that aggravate the skin, will give you the best chance of having a clear complexion.

My key preparation tip is to gently exfoliate. Oily or dry patches, tend to accumulate makeup. Gentle exfoliation works for all skin types, balancing oiliness, freshening up the skin and gently removing dead skin cells. Include the exfoliation of the lips into your routine. On the night before the wedding, a sugar scrub or a soft toothbrush dipped in Vaseline will buff off any dead skin from the lips. If any patches are persistently dry, use a multi-use balm such as the 8hr cream by Elizabeth Arden (or the Lacura version) which is great for leaving on overnight.

Lastly on the prep, from experience of doing hundreds of weddings, don’t have a facial within a week of the wedding, breakouts are common within the first week after a facial, avoid that hassle!

The Base

Makeup tips for the DIY bride - base

A good makeup base will serve you well on your wedding day, it will elevate the makeup look, give it longevity and is great on camera!

Make sure any moisturiser has had 20 mins to settle into the skin before applying makeup. Begin with a Primer. Pick a primer that suits your skin-type, that will help your makeup go on better (eg: a primer to smoothen out the skin, balance out oily/dryness, or address large pores & redness). I generally use a separate lid primer, particularly good for brides with oily or hooded eyelids (eg: “Potion” by Urban Decay) to help avoid eye-makeup transfer and it makes it easier to blend.

At this point you are ready to apply your makeup, in any of the countless styles you Outrageous Brides so choose. If you have prepared the skin and created a good base, that is the best canvas for whatever look you go for.

Lasting Lipstick

Makeup tips for the DIY bride - lip liner
Makeup tips for the DIY bride - lipstick

Clear your lips of any lip balm.  Prepare the lips with a dab of foundation or concealer on and around the lip-line. This will prevent lipstick bleeding and help with longevity. Fill in the lips completely with your lipliner, not just the lip outline. Next apply a thin layer of lipstick with a lip brush and blot with a tissue. Apply another layer of lipstick and blot again. For extra staying power, split a tissue and lay the fine layer of paper over the lips. Powder over the tissue onto the lips with a fluffy brush.

Setting the Make Up

Makeup tips for the DIY bride - setting

Once your face makeup is complete, set the foundation with a powder.

Take a powder puff or brush, dip lightly into the powder and pat off excess.  Push and roll the powder onto the skin. Do not scrub or buff the face with the brush, this will unsettle the makeup. You want to push and “seat” the powder onto the skin. Finish with a good few spritzes of setting spray (eg: “All-Nighter” by Urban Decay).

Pro Makeup Tips for the DIY Bride

If you have any make up gathering under your eyes from foundation and concealer, gently press/dab a few times with your ring finger over the area, this should gently blend any creasing.

On your wedding have your powder compact, lipstick and concealer (just in case) to hand. You may need a dab of powder or a lipstick touch up at some point. Optional Blot sheets work really well to absorb excess shine later on in the day.

A handkerchief to catch happy tears doesn’t go amiss, try to dab at your eyes rather than letting the tears fall down your makeup.

Makeup tips for the DIY bride - finished look

My Essentials

  • Liz Earle – Hot cloth Cleanser
  • Elizabeth Arden 8hr Cream
  • All-in-one Primer: Smashbox’s “Photo Finish” Primer
  • Powder Illamasqua Loose Translucent Powder
  • Fatale Cosmetics Lipstick & Lip-Liner
  • Concealer
  • Setting Spray: “All-Nighter” Urban Decay
  • Blot Sheets: Papier Poudre
  • Lid Primer: “Potion” Urban Decay

Find Bethany and her gorgeous makeup at or read more of her awesome tutorials and tips inside Outrageous Bride magazine.

Credit: Photos by Lucy G Photography & styling by Bethany Jane Davies. Headpiece by Silversixpence In her Shoe. Model: Hannah Rewston.




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