If you guys are friends with me on any of my social media, you know from my obnoxiously ratchet and frequent posts that, this past weekend, I did the makeup for my friend’s wedding.
Now, I have a confession. I have known the bride since I was 13. Long story short, I’m best friends with her younger sister and v close to their family. So close that I call them my second family (and they scold me like it too!), and the parents introduce me as their 3rd daughter.
So it sounds way cooler to act like I was chosen amongst other makeup artists and was hired on solely to do the makeup, BUT I wasn’t. I was going to be there anyways, and well, since I happen to be the most makeup-tolerant person in that crowd, they asked me to do it.
Side note/throwback/random fact: I did the makeup for the bride and her sister’s (my BFF) high school proms, which was about 5 years ago! So I’ve been the fam makeup artist for a while now!
At first, Taylor (the bride) asked me to do her wedding makeup about a year before the big day. Obviously I accepted. Since my lovely client and second big sister lived in Kansas, I didn’t get the chance to practice on her. The plan was to do her makeup for her bridal shower so I could practice once before the big day.
After the shower, the other bridesmaids so subtly came up to me and asked me to do the rest of theirs for the wedding as well.
It was such a compliment to me that I happily accepted before I even thought about how much responsibility and stress that was going to be.
I spent the months before the wedding doing research, watching tutorials, practicing on myself and my friends, and testing out products as much as I could. From some of my fav beauty bloggers, to the top makeup artist at the MAC counter at my work, to discovering my own little odds-and-ends beauty secrets, I felt well equipped and prepared for the big day.
After 5 straight hours of doing makeup and completing 6 makeup looks (not including myself), I learned A TON from just this one experience. But what I want to focus on with you guys is my biggest takeaways: the key tips & tricks I learned that are ESSENTIAL for any wedding or event makeup.
Let’s get into it.
TIPS & TRICKS
1. Set with powder before AND AFTER the setting spray.
On several occasions, I tiptoed my way down to the cosmetic department while I was at work at Nordstrom to bug the makeup artists with my questions and concerns. I even had the top artist in our store do a full bridal look on me and talk me through it step-by-step so I could learn.
The biggest and, I quote “MOST IMPORTANT!!!” (yes, she yelled at me) trick for bridal makeup is to set the face with powder again after the setting spray.
From the wise words of Nordy’s best makeup artist, “Something about the powder after the spray sets it longer and better, and gives a more flawless, matte finish…which is exactly what you want for a bride.”
I would have never guessed to do this before, but I have to say you guys…it MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE and WORKED FLAWLESSLY and MAGNIFICENTLY!
No joke, I touched up the bride’s face one time the entire night. And even then, I probably didn’t have to, I was just being extra like I always am.
This trick is the freaking secret of all secrets. The hidden treasure of makeup tips. The undiscovered game changer of makeup.
The best part about this trick is, you can literally use it to create your best look daily or whenever the hell you want! A date night, a party, a dance, a beach day, a darty, a Wednesday…literally use it daily.
Whatever floats your boat, if you want a flawless finish that lasts through the woodworks, here’s how.
2. Do the eye makeup first.
I learned about the eye makeup first trick forever ago. I’ve seen it done countless times, and run into as many people who do the eye makeup first as I do people who don’t. Every time someone told me I should do the eye makeup first or I see it on my fav bloggers tutorials, I just ignore it and stick heavily to what I know and am comfortable with. Which is foundation first, then brows, then eye makeup, then contour and blush.
Another thing the makeup artists at my worked stressed HEAVILY was the importance of doing the eye makeup first.
I never bought into this technique, because I’m really weird about my foundation acting as a base for my entire face. Like I’m talking I put it all over – on my eyelids, eyebrows, lips, everything. Whenever I did my eyes first, then put on my foundation, I felt like it wasn’t blended in enough and looked obvious that I didn’t have any on my eyes.
But because everyone was freaking out on me telling me to do this trick, I decided I’d listen to the experts rather than trust my own amateur knowledge.
I knew after the first girl that this was a make or break step. It took the makeup looks from a pretty full-coverage face to a flawlessly even and smooth complexion that stood out because of it’s perfection.
There are two main reasons why doing the eyes before the face is beneficial:
#1. Eyeshadow often causes fallouts.
Fallouts are the shadow that falls off the lids and onto the face either before or during the application. This excess shadow can cause blotchiness and obviously discoloration on the face. It’s just messy and especially for an event such as a wedding, fallouts are fun suckers.
#2. Anytime you do eye makeup, especially eyeliner, it’s oftentimes a habit to touch your face a lot.
At least for me it is. Like for instance, they always say, don’t pull your eyelid when doing eyeliner, but I always do. I have to, or else I can’t get it how I want it. This affects the face makeup because all the touching and the tugging takes it off, causes it to be uneven, and make it look splotchy. Typically I can avoid making any marks on my face that are too detrimental to fix when I do my own makeup. But when it comes to other people’s makeup, I tug and nudge and touch their face so many times, it’d absolutely destroy their face makeup.
I put liquid liner on all the girls. Two of the six were half Vietnamese (the bride and her sister), another one was full vietnamese (the mother of the bride), and another one was half Chinese, half Pacific Islander. As you can see, I quite a range of eye shapes to work with, and eyeliner was my biggest concern I was most nervous about.
I used different strokes and intensity to accommodate each person’s eyeliner to their eye shape.
Despite all the vastly different eye shapes I had to work with, liquid liner worked for everyone.
I used two different types of liquid liners. The one I used most was Lancome Artliner Precision Point liquid eyeliner in Noir and Rimmel Scandaleyes Precision Micro Eyeliner in black. To be honest, I got the Rimmel liner free in a voxbox from Influenster.
*If you don’t know what this is, check it out. You fill out surveys and write reviews on beauty products and once you do enough, they send you boxes of free makeup…I’ve only received one and it had about 7-10 things in it from things like spa foot masques to dry shampoo. My friend got a box full of YSL makeup. It’s pretty cool.
I used the Rimmel liner on the first person because I liked it’s smaller tip, and it turned out well. I was satisfied. I tried out the Lancome on the second person, just out of curiosity, and I ended up liking it so much better.
The liner went on blacker and easier. The longer felt tip actually made it easier than the smaller one, because it allowed me to cover more with fewer strokes, making it easier to make smooth lines. You could just tell it was better quality both when putting it on and from the looks of it.
If I could go back, I’d definitely go out and buy Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner. I’ve owned it in the past and like to buy it when I have the extra money, but it just so happened that I didn’t have any at the time and I didn’t make the trip to buy it.
It’s easier the best liquid liner there is. It’s the easiest to work with, goes on smoothly, stays on, and looks bomb. Literally like a tattoo.
Stila is pretty damn good too.
Not having Kat’s liner didn’t ruin the looks, it just would have made my life a whole lot easier if I’d have had it.
So, if you are prepping for something special or wear a lot of liquid liner, Kat Von D is the best. Nothing else to it. If you want to stick with drugstore, I’d recommend L’Oreal Telescopic Precision Liquid Liner or Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liner.
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3. Use an eyeshadow primer
Even more so than your face, your eyes get a ton of makeup put on them with full face looks. In such a tiny surface area, so many products are used and creates the most important transformative element in a makeup look. Along with all this responsibility, our eye makeup is also expected to last all day without smudging or fading. That’s a lot for our cute little eyes to handle.
You can’t deny that eye shadow usually fades throughout the day. So does eyeliner and definitely our mascara.
Eye makeup is the main element of makeup that defines a look and transforms a face. The eyes are the nipples of the face right? So our eye makeup is the mimosa to our brunch.
On any long day, like a wedding, the best way to ensure your eye makeup is the most intense and fresh it can be, is to use an eyeshadow primer or base.
A lot of people complain that eyeshadow primers cause the shadow to crease and leave the eyelid oily and smeared. My guess is that these people aren’t using the right primer.
Many bloggers and makeup gurus say that you can use a multitude of things for an eyeshadow base. Concealer being one of them. I’ve tried this, and I’ve seen first hand that it does more harm than good. And what I noticed wasn’t because primers don’t work and aren’t beneficial that these problems occur, it’s the type of primer being used.
The best bet is to use an actual eyeshadow primer that serves a sole purpose of primer the eyes. Not a concealer that’s meant for something else.
On the girls, I used a primer I’ve had for forever now (honestly it is probably way past it’s date of intended usage but oh well, they didn’t notice!) one of the most popular and top-rated, Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
It’s texture is nothing like a concealer, which baffles me that it’s ever suggested that a concealer can do the job. Think of it more as a mix of concealer and a gel face primer with a lighter formula that glides on smooth and spreads thinly and easily. You don’t feel like you have all this cream and weight sitting on your eyelids after you put it on. You barely notice it’s there, which is how it works with the eyeshadow instead of against it.
Anytime you use a cream or liquid when doing makeup ANYWHERE on your face, YOU MUST follow with a powder to SET it. Ergo, face powder to set liquid foundation or under eye setting powder to set concealer. It’s a pattern that’s consistent and absolute. Any liquid must be set with a powder.
So, in accordance with this rule, immediately after you use the eyeshadow primer, you need to set it. I use a soft, off-white, matte color to set the entire lid from lash line to brow to tear duct to outer corner.
My favorite to use and the one I used on all the girls is Foxy from the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.
After setting the primer, continue on with your shadow as usual.
This step is so simple for how useful and effective it is. 12 hours later and your eye makeup looks just like it did right after you put it on? Uhhh yes please!
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4. Use alligator clips to hold back the hair
In the hectic chaos of wedding day prep, it’s not uncommon for girls to be running back and forth, taking turns between hair and makeup. I did girls who both had their hair done and hadn’t.
Regardless, you all know how annoying it is to have your hair in your face when you’re trying to do your makeup. And especially for me, I’m a complete psycho about that.
When I’m doing my own makeup, I either pull my hair back as tight as it can go and wrap it up in a bun on top of my head with a hair tie or use one of my thick Lululemon headbands to pull back everything, even my baby hairs. I have to have full access to a clear face when doing makeup or I just won’t even bother.
As you can imagine, I had to be extra careful with the hair on the wedding day. I couldn’t pull it up or throw a headband on them without either ruining the already done hair or creating a kink in the soon to be done hair.
Thankfully, I discovered a solution that makes both me and the hair stylist happy.
Yes, you read me right. Cute little simple clips that you can buy anywhere for super cheap.
I’m sure you’ve seen these clips before but just probably never knew their name.
These clips are often seen in salons and used by stylists. They are long skinny clips that have little teeth or ridges along them.
I bought these clips, no joke, about 2 or so years ago because they were pink and I thought they looked cool.
I used them some of the time but never really caught on to their hype. Yeah, they were fine and useful, but they were just clips.
Then one day, I was reading my favorite blog The Skinny Confidential, and I came across this post talking about this amazing way to style your hair overnight with the perfect sleep bun.
Scroll down, scroll down, and BAM. There’s a cute little pic of those damn clips.
Obviously if she thinks they’re dope, I immediately do too… (jk jk! But she did catch my interest and teach me what they can do!)
I read what she had to say and she talked about how these clips are lifesavers. Basically, what’s so special about them is that they are super strong and can hold a ton of hair with just one clip, making them super functional and efficient.
They also do what no other clip does and that is hold up hair without causing any kinks are dents in even the most delicate hairdo, like a blowout.
Lauryn (from TSC) wraps her hair up in a twist bun and secures it with an alligator clip every night both to secure her blowout (if she has one at the time) and to get her hair out of her face at night without implements the harshness and damages caused from pulling it back in a ponytail.
In the morning, she wakes up with a do as good as new.
Every since I learned how badass these little clips were, I use them all the time.
To hold my hair back when doing my makeup, to style my hair with, to secure the bottom of braids when my hair is wet, to tie my hair up when I’m around the house, and at night to do as Lauryn does to pull my hair up without harming it and/or to maintain styled hair.
I, of course, brought about 10 of these clips to the wedding prep, and they helped both me and the hair stylist beyond belief. She ended up asking to borrow some of mine because of well they worked.
An unexpectedly simple tool, alligator clips are relevant and significant for anyone at anytime.
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1. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
When teaching me about the set-with-powder-after-the-setting-spray trick, one important factor was key, and that was the type of setting spray.
There’s all kinds of setting sprays out there. Mac, Smashbox, drugstore, and more. The hands-down no questions asked, for a fact, incomparable, BEST SETTING SPRAY you can buy is Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.
And this is another thing I got yelled at about.
At the risk of getting ridiculed and mocked for the rest of my life, I obviously listened and went out and bought it.
I’d known of this spray for a long time prior to this. I mean, all the bloggers use it, you always hear about it, it was nothing new to me. And I’ve never been opposed to setting sprays, I just never quite found the need to spend $50 on a product that I believe doesn’t make that big of a difference.
And well, this product probably doesn’t make that big of a difference if used without setting afterwards. At least to me whose particular with high-end makeup and at least for as much money as it is. (Who knows, I have yet to use it without setting it afterwards, so I’ll have to try that out and see what I think).
Because I haven’t actually tested out all the different settings sprays out there, I can’t 100% say for sure that it’s the best of the best, but I’m going to go ahead and trust the professionals when they say that it is.
It’ll last you forever, and holy shit, when you use it with the trick of setting it afterwards, it is astronomical. WELL WORTH the money.
Listen to the profesh, IT IS IMPERATIVE to get this setting spray for a wedding or any big event. Period.
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2. Ardell Lashes
Funny story. When I practiced the bride’s makeup for the bridal shower, I didn’t use fake lashes. But I made it very clear that I was going to use them on the big day, not just for her, but everyone.
I made this commitment knowing that I have NEVER ONCE used fake eyelashes on myself or anyone else, thinking I’d practice a couple times here and there before the actual wedding.
Well, I’m not only a procrastinator but also a sometimes unintelligent risk taker and never found the need to practice. I literally went into that day having just put on fake eyelashes for the very first time that day, not even hours before.
I got up at 6 a.m. to do my makeup first while everyone else was still sleeping, giving myself enough time to fix whatever disaster I may cause from attempting my fake lash application and also, hiding from the girls that I was still a fake lash virgin.
I’d seen it done enough times from tutorials and my friends doing it, that I figured it out pretty quickly. I put them on myself and they looked great! And it was pretty simple.
I put lashes on every girl, and it looked gorgeous. It made me wonder why I hadn’t been wearing them for years. They take your look to the whole next level, make your eyes pop, and just straight up make you look more beautiful. I mean, who doesn’t want bigger and thicker lashes?!
From all the research I’d done, I concluded that the best lashes to get are Ardell lashes from the drugstore and pharmacy. They are just as good as the higher end ones, like Mac, if not better, and are way cheaper.
Lashes are used once, so it’s just silly to me to spend almost $20 on one pair.
Ardell lashes come in a huge variety of styles and sizes. They even come in packs as well, which is perfect for the frequent fake lash wearer or for big parties like weddings.
Because I was a newbie, and because I wanted the girls to have a natural look, I bought the Demi Wispies natural lashes in a multipack. These lashes are effective enough to serve it’s purpose and add natural length and volume, but subtle enough to look real and feel invisible.
These lashes are good for beginners, and again, good for doing makeup in groups because of its versatility to fit each person beautifully.
From CVS, I got 2 of the multipack lashes and the lash glue and spent about $37. Not too bad.
I also have some lashes left over, and the glue will last me forever.
My full recommendation goes to Ardell lashes, whether it’s for a big event or day-to-day wear. They’re the best you can get and the cheapest. So it’s really a no-brainer.
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3. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
A key part of any makeup look is setting powder. You basically need it more than anything else. If you’re wearing foundation, you NEED a setting powder. It’s an essential.
Setting spray is best used to set your foundation/finish off your makeup for a flawless, even look that will last throughout the day. For a wedding, it’s this times 10.
Bridal makeup should be mainly matte as opposed to dewy or sparkly. Matte looks best in pictures and lasts longer. Bottom line, you don’t want an oily bride whose makeup is reflecting off her face like a bald man’s head in her pictures and who’s sparkles are falling down her face as she’s walking down the aisle or busting it out on the dance floor.
Setting powder is CRUCIAL for matte looks.
The best of the best, a product I already had and have used every time I’ve worn makeup for over a year, is Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder.
This is a loose powder and comes in an easy-to-use container that will legitimately last you well over a year.
Most translucent powders take the “translucent” quite literally and come in a white, almost shiny powder. This translucent powder is translucent in the most natural way with it’s nude coloring and thick powder that almost looks like a white person’s face powder but beautifully works on everyone. Actually fulfilling it’s “translucent” promise.
The powder’s texture is light and soft but works so effectively but giving a full coverage set with very little product needed.
This is the powder I used to set the face before the setting and again after.
I used the powder I’ve had for about 7 months now on 6 people, two times, and I still have a decent amount left to last me another couple months. Like it’s insane how worth it this is.
Test out the competitors, read new reviews, believe what others may say, but I’m telling you. This is the best setting powder there is and that’s a MFing fact!
(p.s. Kim and Kylie use it so……………)
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4. Anastasia Contour Palette
Any type of contour palette is great for doing group makeup, because it offers a variety of shades that can be matched to almost anyone. I already owned the Anastasia powder contour kit in light/medium, and I use it every day for myself. But I used it for all the girls, and it took me a second to figure out which colors and what combo worked best for each, but I was able to match the perfect contour/bronzer shade for everyone. It was a real MVP for sure and super helpful.
Another great contour palette is the Kat Von D contour palette.
Oh! I also prefer the powder palette because (1), powder shades are easier to mix, and (2) I BELIEVE that powder goes on more evenly and more subtly and allows you to blend more prominently, all of which are major factors to contouring.
A contour palette is amazing whether you’re doing others makeup or just for yourself, because like I said earlier, it allows you to mix shades and use different tones to match your skintone at any stage. Whether it’s summertime and you’re really tan or it’s winter and you look like a fishbelly (got that joke from Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Billboard Dad…great movie), you have everything you need right there in one palette to match you at any given time.
Makeup smarter not harder, ladies. This one is so worth it.
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5. Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion
I talked a lot earlier about what makes this product so amazing. It makes such the different and is so important to use an actual eyeshadow primer to prime the eyelids.
Without hardly any real competitors that I know of it, Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer is unquestionably the way to go. It’s top-ranked by pretty much every beauty organization out there, best-selling by it’s customers, and time after time again being recommended by beauty bloggers as the top eyeshadow primer. Oh, and it’s my fav too.
If that doesn’t convince you enough, I don’t know what will.
Priming your lids is just as important as anything else when doing wedding or makeup for a long day, and this product allows you to do a step as important as this in the best way possible.
You can get a 0.37 oz for $27, and it’ll last you longer than it’s probably good for.
Anotha one (DJ Khaled voice) that’s worth it (Fifth Harmony anthem).
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And there you have it guys. I know I’m a rambler, so if you’ve made it this far through my dramatically anticlimactic story telling, you deserve a prize. Let me cut the cutesy stuff and break it down for you with a summary of what to take away.
1. Use Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray.
2. Set face with setting powder, use setting spray, powder again. (Set the setting spray with powder).
3. Use Laura Mercier Translucent Powder.
4. Do the eye makeup first.
5. Kat Von D and Stila waterproof liquid liners are the best.
6. Use an eyeshadow primer.
7. Best eyeshadow primer is Urban Decay priming potion.
8. Set the eyeshadow primer with a nude/whiteish subtle matte shadow. This helps the rest of the shadow go on evenly, look smoother, and last longer.
9. Alligator clips don’t cause any kinks and are perfect for pinning back hair when doing makeup.
10. You gotta do fake lashes, and you gotta use Ardell (preferably the Demi natural set).
11. A subtle matte contour is a must on wedding day, and contour palettes are perfect to use because it gives you several different shades right there for you to easily mix and blend to match each woman’s face you’re working with.
That’s all she wrote kittens. As you can see, I learned a crap ton of stuff from this one wedding experience. I can’t wait to do my second to utilize this knowledge and learn even more! (Which, oh yeah, I just got asked last week to do the makeup for another wedding this Sept so woohoo yay yay yay holla!)
Like that freakishly catchy song that’s replayed on the radio all day long currently says, “most girls are smart and strong and beautiful.”
SING WITH ME!
I wanna be like, I wanna be like…most girls. <3
Okay…I need to go to bed.
Thanks for reading you guys!
Love and light,
In case you haven’t gotten sick of me yet and for some blessed reason, you think I’m as funny as I do…enjoy these pics for you entertainment.Having to put makeup on the father of the bride for reasons that we can safely say probably wouldn’t happen while sober.
Shitty quality but epic win. Yes, I was in fact the catcher of the bouquet…and probably one of the only single girls there. Is this a sign for my future hubby to come into my life now?? I think YES 😉