How to DIY Your Wedding Makeup, Straight From Celebrity Makeup Artists

The author in a tan robe, her hair full and bouncy, with a makeup artist applying eyeshadow to her face

Kristin Corpuz

It's no secret that everything wedding-related can be quite expensive—from florals and photography to place settings and centerpieces, each detail of the big day can start to add up. And bridal hair and makeup are no exceptions to that rule. 

So, as a recently engaged beauty editor, I've toyed around with the idea of doing my own wedding makeup to save a little bit of money. After all, my job has allowed me to learn techniques from some of the most legendary makeup artists in the world, and no one knows my face and taste better than me. Plus, doing my own makeup on my wedding day would ensure that I still look and feel like myself... just a little more glam. 

I decided to tap three of Hollywood's most in-demand makeup artists—Patrick Ta, Daniel Martin, and Kara Yoshimoto Bua—for all their top tips for DIY-ing wedding makeup. Whether you're trying to save some coins on your nuptials or just looking for a simple elopement, here are some pointers for achieving a flawless beat for your wedding day.

Meet the Expert

  • Patrick Ta is a celebrity makeup artist and founder of Patrick Ta Beauty. His clients include Gigi Hadid, Sydney Sweeney, and Anitta.
  • Daniel Martin is a celebrity makeup artist and global director of artistry and education for Tatcha.
  • Kara Yoshimoto Bua is a Chanel makeup artist whose clients include Saoirse Ronan, Jennifer Garner, and Margaret Qualley.
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It's All About the Prep

How you prepare your skin during the days and weeks leading up to your wedding is just as crucial as your day-of beauty routine.

"In preparation for their big day, many brides will go into overdrive with their skincare routine the week before," says Martin. "While you want to take good care of your skin with a great cleansing and moisturizing routine, I recommend staying away from harsh exfoliating acids or peels on the days or nights prior since [they] can be sensitizing to the skin and cause redness, which might show through under makeup." 

Instead of intense exfoliants like retinol and glycolic acid, opt for gentler alternatives like lactic acid and niacinamide, found in products like Sunday Riley's Good Genes Serum ($85) or the Instagram-favorite Milk Marvel Serum by Eadem ($68).

Bua adds that it's important to infuse your skin with hydration in the days leading up to your wedding. Incorporate a deep moisturizer like Tatcha's Indigo Overnight Repair Cream ($92) into your nightly routine, and use a nourishing butter like Fenty Skin's Butta Drop ($44) from the neck down to care for the rest of your body. Don't forget an occlusive lip product like Lawless' Forget the Filler Overnight Mask ($22), which also has a plumping effect to give you a picture-perfect pout.

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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Martin and Bua say hydrating your skin will help your makeup last all day. A hydrated base ensures that makeup lays evenly on your skin and allows the natural radiance of your complexion to shine through your makeup. 

Prep with a hydrating essence like Peach & Lily's Wild Dew Treatment Essence ($39), which provides a base layer of hydration and helps skin attract and retain moisture throughout the day. Finish off your routine with Chanel's La Solution 10 de Chanel ($110), a lightweight moisturizer-serum hybrid that infuses the skin with moisture without any excess oil that could cause makeup to crease or smear.

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It's Prime Time

If you usually skip makeup primer, you might want to reconsider: Martin says it may be the secret to locking in your makeup all day. Oilier skin types should opt for a grippy primer like Milk Makeup's Makeup Hydro Grip primer ($38), while those with drier skin can try out something that provides a bit more hydration, like Gucci Beauty's Hydrating Silk Serum ($58).

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Less is More

"Opt for a minimal makeup approach that brings out your natural beauty and defines your favorite features," says Bua. "Remember, the goal here is to let your skin's natural texture show through while subtly evening out your complexion." You can achieve this by utilizing buildable complexion products with a radiant finish, like Chanel's Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint ($70). 

Ta notes that his preferred technique is applying thin layers, alternating between cream or liquid and powder products for coverage and setting. "Thin layers will make your base last all day," he says.

The author applying lipstick in a lighted mirror

Kristin Corpuz

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Enhance Your Features

Lightly sculpting your face with strategically placed contour and highlight can make all the difference in your wedding photos. Use a neutral cream contour product that isn't too warm- or cool-toned to map out the shadows around your hairline, cheekbones, nose, and jawline, and use a shade one or two hues lighter than your skin to bring light to the center of your face under your eyes, down your nose bridge, in between your brows, and the tip of your chin.

Merit's The Minimalist ($38) is available in 20 shades—so every skin tone can find its perfect contour and highlight colors—and blends seamlessly into the skin for a natural, your-skin-but-better look.

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Get Cheeky

What's more bridal than a healthy flush on your cheeks? Though the approach differs from artist to artist, all the pros agree that blush should be a key component of your wedding glam.

Ta prefers a glowy, pigmented wash of color, so he starts with a powder blush swept up from the apples to the tops of the cheekbones, topped off with a few taps of cream blush for a radiant finish. This is easily achievable with his Major Headlines Crème & Powder Blush Duos ($36). 

Bua's technique focuses on dimension, so you might need a couple of shades of blush to test out her approach. "Start with a neutral blush shade that mimics the color of your cheeks when they're naturally flushed," she explains. "Use a large, fluffy blush brush to apply this shade to the apples of your cheeks, blending it upward and outward toward your temples. This soft wash of color will create a natural flush."

Then, to add a pop of vibrancy to your cheeks, "choose a brighter blush shade that complements your skin tone. With a smaller brush, apply this shade to the center of your cheeks, directly over the apples." She says the idea is to concentrate the brighter color in the middle while blending it gently into the natural tone you applied earlier for a subtle ombré effect, making your cheeks appear naturally radiant and lively.

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Define the Eyes

To make your eyes pop in photos, "use creamy matte eyeshadows to lightly sculpt and shadow... for a sultry eye look," says Ta. His Major Dimension III Palette ($70) contains all the hues you need to define your eyes, including two cream shades—one black and one dark brown—that can be used as a long-lasting base under powder shadows or as a subtle eyeliner to add a little extra oomph. It's a one-stop shop for your entire eye look. 

Bua likes to add a sparkly inner corner highlight shadow to bring a luminous quality to your gaze. The Hourglass Voyeur Eyeshadow Stick ($34) in Moon, a pale champagne color, is a mess-free way to target the tiny area. 

Don't forget a waterproof mascara: L'Oréal's Voluminous Lash Paradise ($13) is a tried-and-true formula that adds volume and length to your lashes and won't run when the tears fall.

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Perfect Your Pout

Your lips will inevitably be a huge focus of your wedding photos, so Ta likes to highlight the center for a pouty look. "Line and sculpt the lips with a lip liner slightly deeper than your skin tone, and dab a creamy lip formula only in the center... to add dimension," he explains. You can use a matte or satin lipstick for that center highlight, or for a little extra zhuzh, go for a glossy finish with the Dior Glow Lip Oil ($40).

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Don't Forget the Body

If parts of your body are exposed in your wedding attire—be it your chest, arms, or even your legs—you want them to glow as much as your face. A luminous balm, like Patrick Ta's Major Glow Balm ($50), or an oil, like Chanel's Les Beiges Highlighting Fluid ($50), will help your collarbones, shoulders, and legs pop in your pics.

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Be Ready for Touch-Ups

"For editorial, red carpet, or bridal clients alike, I always keep blotting papers handy for touch-ups," says Martin. "These big days can be stressful, and the bright lights and constant photography can make you look greasy in no time. Tatcha's Aburatorigami Blotting Sheets ($14) are the best to invest in because they are discreet, fit in your pocket, and reduce shine on the skin without messing up your makeup." It also might be worth keeping a blending brush and your lip combo within reach so you can quickly touch up your details before any big photo moments or after eating.

The author in a completed glowy makeup look, her hands on her hair

Kristin Corpuz

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Getting married can be stressful, so Bua emphasizes the importance of grounding yourself throughout the day. "Remind yourself that this day is a celebration of love," she advises. "Stay peaceful under pressure by focusing on the positive moments and embracing the journey. Your inner radiance will shine through, making you a breathtaking bride on your wedding day."

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