How To Do Your Own Wedding Makeup

Want to up your makeup game or get tried and test skincare tips? Beauty blogger Candice Chen shares her expertise in this column about makeup and skincare hacks!

Candice Chen Profile 3


Wedding Makeup Hacks

Candice Wedding Makeup 3

Who says you can’t do your own wedding makeup (and still look fabulous)? Makeup guru Candice Chen (@makeup_box) shares some essential tips to get your wedding makeup on point!

1. Skin Prep


When it comes to prepping your skin for your big day, Candice believes that less is more.

“Beyond a certain point, more makeup will only cause everything to break down faster, so keep it fresh and work with the heat,” she says. “Hydrate, but don’t overload your skin with too many products.”

  • Keep skin cool when applying your base. If you are sweating while trying to apply makeup, your base will not go on and set properly.
  • Work with long-wear products, even if you have skin that is on the drier side. Lines like Revlon Colorstay, MAC Pro Longwear and Estee Lauder Double Wear are formulated to last longer than average, even if you sweat.

2. Makeup & Tools


Just because you are doing your own wedding makeup, it doesn’t mean that you need a box full of fancy products. Most of the time, you can work with products that you already have, as long as you don’t scrimp on the essentials. Here are some good tools and products to have in your stash:

  • A good pair of mechanical lash curlers  – these are especially important if you have short or stubborn lashes that tend to point downwards.
  • Heated lash curlers – these will help to lock in the curl of your lashes after mascara application.
  • Soft, high-quality face and eye brushes – the key is to get brushes that don’t kick up a ton of powder or apply too much colour, so you can better control your makeup application. Applying foundation with your fingers can also give a more flawless finish if done right.
  • A spoolie – for brushing unruly brows into place, of course.
  • Really good lash glue (if you are wearing falsies) – because you wouldn’t want part of your lashes to peel off on your big day would you?
  • Long-wearing foundation, concealer and setting powder – especially if you are going to be outdoors for an extended period of time.
  • A good brow pencil – try to get one that is not too pigmented.
  • Blotting paper or tissue – go for the paper kind, rather than the rubbery ones. Candice’s long-time favourite is Gatsby’s Powdered Oil Clear Paper.
  • Setting spray – Not all setting sprays are created equal, so look for products that have acrylate copolymer in the ingredient list (i.e. Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray). The chemical is a film-forming ingredient that works like a hair spray, but for your face. Most generic face sprays with ingredients like glycerin and other hydrating ingredients prevent a powdery look, but do nothing to prolong your makeup.

On a tight budget? You can afford to scrimp a little on these products:

  • Lipstick, blusher and eyeshadow – even among the drugstore brands, these products generally tend to be pretty good quality. Besides, nobody will be able to tell if it’s $50 or $15 once applied on your face.
  • Highlighter – a nice champagne-coloured eyeshadow with a fine pearl texture can double up as a highlighter in a pinch. Just make sure that it doesn’t have any obvious glittery sparkles.

3. Makeup Application

Candice’s Wedding Day Makeup

When it comes to wedding makeup, long-wearing products and makeup application go hand in hand. Here are some of Candice’s tips to ensure that your makeup lasts all day, with minimal touch-ups needed.



  • Let your makeup set in between layers, rather than applying everything at one shot. Work in a few thin layers at a time, so your makeup has time to set properly.
  • Makeup meltdown caused by oil is irreversible, so always remember that prevention is key. Blot your face regularly throughout the day, even on your eyelids.
  • Try “baking” your makeup for a more long-wearing finish (and hey, Kim Kardashian does it too, so you know it works). This technique not only gives you a more flawless finish, but also helps to set your foundation and concealer better.
  • When matching your foundation to your skin tone, do several photo tests in different lighting (with and without flash) to check if your face is the same colour as your neck and chest.
  • Avoid being heavy-handed while contouring or applying blush – it’s better to have too little than too much because…well, can anyone say bad 80’s throwback?



  • Worried about looking like a raccoon on your big day? The key is to intensify your makeup by about 20%, says Candice. Bigger may not always be better – after all, you want to look like an enhanced version of yourself, not like someone completely different.
  • Try natural-looking falsies instead of dramatic (and obviously fake) ones. They will still make a difference in photos, but won’t look too over-the-top. Dramatic falsies can often overwhelm and close off small eyes, anyway.
  • Tightline the inner rims of your eyelids beneath the upper lashes. Covering that rim of flesh will make your lashes look longer and fuller.
  • If you are going to be outdoors for an extended period of time (i.e. at a beach or garden wedding), go with a simpler smokey eye look that consists of just one or two eyeshadow colours. This way, you can do quick touch-ups on your own if your makeup smudges.



  • Try a lip stain for long-wearing colour that will last you through more than just a few drinks.
  • If you are using lipstick, apply a coat of lip liner all over your lips first, then blend it in with a brush of finger. Apply your lip colour over, then blot with a tissue to remove moisture. This helps to “stain” the lip liner, so you get the colour of the lipstick and the long-wearing effect of the waxy lip liner.
  • When applying lipstick, try to keep it just beneath the edges of the lip liner. This will prevent the colour from bleeding into the lines around your mouth (and possibly looking like The Joker).
  • Avoid shiny lip glosses on your big day, as they tend to be more prone to smearing and bleeding. Also, having hair stuck in your lip gloss is just not a good look you know?
  • For fuller lips, try running a soft taupe brow pencil lightly around the outer edges of your lip line, then apply your lip colour over. This should create a subtle shadow (but not an obvious hard line), which will make your lips look fuller.

4. Other Tips

Candice Wedding Makeup 1Candice’s Wedding Dinner Makeup

“Test test test, practice practice practice!” says Candice. “Never use products or tools that are completely new to you on your big day. Don’t assume that all products will work well together.”

  • Try out a few makeup looks and take test photos in different lighting.
  • See how different foundations sit on top of your skin care, and monitor how long they last throughout the night or day.
  • Wear your full makeup look with your dress(es) to see how everything works together. Sometimes bold lips and heavy eye makeup can look too garish with a red dress, but you won’t know until you see the whole look altogether.
  • Stick with timeless and classic makeup looks that will still look good even decades from now. Darkened lashes, defined eyes, natural-looking cheeks and lips – these are things you really can’t go wrong with.

For more of Candice’s beauty escapades, check out her blog or follow her on Instagram. Stay tuned to this column for more makeup and skincare hacks!

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

Taobao Wedding Guide

Guide To Liquid Lipsticks and Lip Creams

How To Pick The Perfect Foundation For Your Skin

How To Contour And Highlight (Like A Goddess)

3 Responses

  1. What lipstick are you wearing in the wedding photos? I’m not experienced with lipstick but I really like the sortof natural glossy edges and I really like the color as well 😮

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