The Stylist wedding blog: How to do DIY bridal make-up

Posted by
Natasha Tomalin
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

The Stylist wedding blog, DIY bridal make-up tips.

This week, Stylist’s resident bride Natasha Tomalin, who gets married in October, explores the prospect of doing her own wedding make-up

I had a stress last week about my wedding make-up. I haven’t booked a make-up artist yet, and have been toying with the idea of simply doing it myself. Not only would this save money (an all-important factor in wedding planning), but I want to be sure that on the big day I look like me.

The only problem is, I can't even begin to think how I'd attempt my make-up on my wedding morning without having a major breakdown.

Seeking advice, I spoke to Stylist’s beauty director, Joanna McGarry. Jo got married last year and, after having a free MAC make-up tutorial, decided to take the plunge and do it herself. So, on her recommendation, I went (dubiously) along to my own MAC make-up session.

Despite initial reservations, it couldn’t have gone any better. The make-up artist was absolutely fantastic and imparted heaps of helpful tips.

Here I am, before and after my MAC bridal beauty session:

The most important thing I took away from it was not to do anything out of my beauty norm: if you don’t wear a smoky eye on a regular basis in real life, don’t wear one on your wedding day - simple as.

You still need to look like you, and you need to feel 100% comfortable.

The whole experience has seriously made me reconsider doing my own wedding make-up. I was really happy with the results and it would save me a fair old chunk of money. I would strongly recommend going along to your own trial if you are thinking of doing it yourself.

Wedding make-up tips from the expert

Senior MAC make-up artist Rachel O’Donnell tells her tricks of the trade for all brides to achieve the most flattering, long-wearing make-up on their wedding day - concentrating on the best way to go on moisturiser, pro application tips, and a guide to creating killer brows...


  • Use moisturiser and primer - both will add instant radiance and the latter will help keep make-up on longer
  • Think about using a lip primer (I used Prep and Prime Lip - £13.50)  to help keep the product on and prevent bleeding. Apply one thin layer and let it sink in so it doesn't compromise the texture of lip you're creating
  • Squeeze a small amount of foundation into the palm of your hands, rub together until you feel the texture changing slightly and then apply like you would your normal moisturiser until it is evenly spread
  • Put a small blob of concealer onto the back of your hand and use a soft small brush to gently buff around the eyes and eyelids, as well as adding to any areas that might need a little help


  • Use a small soft powder brush and concentrate powder on the centre of the face. Key places are in between brows, chin, side of nose - especially the nook around your nostrils
  • When it comes to highlighters, anything cream with light reflectors needs to be applied with care, as they can often look sloppy or cakey. I find the best way to bully thin product into the skin is with a press and roll. I used Cream Colour Base (£16) on Natasha
  • You can’t go wrong with highlighting in a C shape, connecting the cheekbone to the brow bone. The greatest intensity of the cream sits on the highest planes and the rest should look as if it's melted away
  • Add cream blusher with your middle finger patting gently onto the area you favour. Apples of the cheek are classic, so if you smile they will appear for you to use as a guide.


  • Use a small angled brush with a brown eye shadow to match your brow shade
  • Practise on your hand first to see how vastly different your finish can be depending on how you use the brush
  • Follow the growth of the hair and use the pointy tip to emulate hair with strokes and you can use it on its sharp flat angle to increase opacity
  • For a more natural brow, I like to use the remainder of what is on the brush to softly add depth to the beginning of the brow, starting from the bottom and lifting up
  • If you feel like they are too heavy, just brush out some products with a brow brush or an old washed mascara wand.

Creating Natasha's lip and eye looks:

Eyes: Rachel washed cream eye shadow Groundwork Prolongwear Paintpot all over the lids as a base and softly blended out all with a small brush. “Only do a cat-eye flick if you wear this look often and are confident you can get the shape right,” she advises.

Lips: “If you want to make a lip colour more opaque, use the tip of the pencil and add more pressure,” Rachel says. She stained Burgundy Lip Pencil over Natasha's lips using the side of the pencil before adding Pro Longwear Pencil on top.

Free 10-15-minute walk-in wedding make-up sessions are available at:

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please post your comments below, or on Twitter @stylistmagazine and @natashatomalin, using the hashtag #Stylistweddingblog

Images: Unsplash, iStock, Giphy, Natasha Tomalin, MAC,