WEDDING | Doing Your Own Make-up on The Big Day

It’s quickly approaching that time of year again … wedding season!!  You’re probably well on your way to planning your Big Day and one of those decisions on your to-do list is whether or not to hire a professional to do your make-up.
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Of course since I’m fortunate to do make-up for a living, I’m going to highly suggest that you do hire someone to take care of your beauty look on the Big Day.  The perspective and experience of a make-up professional can greatly help with key concerns like ensuring your make-up looks both amazing on camera and in-person, but that it also goes the distance of a wedding day.  You’ve got enough to worry about with planning a wedding and a whole Big Day to experience ahead of you so why not sit back, relax (while possible!)…and leave your make-up in the hands of a trusted pro. :)

On my own wedding day I kinda went against this advice, doing my own make-up (for obvious reasons!) and then also doing make-up for the incredibly special women in my life.  I chose to do the make-up because it’s what I love to do and I wanted to be able to share that love with my sister (aka Maid of Honour), my Mom, my new Mom, my junior bridesmaid and flowergirl.

If not for my love of and for my background in doing make-up, I would have definitely hired a professional to do it for me.

Now of course, somewhere in between that prep time I had to do my own make-up and touch-up my oil-prone (aka sweaty!) self before pictures began with our amazing friend and master photographer Joee Wong.  I have no regrets about doing make-up on the Big Day, but now that hindsight is 20/20, the only thing I maybe wished was that I started earlier, as time really seemed to fly that entire day.  Luckily, I was working with an ultra dream team of friends and professionals like Joee and Suzie Kim (on hair), so I never felt rushed or stressed … and we still managed to get a wealth of images (that I looove) in! [Thanks guys!]

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Here are some things to consider if you’re contemplating doing your own make-up for your wedding day:

1) Practice, practice, practice.  Make-up professionals have the benefit of experience and lotsa practice behind them, working with different faces and knowing what make-up works for different lighting.  We’ve also got a bevy of product knowledge and products, so hiring us would save you from having to do all the guesswork and also from having to spend the money on the new products you’ll need to buy.

Now of course not everyone’s budget or circumstances allow for them to hire a make-up professional so if you do plan to do your own make-up, make sure to practice plenty in advance of your wedding, because well, practice makes perfect.  You can easily get tons of beauty inspiration from bridal magazines and learn plenty of application tips while watching YouTube.  Not only are there are tons of resources out there, but today’s products are also very user-friendly.  Be sure to take high-resolution pictures of the attempts you like in natural daylight so you can see how your make-up translates on-camera.  Note:  If the make-up looks good in natural light, it’ll look good in any light.

Practice the look so you know exactly your plan of attack, what products you’ll be using and the total amount of time it takes.

2) Speaking of time, give yourself adequate time and then some.  One truth on your wedding day is that things will likely not go exactly according to schedule.  Be as prepared as possible so that you don’t feel rushed and can avoid feeling stressed.  You want to be able to enjoy and absorb every moment of your wedding day … and to see all the hard work you’ve done with planning it come to fruition!  (Did I mention it goes by so fast?!)

3) Schedule a lesson with a make-up professional.  Maybe you’re planning a gorgeous destination wedding and you’d rather be prepared to do your own make-up.  Again, YouTube can be a wonderful resource but a live and in-person make-up professional can walk you through all the steps needed, help to customize your look and answer questions you might have.  But you still gotta practice on your own from there!

4) It’s nice to be pampered. I went for my first salon manicure just before my wedding and not going to lie – that time to yourself of being pampered is actually really nice.  It forces you to have time for just yourself and that little bit of relaxation is often needed with the stress that can come with planning a wedding.  Again, hindsight being 20/20, I would have appreciated a little bit of that me-time to focus on tying up loose ends and on just being more in the moment…as it all goes by so quick!!  With a professional taking care of you, you can use that time and energy to focus on things like finishing off your thank-you speech (you know it happens last minute!) , enjoying the time with your loved ones and absorbing all the moments that comprise one of the best days of your life…

…like this…
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…and this..
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…and of course, this. ♥.
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Decisions, decisions.  Will you say yes to doing your own make-up for your wedding?

Also for brides-to-be, see some useful tips for doing your Bridal Trial and Finding Your Bridal Beauty Style.

Photography:  Joee Wong (
Hair:  Suzie Kim and Jeana Lee (
Make-up:  Rhia Amio (


Welcome to my journal and journey as a make-up and hair artist with all the beautiful people and products I encounter along the way.

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