How To: Minimal Wedding Makeup

Somewhere between "me" and "me with makeup on"

Here at APW, we have a simple approach to wedding makeup: you don’t need it (seriously, and you can tell everyone we said that). But if you want makeup on your wedding day, you should have options. While we work with professional makeup artists all the time and respect the work they do, we know that not every wedding budget can make room for hiring pros, and not everyone is comfortable having someone else do their makeup for them.

If you’re not already super familiar with makeup, doing your own wedding makeup can present its own set of challenges: what kind of product should you use? What techniques? Is it going to come out looking all clowny and awful? (Short answer: probably not.) So when bareMinerals approached us about doing makeup tutorials on actual ladies getting married, done by the ladies themselves, we jumped at the opportunity to make it happen. BareMinerals is the most effortless makeup this klutz has ever used. (I’m a longtime and loyal bareMinerals fan, and Meg is a recent convert after they gave us both makeovers at Alt Summit this past January.) So we asked two photographers from the APW community (Elicia Bryan and Bri McDaniel in Atlanta, who also happen to be planning weddings of their own) to test drive bareMinerals’s products, using APW tutorials as their guides, and to share the results (and any lessons learned) when they were done. They got a full suite of bareMinerals products to use, but otherwise they were on their own. (Ha-ha! A real test of what you can do.)

Elicia’s Look

Elicia doesn’t normally wear makeup in her daily life, so she wanted to try more natural wedding makeup. For these tutorials, Elicia and Bri got to try out bareMinerals’s new liquid bareSkin foundation which is made without silicone, oil, parabens, or fragrance and is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (which basically means it won’t clog your pores or make you break out), plus it has SPF 20 (thank you, no sunburn on your wedding day). One of the benefits that bareSkin promises is that you can build coverage with it, meaning you can do light foundation or heavier foundation. So as product junkie, and as someone who is forever in pursuit of good foundation, I was eager to see Elicia (and her beautiful freckles) try this out on a more minimal makeup look. Behold, the result:

Elicia’s Take:

Results: You can still tell it’s Elicia, freckles in tact! Win-win. Here’s what Elicia had to say about her makeup trial, where we’ll try to read beyond the part where we faint from her wedding plans:

My fiancé and I are eloping to Iceland this August. Our plans to marry outside of the country are actually making it hard to find a makeup artist, so I’m happy APW asked me to do this experiment. I’m still looking for someone to do my makeup on my wedding day and it’s already less than two months away! Now I know I can do my makeup on my own if I need to. (But holla at your girl if you know someone who can professionally do my makeup in Iceland!)

I’m a wedding photographer. I photograph brides getting their makeup done every weekend. To be on the other side of the camera was definitely an eye opener. I have a whole new appreciation for my sweet brides after having done this experiment. That camera is intimidating!

I think the biggest thing I took away from this was to do some research beforehand, but not too much. After all, even though it seems intimidating at first, it’s really just makeup. You’re going to look beautiful on your wedding day no matter what your makeup looks like, as long as it’s tasteful (and it will be, because you know what looks good on your own face!). Going into this, I honestly knew nothing about makeup. I rarely wear it in my day-to-day life. But, once you learn the basics, the rest is all play.

Elicia’s minimal wedding makeup steps:

1. First, exfoliate in the shower. I have dry skin so if I don’t do this regularly, my makeup gets clumpy and gross. Not pretty.
2. Moisturize immediately after you get out of the shower.
3. Prime your face using bareMinerals Prime Time. Rub a thin layer all over your face and wait for it to dry. Your skin will feel awesome.
4. Next comes foundation. I applied bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation. BareMinerals also has this awesome brush called Perfect Face Brush that allows you to put foundation in the middle of the brush and apply directly from there. You only need one drop to start blending in the foundation (two max), so make sure you don’t load it up too much.
5. Once the foundation was applied, I applied bareMinerals Mineral Veil, which is a kind of finishing powder (it sets the foundation).
6. I was going for a minimal, natural look so I kept the blush light and on the balls of my cheeks in a shade called “the one.”
7. For my eyeshadow, I picked a neutral color palate of two colors from within a quad palette—a light beige called “fate” and a darker (but still light) brown called “serendipitous.” First I applied the beige to my whole eyelid. Next I applied the brown to just the inner part of my eyelid, to add a bit of dimension while keeping with the natural feel of the look.
8. After eyeshadow, I applied eyeliner in the shade Infinite Sage lightly to just the top lid of my eye, as close to the lash line as possible. This keeps the look light and natural looking.
9. I applied mascara to both my top and bottom lashes and after that dried, I applied a waterproof topcoat. I figured this would be beneficial for a wedding day, especially for me because I’m definitely a crier! I’m a wedding photographer and I still cry at every wedding. I used Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat by bareMinerals.
10. Lips! To keep things light, I just went with a lip gloss in the color “Rebel.”

This post was sponsored by bareMinerals. Thanks bareMinerals for helping make the APW Mission possible!


Coming next month: Bri McDaniel shows us how to dIY wedding Makeup when you’re into “gimme MORE MAKEUP PLEASE.”


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