We Tried It: Doing Our Own Wedding Makeup

08/07/2014 at 01:14 PM ET

Who tried it: Loni Venti (although I was still Loni Albert when I tried it!), Style & Beauty Editor

Why I did it: I’ve been painting this face everyday for the last fifteen years. Who knows it better than me? No one, that’s who! Plus, not to sound like a brat, but I just really like how I do my own makeup.

Level of difficulty: Out of 10, I’d give it a 5. In real life, it would probably rank a 2 or 3, but everything feels a gazillion times harder when you are moments away from tying the knot. Seriously, even walking was an epic and exhausting feat!

For me, the decision to DIY was a no-brainer. I’ve been a makeup-wearing fool for as long as anyone can remember. Even my toddler #TBT posts feature whatever lipstick and blush my glamorous mom would let me steal. So for this day, when looking really really pretty was mandatory, I knew I had to make up my own face.

I’d love to say that I did multiple makeup trials on myself to figure out exactly what I needed and precisely how I wanted to look. But the truth is, I brought a giant bag filled with all the makeup I had to my hotel and just went for it. Here’s how it turned out (and yes, I was just as dazed and confused that morning as I look here):

Loni Venti wedding makeupCourtesy Loni Venti

In case you’re curious, here’s my bridal beauty breakdown:

Skin: I spent lots of time prepping my skin beforehand. I had several facials with NYC complexion genius Joanna Vargas, got a very light St. Tropez spray tan to even things out and chugged coconut water like it was my job (well, it kind of is). So after all that, I didn’t need too much coverage. To keep it light, I applied a bit of Benefit’s Big Easy (a BB cream with a powder finish) allover and then set my T-zone with MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation since it’s summer, and I didn’t want to get too shiny. The powder compact went in my sister’s clutch (she was the world’s best maid of honor) and was used for my many touch-ups. Then I dusted on bronzer from hairline to décolletage and popped a pale pink blush on my cheeks, because every bride has to be blushing (duh!).

Eyes: Here I relied on everyone’s fave: the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I used the two lightest shades on my lids and to highlight, and then contoured the crease a bit with a mix of the deeper browns. Then, I created my usual cat eye using DHC’s Liquid Eyeliner EX. (I’ve tried every liquid liner available in the U.S. and this is the one I hoard, cherish and constantly recommend.) Next, I topped my lashes with Dior’s waterproof DiorShow, since weepy mascara tears were not part of my beauty plan!

Lips: My daily beauty MO involves channeling Ms. Marilyn Monroe to the best of my ability via red lips. But for the big day, I wanted to go a bit softer and more romantic. So I swapped out my go-to ruby hue for a mix of Maybelline’s Mauve Mania and Plum Paradise. I called it “Nude Plus.” I like to think this switched the vibe from Marilyn to Sophia Loren. (I also like to think that wearing 6-in. heels is sensible. I like to think lots of things.)

Full disclosure: One of my beauty besties, Albee Franson, is a celebrity makeup artist (yes, all of my friends are that cool). He was on board all day glamming up my beautiful bridesmaids, mom and mother-in-law, so when I started having fake-lash related panic attack, he swooped in like a better-coiffed Superman and popped those babies on for me. He also painted on an extra coat of lipstick, because apparently wedding photographers insist on having a photo of you getting your lipstick applied? What’s that all about, photogs?

At any rate: Here’s me freshly primped, right before the “first look” with my guy (at left) and then with my handsome groom at the end of the evening after hours of dancing, crying, laughing and other bride-y things. Aside from needing some powder here and there, it all held up pretty well.

Loni Venti wedding makeupCourtesy Loni Venti

Verdict: On your wedding day, do whatever will make you feel amazing. If hiring a red carpet makeup guru will help you feel gorgeous — freaking do it! If fifteen minutes of normalcy and quiet while you line your lids behind closed doors will help calm you and make you feel like a million bucks — go with that. Whichever beauty path you choose, have your MOH pack a just-in-case kit with eyelash glue, pressed powder, lipstick and liner for touchups. And remember, no matter what makeup you wear or who paints it on, at the end of the day you get to marry the guy of your dreams, and no lipstick in the world feels as good as that.

Have you done your wedding makeup yourself? How did it go? What other beauty trends should we try?

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Showing 2 comments

SS on

You look so pretty! I was too chicken to try doing my own makeup for my wedding, but yours looks GREAT. Congrats!

dawn on

You look great!
Just one thing- doing make-up for an “event”, especially if you’re a bride isn’t really a case of how “good” you are at doing your own make-up. There are techniques and products that professionals are very adept at applying that a woman doing her own might not know about at all, nevermind use properly- things like primers, contour palates, concealers. You have consider natural light, indoor vs outdoor etc you don’t want too light undereye concealer, ghostly over-powdered face etc in your wedding photos!

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