I never could’ve guessed that deciding on my wedding makeup look would be as difficult as finding the perfect wedding dress. As someone who writes about beauty for a living, selecting a service and choosing a look should be easy, right? Wrong.
Like many brides-to-be, I want to look like the best version of myself on my wedding day, but I was having trouble finding someone I could trust to give me the makeup of my dreams. I did some Googling and asked former brides which services they had used for their weddings. The most common responses I got were: airbrush makeup (which is applied with an airbrush machine rather than with traditional brushes and sponges), a makeup artist found through Instagram, a makeup counter, a makeup service app, and a good ol’ fashioned DIY — either by the bride herself or by her friend.
So I tried all five to find out which was the best for me. Because I still wasn’t sure of the look I would want, I gave each makeup artist minimal instruction and only told them I wanted to see their interpretation of wedding day makeup.
1.The Airbrush Makeup Artist
Price: $95, through Glamsquad
Standout product from the look: Perfect Canvas Foundation in “Birch,” $48
I’d never tried airbrush makeup but had heard it was the way to go for weddings, due to its even finish. I wore this look for the entire day, and it didn’t budge even slightly — an important quality to look for in products you’ll be wearing for hours on end. The artist also applied airbrush makeup to my brows, as well as eye shadow and eyeliner, but the eye look overall was a little too subdued for my wedding. I’ll probably do something more dramatic for the big day.
My biggest takeaway: You don’t have to cake on heavy foundation to have full-coverage makeup. I was impressed by how evenly and gradually airbrush makeup applies and loved that it didn’t look super heavy.
Products used: Lip & Blush Duo Medium, $45; Airpod Bronzer, $35; Airbrush 24-Hour Root Touch-Up & Hair Color in “Brown/Black,” $35; Perfect Canvas Airpod Highlighter, $35; Perfect Canvas 24-Hour Hydra Lock Airpod in “Birch,” $48
2.The Instagram Celebrity Makeup Artist
Service: Makeup artist Angel Merino, aka Mac Daddy
Price: Priceless (Mac Daddy only does makeup for current clients and close friends but formerly charged $500 for his services).
Standout product from the look: Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in “Illuminati,” $27
4.The Makeup Service App
Standout product from the look: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette, $49
Beauty service apps are a somewhat new but super-convenient option for brides. For this look, I used The Glam App, which allowed me to request the kind of look I wanted from a list of options, along with the price I was looking to spend and the time slot I needed. From there, the app set me up with a makeup artist, who met me at my office. I loved the shimmery, smoky eye she gave me — it was just dramatic enough to make a statement. I would probably go with a bolder lip color, though, since this one faded a little in the camera flash.
My biggest takeaway: False lashes really make a difference, and it’s the easiest way to bump your everyday look up a notch. They might be a little intimidating, but they show up in photos and really make a difference.
Products used: Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Rejuvenating Soft Creme, $295; La Mer The Eye Concentrate, $200; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in “Dark Brown,” $23; MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot, $22; Estée Lauder Pure Color Intense Kajal Eye in “Blackened Cocoa,” $24; Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette, $49; Chanel Calligraphie de Chanel Longwear Intense Cream Eyeliner, $35; Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in “Desert Beige 2N1,” $40; Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum + Concealer in “2W Light Medium,” $34; MAC Mineralize Concealer in “NC15,” $22; Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Highlighter & Shader Duet in “Intensity One,” $80; Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, $40; NYX Cosmetics Slim Lip Pencil in “Nude Pink,” $4; IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in “Naturally Pretty,” $24; MAC Blot Powder/Pressed, $27; Estée Lauder Sumptuous Infinite Daring Length + Volume Mascara, $28; Emora Lashes; Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $20
Service: Makeup by yours truly (me).
Price: Free .99
Standout product from the look: i Lushess Cosmetics in “Walker,” $25