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Doing Your Own Wedding Makeup? Celebrity Makeup Artist Pati Dubroff Shares Her Best Tips

These DIY red-carpet makeup tips will ensure you look and feel your best when you walk down the aisle.

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Photography by: Kim Stockwell

If you've decided to do your own makeup for your wedding day, we found a huge resource for you in Pati Dubroff, a makeup artist who helps celebs like Margot Robbie and Priyanka Chopra look like the best versions of themselves on the red carpet. To help you look comfortable and gorgeous on your wedding day, she's sharing ten tips you need know in order to nail your beauty look. But first thing's first: Dubroff urges brides to remember that a special event doesn't necessarily call for more makeup overall. "What I notice is that people think, 'Oh, a big event,' and they end up painting themselves with too much makeup," she says. "They don't end up looking like themselves. Yes, a wedding is a special event, so you may want to wear more than your everyday makeup, but it's specific areas that need attention."

 

Here, she expands on that thought and shares her top tips for applying flawless wedding-day makeup.

 

Related: Tips to Touch Up Your Wedding Makeup Like a Pro

 

Think about longevity.

"Sometimes people just pack on makeup and hope it will stay, but it doesn't work like that," Dubroff says. Instead, she suggests using primers throughout the center of the face so not as much powder is needed. "It helps where you need coverage most, which is in the middle of the face, generally, but it also mattifies." Layering different textures of makeup can also help with longevity. "I really like to use cream eye shadows as a base to even out the lids. Eye-shadow primers can sometimes make the eye makeup look muddy, so I use cream shadows as primer and then layer a little powder on top." (Her favorites are Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Color in Bone and Taupe.) "Same goes for blush—layering textures adds staying power. You don't want to look like a clown, but you want a rosiness that will register and not get bleached out if your photographer uses the flash."

 

Don't go overboard on moisturizer or eye cream.

"Another mistake I see is people putting on too much moisturizer before makeup application," Dubroff says. "Yes, moisturizing is important, but you don't want a lot of moisturizer in the T-zone because you'll need a lot of powder on top to counteract the shine. Same goes for around the eyes—it won't help your eye makeup stay put." Instead, focus moisturizer around the perimeter of the face and avoid excess at the center of the face. To ensure you're getting enough hydration, try a mask a few hours prior to makeup application. Dubroff's favorites are by 111Skin and Joanna Vargas.

 

Keep your eyes open and bright. (Unless a smoky eye is your trademark.)

"Lots of dark eye makeup can make eyes look smaller instead of accentuating them," Dubroff says. "Choose soft colors that even out the tone of the lid and help shape the eye," she says, adding that the center of the eyelid should have a little spot of light on it, which can be done by adding a pop of iridescent shadow.

 

Before deciding upon your wedding makeup, take into account your venue.

"All red carpets aren't created equal, they have a different flavor and tone depending upon the event; the Met Gala has a different vibe than the Independent Spirit Awards," she says. "The same goes for a wedding, so you should think about what type of celebration you're having." Where it's taking place, the time of day, and whether your ceremony is inside or outside should all be factors you take into consideration. "I would also think about the color of the bridesmaid dresses and flowers," Dubroff adds. "If, for instance, the flowers are all in the pink and lilac family, I would use that for my color palette, whereas if the flowers are orange or wildflowers, that would create the tone for the palette. Use subtle cues to bring harmony to the look."

 

You don't necessarily need waterproof mascara.

"I don't love waterproof mascara in general," Dubroff says. "But what you can do is use one coat of your favorite mascara to get the lashes you want, and then a coat of waterproof on top. Anastasia Beverly Hills has a product called Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat, which doesn't have any color, so you can just use it on top of your regular mascara."   

 

Related: 6 Natural Wedding Makeup Looks for Your Big Day

 

Concentrate on your base makeup.

"I spend the most time on the skin. It doesn't mean I'm putting on a lot of foundation, it just means that whatever I'm putting on is blended really well," she says. For natural coverage, Dubroff suggests using two different shades of foundation because it gives the face more dimension. For the center of the face, choose a shade that's exactly the shade of the neck to brighten it and open up the face, and then choose a second shade of foundation that is a touch darker to match the sides of the cheeks. "You want that slight gradation," she explains. "It's flattering. I spend a lot of time applying foundation with a sponge, pressing it in, then buffing with a brush, and going back and spot correcting with a concealer that has a good amount of coverage, like Cle de Peau Concealer or Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. They're great for disguising blemishes, and they stay put.

 

As for foundation, Dubroff likes Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation Concealer for more coverage ("But it's quite dense, so I buff it out a lot," she cautions) and Chantecaille Future Skin on women with have flawless skin ("It just evens out the tone a bit," she says).

 

Go easy on the contouring.

"I'm so not a fan of contouring," she says. "For your wedding, it's really more about rosy, healthy cheeks, not skeletal-looking, which can happen when someone goes overboard with contouring." 

 

Use her trick for long-lasting lipstick.

Want your lip color to last through the first kiss? "Put a sheer lipstick or balm on first, and then use a lip pencil that's the same shade to give a little form and definition, which will also create a barrier to help it stay put." 

 

Put a few products in your clutch for touch ups.

Keep your lipstick, a lip balm, and a powder compact with you throughout the day, she says. "Be careful with powders that say high definition, though, because if the photographer uses a flash, you might see powder residue. So just use regular translucent powder."   

 

And, a tip for those who hate wearing makeup?

"Don't let anyone talk you into putting a lot of makeup on if you don't want to," Dubroff says. But if you want to add a little bit, make sure the skin is really even, the brows are groomed, eyelashes curled, and add a little color to the lips and cheeks. If you can make pull that together, everything else will be fine."