Below is the makeup that, after much research and testing, composed my A+ team of miracle-beauty-in-a-bottle products for my wedding day. I continue to love and use them daily. This is the straight list for TLDR's sake. A separate skincare post will follow.
(I have very dry skin. The face products below work best with my skin type.)
- Eyelid primer: MAC Prep + Prime 24 Hour Extend Eye Base, $23
- Under eye primer: This Works In Transit Camera Close Up, $55
- Face primer: DHC Velvet Skin Coat, $22.50
- Spray primer: MAC Fix +, $25
- Tom Ford Eye Quad in Disco Dust, $85
- Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Quad in The Dolce Vita, $53
- Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Palette Neutral 02, $20
- Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal, $4 (for the waterline)
- Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl, $40 (for setting the waterline)
- Elizabeth Arden Powder Pencil - Smoky Black, $19
- Tom Ford Defining Liquid Liner Pen, $57
Contour & Highlight:
- Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Intensity 1, $82
- Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow with Powder & Sculpt Brush, $110
- Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in White Pearl, $41
- Julie Hewett Rosie & Jami Cheekie Duo Palette, $38
- By Terry Sun Designer Palette in 2 (no longer available, other beautiful colors linked), $82
Lipliner & Lipstick:
- Chantecaille Protection Naturelle SPF powder, $33 (under eyes)
- Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38 (face)
- Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finish, $29 * Love/hate relationship with this product. It's like hair spray for your face, which was precisely what I needed for my wedding, but I'd never use it on a daily basis. MAC Fix + suffices as both a primer and a setting agent in non-high-stakes situations.
- Real Techniques Flawless Base Set, $9
- Real Techniques Makeup Setting Brush, $4
- IT for Ulta Concealer Brush #212, $22
- Wayne Goss Precision Detail Brush 05, $20
- Wayne Goss Eye Shadow Precision Blending Brush, $23
- Bobbi Brown Eyeliner Brush, $29
- Pointed Precision Q Tips, $3
- Beautyblender Micro Mini, $18
Makeup Travel Bag:
- Viviscal Hair Growth Daily Supplements, $33/month
- John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Multi-Tone Revealing Shampoo & Conditioner, $14
- Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil, $69
- Tom Ford Soleil Blanc, $230
Whitening Eye Drops:
- Optrex Brightening Eye Drops, $9 Cannot emphasize enough how crucial this product was.
In a previous post about the pros and cons about doing your own bridal makeup, I noted that contrary to initial assumptions, you will likely spend more acquiring a collection of wedding-worthy makeup than hiring someone to do your makeup for you. The above products total $1,759. I was quoted $160 for a professional makeup artist to come to my hotel room (travel expenses included).
For those of you who don't know my neuroses intimately, let me contextualize this post by saying that my loved ones find me totally exhausting when it comes to making decisions about purchases. I'm not indecisive: I simply loathe impulse buys, and must have ALL the information about ALL the options before I select one.
I crave the comfort of knowing that I've selected the most effective option on the market. I do this even for shit I don't care about that much, like my husband and I went 3 months without a shower curtain because I HAD to research and find the very best; I b*&tched about pillowcases for 8 months before selecting the most highly reviewed & thoroughly tested models, and I've been looking for floor lamps for the past 6 months (y tho!!).
In contrast to home items, I care A LOT more about makeup. I am embarrassed by the amount of time I've devoted to learning about products. Until I decided to do my own bridal makeup, the value of my fanaticism was questionable. This rambling is to assure you that the above makeup products used were thoroughly examined, meticulously tested, and are blue ribbon Best in Shows by my standards.
Here's my philosophy in a nutshell when it comes to buying makeup: I'm a minimalist; I don't want several products that serve the same purpose cluttering my shelves.
When I decided to do my bridal makeup, the bar for product performance jumped by several powers of 10. As though the stakes weren't high enough already, I also got married in a challenging climate for makeup: outside in humid 85+ degree tropical weather.
Beyond in-person texture, color, and composition testing, I also go to extensive lengths to cross compare product reviews on blogs, private Facebook beauty groups, reddit forums, formula safety sites, and Youtube.
I reject the practice of amassing a makeup "collection" or being a "collector." A collection connotes having an excess of stuff for possession's sake. Instead, I'm seeking the most streamlined curation of heavily edited winners. I want the best in class for each category - items that outperform against A/B tests every time.
The makeup I used on my wedding day represents exactly my dream selection. I plan to use up each of the above products to the last drop.
A parting word of advice: my wedding makeup application mantra was "NO SURPRISES." You will be tempted to purchase more expensive makeup items for the sake of the occasion, and you will be tempted to save their first use for your wedding day. Ignore your "this is so special I'll save it for the day!" impulse. Rip open the package, and ruthlessly test the stuff. No surprises.