bridal make up

DIY or disaster: should you do your own hair and make-up?

24 Oct 2017

The second part of our DIY or disaster series looks at the pros and cons of doing your own hair and make-up

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Should you DIY your wedding or employ professionals to do the work for you? In this series, we take a look at several aspects of wedding planning from the perspective of brides and professionals. Last time we looked at whether going DIY with your wedding cake was a recipe for disaster; for this edition, we’re discussing hair and make-up.

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Photo: Sarah Swain by Fuller Photography

Sarah Swain is an award-winning hair and make-up artist based in Norfolk. Specialising in bridal and fashion beauty, she knows all too well the importance of experience. “Professional artists are educated to a high standard and they understand each product they use and its effects,” she explains.

Lu Hales-Greer got married in 2012, and had two celebrations; one in Ibiza, and one in Norwich. She did her own hair and make-up with the help of her family. “I initially looked around for hair and make-up artists in the local villages in Ibiza, but realised that an hour trip from there back to the venue was going to add a lot of stress,” she says. “I spent some time thinking about it and decided that, as our wedding was pretty chilled-out, I would just do it myself. I’m lucky enough to have a friend who is an award-winning Max Factor make-up artist, so I asked her to take me through some basics so I knew what I was doing on the day.”

diy-or-disaster-hair-and-make-up-2Photo: via Lu Hales-Greer 

There are pros and cons to both options. Sarah Swain warns that doing it yourself could end up being more expensive than using a professional. “When battling with the choice of whether or not to do your own hair and make-up,” she says, “consider that you will spend more money on make-up lessons and recommended products than you will hiring a professional.” Even if you do save money doing it yourself, “this can add stress to your wedding morning,” Sarah adds.

There is also the element of experience and professionalism to take into account. “A professional’s application of make-up will last the entire day, making you feel amazing while providing the photographer with flawless photos for you to enjoy forever,” says Sarah. If you aren’t somebody who is comfortable with doing their own make-up on an everyday basis, it would be naïve to think that you can suddenly pull it off for your big day. There many things to consider; will your make-up and hair stay in place all day? How well will they show up in your wedding photographs?

diy-or-disaster-hair-and-make-up-3Photo: Sarah Swain by Fuller Photography

If you are confident in your abilities, however, then it is definitely an option. For example, Lu was comfortable enough with doing her make-up that she winged it on the day. “My mum helped me with my hair,” she adds. “We'd practised my hair a little bit - I have a lot of it and knew I’d be rolling and tucking the majority of it so we practised that - but the braiding, curls, and little flowers were all off-the-cuff on the day.”

Your choice of doing it yourself or hiring a professional may also depend on the size of your bridal party, as Sarah explains. “Hiring an expert make-up artist means you will have access to an array of products in different colours, tones, and textures to suit everyone in your bridal party.”

If you do choose to do your own make-up, Lu advises finding a make-up artist working in a store like Boots and asking for suggestions. “Tell them you’re getting your make-up sorted for your wedding; the majority of them will happily guide you in what to buy, how to apply it, and might even help you out with a practise run.”

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Photo: via Lu Hales-Greer

On the other hand, if you opt for a professional, Sarah recommends having a trial first. “This will allow you and the artist to discuss your ideas and have a play around with products,” she says. “People say there is confidence in money, and this is definitely true with the art of hair and make-up; you get what you pay for. Set a budget and do your research before booking in with anybody.”