Why I Did My Own Makeup On My Wedding Day

So, yesterday my husband asked me what day it was. From his tone, I could tell it was a trick question. First I said, it was Monday. Then I said it was 25th, Christmas Day. Then when I saw he was expecting a different answer, I finally said, “It’s the anniversary of your side of our wedding” and that made him smile. Haha.

For you non-Malaysians out there, weddings here (for Malays) are amazing. For starters, there is usually at least three ceremonies per couple. The first is the solemnization, or akad nikah where the bride and groom, usually wearing white, would be officially pronounced as husband and wife. Then there’s the receptions. The bride’s side would host their reception, then the groom’s side would host their reception. Sometimes they merged to make one big reception. Sometimes they do it a day apart (bride’s on Saturday, groom’s on Sunday, for example) or sometimes they’d hold it months apart (bride’s in September, groom’s in December for example). The family usually has their own personal reasons for choosing the respective dates.

For me, my solemnization and reception was on the 18th December, then my husband’s reception was on the 25th December. Mainly because our families live six hours away, so doing a reception a day after is impossible. Anyway. 

For the solemnization, for both wedding receptions, and for both outdoor photoshoots, I did my own make-up. To some, this may be unsurprising, and I know many more are already doing the same of applying their own makeup or at least asking a close friend who knows her stuff. For me, I had been very determined on this one from the very beginning, and I’m really glad I stuck through with my decision.

First, I have a phobia with make-up artists. I’ve been to countless weddings already, and forgive me for saying this, but for Malay weddings especially, I find the bride are always, always caked in too-heavy make-up. There is nothing natural at all about their faces, from the thickness of the foundation, to the blush streak across their cheeks, to the false eyelashes. To me, makeup should be an enhancer, not a mask. Too many times I’ve been to weddings or seen pictures where I could no longer recognise the bride’s face beneath the heavy makeup. And when the bride stands next to the groom (or next to her friends and family), she stands out too much. I knew for sure that if I were to hire a makeup artist and do the same, I’d probably be too embarrassed to look at my wedding photos after the wedding.

Second, doing my own makeup meant I could easily take it off and re-apply it when prayer time comes. For me, my solemnization was in the morning, then the reception in the afternoon, followed by the outdoor photoshoot until dusk. That meant I needed to take off my makeup twice – for zohor and asar. Having that freedom to take the makeup off and rinse my face with cold water was just sooooooo refreshing, you have no idea. Because seriously – Malaysia is hot. And no matter how hard you blast the air conditioner, dressed up as a bride, you’ll be sweating. And if you have makeup that cannot be taken off, well… I can just imagine how uncomfortable the day would be.

Third, I honestly believe that going as natural as possible is the best beauty. I seriously believe this. Especially if you, like me, do not wear heavy makeup on a daily basis anyway. For me, on my best day, I’d wear foundation, concealer, eyeliner, lipstick – I’d occasionally put a bit of mascara, a bit of blush. This is my kind of make-up on a typical, professional work-setting day (except during pregnancy, where I hardly wore makeup haha). Even so, I don’t go overboard. My lipstick colours are usually very nude. In terms of makeup usage, I’d rate myself at a Level 5. So for weddings, I believe it’s best to go up a level or two, which for me means a Level 7. Now if you’re like my sister, whose only makeup product is probably a compact powder and lipbalm, you’re standing at a Level 2. And if you hire a makeup artist who would do your face to a Level 9, seriously, it would come as a shock when people look at you. Even to yourself, probably. 

I actually had a lot of people asking me if I did my own makeup that day. Because it wasn’t flawless. I had just survived a horrible, horrible stress-related breakout situation six months before my wedding day, and my face had small pimples and even more acne marks. But I wasn’t ashamed at all to say that, yes, I did my own makeup. Because I wanted my face to be recognisable. Because, more importantly, I wanted to be able to pray with ease and not do the “gabung solat” approach of delaying zohor just until just a few minutes before asar so I only needed to re-apply my makeup once. Though not flawless and especially not as striking as the handiwork of a makeup artist, I was glad with the choice I made.

For those considering doing their own makeup on the much-awaited wedding day, a few tips that I have:

1) Invest in a good primer so your foundation stays. The good news is that whatever you buy is yours for future use. ā¤

2) YouTube is your best friend to learn simple tricks on doing your makeup. Until now, I love watching makeup videos, just for the fun of it.

3) Invest more in a foundation and concealer that suits your skin tone. You can skip the expensive mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc. If your foundation is smooth, and you’ve covered all your acne marks and dark under-eye circles, you’ll already look very beautiful. The lipsticks and the rest are just finishing touches. Pay more attention to your skin.

4) Be confident and be comfortable. It’s your wedding day. Ultimately, being comfortable is the best gift you can give yourself, because nothing exudes more beauty than a woman who is confident and comfortable in her own skin. šŸ˜˜

5) Have a person to provide feedback. Just in case you personally go overboard applying makeup, have someone you trust to make sure you stay within the limits of the look that you wanted to achieve. Me, I had my sister. I think she has a phobia for makeup or something, but she’s definitely the first person to tell me if I did mine too heavily. 

So that’s it, some tips to share with you. There are actually many more things that my husband and I chose to do on our ceremony that we’re very happy with, but I’ll share this as time goes by. I didn’t want to put it all in one post. 

For those getting married, all the best, and make it one of the best days of your life! 

Just a bit of a life update, I have finally decided on a breastpump! (I think). After hours and hours and hours of research (because I can never be satisfied with any major purchase without hours of reading), I have finally decided on getting the Milk Genie by Pumpables. The winning factor was that the set comes with three sized breast shields (21mm, 24mm and 27mm), which is useful both for me to experiment with and because I know through my reading that I will most probably need a 21mm shield. I didn’t want to spend too much looking for new parts, especially considering that the other two contestants (Spectra 9+ and Cimilre F1) didn’t have these sizes. I’ll probably do an unboxing post and an unsponsored review as the breastpump is a very new release (I think sometime August this year).

Still waiting for baby to come. Sigh. 

Also, how are your new year resolutions coming along? Look out for mine soon!

Maibreakstheice is a blog where I like to tackle life questions through my personal experiences and, where applicable, through my knowledge as a graduate in family counselling. Keep your eye out for updates every Tuesday, or subscribe via email to receive updates straight to your mailbox!

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